More than one in 10 Americans, or 25.3 million adults, suffer from pain every day, according to NIH data released in 2015.
Chronic pain seems to be just that—a serious pain—but new research has found that ongoing pain is associated with an increased risk of dying early.
For the analysis, which was published in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers looked at data from two large population cohorts of 50-year-olds.
They discovered that people who reported suffering from chronic pain had a nearly 30 percent increased risk of dying during the study.
It got worse as the pain became more intense:
People who said they had “quite a bit” of pain were 38 percent likely to die during the study, while those who were in “extreme” pain regularly had an 88 percent increased risk. Continue reading
This study gives us good reason to demand effective treatment for our pain.
Treat us for our pain now or for our dementia later.
Allowing a patient to remain in pain causes real physical and cognitive damage.
Opioid restrictions are hazardous to patients’ health
Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that older people with persistent pain show quicker declines in memory as they age and are more likely to have dementia years later, an indication that chronic pain could somehow be related to changes in the brain that contribute to dementia. Continue reading
Op-ed: Demonizing opioids endangers lives, too | The Salt Lake Tribune – By Julieann Selden – Apr 2017
Another example of the dangers of NOT using opioids to control pain.
Potential opioid benefits are glaringly absent from the campaign billboards and websites.
Extreme pathos warns Utahns to “steer clear of opioids,” suggesting Tylenol and exercise as alternatives.
The rhetoric is guilt-inducing, unrealistic to many situations, and diminishes the credibility of the campaign. Continue reading
Yes, people can die from opiate withdrawal – Wiley Online Library -Shane Darke, Sarah Larney, Michael Farrell – Aug 2016
It is generally thought that opiate withdrawal is unpleasant but not life-threatening, but death can, and does, occur. The complications of withdrawal are often underestimated and monitored inadequately.
Death is an uncommon, but catastrophic, outcome of opioid withdrawal.
So, why do so many doctors believe that simply discharging a pain patient, whether out of fear of the DEA or even for lack of compliance, causes no harm? Continue reading
An Opioid Quality Metric Based on Dose Alone? 80 Professionals Respond to NCQA by Dr. Stefan Kertesz
Efforts to reduce prescribing while optimizing care for patients with pain, and expanding access to addiction treatment, are of cardinal importance.
How we advance these objectives depends partly on changing our shared understandings of what it means to deliver good care. It also depends on policies, resources and formal methods to assess if we are doing a good job.
Dr. Kertesz points out that all these new restrictions aren’t based on any studies at all. Nor are any studies planned to investigate the effect of these new policies. Continue reading
Psychoactive Properties of Opioids and the Experience of Pain – Journal of Pain and Symptom Management – February 2016
Here is a letter to the editor of a pain journal from Stephen R. Connor, PhD of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance.
He points out what so many of us have noticed: if you take opioids when you’re in pain, you do not get “high” (see also Opioids, Endorphins, and Euphoria)
A frequently held view in palliative care is that when patients in pain use opioids, they do not experience the psychoactive or euphoric effects of opioids.
Furthermore, that those not in pain who use opioids do experience these euphoric effects that may lead to opioid-use disorder. Continue reading
Proven Long-term Opioid Pain Relief:
No Tolerance or Hyperalgesia
I found 5 NIH PubMed articles on the new extended-release hydrocodone pill, Hysingla ER, that prove effective long-term (up to one year) pain relief from an opioid.
Additionally, this is achieved without tolerance or hyperalgesia (the boogeymen of anti-opioid scaremongering).
These studies, undertaken to prove the efficacy of Hysingla ER, also prove that once titrated to an effective dose, patients did not develop tolerance. They found the same doses effective all year. Continue reading
Chronic Pain Harms The Brain — ScienceDaily — February 6, 2008
This article isn’t new and I’ve posted it before, but it’s a classic, providing scientific evidence of the damage done to our brains by uncontrolled chronic pain. We can use it to argue against the anti-opioid articles that claim addiction is much more serious than chronic pain.
National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain | Position Papers | February 2015
Not once is the effectiveness of opioids for pain management discussed.
By delving only into the dangers of use, not of the benefits, this gives an unrealistic picture of how opioids are used in medicine.
During the 1.5-day workshop, invited experts discussed the body of evidence.
After weighing evidence from the evidence report, expert presentations, and public comments, an unbiased, independent panel prepared a draft report that identified research gaps and future research priorities. The report was posted on the ODP Web site for 2 weeks for public comment. Continue reading
CDC Scientists Expose Agency Corruption – Nov. 21, 2016 – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Last month, The Hill published a letter [see below] sent by “more than a dozen” senior Center for Disease Control (CDC) scientists charging the agency with nursing an atmosphere of pervasive research fraud.
The letter to CDC Chief of Staff, Carmen Villar, expressed alarm “about the current state of ethics at our agency.”
The scientists complained that “our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests” and “circumvented by some of our leaders.”
The scientists told Villar that, “questionable and unethical practices, occurring at all levels and in all of our respective units, threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.” Continue reading