Nevada has a drug prescription problem that is 65% greater than the rest of the nation. Those addictions are generally the result of people getting drugs from family, friends or by abusing the system by getting the same drug from multiple doctors or pharmacies.
That fact has propelled state Sen. Tick Segerblom to propose SB 75, which would allow those who become addicted to sue the doctor who prescribed the medication or the manufacturer who produced it.
It is great idea for reducing addiction, unless Nevada still wants to treat its residents for pain.
Doctor after doctor testified before a Senate subcommittee that if this bill became law, prescriptions for painkillers would plummet. Physicians noted that horrible, painful diseases, like cancer, take extraordinary measures. Sometimes the medicines used to treat the disease or side effects of treatment lead to addiction, but death is a far worse result than addiction.
Segerblom dismissed that.
“I know we lived without them before so I’m skeptical these are the only ways to treat these diseases,” Segerblom said of prescription drugs. “But if they are, we have to create a better way to control and regulate them.”
Oh, sure, we lived without painkillers — prior to civilization. The first recorded use of painkillers was opium 6,000 years ago by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians. Painkillers have been around just about as long as the wheel. Suggesting that people can live without them fits nicely if Segerblom’s vision of paradise as the Stone Age.
The real issue is personal responsibility. Those who want to abuse the system shouldn’t be responsible for denying those who need pain relief from getting it. That is exactly what Segerblom’s bill will do. Doctors will be made leery of prescribing painkillers and drug manufacturers will probably cease to sell them in Nevada.