I have really bad teeth, the kind that periodically erupt into week-long spasms of tortuous pain that the over-the-counter analgesics just can't touch. When the big hurt is on, I have been known to call my dentist's home phone number in the middle of the night to beg for a prescription of Vicodin, the only thing he can prescribe that brings relief from the torment.
Part of my dental problem may be that I grind my teeth furiously when watching really, really stupid mainstream media reports in which the anchorette nearly dislocates her neck in nodding in agreement with some Obama appointee making an extremely ill thought out assertion that from the liberal cosmopolitan anchorette point of view sounds just like the most brilliant conventional wisdom she ever heard.
The source of excruciating tooth pain on April 20th issued from Diane Sawyer of ABC News interviewing Obama drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, who had put out a report on the abuse of prescription pain medication in America. Gil was peddling the idea that maybe Vicodin should never be prescribed for dental pain and Oxycontin never prescribed for soft tissue back pain. Drug czar Gil was peddling these ideas because he has been absolutely ineffective at stemming the importation and use of illegal drugs, so why not switch the subject to a much easier task and crusade to absolutely stop doctors and dentists from "over prescribing" pain meds to us ordinary citizens?
To accompany this report, ABC provided a sob-snippet of a wasted looking young lady who once was a concert violinist but who developed shoulder pain and became addicted to Vicodin, taking as many as 78 a day and selling her violin to support her habit. Kerlikowske added the pearl of wisdom that in the USA we consume 80% of all the prescription pain killers in the world, which he thinks is too much.
Bobble head Diane just went crazy over that statement, nodding in serious agreement. Why, how dare the USA consume such a disproportionate amount of the world's pain killers, it just isn't fair! By the end of the report she was putting forth the suggestion that Americans just need to suck it up and fight the pain from bad teeth and healing broken bones with nothing more than the relief that aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetominephen can provide.
Frankly, I don't care that maybe 5% of those who are prescribed Vicodin are prone to substance abuse and are idiots. That is their problem. When I was in the very worst of my pain I took 7 Vicodin in one day, the next day 3, and since then the bottle sits half full in the medicine cabinet. I have a friend who suffers tremendously from back pain and controls it the same responsible way with Oxycontin. She is not Rush Limbaugh. Why should she suffer tremendous unrelenting torment because he was an idiot?
Why should the great majority of patients suffer like the damned because maybe 5% of those given prescriptions are idiots? The argument that 80% of the prescription pain meds sold in the world go to the US is also extremely specious and deserves to be answered with a hearty "So what!" First of all, in many countries you can legally buy some pretty good stuff to deal with your pain without a prescription. Second of all, I absolutely despise arguments based on the premise that the US is using too much of something. It is the duty of other nations to catch up in such deficient areas and then maybe all their citizens will not want to abandon them and sneak across our border.
Lastly, if dunces Sawyer and Kerlikowske (now on his way to becoming Police Chief of Chicago) succeed in inflicting worse-than-waterboarding torture on us innocent American citizens through restricting use of drugs we really need, what do they propose to do in the instance of medical marijuana? Is that going to be OK?