Here’s a little good news to make up for the darkness of the previous post:
A push for drug decriminalization surges in countries around the world — could the US be next? | TheHill | Aug 2018 | BY JAG DAVIES
Drug decriminalization has rapidly emerged as a mainstream political issue in Canada and several other countries, but few U.S. policymakers have embraced it so far. That could change soon.
Ending criminal penalties for drug possession, often referred to as decriminalization, means nobody gets arrested, goes to jail or prison, or faces other forms of criminal punishment simply for possessing a small amount of drugs for personal use. 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
The ‘Phony War’ Against Opioids: Some Inconvenient Truths | The Crime ReportThe Crime Report
Anyone who watches TV news will know that America has a major public health problem concerning drug addiction and opioid overdose deaths. In this context, we sometimes hear terms like “prescription opioid epidemic” and “over-prescribing” thrown about indiscriminately.
Hidden inside the hype and misinformation are several inconvenient truths. Public policy on the drug crisis cannot be remotely effective until we embrace such truths and act on them. Continue reading
Backlash over opioid crisis hurting chronic pain patients: Quebec study | Montreal Gazette | Charlie Fidelman May 30, 2018
A survey of more than 1,400 patients from Quebec and British Columbia made public Wednesday suggests that the extensive media coverage of the opioid crisis has had a significant negative effect on those suffering from chronic pain.
The survey showed some doctors have became reluctant to prescribe narcotics for pain relief.
Patients reported having trouble getting the medication they need to control their pain and that doctors are reducing their doses against their wishes. Continue reading
Fentanyl deaths up 1,000% since 2013, so much so that even heroin’s supply is dwarfed – by Terry DeMio, Cincinnati Enquirer – June 6, 2018
The powerhouse opioid fentanyl has drenched the drug supply in Greater Cincinnati, dwarfing the presence of heroin sold on the streets.
More than 90 percent of drugs analyzed at the Hamilton County crime lab through May 3 this year have had the synthetic opiate in them.
Fentanyl crept into the drug stream around 2012. By 2013, fentanyl-related deaths amounted to 24. Last year? 324.
The Lethal Success of Pain Pill Restrictions – Jacob Sullum | May 9, 2018
In a speech on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is striving to “bring down” both “opioid prescriptions” and “overdose deaths.”
A study published the following day suggests those two goals may be at odds with each other, highlighting the potentially perverse consequences of trying to stop people from getting the drugs they want. Continue reading
Here’s a graph showing that prescription opioids and overdose deaths are not correlated and the opposing trajectories show a dramatic increase in the discrepancy between the two.
Hospitalized Patients Are Civilian Casualties in the Government’s War on Opioids | Cato @ Liberty – March 19, 2018 – By Jeffrey A. Singer
Here is another horror story about the consequences of ill-informed, politically-driven, hasty, and mostly ineffective policy.
A recent story by Pauline Bartolone in the Los Angeles Times draws attention to some under-reported civilian casualties in the government’s war on opioids: hospitalized patients in severe pain, in need of painkillers.
Hospitals across the country are facing shortages of injectable morphine, fentanyl, and Dilaudid (hydromorphone). As a result, trauma patients, post-surgical patients, and hospitalized cancer patients frequently go undertreated for excruciating pain. Continue reading
Opioid epidemic or opioid shortage: The struggle is real | ASHA PADMANABHAN, MD | JANUARY 30, 2018
As a physician anesthesiologist, I use the opioid fentanyl every single day at work, and on almost every patient.
Fentanyl has been a constant in my anesthesia practice as one of the most potent pain medicines used intravenously during surgery, as it has for almost every patient going under general anesthesia in this country and most of the world. Continue reading
Stop Calling it an Opioid Crisis–It’s a Heroin and Fentanyl Crisis – January 9, 2018 – By JEFFREY A. SINGER
The National Center for Health Statistics reported last month that a record 63,600 deaths occurred in 2016 due to overdoses. Digging deeper into that number shows
- over 20,000 of those deaths were due to the powerful drug fentanyl,
- more than 15,000 were caused by heroin, and
- roughly 14,500 were caused by prescription opioids,
although it has been known for years that, in most cases of prescription opioid deaths, the victims had multiple other potentiating drugs onboard. Continue reading