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Prescription drugs, landlines and more in Tuesday's Forum

Staff Report • Jul 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I read the article about prescription drug abuse in the paper July 7. I think there is a stigma against patients who must take narcotic pain medicine on a regular basis. Yes, there is abuse and there will always be abuse, but not everybody who takes narcotics is an abuser. As I get older, many of my friends are having serious health problems — not of their own making — that require some of them to take prescription narcotics. Most of the non-narcotic medicine they were prescribed didn’t help their pain issues and their quality of life was impaired. As long as a patient takes the medicine exactly as it’s prescribed they should be able to get it. Also, it is not up to a pharmacist to determine if a patient needs pain medicine. It is up to the doctor, who is the one who really knows the patient’s health history and reason for having to take narcotic pain medicine. CHARLOTTE ZOE ROBERTSJohnson CityNarcotics for painI read the story in the Press under the headline, “Reducing the abuse,” about prescription drug abuse. Although it is an important issue, there are two sides to this story. In my life and career — working as a professional in a nursing home — I often saw patients, mostly elderly, suffering needless pain and often dying in pain because their physicians wouldn’t prescribe narcotic pain pills. Have any of the folks on this drug prevention team ever suffered from terrible chronic pain or been in a car accident or had a major surgery? There are so many people who are limited in what they can take for pain, and opiates are the only effective option for them. My dear mother, who doesn’t smoke or drink, must take opiates almost every day now because of her many pain issues. Her physician promised her she wouldn’t allow her to suffer — ever. Her physician is also the head geriatric physician at a large hospital in another state. She’s very respected and very knowledgeable in treating people with chronic pain issues. Thank God for doctors like her.Also, what about the trillions of dollars the drug companies spend advertising non-narcotic drugs on TV? Have you heard about the serious side effects these drugs have caused and seen the many lawsuits against these drugs that have killed and maimed thousands? None of these advertised drugs are narcotics either, yet they harm and even kill many every year. Yes, there are two sides to this story and both sides need to be heard. People should never suffer needlessly when they are in pain. JOAN MILLER GEHRArlington Heights, Ill. Landline is criticalI need our landline phone because I have a pacemaker. I have to check it over the home phone about every three to four months. My husband is a disabled vet. Sometimes, I have had to call 911 for him. At times, they could not hear me on the cell phone and I had to use the home landline to get him fast help.VIOLET OWENSLimestoneService unavailableWe still have a landline telephone because we live in an area that receives no cell phone signal. Until the cell phone companies figure out a way to provide service in these mountains, I hope the landlines won’t become a thing of the past.GAYLE WILLIAMSButlerNot a patriotIn recent days, the National Security Agency has been under attack for its efforts to foil terrorist attacks on America. An employee, an agent of the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, has been accused of leaking information that has placed many of his associates in harm’s way.Snowden says he has done nothing wrong. I wonder then why he was hiding out in Hong Kong? Phil Roe, our congressman, is defending Snowden as a patriot. Snowden has committed a crime against the United States of America. Treason is the likely charge when he is taken into custody upon arrest. Part of Roe’s oath of office is to protect America from all enemies, foreign or domestic. Freedom is not free. It comes at a very huge cost. Many of our own countrymen have paid the ultimate price. Just look around the country, you can see those grave markers everywhere. Snowden’s action of betrayal will result in many more.At one time, America was protected by the vast expanse of the two great oceans. But over the years, the great industrial revolution and the technology age changed all of that. We can be hit from any place in the world in a matter of minutes. Are Americans willing to give or sacrifice a little to save our freedom? How many Americans know what Julius and Ethel Rosenberg did in the late 1940s and early 1950s to change the world?BILLY B. BARNESGray

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