CDC Report Finds Overdose Deaths Rose 21 Percent in 2016

A new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals deaths from drug overdoses in America rose 21 percent last year. That jump is more than the last four years combined. For every 100,000 people, almost 20 died from a drug overdose in 2016, compared to 16.3 the previous year, Bloomberg reported.

The report shows deaths from liver disease, suicide, cancer and HIV have decreased. However, the overall death rate continued to increase. Farida Ahmad, the report’s author and mortality surveillance lead at the CDC says this is because people are dying in larger numbers from other causes, such as drug overdoses, or homicides and firearm-related injuries, both of which also rose last year.

 

The CDC measures 20 causes of death in its report, and although there are slight increases in other categories, Ahmad says drug overdoses show “the most stark increase,” WTKR News reported. Every quarter in 2016 saw an increase in the number of deaths related to drug overdoses.

 

These findings come shortly after President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis in America a public health emergency. This allows the Trump administration and Department of Health and Human Services to allocate funding and resources to address the crisis under the Public Health Emergency Act. The order lasts for 90 days and can be renewed every 90 days until deemed unnecessary.

 

The president had been heavily criticized over his handling of the epidemic after he announced he would declare the crisis a national emergency but did not. A declaration of national emergency would have allowed for additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund.

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Big Pharma Plays Every Dirty Trick in the Book to Transform Teens and Adults Into Opioid-Zombified Addicts

Prescription Drug AddictionOver a 40-year career, Philadelphia attorney Daniel Berger has obtained millions in settlements for investors and consumers hurt by a rogues’ gallery of corporate wrongdoers from Exxon to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. But when it comes to what America’s prescription drug makers have done to drive one of the ghastliest addiction crises in the country’s history, he confesses amazement.

“I used to think that there was nothing more reprehensible than what the tobacco industry did in suppressing what it knew about the adverse effects of an addictive and dangerous product,” says Berger. “But I was wrong. The drug makers are worse than Big Tobacco.”

The U.S. prescription drug industry has opened a new frontier in public havoc, manipulating markets and deceptively marketing opioid drugs that are known to addict and even kill. It’s a national emergency that claims 90 lives per day. Berger lays much of the blame at the feet of companies that have played every dirty trick imaginable to convince doctors to overprescribe medication that can transform both teens and adults into zombified junkies.

So how have they gotten away with it?

A Market for Lies

The prescription drug industry is a strange beast, born of perverse thinking about markets and economics, explains Berger. In a normal market, you shop around to find the best price and quality on something you want or need—a toaster, a new car. Businesses then compete to supply what you’re looking for. You’ve got choices: If the price is too high, you refuse to buy, or you wait until the market offers something better. It’s the supposed beauty of supply and demand.

But the prescription drug “market” operates nothing like that. Drug makers game the patent and regulatory systems to create monopolies over every single one of their products. Berger explains that when drug makers get patent approval for brand-name drugs, the patents create market exclusivity for those drugs, which protects them from competition from other brand drugs that treat the same condition as well as from generics. The manufacturers can now exploit their monopoly positions created by the patents by marketing their drugs for conditions for which they never got regulatory approval —and this dramatically increases sales. They can also charge very high prices because when you’re in pain or dying, you’ll pay virtually anything.

Using all these tricks, opioid manufacturers have been able to exploit the public and have created a whole new generation of desperate addicts. They monopolize their products and then, as Berger puts it, “market the hell out of them for unapproved and dangerous uses.”

Opioids are a drug class that includes opium derivatives like heroin (introduced by German drug maker Bayer in 1898), synthetics like fentanyl, and prescription painkillers like oxycodone (brand name: OxyContin). A number of factors are aggravating the addiction crisis: There has been a movement in medicine to treat pain more aggressively, while at the same time wide-ranging economic distress has generated a desire to escape a dismal reality. But a key driving force is doctors who have been wooed by Pharma marketing reps overprescribing for chronic pain.

