I’d like to offer another helpful suggestion to Jim Lichauer’s recent guest column, “Good stewards needed in our opioid crisis.” I firmly believe a factor in the opioid crisis lies in the fact that there’s no apparent database that lets prescribers know which opioids have been prescribed, reason for the med, directions on usage and, very important, the amount prescribed.
Although these drugs have no refills, I’d like to offer a scenario that plays itself out all too often in the outpatient setting that allows for abuse of opioids at every angle possible: A patient arrives at a local ER for, say, a self-limiting painful event such as a gallbladder attack or a broken bone. He or she is given a prescription for often two different controlled drugs (for varying severity of pain) and told to see a surgeon to fix the ailment.
The patient then sees a surgeon and has surgery to fix the problem. Afterward the surgeon writes the patient another pain med script. Often such patients still have well over a dozen or more pills left from the previous ER visit. It’s very easy to see how pills can end up in the wrong hands. This happens on a daily basis.
Tonya L. Warren, RN, BSN, Waco
Here’s something to brighten up a dreary January: The Internal Revenue Service recently completed its new tax-withholding tables to reflect recently passed tax cuts. Employees across the country will see bigger paychecks by Feb. 15 at the latest as less money is taken out by the government in taxes. According to Yahoo Finance, a person earning $60,000 a year can expect to earn $112 more per month. If they have kids, that number will be higher.
More money in people’s pockets will help pay the bills, which nearly half of Americans struggle with. It will cover the cost of a monthly smartphone plan. Who wouldn’t want that taken care of? Tell your significant other; tax cuts should also mean a nicer Valentine’s Day gift this year.
Lois Landgraf, Colorado state representative, Fountain, Colo.
Regarding the Dec. 28 letter to the editor, “Sour Grapes,” accusing Democrats and progressives of misleading talking points, including that 83 percent of tax-cut savings will go to the top 1 percent and that 86 million Americans will see their taxes increased: I had not heard of this “Job Creators Network,” so I Googled it.
Yes, they are indeed “nonpartisan” in the sense they are a group founded and run by corporations for the sole purpose of working to benefit the corporations, not the workers. They are nonpartisan in the sense that they don’t care which party does what, so long as it makes the corporations richer, not the employees.
So, dear readers, read letters from such sources with a grain of salt and do your own research.
Mark Barnett, Waco