MTPR

pain

Dr. Shawna Yates is Medical Director of the Southwest Montana Community Health Center
Corin Cates-Carney

As the nation faces an epidemic of opioid drug abuse after a decade of aggressively prescribing narcotics , Montana doctors are becoming more cautious about giving painkillers to chronic pain patients.

It’s changing some patients ability to get treatment and what is considered compassionate care for chronic pain.

Lawmakers will study prisoner solitary confinement and meth and opioid abuse during the legislative interim as they begin to shape new policy proposals for the 2019 session.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2)

Montana’s Board of Medical Examiners is learning more about how doctors treat pain and prescribe pain medicines as they grapple with the state and national crisis surrounding opioid painkiller abuse.

Bob Mason and his dog Sophie.
courtesy

When Bob Mason decided to end his life with a self-inflicted gunshot, his pain helped him pull the trigger.

Mason died in January. He was 67 years old. His daughter, Shane Mieski, says her father had been without pain-killing drugs for about a week when he died.

Kathy Snook, Terri Anderson and Gary Snook waiting in Dr. Forest Tennant’s office in West Covina, California.
Corin Cates-Carney

Over the past two decades, the rate of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers known as opioids has quadrupled in the United States. Federal authorities say 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Health care officials in Montana report that the abuse here is worse than the national average. But the casualties of the opioid epidemic are not all addicts and drug abusers.

Hearing room.
William Marcus

  Today state lawmakers heard from chronic pain patients who want to reform Montana’s policy regarding access to pain medications like opioids.

Casey Brock from Glendive and Terri Anderson from Hamilton call the reform ‘The Montana Pain Patients’ Bill of Rights."

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