When pain patients attack each other

I suppose it’s not easy to talk “to” people instead of “at” them, especially if you’re on opposite sides of an issue. I realize that my blog allows me to articulate my opinions in ways that I might not be able to if face-to-face with my opponents. However, I put more thought and effort into my writing than I do for verbal communication. In other words, I stand by all of the words and opinions expressed by me on this blog.

I’ve seen the drug war force many changes on the pain patient population in the past 30 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt such desperation in my fellow sufferers. Unfortunately, desperation has caused some patients to draw lines, like how many pain patients blame drug addicts for the opioid war. Like how the DEA and grieving family members of overdose victims blame the drugs.

My blog is mostly about my own opinions of living with chronic pain, although I also include the thoughts, feelings, and comments from other pain patients. Which brings me here…

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/future-visit-to-serenity-mesa-addiction-clinic/

Sun, Mar 6, 2016 1:10 pm
Re: Blog posts about Jennifer Weiss-Burke
From: Jennifer Weiss-Burke (jenweiss24@msn.com)

Dear Johnna,

You are right I am not an expert in chronic pain and I’ve never claimed to be. My husband suffers from chronic pain and, like yourself, was dependent on painkillers for a number of years. They almost killed him and destroyed his life so he now seeks effective alternatives and non-opioid medications. So while I do not have direct experience with being a chronic pain patient, I know what my husband went through and continues to go through each and every day.

When you decide to visit Serenity Mesa, I will be happy to have someone other than myself guide you on a tour. You can call 877-3644 which is our main number. Anyone who answers can help schedule something.

I am a supporter of MAT and do not deny any of our residents access to these medicines that are proven to be effective for opiate addiction. In addition my son was on MAT so no I do not deny people access to effective and evidence based solutions, including medication.

We submitted our Medicaid application back in August and are waiting for it to be approved. We have contacted the state Medicaid office numerous times and have been told that all Medicaid applications are on hold because they are changing the application process. If you have any contacts in this area who can help me push the process through I would greatly appreciate it.

No, these are not paid positions. I am a community member of the prescription drug misuse and overdose prevention committee and there are two other community members who are chronic pain patients so your concerns are represented on this committee. The meetings are open to anyone so you are welcome to attend.

You have made a number of assumptions about me that are not true, posted quotes on your blog that I have not said and continue to try and devalue my advocacy efforts. But, the truth remains that young people are becoming addicted to pain killers at alarming rates throughout this country. Kids are dying. Kids are becoming heroin addicts when their supply of pills runs out. Those are the facts. I wish that was my opinion or my over exaggerated perception but sadly it’s not.

I feel for your pain and pray for your strength and perseverance to get through each and every day. I am sorry you are going through what you are going through and hope you somehow find peace. My heart goes out to you.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Weiss-Burke
Executive Director Healing Addiction in Our Community (HAC) & Serenity Mesa Youth Recovery Center
jenweissburke@serenitymesa.com
(505) 363-9684
http://www.serenitymesa.org
http://www.healingaddictionnm.org

Along with this reply from Mrs. Weiss-Burke, her significant other, David Burke (Dbkono@gmail.com), posted a comment to the above link (twice), which I have copied below in its entirety:

As a fellow chronic pain patient I completely agree that prescription pain medications should not be taken away from us! The last thing those suffering from chronic pain need is to suffer daily without remediation. I have been fighting since 2006 with an intense intestinal disease in which I have lost sections of my small intestine and suffer daily from villitrocious sections of my intestines that will never heal. Currently I am still on a variety of other medicines to take care of my condition but I have to live in constant pain everyday.

I, like you, was addicted to painkillers and they almost destroyed my life. I lost everything before I was finally able to detox off the opiates and am proud to say that I have been clean for over 5 years now. I have learned to live and deal with the pain and now advocate. along with my wife, for laws, funding, facilities and whatever else it takes to help stop this epidemic that results in needless opiate overdose deaths.

