Hospitals are putting Native American patients at risk for opioid abuse, audit says

Associated Press Published 11:17 a.m. ET July 22, 2019 | Updated 3:53 p.m. ET July 22, 2019

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — U.S. government hospitals placed Native American patients at increased risk for opioid abuse and overdoses, failing to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drugs, according to a federal audit made public Monday.

The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General does not draw conclusions about actual abuse or overdoses. But it said all five Indian Health Service hospitals that were reviewed had patients who were given opioids in amounts exceeding federal guidelines.

“There are vulnerabilities with this particular population in the opioid prescribing and dispensing practices,” said Carla Lewis, one of the auditors.

The overdose epidemic that has killed more people than any other drug epidemic in U.S. history has hit indigenous communities hard. Native Americans and Alaska Natives had the second-highest rate of opioid overdose out of all U.S. racial and ethnic groups in 2017, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report made more than a dozen recommendations to the Indian Health Service to better track patients’ health records and pain management, ensure opioids are stored under tighter security and update its information technology systems. The agency agreed on every point and said changes were coming.

The Indian Health Service, the federal agency that administers primary health care for Native Americans, has put an increased focus on opioids lately with a new website and the creation of a committee focused on decreasing overdose deaths, promoting culturally appropriate treatments and ensuring that communities know how to respond.

The audit covered five of the 25 hospitals directly run by the Indian Health Service: the Phoenix Indian Medical Center in Phoenix; Northern Navajo Medical Center on the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, New Mexico; the Lawton Indian Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma; the Cass Lake Indian Hospital on the Leech Lake reservation in Cass Lake, Minnesota; and the Fort Yates Hospital on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Fort Yates, North Dakota.

Auditors considered the amount of opioids each hospital dispensed and the percentage increase over three years when deciding which ones to review. They looked at 30 patient records at each hospital, visited the facilities and interviewed staff.

The auditors found that the hospitals strayed from guidelines in the Indian Health Manual in reviewing treatment for patients and their causes of pain every three months. Patients also must sign a written consent form and an agreement to treat chronic pain with opioids so they know the risks and benefits, as well as the requirement for drug screenings. More than 100 patient records did not include evidence of informed consent, and dozens did not have evidence that providers adequately educated patients.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that patients be prescribed no more than 90 morphine milligram equivalents per day, a measure used to compare an opioid dose with morphine.

The audit found that each hospital met or exceeded that amount at times. At the Shiprock hospital, the daily dosage was more than four times as high. The auditors also found some patients were prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines — commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia —at the same time, which “puts patients at a greater risk of a potentially fatal overdose.”

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that patients be prescribed no more than 90 morphine milligram equivalents per day, a measure used to compare an opioid dose with morphine.

The audit found that each hospital met or exceeded that amount at times. At the Shiprock hospital, the daily dosage was more than four times as high. The auditors also found some patients were prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines — commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia —at the same time, which “puts patients at a greater risk of a potentially fatal overdose.” (Click to Source)

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They knew: Recently unsealed court documents reveal that makers of OxyContin purposely misled doctors and consumers about the strength of the drug

(Natural News) The opioid epidemic has been costly, there’s little doubt about that. With 47,600 deaths from opioid overdose in 2017 alone, the wave of death shows no signs of slowing down. And all the while, Big Pharma has been cashing out. Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family and producer of the most infamous opioid, OxyContin, was raking in $1 billion in annual sales at one point — and now, unsealed court documents show that the pharma giant purposely deceived doctors and used aggressive marketing tactics to bolster their profits. While all pharma companies stand accused of putting profits before people, the latest revelations in the case against OxyContin (and similar drugs) certainly takes the cake.

Thanks to Purdue Pharma’s misdeeds and unlawful behavior, thousands of lives have been lost or destroyed. And yet for some reason, the Sackler family has escaped culpability. David Sackler himself denies any responsibility for the opioid epidemic — even though recently disclosed court documents show that the good doctor advised Purdue’s marketing team to hide the truth about OxyContin and the danger it posed.

Purdue founders knew OxyContin was dangerous

As Natural Health 365 reports, sealed court documents from 2015 have recently been made public. The evidence clearly shows that OxyContin creators knew that the drug had an enormous potential for addiction and misuse — and instead of doing the right thing, the company lied about the risks involved with their product.

