Pain clinics feel government’s heavy hand

It appears to be an immutable law of governance that government will almost always overreact to a problem (whether real or perceived).  Often, government does this by passing new criminal laws rather than simply taking the time and exerting the effort to enforce laws already on the books.  Passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 — which gave the federal government vast, new powers to limit free speech and privacy, is a prime example.  Other times, the government simply passes laws inconveniencing everyone in an effort to stop the relatively few scofflaws hiding amongst us.  Gun control — in which the government makes it difficult or impossible for law-abiding citizens to purchase or own firearms – illustrates this approach perfectly.

Here in Georgia, concern that drug abusers will gain access to prescription controlled substances, has led state and local officials to overreact in typical fashion. 

At the state level (and as reported in this Blog on March 22nd of this year), the legislature has tried repeatedly to pass legislation creating a mandatory Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, including a prescription drug database.  This past session of the General Assembly, legislators again failed to muster sufficient votes to send such a bill to the governor.  This was good news.  The prescription drug database that would have been created would have been a reporting and privacy nightmare for doctors who prescribe various pain medications, for patients who need and are prescribed pain medications, and for pharmacists who fill such prescriptions.  Of course, the proponents of this privacy-invasive and unnecessary legislation, which includes many Republican legislators and state drug officials, vow to continue their efforts next year; hoping to wear down the opposition (led by state Sen. and now state Attorney General-candidate Preston Smith).

At least one local government — Cobb County — is unwilling to wait for next year; and appears also hesitant to simply use laws already on the books that make it a crime to prescribe or give controlled substance medications such as pain pills, to persons not authorized to receive them.  Rather than simply investigate evidence that certain doctors, clinics, or other “pill mills” are breaking laws already on the books, and then taking steps to arrest and prosecute those responsible, Cobb County and some of its incorporated city governments have taken the easy way out and simply declared a moratorium on the opening of new pain clinics.  No matter the fact that there is a legitimate and lawful need for people with severe or chronic pain to be able to visit a doctor or a clinic and receive prescriptions for the medications; or that there are not sufficient such clinics to meet the legitimate demand for such services.  These local officials apparently have concluded it’s easier to just dictate there will be no new clinics permitted for the time being, than it would be to direct law enforcement to conduct approptiate and necessary investigations actions against abusers.

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater by banning pain clinics may make for a good soundbite, and it may make law enforcement’s job temporarily easier.  But it’s not the way our system of limited government power was supposed to operate; and it does in fact harm law-abiding citizens.

20 comments Add your comment

pat

July 2nd, 2010
8:41 am

Government knows best…Since they feel the need to deny people the medicine they need, surely they must have gained the power to heal….

Morrus

July 2nd, 2010
9:16 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

Sick&Tired

July 2nd, 2010
9:19 am

Are you kidding? People are addicted to more prescription drugs than ever before. They are a hotter ticket item than regular street drugs. And they are destroying just as many lives when people are not getting the help that they need to get off the drugs.

Kids are playing games with the medicine and taking them like candy. We should all be spanked for letting the drug manufacturing business grow the way it has in this country. We have a drug for everything.

Eli Jones

July 2nd, 2010
9:22 am

Did anyone know that Obama exempted Muslims from his Obamacare health scam but you will be prosecuted if you don’t carry Obamacare.. Remember that Obama and the Democrats shoved this Marxist piece of crap right down your throats while giving Muslims a pass! Vote out Obama’s rubber stamp Democrats this November.

http://search.aol.com/aol/search?query=muslim+exemption+from+Obamacare&s_it=keyword_rollover

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/exemptions.asp

Barack Hussein Obama, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm

Scofflaws

July 2nd, 2010
9:25 am

. How about we all text-order Rx online while driving drunk with a disorderly skank who’s not our wife while we diss the commander in chief and invent idiotic methods for cleaning up oil spills? Let’s see the legislature overreact and pass new laws outlawing THAT!

Buckethead

July 2nd, 2010
10:18 am

Eli Jones did you even read the snopes article? Why not the same rage against Amish who are far more likely to opt out. Tell me what is Marxist about this program which relies on market forces for delivery and leaves health insurance companies intact. Stop watching Glenn Beck.

sam

July 2nd, 2010
10:40 am

although i do agree, this law is silly..

Fang1944

July 2nd, 2010
10:47 am

How did Bob get from a prescription drug database to banning pain clinics?

How did he get from prescription drugs to guns? Oh, I keep forgetting: guns are the be-all and end-all of life on this planet.