I have been reading your blog (more like uneducated personal attacks) and have come to one conclusion. You like me are nothing more than an addict. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be so crazed about losing your “drug” and would be more active in doing something about ensuring the laws being put into place protected your rights in being able to use them safely and ensuring that big pharma wasn’t continuing to get rich off of your addiction. If you were actually educated in the facts instead of spewing lies and mis quoting people you would also know that for the last five years we have been working hard with the department of health and many Senators and Representatives ensuring laws like SB 263 and SB 277 among many others protected the rights of chronic pain patients. If you don’t believe me, Call Senator Richard Martinez from Rio Arriba or Sen. Brandt from Sandavol County who is himself a chronic pain sufferer and advocate. Or how about Senator Cervantes. I can go on and on with all the support we have received from both sides of the aisle to show you that one of the biggest concerns from all involved was to ensure the protection of chronic pain patients. Believe me when I say this that your rights as a chronic pain patient are protected.

Unfortunately, your rights as an addict are much harder to protect. In NM there isn’t enough treatment beds for adults, teens, Men or women. When it’s time for you to get help what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? Who are you going to call? Sadly most people have no where to go or call. For the last five years we have been fighting to change that. HAC has been fighting for the youth of this state. Doing everything we can to ensure our young people have a place to go to get help. Wether they are rich, poor, middle class, coming out of jail, homeless or affluent homes. White, black, Hispanic, Native American, purple, or green. After all drugs or addiction don’t really discriminate do they? Have you ever seen anyone die from an overdose? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a 16 year old who is so gripped by opiates that his whole life is consumed by the drug? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a family that has had their lives turned upside down because they lost their son or daughter because of these drugs? Do you not care? Do you not have a heart? I don’t think you do. I think right now you are like every other addict I have ever met. All you care about at this point in your addiction is making sure you are able to get your next dose or “fix”. You are so blinded by your addiction that your lashing out at people who are actually trying to help you keep your precious drugs while trying to make sure others are protected from those same drugs.

My wife may not be an expert in chronic pain but she has never claimed to be. I, however am an expert in chronic pain. My wife has never claimed to be an expert in addiction but an advocate and one who constantly educates herself on addiction. I am an addict and I do the same. We do both however live it everyday. We live it through the eyes of the boys we care for. Through the death of her son. Through the everyday struggle of addiction in my own disease. Through the pain we see in the hundreds of phone calls and emails we receive from parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends of people who have died or are struggling with this horrible addiction!

Do you even know the statistics? Do you even care about where our state falls nationally? Do you even care how many people die every year because of prescription pain pills?

I know if you truly wanted to you could advocate for your cause. It doesn’t take any thing more than picking up a phone or as you are always on your computer or outside taking pictures of planted trash outside your apartment. Just pick up your computer and write a letter to you legislator stating your concerns! Did you know they are required to respond to you? Did you know your elected officials in reality actually do care? All you have to do is try!

You constantly assume things and you know what they say about people who assume things right? There is absolutely nothing and I mean nothing truthful about one thing in ANY of your blogs about my wife or our facility.. We continue to lobby UNPAID for more funding to complete the entire facility. We travel around the state speaking to everyone possible. Anyone who will listen about this epidemic. We will speak to judges, DRs, lawyers, dentists, students, teachers. ANYONE. Especially addicts like you because I don’t want to see you die of an accidental overdose. As a matter of fact I think you should get a prescription of Nalaxone and keep it on hand for anyone around you to know how to use just In case you overdose. Doctors in NM are now starting to co-prescribe Naloxone with an opiate script because the danger of death is so high. There are lots of good NA meetings located around NM. Remember the first step is admitting you have a problem😀 You may have chronic pain but being an addict and a chronic liar can be a far worse disease than the other disability😢

So there is no chance of you misrepresenting this post or me I will be posting my wife’s letter yours and mine on my Facebook page, Yahoo page and have saved a copy of it in my notes in case you decide to alter it in any way. You know being that your so honest and all.

