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Monday, February 12, 2018

Pain Management Sessions

Tough it out’: Watch Jeff Sessions recommend aspirin instead of opioids for chronic pain patients

 I've had some observations about this perjurious ignoramus before. See "Jeff Sessions' Marijuana Advisor Wants Doctors to Drug-Test Everyone. See also my post from August, "The 'opioid epidemic' and the EHR."

My ailing daughter (who underwent bone scans today) is now in fairly constant appreciable pain from her worsening Stage IV pancreatic cancer. She gets by with morphine, and MS- and Oxycontin. Sessions can go to Hell.

Jeff Sessions: marijuana helped cause the opioid epidemic. The research: no.
The research shows that, contrary to Sessions’s remarks, medical marijuana may help mitigate the crisis.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is blaming an old foe of his for the opioid crisis: marijuana.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation to the Reagan Alumni Association this week, Sessions argued that cutting prescriptions for opioid painkillers is crucial to combating the crisis — since some people started on painkillers before moving on to illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl. But then he expanded his argument to include cannabis.

“The DEA said that a huge percentage of the heroin addiction starts with prescriptions. That may be an exaggerated number; they had it as high as 80 percent,” Sessions said. “We think a lot of this is starting with marijuana and other drugs too.”

It’s true that, historically, a lot of opioid addiction started with prescribed painkillers — although that's changing. A 2017 study in Addictive Behaviors found that 51.9 percent of people entering treatment for opioid use disorder in 2015 started with prescription drugs, down from 84.7 percent in 2005. And 33.3 percent initiated with heroin in 2015, up from 8.7 percent in 2005.

Where Sessions, who once said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” went wrong is his suggestion that marijuana leads to heroin use — reiterating the old gateway drug theory…
The potheads are not the perps, Mr. Sessions:
Opioid makers gave millions to patient advocacy groups to sway prescribing
As the nation grapples with a worsening opioid crisis, a new report suggests that drug makers provided substantial funding to patient advocacy groups and physicians in recent years in order to influence the controversial debate over appropriate usage and prescribing.

Specifically, five drug companies funneled nearly $9 million to 14 groups working on chronic pain and issues related to opioid use between 2012 and 2017. At the same time, physicians affiliated with these groups accepted more than $1.6 million from the same companies. In total, the drug makers made more than $10 million in payments since January 2012.

“The fact that these same manufacturers provided millions of dollars to the groups suggests, at the very least, a direct link between corporate donations and the advancement of opioid-friendly messaging,” according to the report released on Monday night by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who has been probing opioid makers and wholesalers…


Relatedly, from,
Answering Our Critics – Again!
Critics of Science-Based Medicine keep making the same old tired arguments, despite the fact that their arguments have been repeatedly demolished. Here is a list of recurrent memes, with counterarguments.

Instead of a new post this week I decided to recycle and revise what I wrote about Answering Our Critics a few years ago, here and here.I thought it was time to visit this issue again, because our critics didn’t get the message. They are still flooding the Comments section with the same old tired arguments we have debunked over and over.

Some people don’t like what we have to say on Science-Based Medicine. Some attack specific points while others attack our whole approach. Every mention of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) elicits protests in the Comments section from “true believer” users and practitioners of CAM. Every mention of a treatment that has been disproven or has not been properly tested elicits testimonials from people who claim to have experienced miraculous benefits from that treatment.

Our critics keep bringing up the same old memes, and I thought it might be useful to list those criticisms and answer them all in one place…


Heard this author interviewed on NPR's "Fresh Air" yesterday in the car while taking my daughter to Kaiser for a bone scan px.


I downloaded Kate Bowler's new book and read it straight through. Riveting. I will have plenty to cite and say about it shortly. Stay tuned.

Again, highly recommend Kate's book.

I am reminded of another fine cancer memoir I've cited before, here and here.

Gideon Burrows is still at it, recently publishing a second book. US Amazon link here.


More to come...

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