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posted by martyb on Friday August 11 2017, @11:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the just-say-emergency dept.

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."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by stretch611 on Saturday August 12 2017, @03:40AM (8 children)

    by stretch611 (6199) on Saturday August 12 2017, @03:40AM (#552718)

    First, I have a very high pain tolerance... Back when I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I had an ibuprofen that night and was fine the next day and didn't need anything else.

    I was in the hospital 20 years ago. After surgery, I woke up in my room attached to a Morphine drip. If I were to push the button I could have 2 ml of Morphine every 10 minutes. I asked the nurse to remove the IV with morphine... they refused. They told me I needed it for pain; I replied that I was in less pain after surgery than any day in the prior 6 months. Every 20 minutes or so, a nurse would come in and comment, "oh, you haven't taken any morphine, you really should." I said that I was in so little pain that I didn't need it and they replied, "well the physical therapist will be here later and you will need it then, its better to take it before you need it." Finally after repeated times, I finally hit the button once just to shut them up. (for the record, I only experienced dizziness from the anesthesia, no pain with the physical therapist.)

    Earlier this year, I was hospitalized again, though longer this time. Fortunately, I was not attached to a morphine drip, but if I said I was in pain they would give me morphine or any other narcotic based on how bad I said I felt. After a few days, I did have some minor pain and requested an ibuprofen. The nurse said that ibuprofen was not on the list of drugs I could take, and gave me Norco instead. Really?!? WTF!!! When I was released I went to the hospital pharmacy to pick up what I needed to leave. Not only was there a prescription of Norco filled and ready, but also another opiate that was even stronger (I can't remember the name). To top it off, the hospital Dr forgot to actually get me all of the prescriptions I actually needed, and I needed to call them and wait for it to be filled. I did refuse to accept the opiate scripts though. Seriously, I didn't want or need them while I was there, and you want me to take them with me when I get released?!?

    And if you think getting them from the hospital is easy, just try and go to a dentist... So many narcotics have been prescribed to me "just in case" I have pain later after the Novocaine wears off.

    If we want to stop the opiate problem, maybe we should have health care workers listen to people's needs and not prescribe them indiscriminately. The last Dr in the hospital seemed to be a shining example of what the drug companies wanted her to be, not what I would ever want in my own doctor.

    Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @05:08AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12 2017, @05:08AM (#552739)

    Also, if you live in the US and want ibuprofen, I am pretty sure it is over the counter now, at least in California. You can buy it in huge bottles at Costco.

    I don't use it very often but every once in a while when I have nerve pain (back, neck, shoulder, carpal tunnel, etc.) I will take them for a few days until the pain dulls.

    I find it utterly disappointing the way american hospitals are run. Most of the problems they are supposed to treat they create more from instead. I wish auto mechanics could get away with doing that, but they made laws against it, because mechanics are poor, while doctors are rich and often politically connected. Plus the auto repair industry has nothing on pharma as far as lobbying efforts go.

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Saturday August 12 2017, @09:50AM

      by isostatic (365) on Saturday August 12 2017, @09:50AM (#552814) Journal

      Been over the counter for decades in the UK. Quite pricey, about 6c per 400mg pill.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday August 12 2017, @06:05PM

      by takyon (881) <> on Saturday August 12 2017, @06:05PM (#552914) Journal []

      Since it became available to consumers in 1984, over 100 billion 200 mg tablets of ibuprofen have been sold OTC in the United States alone. Today, consumption of OTC ibuprofen accounts for approximately one third of the market for OTC analgesics. According to a 2002 study by Kauffman et al., ibuprofen continues to be one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States.

      [...] Based primarily on its very favorable GI safety profile at prescription doses, ibuprofen became the first prescription NSAID to be approved by the FDA for OTC use as an analgesic in 1984. At the time of the deliberations that led to its switch, it was anticipated that ibuprofen would demonstrate an improved GI safety profile when used at lower doses over brief periods of time. Accordingly, it was approved for use at single doses of 200-400 mg, up to a maximum of 1200 mg per day. It is important to note that the OTC dose is 37.5% the minimum daily prescription dose. Like the other currently marketed monographed analgesics, the maximum duration for use was limited to 10 days (the duration of use for prescription NSAIDs is not limited). []

      Ibuprofen is commonly available in the United States up to the FDA's 1984 dose limit OTC, rarely used higher by prescription.[51] In 2009, the first injectable formulation of ibuprofen was approved in the United States, under the trade name Caldolor.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday August 12 2017, @05:26AM (1 child)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday August 12 2017, @05:26AM (#552749)

    I have to agree. I had surgery a couple years ago to remove something in my neck, and like you said, they were eager to give me a scrip for some opioid (oxycodone? I forget exactly). I never took it, nor did I take anything else despite having a big 2" incision in my neck. I just didn't feel the need to. It does seem to me that they hand this stuff out way too readily.

    • (Score: 2) by boxfetish on Saturday August 12 2017, @07:07AM

      by boxfetish (4831) on Saturday August 12 2017, @07:07AM (#552784)

      There seems to be a different standard for inpatient/hospitals. They are able to give out opioids via IV or pill without much restriction or a second though. This has been my experience too.

      This ends right at the hospital door. You cannot get a doctor to prescribe opiods for pain, no matter how bad the pain, to save your life, once you are an outpatient. They act as if they are going to be severly punished if they give out scrips for opioids.

      I suspect their must be a different review standard for each, and doctors must have to justify every outpatient opioid prescription they make to some board or administrator.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday August 12 2017, @07:04AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday August 12 2017, @07:04AM (#552783) Journal

    Sounds like a "pharmacy consultant" has worked the hospital doctors and management. This need to be fixed but requires fighting the Pharma lobbyists.

    Are there other recommended pain killers besides ibuprofen? especially if the pain is severe as after a operation?

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday August 12 2017, @10:42AM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday August 12 2017, @10:42AM (#552820) Journal

    See, I'm the other way. I mean, I have a high pain tolerance also, but gimme the opiates. They're lovely. Except, as has happened before, last week when I had surgery they gave me opiates and the first two days were phenomenal, but after that the drugs gave me headaches and nausea. Sure, you could up the dosage, but who could sustain an addiction where you had to up the dosage every three days? You'd be dead inside a month.

    I rather think they ought to more research into drugs to avoid that problem so we can all be free of pain and happy all the time.

    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday August 12 2017, @04:00PM

    by mcgrew (701) <> on Saturday August 12 2017, @04:00PM (#552878) Homepage Journal

    Had oral surgery a couple of years ago and prescribed 18 opiate pills. I took three, once when the local wore off, one before bed, and one more the next morning. The bleeding stopped, so I switched to aspirin and naproxen; those drugs make bleeding worse.