Dear Mr. Burke:

Sometimes my honesty comes across in a negative way…

Well, if I’m being honest (about my obsession with honesty), perhaps I should say that it’s often seen in a negative light. I suppose that’s because the truth often hurts. But since my pain levels are always higher than the pain from honesty, I find the truth to be quite refreshing.

Obviously, this obsession doesn’t win me any popularity contests. But I think the lies we tell ourselves cause us more pain — like anxiety, depression, and digestive problems — than the truth.

So, I think the very last line of your comment pretty much sums up how much you know about me. Funny, if you really wanted to learn more about me, all you had to do was take the time to read some of my blog posts — not just the very small handful that are about your wife.

There’s an awful lot of information on my blog (over 6,500 posts), so I don’t expect you to be familiar with all the details of my chronic pain survivor story. I find it terribly ironic that you accuse me of making assumptions, when it’s you who has made a great number of assumptions about me. But that’s okay, because I don’t mind correcting you.

I think it’s very, very sad when pain patients attack each other. And one of the poison darts often thrown is to accuse another patient of being a drug addict — as if suffering from this additional medical condition is something to be ashamed of. Anyone who follows and reads my blog knows about the enormous amount of empathy I have for those who suffer from any kind of addiction, as well as the in-depth self-analyzing I’ve done on my own addictions.

Tell me, Mr. Burke, do you recognize your addictions?

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/do-you-recognize-your-addictions/

For those pain patients who choose stoicism over drugs, I salute you. I can only warn you that untreated pain can very easily turn into chronic and intractable pain, increasing your daily pain levels, sometimes to the point of being unmanageable (even with drugs).

For those who choose to treat their pain with other drugs besides opioids, I wish you luck. But please don’t play the hypocrite, with the belief that some drugs are good, while others are bad. All drugs have side effects, and you can become addicted to antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and stimulants, just like opioids. In fact, some patients have more trouble detoxing from antidepressants than opioids, with longer-lasting effects. Have you read about brain zaps?

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/lilly-chalks-up-a-win-for-cymbalta-in-first-u-s-trial-over-withdrawal-symptom-claims/

Mr. Burke, you claim to have been “clean” for five years. I suppose that means you haven’t taken any painkillers, as if these are the only drugs that can make one feel dirty while taking, and become clean when they cease taking them. (Heck, some people feel that way about gluten.) If your chosen treatments for pain are working for you, that’s great.

For the past 4 years, I haven’t taken any prescription drugs for chronic pain, even though I’ve had more than one opportunity to purchase them in the underground market. And while you think that I’m addicted to drugs — only interested in getting my next “fix” — the truth is that I was really addicted to doctors and the medical industry. Freeing myself from that addiction was both the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done.

So, there’s no way I can overdose, unless it’s on aspirin. But you’re so very kind to worry about me, Mr. Burke. But dude, there’s no way on Earth that you could ever shame me, although I’m sure you tried your best. Tell me, why did you think it was a good idea to assert that I plant trash outside of my apartment? I think that’s the silliest thing I’ve heard all year.

And no matter how many thinly-veiled innuendos you throw at me, you can’t make me feel bad about my blogging and art therapies — at least they’re free. And I’m sure we can agree that blogging and art therapies are not addicting (unlike the prescription drugs you’re currently taking).

The problem I have with you and your wife’s advocacy work is that it’s not helping pain patients. In fact, it’s harming them. (Isn’t New Mexico at the top of the list for drug abuse and overdoses, including alcohol? And if you check your statistics, you’ll find suicide on that list, too.)

I find it odd that you and your wife don’t understand the results of your actions, but then you both have a rather narrow focus on addiction. And until you read every email (posted on this blog) that I’ve written to government employees (and anyone else I thought might help), you have no business telling me to “try.”

