April 2, 2017 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Digging out from the disaster of 8 years of Obama’s historically unprecedented irresponsible governance and facing numerous threats that are actually existential - internal leftist subversion and Islamism - a number of months ago we noticed the appearance of numerous MSM articles claiming that there was this huge prescription opioid addiction increase and hence, a crisis.
The media thrives on crisis.
Unfortunately the Trump administration has established a commission headed by a morbidly obese [a genuinely national medical crisis] politician, Chris Christie, to “deal” with the problem. That Christie really brings nothing to the table, in the way of medical acumen, unless a box of 2 dozen Krispe Kreme somehow qualifies, only guilds this stinking lily.
The fact is that according to the NIH/CDC’s own figures the foundation for the “sky is falling” crowd on this topic is at best an urban myth, at worst just another attempt by the leftist press to force medical professionals and pharmaceutical manufacturers into practicing medicine as Uncle Sam would have them do.
These are of course the same people who solved the health care crisis by passing and then refusing to repeal Obama Care.
According to the NIH, overdose deaths from prescription opioids peaked in 2011 at a bit less than 18,000.
With a U.S. population hovering at about 325,000,000 that would represent.000055 % per capita, approx 5 ten-thousandths of a percent.
It seems the most recent data regarding total U.S. mortality comes from 2014 when 2,626,418; [CDC figures] lost their lives to all causes, so in the worst case scenario, prescription opioid deaths [the CRISIS] represented .00685 % of the total, or approx 6 hundredths of a percent.
Prescription opioid deaths increased every year at a fairly regular rate from 2002 to 2011 where there was a bit of a spike and now has continued to rise at the same approximate rate.
Fact: There is NO prescription opioid crisis, period.
When it comes to heroin, which is a street drug [technically diamorphine, a morphine derivative] it’s an entirely different story, as deaths attributed to overdoses of this drug approximately tripled from 2011 to 2015, a period of time that neatly correlate with the two terms of America’s first black president.
Perhaps there is a cautionary tale regarding prevention there…
Make no mistake, opioids have a highly addictive nature, but the really odd thing about these two sources of death is that in using morphine [oral] as the standard, assigning it a value of one on a scale of relative strength, commonly prescribed opioids such as Oxycodone are about 50% stronger and Fentanyl [the drug that killed Prince] is 50-100 times more powerful [10-20 times in the case of heroin]. So if there really was a serious problem here why doesn't it show in the statistics because the potential is certainly there.
So what is going on here? We have known about the dangers of heroin for a very, very long time so what is the fuss? Actually there is a working theory to explain this. The heroin high is more intense and euphoric and that is what the user is looking for.
Is the rise in usage concerning? Of course, but the last 10 years have been tumultuous to say the least and one would expect some level of increased self-medication.
Is this the sort of thing that should cause the nation to break out in a panic? Don’t be absurd, the numbers [even given the rise] remain infinitesimal.
Here is what is really happening:
As was the case when Obama Care was passed, when California and other do-gooder states started dictating to physicians how many of which kind of pill they could prescribe over what period of time [basically telling doctors how to practice medicine] this is just another case of the Feds getting involved in things that are not only none of its business, they are areas of policy in which DC has proven to be completely incompetent in dealing with in the past. And yet many of these same people are the ones fighting tooth-and-nail to legalize a potentially very dangerous drug, marijuana, especially considering that today's drug might be twenty times more powerful than the "evil weed" of the 1950s and 60s.
So much for “war on drugs" that was an idiotic idea to start with. Fact: the DEA’s budget is $2 billion it employs over 10,000 useless bureaucrats, some of which are as heavily armed as if they were entering the siege of Mosul. Yet in the face of this tremendous expenditure the problem has gotten worse!
Face it, as species, Homo Sapiens have throughout history intentionally sought out altered states of consciousness, using drugs for medicinal, recreational or even religious purposes. Your morning cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine [source Mayo Clinic and "normal" consumption is about 4 cups, or 400mg] so technically most adults [some estimate that about 75% of the adult U.S. population drink coffee] are caffeine addicts.
If you are a user and are forced to stop for whatever reason, is there a reaction? Absolutely, most individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms, some of them mimicking [in a minor way of course] withdrawal from “hard “drugs.
So is there a national caffeine epidemic?
The point is there is nothing that can ever be done, aside from a gross manipulation of DNA to change the chemistry of the basic pain/pleasure centers of the brain, to “deal” with this concocted crisis.
Should heroin and prescription addicts get treatment?
Yes with a big caveat - the rate of recidivism is unusually high and hence the money may be wasted, misplaced altruism. Generally, the most effective programs are the most expensive, maybe a month at a genuine medical detox center where the problem is treated holistically, and even then the result are not promising.
Color this author a libertarian, the Feds can do incalculably more damage here than good. It can’t solve the problem; medically at this point the concept itself is ludicrous. Certainly we can hand out extreme punishments to buyers and sellers, a policy which is in effect now. It is also a proven failure sending non-violent people into the hellish world of society’s true sociopaths.
We are not arguing leniency for those who traffic in kilos of addictive drugs.
What we see potentially coming out of the Krispe Kreme Christie Commission is further invasion by the state into the doctor-patient relationship.
Sorry guys, this is none of your business.
Nothing good will come of this and we will be lucky if this group suffers the same fate as innumerable previous commissions, money wasted on stacks of paper that will eventually end up in some government warehouse.
Fwiw, Oxycodone is both cheap to produce and legally buy; Big Pharma is not making a fortune on this.
Further observation: people self medicate for a reason, one of them being that as people live longer [average life expectancy in the U.S. is about 78 yrs] they develop more serious diseases, the majority of which are accompanied by pain. You may not be aware of it but your coworker could be taking Oxycodone to relieve pain that traditional medical intervention [absent pharmaceuticals] simply can’t cure with the point here being unless you have experienced genuine pain you cannot imagine what others are dealing with.
For many in this situation their medication is the only thing that “keeps them in the game.” The same thing is true for benzodiapenes [Valium type drugs] and the numerous other psychoactive substances that have been developed [by Big Pharma] to treat serious problems that are part and parcel of the human condition.
So haul Christie off to the fat farm, get your nose out your neighbor’s medicine cabinet and do something genuinely productive, buy a bag of asphalt and go out and fix a pothole.
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