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posted by janrinok on Friday December 22 2017, @11:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the that's-what-averages-do dept.

There were 42,249 deaths due to opioid overdoses in 2016, compared to a projected 41,070 deaths from breast cancer in 2017 (42,640 in 2015). U.S. life expectancy has dropped for the second year in a row:

The increase largely stemmed from the continued escalation of deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which jumped to 19,410 in 2016 from 9,580 in 2015 and 5,540 in 2014, according to a TFAH analysis of the report.

[...] The surge in overdose deaths has depressed recent gains in U.S. life expectancy, which fell to an average age of 78.6, down 0.1 year from 2015 and marking the first two-year drop since 1962-1963.

In a separate report, the CDC linked the recent steep increases in hepatitis C infections to increases in opioid injection.

Researchers used a national database that tracks substance abuse admissions to treatment facilities in all 50 U.S. states. They found a 133 percent increase in acute hepatitis C cases that coincided with a 93 percent increase in admissions for opioid injection between 2004 to 2014.

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Original Submission

Related Stories

Facebook-Owned Instagram Removes Opioid-Related Posts 13 comments

One Woman Got Facebook to Police Opioid Sales On Instagram (archive)

Eileen Carey says she has regularly reported Instagram accounts selling opioids to the company for three years, with few results. Last week, Carey confronted two executives of Facebook, which owns Instagram, about the issue on Twitter. Since then, Instagram removed some accounts, banned one opioid-related hashtag and restricted the results for others.

Searches for the hashtag #oxycontin on Instagram now show no results. Other opioid-related hashtags, such as #opiates, #fentanyl, and #narcos, surface a limited number of results along with a message stating, "Recent posts from [the hashtag] are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram's community guidelines." Some accounts that appeared to be selling opioids on Instagram also were removed.

The moves come amid increased government concern about the role of tech platforms in opioid abuse, and follow years of media reports about the illegal sale of opioids on Instagram and Facebook, from the BBC, Venturebeat, CNBC, Sky News and others. Following the BBC probe in 2013, Instagram blocked searches of terms associated with the sale of illegal drugs.

[...] Carey is now the CEO of Glassbreakers, a startup maker of software to support workforce diversity. But she worked on illegal drug sales in her previous job at MarkMonitor, a company that protects brands like pharmaceutical companies from online counterfeiting, piracy, and fraud. In a Mar. 30 tweet to Rob Leathern, Facebook's director of product management, Carey wrote, "The historical response that users can report abuse and moderators will review hasn't changed in 4 years." She asked him to "Please hold leadership accountable."

#StopSnitching.

Also at CNN.

See also: Facebook Needs to Do More to Stop the Online Opioid Market, Says FDA Chief

Related: Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
U.S. Surgeon General Urges More Americans to Carry Naloxone
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis


Original Submission

"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S. 51 comments

Synthetics now killing more people than prescription opioids, report says

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have overtaken prescription opioids as the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.2844] [DX], calculated the number and percentage of synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States between 2010 and 2016 using death certificates from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found that about 46% of the 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, while 40% involved prescription drugs.

That's more than a three-fold increase in the presence of synthetic opioids from 2010, when synthetic drugs were involved in approximately 14% of opioid-overdose deaths.

Related: Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make
Two More Studies Link Access to Cannabis to Lower Use of Opioids


Original Submission

120 Pounds (54 kg) of Fentanyl Seized in Nebraska 35 comments

Record US fentanyl bust 'enough to kill 26 million people'

Nearly 120lbs (54kg) of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller, has been seized by police in Nebraska - one of the largest busts in US history.

The drugs, seized last month, could kill over 26 million people, according to estimates by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Police found the fentanyl in a fake compartment of a lorry. The driver and a passenger were arrested.

[...] It was the largest seizure of fentanyl in state history, Nebraska State Patrol said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

[...] Just 2mg of fentanyl - or a few grains of table salt - is a lethal dosage for most people, and even exposure can cause a fatal reaction, according to the DEA.

Another estimate: they could make 260 million people pain-free for a day.

