I no longer feel sympathy for those who abuse pain medications. Yes, they need addiction treatment, but at what expense?

I am a 57-year-old Maine resident who is totally disabled because of a central nervous system disease that has left me with incurable chronic nerve pain. This condition makes working impossible. I’ve been unable to work since 2006. Financially, I’m wiped out, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With this new opiate epidemic comes a new group of addicts, whose drug of choice happens to be one that I need to survive. As a result, I’m running out of options as to finding physicians.

The increased threat of prosecution is driving doctors away from prescribing pain medications. Good news for the law enforcement community, bad news for folks like myself. I now have to pay full price, as my insurance is no longer accepted,

I need to travel three times farther than I did before. Financially, this is wiping me out, and it’s just beginning. My only income is Social Security disability – it doesn’t take a lot to put a damper on that.

I don’t see people with any other illnesses being attacked this way. I suppose if someone figures out a way to abuse insulin, there will be persecution of diabetics. This kind of blind enforcement policy is affecting thousands of innocent people. I’m one step away from having to get my medications from the only secure source left in Maine: the streets.

I’m being price-gouged and discriminated against all at once, yet I’ve committed no crime. I’m beginning to be treated more like a criminal than anything else.

The addicts are getting much better and easier access to treatment than I am now. My Medicare is no longer accepted. Just who are we at war with here? I need help as soon as possible.

Francis Earley