Toronto Public Health Vice-Chair Diane Coleman told Fox News Radio that she stands by a controversial column she wrote on the deadly opioid crisis and argued the second drug is actually being unfairly stigmatized.
Coleman wrote about the death of a friend who died from the first prescription opioid and the effectiveness of reverse therapy for the second opioid in her most recent column.
After backlash about her contention that the second opioid can be cured through “natural methods,” she wrote a second article on Facebook in which she said she was an “anybody” – meaning anyone could qualify for the program. The article angered several people, with some calling her a “pinko” and saying the comments were sexist.
Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes asked Coleman if she understands why the second opioid controversy has reignited the opioid crisis in the media.
She said it’s tragic that people are dying from the opioids but the public health industry has a responsibility to prevent that.
“We did not ban heroin in the country. We only used heroin for pain management purposes and we also prescribed it,” she said. “The over-prescribing of these are the overdoses and the death rates.”
Coleman said she believes in “dialogue” and people can have disagreements but that comes with difference of opinion.
“When people say, ‘oh, she’s a pinko,’ I’m a pinko if they say that to me, and a pinko is someone who likes to sit back and do nothing because they think they’re smarter than everybody else and I was happy to weigh in and talk about a subject that is life and death,” she said.
Coleman said she was writing about the issue of second opioid in a “canvassing” manner but used it as a “conversation starter.”
“I was in the community saying, ‘Hey, this is a disease. This is a serious disease that requires serious medical care and we really have to be careful and be educated.’ That is what I was just trying to say,” she said.
Coleman said she was responding to a statement that the second opioid can be cured with a program that involves the second opioid combined with natural methods.
“What I was trying to say is that there are other treatment that are suggested in the medical community. It’s a pharmaceutical program that they have,” she said. “I was not saying that it can be cured. It’s an evil drug. I was just trying to make the argument that it is not the drug per se, it’s just in the way. I was attempting to promote discourse. This is a disease and the only way we can address it is to educate people.”
Watch the interview with Diane Coleman here: