12/8/2014, One-time heroin addict rebuilds life


“Methadone is expensive, and it has side effects. It’s not so good for my teeth and I’ve put on a lot of weight, but it’s worth it.”

Her employer, a cellphone company, is very supportive, giving her time to go to her program and to clinic appointments, just as it would if she had diabetes or another chronic disease. “I’m actually covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act,” she explains.

8/11/2014, Montana faces challenges in bottling up prescription drug abuse


In fact, there are 82 painkiller prescriptions for every 100 Montanans and more than 300 deaths from prescription drug overdoses in 2010 and in 2011…

Statistics suggest the state is gaining the upper hand on prescription drug abuse. The number of prescription drug-related deaths in Montana was 109 in 2013, according to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services. The number of people prosecuted for prescription drug crimes in Yellowstone County has fallen 70 percent from 2011 to 2013…

But only 24.4 percent of health care providers eligible to use the list actually do, according to a May report by the Montana Board of Pharmacy to state legislators. The 2015 Legislature will have to revisit the registry to determine whether to change the fee that supports the $300,000 program. 

Wyoming started its registry in 2003. It took several years before the majority of the state’s medical professionals were using the list, but most now do, said Mary Walker, the state’s Pharmacy Board executive. Large pharmacy chains concerned about liability in prescription drug cases played a big role in boosting use, Walker said.

11/6/2014, Montana pharmacist receives prison time for drug overdose death


BILLINGS – A former Sidney pharmacist was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for distributing prescription drugs that led to a 2013 overdose death.

On Oct. 19, 2013, Ben Hunn, a 47-year-old Great Falls man, gave Vicodin (hydrocodone), Soma, Ambien, and Xanax to a Sidney resident, stated a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Thursday.

Later in that evening, the person died from a drug overdose.

The End of Gangs [?]


I’m not sure what to think about this article… I mean, it’s great that the violence and crime has decreased so significantly in Los Angeles, but it seems like all they did was move the worst of the problems into the prison system.  Like hiding a problem instead of dealing with it.

And the article mentions crime moving from outdoors to indoors since the digital revolution… obviously, underground markets on the the internet are much safer than those operating on street corners.  Or so I’ve read.  But that doesn’t change the amount of illegal activity still happening.

The community policing sounds like a great idea, and the people who live there appear satisfied — but isn’t this just a continuation of the drug war?

I see graffiti tags around Albuquerque all the time — the captioned picture is just the latest one. And I have plenty of pictures around my apartment complex of trash being left everywhere but in the dumpster — from beer cans and broken vodka bottles to tires and old TV sets.  When I’m able, I pick up some trash myself because I just get so tired of seeing it all.

I’ve heard about gang activity in this city, and I hope the state legalizes cannabis next year… that should help.  A little, anyway.  But this city and state are some of the poorest in the country, and if you read the article about Los Angeles and its problem with gangs, you can see the same kind of problems here, today, in Albuquerque.

Revised Pot Proposal Nets More Criticism, Some Public

By Phaedra Haywood


McSorley said New Mexico’s program, which has about 13,000 patients enrolled, is “statistically failing” and would have more like 60,000 participants if it were more user friendly.

McSorley said that when the Legislature created the Erin and Lynn Compassionate Use Act it anticipated it would be doctors on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board who would devise program policies, not administrators.

But that hasn’t been the case, according to Dr. Laura Brown, a member of the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board who said she is concerned about the relationship between the department and the board because the department hasn’t sent representatives to the board’s meetings or responded to the board’s recommendations on the proposed rules.

Department of Health spokesman Kenny Vigil confirmed Monday that former advisory board Chairman Dr. Steve Jenison – who, to the dismay of some advocates, was not reappointed when his term ended in 2013 – has been appointed to fill a vacant spot on the board.

Vigil said about 830 people have submitted written comments on the proposed rule changes – which can be found online at http://www.nmhealth.org – – and written comments will be accepted through Jan. 5. Comments can be submitted by mail to Medical Cannabis Program, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, N.M. 87502, or by email to medical.cannabis@state.nm.us.

Once the comment period ends, hearing officer Susan Hapka will submit her report and recommendations to Department Secretary Retta Ward, who will decide whether to implement the rule changes or make more revisions.

There has to be a way to speed up this process… Waiting for another report from the hearing officer, even though the first one didn’t add anything to the conversation.  Then waiting for Ms. Ward to make the final decisions… Who’s idea was it to give so much power to one person?

We’re talking about a program and rules that affect patients who are really sick, some who don’t have the time to twiddle their thumbs while the wheels of government slowly churn.  Does the Department of Health understand the suffering that results from this slow-moving train?

U.S. Bishops Take Aim at Sterilization


In November, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to tighten its rules on partnerships and collaborations between Catholic and non-Catholic health care providers. The move has potentially sweeping implications for patients, doctors, and medical providers in thousands of communities from New York to California…

Those directives govern care at every Catholic-sponsored hospital, clinic, nursing home, and health-care business in the United States. They are also meant to cover the joint operations of merged Catholic and secular health care facilities… Ten of the 25 largest health systems in the nation — and four of the five largest nonprofit networks —are now Catholic-sponsored.


Christus Health in New Mexico

Our Mission:  WHY WE EXIST.  To extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.


7/1/2014, CHRISTUS Health Plan may join New Mexico exchange

Dallas-based CHRISTUS Health is a $3.6 billion-a-year nonprofit, Catholic health care system that has more than 60 hospitals and 175 clinics and outpatient facilities in seven states and Mexico… CHRISTUS Health Plan was founded in 2012 and is a Medicaid provider in Texas. It has about 7,500 members, McNeil added.


CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center is a private, faith-based, not-for-profit. Located in Santa Fe, NM, CHRISTUS St. Vincent is the only Level III Trauma Center in Northern New Mexico. With a medical staff of 380 providers covering 34 specialties, CHRISTUS St. Vincent serves more than 300,000 residents.

Radical change on drugs is the only way forward


The consequences of addiction in an illegal marketplace are far greater than the addiction alone. Users don’t know how much of their purchase is heroin or whether it has been cut with an agent such as Fentanyl, a drug many times stronger than heroin.

Over the past year, the Globe has published dozens of similar articles discussing the appalling increase in heroin overdose deaths. Yet there hasn’t been a significant discussion of solutions to this problem.

The Benefits of Being Cold


The sturdy Han Solo–style garment is loaded with ice packs, and it’s inspired by a theory gathering momentum among scientists: namely, that environmental thermodynamics can be harnessed in pursuit of weight loss. The basic idea is that because your body uses energy to maintain a normal body temperature, exposure to cold expends calories…

It was October when we spoke, and he claimed that he couldn’t get a single squirrel to eat a peanut. “They bury every one I give them,” he said. In the spring, though, the squirrels ate his peanuts readily. “In their world, they don’t eat for entertainment,” he added. Few animals do.

12/12/2014, Death by Medical Mistakes Hit Records


Hearing members, who spoke before the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, not only underscored the devastating loss of human life – more than 1,000 people each day – but also called attention to the fact that these medical errors cost the nation a colossal $1 trillion each year.

The Pharmaceutical Slaughter


Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are dangerous drugs that have been used recklessly since their introduction to the market as a first-choice broad-spectrum antibiotic. They are likely responsible for many of the “mysterious” illnesses that have been on the rise since the early 1980s when Cipro was patented by Bayer and Levaquin was patented by Johnson & Johnson. Everyone who has Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Thyroid Dysfunction, any Autoimmune Disease, Gulf War Syndrome, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Dysautonomia, etc. should look at their medical records to see if they have ever taken a fluoroquinolone. If a fluoroquinolone is in your past, fractured genes may have resulted, and thus your pain and suffering. Please note that adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones are often delayed for weeks or sometimes months or years after administration of the drugs has stopped and there is a tolerance threshold for metabolism of these drugs (20) so most people do not react to their first dose…

Studies of the DNA make-up of Gulf War Veterans and their children may also be revealing as all 1991 Gulf War Veterans were given Cipro prophylactically because of fear of anthrax (25). Likewise, in 2001 United States Postal Workers who took Cipro prophylactically, also to prevent anthrax, and any ensuing health issues that they have (57% reported side-effects -26) may be related to their exposure to fluoroquinolones…