Painful Admission

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Sally Satel had a nice essay in yesterday's New York Times on the conflict between drug control and pain control. The problem is familiar to Reason readers (Sally quotes Maia Szalavitz's piece on pain doctor prosecutions, which appeared in our August/September issue), but it's encouraging that the Times chose to run something like this. Sally even mentions the mysterious disappearance of the DEA's painkiller pamphlet. Of course, the Times has a history of bemoaning the undertreatment of pain, then banging the drum for the sort of crackdown that makes doctors leery of prescribing opioids.

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  1. The first essay states as fact: “No one questions that abuse of opiate painkillers is a problem.”
    I do! Will someone please explain to me why it’s my problem if other people abuse narcotics? Why should I care? Why is it a problem that anyone needs to solve?(and don’t bring up “costs to society” or the issue of stuff people do while impaired unless you’re ready to ban alcohol too!)

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