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posted by chromas on Thursday October 25 2018, @02:46AM   Printer-friendly

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

Related Stories

President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency 50 comments

After some initial confusion about the White House's plans earlier in the week, President Trump has followed the recommendation of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and declared the opioid crisis to be a national emergency. He has promised to spend "a lot" of time, effort, and money to combat the problem:

Among the other recommendations were to rapidly increase treatment capacity for those who need substance abuse help; to establish and fund better access to medication-assisted treatment programs; and to make sure that health care providers are aware of the potential for misuse and abuse of prescription opioids by enhancing prevention efforts at medical and dental schools.

President Trump also decried a slowdown in federal prosecutions of drug crimes and a reduction in sentence lengths. Activists and policy experts are wary of an enforcement-heavy approach:

Bill Piper, senior director for the Drug Policy Alliance, told CNN Tuesday that stricter enforcement "has never worked" and the President would be "better focusing on the treatment side of things." "A supply side approach to drugs has never worked," Piper said. "That is what has been tried for decades and it has failed for every drug it has applied to, including alcohol during Prohibition. As long as there has been and[sic] demand for drugs, there will be a supply." Trump would not be the first administration to crack down on drug use by focusing on enforcement, but Piper said doing so would play into a desire to "sound tough," not actually solve the problem. "It makes it look like they are doing something even when they are not," Piper said.

Trump also advocated for more abstinence-based treatment to combat the opioid crisis. "The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem. If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off," Trump said. That sort of strategy advocates for targeting kids and young adults with anti-drug messaging, evocative of the "Just Say No" ad campaign of the 1980s and early 1990s.

This crisis is serious, folks:

"It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. You know when I was growing up, they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs. There's never been anything like what's happened to this country over the last four or five years. And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem. This is happening worldwide. But this is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now to so attest."


Original Submission

U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis 64 comments

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

"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

Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis? 95 comments

US needs to invest 'tens of billions or hundreds of billions' to fight opioid epidemic

The goal of an opioid is to reduce pain, but the addictive drugs are creating pain for millions of families suffering through the crisis. Deaths from opioid overdoses number at least 42,000 a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"This is an epidemic that's been getting worse over 10 to 20 years," Caleb Alexander, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety, told CNBC's "On The Money" in a recent interview. "I think it's important that we have realistic expectations about the amount of work that it will take and the amount of coordination to turn this steamship around," Alexander added.

[...] Alexander added: "The statistics are stunning. More than 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder or opioid addiction" and he says the country needs to "invest tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars" to shore up the treatment system. He said patients should be able to access medications that "we know work to help reduce the cravings for further opioids."

Don't mention the Portugal model!

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Attorney General is suing members of the family that runs Purdue Pharma:

Their family name graces some of the nation's most prestigious bastions of culture and learning — the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum, the Sackler Lefcourt Center for Child Development in Manhattan and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University, to name a few.

Now the Sackler name is front and center in a lawsuit accusing the family and the company they own and run, Purdue Pharma, of helping to fuel the deadly opioid crisis that has killed thousands of Americans. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took the unusual step of naming eight members of the Sackler family this week in an 80-page complaint that accused Purdue Pharma of spinning a "web of illegal deceit" to boost profits.

While prosecutors in more than a dozen other states hit hard by the opioid epidemic have sued Purdue Pharma, Healey is the first to name individual Sackler family members, along with eight company executives.


Original Submission

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation 23 comments

US House of Representatives passes bipartisan bill to fight opioid crisis

The measure, which passed 396 to 14, is the broadest of dozens of bills on the topic passed by the House over the past two weeks.

[...] Addiction advocates largely praise the measures as good steps forward, but say that much more work and funding is needed to tackle the issue's scale.

[...] The legislation, passed Friday, includes a range of measures to fight the epidemic, including lifting some limits on prescribing Buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction. The bill also requires health-care professionals to write prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries electronically in order to better track prescriptions and to allow Medicare to cover treatment at addiction treatment clinics.