Bonus story:

Mussels test positive for opioids in Seattle's Puget Sound

Scientists at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife have found that mussels in Seattle's waters are testing positive for opioids. The finding suggests "a lot of people" are taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound, researchers say.

Also at the Puget Sound Institute.

Related: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
British Medical Journal Calls for Legalizing All Drugs


Original Submission

U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing 19 comments

Opioid Deaths May Be Starting To Plateau, HHS Chief Says

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

[...] In 2017, the number of Americans dying from opioid overdoses rose to 72,000 from 64,000 the previous year. However, according to new provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control, the numbers stopped rising toward the end of 2017, a trend that has continued into the beginning of this year. It is "finally bending in the right direction," Azar said. He added that the death toll flattening out is "hardly a victory," especially at such high levels. Current government statistics show that opioids kill over 115 Americans each day.

[...] On Wednesday, President Trump is expected to sign a bill recently passed by Congress that expands Medicaid opioid treatment programs and workforce training initiatives, and supports FDA research to find new options for non-opioid pain relief.

It's Too Soon to Celebrate the End of the Opioid Epidemic

While we don't know why deaths have begun to fall, experts say there are a few likely reasons. Doctors are prescribing fewer painkillers. More states are making naloxone, which reverses opioid overdoses, widely available. And it's possible that more addicts have started medication-assisted therapies like buprenorphine, which is how France solved its own opioid epidemic years ago. Indeed, the states with the biggest declines in overdose deaths were those like Vermont that have used evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to tackling opioid addiction.

[...] Still, it's possible this is a "false dawn," as Keith Humphreys, an addiction expert at Stanford University, put it to me. "Opioid-overdose deaths did not increase from 2011 to 2012, and many people declared that the tide was turning. But in 2013, they began racing up again," he said. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl are still rising, as are those from methamphetamines.

Related: President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA


Original Submission

FDA Approves Powerful Opioid in Tablet Form: Sufentanil (Dsuvia) 31 comments

FDA approves powerful new opioid in 'terrible' decision

The Food and Drug Administration approved a powerful new opioid Friday, despite strong criticism and accusations that it bypassed its own advisory process to do it.

The new drug, Dsuvia, is a tablet that goes under the tongue. It is designed for use in the battlefield and in other emergency situations to treat intense, acute pain.

Known generically as sufentanil, it's a new formulation of a drug currently given intravenously. Critics say it will be incredibly easy for health workers to pocket and divert the drug to the illicit drug market and because it is so small and concentrated, it will likely kill people who overdose on it.

"This is a dangerous, reckless move," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe senior adviser of Public Citizen's Health Research Group. He questions whether there's need for yet another synthetic opioid when the U.S. is in the throes of an opioid overdose crisis.

Sufentanil is described as 5 to 10 times more potent than fentanyl and 500 times as potent as morphine. Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, but is only approved for the veterinary use of tranquilizing large animals. Sufentanil is the strongest opioid painkiller available for use in humans.

Cannabis and kratom? Exercise caution!

Also at STAT News, NPR, and The Hill.

See also: People on front lines of epidemic fear powerful new drug Dsuvia

Related:


Original Submission

CDC Report Says That Fentanyl is the Deadliest Drug in America 22 comments

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirms

Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug involved in drug overdoses, according to a new government report. The latest numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics say that the rate of drug overdoses involving the synthetic opioid skyrocketed by about 113% each year from 2013 through 2016.

The number of total drug overdoses jumped 54% each year between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths.

[...] In 2016, over 18,000 overdose deaths involved fentanyl, and 16,000 fatalities were due to heroin.

China recently agreed to reclassify fentanyl as a controlled substance to curb sales to the U.S. Will that agreement hold given ongoing trade war tensions?

Also at CBS.

