Letter: Opioid crisis restrictions don’t consider everyone


Regarding the April 6, 2019 South Whidbey Record article on the opioid crisis.

I understand the nation’s opioid crisis is devastating, but let me give you a view of what has happened to people who genuinely need opioids to be able to function day to day.

You’re 80 years old, five joint replacements, every other joint in your body, including your hands, are consumed with arthritis, you take heart meds that stress your liver so you are not allowed to take anti-inflammatories.

You go to physical therapy three times a week in an attempt to keep your mobility.

You cannot get out of bed nor live your limited daily life without three oxycodone a day.

This amount was found by two years of trying tramadol — no help — and hydrocodone — some relief but not enough.

The three oxycodone a day give you enough pain relief so you can function in a limited capacity.

However, to get the three oxycodone a day, you must travel to a pain clinic in Everett, be made to feel like you are trying to fool the doctor into giving you drugs you don’t need.

You are made to feel like a criminal. You are constantly harassed into lowering the dose you take.

You’ve tried cutting down to two, but the pain is unbearable. You take urine tests to make sure you’re not cheating, and you are given a prescription for 28 days worth of oxycodone at a time.

This is my husband’s life.

Doctors, even pain clinic docs, are constantly pressured into prescribing fewer opioids. Everett Clinic prides itself in exceeding the recommendations of the feds, meaning they prescribe fewer opioids.

What the new opioid laws did not take into account are patients like my husband.

There should be some provision where a doctor can certify a patient like my husband exempt from the strict laws.

Yes, some doctors would abuse this, so make it so that two doctors from separate organizations must certify.

Surely there is a way to make a person’s last years a little easier.

Donna L. Taylor


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