Don’t get me wrong, your comments didn’t offend me. But your attitude — especially as a chronic pain patient — is offensive and harmful to millions of other patients. I think you know that. And I hope you also know how foolish you look, trying to judge me, based on your own misconceptions and the lies you tell yourself.

Dude, you’re not an “expert” on chronic pain. You’re only an expert on your version of adequate treatment options. You discriminate against certain drugs, just like your opinions about me discriminate against other pain patients. I’m not trying to change or open up your mind — no, I’m trying to inform millions of other pain patients what they’re up against in the opioid war.

It’s unfortunate that we’re on opposite sides of this war, Mr. Burke, but I prefer to be on the right side of history. The drug war is, and has been, a total failure (just like prohibition). The war against cannabis has been a disaster, too. The opioid war will also be a failure, but it could take decades — decades of increased suffering, depression, disability, alcoholism, homelessness, and suicides. Yes, and overdoses, too. All because of people like you and your wife. (And a shout out to Unum and the CDC.)

If I believed in shame, I would call that shameful. Hopefully, the patients treated at your addiction clinic are not shamed, as you have tried to shame me here.

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/what-is-the-purpose-of-shame/

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14 thoughts on “When pain patients attack each other

  1. I have not followed this dispute and can’t get into it. I think however the long term solution is for strong non-opiate pain medications to be developed. I understand these are in the pipe line but are not available yet. If I had chronic pain there is no way I would suffer without medication. The fact is that, as things stand, opiates are the only available medication for chronic pain.But there are problems with opiate use that I, as a recovering addict, am well aware of. Bring on the day when non-opiate painkillers are available!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, there are plenty of non-opioid pain relievers, but for most patients, they don’t work as well or not at all. Most address a symptom of pain, like inflammation (think steroids), but don’t directly address the pain, like opioids do. Even cannabis doesn’t directly address the pain; it just allows the user to be distracted from it.

      I’ve read many articles about the new non-opioid pain relievers that are being developed, and all of them go around the problem of pain, without working directly on it. Those new drugs will come with their own side effects, and if they work, it will include the potential for addiction. But there will also be unknown side effects, many of which I’m sure will be worse than the addiction or dependence on opioids. If we take the shame out of drug use, being addicted to opioids will be the same as being addicted to insulin.

      Like

      • There aren’t plenty of non-opioid pain relievers that are legal anyway. There’s steroids, and you don’t want to go down that road for long, look at me, I got Avascular Necrosis from that..it killed my bone, I had to have a hip replacement. That pain was comparable to bone cancer.
        Yes you can be on a low dose for a long time, as they do for autoimmune patients, but that doesn’t normally help pain for long, and it can cause horrible things.
        But yes, we can say, Steroids are used for pain relief.
        then there are NSAIDS, wish are anti-inflammatories. They simply don’t control a lot of people’s pain. and like me, they can cause ulcers.
        I can’t take any of these. I have a hypersensitivity to opiods…they drive me crazy with itching.

        That’s really all the medical community can give us, that I’ve been told of by my doctors.
        I went through a year of pain from Avascular Necrosis and a hip replacement with nothing more than tylenol. and I didn’t take that a lot because even it hurts my stomach. I assure you that was not by choice.

        I do take Limbrel for inflammation, it is not like the others, and I’m happy with it. but it would never help with extreme pain. It only works if the pain is from inflammation, and then it can only do so much.

        Everything else that I know of is illegal. At least in my state. Except for High CBD cannibus but that is expensive and you would not have someone to help you regulate your dosage since you wouldn’t be working with a doctor.

        Do you know of more prescription medications that are not in these groups?

