Friday, April 6, 2012
In today's Wall Street Journal, front page above fold Pain-Pill Crackdown Spreads is the latest in the war on drugs. THE GUARDIAN is suspect of all this fuss by government snooping into Walgreen's, CVS and Cardinal Health. People in chronic pain don't take pain killers to get high, they take them to try and feel normal. Chronic pain is endemic yet the government is zeroing in on pharmacies and doctors who prescribe these drugs to patients.
THE GUARDIAN is suspect of the statistics cited in the article of 1.5 million people addicted and 15,000 deaths each year from pain killers. What is not known are the underlying circumstances of the need to use these drugs in the first place. Chronic pain due to back injuries, arthritis, stenosis of vertebrae in the back, deteriorated joints due to old age and any number of things will lead people to use these medications just to get some relief down to a manageable level. And now the Federal Government is looking to expand the war on drugs to this?
Doctors who work with terminally ill patients walk a fine line with government snooping in trying to help people manage their chronic pain and put a modicum of quality back into their daily lives. How many people in the above statistics were terminally ill or who had put up with years and years of chronic pain and simply decided to put a stop to their suffering?
At some point in the last few years of life we start unraveling like a cheap sweater and all manner of pain and health issues beset the elderly. I see this latest war on prescription pain killers no help the the elderly and those who are terminally ill.
These patients should be allowed to take whatever is deemed necessary to put some quality back into their lives.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 1:07 PM