Only 1% Continue Opioids After Emergency Rx

Only 1 Percent of People Become Chronic Opioid Users After Hospital Prescriptions for Injuries, Study ShowsBy Blake Dodge – Nov 2019

This destroys the myth of “heroin pills” that “cause” addiction after “just a few pills”. And this tiny fraction of patients could very well be the ones that suffered long term damage from the injuries that sent them to the ER in the first place.

People who are prescribed pain medication after they visit the emergency room for car crashes, falls and other types of acute injuries largely do not become addicted to opioids, a new study showed.

The results go against the widely held understanding…

It’s more like malicious ignorance due to a complete lack of understanding and, in some cases, a blatant refusal to understand. 

Despite the reams of data from the last years showing that opioid prescriptions aren’t driving overdoses, the anti-opioid zealots reject any information that doesn’t fit the myth they refuse to give up and continue propagating.

…among policymakers and some physicians that opioid prescriptions lead to misuse, addiction and overdoses.

A growing body of research removes medical-grade pills from the spotlight of the crisis and attributes most overdoses to the misuse of heroin and illicitly made fentanyl.

The study, published Nov. 1 in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine, followed nearly 500 patients with acute injuries at two emergency departments in the Bronx, New York for six months after their ER visit.

  • Only 1 percent of people became reliant on the drugs six months after their discharge, and
  • 80 percent did not fill a second prescription in the same window.

Those who did develop persistent use, defined as filling at least six prescriptions, reported moderate or severe pain from their injuries.

The authors said their data shows that the vast majority of pain patients surveyed did not seek more prescriptions after their first round of medication.

“Although it is becoming increasingly clear that problematic opioid use is associated with the duration and quantity of initial opioid prescriptions, the long-term risks of an opioid prescription for an individual patient with acute pain are poorly understood and inadequately quantified,” the authors wrote.

The CDC reports “deaths involving” opioid prescriptions, methadone, heroin and others without accounting for overlap between the categories.

Even a magazine like Newsweek can see that the numbers reported by the CDC are hiding the real source of overdoses.

Why can’t “experts” understand what the data shows? Oh yeah, “experts” are the ones who came up with this irrelevant and obfuscating categorization of opioids into “synthetic” and “natural”, which makes no distinction between prescribed opioids and street drugs.

A recent Massachusetts study looked at the overlap, reporting that only 1.3 percent of overdose decedents had an active prescription for every opioid detected in their system.

I’ve been posting about this a lot lately:

Instead, most used heroin and fentanyl, while nearly a quarter of overdoses studied resulted from a mix of heroin, fentanyl and prescription pills in some combination.

Public health experts largely agree that federal efforts to suppress prescription opioid availability have led to more demand for deadlier drugs, in part creating a market for mass quantities of phony pills created by Mexican drug cartels and a methamphetamine resurgence in New England.

Yet these “public health experts” aren’t trying very hard to make the public understand this.

Before any real change can take place, the public needs to understand the reasons for “opioid overdoses” needs. They need to understand that all the anti-opioid myths PROPagated by the media aren’t true and they need better information that shows what’s really going on in this growing crisis of overdoses.

The fact that opioid prescriptions have declined dramatically while overdoses continue their surge should be evidence enough to convince them. Yet rationality doesn’t seem to have any effect on the anti-opioid crusaders who are trying to stamp out almost any use of opioids.

But I’m convinced this will last only until they themselves suffer some kind of long-term pain. The chances for that increase dramatically as we all age, so I expect the crusaders to start dropping out as they need to tend to their own pain.

6 thoughts on “Only 1% Continue Opioids After Emergency Rx

  1. Kathy C

    I know people who are putting off surgery, because they know that their pain will not be treated. My brother in law is still traumatized after a gruesome surgery, where they gave him Tylenol for the post op pain. Every other day there is an article somewhere, describing intrusive painful surgeries, where they brag about not giving the patient opioid pain relief.

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    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      At least some people are smart enough to figure out for themselves that opioids are the very best medicine for post op pain. Most people know darn well that Tylenol isn’t going to cut it.

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  2. Kathy C

    The media has been repeating the lie that Tylenol is just as good. Physicians are bragging about cutting opioids, even during and after painful surgeries. We live in a nation of alternate facts, with no objective reality.

    Check this out, https://www.planagainstpain.com/build-a-plan/womens-health/

    There is already a lot of misogyny and denial about womenfolks health, and sites like this are adding to it all. One of my friends nearly died from misdiagnosed cancer and a horrible hysterectomy. Her physician let her linger for nearly a month, ignoring her symptoms, before the Hysterectomy. Just recently a friend broke his arm, his PA, he is not sure he ever saw a physician, decided to allow the bone to set without a cast. That decision meant he took twice as long to heal, and meant even more doctors visits. Our local non profit hospital , sent him to a hospital an hour away in another city.

