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What Do You Think About The Drug Overdose Epidemic?

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What Do You Think About The Drug Overdose Epidemic?

#1

Post by Refractordude » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:49 pm

These stats really are depressing. When I was a child, mom sent me to the store to get some milk. In the hallway was a man sitting on the steps shooting heroin. He told me "what are you looking at, mind your business before I put some of this ^%$#! in your arms"

https://www.overdose-lifeline.org/the-o ... demic.html
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#2

Post by frazier » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:28 pm

My thoughts, which are worth every penny:

1. Drug policy is made by people who, for the most part, have no idea what they are talking about w.r.t. pain relief or neuroscience.
2. Drug policy is - particularly these days - made by people who think "science" is a bad word, and that for-profit prisons are a good idea. Don't get me started (too late!).

Pain avoidance has been programmed into our survival circuitry since long before we were human - long before we were mammalian. Logical thought just came along yesterday, by comparison. Trying to explain that exploiting the pain response for financial gain is a bad idea - not gonna happen.

OK, I'll stop here, and see what others might say.

cheers,
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#3

Post by notFritzArgelander » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:45 pm

frazier wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:28 pm
My thoughts, which are worth every penny:

1. Drug policy is made by people who, for the most part, have no idea what they are talking about w.r.t. pain relief or neuroscience.
2. Drug policy is - particularly these days - made by people who think "science" is a bad word, and that for-profit prisons are a good idea. Don't get me started (too late!).

Pain avoidance has been programmed into our survival circuitry since long before we were human - long before we were mammalian. Logical thought just came along yesterday, by comparison. Trying to explain that exploiting the pain response for financial gain is a bad idea - not gonna happen.
Right. Instead of having some ethics like "do no harm" we've replaced that with "do anything to maximize shareholder value".
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#4

Post by Star Dad » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:04 pm

It seems human beings (at least in the US of A) prefer short term symptom treatment to long term permanent treatment. It's so much cheaper to put someone in rehab and help them in the long run to become healthy (and tax paying) citizens. But why do that when you can incarcerate them for a mere $50,000 a year? It's way cheaper that way. Yep. Much cheaper. And keeps prisons open too. And now with over 1% of our population in prison we need more prisons. <dripping sarcasm>

Please .... don't get me started on the short sighted follies of our kind.

Had a severe pain in one of my legs a couple of years ago - I mean I could barely hobble. Went to the emergency care place. Doc was a Navy doctor moonlighting. Told me that he wasn't going to give me opioids (yay - I hate drugs unless absolutely necessary). He told me AAATT (triple A double T) Three Advils and two Tylenol (generic brands are OK). Pain relief and no side effects. So now every time I need something serious I do the AAATT. But that's pretty rare. So there are alternatives out there - it's just the drug companies pushing their $50 a pill c*** instead of the $5 treatment.

And so we come back to the root cause - god-almighty money. Greed. Humans are real good at that.
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#5

Post by yobbo89 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:27 pm

Here in aus things are pretty strick, they banned pain relief over the counter that contains codeine because to many horrible mothers are overdosing thier babies with it to make them sleep. so now if you have some temporary backpain you now have to go wait at the doctors for 2 hrs.. Now all the hard working labourers have to suffer with time Consuming process.. No guns, no fire works, no medicine, drinking lockout laws.tax tax tax.. Haha
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#6

Post by Don Quixote » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:41 pm

Here is what I know.


I have spent several years working with addicts. One young man became a friend in the process.

I hired him out of a short bit in prison. He was 20 when I met him. He was on parole.
We spent many hours riding together to our job sites. When one major manufacturer took the position that no felon could be employed in my line of work I was very frustrated. But I also understood the caution. I dropped their contract at a cost of 32k in revenue per year. We never slumped... another company needed us, but I did not know that when I dropped the old line. I felt like I was standing up for this kid.

In the beginning of our relationship he had no drivers license. He had already done several bits. He had no ID to get a drivers license. He could not get a copy of his Soc sec card because he had no ID. He could not get a copy of his birth certificate for the same reason.
One day at the soc sec office I was chatting with the guard while we waiting for the 3rd or 4th time in line. I found out from the guard that if he has an employee ID card it would work with the soc sec for a replacement soc sec card. Once he had that he could get a drivers license.
We left immediately and I instituted employee IDs for my company.
He had his drivers license two weeks later.

