Opioids

As Opioid Prescriptions Fall, Opioid Deaths Rise

The latest data underline the folly of tackling the "opioid crisis" by restricting access to pain pills.

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The decline in opioid prescriptions that began in 2011 accelerated last year, according to the latest data. Meanwhile, opioid-related deaths continue to rise. The opposing trends show the folly of tackling the "opioid crisis" by restricting access to pain medication.

A report published yesterday by the health care consulting firm IQVIA shows that the total volume of opioids prescribed in the United States, indicated by the green area below, fell by 29 percent between 2011 and 2017, from 240 billion to 171 billion morphine milligram equivalents. Last year's 12 percent drop was the largest ever recorded. The number of opioid prescriptions and the number of patients receiving opioids for the first time are also declining. The report notes that "decreases in prescription opioid volume have been driven by changes in clinical usage, which have been influenced by regulatory and reimbursement policies and legislation that have been increasingly restricting prescription opioid use since 2012."

But as you can see in the graph, the total number of opioid-related deaths counted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicated by the blue line, is not falling along with opioid prescriptions. To the contrary, it has risen sharply in recent years, driven by dramatic increases in deaths involving heroin (orange) and illicit fentanyl (the main component of "other synthetic opioids," the category represented by the gray line). The CDC has not released final data for 2017 yet, but more increases are expected.

CDC and IQVIA

The crackdown on pain pills not only has not reversed the upward trend in opioid-related deaths. It is contributing to it by driving nonmedical users into the black market, where the drugs are more dangerous because their purity and potency are inconsistent and unpredictable. The vast majority of opioid-related deaths now involve illegally produced drugs: heroin, fentanyl, and its analogs. The crackdown is also hurting chronic pain patients, including people who have functioned well on opioids for years but now find it difficult or impossible to obtain the medication they need to maintain a decent quality of life.

Since the current strategy is manifestly not working, drug warriors are, as usual, redoubling their efforts. The Drug Enforcement Administration, which sets annual quotas for opioid production, reduced the limit by 25 percent in 2017 and 20 percent this year. Now the DEA plans to squeeze the supply some more.

The Washington Post reports that the agency will decide how much pain medication should be available based on the "legitimate medical needs of patients" rather than the number of pills manufacturers expect to sell. But the number of pills manufacturers expect to sell is based on the number doctors are expected to prescribe, which is in turn based on their judgment of patients' legitimate medical needs. The DEA is substituting its judgment for theirs, without even bothering to conduct an exam or take a medical history. For a doctor, that would be malpractice. For a drug warrior, it is all in a day's work.

NEXT: U.K. Goes Full Nanny State With Proposed Nationwide Plastic Straw Ban

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  1. They should all just take a Bufferin and tough it out.

    1. Just bite down on a belt and learn to be a fucking man.

      1. But Obama told me to tell grandma to not get surgery and just take a pain pill. This stuff is so confusing.

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.jobs63.com

      2. Tony approves this message.

      3. I hear this at the waxing salon all the time.

        1. The other thing I hear all the time is “Cucumber water for customer only!”

      4. We have developed machines in about 100 years that allow us to move at speeds our bodies are ill equipped to deal with in an “accident”. Starts with your first bike wreck at aged 8 or so, and you can fill in the blanks; falls, motorcycle wrecks, car accidents; and now that we live longer, we can all get to experience the joys of old age. And thousands, if not tens of thousands, and growing, could benefit from the juice of a flower. Opium is illegal, almost completely in America, (I’ve heard that tincture is available legally). The next split molecule from morphine (the primary alkaloid in opium gum), diacetyl morphine, must be a good pain killer; too good. But, and probably certainly less dangerous than the further synthesizing/splitting and re-arranging of molecules, which is probably unnecessary. Things like fentanyl. Don’t recommend it, but, and hope you live long, prosper, and never have to find out what pain can be awaiting you. There is a plant that can give you pain free time; her price is the wherewithal to stay there; she’s a jealous lover, and will hurt you if you try to leave her. Opiodica and her suisters, Sister Morphine; Dilaudica, Phentina, and others. Tough it out; I sorta gotta assume you are being sarcastic; dunno, I’ve read that stated seriously. I have gone through leaving her; wasn’t pretty, nde, etc. But, and that’s a whole ‘nuther story. All respect peace

