Share the News LikeA 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…
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.
Nationwide the addiction rate to alcohol runs at 6.6%, with Ohio’s 1.9 million population that’s 6,600 alcohol-dependent individuals per 100,000 population or 125,400 people. Whereas opioid addiction, from both illegal and prescription sources, runs at 0.78% for 780 opioid-dependent Ohioans. It’s estimated the contribution from prescribed opioids is 100 times less than that. This means alcohol addiction is 84o times more prevalent than addiction to prescribed opioids.
Federal prosecutors in 2018 wanted to criminally charge Walmart over the company’s opioid sales, but top Trump administration law-enforcement officials killed that effort, a bombshell report says. The efforts to prosecute, represent yet another example of Justice Officials wanting to hold pharmacy retailers to account after changing rules, definitions and interpretations of existing regulations and standards. Redefining what constitutes excess in prescribing and dispensing opioids began around 2010 and did not become official until the publication of the 2016 prescribing guidelines from the CDC. Even then, this standard is incomplete and ambiguous, addressing prescribing standards only for opioid-naive patients and primary care providers.
The DEA has reduced the supply of opioids, to the point where it creates a shortage of injectable drugs for use in critical care hospitals. They do so believing that it will somehow reduce opioid overdose deaths, addiction and diversion. Such actions do nothing more than punish innocent people for what happens on the street and places everyone at risk at a time when they should be able to rely on critical care at their local hospital.
There’s nothing remotely funny about this persistent incompetence which has caused both suffering and death by adhering to their idiotic plan of combating addiction by strangling the supply of prescription painkillers. It’s now the world’s worst-kept secret that the plan has failed on more levels than Super M ario Brothers. But there’s always room for “improvement.” So let’s hear it for PROP, the CDC, and the DEA for helping provide us with two epidemics of two really dangerous drugs – neither of which is medically useful (1) – in place of a far less dangerous class of medicinally necessary medicines.
As someone who has followed the opioid overdose problem since 2000, what stands out in this report from the CDC, dated February 6, 2020, is how far behind in policy we are in relationship to what is occurring in our communities. That’s not to imply the CDC has been unaware of a synthetic opioid problem, they have, as early as 2013, it’s just that current policy doesn’t reflect it. Instead, with regards to policy, we remain focused on hydrocodone and oxycodone, they are given preferential treatment in policy because they are the easiest to control. All you have to do is demonize them and thier prescribers often enought and before you know it, you’ve got everyone one looking in the worng place for a problem that’s somewhere else.
After reading this report, I was enraged. Not only was the purported test biased towards labeling chronic pain patients as more prone to opioid misuse, but it also lacked any scientific and rational objectivity for making the claims.
Most states have had their PDMP programs up and running for ten years at an average cost to tax payers of $1 billion per year. For this cost, the most valuable data published from these programs for public consumption are number of prescriptions written per year, with a claim that reductions in these numbers are a major contributor in reducing opioid overdoses and OUD.
In the last seven years gambling in Ohio has skyrocketed.
“There’s more gambling availability now in Ohio than there’s ever been before,” Bruce Jones said.
Jones, with the Maryhaven Gambling Intervention Program, says that’s because of more accessibility like casinos, gaming and online betting.
“It’s right there with alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, opioids, hypnotics,” he said. “A behavioral addiction of gambling disorder.”
The state is entitled to $829 million from settlements with drug companies or court orders. But so far, none of the money has been spent on opioid addiction treatment. Here’s where the money stands for each company or group.