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Tom Woods: What to do with this pain?

So now the police murder one more black man because he was high? Blue ribbon panels have recommended legalization of all drugs as Portugal and Uruguay have done with few problems.

The Lost Drug War has produced dangerous drugs like bath salts, and other truly dangerous drugs, just so users can pass a urine test. The leaders of our government have ignored anything — except brutality — for getting high.

When I was in the Marines in 1972, I was with a bunch of Marines fresh back from Vietnam and really into getting as high as possible. That seemed the only sure cure for the stress of being shot at, and seeing friends get shot and blown up. The Marine Corps had zero clue for drug addicted Marines other than the usual brutal, put the boots to them.



After getting out, I was in the black market society, and these people weren’t from suburban areas with well funded schools. I soon realized these people aren’t getting high to augment their experience of life. They were getting loaded to hold down the pain of being poor. The result of all this is a drug market that is cheaper, more powerful and stronger drugs.

Being a former Marine, I have PTSD and hearing loss after working on jets and loud training exercises. Being a union boilermaker brought more physical injuries. I was a motorcycle enthusiast, mechanic and road racer, and that brought more injuries and hospitalizations.




From the get go, doctors for me were highly restrictive with narcotics even after I had center-punched a car at 60 mph, having gone over the car and broken my pelvis in four spots and fracturing my ankle. And the nurses were worried about me getting hooked?

I had my left knee ACL repaired and again the doctor was tight with pain meds. The doctor was in my room at that time and I asked him, “I need you to see this,“ motioning to the bed and he got closer. I asked again, ”Get closer.“ He finally got the clue that I was going to bop him if he got closer. Fifteen minutes later I had a big syringe of morphine, but I had to threaten a doctor.

Now at 69 years old, disabled and retired, I did have a pain management doctor for a year and a half with no issues.

I am a metal sculptor, still ride bikes, and with pain management I am not spending my life in front of a TV smoking cigarettes.

Three months ago, my doctor’s staff started screwing up my prescription fill dates and not in my favor. When I called the doctor’s office after driving all the way into town, no prescription. I was in pain and really frustrated, and while I raised my voice I never yelled, cussed or threatened. I was scared of going through withdrawal. The Sacramento doctor ended pain management treatment, saying I scared the staff member.

What other illnesses have treatment stopped because of arguing with a staff member? This doctor said, cavalierly, “Just get another pain management doctor.

I spent easily an hour a day seeking a new pain management doctor within 100 miles from Grass Valley without success for two months. In Nevada County, a clinic let me swing in the wind for a referral to any doctor for pain management for two months and I only got referred after raising hell with the clinic manager one day before I ran out of pain pills.

Do you still believe the lost Drug War has any effect on drug use that is positive? This forces veterans and seniors to live in pain. If you are concerned about veterans and seniors blowing their brains out, why would you be difficult with prescribing effective pain management? Older Americans aren’t concerned about addiction. We worry about being somewhat comfortable in our skins.

So what am I to do? Sit at home watch TV, smoke cigarettes, hurt all over all day and just suck it up? Or being an ex-Marine, do I adjust, adapt and go out and buy my pain medicine on the street? To start with, I would have to buy a cheap car so if I got busted, the ever-so-enthusiastic cops would not get my truck. Going down that road, I could get poisoned, overdosed, ripped off, shot or something else I never considered. What other choices are there?

Like many other veterans with PTSD, ADHD and depression, I see the cops are all about busting anyone who needs pain medicine not in a drug store. The cowardly doctors are scared to prescribe even low doses of pain meds, and drug stores make numerous mistakes because of onerous regulations.

Both the doctors and drug stores were all about making big money writing gigantic prescriptions when the Sacklers were pushing Oxycontin, which made them both wealthy. They didn’t have legal or ethical concerns.

So what will you want me to do?

Tom Woods lives in Nevada City.


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