“For the first time since the years after heroin was invented,” writes investigative journalist Sam Quinones in Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, “the root of the scourge was not some street gang or drug mafia but doctors and drug companies.”

Doctors were once reluctant to write prescriptions for opioids. The U.S. drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, would only approve such drugs for severe cases like cancer patients in chronic agony or certain people in short-term pain after, say, an operation. But representatives of Connecticut-based drug maker Purdue, which released OxyContin in 1996, along with other companies, began to flood doctors’ offices with reports asserting that using the drug for off-label purposes was harmless. Often the targets were primary care physicians with little training in addiction. Have a chronic arthritis case? Give your patient OxyContin. Tell folks to take it every day, for weeks, even years, to treat just about any kind of chronic pain. The upshot was dependence, typically not because people were getting high for fun, but because they were using a legal drug in precisely the way the doctor ordered.

Purdue and others whisked doctors to stylish retreats to push them to prescribe drugs for uses not approved by U.S. regulators—a marketing strategy banned by federal law. They even created fake grassroots organizations to make it seem as though patients were demanding more prescriptions. Pharmaceutical companies like to dodge responsibility for the opioid crisis by blaming dishonest distributors and pointing out that they’re not the ones prescribing or handing out drugs to patients. True enough: They don’t need to, because they’ve done their work hooking you long before the drug is in your hands.

“The marketing is not only fraudulent; it’s incredibly elaborate,” says Berger. “Fake scientific studies promote the lie that opioids are better than other medications for pain. They’ve gone to just about any length. Bribery, you name it. It’s outrageous.”

OxyContin is so addictive it can create physical dependency in a matter of weeks. As drug makers and doctors who began to dole out pills by the handful in pain clinics learned, addicts do not behave like ordinary consumers: They don’t “choose” to buy or to wait until next week. They need their drug right away and will do anything to get it because if they don’t they will suffer excruciating symptoms.

Los Angeles Times report shows that among the lies Purdue spread about OxyContin was that one pill subdued pain for 12 hours. Except that for many patients it wears off much sooner, exposing them to unbearable pain and withdrawal. Purdue knew this, but feared lower sales if it admitted the truth. So sales reps advised doctors to just give stronger doses, which increased the addiction risk. As the money from hooked patients piled up, so did the bodies.

In 2007, Purdue pleaded guilty in federal court in Virginia to misleading doctors and patients about OxyContin’s safety and paid a $600 million fine. But that sum was hardly an annoyance. From 1995 to 2015, Purdue made $35 billion from OxyContin sales alone. The Sacklers, who own the company, is now one of the richest families in America, as revealed by this triumphant Forbes spread. They know that lax regulation keeps the heat off, and that even litigation and criminal prosecutions can do little to stop them. Berger says that until such legal programs are massive in scale and scope, companies will go on with business as usual.

“We have to have injunctive relief [a court order to stop a behavior] that bans the marketing to doctors of opioids completely for unapproved uses, as well as an expansion of the FDA and DEA to specifically target the drugs,” says Berger. His law firm, Berger & Montague, is involved in the effort to seek relief for the city of Philadelphia, which has seen above-average opioid prescribing and suffered the highest rates of fatal drug overdoses in the state last year.

Even though prescriptions have been slightly reduced across the country since 2012, Philadelphia is finding out what happens to many people hooked on opioids when they can’t get a prescription or find the price too high: They turn to heroin. Fatal overdoses of heroin, oxycodone’s close cousin, have been skyrocketing since 2007 across the country.

‘Landscapes of Despair’

The opium poppy has been part of human history since at least 3,400 BCE, when it was cultivated in Mesopotamia as the “joy plant.” Derivatives such as laudanum and morphine offered more convenient, and people wrongly believed, safer ways to get the plant’s benefits. Bayer originally touted heroin as a non-addictive substitute for morphine (even for children) until it was outlawed in the U.S. in 1925. Rendering it illegal did not stop it from destroying the lives of many of America’s most celebrated artists, from Billie Holiday to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of all overdoses had one thing in common: opioids.

