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  1. #1
    Lightly Toasted lequebecfume's Avatar

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    Cool Canadians in pain aren’t seeking proper help from doctors


    Canadians in pain aren’t seeking proper help from doctors

    Pain awareness groups call for a national strategy after poll finds many sufferers don’t seek medical help

    Dawn Walton
    Calgary — Globe and Mail Update

    Published on Wednesday, May. 12, 2010 8:20PM EDT

    While the vast majority of Canadians have recently suffered from “moderate to severe pain,” more than half of them do not bother seeking medical treatment for the condition, and a “shocking” number are treating it with alcohol or illegal drugs, according to a new poll.

    The survey, to be released Thursday by a pain awareness group, outlines the crippling health and economic costs of pain and is prompting calls for a national strategy to address the problem.

    “Many people continue to think about pain as an underlying symptom of injury or disease,” said Dr. Mary Lynch, president of the Canadian Pain Society and director of the pain management unit at Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. “Chronic pain is a disease in its own right.”

    She said a policy needs to be put in place to tackle service delivery and funnel more money toward research and education for health-care providers, who currently receive scanty information about pain. Veterinarians receive five times as much training on the topic as medical school students, she added.

    The Pain Society of Canada, which has about 850 members including doctors, dentists and other health professionals, is a founder of, an initiative that commissioned the survey. (The campaign also counts pharmaceutical companies as its partners.) The society is holding its annual meeting in Calgary this week, to look at unravelling the mysteries of pain.

    The Leger Marketing poll of 1,033 adults between April 13 and 15 found that 85 per cent of adult Canadians had suffered at least one incident of “moderate to severe pain” within the previous three months. Meanwhile, 30 per cent of respondents said they’ve felt pain daily or at least a few days each week, which meets the criteria doctors use to diagnose chronic pain.

    (The poll has a margin of error plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.)

    Despite their discomfort, 55 per cent of respondents did not seek treatment from a health-care provider. Of those who did seek help, 31 per cent said they were unhappy with the treatment. The majority of pain sufferers said they treated their symptoms with over-the-counter products, but some were coping in unhealthy ways.

    One in six respondents said they turned to alcohol, illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications for their pain.

    That number was the “most shocking” aspect to the survey for Dr. Roman Jovey, a steering committee member with and program medical director with the Centres for Pain Management in Mississauga, Ont.

    “What that speaks to is lack of accessibility to adequate treatment,” he said. “Why are people self- medicating if there were resources out there?”

    Six to eight million Canadians live with chronic pain, according to estimates. A 2008 study found that the condition costs the health-care system more than $6-billion a year. And it also costs the economy.

    An earlier poll found that chronic pain results in absenteeism as well as loss of income and jobs.

    When Lynn Cooper injured her back at work in 1986 she was off for three weeks, but her condition soon expanded into full-body and migraine pain. She initially tried physiotherapy, took pain medication and “was told to go home and live with it.”

    She struggled in her urban and regional planning career for three years before leaving entirely.

    Since then, Ms. Cooper has been trying to raise awareness about chronic pain and remove the stigma associated with it as president of the Canadian Pain Coalition, a patient advocacy group,

    “We’re treated as complainers, malingerers and drug-seekers,” she said “There is still not the political will to make pain a health priority in Canada.”


    Now could this be because docs don't understand pain AT ALL ?

    I've sure run across TONNES that don't understand a THING about chronic debilitating pain
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  2. #2

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    Heaven forbid they should be able to treat themselves, without government approval, and improve their quality of life and health profile overall with a readily available self-produced all natural plant. Sounds like medical use of Cannabis for this condition alone could save the health system close to 6 billion dollars a year.

  3. #3
    Seedling BrotherBear's Avatar

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    In the end, I was using alcohol for pain relief. Worked for a few hours, but generally it just made things worse. It's poison!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    they’ve felt pain daily or at least a few days each week, which meets the criteria doctors use to diagnose chronic pain.
    Except my doctors.

    “We’re treated as complainers, malingerers and drug-seekers,”
    Did that one every resonate with me!

    I have to wonder, could just be me, but does anyone else suspect "illegal drugs" in the article to refer to cannabis? Because really, even the illegal drugs generally have accepted medical use and the way I see it, if you have a medical condition and are using diverted Rx drugs illegally to treat it then you may legitimately require the drug you are obtaining and if you went to your doctor and received a prescription then you'd HAVE that drug anyway and any hysteria over the illegal use should evaporate. ie if you have X and take Y illegally to manage it then from your doctor's point of view the only real "danger" is that s/he was cut out of the loop - ie green medicine means doc can't prescribe and control your supply down to the milligram as with pills.

    The other simple observation I have to make is that if you are buying street drugs to treat a medical condition, then there's a pretty solid chance it costs more than a trip to the pharmacy would so at that point you are probably resorting to the illegal methods out of desperation and your doctor could quickly and easily remove you from illicit supply with a few key strokes on a laptop.

    “Why are people self- medicating if there were resources out there?”
    Supply and access to supply are not always related. If my doctor grew up in the days when you could buy amphetamines and nembutal next to aspirin and paregoric then when I come in complaining of pain my statements could very well be viewed through the filter of my doctor's drug-soaked adolescence. Seems to have happened to me
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  5. #5


    Pain patients aren' t seeking proper treatment from doctors???? That is what that headline says, right?
    As I pain patient i have always sought relief from pain through proper treatment from my doctors. Is there some other way to seek proper treatment for pain? Doctors don't know much about pain nor do they have many ways of treating it.
    Why is it the patients' fault? Is there some way to do it that i have been missing?

  6. #6
    Vegetative Member paddyk's Avatar

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    somewhere in there in brackets it states
    "(the campaign also counts pharmaceutical companies as its partners)"
    those bastards keep showing up everywhere our beloved plant has trouble
    as long as big pharma can lobby law makers (even worse now since scotus ruled that companies should have the same rights as individuals{how fucked is that}) then marijuana will never be legal (obama's man said legalization is off the table). i have long mantained that a simple way to try and explain
    what big pharma has to lose is to ask how much do you think is spent each year on sleeping pills or other sleep aids. this amount is huge and that is the cheap end treatment never mind for other illnesses such as cancer etc.
    just in sleeping pills alone we are talking billions of dollars, so even if they only lost 25% of their sales to marijuana it would be billions of dollars
    just my take on this issue

  7. #7
    Embryo browniekate's Avatar

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    Angry SOoo Mad,sad..

    Right now I am in agony with the pain and nausea, also furious at dealer who foisted some "skimmed" on me on friday,....paid top dollar and no relief...when I called to complain,buddy was so furious at ME and swore
    and hung up on me....this is also a huge insult,....when I am the medical patiaent who calls it honestly is bad enough to be robbed of my hard-earned $$ it takes me a whole week of slave labor to earn, but to have NO thc,after 4 joints,makes me just sick with a headache and stomache ache,
    smoking the crapweed is pretty much worse for me than no weed at all.
    Like a kick in the guts to have no stomach relief and be questioned when I brought his "crummy" weed to his
    anyway, BiG BUrn...on several levels. This guy,who I considered my "main guy" has burned me for the last time,so also mad at myself...tears of fury..

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