A lot has been written about America's opioid epidemic and its negative effect on many communities. Besides pushing people into addiction and causing overdoses, opioid abuse has also caused incidents of violence around the country including homicides.
Last week a doctor in Indiana was shot by a patient's husband for refusing to prescribe opioids. Early Wednesday morning, Michael Jarvis and his wife went to Dr. Todd Graham's office looking for opioids to help treat her chronic pain. However Graham didn't believe in prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Jarvis left, but returned two hours later and argued with Graham, ending in Jarvis shooting the doctor. He left the scene and later committed suicide.
While it's unknown whether Jarvis used opioids, the dangerous drugs certainly played an instigating factor in the homicide. Doctors are told to not overprescribe opioids because of the negative side effects that are associated with them. Unfortunately for Dr. Graham, trying to protect his patent led to his death.
Of course, there are other solutions to chronic pain, one of the foremost being medical marijuana. A plethora of research shows that cannabis products can treat many of the same conditions as opioids, and are also far safer. And yet the federal government and anti-marijuana advocates will continue to argue that cannabis will destroy people's life while having absolutely no problem with doctors prescribing dangerous opioids.
Now there's some well-thought out priorities.