The White House drug czar is wrong: Most heroin addicts didn’t start with prescribed pain pills – by Phillip Smith / Independent Media Institute July 3, 2019
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.
The website declares in big, bold letters that “80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller”. The graphic suggests that heroin users were prescribed opioids, developed a habit, and then went on to junk, with the further implication that a way to reduce heroin addiction is to tighten and reduce the prescribing of opioids.
Now even the “Drug Czar” is promoting the erroneous media story about the “innocent victims” and doubling down on the hype spread by anti-opioid activists. Continue reading
Common Nerve Pain Drugs Linked To Suicide, Other Serious Risks | The Fix – By Kelly Burch 06/20/19
These are the drugs that the anti-opioid crusaders would prefer we take instead of opioids, which only demonstrates their ignorance about medication and chronic pain.
A new study found that Lyrica and similar nerve pain meds were associated with increased suicide risk as well as unintentional overdose and traffic accidents.
The popular prescription drug Lyrica and similar drugs that are used to treat muscle and nerve pain have been linked with suicidality, accidental overdose and increased risk of serious accidents, according to a new study. Continue reading
Here are some Cochrane reviews on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica):
These medications seem mildly effective for their FDA-approved conditions, but much less so for chronic pain. Yet… I’ve found Lyrica helpful for episodic pain flares when I take it on an “as needed” basis.
Peer-reviewed articles (2006-2019) on Pain/Opioids by Stefan Kertesz (Twitter: @StefanKertesz) June 2019
This is a collection of 26 scientifically correct (not anti-opioid) information that can be used as references to rebut the anti-opioid propaganda. Dr. Kertesz has been a powerful and respected advocate for us for many years and seems to be publishing voluminously.
Many of the articles below I’ve already posted, but here they are in a unified list of publications, most with links, which challenge the anti-opioid zealotry. Continue reading
Spurred by opioid epidemic, new pain drugs may lower the risk of overdose and addiction | Science | AAAS – By Robert F. Service – Aug 2018
This article gives a good summary of new opioid and non-opioid drugs being developed to treat our chronic pain.
multiple research groups are claiming progress in devising novel opioids—or alternatives—that seem to offer pain relief with far less risk of addiction or of the opioid-induced respiratory depression that all too commonly leads to death.
Most of these studies, reported at a meeting here and in a paper released this week, have only been done in animals, so the experimental compounds face significant hurdles before they can become approved medications. Continue reading
Can Tech ‘Objectively’ Assess Pain? – Wired.com – by Emma Grey Ellis – May 2019
Pain flickers across people’s faces in inconsistent, contradictory ways. And the experience of pain differs just as widely as its expression—tolerance is a matter of genetics and life experience. What’s agony for you may be merely uncomfortable for someone else.
Ambiguity has always made pain assessment an inexact science for health care providers, which in turn frustrates the sufferers themselves.
Even for myself, I find trying to rate my pain a very slippery process, depending on exactly what I’m looking for (does it hurt more than usual? how much does it usually hurt? does this pain hurt more than the other pain?). Continue reading
Frances Arnold Turns Microbes Into Living Factories – NY Times – By Natalie Angier – May 28, 2019
I’m posting this just because it fascinates me and I hope it stirs interest and curiosity in my readers as well.
The engineer’s mantra, said Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is: “Keep it simple, stupid.” But Dr. Arnold, who last year became just the fifth woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is the opposite of stupid, and her stories sometimes turn rococo.
…another of Dr. Arnold’s maxims:
“Give up the thought that you have control. You don’t. Continue reading
Does the HEAL Initiative Research Plan Misunderstand the Complexity of Pain Care? – By Richard A. Lawhern, PhD and Stephen E. Nadeau, MD – May 3, 2019
This informative article carefully, and with published scientific evidence, explains why pain care with prescribed opioids is not the cause of the “opioid crisis”:
With relatively little public fanfare, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched an integrated set of research initiatives, called Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL), one year ago to “provide scientific solutions to the opioid crisis.”
Funding for this initiative was put into place for FY2019 at $502 million, of which approximately $170 million is focused on the discovery of biological markers to characterize acute and chronic pain as well as the development of non-opioid therapies. Continue reading
Correcting the Missing Piece in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Part 1: Discovery – by Diana Driscoll, OD, President of Genetic Disease Investigators – Jan 2016
This article explains the “Driscoll Theory”, which posits that “extremely low levels of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine” is causing the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She makes a convincing argument:
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) can involve
- the central nervous system (cognition, executive function, short- term memory),
- the peripheral nervous system (muscle weakness, fatigue with exertion), and
- the autonomic nervous system (heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, digestion).
Alcohol and Opioid Use, Co-Use, and Chronic Pain in the Context of the Opioid Epidemic: A Critical Review – free full-text /PMC5832605/
The dramatic increase in opioid misuse, opioid use disorder (OUD), and opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States has led to public outcry, policy statements, and funding initiatives.
Indeed, the tidal wave of funding for studies looking for problems that can be correlated with opioid use is astonishing, especially considering they all focus intently on milligrams of opioids and not much else.
Meanwhile, alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorder is a highly prevalent public health problem associated with considerable individual and societal costs. This paper provides a critical review of alcohol and opioid misuse, including issues of prevalence, morbidity, and societal costs. Continue reading