Providing safer opioids to people who use drugs is the opposite of “giving up” on them

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  • Robert Casaletto says:

    I have in the past been a functional addict. Opiates was my drug of choice. I had a very successful screen printing and embroidery business with 25 employees and customers, through Reebok and Adidas, as in NHL, NBA, and NFL. Unfortunately the wreckage of the past caught me on the fly. A carrier of Hep C matured into an Interferon 8 month stint in bed. I have dealt with pain since in my early 30’s. It is very difficult for a Doctor in the U.S. to prescribe me an opioid. I would be very functional and have a higher quality of life with this rather than the non effective and high risk of side effects caused by meds such as Gabapentin. Now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s at age 71 I am soon to be sentenced to a life of diapers and a wheel chair while being decimated from Alzheimer’s. I am tired of going to a Doctor and being treated as an addict before treatment as a patient. If I wanted to get high there are enough street drugs to have at it. I have a sobriety date of December 20, 1988. Would it be feasible for me to move to Canada where there may be a higher quality and standard between a Doctor/Patient relationship. I have Scoliosis, serious cartilage loss in all my bone joints. Lower lumbar discs are a mess. I guess what I’m doing is begging for answers that will at least allow me some living rewards.

  • paul says:

    I will say if there were not a few that depend on me and that includes my pets friends and family. Along with so far only one doctor that got me onto a long acting pain medication. Chances are I would have died a few years ago, as there is more concern about what people are taking. Instead of their health and why they are taking it. The solution is working with people to solve the problem, as people that are in a workable and effective program usually do not take things they are not prescribed or end their life to end the suffering.

  • paul says:

    That is a good idea, as many including myself do have a very difficult time getting medications for severe pain. I have medically verified problems that cause my pain. Without such medications I would not be able to function even at a minimal level. Problem is that in our society we have far too many doctors and other medical professionals that give up too soon when people have medical problems that are painfull and life threatening. This forces many to either choose to die or find medications themselves for their problems. I have also an immulgloblin g diffency that causes me to never get over infections in my sinuses and chest. Then I have to either take care of it myself or go to a doctor each week. The pain medication problem is that quite often doctors do not believe people are in as much pain as they are and are only seeking drugs. When the pain is so much that death looks better than life with what is available we have the situation that we have now with all the deaths as a result. To many doctors and those in government that are never second guessed about how they are actually feeling they think that just because people get medications elsewhere they are only abusing them. This is giving up on people at its worst. This is how the usa is where it is cheaper to get help from drug dealers for many than to get help from medical professionals. That is because such people are not able to afford the tests or have the time available with dealing with life in so many other ways that they are unable to get help with medical providers. I am finding more and more that the people in the world enjoy causing the suffering of others and make up excuses all the time and more laws to only make the problem worse. Doctors and others cant feel the pain so they have no real idea of what most people are going through. I decided that I do not want a child of mine to suffer as I do, so I have no children my parents would have liked to have grand children but it is just not going to happen.

  • anon says:

    A question: Are there more problems from people directly using synthetic opioids that cause overdoses, or using other drugs that are (unknown to them) laced with synthetic opioids? I have seen data that the majority of heroin is now being found to be laced with fentanyl, and even marijuana can have fentanyl and cause overdose. Am wondering how much of the overdose crisis/epidemic this new dispensing system will address. And how to address the lacing of other drugs with these deadly synthetics?

    • paul says:

      The problem that I see myself is that when people are unable to know how strong a drug is, the situation only ends badly. That is why people should have a government make sure they are getting the proper dosage. However some pain medication such as hydrocodone have a very short active half life usually about 2 to 3 hours. They are prescribed this and only prescribed one pill every 8 hours leaving them in severe pain most of the time. This problem is easy to solve but too many that are in control of the system refuse to even realize the problem of constant severe pain with short times of relief is the problem. If people in chronic pain are on a constant dose that allows them enough relief that they are not constantly suffering the problems would not exist and deaths would not be happening in the large numbers we have now.

    • Maryjane says:

      Most definatley the highest risk is people buying adulterated Street opiates such as heroin which now always have fentynal in them or sometimes have no heroin in them. A person utilizing a regulated, unadulterated opiod like Dillaudid is much safer because they know exactly what the dose is and what the drug is. The thing with fentynal is that people can end up with hot spots, which spots in the mix where the fentynal didn’t mix evenly and ends up stronger in one part of the batch then the other.


Max Deschner


Max Deschner is a medical student at the University of Ottawa.

Jonathan Gravel


Jonathan Gravel is an epidemiologist and currently a medical student at the University of Ottawa.

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