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Chronic pain patients share the difficulty of added opioid regulations during crisis

Chronic pain patients share the difficulty of added opioid regulations during crisis

The people we spoke with today say the opioid epidemic is certainly a problem.

But the way it's trying to be fixed is hurting innocent people in the long run.

Lisa O'Cain says it sometimes becomes unbearable.

"It can get between a seven and a nine," she said.

She's describing how bad her neck feels at certain points if she's not taking prescription painkillers.

The medication she was taking helped her simply function day to day.

"The alternative treatments, along with the opioid medication, make it to where I can have some sort of quality of life," O’Cain said.

But then in April, the Arkansas State Medical Board approved regulations that added more requirements for doctors to prescribe opioids.

As a result, O'Cain says her doctor couldn't prescribe her normal medication, and so the pain is back in full force.

"If my step daughter needs me to watch the grandchildren sometimes I can't do it,” said O’Cain. “Just little things, just things I’d love to do."

"She's still alive she's just not getting to live anymore," Don Pomplun, who’s wife has chronic pain in her lower back, said.

Pomplun says the pain gets so severe sometimes, she can hardly move.

"We can't even do something as simple as take the dog out on a walk together," he said.

Now Pomplun isn't saying the opioid crisis isn't a problem, in fact he says he believes there needs to be some change.

He says there can't be a broad brush that negatively affects those who are suffering because of stricter regulations.

"You're punishing somebody who's using their medicine correctly because somebody else chose to abuse it," Pomplun said.

That April decision also requires doctors to justify prescriptions with daily doses of more than 50 morphine milligrams.

That decision does not apply to patients being treated for cancer, in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

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