Tag Archives: DEA

The DEA Is to Blame for America’s Overdose Epidemic

The DEA Is to Blame for America’s Opioid Overdose Epidemic | Foundation for Economic Education  by Cathy Reisenwitz December 05, 2016

A record-breaking 28,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2014.
What happened?

The truth is that many of those deaths are completely preventable and result not from painkillers, but from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s war on painkillers.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that half of all troops who return from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from chronic pain.

Forcing Users into the Black Market  

I would not assume that many patients are trying to find pain pills in the streets because many patients, like me, do not know where to get “street drugs”.

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DEA Refuses to Relax Marijuana Prohibition

Why the DEA just said ‘no’ to loosening marijuana restrictions – The Washington Post

For the fourth consecutive time, the Drug Enforcement Administration has denied a petition to lessen federal restrictions on the use of marijuana.

While recreational marijuana use is legal in four states and D.C., and medical applications of the drug have been approved in many more, under federal law, it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means it’s considered to have “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.”

The gap between permissive state laws and a restrictive federal policy has become increasingly untenable in the minds of many doctors, patients, researchers, business owners and legislators.   Continue reading

CB2 receptors: Pain Tx Without Tolerance or Withdrawal

Cannabinoid Receptor 2: Pain Treatment Without Tolerance or Withdrawal – reposted with edits from April 2015

This article about a promising new medicine derived from cannabis  was published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), on their site “drugabuse.gov.  (Other branches of the same government, FDA and DEA, still classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug,)

Chronic cannabinoid receptor 2 activation reverses paclitaxel neuropathy without tolerance or cannabinoid receptor 1-dependent withdrawal.

The treatment of cancer pain is often among the approved uses of medical cannabis in states where it is legal.   Continue reading

Causes of Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

Obtaining Adequate Data to Determine Causes of Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths | Pain Medicine – 1 June 2011

Current data collected by medical examiners and coroners are incomplete and inadequate to evaluate the factors that lead to fatalities involving prescription opioids.

Determining cause of death is critically important.

This issue is now 5 years old and nothing has been done.

Pinpointing the causes of opioid-related overdose deaths would show data that the anti-opioid zealots do not want to publicize: that most are caused by combinations of illegal drugs and very few by only prescribed opioids.   Continue reading

DEA Wants Inside Your Medical Records

DEA Wants Inside Your Medical Records to Fight the War on Drugs – The Daily Beast

The drug war has gone rogue.

The feds are fighting to look at millions of private files without a warrant, including those of two transgender men who are taking testosterone.

Marlon Jones was arrested for taking legal painkillers, prescribed to him by a doctor, after a double knee replacement.

Jones, an assistant fire chief of Utah’s Unified Fire Authority, was snared in a dragnet pulled through the state’s program to monitor prescription drugs after someone stole morphine from an ambulance in 2012.   Continue reading

Death Certificates Offer Clues To Opioid Epidemic

Details On Death Certificates Offer Layers Of Clues To Opioid Epidemic – June 1, 2016

Gill is the chief medical examiner for the state of Connecticut, and in the past two years, Gill’s office has seen a more than 50 percent increase in autopsies.

That’s mostly because of the spike in accidental drug overdoses, he said. Heroin is the big player. Fentanyl deaths have surged, too.

There’s another reason to get solid data — so you can craft a public health response to the epidemic.  

Specificity about a death today could help save a life tomorrow, he says.   Continue reading

Physician’s Guide to DEA Inspections

Physician’s Guide to DEA Administrative Inspections – Pain Medicine News

This article was written for doctors and helps explain why so many of them are reluctant to prescribe opioids.

If you had to face this kind of government-mandated harassment, which could result in losing your ability to practice your profession, would you risk it?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) employs hundreds of Diversion Investigators to monitor compliance with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).1 Principal methods for maintaining compliance and determining noncompliance are “inspections” or “audits,” which the DEA has the authority to conduct without a criminal warrant, as established by federal law outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)   Continue reading

The Forgotten Patients Who Benefit From Opioids

Guest Editor’s Memo: The Forgotten Patients: Those Who Benefit From Opioid Treatment  – July 2014 – By Jennifer P. Schneider, MD, PhD

Recently, healthcare professionals and the general public have been deluged with information about deaths from opioid (and other drug) overdoses, about patients who misuse or divert their prescribed opioids, about doctors who are, in fact, criminals who run pill mills, etc. The recommended solutions invariably are to decrease the supply: 

Among all of these efforts to reduce the availability of opioids, one group of patients have been largely forgotten:

  1. those who have legitimate chronic pain,
  2. who are compliant with their opioid medication regimen as well as other modalities, and
  3. whose level of functioning has been improved as a result of their current treatment approach.

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DEA Warns of Fake Fentanyl Pain Pills

DEA Warns of Fake Fentanyl Pain Pills – Pain News Network | April 02, 2016 | By Pat Anson, Editor

I found the last sentence of this article shocking:

The CDC admits many [illicit] fentanyl overdoses may have been misclassified as deaths caused by prescription painkillers.

It’s hard to believe that the CDC issued such drastically restricting guidelines, making lives miserable for hundreds of thousands of pain patients, despite admittedly knowing their data was corrupt.  

Pain patients, callously condemned to a lifetime of pain, and doctors hounded by the DEA, are being blamed for deaths caused by illegally manufactured fentanyl (and heroin), *not* prescription medication for our pain.   

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How to Protect Your Practice From a DEA Investigation

How to Protect Your Practice From a Drug Diversion Investigation | Clinical Pain Advisor

A look at our situation from a different perspective:

Healthcare providers got an insider’s look at how law-enforcement officials conduct drug diversion investigations, learning how to avoid unintentional mistakes that may garner unwanted scrutiny from regulatory bodies and how to better protect their practices.

Two members of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, Marc Gonzalez, PharmD, and Steven Louie, JD, hosted an interactive session detailing actual cases in which “pill mills” were busted, letting clinicians enact scenarios in which they assume the role of the drug diversion investigator.   Continue reading