I don’t think antidepressants are to blame for the suicides. There’s a common event that has taken place–the doctor has either reduced the patient’s pain medication or took them off of their medication completely. Then, the patient commits suicide, when they can no longer take the pain. You can’t blame the antidepressants, if the person was mentally stable, prior to the reduction or stopping their medications. A lot of patients are practically forced to go on antidepressants. Doctors tell patients that it will help their pain. (There is evidence cymbalta and tricyclic antidepressants do offer relief in some patients). If a patient does not at least try the medication, the doctor can dismiss them as a patient. The problem is recreational drug use and heroin. The problem is not with chronic pain patients. If a chronic pain patient was an addict, it would be discovered very quickly. With drug screens, pill counts, and the national drug database…along with the behavior an addict displays, it would be really hard for an addict to go unnoticed. Is there a problem with addiction? Yes. But it’s being handled wrong and innocent people are being punished. As is, there aren’t enough treatment centers. Addicts, who ask for help are put on a waiting list. When it’s extremely important to get an addict into treatment immediately. Treatment centers are underfunded. Centers don’t have medication for proper detox and management of withdrawal symptoms. This leads to patients leaving treatment. (Some go straight back to drugs because they’re so uncomfortable. Too many people have died because they’ve overestimated the dose they could use.) Then there are the treatment facilities that are $30,000 or more a month, that only the wealthy can afford. After treatment care is just as important and resources are lacking. How do we expect someone just out of treatment, to drive hours every day to a methadone clinic? Most don’t have access to a car, so they’re relying on public transportation. Getting their maintenance medication becomes a whole day event. How do we expect them to get jobs? It almost makes it easier to begin shooting up again or using their drug of choice. The focus needs to be on addiction and treatment. Allowing every addict access to the same treatment the wealthy get. Also, providing sober living facilities and treatment to get back to living a normal life–not a day spent on a bus getting their daily dose of methadone.