The Government’s Anti-Opioid Crusade Is Getting People Killed

By joining the anti-opioid crusade the medical profession is showing that it can be as stupid as government. Here is Hans Bader writing at

Doctors are cutting back on pain medication, leaving patients to suffer unnecessarily.

Restrictions on opioid prescriptions fuel a black market while leaving people in agonizing pain. In The New York Times, Maia Szalavitz says attempting to reduce overdose risk by depriving patients of painkillers raises the odds of suicide and is both cruel and senseless. Doctors are cutting back on pain medication, leaving patients to suffer unnecessarily:

Katie Tulley suffers from an incurable bladder disorder so painful that it feels “like tearing skin off your arm and pouring acid on it, 24/7,” she said… Ms. Tulley, a 37-year-old Louisianan who used to work with autistic children, manages her pain with a fentanyl patch. The opioid gives her a few precious hours out of bed to help her parents, do online volunteer work and occasionally leave home…Now, because of legal concerns about overdose risk, her doctors have considered stopping her medication, even though she has never misused it. And so, when she recently discovered a suspicious lump in her belly, she found herself hoping it was cancer…“At this point it’s the only way to be treated” for her pain.

As many as 18 million patients rely on opioids to treat long-term pain that is intractable but not necessarily associated with terminal illness. In 2016, seeking to curb opioid misuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced guidelines outlining a maximum safe dosage and strongly urging doctors to avoid prescribing for chronic pain unless death is imminent. The guidelines were supposed to be voluntary and apply only to chronic pain patients seeing general practitioners. Instead, they have been widely seen by doctors as mandatory.

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