        I do hate that there are many people who become addicted to opioids. Most of these are people who abuse the use. I do think doctors should be more responsible in their prescribing methods. That doesn’t mean putting a leash on them, or laws, that means I think that they should work better with pain patients and know what they are taking, how much and exactly what they need to control their pain. I have been given a huge amounts in prescriptions with no plans for a follow up visit for months. I could easily have become addicted or overdosed, except I know a lot about these drugs. I was not given a warning that they were addictive. Of course now it is done, but for years I was not told. I knew, however, there are many people who aren’t as knowledgeable about such things. They think, oh my doctor gave it to me it must be safe.
        I think a lot of pain patients who overdose on pain medications do so because of the pain, not the drug.
        I fear this war is just going to send people who are in chronic pain to the streets. Heroin is not that hard to get when you are desperate and no amount of antidepressants are going to help you with that one.
        I’ve OD’d, it was a long time ago, not because of pain. It was not my medication. It was because I was desperate. Counting me in those statistics would be unfair, but I’m sure they count people like me in there. The drug did not cause me to OD, I did.

        About he letters…how dare anyone accuse someone else of being an addict when they haven’t met them, do not know them, and have no idea what they are doing. This guy is not a professional, he has no right! The letter from his wife was not nasty. He attacked, and that is simply not the way to do anything.

        I’m surprised, no, …impressed…that your blog got the attention of these people.

        keep up the good fight.

        ok…another rant.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I also had an experience with overdosing, only it was on antidepressants (and cold medicine). I know how hard it is to share that, so thanks for sharing your experiences.

          I’m not sure a doctor ever warned me about addiction either, but you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand that if a drug makes you feel better, you’re in danger of taking too much of it. I mean, I’ve had my share of alcohol hangovers, as well as chocolate-chip cookie and Easter candy hangovers. But there’s a very fine line between dependence and addiction, a line that’s been created by the psychiatric industry. And mostly for the sole purpose of insurance coverage. It’s hard to determine what can be described as science these days, and the addiction industry and its treatments are not known to be based in medical science.

          “Do you know of more prescription medications that are not in these groups?”

          I have a feeling you also know about the prescription drugs that are used off-label for pain, like anti-epileptics (Gabapentin), anti-anxiety drugs (Xanax and Valium), and muscle relaxers (Baclofen and Soma), including topicals, like Lidocaine and Capsaicin. I’ve also been prescribed blood pressure medications (for the pounding in my head). (No, they didn’t help.)

          I think there’s a real problem with the over-use of steroids, much more so than opioids, because of the long-term side effects. Thing is, it’s easy to blame getting older for the negative side effects, rather than the drugs. Anti-inflammatories would also include drugs like Celebrex. (Also tried, also didn’t help.) There’s supplements like Glucosamine and Chondroitin (also tried and you know what happened). I think most prescription drugs are the cheapest options (besides aspirin, Tylenol, and Advil).

          I’ve read about a few patients who have been helped by CBD-only cannabis, but it’s more of a long-term benefit, over time. (Kinda like really strong aspirin.) Which is expensive. I think this version of cannabis is more of an anti-epileptic, which is why there’s been more success with kids and high-CBD cannabis. But if a kid suffered from cancer (or chronic) pain, I don’t think the CBD-only version would be of much help. Of course, I’m talking in generalities, as everybody’s different. And it’s true that some patients with drug sensitivities use the CBD-only cannabis with success, as it’s their best option. But I think the entourage effects of the whole plant work best for the largest number of pain patients.

          Drugs used to treat addiction, like methadone (also tried, didn’t help), and buprenorphine are also used to treat chronic pain. I’ve also read that some pain patients with opioid sensitivities have successfully used these drugs.

          Anti-psychotics are also used off-label for pain, mostly to help with sleep. I think many of the new non-opioid options are going to be very similar to antidepressants (and anti-psychotics), maybe just stronger, but also stimulating different brain pathways. Is that a good thing? We won’t know for awhile, like decades. But I’ve been a guinea pig for the medical industry for decades, and I’m done.

