Letter: Officials need to find better way to treat patients afflicted with pain

February 19, 2013 

The political climate in Washington, D.C., and official policy of the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Agency regarding prescription pain medications is having an adverse affect on individuals with chronic, severe and painful medical conditions.

To make matters worse, senators, congressmen and leaders at the FDA and DEA believe that the risks of addiction or accidental overdose outweigh the medical concerns, pain and financial hardship to individuals with painful and medically verifiable conditions.

Because of this, pain specialists are either leaving their practice or they are refusing to continue to treat patients unless they have terminal cancer.

In the end, patients like me are left with no viable treatment options other than going to the local emergency room several times a week, which is impractical at best. The only solutions are new federal and state legislation that can protect physicians and patients or new drugs for the treatment of chronic pain that do not pose a risk of addiction.

It's actually surprising that the drug companies have not developed pain blocking medications that do not produce any mind altering effects or euphoria.

CHAD LIETZ

Richland

Fairgrounds lease

I found it interesting but not surprising that the Benton County Fair Board is leasing the horse facilities at the Benton County Fairgrounds. This lease could be great or horrible, depending on the attitudes of both parties.

If both parties truly have the best interests of the people in our community in mind, this will go great. Time will tell. As a local horse trainer, I hope with the creativity of Lori Lancaster and company, the fair, rodeo, horse racing, barrel racing, playdays, etc., will be occupying the facility around the clock at an affordable rate. If the $1,600 per month lease payment includes the power, this will be an awesome lease to have. Good luck to the new lease holders; we can't wait to get in there and help make things happen!

BOB LAWRENCE

Burbank

Darn SOCKS

As a former Hanford worker, I love acronyms. And now there is a perfect one to describe our current government -- SOCKS -- Same Old Can Kickers. It is hard to believe that we, the voters, overwhelmingly returned so many of these to Washington, D.C., in the last election.

These poor old SOCKS reflect the years of being pulled on and stretched by lobbyists and special interest groups. And they just start to smell bad after being around for so long.

Let me say once again, as so many recent letters to the Herald have said, it's time to commit to replacing all of them ASAP with ones who understand how to and commit to preparing meaningful budgets that have provisions for paying down the debt, just like all of the rest of us do at home on a regular basis. It's not rocket science. Let's take back our country -- out with the SOCKS!

RICHARD A. MOEN

Richland

Promote Boy Scouts

I think that the Boys Scouts will help the community more, and with proper promotion, it may provide more service to the community.

NOLAN JACOBS

Pasco

Depressing study

Vice President Joe Biden, in pursuit of a movement which has been a long-desired dream of the liberal movement, has been assigned to curtail the activities of Beretta, Browning, Colt, Glock, Mossberg, Remington, Ruger. Smith & Wesson and Winchester.

Since a good number of the studied mass murderers have been operating under the influence of anti-depressants, perhaps Biden and friends should also study the use and abuse of Celexa , Elavil, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, Trazodone and Zoloft.

TOM BAKER

Waitsburg

What's in a word?

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." Those folks who have spent Washington taxpayers money to "neutralize sex across all its laws" (Herald, Feb. 4) must not have paid attention to children's rhymes. Six years of effort by state officials to "neutralize sex terms" probably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once the 500-page bill is implemented (The U.S. Constitution has 16 pages.), I assume the state courts, law offices, newspapers, etc. will have to update their printed and computerized dictionaries, at no small expense, to comply with the terminology of the bill. The Tri-City Herald certainly doesn't want to have a lawsuit against it for referring to someone's poor penmanship instead of using the "neutralized" word "handwriting."

If this bill is passed, I suggest a couple of other changes prompted by their change of ombudsman to "ombuds." For instance their "humankind's past" would be more correct as "hukinds past" and their "jury foreperson" would be "jury foreper."

I agree with Rep. Shelly Short, who in the article stated, "I don't see the need to do gender neutrality." She added her constituents want her to focus on jobs and the economy.

DON CURET

Richland

You can call me Johnson

It is apparent by this article, "State could neutralize sex across all its laws," (Herald, Feb. 4) that the state of Washington either has too much money or too many persons who do not have much to do.

The article states that the state code reviser and two attorneys have worked on changing wording and titles to nongender terms since 2008, changing words such as fisherman to fisher. I looked up the word and definition fisherman in Webster's and it reads, "A person who fishes for sport or a living." So where is the gender specific?

Come on, state government. Don't you have better things to do with our tax dollars? As a taxpayer I am concerned with this waste of our money in Olympia, especially for this type of job creation.

Just call me Johnson and I am not going to make it nongender.

HERB JOHNSON

Benton City

Limit types of 'arms'

Constitutional rights and firearms are again hot topics since the killing of 20 first-graders in Connecticut with an assault rifle. Predictably, the NRA quickly asserted, once again, that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own such weapons. In truth, the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms but does not stipulate which kinds. The federal government can, and does, restrict ownership of certain weapons, as reflected in National Firearms Act of 1968.

Congress made judgments about which types of weapons to restrict, such as fully automatic machine guns. They could have made different judgments. The constitutional right to own military-style assault weapons is exactly the same as the constitutional right to own grenades, stinger missiles and mortars. There is none.

This country suffers many times the per-capita homicide rate involving guns compared to almost every other nation. For instance, our gunfire-homicide rate is 7 times that of Canada, a nation with a strong hunting culture but sensible gun laws. Those who support easy access to assault rifles should explain how such access improves the quality of our lives.

DOUG BROWN

Kennewick

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