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RheumatoidArthritis.net has posted an article with a link concerning the CDC’s new voluntary guidelines for prescribing opiods. I encourage you to review it here: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/news/cdc-releases-guidelines-for-prescribing-opioids-for-chronic-pain/comment-page-1/#comment-9800.

Below is the comment I left in response to this article. This is a very polarizing subject with many perspectives. I encourage you to make your voice heard in the conversation.

I can only think of people who, like my brother, suffer from intense pain to the point of immobility. He is confined to a wheelchair and, being alone, is dependent on the kindness of friends to drive him many miles to see his doctors. Depriving him of the only medication that brings him any relief or making it even more difficult to obtain is cruel and unusual punishment.

I can only imagine the pain of the 28,000 people who died in 2014 due to opioids. However, these guidelines offer no assurance of addressing these statistics while they have every indication of impeding those who desperately need the drugs.

I do not want to diminish the terrible toll of the 28,000 deaths, but when numbers are used to make a statement, I think it is important to put them in context. Below are the cause-of-death statistics for 2014 from the CDC’s website. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm Opioid-related deaths don’t make the list. In the interest of saving the most lives with the limited resources afforded the CDC, perhaps they should concentrate their efforts on one of these causes that claimed the lives hundreds of thousands of Americans in 2014.

•Heart disease: 611,105
•Cancer: 584,881
•Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
•Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,557
•Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,978
•Alzheimer’s disease: 84,767
•Diabetes: 75,578
•Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979
•Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 47,112
•Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149