Not only did the makers of OxyContin market the drug as being “less strong” than morphine (even though it’s actually stronger), sales representatives were encouraged to say that OxyContin “couldn’t be abused” and was not addictive.

We have seen how well that played out: Up to 130 deaths per day from opioid abuse.

As Vox reports, Purdue Pharma got approval from the FDA to market OxyContin as “less prone to abuse” because of its extended-release formula. Purdue Pharma claims that by releasing a lot of the drug over time, they could prevent misuse. However, this extended-release formula also allowed Purdue to put a lot more of the drug into each pill. Users can then bypass the “extended release” by crushing up their pills before use. Ultimately, this made the drug more prone to being abused.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a direct result of opioid abuse — and countless others have gone on to become addicted to heroin or other opiates thanks to opioids. Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that 75 percent of heroin addicts started off with an opioid.

Purdue Pharma founders deny reality

Even after Purdue Pharma and three top executives plead guilty in 2016, and even after dozens of doctors have lost their licenses for getting kick-backs and over-prescribing opioids, the Sackler family continues to deny the truth about OxyContin. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, David Sackler even went so far as to claim that the addiction rate is only “between two and three percent,” and might rise to five percent with “more typical dependence and misuse.”

Never mind the fact that real science shows that the addiction rate with opioids is more like 26 percent — is it really supposed to be acceptable for a prescription drug to cause any level of dependence or misuse? Sackler isn’t just denying culpability — he’s normalizing drug addiction and talking about drug dependency as if its a simple fact of life.

Estimates suggest 22.4 million opioid prescriptions are doled out annually in the U.S. That’s 66.5 opioid prescriptions per every 100 people. Even if just two percent of those people were to end up addicted, it is two percent still too many. The opioid crisis has hit America hard, and it is high time the Sacklers owned up to what their misleading marketing tactics, shifty bribing practices and other bad behaviors have done to the country and its people. (Click to Source)

Learn more about toxic pharmaceuticals at DangerousMedicine.com.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

Vox.com

 

decolores2bpostrer

 

Addiction Ends at the Foot of the Cross by True Salvation thru Yeshua the Messiah – Jesus Christ

Feds: A popular drug from the disco era is making a deadly return

Today’s narcotics abusers may be turning to cocaine in part “because there’s been a lot of bad press about other drugs.”

By Corky Siemaszko

 

The bitter lessons about the dangers of cocaine from the disco era in the 1970s may be lost on a new generation of drug abusers.

A phenomenon known as “generational forgetting” may be one of the reasons for the deadly uptick in cocaine deaths that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week, experts said.

“Certain drugs seem to go in and out of style,” Daniel Raymond, deputy director of the Harm Reduction Coalition, said. “Right now we’re seeing an uptick in cocaine use, and we’re hitting that point in the cycle where we’re starting to see more fatal overdoses.”

“Absolutely, there is a generational piece to this,” said Hans Breiter, a Northwestern University psychiatry professor and one of the world’s leading experts on how cocaine stimulates the human brain.

Today’s narcotics abusers may be turning to cocaine in part “because there’s been a lot of bad press about other drugs,” Breiter said.

Just like the generation that dealt with the horrors of AIDS was followed by another that was less afraid of the scourge and thus more likely to have unprotected sex, today’s drug users aren’t afraid of cocaine like they should be, he said.

“We see this kind of forgetting in politics all the time, for example,” he said. “People resurrecting ideas like trickle-down economics, even though it’s been pretty much invalidated.”

On Thursday, the CDC reported that overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising around 2012 and jumped by more than a third between 2016 and 2017.

CDC researchers also found that almost three-quarters of the deaths involving cocaine in 2017 were among people who had also taken opioids.

But deaths involving cocaine alone also increased, said the CDC’s Lawrence Scholl, who was one of the study’s authors.

That could be because there’s more cocaine on the streets, Raymond, of the Harm Reduction Coalition, said.

“We have a greater supply of cocaine now than we did 10 years ago,” he said. “My understanding is production had fallen off in Colombia and it has been increasing again.”

Sheila Vakharia of the Drug Policy Alliance wrote in an email “there is definitely something to be said for cyclical theories of drug use because when we focus a lot of time/energy/resources on restricting the ‘drug du jour’ it opens the market for alternative drugs and encourages suppliers to diversify.”

Of late, the drug du jour wreaking havoc across America has been opioids, which have killed tens of thousands nationwide, with the addiction cutting like a scythe through states such as West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC.

