Time to laugh


Millions of Americans find social settings uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing. The Onion provides some tips for dealing with social anxiety:

If you’re in a public place and find yourself feeling physically uncomfortable, check to make sure you’re not just sitting weird in your chair.

Have you tried running? Running worked for Jeff…


Dr. Hypocrisy

Here we have another one-sided article from the New York Times, this one about the abuse of drugs used to treat addiction.



“Let’s be clear,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a longtime Suboxone prescriber in New York and executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. “The real crisis is the severe epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths that’s devastating families across the country.”

And here we have Mr. Kolodny, still trying to convince everyone that drugs like Suboxone aren’t part of the opioid family. As if there aren’t any families that have been devastated by deaths related to the use of bupe, methadone, and Suboxone.

It says a lot about how lazy the media is that it uses “experts” like Kolodny. And they never include important facts about Kolodny, like the criminal investigations into some of his Phoenix Houses. Like how Kolodny started his work with addiction in the New York prison system, specifically with bupe.

And before Kolodny began his work in the prison system, in 1996, France approved bupe (Suboxone) for the treatment of addiction. The current situation in France is that, along with methadone, buprenorphine is the opioid that’s causing the most damage:


Dr. Kolodny ranks anti-Suboxone judges like Judge Moore in a category with climate-change deniers and people who believe vaccines cause autism. “When there’s really dangerous heroin on the streets, I’d rather see Suboxone out there, even if it is being prescribed irresponsibly or is being sold by drug dealers,” he said…

And here we have Mr. Kolodny advocating for the underground Suboxone market, which really makes him look like a drug dealer. I wonder if he gets a percentage of all Suboxone sales… Or maybe he’s been promised a better job with the government or Big Pharma.

Hey, Kolodny, don’t you understand that doctors are drug dealers, too? Do you think the drugs that doctors prescribe never do any damage, never kill anyone? Perhaps you should change your name to Dr. Hypocrisy.

Under comments:

Steven A. King, M.D., Philadelphia, May 29, 2016

The issues of using buprenorphine for opioid use disorders are not as clear cut as the author appears to be making them.

Some of what Judge Moore believes is true and some of what Drs. Volkow and Kolodny say is misleading.

As a physician who specializes in pain management, I know that there are a not insignificant number patients prescribed opioids for legitimate pain complaints who end up abusing and becoming addicted to these, and although it is often reported that we’ve only become recently aware of this in fact there is research going back 25 years demonstrating this.

However, there are no studies showing that either buprenorphine or methadone are appropriate treatments for these patients. As these both provide analgesia equal to the other opioids, if these were the proper treatment for these patients then it would make sense to make them the first line opioids for pain as we would be prescribing the appropriate treatment for the problem at the same time we were prescribing the cause of the problem.

Sorry, bupe and methadone do NOT provide analgesia equal to other opioids. Yes, they help some pain patients, but their strength is more in line with, say, codeine, if that.

I’m not exactly sure what this pain doctor is trying to say, but I think pain patients will increasingly be offered bupe and methadone, whether they’ve been red-flagged for addiction or not.

What do I see? Take a walk with me…

I’ve decided that people love frogs.

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Oh, how cute, the frogs are in love.

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Maybe frogs have special powers?


Look, he’s waving at you.

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Looks like she’s got an attitude.


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And now she looks pensive. (No doubt wishing she had a Dilly Bar.)


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Find the frog.

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Perhaps someone should create a line of frog emojis. This one says, Surprise!

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You gotta love frogs because they eat bugs. And the internet says frogs have special powers.


It’s hard to catch a lizard on camera.

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When I’m walking, I can hear them scuttling around in the underbrush, but they move really, really fast. Like lightning.

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In case you can’t tell, this is a roadrunner. (Like the cartoon.)




I’ve posted this photo before, but because I make the rules on my blog, I can post it as many times as I want. And does anyone else think this angel looks a little like Justin Bieber?


If frogs have special powers, than little people are probably magical.

