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One Reason Why Opioid Addiction is Higher in White People

In the unfortunate circumstance you have need of a Hospital due to severe injury or illness, your experience may be different based on what you look like. If Mommy and Daddy’s names happen to be on the plaque at the interest listing Founders or Major Donors – you will e staying at the medical equivalent of the Biltmore. If however, you are black and poor – they may still save your behind…Although it probably will be more painful than the well heeled.

Fastest rising drug problem in the US is Opioid addiction. Addiction which in many cases starts out with legally prescribed drugs, and progresses to street drugs like heroin.

Studies over the last 20 years have documented persistent differences in patient treatment by race. Yet another study, implicating that the differential between how blacks and whites are prescribed pain medication, may be responsible at least in part for the massive rise in white addiction.

The Pain Gap: Why Doctors Offer Less Relief to Black Patients

We know the disparity is linked to racial discrimination on some level, but struggle to put our finger on the one cause.

A new University of Virginia study suggests that many medical students and residents are racially biased in their pain assessment, and that their attitudes about race and pain correlate with falsely-held beliefs about supposed biological differences—like black people having thicker skin, or less sensitive nerve endings than white people—more generally.

The study highlights how a confluence of mistaken attitudes—about race, about biology, and about pain—can flourish in one of the worst possible places: medical schools where the future gatekeepers of relief are trained. And it illuminates what I’ve called the divided state of analgesia in America: overtreatment of millions of people that feeds painkiller abuse at the same time that, with far less public attention, millions of others are systematically undertreated. Think of it as a pain gap between the haves and the have-nots, along lines of class and race.

Unfortunately, the UVA findings are neither surprising nor fundamentally new. Back in the 1990s, two studies—one in an Atlanta emergency room, the other in Los Angeles—found that white patients being treated for long bone fractures were dosed more liberally than Latino patients in L.A., and more liberally than black ones in Atlanta. The authors put forward several possible explanations of the disparity: Perhaps patients in different groups expressed pain differently, or maybe caregivers interpreted pain differently in these groups, or perhaps nurses and doctors saw pain the same way across groups but just chose to remedy pain differently.

By the late 1990s, other studies found similar disparities in cancer care, where people receiving outpatient cancer care in places that mostly served minorities were three times more likely to be under-medicated with analgesics than patients in other settings. Speculation about the causes deepened: Perhaps inadequate prescribing for minority patients resulted from concerns about potential drug abuse, or maybe minority patients had more difficulty finding pharmacies that stocked opioid prescriptions, or again perhaps there was a cultural barrier in doctor-patient understanding and assessment. Into the 2000s, additional reports have confirmed the gap—again with no agreement about any single cause.

In a sense, the pain issue echoes other debates about race in America. We know there is a disparity; we know it is linked to racial discrimination somewhere or on some level, or even to institutional racism. But just as in racial bias in the law and policing, we struggle to put our finger on the one cause.

The truth is that there is no single cause for this disparity.

That said, the UVA study turns our gaze to one important place where race problems are manifest—medical training and physician perceptions. Medical students and residents learn precious little about race and social difference; but they also learn little about pain or about the fallacies of biological reasoning (for example, the false ideas apparently held by many in the UVA study that black blood coagulates more quickly than white blood). Given that such erroneous blood differences were once used to justify segregating the blood supply and to argue against racial integration (and that they seemed extinguished decades ago), their reappearance in the UVA study is especially shocking….Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Overdose Reversal Drug Free to Every High School

This was a brilliant move by the Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma. The beneficiaries of this are going to be in vast majority white families living in suburban or rural communities, and the entire strategy to save the victim is a marked departure from the 90’s “incarcerate the user”. The issue of Opioid abuse has gotten so bad, it has become an issue in the New Hampshire Primary –

The other drug manufacturers apparently decided to rip-off the public by doubling a tripling prices, instead of doing the intelligent and good for business thing by getting out in front of this…This puts them on blast for their corrupt business practices. Ad suggests that “Pharma Bro'” isn’t the only enemy of the American Health System.

And it will be interesting to see how many Red Zone Politicians are willing to kill children by banning this.

Overdose Reversal Drug Now Available To Every U.S. High School Free Of Charge

Advocates say this is another important step toward preventing fatal opioid overdoses.

