It is sad that in America, people with extreme pain and those who crave narcotics are all made to feel like criminals. That is because anything that can be portrayed as a drug is said to be addictive. It either is addictive itself for it leads to harder stuff, as they claim marijuana does. So a new pain killer comes out, called Zohydro, and it is automatically attacked by the anti-drug people. The drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so now a lot of special interest groups want it taken out of the hands of doctors.
"In the midst of a severe drug epidemic fueled by overprescribing of opioids, the very last thing the country needs is a new, dangerous, high-dose opioid," a coalition of more than 40 health care, consumer and addiction treatment groups wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg according to CNN.
There are also the people who play the death card, such as with Dr. Andrew Kolodny, president of the advocacy group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing:
"It's a whopping dose of hydrocodone packed in an easy-to-crush capsule. It will kill people as soon as it's released."
This is an exaggeration as the pill has to be either stolen or obtained by someone who decides to sell it. Those hurt most by this action will be those who have extreme pain that is hard to treat. The anti-drug people are obsessed with keeping ANYONE from getting this drug even if it will help them.
There are defenders of the new medicine:
"We do not expect the introduction of Zohydro ER (extended release) to increase the overall use of opioids," said Dr. Brad Galer, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Zogenix, in an e-mail. "In fact, prescription data from the last five years shows that total use of ER opioids is constant and independent of new entrants to the market." Zogenix representatives cited examples of patients who might benefit from Zohydro: a 46-year-old male with chronic back and leg pain who had two failed back surgeries; a 52-year-old female with metastatic breast cancer experiencing diffuse pain; a 32-year-old woman with multiple orthopedic fractures.
In the US drug use is treated the way witchcraft was treated in Salem Massachusetts back in the 1600s—with hysteria. In the US people are given jail time, felony records and are forced into rehab programs against their will. Addicts are always portrayed as miserable in the press. And yet people routinely take narcotics, not just for pain but to feel good as well. Addicts in recovery often thank the police, in public, for arresting them. But the reality is that felony convictions can keep a person from getting meaningful work and the police and courts seem to set themselves us as “fathers” and the addicts are treated as children. These same “father figures” have fought to prevent poor people from getting health care and yet they have no problems arresting and jailing their adopted “children” for using any kind of drugs. There seems to be the assumption that people really don’t want to be using addictive drugs so they need police to straighten them out.
This is patronization by a police force owned by people who really don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves. They want our poor people to be religiously pure, even if the same society doesn’t care who among them lives or dies. Religious leaders are often able to steer recovering addicts into their religion groups. This is one reason religious people like to work with addicts. It is like a captured audience.
Other countries have outlawed drugs without giving the users a lifetime of stigma with felony records.
Some people do take drugs because they make them feel better. As long as those people are kept from decent health care, they should not be punished for self-medicating. And we don’t need the ridiculous moralizing of the anti-drug crowd. This is all about moral sensibilities and not about clean heath. If addicts want to get off drugs they can seek help. We don’t need the police to tell us how to stay healthy. A person with a strong mind can decide for themselves. We shouldn’t put some big shot’s moral sensibilities above the medical rights of a person to be pain free.