But the Drug Enforcement Administration also reported in its National Drug Threat Assessment last year that cocaine availability has increased steadily in the United States since 2012, especially on the East Coast and in the South.

According to the CDC report, 10,131 out of the 13,942 cocaine-involved deaths (almost 73 percent) also involved an opioid.

Heroin is an opioid made from morphine. But drug dealers have been boosting profits by cutting their drugs with synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is 25 to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Breiter said drug addicts often get high on something known on the street as a “speedball,” which is a combination of cocaine and heroin.

“People will use heroin to blunt the severity of coming down from the high of cocaine,” he said. “It can be quite severe.”

The problem is that when the heroin is cut with an opioid, it can make this drug cocktail even more lethal, the experts said.

Vakharia said there have been reports of drug dealers cutting cocaine with opioids and “cocaine users naïve to opioids are overdosing because they have no tolerance.” But neither she nor her colleagues at Drug Policy are convinced that is the case.

“It makes little sense,” she wrote. “Why would a seller want to kill off a customer.”

Raymond agreed that he didn’t believe that fentanyl-contaminated cocaine was intentional, given the opposing effects of the two drugs.

“We’re not seeing a huge trend of cocaine intentionally mixed with opioids like fentanyl,” he said. “Why? I think that’s probably because fentanyl is very sedating, cocaine is very stimulating.” (Click to Source)

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Federal opioid pill bust reveals doctors trading pills for sex, dentists pulling good teeth

Terry DeMio, Cincinnati EnquirerPublished 5:35 p.m. ET April 19, 2019

CINCINNATI – They were medical professionals but they traded prescription pain pills for sex, prosecutors say. Others let untrained office workers examine patients, leaving a blank prescription pad at the clinic, their indictments reveal.

One dentist extracted the healthy teeth of patients as an excuse to give them painkillers, the feds say. Two of the prescribers charged in this week’s federal opioid sweep caused the deaths of five patients because of overprescribing, court papers show.

All of the 60 doctors, nurse practitioners, office staff, pharmacists and dentists charged in an Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioids Strike Force investigation face felonies for prescribing opioids when they shouldn’t.

The accusations in some of the indictments go beyond making money off people with addiction disease or acting to obtain drugs to feed their own addictions.

For example, Dr. Thomas Ballard III is accused of giving pain pills to people in exchange for sex and prescribing opioids to at least one pregnant woman, who died.

Court documents say Ballard, of Ballard Clinic-Family Practice in Jackson, Tennessee, didn’t monitor his patients for addiction as required. He also prescribed the deadly combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, a sedative, despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA warnings. He was charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting, as well as unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances.

Combining opioids and benzodiazepines, which are sedatives often prescribed for anxiety disorder or depression, is deadly. In 2016, the CDC issued new guidelines recommending that clinicians avoid prescribing the two kinds of medications together.

Ballard’s case wasn’t the only drugs-for-sex case in Jackson.

The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force announced that they have charged 60 individuals, including 53 medical professionals, with crimes related to illegal distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics. Albert Cesare, acesare@enquirer.com

 

\There was also Jeffrey Young, the self-nicknamed “Rock Doc,” who actually is a nurse practitioner, accused of trading opioids for sex.

A federal grand jury indictment says that Young prescribed about a half-million hydrocodone pills, 300,000 oxycodone pills, 1,500 fentanyl patches and 600,000 benzodiazepine pills over three years. His supervisors, Dr. Alexander Alperovich and Dr. Andrew Rudin, were also indicted.

Young even had a radio show about his clinic at one point.

In Kentucky, there was an absent doctor. Dr. Mohammed A.H. Mazumder of Prestonsburg, owned Appalachian Primary Care in Prestonsburg. A federal indictment says he told his employees, who weren’t doctors, to receive patients at the clinic when he wasn’t there. The indictment says that a medical technician evaluated patients, then two receptionists called pharmacies with prescription orders for pain pills and other drugs under Mazumder’s name. The clinic billed Medicare and Medicaid, as if Mazumber had done the job.

Dr. Denver Tackett ran a dental clinic in McDowell, Kentucky. An indictment accuses him of prescribing oxycodone and hydrocodone that were not reasonable for the treatment of patient’s illness or injury. He also is accused of pulling teeth out of six patients from 2016 to 2018 who had no need for extractions, as well as submitting claims to Medicare and Medicide for procedures he did not perform.

