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Dearest American Citizen

The following is a copy of something i wrote in 2009..

It did not get much attention then, but it was “2009”…

it is on a lot of my blogs but this is the text…

It is intended to be fictional parody of course,

but given the situation lately I seem to have “hit a few things on the head”….lol…Enjoy???

Dearest American Citizen, 11:01 PM 8/11/2009

The “quasi” White House

Fuck You Pennsylvania Ave

Washington DC

Dearest American Citizen,

We are writing to you today to let you know personally

about a new Government program in which you and your

entire household are eligible for benefits.  It is the first

program of its kind to be introduced and we are proud that

the United States has chosen to participate in this

Worldwide program starting with the citizens of this great

Country.

The idea was born from a dire need to put a “cap” on the

global warming conditions, the lack of equal and needed

healthcare to all, and the “depression” which has left so

many people broke and without after many long years of

hard work and saving for their retirements.

This  program will end all need for abortions and

pharmaceuticals that cannot be afforded and/or cause too

many side effects.  It will also allow grave differences of

opinion and debates concerning which medications are

legal, moral, ethical, herbal, Schedule I, II, or III to be

eradicated.

It has recently been decided by the Superior Court of the

U.S. and the Worldwide Nation of Healthcare Coalition that

Assisted Suicide is an acceptable treatment in dire situations.

We believe the current state of the economy and the lack of

food, water, medicine, and money construe an emergency

situation around the world.  This is causing undue stress

upon the populace around the world.

The Global Warming issue alone is causing many millions of

deaths around the world from horrid weather conditions

and the diseases which are plaguing the entire World areastronomical.  It is simply unethical to expect all persons to

be able to “hold up” under such pressure.

Therefore, after much careful thought and consideration we

have collectively decided upon the following program

benefits for your family and household members:

*Enclosed please find carefully packaged individual capsules

which are red and black in color with the number “666”

imprinted upon them in purple.

*Carefully read the enclosed instructions on how to

administer them if you so choose.  (Please do not chew,

crush or liquefy before use).

**The number of capsules contained in the package was

determined by the 2007 Census and we cannot assume

responsibility for an incorrect number of capsules.

The enclosed capsules were mailed to each individual

household that is eligible for the program on the same day

much the same that Social Payments, Disability and Welfare

checks are dispensed.  There has been no media coverage of

this important program due to privacy concerns.  This is a

one-time offer only and cannot be reproduced nor

transferred to anyone outside of the household as you have

been selectively chosen for this special “care package”.

If you so choose to accept this offer you may do so any time

after 12:00am on the 15th of September, 2009.  If the

program is a success we will collectively eliminate in the

Millions of tons of carbon monoxide and dioxide into our

atmosphere in the first two weeks!

Everyone is encouraged to plant a tree prior to

consumption as a “thank you” for all the diligent work our

Experts have done to make this such a success!

We hope that this will be the answer to the economic, social

and political problems which are overcoming our collective

progress toward the New World Order.  We believe that each

of our participants will be rewarded for their efforts in the

program and look forward to calculating the results!

Sincerely,

Health, Welfare, Consumption and Sources Dept.Washington, DC.

Enc:  *****Capsules

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ACLU Represents Man-Boy Love Group

  • By BRYAN ROBINSON   Aug. 31

Citing the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union is defending a group that supports pedophilia against a civil suit filed by the family of a molested and slain Massachusetts boy.

The parents of 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages from the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) for the 1997 rape and murder of their son. Another defendant in the suit is the Web provider, Verio Inc., for hosting the NAMBLA Web site.

The suit accuses NAMBLA of inciting Jeffrey’s murder and rape at the hands of Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari through its literature and Web site — which is now offline. Both men were convicted of killing Jeffrey in separate trials and are serving life sentences.

According to the Curley’s suit, Jaynes was a member of NAMBLA under an alias at the time of the slaying. Jaynes, the plaintiffs say, had viewed the NAMBLA Web site shortly before the murder. NAMBLA literature showing members how to gain children’s trust, gain access to children nationwide, and avoid police investigating pedophilia cases were also found in Jaynes’ car and apartment, the lawsuit alleges.

Targeted For Beliefs

ACLU officials say NAMBLA denies encouraging the rape and murder of anyone.

