Yet the agonizing pain of millions of chronic pain patients remains untreated. This is largely because the [USA's] War on Drugs has created a climate of fear among patients and health professionals alike--fear of using strong opioid medications which are often the only way to relieve severe pain when all other treatments have failed.
This fact sheet is intended to debunk some of the myths that fuel this unreasonable fear, and is being sent to legislators, patients, and health professionals throughout the nation. It will also enable members of the press to have quick access to credible facts about chronic pain. Although this fact sheet shows the devastating effects on physical and mental health when severe pain goes untreated, as well as the profound impact on the economy, there is no way to measure the "bankruptcies of the heart" that invariably accompany this condition.
Yet the steady erosion of the quality of life for millions of pain patients and their families--as they struggle with divorce, poverty, homelessness, despair, and often suicide--is the real tragedy here.
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