The denial of prescription analgesic medication to chronic pain patients has caused unnecessary suffering. But it has also driven up the suicide rate, trapping those who cannot bear to live without the drugs that have kept them functioning for years. ACSH advisor Red Lawhern, Ph.D., discusses the tragedy of intolerable pain.
While an investigation is underway into the exact nature of the problem, so far the likeliest explanation is that improper use of vaping devices has led to illness, or the death, of some users. But that sort of nuance isn't governing the thinking of the FDA or CDC officials, both of which are allowing myths and fearmongering to drive their policies and public statements.
The CDC just released "Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts," which seems to imply that opioid overdose deaths are falling for the first time. Some will doubtlessly take credit for ending the opioid crisis. But they shouldn't.
A Pew Research Center article, "Rapid Opioid Cutoff Is Risky Too, Feds Warn" takes an honest look at the suffering created by the radical, misguided anti-opioid jihad. It's a shame that its author, Christine Vestal, also included quotes from Andrew Kolodny, who denies the mess that he and his friends made while claiming that very few patients were "inappropriately tapered." Like herpes infection, Kolodny never goes away.
While some argue that a continued decline in the birth rate will merit a failed replacement rate for the overall population, it's time to take a pause and appreciate the nuances in these observed trends.
Though recent and alarming headlines are touting a global superbug, it can be hard to discern fact from fiction. Should we be worried? Let's take a look and find out.
The CDC says "tobacco use by youth is rising." If that were to be true, it'd be horrible -- but it's not. Cigarette use is down. The only reason the CDC can make this claim is because the agency considers e-cigarettes and vaping devices -- which only contain nicotine -- to be tobacco products. This is misleading and undermines public health.
It's been more than obvious that, despite what you hear in the news, it is fentanyl – not Vicodin – that's killing tens of thousands each year. But a new article in National Vital Statistics Reports makes this more than obvious. Just as obvious is the horrible damage caused by deeply-flawed policies in the past five years. Here is the smoking gun.
When what's absent in a story carries equal or more weight than what is actually reported, the damage goes beyond ratings. It undermines public health.
With the release of the CDC's 2018 breastfeeding scorecard, it is time to add common sense into these failed policies that actually supports women and families.
It's time doctors and patients take charge of what goes on in the exam room or at the hospital bedside. Inane, tedious tasks that co-opt such visits are out of touch with real world medical practice.