“They felt that modern medicine has turned its back on them”


Editor’s note: Here are two recent responses from the Colorado community about the Colorado Board of Health’s decision this month to not add post-traumatic stress disorder to the state’s list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana…

Todd Mitchem (todd@highthere.com) is co-founder and CEO of HighThere!, a dating app for pot smokers

I recently spent a day in Oregon with vets who were being given education, advice and, yes, free cannabis. As a volunteer for this effort, I got a chance to talk to the hundreds of vets who participated. Their stories were real and their emotions powerful. They felt that modern medicine has turned its back on them and that cannabis is the best and safest alternative for their mental well-being.

When a person suffering from any form of PTSD tells you that cannabis kept them from killing themselves, that is not anecdotal evidence. When a veteran tells you that the only substance that helps him sleep peacefully for the first time in 40 years, that is not anecdotal. These are real people with real conditions, and cannabis helps them. This is fact…

I will continue to work with key organizations like Operation Grow for Vets that are actually working to help people recover from these terrible and difficult scenarios. I will continue to dedicate my company’s time, people and energy to helping this cause.

My message to you all out there suffering, reach out to me, to others, and know that you are not alone. There are some people who want to help you. That is not anecdotal; it’s fact!

Historic day in Nevada: First medical marijuana sales after 15-year wait


Dressed in polo shirts, tie-dyes and button-downs, about 75 people with medical marijuana cards lined up outside Silver State Relief, between a sub shop and pizza place in Sparks, to be among the first to buy as much as a half-ounce of pot for $195…

Nevada already has distributed many of its 66 marijuana dispensary licenses, but it’s unclear how soon Las Vegas or other parts of the state will see shops open…

The Department of Agriculture also is working to finalize a pesticide testing process that screens for 30 to 40 different chemicals, the first such system in the nation…

Swan noted cardholders who come to Silver State Relief are not stereotypical stoners but normal people who use pot as medicine. He cited a young veteran with PSTD who told him marijuana is the only thing that gets him through the day.

“It gets me choked up, a little teary-eyed, and proud to be a part of this,” he said.

I’m popular and (soon to be) rich!

Thu, Jul 30, 2015 1:52 am
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From: Webmaster@Microsoft.com (svazquezs64@estudiantes.sagrado.edu)
Re: Confirmation/ Email-Ticket Number EB50-11-14-9-77

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Opioid Overdose And Abuse Awareness Campaigns Continue To Grow


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 16,235 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2013, an increase of 1% from 2012. Total drug overdose deaths in 2013 hit 43,982, up 6% from 2012.

Drug overdose deaths include alcohol (the largest percentage):


To help curb opioid overdose, misuse and abuse in the United States, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) will be launching a new initiative during National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM), which is in October. This year’s theme has a hashtag paired with it: #PainFreeNation.

Pain free, that’s funny, especially considering how painful chiropractic treatments usually are. You can try to convince me that chiropractic “care” will be magically beneficial to me in the long run, regardless of how painful it is to endure, but I can’t be fooled for long.

The ACA’s nationwide campaign aims to further educate the public on “conservative forms” of care for both acute and chronic pain. According to the organization, patients shouldn’t initially go for “higher risk” options — such as prescription painkillers.

Something else that’s funny is that some chiropractors are advocating for the ability to prescribe stronger drugs, even wanting to be considered primary care providers and coordinate care. I remember a local chiropractor who spoke at one of the rare public hearings for the Medical Cannabis Program talking about these issues too.  But many chiropractors believe that these treatments should be completely drug-free.

I’ll tell you what, you promise not to cause me any pain, and I’ll agree to more chiro treatments. But chiros can’t do that, because when you’re forcefully “realigning” bones and joints, that shit hurts.

“With increasing volumes of research highlighting the risks of overuse and abuse of pain medications, the ACA strongly urges patients and healthcare providers to first exhaust non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatments for pain management and health improvement strategies before moving on to other options,” ACA President Anthony Hamm said in an interview.

Why do people keep insisting that pain patients haven’t exhausted all other options before being given access to opioid therapy?

