Will President Trump Declare An National Opioid Emergency

Some states have declared such an emergency. The White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Chaired by Governor Chris Christy, has recommended the President declare a national emergency. This Commission was created last March and has issued its long delayed preliminary report. It will issue a final report in October.

A declared National Emergency would release federal money states could use to reimburse their Medicare drug related expenses. It would also allow leeway in local responses to the epidemic.

The report recommends expanding treatment of heroin addiction with other medicines such as methadone which reduce the need for heroin. Treatment with methadone is available in only about ten percent of treatment locations. It advocates providing police departments with the medicine and training to treat heroin overdoses.

While this report is a positive step to reducing the large number of deaths from heroin overdoses, there are also over arching developments which are discouraging. One is that the report includes “training” for doctors in treatment of pain. This implies opioid addictions are the result of opioid prescriptions. People in the field say very few opioid addictions result from prescriptions for pain. Inclusion of that recommendation seems to return us to the religious basis of Alcoholics Anonymous, “all drug use is bad, it is a character and spiritual weakness.”

Another discouragement is that despite saying it would do so, no plan has come forward from the Administration to attack this problem. It is an Administration in chaos.

 

19 Responses

  1. Schurkey

    “National Opioid Emergency”

    Grand Forks City Leaders are working on this crap. Tax-funded detox center. Tax-funded propaganda campaigns hosted by Real Live College Professors. It’s pointless. It’s futile. It’s probably counter-productive.

    Everyone wants to make it “easy” to be an addict. They try to make it “safe” to make self-destructive decisions. It is an impossible task. It CANNOT succeed.

    This will not stop them from cherry-picking some numbers in a couple of years for distribution to the media and to voters, to keep the money flowing on the Liberal Gravy Train. No “assistance” program can ever be cut or even trimmed. We need MORE helpless people to suck up MORE tax dollars.

    Make these drugs legal and readily available at any pharmacy (or Wal-Mart, as far as I’m concerned) and the “Drug Epidemic” will be done in six months.

    1. Schurkey 7:35 Make these drugs legal and readily available at any pharmacy (or Wal-Mart, as far as I’m concerned) and the “Drug Epidemic” will be done in six months.

      Some drugs people seem to need, like heroin, can be safe if the quality is known and if taken under supervision. I read an article this week about employers in some parts of the country who need clean employees have a hard time finding them. The problem is affecting local economies.

      This is a separate problem from deaths which are on the rise.

      1. Schurkey

        You’re making the obvious mistake–the one you’re SUPPOSED to make, because you’ve been deliberately trained by propaganda campaigns to make it.

        That mistake is that a worker can’t be a “good worker” unless Government and his employer are also regulating his behavior in his non-working time. This is the point of “random drug testing” which is rarely random.

        Any supervisor worth his wages can spot an impaired employee by the quality and quantity of work performed. Given competent management, there’s no need for drug testing AT ALL as a routine workplace protocol.

        An impaired worker can be spotted, and reprimanded as needed. Fired on-the-spot, according to ND (and other states) State Law for non-Union workforce. Fired by the provisions of the contract for Union workforce. It’s EASY, if management is competent. EVERY Union contract spells out Management’s responsibility for terminating employment. All they have to do is follow the rules. If they suspect the drugs are illegal, they call the Police who investigate and then the Justice System takes over.

        If a worker is doing his job to the satisfaction of his employer…what is gained by a piss test or a hair test? Who cares what he does on his “off” time, if his work is acceptable?

        REMOVE the requirements for employment drug testing, (I would go so far as to PREVENT employment drug testing) Let employee PERFORMANCE on-the-job determine whether the employer takes action. Employee performance is the only criteria that matters.

        1. Schurkey 11:54 You’re making the obvious mistake–the one you’re SUPPOSED to make, because you’ve been deliberately trained by propaganda campaigns to make it. That mistake is that a worker can’t be a “good worker” unless Government and his employer are also regulating his behavior in his non-working time. This is the point of “random drug testing” which is rarely random.

          My policy is to delete posts which assign to me positions which are not mine. I will leave this one up but another incorrect one will be deleted.

          1. Schurkey

            You said “I read an article this week about employers in some parts of the country who need clean employees have a hard time finding them.”

            I correctly pointed out that employers don’t need “clean” (non-drug using) employees, they need employees that produce acceptable results.

            Drug-taking employees can do a terrffic job. Non-drug-taking employees can do a terrible job. It’s the job performance that matters, not the drug usage. Since assessing job performance doesn’t require drug testing, employment drug testing should be eliminated.

            You didn’t spot the flaw in the article you read, because of propaganda flurries that equate drug use with poor job performance, when job performance does not correlate with drug usage.

            You’ve been brainwashed and you didn’t even know it. Until now.

          2. Schurkey 2:30 Drug-taking employees can do a terrffic job. Non-drug-taking employees can do a terrible job. It’s the job performance that matters, not the drug usage.

            I agree with that statement. I write anything that disagrees with it.

            You said “I read an article this week about employers in some parts of the country who need clean employees have a hard time finding them.”
            I correctly pointed out that employers don’t need “clean” (non-drug using) employees, they need employees that produce acceptable results.

            I was merely pointing to a statement made by an employer to point out drug use is widespread. I did NOT say clean employees were necessary. There are occupations that, for one reason or another, maybe insurance, government requirements or safety, require clean employees. I’m done arguing about this.

