Given that opiate medications are at the forefront of overdoses, there is something to be said regarding how the medical profession, without wanting to, needs to take some of the responsibility for fueling the system to that ultimate end.

When someone goes to a hospital, emergency room or urgent care for help in dealing with pain, whether that pain is chronic or the result of an accident, he is treated with x-rays and scans, etc. When it comes to treating the pain, people are given what amounts to be a sample of a medication.

Opiates are pain relievers by definition. What is provided may help cope with the pain for a day or so, and a person might be provided with a small refill at a local pharmacy. When the samples and small refill are gone, what to do if there is still pain? The system profiles patients with chronic pain as addicts in the making and they may be denied a refill. Then what?

I believe that the medical profession is running scared when it comes to prescribing opiate medications. They have taken an oath to alleviate pain but they are failing, miserably.

Health care is for everyone, but money often dictates what care a person can expect to receive. That it isn’t saying much about our health care system, is it?

Marc Jalbert, Lewiston

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