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Should narcotic pain killers be sold without a prescription?

Should narcotic pain killers be sold without a prescription?


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Seems this ongoing conversation about legalizing drugs rarely touches on drugs that are legal but requiring a prescription. For many of the same arguments in favor of legalizing "street" drugs, do you think narcotic pain killers should be available "over the counter"? Personally, I don't think so, but then, I oppose legalizing drugs.
 

Northern Light

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Actually, the arguments are mainly for decriminalization, not legalization. For this reason I can't respond to your poll.

Decriminalization means that if a person were caught with small possession of anything, including an illegal RX, they wouldn't be arrested. This proposal emphasizes harm reduction and reduces the prison population. It also provides addicts with a greater opportunity to seek more agency without fear of reprisals.

The current drug scheduling system does not differentiate between users and dealers, only quantities. Decriminalizing small amounts means that users are de facto protected from the law coming down on them and ruining their lives, which I totally support.

Nowhere in the world practices the legalized model you're referring to, btw.
 
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molten_dragon

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Seems this ongoing conversation about legalizing drugs rarely touches on drugs that are legal but requiring a prescription. For many of the same arguments in favor of legalizing "street" drugs, do you think narcotic pain killers should be available "over the counter"? Personally, I don't think so, but then, I oppose legalizing drugs.

No, absolutely not. The easy availability of opiate painkillers is a huge problem and the main contributing factor to the heroin epidemic sweeping the country.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Seems this ongoing conversation about legalizing drugs rarely touches on drugs that are legal but requiring a prescription. For many of the same arguments in favor of legalizing "street" drugs, do you think narcotic pain killers should be available "over the counter"? Personally, I don't think so, but then, I oppose legalizing drugs.

Not sure.
I've witnessed a **** ton of people become of addicted to these and spiral out.
More so than alcohol or meth.

Used to have 2 guys who worked with me that would take around 8-12 lorcets in a 8 hour period.
 

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The risk of dying of overdose ,getting addicted to this.....no ,never.
 

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A drug can be used for different purposes, much like weed can be for pleasure or medical, but a pain killer? Apparently in some circles they are used in lieu of alcohol to get a buzz and fall asleep easy

You can say they're too dangerous, and i would say that's why they should be legal. The FDA should put out info on safe recreational drug use so that fewer OD or refuse to go to hospital

But yes, as a principle our bodies belong to ourselves and no one else, certainly not the government. I fail to see how even within the nanny state mentality that throwing someone in jail when they have a drug problem and then depriving of future employment is helping them. That has always seemed like a fat lie to me
 

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A drug can be used for different purposes, much like weed can be for pleasure or medical, but a pain killer? Apparently in some circles they are used in lieu of alcohol to get a buzz and fall asleep easy

You can say they're too dangerous, and i would say that's why they should be legal. The FDA should put out info on safe recreational drug use so that fewer OD or refuse to go to hospital

But yes, as a principle our bodies belong to ourselves and no one else, certainly not the government. I fail to see how even within the nanny state mentality that throwing someone in jail when they have a drug problem and then depriving of future employment is helping them. That has always seemed like a fat lie to me
as long as you live in an isolated island ,no problem......
 

Peter King

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They are dangerous, addictive, strong and should only be prescribed by a competent medical professional like a doctor, surgeon or a trained and vetted psychiatrist. They are dangerous when used (if poorly used or abused) and they can be dangerous when coming off. This should only be done on prescriptions and not over the counter.
 

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Actually, the arguments are mainly for decriminalization, not legalization. For this reason I can't respond to your poll.

Decriminalization means that if a person were caught with small possession of anything, including an illegal RX, they wouldn't be arrested. This proposal emphasizes harm reduction and reduces the prison population. It also provides addicts with a greater opportunity to seek more agency without fear of reprisals.

The current drug scheduling system does not differentiate between users and dealers, only quantities. Decriminalizing small amounts means that users are de facto protected from the law coming down on them and ruining their lives, which I totally support.

Nowhere in the world practices the legalized model you're referring to, btw.

Since most of the people in jail are not in jail for possession of small amounts, that is just a talking point playing on emotions while ignoring reality.
 

