When A Call for a Change launched in October, there was a good feeling that the campaign’s purpose would resonate.
The goal is to inspire meaningful, solutions-based discussions among advocates and policymakers. The ACFAC partners want this campaign to spark questions among members of the media. And, felt strongly that it had the ability to connect with, empower and activate the pain community.
Those instincts were correct.
In the short time since A Call for a Change debuted, the campaign has received an incredible amount of support from the diverse groups it was intended to reach. Physicians have reached out to offer support and confirm the front-line struggles they are dealing with when it comes to pain treatment and opioid prescribing. Advocates and policymakers are including the treatment of chronic pain in their discussions about the opioid crisis. And, pain patients are finding their voice and sharing their incredible stories with us.
They are hurting. They are fearful. And, they are feeling marginalized.
“With no painkillers, it feels as though there is an ice pick stabbing me in my lower back almost always, and my right leg is always semi-numb.” – Duane, who lives with herniated discs.
“Without this pain medication, my pain level increases to a point where I am unable to function normally.” – Paul, who lives with chronic osteoarthritis.
“Don’t punish those of us who require opiates to live.” – Sean, who relies on opioids to manage his daily pain.
The pain community, populated unwillingly by an estimated 100 million people, includes car accident survivors, chronic illness sufferers, those who have sustained injuries while working. Simply put, the community is in a state of high anxiety due to the national conversation about opioids. A Call for a Change is trying to speak for them and with them.
Chronic pain patients are tired of being stigmatized as drug-seekers.
“I am not a criminal.” – Kent, who lives with a spinal cord injury.
Chronic pain patients are anxious about the fallout from regulations designed to combat the opioid crisis.
“I’m terrified that it will be impossible to get my pain medicine.” – Mary, who lives with kidney disease.
Chronic pain patients want to be part of the national conversation on opioids.
“While I am sympathetic to this current crisis and the families involved, I want people to consider both sides of this epidemic. There are people who legitimately need pain medication. I am one of them.” – Debra, who lives with interstitial cystitis.
A Call for a Change is seeking a balanced conversation that leads to a balanced solution to the nation’s opioid crisis. In the coming weeks and months, the campaign will continue to spark conversation and advocate for change, while continuing to share the stories we are receiving from people living with chronic pain, those advocating for improved comprehensive chronic pain therapy, and those treating the chronic pain community.
Because, ACFAC wants to give a voice to the chronic pain community, which includes Claudia, who has been living with Crohn’s Disease since childhood.
“We are in a pain management epidemic,” she said.
A Call for a Change agrees. And so do many others. That’s why we’re calling for a change. Stay tuned to hear more about the compelling stories surrounding those dealing with this crisis every day.