6/8/2012, Prescription Drug Overdoses Plague New Mexico

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/us/in-new-mexico-battling-prescription-drug-use-that-leads-to-overdoses.html

“Every young person I’ve talked to that’s using heroin always started with pills,” said Jennifer Weiss, president of the Heroin Awareness Committee, formed in 2010 to curb opiate addiction in New Mexico. 

Well, as long as you’ve done a scientific study, Ms. Weiss… And I bet the young people you’ve talked to are all in the middle class, right?  I mean, you know the opioid “epidemic” is mostly found in the white population, don’t you? (Ms. Weiss is another parent who tragically lost a son to heroin abuse and addiction, and somehow, this makes her an addiction expert. These are the people whispering and crying in politicians’ ears…)

Ms. Weiss’s group recently received a $100,000 contract from the City of Albuquerque to plan an adolescent treatment center for opiate addiction.

Patients here are typically treated with dosages of Suboxone, a less stimulating opiate that helps quiet the craving for pain pills and heroin — along with acupuncture, reiki (which involves placing a practitioner’s hands on various body areas to cure ailments) and traditional Mexican healing practices.

Where can I sign up?  I mean, I’m surprised there isn’t a line of people waiting outside this “treatment” center…

On a recent afternoon, three practitioners used reiki and acupuncture to treat a group of addicts, the patients’ feet and arms jerking as they tried to relax. Soon the addicts were fast asleep. Later in the week, there would be another session, a requirement here if patients want their dose of Suboxone.

With a success rate like that (all the addicts fell asleep?), maybe insurance companies should start covering acupuncture — although in the general population, it’s not as successful.  And I don’t think the medical industry has fully embraced acupuncture (I think they call it something else).  But for drug addicts who have no other choice, sure, let them try acupuncture.  If they’re sleeping, they’re not taking drugs, right?

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