Chronic pain patients experiencing a side effect of new opioid guidelines

By Jessy Zhou
Medill Reports

Chronic pain patients say they are having their medications tapered down and face stricter evaluations when changing doctors since the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidelines for opioid drugs.

According to the CDC, opioids were responsible for more than 60 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2017. A government crackdown began when opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. spiked in 2016.

In this video, Catherine Wolf Thesen and Debbie Fetzner-Nunez—who both suffer from chronic pain and have been taking prescription medication for years—say they are being made to suffer because of the actions of abusers.

Photo at top: Chronic pain patients rally at the Daley Center in Chicago on March 26, 2019. (Jessy Zhou/MEDILL)