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" And that was completely wrong,"
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    FarEast is offline Member
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    Default " And that was completely wrong,"

    Shame I had to learn hard way ....

    " The nation's top public health official on Tuesday sharply criticized the widespread treatment of aches and pains with narcotics, saying that doctors are prescribing such drugs too soon, too often and for too long ? putting patients at risk of addiction and overdose.

    Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that doctors are relying on these powerful drugs to treat chronic pain when physical therapy, exercise and other remedies would be safer and in many cases more effective.

    "These are dangerous medications, and they should be reserved for situations like severe cancer pain," Frieden said in his most forceful statement yet on the use of narcotic painkillers. "In many other situations, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Prescribing an opiate may be condemning a patient to lifelong addiction and life-threatening complications."

    His comments come as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers new controls on the way narcotic painkillers can be prescribed and promoted. Earlier this year, a top Drug Enforcement Administration official publicly supported stricter limits on OxyContin, Vicodin and similar medications to "safeguard the American public."

    At the same time, there is a growing awareness among law enforcement officials and public health experts that physicians' prescriptions play a significant role in fueling addiction and overdoses.

    A Los Angeles Times analysis of more than 3,700 overdose deaths in Southern California from 2006 through 2011 found that nearly half involved at least one drug prescribed by a doctor. The majority of the deaths involved painkillers, often combined with other narcotics or alcohol. Those who died often began taking painkillers as the result of injuries and became addicted, according to autopsy reports and interviews with friends and family members of the deceased.

    Drug overdose is one of the few causes of death in the United States that is worsening, eclipsing fatal traffic accidents in 2009. The CDC put the spotlight on the problem in 2011, declaring the surge in deaths an epidemic, and it has been escalating its efforts to reduce the toll ever since.

    Outside of cancer wards and hospices, doctors traditionally avoided using narcotics for pain out of fear of addiction. But nearly two decades ago, fears of addiction began to subside amid a movement to alleviate suffering among people with non-cancer pain. New painkillers came on the market that were initially thought to be less prone to abuse. The use of narcotics was broadly expanded to such things as toothaches and arthritis.

    "When I went to medical school, the one thing they told me about pain was if you give a patient in pain an opiate painkiller, they will not become addicted. And that was completely wrong," Frieden said.

    During a conference call with reporters, Frieden presented the latest CDC findings: Fatal prescription painkiller overdoses among women have increased 400% since 1999 and are rapidly closing the drug death gender gap.

    About 15,300 women died from overdoses of all kinds in 2010, more than from car accidents or cervical cancer, according to the CDC.

    Overdose deaths rose most rapidly among middle-aged women who, previous research has shown, are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and to be prescribed painkillers.

    "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying at rates that we have never seen before," Frieden said. "These are really troubling numbers."

    Doctors, he said, need to more carefully weigh the risks of addiction and overdoses against the severity of their patients' pain. They also must consider other complications, such as a history of substance abuse. Frieden reiterated the CDC recommendation that doctors check prescription databases to ensure that their patients are not "doctor shoppers."

    Frieden said there were bright spots in combating the epidemic. Washington state, he said, adopted guidelines beginning in 2007 for prescribing painkillers, leading to a decline in overdose deaths.

    "There are important steps that need to be taken at many different levels, and the CDC is here to support those efforts," Frieden said.

    The CDC does not set drug policy. But its research and recommendations influence the FDA, law enforcement agencies, doctors and local public health efforts.

    Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a New York addiction doctor leading the bid to put curbs on narcotic painkillers, said Frieden's remarks "will go a long way" in helping persuade the FDA to take action.

    "But I wonder how many more people will have to die or become addicted before they finally listen," Kolodny said.

    Because the issue is pending before the FDA, a spokesman said the agency could not comment.

    Dr. Lynn Webster, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, agreed with Frieden that only a small portion of patients need narcotic painkillers. But those who do "should not be abandoned," Webster said.