Syracuse University’s Shannon Monnat, a sociologist focused on rural issues and an INET grantee, has been studying the epidemic and how it impacts various populations. Her research reveals that the rise in drug-induced deaths has been especially sharp among middle-aged people (45-55), with prescription opioid overdoses increasingly impacting both middle-aged and older populations. Heroin, whose sedating and euphoric effects are very similar to prescription narcotics, looks to be the culprit in more young adult overdoses.

Monnat considers how the opioid crisis points to bigger societal problems impacting the economy, educational institutions, the health care system, political systems, and communities. Her work centers on investigating the characteristics of what she calls “landscapes of despair”—places where people are hurting economically and socially, like Appalachia, the industrial Midwest and parts of New England. She points out that persistent disadvantage and long-term poverty are clearly connected to the opioid crisis, noting that many of the areas most impacted were once robust centers of manufacturing before jobs moved to other countries.

Opioid addiction seems to thrive in downwardly mobile small cities in rural areas—but not all of them. “What’s fascinating is that some of these areas have very high mortality rates from drug overdose, like Appalachia,” say Monnat. “But others, like the Southern ‘Black Belt’ [a region that stretches across Alabama and Mississippi], have not seen such rises.”

Originally named for its rich, dark, soil, which attracted cotton planters in the 19th century, the Black Belt has a high population of African Americans. The area has a history of unremitting poverty, low incomes, high unemployment, and high mortality. Yet despite many hardships, which are linked to the legacy of slavery, Monnat says that the region is also distinct for its “very tight-knit communities, strong kinship networks, and other networks where people can find emotional support.” It seems that when people have somewhere to turn in hard times, they may build up immunity to an epidemic like the opioid scourge.

Ironically, another factor that may have protected these communities, discussed by Quinones in Dreamland, is prejudice: The low-profile heroin dealers originating from Mexico’s west coast who are associated with the current opioid scourge prefer to target white communities. They also avoid big cities where large cartels are already established. So small, predominately white towns are their sweet spot.

Appalachia is known for kinship networks, but it also has a legacy of isolation and an outlaw tradition associated with the history of moonshining and bootlegging which can feed into today’s underground selling and distribution of opioid drugs. In this region, much of the struggling white working-class has seen economic distress with little hope of relief from America’s political system. Democrats often openly disdain the people they call rednecks and hillbillies, while concentrating on identity politics rather than economic distress. Republicans promote policies of free trade and deregulation that cast the region further into destitution.

Monnat has found that counties with large numbers of people employed in physical labor—especially physical occupations with higher disability rates—have higher drug fatalities. These are places where coal miners work in backbreaking positions and military veterans suffer the pain of injuries. Drug companies have besieged these areas with aggressive marketing of pain pills. “In Appalachia, you’d see mining companies with physicians on staff prescribing opioids to keep people in pain working,” she says. “That was happening before OxyContin, but companies like Purdue targeted these communities to push OxyContin as a safer alternative to other pain medications.”

The National Institutes of Health report that the opioid epidemic, which started as a regional crisis, is now a national crisis, decimating communities and even helping to reshape the American political landscape. Monnat finds a relationship between the landscapes of despair and the 2016 presidential election. Voting patterns show that areas in which President Trump did better than expected, like Pennsylvania and Ohio, were also places where opioid overdoses and deaths from alcohol and suicide occurred at high rates over the past decade.

During his campaign, Trump expressed concern for people in regions like Appalachia and flung stinging barbs at the politicians who had failed them. These voters supported him in high numbers, yet his policies will likely give more power to the pharmaceutical companies that have turned their suffering into stock windfalls.

Profit Trumps People

Trump the campaigner shook his fist at Big Pharma for “getting away with murder”—one of those statements that occasionally drops from his lips with atomic accuracy. But Trump the president has done an about-face. As journalist David Dayen pointed out, a draft of an executive order on drug prices (which never materialized) called for deregulation of the FDA and favors to industry. It was written by a pharmaceutical lobbyist.