Chomsky

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No, absolutely not. The easy availability of opiate painkillers is a huge problem and the main contributing factor to the heroin epidemic sweeping the country.
Yes, but the users are turning to heroin due to their not being able to obtain prescription drugs!
 

Chomsky

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Since most of the people in jail are not in jail for possession of small amounts, that is just a talking point playing on emotions while ignoring reality.
You can cite this?
 

Crovax

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You can cite this?

Just 6.0% of people are in state prisons for possession

drug_possession_offenders.png


Looking at federal prisons

Federal data show that the vast majority (99.8 percent) of Federal prisoners sentenced for drug offenses were incarcerated for drug trafficking.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Marijuana | The White House
 

_Sal

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I have mixed feelings on this.

I know people who are addicted to pain medication. We do not have the ability to measure pain. What is unbearable to one is easily handled by another. Many people needs these drugs to function daily.

We can't measure.

But then, I would be for legalization of drugs and have them controlled like alcohol. Would more people then become addicted...I really do not believe so. It would just be open.

The reason for drug use other than recreational use needs to be addressed.

But pain meds....maybe more controlled due to their strength...we control the strength of alcohol so why not drugs too?
 

Chomsky

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Just 6.0% of people are in state prisons for possession

drug_possession_offenders.png


Looking at federal prisons



Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Marijuana | The White House
Thanks for taking the time and effort to cite.

And yes, I agree that your earlier statement in relation to fed offenses is probably right.

But I do disagree with your point in the state data:

Your point was:

Since most of the people in jail are not in jail for possession of small amounts, that is just a talking point playing on emotions while ignoring reality.
The stat needed to support this statement needs to show the ratio of small possession offenses in relation to major offenses, which yours does not do; your reference only shows the % of drug offenses in relation to all offenses.

And I also have other concerns with your cites:

1] County data is not cited, which I believe is where the most action may be for small-time busts (it is in my city).

2] You've also linked to pot data, which is likely different than the data for possession of narcotics (coke, speed, heroin).

3] While supporting your statement in technicality (re: jail population), this doesn't take into effect those that are convicted and received probation, or have already done their time but are still paying a heavy societal price for their drug use.

Now here's an excerpt from my sources:

"The number one reason people go to jail in Cook County? If you guessed drug possession, you’re right. But violent crimes actually make up a bigger proportion than drug charges, and the number one violent crime—and the second-most likely charge for people who go to jail in Cook County—is domestic battery."

And further in the article:

"* The number one offense? Possession of a controlled substance, not counting marijuana: 12,066 admissions, or 16.8 percent of the total (71,663 admissions in 2011)."

Source: Chicago magazine: Who Goes to Jail in Cook County and Why

Now if we go to the actual report .pdf linked in the beginning of the article, in Table 2 we find:

Type of offense | N | % w/in Offense type | % of Total

Drug 19,238 100.0% 26.9%

Possession of Cont. Subs. 12,066 62.7% 16.8%
Man/Del of Cont. Subs. 3,109 16.2% 4.3%
Possession of Cannabis 2,532 13.2% 3.5%
Man/Del Cannabis 1,018 5.3% 1.4%

Source: [Loyola University - Chicago] .pdf Download

Now upon examining Table 2, we see that narcotics admissions were approximately 4X more likely to be mere possession rather than sales/manufacturing, and even pot was 2-1/2X more likely to be possession.

So I believe this proves my point. (at least in relation to my local area)

I will admit though, I am surprised drug offenses make-up only ~27% of the jail population. I've always heard around half. Chicago encompasses around 80% of Cook County - in essence, Cook County *is* Chicago, and I think this shows Chicago's violent reputation is deserved.

I'm also surprised to see domestic violence as the 2nd highest category!

But thank you again for taking the time to cite, since it also forced me to do some research as well, shattering the myth perpetrated that drug offenses are half the Cook County Jail admittances.
 

