CategoriesLifestyle

WHAT THE MEDIA KEEPS GETTING WRONG ABOUT OPIOIDS

The media have brainwashed the US public into thinking that the “opioids” causing overdose fatalities are physician prescribed analgesics including hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol, when in fact there is zero correlation or worse negative correlation between the number of prescriptions and overdose fatalities. The truth is that at least since 2011, fatalities are driven by illicit fentanyl (carfentanyl and acetyl-fentanyl and other similar analogs) and heroin and counterfeit pain pills sold as oxycodone but in reality fentanyl since it is cheap and easier to produce. Some speculate it is an attack on the United States by China, using fentanyl as a form of biological/chemical warfare.

This hyper-focus created by a renegade band of addiction psychiatrists has blinded the US public to the real danger of street drugs at minimum and an attack on the USA cannot be ruled out. 1.3% of deaths caused by prescription drugs is trivial compared to the 98.7% or 76 times more deaths caused by factors we aren’t making any progress on, so state politicians repeatedly declare success in the “opioid crisis” by pointing to their forced 35% reduction in opioid prescribing while sheriffs from the same states say almost all deaths are caused by illegal drugs.

The math doesn’t support the conclusions being drawn and demonstrates that the solutions of DEA surveillance of physicians is not only a waste of time, it is counter-productive because catching the 1 doctor who is supposedly “overprescribing” by merely being a statistical outlier and will be found innocent after wasting millions of tax dollars in false prosecutions, the DEA agents are missing billions of street drugs flowing across the Mexican border and even arriving in our shipping docks on both coasts. Manpower is wasted on chasing the wrong problem while drug cartels are enjoying a huge spike in demand and increased sales as desperate helpless pain victims are literally forced to use illicit street drugs, commit suicide, or be tortured to death.

What kind of a society have we become to treat our wounded veterans, disabled citizens, hospice and nursing home residents, and victims of genetic disease or severe auto-accidents worse than enemy combatants who per the UN cannot be tortured? I don’t’ blame the DEA agents, because they just follow orders. It is the leadership kicked off by Jeff “take an aspirin” Sessions that need to be held accountable for the harm inflicted on innocent law-abiding citizens while not protecting our nation against drug cartels and possibly attacks by hostile foreign governments. And PROP and the addiction zealots have caused unthinkable crimes against humanity with their rabid drive to topple drug manufacturers despite the fact that their products were classified as Schedule II substances from the first FDA approval to market so everyone knew darn well the risks from day one.

But now chronic pain patients are being treated with Nazi-like cruelty to taper off medicines that they have been stable on for decades, major orthopedic surgeries are being performed with only Tylenol for pain control, and now mothers are undergoing C section with little or no pain control. President Trump, the Supreme Court, and US Congress need to urgently correct this disgraceful act of cruelty and harm and start to restore proper pain management to patients who have legitimate severe health conditions and stop pressuring patients to choose between pain management and anxiety medicines if they have multiple severe health conditions. Its cruel, insane, and worthless because the net result has been more overdose fatalities, more powerful drug cartels, and permanent damage to the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship of trust upon which our entire health system rightly rests.

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10 SIGNS YOU’RE BECOMING DEPENDENT ON YOUR PAINKILLER MEDICATION

Painkiller abuse is so prevalent that over half of Americans have been affected by the epidemic. While six percent of people have abused pain medication, 56 percent know someone who has abused, been addicted to or died from an overdose of painkillers.
Pain itself is pervasive in America – up to half of people who see a primary care provider have chronic pain. Most people who become addicted to painkillers don’t set out to do so. A person may become addicted to pain pills even when they are prescribed. In these cases, a person develops a tolerance to the drug and begins to use the drug more often than prescribed or in higher doses than prescribed.

Are All Painkillers Addictive?
Due to the increasing prevalence of painkiller addiction, healthcare providers are encouraged to treat pain with non-addictive medications.

In cases of mild pain, you are likely to first be prescribed a non-opioid analgesic like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Motrin and Aleve). These drugs can treat pain and reduce the inflammation that causes pain. These painkillers are not addictive, but can be harmful to the liver or kidneys if taken in large doses over long periods.

People who suffer from back and neck pain may be prescribed muscle relaxants like carisoprodol (Soma) or cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). Muscle relaxants can be addictive and a person who is addicted to muscle relaxers can have serious withdrawal symptoms like hallucinations and seizures. Muscle relaxers cause sedation and confusion and shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol or other drugs.

Opioid painkillers are the most addictive and dangerous pain medications. In 2017 alone, 48,000 people died from opioid overdose. Some commonly prescribed opioid painkillers are fentanyl, hydrocodone and hydrocodone mixed with acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin).

While opioid painkillers are addictive and cause physical dependency, it is also possible to become psychologically addicted to painkillers. People who are addicted to painkillers use them despite negative consequences that impact health, relationships, career or education, even if not physically dependent.

Signs You’re Becoming Dependent on Your Painkiller
It’s common for a person who is addicted to painkillers to be unconcerned about their drug use until it is brought to attention by loved ones. If people have expressed concern about your painkiller use, ask yourself if you have any of these signs of dependency.

Do you take your painkiller more often than prescribed or in higher doses than prescribed?
Have you ever had a prescription for the same drug from more than one doctor?
Have you ever stolen or sold a prescription?
Have you ever forged a prescription or stolen a prescription pad? Have you thought about doing so?
Have you been acting out of character, had mood swings, unexplained hostility or anger?
Do you suddenly feel very anxious for no identifiable reason?
Do you need much more sleep than before you started taking painkillers? Do friends and family say you look drunk or sleepy?
Do you feel paranoid that certain people are against you?
Do you have trouble remembering details of your day?
Have your relationships suffered since you started using painkillers?
Who is at Risk for Painkiller Addiction?
People of all ages, sexes and races can become addicted to painkillers, but some risk factors make a person more likely to develop an addiction. Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder are associated with a higher risk for misuse of painkillers. Men are more likely to abuse painkillers than women, and men 18-34 years old are the most likely to become addicted.

Reducing the Risk for Painkiller Addiction
Many people are hesitant to take painkillers because of their addictive potential. However, living with chronic or post-surgery pain can impact a person’s ability to function and lead to depression. In many cases, pain can be well controlled with low doses of painkillers.

Ask the pharmacist exactly how to take the new medication and follow these directions.
Do not take the medication with other drugs or alcohol.
Talk to the prescribing provider before reducing your dose or stopping the medication.
Talk to your provider if your pain isn’t well controlled at the dose and frequency that was prescribed.
Recovering from Painkiller Addiction
Physical dependence on opioids or muscle relaxers should be managed at an inpatient addiction treatment facility. In these specialized recovery centers, a team of addiction professionals can address both the physical and emotional components of recovery and sobriety.

The link between addiction to pain medications and mental illness is so substantial that everyone who is addicted to painkillers should be screened for mental health conditions. For many people who live with both mental illness and addiction, treating the mental illness is a critical aspect of recovery.

People who are addicted to painkillers may still need to treat their pain. Sufferers of chronic pain can benefit from non-pharmacologic treatments, including physical medicine like physical therapy, behavioral medicine like cognitive behavioral therapy, interventional therapies like acupuncture or yoga, and even surgical medicine in some cases.

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