Related: U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
120 Pounds (54 kg) of Fentanyl Seized in Nebraska
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA
U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday December 22 2017, @11:11PM (8 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday December 22 2017, @11:11PM (#613436) Journal

    Let's get real ratchet up in this shit. I don't even know how to get heroin (obviously peak market penetration has not been reached yet). But I know where to get tramadol: anybody who hurts their toe and goes to a doctor for it.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Friday December 22 2017, @11:47PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) on Friday December 22 2017, @11:47PM (#613447)

      anybody who hurts their toe and goes to a doctor for it.

      The other side of the coin is I go thru periods of weightlifting and being a flabby lazy bastard, and in one lazy bastard era, I screwed up my back and the urgent care doc was pretty useless until I convinced him I was completely uninterested in obtaining opiates and honestly wanted to figure out how to fix my back, at which point he perked way up and his motivation level went from about 2 to about 11, was actually kinda creepy. Total voice and attitude change. He cracked open some anatomy books to show me the exact muscle bundle I damaged, and gave me detailed treatment instructions, that ended up working 100%... You could tell the poor doc spent too much time arguing with addicts and he was very excited to have a genuine medical patient...

      In summary, if you want better medical service, unfortunately first you gotta convince the doc you're not a junkie looking for a fix.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @07:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @07:42PM (#613670)

        Creepy? Someone gets interested in helping you once they find out you're not just trying to scam them? I call that amazing, wonderful, inspiring, hopeful. Pretty much everything other than creepy.

        You're dealing with human nature, when people get burned 90+ percent of the time they stop entering interactions with hope and interest.

        PS: please close your quote tags better.

    • (Score: 2) by Post-Nihilist on Friday December 22 2017, @11:47PM (2 children)

      by Post-Nihilist (5672) on Friday December 22 2017, @11:47PM (#613449)

      I had a problem with Tramadol many years ago. I was eating those pills like they were candies. I had a bag of 10000 pills brought in bulk from India to fulfill my addiction. I came to the realisation that I had to stop or die when I stopped to puke by the side of the road and briefly passing out (5s max) before getting back in the car to work. That night I flushed over 6000pills.

      Later in my life i tried o-desmethyltramadol while a decent opiate it did not have the unique buzz of Tramadol, a buzz that does not seems to be liked by the opiate users I asked about on usenet at the time.

      Alt.drugs.opiate or something like that...

      --
      Be like us, be different, be a nihilist!!!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:54PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:54PM (#613638)

        You willingly smuggled illegal narcotics into the country. You were taking them specifically for the "unique buzz" of your drug of abuse. You continued until you recongized they were killing you and ran the possibility of killing another on the road. You quit cold turkey.

        This is why the rest of us do not see opiate addiction as a medical disease. It is a willpower problem. I watched a friend of a friend ruin her life with Fentanyl. She was a highly paid Nurse Anesthetist and has now lost her license. She has been clean for a year (peeing in a cup once every week) and quit cold turkey just like you. She will likely never get her license back, but is trying to get resinstated as a narcotics restricted RN. She is about to lose her house.

        I feel sorry for the family members affected by this horrible problem, but I have a hard time scraping up sympathy for the idiots poisoning themselves. They didn't just get hooked out of the blue. They started willingly, knowing the consequences of taking that first hit.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:18AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:18AM (#613517)

      I kinda liked tramadol. It put me in a good mood for social occasions, and I didn't abuse it otherwise. Now the Doctor won't prescribe it due to restrictions.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by julian on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:45AM (1 child)

        by julian (6003) on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:45AM (#613531)

        That's because Tramadol also has SSRI properties [wikipedia.org]. You were taking a social anxiety/depression medication.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:32AM (#613546)

          Yes. That was the reason for the Rx. Then I couldn't get refills anymore due to the schedule change a few years ago. And my new Doctor wouldn't prescribe it. I thought it was kind of a bummer, but as someone who is suspicious of happy pills (Brave New World made a big impression) I've made do without. It's all thanks to druggies, I guess. Can't say I have much sympathy.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 22 2017, @11:45PM (26 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 22 2017, @11:45PM (#613446) Homepage Journal

    Lemme see - 33,000 firearm related deaths - 40,200 auto accident deaths - 42,249 opioid deaths. The leading cause of death in the United States is - CORPORATE PROFITS!!

