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The drug problem

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So I think most reasonable people agree, the war on drugs is stupid. It's ineffective and a waste of resources. However, the opioid crisis is real. 

Some states legalizing mushrooms doesn't bother me much. What bothers me is that virtually everywhere, Narcan is given out for free to addicts in the event that they OD. For sure, it's a good thing that we can save lives of people who might do that to themselves, but is it responsible to enable the behavior as a society? First responders having it is a must as it's their job, but to be able to freely pick it up from the health department? Not so much.

Now from a first responder perspective, it can be dangerous. A lot of times people come out of highs violent after being given Narcan. And sometimes it isn't immediate, but they're not thinking clearly and, well...

 

Now imagine that some people not armed were with this guy and they also brought him back to life with Narcan and then he started refusing to go to the hospital to get checked out and then started getting paranoid and ultimately violent. We're endangering people in situations like this. And this sort of behavior is common (maybe not being armed at the time but certainly violence and paranoia).

So what is the solution here? What can we do to discourage use of heroin and meth and other high risk drugs? Because just giving Narcan to everybody isn't working. People aren't OD-ing and surviving and deciding that's enough. It's an excuse to achieve that dangerous high without dying.

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We should look into countries that are making a solution work

https://www.thenation.com/article/switzerland-addiction-prescribed-heroin/

Quote

started taking heroin as a way of coping with my psychological problems,” said David, 50, an addict for 25 years. “It destroyed me. I lost my job as a watchmaker. I ‘borrowed’ money from my girlfriend, and my friends. I ended up on the street. To fund my habit, I became a user-dealer.” Every day for 18 months, he’s been attending an injection center attached to the Geneva University Hospitals, where, under the experimental heroin-prescription program (PEPS), he is given a syringe of diacetylmorphine—heroin manufactured legally by a Swiss laboratory. “The program has allowed me to rebuild my life, and pay my friends back.” He looked at his watch: “I’ve got to go. It’s time for my treatment.”

Translated by Charles Goulden.
This essay continues our exclusive collaboration with Le Monde Diplomatique, monthly publishing jointly commissioned and shared articles, both in print and online. To subscribe to LMD, go to
mondediplo.com/subscribe.

The 1,500 patients at Switzerland’s 22 PEPS centers have all tried unsuccessfully to kick their habit with drug-replacement therapy. Marco, 44, said: “Methadone didn’t work for me. The side effects were terrible, and I didn’t get any tranquilizing effect. So I was taking other drugs on top of it. I’ve been registered here for the last six months. I’ve put on weight, and cut my heroin use by 80 percent. Eventually, I want to get clean.” Chantal, 54, an addict for 30 years, said: “The treatment gives me structure. I don’t have to chase after my dealer any more.” Jeff, 54, had just injected his daily dose; his pupils were dilated, and he spoke in a loud voice: “My quality of life has definitely improved. It’s stabilized my day. Before I got into the program, I was a dealer. I was cunning, I found ways to get money, I did stuff.”

Yves Saget, an addiction nurse, said: “Addiction happens when taking drugs becomes the only strategy for dealing with difficult situations. We don’t say ‘fix’ here, we say ‘treatment.’” He explained: “The brain becomes dependent, and needs heroin to maintain its balance. At this center, we are treating 63 patients with diacetylmorphine. Medical heroin is pure, unlike the drug you buy in the street, which is cut with caffeine, paracetamol, and other substances. Street heroin isn’t satisfying, so addicts often take other narcotics with it, or alcohol, or psychotropic drugs such as benzodiazepine. Our dosage, which is individually tailored, allows patients to live as normal a life as possible.” He added: “We emphasize good citizenship—patients must treat our staff and the neighborhood with respect. This is their treatment center, so it’s up to them to protect it.”

Huber thinks that “there is no market more liberal, more aggressive, or more harmful to health than the illegal-drugs market. The best way to prevent the use of any drug is to regulate the market, the same way as for alcohol and tobacco.” Zullino added: “Regulation doesn’t eliminate problems, but it allows you to manage them.”

 

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23 minutes ago, Fryfan said:

We should look into countries that are making a solution work

https://www.thenation.com/article/switzerland-addiction-prescribed-heroin/

 

Personally I’m mostly for it. When you see skid rows in other countries though it does add something you don’t see here in the states. Try E. Hastings in Vancouver for example. You do see how no solution is perfect.

