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Woman testifies to Congress on opioids, chronic pain from a cot

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By Frank Thorp V and Jane C. Timm

WASHINGTON — A woman with a severe chronic pain condition testified before Congress from a cot set up in the hearing room on Tuesday, calling for more research and a smarter approach to pain management amid efforts to curb opioid abuse.

“The opioid crisis has only underscored our failure to provide adequate, safe, accessible treatment options for pain relief,” Cindy Steinberg, the national director of policy and advocacy at the U.S. Pain Foundation, told members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Steinberg was injured more than 18 years ago at her workplace, when a stack of unsecured filing cabinets and cubicle walls fell on her. The accident left her with a chronic condition that makes it difficult for her to be upright for more than a couple hours at a time without severe pain and muscle spasms.

A woman testifies from a cot at Senate hearing on managing pain during the opioid crisis on Feb. 12, 2019.Frank Thorp V / NBC News

Steinberg launched a support group in the wake of her injury and advocates on behalf of those with chronic pain conditions.

Chronic pain affects 50 million Americans, and is the leading cause of long-term disability, a copy of her planned testimony notes, but efforts to contain the opioid epidemic have damaged care plans and punished chronic pain sufferers.

“In the near term, we can and must restore balance to opioid prescribing with de-politicized, rational and clear-eyed recognition of the risks and benefits of these medications,” she said, according to her prepared remarks. “In the long term, we must invest in the discovery of new, effective, and safer options for people living with pain.”



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Get Corbyn out now: Labour support plummets as 43% want him axed BEFORE next election

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SUPPORT for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has plummeted after a new poll has shown a shocking loss of backing from his own party members.

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Louisiana police officer suggests on Facebook that AOC be shot

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A Louisiana police officer is facing criticism over a comment he made last week suggesting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., be shot.

The officer, Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna, Louisiana, police force, called Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” who “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” referring to her past job as a bartender, according to a screenshot posted by nola.com. According to the New Orleans-based news outlet, his comment was a reaction to a fake quote attributed to the congresswoman claiming that “we pay soldiers too much.” Both his post and Facebook account have since been taken down.

Gretna’s police chief, Arthur Lawson, told nola.com he found the post “disturbing,” adding, “This will not go unchecked.”

“I’m not going to take this lightly and this will be dealt with on our end,” he told the outlet. “It’s not something we want someone that’s affiliated with our department to make these types of statements. That’s not going to happen.”

He said that while he did not think the post constituted an actual threat, it was likely a violation of his department’s social media policy.

A spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez declined a request to comment from NBC News.

The episode comes amid a week of backlash over comments President Donald Trump made that Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen congresswomen of color should “go back” to where they “originally came from” rather than criticize his administration. All four lawmakers are U.S. citizens and three of them, including Ocasio-Cortez, were born in the U.S.

Ocasio-Cortez was also the subject of violent and misogynistic Facebook posts in a private group where nearly 10,000 current and former Customs and Border Protection agents exchanged thoughts, a ProPublica investigation revealed.

And the four congresswomen targeted in Trump’s tweets, Ocasio-Cortez, Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., were the subject of a recent Facebook post by the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois, which labeled them the “jihad squad.”

“Political Jihad is their game,” the since-deleted post read. “If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology you’re racist.”

The state’s GOP chairman, Tim Schneider, disavowed the post Sunday night.

“Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation,” Mr. Schneider said, adding, “I urge everyone who opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and ideology.”



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How Boris Johnson and girlfriend Carrie will put Queen in an awkward position

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BORIS JOHNSON is preparing to move his girlfriend Carrie Symonds into Downing Street with him this weekend. But the couple are set to shake up royal protocol later in the summer.

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