Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave…

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By R Carter

After ten years of monitoring the so called prescription opiate crisis and six months of blogging on it, let me see if I got this right….

  1. 2000, state and federal agencies, public health officials become worried over a rapid rise in overdose deaths. Claim it is related to over-prescribing but the only data they have is a rising number of written prescriptions.
  2. 2010 as efforts progress on closing loopholes on prescription opioids, heroin use explodes as the leading cause for opioid overdose deaths.
  3. 2013, CDC overhauls death certificate data collection efforts but fails in its ability to distinguish between prescribed opiates from physicians and counterfeit opiates imported into the US. 
  4. 2013-2015 state laws passed to close loopholes in healthcare system which allow forgery and obtaining prescription opiates under false pretenses.
  5. 2013 fentanyl begin replacing heroin as leading cause for opioid related deaths.
  6. 2014, law enforcement begins clamping down on doctors whose prescribing practices are borderline, sometimes justifiably so, sometimes not so much, innocent doctors imprisoned.
  7. 2016, CDC publishes bastardized and bogus research on chronic pain, using data from acute pain and opiate naive patients.
  8. CDC weaponizes mortality data on opiate overdose deaths by hiding deficiencies in data collection and interpretation.
  9. Government pushes an anti-opiate public relations campaign lumping chronic pain patients with illegal drug users.
  10. Hospitals and physician clinics overreact to CDC guidelines, implement policies of forced tapers and termination of necessary medications in response to law enforcement crack downs.
  11. VA hospitals follow suit.
  12. DEA admits it can’t arrest its way out of illegal drugs crossing our boarders, gets in bed with Medical Boards and begins attacking American doctors.
  13. In all more than 2 million Americans with legitimate medical needs are forced off of pain medication resulting in job loss, higher stress, lowered functional levels, loss of quality of life.
  14. Patients begin committing suicide rather than trying to live with pain.
  15. Medical boards implement one-size-fits-all and max caps for physician prescribing, including some pain specialist, based on CDC guidelines. 
  16. Prescribing guidelines tied to acute pain and opiate naive patients, needs of chronic pain patients ignored.
  17. Some states adopt Medicaid rules which prevent the use of opioids in treating chronic pain, state workers compensation boards adopting similar stance.
  18. Primary care providers are forced out of pain management creating a shortage of doctors.
  19. Medical boards see opportunities to eliminate some physician competitors by using opiate hysteria to accuse them of wrong doing, operate as an extension of the DEA to suspend licenses or throw their colleagues in jail.
  20. Insurance companies profit by denying coverage of pain meds while still collecting premiums.
  21. Pharmacist decide to start playing doctor denying patients pain meds, label patients as drug seekers.
  22. Emergency rooms turn away patients in pain labeling them as drug seekers.
  23. Physician fears over DEA raids and or capitalizing on opiate hysteria force patients to accept unneeded injections or face no pain medication.
  24. Some doctors force patients to sign legal waivers releasing medical providers of any wrong doing, negligence or not, or refuse patient care and or medications. 
  25. Hospitals adopt goals of performing surgery without the use of opiates in the post-op period.
  26. Legislators try to practice medicine by passing laws which limit amount or number of days patients can receive pain medications.
  27. Researchers publish false research and claim opiates are no more effective than aspirin or Tylenol.
  28. CDC falsely publishes mortality statistics involving opiates, labels them as prescription opiates knowing they can’t prove such claims using PDMP data.  
  29. Government agencies, public health officials use same data in massive misinformation campaign to deceive American public.
  30. DEA creates opiate shortage by forcing manufactures to reduce production by 50% over five years. Hospitals and clinics forced to cancel procedures due to inadequate pain medication supply.
  31. DEA obtains access to all 48 state PDMP databases as part of targeting prescribing physicians.
  32. Opiate hysteria reaches new high as researcher advocates for frontal lobotomies as a means for pain management. Chronic pain patients begin believing euthanasia is part of the governments agenda for dealing with opiate crisis.
  33. Patients begin suing, attacking or shooting healthcare providers who lie and mislead them about options for treating pain or denying pain treatment.
  34. Federal Government passes Moral Conscious Clause through HHS allowing healthcare providers to deny medical care for any objectionable reason to the provider. 
  35. More physicians drop out of pain management, more clinics close.
  36. More than 10 million American now with out access to medical care and adequate pain management.
  37. Unemployment for people with disabilities hits highest level in fifty years, while applications for disability assistance have new barriers erected by state and federal government.
  38. Local AG’s begin filing criminal charges against doctors for performing injections for profit only, not out of medical necessity.
  39. State AG’s being law suits against big pharma for contributing to drug addiction while simultaneously passing laws for medical marijuana which reaps hundred of millions of dollars in new tax revenue for states.
  40. Medicare sues pain specialty clinics for excessive use of lab tests, billing fraud for unnecessary procedures.
  41. Medicare uncovers massive billing fraud in multiple drug rehab facilities from fake urine screens.
  42. Large pain specialty chain goes bankrupt after criminal charges of malpractice and fraud, strands thousands of patients overnight.
  43. DEA intercepts seven shipping containers with 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of Cocaine at Philadelphia port, June 2019.
  44. DEA intercepts more than 14 million Fentanyl doses at southern boarder with Mexico, March or April 2019

