Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Sun on Drugs

Interesting piece in the Sun yesterday on 'Hillbilly Heroin' or Oxycontin, to use its proper name. This is a prescription painkiller used for very severe pain that has come to be abused by people looking for a chemical high. The article was quite critical of the drug and of the company that manufactures it, and threw in some celebrates to spice things up. This is a human interest story in a tabloid after all. What they didn't do was try and find anyone who takes Oxycontin for medical reasons and ask for their opinion. Well, let me give you mine, because I take it for pain associated with my brush with cancer. When I was at my worst Oxycontin was the difference between me being able to walk and being immobilised through pain. Today it ensures that I live a pain-free life. There are no side effects that anyone can detect, and if you know anything about medication for serious pain you will know that such drugs often have nasty side-effects. Bottom line: Oxycontin is effective and, if you don't abuse it, safe.

There is certainly a problem with this stuff in the US, but this kind of article can lead to ill-informed decision-making. In this case that could mean cancer patients living, and dying, in agony.

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