Letters: Doctors are caught in the middle on opioid prescriptions

Re “Letters: Legitimate opioid uses” (sacbee.com, Jan 23): I’m truly sorry for letter writer Glen L. Griffitts and especially his wife, who’s suffering needlessly due to recent restrictions on prescribing opioids. However, he surmises that doctors who refuse to give her the pain medication she needs fear possible inquiry by regulating officials. In fact, the California Medical Board will revoke the license of any physician who doesn’t comply with new guidelines. Ironically, in the early 2000s, this same board mandated that California physicians complete a course aimed at reducing untreated pain. Needless to say, the makers of Norco and Oxycodone did little to sound the alarm. The new guidelines are a blunt instrument, driven in part by politics. They’ll leave people such as Mrs. Griffitts in pain, and do little to stem the tide of illegal fentanyl that’s so dangerous. Let’s hope the pendulum swings back to a more reasonable middle, with room for medication contracts and other tools proven to help people on chronic opioid medication. The rest of us, who live free of pain, should withhold judgment from those who do, and thank our lucky stars.

Nancy Zepf, Sacramento