Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Paging Dr. House

The excellent television program "House" has recently explored a subplot in which Dr. House- the vicadin popping hero of the show- has been persecuted by an over zealous federal prosecutor with a personal grudge. For the majority of the show, House has been the archetype "functional addict." He believed he needed the drugs because he was in pain, and every week he continued to save lives. Dr. House finally hit a wall last night's episode, in which the prosecutors actions against him (freezing the assets of Dr. House and his friends, and cutting of all of House's avenues to pain medication) sent the good doctor first into an unwanted detox and then a self induced drug binge when he managed to come across more pills. The message was clear. This is the cost of the aggressive war on drugs.

In a similar vein is this piece from Jacob Sullum. Sullum writes about a wheel-chair bound father who's been thrown in jail for his use of pain killers.

What's the point of throwing functioning members of society in jail for using pain killers? Why do we continue to put up with a system that harasses and threatens the friends and families of those who attempt to deal with their pain with non-mainstream means? And why should the government tell individuals that certain sorts of pain killers are outside the realm of possibility?


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