Category Archives: Opioid Debate

Scrutiny Of Painkiller Distributors Harms Patients

Scrutiny Of Painkiller Distributors Harms Patients Sally Satel,  Contributor – Dec 2019

Anyone following the opioid problem knows about the delinquent practices of some drug distributors, the companies that deliver painkillers from manufacturers to pharmacies. 

By transporting “suspicious orders” – regulatory code for unrealistically large shipments — to rogue pharmacies, they helped fuel the crisis of addiction and overdose.

This is like a history lesson from 10 years ago when this was happening. By now the overdoses are no longer from pills because they’re too difficult to get and too expensive. Instead, they use some powdered street drug (heroin, meth, cocaine) that’s been laced with undetermined quantities of fentanyl, frequently enough to kill them.  Continue reading

Difference Between Drug Addiction and Dependence

Is There Really a Difference Between Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence? – Scientific American Blog NetworkBy Jonathan N. Stea -November 2019 (repost)

As a follow-up to a previous post, Addiction vs dependence | National Institute on Drug Abuse, here’s an article from the Scientific American pointing out the messy confusion between the two created by the DSM-5.

It is no secret that misinformation about addiction is rampant in popular media. One particular area of misinformation concerns what language gets used when describing topics related to addiction.

all sorts of individuals—medical professionals, journalists, parents, people who use substances, people in recovery—incessantly argue over terminology such as “addiction,” “dependence,” “abuse,” “misuse,” “habit-forming,” “recreational use” or “medicinal use.”   Continue reading

Inaccurate Information Provided To Lawmakers

Damaging State Legislation Regarding Opioids: The Need To Scrutinize Sources Of Inaccurate Information Provided To Lawmakers – free full-text /PMC6857667/Nov 2019

Lawmakers are making laws on the basis of inaccurate information provided by persons without expertise in chronic pain management.

The whole country is awash in PROPaganda spread by those who do not understand, much less experience themselves, the extreme physical limitations, subsequent mood disorders, negative social impact, and unnecessary suffering caused by constant unrelieved pain.

On January 22, 2019, a Massachusetts State Representative introduced House Bill 3656, “An Act requiring practitioners to be held responsible for patient opioid addiction”.    Continue reading

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patientsby Elizabeth Brico @elizabethbricoFeb 2019

Here’s yet another story of what would qualify as malpractice if it were any other drug than opioids.  A doctor suddenly stops prescribing opioids necessary for the “activities of daily living” and sends their patient into the agony of physical withdrawal and an unnecessarily limited life without medical care.

There’s no concern for Quality of Life when politicians responding to media-hype and PROPagandists are controlling our pain care.

First it was a hip replacement. Then it became complicated by a MRSA infection. Eventually, Dee Giles, formerly an ER nurse, had to endure amputation of her right leg and the right half of her pelvis. Continue reading

In Defense of the Concept of Addiction

In Defense of the Concept of Addiction – by Stanton Peele – Jan 2020

The term—and concept of—“addiction” is regularly frowned upon or even attacked by people in our field. But it won’t disappear, nor should it. There are four groups or schools of thought that de-emphasize or disparage “addiction.” And their reasons for doing so all have value.

Psychiatry:

Psychiatry in the latest DSM-5 claims it didn’t want to stigmatize people with the term “addiction”, so it completely muddled the difference between doing something regulated and appropriate on a regular basis (taking prescription opioids) versus binging on street drugs (heroin, amphetamines, cocaine), becoming addicted, and ending up overdosing.  Continue reading

Chronic-pain bill aims to protect providers and patients

Chronic-pain bill aims to protect providers and patients | Health | unionleader.com – By Shawne K. Wickham New Hampshire Sunday News – Jan 2020

Finally, at least in Massachusetts, there are signs of push-back against all the inane and arbitrary opioid restrictions.

Senate Bill 546 calls for providers to “administer care sufficient to treat a patient’s chronic pain based on ongoing, objective evaluations of the patient without fear of reprimand or discipline.”

It also states that patient care and prescribing of medication, including opioid painkillers, should not be dictated by “pre-determined” guidelines.

This kind of logical reasoning is far too rare these days, but I take it as a hopeful sign that some folks are starting to wake up to the facts – facts that have been successfully buried by all the media-hype based on endlessly repeated PROPaganda.  Continue reading

Prescription Opioid Use and Satisfaction With Care

Prescription Opioid Use and Satisfaction With Care Among Adults With Musculoskeletal Conditions – free full-text /PMC5758314/Jan/Feb 2018

PURPOSE: In the current payment paradigm, reimbursement is partially based on patient satisfaction scores. We sought to understand the relationship between prescription opioid use and satisfaction with care among adults who have musculoskeletal conditions.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study using nationally representative data from the 2008–2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

This is the kind of nonsense that passes as scientific opioid research these days. It’s no wonder that there’s so much confusion when such context-free studies look only at the dose of a medication without any regard for its medicinal purpose.  Continue reading

Guidelines should allow for individual decisions

National Academies outlines new guidelines for opioid prescribing – By Andrew Joseph @DrewQJosephDec 2019

 A new report issued Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlines a framework for prescribers and others to develop their own plans for acute pain, without offering any direct recommendations itself. 

Here is finally a sensible “guideline” that essentially says to ignore specific “rules” and work with individual patients to find what works best for them.

But I expect the simplistic anti-opioid rules fabricated by non-medical “experts” will continue to override any thoughtful guidance from respected scientific groups like the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

After all, what could scientists possibly know that PROPagandists don’t?   Continue reading

Most People Don’t Feel Euphoric From Opioids

Most People Don’t Actually Feel Euphoric When They Take Opioids, Study Finds | Live Science – By Nicoletta Lanese – Staff WriterOct 2019

Finally, someone is willing to state the truth, one that goes against all the rabidly anti-opioid media hype:

Opioids jump-start the brain’s reward system, provoking a burst of pleasurable feelings along with a dizzying drug-induced high. At least that’s what scientists used to think.

But mounting research suggests that the average person doesn’t actually reach this euphoric state on opioids, particularly not the first time they try it.  

Yet, this is exactly the kind of research that is not getting funded these days.   Continue reading

Even Medical Lit Subject to Media Hype about “Opioid Crisis”

Are Prescription Opioids Driving the Opioid Crisis? Assumptions vs Facts | Pain Medicine | Oxford AcademicMark Edmund Rose, BS, MA – Dec 2017

Sharp increases in opioid prescriptions, and associated increases in overdose deaths in the 2000s, evoked widespread calls to change perceptions of opioid analgesics.  Medical literature discussions of opioid analgesics began emphasizing patient and public health hazards.

Repetitive exposure to this [mis-]information may influence physician assumptions.

This is a huge problem for us, and a sad commentary on the state of medicine in the U.S. when doctors are influenced more by media-hype and biased research than their patients’ lived experiences.  Continue reading