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Justice for all?

Richard Paey 25 YEARS

As Richard Paey sits in his cell, wheelchair bound, a subdermal pump delivers a steady flow of morphine to kill the back pain from a 1985 car crash. The 45-year-old father of three used to handle the pain with prescription narcotics, but when he moved to Florida he couldn't find a doctor willing to prescribe the appropriate amount of medication. They feared a loss of license or even prison. Like so many others, Paey was forced to use questionable prescriptions and got arrested. He refused to be forced into treatment for addiction because he's a legitimate pain patient. Now the state is providing his narcotics, along with room and board, at a cost to the taxpayers of perhaps $80,000 a year.

Rush Limbaugh TREATMENT

When Florida narcotics officers busted talk show host Rush Limbaugh for buying large quantities of Oxycontin and other narcotics on the black market, he checked himself into a treatment center. After five weeks of rehab, he is back on the air. Mr. Limbaugh's illegal drug buys, over 90 pills a day at one point, make Richard Paey's pale by comparision. And while Mr. Limbaugh's use of narcotics began with severe back pain, he continued using long after the pain was gone. To catch addicts like Mr. Limbaugh, the government is targeting doctors, and the doctors are becoming so gun-shy they don't want to risk dealing with chronic pain patients at all.

NEITHER SHOULD BE PUT IN PRISON. Pain patients and addicts need medical help, not confinement, Mike Gray, Chair; Robert Field, Co-Chair,,
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Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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