jump to navigation

Opioids? Opiates? A Pandemic? October 16, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Medical issues, Social Issues.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
trackback

We have an “Opioid Pandemic”; so says the media – all the media of the English speaking world ( English,simply because I do not read too many languages as well as I’d like).  It is out of control!  It has created fear and loathing and lots of talk.  Oh so much talk.  Unlike the Spanish Flu – a pandemic of 1918 that took out ‘ 20 to 50 MILLION, this new epidemic is one essentially created by Big Pharma.  Sorry – but they do make the stuff and they do send “detail men” – often blondies in very chic, dark suits a size too small, to cold call doctors; they buy them lunches and give out samples.  This too may have changed since our “War on Drugs” began (and persists).  In the 60’s doctors got the samples through the mail slot. I had no idea but I did discover Darvon as a result.  The samples and the detail men are part of how Big Pharma sells medications.  Medications that are beneficial, but not limited to beneficial.  Psychotropic drugs – another form of mind alteration, sleeping medication, another potential addiction and oodles of others.

Ever wonder why those Pharma ads on TV and in magazine are so wordy.  Federal law.  And my favorite of every single one is “and may cause death”.  So I reckon we have a public relations, ad-promoted prescription epidemic that includes opioids.  I recall an old response in narcotics talk in the days of yore in the Haight- Ashbury “take two – they’re small”.

Those of us who are not medical professionals (and hint:  Web MD is not an online personal doctor) have taken the Rx with a grain of salt for eons.  Second guessing is not a valid second opinion, but when in doubt – take two – it will be twice as good.

JAMA has it’s own online page (s) on how to fight this not so new “war” and as I read a bulletin of theirs today, I was prompted to make a note of it and offer my suggestions. So this is it.

“First I would lose the words Opioid Epidemic.  It is not a call to arms – people simply don’t see it as a threat if they are not opioid users.  People in serious pain fear the words.

Rein in Big Pharma.  Rein it in.  Research by Big Pharma may lead to better treatments, but in the larger picture Big Pharma is a cash cow for politicos and insurance companies and  government and every damn body I have left out. It is a revenue stream. Funding for Big Pharma should not be tied to politics.  Sounds drastic but if it is indeed an epidemic – then drastic measures need be used.

And why must this country find a solution when other countries have already done it?  Look at what other countries are doing and learn.  Poach their solutions or ask nicely.

Redefine and revamp rehab.  Rehab is another excuse -creating revenue stream.  Thirty days is not enough rehab and neither is prison.  If it is a medical problem – deal with it medically.  With real medical experts.

Decriminalize marijuana  across the board*.   I am sure that the GOP and the conservative (paranoids) of all stripes can figure out a way to make lots of money fast from the many aspect of this plant.  It is a very viable win-win.  Reflect on the Opioid Epidemics of previous centuries and see what started them and what stopped them.  Demonizing anything we don’t like in this country is the go-to first.  We must stop this.  We must also face that as well as killing pain, opiates make us happy.  We like to demonize that too, unless it  is from a federally taxed bottle of booze.

And not last – but as an important note – these are the times that try our selves.  We seek relief from these trying times.  It has been noted by  researchers in the field of intoxication and addiction that during the heavy shelling of the Vietnam War – water buffaloes slept in poppy fields.  I am certain that the state of the world has contributed to our need for more relief, more often.  We may need to stop the rhetoric and get real.  And we must stop the terms – drug Lord and drug Czar.  Not only do they sound very stupid – they send out a confusing message.  Don’t they?

*Fact:  Marijuana use and posession and sale is a Federal Crime.  As a result military veterans cannot use it period.  No matter how much it may work for their conditions or injuries. No matter how much the federal government could save money and benefit from faster cures.  Random drug tests insult our vets and if weed shows up in the test – you lose the whole enchilada and could face arrest.  Hardly what I would characterize as a benefit.  But true.  Think about it.

I must add a suggestion.

The October 30, 2017 New Yorker has a remarkable and thoroughly researched article on the subject of opioids that is a MUST read.  The author has done more than due diligence to his subjects and it is the iceberg below the tip I wrote of above.  It was written by Patrick Radden Keefe and is entitled “Empire of Pain”.  Reading it, in my opinion, is almost required for a deep, informative and scathing portrait of how this opioid addiction scheme was crafted in pills and in promotion.  It is an indictment of Big Pharma and the lack of boundaries, numerous conflicts of interest and the dope dealing they treasure and promote.  El Chapo seems mild.  It speaks of unconscionable greed and utter lack of responsibility initiated by one family and their heirs. By their names you will know them – on buildings such as the Met, university chairs, charity functions, endowments and dozens of others.  Where their name is not is on any funds that could reduce addiction and the drug that started it all.  They do not care.  They are greedy and their name is Sackler.   Read Mr. Keefe’s article.  Please. It should be nominated for a Pulitzer.

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s