          That’s all I can think of right now, except for kratom, which I have no experience with. (Yet.)

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think I’ve tried all of those. Even the BP meds for vestibular migraines, not sure if it helps but I take it.
          I’ve tried Kratom, made me sick…and I got the good stuff, there’s a lot of junk out there.
          I just ordered the high CBD cannibus, we’ll see how it b works. Yes most of the research has been for seizures, but there is more going on. The Realm of Caring does a lot of that, they are a great source of information. I also have Voltaren gel, not sure it helps much.
          I’ve been on Topamax for a while for migraines, it’s also an anti seizure drug, they think it’s what caused my seizures.
          I have valium, use it for vertigo, it’s a vestibular suppressant. Haven’t tried methadone or the likes, but that’s about the only thing.
          I’ll let you know how the high CBD works. Crossing fingers. It is expensive. Not sure how long a bottle should last, have to work out my dosage. Hope it doesn’t end up being more than the regular stuff. Thank you!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. My family has an interesting history with various drugs. Lots of alcoholics, then some of us younger kids got into illicit drugs either recreationally, or in the case of two of my sibblings, they became addicted. They called my Dad for money saying they were in trouble, but they were actually spending that money to buy cocaine or heroin. I’ve been trying to passively advocate that some of these illicit substances actually have benefits, and aren’t just evil poisons. MDMA, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and marijuana all come to mind. Studies have shown that some of these substances have the ability to “turn off” depression, and it’s not just for a day. The effects can last for months after a single dose.

    When unrelenting pain entered my life, I was afraid to ask for help. I was afraid I’d become addicted, ruin my life, or ruin everyone else’s lives. I felt ashamed to even ask! This most likely came from all of the anti-opioid propaganda. There are plenty of people who use painkillers recreationally, and my completely uneducated take on this is that those are the ones overdosing – not the actual pain patients. The thing I’m most sorry about is not asking for help sooner. I realize Tramadol isn’t exactly a heavy duty opioid, but it’s regulated like them now. Having tried both oxycodone and hydrocodone with minimal effect, Tramadol has probably saved my life, or at least made it a life worth living. There are side-effects, but they’re benign when compared to a life of constant pain.

    I remember you once told me there’s a difference between physical dependency and addiction, and that encouraged me to continue doing what I need to do to keep my pain in check. When I taper my dosage, withdrawal stinks, but it’s short term. I think knowing the science behind things can help a person make informed decisions, rather than buying into the hype that all ‘drugs are bad, mm’kay’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said! I only understand the pain problem, from the point of view of a family member who has seen a loved one in pain. Its heartbreaking and totally frustrating to hear the words ‘I’m in pain’ or simply seeing a grown person rocking backwards and forwards, because simply there is not another way to deal with the pain.

    Opioids do not always help and the side effects.. Whoa! The side effects either cause the pain to be worse, or stomach issues, or fluid build up or something that requires trips to and from the hospital emergency room. There are other alternatives, but they are expensive where we are and currently illegal(Cannabis oil is legal here in the U.K, but the herb is not.. Waiting for a victory of the weed kind!)!!

    All I can do, is understand that managing pain is not as clear cut as simply eradicating all or most opioids replacing them with antidepressants-I can’t begin to tell you of the experiences that my mother has had.. Breathlessness, hives, and increased anxiety are some things to mention though. Mr Burke, is right to say that opioids are addictive, but its too easy to be addicted to the horrible feelings of inadequate pain relief, and the cycle of poor education on how to manage and what to manage the pain with! He needs to rethink his outlook, and remember that when he became an addict, it was out of DESPAIR AND LOATHING OF PAIN! Not simply because he liked the way opioids made him high!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This guy’s comment is so full of ail I don’t even know where to being.

