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LETTER: Many patients need opioids and use them responsibly

The death of child, at any age, must be the most heart-wrenching grief of all. But Monday’s Review-Journal article “Pharma fighter,” by Mark Kreidler of Kaiser Health News, grandstands Barbara Van Rooyan’s fight against the makers of OxyContin by falsely placing the blame on Purdue Pharm for the 2004 death of her 24-year-old son, Patrick.

The unfortunate death was very preventable. Regrettably, Patrick chose to use this powerful painkiller in a recreational manner, mixing it with alcohol. Whether known or not, he had an allergic reaction.

This event should not impact the availability of this life-changing medication. Chronic illness and endless pain must be treated. Those who follow guidelines and obtain medication from a medical doctor should not be punished for choices made by those “attending a party.”

Personal choices can have unforeseen instances and unintended consequences, too. No one on prescribed OxyContin — taken as directed for the intended use — has died from using this necessary medication.

Please do not promote the narrative of one person versus the hundreds of thousands of people who need this medication and use it responsibly.

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