Wednesday, December 07, 2016

America's heroin overdose epidemic

Cathy Reisenwitz writes in Foundation for Economic Education,
People simply don’t overdose on prescription painkillers under medical supervision. They overdose when they can’t get the medicine they need and turn to the black market for help. The DEA’s efforts to keep chronic pain sufferers from accessing prescription painkillers and methadone is literally killing them.

The 21st Century Cures Act looks likely to pass, with bipartisan support and the Obama administration’s blessing. But if we want to end the opioid overdose epidemic, we don’t actually need to spend $1 billion. We could just abolish the DEA, which would also free up $28 billion.

...The best thing the Trump administration could do to end the overdose epidemic is to stop the war on painkillers. Psychiatrist Jerome H. Jaffe, Richard Nixon's drug czar, himself said, “No patient should ever wish for death because of his physician's reluctance to use adequate amounts of potent narcotics."
Read much more here.

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