Any high school in the U.S. that wants to carry an emergency opioid overdose reversal kit will now be able to get one free of charge, thanks to a new initiative announced Monday by the Clinton Foundation and the drug’s manufacturer.

Adapt Pharma, manufacturers of a nasal-spray form of naloxone, also known as Narcan, has partnered with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative to further expand access to the life-saving drug, the two groups said at the final day of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative Activation Summit. Naloxone is nonaddictive, nontoxic and easy to administer, especially through nasal application. It reverses the effects of an opioid overdose by essentially blocking the opioid receptors that heroin and many prescription painkillers target.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal-spray version of naloxone in November, though it had previously been gaining popularity among first responders and advocacy groups as a first line of defense to prevent surging opioid overdose deaths across the nation.

“We are pleased to encourage public-private collaborations expanding access to naloxone,” Rain Henderson, CEO of Clinton Health Matters Initiative, said in a press release. “We are hopeful this effort will facilitate a dialogue amongst students, educators, health professionals, and families about the risks of opioid overdose and ensure naloxone is available in schools that decide to take steps to address opioid overdose emergencies.”

In addition to helping schools obtain naloxone, Adapt Pharma also announced that it had given a grant to the National Association of School Nurses to support opioid overdose education.

“We understand the crucial role schools can play to change the course of the opioid overdose epidemic by working with students and families. We also want every high school in the country to be prepared for an opioid emergency by having access to a carton of Narcan Nasal Spray at no cost,” Adapt Pharma CEO Seamus Mulligan said in a press release. “We look forward to working with our partners to implement these initiatives which build on the significant progress being made by legislators and community groups.”

A carton of Adapt’s Narcan Nasal Spray typically contains two devices, each capable of delivering one dose, at the cost of $75 total. In November, Adapt announced that it was coordinating with the Clinton Foundation to make naloxone less expensive, following significant cost increases by other manufacturers over the previous year. …Read More Here

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in American Greed, The Post-Racial Life

 

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The New Drug Epidemic…Why No Criminalization?

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s politicians rushed to write and approve punitive laws for users of “crack” cocaine…Because the majority of users of that form of cocaine were black. Never mind that powder cocaine, and crack are the same drug.

Now America has a new “drug epidemic”…And the same politicians want to look the other way, because in vast majority the victims are white.

The racial driven decision to hide this problem under the guise of “just white people acting out” has devastated rural and suburban communities, and promulgated this problem to the point the numbers are big enough to impact Mortality Rates. To move the dime on the death rates of 250 million people in this country…

“Houston…We got a problem”.

Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites

Drug overdoses are driving up the death rate of young white adults in the United States to levels not seen since the end of the AIDS epidemic more than two decades ago — a turn of fortune that stands in sharp contrast to falling death rates for young blacks, a New York Times analysis of death certificates has found.

The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it.

The Times analyzed nearly 60 million death certificates collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1990 to 2014. It found death rates for non-Hispanic whites either rising or flattening for all the adult age groups under 65 — a trend that was particularly pronounced in women — even as medical advances sharply reduce deaths from traditional killers like heart disease. Death rates for blacks and most Hispanic groups continued to fall.

The analysis shows that the rise in white mortality extends well beyond the 45- to 54-year-old age group documented by a pair of Princeton economists in a research paper that startled policy makers and politicians two months ago.

While the death rate among young whites rose for every age group over the five years before 2014, it rose faster by any measure for the less educated, by 23 percent for those without a high school education, compared with only 4 percent for those with a college degree or more.

The drug overdose numbers were stark. In 2014, the overdose death rate for whites ages 25 to 34 was five times its level in 1999, and the rate for 35- to 44-year-old whites tripled during that period. The numbers cover both illegal and prescription drugs.

“That is startling,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, the deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Those are tremendous increases.”

Rising rates of overdose deaths and suicide appear to have erased the benefits from advances in medical treatment for most age groups of whites. Death rates for drug overdoses and suicides “are running counter to those of chronic diseases,” like heart disease, said Ian Rockett, an epidemiologist at West Virginia University…Read the rest here

 

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Epidemics in Black and White…The End of the War on Drugs

The “crack epidemic” of the late 80’s and early 90’s is over. One of the key racial hypocrisies of the response to the epidemic was to make sentences for possessing “crack”, used by black folks, about 5 times worse than cocaine, the same drug – used by whites.

