The War on Drugs Comes to the Doctor’s Office

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    • #432674
      • Total Posts: 9,978

      Over the past decade, drug police began plundering data from private medical records services and statewide prescription monitoring databases to digitally surveil doctors, patients and millions of prescriptions. Often using federal prescribing guidelines that became a national controversy as a reference, drug cops with no formal medical training search for “red flags” in prescribing records, such as how far a patient travels to receive treatment or the total volume of controlled substances prescribed by a provider. The investigations have led to raids on hundreds of clinics and pharmacies across the country. In some cases, doctors and pharmacists strike plea deals for reduced sentences. In other cases, respected physicians, pharmacists and addiction specialists are caught in the dragnet and forced to fight the DEA in court.

      Doctors and pharmacists became increasingly wary of prescribing and dispensing opioids or even agreeing to treat patients prescribed opioids for chronically painful conditions in the first place. Others had their registrations to prescribe controlled substances revoked by the DEA pending rulings by the agency’s own administrative courts, or they closed their practices in fear of being raided and charged with drug trafficking.

      In many cases, patients are left with nowhere to turn, especially if they are low-income and reside in areas with few medical providers to begin with. A 2019 study by the University of Michigan found that 40 percent of health care providers refused to see any new patients prescribed opioids. Along with prescribing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016 that were widely misapplied and led to misguided restrictions on opioid prescribing in dozens of states, the law enforcement crackdown left patients living with chronic pain without medications they rely on, forcing some toward illicit opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, which vastly increase the risk of overdose. Others commit suicide.

      “I hear from people every day who have been forced off their meds and have lost their ability to work and function and are suicidal,” Nicholson said. “People are not just being force-tapered [off medication] … they can’t even get health care anymore, just because they need a prescribed opioid to treat pain.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #432689
      • Total Posts: 5,326

      A friend has had two knee replacements, a hip replacement and more. It’s really hard to get refills on necessary pain management drugs as it’s based on guidelines, not the patient’s pain levels.

    • #432718
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      Also whatever hippa legislation probably exists to prevent this shit?

      Wish I didn’t know it firsthand.  A former physician of mine pulled me off of Xanax completely.  Weeks of withdrawal,  and hundreds of panic attacks later, I found a doctor who switched me to ativan.

      Really made my life suck for a while


    • #432721
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,756

      But then her 8 allowed sessions were up, so she was prescribed some anti-depressant. The doctor’s office insists she submit to a drug test to prove she is taking the antidepressant before they will see her again. She doesn’t want the medications, only the therapy because that was helping, but must wait a year for another 8 sessions.

      So, drug-free therapy NOT ALLOWED. Drugs so Big Pharma can make a profit? REQUIRED.

      Evidence of a failed state, Part 1026.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #432744
      • Total Posts: 7,240

      They supplied massive quantities of painkillers to pill mills, addicting thousands of people. There were doctors who specialized in prescribing opiates. When opiates becme unavailable, people bought heroin. The government uses computer data to look for the pill mills. Of course, like anything else the cops do, the solution is as bad as the problem.

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