Wise words from Kate Nicholson (from Twitter: @KateNicholson14):
1/The CDC is working on re-evaluating its criteria for #opioid-related deaths, long attributed to #prescriptionopioids.
Finally, a little bit of common sense returns to the propaganda-addled CDC. This is what we’ve been waiting for, what could finally point the rabid drug-warriors back at illicit drugs, not at our pain medication.
The vast majority of the deaths involved heroin, illicit fentanyl and multiple substances, including alcohol, benzos, and other illicit drugs. https://twitter.com/StefanKertesz/status/975552321995399168
2/ #Opoid-related is not necessarily causal- it means opioids were found in a person’s system. We also need to consider that some of the deaths may not be #accidental as often reported.
People in pain and people with addiction have significantly higher suidice rates.
3/ But our public policy marches forward full-speed, denying people in pain badly needed pain medication.
4/ Nearly half of states have enacted limits on prescription opioids. CMS and FDA are poised to join..
DEA enforcement is in ‘surge’ mode, investigating doctors based on the doses they prescribe without examining the severity of their patient’s conditions.
5/Individuals who are stable and functioning well on #opioids are being forceable tapered off of them resulting in medical deterioration, loss of function, and in some cases, suicide.
6/Congress is about to enact further limitations.
The Trump administration is poised to announce a new policy which among other things calls for additional 30% reduction in prescription opioids.
7/But opioid prescribing has already dropped every year since 2012 and is at a ten year low.
8/Chronic pain is the number one cause of disability in the US, affecting 100 million Americans. 50 million Americans suffer SEVERE or PERSISTENT, daily pain, which is 25 times the number of people who misuse opioids of any kind (prescription or illicit).
9/The 12,000-some deaths from prescription opioids need to be put into perspective. Medications balance risks with benefits – NSAIDs, being pushed in lieu of opioids, kill nearly 10,000 a year.
10/But even if you consider all of the more than 60,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016 (illicit and prescription, multiple-substance deaths) – we lost more lives to the addictive substances of alcohol (88,000) and cigarettes (443,000) than to all drug overdoses combined.
11/Moderate to severe chronic pain has a quality of life index akin to late stage cancer.
People with moderate to severe pain that goes under-treated have a significant risk of early death, rates of suicide are much higher than the general population
See the long list of articles concerning the Bodily Damage from Uncontrolled Chronic Pain.
12/ Untreated pain damages the body, affecting the immune, inflammatory, cardiovascular, endocrine changes, and even shrinking the brain.
13/Increasingly, we are seeing evidence of the law of unintended consequences stemming from regulations – opioid limits causing shorted supplies in hospitals and in palliative and hospice care.
14/ I drafted 5 major regulations for the DOJ, I understand how challenging it can be to regulate (anticipating all possible future scenarios), even more so in an atmosphere of hysteria.
15/But unless we take a breath and a hard look at the #opioidcrisis of today, we are doing considerable harm without helping those affected by addiction.
Too bad policy makers are not held to the DO NO HARM mandate that doctors are.