According to the ACLU, the suit is designed to stifle the dissemination of the group’s unpopular beliefs: advocating consensual sexual relationships between adult men and boys and abolishing age-of-consent-laws that classify adult sex with children as rape. Plus, NAMBLA should not be punished for the crimes of two men and their beliefs should be protected, despite their unpopularity.

“There was nothing in those publications or Web site which advocated or incited the commission of any illegal acts, including murder or rape,” said John Roberts, executive director of the ACLU’s Massachusetts chapter. “NAMBLA’s publications advocate for changes in society’s views about consensual sex between adults and minors. This advocacy is political speech protected by the First Amendment.”

“We urge the public to not jump to conclusions about NAMBLA based on the allegations appearing in the press and the Curley complaint,” Roberts added in his statement. “We also urge consideration of the consequences to freedom of speech by holding authors, musicians, or filmmakers liable in damages for crimes committed by individuals who have read, heard or seen their work.”

National Pedophilia Conspiracy?

But Lawrence Frisoli, the attorney representing the Curleys, says the ACLU is “missing the point” of the lawsuit. Frisoli claims the Curleys are not trying to deprive NAMBLA leaders of their rights to share their beliefs. Instead, he says, they are trying to bring down the organizational structure that set the stage for Jeffrey’s molestation and murder.

“No one alleges that they shouldn’t be allowed to share their beliefs. That is their right,” Frisoli said, adding that the lawsuit is focusing on NAMBLA’s activities. “NAMBLA’s principal leaders were the ones who wrote the brochures and sent them out. We allege that because of that, NAMBLA has been part of a national ongoing criminal conspiracy to rape children, and we intend to hold them accountable.”

Frisoli claims investigators uncovered Jaynes’ diary where he admits having problems dealing with a desire to have sex with children. Jaynes later reveals that he felt NAMBLA’s teachings validated his feelings.

Besides the diary, Frisoli says he has depositions from an ex-girlfriend and several close friends who testify that Jaynes was a heterosexual male who became obsessed with having sex with minors only after joining NAMBLA.

NAMBLA Leaders in Hiding

NAMBLA has not revealed whether Jaynes was ever one of its members. Since the Curleys filed their suit in May, the group has not responded to any pretrial discovery motions. Frisoli says he is happy that the ACLU is representing NAMBLA so that the case can go forward. He has had trouble finding the group’s members.

Still, the ACLU attorneys, citing U.S. Supreme Court cases from the 1960s that protected the NAACP’s civil rights activities in the South, say they will try to block any attempt by the plaintiffs to get NAMBLA’s membership lists, or other materials identifying members. The ACLU also will act as a surrogate for NAMBLA, allowing its members to defend themselves in court while remaining anonymous.

Prosecutors said Jaynes and Sicari lured Jeffrey Curley into Jaynes’ Cadillac with the promise of $50 and a bicycle on Oct. 1, 1997. They convinced two juries that the men suffocated, killed and then molested the child after he resisted sexual advances and then stuffed him a concrete-filled container. Jaynes and Sicari dumped the container in the Maine River.

Last week, the Curleys won a civil suit against Jaynes and Sicari when a jury awarded them $328 million.

CONTINUE READING…

NOVA SCOTIA CANADA: Once again it seems that you can’t grow Cannabis and treat licensed patients, even if Cannabis is “legal”…

NOVA SCOTIA CANADA:  Once again it seems that you can’t grow Cannabis and treat licensed  patients, even if Cannabis is “legal”.

At approximately 10:30am on September 5th, Rev. Daren McCormick and Rev. Kevin James were visited by the RCMP at which time they proceeded to search their property located in Loch Broom Nova Scotia Canada, where they were growing Cannabis for            Patients.  Rev. Kevin James explained to RCMP that they were licensed plants and who they belonged to.  The RCMP produced no warrant yet they proceeded to search both outside and inside their home.

They were  both incarcerated by the RCMP for growing, and trafficking Cannabis.  They both remained incarcerated for 24 hours before being released.  Rev. Kevin James was denied medication for seizures during the stay.

Over 1000 plants were taken by the RCMP as well as a small indoor  grow. Personal items of the two men were taken in the search such as legal documents, witness lists and an antique Bow that hung above the fireplace belonging to Daren’s Grandfather, a family     heirloom dating back to 1915 that yielded no threat to anyone.

