Rosenblum: Parents' pain helps shift prescription drug awareness

  • Article by: GAIL ROSENBLUM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 4, 2013 - 7:44 PM
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lcm333Feb. 4, 1311:57 PM

I am very sorry for the lost of your son. I would like to commend you for raising awareness regarding chronic pain and issues that could result when using prescription narcotic medications.

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basia2186Feb. 7, 13 2:20 AM

I too am sorry for your loss. I had to take a narcotic pain pill for about 6 months due to a broken back. Without a pill or two a day I would not have been able to walk to my car. Tried all other over the counter drugs before codeine. I never found the drug entertaining. It gave me gas. It did allow me to function so I could at least run errands, do laundry etc. There must be a genetic component that makes some enjoy the drug's effects. It would be nice to find out if there were a way (blood tests etc.) to find out who was susceptible to addiction to codeine before it was prescribed to avoid such tragedies in the future. I know quite a few friends would have taken some of my pills off my hands for "recreational " use, but besides being illegal, my Dr. was too miserly to share.

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notationsFeb. 15, 13 6:10 PM

Although I truly sympathize with the loss of their son, I disagree with their reasoning. They have found a path for themselves but not the “way” for everyone. Reclassifying Vicodin will do nothing to stop those who abuse a medication – but will place great constraints and expense on those who are responsible users - especially the elderly. Any medication (including OTC acetaminophen) can be abused. Respectfully, we're all responsible for our own behavior. There is a big difference between dependence and addiction. The true addict is the one most likely to seek a drug illegally. ----- In the real world there are millions of people who use hydrocodone effectively and responsibly for legitimate, diagnosed conditions. My mother had painful, chronic arthritis and this medication was a tremendous help to her for years. It, literally, allowed her to keep working. Arthritically, my hands are following hers. This “proposed” restriction would force people to go back to to their doctor just to get refills for a diagnosed condition!

The vast majority of doctors are ethical professionals. They don't need to be "educated" on the effects of a medication that has been on the market for decades. Putting this moderate pain reliever in the same class as morphine and opium is a political move by the FDA. The ones who will suffer (some greatly) would be those who benefit from pain meds for a legitimate reason. 15,000 people dying from intentionally abusing these drugs is approx. 300 people per state??? LESS counting unincorporated U.S. territories. So all legitimate users are to suffer for this small percentage of irresponsibility? If you want to work for something meaningful and the FDA panel really wants to address the "problem" of drug abuse, work for tighter control of cigarettes and alcohol. These two drugs are proven killers of millions of people each year. In the U.S. almost 450,000 die yearly from tobacco alone. 1 in 5 deaths is attributed to tobacco. ----------------- One can go out and readily buy a case of vodka, a carton of cigarettes, obtain a permit and buy a semi-automatic weapon with no medical advice. Yet it makes sense to tighten restrictions for people with diagnosed, chronic pain to obtain non-appointment refills from their doctor for their meds? This is worse than not making sense. It’s cruel.

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