If you’re a chronic pain patient in California and are on opioid pain meds, you know the drill you go to your doctor’s appointment and every year you have to sign a pain contract saying you take your meds as prescribed and not doctor shop or sell your meds you also agree to a urine drug screen to test the levels of opioids in your system.

That’s no problem for the chronic pain patient because they have to take as directed or go into withdrawals. Doctors are testing for alcohol and thc and other drugs also. Since cannabis and cbd are legal in California some patients have found that either cannabis or cbd or a combination of them along with opioids really works to curb their pain. But when they test positive for thc they are told they will be forced weaned or cut off from their opioid meds.

This causes stress to the doctor-patient relationship and puts the patient in an untenable situation, either quit something that’s working for them or face withdrawals or being forced to go into rehab. This is unacceptable to most chronic pain patients. The CDC recognized this as a problem.

In 2016 the CDC instructed doctors not to test patients for Thc for the following reasons. Excerpts from the CDC website in regards to thc drug testing. “It could cause harm to the patient in the form of stigmatization and inappropriate termination of care.” The CDC goes on to say, clinicians should not dismiss patients care based on urinedrug test results because this could constitute patient abandonment and could have adverseconsequences for patients safety, potentially including the patient obtaining opioids from alternative sources.

In other words, if the doctor cuts you off from your pain meds. The patient may go and find them illegally. Thus making the opiod problem worse!

If you are a person affected by this, complain to your doctor and call the board of directors at your medical group and demand they follow the CDC’s guidelines regarding this matter.

Jerry Garcia



(1) comment

Preserve Opiates for Pain

Thank you for the accurate description of what we now, along with the "opioid crisis", call the "pain crisis". Going street is not really an option or is a consideration for most older abandoned pain sufferers. The dose is wildly variable, too strong, may be improperly prepared and highly toxic, and hazards such as arrest, robbery and murder are all too real possibilities on the black market. Legalization would render the black market and gang activity impotent. Smuggling can not be stopped short of closing the borders and ports even if domestic production could be halted. "Don't Punish Pain Rallies" will be held in States Capitols this October 16th nation wide in most cities. Again, Many thanks.

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