Opioid addiction…

Opioid addictionDr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire recently commented that the horn blowing by politicians and law enforcement over “complicity of physicians in the heroin crisis” is an attempt to affix and thereby shift blame for the recent spate of overdose deaths.  The current theory goes that by ‘over-prescribing’ opioids to patients in the ER, post operatively for pain control, and in family practitioner offices for chronic maladies, that the consumers ‘become’ addicts, get ‘hooked’.  This is utter nonsense, and for which there is not one shred of evidence.  While an understandable layman’s intuitive conclusion, but nonsense nonetheless.

Perhaps officials, governors, drug czars and police chiefs alike, are too familiar with the old model of blaming the demon alcohol for the alcoholic.  To blame prescriptions for opioid addiction and Jack Daniels for alcoholism is like blaming a deck of cards for a gambling addiction.  It’s like blaming malls for compulsive shopping, or restaurants for obesity.

Addiction is an extremely complex condition, and reducing it to a simple ‘cause and effect’, while serving the accusers very well, does nothing to solve the problem of addiction.  Addiction requires a susceptible individual (the right combination of social experience and genetic makeup), stress, and yes, availability of agent.  With respect to availability of opioids, they always have been, whether by black market or by prescription or by cultivating poppies. Nothing has changed in overall availability in a century.

Opioid pharma and profits…

Opiod pharma 2Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire stated that the pharmaceutical industry has never been a sanctuary from greed and placing profits before caring.  The attached link is mind numbing.  Be sure to scroll through the lawsuit embedded in the middle of this NY Times article.  The allegations against opioid pharma are staggering even if only 1/10 is factual.  Once respected names in pain medicine willingly allowed themselves to be used as pawns in big pharma’s high pressure marketing techniques.  Opiod pharma 4

Drugs such as Fentora, Actiq, Subsys, and Oxycontin, never approved by the FDA for non-cancer pain, were hawked by Drs Lyn Webster, Russ Portenoy, and Scott Fishman, and in return they were rewarded with millions of dollars.  The American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Pain Society and the defunct American Pain Foundation all advocated for the safety and efficacy of opioids for benign chronic pain, yet with essentially no evidence supporting it.   

See the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/us/chicago-and-2-california-counties-sue-drug-companies-over-painkiller-marketing.html?ref=health&_r=0