JEFFREY SINGER: Let’s Stop the Hysterical Rhetoric About the Opioid Crisis.
If these numbers appear implausible or like they are missing some context, it’s because they are. And the Administration’s resorting to hyperbole creates an atmosphere of panic that is likely to lead to policies that will only make matters worse.
Let’s start with the context-dropping. What does the governor mean by “medicated?” To a practitioner “medicated” means being treated with a medicine in order to achieve a desired result. Does that mean one 5mg oxycodone tablet every 4 hours (6 per day) for 21 days? Some patients are prescribed two 5mg tablets every 6 hours. Or is he talking about 7.5 or 10 mg oxycodone tablets? Maybe he means hydrocodone. That also comes in 5mg, 7.5mg, and 10mg doses and is sometimes prescribed every 4 hours but sometimes every 6 hours. Then there’s hydromorphone (dilaudid), oxycontin, and let’s not forget codeine.
CARTOONS | Jerry Holbert
The point is, millions of Americans have genuine, medically necessary reasons to be taking opioids. They make up the vast majority of opioid users and it doesn’t make sense to lump them into the opioid crisis.
No, but big numbers mean big press and big funding.