HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – People who suffer from chronic pain gathered at the state Capitol on Wednesday to call for fewer restrictions on doctors who prescribe opioid pain medication.

The Don’t Punish Pain rally was one of many held across the country.

Those in attendance argue that it’s been harder to get access to the medicine they need since CDC guidelines in 2016 encouraged doctors to prescribe less opioid medication.

“We need our medications in order just to become citizens that are productive,” said Brenda Metcalfe, who suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, which can cause excruciating pain the face. “Please get out of the doctors’ offices. Let the doctors do their jobs. We are not addicts.”

The CDC in April said some doctors misapplied the guidelines that call for them to prescribe the lowest effective dose. The agency does not recommend setting hard limits or cutting off opioids.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health plans to launch a patient advocacy program later this year. Under the program, patients who believe they are not getting the medicine they need can contact the department to seek intervention on their behalf.