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Recent “Don’t Punish Pain” (https://dontpunishpainrally.com/) rallies across the country highlight a misguided overreaction to curb opioid use.

There is little question opioids were overprescribed and people have become addicted to their use. Lawsuits are now surging through the courts as government agencies and individuals seek to cash in on this violation of public trust.

But what about the people with severe chronic pain where opioids are the best treatment? Doctors are now receiving government warnings to stop or reduce their prescriptions to patients without agency knowledge of individual cases.

My treasured friend has endured six back surgeries to relieve his severe pain, none of which has worked. This back damage may be related to a case of “The Bends” he suffered during a professional diving accident (causing him to be temporarily paralyzed). He has tried acupuncture and other alternative treatments with no pain relief. Now, because of these warning to his doctors, he is forced to live without sufficient pain medication.

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Measures designed to reduce opioid addictions are likely to force people to seek street drug alternatives or even consider suicide. Meanwhile, some doctors are trying to push back with groups like Doctors with Courage (https://doctorsofcourage.org/).

Most Oregonians believe in death with dignity, but how about life with dignity?

George Ice

Monroe (Oct. 24)

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