Monday, January 24, 2011

I could not agree more

From Matt Yglesias:

Opioid addiction is bad, and it’s perfectly reasonable for policymakers to try to minimize its incidence. But short of dying, experiencing chronic pain is one of the worst things that can happen to someone. The correct ordering of priorities is to try to make sure that nobody suffering from treatable chronic pain goes untreated, and then try to minimize addiction risks within that framework. The view that people suffering pain should get relief subject to the binding constraint that we need to fight addiction has a nice Puritan logic to it, but it doesn’t make any real sense.

I have been enjoying Matt's comments on pain medication. The ability to relieve pain is one of the miracles of modern medicine and one that should not be squandered. There are always going to be limitations to any system but it is odd that we don't focus on those in need of pain relief first and abuse second.

After all, we don't ban driving just because some driver's are reckless or irresponsible.

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