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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:

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  • (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.

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  • (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 []
  • (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)


    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.