Is Pain Medication the Gateway to Heroin? – By Zachary Siegel 04/10/16
With detail, clarity, and rigorous sourcing, Mr. Siegel has written a thorough debunking of the myth that opioids prescribed for pain lead to heroin use and overdose. He shows how destructive this myth is and how contradictory data has been overlooked by policy makers.
To say, as the CDC did, that both pain patients and doctors are the culprits in rising mortality is misguided for several reasons.
As the death toll from opioids and heroin rises, people are looking for answers, and also, someone to blame.
This may be another aspect of current anti-opioid policy development: all parties want to make sure the blame for so many overdoses does not fall on them. Continue reading
Rehabbing Our Ideas About Addiction Wall Street Journal – By David M. Cordani – June 16, 2016
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released guidelines discouraging prescriptions that last longer than a week.
The focus on prevention is immensely important. We all know that prevention is more efficient than treatment, and without it, we would soon have more patients suffering from substance use than we could afford to treat.
Additionally, long-term intensive recovery facilities have become the norm, even though there is very little evidence of their comparative effectiveness. Continue reading
Taboo topics in addiction treatment. An empirical review of clinical folklore. – PubMed – NCBI – J Subst Abuse Treat. 1993 May-Jun;
This article reviews 11 taboo topics, that is, research findings that question traditional assumptions and teachings of addiction treatment.
Though written over 20 years ago, this article makes it clear there has been virtually no progress in addiction thinking or treatment.
These same “taboos” are still open questions, while the addiction treatment industry refuses to acknowledge any doubt. Addiction treatment failure is almost guaranteed while the recovery industry keeps its head firmly planted in the sand. Continue reading
Five myths about heroin – 2016 – by Maia Szalavitz
But because drug policy has long been a political and cultural football, myths about opioid addiction abound. Here are some of the most dangerous — and how they do harm.
- Most heroin addiction starts with a legitimate pain prescription
People who misuse prescription pain relievers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin than those who don’t, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In the media, this fact is usually corrupted by failing to state that these are abusers of opioids, not patients taking their prescribed opioids: Only NON-Medical Opioid Use Leads to Heroin Use. Continue reading
PROP Ends Affiliation with Phoenix House – Pain News Network – Aug 2016 By Pat Anson
Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), an influential and politically connected advocacy group that seeks to reduce opioid prescribing, is no longer directly affiliated with Phoenix House, which runs a nationwide chain of addiction treatment centers.
The Steve Rummler Hope Foundation is now the “fiscal sponsor” of PROP, which will allow PROP to collect tax deductible donations under the foundation’s 501 (c) (3) non-profit status.
IRS regulations allow non-profits to form partnerships with like-minded organizations, allowing other groups to essentially piggyback off their non-profit status and collect donations. Continue reading
DSM-5 and Substance Use Disorders: Clinicolegal Implications – J Am Acad Psychiatry Law – December 2014
Presumed distinctions between substance dependence and substance abuse have been at the heart of the development and utilization of substance-based diversion from criminal prosecution to treatment for the past several decades, including its use in drug courts.
These distinctions have been promulgated by organized psychiatry since the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III) in 1980.
With the release of DSM-5 and the replacement of abuse and dependence categories with a single use disorder construct, the legal grounds for diversion in many states now stand at odds with organized psychiatry and its adoption of recent science. Continue reading
The Media’s Biased Reporting on Opioids — Pain News Network – June 14, 2016 – By Lynn Webster, MD
Stephen Martin, MD, EdM, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School…points out that media stories such as these greatly worry him:
In conjunction with the new CDC Guidelines, these reports may increase anxiety among some patients who are able to function with their medications. Continue reading
The Rehab Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act. Here’s How. | TheInfluence
No one argues that the American addiction treatment system is anywhere near optimal—even its cheerleaders recognize that there’s miles to go before all people with addiction have access to respectful, ethical, effective and evidence-based care.
Worse, the past year has seen myriad media exposes and financial, sexual and maltreatment scandals.
Unsurprisingly, Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), an organization that has represented rehabs like Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center (now merged) since 1978, doesn’t see the need for such an extreme makeover. Continue reading
AMA Drops Pain as Vital Sign — Pain News Network – June 16, 2016 – By Pat Anson, Editor
Eh tu, AMA?
The nation’s largest medical society is recommending that pain be removed as a “fifth vital sign” in professional medical standards – a move critics say will make it even more difficult for pain sufferers to have their pain properly diagnosed and treated.
The AMA represents over 200,000 physicians in the U.S. and is very influential in setting public health policy.
The AMA’s new president said physicians played a key role in starting the so-called opioid epidemic by overprescribing pain medication, and now must do their part to end it.
He has bought into PROP’s fairytale. Continue reading
I’m sickened by the tone of the anti-opioid lobby these days, which has become aggressively hostile to pain patients.
They present more propaganda than fact and attack pain patients who are legitimately taking opioids for chronic pain. They invent their own truths and blur the line between known facts and biased conjecture. Any dissent is met with hostility.
Their denigration of pain patients has reached a new low with their latest claim by A. Kolodny, leader of the anti-opioid organization, PROP:
“Anyone taking opioids regularly is addicted.”
Whether you are in pain or not is irrelevant, whether you are taking prescription medicine or scoring heroin on the street, whether you are conscientious hard worker, or living by crime, none of that makes any difference; if you take opioids you are an addict, they insist. Continue reading