Are Pain Doctors Wrongly Taking the Blame for the Opioid Crisis? – By Megan Hadley | Dec 2018
Dr. Bamdad is serving a 25-year sentence on a federal charge of distributing and dispensing Oxycodone, an opiate pain reliever, in Federal Medical Center (FMC) Fort Worth, a Texas prison.
Dr. Bamdad, believing he was innocent, had refused to take the plea deal he was offered, or to admit guilt, which is why the judge gave him such a high sentence.
The journey he took from clinic to jail is one of hundreds of similar, but little-known, footnotes to America’s struggle with the opioid epidemic. Continue reading
4 disturbing trends in health care – Praveen Suthrum | KevinMD | Aug 2018
I agree with the author that health care is changing dramatically and not necessarily in a good direction. This article points out some fundamental issues that must be addressed before any “progress” can be made.
It’s easy to get excited about technological advances such as nanobots that swim in blood to deliver drugs or 3-D printers that print human tissues. However, in our enthusiasm to find the next fix, we are failing to notice the ground slipping underneath the health care industry.
Here are four trends that are changing health care but on the surface are too unsexy for us to care about. Continue reading
Diversion of opioids from supply chain – by Alex Kacik | September 16, 2017
For years, opioid tablets in the pharmaceutical supply chain have been diverted in massive batches of hundreds of thousands of pills.
This brings to mind that when Slick Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks (as opposed to bank customers), ihe said: “because that’s where the money is”. The pharmaceutical supply chain is where the most opioid pills are.
there has been a major push to pinpoint the vulnerabilities in a fragmented pharmaceutical supply chain to stem the flow of illicit prescription drugs. Continue reading
Games without Frontiers: How the Fed Used Opioids as Scapegoat & Diversion for the Nation’s True Crises – by Matthew Giarmo, Ph.D. – Sept 2018
Here’s a guy who lays it out as he sees it, remarkably similar to the view of pain patients. This could be because he took time off to take care of a family member with cancer – he saw firsthand the full destructive force of their pain.
- The problem is not opioids. It’s heroin.
- The problem is not painkillers. It’s pain.
- The problem is not prescription. It’s diversion.
To all those sanctimonious crusaders, self-aggrandizing careerists, and shameless opportunists looking for a piece of the opioid pie, I say that you are more addicted to the opioid crisis than we are to opioids. Continue reading
Who Is Telling The Truth About Prescription Opioid Deaths? DEA? CDC? Neither? | American Council on Science and Health – By Josh Bloom — November 5, 2018
In this article, Mr. Bloom takes apart the DEA’s exaggerated counts of supposed “prescription drug overdoses”, revealing how the DEA conflates, distorts, and inflates numbers using illogical groupings and obscure details of definitions.
“Controlled Prescription Drugs (CPDs) … are still responsible for the most drug-involved overdose deaths and are the second most commonly abused substance in the United States.”
– 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment. Drug Enforcement Administration, October 2018.
A newly-released 164-page report just issued by the DEA maintains that controlled prescription drugs are killing more Americans than any other type of drug (1); even more than heroin and fentanyl.
But if you’ve been keeping up in this area this sounds very strange. Can it really be true that drugs like Vicodin and Percocet are killing more Americans, especially when one report after another lays the blame on illicit fentanyl and its scary analogs? Continue reading
Pain Patients and Doctors Have Civil Rights Too — Pain News Network – By Richard Dobson, MD – November 2018
Dr. Dobson makes the point that pain patients’ civil rights about being violated because we and our doctors are being criminally punished for crimes committed by others.
In a recent column, I described the diversion of blame for the opioid crisis as an example of “Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another,” [See previous post Diversion of Blame and the Opioid Crisis] a psychiatric condition in which a person imposes an illness on someone who is not really sick.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a plea deal in which a former police chief in Florida pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of innocent people by making false arrests “under color of law.” I think there are some striking parallels between the way these innocent victims were treated and the way that chronic pain patients and their doctors are treated today. Continue reading
DEA: Foreign fentanyl a greater risk than diverted pills – By Eric Scicchitano The Daily Item – Jun 3, 2018
Even the DEA knows that it’s illegal fentanyl that’s fueling the overdose crisis, but any outrage about fentanyl is being co-opted by the tired old war on the entire drug class of “opioids”.
This assures that all critical distinctions between prescription medication and injected heroin/fentanyl are carefully hidden so the combined “opioid overdose” numbers are large enough to get attention (and money).
Prescription opioids are the only aspect of the overdose crisis that the DEA *can* restrict and regulate, even though it’s proven to be ineffective. They continue prosecuting doctors because they 1) can find them and 2) they don’t shoot back. Continue reading
DEA Employees Fail Drug Tests, Shockingly Face No Serious Consequences – Sept 2015 – By Nick Wing
I found this amusing, but not really surprising. There seems less and less difference between the DEA and the drug dealers it so intimately deals with.
A number of federal employees with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have failed drug tests over the past five years, only to receive short suspensions or other minor reprimands, newly released documents reveal.
According to a Huffington Post review of internal DEA discipline logs, first uncovered by USA Today over the weekend, there have been at least 16 reported instances of employees failing random drug tests since 2010. Continue reading
Opinion | The Federal Agency That Fuels the Opioid Crisis – By Leo Beletsky and Jeremiah Goulka – Sept. 17, 2018
Here’s an Op-Ed by real experts in addiction from the NY Times that puts the blame where it belongs:
Every day, nearly 200 people across the country die from drug overdoses [from ALL drugs, legal and illicit, prescribed or not].The Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency that most directly oversees access to opioids, deserves much of the blame for these deaths.
Because of its incompetence, the opioid crisis has gone from bad to worse. The solution: overhauling the agency, or even getting rid of it entirely. Continue reading
Opioid policy fallout | Medical Economics – Jeff Bendix – May 30, 2018
The epidemic of opioid-related deaths sweeping the country has lawmakers and regulators in Washington, D.C., and state capitals scrambling for answers. And while doctors generally welcome the attention to the crisis, many also fear that the solutions being proposed and enacted will do more harm than good.
The concern among physicians and public health and pain management experts is that laws and regulations designed to limit use of prescription narcotics, however well-intentioned, are yet another constraint on doctors’ ability to treat patients as they think best. Continue reading