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A drug can be used for different purposes, much like weed can be for pleasure or medical, but a pain killer? Apparently in some circles they are used in lieu of alcohol to get a buzz and fall asleep easy

You can say they're too dangerous, and i would say that's why they should be legal. The FDA should put out info on safe recreational drug use so that fewer OD or refuse to go to hospital

But yes, as a principle our bodies belong to ourselves and no one else, certainly not the government. I fail to see how even within the nanny state mentality that throwing someone in jail when they have a drug problem and then depriving of future employment is helping them. That has always seemed like a fat lie to me

There is no safe recreational drug use of opiates because they are physically addictive. This is different than marijuana or alcohol (unless you are up to a fifth or more a day).

Also, you own your body, but you have no right to a commercially produced drug. Thus I don't think you should be prosecuted because you have a drug problem, but that does not mean that a dangerous and highly addictive drug should just be sold over the counter.

As many pill heads that I have known, I can tell you that making opiates an over the counter drug would be a terrible idea that would have huge societal costs and that which drug companies that make them would profit immensely from those societal costs. Personally, I have always just endured pain rather than take a narcotic pain killer because I am so afraid of getting addicted to them because of all the people I have seen that have.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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I'm also surprised to see domestic violence as the 2nd highest category!

But thank you again for taking the time to cite, since it also forced me to do some research as well, shattering the myth perpetrated that drug offenses are half the Cook County Jail admittances.

Domestic violence is often related to drug and alcohol use.
 

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Working in healthcare, I'll never support drug legalization. Maybe an argument for recreational marijuana use, but anything beyond that I cannot support. I'm 36 and work in a nursing home and we are seeing the results of poly substance abuse with people younger than me needing placement in long term nursing facilities because of health complications. And there's even more people that are a decade or so away from utilizing Medicare that have wrecked their bodies so that they have the physical functioning less than that of an 80 year old.

The whole American attitude of pleasure seeking at the expense of healthy living is driving our healthcare system down the drain. Its not just drugs, its food, behaviors etc...but the acute and chronic affects of drugs are catastrophic IMO.
 

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I have mixed feelings on this.

I know people who are addicted to pain medication. We do not have the ability to measure pain. What is unbearable to one is easily handled by another. Many people needs these drugs to function daily.

We can't measure.

But then, I would be for legalization of drugs and have them controlled like alcohol. Would more people then become addicted...I really do not believe so. It would just be open.

The reason for drug use other than recreational use needs to be addressed.

But pain meds....maybe more controlled due to their strength...we control the strength of alcohol so why not drugs too?

Because alcohol is only physically addictive in rare cases and in extremely high amounts consumed over time. Opiates are physically addictive in much smaller amounts and in a fairly short time.

I agree with you that different people have different pain tolerances. For example I can tell you that as a long time runner, endurance athletes tend to have very high pain tolerances. However, physicians still way overprescribe narcotic pain killers. The main driver of our country's opiate epidemic is physicians over prescribing them. Making them over the counter would only make it exponentially worse. After all, why take an Aleve when you could take a Percocet.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Working in healthcare, I'll never support drug legalization. Maybe an argument for recreational marijuana use, but anything beyond that I cannot support. I'm 36 and work in a nursing home and we are seeing the results of poly substance abuse with people younger than me needing placement in long term nursing facilities because of health complications. And there's even more people that are a decade or so away from utilizing Medicare that have wrecked their bodies so that they have the physical functioning less than that of an 80 year old.

The whole American attitude of pleasure seeking at the expense of healthy living is driving our healthcare system down the drain. Its not just drugs, its food, behaviors etc...but the acute and chronic affects of drugs are catastrophic IMO.

I totally agree with this (I do believe marijuana should be legal). I don't think we should prosecute people for drug use so I am for decriminalizing that aspect of it, but legalization is a terrible idea. That average American these days cannot be trusted to even maintain a healthy diet. For crying out loud, if most people cannot be trusted with fast food and little debbies, its pretty ridiculous to think they could be trusted with over the counter opiates and amphetamines.
 

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Not sure.
I've witnessed a **** ton of people become of addicted to these and spiral out.
More so than alcohol or meth.

Used to have 2 guys who worked with me that would take around 8-12 lorcets in a 8 hour period.

I kinda feel the same way as you. But, the people you witnessed become addicted, did so with these drugs being available by prescription only. Also, many people who acquire these drugs 100% legally also become addicted.
 