Now we have a “heroin epidemic”, but the legal and legislative response is almost invisible. Indeed, you wouldn’t even know this was going on if you watched the evening news.

That’s because about 90% of the new addicts are white, don’t live in the city…And start using heroin as a cheaper substitute to the drugs they have been stealing out of Mommy and Daddy’s bathroom cabinet.

The move now is to “treat” addicts.

Having some experience in dealing with that with a friend – that is one long hard road. I went to some of those meetings in support, about 5 years ago, and was stunned by what I saw. I remember years ago the streets of downtown Baltimore being covered by heroin addicts – mostly black, mostly from the ghetto. Baltimore during the 8070′ through the 90’s had the largest population of addicted in any major city. These folks at the the new meeting were mostly white, mostly the addicts were kids under the age of 25, and we mostly from middle class families. And it is driving ancillary crime in rural and suburban areas to support their habits.

But heaven forbid we fill the jails with white addicts.

The end of the senseless “War on Drugs”, is indeed all about racial politics.

A photo of Courtney Griffin, who died of a heroin overdose in 2014, with her sister Shannon, left, and her mother, Pamela.

In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs

When Courtney Griffin was using heroin, she lied, disappeared and stole constantly from her parents to support her $400-a-day habit. Her family paid her debts, never filed a police report and kept her addiction secret — until she was found dead last year of an overdose.

At Courtney’s funeral, they decided to acknowledge the reality that redefined their lives: Their bright, beautiful daughter, just 20, who played the French horn in high school and dreamed of living in Hawaii, had been kicked out of the Marines for drugs. Eventually, she overdosed at her boyfriend’s grandmother’s house, where she died alone.

“When I was a kid, junkies were the worst,” Doug Griffin, 63, Courtney’s father, recalled in their comfortable home here in southeastern New Hampshire. “I used to have an office in New York City. I saw them.”

Noting that “junkies” is a word he would never use now, he said that these days, “they’re working right next to you and you don’t even know it. They’re in my daughter’s bedroom — they are my daughter.”

When the nation’s long-running war against drugs was defined by the crack epidemic and based in poor, predominantly black urban areas, the public response was defined by zero tolerance and stiff prison sentences. But today’s heroin crisis is different. While heroin use has climbed among all demographic groups, it has skyrocketed among whites; nearly 90 percent of those who tried heroin for the first time in the last decade were white.

And the growing army of families of those lost to heroin — many of them in the suburbs and small towns — are now using their influence, anger and grief to cushion the country’s approach to drugs, from altering the language around addiction to prodding government to treat it not as a crime, but as a disease.

“Because the demographic of people affected are more white, more middle class, these are parents who are empowered,” said Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, better known as the nation’s drug czar. “They know how to call a legislator, they know how to get angry with their insurance company, they know how to advocate. They have been so instrumental in changing the conversation.”

Mr. Botticelli, a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for 26 years, speaks to some of these parents regularly.

Their efforts also include lobbying statehouses, holding rallies and starting nonprofit organizations, making these mothers and fathers part of a growing backlash against the harsh tactics of traditional drug enforcement. These days, in rare bipartisan or even nonpartisan agreement, punishment is out and compassion is in.

The presidential candidates of both parties are now talking about the drug epidemic, with Hillary Rodham Clinton hosting forums on the issue as Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina tell their own stories of loss while calling for more care and empathy.

Families meet at a Counseling Session and pray for their family members and friends who are addicted.

Last week, President Obama traveled to West Virginia, a mostly white state with high levels of overdoses, to discuss his $133 million proposal to expand access for drug treatment and prevention programs. The Justice Department is also preparing to release roughly 6,000 inmates from federal prisons as part of an effort to roll back the severe penalties issued to nonviolent drug dealers in decades past.

And in one of the most striking shifts in this new era, some local police departments have stopped punishing many heroin users. In Gloucester, Mass., those who walk into the police station and ask for help, even if they are carrying drugs or needles, are no longer arrested. Instead, they are diverted to treatment, despite questions about the police departments’ unilateral authority to do so. It is an approach being replicated by three dozen other police departments around the country.

“How these policies evolve in the first place, and the connection with race, seems very stark,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which examines racial issues in the criminal justice system.

Still, he and other experts said, a broad consensus seems to be emerging: The drug problem will not be solved by arrests alone, but rather by treatment.

