Analyzing the Opioid Crisis (Updated): 100 Articles & Published Op-Eds

By Josh Bloom — Oct 05, 2021
The following is a compendium of articles and op-eds I have written since 2013. It is an updated version of "Analyzing The Opioid Crisis: 65 Articles By Dr. Josh Bloom," which was published in 2019.

I have been writing about the now disastrous consequences of withholding opioid pain medications from pain patients with legitimate needs since 2013 – well before most other organizations. The following is an updated version of Analyzing The Opioid Crisis: 65 Articles By Dr. Josh Bloom, which now includes published opinion pieces.

This list will serve as a media reference guide. To simplify the search for a specific topic I have divided his writings into 8 broad categories, A through H, which are indicated in parentheses after the title. Many articles fall into multiple categories. 

The articles with the most impact are bolded. 

Article Categorization:

A - Intentional manipulation of statistics and lies that created a false narrative of the opioid crisis

B - The demonization of opioid drugs and other controlled substances

C - Opioid alternatives – plusses and minuses

D - Denial of pain relief

E - Flawed public policy

F - Fentanyl and its analogs

G - Flawed studies and faulty media reporting

H - General bad science

*Bold - Key article

  1. The Great Opioid Shakedown of 2019 Will Be a Pyrrhic 'Victory (E)
  2. The Lunacy Continues - Now It's Music Instead Of Sedatives Before Surgery (B)
  3. Florida Officials Successfully Withheld Pain Meds From Surgical Patients. Aren't They Special? (E) (D)
  4. A Royal Pain: Opioid BS From The BBC (G)
  5. Surgeon General Backpedals On Flawed Tylenol Study. Because Of ACSH. (B)
  6. Dr. Aric Hausknecht Responds To SG Jerome Adams' Tylenol Recommendation (B)
  7. Need General Surgery? Ignore The Surgeon General (B)
  8. Advil As A Substitute For Opioids? NY Times' Gina Kolata 'Busts' One Myth With Another (C, G)
  9. Overdoses Are 'Falling.' But What Does That Really Mean? (A)
  10. Oh-Klahoma! 8 Questions J&J Should Ask Andrew Kolodny (A, B)
  11. 'Opioid Cutoff' Article Tells Us How Badly Pain Patients Were Harmed. Too Bad Kolodny Was Included. (A, D)
  12. Neurontin: The Darling Of The Anti-Opioid Crowd. But Does It Work? (C)
  13. Sen. Gillibrand's Anti-Opioid Mentality Will Hurt Women (E)
  14. Oral And IV Tylenol Work *Equally* Well For Hip Replacement Pain - But Do They Work At All? (B, G)
  15. My Response To The Times Article About Opioid 'Good News Bad News' (G)
  16. Johnson & Johnson's Shameless Exploitation Of The Opioid Crisis (C)
  17. Heroin Pills Are Now A Reality - Is Andrew Kolodny Finally Happy? (A, E, F)
  18. Woeful In Wisconsin - WISN's Opioid Story Is Jawbreakingly Idiotic (G)
  19. An Opioid Study So Bad That It Disproves Itself? (G)
  20. CNN: Opioid Overdoses Kill More People Than... Food? (G)
  21. Sen. Ron Wyden Smears Opioid Task Force. Why? (E)
  22. Dear PROP/CDC - Here's What Happens When You Over-Restrict Pills: More Deaths. Nice Going. (A,B,D,F)
  23. Do Opioid Scripts For Tooth Extraction Really Cause Abuse, Or Just Useless Numbers? (G)
  24. Organic Chemistry Can Defeat Any Fentanyl Agreement (F)
  25. Who Is Telling The Truth About Prescription Opioid Deaths? DEA? CDC? Neither? (A, B)
  26. Opioid Policies Based On Morphine Milligram Equivalents Are Automatically Flawed (H)
  27. Foolish US Drug Policies Keep Making Things Worse - Now It's Meth (Again) (G)
  28. Former CDC Head Tom Frieden Is Back In The News, And It Isn't For His Terrible Science (G)
  29. Shades Of Tuskegee - Oregon's Monstrous Experiments On Poor Pain Patients (B, D, E)
  30. Feds Double Down On Pills As Fentanyl Deaths Double (E, F)
  31. Fentanyl 101- Let's Clean Up The Terminology (F)
  32. The Madness Continues: FDA Opioids Advisory Panels Must Be Stoned (G)
  33. For Pain Care, Race Shouldn't Matter. But It Does (D, E)
  34. Wanna Get The Opioid Mess All Wrong? Ask Keith Humphreys (G)
  35. Big Brother Walmart Is Watching Your Meds Very Carefully. And Not Just Painkillers (B)
  36. 'Synthetic' And 'Opioids': Two Useless, Confusing Terms That Need To Go (F)
  37. 'Study Links Rising Heroin Deaths To 2010 OxyContin Reformulation.Duh.' (E)
  38. Fentanyl Sleuthing Gives Hints About Where It's Made – Sometimes (F)
  39. The CDC Quietly Admits It Screwed Up Counting Opioid Pills (A, E)
  40. Dear CDC: What Will You Screw Up Next? Meth Is Back (E)
  41. Runs On Imodium Before The FDA Clamps Down (B)
  42. 'Let Them Eat Aspirin' - Jeff Sessions' Painfully Ignorant Remarks (E)
  43. Dear NY Times, Your Opioid Coverage Has Been Terrible. Here's Why (G)
  44. Neurontin: Over-Hyped And Underwhelming (C)
  45. Have A 'Fentanyl On A Shopping Cart' Question? Call ACSH (F)
  46. Advil Works As Well As Opioids For Acute Pain? Not So Fast (C, G)
  47. ACSH Explains: What's The Difference Between Opioids And Opiates?
  48. How Chinese Organic Chemists Get Away With Murder – Literally (F)
  49. The Opioid Epidemic In 6 Charts Designed To Deceive You (A, B, E)
  50. CVS's Transparent Opioid PR Stunt (C)
  51. Tylenol Isn't So Safe, But At Least It Works, Right? (C)
  52. Is Tylenol 'By Far The Most Dangerous Drug Ever Made?' (C)
  53. Heads In The Sand — The Real Cause Of Today's Opioid Deaths (A, E)
  54. Pain In The Time Of Opioid Denial: An Interview With Aric Hausknecht, M.D. (C, D)
  55. Dear CDC, Why Are You Torturing Pain Patients? (D, E)
  56. If You Think Fentanyl Is Bad... (F)
  57. Opioid Denial: My Own Harrowing Experience (D)
  58. Have Opioid Restrictions Made Things Better Or Worse (G)
  59. Merciless In Seattle: Untreated Pain, Misery, And Suicide (D)
  60. Have Pain? Pick Your Poison (C)
  61. Gonna Throw Away Your Used Narcotics? (A,E)
  62. Prince Was Killed By 'The Devil In The Room' (F)
  63. Narcotics Overdose? Or Biased Reporting? (G)
  64. Opioid Abuse & Death: Nothing Close To A Good Answer
  65. 2020 Drug Deaths Spiked 30%. And Pain Pills Had NOTHING To Do With It. (A, E)
  66. Fentanyl Test Strips Are Illegal. This Is Obscene. (E)
  67. Opioid Policy Concerns? Here's How The CDC 'Responds' To Letters (E)
  68. In Massachusetts, As Elsewhere, It’s The Prohibition, Not The Prescriptions (E)
  69. FDA Must Act To Correct CDC's 2016 Opioid Dosage Bungling. Here Are My Comments (E)

