Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jul 2005
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Mary Barton-Lech


RECENTLY, my mother passed away after a battle with a very aggressive 
and painful form of cancer. Her pain was eased in her final days by 
the drug OxyContin. This drug enabled her to be awake and lucid 
enough to share final wishes and feelings with her family. She died 
with the same grace and dignity she lived her life with.

My mother's hospice nurse carefully monitored her medications and 
then disposed of them after her death. Somewhere, others are being 
less careful with this drug, and state Senator Steven A. Tolman has 
seen the need to file legislation to ban OxyContin in Massachusetts 
("The OxyContin epidemic," op ed, June 30).

My questions are: Why are we not cracking down on where the abuses 
are happening? Who is prescribing the drugs that are being consumed 
in this epidemic? Why are they not being prosecuted under current 
laws? And wouldn't people still be able to get OxyContin from states 
bordering Massachusetts?

Tolman says: "I believe we have a responsibility to the children, 
families, and communities of the Commonwealth to protect them from harm."

Yes, Senator, we do, but our family feels you are focusing your 
energies in the wrong place.


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