News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

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Rustsmith
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News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby Rustsmith » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:12 am

This link is to a piece that was done earlier this month by Fox News about how the pressure being placed on doctors by government regulators is causing harm to chronic pain patients, including an increase in suicides. This is the first of a three part series. If you search on the title, you can find the links to the 2nd and 3rd installments. I mentioned this piece to the Foundation office and was told that it has been added to the info that they leave with Congressional staffers when they visit offices in DC.

My personal thought is that if a conservative news outlet like Fox can do something that is positive to our position as this, I hope that the more liberal national news organizations take the hint and start swinging the opioid crisis news pendulum back toward neutral. Maybe then the CDC and DEA would let up on the doctors and go after the criminals that are really responsible for the overdose deaths (and to be clear, I mean the pushers, distributors and importers of illegal drugs and not the overdose victims).

https://www.foxnews.com/health/as-opioids-become-taboo-doctors-taper-down-or-abandon-pain-patients-driving-many-to-suicide?fbclid=IwAR1G01u-PBubldhdoCt0qZ_AC8BVr56qQ1D4ajV_s673U7vcgfQA5p9ehxE
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

stjohnh
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby stjohnh » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:26 pm

YAY!! The voice of reason!
Blessings,
Holland

Polar Bear
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby Polar Bear » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:44 pm

Federal officials have said the CDC guidelines weren’t intended to disrupt the proper prescribing and use of opioids. “We’re not telling any doctor that they can’t make a legitimate prescription,” then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News, in an interview before he left office. “Maybe some doctors are getting too cautious. We don’t know.”

Sessions acknowledged “opioid prescribing can be essential for people,” and said, “it’s very clear that people with serious pain problems are in need of real significant pain relief and sometimes [opioids] are the only thing that will provide relief, and it is absolutely legitimate to prescribe it.”


This quote from the linked document appears to soften somewhat talk of doctors' fear of opioid prescribing.
However, clearly there is a greater fear that overrides this quote.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Rustsmith
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby Rustsmith » Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:04 pm

Betty, I think it was either in the second or third part of their work where they spoke about how the DEA has raided doctors' offices and confiscated patient records for evidence based solely upon statistics that showed the doctor prescribed greater than the average number of pills. This puts the doctor out of business (at least until the records are returned at some point in the distant future, sends the doctor into bankruptcy because (s)he has no other way to earn a living and puts all of the patients out on the street with minimal hope of finding another doctor. The doctor doesn't even need to lose his/her license to practice or even be charged with some sort of crime. The former Atty General can make all sorts of comments like the ones you quoted, but many doctors are truly in fear of the DEA and being driven out of business for no good reason. They documented on doctor who was exonerated and got his records back, but only after a couple of years.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby Polar Bear » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:05 pm

An appallingly difficult and sad time for doctors and patients.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

QyX
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby QyX » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:50 pm

Why is the U.S. always going from one extreme to another?

Where is the reason, the middleground?

I take an equivalent dose of around 250 mg of Morphine for RLS. In the U.S. ... I think I would be dead.

QyX
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby QyX » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:31 pm

The doctors in the U.S. made a couple of mistakes:

1) chronic pain therapy was centered mainly on prescribing opioids because it was a fast and easy solution. However by doing so, they made the second mistake

2) patients were not carefully selected for opioid therapy like we do in Germany. Basically every form of chronic pain was eligible for opioid therapy even though the scientific evidence or guidelines did not recommend long term opioid therapy.

3) it seems like the use of co-analgetica like antiepileptics, some antidepressants, cannabis and other substances was not very common even though those substances can boost opioid efficiency and increase the time it takes to develop a tolerance towards opioids.

4) it seems like opioids were often the 1st solution instead of being the last option in case no other treatments were working

5) access to opioid addiction therapy seems to be very difficult and complicated in many states. doctors continued to prescribe opioids to those who got addicted and instead of referring to to an addiction specialists who can treat patients with Methadone and Buprenorphine

6) even within the medical community addiction is seen as some kind of moral failure and not as an disease. for those who are really addicted to opioids it is often impossible to stop opiods for a longer period. those who are psychologically addicted will relapse rather sooner than later and because the heroine is mixed with high potent fentanyl, those addicts who not longer have a tolerance because they were clean for a couple of weeks or months now have a high risk of dying from an overdose

7) doctors and the public were poorly educated about the risks and dangers of opioids

Ask yourself this: why is there no such opioid crisis in western Europe and why don't you hear anything about chronic pain patients committing suicide because they were denied access to opioids?

The U.S. is just - once again - going from one extreme to another. For how to deal with opioids, the U.S. should look to countries like Portugal, Germany or Switzerland.

QyX
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby QyX » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:02 am

There is a new article in the New York Times, talking about treatment for opioid addiction. I know it is a bit off topic but it touches a topic I wrote in this thread before. The article says:

More than 70,000 people in the United States died of overdoses in 2017, and opioids were the main driver. But nationally, 49 percent of the nearly 3,000 residential programs that treat opioid addiction still don’t use any of the medications proven to save lives, according to an analysis by amfAR, a foundation that funds AIDS research. Even so, that is an improvement over 2016, when 58 percent weren’t using any of them.


Overall the article is very positive and shows that the overall treatment approaches are changing.


When the administration announced $1 billion in new grants to expand access to treatment earlier this year, it emphasized that only programs that made these medicines available were eligible. Mr. Azar has also enlisted his agency’s Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives, to reach out and explain the importance of medication to religiously affiliated providers of treatment and recovery services, which tend to embrace an abstinence-only approach.


(They are talking about the use of Methadone & Buprenorphine for treating opioid addiction)

Here is the full article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/heal ... ation.html

Rustsmith
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby Rustsmith » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:45 am

Up until this last fall, the rules on buprenorphine (combined with naloxone as Suboxone) were very restrictive. Doctors had to have special training to be allowed to prescribe it and there was a limit on the number of patients that a doctor could treat with it at any one time.

One of the few really intelligent things that has recently come out of Congress was that they removed most of those restrictions for addiction treatment. They also removed a number of restrictions that had existed for Medicaid coverage at addiction treatment centers.

I have even starting to see a few more RLS patients being treated with Suboxone.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

QyX
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby QyX » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:33 pm

Today I found this video on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/72Y8YB6OY_U

I think it explains and sums up the hole situation pretty good.

It is simply infuriating that those "volutenary" CDC guidelines, written by anti-opioid ideologists, became law in so many states.

Rustsmith
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Re: News on Opioids crisis and impact on patients

Postby Rustsmith » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:08 pm

Thanks for posting. Interesting presentation by the Las Vegas television station. Too bad more media outlets don't run or print similar stories.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.


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