If you try a stupid stunt you see on TV and break your arm, is it the network's fault?
If you slip on a sidewalk and hurt your back, is it the city's fault?
If you eat fast food every day of your life and gain 60 pounds, is it the restaurant's fault?
These are all questions to consider here in America where one of our favorite pastimes is The Blame Game. If something goes wrong, if the cards don't fall our way, it's always time to play The Blame Game and fault someone else.
Lose a big ball game, it's because of the referees. Have a car wreck, it's because of another driver. According to our rationalization, nothing is ever our fault.
I make these statements as McMinnville city government and Warren County government are considering their options when it comes to opioid-related lawsuits. This comes after our District Attorney's office has already retained a legal firm to file its own opioid lawsuit.
The big question is whether drugmakers should be held liable when their product, in this case opioid painkillers, is abused. The abuse can lead to years of addiction, or as 2015 and 2016 have shown in Tennessee, more than 1,000 deaths each year.
I can certainly sympathize with people who are in chronic pain. As someone who has suffered a major back injury, I know how it feels when every move hurts.
You can't sit and you can't stand. Most of the night is spent tossing and turning because you can't find a comfortable position. And, as anyone who has endured sharp back pain knows, you never want to sneeze.
More than passing blame, I think we all need to accept personal responsibility for what we do and for what goes in our body. If we take a pill because it helps ease our pain, its intended function, we should all realize the short jump that can be made from regular use to addiction.
Getting a prescription for opioid painkillers through legal channels isn't easy. It requires a doctor's appointment, which means sitting in a waiting room and then an exam room, for quite some time.
Then it requires telling the healthcare provider you are in immense pain and must have some type of relief.
Then it requires filling the prescription. Then you have to take it.
These are all very deliberate actions which cannot be done by mistake. It doesn't make sense to do all of these things and then try to blame the drug companies for making a product which works.
It would seem to me the doctor who overly prescribes the medication and the person who abuses the medication are the only ones with any wrongdoing.
An automaker would not be held responsible if a person drives off the road and hits a utility pole because they were too busy texting to pay attention. Likewise, a drugmaker should not be held responsible for people who do not pay attention to what they're doing and take too many pain pills for too long.
The easy answer is always to blame someone else.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.