Tanya Mentzer, an office manager at a family medicine clinic in the city of Hoover, Alabama, also faces federal charges. She had no medical education, license or medical experience, say the feds, but she is accused of distributing and dispensing controlled substances illegally to gain money.

The indictment claims that she and co-conspirators operated their business as “a pill mill, frequently providing dangerous, addictive, powerful opioid cocktails” for no medical reason. (In this indictment, the co-conspirators are unnamed.) The clinic was often open at odd hours, including after midnight, the feds say.

Also in Alabama, Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turnerof Choice Medicine Clinic near Huntsville, is accused of prescribing excessive amounts of drugs, giving patients as many as 15 pills a day and leaving blank forms to be filled out by staff when she wasn’t at the clinic. She was the sole physician at the clinic, the indictment says.

Dr. Darrell Rinert, an internist with a license to practice in Tennessee, is accused in a federal grand jury indictment of causing the deaths of four people, after prescribing them hydrocodone repeatedly from 2014-2016. An indictment claims that Rinert routinely prescribed “highly addictive opioids” including morphine sulfate, hydrocodone, oxycodone and dextroamphetamine for patients without a legitimate medical reason.

The state medical board suspended him in November 2018 through May 2019, when his license will expire.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr released a statement calling the investigation “outstanding.” He added, “The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said stopping the illegal sales of opioid prescriptions is a crucial goal for President Donald Trump.

Azar also referred to the operation’s first-of-its-kind effort to get treatment to the patients left behind.

“It is also vital that Americans struggling with addiction have access to treatment and that patients who need pain treatment do not see their care disrupted, which is why federal and local public health authorities have coordinated to ensure these needs are met in the wake of this enforcement operation,” he said. (Click to Source)

More: See the full list of those indicted.

Costa Mesa files lawsuit against distributors and manufacturers of opioid pain medication

Costa Mesa is taking distributors and manufacturers of opioid pain medication to court in a bid to recoup tax dollars it alleges were spent as a result of the addiction epidemic that has afflicted communities coast to coast.

 

In a lawsuit filed March 29, the city argues that the businesses “intentionally flooded the market with opioids and pocketed billions of dollars in the process” while making “false statements designed to persuade both doctors and patients that prescription opioids posed a low risk of addiction.”

 

Such actions, the city alleges, “have not only caused significant costs but have also created a palpable climate of fear, distress, dysfunction and chaos among Costa Mesa residents where opioid diversion, abuse and addiction are prevalent and where diverted opioids tend to be used frequently.”

 

Opioids include powerful legal prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.

 

The lawsuit names about a dozen distributors and manufacturers as defendants, including Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and certain members of the Sackler family that controls the company.

 

“This epidemic has personally touched the lives of many members of our community,” Mayor Katrina Foley said in a statement Thursday. “It’s time that we take action and put a halt to the lives being destroyed and the economic drain opioid addiction is placing on our community.”

 

Purdue Pharma spokesman Bob Josephson wrote in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon that the company “and the individual former directors of the company vigorously deny the allegations in the complaint and will continue to defend themselves against these misleading allegations.”

 

“The complaint is part of a continuing effort to try these cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,” Josephson wrote. He added that he believes the complaint disregards or fails to note facts about Purdue’s prescription medications and pertinent federal regulations.

 

“Such serious allegations demand clear evidence linking the conduct alleged to the harm described, but we believe the city fails to show such causation and offers little evidence to support its sweeping legal claims,” he said.

 

In the suit, Costa Mesa alleges it has seen increased costs in myriad areas as a result of the opioid epidemic, including “medical and therapeutic care,” “counseling, treatment and rehabilitation services,” public safety and code enforcement.

 

A particularly pressing issue from the city’s perspective is the proliferation of local sober-living homes, which house recovering addicts, including those battling opioid dependence. Costa Mesa “has the largest concentration of sober-living homes in Orange County, creating a plethora of nuisance issues for residents, multiple calls for service by police and fire and millions of dollars in legal fees,” according to a city news release.

 

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza, who died in November after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. The driver, Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, of Mission Viejo, was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. Authorities allege he was in possession of pills prescribed by aTustin doctor who faces federal charges of illegally distributing opioids and other narcotics by writing prescriptions to people without medical examinations.

 

“Costa Mesa has been directly injured by the loss of Capt. Kreza, including costs for training and hiring a replacement, as well as pension and death benefits,” the lawsuit states. “These increased costs could have been — and should have been — prevented by the opioid industry.”