    2. It is not funny, to those of us who have to live under the abuse of those who would make our lives miserable! Those taking over are acting like they are as smart as physicians, knowing exatly what it takes to treat our chronic pan. It is even worse to have gone through the gauntlet, treating chronic pain patients. I was sanctioned for doing good work! Being a pain doctor, who now suffers with poorly treated chronic pain, makes it even worse! Even though we have known that chronic pain patients rarely become addicts (0.5%) for decades, we keep going backwards in our “compassionate care” of the patient in pain. And, by the way, no one person is the same as the other. There should not be a restriction of a physician’s ability to treat his patients. He should always be able to treat his patient to the best of HIS abilities…not to the best abilities that he is allowed to use! The drug war has failed to fix anything! But, they just double down with the insanity! Torture those who, mostly, have the problems through no fault of their own! It is all working so well, as seen in the graph! To think, I am still at the mercy of drug addicts, that take no personal responsibility for abusing drugs, is nuts!

      1. How can anyone, in this day and age, not know that abusing opiods will get you addicted?! They want to blame the rest of us for their intentional misuse of opiods? The thing about doctors causing addictions is nothing but a myth! I have had them in several different forms in my life. I have never been addicted to any of them. But, I am now dependent on THC to help treat the neuropathy that was caused by a boken back and spinal cord injury! But, even now, we have to worry about that being taken from us! Rant over…(;-P

  2. The government can’t do much about illegal drugs, it’s not like drug dealers are licensed and inspected and held to certain standards, so they do what they can even if it’s not connected to the drug problem. It’s not effective work, but it’s quantifiable work and that’s all that matters to a bureaucracy. It’s like the guy looking around under the streetlamp for the watch he dropped halfway down the block “because the light’s better here”. He’s never going to find the watch, but he’s doing a much more efficient job of looking for it.

    1. Also, if he’s getting paid to look for the watch, he’s got job security for as long as he wants it.

      Deep State Jobs Program would be a pretty good name for a band.

      1. I’m sure Drug Warrioring pays pretty well, but they’re not in it for the money. They’re in it for the chance to flash-bang babies, shoot dogs, beat the shit out of uppity Negroes, lie and cheat and steal and engage in the most vicious thuggery – and still get applauded as heroes. Where else can you get that kind of job satisfaction?

        1. I’m going to go with ‘both’.

  3. The Washington Post reports that the agency will decide how much pain medication should be available based on the “legitimate medical needs of patients” rather than the number of pills manufacturers expect to sell. But the number of pills manufacturers expect to sell is based on the number doctors are expected to prescribe, which is in turn based on their judgment of patients’ legitimate medical needs.

    On the plus side, maybe we’ll get yet another of example of the failures of central planning to through in progressives faces. Not that it will matter.

    1. let’s not forget it would disproportionately effect the oldest and sickest people who take the most out of the system and put the least in. ?libertarians ought to love that.

    2. As if they actually know how much product is needed?! Do they have a crystal ball, or something?! The tendency for humans to assume they know more than they do is underwhelming! Counting pills, and telling doctors how to practice medicine is just another failure of the government’s control of the medical community!(and the mini-government of medical boards)

  4. The crackdown is also hurting chronic pain patients, including people who have functioned well on opioids for years but now find it difficult or impossible to obtain the medication they need to maintain a decent quality of life.

    It’s not merely “hurting” them, it causes their death. All to aware of this from personal experience, lost my best friend ever to suicide over doctors’ unwillingness/fear to effectively medicate the chronic and debilitating pain he was suffering from.

    The policy of restricting access to pain medication is nothing less than institutionalized sadism.

    1. “All to aware of this from personal experience, lost my best friend ever to suicide over doctors’ unwillingness/fear to effectively medicate the chronic and debilitating pain he was suffering from.”

      Given that the DEA likes to treat doctors that prescribe narcotic pain killers (and not just opioids) like members of an illegal drug cartel, it’s kind of hard to blame the doctors.

      “The policy of restricting access to pain medication is nothing less than institutionalized sadism.”

      Truth.

