Closing Thought–09May18

Pres. Trump has jumped on the problem the US us having with opioid abuse….Trump’s big deal is that he thinks people that push opioids should be put to death and abusers should be getting massive jail sentences……this, according to him, will alleviate our opioid problem…..

Seriously?  Is that all it will take?

Criminalization of drug use and possession has had almost no impact on actual levels of drug use. However, the criminalizing of drugs does practically ensure a cycle of criminality and greater prison sentences. As outlined in a January memo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants longer mandatory minimums despite their destructive impact on the United States. At this point, it’s evident that the War on Drugs is a frantic grasp for control in a broken system.

But enacting longer prison sentences does not help reduce the misuse or abuse of drugs. Instead, it worsens it. Thankfully, there are policy alternatives to the status quo. Legalizing drugs would allow us to focus on treating drug addiction and breaking the pattern of being labeled a “criminal.” If there is no victim, there is no crime—and that’s why the War on Drugs is a war on addicts.

http://theantimedia.com/locking-up-addicts-wont-solve-opiate-crisis/

As usual Trump has lots of opinions but little grasp of the causes and the effects……in other words he has NO idea about policy just of the mind that comes with the IQ of under 50.

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Public Enemy Number One: Opioids!

We have a new president and a new number one problem in this country….with Trump it is the opioids abuse.

He has put Kelleyanne Conway as the Opioid Czar and her take on preventing the abuse is for addicts to eat ice cream or french fries…..a sound medical advice from another Trumpian that has NO clue about the world around them.

I read an article written in “The Cipher” on this problem…..

Americans are facing one of their deadliest foes in recent history: not ISIS, but opioids, painkillers that are highly addictive and killing thousands of Americans annually. Drug overdoses took the lives of 64,000 people in 2016, with two-thirds related to opioids.

Congress has taken a good first step, providing the federal government an additional $3.3 billion to fight the opioid crisis in its fiscal year 2018 spending bill with a focus on public health efforts. Most of the money, $1.4 billion, will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for a new State Opioid Response Grant program and also for the Mental Health Block Grant, according to Vox. The second highest chunk of funding, $500 million, is for the National Institutes of Health for more opioid addiction research.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/column/expert-view/targeting-one-americas-deadliest-foes-opioids

Interesting thoughts from an agent of the DEA….I would like to hear from my readers on their ideas on the opioid abuse situation.

I agree that abuse is on the rise but on the same token opioids do good for people that suffer with chronic pain.

Opioids: The War

The big story these days to divert attention of the public is the new war on opioid addiction….I have a feeling that those people that need the meds to manage their chronic pain will suffer more than some street addict.

There are -people that have broken legs with massive metal it took to repair the damage and then then is those people that have had part of a foot amputated and need opioids to help with the pain…..and in some cases a person that has both problems and needs pain meds to manage daily chronic pain with a capital “P”……..these people that depend on pain management to get through a daily life could suffer and more so than some street dealer……

After years of having their condition misunderstood, sufferers of chronic pain now find themselves in the position of being, as one patient puts it, collateral in the country’s war on drugs. Harper’s takes a long look at self-described “pain refugees,” who need opioids to do everything from getting their kids dressed for school to just getting out of bed but who find themselves suddenly unable to get the necessary prescriptions as the US tackles its growing opioid crisis. Last June, overdose became the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. The blame is falling squarely on the healthcare industry. “There’s a desire for something simple to latch onto as a way of explaining it,” one addiction specialist says. “A story that has a clear-cut villain, with doctors as dupes and patients as innocent victims, is about as easy to sell as any story.”

But the real story is a lot more nuanced than that. High-dose opioid prescriptions dropped 41% between 2010 and 2015 at the same time overdose deaths increased 37%. And the majority of opioid misuse is not committed by people with opioid prescriptions. But what really hurts sufferers of chronic pain is people confusing physical dependence on opioids for addiction. “Someone who is physically dependent on opioids as a result of the treatment of pain but who is not craving more or harming themselves or others is not addicted,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says. In fact, studies have found under 8% of Americans prescribed opioids for chronic pain are addicted. That hasn’t helped sufferers like Austin Sell, whose chronic pain has forced him from jobs and wrecked his marriage. “I’m a big black guy with tattoos,” he says. “They accused me of exhibiting drug-seeking behavior.” Read the full story here.

