The opioid epidemic: the result of bad judgment by recreational users, lawmakers, and do-gooders. Using drugs to relieve chronic pain for incurable ailments is a necessary evil. Efforts must be made to educate users about the dark side of addiction. However, it must be understood that the user becoming a drug abuser is literally a life or death decision and their responsibility alone. Recreational users are almost a lost cause from the beginning, the best you can hope for is they will get busted and realize how stupid and dangerous it is before it kills them. Do-gooders read sad stories in the paper or see a tearful mother or wife on TV and the typical knee-jerk reaction is that opiates are bad, should be banned, or usage has to be reduced drastically. They contact a gullible politician who’ll gladly support the cause and try to pass legislation to curtail use by the poor misguided user. Suddenly, the user who is well-informed and aware of the dangers of drug use is suffering chronic pain because Medicaid cut his pill prescription from 3 pills a day to 1 and only 15 per month. The do-gooder and lawmaker is patting themselves on the back because they did something to make a difference. Actually, they turned a law-abiding citizen into a criminal because now they have to try to find drugs on the street to relieve the pain. Do this to somebody at Guantanamo, you’d be up on charges for war crimes.
Bill Cross, Caseyville
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