  5. The lesson here is that trying to ban drugs that you recognize have legitimate medical uses and are in fact widely used for medical purposes is a bigger fool’s errand than even other forms of prohibition. The whole thing rests on the absurd distinction that taking a pill because you are in pain is somehow qualitatively different than taking the same pill because you want to get high. It is the same pill and the same act in both cases. The only difference is motivation. So what such drug band does is ban doing something for an unapproved reason. It is effectively a thought crime. And thought crimes are always impossible to enforce.

    1. The only difference is motivation.

      Um, isn’t this what pretty much every punishment is based on? Like killing someone in self-defense vs killing someone because you felt like it?

      1. that is a good point. I guess it isn’t that it is impossible to do it. We clearly do it in self defense cases. But it isn’t easy.

        The other thing is that the distinction between murder and killing in self defense is a very obvious and clear distinction. Taking a pain pill because I don’t like pain and taking one because I am in a bad mood is a lot less obvious and clear. I really don’t see how one is any better or worse than the other.

        1. We play value games with motivations and crime all the time. Murder is murder, unless its a….’hate crime’ because only some murders have criminalized hate, the other ones just normal hatin’-hate.

          Another one is ‘drug related’ in commission of something else. If I blow somebody away over $400 crack deal gone wrong, I’m black charged with murder in commission of narcotics-something although it was about the money. If I blow Benz dealer away over $75k lemon I’m in the Russian mob not charged with rider about committing murder during commission of Benz dealing.

          Totally arbitrary.

          1. Part of that is that courts and legislatures have totally forgotten the reasoning behind felony murder and now just see it as “killing while doing something we don’t like”. No. Felony murder was created to hold people accountable for engaging in criminal conduct that was inherently dangerous. Something like robbing someone at gun point is inherently dangerous and if someone is killed as a result of my doing it, I am rightfully just as guilty as I would be if I had pulled the trigger. All of that has been forgotten. There is nothing inherently dangerous about selling drugs. But courts and legilstatures don’t like drug dealing, so they pretend it is.

    2. Many of my patients could educate you! The fact is that most, pain patients, do not get “a buzz” The pain, in actuality, keeps it from happening. So the act of taking the opiod for pain is NOT the same as using it to get high!

  6. The data probably isn’t readily available but to get the full impact you should add all opioid related deaths, not just overdoses. For instance:

    – I suspect that there has been an upward trend in drug trafficking related deaths as heroin supplies go up as a result of fewer prescription opioids.
    – I suspect the suicide rates among chronic pain sufferers has increased as prescription opioids have become less available.

    The effects of the drug war on society are so complex that it has to be nearly impossible to include all effects.

    1. Another unseen effect is all the business-savy youth from the inner cities going into the drug trade rather some other respectable business where they could apply their talents.

      1. Is this really a significant problem? I knew a small-time weed dealer in college who would quip about how he didn’t want it to be legalized as he’d lose some of his income, but he was going to school and had a regular job.

        I guess I was kind of buying into the drug war nonsense that all mid-level dealers are degenerates that would simply switch to a different prohibited item like the mob did after prohibition was repealed; apparently they have some (semi-) legit ventures these days. Like politics.

        I do suppose the types of people that can handle high-pressure, risky careers are well suited for the gauntlet that is a free market.

        1. +6th season of Justified

  7. Opioid Deaths Rise

    Drumpfenc?cken hardest hit

  8. God this makes me so angry. I’d much rather these people be popping pain pills than turning to street drugs. Shit, if the medication quota has been decreased, so too has the legit supply of drugs like methadone and suboxone for those trying to improve. They are leaving people no choices except cold turkey or heroin.

    There was a huge bust at WIlliam & Mary that was blamed on “sexual assault.”

    “The criminal investigation began after authorities were told that there were unreported sexual assaults occurring because of increased drug activity on or around the William & Mary campus, Williamsburg police said.”

    The cops are latching on to the new moral boogeyman of sexual assault and “sex trafficking” now that the public is softening on drugs (AKA realizing that it’s a bunch of bullshit). Millions of jobs depend on the drug war. We’ve created a moral crimes industrial complex.

