We live in a country that affords us a great deal of rights and privileges.  This is why our country is the greatest country on earth.  Sometimes, with the best intentions and a constitution, some of us fall victim to the breaches in our liberties.     People living with pain can easily fall in to that breach.   The role of advocacy is to bring awareness of the plight of people with pain, and the specific problems they encounter in accessing the care that they need.  In a perfect world, they should be able to do this without the fear of stigma, surveillance, and harassment.   They deserve not to be treated like drug addicts, rather than patients with intractable pain needing pain control.    The doctors and healthcare team in charge of managing their pain and improving their quality of life deserve not to be stigmatize or treated like “drug dealers”.  The crusade called the “War of Drugs” is failing, and in response, it has been transformed into the “War on Pain Management.

I have been a casualty in the war on pain management.  So have all of my patients I treated for pain.   And we are not the only casualties.     In war, casualties are defined by the fighter who were killed, maimed and the ones who are wounded.    I am a wounded casualty.  I am not dead.   I have healed and will fight with everything I have left to make sure that  people who have pain and the doctors who treat them are protected from bad laws, bad policies and bad people.

What  we can do?

Have a conversation with your family doctor or primary care provider about this issues.  Challenge their prejudices.

Contact your legislators office by phone, by email, by letter or in person to ask how they stand on issues related to access to pain management.

Share your story with your family and friends, in addition to your health care providers and representative.

Join any advocacy team on Social Media that you can find.   There are national groups and local groups with serious commitments to make a positive change  that would love to have your input and help.  If you can’t find a local group, start you own.

Join me in my legal effort to defeat the forces who are the problem and set the stage for better Drug Policy in Oklahoma here —->  The State vs. Dr. Harvey Jenkins

Be the example that others will admire, revere and follow.

That is how you make change.