US Senate probes painkiller makers and their advocates.
Improper relationships between pharmaceutical companies and organizations that promote their drugs helped usher in an epidemic that's killed 100,000 people through misuse of opioids. Sales of the powerful drugs have risen 300 percent since 1999 and opioids were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined.
Richard Paey Speaks
- An interview with the paraplegic man sentenced
to 25 years in prison for treating his own pain, but now out after a full pardon by the Florida Governor. [more inside]
Drugs Banned, Many of World’s Poor Suffer in Pain
"Millions of people die in pain
because they cannot get morphine, which is legal for medical use in most nations." [Via TalkLeft.]
Recognizing Pain Management
as a Fundamental Human Right
. These pieces from the journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society
argue that under-treated chronic pain
is becoming a public health crisis which must be addressed. But a warning to pain doctors in the U.S. who prescribe opioids
in doses that seem high to narcotics agents and prosecutors: “Be afraid.” [Via Hit & Run and TalkLeft.]
Placebos Trigger Opioids.
New research indicates that the placebo effect is physical, not merely "psychological." Brain scans show that people who believe they are getting a medication to control pain trigger the release of opioids in their brains. Those natural endorphins reduce pain.
When Karl Marx said that religion in the opiate of the masses, he may have been literally correct. If faith in an useless medication can release natural painkillers, won't faith that God will make your life less painful do the same? This might also help explain why religion is so addictive, and why many people like the POTUS pass through the gateway drugs of alcohol and cocaine only to migrate to religion and jogging, which also releases endorphins
The war on drugs is unfairly targeting doctors who prescribe legal pain medication
to their patients who suffer from chronic pain, according to a spokeswoman of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
. She was speaking at a press conference of patient and physician advocacy groups
, sponsored by the Pain Relief Network
, in support of Dr. William Hurwitz
. Dr. Hurwitz
has been indicted and imprisoned for prescribing high doses of opioid pain relievers
, as have other pain-management doctors
. But these crackdowns may end up doing more harm than good to patients in chronic pain
. [More inside.]