It’s the relaxation technique of choice, popular with employers and even the NHS. But some have found it can have unexpected effects.
I am sitting in a circle in a grey, corporate room with 10 housing association employees – administrators, security guards, cleaners – eyes darting about nervously
I’m here to write about a new mindfulness initiative, and since I’ve never to my knowledge had any mental health issues and usually thrive under stress, I anticipate a straightforward, if awkward, experience.
Then comes the meditation. Continue reading
Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers: The DEA’s War on Prescription Painkillers – June 2005 – by Ronald T. Libby
This is a long, sad story about how we ended up with the absurd and cruel opioid policies that are driving pain patients to suicide.
The medical field of treating chronic pain is still in its infancy. It was only in the late 1980s that leading physicians trained in treating the chronic pain of terminally ill cancer patients began to recommend that the “opioid therapy” (treatment involving narcotics related to opium) used on their patients also be used for patients suffering from nonterminal conditions.
The new therapies proved successful, and prescription pain medications saw a huge leap in sales throughout the 1990s.
But opioid therapy has always been controversial. Continue reading
Lawmakers and the media have devoted much of their attention recently to deaths from opioid overdoses, as well as to the broader “deaths of despair” that include suicides and deaths from alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis.
But despite the intense focus on the topic, misinformation about the epidemic runs rampant.
This is ironic because much of this misinformation has been spread by this very publication, the Washington Post. Continue reading
CVS’s Transparent Opioid PR Stunt | American Council on Science and Health – by Josh Bloom – Sept 2017
CVS has taken it upon itself to enact rules that allow their pharmacists to ignore a physician’s prescription by changing the number of pills, the daily maximum dose, and even the form of the drug itself.
And the company’s new policy is based on a decidedly faulty premise, which I will describe below.
What the company just did is bad news for both physicians and their patients. Let’s try to set them straight. Continue reading
An Inconvenient Footnote in the Opioid Crisis — Pain News Network – August 17, 2017 By Roger Chriss, Columnist
The evidence clearly shows that the opioid crisis is being driven primarily by illegal drugs.Time magazine reports that in a large national survey, 60% of those who reported misusing opioid medication did so without a prescription.
“About 40% of these people accessed opioids free from friends or relatives. Among people who developed addiction or other abuse disorders, 14% said they bought them from drug dealers or strangers,” Time said.
Fully 61 percent of voters believe that their state and local governments are not doing enough in response to drug abuse and addiction. Yet, there are fiscal constraints on any alternative strategies to end the drug crisis, with 51 percent believing state and local governments are in fact spending effectively, making it difficult to propose any new initiatives to tackle the drug crisis.
In many cases, drug abuse services involve all branches of government today, yet these programs suffer from a lack of a coherent strategy and may be perceived to be ineffective as a result.
They are not only perceived to be ineffective, they ARE ineffective.
The government has been caught lying repeatedly to bolster the expensive and failing/failed drug war, so has sacrificed the moral high ground for drug raids and incarceration. Continue reading
Media Reports About Opioids Have the Wrong Focus – The Painful Truth – December 22, 2016 by Dr. Lynn Webster
The headline reads, “As prescription opioid addiction rises, help from doctors lags.” That belies the following statement by Washington Post reporters Scott Clement and Lenny Bernstein:
“Despite the high rate of dependence, the poll finds that a majority of long-term opioid users say the drugs have dramatically improved their lives.
Opioids relieve pain that is otherwise intractable, they said in follow-up interviews, allowing them to walk, work and pursue other activities. Fully two-thirds of users surveyed said relief is well worth the risk of addiction.” Continue reading
In the span of a few days, the anti-vaccine screed of a Cleveland Clinic doctor prompted a social media firestorm, an apparent retraction from the physician, and promises of disciplinary action by administrators of his prestigious hospital system.
But those reactions will not entirely contain the damage caused by the rant, which has already been picked up by anti-vaccine organizations1, or address a more fundamental question:
Why do hospitals that espouse evidence-based medical care operate alternative medicine institutes that offer treatments with little foundation in science?
This is exactly what has happened to pain care when the CDC promoted “integrated care”, which is actually a collection of unproven alternative medicine treatments, in its 2016 Opioid Prescribing Guideline. Continue reading
The simplification and mass-production of a philosophy make it ridiculous.
I’m making a failed attempt at “mindful dishwashing,” the subject of a how-to article an acquaintance recently shared on Facebook.
According to the practice’s thought leaders, in order to maximize our happiness, we should refuse to succumb to domestic autopilot and instead be fully “in” the present moment, engaging completely with every clump of oatmeal and decomposing particle of scrambled egg.
Mindfulness is supposed to be a defense against the pressures of modern life, but it’s starting to feel suspiciously like it’s actually adding to them. Continue reading
Kaiser and Media Escalate Opioid Abuse and Death Narrative National Pain Report 11/28/16
Publishing information that is intentionally worded to advance alarmist propaganda is the opposite of what a health organization should be doing.
Kaiser has become a source of Fake News:
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll has generated significant media attention, further inflating the narrative about opioid abuse and death. If all you see are the numbers that hit the press, you’d be misinformed. Continue reading