Letter: On opiate regulations – Anchorage Daily News

I heartily agree with Pat Dougherty’s commentary about the war on drugs. The opiate regulations are so complicated that most doctors now refuse to prescribe them, instead referring these patients to pain doctors who know little of their history. The pain doctors are focused entirely on doing procedures and patients needing only opiates for legitimate medical needs have to look around to find one that will take them as patients.  
If they find one, they now have one more doctor whose computer system they will have to learn and navigate, and with some of these doctors they will face constant pressure to have an expensive procedure. They will probably be treated like criminals, forced to come in for an office appointment every month just to give a urine specimen for drug testing.  As to those who are illegally using opioids, they are dying at a high rate from illegal drugs that are laced with fentanyl. Portugal decriminalized opioids a few years ago and the death rate from opioid overdose has fallen 75%! It’s time we did the same.
— Joan Bundtzen, M.D.
Anchorage
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