We cannot continue to treat opioid reliance as a criminal matter.
This is a public health crisis brought on by decades of reckless pharmaceutical companies, overwhelmed doctors and a trusting public just looking to manage extraordinary and daily pain.
People who are addicted to nicotine are encouraged to quit smoking, but can buy cigarettes, vape, chew gum or get patches at convenience stores and pharmacies on every corner.
People who are addicted to alcohol are encouraged to join Alcoholics Anonymous, but can buy beer or liquor in restaurants, convenience and grocery stores in every neighborhood.
People who are addicted to caffeine are promoted as hard workers, go-getters, celebrate their addiction in popular media and can buy coffee, soda, chewing gum and even infused soap in every store, everywhere.
People who are addicted to opioids are ostracized, humiliated, and left to manage their addiction through street dealers, violence, uncertain quality, police harassment, crippling fines, jail time, possible overdose and finally, death.
Prior to Mike DeWine’s crackdown on “pill mills” 4 years ago people addicted to opioids could go to a doctor, have a candid conversation about their pain and receive a prescription for medicine they could fill at any corner pharmacy.
Now doctors are terrified of writing opioid prescriptions, threatened by careless, clueless and heartless Ohio bureaucrats who care only for being “hard on crime” and punishing anyone who falls outside their framework of the perfect taxpayer.
Just let people talk to their doctors again, and just let doctors do their jobs again.
This is all we need to pull this crisis back from the horror it has become.
This is what we need to let people live their lives.
Let Doctors be Doctors.
Let people live their lives.
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