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The White House Hid the Truth About Ending the Opioid Crisis. Part 2
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The White House Hid the Truth About Ending the Opioid Crisis. Part 2

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WASHINGTON – March 26, 2019

Pharmacology is the essence of all problems

Let's start again, with the history of pharmacology drug addiction:

On September 1, 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention made and official statement that that drug epidemic is rampant in this country. Before we consider what is happening now, let’s turn to history. In the 18th century, opium was widely used in American medicine. By the end of the century, it was clear that it was addictive.

In 1805, people learned how to get morphine from opium and, oddly enough, with its help began to treat people dependent on opium. Soon, however, it became clear that morphine causes a sense of euphoria ten times stronger than opium.

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Morphine was widely used for anesthesia during the Civil War, resulting in hundreds and thousands of drug addicted soldiers. In 1874, heroin was synthesized, and in 1898 it appeared on the market.

It was then advertised as a miracle healing for all diseases--headaches, colds, and even morphine addiction. The result was sad, and the manufacture and sale of heroin was outlawed in 1924. Keeping in mind the widespread use of opioids in the past, American doctors then began to use drugs with the greatest caution. They were given only to late stage cancer patients, patients with severe injuries, extensive burns, as well as for a short time after operations. This approach existed until the George H. W. Bush administration.

Since George W. Bush’s reign, doctors are again distributing opioids to their patients, like candies, in huge quantities.

In 2011 alone, 219 million prescriptions for narcotic painkillers were issued to a population of 310 million. While in 1999 there were 4,000 deaths from an overdose of painkillers, in 2013 there were 16,235. What made doctors change their approach to these drugs and return to the 19th century? The drug OxyContin.

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OxyContin is essentially synthetic and legal heroin. And since OxyContin dissolves in the stomach very slowly, it means a single dose of this drug may contain a large dose of the main ingredient oxycodone.

Pharmacological companies had to do a lot of work to change society’s mind and thus promote their products on the market. Through advertising, market giants began to convince people that almost every third American allegedly suffers from unbearable chronic pain, but that this problem supposedly has a very effective and simple solution — this little pill.

“Chronic pain? Stop suffering and Start Living,” the typical ad said.

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Textbooks on medicine and scientific medical journals began to convey the notion that absolutely all kinds of pain should be treated with drugs, and doctors should not be afraid to constantly increase the dose. Journalistic investigations alleged such a change in the curriculum was funded by pharmaceutical companies.

For illustrative purposes, seminars for doctors played out stage performances of the following content: The patient admits to the doctor that he takes more painkillers than he was prescribed; then an explanation follows that the doctor just needs to increase the dosage twice over.

If the addict doesn’t take a dose, he will experience withdrawal. Similarly, those who take painkillers on prescription suffer from the same symptoms.

New textbooks argued that withdrawal is a sign of addiction, but that patients taking painkillers is not a sign of addiction, but a sign of "opioid pseudoaddiction." This concept was invented to promote the idea of the widest use of opioids in medicine. "Pseudoaddiction" is allegedly not scary.

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During Bill Clinton's regime, in 1998, the state authorities that license and supervise doctors officially declared that doctors are allowed to prescribe large doses of drugs for pain treatment.

As a result, patients with usual back pain, which from time to time happens to everyone, started to use such doses of opioids as previously only cancer patients used in the last stage. This was on the one hand.

On the other hand, the feeling emerged that if a doctor refuses to give patients drugs to treat pain, then he is not just incompetent, but also immoral and cruel and deserves a fair punishment.

And the punishment was not long in coming. In 1991, a trial in North Carolina awarded compensation to a patient's family in the amount of $7.5 million for that the patient was not given enough painkillers.

A similar process took place in California in 1998. A hospital was ordered to pay a patient compensation in the amount of $1.5 million for the doctor not giving him sufficient analgesics.

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At the same time, during the George W. Bush, there were more than four hundred individual lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, which claimed that painkillers were harmful to health. But none of these individual claims were won.

Doctors began to be afraid to refuse drugs to patients.

Doctor Anna Lembke, in her book, Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It's So Hard to Stop, quotes the words of her own patient, who told her directly: "I know that I'm a drug addict. But if you just don't give me the painkillers I want, I'll sue you for making me suffer."

So-called doctor-shopping then appeared. Its essence is that those who suffer from chronic pain go from doctor to doctor, receiving a prescription from each. Some managed to get prescriptions for 1,200 drugs a month from sixteen different doctors.

Some drugs were used by the patients themselves, others were sold. One pill cost $30, in some cities falling to $10 due to an increase in supply.

