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Charging Pain Doctors as Drug Dealers

The Sunday New York Times Magazine ran an extensive feature on the feds busting doctors who in their view over-prescribe pain medication.

It's very long and contains interviews with convicted doctors and their patients. I was left with the sense that the doctors were unjustly prosecuted, that it shouldn't be up to a DEA agent to decide how much pain medication a patient needs, and that pain medication is not as dangerous or addictive as the Government has made it out to be.

As TChris wrote here,

The attorney generals of 30 states have complained that the DEA's confusing and overreaching interference with medical judgment has denied patients necessary pain relief.

And it's not just the doctors who suffer.

At least one group is fighting back -- the Pain Relief Network.

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  • Display: Sort:
    addictive? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jen M on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 06:31:05 AM EST
    anything that relieves my #$%* migraines is instantly addictive. Even if it were $%@)apple juice.

    Legal or no these DEA raids are indefensible and immoral.

    Finally, some big media attention (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by SeeEmDee on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 02:02:01 PM EST
    for a problem that is affecting far more than those unjustly imprisoned.

    Since when do government bureaucrats, who don't know diddley about the very substances they are supposed to control, take the place of skilled physicians?

    When you have a War on Drugs, is when. This crap's been going on for decades, and the very first time doctors were jacked up like this was when the first anti-drug laws were formulated nearly a century ago. The drug prohibitionists can't do anything about illicit drugs pouring through the country, so they attack a stationary and largely helpless target, namely pain specialist doctors. It's rank showboating and politicization, and it's leading to suicides of people suffering from intractable pain and unable to assuage it. But the DrugWarrior's eyes get big with faux innocence at being so accused and respond with hurt tones that they aren't causing this misery, oh no, they're just doing their jobs.

    Doesn't that excuse sound familiar? (Godwin's Law is threatening to descend.) I've been laid up in hospital next to people with severe injuries who needed opiates for the pain and they never got them because the doctors are pee-their-pants scared that someone will report them to the DEA. Tylenol doesn't cut it when you've got cracked ribs and broken bones...or much worse, as these intractable pain patients must suffer with.

    Get the drug cops out the doctor's offices and let them doctor, fer Chrissakes!

    OT, Jeralyn, but--did you see (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 12:47:46 AM EST
    the news accounts that the trial judge in Spector criminal case is about to hold former defense attorney in contempt?

    Not for nothing.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 09:03:08 PM EST
    Pain doctors and pharmacists are drug dealers...I mean they are the folks to see if you want certain drugs, no?

    That being said, the feds should leave them the hell alone...and the bush doctors too.