Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for June 23

How to submit a Letter to the Editor

The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

The Opioid Epidemic and compassionate pain care

I would like to compliment The Olympian on the recent article about the opioid epidemic.

The issues that I see include: lack of practitioner training, focus, time or commitment to safely managing opioids. Many medical providers are not aware of or are not following safe prescribing protocols. These protocols include mandatory assessment and management of opioid risks and unsafe conditions.

Many conditions are often not identified or managed that can kill a person taking opioids or make pain worse. I completely agree with the new Washington state and federal opioid prescribing protocols.

Nearly every day I see patients who are consuming alcohol or being prescribed anxiety medications (Xanax, Valium or others) or sleeping medications (Ambien, others). These are potentially lethal combinations that can cause costly emergency department visits or death by suppressing respiratory functions. Inadequately treated sleep problems or mental health issues frequently make pain worse, until managed better.

In my practice, we impeccably follow all the opioid protocols to safely prescribe opioids. This helps those with chronic severe pain make life more livable.

Another issue includes people who are tapered too rapidly or people whose opioids are abruptly stopped, causing withdrawal symptoms and increased pain. Medication protocols exist to slowly taper opioids so that people do not have to suffer excessively.

I believe all providers should participate in the University of Washington Telepain conferences to learn how to utilize safer and provide compassionate pain care.

David Overton, Olympia, PA-C

Pride Flag does not have a place at state Capitol

Today, I decided to introduce my grandson to the Washington State Capitol Grounds. Imagine my surprise when we happened upon a ceremony celebrating the raising of the Pride flag at the Capitol.

Government buildings and grounds are owned and paid for by the citizens of Washington State, and are designated for the running and managing of official state business on behalf of its citizens, all of its citizens, not just minority special interest groups.

When our governor and legislators take it upon themselves to publicly promote the agenda of one special interest group by raising their flag on the Capitol grounds, they are suggesting that agenda is official state policy for everyone.

It also opens the door to a flood of other fringe groups demanding that their flags be raised over the Capitol, and they would be within their rights to do so, based upon the raising of the Pride flag.

As a citizen, I respectfully ask that this action, which does not fairly take into consideration the beliefs of those opposed to the promotion and celebration of the LGBT lifestyle, be reconsidered.

Virginia Schnabel, Rochester
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