Legislation Aims To Address Patient Needs For Pain Medications

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A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives has gained the attention of health care professionals and pharmaceutical companies because of its implications regarding access to prescription pain medications vs. the high potential for their misuse. Dr. Mel Pohl, Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center’s nationally recognized Chronic Pain Treatment Center, supports ongoing study of the complex issue, but he does not agree that prescription pain medications are as “essential” as the bill implies.

"I am definitely in favor of studying the issues and agree that they are complex, but this bill appears to be somewhat misguided in its attempt to differentiate ‘legitimate patient access’ to what the bill calls essential medications,” Pohl said.

Dr. Mel Pohl, Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center’s Chronic Pain Treatment Center, is one of many nationally recognized health care providers taking a keen interest in proposed legislation dealing with governmental control of the distribution of prescription pain medication. House Bill 471, introduced by U.S. Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), addresses the need for patients to have legitimate access to prescription pain medications, while at the same time acknowledging the potential for abuse of controlled substances. Titled “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015,” the bill seeks to increase collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal enforcement agencies, along with the pharmaceutical industry, to ensure patients suffering from chronic pain can receive the medications they need without having to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

By bringing up issues of arbitrary quotas and poor communication between law enforcement and health care stakeholders, the bill has received positive feedback from chain drug stores and pharmacists. Its supporters say that the bill’s passage is important to find a workable solution that acknowledges and helps to control prescription drug abuse without preventing patients with chronic pain access to their medications.

Pohl, who has gained an international reputation for treating chronic pain successfully without the use of opioids, acknowledges the bill’s intentions and agrees that the complexity of the issues deserves attention from all the key players. At the same time, he cites that current research does not support long-term use of opioids in effectiveness for treating chronic pain.

"I am definitely in favor of studying the issues and agree that they are complex, but this bill appears to be somewhat misguided in its attempt to differentiate ‘legitimate patient access’ to what the bill calls essential medications,” Pohl said. “There is so little evidence that long-term opioids for chronic pain are effective. Safeguarding access to these powerful medications may not serve the overall well-being of the patient. Using opioids for chronic pain is often part of a futile effort to help patients, and instead, it backfires and causes worsening of function and increased levels of pain. This information about opioids must be provided readily without the suggestion that medication is a panacea for a chronically sad life.”

Pohl has dedicated his professional career to helping people reduce chronic pain levels without the use of opiates, which are the traditionally prescribed for certain conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, post-surgical pain, migraines, neuropathy, cancer and others. By treating chronic pain and addiction at the same time, the Las Vegas Recovery Center’s Chronic Pain Treatment Center has gathered evidence to prove certain therapies and alternative medicines can achieve the goal of pain-free living without opioids. Pohl’s methods involve holistic treatment, which addresses not only the physical pain, but also the underlying emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. By helping patients to achieve balance in all these areas and by teaching them to recognize ways their emotions, perceptions, and negative thinking patterns affect their pain, Pohl leads them to living successfully without relying on prescription pain medications.

About Las Vegas Recovery Center:

Nestled in a residential setting near the base of the Spring Mountains in Southern Nevada, Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC) is the established leader in opioid-free, chronic pain treatment and addiction treatment in the United States. Since 2003, LVRC has been providing innovative and evidence-based treatment programs for chronic pain and addiction, many of which have influenced other respected and recognized pain treatment and addiction treatment programs worldwide. To learn more about Las Vegas Recovery Center, visit http://lasvegasrecovery.com.

For more information please contact:

Irene Hicks
Marketing Coordinator
ihicks(at)centralrecovery(dot)com
702-515-1373 x360

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Irene Hicks
Las Vegas Recovery Center
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