    Let us remember how this crisis was started. Lobbyists in Washington wanted the restrictions on ipioids relaxed, so they pulled numbers out of their asses. "Less than 1% of patients who are prescribed opioids get addicted!" They got their relaxed regulations, they gave opioids to everyone who couldn't say "NO", and even IF only 1% gets addicted, that's still a helluva lotta dead people.

    --
    Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Friday December 22 2017, @11:47PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday December 22 2017, @11:47PM (#613450) Journal

      Legalize all drugs.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Friday December 22 2017, @11:56PM (10 children)

      by VLM (445) on Friday December 22 2017, @11:56PM (#613452)

      Around page 9 of

      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_05.pdf [cdc.gov]

      you can get the mortality counts.

      Looks like another 20% or so growth rate in opiates will reach influenza death rates, and its gotta long way to go to catch up to Alzheimers and the big ones like heart disease and cancer.

      The thing about opiates is they mostly kill kids, well, 20somethings, so figure they lost 60 years of life. On the other hand, most of my smoking ancestors died in their 70s and non-smokers died in their 80s, so smoking tobacco only loses a decade or so of life, so every opiate death counts "the same" as like six or so smoking deaths. If only addicts could get good clean stuff from government clinics, then they'd die in their 80s and there wouldn't be any crisis not to mention there would be no crime. But important people are making a lot of money out of the existing human suffering, so ...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:18AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:18AM (#613485)

        Give addicts drugs. Free drugs. But you can't stop there. I've seen addicts shoot/smoke some sort of dope in the local parks. They certainly don't look fit for work hours after getting high. So now you have to provide food, shelter, and walking around money in addition to the drugs.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:37AM (#613548)

          Yeah, some people want kids to be able to play in the parks, too.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by dry on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:44AM (7 children)

        by dry (223) on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:44AM (#613561) Journal

        They've been experimenting with giving clinical heroin to junkies around here with good results. One interview with a junkie who got on the government program sounded quite positive. Basically went from spending all his time looking for a fix to stopping in the clinic on the way to work for his fix. Now he is a productive member of society rather then a drain.
        Most of these people are in pain, perhaps mental pain, but still pain. With all the cutbacks on mental health treatment, they're left to self-medicate and the free market does not give them a consistent product, just the most profitable.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:04AM (6 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:04AM (#613603) Journal

          and the free market

          There's no free market in US health care or recreational drug usage, especially of the illegal variety. Free markets are one of those weird things that are supposed to work even when you deliberately and extensively break them. Then get blamed for problems that had nothing to do with free markets.

          • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:06PM (1 child)

            by dry (223) on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:06PM (#613650) Journal

            It is a market that is freer then most markets. The government interference is minimal between the sellers and buyers with the importers and distributors being regulated in the sense that they are banned but keep operating.
            Lots of small sellers selling whatever is cheapest, mis-labeling their product, hard to double check the purity of their product and totally buyer beware philosophy. There's even quite a bit of freedom in the ways you can compete such as killing the competition.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:41PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:41PM (#613731) Journal

              It is a market that is freer then most markets. The government interference is minimal between the sellers and buyers with the importers and distributors being regulated in the sense that they are banned but keep operating.

              Except when they throw people into jail which they do often. That makes it a lot less free than most markets.

          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:03PM (3 children)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:03PM (#613720) Journal

            You are so, so close to having the come-to-Jesus moment you so desperately need. Read what Adams has to say on natural monopolies, and ponder the implications of a laissez-faire approach to a good or service with extremely inelastic demand.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:44PM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:44PM (#613732) Journal

              Read what Adams has to say on natural monopolies, and ponder the implications of a laissez-faire approach to a good or service with extremely inelastic demand.

              Meanwhile we don't need to ponder what happens to such markets when external forces create restrictions of supply while simultaneously subsidizing demand. That's what's happening to health care in the developed world (with the US being a notable front runner for the approach).

              • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday December 24 2017, @07:06PM (1 child)

                by VLM (445) on Sunday December 24 2017, @07:06PM (#613920)

                That's what's happening to health care in the developed world

                Not disagreeing but would extend remarks that our weirdly centrally controlled government controlled economy does that with lots of things. Higher ed, real estate, medical as you mentioned... Before the Trump election this was even going on with firearms and ammunition marketplace. The primary method of central government control of the economy in the last century was stuff like having the proletariat confiscate property. Today we have the government goose demand often by direct financial assistance while applying paper shuffling to restrict supply to explode prices for election campaign donors. Crazy stuff.

                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Monday December 25 2017, @06:01AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 25 2017, @06:01AM (#614028) Journal
                  It's amazing how much stuff in the US has been made more expensive in the name of making it affordable or accessible to all. I guess that's the default propaganda for most government-side manipulation of supply.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by SomeGuy on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:09AM (7 children)

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:09AM (#613456)

      Opioid crisis? I'd like to see what the numbers will be in the next few years of deaths due to lack of health insurance and affordable health care due to the skyrocketing prices. Thanks Trump!

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:15AM (4 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:15AM (#613459)

        "Does making the problematic product illegal or very expensive help reduce the overall social damage ?" Discuss.
        60000 words minimum, by Monday.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:43AM (3 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:43AM (#613530) Journal
          #include <stdio.h>

          int main(void)
          {

          for(int iter=0; iter<12000; iter++)
             {
                printf("No, no it does not.\n");
             }

          /* There ya go, 60K word minimum */

          return(0);
          }

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:35PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:35PM (#613618)

            Why brackets? Return is not a function!

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:54AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:54AM (#613477)

        FTFY... Thanks Ofucka!

        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:20AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:20AM (#613518)

          I never got my Obamacare, so fuck Obama.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:10AM (2 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:10AM (#613457)

      > 33,000 firearm related deaths - 40,200 auto accident deaths - 42,249 opioid deaths

      ... 3000 to 40000 flu deaths, none to dozens of terrorism deaths.

      Funny how the response is not necessarily proportional to the problem.

      • (Score: 2) by arcz on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:07AM (1 child)

        by arcz (4501) on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:07AM (#613494) Journal

        Typically speaking when people attack you once and you don't respond they intend to keep doing it over and over.

        Since when has a terrorist, who was able to bomb a building and got away with it, decided (hum I think I've done enough I'll just stop attacking now)

        Sure the ones in the plane died, but not the masterminds behind it. That's like claiming if an army comes and starts shooting at you and kills one person and you kill the other army, that it was an overreaction. Obviously not.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @10:07AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @10:07AM (#613592)

          > if an army 18 Saudi nationals comes and starts shooting at you and kills one person and you kill the other army Muslim population of the middle east

          fixed

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:10PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:10PM (#613651)

      Let us remember how this crisis was started. Lobbyists in Washington wanted the restrictions on guns relaxed, so they pulled numbers out of their asses. "Less than 1% of gun owners who purchase fire arms commit a gun crime!" They got their relaxed regulations, they gave guns to everyone who couldn't say "NO", and even IF only 1% commit crime, that's still a helluva lotta dead people.

      Let us remember how this crisis was started. Lobbyists in Washington wanted the restrictions on automobiles relaxed, so they pulled numbers out of their asses. "Less than 1% of motorists who drive cause fatal accidents!" They got their relaxed regulations, they gave cars to everyone who couldn't say "NO", and even IF only 1% cause fatal accidents, that's still a helluva lotta dead people.

      Let us remember how this crisis was started. Lobbyists in Washington wanted the restrictions on alcohol relaxed, so they pulled numbers out of their asses. "Less than 1% of drinkers who are drink get addicted!" They got their relaxed regulations, they gave alcohol to everyone who couldn't say "NO", and even IF only 1% gets addicted, that's still a helluva lotta dead people.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:08PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:08PM (#613723) Homepage Journal

        You've got some obvious problems there. We have a constitution which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. So - no restrictions need be relaxed, regarding firearms. Instead, we have a myriad of federal, state, and local laws interfering with that constitutional amendment. Those laws have demonstrably made people less safe in the cities with the toughest laws. But, an ideologist can't even see that obvious fact. Compare the murder rates of Houston and Chicago. Where people are encouraged to be familiar with weapons, the murder rate is considerably lower than places that ban weapons.

