Pubdate: Sun, 20 Mar 2016
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Los Angeles Times
Author: Gene Uzawa Dorio


Re "U. S. urges doctors to rethink use of opioid painkillers," 
Opinion, March 16

The blame for opioid painkiller abuse now goes from recreational 
users to doctors. How about the pharmaceutical companies peddling 
their drugs throughout the media?

The federal recommendations leave a void in treatment for many 
chronic pain suffers in claiming that over-the-counter medication 
could do the job. Academic physicians don't appreciate the liver and 
kidney problems associated with these so-called benign medications 
that I see as a practicing physician.

The elephant in the room is that this void can be filled with the use 
of a natural, less addictive herb: cannabis. Yes, marijuana and its 
many forms could be the intermediate pain reliever we are seeking.

We must get over our "reefer madness" and better explore the use of 
marijuana as a pain reliever. I have never seen this become a gateway 
drug for my middle- age or elderly patients. Of course, we must 
remain vigilant when it comes to use by younger people who might be 
more susceptible to influence by their peers.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, MD Santa Clarita
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