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posted by martyb on Monday June 18 2018, @03:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the addiction-sucks dept.

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.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday June 18 2018, @05:53PM (4 children)

    Anthony was a true friend. When he and I first met late one night in the lobby of the Portland Rescue Mission [] he gave me his blanket then told me where I'd find a place to sleep where I wouldn't get rained on.

    The next evening he asked me to download his iCloud photos. He'd taken them with his iPhone but didn't own what most people regard as a computer.

    "Who's that?"

    "Just a girl I met."

    "Does she have a sister?"

    About a year later we ran into each other in Downtown Portland. He invited me to spend the night in his squat but asked me to wait for him to return an hour later.

    I waited at least four hours.

    I never saw Anthony again.

    I asked the staff at the Rescue Mission if they'd seen him. "No, he doesn't come here anymore."

    "Anthony is a great guy," I said. He'd give you the shirt off his back if you asked him for it.

    "Yeah when he's not strung out."

    "You mean he shoots up?"


    I found a mugshot from a few years before, when he was in the slammer for heroin possession. I searched the county jail's inmate roster as well as the state prison rosters for Oregon and Washington. I never found him there.

    It's been three years since Anthony disappeared.

    I gave him his own user account on my MacBook Pro so he'd be able to fetch his photos. I had not yet looked at most of them out of respect for his privacy but after I realized he was likely dead I looked through them all.

    He was a lot more muscular in all those pictures, many of them he's smiling along with what I expect were good friends and family. There were a few shots of him watching a game at the Pioneer Park stadium just west of Downtown.

    Anthony once knew better days.

    I expect I could find him if I asked the County Medical Examiner to look him up. Accidental deaths are always investigated by the coroner, just in case they weren't really accidents.

    I miss him so!

    Just now I was so overcome with grief that I burst into tears. I need to go somewhere else for a little while.

    Rest In Peace, My Beloved Friend Anthony Richard Perez [].

    Requiescat In Pace.

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []
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  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday June 18 2018, @11:54PM (3 children)

    when I set out I was looking for a private place where I could scream with no one being concerned.

    But just walking a long ways was really what I needed.

    A while back I read that a survey found that the American people's greatest fear was that of walking alone at night. That has always made me very very sad because for me, walking alone at night is my very greatest joy.

    During the times my mind has troubled me I always walked, almost always to nowhere in particular.

    One night in 2012 I came to the conclusion that Occupy Santa Cruz had dosed every last law enforcement officer in the North County. Not just then but some time before but when I turned up it was clear to me that all those cops were still tripping. I Am Absolutely Serious.

    I just couldn't deal with Santa Cruz so I just started walking at first east, then south. I didn't have my stuff I had only stepped out for a coffee. I didn't even tell my hosts that I was leaving.

    I walked two hundred miles. From SC on the North-West of Monterey Bay, to Aptos on the North-East, then South to Watsonville, further south to Greenfield, then Salinas.

    For much of it I survived by stealing from the farmers. But while not a desert much of the San Joaquin Valley is quite arid. I found a big plastic bag then used a razor blade to harvest from Prickly Pears - cactus fruit! Just don't eat the spines!

    I learned the hard way that while the bodies of most cacti are quite tasty and nutritious, even if they don't have spines one must not eat the skin!

    That I had not yet clued into that meant that I had the shits for three solid days. :-/

    My long walk gave me enough peace of mind that I can come back to work.

    A long walk can fix anything.

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19 2018, @03:43AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19 2018, @03:43AM (#694826)

      That reminds me to try peyote one day.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 19 2018, @04:13AM (1 child)

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Tuesday June 19 2018, @04:13AM (#694834) Homepage Journal

        But I really do want to find it the traditional way as described by The Peyote Hunt. An anthropologist went to live among the Huichol Indians in a Mexican desert.

        The experience he describes makes clear that for the Huichol it's much like what most Muslims experience but once in their entire lives: their pilgrimage to Mecca.

        For reasons I am unclear about, the Huichol live a hundred miles from where the peyote grows. They walk that hundred miles barefoot on the burning sand, stay for a few days, just one night being their peyote ritual, then they walk one hundred miles barefoot across the burning sand until they get home and resume their normal lives.

        Yes I Have No Bananas. []
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19 2018, @02:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19 2018, @02:24PM (#694998)

          It's a pity that mecca is a lie based on a lie. They travel for weeks to visit a rock that feel from the sky. Well sorry of. More like walk round it and point at it but still some get to touch it. So many lies.