“Opioid crackdown forces pain patients to taper off drugs they say they need” – The Washington Post

pain“Hank Skinner and his wife, Carol, are no strangers to pain, having collectively experienced multiple illnesses and surgeries. Hank relies on a fentanyl patch but is now being forced to lower his dosage.” (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

by Joel Achenbach and Lenny Bernstein

Carol and Hank Skinner of Alexandria, Va., can talk about pain all day long.

“Carol, 77, once had so much pain in her right hip and so little satisfaction with medical treatment she vowed to stay in bed until she died.

“Hank, 79, has had seven shoulder surgeries, lung cancer, open-heart surgery, a blown-out knee and lifelong complications from a clubfoot. He has a fentanyl patch on his belly to treat his chronic shoulder pain. He replaces the patch every three days, supplementing the slow-release fentanyl with pills containing hydrocodone.

“But to the Skinners’ dismay, Hank is now going through what is known as a forced taper.”

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