Alternatives to ingesting opioids for pain management include acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic, psychotherapy and physical therapy…

The medical industry’s approval of alternative treatments, like acupuncture and chiropractic care, just makes them look foolish.  Like they’re turning their backs on evidence-based practices.

“The ACA hopes that the dissemination of information about the painkiller epidemic and chiropractic’s rightful place as part of the solution will reach a significant number of people,” he said. “Social media will also make it easy for DCs to share simple ways for enhancing strength and avoiding pain and injury in everyday life with their social media followers.”

There will even be a Twitter chat kickoff on September 29 to “heighten awareness of the drug-free approach chiropractic offers to those suffering from pain,” Hamm noted. The ACA is encouraging doctors of chiropractic (DCs) to participate in the discussion.

I’m not on Twitter, but if there are any pain patients out there who are, maybe you could join this chat.  Talk about your own chiro experiences, good and bad.

Some pain management advocacy groups agree with the ACA’s new campaign, supportive of the fact that the association is tackling two public health crises at once: prescription drug abuse and chronic pain.

“We have been saying for some time that providing comprehensive, integrative, pain care that involves non-medication treatments along with appropriate medication treatments should help prevent prescription drug abuse, addiction, and overdose, while simultaneously improving care for people with pain,” said Bob Twillman, executive director of the American Academy of Pain Management. “Promoting this integrative model of pain care is the Academy’s mission, and we are proud that chiropractors constitute one of the largest groups within our membership. The conservative approach described by the ACA works very well for many people with chronic pain…

Very well?  Somebody get out a Clinton dictionary, we need definitions for “very,” “well,” and “many.”

The CDC back in April launched a social media initiative welcoming the stories of those affected by prescription painkiller addiction. Its campaign, titled “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem,” was designed to raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse and overdose.

It’s only fair that the CDC give pain patients equal time on social media, welcoming stories of those affected by the drug war.  We can call the campaign, “When the DEA and the CDC Become the Problem.”

More recently, a group of 27 medical organizations announced a new task force designed to tackle narcotic abuse. With the American Medical Association (AMA) at the helm, the group is urging physicians to both register and use state-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) before prescribing painkillers to patients. Another one of the task force’s initiatives is educating prescribers on evidence-based prescribing.

Does that mean doctors are going to stop prescribing drugs off-label?  Yeah, that’ll be the day.

“The increased usage of opioids has led to unanticipated consequences such as a tolerance among some patients to the drug hydrocodone and negative treatment outcomes for conditions such as work-related musculoskeletal disorders, joint replacements and spine surgery,” Hamm said. “Beyond the risks of overuse and addiction, prescription drugs that numb pain may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition is less severe than it is, or that it has healed.”

He added: “That misunderstanding can lead to over-exertion and a delay in the healing process or even to a permanent painful condition.”

And yet, isn’t it also true that inadequately treated pain delays the healing process and can result in a permanent painful condition, like intractable pain?

Anti-MDMA Campaign Warns Teens About Dangers Of Feeling More Connected To Others



ROCKVILLE, MD—Explaining that most young people mistakenly believe the popular drug to be safe for recreational use, officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse unveiled a new anti-MDMA campaign Friday warning teens about the dangers of feeling deep emotional connections to others…

The Doctor Is In

Dear Dr. P:  I have too much anxiety. Won’t you take out your pad and prescribe for me? Sammy in Jersey City

Dear Sammy in Jersey City:

Sure, I love giving out free advice, especially to poets.  It makes all those years in medical school worth it (not to mention that my schooling was not free and I’m still paying for it).

Anxiety is a part of our genetic make-up and so it’s a common issue. Kids, adults, dogs, cats, and birds — we all have anxiety. And everyone suffers from too much anxiety at some point in time.

Are you familiar with Mary Poppins?  She had some good advice back in the day — that a spoonful of sugar helped the medicine go down.  And experts have found this to be true — sugar helps the medicine of life taste just a little bit sweeter.

