I just watched a TV news story.. increasing prescribed use of pharmaceutical opioids in USA. Most of these drugs are being prescribed to older people, supposedly with ‘chronic pain’ (arthritis etc.). One doctor said that prior to 1990s, opioids were only prescribed for short-term severe pain relief or palliative care for people with terminal illness etc. Many of the patients are now using them, on an ongoing basis (several times a day).. often suffering severe side effects & addiction (as a direct result). One patient stated that the drug was reducing in effectiveness & as a result she was increasing her doses. A man stated that a family member had been prescribed opioids & had developed depression. She took the pills ‘as required; to treat her condition’, BUT had now passed away; apparently from ‘overdose’ ?
They interviewed a doctor, who is a ‘leading specialist’.. who apparently was being paid by a large pharmaceutical company to give ‘talks’ to the profession. He was reportedly/allegedly ‘strongly recommending’ the use of these opioids (Oxycontin etc.). The company that was ‘funding him’ have reportedly, made massive profits, in recent years.
I thought that doctors pledged to ‘do NO harm !’.. yet they still cannot prescribe, less addictive & milder drugs for pain relief in many countries/jurisdictions (ie CANNABIS) 😦
I keep hearing, that at the heart of ‘Drug policy’, is harm minimisation.. this sounded more like: ‘Legalised Drug Harm’ or even maximisation !