Tag Archives: outrage

The Opioid Conundrum – Story | LasVegasNow

I-Team: The Opioid Conundrum – Story | LasVegasNow | KLAS-TV – By: George Knapp – Sep 01, 2017

This TV station wants to hear our stories (link at end).

LAS VEGAS – Nightly newscasts across the country are filled with stories about the opioid epidemic — the opioid crisis. Tens of thousands of Americans who die each year are found with opioids in their systems, and so government at every level has stepped in to put limits on otherwise legal medications, including here in Nevada.

For millions of chronic pain patients, the crackdown has been a nightmare.

They are the forgotten victims in the opioid debate.   Continue reading

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The Opioid Underdose Epidemic

The Opioid Underdose Epidemic – Thomas Dikel – MediumThomas Dikel – Aug 2017

Mr. Dikel points out a fundamental shift in pain management practice that I noticed several years ago, starting with my experience at Stanford in 2011.

Sometime in the past 10 years or so, psychiatry or psychiatrists were pushed aside as pain management passed over to a new group with a different mentality altogether. “Addiction medicine.”

And when the addiction medicine people took over from psychiatrists, they in some cases sent a letter out to patients that immediately proved that they had not a f — king clue about how to deal with pain patients.   Continue reading

A Plea for Proper Opioid Tapering

Editor’s Memo: A Plea for Proper Opioid Tapering – Practical Pain Management – Dr. Forest Tenant – Editor’s Memo July/August 2017

It wasn’t long after the opioid guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1 were released in 2016 that I began to hear rumors about pain patients being cut off from opioids and then committing suicide.

I initially didn’t take these reports seriously, since the

CDC guidelines neither placed a ceiling on opioid dosages
nor required that patients be “cut off” of opioids 

But as I noted in a previous Editor’s Memo: a survey of 1,978 chronic pain patients found that  Continue reading

CDC Removes Disproven CFS Therapies From Website

CDC Removes Reference to Disputed Chronic Fatigue Therapies From Website – 07.26.2017 / By David Tuller

This is another case of the CDC promoting faulty therapies for chronic illness.

I used to think that the CDC, with its access to all global research, was the final authority on general health care. But now I’m disillusioned about this powerful government agency after finding nonsense therapies being promoted for other problems, like chronic fatigue, not just chronic pain.

For years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended two controversial treatments for ME/CFS, the illness often known as chronic fatigue syndrome:

  1. a program of steadily increasing activity, and
  2. a specific form of cognitive behavior therapy. Continue reading

A Year Later, CDC Opioid Guidelines Still Under Fire

A Year Later, CDC Opioid Guidelines Still Under Fire – Pain Medicine News – Ajai Raj – Aug 2017

About a year after the CDC’s controversial opioid guidelines went into effect amid protests from a number of pain specialists, they have come under renewed scrutiny for having an allegedly unscientific basis.

A recent study in Pain Medicine (2016;17:2036-2046) found that the federal review process used to justify the recommendations in the CDC guidelines was flawed.

This is exactly what we pain patients have been trying to publicize. This admission is highly significant because it appears in a fairly conservative pain publication that has shown little sympathy for patients using opioids to control their pain.   Continue reading

Opioids: In defense of the pain pills

 Opioids: In defense of the pain pills – Washington Times – By Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times – August 11, 2017

If you’ve never experienced chronic pain, or been around someone with a pain that just won’t end, it’s easy to dismiss opioids as evil and to make grand calls for their prescription restriction, or even outright bans.

But walk through any hospital’s critical care ward — spend some time with someone whose body has suffered a shock and awe that can’t be imagined — and it’s not to easy to simply say, hey, take an aspirin.

Hey, mind over matter.  Continue reading

New Data on Opioid Use and Prescribing, 2006-2015

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

Urgent Need for Comments Against 90MME Limit Urged by PROP

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?

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 Guidelines Could Cause Problems for VA Patients

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.
Continue reading