(Originally posted on Oct 14, 2017)
Any way that you look at it, none of it passes the “smell test”!
From Robert Weber of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission came the following account of a meeting of both the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services, and the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee. The title was,
“Lawmakers hear sobering account of opioid crisis”,
It went on to say that “At one Kentucky hospital, people are actually bringing in heroin and shooting up with patients.”
The following can be called my rendition of the opioid crisis in Kentucky, which would probably apply in most places, but I live here and can only truly state what I’ve seen and what my own experience has been.
I see this issue from all sides. The side of the Lawmakers who are trying to control the horrible issue at hand as well as the side of the patient who needs opioid medication and the opioid abuser as well, as I have had close family members deal with this issue not the least of which was my youngest daughter.
In 2015 I wrote about HB 1 in Kentucky and how it affected patients who were cut off from their opioid medications that they had been used to getting on a regular basis with little or no warning and the position it put them into. Some of them couldn’t pass the urine test required because of intermittent Cannabis use, some of them were cut off because of other opiates showing up in their urine tests, and a lot of them were disenfranchised by their doctors who just cut everyone off because of fear of the DEA. They PASSED their drug tests and still were turned away.
I have talked to several M.D.’s about the situation and they all told me the same thing – they are afraid to prescribe even to patients who are obviously in need of medication for fear of the DEA and losing their license to practice. IF there is any amount of opiate in your drug screen they will definitely not prescribe, period. It just doesn’t matter if it is only a little “pot”. One of them went so far as to say that they thought it was population control! I agreed with them! The degree of death from heroin, buprenorphine and other even stronger pharmaceuticals than the ones that everyone was worried about killing people to begin with has created a population culling/control. Get rid of the addicts!
Now, imagine being a middle age person with chronic debilitating disease which causes pain, who has used marijuana for a very long time in order to keep from using too much opioid medication. You go to your doctors appointment expecting to get your monthly prescription for 30 pain pills (not long-acting!), so you can sleep at night and are requested to submit random urine test – which you fail, of course, because you smoked Cannabis for pain and severe anxiety – which leaves you out in the street – IF you have to have relief. All I can say is thank God for Cannabis and the fact that it is a plant! #PLANTSRIGHTS
Now imagine being 25-30 years old, maybe older, having debilitating pain from a health issue, which Doctor’s conveniently prescribed a sh*tload of opiates of all kinds for, (i.e., the cocktails)… Don’t forget the Oxycontin which was sold to us as a non-addictive narcotic! You probably do not use much Cannabis because you know you may be randomly tested, and you NEED those drugs! BUT, you can get by with using a “spice” product, or a little meth, or a little of something else as long as it gets out of your system before you have to go to the Pain Clinic again! SOMEHOW you miscalculate and low and behold a positive urine screen comes back for “whatever” and you are kicked out in the cold with absolutely nothing after having been on all those opiates and benzo’s and whatever else they wrote the ten prescriptions for the last time you were there, AFTER they injected your spine with a poison concoction of unknown chemicals.
What are you going to do when your Doctor refuses to prescribe and you are conveniently addicted to all those medications which you can ONLY get from a Physician at a pain clinic?
DETOX on your own? You got to work to pay the bills! Rent doesn’t go away just because your Doctor did! Now you have to find something, somewhere, that will keep you going no matter what, and your gonna need to work more because the cost of “your medicine” is going to eat up your paycheck. And then a lot of the “drugs” disappear off of the street – practically all at once – because everybody lost their Doctors. Now what? Never fear, Heroin is here.
It is fucking human nature to find something to relieve pain. Especially severe pain – ESPECIALLY if your already addicted to the opiates! The Government made sure that everyone that was in “pain” was treated when they enacted the…
H.R. 756 (111th): National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009
Yeah, people are in pain. In legitimate pain for a lot of reasons. Years of abuse from employers, eating too much fast food which was sold to us by media marketing, abuse of alcohol and sugar and caffeine and tobacco. Sedentary living in front of the TV. Lack of exercise. Bogus and unnecessary surgeries and medical mistakes and mishaps. Veterans with service related injuries and mental issues. The list goes on and on and on and EVERYONE is on this list somewhere. They got us and they got our Children! Hell, they even got our damn Dogs (tramadol)! And then they gave the tramadol back to us!
Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Van Ingram testified that 1,404 Kentuckians died of a drug overdose last year.
In 2015 I posted this information which was attached to a link which is now defunct. Imagine that. At the time I did not print that information out and I haven’t had the time nor inclination to re-search it out again. They effectively removed it from sight. But it did exist and I think that it summarizes quite well how much the Kentucky Government felt about it’s opioid addicted Citizens. Say what you will but I know there had to be a much better way to handle the situation!