        --
        Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:46PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:46PM (#613735) Journal

        even IF only 1% commit crime, that's still a helluva lotta dead people.

        Which strangely doesn't match actual homicide rates from firearms. So it's a lot less than 1%.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:26AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:26AM (#613463)

    It's easy to count the dead bodies that overdosed on an opioid drug. Check the blood from the corpse, if it's got too much opioid in it, add it to the count.

    But how to count the dead bodies who couldn't get opioids anymore (at least not legally)? Because that's the count I'll probably end up on.

    Ten years ago I was in a car accident; got rear-ended while I was at a stop light, as the other driver was distracted by getting a blowjob from his girlfriend. I know, it sounds like I'm making that up, and don't believe that part if you don't want to, but that's the damned truth. My back was messed up, and I've had to use a cane, and been on hydrocodone ever since. (The lawyers got most of the payout, I got reimbursed for my missed work days. So it goes.)

    That doesn't mean I've taken the pills every day for ten years. More like one or two pills a week, on bad days. Every time I went in for a refill, the doctor insisted I take a drug screening test, to prove that I hadn't graduated to street drugs, and to prove I was taking the prescription. I understand why; the DEA here in the US will cheerfully rip a doctor's license to practice away if they don't protect themselves.

    But now I've moved to a new state, and can't find a doctor who will even accept as a new patient anyone who's ever been taking opioids, even with a prescription. They're afraid of the DEA, they're afraid of lawsuits if they give a new patient the drugs and then they die. I understand where they're coming from, but that doesn't change the fact that I appear to be quite thoroughly fucked. I've run out of what pills I had, and now for the pain I just stay in bed and hurt. If it gets worse, I will probably end up shooting myself just to end it. Will my dead body count somewhere as one of the people who died not because he had opioids, but because he couldn't get any? I doubt it.

    I realize no one cares. I just want someone to think about the other side of this so-called 'epidemic'. Think of the people out there like me, who had to use these drugs for a long time, and used them responsibly, and now our only escape from pain seems to be the grave.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:48AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:48AM (#613475) Journal

      According to top experts, you aren't on the other side. You're on the at-risk side.

      Well, so is everybody else. Just one crash away.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @12:55AM (#613478)

      The side effects are awful:

      a. acclimation
      b. breathing trouble
      c. constipation
      d. drunk-like behavior

      For months afterward, the drug actually makes you hurt more. (thus the addiction)

      Alternatives:

      You could use ziconotide. It would be the perfect drug except for the fact that it needs to go in your back, even for non-back pain.

      You could get the ON-Q Infusion Pain Pump. That'll let you handle the pain with continuous local treatment.

      You could look for a new back surgeon. Perhaps there is something newer to try. Maybe you need replacement parts.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:04AM (#613482)

      Try cannabis flower. It may take a few tries to find a cultivar that has the properties you need. Saved my life, and I hope it saves yours as well.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:16PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:16PM (#613653) Journal

        Seconded. I smoke to help with anxiety and sleep troubles. I have a friend who had back surgery and couldn't deal with the opioid pain killers they gave him. He would pass out and or vomit. He then switched to smoking weed which helped negate the need for the opioid pills. His back still acts up every now and then so he smokes a bowl and relaxes or does something creative. Better than being balled up in bed nauseous and drowsy.

  • (Score: 2) by arcz on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:03AM (3 children)

    by arcz (4501) on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:03AM (#613489) Journal

    This is not an epidemic. An epidemic is caused by a contagious disease. This is what you would call a "problem" not an epidemic.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:06AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:06AM (#613492) Journal

      Changed to Crisis since that's what I meant to write.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @07:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @07:48PM (#613672)

      It'll be a crisis when the share values drop and the quarterly profits tank. These greenie hippie commie nutjobs that want to stop capitalism are a real problem.

      what else could you be talking about?

