I'm a cancer patient with severe intractable pain. Because of the rampant Opiophobia caused by the epidemic of anti-opioid propaganda, I can no longer get adequate treatment. Pain patients aren't addicts and we aren't criminals, we didn't choose to live in pain 24/7. We are treated as guilty the moment we walk into the doctor's office, hospital, or pharmacy. Addiction among chronic pain patients is extremely rare (3-7 patients per thousand). Those of its who take our medications as prescribed should NEVER been punished because an minority of people abuse these essential medications.
Drug abusers will get opioids no matter what. These opiophobic policies harm pain patients, but have no effect on addicts other than to raise street prices on pharmaceutical opioids and force them to switch to heroin (diacetylmorphine/diamorphine), which is much more dangerous because they cannot accurately determine dose. There are even a subset of extremely desperate pain patients (mostly in Florida) who have resorted to heroin for pain relief. No one should have to turn to the streets for medical care.
For intractable pain patients, like myself, there is no alternative to opioids. Before doctors prescribe opioids, they make us try dozens of other treatments (with serious side effects).
Opioids aren't nearly as dangerous as NSAIDs or acetaminophen, each of which kill more people each year than all opioids combined.