CDC Guidelines May Contribute to Costs of Addiction

3 Reasons the New CDC Guidelines May Contribute to the Cost of Addiction – The Painful Truth – September 16, 2016 by

In the September 13 issue ofVice, Maia Szalavitz challenges the myth that the U.S. can solve the opioid crisis by reducing the supply.

Dr. Stephen Martin, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School says, “What has happened to pain patients and their doctors since the new CDC guidelines dropped has been ‘chilling.’ ”

The situation since then certainly has been chilling. In fact, it has become downright frigid, and the people who are suffering the most are the people who can least afford to: those with chronic pain.

Dogmatic Use of the CDC Guidelines 

As many people feared, the CDC guidelines are being used dogmatically.

Although the CDC intended the guidelines to only be used as guidelines, physicians are using them as mandates without regard for the individual needs of people in pain.

As an example, West Virginia University Health System — including all seven of its system hospitals and their clinics — has adopted the CDC guidelines. How they will implement them remains to be seen.

Guidelines Are NOT Reducing Deaths

Ironically, while the CDC guidelines are being widely adopted, they’re not helping to reduce the number of opioid-related overdose deaths.

Since 2012, there has been a decline in the number of overdose deaths from prescription medications. Yet the deaths from opioids has increased. Almost the entire increase has been due to heroin and illegal synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the CDC.

if we reduce the supply of legal opioids without working to decrease the demand for them, we will see more overdose deaths.

Focus is on Reducing Opioid Supply Only

Instead, there is almost exclusive focus on reducing opioid supply with little-to-no acknowledgment there is a demand, legitimate or not.

This problem can be attributed to a knowledge deficit combined with an earnest desire for a quick fix.

Addiction Solutions

Unnecessary prescribing must be curbed, but reducing the amount of opioid prescriptions and doses based upon capricious and arbitrary limits suggested by the CDC seems to be contributing to the rise of overdose deaths.

The additional funding Congress has authorized to treat opioid addiction should be tied to mandating treatment upon request. No person should be denied access to treatment by anyone who receives federal funding.

We also must not deny people in pain access to opioid treatment without providing them an equally effective alternative. There are real solutions if there is the will to find them.  

This is the insanity of the current opioid prohibition: criminalizing an important, effective solution to pain without giving any substitutes.

They apparently believe Kolodny’s PROPaganda: that pain patients only “think” they are taking opioids for pain when they are “really” just staving off withdrawals from the opioids.

Kolodny and PROP have convinced most Americans that our pain is not real and that we are enjoying “euphoria” from opioids.

Why is it so hard for us to change this story so loved by the media when the truth is on our side?

Americans no longer want the truth about unpleasant realities, they only want to believe whatever shelters their prejudice, feeds their ego,  and fattens their wallet.


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