When I had oral surgery recently, my dentist gave me the printed sheet about what to do for after-care, including over-the-counter pills for pain and a prescription for OxyContin.

Of course, my immediate thought was, “I’m not doing that!” But later what surprised me was that there wasn’t much pain at all – certainly nothing that ibuprofen couldn’t take care of.

When I next visited this doctor, I told him that the prescription was totally unnecessary and urged him, in light of the drug epidemic in our society, not to continue to give out such prescriptions. He told me that different people have different reactions to pain and if he doesn’t give the prescription, the patient might be calling him later asking him for more help.

Meanwhile, those pills could have entered society and caused more havoc, but didn’t – because I ripped up the paper on which the prescription was written.

Your editorial of Sept. 22 notes that pharmaceutical companies pushed narratives that resulted in “an explosion in painkiller prescriptions, convincing doctors and patients that these heavy drugs were necessary for relatively minor ailments.”

My small encounter with this activity and subsequent complaint went nowhere. I hope you have better results.

Delene Perley


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