Pandemic of Denial: A New Documentary Chronicling the Other Opioid Crisis
Pandemic of Denial: A New Documentary Chronicling the Other Opioid CrisisFebruary 24th, 2018 by Tina Petrova / Eugene Weis
There are no marathons for chronic pain, no walks for its cure. Yet chronic pain disables some 25% of the population in developed countries such as Canada and the U.S.A. This is no small disease. In Canada, chronic pain costs the economy an estimated 60 billion annually in treatment, lost wages and productivity; in the U.S.A. a staggering 634 billion.
Those who suffer with Intractable pain in North America now outnumber heart disease, cancer & diabetes patients combined. The current media focus on “The Opioid Crisis,” a more dramatic but not necessarily more serious issue – has unfortunately resulted in a profound loss of care for chronic pain sufferers who in many cases are being undertreated, with dire consequences.
Pandemic of Denial by award winning filmmakers Tina Petrova and Eugene Weis, currently in production, examines with unflinching truth “the forgotten ones.” Long time pain patients denied life giving medications by government policies can be driven to suicide while some doctors who uphold their Hippocratic oath by treating pain aggressively, are threatened with loss of license, livelihood and even criminal charges that can lead to incarceration.
Would we take away someone’s insulin, beta blocker or warfarin because a small percentile of the population found a way to monetize those drugs and get high off them? Are the human rights of pain patients being sacrificed for politically expedient policies? Pandemic of Denial serves up a plate of disturbing truth: chronic pain patients face a lifelong battle with no cure in sight. They build their lives around managing pain and struggle performing simple every day functions like walking or shopping for food.
And yet “they” “could be “us” in a flash. We are all a car accident, a surgery, or a degenerative condition away from this tragic outcome. This brave documentary shines a light on patients fighting for the right to manage severe pain, including a ten-year old who draws his pain as long toothed monsters, as well as specialists prevented from helping their patients achieve a small degree of comfort and dignity through pain control. Tragically, when opioids and other medications are suddenly withdrawn because of a blanket “one-size-fits-all” legislation, doctors and patients alike are being left with nowhere to turn.
From the somber spreading of ashes at Newport Beach Ca. to H.H. The Dalai Lama’s hospital in Zanskar India, viewers will be swept up in a stunning cinematic journey featuring tender, gripping stories.
In Pandemic of Denial Tina and Eugene enter into the desperate lives of pain patients fighting for their survival, families torn apart by suicide, and the troubled worlds of the compassionate doctors who stand up for them, risking reputation and licenses. In doing so, they bring a balanced view to a difficult issue.
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