Unfortunately he could not stay clean. He'd go on a toot and his wife would call me, yes he got married during our acquaintance. He had gotten his girlfriend pregnant and neither of them wanted her to have an abortion.

They had a code. He was a Latin King. He had been one since he was 14 or 15. They had a morality that was difficult to coordinate with mine...inconsistencies, contradictions, but it worked in their world.

And when she called I would go search for him in all the known "dark sites" that she knew . She also had problems. Broken home. Life as a stripper. Her mother an alcoholic.

He had 5 brothers. They all had one mother, but five different fathers. He was smoking crack when he was 13 or 14.

This is a long story but I will shorten it.

He worked with me for 15 months. I trained him. Turned him loose. He enjoyed his work. He enjoyed helping people. He was doing well.

Then his father, who was on the lamb as a person of interest in a baseball bat murder, came up from down south. He saw what was going on and began to work on this young man. His father saw me as a soft touch.

Before he showed up he had sent me several thousand dollars in money orders. He wanted me to "hold the cash" for him till he got here. He told me his son said I would do it.

I visited the local FBI office and old them the story. They photograph the documents and shrugged. " Well, we have another drug dealer moving into town". That was that.

Buddy hasn't made it yet. He recognized the opportunity. He was paid well. But he could not break the mold. He relapsed hard. He quit. He is now behind bars.

His situation is not my doing.

Simplistic diatribes against big pharma and profit are empty.

Buddy always enjoyed a profit. And once, when he ripped of a mid level dealer I took a meet with them with a roll of cash and the vig. They promised not to touch him, and they never bothered him again. I spent 50k on this young man and over a year of my life.

When it did not pan out I felt broken and helpless to help him.

But here is the deal. I have had for years a very close friend who is a heroin addict. He is reformed and has been for years. He had a come to jesus moment doing his bit.
It did not come from an outside program. It came from in his own mind and soul. He changed. And I am witness to this over 15 years of close association. It was because of my friend Johnny's miracle that I put so much into Buddy. But I failed.

Here's the deal aboutt statistics...they murder the individual.
The lead otherwise nice people to draw unwise conclusions.

Why do people do this stuff?
Why did Buddy do this stuff...even in the face of unencumbered opportunity?

Is it someone else's fault?
Is it the fault of society?
Is it the government's fault?
Is it big pharma's fault?
Is it the fault of our judicial system?
Is it inequity in the distribution of wealth...whatever that means?

It is a hydra. Cut off one head and here are a dozen more.

The next time. Maybe.😊
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#7

Post by notFritzArgelander » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:44 pm

Don Quixote wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:41 pm
.....

Simplistic diatribes against big pharma and profit are empty.

....
One should not confuse "simplistic diatribes against big pharma and profit" with an abbreviated diatribe against big pharma and greed though.

With regard to the distinction between "profit" and "greed" here is an article that simplifies the problem in a way that I think is representative of what is happening now, especially under the "maximize shareholder value" slogan. That slogan is a simplistic "greedification" of Adam Smith and Darwin. The founder of capitalism assumed that folks have morals. The acolytes of "maximize shareholder value" don't.

https://evonomics.com/smith-and-darwin- ... sZrGrgtioI

With regard to "bashing big pharma" they are getting sued and paying up. So is it really necessary to recite the litany of contributions to the crisis? That ship has sailed.

In addition "big pharma" extracts profits in the US because of insufficient regulation.

https://theconversation.com/why-the-us- ... ies-111256

It really isn't necessary to mention big pharma price gouging every single time is it? Martin Shkreli is the poster boy for big pharma price gouging.

https://publicpolicy.wharton.upenn.edu/ ... maceutical

While one can tell interesting stories about individual cases to show that there are many causes and contributing factors, the large scale problem is much simpler. It is a statistical fallacy to argue from an individual to the ensemble.
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#8

Post by Don Quixote » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:57 pm

notFritzArgelander wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:44 pm
Don Quixote wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:41 pm
.....

Simplistic diatribes against big pharma and profit are empty.

....
One should not confuse "simplistic diatribes against big pharma and profit" with an abbreviated diatribe against big pharma and greed though.

With regard to the distinction between "profit" and "greed" here is an article that simplifies the problem in a way that I think is representative of what is happening now, especially under the "maximize shareholder value" slogan. That slogan is a simplistic "greedification" of Adam Smith and Darwin. The founder of capitalism assumed that folks have morals. The acolytes of "maximize shareholder value" don't.

https://evonomics.com/smith-and-darwin- ... sZrGrgtioI

With regard to "bashing big pharma" they are getting sued and paying up. So is it really necessary to recite the litany of contributions to the crisis? That ship has sailed.

