Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.
There is a crisis. People who are prescribed drugs containing opioids can become addicted to them.
There is a problem. People who receive medical treatment have privacy rights. We don’t know who’s doing the prescribing, who’s doctor-shopping, who’s obtaining prescriptions only to sell them.
There are proposed solutions, but they’re mostly paperwork regulations that have no more effect on real-world issues than putting up a Drug Free Zone sign on a schoolhouse door. More warning labels won’t help: people take the medicine doctors prescribe because we trust doctors. Restricting prescriptions won’t solve the end problem: no doctor prescribes heroin and people who self-medicate their personal problems with drugs will obtain them illegally, as they always have. Adding a new federal registry of sensitive information on individuals – does the word “Equifax” ring any bells?
“Opioid” is simply the new word for “narcotic” which has been a staple in the War on Drugs since Coke took cocaine out of its soft-drink 100 years ago. The problem isn’t the tool, the problem is the tool user.
As with any plan, philosophy, worldview or kind of government – the problem is people.