New advocacy group seeks smarter solutions to pain crisis – Pain News Network
NPAC has a large and diverse group of volunteers on its Board of Directors and Advisory Boards; including some household names in patient advocacy, such as Laura Mills, Leo Beletsky, Stefan Kertesz, Sally Satel, Anne Fuqua, Jennifer Oliva, Chris Freeman and Sean Mackey, to name a few.
Advisory councils are so inclusive that they include many people who have struggled with addiction or who work in the field of addiction treatment – which might be shunned by other members of the pain community. Nicholson says pain and addiction must be taken into account if the NPAC is to be considered a credible organization.
“Whenever you meet with policymakers, these two issues have gotten into the public conversation because of the way the opioid story has been told,” she told PNN. “I am not one of those people who thinks that no one has been hurt because of the Liberal prescription. There are people who are sensitive to addiction. I see it as two very stigmatized groups that have to come together to some extent because right now the infighting is really bringing everyone down. “
NPAC has secured grants from the Open Society Foundation, another association that may be called into question because it is funded by liberal philanthropist George Soros, a billionaire who attracts right-wing conspiracy theories.
Nicholson is committed to never accepting funding from pharmaceutical companies or other organizations that may create a conflict of interest – real or imagined – with the mission of NPAC.
“Our goal is to change mindsets and change policies,” says Nicholson, who is on a panel advising the CDC as it revises its controversial 2016 opioid guideline. She says the current state of the search for and understanding of pain lies in the “dark ages”.
“My own feeling is that the pain needs to be renamed. If we really think chronic pain is a disease, shouldn’t we call it something else? We don’t call depression “chronic sadness,” even though everyone feels sad, ”Nicholson said. “I really feel like there has to be a change in how we talk about pain and how we understand it. There really has to be a much broader conversation than just one treatment modality. “