Whenever it comes to a controversial issue, I always ask myself: Who benefits? In most cases, it’s not all that hard to figure it out. But sometimes, it seems like everyone will benefit.
Take, for instance, the opioid guidelines put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Everyone is better off when there are clear guidelines for doctors to follow for prescribing dangerous and addictive drugs. Great, right? We’ll have fewer people abusing opioids, right?
Unfortunately, some people dealing with chronic pain or painful diseases, such as psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or complex regional pain syndrome, are forced to experience life without the drugs that dull their pain enough to carry out everyday tasks.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 12 million people misused prescription opioids in 2015, the last year such estimates were made. It seems clear that something needs to be done to prevent the over-prescribing and abuses of these powerful narcotics. The guidelines set up by the CDC were established to help to curb this dangerous epidemic.
Opioids are powerful drugs, often used in pain relief therapies. The most well-known opioid is morphine. They are particularly good at reducing or eliminating pain, especially chronic pain. However, opioids are believed to be addicting and can easily be overused and otherwise abused.
However, there are millions of Americans living with severe chronic pain every day who need some form of relief. The idea of the guidelines is good, but how do we determine whose needs justify the use of opioids?