The New Painkiller Panic

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Part two of my three-part series for Huffington Post is now online.

It takes a skeptical look at the new overdose/abuse figures the federal government is touting, and points out that the problems we’re seeing today with pill mills and strip-mall clinics are the result of overly protective drug control policies. And they’re the same sorts of policies opioid critics are now saying need to be expanded and strengthened in response to the latest panic.

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3 Responses to “The New Painkiller Panic”

  1. #1 |  a_random_guy | 

    One does the cause of reason no good by going to the other extreme of absurdity.

    For example: “undertreated pain a ‘public health crisis’ that affects 116 million Americans”. Do you really believe that 1 in 3 Americans require prescription pain medicine? Really? Such exaggerated claims make the reader regard the rest of your article with skepticism.

  2. #2 |  Radley Balko | 

    That’s over the course of their lives, not all right now.

    And it’s from a peer-reviewed study published by the Institute of Medicine, not a number I made up, or a number from some group with an agenda.

  3. #3 |  Bren | 

    You know I had the same reaction to the 116M figure as the previous commentator, but that explanation makes more sense. All 300 million of us don’t get to end our lives as painlessly as being stepped on by an elephant while making love.

    By the way, your reporting on Richard Paey deserves higher praise than I can offer. Please keep reporting on this issue. There are still people behind bars who could be pardoned if people become more aware.