I find it odd that the media doesn’t connect the dramatic increase in fentanyl deaths to the federal government’s opioid war. It’s not surprising that deaths in Florida are up 70%, as the DEA began its increased crackdown on pill mills in that state. As the DEA took its opioid war from state to state, those who suffer from drug addiction have had even fewer safe choices. It’s almost like, because prohibition was so long ago, the government has forgotten the lessons learned from that huge mistake.
When the CDC passed new opioid guidelines this year, the agency knew that one of the effects would be an increase in drug overdoses and suicides. Andrew Kolodny from PFROP (the addiction industry group that worked with the CDC on the guidelines) admitted as much. They believe that it’s more important to save people from a potential future addiction than it is to save the people who are now dying. Since the guidelines only went into effect this year, overdose deaths will keep increasing.
Those who suffer from addiction are not the only people who have been and will be adversely affected by the government’s opioid war. If you suffer from any kind of pain, you will also be affected — if not now, then sometime in the future.
A recent poll showed that over 60% of doctors don’t believe that painkillers work for chronic pain. Many doctors have stopped prescribing painkillers altogether. You may think this is a great idea — until your doctor refuses to treat your pain. And you may be surprised to learn that, just because you have a serious medical condition like cancer, that doesn’t mean you’ll have access to painkillers. Also be ready for a lecture from your doctor about the horrors of addiction whenever a painkiller is prescribed, regardless of whether you’re part of the 10% of people who may suffer from addiction.
Everyone agrees that the drug war has been a huge and expensive failure (except the DEA). Isn’t it time we had a war against pain instead of the drugs that can treat it?
For every story about someone who suffers from addiction, if the media wanted to, it could find 20 stories of people suffering from chronic pain. I wonder if someone could tell me why the media refuses to report on the millions of chronic pain patients who are the latest victims in the drug war.