By R Carter In the United States, the opioid crisis has passed into the pages of our history and is now a mostly forgotten topic. It’s an issue I started talking about in 2019 as many in the chronic pain community had reached such levels of apathy or rage that…
A new publication from the Trust for America’s Health[i], TFAH.org, a non-partisan public health policy, research, and advocacy organization, shows that deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicides have leveled off for the first time since when records were first kept in 1999. In 2018, more than 150,000 Americans died from…
Genetics is about probability, the more genetic markers you have for a disease or condition, the higher the probability. With 19 new genetic variants found, all linked to problematic drinking, the easier it will be for doctors to say, yes you have the disease or no you don’t. More importantly, in families with a history of substance abuse, we can identify at-risk individuals sooner and educate them from an early age that if they start down this path, they may never make it back before losing everything, maybe even their lives.
Once again the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrated they are more politically driven than science-driven when they acknowledged on Friday they had mixed together results from viral and antibody tests on its website, elevating the number of tests performed to check for infected individuals.
China’s crackdown on makers of the drug, which has fueled the U.S. opioid crisis, may have simply created opportunities for crime syndicates elsewhere. …
I’m continuously amazed by the manner in which denial and irrational thought play out in individual behavior. Given the right circumstances, no one is immune from it and sometimes it can even have beneficial side-effects and outcomes, but in regards to COVID-19 and our government’s response to opioids when treating painful conditions, duplicity has been exposed.
Again the CDC demonstrates it is no longer driven primarily by science but by politics as the White House has put a stranglehold on the CDC’s ability to perform its primary directive, that of protecting the health of Americans. As covered in a previous post, the White House forbade the CDC from using certain words when addressing the public on its mission, one of those words being science. Facts such as this have been more than evident for those who have HIV and became a death sentence for some chronic pain patients with the publication of the CDC’s 2016 Guidelines for Chronic Pain Management. Now in the face of the worst medical crisis in our lifetime, one which doesn’t target minority or marginalized groups, the White House is doing it again, putting political gains ahead of the lives of US citizens. The only thing different from those previously mentioned is the COVID-19 virus which doesn’t target groups with specific ideological differences and this time the White House’s efforts don’t benefit any group, they only benefit one person.
In 2016 as part of the urgent response to the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, the CDC issued new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, excluding cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care. While not law or regulations which carry the weight of law, the CDC guidelines have been widely adopted by state medical boards and implemented by regulation with the force of law. The word guideline(s) is used 173 times throughout the publication. the word recommend or recommendation is used 237 times, the word should 227 times, and the word taper or tapering 58 times. Despite these cautionary words, practitioners, hospitals, and clinics abruptly terminated patient medications resulting in a rash of suicides across the U.S. with the last reported count being in excess 1,500 deaths in 2018, and they experimented in performing surgeries without the use of opioids for post-op pain management. Due to these rash actions, the CDC had to issue an erratum revision of the guidelines stressing that the guidelines were for general practitioners treating chronic pain not acute pain. The erratum provided guidelines for a staged reduction with frequent reassessments of the patient’s condition. As of 2020 it’s estimated that more than 1,000,000 individuals are no longer employed, forced into lower-paying jobs, onto welfare rolls, or into early retirement on reduced Social Security Benefits do to these actions. With the number of prescriptions written now down by more than 33% the overdose death rate continues to climb. The CDC routinely archives publications, for this reason, the entire publication has been copied here.
As early as 2013 the CDC knew opioid prescribing began dropping off, yet opioid overdose death rates were soaring to record highs, by 2016 data from the CDC identified the cause as IMF, illegally manufactured fentanyl. Yet even as the guidelines were being published, the CDC claims these are all prescription opioid-related deaths. Quoting Dr. Frieden Director of the CDC, “Today and every day this year, more than 40 Americans will die from a prescription opioid overdose in this country.” While the CDC has become more transparent on the roll IMF plays, they continue to count opioid overdose deaths from IMF as a prescription-related death.
From 2013 to 2017, the number of opioid-involved overdose deaths in the United States increased 90%.