Non-Biased Charts on Use of Alcohol & Drugs

The Brian C. Bennett Drug Charts – from

Catalogued below is an extensive and easy-to-use collection of charts that present findings from decades of massive government survey data.

This collection provides a more accurate and illuminating picture of drug use than is typically presented in popular media or reflected in our drug policies.

Originally created by nonresident contributing expert Brian C. Bennett and updated by the Baker Institute’s Drug Policy Program, these charts trace the pattern of the use and abuse of individual drugs over (in most cases) more than 40 years.   Continue reading

What chronic pain does to your brain

What chronic pain does to your brain – ABC News Australia – March 2016 – by Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis

At least one in five Australians lives with chronic pain, and often the cause is unknown. Scientists are just now discovering the crucial role the brain plays in how pain is experienced, and how it might pave the way for innovative treatment, write Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis.

‘At the moment we have focused our work to two areas in the brain,’ says Dr Sylvia Gustin from Neuroscience Research Australia. ‘One is called the thalamus—the other is the prefrontal cortex.’

Described as the ‘border in the brain’, the thalamus acts as the gateway between the spinal cord and higher brain centres.   Continue reading

Surgeon General’s Report Treats All Drug Use As a Problem

Surgeon General’s Report Mistakenly Treats All Drug Use As a Problem – Hit & Run : | Jacob Sullum | Nov. 18, 2016

…a report he released yesterday reveals that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is utterly conventional in his attitude toward drinking and other kinds of recreational drug use, which he views as a problem to be minimized by the government.

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health claims “addiction is a chronic brain disease” caused by exposure to psychoactive substances, even while acknowledging that the vast majority of people who consume those substances do not become addicted to them.

The report describes even low-risk, harmless, and beneficial drug use as “misuse,” giving the government broad license to meddle with personal choices through policies aimed at making drugs more expensive and less accessible.   Continue reading

Statin intolerance is real, researchers find

Statin intolerance is real, researchers find. Another (more costly) drug may get around the problem. – The Washington Post

Not everyone can take them, though; a significant number of people complain of muscle pain, weakness and cramping so severe that they discontinue the therapy even at the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Their resistance to the medication has been controversial, because in most cases there are no biomarkers for the muscle problems individuals describe.

Some researchers have speculated that the problem is psychological, the “nocebo” effect of blaming the medication for the pain.

This blaming of any negative symptoms on  “psychological factors” has become a common response and it must stop.   Continue reading

CDC Scientists Expose Agency Corruption

CDC Scientists Expose Agency Corruption – Nov. 21, 2016 – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Last month, The Hill published a letter [see below] sent by “more than a dozen” senior Center for Disease Control (CDC) scientists charging the agency with nursing an atmosphere of pervasive research fraud.

The letter to CDC Chief of Staff, Carmen Villar, expressed alarm “about the current state of ethics at our agency.”

The scientists complained that “our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests” and “circumvented by some of our leaders.”

The scientists told Villar that, “questionable and unethical practices, occurring at all levels and in all of our respective units, threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.”   Continue reading

Glial Cells Activation Results In Pain-amplifying Effect

Glial Cells Activation Results In Pain-amplifying Effect  by James Anderson, November 12, 2016

Pain is not just a matter of nerves.

Non-neuronal cells, the glial cells, are also involved in clinically relevant pain models, and their activation is sufficient to amplify pain

The sensation of pain occurs when neural pathways conduct excitation generated by tissue damage to the spinal cord, where the nociceptive information is extensively pre-processed.

From there, the information is transmitted to the human brain, where the sensation of “pain” is finally created. This has been the general belief.   Continue reading

CDC Manipulated Data to Deceive

Durations of Opioid, Nonopioid Drug, and Behavioral Clinical Trials for Chronic Pain: Adequate or Inadequate?

This commentary presents the case that the CDC manipulated the data it used as a basis for its opioid prescribing guidelines.

By imposing an arbitrary non-standard constraint and excluding some studies that were included in earlier reports, the CDC created a different interpretation by using a different set of data.

Objectives. A recent US federal review and clinical guideline on opioids for chronic pain asserted that the literature contributes no evidence on efficacy because all trials had “inadequate duration.”

To explore the evidence, we examined durations of studies on opioid, nonopioid drug, and behavioral therapies for chronic pain.   Continue reading

Pain sensors are specialized for specific types of pain

Pain sensors are specialized for specific types of pain, study finds – Medical News Today – Written by Ana Sandoiu – November 2016

“While the majority of neurons are specific to one type of pain, they can become universal pain sensors when the tissue is damaged.

This may explain the discrepancies between our findings and those from other studies where more invasive approaches have been used.

-Dr. Edward Emery

Nociception, or the body’s ability to feel pain, is useful for survival as it tells humans to avoid situations that may cause them harm.   Continue reading

LInks between Chronic Pain, Anxiety, and Depression

Association of Depression and Anxiety Alone and in Combination with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Primary Care Patients – Psychosom Med. 2008 Oct; – free full-text PMC article

To assess the relationship between depression and anxiety comorbidity on pain intensity, pain-related disability, and health-related quality of life (HRQL).


Pain is a significant public health problem, with a third (1) to more than half (2) of adults in population-based surveys suffering from chronic or recurrent pain.  

Pain is the most pervasive symptom reported in the community and primary care setting (3–5) and accounts for nearly 20% of all ambulatory visits in the US (6).   Continue reading

The fascial (connective tissue) system

Clinical and symptomatological reflections: the fascial system – J Multidiscip Healthc. 2014 – free full-text PMC article

Every body structure is wrapped in connective tissue, or fascia, creating a structural continuity that gives form and function to every tissue and organ.

Currently, there is still little information on the functions and interactions between the fascial continuum and the body system; unfortunately, in medical literature there are few texts explaining how fascial stasis or altered movement of the various connective layers can generate a clinical problem

Certainly, the fascia plays a significant role in conveying mechanical tension, in order to control an inflammatory environment.   Continue reading