(Edit: Canada has drug clinics that supply treatment/recovery) drugs. E. Hastings is the epicenter of Vancouver.)

The thing about that treatment method is it isn’t trying to fix an addiction it’s supplementing it with government funds for the rest of their lives. Basically they get their fix when the government says they do.

I’m not cool with paying for people to have hard drug addictions from the tax payer pot. Giving them weening doses, and helping them properly. Totally. but not giving them it for the rest of their life/indefinently. 

I’ve seen both sides of “treatment solutions” in multiple countries. For some it’s a good thing, for others it’s really really not ok to keep giving them the drug. 

I know in that article, it doesn’t really address the lifetime option. But when you read into it further. You see people talking about how they have no want to get off the treatment, how they do it and stabilize. But it’s essentially as if the government was giving them a couple bottles of booze a week. It takes the reality off of them. 

Its a supremely complex issue. Take E. Hastings for example. They have drug treatments, but you can’t walk in anytime you want to get high and be like “gimme” so those people turn right back to the street and other substances. It just spirals.

Those statements in the articles are just the success stories. I really expect anyone who is a social warrior on issues like this to go and see places like these for themselves, if you get a chance visit a country with them.

Personal id rather those people especially addicted to opioids, use pure unedited or doctored opium from clinics. Under contract stipulations. 

We created the heroine/painkiller problem. 

Edited by Harbingers
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The way pharmaceutical companies are allowed to push opioids has to change. There are pharmaceutical companies that have basically transformed themselves into legal versions of a drug cartel and doctors who have basically transformed themselves into legal drug dealers. That poo has to end. It's not a coincidence that the heroin issue really exploded just after the prescription opioid issue really exploded.

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The way pharmaceutical companies are allowed to push opioids has to change. There are pharmaceutical companies that have basically transformed themselves into legal versions of a drug cartel and doctors who have basically transformed themselves into legal drug dealers. That poo has to end. It's not a coincidence that the heroin issue really exploded just after the prescription opioid issue really exploded.

I recently broke my hand. I went to the doctor and it definitely looked bad. Swollen to about twice it's normal sized with quite a bit of bruising, but honestly the pain wasn't that bad. They asked for my pain on a 1-10 scale and I answered 4. Yeah, it hurt, but it wasn't unbearable by any means. The doctor immediately asked me if I wanted an opioid painkiller. Like, really? No thanks, I'm good.

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20 minutes ago, LinvilleGorge said:

The way pharmaceutical companies are allowed to push opioids has to change. There are pharmaceutical companies that have basically transformed themselves into legal versions of a drug cartel and doctors who have basically transformed themselves into legal drug dealers. That poo has to end. It's not a coincidence that the heroin issue really exploded just after the prescription opioid issue really exploded.

When my sis had surgery recently, she said they gave her painkillers. I asked morphine? She was like nah fentanyl. I was like wtf is this stupid poo, messaged my ICU nurse friend and she said. “Oh that’s normal.”, I said wait wait wait we just skip everything else and go to straight to fentanyl? “Yep”. For a minor uninvasive surgery? “Yep.”

I know I’m beating a dead horse. But seriously everyone needs to read “Eating Dangerously”. It really shines the light on how fuged up the FDA is. And how 90% of the FDA is just dealing with/appeasing drug companies.

Edited by Harbingers
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My wife has never gotten any kickbacks from pharma, and if you have a loved one that is in the business you have seen the State medical board document that comes out showing the bad boys that get busted for narcotics over-prescribing/abuse(use) and either get suspended or license revoked.  Opiods  cover a wide range of medicines that should be highly regulated due to the danger to society.  They are a vital need in the medical industry though.  I could never sleep when on them (post-surgeries) and would be on Motrin a day or two after.  First day or so they were needed.  Dreams were in technicolor when on them and while I was sleeping, I wasn't resting.  

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My father in law is a pediatrician and my sister in law is a pharmacist. They'll both tell you that opioid prescriptions are absolutely out of control. Burke County, NC is my home county and there are literally more opiod prescriptions being handed out than their are people.

Sadly, that is the norm in western NC.