Parents like the Griffins say that while they recognize the racial shift in heroin use, politicians and law enforcement are responding in this new way because “they realized what they were doing wasn’t working.”

“They’re paying more attention because people are screaming about it,” Mr. Griffin said. “I work with 100 people every day — parents, people in recovery, addicts — who are invading the statehouse, doing everything we can to make as much noise as we can to try to save these kids.”

An Epidemic’s New Terrain

Heroin’s spread into the suburbs and small towns grew out of an earlier wave of addiction to prescription painkillers; together the two trends are ravaging the country…

Deaths from heroin rose to 8,260 in 2013, quadrupling since 2000 and aggravating what some were already calling the worst drug overdose epidemic in United States history.

Over all, drug overdoses now cause more deaths than car crashes, with opioids like OxyContin and other pain medications killing 44 people a day….Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Flakka – A Deadly New Street Drug With Potential Epidemic Implications

A new drug has appeared on the streets, which is being consumed because it is far cheaper than either Meth or Heroin. It is a manufactured drug, and has severe health implications. Ground Zero is currently South Florida. (Just as it was for Pablo Escobar’s cocaine back in the early 80’s). With it’s cheap price, and being relatively unknown to Law Enforcement outside of South Florida,  it won’t be long until it moves out to the suburbs and rural America.

The new drug flakka, which comes in the form of pink or white crystals, has grabbed media headlines over the last few months because of the drug’s side effects, which causes users to act in dangerous, even violent, behaviors. But what is flakka and why should we be so worried about it?

Flakka can be snorted, eaten, injected, or vaporized. It is a cousin of “bath salts,” which are an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the khat plant. But flakka is considered more addictive. It is also more dangerous than cocaine, and similar to, but cheaper than methamphetamine. Flakka, which gets its name from the Spanish slang for skinny woman, “la flaca,” also goes by the street name gravel.

Flakka’s side effects are concerning. There’s potential for permanent brain and psychological damage, as well as damage to the kidneys. The biggest danger with flakka is its potency. Just 0.003 ounces (0.1 grams) is a typical dose, making it incredibly easy to overdose. Overdosing can lead to symptoms of heart-related problems, violent behavior, spikes in body temperature and paranoia. It can also create feelings of incredible strength; some users even refer to feeling like the Incredible Hulk, which can put the individual into dangerous situations, for example:

  • A man from Florida stormed the Ft. Lauderdale police station in a panic, kicking and throwing rocks at a storm door, in an attempt to break it down and get inside because he thought he was being chased

  • A man was impaled by a fence as he tried to run into a Florida police department because he thought he was being pursued. He miraculously lived

  • Police shot and killed an armed Ft. Lauderdale man who was high on flakka after he took a woman hostage and held a knife to her throat

  • A teenager ran through the streets naked, covered in blood, yelling that she was Satan

  • A woman blacked out on a crowded street and abandoned her baby

A complete guide to flakka, the horrible street drug terrorizing South Florida

This past December, 34-year-old Ft. Lauderdale resident Bobby Henry Jr. posted a video titled “Flocka Is Destroying USA” that shows a young woman getting drenched by the rain, apparently oblivious to her surroundings.

“This is what flakka is doing in our hood,” he says in the clip.

Four months later, the common spelling of the drug has changed, but flakka poses no less of a threat — especially among South Florida’s most impoverished residents.

“A lot of people don’t have anything to live for,” Henry told Fusion. “Crack-heads are out and flakka-heads are in.”

WHAT IS FLAKKA?

The drug, which can produce powerful hallucinogenic effects comparable to those produced by bath salts, has garnered national attention in past week or so, with the Drudge Report linking to three different stories on its apparent newfound prevalence. One man was found running naked through the streets of Ft. Lauderdale, and another tried to break into the streets of police headquarters.

But Henry, who says he sees users in front of his custom jewelry office all the time, says it’s actually been around for “a long time,” and that it’s just another synthetic drug like crystal meth that dealers have given a new name to.

“It’s a cheap drug—it’s a cheap, powerful drug,” he said. “It gives them a high they can’t get from smoking weed or cocaine. They don’t have to spend so much money to get a good high.”

WHY IS IT CALLED “FLAKKA?” DOES IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH WAKA FLOCKA FLAME?

