March 29, 2017

Consequently with 5% of the global population, we use 80% of its prescription drugs;


and 30% of adult Americans are on some sort of pain drug.
Newer, cheaper opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl make their way into the needles of the junkies – more dangerous because the “high” takes you to death’s door – and often beyond. 1.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 in the 1970s has become more than 40 in West Virginia. There are now more drug deaths in America – 52,000 – than car accidents and far more, four times more than gun related deaths. In 2016 life expectance in the United States fell, for the first time since 1993 – the height of the AIDS epidemic.

How is it possible we have arrived here? We, who twice defeated the British? Who overcame the French and the Spanish; who fought two world wars? Who in the 20th century saved humanity not once, not twice but three times? Who gave mankind the telephone, the light bulb, the car, the airplane, the internet, the computer, and space travel? Who created an uncommon prosperity from ungodly acts of creation that lasted – not one generation or two but twenty or more and counting? Who built the United Nations, gave the world peace and brotherly love and served as the patron of the church, for two hundred years sending missionaries into the darkness with the word of God and the love of Jesus?

Drugs. Is this how we want that story to end? Drugs | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 29, 2017 10:40 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

What do you suggest? There are times I wish I had a pain pill. I am 66 yrs old

Posted by: bgarrett at March 29, 2017 12:35 PM

Like all things .gov gets involved in this is about to go *way* off the rails.

There are millions of people who have a genuine need for these meds that never, ever get hooked. 

And now doctors are going to be even *more* disinclined to prescribe them.  I know these meds first hand. They saved me from countless days of pain after a septoplasty (sp?) and two shoulder surgeries. I would have been in agony without them (and I can't even use vicoden. It's like a sugar pill. I have to take percocet and I never got hooked. Not even close.) And that isn't taking into account three root canals.

As long as the pill-mill "doctors" are shown the door and have their licenses revoked nationwide for life the problem will fix itself.

But now that that loudmouth, fat bastard Chris Christie has gotten himself involved don't count on any rational solution whatsoever.

I just pray to God I never need them again (fat chance of that...I'm 65).

Posted by: Fuel Filter at March 29, 2017 1:10 PM

Lay off that stuff until you can't stand the pain bg. At 86, I feel pain in everything I do except sit still. Not excruciating pain, but enough to cause discomfort. I take care of things I need to do until the hurt gets pretty strong, then I sit awhile. When it becomes totally unbearable all the time, I may succumb to a pain killer, but not before.

Posted by: BillH at March 29, 2017 1:13 PM

I'm going to call bullshit on this whole opiate drug epidemic crusade. How do the deaths from alcohol addiction compare?

Fuel filter nailed it above. Taking opiate drugs as prescribed for real pain can improve the quality of life for those of us with chronic pain without leading to addiction. Making them hard to prescribe puts doctors and patients in a tough spot. For someone living in pain, under medicating is a nightmare.

Abusers are going to abuse drugs, alcohol, inhalants etc. and they will find ways to get them. Prohibition doesn't work and never has , but it can sure make people with chronic pain less likely to be happy functional citizens.

Maybe we're using 80% of the prescription drugs because many of them are over the counter in other countries.

Posted by: Old Surfer at March 29, 2017 4:10 PM

We did all that cool stuff before the Boomers got here. Everything has a shelf life and Republics are no exception.

Posted by: Matt Door at March 29, 2017 4:39 PM

Thank you, Old Surfer (from another old surfer)!

Just to be really, really clear:

I do not want .gov to come between me and my doctor. Period. Full fucking stop. 

If .gov tells you something is "good for you" there is 110% probability they are fucking lying.

Did SoeteroCare teach us fucking nothing?

Posted by: Fuel Filter at March 29, 2017 5:07 PM

30%? Utter bilge. NFW. That's garbage. (I happen to be a pharmacy tech, btw.)

Posted by: David at March 29, 2017 8:03 PM

Well, I'm on a pain drug. It's Tylenol, because I can't take aspirin, ibuprofen or any NSAID because I take a blood thinner also. Much as I don't want to take it, I do, twice a day, most days.

But this problem is real. I've been in the rooms with the opiate addicts. They are not the guy sleeping on the park bench; they are the pretty, intelligent teenager next door. Yes, some got there because they wanted the high. But some just had some pain, perhaps from a sports injury, and they got hooked. You cannot predict who comes from the former, and who comes in from the latter.

A very good book by Sam Quinones, "Dreamland" lays the foundation for what we're seeing now. Yeah, he's a TV reporter, but he pieced together the perfect storm that led to this. Mexican heroin marketing, a change in how doctors treat pain and aggressive pharmaceutical promotion all came together. The result absolutely devastated some towns.

Now add in fentanyl, and its more potent cousins like carfentanyl. Tiny amounts of these pack more power than the best heroin. And you can order these through the mail. Dealers mix these with heroin to increase the kick. But if they don't mix properly, well, part of the batch is now a killer. That's how you get these stories about 30 overdoses in one town in 12 hours.

Talk to the addicts. She will tell you about how one shot was a little too hot, and she was lucky enough to be revived by the overdose drug. I said, "So that was what scared you into seeking help?" She replies, "Oh, no. That's what you want. You want to be right on that edge."

