Tag Archives: obfuscation

Opioid Epidemic: 6 Charts Designed To Deceive

The Opioid Epidemic in 6 Charts Designed To Deceive You – By Josh Bloom — October 12, 2017

In this article, Josh Bloom eviscerates Kolodny’s arguments showing the unrelenting anti-opioid bias and disregard for opposing evidence.

Dr. Kolodny, a psychiatrist, is the executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP)—a group that played a significant role in creating the disastrous CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (2016).

The CDC ended up incorporating much of PROP’s recommendations, which were supposedly designed to help the US mitigate the damage done by opioid drugs, despite the fact that the “evidence” contained in the recommendations had been carefully scrutinized and found unsupportable by FDA scientists.  

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Conundrum of Opioid Tapering Without Reason

The conundrum of opioid tapering in long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain: A commentary – Ajay Manhapra , MD,Albert A. Arias , MD Jane C. Ballantyne , MD

In response to the opioid epidemic and new guidelines, many patients on high-dose long term opioid therapy (LTOT) for chronic pain are getting tapered off opioids.

As a result, a unique clinical challenge is emerging: while many on LTOT have poor pain control, functional decline, psychiatric instability, aberrancies and misuse, these issues may often worsen with opioid tapering. 

Is she saying that all these detrimental effects of sudden opioid tapering should just be ignored because they are due to neuroplasticity? Continue reading

Most Americans Don’t Trust Others

Most People Say They Don’t Trust Each Other. So What? – 07.18.2017 / By Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Do people have a problem placing trust in one another? At least in an abstract, globalized sense, the answer is yes, according to a study published earlier this year.

More than half the citizens living in 68 countries didn’t trust one another, researchers reported in the Journal of Public Affairs.

Less trust usually has two direct effects on people’s livelihoods, said Holmberg, who is based at the University of Gothenburg.

  1. If you tend not to trust your fellow man, it’s not good for your health
  2. It also makes everyday processes less efficient and more time-consuming.  Continue reading

Opioids Blamed for Consequences of Chronic Pain

This is an essay I wrote out of sheer frustration

I’ve noticed a consistent error in the latest research on opioid therapy: All negative outcomes of opioid/pain research are attributed to the opioid medications instead of the underlying pain.

Researchers willfully ignore that opioids were originally prescribed for unbearable pain and proceeded as though the motivation for these medications were insignificant or irrelevant to their studies.

The many detrimental outcomes these studies find are exactly what you’d expect from a person suffering long-term chronic pain. But researchers place the blame for any negative outcomes on the opioid medications taken to relieve pain, not on the pre-existing pain itself.  Continue reading

Half of “low intensity” CBT clients relapse within 12 months

False economy? Half of “low intensity” CBT clients relapse within 12 months – By Christian Jarrett

Heralded as a revolution in mental health care – a cost-effective way to deliver evidence-based psychological help to large numbers – low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended by NICE, the independent health advisory body in England and Wales, for mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

Prior studies into its effectiveness have been promising. However, little research has looked at whether the benefits last.

A new study in Behaviour Research and Therapy has done that, following a cohort of people with depression and anxiety over time.   Continue reading

Researcher finds antidote to health bullshit

This researcher may have discovered the antidote to health bullshit – Vox – by Julia Belluz and Alvin Chang – Jul 17, 2017,

Andy Oxman is obsessed with the study of bullshit health claims and how to prevent them from spreading.

Oxman, now the research director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, started to wonder whether the best hope for bullshit prevention lay with children.

The little classroom visit convinced Oxman he had to start schooling people in the ways of bullshit detection early in life.

So he began working with other researchers from around the world to develop curricula — a cartoon-filled textbook, lessons plans — on critical thinking skills aimed at school children.   Continue reading

What Used to Be Fraud Is Now Alternative Medicine

‘What Used to Be Fraud Is Now Alternative Medicine’ | Medpage Today | by F. Perry Wilson MD, MSCEF. Perry Wilson MD, MSCE June 28, 2017

I’m appalled at how the government is pushing unproven “alternative” treatments as substitutes for proven and effective opioid therapy. Here are the most pertinent parts of the interview (you can listen to the podcast of it at the link above).

As a physician, Novella has spoken out against homeopathy, acupuncture, and other alternative medicine modalities, based on a lack of robust evidentiary support or prior plausibility.

I had the chance to speak with Novella in the studios at Yale. We discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from the public’s view of science and scientists to interacting with patients who hold nonscientific beliefs.   Continue reading

Eight slogans that quacks love to use

Eight slogans that quacks love to use: if you hear these, find a proper doctor | Spectator Health | by Professor Edzard Ernst | Aug 16, 2016

In the first of this two-part article, I discussed six popular tricks of the quackery trade.

Some readers pointed out that these ploys are not exclusively used in alternative medicine. I agree.

Quacks are everywhere, and unfortunately conventional medicine has its fair share of charlatans as well. Yet I would nevertheless suggest that the ploys mentioned in part one and the eight discussed below are more often used in alternative than in mainstream medicine.   Continue reading

How statistics are twisted to obscure public understanding

How statistics are twisted to obscure public understanding | Aeon Ideas – 11 July, 2016 – Jonathan R Goodman

In every industry, from education to healthcare to travel, the generation of quantitative data is considered important to maintain quality through competition.

Yet statistics rarely show what they see.

If you look at recent airline statistics, you’ll think that a far higher number of planes are arriving on schedule or early than ever before. But this appearance of improvement is deceptive.

Airlines have become experts at appearance management: by listing flight times as 20-30 percent longer than what the actual flight takes, flights that operate on a normal to slightly delayed schedule are still counted as arriving ‘early’ or ‘on time’. A study funded by the Federal Aviation Administration refers to the airline tactic as schedule buffering. Continue reading

Insufficient Evidence: How Opioid Deniers Spin Studies

Insufficient Evidence: How Opioid Deniers Spin Studies — Pain News Network – By Roger Chriss – April 2017

Researchers cannot and do not investigate if “opioids” work for “chronic pain.”

Good research is more narrowly focused, such as these clinical studies:

The results are equally specific. Continue reading