    1. Sadly people do kill themselves on the legal stuff pretty often as well. It is a tragedy. I wish there was something to be done about it. But, making the legal stuff unobtainable and forcing them to go to heroin just makes things worse.

      I don’t know what you do about people who are self destructive and reckless enough to kill themselves on drugs. There are no good answers.

      1. “I don’t know what you do about people who are self destructive and reckless enough to kill themselves on drugs.”

        This is pretty close to how I feel about the core problems. Self-destruction and self-sabotage are parts of the human condition. I think issues like drug abuse and suicide are always going to exist in modern society. The characteristics of recklessness were of great benefit to our ancestors even 150 years ago. From a policy position, I’m not sure we should do much of anything to keep people from hurting themselves. We end up with issues like children orphaned by their parents’ behavior, but would a parent who’d used drugs heavily suddenly become capable if they just got clean? Of course, irresponsible creation of children is also a part of being alive.

        Having a policy of, “it’s really not my business if you decide to use heroin and die in a ditch,” does not preclude compassion, however. What I think should be codified in law and what I think society should actually do are very different things.

        1. Offering and trying to help someone when they finally decide to accept it is not the same as trying to force them to accept your help. The latter never works.

        2. Also, the underlying issue is it feels good. People don’t just go crazy on drugs for nothing. Cocaine, Heroin, Meth all FEEL really good. And that’s a big reason people keep using it. It’s like banning overeating.

          1. Pretty much. Millions of people have tried even the hardest drugs like cocaine or heroin and never gotten addicting. They either tried it and didn’t like it or did it recreationally for a while until they decided there were better things to do. There is nothing magic about drugs. They are just another thing that makes people feel good. Their abuse is an expression of an underlying problem not the cause of it. I wish people understood that.

            1. Is it any wonder when mentally ill are living on the streets, instead of being cared for, in a safe environment? Then we get to the problem of who decides who will be institutionalized! But, we don’t seem to want to identify the real problem! We would have to figure out how to, properly, treat it! Doing the wrong thing, over and over is so much more fun!….(;-P

    2. “God this makes me so angry. I’d much rather these people be popping pain pills than turning to street drugs.”

      What makes you think that ‘popping pills’ would be any safer? A people free to do as they please would also be free of any guidance or limitations on their use and could presumably still turn to street drugs as well. Do you think heroin overdoses don’t happen when the heroin is ‘good’?

      I’m not opposed to freedom, I just don’t think it would result in less people offing themselves with drugs.

      1. Known/validated potency/dosing.

        Street drugs don’t just vary in quality, they vary in potency/purity. Yes, some people might still over dose on pain pills because they just take a lot, but that’s semi-deliberate, as even if they didn’t intend to OD, they still knew how much they took.

        On the other hand, with street drugs, a user rarely knows how much of the actual drug they are taking. This makes accidental overdoses much more likely.

        1. Not disagreeing, I just don’t see how that problem ever goes away.

          With any sort of regulation the black market for drugs will always exist – if only because ‘legitimate’ sellers will want to charge enough to make a profit, while grifters and fly-by-nighters will always be selling questionable stuff at best.

          Or, absent any regulation/industrial standardization then we would quickly be back at the problems of potency/purity/snake oil.

          1. We can see your argument about how black markets persist post-legalization in California’s marijuana markets. I think that has more to do with onerous regulations making the black market less expensive.

            I envision legalization to work like the repeal of prohibition. There’s almost no black market for any type of alcohol, and it’s very easy to make compared to processed drugs. I might’ve seen a couple mason jars trading hands over the past 20 years, but just between friends and family, and usually full of grapes or strawberries from somebody’s garden. “Good stuff” is available for cheap, so those selling bargain-bin goods will never get any market share.

            Absolutely a black market will still exist, especially if certain groups are prohibited from buying (parolees, prisoners, etc), but it will be significantly less profitable and thus significantly less dangerous. No need to kill a guy over bunk product or merchandise theft if you can take it to court. When’s the last time you saw Budweiser and Miller having a shootout?

        2. Precisely. A user motivated to minimize harm could 100% avoid overdosing with drugs of consistent potency, such as prescriptions. This crisis corresponds to the appearance of potent fentanyl analogues on the black market that loaded 4 more rounds into the game of heroin roulette. Since billions of doses of synthetics were produced in Chinese labs before crackdowns and are stored who-knows-where, the black market will never be rid of it. If you needed another reason to not do heroin, you’ve got it.

