Tag Archives: addiction

Opioid Withdrawal Not Deadly? Wrong

Opioid Withdrawal Not Deadly? Wrong | Medpage Today – by Jeffrey E. Keller, MD Nov 2018

I’ve seen enough patients withdrawing from opioids [in a jail medical practice] that I think I am reasonably knowledgeable on the topic. Because of this, I was quite surprised when I ran across this sentence in a recent edition of The Medical LetterOpioid withdrawal is not life-threatening.”

The problem is that although this sentence seems quite self-assured, it is flat out wrong. In fact, it is not just wrong; it is also dangerous.

People do die from opioid withdrawal. I know of several such cases from my work with jails.   Continue reading

Media, Politicians Unaware that Addiction != Dependence

Are Media and Politicians Aware That Addiction and Dependence Are Not the Same Thing? – September 18, 2018 – Jeffrey A. Singer

Hardly a day goes by without a report in the press about some new addiction.

One gets the impression that life is awash in threats of addiction. People tend to equate the word “addiction” with “abuse.” Ironically, “addiction” is a subject of abuse.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a

  • “chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry…characterized by
  • the inability to consistently abstain,
  • impairment in behavioral control,
  • craving” that continues despite resulting destruction of relationships, economic conditions, and health

Continue reading

I’ts an Overdose Epidemic not an Opioid Epidemic

Why there’s an overdose epidemic — in two graphs – STAT – By Hawre Jalal and Donald S. Burke – September 20, 2018

Here two of the authors write more about their recent study of the “Overdose Epidemic”:

The “overdose epidemic” that so many Americans are talking about isn’t really a single epidemic. It’s actually several of them, something we began exploring when we graphed the yearly counts of overdose deaths for the last 40 years.

It turns out that, when totaled, these sub-epidemics trace a nearly perfect exponential growth curve. For four decades, overdose deaths have been growing, doubling about every eight years.   Continue reading

Maker of OxyContin granted patent for addiction treatment

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

Diversion of Blame and the Opioid Crisis

Diversion of Blame and the Opioid Crisis – By Richard Dobson, MD – Pain News Network – Sept 2018

Dr. Dobson proposes an interesting model of how blame for the “opioid crisis” has fallen on pain patients instead of the drug abusers and drug dealers that are responsible for it.

…after years of bewilderment, I have come upon a clinical description that seems to describe the plight of people who suffer from chronic pain. Let me try to simplify this complicated and mystifying condition.

First, a brief overview of the current situation.  

There are five basic groups of people involved in the opioid crisis:   Continue reading

Genetics controls vulnerability to opioid addiction

Why genetics makes some people more vulnerable to opioid addiction – and protects others – 2018

From a scientific standpoint, addiction is a disease. And, as researchers who study opioid addiction, we’re hopeful about where epigenetics, the science of how DNA code is regulated, can lead us.

Just as genetics can affect a person’s risk for heart disease, cancer or diabetes, it can also make them more or less susceptible to addiction.

A great deal of research in the last decade has focused on tiny differences in a person’s DNA – termed single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. These SNPs can indicate whether you have a higher or lower rick for addiction.   Continue reading

The Next Drug Crisis: Teen Xanax Abuse Is Surging

Teen Xanax Abuse Is Surging | The Pew Charitable Trusts – August 24, 2018 – By: Christine Vestal

Here we go again, yet another drug, yet another “crisis”. This exposes the foolishness of the current deliberately misguided (by anti-opioid activists) focus on opioid medications.

If we think of it as a crisis of opioids and make opioids hard to get, then people who are trying to escape their painful lives through drugs will simply move on to another one.

The real problem is and has always been addiction,
not a particular drug. 
Continue reading

How Common Is Opioid Addiction?

How Common Is Opioid Addiction? — Pain News Network – August 06, 2018 – By Roger Chriss, PNN Columnist

Cochrane found in a major review of studies of long term opioid therapy for non-cancer pain that only 0.27% of participants were at risk of opioid addiction, abuse or other serious side effects.

In another large study, The BMJ reported that only about 3% of previously opioid naïve patients (new to opioids) continued to use them more than 90 days after major elective surgery.

Other addiction rates include numbers as low as 1% and as high as 40%.   Continue reading

How many Americans are addicted to Opioids?

The Opioid Information Thread – Inspire.com – Aug 2018

In case you were wondering how many Americans are considered (by our government) to be addicted to opioids, an Inspire.com member, “Seshet”, sifted through the various claims and data to find reliable numbers and created this summary:

The Stanford research paper that uses a mathematical model to forecast the opioid crisis claims there are 3.5 million opioid addicts in the U.S. in 2015.

And Andrew Kolodny, MD, says the number is between 5 and 10 million.

So here are the standard numbers from major public health agencies and medical societies:    Continue reading

Opioid bills could net millions for companies

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