Dr. Drew trashes chronic pain patients as “borderline druggies”

Last week on his podcast This Life You Live, celebrity addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky called chronic pain patients “borderline druggies” for seeking medical treatment in the form of pain medication. Not surprisingly, this angered thousands of chronic pain patients who are now struggling to receive proper treatment from their doctors in the aftermath of the pharmaceutical industry-created opioid crisis. Dr. Drew issued an apology and invited chronic pain patient advocates and doctors with opposing opinions to appear on the following episode.

CPP advocate Claudia Merandi, Dr. Dan Laird, and Dr. Vanila Singh spoke about the widespread problem of chronic pain patients being denied medication. Drew issued another apology on the show to CPP (and his wife for some reason). Drew seemed to listen and understand, despite his completely contrary opinions espoused days earlier. Merandi had to remind him a few times that no, this is not a localized problem, that the same screwed up healthcare system that created the opioid epidemic is now refusing to properly treat pain all over the United States. Watch the full show below…

Dr. Drew LIVE: Experts on Pain Management

Dr. Drew LIVE: Experts on Pain Management

Posted by Dr. Drew on Thursday, October 17, 2019

You have to hand it to Dr. Drew for having the integrity to allow chronic pain patients a voice in front of his large audience. On the other hand, there’s a line between nuanced opinion and changing your mind based on the audience in front of you. In 2014 in the Denver Post Drew said that marijuana “acts like an opiate and causes severe addiction”. Kratom advocates recognize that one as a song right out of the Drug War Hymnal. Comedian Doug Stanhope once called Dr. Drew the “Joseph Goebbels Propaganda Minister” of the drug war. But this year, Dr. Drew seemed to change his tune on cannabis on his new podcast Dr. Drew After Dark, saying “Thankfully now, this is legal. The whole idea of Schedule 1, I think, is going to go away. How bizarre is that? That these molecules are ‘evil’. Please, come on!”

I’m sure Dr. Drew has helped many people transition from addiction into sobriety. I bet a dozen of them are sitting on a mountaintop in the Himalayas right now, meditating naked in the snow, with no medicine or media whatsoever entering their minds…be it Vicodin, a beer, sugar, aspirin, Facebook, this blog, or trashy exploitative TV shows like Celebrity Rehab. Only water and rice and Enlightened thoughts. A clean and pure state of sobriety.

We know addiction can be destructive and fatal. Most of us know addicts who have died, injured themselves, crashed cars, or broken up marriages. But this type of after-school-special, PSA reality isn’t the experience with most pain patients, not even with most addicts. The absolutist concept that we can only drive the evil dirty drugs nail with the puritanical sobriety hammer has always been unrealistic. This concept, employed by propaganda in popular American culture since the Alcohol Prohibition movement, and carried through by a medical system driven by profit, has historically and quite obviously failed.

A vast majority of chronic pain patients aren’t addicted to pain medication. They’re dependent upon pain medication so that they can live somewhat normal and productive lives.

In desperate times, many chronic pain patients have turned to kratom or CBD, or even pain pills sold on the black market, or heroin. Others, tragically, have turned to suicide.

4 thoughts on “Dr. Drew trashes chronic pain patients as “borderline druggies””

  1. This attitude is not a dr drew specific attitude, my own doctor thought as much, and used words like this to justify cutting me off of my tramadol, and I tried like hell to get her to understand that I wasn’t addicted, I needed it for pain relief, but to doctors “need” means “addict”. THank god I take kratom and that it works. I don’t have to deal with people like this who I would happily strangle, slowly, then break a few bones, and when they begged for relief, hand them a couple aspirin. Unhealthy maybe, but very emotionally satisfying

  2. Please try not to let his comments hurt you. I don’t think he deserves your respect. His response to invalidating his chronic pain patients conditions, lumping them all together, and using such an unprofessional & insensitive term? “The conversation was secretly taped & staff and producer were the only people I thought in the room.” What the hell difference does that make?!
    If I had an Addiction Specialist call his patients “druggies” behind their backs & allow the filming of his therapy sessions with his very real & struggling patients in not one, but 3 tacky, exploitive “reality” TV shows, I’d find another doctor. I think even a worst-case scenario, full blown addict in denial deserves better than to be called a druggie behind their back by any doctor. What else does he call patients when he thinks, “”The conversation was secretly taped & staff and producer were the only people I thought in the room.” ? The “R” word for the mentally challenged is not far-fetched to consider.

    Dr. Drew Pinskey also told his followers that the coronavirus threat was exaggerated by the media & was causing the population to have, “press-induced panic”… 200,000 deaths later, he also had to a retraction of that opinion-given-as-educated-opinion & offer an apology for that irresponsibility – please see link below.
    I think he and Dr. Oz are greedy quacks, & I ignore both of them.

  3. A whole lot more people have died from Big Pharma and FDA approved drugs including prescription and over the counter drugs than kratom has ever done harm. Those who take it to get high are wasting their time and get bad results from taking too much. Kratom works great for chronic pain, acute pain, depression and anxiety and if the FDA can do Big Pharma a BIG favor would be to schedule it so that Big Pharma can harvest it’s secrets, package it, get FDA’s blessing and charge everyone big bucks at the mercy of the pharmacy via the local doctors. I think Scott Gottlieb resign over the attempt to do this making deals with Big Pharma. Why don’t they schedule 1 NSAID’s because they kill thousands every year.

  4. He is an a$$!! No friggin clue what it is like to suffer every day! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY should it be any diff than any other health problem??????? You don’t make diabetics suffer! High blood pressure? THyroid, heart and on and on and on! I had years of screwing around with diff meds and surgeries and my issues kept getting worse . Many surgeries and too many days of not being able to function. Makes me so angry that some drs treat this any differently than any other medical condition that we have. How many people die because of idiotic, heartless drs??? I too would not survive if I was forced to suffer daily!

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