In the Washington Times: Painful drug war victory
“Opiophobia” is a term that describes doctors’ increasing unwillingness to prescribe opioid painkillers Ö a class of drugs that includes Vicodin and OxyContin Ö and especially high-dose opioids, to those in pain. This fear is rooted in the DEA’s practice of jailing those doctors it deems are prescribing outside “legitimate medical standards.” […]
Call it “opiophobia,” call it a “chilling effect,” or simply, doctors behaving rationally, the result is the same: massive underprescription of opioids and radical undertreatment of pain. A Stanford study puts the number of undermedicated chronic pain patients at about 50 percent. According to the American Pain Society, fewer than 50 percent of cancer patients receive sufficient pain relief.