Pubdate: Mon, 21 Mar 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Nancy Allen Love


The March 18 editorial "Sobering up about addiction" was flawed. The 
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is wrong on the issue 
as well. The idea that "loose prescribing norms . . . have fueled the 
growth of opioid consumption" does not correspond with the National 
Survey on Drug Use and Health's findings, as reported in the March 6 
Outlook essay "Five myths about Heroin," that "75 percent of 
recreational opioid users in 2013-14 got pills from sources other 
than doctors, mainly friends and relatives. Even among this group, 
moving on to heroin is quite rare. Only 4 percent do so within five 
years; just 0.2 percent of U.S. adults are current heroin users."

To label pain medicine as "dangerous" is a serious disservice to more 
than 50 million Americans who need these meds to function while 
suffering from very real chronic pain. Family health-care providers 
must be allowed to continue to diagnose and treat their patients 
without misguided government interference. Spending millions of 
taxpayer dollars is not the answer. Chronic pain can take away a 
person's life. Good pain management can restore that life.

Nancy Allen Love, Dagsboro, Del.
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