  70. PROP's Self-Serving Letter To The AMA Must Be Addressed. My Comments (A, B)

  71. Opioid Deprivation And Suicide: Washington Post Weighs In (B, E)

  72. The VA Tortures Vets In Pain: Drs. Singer And Bloom In The Virginian-Pilot (B, D, E)

  73. CDC Analyzes Deaths Caused By Its Own Anti-Opioid Crusade (E)

  74. Canadians Use Dark Web To Buy Ridiculously Expensive Pain Meds (B, D, E)

  75. IV Tylenol Bombs For Post-Op Pain Control, In Randomized Controlled Trial (B, C, D)

  76. Can Fentanyl Be Curtailed By Banning The Chemicals Used To Make It? (F)

  77. All The Chemistry You Never Wanted To Know About Heroin, & More

  78. My 94-Year Old Mother Is Not A Drug Addict. But She's Being Treated Like One. (B, C, D)

  79. Stop Calling Fentanyl A Synthetic Opioid. It's Confusing. (B, E,)

  80. Fact-Checking The Opioid Fact-Checkers. And Kolodny Eats His Words. (A, B)

  81. Oral Vs. IV Tylenol In The Elderly: The 'Let's Kick Granny Down The Stairs' Study

  82. It's The Fentanyl, Stupid. But Politicians Still Target Pain Pills. (B, D, E)

  83. Meth Is Back Like Never Before. Blundering Opioid Policies Largely To Blame. (E)

  84. Bravo Ontario; Forced Opioid Tapering Is (Mercifully) Ending. (B, D, E)

  85. 5 Things You Might Not Know About Heroin.

  86. Non-Opioid Drugs That Can Be Dangerous And Habituating. Should We Ban Them? (E)


Published Op-eds


  1. New painful casualties of the drug war, New York Post 12/3/13
  2. Why we are hoarding our opioid pills, STAT Online (with A. Berezow), 1/31/17 
  3. Trump and Christie’s First Steps to Solving the Opioid Crisis, Wall Street Journal (with A. Berezow) 5/15/17
  4. Ky.’s new opioid law will only result in more death, pain, Lexington Herald-Reader, 7/14/17
  5. Opioid ‘crisis’ leading government to disrupt doctor-patient relationship, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/11/17
  6. Keep Government Out of Our Medicine Cabinets, Duluth News-Tribune, 2/22/18
  7. Trump's False War on Opioids Will Only Punish Patients in Pain, Newsweek (with H. Miller), 4/6/18
  8. Since when does the government write prescriptions? Fox News (with H. Miller), 3/2/19
  9. Feds battle opioid abuse with a circular firing squad, Washington Examiner (with H. Miller) 3/11/19
  10. Opioids: Bad Science, Bad Policy, Bad Outcomes, Issues and Insights (with H. Miller) 7/26/19
  11. Misplaced blame for opioid epidemic harms pain patients, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/16/20
  12. Stop Making Surgeons Undertreat Postoperative Pain, Pain Medicine News, (with J. Singer) 4/22/21
  13. Pain patients are the casualties of the War on Drugs, Philadelphia Inquirer (with J. Singer) 8/16/21
  14. Veterans pay the price of bungled opioid policies, Virginian-Pilot, (with J. Singer)10/2/21




Josh Bloom

Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science

Dr. Josh Bloom, the Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, comes from the world of drug discovery, where he did research for more than 20 years. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry.

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