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May 1, 1996

What Is Adequate and Appropriate Pain Treatment?

Author Affiliations

Cedar Falls, Iowa

JAMA. 1996;275(17):1311. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530410024017

To the Editor.  —In my work as a medical director of a methadone clinic I see how the city streets are flooded with pharmaceutical opiates. Addicts use them in times when heroin is scarce and may begin their addiction taking pharmaceuticals for one reason or another. Physicians, it goes without saying, are easily inveigled.It is a gross oversimplification for physicians to think only as Dr Hill1 would advise, when patients demand adequate pain treatment for any and all types of pain. It is extremely difficult to decide exactly when and what amount of opiates should be used in each individual case, and even then appropriate caution must be exercised to minimize the disastrous results that can come with diversion and misuse of these medications.