Recent Government Policy called Reducing Drugs & Misuse Dependence

This post is written by myself and does not at this time represent the views of FibroAction. It is something that I personally feel very strongly about so I have reposted here from Andover Fibromyalgia & M.E Chatterbook Group HealthUnlocked site;

You may or may not be aware of the recently introduced government policy called Reducing Drugs & Misuse and Dependence.

This policy has been introduced and from my understanding it is trying to reduce the misuse of prescription drugs. The policy is trying to address the problems of people who may be addicted or may be abusing prescription medication for the euphoric feeling they experience, well this is my personal interpretation of this policy

However , due to the stigma associated with Fibromyalgia, the psychosomatic interpretation by some in the medical profession and the fact we are living with an invisible illness I feel many people living with Fibro are assumed to be misusing medication. This is a judgement based on assumption and in my personal opinion quite simply it is wrong !

I feel strongly that people living with Chronic Pain for whatever reason Fibro, Arthritis etc should not be made to reduce medications that they need to control their pain. Many rely on this relief to enable them to maintain a state of optimum health to be able to struggle to achieve normal activities of daily living that healthy people do everyday without even thinking about it.

We need our pain relief to maintain a life that is as 'normal' as possible. We should not be made to reduce our medication solely because of this policy

Therefore, I have made an e-petition that highlights this injustice as we have basic Human Rights to be pain free and Doctors have a Duty of Care to ensure we are as pain free as possible.

Apologies for the long post but I feel very strongly that medications should not be reduced or taken away from those it genuine need. If you feel the same please sign the e-petition, spread the word , share and ask people to sign too !

Many Thanks for reading, here is the link to the e-petition.

Here is the link to the policy

Many Thanks for reading

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35 Replies

  • Thank you,I have just signed this,I totally agree with you.Docters are too overly preoccupied with people getting addicted to painkillers,so they cause us more harm by not prescribing them or telling us to reduce them.I have personally experienced this myself and still do.When I was pregnant with my second child my g.p at the time told me I had to stop all my meds which caused me more pain and I felt so depressed and suicidal.I was later told that this was not nessecary and that I could take them but at a lower dose xxx

  • Thank You for signing, yes must get off my soap box... me thinks i have been standing on it too long.... ouch ! :)

  • I too have just signed this and feel strongly about the subject. I am lucky to have a doctor who fully understands pain and pain control, so I haven't had any problems, but I do know of people who have, and it should never be allowed to happen.

    Foggy x

  • Thank You Foggy :)

  • i have just signed this,i didn't know anything about all this,how can they expect us to live on reduced medication!even the high dosage im on doesn't take away the pain,well i suppose it does take away quite a bit until i walk,& i know there are others worse off than me,it will just result in people using illegal drugs x

  • done.

  • Signed and confirmed

    Hadn't realised it was a real policy yet!!

    Thank you Emma :)

    :) xxxzebxxx :)

  • I might double check but if not it is coming in really soon hence all the GP's are asking about reducing medications. Mine has asked already, I will send a letter and one to the Practice Manager too if necessary. Awful the way it may affect those in genuine need

  • My doc hasn't said anything yet but he's in support of fibro patients I have his full support :)

    will GP's be made to reduce them? surely not I'm gonna have to re-read this proposal as I don't remember it that clearly :)

  • Hi Mdaisy I've signed the petition totally agree with you, I've also posted it on Facebook where it will hopefully acquire more signatures....hug ...Dee xx

  • I have just signed this.



  • Thank You :)

  • Don't think I can sign as I live in Ireland but totally agree with you!

  • I don't think any of us are stupid enough to take drugs we dont need or are not achieving anything. I was on sertraline but didn't feel any benefit so I told my doctor I wanted to stop them. We k ow are own bodies and symptoms. No disrespect but if you are a drug addict you get help so what's the difference

  • Thank you for bringing this to the attention for all.

    Signed with much appreciation :)

  • Hi Mdaisy

    Thank you for bringing this to our (or at least my) attention. It is these things that are going to hit a lot of us who are in pain. I have gone from the Co-codomol, Co-dydromol to the Amitriptoline, to the Clonazapan Tramadol to the Gabapentin,as well as the Zoramorph and if I have wondered if they are doing anything until i am late in taking any of them then I really do suffer, so if they were taken from me then I would be in trouble as they just keep the pain at bay, the do not stop the pain but make life a bit more liveable.

    thank you once again for this information

    Take care and Kindest regards


  • It is your human right to live pain free.

  • Signed it! Thanks Mdaisy.