          3. 2:30 You said “I read an article this week about employers in some parts of the country who need clean employees have a hard time finding them.”
            I correctly pointed out that employers don’t need “clean” (non-drug using) employees, they need employees that produce acceptable results.

            I was reporting what an employer had said. I was not advocating clean employees. Sometimes they are needed for reasons of insurance, safety or government rules. Once again, please do not attribute to me things that are not my positions.

            Drug-taking employees can do a terrffic job. Non-drug-taking employees can do a terrible job. It’s the job performance that matters, not the drug usage.

            For most jobs, that is correct. When did I say anything to the contrary? This is the last post we will have on this argument.

    2. Juan Ruiz

      “Make these drugs legal and readily available at any pharmacy (or Wal-Mart, as far as I’m concerned)”

      You clearly live in North Dakota, whose government protectionist policies prohibit Walmart from opening pharmacies like they do in other states.

      1. Juan 5:32 You clearly live in North Dakota, whose government protectionist policies prohibit Walmart from opening pharmacies like they do in other states.

        North Dakota clearly is the old world in it protectionist laws about pharmacies. No doubt there is some good in that.

        Where I live in Des Moines I can walk to a Walgreen. Across a parking lot is an aggressive super market chain from Kansas City, “Price Choppers”, that has a pharmacy. I use Walgreen so I my records will be in any city when I travel. But the people in my building say Price Choppers has cheaper prescriptions. A block down the street a family owned pharmacy for over 100 years just closed. Small pharmacies are not protected here.

        1. Juan Ruiz

          I believe there is one Walgreen’s in ND; it’s not allowed to sell drugs. In VA, where my daughter lived, every store had a pharmacy. The paternalistic ND legislators, most old white men, believe it’s their responsibility to choose winners and losers. Hence that even during $100+ oil, people paid more for a gallon of milk.

      2. Schurkey

        My comment about Wal-Mart was intended to imply that they wouldn’t need to be dispensed by a pharmacy, the way Aspirin can be sold by non-pharmacies.

        For the record, I STRONGLY approve of pharmacies being owned by pharmacists, not Corporate America.

        1. Juan Ruiz

          Your approval simply means we all pay more due to lack of competition. What’s your opinion of the gas cartel in Grand Forks?

          1. Schurkey

            Wal-Mart and Walgreens are not in the “competition” business. They’re known for killing the competition, and then when they own the entire market, they bring in junk from China with huge profit margins. “Competition” is the opposite of the Wal-Mart philosophy, and desperately needed in ND. Keeping Wal-Mart and Wal-Greens and other giganto corporate names out of the pharmacy business is good for ND, especially in towns too small to have a Wal-Mart or Walgreens.

            However, there is NO law against having a pharmacy in Wal-Mart in North Dakota. Wal-Mart would have to share the profits with a co-owning pharmacist. Wal-Mart shares with no-one. That’s the point of this…Wal-Mart wants the whole pie, and they won’t settle for half.

            The gas cartel should result in Simonson being convicted in a court of law, and spending the rest of his days in prison along with his co-conspirators who are robbing the consumer of the honest competition they deserve.

  2. Cory Provencher

    “People in the field say very few opioid addictions result from prescriptions for pain.”? Really? what else would they say? The people in the “field” trying to minimize their involvement and responsibility for this disaster. Where is the proof or facts to back up a statement like that, when every other report from law enforcement and treatment centers is saying most addicts say they were introduced through prescription pain meds, and switched to heroin when their doctor cut off the prescription.

    1. Cory 5:14 Thanks for commenting.

      Where is the proof of facts to back up a statement like that, when every other report from law enforcement and treatment center is saying most addicts say they were introduced through prescription pain meds and switched to heroin when the doctor cut off the prescription.

      From way back, drug use has been filled with myths about its harm and causes. It is no myth that thousands die each year from overdoses of heroin. It is a myth that the drug is harmful in regulated doses and that keeping illegal reduces these deaths. It increases the deaths. Also a myth is that your statement that “every other report from law enforcement and treatment centers is saying most addicts say they were introduced through prescription pain meds..”

      According to figures collected by the federal government the percentage of heroin addicts linked to drug prescriptions is about 4%.

      https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/relationship-between-prescription-drug-heroin-abuse/heroin-use-rare-in-prescription-drug-users

    2. entech

      In Australia it has been recognized for a long time that people on prescription drugs become addicted to prescription drugs and rarely go shopping in the known drug areas, they do go Doctor Shopping. My clinic has a sign saying please do not ask strong painkillers, sleeping pills or relaxants as we prefer not to prescribe them

  3. jchristi2772

    Hi Dr. Lindgren (former advisee of yours 93-97), after a career in business/economics, I changed careers to being a CD counselor as I struggled with CD issues. I was happy when Trump espoused his desire to fight this opiate war. It starts with the pharmaceutical co’s. I see it over and over that folks are rx’d opiates after an injury, the MD keeps prescribing recklessly and they become addicted. They then change to heroin, which is much cheaper, and a lot of the times, they die of overdose. Could you imagine if the media focused on this rather than Russia or “the Mooch”. Any way I could contact you for some advice on how I can advocate – with politicians? Thanks! John Christianson

    1. jchristi 10:37 Thanks for much for posting and recalling our relationship. I’m hoping I have you correct email address and will send you a private message. If it does not work I’ll post something here again so watch for that.

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