Americans are supposed to believe that all of this is for the greater good of stopping an addiction problem which was initially connected to prescribing, up until 2009, when it became a illegal Heroin, Fentanyl, Meth and Cocaine problem.

Staggering drug bust shows traffickers turning to East Coast

If drug interdiction can be compared to a giant game of whack-a-mole, federal law enforcement officials delivered one mighty wallop this week when they raided a container ship at Philadelphia’s port and discovered a staggering amount of cocaine.

Hidden inside seven shipping containers were 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of the illicit drug, one of the largest caches ever intercepted on U.S. shores and a quantity that’s almost “beyond comprehension,” as Patrick Trainor, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Philadelphia, put it Wednesday. Federal officials estimated the seized drugs had a street value of more than $1 billion.

The feds’ find was another sign that traffickers are turning to East Coast seaports as a result of increased law enforcement pressure along the country’s southwest border, a development cited by the drug enforcement agency in its latest national threat assessment. It was at least the third major bust in Philadelphia and New York since February.

“As soon as interdiction puts pressure on one place, it just pops up somewhere else. We’ve continually seen that,” said Nicholas Magliocca, a University of Alabama researcher who studies how traffickers adapt to interdiction. “As long as the demand is there, and there’s money to be made, traffickers are going to find a way.”

Cocaine use and overdose deaths are on the rise in the U.S. after years of decline as production has surged to record levels in Colombia, the source of about 90% of the U.S. supply.

Agents were doing another sweep Wednesday through thousands of containers on MSC Gayane, a cargo ship owned by Swiss firm MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co., but had not found any cocaine since their initial search on Monday, according to Stephen Sapp of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Philadelphia.

Two members of the crew have been charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship, but details of their case are sealed.

An affidavit obtained by The Associated Press said that MSC Gayane was at sea off the west coast of South America when it was approached by more than a dozen boats loaded with cocaine. Crew members aboard the larger ship helped transfer the drugs, authorities said.

The cargo ship docked in Colombia, Peru, Panama and the Bahamas before arriving in Philadelphia early Monday. Federal authorities raided the ship later that day. The ship’s second mate was arrested after agents swabbed his hands and arms and detected traces of cocaine, an affidavit said.

“The 500 kilos that we got in March, good hit, good hit,” said Trainor, the Philadelphia DEA agent. “But was that a huge loss to the cartels? Probably not. But 15,000? Oh yeah. I’m sure somebody had a really, really bad day yesterday somewhere in South America.”

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