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Chronic pain sufferers say new legislation won't help

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers recently tweaked what many called huge flaws in pill mill legislation. Legislators passed House Bill 217 in their most recent session, but there's now groups of pain patients who say the tweaks aren't enough.

"If you imagine when somebody hits your funny bone, how it runs to your fingers, I have that same type of pain 100-fold in my leg," explains Chris Rogers.

They say they're in constant pain.

"I have degenerative disc disease and bad nerve damage in my back and it's not like completely debilitating, but it's like a forever pain that never goes away," describes Emma Reece.

Reece has back pain. Rogers pinched a nerve in his back juggling various jobs.

"I was in the process of foreclosure so I tried to work harder to make ends meet, and just overdone it," he says.

They're both part of the Fight for Kentucky Pain Care Action Network, an organization with a social media home base. The group claims House Bill One has made it very hard for chronic pain patients to get medication. They say House Bill 217 doesn't help them.

"It's for severe cancer patients and the elderly it's helping them, but when it comes to somebody like me, I don't think it's adequate enough," explains Rogers.

"People are ashamed. There's been a criminalization if you will of chronic pain. They're made to feel like criminals," notes former chronic pain sufferer and current member of The American Chronic Pain Association Laura Derringer, "nobody knows what it's really like to be in chronic pain until they go through it. And there's a desensitization from health care providers and the public at large as far as detaching from it and thinking this won't happen to me."

All groups are hoping the discussions and debates will add chronic pain sufferers to House Bill 217.

To learn more about Fight for Kentucky Pain Care Action Network, you can call (270) 924.6057.

To learn more about The American Chronic Pain Association, you can visit theacpa.org.


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