The death penalty for “dealers” will do little to curb the trend of opioid abuse….we could do what Kellyanne Conway, the czar for opioid abuse, says the need for users…..

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is overseeing the administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, warned millennials on Thursday not to try the powerful drug fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid — most of America suffers from information underload when it comes to the horrors and dangers and really the toxicity and lethality of fentanyl,” Conway remarked at Generation Next, a forum for millennials.

She noted that fentanyl was significantly more powerful than opioids like morphine.

“On our college campuses, you folks are reading the labels, they won’t put any sugar in their body, they won’t eat carbs anymore, and they’re very, very fastidious about what goes into their body,” Conway said.

“And then you buy a street drug for $5 or $10, it’s laced with fentanyl and that’s it.”

“So my short advice is, eat the ice cream, have the French fry, don’t buy the street drug — believe me, it all works out,” Conway added.

So a quart of Rocky Road will do the trick that opioids have filled…..this is the person that is the head of the presidential program on opioid addiction.

Remove the make-up and exposure Yoda.

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Back in the 1980’s I recall a commercial about Reagan’s War on Drugs….it was a frying pan with an over easy egg cooking with sound…..”This is you brain on drugs”……all this ad did was increase the profits of the Waffle House….it was a worthless waste of air time for it did NOTHING to curb the abuse of drugs…..

Well I bring up this bit of nostalgia because our well informed president has weighed in on the newest war on drugs…..this time it will be zeroing in on the opioid crisis this country is facing……..

The White House has rolled out the “more nuanced” response to the opioid crisis it promised after President Trump talked about executing drug dealers earlier this month. The revised plan White House officials discussed Sunday still involves the death penalty, but officials say they don’t plan to make trafficking in fentanyl a capital crime, let alone launch a Rodrigo Duterte-style bloodbath. Instead, the administration says it will seek capital punishment for drug traffickers where appropriate under existing federal law, the Washington Post reports. Federal law allows the death penalty in four kinds of drug-related crime, all of which also involve murder, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Andrew Bremberg, Trump’s domestic policy director, says the president also wants Congress to pass legislation lowering the minimum amount of fentanyl and other strong opioids needed to trigger mandatory sentences for dealers, the AP reports. The administration says it also has a plan to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third by 2021. “The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions,” adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters, per Politico. Trump is expected to discuss the plan on a Monday visit to New Hampshire, one of the states hardest-hit by the crisis that he has declared a national public health emergency.

Trump’s speech on the crisis was something to behold……he even mentioned the making of bad ads like the frying pan of days gone by………

In a speech officially unveiling his administration’s plan to combat the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump on Monday saod he would fight the crisis with “toughness”, the creation of “very…very…bad commercials” aimed at children; and—as expected—proposed that the death penalty be applied to drug dealers.

However, as drug policy reform advocates feared, he showed little understanding of the origins of the crisis and neglected to mention numerous measures public health experts have advocated for to stop the deadly epidemic.

A key tenet of Trump’s plan to combat the crisis, which killed nearly 64,000 Americans in 2016, is to launch an advertising campaign showing the effects of opioid use.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/19/full-war-drugs-scare-fest-trump-proposes-death-penalty-and-very-very-bad-commercials

Trump’s plan is more about some sort of vengeance than solutions to the crisis…..

Vengeance is not a public health policy. But it’s implicit in a policy measure coming out of the White House, which would attempt to solve the opioid crisis with a plan that includes sentencing some high-intensity traffickers to death. It may feel good, and for some segment of the population, vengeance may even look good.

The death of those deemed to be problematic is how some strongmen leaders that President Donald Trump has embraced keep their hold on power — such as Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte, who is following through on his pledge to kill every drug dealer he can find. But adding to the number of lives lost at the hands of the opioid crisis is not what the United States needs.
This whole policy thing smells like an utter failure…..kinda like the failure from the 1980’s.