The Other Opiate Problem

For the second day in a row we’re featuring an article about the opiate problem and how government and the medical community have screwed up on the issue. This time it’s a medical doctor writing — Ted Noel, MD:

I used to love “60 Minutes.” As a teenager, it was a favorite program in our house on Sunday evenings. The show featured all sorts of interesting people and places, with in-depth explorations that stimulated the imagination. Oh, how times have changed!

On February 24, 60 Minutes did a segment about a drug manufacturer who is calling out drug companies for “corrupt,” “immoral,” and “depraved” actions in marketing opioids.

Supposedly, the incentive for changing the labeling of opioids to allow for extended use is some sort of moral crime. David Kessler, former Commissioner of the FDA said, “There are no studies on the safety or efficacy of opioids for long-term use.” (8:25 in the video)

Case closed! We need to restrict opioids to two or three days at most. Anything longer than that is bad medicine and gets people killed. But… There are no polite words for the perfidious implications of Kessler’s comment. How do we know this? Let me count the ways.

First, opioids have been used for millennia. Chinese workers on the transcontinental railroad used opium on a weekly basis for years, without any notable adverse effects. American soldiers used them in Vietnam, and their performance in the field was not affected. Overdoses were unusual, since the usual heroin had well known potency. With 20% of the Army on drugs, you’d think that bad effects would be easy to find. Curiously, there was no evidence of mass addiction, either.

Why did they use drugs in their “off” time? They wanted to escape the war that none of them wanted to be part of. The Chinese laborers wanted a break from the brutal conditions on the railroad project. This is basically why urban professionals have beer at the end of a long hard week of work. Mild intoxication is therapeutic for them.

Read more about the “The Other Opiate Problem”: American Thinker

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