Will we ever run out of "alternative therapies" to force on people who just need a little Valium or some extra morphine following surgery? Hard to say, but take a sniff of this one.
The Veteran Administration's "Opioid Safety Initiative" – as fine an example of doublespeak as you'll see – succeeded in reducing opioid prescriptions by 64% in less than a decade. That's just fine if you're prepared to accept the accompanying 75% increase in rural veteran suicides. Drs. Jeffrey Singer and Josh Bloom are not. Here's their opinion piece in The Virginian-Pilot.
Dr. Jeffrey Singer (pictured) is one of the brave physicians on the front line in the battle against anti-opioid madness. He graciously gave us permission to reprint his recent Cato Institute blog post. It speaks directly to the role of government in determining who gets what pain medicine, and how much. Dr. Singer addresses just this as he explains why Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH) went way off the deep end, proposing a national three-day limit on opioid prescriptions following surgery -- evidence be damned.
Opioid hysteria is not confined to the U.S. or Canada. A British group writing for the BBC manages to get all the usual stuff -- and then some -- wrong. So here's a deal: We keep baseball, they keep cricket, and we both stop writing idiotic, misleading papers on the phony "opioid crisis." Jolly good idea if you ask us!
Just what we don't need: Another anti-opioid (pro-pain) zealot spreading the false gospel. But we have one anyhow and his name is Jerome Adams, M.D, the U.S. Surgeon General. Adams cites a 2015 paper -- from an emergency department in Tehran, Iran as evidence! -- that IV Tylenol works as well as morphine. Too bad the paper doesn't say that. Or anything else either.
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.
Bad headlines are ... bad. Sometimes they're bad enough that they screw up the story to the point where the headline says one thing and the paper, study or story says another. The folks at the Hospital For Special Surgery in New York did just that, by issuing a press release which suggested that Tylenol is useful for pain following hip replacement. But the study says no such thing. In fact, another study says it's useless.