    1. Starts off by calling you an addict, though he knows nothing about you. Then he complains that you know nothing about his wife or himself so shouldn’t judge them. How typical of drug war hypocrites. As best as I can tell, you have only responded to things they actually wrote.
    2. Believes he is “protecting” addicts by promoting sin taxes, which are only effective at increasing the financial desperation of people with substance abuse disorders.
    3. Believes he is “protecting” addicts by supporting laws to increase monetary compensation for those who “treat” them with ineffective cures, as if they aren’t making enough money with their quack remedies.
    4. Believes that opioids are dangerous when used to treat pain because of the risk of addiction but magically become legitimate therapy for addicts through the miracle of Medication-Assisted Treatment. In fact, both suboxone and methadone are MORE dangerous than other opiates due to their long half-life and the difficulty that creates in maintaining a steady therapeutic range. Studies have shown heroin maintenance is both safer and more effective.
    5. Promotes the fiction of the “opioid epidemic” which has not been scientifically proven to exist.
    6. Uses “think of the children” as a cudgel to beat you into submission, As if sending parents to jail for using drugs helps their kids. As if dramatically increasing the socioeconomic costs of drug use through authoritarian prohibitionist polices helps the families of addicts. As if kids benefit from being driven to suicide by being denied access to pain relief or seeing the same happen to their parents. As if drug war ignorance and lethal street drugs are better for users than education on safe drug use and access to pharmaceutical-grade drugs.

    This guy thinks he’s some kind of hero or visionary promoting the prohibitionist policies that one hundred years of experience have proven to be utter failures at achieving anything but increasing the harms of drug abuse and untreated chronic pain while generating massive profits for Big Med, Big Pharma and narcotraficantes. Which is precisely what they were intended to do.

    The fact remains that there is no effective treatment for opioid addiction that works for the majority of addicts. Most programs are scarcely more effective than people quitting on their own. The scientific consensus is that opioid maintenance is the best treatment for addicts who cannot quit completely.

    But if giving people opioids to treat opioid addiction is the best treatment they can come up with, what the hell sense does denying people with addiction access to opioids make other than to funnel people like cattle into profit pens? Sorry, cooking food at home is evil but you are welcome to come to McDonald’s for your Happy Meal so long as you are willing pay a king’s ransom for it. It’s a wonder that food isn’t prescription only, given all the harms associated with eating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have scientific tests for the prevention of conditions like high blood pressure and cancer, but not for addiction (or chronic pain). Treating addiction (and chronic pain) is like treating cancer that has already spread. Seems to me we should be looking at prevention, but all of the drug-war prevention efforts have failed, perhaps because they didn’t include the truth. Ask anyone, on the left or the right, if the government lies, and most people will say yes. (Too bad most people don’t understand that corporations lie much more than the government.)

      Government efforts to reduce drug abuse remind me of religion’s efforts to reduce sin — it’s all about shame. If you used shame to prevent other medical conditions, like cancer or AIDS, you’d be living in another century. Of course, lung cancer or other conditions caused by smoking are seen as shameful, too, also thanks to government efforts. Maybe one day, the government will pay more attention to corporate pollution instead of what an individual chooses to put in their body…

      Who am I kidding? That will never happen.

      About kids and drug abuse… More often than not, kids learn to use drugs from their parents. And from their friends, of course, who learn from their parents. If parents are abusing drugs or are suffering from addiction, who should we help first, the parents or the kids? Because there’s obviously not enough money to help everyone. Isn’t that like parents putting on an oxygen mask first, in the event of a plane crash, before making sure their kids’ masks are on, too?

      The fact is that kids will experiment with drugs, most of them with alcohol. A very small percentage of kids will take the risk of trying harder drugs, and an even smaller percentage of those kids will suffer from addiction. People who are unnaturally afraid of drugs don’t seem to know that doctors kill more people than drugs ever could, with an estimated 400,000 deaths per year, including children. The government should be warning the public about doctors and the medical industry, not drugs. Drugs are just chemicals, nothing more.

      It seems I wasn’t through with my rant. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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