Radley Balko advocates for sufferers of chronic pain:
The potential for abuse has attached to opioids a social and cultural stigma that can make doctors reluctant to prescribe them, and patients reluctant to take them, even in end-of-life care. But pain patients and their advocates say the bigger problem is that drug control has taken priority over ensuring access to effective treatment. To be sure, there is a divide in the medical community over the effectiveness of long-term, high-dose therapy. But what ought to be a research-driven debate among medical professionals has been corrupted by policies aimed at preventing addicts and drug pushers from obtaining painkillers, not what's in the best interest of pain patients. Police and prosecutors now dictate medical policy.