New rules for opiates

  • so a couple of days ago I got called in to see my doctor , told I had to take a drug test , sign a opiate contract , fill out a questionnaire about my illegal drug use , which there is none and told my morphine was to be cut down to 50 mg a day from 120 mg slow release--40mg ir break through . 30 years of construction ,my back is a mess . 5 years of mri's cat scans , specialists , needles in the spine , we finally got it right and now their screwing it all up ! is anybody else going through this ? Even my doc says is wrong but his hands are tied

  • @Linda7777 Yes, no wonder you're angry. You've been through so much. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish there was an easy answer. I hope you are willing to write to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. Hopefully, we can influence change if enough people voice their challenges and frustrations. Please copy if you do.

    Opioid withdrawal is not fun. What are you doing to cope? Do you have any thoughts for others going through this? Keep us posted on how you're doing.

  • item@Tammy_Admin My name is Linda, I am 58 years old and have been on opioids for approx. 8 years. I have CLL, a type of leukemia, diabetic neuropathy, severe inflammatory RA caused by the cancer, frozen shoulders, deformities starting in my hand, protruding discs, I'm a walking medical marvel. The opioids were a last resort after consultation with other doctors including my GP's. They gave me my life back, they have worked for me enough that I went back working 1/2 time and was able to enjoy the fruits of mine and my husbands labors. In general, I had a life. We
    like to travel, and have worked hard to do so, then suddenly I was no longer able to get a two month supply of my medication. This has limited what I was able to do, as we then had to line up not just my husbands time off, but the dates of my medicine pick up with days I could take, and it became next to impossible to do so. I have never abused my pain medication , but suddenly not only was I no longer able to do what I worked for, but I had to pee in a cup and sign a drug contract like a criminal. It was like I was given the medication so I could work and pay taxes , but not be able to do anything else I enjoyed, because of the rules and limitations. Don't get me wrong, my doctors are wonderful they are everything someone could want in a GP, but their care of me was now being dictated by a stranger in the city, not by my illnesses, or their knowledge of me. I was informed a few weeks back, my dosages would have to be reduced and I could no longer have the Hydro morphone for break through pain. It was then I decided ,that this was controlling my life too much and decided not only to reduce my dependence on 120 mgs a day of Oxycodone, but withdraw it completely. I have been without any real pain medication for a month. I am in agony, what little work I can do, puts me on the couch for hours, I will probably have to stop completely, I have been getting by with the help of 10 year old Tylenol 3's. This Friday I will see my Doctor and let her know that instead of reducing my opioids slowly, as was the plan, I am off them. We will then have to start all over again, trying to find me some relief of this pain. If it cant be done, I will have worked my whole life , and not be able to enjoy the things I love or have any quality of life at all. In their zeal to control the abuses of these drugs, they have hurt real people, and real patients. We are not all criminals, nor are we one size fits all. I'm free of the opioids, but for what? To live like this? I could not stay on them however with all these new restrictions, it would have devastated our retirement plans, and was effecting my life in a negative way. Who wants to be able to work and not do any of the things they worked for? I am angry, very angry, why should I have to go through this at 58 years old? So here I sit, I had to go through opioid withdrawel, the most unpleasant experience of my life, while my pain added to my misery. Sad tale of woe, I know, but where the hell do they getboff treating sick people like this?

  • Read more about these new rules for opiates and find out what you can do if you're impacted.

    If these new standards have affected your health care or your health, Pain BC and the Pain Medicine Physicians of BC encourage you to share your story. You can contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC directly.

    Dr. Heidi Oetter, Registrar
    300 - 669 Howe St.
    Vancouver, BC V6B 0B4

  • I also had a change in my meds to slow release morphine a little more then a year ago, Just a month ago I seen my Pain Management Dr and he upped the dosage I explained to him as I did to my GP DR that I was running out of my break through meds. I was honest about how I was taking them and how I was feeling. We decided after a long discussion and physical exam to make some changes to my meds and up the dosage. I found when we had switched my med it had made a big difference in my life I have a lot more control of my pain. I'm not taking as many pills I am happy to be on the slow release pills. i hope you get you dosage changed because when you get the dosage you'll have a smoother pain day not so many days trying to get a hold on the pain. I still have pain but since the change I haven't had so many trips to the ER my pain is more manageable, I hope this has gave you some encouragement on how it could be if and when you get the right dosage.

  • Hello @rabird. You're right in that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) has recently set new standards and guidelines for opioid prescribing. The changes are quite significant in that they have moved from guidelines (voluntary approaches) to standards (legally required approaches). Prior to this change, we heard from a lot of people who were struggling to manage their pain and we assume it will be even more challenging now that the standards have been adopted. Pain BC is working with the government and the College to try to deal with the issues these new standards cause for people in pain but it looks like an uphill battle.

    We'd suggest calling or writing to the College directly to share your experience. You can direct your concerns to Dr. Ailve McNestry from the CPSBC's Prescription Review program at No person with pain should be cut off opioids abruptly or tapered too quickly. If there are adverse outcomes, the College and the Ministry of Health need to hear about it from patients.

    This forum is a great place to ask for support as you will definitely not be alone. The new guidelines will affect many British Columbians.

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