In addition "big pharma" extracts profits in the US because of insufficient regulation.

https://theconversation.com/why-the-us- ... ies-111256

It really isn't necessary to mention big pharma price gouging every single time is it? Martin Shkreli is the poster boy for big pharma price gouging.

https://publicpolicy.wharton.upenn.edu/ ... maceutical
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#9

Post by Bigzmey » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:20 pm

I come from a different culture and was shocked to see how drug-happy US doctors are. On many occasions I tried to discuss with them alternative treatments and life style management options for my migraines, but they just keep pushing drugs on me. I would express my concerns about drug addiction and they would be: nah, you need to take more, at every slightest onset of pain. :lol: Same for dentists.

There is a gross over-prescription by doctors of every type of drugs from antibiotics and steroids to antidepressants and pain killers. They are trading short term benifits for long term problems.

But then there is another extreme: all drugs and shots are evil. No antibiotics even if you coughing your lungs out. :lol:
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#10

Post by goldstar » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:43 am

I really don't believe we should be blaming doctors or "big pharma" for an opioid epidemic.
From being a child of the 60's and ever since I was aware that there was always "something" being pushed. It might have been Valium, bennies, "whites", ecstasy, Marijuana- you name it.
I don't consider it is any different these days. All that has changed are the names of the drugs, cost and availability. The problem has always been around.
I also hold to the belief that the Internet and the media sensationalize it all out of proportion.
This may be a good thing to some extent to indulge in scare tactics but it is obviously not working.
Addiction has many root causes-poverty, unemployment, inner city living, poor education, modern day life stresses etc.
And then there is just the plain old tendency of genetics.
I have known several friends with good jobs, normal family background and a high standard of living and education who drank themselves to death in their 40's even after their parents did the same.
And talking of proportional response: As a society we tend to ignore the equally severe use of alcohol. We even seem to sanction it with bars and liquor stores and then take little action except to punish the drink-drivers.
I don't have statistics to hand but I feel very sure that alcohol is responsible for more deaths, lost production,family break up, greater demands on the health system and shortened life expectancy than opioids and over or unnecessary prescribing.
So folks, let's get a balance here.
Addiction is a danger for all of us and many, no matter from which upbringing or class, don't have the weapons to fight it.
It's just people right?
I sit here typing on my third glass of beer, content knowing I have never injected anything into my veins, ingested substances (except alcohol), smoked anything worse than tobacco (yes another source of controversy!) and having sidestepped all of the dangerous temptations that have been offered me.
Let's not re-direct the blame onto doctors or pharmaceuticals.
The problem is within us but just the same, and I agree, let's not let THEM make it worse.
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#11

Post by notFritzArgelander » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:54 am

Bigzmey wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:20 pm


There is a gross over-prescription by doctors of every type of drugs from antibiotics and steroids to antidepressants and pain killers. They are trading short term benifits for long term problems.
I agree. I have to watch my doctors like a hawk. Out of a litany of silly prescriptions I can select one example. I was prescribed Lotrel for hypertension. It's just a mix of two older drugs, amlodipine and benazepril. By insisting on the old generics instead of the "new patent medicine" I saved my insurance company a bundle.

Same with procedures. My former urologist tried to sell me a left kidney lithotripsy for pains on the right side. When confronted with the illogic and insanity of this and my demand he explain himself, he folded. "My wife wants to remodel the kitchen."
goldstar wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:43 am
I really don't believe we should be blaming doctors or "big pharma" for an opioid epidemic.
Well the courts are blaming them for exacerbating the issue!
I don't consider it is any different these days. All that has changed are the names of the drugs, cost and availability. The problem has always been around.
I also hold to the belief that the Internet and the media sensationalize it all out of proportion.
The data says that your belief is unrealistic. See the charts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid_ep ... ted_States
This may be a good thing to some extent to indulge in scare tactics but it is obviously not working.
Addiction has many root causes-poverty, unemployment, inner city living, poor education, modern day life stresses etc.
And then there is just the plain old tendency of genetics.
This does not diminish the evil done by pharma companies and physicians in exploiting this. The Hippocratic Oath requires "do no harm" first of all. Exploiting peoples weaknesses falls short of that.
Let's not re-direct the blame onto doctors or pharmaceuticals.
The problem is within us but just the same, and I agree, let's not let THEM make it worse.
But they have been making it worse. More evidence that the US healthcare system, priciest in the world, is failing us.
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#12

Post by Don Quixote » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:50 am

I am wondering...the OP asked what we thought about this problem. I have appreciated reading these thoughts...but now there seems to be a turn in the thread wherein one poster has taken it upon himself to correct and editorialize on what others have shared as their thought on the topic.
I don"t understand the motive for this.
It seems presumptious. Why does everything need to be an arguement.

