Twenty Questions to Ask Political Candidates


Preparing for Election Season

The United States is approaching a new election season. Most people are aware of the opioid crisis and the imperative to solve it. As voters, we are tasked with choosing the people who can make a positive difference.

Now is the time to evaluate the ability of each candidate’s potential contribution to solving the opioid crisis while also recognizing the needs of people in pain. A review of each candidate’s statements, websites, and social media pages should help us make the best possible choices. It is not a time to be partisan and vote for your favorite political party. It rests with us to assess each candidate’s knowledge of the facts and determine who is most likely to offer constructive ideas.

Twenty Questions to Ask Political Candidates

Here are 20 questions that every candidate should be able to answer to your satisfaction. You can use these questions as a guide to grade the individuals.

  1. What is the difference between physical dependence and addiction or an opioid use disorder?
  2. Can babies be born addicted to opioids?
  3. When, and how, do most opioid use disorders begin?
  4. What percent of opioid abusers get their drugs from family and friends rather than doctors?
  5. What percentage of diverted prescription opioids are involved in overdoses?
  6. How many Americans have chronic pain?
  7. How many people commit suicide annually due in part to chronic pain?
  8. Does the candidate support the development of safer pain medication such as abuse deterrent formulations?
  9. What role has health insurance played in creating and maintaining the opioid crisis?
  10. What percentage of opioid-associated overdoses involve illegal opioids?
  11. What percentage of overdoses involve multiple drugs?
  12. How often do benzodiazepines contribute to overdoses?
  13. Do patient satisfaction surveys increase opioid prescribing?
  14. Are opioids usually prescribed before most non opioid analgesics
  15. How does the cost of opioid addiction compare to the cost of chronic pain?
  16. Can law enforcement solve the problem of addiction?
  17. Does prescribing opioids after surgery usually lead to addiction?
  18. Should payers be required to pay for abuse deterrent opioid formulations?
  19. Has the Fifth Vital Sign contributed to the opioid crisis?
  20. Are prescription opioids a gateway drug?

Candidates should be willing to answer these questions. I suggest that correctly answering 15 of the 20 questions is getting a passing grade. Any candidate answering fewer questions correctly needs to be educated. In other words, we should pull our support from candidates until they have the knowledge to advance their grades.

Download the 20 questions now


Electing Politicians Who Can Address Opioid and Pain Crises

We’re lucky that, as citizens of the United States, we have an opportunity to elect the candidates of our choice. But with that right comes the responsibility of making sure that we cast our votes for politicians who will help to solve the opioid and pain crises.

Over the next few weeks, I will research several candidates and report my findings. I encourage you to do the same and let the rest of us know what you have discovered by writing a comment to this blog. Let’s work to educate our political representatives and provide them important feedback.


Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash


  1. Harper Campbell on September 15, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I am wanting to get more into my town’s local government, and with the election coming up soon, I am wanting to make sure that I will be asking the right questions. It’s interesting to learnt that one thing to thing about asking them when it comes to drugs that we need to see if they believe if law enforcement will be able to solve addiction problems. This is good to know so that I can see where they stand on this issue.

  2. Jon on December 3, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Do you support an amendment to the constitution that holds those accountable for deliberately created guidelines that are enforced as law. That deliberately cause intense suffering and the mortality rate to sky rocket. Punishment being prison time including a huge fine and required education on the topics chronic pain and how to actually treat patients.

  3. Sandie on December 3, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Seriously finally soneone thinking like me! Find candidates who will stand up for our issue and get behind them. We number in the millions we are a voting block. Wr can elect people who consider us valuable and worth being treated humanely! #peopleinpainunite

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