          The legal ones definitely kill, and quadrupling the prescription quantity in 12 years is utterly bonkers, but they are the least of all evils.


    3. We’ve created a moral crimes industrial complex.

      I’m stealing this phrase, it’s too good.

      1. Agreed. I’m getting it tattooed on my dick.

        1. It can say “Moral” with the “industrial complex” part coming into view when it gets erect. It can be a surprise for the ladies.

          1. It already says “Moral Crimes” so i just need the other part.

        2. Talk about fine print.

      2. That is a great phrase.

    4. “The cops are latching on to the new moral boogeyman of sexual assault and “sex trafficking” now that the public is softening on drugs (AKA realizing that it’s a bunch of bullshit). Millions of jobs depend on the drug war. We’ve created a moral crimes industrial complex.”

      And talk about going full circle….the federal government first became involved in criminal laws in the early 20th century as a result of the White Slavery crisis – what “sex trafficking” was called back then. The FBI grew out of a federal agency forms to combat the menace of white girls who were allegedly being lured into prostitution against their will. Ironic that 100 years later we are right back where we started.

  9. But seriously if you are in pain and actually want to effect change, just infiltrate your local 12 Step AA/NA meeting. Hear from the malcontents and losers for whose sins you are suffering. The fellowship rescued them from certain death, yet you are circling the drain….

  10. Not clear on that graph.

    Is the blue line the sum total of all opioid related deaths?

    Does the term ‘synthetic’ include any legitimate drug products (e.g. , or it meant to denote strictly illicit/clandestine lab/street products?

    Summing the orange and grey lines does not remotely add up to the blue. So there must be another category that does not have it’s own line. That category wouldn’t happen to be prescription drug related deaths, would it?

    Which would be interesting, because the continued increase in deaths appears to track the rise in those ‘synthetics.’ So much so that, if you exclude those deaths, then there might not even be a rise. There might even be a decline.

    If the peaking of prescription opioid volume was shown to correspond to a leveling or decline in prescription opioid related deaths that would tend to take the wind out your sails, wouldn’t it Mr. Sullum?

    I could also add that it is highly problematic to overlay two different sources of data (with different methodologies) and attempt to draw any conclusions from them, but I suppose we can save that for another day.

    1. If the peaking of prescription opioid volume was shown to correspond to a leveling or decline in prescription opioid related deaths that would tend to take the wind out your sails, wouldn’t it Mr. Sullum?

      Only under the unrealistic assumption that there are 2 non-overlapping categories of people:

      – Prescription opioid users.
      – Non-prescription opioid users.

      And therefore is no substitution effect between the two types of opioids.
      Otherwise the graph shows people shifting from mostly-safe prescription opioids (safe in the sense of known dose and high purity, and therefore not a source of much accidental overdose deaths), to less safe street-synthetics, with an attendant rise in overall deaths.

      Making beer illegal to produce would probably decrease mortality from beer, while increasing mortality from moonshine, methanol, industrial solvents, heroin and bullets. That doesn’t mean you could point to the beer-death graph and claim it’s a productive policy to have in place.

      1. But there are non-overlapping groups.

        The vast majority of which are strict prescription opioid users. These are people who would never ingest a non-commercially made drug product even if in significant pain or withdrawal. And yes, a portion of those will resort to non-legal methods of obtaining drugs. Which does put them at risk of ingesting counterfeit or adulterated products. But they are a smaller subset of the whole.

        The other group is recreational users and long term recreational users who have become addicts. But even among that group the majority are still fairly selective about what they take and how they take it. Unfortunately ‘fairly selective’ is not remotely safe enough to prevent them from overdosing, especially when opioids are cheap and abundant, The non-selective group fares the worst – the sort dying from heroin (and now street fentanyl) are the sort who have always been dying from heroin.

        “Otherwise the graph shows people shifting from mostly-safe prescription opioids (safe in the sense of known dose and high purity, and therefore not a source of much accidental overdose deaths), to less safe street-synthetics, with an attendant rise in overall deaths.”

