How do you treat pain when most of the world’s population can’t get opioids?

Categories: Policy.

Dr Rajagopal reminds readers that, although opioid abuse and overdose are problems in the United States, US decision-makers should take care when deciding a policy response. He cautions that US drug policy will likely influence that of the rest of the world, where more than 80% of people live in countries without access to morphine or other strong painkillers.

He cites the example of India where, following the US’s war on drugs in the 80s, “fear of drug abuse (robbed) policymakers of their sense of reason,” resulting in laws that effectively cut medical use of morphine in the country by 97%.

“Most people in India,” writes Dr Rajagopal, “can’t get an opioid painkiller even when they are dying of cancer.”

Read the full article on the LA Times website

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