Opiates and pain control


in Politics, Science, Security

This rather heart-wrenching article from the New York Times discusses the shortage of pain-killing opiates for medical care in the developing world. This is more the consequence of (seemingly misguided) policies than of poverty. The issue was touched upon here earlier, as part of this discussion on the Afghan opium crop.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Neal September 11, 2007 at 2:47 am

I’m sorry. The lesser races simply cannot be trusted with narcotics. We all know how the vicious Chinaman would ensnare white youths in his opium dens, condemning young souls to a life of vice. The civilized white man would never have done such a thing to them, let alone fight two wars to do it.

R.K. September 11, 2007 at 1:37 pm

I suppose there is some danger that providing better pain killers will just mask the underlying medical conditions that exist, leading to less attention being paid to them. Still, that risk doesn’t seem too substantial, compared to the possibility of improving the quality of sick peoples lives.

Milan November 12, 2007 at 6:32 pm

The larks, still bravely singing, fly / Scarce heard amid the guns below.

November 12, 2007 5:57 AM

The poppy is bitterly ironic this Remembrance Day. Borrowed from John McRae’s classic In Flanders’ Fields, the poppy has shifted from a symbolic meaning to the central subject of an ongoing conflict. As international intervention in Afghanistan continues, opium production has reached record-breaking heights, with this single country now producing 90% of the world’s total supply (utterly dwarfing global licit supply). Meanwhile, the world suffers a global opiate shortage(pdf), Canada’s heroin maintenance project is threatened by politics, and the National Review of Medicine suggests that prescription opiates are far more dangerous than the “usual suspects”.

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