Last month, Brown was asked to take a costly drug-screen blood test and also to sign a “controlled substance treatment agreement,” with her physician, Dr. David Miller, a pain management specialist. The five-page agreement cites a lengthy list of criteria, including this statement that Brown was asked to agree to: “I will not use illegal/street drugs (including marijuana).”
She refused to sign the agreement, though she took the drug screen, knowing full well that marijuana would be detected in her system. Her doctor knew full well too, she said.
“I told him that I smoke marijuana,” she said flatly.
Her test showed signs of pot, which raised red flags for the doctor’s office. “I was told that my drug treatment medication would no longer be issued or it would be reduced to maintenance level so I could avoid withdrawal symptoms,” she said…
I also contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which reminded me of its class-action lawsuit filed earlier this year against the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana. The suit challenges the constitutionality of a new rule requiring some pain patients to submit to mandatory drug testing.
Since 2009, there have been 1,187 incidents where health information protected by HIPAA was hacked, improperly disclosed, lost or stolen involving more than 41 million individuals, according to reports to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those cases only include instances where more than 500 records were involved. Matters involving fewer records don’t have to be reported.
NEW DRUG AWARENESS PROJECT “NO EXCEPTIONS” Urges Support for Legislation to Help Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse
Today Governor Susana Martinez announced the rollout of a new video project called “No Exceptions” to bring attention to the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and heroin abuse by young people in New Mexico, and to urge parents, community members, and public officials to work together to stop this serious problem. She was joined by Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier, Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera, Department of Health Secretary Catherine Torres, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, Jennifer Weiss of the Heroin Awareness Committee, and families of New Mexico kids who have been affected by prescription drug abuse.
[I’m confused, are only young people affected by this “epidemic”? Or is that just how Governor Martinez sold the continuation of the failed drug war?]
“No Exceptions” is a comprehensive media campaign involving the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC), the Human Services Department (HSD), the Public Education Department (PED), the Department of Health (DOH), the Heroin Awareness Committee (HAC), and private partners…
[So many fighting the failed drug war… lots of taxpayer dollars paying these government salaries… for the government to keep prescription medications away from pain patients. Oh, and of course, the children…]
“By providing education on the dangers of drug abuse before it starts, we can save lives, and by expanding and improving prescription drug monitoring and better defining when and how these drugs are prescribed for legitimate reasons, we can take tangible steps to curb prescription drug abuse in New Mexico.”
The ongoing media campaign will kick-off with public service announcements (PSAs) paid for by the NMBHC and HSD airing statewide in cooperation with the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (NMBA). The PSAs will begin airing on television and radio this week and will continue throughout the year. In addition, PED will be sending a letter to all school superintendents encouraging them to have their middle and high school health classes show the video and host discussions based on the video in their health classes…
[Like I said, so many involved in fighting the drug war… must be expensive.]
At 27 overdose deaths for every 100,000 people, New Mexico has the highest drug overdose rate in the United States. This frightening statistic is more than double the United States rate of 11.9 deaths for every 100,000 people and has increased by 242% since 1991. In New Mexico, 40% of these deaths are caused primarily by prescription drugs…
[What were the other 60% of deaths caused by?]
Governor Martinez also announced her support for legislation to help reduce prescription drug abuse in New Mexico. Three pieces of legislation – modifications to the Pain Relief Act, enacting more safeguards for the prescribing of opioids, and an expansion of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database – are keys to help combat this problem…
SB 158, SB 159, and SB 215 are being carried by Senator Bernadette Sanchez this legislative session and are based on countless hours of work by the Department of Health, the Heroin Awareness Committee, Senator Bernadette Sanchez, and the Board of Pharmacy. These bills will provide needed revisions to the Pain Relief Act, enacting more safeguards and increased monitoring of opioid medication prescriptions. SB 159 and SB 215 have already received the approval of the Senate Public Affairs…
SB 158 will expand, improve, and implement the current Prescription Drug Monitoring Database (PDMP) to hold doctors accountable for the opioids prescriptions they write, as well as reduce the amount of opioid drugs that are illegitimately prescribed.
SB 159 seeks to clarify the procedures under which certain opioid medications are obtained by educating patients, requiring informed consent, and limiting the number of opioids prescribed throughout the state. SB 215 expands the definition of “pain,” to be inclusive of both “acute” and “chronic” pain in order to ensure proper pain management for patients…
[Yeah, it looks like that didn’t happen.]
Catherine Torres, M.D. “The legislation being sponsored by Senator Sanchez will go a long way toward addressing the addiction and overdose death problems we face in New Mexico. More proactive action is needed on this issue, and this is a major step in the right direction. I urge the legislature to support these bills.”
Allstate is just one company, the CFA said, that has worked with consultants to create a broad array of pricing tables intended to push up profits. The price differences are determined using “marketplace considerations,” which doesn’t involve risk, and can result in anything from “a 90 percent discount off the standard rate to increasing his or her premium by 800 percent, depending upon Allstate’s analysis of the individual policyholder’s ‘marketplace considerations.’ ”
“I think we consume far more dangerous drugs that are legal: cigarette smoking, nicotine and alcohol,” said Joycelyn Elders, the former surgeon general and a supporter of the measure.“I feel they cause much more devastating effects physically. We need to lift the prohibition on marijuana.”
Elders drew fire – and censure from the Clinton administration – when she suggested that legalizing drugs might help reduce crime and that the idea should be studied. On December 15, 1993, around one week after making these comments, charges were filed against her son Kevin, for selling cocaine in an incident involving undercover officers, four months prior. Elders believes the incident was a frame-up and the timing of the charges was designed to embarrass her and the president. Kevin Elders was convicted, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
From the internet:
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.”
— Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General under President Clinton
The bill lacks any fix to the widely hated sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician reimbursement under Medicare…
Fleming also expressed disappointment about the House bill’s failure to increase the primary care pay bump for Medicaid physicians to bring their rates into parity with those of Medicare. “We did a member survey and found that 40% would cut back or stop seeing Medicaid patients altogether if parity was not sustained,” he said.