In the Oct. 7 Maine Sunday Telegram is a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article that typifies why the idea of “addiction” is media-driven (“OxyContin’s marketing trumped science in the ’90s”).

The article was on Page A2, taking up half a page. It claims that the drug industry’s push of narcotics for long-term chronic pain has resulted in a national epidemic. The authors make this claim with no real evidence, only supposition and assumptions.

The comment about chronic pain is misleading and basically untrue. There is no entity called “chronic pain.” It is made up of many different persistent pain syndromes (including cancer pain).

Long-acting pain medication has always been primarily meant for certain types of chronic pain. There are many studies that show the efficacy and safety of the long-acting opioids with some of the persistent pain syndromes. They are not for every persistent pain syndrome, and just like any other medication, each person reacts individually.

This article also confuses addiction with physical dependence. Pain management should be a multimodal approach using medication, which may be opioids and/or co-analgesics, as well as complementary treatments and cognitive therapy.

The statements implying that professional organizations are receiving money from Big Pharma – and, thus, their guidelines are suspect – are innuendo as well.

Guidelines are evidence-based. People in pain are out there, and to enhance their quality of life, to enable them to work and do the things they want to do, they need to have their pain addressed.

One other brief comment: When OxyContin first came out it was referred to as “hillbilly heroin,” and OxyContin was being used because it was cheaper.

Since OxyContin now has a tamper-proof formula, it is no longer the prescription medication of choice. That honor has moved to oxymorphone, and heroin has overtaken them both.

Janice Reynolds, R.N.-BC

oncology certified nurse and certified hospice and palliative nurse

Brunswick

Vote Republican to thwart U.S. shift toward socialism

On Nov. 6, Mainers have a choice. Americans are giving away what people from other countries risk dying to get a chance for. The freedom to earn wages or build a business and to keep the profits – yes, they did build that.

Countries like North Korea, Cuba, China and the former Soviet Union don’t allow such privileges and freedoms. People don’t emigrate to those countries, they flee from them. Those socialist countries don’t thrive, and eventually they fail to survive. Europe is refusing to learn this lesson and is about to pay an enormous price for its stubborn ignorance.

Yet, we in America are making the same fatal choices. Former President Ford said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have.”

Many in our country want our government to take money from those who are profitable via higher taxes and more welfare, and give it to those who aren’t. That is not compassionate, caring government. It is theft. It is socialism. It is what causes wars and revolutions.

Why would we want to change to a form of government here in America that the rest of the world is fleeing from? It didn’t work over there then, and it won’t work here now.

I encourage readers to watch the following YouTube clip of Hungarian-born entrepreneur Thomas Peterffy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqiaR8k-cQA). In 60 seconds, he explains the dangers of exchanging our liberties for socialism.

He and I suggest we vote Republican and support Amy Volk, Jon Courtney, Charlie Summers and Mitt Romney. Four more years of socialist policies by the Democrats will be a colossal failure for us and our children.

Gary Gaudet

Scarborough

One man’s simple strategy for making candidate picks

I am going to vote in the November elections. I will not know until Tuesday morning, Nov. 6, who I will vote for, but I know exactly how I will make that decision.

I keep a piece of paper with two columns on it next to my phone. One column is labeled “Republicans,” and one is labeled “Democrats.”

Each time Mitt Romney, Barack Obama or one of their national or local minions calls me during the next few weeks I will place a mark in the appropriate column.

On the morning of Nov. 6, I will total all the marks and when I enter the voting booth that day, I will vote for all the folks who are members of the column with the least number of marks.

Bill Holly

Kittery Point

Arundel has an opportunity to reclaim control of schools

Arundel residents have an extremely important vote coming this Nov. 6.

This vote may be more important than even the presidential elections. It is about whether to take back control of more than 70 cents of every tax dollar we pay to the town or to give that control to Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.

To me, the answer is simple. I have more faith in the residents of Arundel making the right decision with how we want our children educated and how we want our tax dollars spent.

Despite recent articles about the cost going up if we withdraw, all failed to mention that option No. 1 was actually less than staying with the regional school unit. This report is all hypothetical numbers, as they have to be a guess until actual budgets are done.

There are always risks with school budgets – how much the state will put in this year or what special education will be this year. That same risk is experienced by the RSU as well.

Arundel has always managed their own affairs, always educated their children and done a great job. Some of the pro-RSU crowd says we can’t do as good a job so we must let the RSU control our school. A one-year increase in test scores is all it took to convince them. This increase, mind you, was done with the same great teachers who were there before we became part of the RSU.

If Arundel doesn’t vote to withdraw, the $50 million-plus renovations to Kennebunk High School will pass and the option to get out will forever be unaffordable for this small town. I am convinced that not only can we do this but Arundel can do it better on its own.

I have far more trust in the citizens in Arundel doing the right thing than putting that trust in citizens of another town.

David Lane

Arundel