 

Lawsuits such as Costa Mesa’s have become increasingly common. Last month, Purdue and the Sackler family agreed to pay $270 million to the state of Oklahoma to settle claims that aggressive marketing of OxyContin helped create the addiction crisis, according to the

Associated Press. Nationwide, the company faces nearly 2,000 lawsuits, AP reported.

But Josephson said, “We believe that no pharmaceutical manufacturer has done more to address the opioid addiction crisis than Purdue, and we continue to work closely with governments and law enforcement agencies on this difficult social issue.” (Click to Source)

 

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Johnson & Johnson exposed as the mastermind corporation behind the opioid epidemic that kills 60,000 Americans a year

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 by: Isabelle Z.

(Natural News) Who is to blame for the opioid epidemic that is currently gripping the nation and taking the lives of 60,000 Americans each year? Most people tend to blame the makers of these drugs, the doctors who prescribe them, and some even fault those who take these medications. However, now a very familiar name has been exposed as being the mastermind behind the opioid epidemic: Johnson & Johnson.

While you might associate Johnson & Johnson with pure images like the squeaky-clean, soft skin of a baby thanks to years of effective marketing, it appears that something far dirtier is going on at the New Jersey-based multinational personal care brand. The accusation that it was the “kingpin” fueling the opioid crisis in the U.S. and acting as a major seller, provider and lobbyist carries a lot of weight as it comes from Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Mike Hunter.

In May, his state will see the first major opioid epidemic trial take place, and it is expected to set the stage for litigation of a similar nature across the country, not to mention a nationwide lawsuit. Hunter requested that a state court release millions of pages of confidential documents to the public that were submitted by Johnson & Johnson during the case’s discovery phase, writing that the public interest contained therein is “urgent, enduring and overwhelming.”

J&J targeted vulnerable groups while downplaying dangers

The state of Oklahoma is alleging that Johnson & Johnson targeted vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and children, for painkiller prescriptions. The company also funded groups that advocated to facilitate access to the drugs, such as the Pain Care Forum. In addition, they downplayed the drug’s dangers; for example, a brochure made by a subsidiary of J&J geared toward senior citizens outrageously states that “opioids are rarely addictive.”

The defendants in the case include Johnson & Johnson as well as Teva Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, and Allergan. Hunter says the firms deceived the public into thinking the drugs were safe to use over long periods. District Court Judge Thad Balkman recently denied a request made by the pharmaceutical companies involved to delay the trial, saying that it’s in the public’s interest for this trial to begin as scheduled.

Johnson & Johnson is being accused of using a web of domestic and foreign subsidiaries to provide the raw materials needed to manufacture opioids. While companies like Purdue Pharma, who produce OxyContin, certainly need to be held accountable for their extreme irresponsibility, J&J’s culpability is also clear. They played a big role in producing the raw narcotics from poppy fields that are turned into active ingredients in top-selling opioids, boasting that their poppy’s morphine content was some of the “highest in the world,” according to an Axios report.

The two subsidiaries that handled the opium poppy business, Tasmanian Alkaloids and Noramco, were sold by J&J for $650 million in 2016 to a private equity firm. A year earlier, they sold an opioid pill that they had previously marketed known as Nucynta, while they continued to sell the fentanyl patch Duragesic. According to a state court document, the company was a “kingpin behind the public-health emergency, profiting at every stage.” (Related: Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion for making false marketing claims and engaging in kickbacks.)

Johnson & Johnson is also facing legal action for covering up the connection between asbestos-containing baby powder and cancer.

More than 1,600 American cities and 36 states are currently suing the makers and distributors of opioids in hopes of collecting funds needed to deal with the opioid public health crisis.

Everyone who has played a role in this devastating crisis deserves to be exposed and brought to justice, from those who put opioids in people’s hands to those who help pharmaceutical companies obtain the ingredients they need to make these deadly drugs. (Click to Source)

Sources for this article include:

WakingTimes.com

Axios.com

Where you live may influence how much opioid you use

March 11, 2019

In a recent study, researchers found where people live may determine how many opioids they can get.

For example, people who sought care for a sprained ankle in states that are “high prescribers” of opioids were three times more likely to get a prescription for opioids than people in “low-prescribing” states.

The research was conducted by a team from Penn Medicine.

Previous studies have shown that opioid abuse and addiction has become a serious public health issue.