The garden of Cannabis is estimated to be worth well over a million dollars plus and it has been destroyed.  You can’t give back a plant that was pulled from the ground in its natural growing state!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat   Image may contain: 1 person, standing, sky, plant, tree, grass, outdoor and nature

WE OPERATE UNDER CANNATHEISM and our congregational collective is via the Church of the Universe: the Universe is our Church

37951157_10215451144886138_4076102690378088448_n

Untitled

Above:  The Global Incident Map publishes the bust.

Pictou RCMP dismantle grow-op, seize marijuana in Loch Broom

Image may contain: dog, plant, outdoor and nature

Above:  Rev. Kevin James Service Dog “Molly” was not charged in the raid!

He has also posted these status updates on Facebook concerning the events:

FROM ONE HONORABLE MAN TO ANOTHER

FOR POSTING US ON THIS MAP 🙂 DOES THIS MEAN WE MADE IT TO THE BIG BOY LIST LOL

FACEBOOK LAND OF CANNABIS ACTIVISTS AND OIL MAKERS AND HEALERS…

“Officers of the court have no immunity, when violating a constitutional right, for they are deemed to know the law”

I just read the search warrant they used to destroy the plants.

Daren Mccormick has 4 new cannabis charges, and i have 5 new charges… in last 10 days… heads up…

AFTER HAVING BEEN CONTACTED BY SEVERAL PATIENTS WE TENDED GARDENS FOR FROM ACROSS CANADA..

Q. If a patient revokes the DG status of a grower and they get caught growing anyway… say 850 plants x 4 crops a year and do it for 4 years or so…. and the patient receives zero from their garden… thats diversion…

RELATED:

ARTICLES ON KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY ABOUT DAREN

UN enlists ‘Thomas & Friends’ to teach kids about UN goals

Image result for THOMAS AND FRIENDS

Sep. 7, 2018

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations is enlisting the animated series “Thomas & Friends” to teach preschool children the importance of taking part in global efforts to end poverty, provide girls and boys with the same opportunities, and protect the planet.

The U.N. and series owner Mattel Inc. announced a collaboration Friday that will see elements of five of the 17 U.N. goals for 2030 incorporated into nine of the 26 episodes of the new season of “Thomas & Friends.”

U.N. Outreach Division director Maher Nasser says that “Thomas & Friends was a natural fit for younger audiences as well as their parents and caretakers.”

Mattel President Richard Dickson says the U.N. exists to create a better world “and that’s been the core lesson of Thomas for over 70 years.

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

Kenyan train joins Thomas and Friends TV show

Ban ‘Killer’ Robots "Before It Is Too Late": Activists Urge UN

India’s disarmament ambassador Amandeep Gill, who chairs the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons talks, told reporters “good progress” had been made on Killer robot negotiations.

World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: August 28, 2018 02:20 IST

Ban 'Killer' Robots 'Before It Is Too Late': Activists Urge UN

Activists of the Campaign to Ban Killer Robots have urged the banning of so-called killer robots

Geneva:

Countries should quickly agree a treaty banning the use of so-called killer robots “before it is too late”, activists said Monday as talks on the issue resumed at the UN.

They say time is running out before weapons are deployed that use lethal force without a human making the final kill-order and have criticised the UN body hosting the talks — the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) — for moving too slowly.

“Killer robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction,” Rasha Abdul Rahim, Amnesty International’s advisor on artificial intelligence and human rights, said in a statement.

“From artificially intelligent drones to automated guns that can choose their own targets, technological advances in weaponry are far outpacing international law,” she said.

“We are calling on states to take concrete steps to halt the spread of these dangerous weapons… before it is too late.”

Her comments came as a CCW group of governmental experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems began a week-long meeting in Geneva.

The world body hosted the first-ever killer robot negotiations last year and India’s disarmament ambassador Amandeep Gill, who chairs the CCW talks, told reporters “good progress” had been made since then.

Yet countries have yet to agree on which path to take in addressing such weapons.

The number of states calling for an outright killer robot ban has increased, with campaigners saying at least 26 are now onboard.

But the states believed to have the most advanced autonomous weapons, including the United States, France, Britain and Israel, have not committed to any form of binding mechanism restricting their use.

The way forward is expected to be determined this week or at a broader CCW conference in November, but the requirement to reach consensus could prove a stumbling block.

