My Unpublished Letter to the Editor on the Tragic Drug Overdose Report

Jeffrey A. SingerOn November 18 theWall Street Journalran a front page story entitled “Drug Overdose Deaths, Fueled by Fentanyl, Hit Record High in U.S. ” It reported on provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reveal a heartbreaking 100,306 drug overdose deaths for the 12 months running through April 2021, a 29 percent increase over the previous 12 month period.Thereport released by the CDC on November 17 stated that 75,673 of the more than 100,000 overdose deaths were opioid ‐​related, up from 56,064 the previous year. The remainder of overdose deaths involved cocaine, methamphetamine, and other psychostimulants with abuse potential. Fentanyl was involved in85 percent of the opioid ‐​related overdose deaths in the most recent data.The WSJ article went on to state:Fentanyl has for years been a major catalyst in an intensifying U.S. overdose crisis. The nation was reporting fewer than 50,000 fatal overdoses as recently as 2014. In 2020, the number surged to a record of about 93,330.I submitted a letter to the editor of theWall Street Journal, shown below, that reflects on the tragic new numbers. Regrettably, my letter wasn ’t published.Dear Editor:Of the 75,000 opioid ‐​related overdose deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the 12 months ending in April 2021, 85 percent involved illicit fentanyl, made in labs and smuggled into the U.S. by Mexican drug c...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs

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Digital media&downloads Compound Developed at UArizona Health Sciences Provides Innovative Pain Relief Researchers targeted a common sodium ion channel to reverse pain and saw positive results that could lead to a nonaddictive solution to treat pain. Today University of Arizona Health Sciencespain-relief-web.jpgHealthBIO5College of Medicine - TucsonExpertsResearch Media contact(s)Stacy Pigott University of Arizona Health Sciencesspigott@arizona.edu520-539-4152Researchers at the  University of Arizona Health Sciences are closer to developing a safe and effective non-opioid pain reliever after a study showed t...
Source: The University of Arizona: Health - Category: Universities & Medical Training Authors: Source Type: research
DISCUSSION: These data support an ongoing need for comprehensive clinician-based education as outlined in the FDA REMS educational blueprint, especially given recent data of escalating overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.PMID:34703298 | PMC:PMC8524258 | DOI:10.2147/JPR.S316637
Source: Pain Physician - Category: Anesthesiology Authors: Source Type: research
On a morning Zoom call, a group of Canadian mothers give their full attention to a young man from the Drug User Liberation Front. At 26, Jeremy Kalicum is the age some of their kids would be if they had not died of accidental overdoses. “We’re just sick of it. We’re sick of our friends dying.”Kalicum’s tone is urgent as he walks the moms through a PowerPoint presentation explaining why the Liberation Front, known as DULF, wants to protest on International Overdose Awareness Day and hand out illicit drugs. These wouldn’t be the kind that killed their sons and daughters, he assures them; t...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized feature nationpod photography Source Type: news
(NEW YORK) — Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase. “This is a staggering loss of human life,” said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends. The nation was already struggling with its worst overdose epidemic but clearly “COVID has greatly exacerbated the crisis,” he added. Lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions isolated thos...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Addiction COVID-19 wire Source Type: news
[New Dawn] Tens of thousands of American lives end prematurely every year due to opioid overdoses, leaving families shattered. Dr. Paul Christo, an associate professor in the Division of Pain Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, wants to remind those battling addiction to make use of telemedicine and tele-mental health services that emerged as valuable resources during the pandemic, and he adds, clinicians, need to advocate to their patients that online treatment options are available.
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This study documents a relationship between opioid prescribing and opioid overdose in a large, national, prospective cohort of individuals receiving opioid therapy for a variety of medical conditions. The risk of opioid overdose should continue to be evaluated relative to the need to reduce pain and suffering and be considered along with other risk factors.University of Alabama Professor of Medicine Stefan Kerteszpointed out thatfollow up research led by Bohnert found the median overdose dosage was 60 MMEs and 86 percent occurred under 90 MMEs. Yet he cautioned policymakers:Reliance on a simple binary dose metric is an ext...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
ConclusionDespite being turned back from an effort to bluntly reduce opioid prescribing by the FDA in 2013 based on a lack of scientific evidence for its position (17,18), PROP has had a disproportionate effect on opioid policy in the Untied States for almost a decade. PROP found a willing federal regulatory partner in the CDC, and while PROP may not have “secretly written” the 2016 CDC Pain Guidelines (75), they certainly enjoyed disproportionate representation on CDC’s review panels and Core Expert Group (23-25) in a process that lacked transparency (22, 23, 26, 27). When the CDC admitted that its Pain ...
Source: Pallimed: A Hospice and Palliative Medicine Blog - Category: Palliative Care Tags: CDC health policy kollas opioids pain prop Source Type: blogs
This study came one year after a largerstudy of more than 568,000 “opioid‐​naïve” patients treated for acute postsurgical pain from 2008–2016 found a total “misuse” rate of 0.6 percent.The press report onCARA 2.0 issued by Senator Portman ’s office states the three‐​day limit is recommended by the CDC in its 2016Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (recommendation number 6). But these guidelines were aimed at treatingchronic pain, and were based on what the CDC stipulated was very limited evidence. The CDC also emphasized the guidelines were meant to ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
Jeffrey A. SingerIn the latest episode of “Cops Practicing Medicine,” a floor vote is scheduled in the House of Representatives for H.R. 3878, sponsored by Rep. David McKinney, (R-WV). Under current law, drug makers and distributors are required to report to the Drug Enforcement Administration any suspicious orders for controlled substances. H.R. 3878 would also require them to perform “due diligence” on their suspicions, document and report their due diligence to the DEA, and refuse to fill the order if their suspicions are not resolved by the due diligence.This amounts to the DEA commandeerin...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
Mikayla Mace A University of Arizona pharmacologist discusses how the conditions created by the pandemic and the response could be exacerbating drug use and overdose. Monday University Communicationssad-505857_1920.jpgHealthCOVID-19Researcher contact: Todd W. Vanderah Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center 520-626-7801vanderah@email.arizona.eduMedia contact: Mikayla Mace University Communications 520-621-1878mikaylamace@arizona.edu For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university'sCOVID-19 webpage.For UANews coverage of COVID-19, visithttps://uanews.arizona.edu/...
Source: The University of Arizona: Health - Category: Universities & Medical Training Authors: Source Type: research
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