Pubdate: Sun, 25 Sep 2005
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2005 Johnson Newspaper Corp.
Author: Larry Seguin


To The Editor:

Not long ago, chronic pain patients trusted their doctors to prescribe
the medicines they needed to live a normal, pain-free life.

Attorneys general from 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto
Rico say those days are now gone; that to protect themselves from
federal agents, America's physicians are shortchanging their patients.
In a letter sent to Washington earlier this year and signed by all 31
attorneys general, a solid case was laid out against the federal Drug
Enforcement Administration.

"The drug war has become a war on doctors who dare to competently and
adequately treat pain," (Dr. Joel Hochman, founder and executive
director of the National Foundation for the treatment of pain).

A deeper, sadder issue to the drug war on doctors is the decaying of
personal freedom in our private lives. They likely have checked the
records of every doctor in St. Lawrence County to make sure there was
no over-prescribing.

Do you think this was limited to just Medicaid patients?

Was it just limited to pain medicine? We are being monitored for any
cold medicine we use that has pseudoephedrine! If the DEA shuts down a
doctor's practice because a patient or two has fooled him about their
addiction, what 's next? Shut down a bar for serving an alcoholic?
Shut down a casino for taking a bet from an addicted gambler?

Our personal medical records take precedence over tons of cocaine
coming through Mexico from Colombia, and tons of heroin being
processed in Afghanistan.

The drug war has put more US citizens in prison than communist
countries and hasn't slowed the flow of illegal drugs.

The press conference did and excellent job of convicting the doctor
with characterizing phrases. 'Drug dealer', 'favors of sex', 'huge
amounts', 'drug addiction on part of the practitioner', and 'Several
deaths may have resulted [ ] but proving would be difficult'.

The letter "Prescription Drugs" by Patricia Wagnar, Madrid, summed it
up well when she stated it might in fact cost the taxpayers more in
St. Lawrence County.

The patients that need the pain relief of taxed, regulated Oxycontin
would look for untaxed, black-market Oxycontin or the next best thing
untaxed, unregulated heroin; more jail cells and task forces would be
needed. The DEA would have more work cut out for them.

Larry Seguin

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin