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Editorial | Our View

Regulate opioids to curb misuse


    This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain.

The alarming abuse of prescription painkillers known as opioids, an epidemic that has caused drug overdose deaths to soar nationwide, has sent policymakers and politicians scrambling for solutions — sometimes raising the hackles of medical professionals, who are rightly wary of politicians telling them how to do their jobs. Read more

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