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Workers with chronic pain aren't drug abusers

BY YOUR NAME Staff Writer Published: September 3, 2012

Regarding “Better testing influences war on drugs in workplace” (Business, Aug. 26): I see articles about prescription drug abuse and all that's being done to prevent it, but never stories about those of us who suffer from chronic pain and take strong pain medications but who aren't drug abusers. In Oklahoma, the “system” literally adds insult to injury with how it treats doctors and patients who legitimately take drugs to live as close to a normal life as possible.

It's expensive, both in dollars and in diminished dignity and respect. We're forced to see our doctors every month, subjected to monthly urine tests for which we must pay, having done nothing wrong, and we and our doctors are treated as though we're criminals without the benefit of a trial. This is wrong and has to stop! I could buy a new car with what it costs me to maintain a bearable level of pain.

This wasn't the case with my previous doctor when I lived in Washington state. My primary-care physician took care of my needs, requiring only a visit every 90 days, and monitoring my pain levels and progress with a phone call each month. The cost was minimal, the doctor/patient relationship sound and the treatment fair. Those of us who manage chronic pain with medication take medications as prescribed. We don't shop doctors. All we ask is to live in peace and not pay for the transgressions of others.

David Rowden, Chandler