In March, President Trump issued an executive order creating a commission to study drug addiction and the opioid epidemic. The commission, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has so far released recommendations that locate the overprescribing problem “in doctor’s offices and hospitals in every state in our nation,” while making nary a mention of pharmaceutical marketing departments. The panel suggests insufficient remedies like new treatment facilities and educating schoolchildren on the dangers of opioids, along with ineffective ideas like more funds to Homeland Security. Regulation of Big Pharma? Nope.

The federal government did announce it would team up with drug makers to research and generate non-opioid pain medications and additional medication-assisted treatment options. Among the participants? Purdue.

Economist William Lazonick of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an INET grantee, agrees with Berger that the way the pharmaceutical industry operates amounts to a catastrophe for the public. “It’s crazy that each and every drug is not treated like a regulated monopoly,” he says. “Taxpayers fund much of the research that goes into creating these drugs through the NIH and other public research facilities. Moreover, the companies are gifted with a monopoly through patents which last two decades.”

Lazonick notes that Big Pharma claims it needs high profits to keep inventing new drugs, but the industry spends more of its profits buying back its own stock than increasing investment in R&D on new drugs. Executives running drug companies are incentivized to make profits any way they can because they are rewarded by high stock prices. Lazonick explains that they stoke those stock prices by gouging patients or lying about the safety of products—whatever it takes.

He observes that for the past several decades America has undergone a devastating experiment based on the philosophy of economist Milton Friedman, who claimed that the only social responsibility of a company is to make a profit. Untimely deaths from tobacco-related illnesses, auto safety failures, and now, harmful opioid drugs, prove that the experiment is a tragic failure.

Lazonick sees the need for nothing less than a new structure of corporate governance that ensures the ethical responsibly of drug makers to do what they are supposed to do: create high-quality, low-cost products that are safe. The current structure, based on the misguided idea that companies should be run for the sole purpose of enriching shareholders, is particularly perverse when it comes to products that are potentially fatal. The problem with this model is that when shareholders are the only people who matter, the rest of us suffer.

Since taxpayers support pharmaceutical companies by funding public research and many other things they require to do business, Lazonick says it is only fair and logical that someone representing the public sits on their boards. Berger adds that companies should be required to make drugs widely available at affordable prices in return for their use of publicly funded basic research at no cost whatsoever.

America, for the time being, stands out among nations in letting pharmaceutical companies run amok to inflate drug prices, advertise and market drugs without proper regulation, and use taxpayer resources while exposing them to egregious harm. “The only thing America’s drug companies are competitive about,” says Lazonick, “is getting people addicted.”

ARTICLE SOURCE




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Opioids passed out like pez in professional sports, contributing to the addiction epidemic

hillgrant_99medr8400_crop_northGrant Hill, a former basketball star, told The Daily Mail how athletes would do anything to recover quickly after surgery to play again. According to Hill, athletes want to be back on court immediately right after an injury or surgery because of pressure and impatience. They want something that quickly fixes everything, and for most, the solution is opioids.

Other basketball stars like Shaquille O’Neal, Jay Williams, and Rex Chapman admitted they used the drugs and how these are easily acquired. The rampant distribution of these drugs in the sports industry contribute to the opioid epidemic happening today. Most injured athletes are often prescribed opioid pain killers to get them by. Consequently, opioid prescriptions lead to a completely avoidable addiction. (Related: Student athletes becoming drug addicts after doctors prescribe opioids for their injuries.)

“One of the major issues we have is that doctors don’t want to leave their patients in an empty spot on a Saturday night in pain with nothing to do,” Paul Sethi, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, tells The Daily Mail.

“We’re accustomed to follow the physician’s orders and decisions, but you need to know that it’s important to take ownership of your health, and ask the important questions,” Hill expresses.

Sethi also explains that doctors may be overprescribing opioids to give out way beyond what athletes need to “cover their backs.”

