The letter from Nicholas Karahalios of Falmouth titled by the newspaper as “Move narcotics out of the pharmacies” is unfortunate in that it is full of many misconceptions and prejudices.

While crime exists against pharmacies, is it really more prevalent than against, say, convenience stores, or is it perception? Morphine and other opioids are not the only scheduled drugs carried by pharmacies that are diverted (to people who misuse them); Alprazolam (Xanax) is a top contender.

Of a larger concern should be the ability of people to obtain the medication they need. This is a frequent problem in rural and inner-city areas.

A landmark article, “We Don’t Carry That — The Failure of Pharmacies in Nonwhite Neighborhoods to Stock Opioid Analgesics,” appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, yet these disparities continue.

Those who have poor transportation services available rely on their “neighborhood” pharmacy to carry what they need. Pain is epidemic in the United States. Even cancer-related pain and pain at end of life are still frequently undertreated or not treated at all.

Last year the American Geriatric Society updated its “Guidelines for Persistent Pain in the Older Adult.” In this population, with some exceptions, opioids are considered safer than medications like ibuprofen. Keep in mind also that research shows the effectiveness for opioids for shortness of breath in cancer and some respiratory diseases.

Please let us not place another barrier to effective pain and symptom management in place, but rather work to eliminate the disparities instead of reinforcing them.

Janice Reynolds, R.N.

Brunswick

 

 

In response to the gentleman from Falmouth and his surprise that the state hasn’t moved narcotics from pharmacies years ago, I’d like to suggest that we move the money out of the banks while we’re at it to eliminate bank robberies!

Oh wait, we’ll have to move the cash out of convenience stores, doughnut shops, beauty parlors and any other kind of business that deals with cash, because they seem to be getting robbed too.

Pity the poor clerk working the night shift who gets a gun jammed in his face for a couple hundred bucks as well as the pharmacist who gets robbed of drugs. We need to solve the drugs-as-crime problem first. The war on drugs is a failure — treatment is the only solution.

Randy Wakefield

Portland

 

 

Two views on the ways U.S. is fighting its wars

 

The current level of U.S. global military operation is unsustainable. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be justified on a cost-benefit basis.

I suspect the net difference between ending these wars six months in, and maintaining them for nine-plus years, is minimal. The military and governmental strategy failure is directly related to a lack of understanding of the respective cultures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We do not, and have not, had the funds to maintain this level of military operation. As we have seen over and over again, terrorist activities are not exclusively based in Afghanistan. Its time to cut our losses and get out of these conflicts.

Terrorism is a global problem and one that requires international teamwork to manage. An anti-terror force through the United Nations may be the best alternative.

I also suggest we re-evaluate the level of military presence across the globe, including our large long-term deployments in Europe and the Far East. The accelerating national debt demands action. Change will be difficult as the military contracting lobby is extremely powerful, and some U.S. jobs will be affected. However, continued inaction is on this front is unacceptable.

Craig Kinney

Cumberland

 

 

John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism expert, has come under fire for being the latest administration official to try to wordsmith the War on Terror out of existence.

He has advocated that we cease to use the term “jihadist” to describe some of our terrorist enemies, because “jihad” can also mean a Muslim’s self-struggle for improvement for the greater glory of God.

This really does not surprise me. Brennan’s attitude is absolutely consistent with that of President Obama.

George Orwell knew that a person cannot meaningfully deal with any concept for which there are no words. The whole point of his masterwork “1984” was to describe the totalitarian drive to annihilate all thoughts that are not “politically correct” in harmony with the socialist ideology.

Brennan is simply trying to eliminate all meaningful public contemplation regarding the motives and methodologies of many of our terrorist enemies. this logic, if one “un-thinks” away an enemy, then that enemy disappears. Only a narcissist would consider this to be a valid thought process.

Yet, this administration clearly wants to excise the reality of Islamic terrorism by imposing controls over speech. From “man-made disasters” to “insurgents” to “overseas contingency operations,” Obama’s officials consistently place the reality of the War on Terror into the list of word-ideas to be excised from the next edition of Orwell’s “Newspeak Dictionary.”

This is nothing more than 1984’s “doubleplusgood duckspeak” (government-favoring nonsense) that lowers our defenses and gets Americans killed.

Ralph K. Ginorio

Limington


 

Bill Nemitz’s stories, photos are boost at home

 

Thank you for sending that excellent journalist Bill Nemitz to Afghanistan. He brings the experiences of our Maine National Guard close to us here in Maine.

We share their daily lives and learn what they’re up against! It must also be a source of comfort and pride to their families. Maybe you’ll consider doing a piece on these families as a coda to the series?

This must be very expensive for the paper and we should all be grateful for your efforts to inform us.

The photos are also good.

Pamela Lord

Portland