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Reader: Is the opioid crisis really a crisis? 

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For all the attention brought to the opiate epidemic, I ask myself why opiates? Why are the media concentrating so much on it? And why is the president devoting so much money toward the "crisis." Is it really a crisis?

I think the target, opiates, are expensive. Medicaid and Medicare cover many prescriptions. How much do you think the government is saving by proclaiming an opiate crisis and cutting off pain patients?

Insurance companies pressure doctors and demonize patients. They are under government control and political pressure.

Is it really about safety? The fact is the CDC reports the leading cause of preventable disease to be tobacco use — 480,000 people die every year due to tobacco-related diseases like cancer and COPD. Why aren't our leaders declaring this a crisis?

Why are we so focused on an opiate crisis when as few as 15,000 deaths per year are attributed to prescription opiate overdose?

I realize any premature death is a serious matter, but get the facts people, look it up!

— Elizabeth Devine, Manitou Springs

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