This article in Bloomberg news caught my eye. Not because of its compelling story, but because of how it really displays the media’s complicity in lying about the opioid crisis.
The Opioid Crisis Is Now a Fentanyl Crisis
This is what the headline screams. Starts out with a lie, really.
The “opioid crisis” isn’t really an opioid crisis. It’s a heroin crisis. The fentanyl explosion isn’t really “fentanyl”. It’s illegal “Chinese fentanyl analog”- a fake dirty cooked fentanyl copycat drug made in labs in China that is 1000 times more potent than the pharmaceutical fentanyl than it is named for.
Two lies in one sentence. Far from harmless considering the damage these have done to the incurable painful disease patient community. All the lies the media has spread has fear mongered legislators into passing laws that throttle their life giving medication down to nothing, in some cases.
Moving on to the article:
“America’s opioid crisis has shifted. As Congress and the White House have dawdled [L-freakin-OL more on this later in the article] , the overdose death toll has continued its steady climb — reaching more than 49,000 in 2017, an increase of nearly 7,000 over the previous year, itself a record-breaker [oh- but if only the author was truthful All around! Prescribed drugs accounted only for 14,330-2,445 less than 2016, 16% DROP]. But the primary agent of death is no longer ordinary prescription painkillers [the primary agent of death •never was• prescription painkillers, it was always heroin]. It’s illicit fentanyl, often mixed with heroin or some other street drug.
This change calls for an equally drastic shift in the effort to prevent opioid deaths. Tighter controls on prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone are no longer enough to limit supply [addicts don’t go to physicians to get drugs, this has never been true- because of the restrictions on pain medications, the streets are seeing new people desperate for pain relief buying street drugs]. The U.S. needs a comprehensive and multi-targeted strategy to restrict the importation of illicit fentanyl [DEA solely responsible and solely dropped the ball on this], and a broader, better-funded push to reduce its demand [no one demands fentanyl. This is nonsensical].
Since 2011, fatal overdoses from drugstore opioids alone have remained relatively stable [somewhat true statement-however the entire premise of this article is fear mongering. And the previous paragraphs would make the reader question this. Also- “drugstore opioids”?], but those involving [illegal Chinese analog] fentanyl have shot through the roof. [This author is very uninformed- it bleeds through and will confuse the reader between pharmaceutical fentanyl and illegal Chinese fentanyl analogs] The far more lethal drug played a part in 60 percent of opioid deaths in 2017, according to the National Center on Health Statistics, up from 11 percent five years ago. [5 years ago toxicology wasn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate between pharmaceutical and analog fent very well nor pick up the components]
Fentanyl, created in 1960 as a treatment for cancer pain, has become popular on the black market in part because it’s synthetic. There’s no need to plant and protect acres and acres of poppies; fentanyl can be cooked up in a lab. And because it is so potent — a smattering of grains packs a deadly dose [NO! Only in illegal fentanyl analogs is this true!! This is so uneducated!!] — it can be mailed around the world in tiny, concealable packages. Drug labs in China fulfill online orders from American users, or from traffickers in the U.S. and Mexico who add the fentanyl to heroin and other drugs to boost their effect, or press it into phony prescription-opioid pills. [this entire paragraph is extremely irresponsible]
A coordinated response to the crisis needs to start with China, which, according to U.S. law enforcement, is the source of almost all illicit fentanyl [Finally the word illicit in front of fentanyl. Too late. 90% of the readers have already left] . Poorly monitored and regulated chemical laboratories there sell [ah, already abandoned the word illicit]fentanyl or its precursors to U.S. users and dealers, or to Mexican drug suppliers who in turn market it in the U.S.
The Obama administration had begun to enlist the Chinese government’s help in policing producers, including by persuading China to add many analogues of fentanyl to its list of controlled chemical substances. [this is a patent lie. The Obama administration was alerted to illicit fentanyl in 2013, ignored it preferring to focus on the fake overprescribing narrative instead. The DEA issued a directive only in Jan. 2018 at Trumps insistence] President Donald Trump has preferred to accuse and threaten, which doesn’t encourage cooperation. What’s needed is a steady and purposeful diplomatic push, along with expert support for fortifying China’s capacity to inspect and regulate its thousands of drug labs.
From China, the pipeline flows mainly through the mail to users and dealers. Congress recently provided Customs and Border Protection with more chemical-detection equipment to screen packages. But given the volume of mail, scanning all of them isn’t possible. The task would be easier if Congress passed pending legislation to require the U.S. Postal Service to obtain basic identifying information from senders — including the name and address of sender and a description of package contents — as private parcel services do. [agreed that the postal service needs overhaul- also agreed that the border needs tight security… kind of like what Trump is trying to do]
Even so, a significant amount of the drug is likely to escape detection. Strenuous efforts will continue to be needed to crack down on the market within the United States. The Justice Department made progress recently by working with Dutch authorities to shut down two major sites on the dark web where deals were made, usually in virtual currencies.
[I give up]Fentanyl is also sold on the ordinary internet, and Scott Gottlieb, [No Friend of the disabled community] commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, is right to demandthat internet companies work harder to remove the illegal listings. The FDA, for its part, could help limit supply by restricting off-label prescribing of legal fentanyl [this is patently ridiculous. There is no off label prescribing happening- besides the fact that pharmaceutical fentanyl has nothing to do with analogs] to patients who don’t need, and may be harmed by, such a powerful painkiller.
The demand side must be confronted as well. More than 2 million Americans have opioid-use or heroin-use disorders, and few can be expected to quit without help [there are over 3 million incurable painful disease patients in America. They are not addicts and they do not have OUD. They deserve pain relief, not labeling by uneducated idiots. This article is proof of that lack of education]. They need to be brought into treatment at every opportunity, most obviously when they enter hospitals, emergency rooms or prisons. And this treatment should include methadone, buprenorphine and other opioid-based medications [so one opioid is okay to you-But another is not? We all see the angle here, and it is disgusting.Buprenorphine is twice as powerful as pharmaceutical fentanyl] , which along with behavioral therapy have proved effective in overcoming addiction.
Up to now, the Trump administration has ignored the need for medication-assisted therapy [Trump derangement syndrome on full display. Did Gary Mendell or George Soros fund this piece? A google search proves this is untrue]. Congress is considering bills that would expand its use somewhat — for instance, by getting Medicaid and Medicare to fund it more generously — but lawmakers aren’t making this the priority it ought to be. Consider that, today, only 5 percent of U.S. doctors have had the training required to prescribe buprenorphine; far more doctors, as well as nurse practitioners and other health-care providers, should have the authority.
Fentanyl and other opioids are killing more than 130 people a day. [Alcohol kills twice as many. Where are the articles about that?]
The crisis demands a thorough, well-coordinated national response. What the White House and Congress have come up with so far falls short. [lol]