More on the opioid crisis

Opioids are highly addictive painkillers that have killed, and are still killing, millions of Americans because of overdose. It is the leading cause of death for Americans below 50 years old. They are a class of drugs — which include heroin, fentanyl, and pain relievers — that are legally available through a doctor’s prescription. Opioid pain killers are generally safe, but because they also produce euphoric effect, they can be abused.

According to QuintilesIMS Institute as cited by The Daily Mail, nine out of 10 patients are exposed to opioids to manage post-surgical pain. These patients take an average of 85 pills a day. The report says that reducing surgery-related opioid prescriptions would cut the number of unused pills in the United States by 332 million per year, lessen the number of addicts by 300,000, and save $830 million.

Signs of opioid addiction started as early as the 1980s, but drug manufacturers reassured the public that opioids were less addictive in the 1990s, which led to the misuse and addiction of the drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only began reporting the rise of opioid overdose and addiction in the beginning of the 2000s. Health authorities announced in 2013 the addiction was an epidemic. In 2015, over 33,000 Americans died because of opioid overdose and over 90 million Americans are dying daily because of it.

The FDA has tried to address the abuse and misuse of opioids by implementing the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to immediate-release (IR) opioids. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the FDA, wrote in a blog post in September that the IR opioids produced by 74 manufacturers will be subjected to a stricter set of requirements under a REMS. The REMS will require training to available health care providers who prescribe IR opioids, which includes discussing non-opioid alternatives.

“Our hope is that we can help prevent new patients from becoming addicted, and keep some individuals from experiencing the serious adverse effects associated with these medications,” writes Gottlieb.

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

Blogs.FDA.gov

DrugAbuse.gov

How Many Drug Prescriptions Do Doctors Write Per Year?

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Medical News Today reports that, in 2011, there was a modest uptick in the number of prescriptions written in the US.

The increase brought the total to: 4.02 billion.

Yes, in 2011, doctors wrote 4.02 billion prescriptions for drugs in America.

That’s an average of roughly 13 prescriptions for each man, woman, and child.

That’s about one new prescription every month for every American. (Update: the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in 2016, 4,065,479,343 drug prescriptions were written by US doctors—an increase of 65 million.)

The Medical News Today article concluded, “…the industry should be heartened by the growth of the number of prescriptions and spending.” Yes, I’m sure the drug industry is popping champagne corks.

We’re talking about prescriptions here. We’re not talking about the number of pills Americans took. We’re also not counting over-the-counter drugs or vaccine shots.

Pharmacopoeia, a 2011 exhibition at the British Museum, estimated that “the average number of pills a person takes in his or her own lifetime in the UK is 14,000.” That’s as a result of prescriptions. Including over-the-counter drugs, the 14,000 number would swell to 40,000 pills taken in a lifetime.

What are the effects of all these drugs?

We are looking at a supreme Trojan Horse that is rotting out America and all other countries from the inside. Wars, no wars, economic deprivation, economic prosperity, the drugs continue to do their work, debilitating and ruining and terminating lives.

Many sources can be cited to confirm this assessment.

On January 8th, 2001, the LA Times published an article by one of the best medical reporters in the business, Linda Marsa: “When Good Drugs Do Harm.” Marsa quoted researcher Dr. David Bates, who indicated that, in the US, there are 36 million serious adverse reactions to medical drugs per year.

On July 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the most stunning mainstream estimate of medical-drug damage in history: “Is US health really the best in the world?” The author was Dr. Barbara Starfield, a respected public-health researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Starfield concluded that medical drugs were killing Americans at the rate of 106,000 per year.

That’s a million deaths per decade.

This is a conservative sketch of the Trojan Horse that has been placed in the center of every country in the world.

The pharmaceutical juggernaut will continue, no doubt about it. The only question is, how many people will wake up and seek another way?

The destruction of societies by medical drugs goes far beyond what some people call “over-prescribing.” This isn’t just a tilt in the wrong direction. It isn’t simply errors of judgment compounded by the number of doctors dispensing medicines.

Those are all polite terms suggesting the situation can be corrected through a show of good will and better judgment. That will never happen.

