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Why the three-month dosage stipulation? A clue might be found in a statement by Dr. Jane Ballantyne, professor of anesthesiology and pain management at the University of Washington in Seattle, who told the aforementioned CDC panel: “Multiple studies, in fact, show that after 90 days of continuous opioid use, opioid treatment is much more likely to become lifelong. So patients that continue opioids beyond 90 days are less likely to be able to come off opioids than those that stop the treatment earlier.”

In other words, patients become addicted, so medical authorities are being understandably cautious.

So, who would you trust on this — a panel of doctors or a gaggle of ACLU lawyers?

Inquiring emergency-room personnel want to know.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.