Thursday, March 31, 2016

On Opioids, Both Sides in Congress Are Wrong

Yes, Kentucky is ground zero for the prescription and illegal drug crisis.  But Longman doesn't understand why:  It's because KASPER forces doctors to deny painkilling drugs to their patients in chronic pain, who thus in desperation turn to heroin.  The heroin epidemic exploded in direct response to KASPER.
Trying to stop the heroin epidemic by denying prescription painkillers is like trying to fix dehydration by denying liquids.

Back on March 10th, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 in a 94-1 roll call. (I wrote about the effort to pass that bill here).

You would think that a bill that can get 94 votes in the Senate (with only Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska dissenting) should be able to pass in the House. But it’s not a sure thing for the precise reason you might guess.


Still, other largely partisan differences could complicate passage of any House-altered version of the Senate’s bill.
That’s because Republicans and Democrats agree that the country’s opioid drug abuse epidemic affects most states and districts, but a House hearing just before the recess period began exposed partisan rifts over key factors driving the addiction epidemic problem.
Democrats largely link the uptick in prescription painkiller-related deaths to a lack of access to treatment and drugs designed to prevent overdoses. But House Oversight and Government Reform Republicans see the root problems as subpar efforts to stop drug traffickers, laws making marijuana illegal, and fewer drug-related prosecutions.
 Like I said, they're both wrong.  Stop threatening doctors, stop demonizing drugs and stop denying relief to people in pain. 

1 comment:

Yellow Dog said...

To Anonymous: Leave a name, coward. As for KASPER, its draconian punishments for doctors who prescribe too many opioids have terrified doctors into not prescribing them at all. Patients with severe chronic pain are left with no choice but to buy heroin and risk overdose. Yes, KASPER is to blame for the heroin epidemic. It's no coincidence that Kentucky is ground zero for the heroin epidemic and Kentucky is ground zero for criminalizing prescription opioids.