Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jan 2004
Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
Copyright: 2004, Denver Publishing Co.
Author:  Dr. J. Bruce Laubach
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


In using hospital discharge notes to substantiate the claim of a 243 percent
increase in "abuse" of OxyContin ("Painkiller abuse increases sharply," Jan.
5), the News presumably includes such statements as: "The patient was
discharged with a prescription for OxyContin, 40 mg, to be taken twice daily
for seven days." This might be - probably is - a perfectly appropriate use
of a potent drug.

Simply being "mentioned" in hospital discharge notes is not evidence of
abuse! Rather, it the evidence of use. "Colorado hospital officials" (who
are they, anyway?) are a poor source of information on abuse and diversion
of controlled substances.

The really sad consequences of such poorly researched articles are that sick
people are warned away from perfectly good drugs which, if used properly,
might improve the quality of their lives. Sadly, too, good information is
readily available from many health-care professionals devoted to the relief
of suffering. Waving the red-flag case of Rush Limbaugh does not help many
of us out here, fighting the misperceptions aggravated by articles like the

Dr. J. Bruce Laubach
Castle Rock
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