I agree with the staff editorial about opioids in the Jan. 12 Gazette. It is understandable that the opioid epidemic needs to be dealt with but it should not be at the expense of those who need them but do not abuse them. The reality is that many painful conditions are not relieved by over the counter drugs.
A fact that should be considered is while there are negative effects from opioids, severe pain can also have dangerous consequences. Denying cancer patients pain relief is barbaric and inhumane. Pain is also distracting, making it difficult to focus.
My husband died a horribly painful death from cancer 22 years ago and I hate to think what it would have been like for him if his pain medicine had been withheld. At that time, his oncologist advised us to try and keep ahead of the pain. Even then it was excruciating his last several months.
My work was caring for patients for several years, some of whom had cancer, but my husband’s pain was the worst I’ve ever seen. His hospice nurse was surprised his heart could survive as much pain as he had. When pain is that severe, or when it drives a person to consider suicide, those making the rules need to consider the fact that severe pain can also kill.
I’m afraid they have gone too far.