In the current study, the team examined private insurance claims data from more than 30,800 people who visited U.S. emergency departments for an ankle sprain from 2011-2015.

They found that overall, about 25% of patients received a prescription for an opioid painkiller, even though opioids are not the first-line treatment for the health condition.

In total, more than 143,000 opioid tablets were prescribed for patients.

Moreover, there was wide variation across states in opioid prescription. The high prescribing states offer opioids much more easily to patients than the low prescribing states.

For instance, only 3% of patients received an opioid prescription in North Dakota, compared to 40% in Arkansas.

In addition, the team found when patients received opioid prescriptions for long courses (e.g. more than 30 tablets of oxycodone 5 mg), they were five times more likely to fill additional opioid prescriptions over the next 6 months than those who received just a few days’ supplies.

The findings suggest wide geographic variability in prescribing patterns for minor injuries.

The team suggests it is important to reduce the size of new, initial opioid prescriptions, which can increase the risk of prolonged opioid use.

If opioids are absolutely necessary, doctors should prescribe the lowest initial dose possible, which should be no more than 10-12 tablets.

In addition, there should be more specific opioid and non-opioid prescription guidelines.

It is also important to find better non-opioid alternatives for pain management of minor injuries.

The lead author of the study is M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn.

The study is published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. (Click to Source)

Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

 

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

Despite what Big Pharma says, opioids do almost nothing to treat pain – study

Thursday, March 07, 2019 by: Lance D Johnson

(Natural News) A placebo pill is almost as effective as opioids for killing pain, suggests a new meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is because the physiological pain-killing effects of opioids decrease over time. As the pain-killing effects wane, a larger dose is needed, causing opioid addiction. The researchers warn that this can lead to physical dependence and a potential overdose. The study inadvertently found that a placebo can affect how people perceive pain, providing relief with no side effects.

The meta-analysis pooled together 96 randomized clinical trials, including 26,169 patients who dealt with daily pain that was not derived from cancer treatments. From the onset, an opioid prescription relieved pain and improved physical functioning, but as time wore on, the association diminished as the pain-killing effects of opioids decreased over time. Opioid use was also associated with increased risk of vomiting.

“The benefits of opioids for managing chronic pain tend to be quite modest,” said study author Jason Busse, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of anesthesia at McMaster University‘s school of medicine in Ontario, Canada.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and medical cannabis also showed similar improvements in pain and physical functioning, with less dependency issues. In the case of medical cannabis, there is no threat of an overdose.

This meta-analysis supports the CDC’s newest 2016 guidelines, which urge health care professionals to prescribe opioids more responsibly. The National Institutes of Health have initiated an opioid addiction research plan to research the effectiveness of non-drug, mind/body techniques for alleviating pain and helping tissues heal. Yoga, tai chi, mindfulness meditation, nutrition, and acupuncture will all play a role in future protocols for helping Americans who struggle with chronic pain, stiffness, and poor tissue healing.

Herbalism offers great pain relief solutions

According to the CDC, there are roughly 50 million Americans struggling with pain that lasts longer than three months. Chronic pain is now one of the top reasons why people seek medical care in the U.S. Much pain can be relived through anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrient supplementation. Herbalists and naturopathic doctors have successfully used anti-inflammatory, plant-based compounds to treat pain stemming from injury or chronic disease.

White willow bark: An extract of white willow, containing salicin, is an effective pain relief remedy. When salicin converts to salicylic acid in the body, it can effectively relieve headaches and cramps.

Jamaican Dogwood bark: An extract of Jamaican dogwood bark can mitigate pain in the tissues, relieving menstrual cramps, migraines, and nerve pain. Its unique content of glycosides, flavonoids, rotenone, and resin alkaloid, make it suitable as an anodyne, anti-spasmodic, and sedative.

Turmeric: Curcumin, found in turmeric, is an effective anti-inflammatory. When its absorption is maximized, turmeric can noticeably reduce pain throughout the body. A 2008 study published in Critical Care Medicine found that turmeric down-regulates inflammatory genes and can replace the drug dexamethasone for the treatment of lung transplantation-associated injury.

Guggul gum resin: The anti-inflammatory properties of guggul make it effective for mitigating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Guggul relieves joint pain, stiffness, and swelling and reduces circulatory levels of cytokines, which are inflammatory substances secreted by certain cells.

