Continuing one of my stories last summer, I reported Sunday that people are still having a hard time finding doctors to treat chronic pain. And doctors are still wondering what’s legal.
It’s safe to say nearly all doctors in the Miami Valley have stopped prescribing strong pain medication for fear of showing up on the radar of some Attorney General investigation.
A lot of patients and — as judging by a doctors’ conference Sunday afternoon, a lot of docs — are angry about the lack of clarity in how the law’s enforced. Ohio is at the epicenter of a national crisis of painkiller availability brought on by a heavy-handed war on the drugs’ abuse. While I broke the news last summer, Radley Balko, a national human rights reporter, is currently reporting a series on the problem. Find the first two articles here and here.
Mind you, we’re talking about a totally legitimate need for medication. These people have full documentation of some horrendous injury and, in most cases, have tried physical therapy and/or non-pill pain interventions. In other words, they’re taking a proper dose for documented symptoms and they’re not selling the stuff.
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