Monday's HOT MIC

Monday's HOT MIC

While we're on the subject of drugs today, the Daily Record (my local paper), reported that a 30-year-old man, in court for drug possession, overdosed in November twice in the same day.

Wayne County is not the kind of community where you would expect to see a heroin epidemic. The unemployment rate is low (3.5 percent), two-parent homes are common, the schools are decent, and violent crime is generally low. Yet drug-related overdose deaths were up 40 percent in 2016 (32) over 2015, attributed mainly to men in their 40s. And according to Wayne County Prosecutor Dan Lutz, around 75 percent of cases that make it to the grand jury are drug-related.

Gov. Kasich, seeking to address the problem of drug overdoses in Ohio, got out his pen and his phone this month and ordered the Ohio State Medical Board to enact limits on prescription opioids.

Ohio doctors, dentists and other health professionals will be able to prescribe only up to seven days of painkillers for adults and five days for kids and teens under new rules announced Thursday.

The limits apply to acute pain patients, with exceptions for cancer, hospice or medication-assisted addiction patients. Prescribers can override the limits if they provide a specific reason in the patient's medical record.

The vast majority of doctors and patients handle prescription pain medications responsibly. But because a small majority don't, the rest of us must now be treated like children—or worse, like criminals—in order to save people who abuse opioids from themselves. All this will do is make it more difficult for people who suffer from severe pain to get the relief they need, while driving drug abusers to find new ways to get high without having to jump through government hoops. As is almost always the case with this kind of effort, law-abiding citizens are the ones who end up paying the price for something that ends up having a minimal effect on the problem it was intended to solve.