Georgia NeSmith
2 min readAug 29, 2021


And once again, as with so many others, there's no attention to people with serious chronic pain issues that they will have until the day they die.

Doesn't matter how much time and effort they have given to alternative means of pain reduction -- yoga, tai chi, dietary changes, yada yada yada.

Doesn't matter that, in fact, one can have a physical addiction to pain medication without being emotionally or psychologically dependent--as is obvious when the person uses the medication only when it is severe and debilitation.

Doesn't matter how close to incapacitated from pain we get when forced into reduction or complete withdrawal and there's no alternative that will address this level and consistency of pain.

Doesn't matter that the person has NEVER gone beyond what she has been prescribed. HAS NEVER ABUSED the drugs. And has never had debilitating "side effects" -- and all the lab tests taken every 3 months not only come clean but also show zero negative impact on other organs.

I'm sorry, I get very angry about this, especially given thar the forced reduction of mine -- prescribed for about 7 different pain conditions I will have for the rest of my life, deriving from autoimmune disorders that left me bedridden with pain before I was finally given opioids.

And to which I'm about half way back due to the forced cutbacks.

And sometimes the pain gets bad enough that it leaves me in tears, occasionally suicidal. But I hang on for my daughter and grandchildren.

And yes, I've been in therapy off and on since 1978 -- years with all sorts of therapists using all sorts of approaches, including EMDR. And yes, I take antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, one of which thankfully reduces my pain as well, but is nowhere near sufficient on its own.

I want to know why psych and medical people NEVER TALK ABOUT US and how utterly miserable the rush to take people off opioids has made us.

Indeed, I know quite a few people with legitimate need for prescription pain drugs who killed themselves because that debilitating physical pain kept their lives so circumscribed and absolutely miserable, with no end, no hope in sight.

Yes, I know there are now a few new non-opioid pain killers. Big drawback: you have to be off all opioids for some time before you can try a new prescription painkiller (non-rx meds are totally useless against this level of pain). And there's a pretty good chance they won't work for you...and then what?

What are we supposed to do?

There are MILLIONS of us.

Why isn't anyone talking about us with big news and magazine articles and tv programs?

Why are we so invisible to the people who are supposed to care about us?



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.