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Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter

Dear Senator Nelson,

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In my practice, I regularly deal with patients affected by chronic pain. Chronic pain is a serious condition that requires considerable effort to be managed appropriately. Patients affected by the condition are known to experience a major deterioration in the quality of life (Dueñas, Ojeda, Salazar, Mico, & Failde, 2016). Also, chronic pain has a detrimental effect on the immediate surroundings of sufferers, with family members and close relatives being the first to feel the impact. It would be safe to say that chronic pain is a major detriment to the social aspect of a person’s life. Finally, it should be pointed out that chronic pain management is a relatively expensive process, resulting in considerable healthcare expenses. Considering the fact that approximately 30 percent of the population in the U.S. suffer from the condition, the public health implications become apparent.

Historically, chronic pain management was done with the help of pharmaceuticals. Opioids remain among the most popular choices among contemporary clinicians due to their efficiency and ease of use (Duarte & Raphael, 2014). The latest evidence suggests that non-pharmaceutical interventions can enhance and, in some cases, substitute the effect of opioid-based medications. Nevertheless, in at least some cases, the practice is not applicable.

Bill 93-22 is intended to shorten the duration of the initial prescription of opioids to five days. The rationale behind the decision is the highly addictive nature of the drug. The passage of the bill is expected to decrease the exposure of new users to the medication and, by extension, reduce the number of new opioid addicts, who constitute another major detriment to public health. However, it is also important to understand that such a description of the effect is misleading. While the shortened limit of opioid painkiller prescriptions may reduce the number of new addicts, it does not address the issue of existing addicts. At the same time, the latter factor is responsible for most adverse health effects associated with the addiction. In other words, the bill addresses the issue of deteriorating public health only partially and targets the least threatened segment of the population.

Another expected effect on the population of interest is the reduction in pain management efficiency. While the non-pharmaceutical methods of pain management are already considered an acceptable and relatively effective means of pain reduction, they lack the immediacy of the effect that is often necessary for patients with severe chronic pain cases. Also, opioid-based painkillers are easy to apply, whereas non-pharmaceutical interventions require considerable concentration and patient training. While opioids are criticized as an oversimplified solution, they also provide quick and effective relief necessary for some situations.

Considering the information above, I urge you to disapprove of the bill in question. However, I agree that regulation may be an effective way to address the problem. Thus, I suggest supporting the legislation that would promote responsible decision-making by the clinicians prescribing the opioid-based pain management course. Instead of imposing a universal restriction, it would be more reasonable to equip the stakeholders with knowledge on possible risks of developing the addiction due to an inappropriate prescription.

In its current form, bill 93-22 addresses the issue of opioid addiction in a piecemeal fashion by focusing on preventing future cases. Also, it compromises an effective and, in some cases, necessary method of pain management. Thus, I suggest disapproving of the bill and instead support the legislation promoting responsible decision-making.

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References

Duarte, R., & Raphael, J. (2014). The pros and cons of long-term opioid therapy. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, 28(3), 308-310.

Dueñas, M., Ojeda, B., Salazar, A., Mico, J. A., & Failde, I. (2016). A review of chronic pain impact on patients, their social environment and the health care system. Journal of Pain Research, 9, 457-467.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 25). Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/opioid-drug-regulation-legislative-letter/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 25). Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter. https://studycorgi.com/opioid-drug-regulation-legislative-letter/

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"Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter." StudyCorgi, 25 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/opioid-drug-regulation-legislative-letter/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter." November 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/opioid-drug-regulation-legislative-letter/.


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StudyCorgi. "Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter." November 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/opioid-drug-regulation-legislative-letter/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter." November 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/opioid-drug-regulation-legislative-letter/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Opioid Drug Regulation: Legislative Letter'. 25 November.

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