When the knee jerks too far: A political dopiod solution to opiod abuse

oxyFrom the Rose Law Group Reporter Growlery

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer

Wags like me are having fun with a new drug commercial on TV that was introduced during the Super Bowl. It’s a medicine for constipation caused by prescription opiod use.

I’ll forgo a few humorous one-liners that have popped up on social media because the new drug only illustrated what we already know — several million people are on prescription opiods, and many of them are abusing or addicted to them.

In 2014, 27,000 people died of an opioid-related overdose. It is estimated now around 74 Americans a day are fatally overdosing on opioid prescription drugs.

In the end, the opiod problem is a doctor and big pharma problem. Politicians, however, feel compelled to get involved.

President Obama on Monday announced to a room of governors he supports them in their mission to quell the nation’s opioid epidemic, but he disagreed with some of the ways they want to do it. Specifically, he refused to support a limit on how many painkillers a doctor can prescribe at a single time, Governing magazine reported.

The governors are proposing federal and state laws to limit how many opiods a physician can prescribe.

As with other medical issues, politicians want to practice medicine.

Certain dentists now can only prescribe five opoid pills at one time, and if the patient needs more, they can’t come back to the dentist for a new written prescription before a week has elapsed.

A dentist I know says such regulation is unfair to both patients who have undergone dental surgery and to the dental surgeons who are best familiar with pain caused by surgical procedures.

Two late friends of mine suffered months of pain from cancer. Their physicians rightfully prescribed Percoset 100 pills at a time.

Such decisions should not be regulated by government.

“If we go to doctors right now and say ‘Don’t overprescribe’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem, because the pain is real, the mental illness is real,” Obama told the governors.

Were I diagnosed with a terminal painful disease, I should be able to go on a doctor-blessed morphine holiday.

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February 2016