Forgotten Victims in the “Opioid Crisis” Crying Out in Pain

Chronic pain sufferers hurt radically more now thanks to anti-opioid campaigns for blanket restrictions on opioid medications…prescriptions that once gave us our lives back.

Georgia NeSmith
6 min readAug 30, 2021


Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on

“Forgotten Victims” challenges the article below, and all others ever written about this crisis without even a single nod toward those of us suffering debilitating pain caused by unending chronic conditions that leave us nearly incapacitated without strong medications that make our lives at least remotely tolerable.

Once again, as with so many other articles like this, there’s no attention to the agony chronic pain sufferers endure, that without strong pain medications they will have to endure until the day they die.

Doesn’t matter how much time and effort the sufferers have given to alternative means of pain reduction — yoga, tai chi, dietary changes, yada yada yada. OF COURSE we tried everything BUT opioid medications before finally giving in…and then discovering we could still have something at least remotely resembling a life.

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 debilitating.

Doesn’t matter how close to incapaciton from pain we get when forced into reduction or complete withdrawal, and there’s no alternative to address our level and consistency of pain.

Doesn’t matter that over the course of a dozen or so years, the person has NEVER gone beyond the amount prescribed.

Doesn’t matter that all the lab tests taken every 3–6 months ALWAYS come back with the level of opioids consistent with their prescriptions, AND show zero negative impact on other organs.



Georgia NeSmith

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