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I understand and agree that our country and state are experiencing an explosion in opiate abuse and overdose deaths [“Opioid abuse is destroying our community. I know, I was an addict,” Opinion, Oct. 15]. Any loss or degradation of life is tragic.

There is, however, another group of people deeply affected by this crisis we don’t hear much about. Folks who live in constant, unbearable pain and can barely function now that the one remedy for easing their pain has been taken from them. From arthritis to injury to surgery to fibromyalgia, there’s a good percentage of people following a doctor’s prescription exactly as written to relieve pain and function again.

I searched but couldn’t find overdose stats on those taking opiates exactly as prescribed. Nor stats on overdoses by individuals taking medication not prescribed to them.

The government has made clinics and family-practice doctors terrified to prescribe opiates to anyone for chronic pain, despite one’s individual track record.

Stephen M. Long, Arlington