        (cont)

        1. (cont)

          That is your inference, but it is not the only possibility. What we may also be seeing is a relatively small group of extreme opioid abusers being exposed to an abundance of high potency opioids, with the inevitable effect being that a lot of them die. While also seeing a decline in deaths of people who might otherwise have carelessly popped an Oxycontin at a party, but won’t now because it is no longer that cheap or easy to find.

          Again, I’m not opposed to freedom, I just don’t buy the Utilitarian argument that it would save lives.

          1. It might very well cost us more lives. But that is no reason to oppose people have the freedom to choose.

          2. “What we may also be seeing is a relatively small group of extreme opioid abusers being exposed to an abundance of high potency opioids…”

            True. I have an educated hypothesis about the cause of this increase in mortality, but correlation has not been demonstrated, and surely the ripples from the response have changed dozens of variables that could confound results.

            I bet the party-popping crowd is pretty small, though you make a good point about how normal experimenting teenagers can get in a lot more trouble with a couple of Oxycontins than a couple of percocets. I’d like to think that the kids who play pill roulette with their parents’ meds are as rare as the ones who eat tide pods, but I’m a little out of touch. A friend’s little sister was telling us how she was about to go “‘raging” (not the word rage, the ‘rage’ from ‘garage’). Apparently high schoolers go driving around the neighborhood sneaking into random garages to raid the beer fridge. Dumbasses.

            From the handful of addicts I’ve known, pills are exceedingly expensive on the black market. $80 for an oxycontin that might only be half of a dose for a serious user. Most of the ones I’ve known were middle class-ish and switched rapidly to heroin for its price vs. black market pills.

        2. I agree about there being a significant number that are habitual, but strict prescription users. I think the rise of heroin deaths among middle class white women is a driver behind the “crisis.” It hits a lot closer to home, and we’re all (rightfully) aware of how addictive these drugs can be. We ponder that if our last surgeon had prescribed a higher dose or longer course of medicine, we might be the person on the news.

          I think most doctors are making a genuine effort to control abuse. Since pain is an invisible, subjective thing, they err on the side of caution and over-prescribe. It’s an honor system; it’s easily abusable. Pain management doctors have become more popular, and they are a better solution for chronic patients than having various docs rubber stamp a prescription every month. They implement non-opiate adjunct treatments and manage all of a patient’s painkillers, but the DEA has strict limits on their prescribing because they are especially likely to become “pill mills.” When they take on all the scripts from 4 different surgeons before they begin consolidating, they hit their limits very quickly and can’t appropriately treat all pts.

  11. http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..cutor.html

    IG makes criminal referral on McCabe.

    1. He explained that the name had caused some confusion, saying: “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland.”

      So open some banks, plant some cacao, and cash in on the lack of clarity.

  12. Great article; I wish I had written it. Nails it in a page. As a chronic pain patient, cut off from decades of a high dose, low pain life, finding the government is now practicing medicine; illegally, I might add. So, they just go to their buddies, and change the law. Problem is, the founding Fathers were clear, the law can be changed, and it must change in the direction of Liberty. That point has been ignored lately. Some would say the law is what you make it, some would say Read the Bill of Rights carefully; read the Constitution again; and the Declaration of Independence; it’s easy to understand, and is the law. The finer points of law. What are we doing? Gotta remember, everything the Nazis did was completely legal. (am I allowed to say that…:-)

    1. As someone with MS, and prescribed hydros for 10 years, I empathize with you. Hell, my heart goes out to you. My doc is 70 years old and I know the end is coming so I’ve tried to find other legal means of pain relief. So far the best thing I’ve came across is kratom, but of course it helps people like me and even heroin users so good ole Uncle is trying to ban it. My advice (if you don’t already know about it) is do a little research before you make any purchases. I got a lot of good info on who were trustworthy retailers on Reddit. Good luck man.

  13. Finally: an article on opioid regulation!
    Reason has been ignoring this issue for way too long.
    Opioids are the most important thing in America – nay, in the world – to have ever existed, and Reason has been super negligent in covering opioid regulation so far.
    More opioid articles please!

    …37 per day just isn’t enough coverage for this issue that affects each and every one of us, as well as all of our descendants and all our future offspring.

