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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, Informative) by requerdanos on Monday June 18 2018, @07:11PM (4 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @07:11PM (#694651) Journal

    Require yearly reevaluation from a specialist to see if their pain can be mitigated some other way.

    Amateur. I ask at the doctor *every time* if my neck and back pain can be mitigated some other way. They got nothin.

    This year they did refer me for ten, count them, ten chiropractic visits. Which helped immensely...

    But they explained to me that something like chiropractic, even if it helps, "stops working" if you have to keep going back for treatment, and so "isn't really helping" since you have to rinse and repeat. So if I want to keep going, it will be out of my own pocket.

    On the other hand, they have no problem renewing my opioid prescription, even though it "stops working" when it runs out, and it "isn't really helping" the cause of the pain, just the symptoms.

    I attempted to point this duality out, but I felt a strange sense of deja vu [], and didn't get anywhere with it. Meanwhile my opioid pain meds are paid for 100% and renewed every time, while the effective non-invasive non-drug non-opioid treatments are a no-go because they "isn't really helping."


    I do not complain because I get appropriate pain medication. Pain + Pain medication = Less pain = more living life.
    I do complain because I do not get appropriate nondrug treatments. Especially in the face of the hypocritical war on drugs, and on my pain medication in particular.

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday June 18 2018, @07:45PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @07:45PM (#694674) Journal

    Yep, narcotics don't really treat the problem. They treat one of the symptoms: pain.

    In my case I get lots of other drugs for the underlying problem, which, of course, helps with the pain. To a large degree. But it varies. And there are sometimes really bad days.

    My opioids are not 100% covered, but darn near. They are dirt cheap. More than any other med I've ever had. Last summer (June, 2017) I was in Colorado at a family reunion. Hey, let's try some cannabis! Ironically: it's way way more expensive, and doesn't help anywhere near as much as opioids do. So much for all natural.

    The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday June 18 2018, @09:14PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday June 18 2018, @09:14PM (#694714)


      Reading between the lines, where there is no data being reported about post-legalization crime rates that doesn't come from someone with an axe to grind, the opposition seems content with "its really bad, trust me, but there's no numbers to prove it" and the supporters seem content with "crime dropped 15%" type stuff, so it seems highly likely the net effect is generally a significant but not huge drop in crime rate due to weed legalization.

      Of course people who really like weed are orders of magnitude less dangerous to the community and themselves than a pill addict going thru withdrawal willing to do anything for the next pill. That would seem to imply pill legalization would likely result in a ... obvious and large-ish ... decline in crime rates.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @11:26PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @11:26PM (#694743)

    Use hypnosis. The body naturally ignores pain when you're in mortal danger. You don't need to go that far, but you can teach yourself to numb your hand then move that numbness to where ever the pain is worse. Or you can learn to dissociate from the pain. That's what people do when they use hypnosis for surgery instead of going under.

    You could also work and fixing the cause instead of the symptoms. Do so by checking your posture all the time and replacing inflammatory foods (starches/carbs and sugar) with veggies.

    Stop asking your doctor and go look out for yourself. Your doctor doesn't have time to learn everything for everybody while you only need to learn about what's effecting you.

    • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Tuesday June 19 2018, @12:32AM

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 19 2018, @12:32AM (#694766) Journal

      Stop asking your doctor and go look out for yourself.

      Looking out for yourself is essential, and great advice--but it's not an either/or. Also keep asking the Doctor. If you don't look out for your interests within the doctor-patient relationship of your own medical care, then no one will.

      you can learn to dissociate from the pain... You could also work and fixing the cause instead of the symptoms. Do so by checking your posture all the time and replacing inflammatory foods (starches/carbs and sugar) with veggies.

      Also great advice. Mindfulness and meditation helps to remove focus on pain and put it into a context that makes it less problematic, which is a great help.

      Developing good posture habits also helps keep the pain away. It's not only an awareness of posture that helps, but I have mounted my computer monitors up high enough that when I use the computer, I am not bending my neck down, but rather keeping it at a natural angle. When I use my phone, I hold it up at eye level (instead of bending my head down to look down at it). Simple things that add up.

      I have been following a ketogenic diet since this past January (almost no sugars, no bread, no cereal grains, goal of 20 - 40 grams total daily in carbohydrates) and this has also tremendously helped (not to mention its helpful effects on my A1C levels).

      These steps might not be for everyone, because compliance with them is hard, but changing your habits and changing your life to your benefit instead of your detriment is a tremendous reward.

      Of course, this new world of not being in pain 100% of the time (as I was before) results in my feeling like I can do more, and then trying to do more, actually doing more--which results in pain. The difference is that the pain now does not stop me from living my life. And that difference is huge. And very welcome.