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Law-abiding citizens hurt in prescription crackdown

I have severe arthritis in just about every joint in my body. I also have severe spinal stenosis. I live in pain every day. It affects everything I do at work and in my home life. My physician treats me with great care and concern. Because of the trust he places in me, I don't take my pain medication as often as I can or should simply because I don't want him to think that all I am using him for is a source of pain medication.

But now bleeding-heart politicians and many other physicians are making it harder for me to get the medicines I need because of those who abuse it. I currently have a $700 urine test to pay for because recent guidelines require my doctor to check to see if I am using any illegal drugs before he can prescribe the drugs I have been getting legally for years. My wife and I will have to struggle to pay this bill from our already over-tight budget.

The drug problem we have was not caused by people like myself and others who legally get and carefully use their medications. I feel the answer is not to penalize law-abiding citizens as so often happens but to increase the legal penalty so much that even one offense results in such serious jail time that this problem might begin to disappear.

It is also absolutely necessary for every law-abiding citizen who needs prescription pain medicines to contact their state senator and representative and tell them to get off our backs and go after the real criminals. Go after the parents who allow their children access to their medications or who sell their children's pills. Go after the adults who share their pain medications with friends. Go after the doctors who run pain prescription farms or who don't monitor their patients. Go after the drug addicts who just don't care and leave law-abiding citizens alone.

LARRY E. DAVIS

Fort Wayne

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