I just encountered a disturbing phenomenon. Maybe I’m the last kid on the bus to notice this, but apparently there’s a sect of chronic pain patients who are opioid crisis deniers. They feel that the deaths of drugs users is inconvenient to their cause. I’m guessing there are tons of these bubbles across the internet, but the 12,000+ strong one I came across on Twitter was headed by a Stanford educated doctor named Thomas Kline.
The tweets these people sent were fairly rambling and incoherent, especially those by Dr. Kline himself, but from what I could gather, they think the lives and deaths of addicted people are inconsequential, and the cause of their own woes. The sad part is, chronic pain patients and people in addiction recovery (or active addiction) have a common enemy, and if we banded together instead of engaging in this petty insane bullshit, maybe we could crush it. The enemy, of course, being STIGMA. Unfortunately, as long as Dr. Kline keeps spewing his pseudoscience to the sycophantic followers that need to believe him with all their souls, that community will never happen.
I’m not bashing chronic pain patients. Many chronic pain patients are on the same page as me. For those that I’m referencing in this post, I don’t blame them. It’s intoxicating to be part of a highly stigmatized population and then to find someone who speaks loudly in your favor, says everything you need said, and is willing to stand up and fight for you. If that person then skews facts and figures in your favor, why wouldn’t you defend him? I don’t blame the patients. But I do blame the doctors.