For the past 35 years I have worked assiduously to avoid causing opioid dependency, i.e. addiction, in my patients. I am proud of the track record that I have set by carefully planning necessary surgery to minimize pain by using tiny incisions whenever possible using the best, most modern techniques; preparing people psychologically before surgery; making sure they get the best anesthetic techniques used during surgery; and by using the best oral medication which usually means no opioids at all or, when necessary, the amount given is relatively small doses for a very short time- usually less than a week.

Today in the United States about 70,000 people died last year of opioid overdose; most of this really has nothing to do with medication prescribed by doctors, but we certainly don't want to make the problem worse. Sadly, the emphasis on this is hurting non-addict patients such that we cannot call in refills for opioids in the few cases when they are necessary.