Lisa’s having a blog party :)

I’m bringing Tabasco… well, what’s left of it.  (Photo taken 2/22/2015.)

I also made some brown sugar and sour cream pound cake today (with chocolate chips, of course).  It’s a little under-done (because that’s how I like it) and not that pretty, but it tastes great. (Photo to come.)

Republican Governor vetoes bill to allow hemp research

Gov. Martinez vetoed a bill to open industrial hemp production for New Mexico farmers. The non-THC form of hemp makes great clothes, rope and lots of other useful widgets, but don’t dig out your knitting needles, yet. That’s too bad since the industry promised a heap of new jobs AND can be grown with almost no water, something New Mexico farmers were happy to hear…

Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a Senate bill that would have allowed for home deliveries of beer and wine.  The bill, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, would have allowed deliveries of two six packs of beer and two bottles of wine with certain food orders.

That veto message already has some raising an eyebrow since Martinez is well known to enjoy a few drinks with and after dinner. She, of course, has an armed State Police detail to drive her to/from the restaurant and liquor store…

What The U.S. Can Learn From Prison Reform Efforts Throughout The World

With roughly 716 of every 100,000 U.S. residents behind bars, the U.S. locks up nearly one-quarter of the entire world’s prison population. Worse yet, when American inmates are released, they are extremely likely to return. The most recent recidivism data for state prisoners, reported by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, shows 68 percent are back behind bars within three years…

The prison’s woodsy setting is also meant to help naturally treat prisoners’ depression…

In these European countries, prisons are organized around the belief that, since virtually all prisoners will return to their communities, it is better to approach their incarceration with conditions as close to “normal” as possible — with the addition of treatment, behavioral interventions, skills training, and needed education — and to remove them from communities for the shortest possible time so that institutional life does not become their norm…

The change in approach has been responsible for a drastic reduction to inmates’ rates of re-offending — from 50 percent under the previous system to less than 5 percent at the facilities where the model system was put into place, Reuters reports. Other countries in the region including Ecuador, Panama, Chile and others have said they plan to adopt at least part of the Dominican Republic’s approach, according to Reuters…

Contemporary Art Center Shatters The Idea That Artists With Disabilities Are Outsiders

“We had a few months to do a collaborative project, whatever that looked like,” Sharaf said. “The show is mostly focused on process, and friendship too, in a way. Everyone developed these really amazing friendships out of it.”

More voices of pain patients

I wanted to highlight this comment from Sheldon, because it’s so true:

sheldonk2014 said:  When they speak of the patient they forget that it is a person they are talking about, it’s as though we don’t exist but only the treatment does, no one knows your body better than the person who needs, but when to go to the Dr and tell them what’s wrong it’s that they can’t hear you and all they want is to no your wrong, it’s all a broken system that needs to be fixed but no one has the solution, this has frustrated me so I can’t begin to say

As always Sheldon

Voices of pain patients

Mary Alice Connelly
Yesterday at 12:50pm
Please tell me why that out of pocket with no insurance I pay $90 for a class 2 narcotic but with my new Obama care United Health care that same script is $1764.01 at Walgreens. I don’t even make that a month working a full time job. Is this some sort of deterrent ? who are they to say whether or not I need that drug . So angry right now !!!!!

Shawn Lawler
Yesterday at 6:38am
IS THERE ANY MORE HELP OUT THERE FOR CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS, I am so tired and fed up with trying to get the help I need to live a some what normal life, Either legalize medical marijuana or give me the medicines that are recommended by all the doctors that say they are not allowed to prescribe….I am not a drug addict, I just do not want to suffer another day!

Medication monitoring company performs biased study on pot

Study Shows Marijuana Use May Be Linked to Opioid Noncompliance (2013)

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.—As medical marijuana use continues to grow, pain practitioners are beginning to ask what effect, if any, its use has on the issue of potential nonadherence to existing pain treatment. Now, a study by a private corporation has revealed that marijuana use is, indeed, associated with potential nonadherence in chronic pain patients prescribed hydrocodone…

No, not indeed, not really at all.

“Physicians have different opinions on whether to test their patients for THC [a compound in marijuana],” said Michael K. DeGeorge, PharmD, associate director of medical affairs at Ameritox, a medication monitoring company based in Baltimore. “Either way, we thought it would be interesting to see if there was an association between marijuana use and nonadherence in patients, to give clinicians some information when implementing urine drug testing as part of their practice.”

You mean, you thought it would be interesting to pay for a study which the company could use to market its services to doctors who treat pain patients.

“I wasn’t really surprised that we found marijuana use to be associated with medication misuse,” Dr. Dawson said in an interview with Pain Medicine News. “But I was very surprised that it rivaled cocaine in terms of its association to other nonprescribed medications.”

Could it be because cocaine isn’t very good at relieving pain?  Can even make pain worse?  For a company that sells drug monitoring services, I’m surprised that ya’ll didn’t know that.

Lynn R. Webster, MD, cautioned against drawing broad-based conclusions from the retrospective study. “The analysis is based on information reported to the company at the time the tests were ordered,” said Dr. Webster, medical director at CRI Lifetree in Salt Lake City, and president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. “It is therefore difficult to know how accurate the information is. More importantly, almost all hydrocodone is immediate release, and may not be detected if the urine sample is taken outside the detection window. For example, if a patient is prescribed hydrocodone 7.5 mg and the last dose ingested was 12 or more hours before the urine was collected, hydrocodone may not be present. Similarly, we don’t know the dose and we don’t know when the urine samples were collected for the cocaine and THC groups.”

Whether or not physicians should consider regular marijuana testing is a complicated issue given the rift between state and federal laws. “In states where marijuana is illegal, I would recommend testing,” Dr. Webster noted. “I’d also recommend that physicians counsel patients to discontinue use if they find it in their system, since physicians must advocate for legal use of all medications.

Obviously, Dr. Webster is advocating for physicians, not pain patients.

“In states that have legalized marijuana, it’s still probably wise to test for it,” Dr. Webster added. “Here, too, I would recommend physicians advise their patients to discontinue use if they are planning to prescribe a scheduled drug, particularly an opioid. Prescribing an opioid to someone using marijuana—even in states that have legalized it—may present additional legal issues due to federal laws.”

Well, Dr. Webster, if I didn’t know where you stand on treating pain patients as drug addicts, with all the monitoring that entails, I do now.

College Athletes Often Become Depressed Just Days After Suffering A Concussion

Once someone has experienced a depressive episode, subsequent episodes are much more likely. Studies have found that if a man or woman suffers just one depressive episode in his or her lifetime, there is a 50 percent chance he or she will suffer another. If they suffer a second, there is a 80 percent chance they’ll suffer a third…