Regarding the series of articles that The Gazette has published on the opioid situation in the United States:
I have chronic, disabling pain for which I have been using opioid pain relievers for over 16 years. The use of opioids to control pain gives me the ability to have some quality of life, to take care of myself, enjoy family and friends and live in my home. Without them I would be in bed most of the day. I continue to use other types of treatment for pain control in conjunction with opioids.
Drug abuse/addiction and the use of opioids for medical purposes are two separate issues. How have they become one? Most people consider their medical condition a private matter between themselves and their doctor. Why is chronic disabling pain becoming a matter of public policy? Why is the medical condition of chronic pain becoming a legislative issue? Opioids are an effective treatment for some to control pain and increase/maintain functional capabilities. Has medical practice become so socialized that we believe that better medical treatment will be achieved by legislative directive rather than by people with medical degrees? Do we want the power to decide what medical treatment is made available to people left in the hands of a government body that has no medical training?
Let’s focus our time, energy and dollars on finding and providing effective treatment for those who suffer from thes debilitating condition of addiction. Let’s use every effective treatment, including opioids, that increases functional capability and reduces pain. And let’s not confuse the two issues.