It’s only 36 seconds of the more than two-hour film, but Shirley MacLaine’s Oscar winning scene in "Terms of Endearment" is hard to forget. In the movie, her daughter is a cancer patient whose pain medication is strictly timed. For a few heartbreaking moments, the actress delivers a frenzied rant at the nurse’s station, as she demands pain relief for her daughter now:

"Give my daughter the shot, you understand me? Give my daughter the shot!"

A few months ago, I found myself in a real life version of that anguish and emotion. I was advocating for myself, trying to refill my prescription for an opiate medication. Medicine that had been prescribed for me by my doctor after recent surgery. I quickly ran into the blockades set up to stop opiate abuse. There I was with a prescription and all the requisite IDs and permissions — and believe me there are many — but I still had to fight. From my sick bed, I was dragged through a maddeningly circular process that, at least once, reduced me to sobs of frustration. I remember wondering how is it that addicts and abusers are able to get illegally what I was struggling to get for legal and legitimate use.

Don’t misunderstand. I know why the bureaucratic checkpoints are needed. I’ve heard the testimony of folks who started out like me. Opiate abuse is widespread and growing in Massachusetts and throughout New England. Even more terrifying, opiate overdoses are increasingly common.

But, knowing all that, I still worry about the overall impact of Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to track certain prescribing behavior in order to flush out drug abusers and their medical suppliers. Particularly singled out — patients filling multiple prescriptions from different doctors at different pharmacies. Patients like me. Before my recent experience, I would have thought that was reasonable. Now I’m not so sure. Even though I had the same doctor, more than once I was forced to split my prescription between several pharmacies because no one pharmacy could fill the entire order. I was cross-examined. And a couple of times I had more than one doctor prescribing because my primary was away or unavailable. And was I interrogated. I wasn’t shopping for drugs, just my medicine. Certainly there needs to be a closer examination of who is filling opiate prescriptions multiple times, and who is prescribing. But I learned it is not a cut and dried situation. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

Baker’s opioid abuse task force will release its report this week. Early information identifies prevention, and prescription monitoring and treatment, intervention and support. But these solutions offered can not just address the growing population of addicts who need help, but also must take into account the needs of real patients, and the doctors who are responsibly prescribing.