…One could theorize that the passage of HB50 which included a provision to “provide funding for the purchase and administration of naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension”, for Heroin overdoses was a calculated response to what they knew was going to happen when they discontinued “narcotics” at the Doctor’s office…more Heroin deaths. Per the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on July 27, 2015…
Minutes of the 2nd Meeting of the 2015 Interim
July 27, 2015
The mandatory use of KASPER has resulted in three things: overall decreased prescribing of controlled substances, decreased inappropriate prescribing, and decreased “doctor shopping”. All three of these were goals of the bill, and all three have been successfully achieved. House Bill 217 was passed a year later, which cleaned up some parts of House Bill 1 and married the regulations to the statutory provisions. Representative Tilley asked members to note that those who are prescribing in high quantities are being monitored. Statistics have shown that since the passage of House Bill 1, heroin use increased. There has been an increase in heroin-related deaths.
In what he described as a “rare bright spot, there were 70 million fewer dosage units of opioids prescribed last year in Kentucky than in 2011”. (That percentage doesn’t include buprenorphine, a semisynthetic opioid that is used to treat opioid addiction.) There are still about 300 million dosage units of opioids being prescribed in Kentucky.
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, asked how the state could fund the mental health, treatment and prevention programs needed.
The answer to Rep. Marzian’s question is that we won’t be funding mental health programs. There is virtually no qualified Psychiatrist’s in the rural area’s of Kentucky and most of the people that they put in different “counseling services” to make it look like there is mental health care are not qualified to handle the patients that they need to treat here.
But there are plenty of “methodone clinics”.
Kentucky doctors have new restrictions for prescribing Suboxone after efforts to curb pill mills created a new cash-for-pills market and a street trade for the drug designed to safely wean addicts from heroin.
Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting Quarterly Trend Report 2nd Quarter 2017
The end result of all of this is that people are and will continue to suffer in Kentucky whether they be patients or addicts, or families of those who are patients or addicts. The reasons for this can be debated over and over but it comes down to money. And, how to ignore those who do not have any money.
I, personally, am not a big fan of LEGALIZED medical marijuana, in and of itself. I am surprised that Kentucky has not adopted that stance by now because when you “legalize” it, as a prescription medicine, you will open up all avenues for the prison industrial complex yet again. It would be in their favor to “legalize” Marijuana for that reason – CONTROL. However, the majority of Kentuckians have opted for “Medical Marijuana” and they have spoken loudly…
Let me say that I DO BELIEVE that their is room for regulated Cannabis in the Pharmaceutical market – BUT NOT at the expense of everyone’s rights to be able to grow this “medicinal” plant in our own backyard just as Oregano can be. If the Government cannot do its job correctly and see that everyone is equally justified to use this plant as they see fit, then it should be immediately REPEALED from the CSA and any other Statute which may inflict harm upon a person for possessing, growing or using this plant! Remove it from the Pharmacopeia and let the people do what they will with this plant. We will learn to make our own medicine!
Another year has passed us by to no avail of Medical Cannabis in Kentucky. Gov. Matt Bevin has made it clear what his intentions are at this time even though he had made “campaign promises” to many people to see that this issue was voted on favorably. Yet we sit and wait.
What are we waiting for? The Culling to end?
If it were my decision a low dose codeine, and a low dose hydrocodone would be available at the pharmacy, with no prescription, with restrictions on how often you could purchase. Since we have all the new monitoring programs this shouldn’t be hard to accomplish.
A low dose benzodiazepine should be made available as well.
And Cannabis medicines should be commonly available just as they were before 1937.
I can promise you that you won’t see near the overdose deaths as you do now because people won’t be grabbing at heroin and methodone because they can’t get anything else.
Additionally, the Cannabis plant should be growing in everyone’s yard and it should be the first plant of choice for most everyday ailments – in addition to being a wonder drug to Cancer Patients and others with debilitating illnesses. That is the beauty of Cannabis — it can be utilized in so many different ways and help so many people.
God gave us all the plants and animals here on Planet Earth.
Why do they feel the need to steal them from us?
KASPER Reports and Studies
The Pharmacies Thriving in Kentucky’s Opioid-Stricken Towns
Drug that was supposed to stem Kentucky’s heroin epidemic creates a whole new problem
House Bill 1 Information
When pot means no prescription for pain
Physicians’ legal duty to relieve suffering
Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Controversies, Current Status, and Future Directions
A patient denied a same-day appointment at a pain-management clinic in Las Vegas shot and injured two employees Thursday before fatally shooting himself, police said.
DEA Inflicts Harm on Chronic Pain Patients