Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Limit Pain Prescriptions to 7 Days to Cut Opioid Abuse, Argue Senators"

Is this a doctor patient meddling by government, or a much needed curving on a run away over-prescription problem?

via InstapunditThe Opioid Addiction Prevention Act of 2017, introduced before the Easter recess by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), would amend the Controlled Substances Act to limit the quantity of prescriptions for acute pain, excluding chronic pain, end-of-life care and cancer treatment.

Gillibrand argued that the change "would target one of the root causes of the opioid addiction crisis, which is the over-prescription of these powerful and addictive drugs for acute pain" like a tooth extraction or a broken bone.

To continue to remain licensed to prescribe schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances, medical professionals would have to certify to the the Drug Enforcement Agency that initial prescriptions for acute pain don't exceed a seven-day supply and don't include refills.

McCain cited the "over-prescription of highly addictive opioids" increasing 300 percent over the past 15 years as a root cause of the crisis.

“In fact, people who are addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin," he said in a statement. "In Arizona alone, heroin and opioid overdoses have skyrocketed, with the Arizona Department of Health Services reporting that more than 1,000 people required emergency room treatment for drug overdoses in 2014 while heroin-caused deaths increased by 44 percent between 2013 and 2014."

McCain said the legislation "builds on the important steps taken by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey last fall to tackle a root cause of this epidemic by limiting the supply of an initial opioid prescription for acute pain to seven days."

"We have a long way to go to end the scourge of drugs across our communities, but this legislation is an important step forward in preventing people from getting hooked on these deadly drugs," he added.

24 comments:

Lee Lee's Valise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

Please understand, there was over prescription. Those days ARE OVER. These are now Caray Nation politicians[look who is heading this "war"..Christie] looking to ride an emotional cause. In very large part, people who abused opioids have moved onto Mexican cartel Fentanyl and heroin. The rules now make it VERY difficult for LEGIT chronic pain patients. And w/ Gillabrand, McCain, Christie ilk it will become even worse. I support the $'s for addiction treatment. But, LEGIT chronic pain patients are now understanding what it's like to be a LEGIT gun owner in some states. Pray for chronic pain patients. They are societies new lepers and I don't see a Father Damien on the horizon!

ndspinelli said...

I should say, "WE" are societies new lepers.

edutcher said...

You're breaking our hearts.

No offense, but I have no more tolerance toward junkies than I do toward drunks.

And I've been prescribed "addictive" medicines in my time. When I figured I needed some clean and sober time, I stopped taking them.

A little rough, but that's why will power was invented. you want it badly enough, you can kick it.

And when the time came that I figured I could live without them, that was it.

Mumpsimus said...

And when this, predictably, doesn't change a damn thing, they'll start dispensing them one pill at a time, and you'll have to bring a prescription and a urine sample.

Opioids are a good thing, a modern marvel. I went through two bouts with kidney stones, and I can't imagine what it would have been like without them. If it weren't for the busybodies, I'd keep a bottle at home in case I ever need them.

ndspinelli said...

ed, GO FUCK YOURSELF!! You have NO FUCKING IDEA what I suffer from you sanctimonious know -it-all, pussy whipped, Cliff Claven, Baghdad Bob, asshole, motherfucker! How can you lecture someone when YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING about my condition. And your wife is obviously a judgmental asshole know-it-all like yourself. Let me guess, no friends!

If you were smart, you just STFU on this.

ndspinelli said...

Mump, Thank you for your knowledge, empathy, and common sense. Kidney stones are motherfuckers. I only had one once. I have made sure I am COMPLETELY hydrated at all times since then. It's akin to childbirth.

Christy said...

I was shocked at how easily the doctors gave us pain killers for Mom. It seems that at end of life they automatically stop all the drugs she has been on for years and start opiates. After all the anti-drug conditioning, I find it incredibly hard to give it to her. I talked it over with two aunts who kept their husbands in home hospice. One, the mean one, never gave her husband any pain killers. The other aunt, with what she's learned since, was sorry she hadn't given him more.

Just saying, I think our attitudes about pain killers are a little confused.

AprilApple said...

ND - sing it.

Jim in St Louis said...

I do not think Senators are qualified to determine if scripts are over prescribed. It may well be that there is a problem, but if so then the problem should be addressed by the AMA, or some doctors group. Or the pharmaceutical companies can issue guidelines, or even state licensing boards.

How is this a US Senator's issue?

AJ Lynch said...

This seems to be a solution similar to Obamacare where they decide that in order to to fix/ help a small % of the population, they must butt into the lives of all of us.

AprilApple said...

Anything McCain touches - turns to shit.

ndspinelli said...

Christy, Pain killers are a loaded gun. They can do very good things for people in horrible pain, and they can lead to a life of addiction. When someone is dying and in pain, addiction is not even an issue. Even this Gillibrand/MaCain/Christie Bill, chrissake don't the sponsors tell you everything you need to know, allows for end of life care w/o a govt. bureaucrat involved.

The gun analogy applies on so many levels, as I stated in my first comment. Look at the politicians who want to control your guns, and the pols who want to control your doctors.

ndspinelli said...

Jim, This Bill is identical to the Bill Christie bullied through in NJ. And doctors and doctor groups are vehemently opposed to it. This is Christie's issue to get him the Republican nomination and he will do it on the backs of people in pain. People in pain are at very low risk for addiction. One must understand, after using pain meds for an extended period, you don't feel any high from them, just relief from pain.

ndspinelli said...

Christy, I read your comment again. If you are still in charge, and your mom is still alive, PLEASE put aside all the worries that were pushed upon you. They really don't apply for a person dying and in pain. My prayers are with you. If you are religious, God approves you helping your mom in her last days and giving her the pain relief prescribed by a doc.