  • signed

  • Signed up. Like many here I take Medication in vast amounts but I know like

    tettridge if I'm late my pain lets me know. I have tried to reduce some tabs on the doctors recommendation but have ended up needing them back and more on top.

  • Seen and signed today. Thank you x

  • Great Thank You Spirit :)

  • Hi Mdaisy

    I have read and signed this as I personally think it is an affront to our integrity as sufferers of a very real and debilitating illness.

    Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention as I had personally not heard anything about this!

    Thank you

    Ken x

  • MDaisy - I shared this petition on my Facebook wall - hope that was okay. 6 more signatures so far :)

  • Thank You :)

  • Hi, I am new to this site and have joined to help support my husband who suffers from fibromyalgia.

    I have just signed the petition and feel very strongly about it as I have been observing my husbands increased suffering the last couple of months as his doctor is reducing his dose of dihydrocodiene! The doctor says that this is because of information suggesting opiates don't help fibromyalgia and referred him to, and also told him that the pain was worse due to his addiction!? I really am not convinced that this doctor has any expertise in the area and is just following guidelines, does anyone have any insights?

    The doctor has also referred my husband for Cognitive behavioural therapy and he is willing to try anything but at the moment his pain is so bad that he can't think positively about anything.

    Any advice is much appreciated, especially since you all have so much to deal with yourselves!

    Sam x

  • Hello Samsci,

    Welcome to the FibroAction Community Forum.

    In this situation, your GP is correct in the research does show Fibro pain is considered not relieved by opiates, as we have reduced availability of Opioid receptors. It may be when first taken but soon patients require more and more to have the same effect, this is when dependence & addiction risks can occur.

    However, Dihhydrocodiene is at lower end of the scale, it could be possible that your husband appears to be addicted due to the fact he has been without any appropriate pain relief and therefore relies more and more heavily on the Dihydrocodeine. I would consider speaking with your GP about a pain clinic referral as they should be able to address the pain appropriately if your GP either is unsure or reluctant to.

    Here's information about Pain Clinics;

    Here is the evidence from our website;

    Simple analgesics, such as paracetamol, and mild opiates, such as codeine and the atypical opiate Tramadol, are recommended for the treatment of pain in Fibro patients.

    Research has suggested that opioid medications do not work as efficiently in Fibro patients as in healthy people because of a lack of available opioid receptors in the brain of Fibro patients. According to the EULAR Guidelines for the Management of Fibro, strong opioids - e.g. morphine - are not recommended for Fibro (Lindsey Middlemiss 2009)

    I know your next question will be, how can we manage his pain. Please see the FAQ link below about all the recommended Medications for Fibro.

    You mention CBT, which does have it's place if used in conjunction with other treatments & therapies to make a combined approach at managing the symptoms. Here is an evidence based research factsheet about Complementary Therapies;

    There is one opioid that is recommended for Fibro as research has reported it has a serotonin pathway which is Tramadol which is what I personally take alongside Pregabalin, Duloxetine & Pramiprexole

    You may also find this interesting;

    I would consider speaking with your GP about the recommended treatments for Fibro as you can download and print these factsheets.

    You may consider seeing another GP as if the other GP is asking your husband to reduce because of the new policy you may have a fight on your hands to get anything stronger prescribed ie: Tramadol. So, a Pain Clinic may be the best way to discuss his pain.

    You have the options to speak to Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) and also writing to your practice manager, if you are ver dissatisfied with the treatment you receive by any NHS professional.

    I wish you all the best & Thank You for signing the petition

    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • Totally agree,we suffer enough! Signed! Jackiex

  • Signed and confirmed. Now I know why my doctor queried my prescription for MST and Oramorph. I did say the Oramorph was for breakthrough pain on bad days and he was happy to sign for it.

    It must be very difficult when a GP arbitrarily stops these without giving a full explanation or substitute.

    Nancy Xx

  • It may very well have been due to these recent changes, Thank You for signing :)

  • Thanks Emma. I have signed this as I totally agree.



  • thank you emma, it wouldn't let me sign, apparently i already had so i typed in my husbands e-mail so..done xx

  • Em Morning I agree with you all the way. So saying I have duly signed the petition. This problem is not just about Fibromites it affects the population as a hole. I do feel that there are occasions when doctors hand out painkillers to people who actually needed the support of somebody to talk and reassure hem.

  • Done

  • I hope just signed this. I have taken narcotics for @ 8 years now and couldn't function without them. As for a feeling of euphoria, ha, ha, if only!

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