Conquering Cancer Pain | Drug Topics – by Tzipora Lieder, RPh – Feb 2020
I think it’s a joke to talk about “conquering” any kind of pain. And if, like so many of us, you cannot conquer your pain, what does that say about you?
Military terms like “conquer” reformulate our suffering as a war, a battle we lose day after day, over and over again, and imply that we’re too weak (or stupid or lazy) to fight harder. The implication is that we’re too weak (or stupid or lazy) to fight hard and “conquer” the pain that plagues us.
But what does it mean to “win” this “battle with chronic pain” anyway?
In many articles like this, winning seems to be determined solely by whether or not we take opioid pain medication. All the other semi-effective semi-toxic medications used for chronic pain are seen as harmless, but if we take opioids, we are the “losers”. Continue reading
The medications that change who we are – BBC Future – By Zaria Gorvett – Jan 2020
Over the years, Golomb has collected reports from patients across the United States – tales of broken marriages, destroyed careers, and a surprising number of men who have come unnervingly close to murdering their wives.
In almost every case, the symptoms began when they started taking statins, then promptly returned to normal when they stopped; one man repeated this cycle five times before he realised what was going on.
We’re all familiar with the mind-bending properties of psychedelic drugs – but it turns out ordinary medications can be just as potent. Continue reading
Chronic Pain Following Treatment for Cancer: The Role of Opioids – Ballantyne – 2003 – The Oncologist – Wiley Online Library – Jane C. Ballantyne – Dec 2003
This study was done just months after Ballantyne had authored a study claiming hyperalgesia is a common problem with continued opioid use.
Ballantyne is one of the most adamant anti-opioid zealots who now insists that “opioids are bad” under all circumstances and shouldn’t be used for chronic pain, but in 2003 she was apparently still reasonable.
Opioids are the most effective analgesics for severe pain.
…opioid tolerance, if it develops, is relatively easy to overcome, and other problems of opioid use, including substance abuse, are unlikely to be problematic.
So, in 2003, she believed that opioid use is unlikely to be problematic, a view directly opposed to her current position. We never see references to these positive findings of opioid use anymore.
A Dose of Truth about the Consequences of Opiophobia | HCPLive – 2010 – Joel S. Hochman, MD – Jan 2010
In this old article, the author picks apart a study from 2003 which became the backbone of the claims about hyperalgesia. It’s outrageous that a study from 17 years ago is determining our pain care (or lack thereof) today.
As this decade has progressed, some legal experts assumed that as a consequence of certain tort actions (cf. Bergman v. Chin), physicians would be compelled to treat pain effectively in compliance with the community standard of care.
The “community standard of care” no longer exists for pain control because opiophobia is preventing the use of the most effective medication just because some “street drugs” of the same chemical class, like heroin or illicit fentanyl, are being abused by people who then overdose. Continue reading
Data Science Has Become About Lending False Credibility To Decisions We’ve Already Made – Kalev Leetaru, Forbes Contributor – Mar 2019
One of the greatest failures of data science has been the way in which it has devolved from the genuine search for answers into just another tool to lend credibility to the answers we want.
All that matters is that we can justify our preordained decisions with the certainly of “data.” As we rapidly undermine the promise of data science, will our trust in data fade with it?
It is truly remarkable that our era of searching data for answers has devolved into searching data until we find support for the answer we’ve already decided upon. Continue reading
Clinical Challenge: Opioid Tapering | MedPage Today – by Judy George, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today March 1, 2020
Too much focus on the pill and not enough on the whole person: that’s a key piece missing in the movement to reduce opioids among chronic pain patients, said Beth Darnall, PhD, of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Some agencies and companies used the 2016 guideline to push hard dose limits and abrupt tapering, which the CDC later said was inconsistent with its recommendations
I notice that this hasn’t changed any of the “wrong” laws, which may be enforced long after the truth is known. Continue reading
Coronavirus ‘Hits All the Hot Buttons’ for How We Misjudge Risk – The New York Times –By Max Fisher – Feb 2020
I see a striking similarity between fear of the coronavirus and fear of opioid addiction.
Like everywhere else on campus, and in much of the world, the coronavirus was all anybody could talk about. But one of the attendees, a public health student, had had enough. Exasperated, she rattled off a set of statistics.
The virus had killed about 1,100 worldwide and infected around a dozen in the United States. Alarming, but a much more common illness, influenza, kills about 400,000 people every year, including 34,200 Americans last flu season and 61,099 the year before.
So the 80,000 flu deaths I previously cited from the 2017-2018 winter flu was unusual, but not entirely out of the norm. Continue reading
Mindfulness is loaded with (troubling) metaphysical assumptions | Aeon Essays | Sahanika Ratnayake – Jul 2019
Three years ago, when I was studying for a Masters in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, mindfulness was very much in the air.
The Department of Psychiatry had launched a large-scale study on the effects of mindfulness in collaboration with the university’s counselling service. Everyone I knew seemed to be involved in some way.
I’m entirely fed up with mindfulness being forced upon pain patients as a supposedly effective method of “pain management”. Continue reading
Is There Really a Difference Between Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence? – Scientific American Blog Network – By Jonathan N. Stea -November 2019 (repost)
As a follow-up to a previous post, Addiction vs dependence | National Institute on Drug Abuse, here’s an article from the Scientific American pointing out the messy confusion between the two created by the DSM-5.
It is no secret that misinformation about addiction is rampant in popular media. One particular area of misinformation concerns what language gets used when describing topics related to addiction.
all sorts of individuals—medical professionals, journalists, parents, people who use substances, people in recovery—incessantly argue over terminology such as “addiction,” “dependence,” “abuse,” “misuse,” “habit-forming,” “recreational use” or “medicinal use.” Continue reading
Damaging State Legislation Regarding Opioids: The Need To Scrutinize Sources Of Inaccurate Information Provided To Lawmakers – free full-text /PMC6857667/ – Nov 2019
Lawmakers are making laws on the basis of inaccurate information provided by persons without expertise in chronic pain management.
The whole country is awash in PROPaganda spread by those who do not understand, much less experience themselves, the extreme physical limitations, subsequent mood disorders, negative social impact, and unnecessary suffering caused by constant unrelieved pain.
On January 22, 2019, a Massachusetts State Representative introduced House Bill 3656, “An Act requiring practitioners to be held responsible for patient opioid addiction”. Continue reading