Clinics then appeared that specialized exclusively in chronic pain treatment, subsequently termed "pill mills." There are many in Florida where narcotic painkillers spread without any control.

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These clinics especially loved to "treat" visitors from others states, with Kentucky becoming one of the most drug-addled states. The “OxyContin Express” documentary shows these events well.

It then became clear that doctors could not continue to prescribe drugs uncontrollably, and in 2002 there arose the idea of developing a computer database tracking all opioid prescriptions in order to stop professional “patients.”

The proposal was reasonable, but the local Florida government managed to block it until 2009; then it took another year to enter the system. The politicians who opposed claimed they were afraid of a cyberattack against the system, stealing patients’ data.

According to the author of American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic John Temple, heroin addiction was a big problem in the '70s, and the “crack crisis” in the '80s. However, prescription drug addictions has significantly surpassed the scope of these epidemics, but the media remains largely silent about it. Why?

In the 70s and 80s, drugs were distributed exclusively by the drug mafia. And from the end of Clinton’s administration and in George W.’s administration, the uncontrolled distribution of prescription drugs was state approved and theoretically justified in medical literature.

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In 1997, one of the medical journals published the statement that there is no reason to believe that narcotic painkillers will lead to addiction. Ten years later, in 2007, the court still fined a pharmaceutical company that produces OxyContin $635.5 million dollars for knowingly lying that the drug allegedly doesn't cause addiction.

But the question arises of why they were believed in the first place? After all, doctors know perfectly well what ordinary heroin is, and yet they believe that synthetic heroin doesn’t cause addiction. Was this incompetence or some kind of financial interest?

The DEA decides how much of a drug to produce. If a pharmaceutical company seeks more production than the medical need requires, the DEA simply refuses to issue a license for the drug. Thus, in 1993, only 3,520 kg of oxycodone were allowed to be produced.

In 2007, the quota was increased by almost 20 times, to 70,000 kilograms. In 2010, three years after the company that produces OxyContin was fined for cheating, the quota for its production again rose significantly to 105,000 pounds, although logically the quota should be reduced.

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The consequences were sad. From 2000 to 2014, more than 500,000 people reportedly to died from an overdose. Of these, 175,000 died from an overdose of painkillers purchased on prescription. The rest died from ordinary heroin.

The literature now says 75% of heroin addicts began with prescription painkillers. Thus, it is easy to calculate that out of 500,000 people who died from an overdose, 418,000 somehow began to use drugs through the fault of the people in white coats, or, better to say, through the fault of those who forced doctors to distribute pills like candies.

And these stats include only those who directly died from an overdose, not including those who developed a disease from their drug use.

The second unfortunate result is that a large number of decent people became drug addicts. It's one thing to lead an immoral life, hang out at night clubs, looking for adventure, and eventually get hooked on a drug offered in the alley.

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It is quite another thing when a decent family man, who works and deservedly enjoys respect in society, becomes a drug addict and eventually dies, losing all his savings because the doctor, whom he fully trusted, wrote him a prescription without warning that the pills could lead to addiction.

Not only are doctors to blame, but society itself. 26% of teenagers think pills are a good aid to studying. American youth born in 1980-2000 believe psychotropic drugs, from antidepressants to sleeping pills to opioid painkillers, can make life more comfortable.

The measures that were taken after the 2011 announcement that the situation with drug addiction was out of control are only cosmetic. Now doctors, writing a prescription for an opioid group painkiller, are obliged to warn the patient about the risk of becoming dependent on the drug. In addition, all states now have the prescription-tracking database.

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Since it is no longer possible to run from doctor to doctor, then, most likely, those who liked to "treat" pain will quickly switch to illegal heroin.

The scale of pain, where a nurse asks a patient his pain on a scale of 1 to 10, was introduced in 2001 when the current crisis was gaining momentum. Today, many doctors openly say this scale doesn't make any practical sense, but only leads to an increase in the use of the drug. But nevertheless, no one in the supervisory authorities stutters about its abolition, although it has been six years since the emergency was declared.

On June 29th, 2011, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released its study, “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research” which claims 100 million Americans suffer from "debilitating chronic pain," and the document is still quoted.

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The absurdity of this statement should be clear even to the uneducated, but such statements are made by leading doctors to say that American society cannot do without the widest use of opioid painkillers. And this figure is still not officially denied.

American society understands the seriousness of the drug epidemic; at the same time, an increasing number of people come to the conclusion that the way out of the situation is the complete and unconditional legalization of marijuana.

They say it also relieves pain and is safe, and much money is being spent on the promotion of marijuana today by those who stand to earn billions when it is completely legalized.

Thus, history is repeating itself again, and in the near future we can expect only a new round of drug addiction.

Author: USA Really