Monday, 12 December 2016

Fentanyl and you,. The real villains in the opioid overdose epidemic are counterfeit pills

quote [ When investigators sent counterfeit pills seized after the Sacramento poisonings for testing at the University of California, they found a wide disparity in the amount of fentanyl each contained. Some pills had as little as 0.6mg. Others were stuffed with 6.9mg of the drug, which would almost certainly be fatal. ]

As someone who depends on strong opioids to maintain a minimal quality of life. I truly hope that we can stop demonizing fentanyl and other strong medicines and focus on the real problems; i.e. poor addiction treatment, counterfeit drugs, and poor overall health care. The last thing the country needs is a revitalization of the war on drugs, which is what demonizing the drugs will do.

Follow up to discussions following Prince's overdose. Original discussion here:

I am posting from my phone so can't easily copy entire article here; will try to update when home

Natasha Butler had never heard of fentanyl until a doctor told her that a single pill had pushed her eldest son to the brink of death – and he wasn’t coming back. “The doctor said fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. I know morphine is really, really powerful. I’m trying to understand. All that in one pill? How did Jerome get that pill?” she asked, her voice dropping to a whisper as the tears came. “Jerome was on a respirator and he was pretty much unresponsive. The doctor told me all his organs had shut down. His brain was swelling, putting pressure on to the spine. They said if he makes it he’ll be a vegetable.”

The last picture of Jerome shows him propped immobile in a hospital bed, eyes closed, sustained only by a clutch of tubes and wires. Natasha took the near impossible decision to let him die.

“I had to remove him from life support. That’s the hardest thing to ever do. I had him at 15 so we grew together. He was 28 when he died,” she said. “I had to let him die but after that I needed some answers. What is fentanyl and how did he get it?”
[SFW] [politics] [+4 Interesting]
[by jsabin69@4:52pmGMT]


XregnaR said @ 5:16pm GMT on 12th Dec [Score:1 Insightful]
I would add the explosion in the number of "pain management clinics" to the list of possible causes of the perceived new epidemic.
sanepride said @ 5:30pm GMT on 12th Dec [Score:1 Insightful]
Only just skimmed, but for the most part I agree that it's misguided to demonize the drugs themselves, which no doubt are necessary and useful for many patients. Drugs after all are really just tools, that can be properly utilized or misused to great detriment. A hand saw may get the job done with minimal risk to the user, so why why use an industrial panel saw for the same job and risk losing digits? Each has its use, each requires a different degree of caution and training.
On the other hand, it's totally fair to demonize the drug companies and the system that promotes marketing and profits over safety, prudence, and social well-being- pushing the industrial panel saw when the simple hand saw may be perfectly adequate. For example, plenty of people with chronic pain and particularly addiction issues may be sufficiently helped by cannabis or kratom, but political pressure from drug companies suppresses even the needed research to find out how these substances work.
Really blaming the opioid addiction and OD epidemic mainly on the lack of quality from the black market kind of glosses over the systemic roots of the problem and gives cover to some of the actual villains.
papango said @ 4:58am GMT on 13th Dec
Purdue Pharma marketed OxyContin specifically as much less addictive, and the evidence was falsified, so even doctors who checked were misled. So even good doctors were more likely to proscribe it over other painkillers and less likely to warn about or watch for signs of addiction. And even when it became clear that is was addictive, the company had to be strong-armed into making a non-crushable version (and thereby losing the illegal market). But by then it was too late. People were addicted and there's little to no support for them, so they moved on to other drugs. This sits squarely with Purdue Pharma.
bbqkink said @ 6:47pm GMT on 12th Dec [Score:1 Informative]
eidolon said @ 8:37pm GMT on 12th Dec [Score:1 Insightful]
It looks like they're counting total and not per capita for the population or per capita deaths for all users. With the baby boomers reaching old age, the total number of people using opioids will increase, so the deaths would increase as well.
bbqkink said[1] @ 9:27pm GMT on 12th Dec
I don't understand ...don't you think there has been an explosion of people using opioids?

You can use the interactive map to look at any age group you would like. I can tell you the reason that the largest group is 65 to 75 is that they are a comfortable way out the door and a lot of those deaths are not accidental.

The reason this has came to such national prominence is these are in a large part rural white folks...not intercity blacks.
eidolon said @ 10:06pm GMT on 12th Dec
If we remove the elderly, how do the figures look?
bbqkink said @ 10:46pm GMT on 12th Dec
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 10:19pm GMT on 12th Dec
My mother-in-law gets opioid prescriptions by the truckload and never takes even half of them. The street value of her bathroom is astronomical.
bobolink said @ 11:47pm GMT on 12th Dec
Home invasion is not an uncommon crime these days. That is a naively unsafe situation. Rather than point her out as a target of opportunity you may wish to correct the situation.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 12:33am GMT on 13th Dec
If any thieves can manage to locate anything in her house, she'd probably tell them they're welcome to it.
RokDragon said @ 12:03am GMT on 13th Dec
My wife's 96 year old grandmother refused anything stronger than Tylenol for a couple of years because she didn't want to 'get hooked'.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 1:13am GMT on 13th Dec [Score:1 Classy Pr0n]
If that had been my grandmother, I don't think I could have kept myself from nodding sagely and agreeing because we didn't want her selling her body on streetcorners again.
RokDragon said @ 4:15am GMT on 13th Dec
Snorting blow off a stranger's dick is no way to spend your golden years, grandma!
sanepride said @ 5:11pm GMT on 12th Dec
Really copying the whole article is only necessary if there's a paywall or registration needed to read it. As far as I can tell there's none for The Guardian.
lilmookieesquire said[1] @ 11:38pm GMT on 12th Dec
I always copy the article because sometimes urls get moved around and the article is lost forever

Edit: Also, it avoids the issues of live editing

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