This is not a personal attack. It is what I am observing here.
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#13

Post by notFritzArgelander » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:37 am

Don Quixote wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:50 am
I am wondering...the OP asked what we thought about this problem. I have appreciated reading these thoughts...but now there seems to be a turn in the thread wherein one poster has taken it upon himself to correct and editorialize on what others have shared as their thought on the topic.
I don"t understand the motive for this.
It seems presumptious. Why does everything need to be an arguement.

This is not a personal attack. It is what I am observing here.
No it is an attack (more polite than usual) based on your "assumptions" or dare I say "editorializations" about my motivations.

People say what they think. Sometimes these beliefs are contrary to facts. Sometimes these "beliefs" are "editorialized" also or have defective logic. You've done that yourself with your usage of "simplistic".

When folks believe things that are contrary to facts, that invites rebuttal.

Awaiting the editorialized spin on that one.
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#14

Post by Don Quixote » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:42 am

Moderators.
Please...
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#15

Post by Bigzmey » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:45 am

Lets play nice gentlemen. :) Everybody entitled to their own opinions and believes, and sharing and discussing them benefits everyone as long as it is done respectfully.
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#16

Post by Don Quixote » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:25 am

I could not agree more Andrey.

Here is the deal as far as I am concerned..
This was an opinion thread.
This is how I responded to it with personal experience as content with my opinion.
The poster I have referenced assumed he could correct my thoughts.
This I do not accept as respect.
This is disrespect.

We treat crappy AP image posts better than this.

This poster never posted a complete thought of his own.
He played off of ever other posters opinions and assumed it was ok to tell them the "truth" or confirm their comment. This is inappropriate unless this poster has been deemed by the mod team is the arbiter of all truth no matter the subject.

This is not polite.
I don't like it. I have seen it many times.
I do not understand that this demogogery goes on.

I will refrain from posting in this type of thread in the futute.
I told you nothing but facts. I drew my opinion from these facts.

If the poster has an original thought let him post it on it's own.

The OP did not ask us to judge the thoughts of others. He asked us to share our thoughts.
This is my opinion, respectfully posted.
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#17

Post by Refractordude » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:48 am

I once broke my angle due to a bicycle accident. The hospital/doctor gave me a 30 days prescription for Percocet. After leaving the hospital I looked/called all over town for the pain killer. However, all drug stores were out of supply. After two days I felt fine, and did not need any pain medication/Percocet at all. I think these pain medications are being over prescribed. That was my experience.
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#18

Post by Refractordude » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:50 am

Don Quixote wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:41 pm
Here is what I know.


I have spent several years working with addicts. One young man became a friend in the process.

I hired him out of a short bit in prison. He was 20 when I met him. He was on parole.
We spent many hours riding together to our job sites. When one major manufacturer took the position that no felon could be employed in my line of work I was very frustrated. But I also understood the caution. I dropped their contract at a cost of 32k in revenue per year. We never slumped... another company needed us, but I did not know that when I dropped the old line. I felt like I was standing up for this kid.

In the beginning of our relationship he had no drivers license. He had already done several bits. He had no ID to get a drivers license. He could not get a copy of his Soc sec card because he had no ID. He could not get a copy of his birth certificate for the same reason.
One day at the soc sec office I was chatting with the guard while we waiting for the 3rd or 4th time in line. I found out from the guard that if he has an employee ID card it would work with the soc sec for a replacement soc sec card. Once he had that he could get a drivers license.
We left immediately and I instituted employee IDs for my company.
He had his drivers license two weeks later.

Unfortunately he could not stay clean. He'd go on a toot and his wife would call me, yes he got married during our acquaintance. He had gotten his girlfriend pregnant and neither of them wanted her to have an abortion.

They had a code. He was a Latin King. He had been one since he was 14 or 15. They had a morality that was difficult to coordinate with mine...inconsistencies, contradictions, but it worked in their world.

