My Response To The Times Article About Opioid 'Good News Bad News'

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While I appreciate the Times' long overdue recognition of the plight of pain sufferers, the headline of this article is only half correct - There *is* no good news on prescribing. There is an indisputable inverse relationship between the availability of prescription opioid analgesics and the number of overdose deaths, which is more than an association - it's cause and effect.

Anyone studying the trend will be aware that overdose deaths from heroin skyrocketed in 2010 - the time when abuse-resistant OxyContin replaced its older formulation. With the generation of an enormous heroin market came Chinese fentanyl - the real killer today. Both addicts and patients alike have been forced to turn to "street heroin" which is now primarily fentanyl and its far worse analogs. These are the most dangerous drugs ever created and much of the blame for their presence in the US lies with the CDC and those who advised it to stick its nose where it has no expertise and doesn't belong.

The existence of fentanyl test kits so people who were forced into buying heroin can ensure its "purity" is evidence that we have still not recognized the true availability. It's not Vicodin. It's illicit fentanyl. Yet it is the former that is being vilified  and restricted.

The expression "I cut it twice and it's still too short" has never been more true.

Years from now we will look back and see the greatest violation of US citizen rights since slavery. By then the damage will have been incalculable.