Caught in the crossfire of the drug war

Oxycontin is almost a Janus-like drug. One face is beneficient; an incredibly powerful painkiller, the salvation of many people suffering tremendous pain — often dying. The other face is malefic, as the “hillbilly heroin” snarls countless people in its addictive web, driving them to increasing acts of crime and desperation to obtain their fix.

The increasing popularity of “Oxy” among addicts has led many pharmacies to simply stop carrying it, only special-ordering it when a patient presents a prescription — or refusing to order it at all.

That’s the situation Evelyn Daniel finds herself in. Just released from the hospital after a mastectomy, she took her prescription for Oxycontin down to her local pharmacy — and was told to just grit her teeth and bear the pain of having her breast cut off and rebuilt for 24 hours while the pharmacy got her the medication. She called around, trying to see if any pharmacy could fill it faster, and was repeatedly denied — one refused to even discuss it over the phone.

I don’t have a ready answer for this one, but it outrages me that simply because some people abuse the drug, we deny it to everyone — even those like Ms. Daniel, who desperately need its benefit.

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