For John, BLUF: How much is too much? Nothing to see here; just move along.
Having just experienced the joys of Laparoscopic Surgery I can attest to the fact that you do get sent home with pain pills and they work, when you use them. And, I live in fear of addiction, although I am told that if you are using the pills for the pain you won't get addicted. All that said, Writer Graeme Wood, in The New Republic, warns us "Drug Dealers Aren't to Blame for the Heroin Boom. Doctors Are."
So, those who find themselves addicted may be our neighbors. Thus, the question of the "Methadone Clinic" in Lowell isn't just about the down and out of society, but also perhaps people we know. A new Puritanism, that condemns the weak, does not become us.
What was it George C Marshall used to say? "Don't fight the problem, solve it."
Regards — Cliff