Government's Overlooked Role in the Opioid Epidemic

Government's Overlooked Role in the Opioid Epidemic
AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File

Now that the federal government is cracking down on the prescription of opioid painkillers, Americans are rightfully concerned that some patients with legitimate needs for these drugs may be left to suffer. Government policy, even with the best intentions, can overlook the complexities of individual circumstances in favor of blanket rules to address problems in public health.

This is not just the case with government's response to the American opioid abuse epidemic; it was also the case with the bad government policies that contributed to creating and worsening the crisis in previous years. This history should make us wary of government's increasingly heavy hand in health care.

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