Pubdate: Tue, 24 Jul 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Author: Dawn Charouhas
Bookmark: (Oxycontin)


Re "A New 'Worst' Drug Stirs Up the Snoops," Commentary, July 19:

Last year I contracted a virus that caused symptoms similar to an extreme 
case of arthritis. I was hospitalized and on round-the-clock Demerol for 
seven days, weaned to oral Percocet for one day and then sent home by my 
in-hospital doctor with a prescription for Ultram. Over the course of the 
week I had regained some range of motion and had some easing of pain. But 
after three days at home with virtually no real pain relief, I was in as 
much pain as when first admitted to the hospital and had lost most of my 
range of motion.

I went to my own physician, who had been involved in, but not in charge of, 
my in-hospital care. He prescribed OxyContin, and within two days I was 
back to the level of motion I'd had upon leaving the hospital. Without his 
willingness to prescribe opiates, which he firmly believes have an 
important part in medical care, I probably would have ended up back in the 
hospital. There will always be addicts. But opiates must not be unavailable 
to those who need and properly use them.

Dawn Charouhas

Sherman Oaks
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