react and respond

React and Respond

Crisis and Opportunity; Science > Politics

Crisis and Opportunity

Wonderful to hear of the ongoing efforts of The Clinton Foundation [“A Stunning Epidemic,” Fall 2017]. But a lost opportunity for [President] Clinton to mention the helpful role of medical marijuana in addressing opiate addiction.

Camille Jones / Via Magazine Comments

I appreciate a great focus on opioid addiction. I very much think the problem should be addressed by our society. But after the CDC guidelines were released, I completely distrust politicians and special interests to solve this problem. Instead, on a bipartisan basis, they have made it worse. Overdoses skyrocket and legitimate pain patients can’t get treatment, let alone opioid treatment. Doctors are leaving pain management in droves thanks to attacks on legitimate pain doctors, scooped up along with pill mill docs. 

There is no evidence that long-term, safe, legal opioid medicine treatment is worse than leaving a patient in pain. I appreciate the thoughtful interview, but until we get politics out of this battle, and science and facts in, we’re all just spinning our wheels. 

Sara Batchelder / Via Magazine Comments

Thank you for discussing this important issue. However, your article doesn’t touch on the other side of the opioid crisis: Many people in this country use opioids responsibly for legitimate intractable pain conditions. These individuals use these meds just as a diabetic uses insulin to reduce the effects of their illnesses. Yet they are being treated as criminals. Some have been forced into disability. Some have even taken their own lives. 

Yes, there is an opioid epidemic. But it is greatly due to illegal fentanyl and heroin. This is the war that should be waged with programs and education starting in grade school. 

Sally Balsamo / Via Magazine Comments

[I’m] an emergency physician in Australia. We prescribe a lot of short-term opioids, but we do not have the opioid epidemic the U.S. has. Isn’t the other part of the puzzle the ready availability of synthetic fentanyl on the street, which is 100–1,000 times more potent than morphine? 


Lai Heng Foong / Via Magazine Comments

Science > Politics

Nice article [“Straight Shooter,” Fall 2017]. As a member of New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence, [I] have always been impressed with [Cassandra Crifasi’s and Daniel Webster’s] scholarly integrity and research quality in an area that lends itself to too much gun politics and not enough gun science.

Cass, see you at the range if you ever get down this way. 

Khalil Spencer / Via Magazine Comments