      1. Right?
        There should be at least 20,000 words spent every day on this subject!
        Otherwise, how’d we know “more opioids = good, less opioids = bad?”
        Not writing articles about opioid regulation LITERALLY creates heroin addicts and LITERALLY kills people!

  14. You need to be able to go into a (free, government-funded, pristine, state-of-the-art) clinic and get treated for “addiction.” And we need to think of addiction as no more morally weighty a condition than a broken toe. Addiction is the opposite of choice by definition, so people should stop getting morally anally probed about it.

    Clearly our current political leadership will take this obvious logic and calmly enact the needed policy changes.

    It’s only the Jesustards standing in the way, and those are your responsibility! Very well done on the gay marriage thing, by the way. You got so far you almost convinced yourselves 3 years after it was done.

    1. Who are you talking to Tony?

    2. “And we need to think of addiction as no more morally weighty a condition than a broken toe. ”

      If you go and deliberately smash your toe (to get pain pills or whatever), it ***IS*** your fault, and I don’t want to be forced to pay for it! Via mandated insurance or anything else!

      If I do NOT want to pay for (or get) aromatherapy, Scientology therapy, addiction therapy, space alien abduction therapy, sex change therapy, species change therapy, enrich-my-uncle-the- hypnotist therapy, past-lives regression therapy, sex addiction therapy, love-your-Government -Almighty relationship therapy, therapy-therapy, and on and on… If I want to OPT OUT of all this bull-crap, to save me some money… WHERE does that leave me and my freedom?

      1. enrich-my-uncle-the- hypnotist therapy

        No way you don’t want it. He’s a cool dude.

    3. “You need to be able to go into a (free, government-funded cheap, volunteer-run, pristine, state-of-the-art) clinic and get treated for “addiction.” And we need to think of addiction as no more morally weighty a condition than a broken toe. Addiction is the opposite of choice by definition, so people should stop getting morally anally probed about it.”

      Holy shit, I agree with Tony on something.

      Although, I’d add that there is a component of personal willpower involved with addiction and other mental cooties. Climbing out of it requires time, effort, and discomfort just like training for a marathon does. Over-emphasis on the ‘addiction is a disease’ narrative has given some folks rhetorical leverage to refuse to lift a finger on their journey to self-improvement. Everyone retains a spark of control, and they have to culture that. Also, no smoker alive is ignorant of the risks of tobacco. They didn’t get hoodwinked by some shadowy institution and forced to start while roofied; they just did something dumb, and they have to want to change that, and it’s absolutely achievable.

  15. Imagine what we can accomplish with a War on Guns.

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  17. We are medicine suppliers (without Prescription) Base in USA & South Africa providing a convenient way for drugs without prescription to get to your door. We also provide a better channel for legal or non-legal cannabis patients to receive their medication without leaving their home or office. Be treated like a VIP!
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    CONTACT US
    Be treated like a VIP! +1 (724) 470-0553
    WhatsApp # only: + 15753835081
    S.A OFFICE
    Whatsapp Number: 0027642338548 / Call Tel: 0027642338548

  18. We are medicine suppliers (without Prescription) Base in USA & South Africa providing a convenient way for drugs without prescription to get to your door. We also provide a better channel for legal or non-legal cannabis patients to receive their medication without leaving their home or office. Be treated like a VIP!
    We are a trusted middle-man a drop shipper and suppliers of a wide range of Pharmaceutical Formulations specializing in Pain Killers, Anti Anxiety, Weight loss, Steroids, Marijuana HGH, ADHD & ED , Research Chemicals + more that 100 different medicines. These are sourced from reliable vendors that make sure that our product range is safe.

    CONTACT US
    Be treated like a VIP! +1 (724) 470-0553
    WhatsApp # only: + 15753835081
    S.A OFFICE
    Whatsapp Number: 0027642338548 / Call Tel: 0027642338548

  19. We are suppliers of pain Killers and Anti Anxiety pills, Medical Marijuana and seeds. Hash, Rick Simpson .

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  20. Thank you!
    The graph and links help so much.
    Too bad the DEA doesn’t care, and won’t, until even more people die and more awareness, of the torture chronic pain patients are needlessly suffering through daily, is brought to the helm.

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