    "We need safer and more effective therapies than opioids," he said. "But until these are developed, we must use the medications available to help those who cannot live without pain relief."
    Pain may be necessary at times but suffering optional *

  2. #2
    FarEast is offline Member
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    Drug overdose deaths up among middle-aged US women
    Posted at: 07/03/2013 6:54 AM
    By: Associated Press | WHEC.com

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    Overdose deaths in the U.S. are rising fastest among middle-aged women, and their drug of choice is usually prescription painkillers, the government reported Tuesday.

    The female overdose problem is one of the few health issues the CDC is working on that are clearly getting worse, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiled the data.

    "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying at rates that we have never seen before," he said.

    For many decades, the overwhelming majority of U.S. overdose deaths were men killed by >>>>>> or cocaine. But by 2010, 40 percent were women - most of them middle-aged women who took prescription painkillers.

    Skyrocketing female overdose death rates are closely tied to a boom in the overall use of prescribed painkillers. The new report is the CDC's first to spotlight how the death trend has been more dramatic among women.

    The CDC found that the number and rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths among females increased about fivefold 1999 to 2010. Among men, such deaths rose about 3? times.

    Overall, more men still die from overdoses of painkillers and other drugs; there were about 23,000 such deaths in 2010, compared with about 15,300 for women. Men tend to take more risks with drugs than women, and often are more prone to the kind of workplace injuries that lead to their being prescribed painkillers in the first place, experts say.

    But the gap has been narrowing dramatically.

    Studies suggest that women are more likely to have chronic pain, to be prescribed higher doses, and to use pain drugs longer than men. Some research suggests women may be more likely than men to "doctor shop" and get pain pills from several physicians, CDC officials said.

    But many doctors may not recognize these facts about women, said John Eadie, director of a Brandeis University program that tracks prescription-drug monitoring efforts across the United States.

    The report highlights the need for "a mindset change" by doctors, who have traditionally thought of drug abuse as a men's problem, he said. That means doctors should consider the possibility of addiction in female patients, think of alternative treatments for chronic pain, and consult state drug monitoring programs to find out if a patient has a worrisome history with painkillers.

    The CDC report focuses on prescription opioids like Vicodin and OxyContin and their generic forms, methadone, and a powerful newer drug called Opana, or oxymorphone.

    "These are dangerous medications and they should be reserved for situations like severe cancer pain," Frieden said. He added that there has been no documented increase in pain in the U.S. public that would explain the boom in painkiller prescriptions in the last 10 or 15 years.

    Some experts said the increase in prescriptions can be traced to pharmaceutical marketing campaigns.

    CDC researchers reviewed death certificates, which are sometimes incomplete. Specific drugs were not identified in every death. In others, a combination of drugs was involved, such as painkillers taken with tranquilizers.

    It was not always clear which deaths were accidental overdoses and which were suicides. But CDC officials think more than 70 percent were unintentional.

    One striking finding: The greatest increases in drug overdose deaths were in women ages 45 through 54, and 55 through 64. The rate for each of those groups more than tripled between 1999 and 2010.

    In 2010, overdose deaths in those two groups of middle-aged women added up to about 7,400 - or nearly half the female total, according to CDC statistics.

    It's an age group in which more women are dealing with chronic pain and seeking help for it, some experts suggested.

    Many of these women probably were introduced to painkillers through a doctor's prescriptions for real pain, such as persistent aches in the lower back or other parts of the body. Then some no doubt became addicted, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City.

    There aren't "two distinct populations of people being helped by opioid painkillers and addicts being harmed. There's overlap," said Kolodny, president of a 700-member organization named Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

  3. #3
    FarEast is offline Member
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    If my thread is deleted could a moderator let me know why and where this should be posted and how ... Thanks , when put information and links on my thread " 30 milligram methadone taper in Thailand they are deleted and not know why but would very much like this one to stay or be redirected ? Thank you in advance and so grateful for this place !

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