Activists are pushing nations to move on to formal negotiations on a binding treaty within the CCW.

Prevent ‘dystopian scenarios’

The Campaign to Ban Killer Robots stressed Monday that without clear progress in that direction, negotiations could also happen outside of the confines of the CCW convention.

“We are willing and able to take it outside of the UN if it is blocked by consensus,” campaign member Jody Williams, who won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work towards a treaty banning landmines, told journalists in Geneva.

Activists meanwhile took heart at growing awareness in the private sector and academia of the threat posed by weapons that entirely rely on machine intelligence in deciding what to kill.

“We have actually seen a lot of action… from the private sector,” Peter Asaro, of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, told reporters.

He pointed in particular to Google’s decision in June to fold to pressure from its own employees and retreat from a deal to help the US military use artificial intelligence to analyse drone video.

He said there was a growing realisation that “there needs to be human accountability. There needs to be human control.”

Amnesty’s Rahim meanwhile insisted that “it’s not too late to change course.”

COMMENT“A ban on fully autonomous weapons systems could prevent some truly dystopian scenarios.”

CONTINUE READING…

A study conducted by JAMA discovered that flu shots may be killing a significant number of senior citizens

Flu Shots Are Killing Senior Citizens in Record Numbers, Study Warns Scientists found vaccine-related deaths in elderly citizens are rising at an alarming rate By: Jay Greenberg |@NeonNettle on 29th July 2018 @ 8.00pm
© Neon Nettle

senior citizens are being killed by flu vaccines at an alarming rate

Researchers have found that senior citizens are being killed by flu vaccines in record numbers, and the death rate is rising at an alarming rate. A study conducted by JAMA discovered that flu shots may be killing a significant number of senior citizens. According to data collected by the study, 60 percent of people over 65-years-old are at risk. A former investigative journalist for CBS, Sharyl Attkisson, states that the study highlights the worrying rise in mortality rates among elderly citizens who are vaccinated for protection against influenza. According to Attkisson, not only do the findings prove that the flu shots do nothing to improve death rates, but they may actually be contributing to the increase in ill health and fatality. senior citizens are dying at an alarming rate due to flu shots © press Senior citizens are dying at an alarming rate due to flu shots Inquisitr reports: The study “got little attention,” she says, “because the science came down on the wrong side.” Whereas the researchers had set out to prove that the push for massive flu vaccination would save the world, the researchers were “astonished” to find that the data did not support their presupposition at all. The data actually shows that deaths increased, not decreased, among seniors following vaccination. Johns Hopkins scientist, Peter Doshi, Ph.D., issued a report in the prestigious British Medical Journal, according to NewsLI, asserting that the CDC policy of routinely recommending the flu vaccine is being based on “low-quality studies that do not substantiate claims.” He says there is no evidence that the vaccine reduces deaths among senior citizens. Interestingly, Doshi cites an Australian study which found significant risks for children as well, stating that “one in every 110 children under the age of five had convulsions following vaccinations in 2009 for H1N1 influenza.” During the drug trials for the Fluzone flu vaccine, 23 seniors out of 3,833 died after receiving the shot, according to the drug’s package insert, reported by Health Impact News. Another 226 experienced “serious adverse effects.” The manufacturer denies any connection between the deaths and the flu vaccine. Seniors Told Get Flu Vaccine There appears to be growing public skepticism that the flu vaccine is as beneficial as the experts say, according to an earlier Inquisitr report. The level of doubt is strongly correlated to the incidence of accounts of research fraud in the vaccine industry, an industry which makes billions of dollars of profit every year. deaths among the elderly are rising due to a recent study © Press Deaths among the elderly are rising due to a recent study Often when an article about the dangers of a vaccine comes out, there are people who write in to tell about a family member who was harmed by the vaccine and the flu vaccine for senior citizens in no exception. A number of people have written to report that their grandmother, or uncle, or brother died shortly after getting a flu shot, sometimes after receiving their first ever such shot. Their stories are frequently minimized, yet the government pays out more compensation from the flu vaccine than any other vaccine. Despite this, it is increasingly expected that every senior citizen line up for their annual flu shot. A nursing home near Atlanta, Georgia, now reports a devastating outcome to such a policy, according to Health Impact News. All of the residents of the Hope Assisted Living & Memory Care were given a flu vaccine on Friday, November 7. Every one of the senior citizens developed an immediate fever. Within the week following, five of them died. The source reports that the facility’s typical pattern is one or two losses every six months, frequently due to Alzheimer’s. “The facility is not saying they are related to the flu shot but we all know they are, and they know they are.” Questions must be asked, then, such as: do the benefits of getting a flu vaccine outweigh the risks, especially among vulnerable senior citizens? Or would they be better off choosing to reject the shot? Who benefits if evidence showing the harm of the vaccine is buried? And what would be the motive for fabricating evidence of harm if none exists? If the facts are as solid as some insist, then why do they seem to be threatened by the data being challenged? Shouldn’t truth be able to stand up under scrutiny?

