Opinion

08/03: What you’re saying – Lori M. Jones, Michael Thomas Whittingham

Make pain treatment accessible

The United States is currently in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic of opioid misuse, costing 15,000 lives and $55 billion in health care expenditures annually, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

In response to this crisis, federal and state agencies have launched various efforts to address the issue, including initiatives targeting opioid prescription practices and improving access to naloxone, a life-saving opioid reversal medication, in at-risk communities.

Racial and ethnic disparities in pain management in the United States have been examined for decades, and the preponderance of evidence reports that individuals that identify as black or Hispanic are more likely to be undertreated for pain than their white counterparts.

As awareness of inappropriate opioid use expands, care must be taken to ensure that those patients unable to access adequate pain control prior to the epidemic do not find their access to appropriate care diminished in its wake.

Pain is a complex patient experience, intricately linked with physical and mental health and overall quality of life, and caregivers must do what can be done to optimize each. Standardizing pain assessment and management may both diminish inappropriate use and ensure that all patients receive quality care.

Lori M. Jones

Chapel Hill

Step aside on insurance

Has anyone seen Jonathan Gruber's (author of Obamacare) statements?

He said the health care bill was passed because quote, “the American people are stupid.”

Here's an idea, how about the government steps aside and let its citizens shop for their own insurance?

Michael Thomas Whittingham

Roxboro

What you’re saying

Please send up to 250 words to letters@heraldsun.com. All submissions, online comments and posts on editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook page may be edited for space and clarity.

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