In response to Mr. Sanville's opinion piece in New Times' Jan. 17 edition ("Wanting pain to go away isn't a crime"), yes, there are many legitimate needs for pain medications that I do not think many providers in today's "ultra-sensitive-to-addiction" world consider when clients come to them for treatment of legitimate chronic pain. There are those who abuse narcotic drugs, but with the new CURES tracking computer system in place in California, those individuals can now be tracked and legitimately told "no." But for many, chronic pain day in and day out wears an individual down and often leads to even worse outcomes for the patient.
As over-prescribing pain medication is addressed in our communities and in our state, the individual with chronic pain who has shown a history of need should not be punished for their pain because doctors are afraid of sanctions for prescribing pain medications to treat a legitimate need. Nor should the individual be stigmatized by society. Bravo Mr. Sanville for making a valid point often overlooked in our zeal to correct a problem we created.
Dr. Joanne Smith