Published by AZ Family

Chronic pain grips Lauri Nickel every day, day after day.

“It’s like someone has got a claw that is made out of stainless steel and the points are sharp and it’s gripped around your spine,” Nickel said. “Then attached to it is a chain and a 10-pound weight. That’s just what the back pain feels like. There’s also the fire that goes down your leg and the burning in your feet.”

Relief, she says, comes from prescription opioids.

Nickel, who suffers from a ruptured disc and nerve pain throughout her body, said as regulations tighten on opioids in an effort to mitigate a nationwide epidemic of abuse, chronic pain patients who use opioids responsibly get “tossed to the curb.”

A new 400-page report this week by leading doctors across the country called on the FDA to develop new regulations for opioid prescriptions, balancing the need to treat pain properly and avoid opioid abuse.

The report’s researchers said doctors, pharmacists and others in the medical profession need to work to halt the rising levels of opioid abuse, even though the medications are necessary for people with intense pain. They also recommended doctors receive training in pain management.

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