Senators Manchin and Braun Are Attempting to Practice Medicine Without a License —And Fighting the Wrong War

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mike Braun (R-IN) are still trying to address the fentanyl and heroin overdose crisis —soon to be joined by a methamphetamine and cocaine overdose crisis—by denying chronic pain patients access to pain relief. They have just introduced a bill they call The FDA Opioid Labeling Accuracy Act,  which would “prohibit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from allowing opioids to be labeled for intended use of ‘around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment’ until a study can be completed on the long-term use of opioids.”Set aside the fact that most pain specialists agree that, in some cases, long-term opioid therapy is all that works for some chronic pain patients. The 2016 guidelines on opioid prescribing put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already been misinterpreted and misapplied by legislators and regulators, leading to forced and rapid tapering off of opioids in many chronic pain patients, causing many to resume lives immobilized by pain, and in many cases, seek relief in the black market or by suicide. It has gotten so bad that the CDC recently issued a “clarification” in April, reminding regulators that the guidelines were only meant to be suggestive, not prescriptive, and did not in any way mean to encourage the rapid tapering of patients on chronic opioids for pain management. Johns Hopkins bioethicist Travis Rieder, PhD delves deeply into this&n...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs

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With all the news media accounts and reports from governmental health organizations about the opioid epidemic, including the 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, a newly emerging threat is gaining attention: use and misuse of benzodiazepines, opioid drugs and Z-drugs. Specifically, combining these three drugs can create a deadly combination that snuffs out lives. Benzodiazepine Overdose Deaths on the Rise Benzodiazepines, a class of sedative narcotic drugs including Xanax and Valium used to treat anxiety, insomnia and other disorders and classified as Schedule IV under the Controlled Substances Act by the Drug Enforcement ...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Addictions Substance Abuse Suicide Source Type: news
Abstract PROBLEM/CONDITION: Drug overdoses are a leading cause of injury death in the United States, resulting in approximately 52,000 deaths in 2015. Understanding differences in illicit drug use, illicit drug use disorders, and overall drug overdose deaths in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas is important for informing public health programs, interventions, and policies. REPORTING PERIOD: Illicit drug use and drug use disorders during 2003-2014, and drug overdose deaths during 1999-2015. DESCRIPTION OF DATA: The National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collects information through face-to-fa...
Source: MMWR Recomm Rep - Category: Epidemiology Authors: Tags: Am J Transplant Source Type: research
Problem/ConditionDrug overdoses are a leading cause of injury death in the United States, resulting in approximately 52,000 deaths in 2015. Understanding differences in illicit drug use, illicit drug use disorders, and overall drug overdose deaths in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas is important for informing public health programs, interventions, and policies. Reporting PeriodIllicit drug use and drug use disorders during 2003–2014, and drug overdose deaths during 1999–2015. Description of DataThe National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collects information through face‐to‐face household inter...
Source: American Journal of Transplantation - Category: Transplant Surgery Authors: Tags: Reports From the CDC: MMWR Source Type: research
Abstract PROBLEM/CONDITION: Drug overdoses are a leading cause of injury death in the United States, resulting in approximately 52,000 deaths in 2015. Understanding differences in illicit drug use, illicit drug use disorders, and overall drug overdose deaths in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas is important for informing public health programs, interventions, and policies. REPORTING PERIOD: Illicit drug use and drug use disorders during 2003-2014, and drug overdose deaths during 1999-2015. DESCRIPTION OF DATA: The National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collects information through face-to-fa...
Source: MMWR Recomm Rep - Category: Epidemiology Authors: Tags: MMWR Surveill Summ Source Type: research
Conclusion Clinicians should be aware of state laws regarding consent for alcohol and substance use treatment for minors. While family participation is the ideal strategy for treatment, minors can invoke the right of confidentiality to bar clinicians from sharing information regarding substance use with their families. Clinicians should obtain appropriate consent for communications and maintain confidentiality when possible, but above all ensure the safety of the adolescent while providing optimal care. Advice from peers, hospital ethical committees, and/or attorneys is recommended in these situations. Acknowledgment The a...
Source: Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Child Adol Mental Disorders Commentary Current Issue Ethics in Psychiatry Substance Use Disorders adolescents confidentiality diversion opioids safety Source Type: research
Here, we present a somewhat unusual suicide attempt where, despite an unbelievable overdose with transdermal fentanyl patches, the patient survived. The patient-a woman aged 70 years, who has suffered from chronic back pain despite starting transdermal fen...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: Global & Universal Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
Conclusion Evaluating the potential harms of a commonly used drug—especially a complex substance like marijuana—is a challenging but vital task. Fully informed awareness of both the potential and proven benefits and the potential and proven harms of marijuana are necessary in order to have rational discussions with patients, teens, and decision makers regarding marijuana use. Based on a review of the current literature, we suggest the mnemonic DDUMB (dependence, driving, underachievement, mental illness, and “bad to worse”) as a tool that captures several of the more well-supported, brain-based risk...
Source: Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Child Adol Mental Disorders Cognition Current Issue Medical Issues Neurologic Systems and Symptoms Psychiatry Psychopharmacology Review Substance Use Disorders Cannabis dependence drug-related har Source Type: research
The prescription opioid crisis of overdosing and overprescribing has reached epic proportions, according to the North American media. Just last week, we learned that 91% of patients who survive opioid overdose are prescribed more opioids! The CDC calls it an epidemic, and notes there's been “a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers and heroin.” A recent paper in the Annual Review of Public Health labels it a “public health crisis” and proposes “interventions to address the epidemic of opioid addiction” (Kolodny et al., 2015).In the midst of this publ...
Source: The Neurocritic - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Source Type: blogs
The news that mortality is increasing among middle-aged white Americans spread like wildfire last week (see here and here and here) thanks to a study by Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who recently won the Nobel Prize in Economics. As researchers who study the social determinants of health, we were very pleased to see such widespread interest in this urgent national problem. Unfortunately, there are a couple of pieces of the puzzle that we think the Case and Deaton study missed. By not looking at men and women separately, Case and Deaton failed to see that rising mortality is especially pronounced among women. The au...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Equity and Disparities Featured Population Health Public Health alcohol abuse drug abuse low-income women mortality rates safety net programs Social Determinants of Health Women's Health Source Type: blogs
I almost wound up accidentally missing the tree for the forest by immediately posting on Ma et al's "Temporal Trends in Mortality in the United States, 1969-2013," in last week's JAMA. (You should be able to read the abstract here.) Fantastic news, it seems. During that slightly more than 4 decades, the age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. fell by 43%. Death rates were down for all major causes except for COPD, a remaining echo of the tobacco epidemic. The biggest killers, cancer and heart disease, showed big declines, although the decline for cancer has leveled off.But, as it turns out, buried in all the good new...
Source: Stayin' Alive - Category: American Health Source Type: blogs
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