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Aliens love New Mexico. (Must be the weather.) Maybe we can keep Trump busy with building a wall around the Earth, so no more aliens can land here. Sure, the aliens have a lot to offer, like a cure for cancer. (And they’re funny, too.) But they don’t speak our language and their skin is a different color. Sure, humans have poisoned the atmosphere, space, and other planets in the galaxy, starting wars and forcing aliens to travel to surviving planets. But that’s not our problem, we don’t want them here, so the aliens just need to keep on moving. Try Mars or Saturn, dudes.

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Did you know that balls have special powers, too? (Just like frogs and aliens.)

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I read that somewhere on the internet.

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Everybody likes balls.



These dogs don’t have a ball. And they look too skinny.

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Feels like I’m back in the 1970s.


Someone’s got good taste (even if they’re tacky). (Don’t litter.)

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This is New Mexico, folks. Thanks for tagging along.

Chili Peppers Could Free Us From Opioids

Sometimes the media cracks me up, like with this headline. Do you know how long the medical industry has been promising a breakthrough for the treatment of pain with chili peppers? I can’t be sure, but I think it’s decades.


“When we talk about chronic pain, like chronic low-back pain, physicians feel like they only have one bullet in their toolbox that works for many, many patients,” says Michael Oshinsky, program director for pain and migraine at the National Institutes of Health, about opioids.

Do you think doctors feel that way because it’s true? Like, duh.

The pharma industry has struggled to come up with alternatives. No fewer than 33 experimental medicines for chronic pain went into clinical trials from 2009 to 2015, and all failed, Oshinsky says…

You can’t search for an alternative treatment for pain by trying to circumvent another problem, addiction. (Some people even believe that the quickest way between two points is a straight line.)

It appears that Big Pharma (working with the medical industry) is looking in the wrong direction. Don’t ask me what the right direction is, because I don’t know. But I do know that looking for ways to beat addiction during the treatment of pain is not a direct route to finding new ways to manage pain. Because 90% of people who suffer from pain do not need treatment for addiction.

A brain on chronic pain is not the same as a brain that suffers from addiction and some level of pain. Those who suffer from addiction have different wires crossed. Their brains react differently to opioids. Treating pain with drugs that focus on addiction will only help a very small percentage of pain patients. I think methadone and bupe have been around long enough to prove that fact.

The problem with narcotics is that in treating pain they affect an area of the brain that registers intense pleasure…

What’s the opposite of pleasure? Pain. And just like there are two sides of a coin, the areas of the brain that deal with pleasure and pain are the same ones — the same coin. These areas of the brain do the same work. They work so closely together that some people feel pain just like it’s pleasure, and vice versa. Even the very few people who are unable to feel pain don’t live a life of pleasure.

Centrexion’s drugs are designed to target pain directly, without triggering the brain’s reward system…

So, yeah, try to target pain without going through the pleasure/reward system of the brain… I’m no expert, but I don’t think it’s possible. Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we already have these drugs, like aspirin and NSAIDs, which come with their own risks and lack of effectiveness.

You should eat chili peppers. Not only do they taste good, but they’re good for you. Because they work as an anti-inflammatory, they can relieve pain. Just like aspirin. And by the way, just like decongestants and antihistamines. But these drugs do not target pain directly — they’re not really painkillers.

The pursuit of liberty from pain

I’m very happy about the Supreme Court’s recent decision on abortion rights.


The law provides “few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an undue burden on their constitutional right to do so,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court…

But I can’t help wondering about the rights of pain patients, and how the DEA poses a substantial obstacle to women and men seeking treatment. For every woman to have access to all treatment options in reproductive health care, abortion had to become a constitutional right.

Do pain patients have a constitutional right to treatment? Do we need to make it a constitutional right for pain to be treated? Something to think about.

The case tested how much leeway the government has to regulate clinics in the name of protecting women’s health. The effect of the law was to leave some patients hundreds of miles away from the nearest provider…

The DEA has been responsible for the closure of hundreds of pain clinics, along with criminalizing hundreds of doctors willing to prescribe opioids, all in the name of the drug war. In the name of protecting the health of those who suffer from drug addiction.

How many pain patients are now hundreds of miles away from the nearest provider? Hundreds of miles away from the nearest drug store willing to fill their prescriptions? And because of government regulations, many drug addicts cannot find or afford treatment, either.

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s part of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Does current law give us the right to pursue liberty from pain?

Upgrading to Windows 10?

