Regarding your concern over “normalizing the idea of children taking opioids” (Our View, Aug. 26): there is nothing normal about childhood cancer. As a teenager, our daughter was prescribed oxycodone for over a year for cancer-related spinal pain. The cancer severely impacted her quality of life. The opiate was a carefully monitored by her physician, and it facilitated things that most teens take for granted, like getting out of bed, watching TV, or doing a bit of school work.
The impacts of the cancer will be with her her whole life. Taking pain killers is something cancer survivors associate with the supreme personal challenge of fighting cancer, the pain, the uncertainty, the social ramifications, calendaring multiple doctor visits and MRI scans rather than home football games and school dances, for instance.
The battle is a traumatic enough experience that I would think most childhood cancer survivors are more likely to walk away, not toward, the recreational use of opioids later in life. Surely research has been done in this arena.
Diane Sharp Johnson, Friant