Chronic pain suffers rally for access to opioid medications

HARRISBURG, Pa, - With the help of a cane, Margaret Drumheiser still struggles to walk on her own. She suffers from complex regional pain, which is chronic pain in her legs and arms. On top of that, she also has fibromyalgia and arthritis.

"I want to be able to get up and do things for myself," said Drumheiser. "But many days I'm on the couch, I can't."

She tells FOX43, she's lived a life mostly free from pain when she was able to take methadone. Once the CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain came out in 2016, her doctor could no longer prescribe her the amount of methadone she had been taking.

"I feel like people in this pain community feel like we are being left to die," said Drumheiser. "We are being forgotten that nobody cares, nobody wants to listen."

Wednesday, Drumheiser and several others suffering from chronic pain shared their stories at the State Capitol during a Don't Punish Pain rally. If nothing else, they want to bring awareness to how the CDC guidelines have impacted their quality of life, how they are not forced to live their lives in pain, and how they now worry at any moment more of the medications they're on could be taken away.

"I know if that medication gets taken away, I'm bedridden," said Drumheiser. "I'm on the couch, I'm done."

The people at the rally recognize some of these medications have led to patients being addicted, but they believe limiting access to these drugs is not the answer.

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