    People should be very very scared, many won’t find out their pain won’t be treated until after they wake up from surgery, in agony.

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    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Geez… those stories are awful. But doctors are being forced to reduce their opioid prescribing. If they persist in treating pain effectively, they’ll get fired or prosecuted by the DEA and we lose that doctor, so both we and they are punished.

      It must be horrible to be a doctor these days and be forced to leave patients in pain, even to the point of suicide, but if their license is yanked, they can’t help us either. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

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  3. Kathy C

    One doctor I know is in prison for murder, twon of his patietns commited suicide, after they were denied care by other physicians. It put a serious strain on all physicians prescribing in our state. One of the patients hung himself, and the other overdosed on methadone, after the warnings threats and misinformation about Oxycontin came out. He only prescribed Methadone, because the patient could not afford the name brand drugs. Whenever the topic comes up, all they can do is chuckle and change the subject. Other physicians have taken on an alternate reality view, like recommending chiropractors or other quack practitioners for people with multiple surgeries, seniors with botched hip surgeries, and the other mishaps that are not described in any of the “research.”

    I came across this today, there was a link on https://twitter.com/StanfordPain
    https://www.consumerreports.org/chronic-pain/real-pain-relief-now/?linkId=66875253#sf111389853

    “For every physician who is board certified in pain care, there are more than 28,500 Americans living with chronic pain.” In this @ConsumerReports issue, @BethDarnall shares her thoughts on the best chronic pain management strategies.”

    No one at Stanford checked the data and science behind the misreported science, presented here as fact. They suggest “shopping around” for a physician. Nowhere in this article do they acknowledge how expensive that can be, nor the, costs of the alternative “treatments.” They also suggest taking Acetaminophen with ibuprofen,

    “NSAIDs can be powerful. A 2017 JAMA study showed that patients who received ibuprofen plus acetaminophen for severe pain reported the same amount of pain reduction as those who received an opioid plus acetaminophen. Always check with your doctor before combining any drugs, taking more than the recommended dose, or continuing an OTC drug for longer than 10 days.” At least they tell people to “talk to their doctor.” They do not mention how many overdoses or deaths there are on NSAIDS. Doctors do not explain that they can’t take these with OTC sleep aids that contain NSAIDS, or other seemingly harmless OTC medications.

    They go on to explain that opioids are not effective for chronic pain, “they work well in the short term for severe pain, but not for chronic pain.” As long as trusted academic institutions amplify this kind of misinformation, without criticism, people are not only going to die, but they are getting exploited by quacks, overcharged for medical care and treatments that have no benefit, and subjecting themselves to abuse and trauma as they endure untreated pain.

    This article misleads vulnerable patients about the benefits of acupuncture, and alternative treatments, https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/products/nonpharma-treatment-pain/research-2018 They “researched’ LBP. because it can resolve on it’s own, or get better with relaxation and social interactions, in order to make these alternative quack treatments appear more effective than they are.

    Dr Jen Gunter is doing lectures on social media ethics for physicians https://twitter.com/DrJenGunter https://annualmeeting.acog.org/registration/?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=acog_am20_twitter_traffic&utm_content=AllGeo_Followers&utm_term=B.3
    Too bad she is not critiquing these social media influencer physicians like Darnell, and the current lies and misinformation in the incredibly profitable pain industry. There used to be laws and regulations about physicians and medical marketing, but they are no longer enforced.

    Once again misreported science, presented as fact, by physicians that should know better. Patients are confused, misled, and bilked for profit, as they “researchers” conflate long term intractable pain, with occasional discomfort from back pain.

    We have to remember that the for profit healthcare model, has no incentive for improvement. Pain is incredibly profitable, and patients will pay anything for relief and suspend their disbelief when nonsense is presented as fact on social media. There is really sophisticated marketing, data collection, and coordinated misinformation on this topic. Dr Gunter is the only physician working to save lives, trauma and money, while making a living selling her book. There is not any money in debunking this junk science, but there is plenty from industry marketers, lobbyists and propagandists.

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/spinning-a-negative-acupuncture-study-same-as-it-ever-was/

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    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      I’m expecting we’ll start seeing more deaths from Tylenol and NSAIDs over the next years as desperate pain patients take more and more of these hazardous drugs. Who cares about maximum doses and avoiding organ damage down the road when in unbearable pain now?

      It’s truly shocking how the danger of Tylenol remains unmentioned while opioids are insinuated to “cause” addiction. Pure unrestrained capitalism leads to profiteering when patients have little choice about treatments and the safest, cheapest, most effective treatment with opioids is wrongly denigrated as ineffective and dangerous.

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