I don’t know how much longer Windows 10 will be free, but since I don’t have the money to fix my laptop should anything go wrong during the upgrade, I think I’ll just pass. Although I have a sneaky suspicion that Microsoft has already downloaded a bunch of Windows 10 through regular updates. (Updates suck.)

If you read the comment section of this article, you’ll see that many of the problems are about other software programs that haven’t been upgraded to work with Windows 10, including games and photo software. These problems can corrupt your files. So, if you do decide to upgrade, you should save everything on a separate hard drive before you make the attempt.


Windows 10 auto-upgrades are like a sick, cruel joke being played on us by this point. Most stories that start with “my Windows 10 PC auto-upgraded” tend to end with “and then all my data was lost,” but this particular version has a happy ending, because it involves Microsoft paying out a lot of money.

A California woman has won $10,000 from Microsoft, after the tech giant gave up challenging a court case. Teri Goldstein alleges that after her computer was upgraded to Windows 10, it became slow and unreliable…

Please stop beating your kids


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana mother arrested for whipping her three boys after she found out they had burglarized a neighbor’s house has found herself in the national spotlight and is being held up as a model parent by high-ranking state officials.

Schaquana Spears, 30, was arrested Monday in Baton Rouge and charged with two counts of cruelty to juveniles — felony charges. She allegedly whipped her 13- and 12-year-old boys so badly she left marks on their bodies. Lacerations on the 13-year-old’s arms had bled, an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office report said.

In interviews with the media, including one on nationally televised “CBS This Morning,” Spears has said she whipped her children to make sure they do not take to a life of crime. She said the children’s father was in prison and that she didn’t want them to end up there, too…

She whipped the boys June 17 after she found they had stolen a hoverboard and other items from a neighbor’s house, Brenden Craig, her lawyer, said in a telephone interview.

A sheriff’s report said she whipped them with either an electrical cord or a belt. She also whipped her 10-year-old boy, but not as much as the other two, according to the sheriff’s report…

Since her arrest, she’s received an outpouring of support.

On Wednesday, Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy, a Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat, said in a letter to the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services that Spears should not have been arrested for disciplining her children with corporal punishment.

When did abuse and violence become discipline?

“In biblical times, sparing the rod led to a spoiled child,” he wrote. “In modern times, sparing the rod leads to an imprisoned child.”

Actually, in modern times, the color of your skin and/or the lack of money in your pocket can lead to an imprisoned child.

On Friday, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry echoed that sentiment and said in a statement that he was grateful his mother used a rod to teach right from wrong.

“To be a peaceful and moral society, it is imperative our children learn right from wrong,” Landry said. “I am grateful for my loving mother who did not spare the rod to teach this valuable lesson.” …

In a statement, Marketa Walters, the head of the Department of Children and Family Services, said discipline “crosses into abuse when it leaves a child cut, burned, bloody or bruised.” She added: “We’re referring to something more than a mere ‘spanking.'”

Anxiety and Facebookitis

It’s been reported that Prince began using opioids to treat crippling anxiety. Seems like he would have tried other treatment methods before trying painkillers, but I’m not sure I agree with treating anxiety with opioids.

Some people use alcohol or food as a social lubricant and/or to treat anxiety, and some people take antidepressants, Xanax, or Valium. And some people smoke pot (if you’re lucky). I suppose any drug that alters your perception would help treat anxiety, but how to treat crippling anxiety in a musician and performer? (Do you think Prince felt naked every time he went on stage? Or maybe he threw up before every performance? Or was it the drugs that kept the worst of his symptoms at bay, allowing him to perform?)

I guess I didn’t realize there was such a large percentage of people who use drugs “to be sociable” and “to feel more relaxed,” as illustrated in this chart:


Two leading UK health organizations have just released a report titled “Taking a New Line on Drugs.” In the report, they make an unprecedented call for the decriminalization of personal possession and use of all drugs. They also referenced data from a survey of 2,000 UK adults about drugs—including why people use and don’t use…

The opioid war is against treating physical pain — against chronic pain patients and doctors — but it doesn’t really address the people who take painkillers to treat mental illnesses or just to be sociable. Seems like a lot of people are feeling pressured to be sociable these days, which I blame on Facebookitis.