China says United States domestic opioid market the crux of crisis

China's drug control agency on Monday said the United States should do more to cut its demand for opioids to tackle the use of synthetic drug fentanyl, but it vowed to step up cooperation after Chinese production of the substance had been blamed for fuelling the U.S. opioid crisis.

[...] "China's drug control agencies, now and in the years to come, will place greater emphasis on drug control cooperation between China and the United States," Liu Yuejin, deputy head of China's National Narcotics Commission, told a news conference. "But I believe that to resolve this the more important issue is for the United States to strive to reduce and compress the great demand and drug consumption markets of opioids," he said. While China accepts that some new psychoactive substances, including fentanyl, manufactured in China are sold in the United States, the substances are not yet readily abused and trafficked in China itself, he said.

[...] Beijing has taken steps to crack down on the production and export of synthetic drugs, and has placed fentanyl and 22 other related compounds on its list of controlled substances.

See also: What's in the House's bills to address the opioid crisis — and what's not

It also remains unclear exactly how and when the Senate will craft its own legislation. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the legislation was a priority but acknowledged the Senate does not have a specific timeline for opioids legislation.


Original Submission

The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA 157 comments

This Bold Plan to Fight Opioid Overdoses Could Save Lives--But Some Conservatives Think It's "Immoral"

With Ohio beset by a massive public health around opioid use and overdoses--more than 4,000 Ohioans died of opioid overdoses in 2016--the Cleveland Plain Dealer sent travel editor Susan Glaser to Amsterdam in search of innovative approaches to the problem. While there, she rediscovered Holland's long-standing, radical, and highly effective response to heroin addiction and properly asked whether it might be applied to good effect here.

The difference in drug-related death rates between the two countries is staggering. In the U.S., the drug overdose death rate is 245 per million, nearly twice the rate of its nearest competitor, Sweden, which came in second with 124 per million. But in Holland, the number is a vanishingly small 11 per million. In other words, Americans are more than 20 times more likely to die of drug overdoses than the Dutch.

For Plain Dealer readers, the figures that really hit home are the number of state overdose deaths compared to Holland. Ohio, with just under 12 million people, saw 4,050 drug overdose deaths in 2016; the Netherlands, with 17 million people, saw only 235.

What's the difference? The Dutch government provides free heroin to several score [where a score=20] hardcore heroin addicts and has been doing so for the past 20 years. Public health experts there say that in addition to lowering crime rates and improving the quality of life for users, the program is one reason overdose death rates there are so low. And the model could be applied here, said Amsterdam heroin clinic operator Ellen van den Hoogen.

[...]"It's not a program that is meant to help you stop," acknowledged van den Hoogen. "It keeps you addicted."

That's not a sentiment sits well with American moralizers, such as George W. Bush's drug czar, John Walters, whom Glaser consulted for the story. He suggested that providing addicts with drugs was immoral and not "real treatment," but he also resorted to lies about what the Dutch are doing.

He claimed the Dutch are "keeping people addicted for the purpose of controlling them" and that the Dutch have created "a colony of state-supported, locked-up addicts."

Your humble Ed (who rechopped the quoting, so head off to the full article(s) to see the full story) adds: of course, this is quite a contentious issue, digging deep into moralistic debate, and where clearly there's little agreed-upon objective truth and plenty of opinions. However, we are a community dotted widely round the globe, and so I'm sure there are plenty of stories of what has or has not worked in different locales.

Previous: Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization


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

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma May File for Bankruptcy to Disrupt Lawsuits 48 comments

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reportedly exploring bankruptcy

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from thousands of lawsuits alleging the drug manufacturer contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The deliberations show how Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the pharmaceutical company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the drugs.

Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow the drug maker to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

No "Big Tobacco" moment for Purdue Pharma. Cut and run.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
Colorado Attorney General Sues Purdue Pharma

Related: 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 MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday October 25 2018, @02:57AM (7 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25 2018, @02:57AM (#753493) Homepage Journal

    This according to the Centers for Disease Control [cdc.gov] yet nobody seems to regard it as a crisis.

