Here are three articles about illicit drug use pointing out that the drugs themselves aren’t always a problem (and many also come in prescribed versions).
It is the criminalization of drug use that causes chaotic and destructive behavior and imposes such high costs on society (court system, incarceration, law enforcement).
Except for the legality, using illicit drugs is not much different than using alcohol. Some cause far less physical or social harm than alcohol and some are even less addictive, so we cannot claim “illicit drugs are bad for you”. Continue reading
Why Drugs Are Hurting More People Than Ever – And What to Do About It – Dan Bier -March 18, 2019
America’s drug overdose problem is severe, persistent, and still deteriorating.
For years, states and the federal government have taken drastic action to curb drug deaths, from restricting painkiller prescriptions, to cracking down on drug cartels, to cutting the overall production of legal opioids.
But the problem is only getting worse. Continue reading
Opioid Treatment Programs Gear Up to Provide Suicide Care – by Christine Vestal– Apr 2019
It’s long been suspected that the nation’s unprecedented drug overdose epidemic and sharply rising suicide rates are linked.
Now health researchers are finding concrete evidence that the two preventable causes of death — which are among the top 10 in the United States — are intrinsically related:
- People with an opioid addiction are at much higher risk for suicide than the rest of the population; and
- opioid use was a contributing factor in more than 40% of all suicide and overdose deaths in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Note: this identifies opioids only as *contributing* to overdose deaths] Continue reading
How rehab recruiters are luring recovering opioid addicts into a deadly cycle – JULIA LURIE @julia_lurie – MARCH/APRIL 2019 ISSUE
This Twitter stream by the author summarizes this excellent article exposing the corruption and profiteering going on in “addiction rehabilitation treatments”.
1/ I spent 9 months examining the wide, wide world of rehab. It all started when a mom called to tell me her son had been “brokered” across the country to rehab. She was panicked and desperate, and tbh I didn’t really know what she was talking about. https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2019/02/opioid-epidemic-rehab-recruiters/ Continue reading
Is There A Big Pharma Fox In The Anti-Addiction Hen House? – By David Marcus – January 29, 2018
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) was founded in 1954 to study and improve the use of addictive substances in health care. In the half-century since, it has become a leading voice in the medical community with important reach into legislative and regulatory initiatives to abate the abuse of addictive drugs.
Although it casts itself as an impartial organization, there are reasons to question whether the pharmaceutical industry has undue influence that may affect the organization’s advice. Continue reading
Richard Sackler, member of family behind OxyContin, was granted patent for addiction treatment – By Andrew Joseph @DrewQJoseph – Sept 2018
Again, truth proves to be stranger than fiction. Apparently, there’s money to be made from both leading into and leading out of addiction, so I suppose it’s natural that a pharmaceutical company would follow the money.
A member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma — which is being sued by more than 1,000 jurisdictions for its alleged role in seeding the opioid crisis with its pain medication OxyContin — has been awarded a patent for a treatment for opioid use disorder.
Critics told the FT that they were disturbed that the patent could enable Sackler to benefit financially from the addiction crisis that his family’s company is accused of fueling. Continue reading
The other side of Suboxone – KevinMD – July 2018 – by Dennis Wichern
There are no good or bad opioids, there are only good or bad ways to use them.
A lot has been written about Suboxone, the buprenorphine treatment drug.
For many, Suboxone acts as an effective medication to treat opioid addiction.
For others, it’s a highly-valued street drug that is commonly diverted and misused. To understand and acknowledge the darker side of Suboxone we have to look back at its history over the past 16 years. Continue reading
Opioid bills could net millions for companies – By Adam Cancryn – June 2018
The House is touting passage of dozens of bills that could help combat the national opioid crisis — but a small handful of companies that have spent millions lobbying Congress could reap a windfall if any of the bills become law.
In a two-week legislative blitz, the House cleared several narrowly tailored measures that would spur sales for companies that have ramped up their influence game in Washington, according to a review of the more than five dozen bills up for votes.
Those poised to benefit include: Continue reading
What the media gets wrong about opioids – By Maia Szalavitz – Aug 2018
After Jillian Bauer-Reese created an online collection of opioid recovery stories, she began to get calls for help from reporters. But she was dismayed by the narrowness of the requests, which sought only one type of interviewee.
“They were looking for people who had started on a prescription from a doctor or a dentist,” says Bauer-Reese, an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. “They had essentially identified a story that they wanted to tell and were looking for a character who could tell that story.”
Just like the latest research on opioids, the result is assumed before they even start. I don’t understand how this negligence became standard practice. Continue reading
Moral Crusades and Moral Panics as a Means of Social Control in the Medical Profession – March 2016
Though the author is writing about the witch hunt and punishment of doctors suspected of drug abuse, this article is equally pertinent to pain patients who are always suspected (if not downright accused) of drug abuse.
Sociologist Stanley Cohen used the term ”moral panic” to characterize the amplification of deviance by the media, the public, and agents of social control.
Labeled as being outside the central core values of consensual society, the deviants in the designated group are perceived as posing a threat to both the values of society and society itself. Belief in the seriousness of the situation justifies intolerance and unfair treatment of the accused. The evidentiary standard is lowered. Continue reading