The arrogant, know-it-all federal bureaucracy
The following quote is typical of the arrogant, know-it-all federal bureaucracy. Rant to follow.
"We still have too many people getting medicine at too high a level and for too long."
Right. You know this because you know every case intimately. Sure.
Look, are there serious problems with opioid prescriptions that have caused suffering and addictions? Are there doctors who have been sloppy in the way they prescribed opioid painkillers? Are there unethical "candyman" doctors who people go to in order to feed their addictions, instead of for legitimate chronic pain?
Sloppy and negligent doctors should be disciplined by the appropriate medical boards. Unethical "candyman" doctors should be disciplined, and criminally prosecuted if that is necessary.
But the statement from the Centers for Disease Control that I quoted above is a political analysis, not a medical one. There is simply no way to know that without independent doctors (not politicians and bureaucrats) looking at each individual case and determining whether or not the prescriptions were necessary to control pain, or whether those prescriptions were sloppy or even reckless.
It is obvious (or should be obvious) that the best person to decide what pain medication is appropriate and what level is appropriate is the doctor who deals directly with the patient, not a federal government bureaucrat and certainly not a politician. This needs to be solved with a scalpel, not a sledge hammer.
The bottom line is this: I simply do not trust the federal government on this matter. I trust individual doctors. We should not make doctors terrified to treat people who are in agonizing pain.