Pubdate: Sun, 19 Mar 2006
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2006 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: Agatha T. Shilling
Bookmark: (Chronic Pain)
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


Regarding your March 12 story "Methadone deaths stun teens' parents": 
Teenagers rummaging through medicine cabinets looking for a high have 
no clue how extensive and horrible the fallout from their stupidity 
can be -- aside from the obvious tragedy of their deaths.

Perhaps one reason methadone is now the leading overdose killer is 
because OxyContin got so much publicity as a "bad" drug. As one 
opiate medication is demonized, it seems another -- maybe even worse 
- -- takes its place. I hope this story is taken as a lesson by young 
people as well as those wishing to vilify opiates: it backfires.

Opiates are without question the most effective painkillers known to 
man. People suffering from pain must remain able to access these 
medications or society fails us cruelly. Doctors must not be punished 
for attempting to ease our pain.

It is foolish to look for a "high" in another person's medicine 
bottle. You can get yourself killed, but you are also directly 
stealing a suffering person's relief, and that is unconscionable. 
Furthermore, you are damaging everyone's future ability to obtain 
pain relief, including your own -- assuming you survive trying to get a buzz.

Agatha T. Shilling

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