‘Business decision’: Former DEA official works for opioid lawyers but set standards for how many pills were made – By John O’Brien | Sep 3, 2019
The DEA knew more about what quantities of opioids went where than anyone else, so I’m baffled why they didn’t stop the excessive orders that everyone is complaining about now.
Asked what would’ve happened if a pharmaceutical distributor wanted advice on whether a large order of opioids was suspicious, the man in charge of federal regulation of those pills for 10 years said he wouldn’t have helped.
Instead, Joe Rannazzisi, who set always-increasing opioid quotas for theindustry while he headed a Drug Enforcement Agency department from 2005-15, said the company would be left on its own to figure it out. Continue reading
Opinion | Fear, Loathing and Fentanyl Exposure – https://www.nytimes.com/ By The Editorial Board – April 4, 2019
The New York Times has published many articles about the “opioid crisis” that follow the usual unchecked assumptions around opioids, so I’m glad this opinion piece by the “top guns” of the Times finally explains the problems posed by fentanyl: it’s super potent, but not by accidental skin exposure or “breathing fumes”.
As baseless public health scares go, the one about police officers and nurses purportedly overdosing from passive fentanyl exposure should have been easy to dispel.
Emergency workers across the country have reported dozens of such incidents in recent years, but their symptoms are often inconsistent with opioid poisoning. Continue reading
The March Toward a Pre-Modern Approach to the Treatment of Pain Continues, Undeterred by Science – By Jeffrey A. Singer – Aug 2019
It seems that no amount of data-driven information can get policymakers to reconsider the hysteria-driven pain prescription policies they continue to put in place.
For all human beings, data is far less stimulating than hysteria. That’s why movements, like the anti-opioid zealotry, use scare tactics to motivate and mobilize the populace.
I can understand lay politicians and members of the press misconstruing addiction and dependency, but there is no excuse when doctors make that error.
I used to believe that doctors knew far more about my body and its functions than I did, but what I’ve seen during this “opioid” crisis has disabused me of that quaint notion. Continue reading
Opioids: Bad Science, Bad Policy, Bad Outcomes – by Henry I. Miller and Josh Bloom – 2019
As is so often the case nowadays, this article does not show what date it was published. This is clearly intended to confuse the reader about whether it’s a “current” article or from much older archives.
I can only estimate the date of publication by what other studies it references. In this case, it refers to a JAMA article from Feb 2019, so it must be later than that.
There’s an old joke about the drunk who’s hunting for his lost keys under the lamppost, not because he thinks they’re there, but because the light is good. Well, that’s what the feds and state governments are doing to try to quell the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses. Continue reading
Data From Germany Provide More Reasons For Policy to Shift From Prescription Pills to Harm Reduction – Cato.org – By Jeffrey A. Singer – Aug 2019
In February of this year, I co-authored a paper in the Journal of Pain Research explaining why there is no correlation between the amount of opioids prescribed and the incidence of non-medical use or prescription pain-reliever use disorder.
See my post on this paper: Non-medical opioid users were not pain patients
Now researchers in Germany have provided more evidence to pour cold water on the idea of any relationship between the volume of opioid prescribing and the incidence of opioid use disorder. Continue reading
Addiction Is Not Dependence – practicalpainmanagement.com – Aug 2019
In this editorial, Jennifer P. Schneider, MD, PhD, digs into a common—and frustrating—misunderstanding in pain medicine terminology.
FDA approved the buprenorphine implant, branded as Probuphine, in 2016 “for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.”
- Was it approved for the treatment of what we now call Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)?
- Or was the intent to approve it for physical dependence, a condition found in most opioid-treated chronic pain patients as well as opioid addicts?
It is not clear from the language. Continue reading
The White House drug czar is wrong: Most heroin addicts didn’t start with prescribed pain pills – Written by
As part of its campaign to stem opioid addiction and overdoses, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP — the drug czar’s office) has launched an education campaign called The Truth About Opioids, but some of the material it is presenting has more than a whiff of spin to it — and could imperil the ability of pain patients to get the relief they need.
I’m furious that they call it “the Truth” when it only spreads the big lie about the overdose crisis being from prescribed pain medications.
The website declares in big, bold letters that “80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller,” [NOT!] and highlights the words “80%,” “heroin,” “started,” and “prescription” in lurid purple. Continue reading
Inspire.com Opioid Information Thread – User “Seshet” – Aug 2019
This is “Seshet’s” ongoing thread that’s very similar to what I do here: finding and reporting on the latest opioid-related articles. He’s a self-described “math nerd” with a scientific background, so his analysis of these articles is based on hard facts, not sentiments or speculation.
More fascinating research from NIDA. Seems that drug initiation is seasonal.
For more such “spurious correlations” see a previous post of that very name which a list of countless correlations of completely unrelated variables: “Spurious Correlations“.
The Illusion of Truth | PsyBlog – by Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD
False statements about opioids, like “opioids don’t work long term” and “everyone taking opioids regularly is an addict”, are being believed simply because this is what the media has been endlessly repeating for years.
Repetition is one of the easiest and most widespread methods of persuasion.
People rate statements that have been repeated just once as more valid or true than things they’ve heard for the first time. They even rate statements as truer when the person saying them has been repeatedly lying. (Begg et al., 1992).
I don’t know how we can fight this; PROP laid the groundwork for the debate way back in the early 2000s when they started campaigning against opioids. Continue reading
The fabricated distinction between cancer pain and non-cancer pain is often used to argue that opioids are only effective for the first, but not effective for all other chronic pain.
This never made sense to me, so I researched it trying to find the basis for the much-hyped difference between the two and discovered this distinction is a complete myth.
Below are 4 previous posts covering scientific articles (including NIH/PMC and Cochrane reviews) questioning the legitimacy of regulating and restricting the treatment of non-cancer pain differently than cancer pain.
Cancer vs Noncancer Pain: Shed the Distinction Continue reading