New Data on Opioid Use and Prescribing, 2006-2015 | Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology | JAMA | The JAMA Network – July 6, 2017 – Anne Schuchat, MD; Debra Houry, MD, MPH; Gery P. Guy Jr, PhD, MPH
Though the new data proves Rx opiods are no longer the source of overdoses, these authors believe that when their policy isn’t working, they should merely intensify their failing efforts.
This practice follows the often stated definition of insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” (like the whole drug-war)
On July 6, 2017, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between 2006 and 2015 the amount of opioids prescribed in the United States peaked in 2010 at 782 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per capita and then decreased each year through 2015 to 640 MME per capita. Continue reading
PROP Urges Members to Oppose FDA Opioid Strategy — Pain News Network – July 08, 2017/ by Pat Anson, Editor
The anti-opioid activist group, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), has sent an “Urgent Action Request” to it members, asking them to oppose plans by the FDA to give new guidance to health care providers about prescribing opioid pain medication.
PROP founder and Executive Director Andrew Kolodny, MD and other PROP board members wrote a letter to the FDA, urging them to include the specific dose limit of 90mg morphine equivalents.
Today, July 10, is the last day to comment and oppose this artificial and arbitrary limit that goes against all scientific evidence of wide varieties in opioid metabolism that preclude any such dose standardization.
The contents of PROP’s letter are frightening, starting with their first main point:
1) Opioids are rarely needed for chronic pain.
Please, please, go to the site and add a comment supporting the use of opioids for chronic pain. Continue reading
What is worse, the Opioid Epidemic or the Stupidity Epidemic? – National Pain Report – June 8, 2017- By Dr. Jay Joshi, CEO/Medical Director – National Pain Centers in Chicago.
I didn’t get far into this article before I began to doubt what the author was saying:.
When other physicians, especially in the university setting, were prescribing “opiates for everyone”, “there are no dose limits”, and “opiates are not addictive as long as you have pain”, I felt compelled to stand up for logic and common sense.
Challenging a valid statement about dose limits is a denial of fact.
From what I’ve read about pain and opioids, there is no valid dosage limit or maximum dosage for opioids as long as enough tolerance has developed over time. Continue reading
CDC Opioid Guidelines Could Cause Problems for VA Patients, Clinicians : U.S. Medicine By Annette M. Boyle – February 2016
Even though this is from a few years ago, it’s still valid in 2017.
Congress Is Forcing VA to Comply With ‘Voluntary’ Document
VA clinicians and their patients might find themselves in a difficult position related to proposed opioid prescribing guidelines from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC did a limited initial release of the guidelines in September with a two-day comment period and was immediately criticized for placing greater emphasis on reducing opioid abuse than relieving pain.
Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses – The New York Times – By LIZETTE ALVAREZ – JUNE 20, 2017
Thwarting Recovery [Sober houses in Delray Beach, Florida]
When several inpatient treatment centers, drawn by low taxes and warm weather, opened their doors here to addicts more than 35 years ago, it seemed a godsend to substance abusers.
Soon, other centers, mostly legitimate, followed. Recovering addicts lived together after treatment in supervised apartments or single-family homes.
The residences were known as sober homes, where addicts could recover far from temptations and drug-abusing friends back home. Continue reading
Hyperalgesia: No Reason to Stop or Reduce Opioids – May 30, 2017 – by Forest Tennant M.D., Dr. P.H.
One of the excuses that some health practitioners are using to stop opioids is to claim a patient has hyperalgesia (HA).
This is a most dishonest, devious, and dangerous ploy.
First, the definition of hyperalgesia is simply that a stimulus such as hitting your thumb with a hammer is more painful than usual.
Second, there is no way to measure or quantify the presence of HA in a chronic pain patient who takes opioids. Continue reading
Addict brokers profit as desperate patients are ‘treated like paychecks’ – By DAVID ARMSTRONG and EVAN ALLEN — BOSTON GLOBE – MAY 28, 2017
Days after he relapsed on heroin last summer, Patrick Graney received an offer that was too good to turn down.
How would he like to get treatment in a beach town with a hipster vibe in South Florida — with all expenses paid, including airfare from his Massachusetts home?
Graney didn’t have to think long. He was on a flight south the next day. Two months later he was dead. Continue reading
Patient Suicide Blamed on Montana Pain Clinic — Pain News Network – May 26, 2017 – By Pat Anson
A 54-year old Montana man who apparently committed suicide earlier this month was a patient at a Great Falls pain clinic accused of mistreating patients and poorly managing their chronic pain. Bryan Spece was found dead in his Lewistown home on May 3.
“From what we know, about two weeks before his death, they had cut his pain pills back significantly. We’re not sure the exact amount. We’re trying to get ahold of his medical records,” said a family member. Continue reading
Medicine with a side of mysticism: Top hospitals promote unproven therapies – By CASEY ROSS @byCaseyRoss, MAX BLAU @maxblau, and KATE SHERIDAN @sheridan_kate – Mar 2017
I know that various unusual therapies work for some people some of the time (myself included), but they are truly a hit and miss proposition.
They’re among the nation’s premier medical centers, at the leading edge of scientific research.
Yet hospitals affiliated with Yale, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and other top medical research centers also aggressively promote alternative therapies with little or no scientific backing.
They offer “energy healing” to help treat multiple sclerosis, acupuncture for infertility, and homeopathic bee venom for fibromyalgia. A public forum hosted by the University of Florida’s hospital even promises to explain how herbal therapy can reverse Alzheimer’s. (It can’t.) Continue reading
Prescription Drug Diversion an Issue at VA Hospitals – Mar 2017 – Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor
I’ve long believed that the quantities of illicit Rx opioids available on the black market cannot be accounted for by pills stolen from “grandma’s medicine cabinet”. I think opioids are/were being diverted at a much higher level and involve huge quantities. By now, however, pills have become much too expensive in comparison to cheap heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl additives.
Employees involved in manufacturing, distribution, and pharmacy stocking aren’t as carefully monitored as individual pain patients, and diversion of mass quantities is so profitable that some of the staff involved in the supply chain are undoubtedly corruptible. Continue reading