The other addicts listening will nod knowingly. They know *exactly* what she means. When they hear about 30 overdoses? These addicts will be thinking: How can I get some of that really good stuff?

Here's the thing: *You* know opiate addicts. You just don't know that you do. They may be just doing pills. One can hide that, for a while. But if for some reason they can't get the pills anymore, well, heroin is very, very easy to get. And they will get it.

I don't know any solutions.

Posted by: Gordon at March 30, 2017 5:29 AM

Oh, and how bad is it? I was talking to a kid, 25 years old. His graduating class was the same size as mine, about 180. He told me that 25 of his classmates are now dead of overdoses.

I doubt that 25 of mine--40 years after--are dead. For any reason. Some, sure. But not 25.

Posted by: Gordon at March 30, 2017 5:35 AM

The laws of evolution require us to remove the requirement of a prescription for opioids, indeed for the government to hand them out for free.

People who hate life so much they insist on being in a fog or coma should not be denied.

Death penalty if they do it on the job or in a vehicle.

I'm sick to death of the government pandering to weaklings and protecting them from themselves. The herd needs thinning and if the wildebeest wants to wander into the lion grass, tough luck for him. Evolution in Action.

Posted by: Fred Z at March 30, 2017 6:12 AM

The question will remain will the surgeons have the ability to inform the primary doctor of the ongoing NEED for proper pain abatement in order for the patient to make progress toward recovery after surgery? If not, then that patient may never get to the place where more than over than counter medications will suffice.
Husband of 52 years was in a horrible accident 11/11/16. 3rd and 2nd degree burns over 1/3 of his body, broken back, ribs, collapsed left lung, secondary heart attack during treatment required triple by past surgery......he is slowly recovering....needs constant care as repair of back has to wait until recovery from burns and heart surgery. He needs the pain meds for the highly painful bandage replacement done daily. He is home now and we have 3 times a week home nursing care and the three surgeons now involved have to fight all of the time to keep him able to have the two pills per day, etc., to have even a hope of keeping him sane. Now I am recovering from a cervical fusion as a result of a broken neck in rear end accident 2/18/2017...just out of hospital and finding that I will also have to fight for the needed pain meds until over the counter will take charge. It is insane what my husband is going have we gotten to the point where the politicians can over rule the surgeons?

Posted by: Teri at March 30, 2017 7:26 AM

I've used them as needed for at least a half dozen surgeries and injuries but truth is, I get off the pain killers asap because I don't like putting anything into my system unless it's necessary.

The weak minded and careless junkie or addict on the other hand, whether their pain is real or imagined, will take and use anything he can and in reality, for the most part they don't want to quit.

Posted by: Jack at March 30, 2017 7:47 AM

"...I don't like putting anything into my system unless it's necessary..."

Same here Jack. If not needed, I don't do it.

I had 2 surgeries last year, the first I was put under and the cocktail they infused in me remained for at least 3 weeks with the weirdest side effects I ever heard of.

I was given a bottle of pain pills, hydrocordone or something and I took one but the effect was so over the top I didn't take any more. I did however use a bunch of Advils for a couple weeks.

"I don't like the drugs but the drugs like me!"

Posted by: ghostsniper at March 30, 2017 9:58 AM

BillH. You didnt comprehend what I said. I do the exact things you do. It is rare for me to take a pain pill but when ever I get some I keep them for those rare occasions. I took one and looked at the bottle. It was 7 years old!

Posted by: bgarrett at March 30, 2017 10:30 AM

Ghostesniper writes"I don't like the drugs but the drugs like me!"
Right on! People have different reactions to everything and it's impossible to generalize. Some like drugs entirely too much.
Fuel Filter is also right when he says he doesn't want the government getting between him and his doctor.
I haven't had a drink in 23 years, but I had real problems quitting. Most alcoholics do. The drugs and the drink are symptoms of deeper problems and you either come to grips with them or you die.
Darwin suggests that Fred Z's idea isn't far off. Follow the money and see who benefits from prohibition of anything. Also you can bet that the politicians pushing tougher regulations can get their drug of choice any time they want it.

Posted by: Old Surfer at March 30, 2017 10:58 AM

And, don't ever forget that 1 out of 4 women that you meet on the street is under the influence of mood altering drugs ... True statistic.

Posted by: edaddy at March 30, 2017 6:35 PM

How is it that we have arrived here? Which here? I'm going with Old Surfer's take-follow the money and see who benefits from prohibition of anything.Those who do rarely suffer the consequenses of what they enact. The CloudFolk will be medicated quite nicely,no matter what happens to the DirtPeople.

Posted by: Nori at March 30, 2017 9:24 PM

"And, don't ever forget that 1 out of 4 women that you meet on the street is under the influence of mood altering drugs ... True statistic."

Don't ever forget that 50% of the people you meet are subnormal in intelligence as well - another true and very scary statistic.

Posted by: Old Surfer at March 31, 2017 5:21 PM

Old Surfer,

George Carlin expressed it very well:

"Think of how stupid the average person is and remember that 50% of them are stupider than that."

Posted by: Galway Boy at April 3, 2017 5:36 AM