There's no single answer for controlling pain
It was disturbing to read a July 28 Vindicator article that seemed to say that most people with chronic pain should receive opioid drugs. Many readers are likely to "hear" this message, whether or not it is what the writer intended. I'm confident that the physician whose book on pain control (for a consumer audience) was cited would concur. In reality, there is no "one size fits all" treatment for such diverse pain conditions as cancer, migraine and fibromyalgia.
Opioids are fine drugs for patients with cancer-related pain and for selected persons with some other painful conditions, but they have many drawbacks. There are frequent side effects. True addiction seldom occurs when opioids are prescribed properly, but physical dependence is common. The risk that these drugs will be diverted to illicit use is substantial, as articles in The Vindicator have reminded us in recent months. It's true that physicians sometimes under-prescribe opioids, but those who order them too freely, even with the best of intentions, can find themselves in serious legal jeopardy.
The bottom line is this: Opioids are "wonder drugs" for some patients with some kinds of pain, but using them incautiously can create problems for everyone concerned.
ROBERT D. GILLETTE, MD
A man of some of the people, some of the time
In the July 31 Vindicator, a letter writer said that James Traficant was a man of the people and stood up for the little guy. Well, this is not the truth. This is said because of first-hand knowledge of what Mr. Traficant would not help with.
In the July 12 Vindicator, a letter was written about a 64-year-old woman who was accosted in her own yard and the police did nothing. She also had called the mayor, who did not call her back. She thought that by calling Mr. Traficant's office she would be able to get him to talk to the mayor, but what she got was a staff member telling her that Mr. Traficant did not get involved in these types of matters.
Mr. Traficant would get involved if a union were involved or there was a good chance a TV crew would be at the scene, but not if the person or people involved would not get his face in the news. So, the letter writer was wrong. Traficant was not a man of the people, but only a man of some of the people.
JAMES D. VAUGHN II
What are we paying for?
James Traficant Jr. has been indicted, found guilty and expelled, and that has been painful to watch. I believe that there is a serious point that is being missed by the people of the Mahoning Valley.
Every month I have federal withholding tax taken out of my paycheck. When was the last time we had representation in the House of Representatives? Is this not true "taxation without representation?" I received E-mails to contact my congressman on various bills that are before the House requesting his vote either for or against the legislation. To whom do I address these letters?
There isn't enough money for a special election to elect a representative, so we do without? The people of the Mahoning Valley deserve an explanation of who speaks for us -- or perhaps a refund.
Missing 'welcome' signs
What has happened to the hospitality of our merchants on Belmont Avenue? During the week that the LPGA was here at Squaw Creek Country Club for the Giant Eagle Classic, there was only one welcome sign on any of the marquees from Gypsy Lane to Tibbets-Wick Road.
The least the merchants could have done was to acknowledge their presence. They not only brought prestige to our community but also aided in raising money for our charities.
They will be back next year, so, merchants, take notice and act accordingly.
W. M. MALKIN