Letters to the Editor

Don’t punish the innocent using pain pills

Why it’s so hard to break an opioid addiction

More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency.
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More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency.

The editorial on Sept. 27 stated Kentucky needs a “battle strategy” to fight opioid abuse. I am suggesting that battle plan stop short of hurting innocent patients.

The commentary from the American Council on Science and Health clearly outlined the problem of ill-conceived actions, like House Bill 333, which imposed a three-day limit on opioid painkillers, but the Herald-Leader editorial board continues to ignore the ramifications of such actions on tens of thousands of patients helped by opioids each year.

There is no question that they work perfectly in relieving pain for the vast majority, yet all I see is a one-sided discussion and non-discriminating battle plans.

Just one hospital in Lexington did more than 11,000 surgeries last year. The current battle planners and their supporters think those patients should be sent home with Advil and an exercise mat. Apparently they’ve never had open-heart surgery or even kidney stones. If they had, they wouldn’t have suggested such ridiculous strategies.

While the abuse issue must be addressed, I would like to see the Herald-Leader show support for legitimate users. How about promoting a battle strategy that actually targets the problem without bringing more pain to the legitimate patients who are desperate for pain relief?

Arlin Marsh

Lexington

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