The other side of opioids: Pain patients struggle for relief without pain prescriptions


    KRCR

    As the battle against opioid addiction rages on in the Northstate, some pain management patients say they are struggling to maintain their standard of life, after being taken off opioid medications by their doctors.

    "Well the opioid crisis is not just people abusing them. Now, it's become to people who need them and are unable to get them," said pain patient Steve McCutchan.

    Steve McCutchan is a pain patient. He says some pain sufferers, like himself, are struggling to manage their symptoms every day without opioid pain medication treatment.

    He says recently he has struggled to get access to the medications he's been taking for years.

    "Without the pain meds I'm not able to function like I would like to. The quality of life is nill," McCutchan said.

    McCutchan says the dangerous side of the drug is forcing doctors to take patients off opioid medications.

    However, living without opioid medications makes every day tasks harder to complete for many.

    "Just grocery shopping. Simple things. Taking a shower, bringing in firewood. Everything is more difficult without them," McCutchan said.

    He has even had to sell the motorcycle he once loved because pain has made him unable to ride any longer.

    McCutchan did not feel comfortable speaking about his personal diagnosis or doctors.

    However, Interventional Pain Solutions in Redding says this is a problem many people in the Northstate are facing.

    "Yes, we have patients that come to us from other providers where they're not comfortable providing them with pain medicines," said Interventional Pain Solutions Anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Gasman.

    That is why Dr. Gasman with Interventional Pain Solutions says they are trying to make personalized treatment for each patient.

    He says they offer a variety of pain management services such as spinal injections, physical therapy, exercise and good diet as well as traditional medicines on a case by case basis, services they hope more pain patients will be able to turn to for relief.

    "A lot of people aren't aware of them. Even doctors in town aren't fully aware of them. We get patients in and provide them with a lot of hope when we evaluate them," Gasman said.

    Right now, Interventional Pain Solutions has locations in Redding, Chico and Mount Shasta. However, they intend to add a fourth location in Lincoln over the next few months.

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