    From time to time you'll see someone with plastic tubes up their nose toting around an oxygen tank on a little cart. Those people used to be smokers.

    Some of them still are: I once knew a nurse who told me the worse part of her job was seeing patients who'd just gotten Tracheotomies smoking cigarettes through them immediately upon their discharge from the hospital she worked at.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:17AM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:17AM (#753524) Journal

      As vaping surges, teen cigarette smoking ticks up after decades of decline [cnbc.com]

      Cigarette smoking is still much lower than it was in the 90s, and vaping is the big new thing, generally regarded as a possible route to quit cigarette smoking, although going from nothing to vaping is not advised.

      There's a Juul story in 3.5 hours, if you're awake then.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:53AM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:53AM (#753531) Journal

      From time to time you'll see someone with plastic tubes up their nose toting around an oxygen tank on a little cart. Those people used to be smokers.

      [Citation needed] for the emphasized.

      Any job involving unprotected exposure to particulate matter (cement, saw dust, flour and other milling products, coal/stone/mineral dust, aerosol-ed manure, etc) will increase the chances of the same outcome - most of the time pulmonary fibrosis [mayoclinic.org] in different forms (silicosis, asbestosis, etc). BTW, exposure to aerosoled particulate matter is not an exclusive cause for pulmonary fibrosis - a number of other medical conditions can cause it.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday October 25 2018, @05:00AM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday October 25 2018, @05:00AM (#753535) Journal

        You don't even need lung problems due to smoke/particulate matter. Having a weak heart and low oxygen saturation in the blood could necessitate using a oxygen mask or ventilator.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:46PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:46PM (#753728)

      This according to the Centers for Disease Control yet nobody seems to regard it as a crisis.

      1) Have you seen all of the anti-smoking campaigns for the last 30 years? Do you know how much of a pariah people who smoke now-a-days are treated? (Speaking for myself, seeing how much they litter, it's warranted.)
      2) Smoking is a choice. In a very real way, people are choosing to kill themselves. It's hard to get as emotional about that. It's similar to how the vast majority of gun deaths are suicides, but nobody talks about them. On the other hand, frequently opiods are being given by medical professionals (the people you are supposed to trust about health matters), so it's more disturbing.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @06:10PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @06:10PM (#753769)

        Whats disturbing about medical pros giving poor advice? In soviet russia, religion is the opiate of the masses. In US opiates are the opiate of the masses.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:02AM (9 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:02AM (#753498) Homepage Journal

    After they take my kidney out.

    Doubtlessly I'll be shooting up with a sharpened basketball needle by this time next year.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:32AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:32AM (#753512)

      Too bad Marinol is not as effective as consuming the cocktail of cannabinoids the cannabis plant produces.

      I wonder what role access to medical cannabis (37 states is it now?) is having on opioid statistics. Cannabis has been implicated both in reducing various addictions such as opioid and alcohol and being an alternative treatment for chronic pain. In a sane world, we would be investigating whether cannabis can completely replace opioids for pain management. (As with all things, I will believe it when I see the data. I've never needed opioids for pain management, so I have no firsthand experience in the matter.) Maybe we could offer surgical patients cannabis vape? (Well, maybe not vape in a hospital setting.) What do you think? All other things (efficacy for post-surgical pain management) being equal, would you rather have a morphine drip or a bag of cannabis gummies to eat throughout the day?

      As an aside, I wish we could take cannabis out of "lol stoners" territory and respect it for the powerful entheogen it is.

      I have an "addictive personality" as they say. My name is AC, and I'm an alcoholic. (Recovering that is, in a big way thanks to cannabis and how it helped me see the effect my drinking was having on the people around me. Two years now.) Given the data on opioid addiction, I know I'd rather take my chances with the gummies.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:56AM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:56AM (#753517) Journal

        I wonder what role access to medical cannabis (37 states is it now?) is having on opioid statistics.