Devil’s Claw: The root’s two most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds are harpagoside and beta-sitosterol. When synthesized by the body, these compounds help reduce swelling in tissues, making way for quicker healing. While also containing three trace minerals that speed up healing, chromium, magnesium, and selenium, devil’s claw helps remediate rheumatoid Arthritis, sciatica pain and gout.

Opioids are dangerous medication that cause physical dependence and waning results. Medical cannabis and other powerful phyto-nutrients provide a safer pathway for pain relief. When chronic pain is present, it’s very important to investigate the root cause in case a more serious underlying issue is occurring, such as an internal bleed from an artery dissection. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

IntegrativePractitioner.com

IntegrativePractitioner.com

HealthGuideInfo.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalPedia.com

NaturalPedia.com

Self.com

 

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Kratom Overdoses Are on the Rise. Why They’re Hard to Spot

The FDA reported a spike in kratom overdoses. Here are the warning signs.

Written by Gigen Mammoser on February 22, 2019

Kratom use has ballooned in recent years. So have overdoses.

In the United States, calls to poison control centers about the drug have jumped dramatically. About 32 percent of those cases ended up being admitted to the hospital, with more than half resulting in serious medical outcomes, including 11 deaths.

According to new research published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, between 2011 and 2017, 1,807 kratom exposures were reported to poison control centers. Two-thirds occurred between 2016-2017 alone.

In 2011, only 13 exposures were reported, compared with 682 in 2017 — jumping from about one call per month to two calls per day.

All in all, a more than 50-fold increase.

“It has gotten more popular I guess you would say. When we started there were tens of cases and now there are hundreds of cases per year,” said Rick Spiller, MS, DABAT, FAACT, a co-author of the research, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

What is kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a Southeast Asian tree. Leaves of the plant, consumed raw, in capsules, or tea, are known to produce mild stimulant and opioid-like effects. The plant has been used traditionally for centuries as an analgesic and substance that can be misused in places like Thailand and Myanmar.

It has been described by experts as an “atypical opioid” because of the pathways through which it interacts with the brain.

“It’s a more complex substance. It’s not just a single mechanism,” said Spiller.

Its complexity means that overdose symptoms can be more difficult to diagnose — especially when compared with traditional opioids. Kratom affects the μ-receptor [mu-receptor], like other opiates, but also affects serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition.

“Kratom is a difficult toxin to manage for several reasons. First, the doses are not well defined because it is a plant product. Second, the toxicity can manifest in very different ways and time frames depending on the patient, what else they may be taking, or how much experience/tolerance they have to opioids. There are a lot of variables,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the medical director of the Fresno/Madera Division of the California Poison Control System.

Why a kratom overdose is different

An opioid overdose typically involves shallow or depressed breathing, slow or weak pulse, and unconsciousness. While a kratom overdose can involve some of these symptoms, it is also frequently accompanied by others that are rarely associated with opioids.

“We clearly saw respiratory depression. We saw coma. That’s what you expect from that μ-receptor, that opioid receptor, but…[we saw] things like seizure, agitation, tachycardia, hypertension. None of this has anything to do with the μ-receptor, but it does with the norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibition.”

The study found that the most common effects of the drug also included nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion.

Treating these widely varying symptoms can’t be done with any single kind of medication. Whereas an opioid overdose is commonly treated with a drug like naloxone (Narcan), often referred to as the “anti-overdose” drug, symptoms like seizures and agitation are treated with benzodiazepines, a sedative.

“We treat what is showing up. Again because there isn’t a lot of data before this, you’d go in and say, oh this is an opiate, and the person is seizing in front of you, and everybody who knows anything about opiates knows that they don’t seize. That’s not what opiates do,” said Spiller.

The reason for the increase in kratom use and overdose isn’t clear either. The drug’s increasing popularity is often seen has yet another facet of the United States’ ongoing opioid epidemic. Anecdotally, users report that the drug can be used as part of opioid withdrawal maintenance, trying to stop using drugs, or at least transitioning away from pharmaceutical pain relievers and other misused drugs.

However, Spiller and his colleagues are concerned that the drug’s reputation as a natural, plant-based remedy is misleading.

“This is not benign because it’s a plant and natural. There is a real concern there that there needs to be some caution,” said Spiller.

That point is reinforced in the study by the fact that kratom is starting to show up in infants.

The authors report seven incidences of newborns exposed to kratom, all of which occurred within the most recent time period, 2016-2017. Five of those cases also showed symptoms of withdrawal.

