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"Don't punish pain:" Local group advocates for responsible opiate users

Posted: 1:57 PM, Sep 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-18 18:57:57Z

MILWAUKEE -- A local group held a rally today to support responsible opiate use.

The Don't Punish Pain rally was held all across the United States Tuesday. In Milwaukee, a handful of organizers came together to share their message of the positive effects of opiates when used responsibly. 

"They're pretty important in my life," Kristi Becker, an organizer and pain sufferer said. "My meds were cut. I suffer daily but to look at me, I don't look like a chronic pain patient. It's a serious matter for my quality of life."

Becker has been dealing with a degenerative back disease for 15 years. She is in severe pain almost all day. When she was taking opioids, it didn't give her some sort of euphoric high that addicts chase. It allowed her to live her life as normally as possible.

"I'm able to clean my house," Becker said. "I'm able to go kayaking with my husband as long as we want. I'll have extra pain afterward but at least I'm able to engage in and have some quality of life."

"It works for the pain," David Acevedo, another pain sufferer said. "It's a medicine and it works wonderfully. It can be abused as a pleasure drug. As a medicine, it's very effective."

Now, with it more difficult to obtain, these folks have a hard time with their day today. 

"Couch, ice pack, heat, not doing anything," Becker said. "But that's very close to what my good days are. I don't really have good days anymore since my pain medication was taken away."

Becker says fewer doctors will prescribe her the medications she uses and even when they do, her insurance won't cover the dosage. She could pay out of pocket, but she can't afford it. 

She hopes to get legislation changed to allow for her to continue responsibly using medications that work for her.