A worse-case scenario is now happening with some of Dr. Eugene Gosy's 10,000 active patients - they are going through severe withdrawal after running out of pain medicine and being turned down for pain treatment by primary care doctors.
One disabled woman from Niagara Falls told 7 Eyewitness News her withdrawal symptoms are so bad that she thinks she might die.
"I thought for sure yesterday that I wasn't here anymore . . . and I didn't know if I wanted to be. If I had to go though this again, I not sure I want to be."
The Erie County Medical Society responded to the growing patient crisis by saying that a task force of people is now looking at possible solutions.
According to the president-elect of the medical society, primary care physicians are in the process of getting information that will give them a "crash-course" in dealing with pain management issues.
However, some primary doctors are telling the society that they are hesitant to prescribe controlled medications for a variety of legal, medical and liability reasons.
Watch Ed Reilly's stories to hear how patients are being affected and what steps are being taken to help them.