That means there is the potential for pregnant mothers to pass the drug through the placenta to their unborn babies.

“We don’t know why the mother was using it. We don’t know if it was for pain or to get high or for opiate withdrawal, we just have the neonates with neonatal withdrawal symptoms. That’s something we want to get out there,” said Spiller.

A ‘drug of concern’

Kratom is legal throughout the United States and can be bought over the internet. Both the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have mulled potential action on kratom, but neither has yet acted. Currently the DEA considers it a “drug of concern,” and it has no approved medical use by the FDA.

“This is definitely something to keep an eye on,” said Vohra.

Despite the increase in overdoses and calls to poison control centers, fatalities and hospitalizations associated with kratom use remain relatively low.

Spiller is most concerned with getting more information on kratom out to the public — from those who use the drug regularly to doctors and federal agencies.

“Right now we are seeing hundreds of people in the ER but that’s across the U.S. If that starts turning into thousands I think there is going to be some action,” he said. (Click to Source)

 

Disturbing CDC statistics show that opioids have killed more people than the Vietnam War

Yeshua -Jesus alone, Can Break the Chains of Addiction and Set You Free!Yeshua Set Free with website blue

 

Sunday, February 17, 2019 by: Rhonda Johansson

prescription-bottle-pills-drugs-spilt

(Natural News) Data from a newly released study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that nearly a quarter of a million Americans have died in the last two decades from overdosing on opioid drugs — a number four times the number of U.S. casualties from the entire Vietnam War. The research, which looked at drug overdose deaths from 1999 to 2017, concluded that in 2017, there was a 9.6 percent increase in deaths than the previous year. Most of the deaths were attributed to the excessive consumption of synthetic opioids.

The danger is not limited to adults. Another recent study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine concluded that the number of opioid-related deaths among children has increased threefold. Researchers of this study said that while most of the deaths were caused by the intake of illegal opioid drugs, some children are still being harmed by prescription medicine.

As stated in an article posted on the website of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

Many commonly prescribed opioids do not come in childproof packaging. [Researchers]also warned that as [a] medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder increases among adults, children and adolescents will be more likely to be exposed to opioids such as methadone and suboxone unless more restrictive safety measures are put in place.

In yet another study, researchers wrote that premature death caused by opioids places a growing public health burden in the United States. In a 2018 study in JAMA Network Open, researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada concluded that:

  • Between 2001 and 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in our country increased by 345 percent.
  • By 2016, men accounted for 67.5 percent of all opioid-related deaths, with the mean age of men dying prematurely being 40 years old.
  • Among adults aged between 24 to 45 years old who died in 2016, 20 percent died from an opioid overdose.
  • Adults between the ages of 24 to 34 typically have 12.9 years of life lost per 1,000 population.
  • Similarly, those aged between 35 to 44 years old had 9.9 years of life lost per 1,000 population.

These numbers, shocking and disturbing as they are, fail to influence the decision-making processes of the officials elected to safeguard our health. In November 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved a controversial new opioid which was 10 times more powerful than fentanyl, despite heavy criticism that the drug would be a danger to public health.

Take note that fentanyl is already 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and was initially synthesized to help alleviate pain in terminal cancer patients. The pop star icon Prince died at the age of 57 from accidentally overdosing on this drug. (Related: Painkiller Patch Fentanyl May Have Killed 3,500 People, Warns FDA.)

So where is the outrage? We deliberately presented to you all the numbers, statistics, and data you need to make your own decisions about synthetic opioids. This, to increase your awareness that there may be a (not so) hidden move to hide the truth from you that natural alternatives, such as medical cannabis, may provide safer, and even more effective pain relief than what Big Pharma is offering.

Consider this: Plants like cannabis, which is considered a Schedule I drug whereas fentanyl is a Schedule 8 drug, are regularly demonized for being the reason why our kids die young. However, the CDC’s own data shows that the number of people who have died from this natural treatment is almost negligible, and their own scientists state that pharmaceutical painkillers are a thousand times more dangerous than natural ones.

Evidence also shows that medical cannabis is more superior at relieving pain than opioids.

We urge you to really think and do your research before you pop any type of pill. There may be natural alternatives to deal with your condition — and remember, these options may be less risky too. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

CDC.gov

AAFP.org

JAMANetwork.com

ScientificAmerican.com

ADF.org.au

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

GreenMedInfo.com

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