Countries of the world are literally being assaulted by pharmaceutical companies and their foot-soldier doctors. It’s chemical warfare.

To even begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, hundreds of millions of people must add themselves to the rolls of those who already are pursuing better health through natural means.

Not even the Nazis and their dearly beloved cartel, the monster IG Farben, dreamed of the day when the citizenry would line up and demand to ingest more and more life-destroying chemicals.

In case anyone thinks the FDA, the single US agency responsible for certifying drugs as safe and effective, has “overlooked the problem,” Google “FDA, Why Learn About Adverse Drug Events.” You’ll find the following statements on the FDA’s own site:

“Over 2 MILLION serious ADRs [Adverse Drug Events] yearly; 100,000 DEATHS yearly.”

The only thing missing is: “And we, the FDA, said the drugs were safe.”

Well, at one time, you could have found that statement on the FDA website.

The page has been removed.

Article Source: NaturalBlaze.com



How to keep yourself as healthy as possible

America Is DRUGGED OUT On Opioids, Alcohol And Prescription Medications… Is SANITY Long Lost?

insane

shocking scientific study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that 38% of Americans were prescribed addictive opioid painkillers in 2015. In addition, 1 in 8 Americans are said to be active alcoholics. With millions more Americans on psychiatric drugs, antidepressants, statin drugs and chemotherapy, it’s no exaggeration to say that America is a drugged-out nation. (Click here for original study from Annals.org)

“It’s a zombie nation,” I explain in the video below. A whopping 5% of American adults are currently abusing prescription opioids and 1% of American adults are chemically addicted to opioids.

According to the CDC, opioid drugs are now killing 33,000 Americans. This is a war on America, all conducted in the name of Big Pharma profits and the mass chemical intoxication of the masses. (Read DangerousMedicine.com for more news.)

It’s no coincidence, either, that a mass drugged-out population loses its ability to reason, making it highly vulnerable to fake news from the lying mainstream media, which now seems determined to destroy reason, vilify rationality and overthrow the Republic.

Learn the truth about the mass fatalities caused by toxic drugs at PharmaDeathClock.com:

Watch my studio news video to learn more:

Sources include:

Opioids.news

http://annals.org/aim/article/2646632/prescription-opioid-use-misuse-use-disorders-u-s-adults-2015

HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS VIEW ADDICTION? Do They?

addiction poster 3

The word addiction has two basic meanings. The first definition, and the one most of us are familiar with is “to cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance.” Those who are addicted or “given to much wine” (Titus 1:72:3), “drunkards” (1 Timothy 3:3) or “heavy drinkers” (1 Timothy 3:8) are disqualified from teaching or holding a position of authority in the church. It’s clear that church leadership needs to be sober and self-controlled so that, by their example, they can teach others to be the same, for we know that “drunkards . . . shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). Believers must not be dependent upon alcohol, and it stands to reason that this would also apply to addiction to any other substance, i.e. drugs, pornography, gambling, gluttony, tobacco, etc.

The second definition of addiction is “to occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively.” This speaks of an unnatural (for the Christian, at least) obsession with anything other than God: sports, work, shopping and/or acquiring “stuff,” even family or children. We are to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). We can conclude, then, that an addiction to anything other than God Himself is wrong. God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually. To do so with anything else draws us away from Him and displeases Him. He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love, and service. To offer these things to anything or anyone else is idolatry.

Whether it’s prescription drugs, illegal street drugs, alcohol, or some behavioral addiction, in order to make it to Heaven, you need to repent and get help.  Staying with your addiction will cause you to miss an eternity with Jesus that is beyond our imagination. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Bible clearly says that “Drunkards” (those who are involved in any substance addiction) and “Idolators” (people who refuse to get help) don’t make it.  I’m by no means telling you that getting off of drugs is easy; it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.  I know, because I did it over 10 years ago.  Like everything, it’s a choice.  PLEASE choose wisely.  Eternity is forever!  So, what sounds like an insulting or stern warning, is actually an act of ultimate love from me.

