Category Archives: Opioid Debate

Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs

While reading and blogging about this article: Overdose and Other Drug and Addiction Myths  by Stanton Peele Ph.D. in a previous blog post, I found this:

The main case against the overdose myth was made initially by the New York Medical Examiner, as presented by Edward Brecher in his remarkable Consumer Reports volume, “Licit and Illicit Drugs’.”

This piqued my curiosity, so I followed the link and found an interesting story of the “old days” of heroin in New York City in 1972, how the cost and scarcity of heroin led to dealers adding quinine.

This is strikingly similar to what we see now in 2018 when dealers are adding much cheaper and much more powerful fentanyl to all kinds of other street drugs: heroin, cocaine, and even counterfeit pills (made with the same pill presses the pharmaceutical industry uses).   Continue reading

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ATIP Offers Opioid Prescribing Recommendations

Patient Advocacy Group Offers Opioid Prescribing Recommendations –  June 13, 2018 – By Richard A. Lawhern, PhD and Steven E. Nadeau, MD

I’m proud that the advocacy group I’m involved with (ATIP) has its recommendations published in this mainstream medical magazine:

Advocacy group describes why CDC Guidelines on Opioid Prescribing should be withdrawn and rewritten.

In a whitepaper titled “Principles for Patient-Centered Opioid Prescription Guidelines,”* the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain [ATIP] argues that the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain “must be withdrawn and rewritten” to recognize both the indispensable role that opioids play in chronic pain management, and the central role of physicians in assessing and prescribing medications as patients require.   Continue reading

Illicit Fentanyl deaths up 1,000% since 2013

Fentanyl deaths up 1,000% since 2013, so much so that even heroin’s supply is dwarfed – by Terry DeMio, Cincinnati Enquirer – June 6, 2018

The powerhouse opioid fentanyl has drenched the drug supply in Greater Cincinnati, dwarfing the presence of heroin sold on the streets.

More than 90 percent of drugs analyzed at the Hamilton County crime lab through May 3 this year have had the synthetic opiate in them.

Fentanyl crept into the drug stream around 2012. By 2013, fentanyl-related deaths amounted to 24. Last year? 324.  

Continue reading

AMA Rightly Opposes 3-Day Opioid Limit

AMA Castigated for Rightly Opposing a National 3-Day Limit on Opioid Prescriptions | Jacob Sullum|May. 30, 2018

A bill sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) would impose a nationwide limit of three days on initial prescriptions of opioids for acute pain.

People are dying around the country every single day because patients are being prescribed too many opioid pills at one time,” Portman’s spokesman tells The Daily Beast‘s Jackie Kucinich.

Here’s yet another politician ignorant and brainwashed to believe the crisis is caused by prescription opioids.   Continue reading

Cancer Pain and New Opioid Policies

Dr Bob Twillman Discusses Opioid Risk Assessment in Cancer Pain and New Opioid Policies – April 12, 2018 – Laura Joszt

Typically, cancer pain management is carved out of policies that try to restrict opioid prescribing in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic, but with more and more patients surviving their cancer, there is some uncertainty regarding who is affected by these policies, explained Bob Twillman, PhD, executive director for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management.

The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®):

How does pain management with cancer maybe differ from pain management in patients with other diseases?   Continue reading

Addiction Not a Predictable Result of Opioid Prescribing

Addiction is not a predictable result of opioid prescribing – NEJM – Mar 2016 – Nora D. Volkow, M.D.,  and A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D.

Anti-opioid crusaders in the media insist that any opioid medications can almost immediately cause addiction in any person exposed to them.

However, as head of NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the NIH), Dr. Volkow has more expertise in addiction than the self-anointed “experts” broadcasting false narratives about opioid addiction (and often trying to sell addiction-recovery programs). Dr. Volkov makes very clear the differences between dependence, tolerance, and addiction.

There is lingering misunderstanding among some physicians about the important differences between physical dependence and addiction.   Continue reading

Forgetting chronic pain in fight against opioid abuse

Francis Collins: We can’t forget people with chronic pain in fight against opioid abuse | FierceHealthcare | by Tina ReedJun 4, 2018 

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, M.D., is warning against forgetting chronic pain patients as his agency looks for solutions to curb opioid abuse.

Speaking at an NIH meeting on chronic pain and the opioid crisis, he said the healthcare system is grappling with a “joint crisis of pain and addiction.”

It’s refreshing to hear someone of (medical) authority voice concern about chronic pain patients in the headlong rush to ban all kinds of opioid use.   Continue reading

Pain Patients Left to Suffer in ‘Hell on Earth

Gov’t Move to Stop Opioid Abuse Backfires in Horrifying Way… Hell on Earth – By Ben Marquis – April 23, 2018

There has been much discussion in recent years about the crisis of opioid abuse, and while there is broad agreement that “something must be done,” there are innocent victims of a crackdown on opioid drugs that often go unnoticed.

According to the Cato Institute, those overlooked victims are hospitalized patients recovering from accidents or surgeries who are in serious pain, but are unable to receive necessary doses of powerful painkillers to ease their suffering.   Continue reading

EDS Patients are Casualties of the War On Opiates

The Unaddressed Casualty Of The War On Opiates – We are patients not addicts – Kaitlyn Brennan – Aug 22, 2016

War is always depicted as a two sided battle. Often it is written off as the good guys against the bad guys, whom you choose to put into each category is up to you, but there are always two sides.

The side that no one sees is the third side of a war. This is the side that is often overlooked or considered insignificant.

In the war on opiates this third side is chronic pain patients.   Continue reading

Pain Management for Cancer Patients in Jeopardy

Is Guidance on Opioid Prescribing Jeopardizing Pain Management for Cancer Patients? – National Pain Report – June 2018

Opioids have been known to help manage pain experienced by people with cancer.  But, clinical guidelines from many government agencies attempting to combat the opioid crisis is shaping clinical care for all pain sufferers, including those living with chronic cancer-related pain.

According to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, in an upcoming article in JAMA Oncology, lead-author Salimah H. Meghani, PhD, MBE, RN, FAAN and co-author, Neha Vapiwala, MD, call for key agencies (CDC, NCCN, American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology) and other organizations to collaborate and resolve these inconsistencies.   Continue reading