Letters: Readers weigh in on issues of the day
Thanks to businesses that supported Navajo Prep fundraiser
On behalf of Navajo Prep we would like to thank the following business supporters for making our 4th Annual Big Foot Classic Fundraising Golf Tournament a huge success.
NECA, Four Corners Community Bank, Parkers Office Products, NTUA, Orthopedic Associates, SJ Medical Group, C & J Equipment, Animas Valley Insurance, Conoco Phillips, Consolidated Constructors, Auto-Max, Sun Glass, Souder Miller & Associates, Lincoln Financial, Cornerstone Reality, Robert Cohen, MVCI, Sundance Dental.
On behalf of our Student Body and Staff. Thank you for supporting Navajo Prep.
Mike Tillman, athletic director
Navajo Preparatory School
Toys For Tots made Christmas happen
This letter is to express thanks to Toys For Tots. I came to visit my daughter and her children. Their situation was very sad, but they qualified for Toys For Tots. The children saw Santa and received toys. They were thrilled.
What a wonderful organization that helps the "less fortunate." You made some little children believe in Santa again.
I am home now but wanted to let you know that you are appreciated.
Mrs. Jane Schmidt
San Francisco, Calif.
New opioid guidelines should be quickly approved
Editors note: The following letter was sent to Dr. Tom Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director by 36 attorneys general.
As attorneys general whose states and residents have been affected by the epidemic of opioid abuse, addiction, diversion, overdose, and death, we write to urge the speedy adoption of the CDC’s Proposed 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (the "Guidelines").
As statewide public officials who work collaboratively with law enforcement, we are regularly confronted with the problems caused by opioid abuse. While some states have reduced the number of deaths due to opioid drug overdose, overall deaths from overdoses continue to rise in our nation. Unfortunately, the opioid overdose deaths and emergency room visits continue to increase in proportion to the increase in prescribed opioids. In order to reduce these deaths and injuries, we must provide clear guidance for prescribers to assess the appropriate balance between the potential harms and benefits of opioid use.
The increase in overdose deaths has made the efforts to improve informed prescribing both a law enforcement and public safety issue. Unfortunately, many prescribers, particularly primary care and family physicians, note they can lack clear and practical guidance in deciding when and how to prescribe opioids. Some are afraid to prescribe opioids at all, for fear that they will jeopardize their patients – or even their licenses. Others provide their patients with opioids when alternative treatments may serve as a more effective long term method of care.
We recognize that the Guidelines are just that. The Guidelines provide a foundation for practice, recognizing that doctors will need to adapt them to meet the individual needs of their patients. But the core message — that many patients can be treated with lower doses or alternative treatment methods, provides much-needed direction to doctors. It gives doctors the knowledge and confidence to prescribe opioids when appropriate, and to more safely manage patients on opioids. The Guidelines also recognize that opioids remain an important tool for responding to extreme or intractable pain.
By better informing and guiding prescribers, these Guidelines will not only provide a strong framework for providers, but they will also improve the access to opioids for patients for whom they are the best choice. For these reasons, we urge the CDC to promptly adopt these Guidelines.
Hector Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General
Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General
Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General
And 33 other attorneys general