  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:05AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @02:05AM (#613491)

    Just yesterday the major crisis in our country was still "TXT + DRV" (government propaganda spelling). Before that it was soda pop. Sometime before that it was meth cookers buying Sudafed.
    The result of that panic was having to apply to the government for effective congestion relief, and exposing yourself to prosecution if a purchase exceeded the decreed ration.

    Personally I'd be happy if the police and local government threw their racism overboard, and turned crime infested inner cities into civilized neighborhoods.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by jimbrooking on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:11AM (1 child)

    by jimbrooking (3465) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:11AM (#613511)
    If you look beyond the minutia, US life expectancy ranks 27th among the industrialized nations (source: OED [oecd.org]), and middling or worse in most measures of public health (source: OECD [oecd.org], while spending 26% more per capita than the next in line, Switzerland (source: OECD [oecd.org]. That is the real story.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @10:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @10:15AM (#613593)

      That's why the voters went MAGA. Why pay 26% for healthcare when you can pay nothing for no healthcare?!

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:12AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @03:12AM (#613514)

    Went for a walk this evening, around an area of a quarter square mile. Passed three people begging in the middle of traffic.

    Thanks, Trump, for NO JOBS IN AMERICA.

    40% UNEMPLOYMENT, HELL NO!!

    LET'S GET TO 100% UNEMPLOYMENT!!!

    WE CAN DO IT!!!!

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:31AM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:31AM (#613567) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, thank Trump for beggars. Except, there have been beggars in this country since at least the middle '80's when I started driving truck. There have been homeless people, at least in San Diego, since at least 1975, when I was there for my Navy A School. Has Trump been in office that long?

      --
      Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @08:59AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @08:59AM (#613587)

        Runaway, you're not dead yet?

        Did you intentionally disregard the context, or are you just a senile asshole? I hope your asshole is senile and you forgot to change your senior moron diaper again, because you fucking stink.

        You conveniently miss the whole goddamned point of mentioning "three beggars per square quarter-mile" bwcause that's an indication of beggar density. BEGGAR DENSITY IS INCREASING, YOU STUPID SENILE SHIT.

        You know what? You, Runaway, are not worth communicating with. Ever. Just die.

        Die.

        DIE.

        DIE DIE DIE.

        • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:05AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:05AM (#613604) Homepage Journal

          Ho-hum. You're going to die of apoplexy before I finally kick the bucket. Didn't you hear? Only the good die young. I'm stuck here for a good while longer. I'll be a worn out, nearly dessicated zombie impersonator before I'm allowed to leave. But, you're good, aren't you? Hope you're ready to meet your maker!!

          --
          Don’t confuse the news with the truth.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:50AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:50AM (#613551)

    Life expectancy dropping might be a good indicator that a country is in decline. That it's also dropping in Russia, the other nuclear super power, makes me think the world is heading in a new direction.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:08AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:08AM (#613554)

      Seriously? You need statistics to tell you America is circling the drain? How about you step outside and look around? Abandoned businesses everywhere. Beggars everywhere. Homeless people literally freezing to death under bridges. That is what America looks like today.

      Merry Christmas, oblivious idiot.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:01PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:01PM (#613619)

        There were beggars in the 80s too when I grew up. And some businesses types close while others open. Big deal.

        Yes, statistics are more convincing than your economic tidbits.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:13AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:13AM (#613555) Journal
    • (Score: 2) by Hawkwind on Saturday December 23 2017, @07:47PM

      by Hawkwind (3531) on Saturday December 23 2017, @07:47PM (#613671)
      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf [cdc.gov]
       
      Sooooo tempted not to say anything about this link, but I'll skip starting a chain. Link is to more recent data for the US, covering last year's decrease, statistically significant. Question, can anyone link to the difference methods used by The World Bank and the CDC? Also, does anyone know why AC thinks Russian life expectancy is going down?
       
      Cheers
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