A very close friend of mine, Sheryl Pietrick Donnell, wrote an article recently,that was posted in the Chicago Tribune Newspaper! I think it’s wonderfully written & thought out. I want to share it here with you, & with her permission: ***************************
This is so outrageous. The so called epidemic is harming real patients. Of the 76 million prescriptions filled last year, there were a total of 18,893 total Opioid related deaths. Mind you, this is a very sick population you begin with and this number includes suicides and stolen medication related deaths as well as the ever increasing number of deaths from suicidal patients who have had their medication reduced so dramatically, their pain has made them feel suicide is their only hope. It also includes all benzodiapams. These are sedative like drugs such as Valium and Xanax, another entirely different class of drug used for completely different purposes.
Compare the 18k of Opioid deaths to the 88k of Alcohol related deaths annually. Is anyone calling for prohibition? Why not? It doesn’t work? Right. Guess what? It doesn’t work for Opioids either. We have seen a dramatic increase in Heroin related deaths since this Crack down on opioid prescriptions too.
What’s the solution? First, chronic pain patients are not addicts. We are in pain and need relief to function. Leave us out of this. We aren’t the problem. Our medication use has been stable and we need to be helped.
Second, TREATMENT CENTERS! If you have an addict, removing one source of a drug does not cure them. Addicts will find a way to get their fix, unless they can get treatment and studies show it is cheaper to treat than incarcerate or hospitalize long term from brain damage from accidental over doses.
There are so many things that are far more dangerous in this country right now than pain medicine for legitimate pain patients. And pain patients need your voices. No prohibition for sick patients. This country would never stand for taking away medication from diabetics, why is it OK to do it to us?