community responds to Super Bowl oic ad


Community responds to Super Bowl ad

Social media has been buzzing over the topic of opioid induced constipation (OIC) since a commercial aimed to raise awareness about the issue aired this weekend during the Super Bowl. While many patients and patient groups were happy to have a spotlight shone on an infrequently discussed topic, several celebrities, comedians and politicians took to their twitter accounts to bash the advertisement and by doing so the issue itself. Ignoring the quiet suffering of those living with chronic pain, some failed to recognize that while drug abuse and addiction are critically important issues to tackle, solving that epidemic should not be done at the expense of those in chronic pain.

Click here to watch the OIC commercial.

Immediately after the airing, comedian Bill Maher took to twitter writing, “Was that really an ad for junkies who can’t shit? America, I luy ya but I just can’t keep up”

Responding to Mr. Maher, and several others who share his sentiment, many in our community have fired back on social media and blogs in an effort to change the tone of the discussion and dispel the myths and falsehoods.

We here at CreakyJoints responded, “@billmaher, you’re a funny guy but for many #chronicpain is real and opioids are need for quality of life.”

CJ featured blogger Dina Neils (@titaniumtri) joined the conversation saying, “Offensive.14+ years of chronic pain conditions+autoimmune disease. People like me need pain meds to LIVE.”

Many others continued, saying, “@billmaher OIC doesn’t impact junkies. If affects the millions of Americans who live with pain.”

“Opioids = quality of life for millions of ppl. Work, family, school, athletics, etc”

“#chronicpain patients are fighting an invisible illness thats falsely reported on. Stick to politics.”

“@billmaher Chronic pain pts arent junkies. Some of us need pain meds to live. Shame on you Bill.”

and, “This is ignorance in its purest form. May you never need serious pain intervention, @billmaher.”

Continuing the discussion

In addition to social media, others took to their blogs to voice their opinions. logo

Writer Mariah Z. Leach wrote about the subject on her blog, Stop The Stigma on Being that the Super Bowl is one of the most widely watched events on television, Mariah took exception to what was supposed to be an awareness campaign being used as an opportunity for others to minimize the suffering of those living with chronic disease.

As a working mother who has achieved a law degree and a masters degree, she resents being branded a “junky”, simply because of the course of treatment she has been advised to take.

national pain report logo

The National Pain report also addressed the issue in their blog, highlighting the backlash Maher has received, as well as taking the opportunity to inform readers of the actual data related to this issue. Not surprisingly, the data did not support Maher’s assertion that all opioid users are in fact, “junkies”.

City Girl Flare logo

In her blog, City Girl Flare, writer Lori-Ann expressed her own feelings on this sensitive issue. Lori-Ann describes how she herself suffers from OIC, and because of the symptoms often chooses to suffer with pain rather than take pain medication. Understanding that Maher was indeed trying to make a joke, it is particularly the word “junkie” that strikes a nerve. In addition to Mr. Maher, Lori-Ann also addresses recent comments by white house staffers.


Writer Kate Mitchell addressed the issue on her blog, Kate the (almost) great, stressing that “people prescribed opioids are not automatically junkies. At times Kate relies pain medication to manage her arthritis symptoms, however, there is only one thing she is addicted to – coffee.

Blogger Lolabellequinn (As my joints turn) describes her own reaction to Maher’s comments. It was not a reaction of insult or anger, but one of worry, “Do other people think she is a junkie? Will other people judge her as harshly as Maher?”.

PainfullyOptimistic writer Ross also covered the issue and tone of the conversation regarding this serious issue. Ross lives with chronic disease, and has a complex schedule of therapies helping him manage his symptoms. Does the inclusion of opioids in his management plan justify the labeling, prejudice and insults that have accompanied this issue?

Chronic disease and healthcare blog, The world According to Snark, wins the best pun award with their article, “SP50 OIC Ad Creates Shit-Storm of Controversy”. Hilarious title, but the author stresses that the issues of OIC, opioid pain management and chronic disease are no laughing matter. The author’s frustration lies with the fact that it is often those who know the least about a problem who are most vocal.

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