War against opioids ignores those in pain

To the editor:

I read the story (“City boosts mental health effort,” June 3, A3) about mental health and the five signs of emotional suffering. I offer a sixth sign: constant unremitting pain.

In the “war” against opioid use, federal government law enforcement seems to forget about people whose only recourse for freedom of pain is Vicodin or a similar opioid.

Persons with kidney disease who cannot take NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) which will further damage kidneys or acetaminophen which — if taken in large enough doses to relieve pain — can also damage the liver. These people need just a few pain killers a day. They are not going to turn to heroin or build a meth lab. And let’s face it. No one really cares about opioid use per se. They are worried that someone who takes them will turn into a heroin or other drug addict and commit crimes.

Being in constant pain, knowing there will never be any relief in sight, will certainly cause mental distress. Every doctor in Greenfield and (elsewhere, I suppose) is afraid to prescribe an opioid pain killer because the federal government will be all over him/her. I think this war against seeking pain relief has been carried too far.

Diane Brow

Greenfield