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Seems this ongoing conversation about legalizing drugs rarely touches on drugs that are legal but requiring a prescription. For many of the same arguments in favor of legalizing "street" drugs, do you think narcotic pain killers should be available "over the counter"? Personally, I don't think so, but then, I oppose legalizing drugs.

We don't need more drug induced zombies running around in that daze ! :shock:
 

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They have increased the difficulty of getting prescription pain meds in fla considerably and they have arrested many doctors in the last two years.

Family drs dont prescribe pain meds anymore. Surgeons and Pain Drs in fla write them.
They even passed a rule if you buy over the counter allergy pills with D in them you have to show identification and they keep track of how many you buy. They use them to make crack or meth, im not sure which.

Its very strict in fla
 

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I totally agree with this (I do believe marijuana should be legal). I don't think we should prosecute people for drug use so I am for decriminalizing that aspect of it, but legalization is a terrible idea. That average American these days cannot be trusted to even maintain a healthy diet. For crying out loud, if most people cannot be trusted with fast food and little debbies, its pretty ridiculous to think they could be trusted with over the counter opiates and amphetamines.
I've got to disagree with the bolded.

There's no reason I should have anyone interfering with my diet or medications! Trust? I can't be "trusted" with my diet? Give me a break!

If you want to live healthy, bland, and boring to a ripe old age, go for it!

But perhaps I may feel differently.

In fact, I may even prefer euthanasia when the day comes, and I don't feel it's my government's or neighbor's business if I do.

I'm not a naive hardcore libertarian; there are possible societal reasons to become involved in regulating my personal intakes, with crime or burdensome healthcare costs *possibly* being arguments that might be made. But the burden I believe is strongly & squarely on society to prove those costs beyond doubt, and even then I'm not sure that's enough to interfere with my freedoms.

Not everyone wants to live life as sanely and blandly to the most safe common denominator. If I want to live fast and bright, taking in all of life's experiences I can, I'd like my choices respected.

I'll leave you with this quote from Hunter S. Thompson:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

[And for the record, this is not the rant of an impervious kid needing grounding in reality - I survived the sixties, and am still healthy, sane, and doing well as I contemplate my approaching retirement]
 

Northern Light

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Since most of the people in jail are not in jail for possession of small amounts, that is just a talking point playing on emotions while ignoring reality.

According to the Justice Bureau:

In 2004, drug offenders comprised about a third (34%) of all persons convicted of a felony in state courts. Drug traffickers accounted for 19% of all convicted felons; drug possessors also accounted for 15% of all convicted felons.

- Ninety-six percent of drug trafficking convictions in 2004 resulted from guilty pleas; 2% resulted from jury trials; and 2% from bench trials.
- Sixty-nine percent of persons convicted of drug trafficking in 2004 were sentenced to some kind of incarceration: 39% to state prison and 30% to local jail.
- The average prison sentence for persons convicted of drug trafficking was 5 years, of which the estimated time to be served was 2 years and 4 months.

From another page on the same site:
Of the estimated 1,079,000 felons convicted in state courts in 2004, the vast majority (95%) of those sentenced for a felony pleaded guilty. The remaining 5% were found guilty either by a jury (2%) or by a judge in a bench trial (3%).

1,079,000 felons convicted
15% of which received felony convictions for simple possession
= 161,850

That's ONE YEAR worth of convictions for possession. And you're telling me that I'm just playing on emotions while ignoring reality? Decriminalization would prevent all those people from going to prison. People should not be getting felony convictions for simply possessing a drug.

Now let's talk about the drug trafficking convictions. 96% of them plea bargain out (which is standard in the system now). We don't know for sure how many of those genuinely had high quantities on them because their cases never went to court. Most people plea bargain when they can't afford a lawyer and the risk of going to trial means a far steeper sentence than just taking the deal.

Drug reform is obviously much needed in America. We should not be sending 1/3 of a million people per year to prison over drugs.
 

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There is no safe recreational drug use of opiates because they are physically addictive.

well so are cigarettes, so is drinking and gambling (for some). Amazing how the nanny state picks and chooses which dependence we're allowed to have based on profit motive
 
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