Running out of painkillers, nowhere for Western New Yorkers to turn

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jul 11, 2018

Leaving behind her fiancee is what Melissa Stanton fears the most. The 39-year-old Jamestown woman is partially paralyzed from a childhood spinal cord injury, after a doctor found a tumor on her spine. 

“I fear I would die. I would die,” Stanton said. 

She said she needs two medications in order to live a normal life. They are powerful painkillers. She takes one bottle of pills to keep her lungs from collapsing. The other medication is taken in the form of liquid for hyper sensitive nerves in her lower body caused by her condition. 

Her problem is she only has a week prescription left and doctors won’t refill them. 

“Now I’m just at a very hard point in my life,” Stanton said. 

Stanton said because of new opiate laws in New York, she’s having hard time finding a doctor who will give her a refill. 

“I go to a pain specialist. No you need to see a psychiatrist. I go to a psychiatrist. No our office is not set up for that. So it’s like, what do I do?” Stanton said. 

A 2016 state law limits opioid prescriptions in New York to a seven day supply following a patient’s initial visit to a doctor, with refills allowed only after further consultation. Which is why Stanton said she can’t get her refills. 

I reached out to Chautauqua County Health Department to find out what folks can do in these type of situations. It was after hours and the office was closed. 

Stanton said she’s not giving up hope on finding a doctor. 

“I’ve been given this life because I’m strong enough to handle it,” Stanton said. 

She credits her entire family for helping her get through her condition over the years. 

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