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Editor's Correspondence
May 9, 2011

A True Believer’s Flawed Analysis—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Los Angeles Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(9):867-868. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.167

In reply

To be clear: I did not express, nor do I feel, frustration in caring for patients with complex pain and substance use issues. I have chosen to work in a county hospital caring for people with human immunodeficiency virus, many of whom have mental illness and/or substance addiction, because I find the work satisfying and rewarding. What I was trying to express was my concern that the model of pain treatment I was taught and have practiced is harming our patients. Indeed, in 2007 there were more deaths in the United States from unintentional drug overdoses due to opioids than heroin and cocaine combined.1

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