A new study has reported that in those parts of the nation with the highest rates of chronic opioid prescription, Donald Trump won overwhelming support in the 2016 presidential election.
In 693 counties with “significantly higher” than average rates of opioid prescriptions, Trump won about 60 percent of the vote, according to the study published Friday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.
In 638 counties with “significantly lower” than average opioid prescription rates, Trump won only about 39 percent of the vote, according to the study.
The areas with the high rates of opioid use were largely concentrated in the South and Appalachia with high unemployment rates and lower median incomes.
Good idea. I wish we had this here:
Like many other states, Missouri is trying many different methods to combat the opioid crisis that continues to rage. As part of that effort, the legislature is reexamining some of the laws on its books to see if changes can possibly stem the problem.
One of the rules it has identified relates to the ability of locations to accept and dispose of certain types of medications. As currently written, pharmacies – such as Rite Aid and Walgreens – are not allowed to accept prescription medications for disposal. Currently, opioids may be disposed of during specific collection drives that only happen once or twice per year or by dropping the drugs off at the local police department.
However, the legislature is proposing to change that rule, allowing these pharmacies to establish “opioid disposal kiosks”, which would be open to anyone seeking to safely dispose of no-longer-needed prescription opioids.
“These medications are dangerous if consumed improperly and they are dangerous if disposed of improperly,” said Gary Burger, a North St Louis personal injury attorney with Burger Law. “It is imperative that these laws be changed to create year-round disposal locations for these drugs, so they are removed from circulation properly.” Additionally, having police departments as drop-off locations likely discourages individuals who are illegally in possession of these medications from dropping them off as they try to stop using the drugs. “The idea of taking illegally obtained medications or the prescription of another person to the police station probably does not sit well with anyone because it is a felony in Missouri to possess drugs not prescribed for you,” says Burger.
Most of the 200 million opioid prescriptions dispensed every year are never finished by the patient. This vast surplus of medication contributes greatly to the crisis, yet very often individuals do not realize the impact of these remaining medications. Additionally, many individuals who do not realize that medications such as these can cause serious environmental problems if disposed of down drains or in toilets.
As deaths from opioid overdoses continue to increase, states will have to continue to examine where changes can be made to cut down on the amount of these drugs that are readily available to the population.
The opioid crisis has reached a boiling point across the country and the state of Florida is no different. The issue has gotten so bad in the Sunshine State that Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law that offers support statewide to fight the opioid crisis.
Governor Scott signed the bill in the middle of March with House Speaker Richard Corcoran by his side at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The bill, which goes by HB 21, puts a restriction of three days on opioids that need to be prescribed for acute pain. The bill also mandates the creation of a database for the entire state that will log patients who have been prescribed opioids.
The law goes into effect July 1, 2018. The signing of HB 21 comes just one week after Governor Scott signed the Securing Florida’s Future budget. This budget included $65 million earmarked to fight the opioid crisis throughout the state.
Governor Scott lauded HB 21, saying that it will help to limit the chance of drug addiction, offer support to Floridians who need it, and help prevent drugs from infiltrating the Florida communities.
The most important feature of the new law is the three-day limit on prescriptions of opioids for patients who have acute pain. The only way a seven-day prescription can be issued is if the patient meets strict guidelines set forth by the law.
Corcoran noted that having to return to the doctor for an additional three-day prescription, if needed, is an inconvenience but it’s an inconvenience that could potentially save 50,000 lives. The three-day prescription limit is a big change from the 30-day prescriptions that doctors used to be able to issue to their patients for pain.
The bill was passed at the last minute by the Florida legislature in early March before it went to the desk of Governor Scott. Lawmakers hope it will save thousands of lives as an average of 16 people die each day in Florida from the opioid crisis.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report in 2017 that identified for 5,725 people in 2016. That number was 1,483 more than in 2015.
With HB 21 becoming law, Florida is now the 25th state since 2016 to pass legislation that limits how opioids are prescribed.
The FDA is trying to put kratom, a Southeast Asian plant, on Schedule 1, like heroin — just like they did with marijuana so long ago.
Here’s an interesting article from Rolling Stone. I strongly suggest you read it, because you’ll hear a lot of misleading information as the FDA gears up.
Read this typical post from the American Council on Science and Health, a pro-industry group that is famous for things like pushing formula over breast milk, for the kind of thing we can expect.
I’ve been using kratom for about a month for my knees. (My doctor offered me oxycontin; I said no thanks.) It also makes it possible for me to write without severe carpal tunnel pain — and my teeth don’t hurt.
And here’s the thing: Many, many people use kratom to get off heroin and other opioids. They say the withdrawal is mild, like quitting coffee. (It also helps people stop drinking.) But Big Pharma is gearing up to make a killing (ha ha!) on their own drugs, made especially to get people off their other drugs.
It would be just my luck to discover something really helpful right before they outlaw it.
And yes, I know about salmonella and e.coli. Reputable distributors test their supply. I’d be more worried about a McDonald’s burger.
The nationwide #Salmonella #outbreak traced to #kratom products has more than doubled in less than a month, infecting people in 35 states and resulting in the hospitalization of 39 percent of the victims. #foodsafety https://t.co/9qJZRHO9Ku
— Outbreak Museum (@outbreakmuseum) March 28, 2018
It’s hard to decided which member of the Trump administration is the most insensitive and ignorant. While Trump himself usually makes the most objectionable statements on nearly every issue, others in his orbit also manage to open their mouths and plant their feet inside. Continue reading “Sessions to pain patients: Take aspirin”