Doctors Over-Prescribing Opiates And the Overzealous Government Protectionists

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Radley Balko posted an article in HuffPo about the abuse of painkillers and I think it’s worth a read. We have people suffering from pain and good pain management is a necessity.

I know of one young man who broke his back and he actually died from the extraordinary pain he was in, not from the original injury. Painkillers serve a purpose and an overzealous government has created problems for pain management services with all the best of intentions.

This summation in Mr. Balko’s article is what I related to –

There’s no question that prescriptions for opioid painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet have soared in recent years. It’s also clear that there are some rogue doctors and “pill mills” who unscrupulously hand out prescriptions, sometimes to patients who shouldn’t get them, sometimes to drug addicts and drug dealers pretending to be pain patients.

But it’s also far from certain that the painkiller abuse and overdoses are as dire as the government is making it out to be.

And to the extent that there is a problem, it’s due more to a decade of aggressive policing, obstinate federal law enforcement agencies, and the encroachment of law enforcement into the practice of medicine than lax government oversight.

The DEA in particular has been scaring reputable doctors away from pain management since the late 1990s. People who suffer from chronic pain simply can’t find doctors willing to treat them over the long term.

The unscrupulous doctors and pill mills in the headlines have sprung up to fill the void. Read more: HuffPo

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