Advertisement

Don't drown out the voices of chronic-pain sufferers amid the opioid epidemic

Don't drown out the voices of chronic-pain sufferers amid the opioid epidemic
OxyContin pills lie scattered outside a prescription medication bottle. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I sympathize with op-ed article writer Dani Fleischer’s past struggles with OxyContin. But she begins her story by mentioning an “Adderall-fueled” nervous breakdown while she was home with her parents from college.

Fleischer does not tell us why Adderall was being used, but it’s a commonly misused drug to enable sleep-deprived students to wake up and deal with the day ahead of them.

Advertisement

Instead of taking Fleischer to a doctor (like a psychiatrist) for her nervous breakdown, her mother medicated her with OxyContin, an inappropriate drug. Why she even had OxyContin on her bedside table isn’t revealed.

I live with chronic pain. I have HIV-related neuropathy, degenerative spinal stenosis and arthritis in my right hip, knees and ankles. I’m treated by a board-certified pain management specialist. I’m almost never pain free, but I am in an amount of pain that I can tolerate and still function.

This is true of most chronic-pain patients. We aren’t getting high — we’re getting some relief from the pain we live with every day.

Mark Rice, Palm Springs

..

To the editor: Where are the stories of chronic pain sufferers like myself? I took methadone for 20 years and reduced my dosage on my own volition, until I was thrown off this very useful medicine because of hysteria.

I’m not saying there isn’t an opioid crisis; I’m just saying there are two sides to this story, and it wouldn’t hurt to include some of the positive ways opiates have helped pain sufferers

And, by the way, an “opiate high” doesn’t always “feel like a shimmering.” Sometimes, in people who are not addicted, it feels like the burning in your feet has stopped.

Charles Ruebsamen, Rancho Cucamonga

..

To the editor: What, no gateway drug? Now we have another scare tactic from the 1960s debunked, namely that marijuana use results in addiction to other drugs.

File this one along with the claim that the Vietnam War was necessary for our national security and that a woman’s place is in the home.

Arthur D. Wahl, Port Hueneme

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement