Medical Cannabis Program Statistics as of 3/4/2015

http://nmhealth.org/publication/view/report/1549/

Population of New Mexico:  2.08 million (2014)

Active Patients as of 3/4/2015:  13,310  (This is about 0.6% of the population.)
Active PPL:  3,506 (Less than 30% of patients have a license to grow their own.)

New Patients Approved in February 2015:  230

Re-Enroll Patients Approved in February 2015:  829

Patients who status changed to inactive February 2015:  258

230 new members, and 258 that couldn’t afford to renew.  There is so little information in this report, but it looks like the program is continuing to shrink.

PTSD:  5966

Chronic pain:  3498

Voices of MMJ patients in NM

https://www.facebook.com/nmmcpa

Kevin Nelson
March 25 at 4:05pm
I am Very upset with the way I was treated at R. Greenleaf in Albuquerque! I was sold a domeless ceramic nail that I was assured would work with my setup. When I got home I was to small so I returned to the dispensary & you can imagine my disappointment when I was told by the staff & R. Greenleaf when I was told they wouldn’t exchange it for something that would work for me & that sense it has not been used I should try to sell it on the street to someone! Now I’m out the money & cannot use my medicine. I am completely baffled by the way this was handled by them & the ridiculous solution they had for me. Never again will I return to R. Greenleaf.

Shawn Gentry
March 25 at 5:11pm
::ALERT:: So I go to assist a patient in possible conflict resolution with R. Greenleaf and I find another HUGE issue over the already stupidity they found themselves in…. Not only did they flat refuse to refund a patient for an unused product that was “guaranteed to work.” It didn’t and the patient made another huge trek to get something to work and was refused return or exchange (according to the patient). 100% satisfaction guarantee huh? Anyway on to the more insane issue that effects everyone that uses their website…. So they are selling ads on their website now. A website for patients ONLY. So to make money from those ads, you have to usually submit to an “inventory” of IP addresses and “soft data” to verify that a person visited so they can get paid for the traffic. This is a very good case for a HIPAA Violations… Someone with some more tech savvy sense in this matter should look in to this matter with a quickness. If they are disclosing our IP or any data is “unauthorized disclosure of personal identifiable information.

Brainy quotes on Squirrels

“A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit!”  Sarah Jessica Parker

“I’m not squeamish at all. As a child I dragged a dead squirrel home on my skateboard and cut it open and tried to look at its brain.”  Jessica Biel

“My dad liked to boil a squirrel head and suck the brains out the nose. Smaller than a chicken, bigger than a rat.”  Beth Ditto

“The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.”  Henry David Thoreau

“I squirrel away sealed greeting cards that people give me so I can open them later when I’m having a bad day.”  Emily Procter

F*ck

For every time I’ve had to close down everything I’m doing so I could download the latest update.  For every time I’ve lost my connection and had to reboot.  For every time I’ve had to reset my “wireless network adapter” today (I stopped counting at 50, seriously).  For every time I’ve had to refresh a page because my “like” didn’t register.  And for every time I get the error message that a webpage is not available.  I hereby release all my fuck yous… at least until the next update.

Death From Drug Addiction: Families Speak Out In Obituaries In Hopes Of Saving Others

https://www.yahoo.com/health/naming-the-addiction-families-use-obituaries-to-113522579072.html

https://louisevincent.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/doing-harm-the-american-way/

While I do not know all the details of this particular story, I did hear a few things in the news story that caused me great distress. First, the young man had been recently arrested but let out of jail because of overcrowding. His parents begged the system to keep him locked up. They believe this would have saved his life. I would argue that the arrest and experience in jail only exacerbated his drug use…

We know that when you flood a community with Naloxone you reduce overdose deaths by 49%…

I don’t know where this information came from — there’s no cite or reference — but I don’t believe it’s true.  Naloxone by itself doesn’t reduce overdose deaths by 49%, but I’m sure this drug has a pretty good success rate in the specific patient population that is addicted to heroin. It’s just that most people who overdose on heroin are doing drugs by themselves, hidden away from anyone who might be able to administer Narcan.

And the stigma of pain patients or their family members having to pay for an additional drug just in case of an overdose… I just don’t see how Narcan will help prevent overdoses in the pain patient population. Of course, knowing the federal government, along with peeing in a cup and pill counts, pain patients will soon be required to also buy Narcan — just in case.

What the federal government has in mind for pain patients is having us all register as drug addicts, across every state, with the information being available to just about anyone (especially future employers, insurance companies, and doctors).

You think it’s hard now to get certain medications to treat pain, just wait until the PDMPs are used nationwide.  It’ll be like being on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. If you want to switch doctors, say your pain doctor just wants to do more injections — all the potential doctors you could see will be looking you up on the PDMP (hey, that rhymes), maybe even talking to your prior doctors.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/03/26/hhs-funds-naloxone-to-prevent-heroin-deaths/70448568/

The push for naloxone, which includes an expanded grants program for states to purchase the drug, is part of a new initiative to be announced Thursday by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to reduce deaths from prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, and heroin. Heroin-related overdose deaths increased 39% from 2012 to 2013, and prescription opioids accounted for more than a third of all overdose deaths in 2013.

Since Naloxone may help those who overdose from heroin, and since “heroin-related” deaths are on the rise, this is a great idea.  However, saying Naloxone will help deaths from prescription painkillers is a little, shall we say, too hopeful?  No, what will help pain patients is to have their pain adequately treated, not to have Narcan at the ready just in case of an overdose.

The HHS effort will focus on curbing overprescribing and inappropriate prescribing of pain pills, expansion of overdose reversal programs, and increasing access to treatment programs that use medication as well as counseling to help addicts…

These efforts don’t include increasing access to pain management treatments or programs — no, this is just about addiction.  This whole program, all this money, it’s all about addiction.

To increase access to treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will provide $12 million in grants to purchase medicine used to treat opioid addiction, such as buprenorphine, and train healthcare providers to use the medicines as part of a treatment program. The president’s budget asks for another $13 million to expand the program in 2016.

The government will also invest $20 million this year and has asked for $45 million next year for prescription drug monitoring programs which track prescriptions for narcotics to prevent addicts from going from doctor to doctor to collect multiple prescriptions. Doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals can access the databases before prescribing. The systems can also identify doctors who may be overprescribing.

“Some states have very sophisticated systems to identifying troubling patterns. Other states are less developed,” Frank said. “We’re moving toward having best practices in all 50 states.”

While the title of this article is “HHS to fund more naloxone programs to halt opioid deaths,” the link says “heroin” rather than “opioid.”  Really, they are one and the same to the media, even though one is illegal and one is not.

And the drug war continues… as always, funded by the federal government… I mean, us.

If you don’t have a conscious, do you sleep better?

http://www.answers.com/Q/Are_sociopaths_or_psychopaths_ever_rendered_

physically_handicapped_or_chronically_ill_by_their_condition

As if all that isn’t bad enough, a true psychopath has an extremely peculiar brainwave pattern: while awake, their brain waves most resemble a hybrid of normal waking brain waves and alpha-level sleep waves. They seem incapable of producing true beta waves. And they often tend to sleep deeply, although there are also documented cases of severe insomnia in psychopaths…

http://www.answers.com/Q/What_do_psychopaths_or_sociopaths_generally_suffer_from

As a result of its use by the media, the word psychopath has become a near synonym for serial killer. The term generally used now is sociopath. Sociopaths have great difficulty learning from life, from experience; and this hampers their emotional development: they are desperately immature and very selfish. They have no respect for others. They lack a conscience…

http://www.damninteresting.com/the-unburdened-mind/

In the public imagination, a “psychopath” is a violent serial killer or an over-the-top movie villain, as one sometimes might suspect Frank to be. He is highly impulsive and has a callous disregard for the well-being of others that can be disquieting. But he is just as likely to be a next-door neighbor, a doctor, or an actor on TV—essentially no different from anyone else who holds these roles, except that Frank lacks the nagging little voice which so profoundly influences most of our lives. Frank has no conscience. And as much as we would like to think that people like him are a rare aberration, safely locked away, the truth is that they are more common than most would ever guess…

Playing Statue

“The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?'”  Robin Williams

“The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead.”  William Lloyd Garrison

“Did you see the statue topple? Bill Clinton got nostalgic seeing something that big in a beret go down.”  Craig Kilborn

“I have a bronze statue of myself, naked. I have these really big curls and water comes out of every curl. It’s hot.”  Macy Gray

“I’m not Hans Christian Anderson. Nobody’s gonna make a statue in the park with a lot of scrambling kids climbing up me. I won’t have it, okay?”  Maurice Sendak

“You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue.”  Claude Chabrol

(Photo taken yesterday.)

Does Your Boss Have a Right to Know if You’re Mentally Ill?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-27/does-your-boss-have-a-right-to-know-if-you-re-mentally-ill-

In the U.S., laws that include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevent companies from asking job applicants about their medical status, including mental health. Once a job offer has been extended, applicants or employees can be evaluated to see whether they can meet the requirements of the position. That can include both physical and cognitive or emotional evaluations…

Some of the occupations in which employees in crisis could pose particular risks, such as police work, the military, and aviation, have the most macho cultures, which discourages people from seeking help…

Honberg says the Federal Aviation Administration loosened longtime bans on flying by anyone taking psychiatric medications, allowing exceptions for some antidepressants. That step, he says, can encourage pilots to seek treatment.

On the other hand, if the response to the Germanwings crash is to impose stricter bans on flying by anyone with a history of mental health problems, he says, it could drive people to hide symptoms. “What is going to be the impact on people willing to step forward and get help if they need it?” Honberg says…