Article Sources:  GotQuestions.org and NationalAddictionNews.com

Big Pharma RAMPAGE: Man murders doctor who refused to prescribe opioids to his wife

Insanity over the prescribing of Opioids

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A murder-suicide is being implicated in the ongoing and growing opioid addiction crisis besmirching Indiana. Michael Jarvis shot Dr. Todd Graham after the latter refused to prescribe opioids to the former’s wife to help alleviate her chronic pain. Jarvis later committed suicide. The police are still investigating if drug addiction played a role in the killing and caution the public not to jump to conclusions.

In a press conference, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said that Jarvis and his wife had visit Dr. Graham last July 26. Jarvis’ wife had been complaining of severe pain and asked Dr. Graham to prescribe her a few opioids for relief. Dr. Graham refused. The couple left soon afterwards. Allegedly, Jarvis drove back a few hours later; this time, armed with a gun. The two argued in the parking lot. Two witnesses saw the argument and were ordered by Jarvis to leave.

Police say that Jarvis then shot Dr. Graham and drove to a friend’s home, where “he gave indication that he was no longer going to be around.” The friend became concerned and notified the police. However, Jarvis had already shot himself in his home before the police arrived.

Jarvis’ wife is not being seen as a suspect in the crime. Investigators believe she had no knowledge of her husband’s intentions to murder the doctor or take his own life.

Law enforcement officers are pursuing the avenue that Jarvis may have wanted the drugs for himself. Cotter addressed the media by saying, “there’s some indication that Jarvis may have also had his own issues. We’re still investigating that….we’re talking about a man who made a choice to kill another person. We’re not talking about the opioid problem…was that a contributing factor in his decision? We don’t know that yet.”

Dr. Graham was a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the South Bend Orthopaedics. He was 56 and is survived by his wife and three children.

A growing crisis

The Midwestern state has seen a nearly 60 percent increase in opioid overdose E.R. visits in only five years. The Indiana State Department of Health estimate that the state’s emergency room sees around 400 overdose visits a week; a number, they say, that is only expected to rise as access to illegal drugs and opioids becomes easier. (Related: The United States has crossed the pandemic threshold in the opioid epidemic…and Big Pharma keeps cashing in.)

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently added five addiction centers to help treat opioid addicts, including the use of controversial drug methadone as a treatment. “If I could only accomplish but one thing in my time, it would be to bend that trajectory [of increased overdose deaths], to bend that arc down on the course that we’re currently on,” he told IndyStar.

Critics of this controversial decision say that addicts are just trading one addiction for another. Nevertheless, Indiana officials say that medication-assisted methadone-use can help addicts wean from their drug habit after federally-approved drugs Suboxone and Vivitrol. One interesting fact to consider is that methadone is also the cheapest option among the three drugs. Dr. Jennifer Walthall, secretary of the Family and Social Administration, insists on the treatment, saying, “we have said over and over that we wanted all the tools in the toolbox.” She says that addicts should have all treatment options available to them.

There are patients who have used methadone to help treat their opioid addiction and say that the drug has helped give their lives back.

The future of healthcare in the state is still unclear.

Read more stories like this on DangerousMedicine.com.

Sources include:

NaturalNews.com

TheDailySheeple.com

WashingtonPost.com

IndyStar.com 1

IndyStar.com 2

New healthcare bill uses $45 billion in taxpayer money to fight the opioid epidemic caused by wealthy pharmaceutical corporations

In the midst of the ongoing and seemingly never ending healthcare debate, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have proposed an amendment that, in addition to providing states with an extra $70 billion to help stabilize their markets, sets aside an additional $45 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.

Of course, the debate over the growing opioid epidemic and the possible solutions that may or may not help stabilize the number of Americans abusing these drugs has been in the national spotlight for quite some time now, as it should be. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 1.9 million Americans suffered from opioid abuse in 2013 alone, a number that has continued to rise in each subsequent year.