Titus said...

My friend has had back pain for years and always had some kind of painkillers around the house. He told me that his doctor is not giving him any more prescriptions. His partner has all kinds of health problems and has had back and knee surgery and always had painkillers, but he can't get them anymore either.

My friend told me that docs are really cutting back on those type of meds.

Is this something that is happening everywhere?

ndspinelli said...

Titus, Yes. And the govt.[DEA] has dictated a 25% cutback in production of pain medication for 2017, creating a shortage. You often have to check around to make sure pharmacies have med in stock. CVS has several stores in my area so I can usually find one. But, I went w/o last month for 2 days. But, for me, the worst part is being treated like a leper. Now, my docs know me and KNOW I am not an abuser and are compassionate. Chrissake, it doesn't take a PI to figure out who is an abuser. I have NEVER "lost" or had my med "accidentally fall in the toilet." I have radiological evidence of my problems. I also have taken NSAID's as a pain management tool. But, I was found to be anemic and an endoscopy in February found bleeding in my stomach caused from NSAID use. So, I am hurting big time.

Titus, Obviously I don't know your friends or their conditions. But, please tell them if they have documented pain, to find a doc w/ balls. The cowardly docs are just cutting people off because the govt. is pressuring them. There were docs who cavalierly gave out meds. Those days are over. GOOD! But I have discussions w/ my docs and others I know. They are appalled @ the political climate. Mark my words, these evangelical, Billy Sunday politicians will have a huge backlash. People in pain are committing suicide and eventually the press will wake up to this purge.

Just look @ the politicians pushing this. That tells you all you need to know.

Rabel said...

I went to the dentist early yesterday morning with an abscessed wisdom tooth which had been sore for a couple of weeks but really blew up on Good Friday as my jaw started to swell. He was new to me but had partnered with my old dentist who retired last year so he had all my records which would have shown only a very limited use of pain meds and no history of refill requests. I had hoped he would just snatch the tooth out (it's pretty much vertical, not impacted, and the old dentist had looked at it before and thought he could get it out) but he preferred sending me to an oral surgeon for the extraction as he was concerned it might break up during extraction.

I noted the pain and asked for pain meds along with the antibiotic he prescribed. He gave me 12 Tylenol 3's and scheduled a consult with the oral surgeon for later that day. I don't remember taking T3's before and the first one or two helped but didn't help as much as I would have liked.

The surgeon agreed that the tooth needed to go and also saw some signs of infection in the upper wisdom tooth and wanted to pull it too. I agreed and began to look at just when he could get it done. He suggested doing it under anesthetic and I agreed as I can't imaging sticking a needle into my jaw in its current condition. Should be able to schedule it for later this week (eventually scheduled for Friday morning) he said.

I'm getting now to my point. I told the surgeon that I only had 10 T3's left and asked if he would prescribe a few more or maybe something stronger (T3's are codeine and Tylenol, not Oxycontin). The motherfucker said no. He said that I should stretch out the T3 prescription by taking three OTC Ibuprofen between doses. That actually sort of worked as long as I don't aggravate the tooth by chewing or brushing but if ever a strong short term pain medication prescription was called for I would think that a swollen abscess would be near the top of the list. Apparently I would be wrong.

And there assholes want to put even more pressure on the Docs to not prescribe effective pain relief. Fuck them. Painfully and without a prescription.

Christy said...

Thank you for your encouraging words, ND, and I am so sorry for all your pain. Yes, Mom is still around. I'm betting she makes it to her 90th birthday, one month beyond the 6 months they've given her. I'm the backup, give-my-sister-a-break, caregiver. My comment was to note how conflicted I and my aunts were about this really straightforward issue. The hospice nurse says most people have a hard time dosing a loved one with painkillers.

And I keep saying painkiller because I'm now paranoid. Sister asked by text if Mom was allergic to morphene [sic] and suddenly I start getting calls from The Family Addiction Center, the people with that awful tv commercial.

ndspinelli said...

Rabel, There is something about pain close to the brain that seems to make it tougher than most pain. I've never researched it. But I had an abscessed tooth once when I was in college. Tylenol 3 was what they had back then and I remember it taking the edge off, but not really getting ahead of the pain. In high school, I got kicked in the face playing football[shitty one bar facemask..I'm an old fucker] and had a blowout fracture of the orbital bone and severe concussion. I spent a night in the hospital under observation and in fucking agony. No pain meds because they wanted my to stay awake. I still remember that fucking night and the smell of the hospital[that 60's hospital odor].

Docs will tell you when dealing w/ pain, using NSAID's or RX pain meds, the key is getting ahead of the pain. Trying to be a Spartan and waiting until the pain is bad is stupid and causes you to have to use more medication. Using a tooth extraction as example, before the local wears off you should take a maximum dose and then stay dosed for 24-48 hours.

ndspinelli said...

Christy, No thanks needed. You're a good son and brother. I watched my old man die. It's gut wrenching. I appreciate your empathy. I don't know if I have ever discussed my chronic pain here? I rarely speak of it. Many people who know me casually don't know. I don't let it define me.

The abusers of prescription pain meds have mostly moved on to cheaper heroin and fentanyl. It's the latter that is what is killing people. The drug cartels saw a huge market open up when the War on Opioids was declared by politicians. The cartels can make fentanyl cheaply and easily and it's a huge profit source. The medical profession had already begun clamping down, w/ an assist from insurance companies. Doctors and clinics saw their liability premiums rise, and rise exponentially if they had patients overdosing.

ndspinelli said...

I must say, after a rocky start, this turned into a good, fruitful discussion. Kudos.

Christy said...

I'm female. Just saying.

ndspinelli said...

Christy, Sorry. I'll remember by visualizing Christy Brinkley.