A Prescription for America – Anti-opiate Phobia

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When you read a headline around the war on drugs, whether it comes from the media, a press release from law enforcement or public health officials, minus any specific details, the story is always the same.  Commentary designed to tell America what to be afraid of and whose to blame. 

Law enforcement, public health and legislator’s reactions toward the medical care of pain, the use of prescription opiates in treating it, are in some ways based on ignorance, a lack of education, understanding and fear. It’s the same kind of reaction seen towards those who fall into drug abuse. Our leadership is either ignorant of the differences between abuse and medical care or they aren’t and choose to oppress innocent individuals out of fear. Irrational fears are being projected onto anyone now who use opiates for any reason, placing our healthcare system in jeopardy of failure for an issue which impacts every American, that of pain management. 

We’ve all heard comments such as, opiates provide no better pain relief than aspirin or Tylenol. These are words coming out of the mouths of healthcare professionals. Would you go to a surgeon who thinks this way?

Drug abuse and the subsequent addiction that follows is so irrational and to such an extreme those who have luckily stayed away from it can’t wrap their heads around it. The obvious behaviors which lead to various types of self-destruction boggles the mind. Any rational person without an understanding of addiction would be afraid that’s only rational, but fear is no excuse for retaliatory actions which are as equally irrational when aimed at groups who use opiates under medical supervision.

Programs such as “Just say No” and others like them are examples of our leaderships lack of understanding. Current programs designed to scare individuals into staying away from drug abuse will have similar outcomes and again it’s because those who forward such ideas lack an understanding of what drives individuals to such extremes. 

Likewise they don’t understand pain and despite the double message of, no one should have to suffer with pain and everyone knowing that opiates are the best treatment for many types of long term pain, expect Americans to buy into rhetoric such as aspirin as a better treatment. It’s a battle that will be lost in time because it’s as irrational as drug abuse.

The only treatment for both, those who fall into abuse and those who oppose the use of opiates in medical treatments, is education. Much effort has been put into research and treatment around drug abuse, we simply have to have the moral and ethical backbone to use it, something I believe America is losing. Which I why we are back to oppressing others rather than finding ways to actually address the underlying causes.

American legislators, law enforcement and public health as of 2019, have opted for the use of fear and punishment, we have in fact made a choice to step backwards 100 years and return to oppressive techniques using measures which are in fact indirect forms of euthanasia. To punishment all those using opiates as if they were criminal when in fact our science tells us they have a disease. And we don’t stop there, we drag anyone and everyone who uses opiates for any reason into the same trashcan of waste we hope we can just flush away or bury. By every definition of science we have, addiction is a medical problem, but we’ve started treating it like a crime and all that criminal attention has been directed at physicians.

Addiction is known to be a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual disease making it difficult to discover the root causes and yet  the same thing can’t be said of bias and prejudice.

American’s who favor the use of fear and punishment, who by choice refuse to make a distinction between drug abuse and the medical use of opiates, are as sick as those who abuse substances. The failure of legislators and public health to acknowledge chronic pain as something unique and different from drug abuse is a failure of Government and hearkens to the days of oppressing individuals because of the color of their skin. And like every other great social issue in this country, it won’t be Republican leadership which rights such wrongs.

The only cure for bias and prejudice is and has been education as well as ensuring we have laws and regulations which ensure equality absent of such oppressive beliefs and attitudes. 

What’s the prescription? A dose of rationality and facts not designed to make you afraid but to educate you and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

The Doctor’s Corner is one such clinic you can go to free of charge to hear such views and I highly recommend it to those who are honest enough with themselves to be open minded yet cautious enough to avoid forming an opinion based on press releases and media hype.

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