Dr. P advises you to first, make the cookies and maple cinnamon glaze icing found at this link:


But you need to fool yourself into making a double batch of the icing…  Oh no, you have too much, what to do?  Dr. P to the rescue:  Store the leftover icing in a glass jar in the refrigerator. The next time you feel anxious, sad, irritated, angry, or just plain bored, take a small spoon, grab the jar of icing, and measure out one heaping spoonful.

Let the cold icing melt in your mouth.  Taste the maple, cinnamon, and butter flavors — just like french toast, but with brown sugar too.  Now, take a deep breath and allow all those flavors to penetrate your senses.

You are now cured.  (You’re welcome.)

Warning:  Dr. P is not a real doctor.  But following in the famous footsteps of Dr. House on TV, Dr. P plays a doctor on the internet.

Cousin Itt Does The Hula

From Wikipedia:

Cousin Itt is a fictional character in the Addams Family series… Itt Addams is the cousin of Gomez Addams. He is a short being whose entire body is shrouded by long hair. When Gomez asks Cousin Itt what is underneath all the hair, Cousin Itt replies, “Roots” (“The Winning of Morticia Addams”)… He usually wears sunglasses, a derby hat, and gloves. He speaks in a high-pitched (with a slight British accent) gibberish language which the other members of the family can understand though it is incomprehensible to anyone else…  Itt is often celebrated by the family as being “full of talent” in areas such as acting, singing, and marriage counseling… He is also known to have an extremely high IQ of over 300…

Although known to spend time in the chimney, through which he enters and exits the house by sliding down and usually emerging in chimney smut, Itt has his own room in the mansion, furnished in proportion to his size and with a low ceiling. He is depicted as a carefree bachelor with an extravagant lifestyle and is renowned among the Addamses for his many female companions…

Everyone Loves A Hula Dancer

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Hula found to be a promising cardiac rehabilitation therapy

I imagine hula is also good for decreasing stress and anxiety.  And it looks like a lot more fun than yoga.  Plus, you could probably hula to Adam Levine:


On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our Vulnerable Bodies


She continued to protest. She was placed in handcuffs. She was treated horribly. She was treated as less than human. She protested her treatment. She knew and stated her rights but it did not matter. Her black life and her black body did not matter…

We’ve continued to protest. DEA agents have placed handcuffs on doctors and patients. Pain patients have been treated horribly.  We’ve been treated as less than human.  We’ve protested our treatment.  We know and state our rights but it does not matter. Our chronic pain and our broken bodies do not matter.

I don’t want to believe our spirits can be broken. Nonetheless, increasingly, as a black woman in America, I do not feel alive. I feel like I am not yet dead.

I think the spirits of many pain patients have been broken. As a disabled, intractable pain survivor in America, I do not feel alive.  I feel like I am not yet dead.

The Minority Report for health care


Using Watson, IBM and CVS aim to predict when your health is about to decline

IBM’s Watson is used in healthcare, financial services, retail and education. Earlier this year, the company launched its Watson Health business unit offering cloud-based access to Watson for use on healthcare data.


1. Movie: Minority Report (2002)

It should be noted that Minority Report’s amazingly prescient predictions weren’t just random guesses about what the future may look like. Director Steven Spielberg told Roger Ebert that like Stanley Kubrick did for 2001: A Space Odyssey, he “consulted with industrial designers, futurists, advertising people, to try to visualize what the future world would look like.”


Thanks to Lisa in El Paso, I just used up a week’s worth of digital downloading in one night. But Trent Reznor is so worth it.  Thanks, Lisa, for hooking me up with NIN this evening. 🙂


3. Nine Inch Nails-The Downward Spiral


Originally recorded by Nine Inch Nails, the song “Hurt” has been adapted and covered by several artists, including Johnny Cash and Leona Lewis. The song clearly includes references to self-harm and heroin addiction, although the overall meaning of the song is disputed. Some listeners contend that the song acts as a suicide note written by the album’s protagonist, as a result of his depression, while others claim that it describes the difficult process of finding a reason to live in spite of depression and pain…