By John Peters

February 26, 2014

To the Editor,

Regarding prescription drug use, it is so easy to get drugs the legal way. There was a time when you didn’t hear of morphine or pain patches unless someone was in the hospice home on their death bed so they wouldn’t have to die in pain. Now if you have a back ache or restless leg, or just in minor pain, you have a prescription for the same thing as a dying cancer patient.

These pain clinics call it managing your pain but why do you have to manage something that you don’t need anyway. It is so easy to get these pills and our youth are destroying themselves because of it. Until we as a community stand together and make it harder to get a hold of, people are going to continue to die.

There is several ways to address these issues and begin to help fix the problem instead of turning a blind eye as we see these good people go downhill. One way to get a grip on this situation would be for the insurance companies to quit paying for these medicines. The hospitals and places like the hospice home should only have control of medicines this strong. There is no excuse for a 22-year-old boy to be in the hospital with 5 percent function of his kidneys and needing open heart surgery or any excuse for parents to lose two kids within the same year as each other.

We didn’t have to face these problems growing up because these drugs were not accessible. It is time we take a stand and do something about it instead of talking about how sad it is while sitting on our couch making comments on the latest please pray for facebook status. I understand there are some pills needed for pain but if you are in enough pain that you need oxy, morphine, and anything stronger than Tramadol, then you need it administered in a hospital.

The pain clinic makes people bring in their empty packets but people are still selling these drugs on the street. The only thing they have to do is get the buyer to give them back the empty packets and they take them back to the clinic like they have taken them. This is just more proof that they don’t need the high powered medicine to begin with.

Another thing, if the people do need these drugs that bad, then they should have to go to the clinic everyday and get their dose, never bringing anything home with them. If you are in a bad car wreck or other major accidents, it should be fine to have a prescription for around 30 days while you heal but after that, they should stop. All this stuff does is cause addiction and my belief with pain medicine is that it makes you high so you don’t know the pain. It’s not like it takes it away. Take something lower before the pain gets so bad and you will be just fine.

In my job, I see all of the people addicted to drugs and it is sad. Families are suffering, our children are suffering, and the drug companies are getting rich. I know that there is a group of people that are trying to help with prescription drug use but as everything else, people get busy and stop working so hard for the cause. I am just asking that the community come together and make Surry County a place that is full of healthy respectable individuals. I have seen this firsthand and know all the pain and misery it brings.

Please don’t wait until it is one of your own before you want to make a stand. Trust me, it will be too late. Let’s make a stand now, today before anyone else loses a child, a mother, a father, or a friend due to such senseless acts.

Tamrin Linville

Mount Airy