In 2016, Burke County had 151.5 opioid prescriptions per 100 people written, which is the highest number of prescriptions written per 100 people in western North Carolina, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the cluster of Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln and Gaston counties all show more opioid prescriptions issued than there are people.

https://www.morganton.com/news/study-details-opioid-problem-in-burke-western-nc/article_291cbd8c-2ff2-11e8-b6f1-37ecbd127575.html

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the ultimate goal should be education and harm reduction. i see no benefit in letting addicts OD while the system that enables widespread addiction continues to be unchallenged. and after being administered narcan they begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal immediately so its not surprising that they are violent and not thinking straight. no one who is predisposed to addiction would be deterred by the possibility of not being brought back with narcan.

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Personal opinion, we have turned into a society that expects a pill to solve everything. High BP, take this pill, feeling sad, take this pill, weenie not working, take this pill... and so on and so on. Hell, half the damn commercials on TV now are asking people who have virtually zero understanding of what they may or may not have to go and ask their doctor for "insert drug name here." There are people who legitimately need pain killers and can't get them because so many people abuse them. My wife recently had major surgery and the hospital required her to take oxytocin before releasing her. She didn't need it and didn't want it but they made her take it. She didn't have a pain block either. 

I was mistreated for 4 years for a condition I didn't have. I saw a few different doctors, one actually threw me out of his office when I said he couldn't operate on me after a 5 minute evaluation. I couldn't believe it. He wanted to replace my knee at 35 without an MRI, X-ray, scope or anything. Turns out it was I had overdeveloped quads from work, I do a lot of squats, and it causing my knee cap to move where it shouldn't. Exercise program was all I needed. I found a dr. that specialized in lower body sports injuries and it took him about an hour to figure it out. 

I've noticed doctors rarely take more than 5 minutes in the office with you anymore. It's more about quantity than quality. 

As far as the war on drugs, it's failed. I know people that are still hooked after 20 years. They can't get off the stuff because they never learned how to cope with life. We really need to refocus education on how to succeed and deal with the problems life is going to throw at you instead of regurgitating information. Understanding the consequences of what you're doing to yourself would go a long way, and I don't think we can really start to young in educating our kids for what they'll face. Times have changed, it's time we do the same. 

 

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8 hours ago, LinvilleGorge said:

My father in law is a pediatrician and my sister in law is a pharmacist. They'll both tell you that opioid prescriptions are absolutely out of control. Burke County, NC is my home county and there are literally more opiod prescriptions being handed out than their are people.

Sadly, that is the norm in western NC.

In 2016, Burke County had 151.5 opioid prescriptions per 100 people written, which is the highest number of prescriptions written per 100 people in western North Carolina, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the cluster of Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln and Gaston counties all show more opioid prescriptions issued than there are people.

https://www.morganton.com/news/study-details-opioid-problem-in-burke-western-nc/article_291cbd8c-2ff2-11e8-b6f1-37ecbd127575.html


Being in that cluster, yep, it's very real. Everybody knows somebody with pills to sell. It's crazy.

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It's really bad in small rural areas where pharma can get away with this junk.   Mcdowell county WV for instance.    There was places to get oxy that didn't even have backrooms, just people lined up outside to get their scripts filled.    The feds finally started cracking down and I think counties/states are suing pharma companies because they knew something was up for such a small area.    The problem is we don't go hard after them or any white collar crime in America.     It starts there honestly.

Legalizing marijuana will help because a lot of people that get into opioids started out on valid prescriptions for pain and then ran out of prescriptions and then go there.    I know it's trading one thing for another but marijuana would be a much better option.

Also poverty comes into play too, as crime, as a lot of things, so another place we have to start.

Then we have to treat it like a disease, not a crime, and work from there.    But until white collar crime is pushed harder in instances like this, we can'd do anything.

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i saw a documentary that said fentanyl was supposed to be a breakthrough cancer pain drug that 1400 people in the country - only - would qualify for at any given time.  so there's 1400 people living in the US in that specific type of pain on any given day.    day before release stocks went up 3000%.    things that make you go hmmmmmmm.  the pharmaceutical company was given access to people in the hospitals records and called those patients to recommend fentanyl for their pain, like they were working with the dr.      

and when you say 'we' created this problem, no we didn't.   the govt did.   one of its branches with 3 letters has been flooding this country with drugs since at least the early 60's, and probably longer if i felt like looking up info.  

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