“The opioid epidemic” has triggered an extreme governmental reaction. While blaming legitimate manufacturers, curbing pain meds is the government’s go-to approach -- to the horror of those who legitimately need pain relief. Could the government have curtailed the problem from the get-go, and were they just asleep at the helm? Could present measures be a diversionary tactic?
Since 2020 Dr. Roneet Lev has been doing podcasts called High Truths, most often about addiction and drugs. So, I was happy to participate in an episode about fentanyl. It turned into quite a bit more.
The term "opioid epidemic" is outdated to the point where the message conveyed is inaccurate. Also, every time the phrase is used most people will automatically think "pills." But pills are now a minor contributor to overdose deaths; it is illegal street drugs – especially illicit fentanyl – that’s (by far) driving the surge in overdoses. Substituting the term "fentanyl epidemic" would instead shift the blame to where it belongs, while going a long way toward halting the demonization of vitally important medicines. Words matter.
Kudos to Dr. Josh Bloom for persistently and valiantly beating the drum against blaming prescription opiates for the “opioid epidemic.” Sometimes battling windmills isn’t for naught.
A fact-checking site called PolitiFact weighs in on the validity of the claim that opioid deaths decreased in 2018, thus supposedly marking the first time we are getting control of the "opioid epidemic." Let's fact-check the fact-checkers. Plus, Andrew Kolodny dines on his own words.
It's a New Year and we begin with watermelon-flavored Oreos (huh?) ... a look at now and then ... and the mainstream media finally realizes that the opioid epidemic was not about prescribing pain medications for pain.
The opioid crisis has its villains, physicians, Big Pharma and illicit fentanyl. But an economic lens points to another driving force: Trade policy?
U.S. Senator Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) has officially announced her plans to run for president in 2020. Part of her platform is women's health. Yet, her recently announced (and totally misguided) plans for "solving" the "opioid crisis" will disproportionately hurt women, an irony that Gillibrand obviously missed.
According to idiotic homeopathy, the more dilute a solution the more powerful it gets. So naturally, it follows that making solutions even *more* dilute -- let's call it "super-homeopathy" -- will make them even stronger. This provides a simple solution for the opioid crisis. But let's be careful. There could be unforeseen consequences (especially from guys with oversized prostate glands).
In a trend described as shocking, people desperate to obtain narcotics are intentionally injuring their pets to divert and abuse the veterinarian’s painkiller prescriptions. While terribly sad this is no surprise: After all, this is addiction.
In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. That's a staggering number -- almost double the number of car crash fatalities and nearly quadruple the number of homicides. Most drug overdoses involved some type of opioid. The dominant media narrative is that unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies and careless doctors are to blame. But this is only one part of a multifaceted problem, and a rather skewed perspective at that. The reality is that recreational drug users are driving the crisis, not pain patients. To understand how we arrive at that conclusion, a brief history of the opioid crisis is in order.
First fallacy: the mere existence of an opioid pill is why there is a crisis. Finding solutions requires proper identification of a problem. The time is now for the public narrative to follow suit.