Doctor’s Diary November 8, 2017: The other pain reliever

(Snippets from the frontline)

The other pain reliever

My pain management patients use opiates (DEA “Schedule 2”) to make it through the day.  I don’t see any of them abusing their medication.

A decade ago, doctors were legally required to aggressively treat patients in pain. Now, we are publicly shamed and forced to minimize medication while new laws let legitimate pain patients suffer.

We are familiar with another efficacious pain reliever, marijuana and its derivatives, but pharmaceutical companies have vigorously lobbied to keep this competitor from public use.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle have habitually accepted money to protect these companies.  Marijuana is classified “Schedule 1” along with heroin, LSD, and peyote limiting medical research.

My pain management patients use marijuana and get relief…and aren’t addicted.  It is safer than opiates but a federal crime to use and dispense.  Yet, as a doctor, I still want evidence-based research so I can wisely optimize control of patient discomfort.

The war on opiates should legislatively begin by changing marijuana to a “Schedule 2” drug. 

But the first battle will be to rehabilitate politicians from their own addiction to monies coming from pharmaceutical companies.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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