        Study Finds That Legalized Medical Cannabis Led to a Decline in Medicare Prescriptions [soylentnews.org]
        Study: Legal Weed Far Better Than Drug War at Stopping Opioid Overdose Epidemic [soylentnews.org]
        Two More Studies Link Access to Cannabis to Lower Use of Opioids [soylentnews.org]

        But of course, we get:

        Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis [soylentnews.org]

        Also see the government's war on kratom [google.com].

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:56AM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25 2018, @03:56AM (#753518) Homepage Journal

        I am absolutely serious. Mom got me allergy tested after I got really bad hay fever for the first time in my life - but none of the other students at my high school did.

        I figure someone's gro-op bloomed out in the Suisun Marsh. It's part of the Sacramento River Delta and is quite large, easy to hide weed there and very fertile.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:32AM (1 child)

        by rts008 (3001) on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:32AM (#753525)

        Congrat's on the two years! :-)

        Disclaimer: I'm an ex-heroin addict, have smoked weed for almost 50 years, and have came close several times to alcohol addiction.

        Be glad you never went down the opiate path. The pain relief is wonderful, the euphoria is even more so, but the affects on your mind and way of thinking are devastating. The ONLY thing that matters is that next fix, you become amoral and abandon ethics to achieve that feeling again. It's insidious in it's seduction.

        Stick with weed, although I would highly(no pun intended) recommend edibles, as there are many bad effects from smoking it. Depending on the carrier fluid for the THC and/or CBD's, vaping can be alot safer to just as bad. Generally vaping is better than smoking, but edibles trump them all.

        Marijuana has been erroneously demonized as the gateway drug, but it was, and is, alcohol instead. But only for those like us, with 'addictive personalities'/brain chemistry.

        There have been rumors of statistics pointing to a decrease in opiate related deaths in states that have legal weed, and while it sounds plausible, I have not really researched it.

        Rhetorical question:I wonder why we have endocannabinoid receptors in our brains? Could we evolved while eating/using cannabis as primates, to take advantage of weed?

        Hope this helps some. :-) BTW, if you smoke tobacco, QUIT! All of the other stuff may cause some mental and physical health issues, but smoking tobacco causes health issues that swamp the impact of my heroin, methamphetamine, and alcohol(almost) addictions combined for me. (YMMV)

        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:57AM

          by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:57AM (#753534) Homepage Journal

          It's really quite nice.

          I've gone backpacking in the High Sierra a few times, it smells just like weed blossoms.

          We have nitrous oxide receptors too - it turns out that nitrous plays a crucial role in reproduction, as it's what signals your William Jefferson Clinton to stand at attention. But I've never heard anyone suggest that humans were "meant" to inhale laughing gas.

          There are more than 130 neurotransmitters.

          --
          Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:05AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:05AM (#753521)

      Just curious.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:53AM (2 children)

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25 2018, @04:53AM (#753529) Homepage Journal

        Right in the middle of my right kidney. That it's right in the middle as well as so big rules out treatments that would kill the cancer but save the kidney.

        My doc is certain that it hasn't spread yet. One can see that in the CT scan because it has a smooth surface. It's called "cancer" - latin for "crab" - because malignant tumours have crab-like legs growing out of them.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @06:51AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25 2018, @06:51AM (#753555)

          I hope for you to have a speedy recovery.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday October 25 2018, @02:52PM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Thursday October 25 2018, @02:52PM (#753668) Homepage Journal

    That one's a big document, folks. It's like 650 pages. Lot of reading. I missed Fox & Friends, unfortunately, because of that one. But, so worth it. 100%. Because this is how we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America. We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem. Together!

    And by the way, I made a Social Media website about opioid. I call it, THE CRISIS NEXT DOOR. And it's the #1 place where my beautiful beautiful Americans are sharing their stories about opioid. About WINNING against opioid. Upload your video now!!! And by the way it's a Family website. So please wear panties & bra!! crisisnextdoor.gov [crisisnextdoor.gov]

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