I am writing this letter because I am concerned about the opioid epidemic, as are many others living in this country. What concerns me most is that we continue to prescribe these very addictive drugs at an alarming rate. There have been some efforts to reduce this, but, in my opinion, not enough.

Given that four out of five people who have become addicted to heroin started with prescription medications, it is obvious to me what needs to be done to get this epidemic under control. The doctors prescribing these drugs need to stop prescribing them for every procedure that may result in some pain.

Putting up with some pain for a short period of time is a better alternative than becoming addicted to these drugs. I am sure there are some cases when these drugs are necessary, but not as many as are being prescribed.

As for addiction treatment facilities, I believe that the pharmaceutical companies getting rich off this epidemic need to fund four-fifths of the cost of running these facilities from their profits. After all, they caused four-fifths of the people to become addicted. I’m sure our elected representatives in Washington could make this happen if so many of them were not bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Sad.

Stephen Johnson