Justified prerequisites

January 8, 2014 

I've received treatments from Veteran Administration hospitals in Memphis, St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., and am waiting on neck and back surgeries to be scheduled. Due to chronic back and leg pain, I have been taking a 500 mg controlled narcotic offered by the VA.

Needing a refill, I called the VA office in Belleville and was told the following:

As of 2014, all patients on such drugs must come in for a urine analysis, brief orientation and sign a two- page document before refills are granted. I went to the clinic and took care of the aforementioned prerequisites. Upon leaving the clinic, I thanked the health care provider for implementing this new program.

I think this is a step in the right direction and is long overdue to help stop abuse. I equally believe that anyone who receives any type of state or government assistance (SSI, Link and medical cards, Section 8 programs, etc.) should be mandated to do the same thing periodically to keep whatever they are receiving. After all, we were all created equal.

Mike Coleman

Granite City

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