And when she called I would go search for him in all the known "dark sites" that she knew . She also had problems. Broken home. Life as a stripper. Her mother an alcoholic.

He had 5 brothers. They all had one mother, but five different fathers. He was smoking crack when he was 13 or 14.

This is a long story but I will shorten it.

He worked with me for 15 months. I trained him. Turned him loose. He enjoyed his work. He enjoyed helping people. He was doing well.

Then his father, who was on the lamb as a person of interest in a baseball bat murder, came up from down south. He saw what was going on and began to work on this young man. His father saw me as a soft touch.

Before he showed up he had sent me several thousand dollars in money orders. He wanted me to "hold the cash" for him till he got here. He told me his son said I would do it.

I visited the local FBI office and old them the story. They photograph the documents and shrugged. " Well, we have another drug dealer moving into town". That was that.

Buddy hasn't made it yet. He recognized the opportunity. He was paid well. But he could not break the mold. He relapsed hard. He quit. He is now behind bars.

His situation is not my doing.

Simplistic diatribes against big pharma and profit are empty.

Buddy always enjoyed a profit. And once, when he ripped of a mid level dealer I took a meet with them with a roll of cash and the vig. They promised not to touch him, and they never bothered him again. I spent 50k on this young man and over a year of my life.

When it did not pan out I felt broken and helpless to help him.

But here is the deal. I have had for years a very close friend who is a heroin addict. He is reformed and has been for years. He had a come to jesus moment doing his bit.
It did not come from an outside program. It came from in his own mind and soul. He changed. And I am witness to this over 15 years of close association. It was because of my friend Johnny's miracle that I put so much into Buddy. But I failed.

Here's the deal aboutt statistics...they murder the individual.
The lead otherwise nice people to draw unwise conclusions.

Why do people do this stuff?
Why did Buddy do this stuff...even in the face of unencumbered opportunity?

Is it someone else's fault?
Is it the fault of society?
Is it the government's fault?
Is it big pharma's fault?
Is it the fault of our judicial system?
Is it inequity in the distribution of wealth...whatever that means?

It is a hydra. Cut off one head and here are a dozen more.

The next time. Maybe.😊
Great story, and I wish I could write so creatively beautiful.
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#19

Post by notFritzArgelander » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:55 am

Don Quixote wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:25 am
....
If the poster has an original thought let him post it on it's own.

The OP did not ask us to judge the thoughts of others. He asked us to share our thoughts.
This is my opinion, respectfully posted.
    I briefly shared my thought in post #3.

    In post #6 there was a complaint about "simplistic" opinions. In post #7 I responded with the justification for the "simplistic" characterization with backup. Now in post #6 DQ also opines
    Here's the deal aboutt statistics...they murder the individual.
    The lead otherwise nice people to draw unwise conclusions.
    I politely refrained from asking the question: if not statistics, what is the basis for creating policy and improving things? Personal anecdotes are not a sound basis for public policy. In order to recognize a problem you need data. I also politely refrained from pointing out that post #6 shares a lot in logical structure with the fallacy of reasoning from the individual to the society. It is a form of emotional and fact free argument widely used by demagogues and its most famous example is "waving the bloody shirt". It is commonly used by political demagogues to emotionally distract people from the facts and logic of the situation.

    I see now that I was too polite to not point this out.
      I expanded on my views in post #11 in response to other posters. So it is amazing that states (contrary to the text of this thread) that I've never offered my own opinion.

      So let me state it in compact form once again as refined by the discussion in this thread.

      The causes of opiod addiction in any individual case are complex and many requiring skilled medical and psychological treatment and support tailored to the needs of the specific case. Nevertheless there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that there is a growth in overdose deaths that is new. There is also overwhelming evidence that pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry have placed profits above Hippocrates "do no harm" in the marketing and distribution of drugs. The US healthcare system is inefficient in terms of cost / benefit ratio and is in need of drastic reform.
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      #20

      Post by Don Quixote » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:58 am

      Well done nFA.
      Good post.
      One day we will all be statistics.

      And no one will remember our specific and particular individual cases.

      Who needs them.
      Are they not data.
      Are they not just a digit in a column of beaurotratic dust?

      Thank you for your opinion.

      Of course you know what they say about opinions.
      When you solve the human problem with data send me a PM.
      SCOPES: ES127 f/7.5, ES80 f/6, SW100 f/9. Meade LXD75 8" Sct f/10, Meade 2120 10" Sct f/10, Bresser 152 f/6.5 Newt.
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