Also, the story about Muslims being exempt from health care (there’s no such thing as Obamacare) is just one of those stupid Internet rumors. Muslims are not exempt because Islam doesn’t forbid its followers to buy health insurance. So far, only the Anabaptist sects like the Amish are exempt because their religion forbids them to buy health insurance. See http://www.factcheck.org/2010/05/dhimmitude-and-the-muslim-exemption/

mrs. w

July 2nd, 2010
11:19 am

I have been seeing the same DR. for years. Recently I was involved in a car accident and was extremely sore yet I had a very hard time convincing her to give me a prescription for pain meds. It made an already stressfull siuation even more stressfull. She could very clearly see my chart and know that I do not ask for pain meds – ever… What she gave me was weak at best so I took two instead of just one after researching on-line and seeing that I was given the lowest dosage made. Now three months later I am fine and btw, not addicted to the pills she prescribed.

As far as guns go – I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

Gerald West

July 2nd, 2010
12:02 pm

You’re right, Bob. There are too many pandering minds in the multiple layers of government that Americans have to contend with. And, the politicians are forever pandering to the notion that outlawing a practice, or legislating outlandish prison sentences for offenses, will put an end to undesirable behavior. Laws that will not or cannot be enforced are ineffective and contemptuous.

I wonder how many elective offices there are in the US. Too many, that’s for sure. In my small county we vote for federal, state, county, and district offices ranging from local animal control officer to President of the United States. Do we need so many political offices? Can any elected politician be held accountable for anything in such a hodge-podge environment?

We have too much government. We need the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, provide national defense, and promote the general welfare. We need local government to see to trash collection and street paving. We could do very well without the state governments.

Let’s stop complaining about government doing too much, and start protesting against too many governments!

legend

July 2nd, 2010
10:32 pm

In N.C. the Prescription Monitoring Program has been a boon to law enforcement. Almost simultaneously with the passage of the PMP, law enforcement began making arrests involving HUGE amount of prescription meds. The only way this would seem to be suddenly occurring is that Law enforcement began abusing the data in the database, and BEGINNING investigations from the content in the database, thereby abridging due process rights for those in the mix, as it were.
Last week a report surfaced that overdoses surged over 100 percent for opoid based meds in emergency rooms. So how does it occur that there is an INCREASE in overdoses when the PMP is supposed to help alleviate it. Why, that is simple. If the bad guys want your meds, they are gonna get them. And if they know a law enforcement type with access who is also abusing, then it is set in stone. You are going to have your meds certainly stolen from your car, home, boat, or anywhere else you keep it. The bad guys now have an easy list to work from when deciding who to go get their meds from, putting innocents at risk. And the bad guys ARE getting MORE OF THESE MEDS NOW, NOT LESS. You can thank witless politicians for listening to insurers who wanted only to cut costs by limiting duplicate prescriptions. If there really were an effort to get the drugs off the streets, the emergency rooms would have emptied out, not the other way around. I Mean LOCK your meds up now, the lunatic government guys are feeding the abusers your personal health information through the PMP in countless states now.
Don’t you feel ENSAFENED?!

Scofflaws

July 3rd, 2010
7:17 am

If religion is the opiate of the masses, then the born-again Right don’t need no stinking prescriptions.

david wayne osedach

July 3rd, 2010
8:33 am

Here in California we have a legal marijuana clinic on every block. These ubiquitous ‘pain clinic’s will make good neighbors.

Virtually NO ONE is refused a prescription.

MrLiberty

July 3rd, 2010
10:56 am

And this from the man who was once referred to as the “biggest drug warrior in congress.” Freedom just doesn’t seem to have a way of coming back once taken away, does it Bob?

Sam ( The Cool 1 )

July 3rd, 2010
7:51 pm

Oh, the days of The Cisco Kid!

J.B. STONER

July 3rd, 2010
9:23 pm

If you venture to Atlanta or De KALB Co., better be tottin and shoot the dopers…..

Pain clinics feel government

July 4th, 2010
8:23 am

[...] state Attorney General-candidate Preston Smith)…." Click on the link for the full article: http://blogs.ajc.com/bob-barr-blog/2010/07/02/government-moves-against-pain-clinics-paints-too-broad... __________________ [...]

J.B. STONER

July 4th, 2010
10:04 am

THE CISCO KID WAS A FRIEND OF MINE…………………………..

Jayne

July 10th, 2010
10:02 am

I think you are completely right Bob. Our freedoms are being chipped away little by little everyday.Why is the government so obsessed with citizens personal lives? It is easy to pick on the sick and mainly the elderly. If the government was paying attention to something really important,like what the big oil companies were doing,we would not have the oil disaster in the gulf right now.Why does most pain medication contain actimedophen? They know it is killing people.Why isnt something done about that?

Bob

July 20th, 2010
3:30 pm

When you outlaw pain meds only the outlaws will have pain meds!