Opioids, the Quiet Killer
(Dan here…re posted from March 7, Angry Bear)
by run 75441
There are no loud guns shots in the middle of the night. No screams for help or sounds of cars speeding away. No police sirens or flashing lights. It is pretty quiet when someone ODs on Opioids unless someone finds them before it is too late.
As I wrote earlier; “From 2006 to 2015, pharmaceutical companies spent $880 million in lobbyingstate and federal legislatures and contributing to campaigns to prevent laws restricting Opioid prescriptions. Opioid manufacturer lobbying expenditures has outstripped those such as STOPPNow advocating for greater controls on Opioids and prescriptions by 200 times at the state level.”
In comparison, only the NRA and its gun lobbying efforts in legislatures displays a similar capability to oppose and defeat any and all laws for bullet-spewing-weapons laws the same as the Opioid industry efforts to block legislation. Legislators pay attention when either industry or lobby calls on them.
Any particular article advocating greater regulation of Opioids or reporting of Opioid dangers on medical blogs such as Medscape, centers such as Public Integrity, news agencies such as Associated Press are met with a resistance (if they still have a comments section) the same as what is found on sites when they advocate for greater “gun control.” The evidence is overwhelming that there is an opioid epidemic in the nation resulting from usage and is similar to the epidemic of injury and deaths resulting from guns. Quietly, the industry and their lobbyists work the legislatures to stymie any effort to control opioids.
Latest Findings by the CDC
Today, Medscape reported:
Emergency department (ED) visits for suspected opioid overdoses rose by 30% throughout the U.S. in a year, according to the CDC.
“All five regions of the U.S. saw significant increases during this time period,” said Anne Schuchat, MD, acting CDC director, in a CDC tele-briefing Tuesday.
If you come back later to Medscape article, you will see the comments section flooded with what appears to be an organized opposition to what supported facts MedScape presents and consequently any and all suggested Opioid control. Many of the posters appear to be the same ones time and time again. It is pretty apparent the pharma industry is attuned to any medical backed article going up advocating for Opioid control.
The analysis backing the increase in Opioid ER visits can be found in a new CDC Vital Signs report. The basis of its findings are from ~91 million ED visits in 52 jurisdictions in 45 states from July 2016 to September 2017. The data is reported in the CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) Biosense Platform. The 142,557 visits to the ER reported as suspected opioid overdose cases equate to a 29.7% increase from the previous 1-year period.
You may believe that the industry has stimied efforts to control opioids, but as someone whose only safe option for pain relief is an opioid, I can tell you that a great deal has been done over the last 20 years to control opioid prescriptions for people who need them to function. The word I use is sadistic.
The actions they have taken haven’t stopped abuse or addiction or opiate induced deaths, but they have driven pain patients to the illegal market or suicide.
So far as I can tell, they haven’t stopped doctors from over prescribing initially, or done anything to educate patients about how the drugs actually work. They don’t seem to realize that different patients have different needs for pain medication, or that some patients aren’t allowed to take other pain medications for medical reasons.
Someone with chronic but not constant pain can avoid dependency, someone in constant pain almost certainly can’t. Physical dependency is not the same as addiction – how you behave regarding your drug is different. But that isn’t considered either.
They really have done a lot about opioids. Just not the right things.
@JaneE, are you contending that doctors are prevented from prescribing appropriately for patients with a continuing need or that such patients don’t agree with their doctors about the need?