Pubdate: Tue, 06 Jan 2004
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2004 Tallahassee Democrat.
Author: Donna Gillette


Re: "A war on drugs or a war on healing?" by Philip Terzian (syndicated
column, Jan. 5).

Terzian reminds us that while we had a good laugh at Rush Limbaugh's
hypocrisy, the underlying tragedy brought to light is the
undertreatment of chronic pain.

Pain is considered by many to be the biggest health-care crisis today,
affecting more than 50 million Americans and costing billions.
Patients have the right to have pain appropriately diagnosed and
treated by trained professionals experienced in pain management. It is
up to the physician to determine whether the medications are being
used to participate in life or escape from it. More and more, these
decisions are being made by law enforcement.

State Sen. Burt Sanders wants prescription monitoring to ensure
availability of medications to patients who need them. This is ironic
because the only documented effect of these systems in all other
states that tried them is a minimum of 50-percent reduction in

State Senate hearings to look at ways to restrict the use of some pain
medications begin Thursday here in Tallahassee. Congressional hearings
begin Feb. 9 in Orlando.

Donna Gillette,

Director, Stress & Pain Management Clinic of North Florida
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