As Addictions.com explains, “Opioids act as central nervous system depressants, slowing down nerve signal transmissions and blocking pain sensations from reaching the brain.” The website goes on to say that “while opioids pose little potential for harm when taken as prescribed, the abuse of these drugs sets off a series of damaging effects inside the brain’s chemical workings.” In the end, once addiction takes hold, the opioid user essentially becomes a slave to the euphoric effects of the drug.

In the year 2010, roughly 254 million opioid prescriptions were filled, with pharmaceutical companies generating an astonishing $11 billion in revenue from the sale of opioids during that same year, according to Fortune magazine. Of course, it would be silly to place all of the blame on the pharmaceutical companies for making money, but still, there is a case to be made that this entire opioid epidemic would either be significantly less devastating or even nonexistent had it not been for companies like Purdue Pharma, Abbott Labs, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Watson Pharmaceuticals, and several others.

Many of these companies have participated in aggressive marketing campaigns over the past two decades, which many believe contributed heavily to the growing opioid epidemic we are experiencing today. These marketing campaigns told the public that opioids could be used as an all-purpose pain treatment, which eventually lead to widespread abuse and drug-related deaths, as well as millions of dollars in additional spending to help treat those who became addicted.

Many of these advertising campaigns were placed in reputable medical journals and were specifically created to appeal to physicians. Other campaigns funded non-profit organizations like the American Pain Society and the American Academy of Pain Management in order to promote the use of opioids as an all-purpose pain treatment.

But even beyond all of the blame games and the finger pointing, opioid abuse remains a very real issue that continues to destroy the lives of Americans across the country each and every day. Opioid related deaths have been gradually increasing for years now, and this trend will sadly only continue unless we find real, effective answers.

Sources include:
NaturalNews.com
ZeroHedge.com
Addictions.com
Fortune.com

There’s Someone Missing in Bed

It’s really a menage de twa, as the only one missing in this telling cartoon is a doctor who needs to be there in bed with the FDA and the Drug Companies.  It’s times like these, I wish I could draw well and fix this up.  In any case, NEVER  trust the medical profession… that specifically includes your doctor!

Pharma Finding New Ways to Kill Us

It’s no longer just the side effects of their medicines.

A new study found “excessively high” levels of antibiotic and antifungal drugs in water sources near a major drug production center in India where 50% of the country’s drug exports are produced and a fifth of the world’s generic drugs. Unsurprisingly, the researchers also found high levels of microbes that were resistant to those drugs.

It should give us no comfort that this was found in India and not the US. Microbes travel long distances with ease. A drug-resistant pathogen first noticed in parts of China infected its first US patient last year.

Of the twenty-three water samples the researchers took, all but one contained bacteria that were resistant to multiple drugs; all samples contained carbapenemase-producing bacteria, which are known as the “nightmare bacteria” because it is virtually untreatable and kills up to 50% of those who get infected.

Some drugs were found in concentrations hundreds or thousands times higher than recommended safe limits. One water sample contained an antifungal drug in concentrations 950,000 times higher than the safe limit.

Sadly once again, Big Pharma is getting a little help from the FDA. In order to export drugs to the US, foreign drug manufacturers must adhere to good manufacturing processes and are supposed to be inspected periodically by the FDA. Given that the FDA is way behind on its inspections, the manufacturing practices foreign companies must follow do not include anything about contaminating the environment.

And as we have reported before, here in the US people dump drugs into the toilet to dispose of them or they become part of human waste. Municipal treatment plants don’t even test for the presence of these drugs, so treated water or sludge put on farmland may be loaded with them.

As we’ve reported before, antibiotic resistance is a growing catastrophe and expected to kill ten million people a year worldwide by 2050. Even now, these superbugs kill around 700,000 people a year. This public health crisis is fueled by over prescription of antibiotics and overuse of these medicines on CAFOs (concentrated feeding animal lots). Now we can add Big Pharma’s pollution of our waterways to the list. Even if we refuse to take pharmaceutical drugs and rely on natural alternatives to antibiotics, we can still be sickened or even killed by them.

News Sources: HealthImpactNews.com and ANAUSA.org


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