There’s no evidence that flakka is named after the Atlanta rapper, but nobody really knows where the name comes from. It could be a variation of “la flaca,” a Spanish slang phrase meaning “skinny girl.” Or it could simply be random.

For what it’s worth, Henry of Ft. Lauderdale says it’s random. “It’s just some crazy name for the way [it] makes you feel,” he says. “There’s no way of telling [where the name came from], they just put a cool name with it, and once it [got] going…today’s youth ran with it.”

WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

One of the first online mentions of the drug appears to have been last August, on the blog of a drug treatment center. Even by then, the writer warns that it has begun “causing havoc on the streets in the southern states, especially Florida” thanks to its cheap price. Flakka can be snorted, injected, smoked, or taken orally…

Today, alpha-PVP is manufactured in overseas pharmaceutical plants (Principally in China) and shipped all over the world. It was only declared a controlled substance in January 2014, and only then on an emergency declarationfrom the Justice Department, so large quantities may have been able to make it to the U.S. without too much precaution…

“We have seen it predominantly in the low income areas of the city which are represented by several races and both genders,” he said. “This drug is not used by any specific race or gender, but its effects are quite dangerous to the user.”

WHAT ARE ITS HEALTH EFFECTS?

In a recent presentation on the drug, John Cunha, an emergency-services physician at Holy Cross hospital in Broward County, said that users consider flakka to be the new crack or heroin, echoing Henry’s remarks. He compared the worst-case after effects of the drug to what can happen, in rare instances, to someone who runs a marathon, wherein muscle tissue starts to decompose and break down into the blood stream. That can lead to kidney failure and death.

“[Users] think they’re getting a combination drug that will allow them to find a happy medium,” he said. “They’ll get enough but not too high, and low enough but not too low, so that it balances out. This is the common myth on the street, that this flakka drug is crack and heroin, or crack and meth, or meth and heroin mixed together. Unfortunately it’s neither.”

Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University, told CBS that flakka use leads to a state of “excited delirium.” He added, “The individual becomes psychotic, they often rip off their clothes and run out into the street violently and have an adrenaline-like strength and police are called and it takes four or five officers to restrain them. Then once they are restrained, if they don’t receive immediate medical attention they can die.”

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in American Genocide

 

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A Vaccine for Heroin Addiction?

Wow – this could be  major game changer.

And you thought there were only Zombies in the movies..

Mexican scientists successfully test vaccine that could cut heroin addiction

A group of Mexican scientists is working on a vaccine that could reduce addiction to one of the world’s most notorious narcotics: heroin.

Researchers at the country’s National Institute of Psychiatry say they have successfully tested the vaccine on mice and are preparing to test it on humans.

The vaccine, which has been patented in the US, makes the body resistant to the effects of heroin, so users would no longer get a rush of pleasure when they smoked or injected it.

“It would be a vaccine for people who are serious addicts, who have not had success with other treatments and decide to use this application to get away from drugs,” the institute’s director Maria Elena Medina said on Thursday.

Scientists worldwide have been searching for drug addiction vaccines for several years, but none have yet been fully developed. A group at the US National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported significant progress in a vaccine for cocaine.

However, the Mexican scientists appear to be close to making a breakthrough on a heroin vaccine and have received funds from the US institute as well as the Mexican government.

During the tests, mice were given access to deposits of heroin over an extended period of time. Those given the vaccine showed a huge drop in heroin consumption, giving the institute hope that it could also work on people, Medina said.

Kim Janda, a scientist working on his own narcotics vaccines at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, said that the Mexican vaccine could function but with some shortcomings.

“It could be reasonably effective, but maybe too general and affect too many different types of opioids as well as heroin,” Janda said.

Mexico has a growing drug addiction problem. Health secretary Jose Cordoba recently said the country now has about 450,000 hard drug addicts, particularly along the trafficking corridors of the US-Mexico border.

Mexican gangsters grow opium poppies in the Sierra Madre mountains and convert them into heroin known as Black Tar and Mexican Mud, which are smuggled over the Rio Grande.

 

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Australia – Impact of Alcohol Addiction on Indigenous Population

This one is so similar to what Alcohol and drugs have done to Native American populations in this country, it’s shocking. This is from a program on Al Jazerra’s English Channel.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Hat tip to Dandelionsalad for this one.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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