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/4644-flu-shots-are-killing-senior-citizens-in-record-numbers-study-warns
© Neon Nettle

READ MORE: Doctor Blows Whistle on Flu Shot – ‘It’s Designed to Spread Cancer’

As the feds crack down on opioid prescriptions, patients are taking their own lives, doctors are losing their jobs and overdose rates continue unabated.

The Government’s Solution To The Opioid     Crisis Feels Like A War To Pain Patients

By Art Levine

Meredith Lawrence's late husband died by suicide after his opioid pain prescription was severely restricted.

Jay Lawrence, an energetic truck driver in his late 30s, was driving a semitrailer across a bridge when the brakes failed. To avoid plowing into the car in front of him, he swerved sideways and slammed the truck into a wall, fracturing his back. For more than 25 years, he struggled with the resulting pain. But for most of that time, he managed to avoid opioid painkillers.

In 2006, his legs suddenly collapsed beneath him, due to a complex web of neurological factors related to his spinal cord injury. He underwent multiple surgeries and tried many medications to alleviate his pain.

The next year, he began to experience some semblance of relief when his doctor prescribed morphine, one of a class of opioid drugs. By 2012, he was taking 120 milligrams per day.

But this isn’t a story about opioid addiction. Lawrence managed a relatively productive, happy life on the medication for the better part of 10 years.

“This isn’t the life I thought I’d have,” he told his wife, Meredith Lawrence, in December 2016. “But I’m all right.”

Living on disability payments, he could still walk around their two-bedroom trailer home using his cane, take a shower on his own and, on his good days, even help his wife make breakfast.

Then, in early 2017, the pain clinic where he was a patient adopted a strict new policy, part of a wide-ranging national effort to respond to the increase in opioid overdose deaths. 

Citing 2016 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, her husband’s doctor abruptly cut his daily dose by roughly 25 percent to 90 mg, Meredith Lawrence said. That was the maximum dose the CDC recommends, though does not mandate, for first-time opioid patients. 

The doctor also told Jay Lawrence that the plan was to lower his dose to 45 mg over the next two months, a cutback of more than 60 percent from what he had been taking.

At the end of that traumatic visit, his wife said, Jay Lawrence’s doctor dismissed their concerns and shared his own fear about losing his license if he continued to prescribe high doses of opioids. (When HuffPost followed up, the doctor declined to comment on the case, citing patient privacy.)

For a month, Lawrence suffered on the 90 mg dose. At times, his pain was so bad that he needed help to get out of the recliner, and when his wife looked over, she sometimes saw tears streaming down his face.

He dreaded his next appointment when his dose would be slashed to 60 mg. In the weeks before that scheduled visit on March 2, 2017, Lawrence came up with a plan.

On the day of his appointment, on the same bench in the Hendersonville, Tennessee, park where the Lawrences had recently renewed their wedding vows, the 58-year-old man gripped his wife’s hand and killed himself with a gun.

Meredith Lawrence sits in the living room of the home in Gainesville, Georgia, that she bought after her husband's death

Dustin Chambers for HuffPost Meredith Lawrence sits in the living room of the home in Gainesville, Georgia, that she bought after her husband’s death.

There are at least nine million chronic pain patients in the United States who take opioid painkillers on a long-term basis. As law enforcement and medical regulatory bodies try to curb the explosion in opioid deaths and the rise in illegal opioid use, they have focused on reducing the overall opioid supply, whether or not the drugs are provided by prescription. 

There’s mounting evidence this won’t work ― that curbing patient access to legal prescription opioids does not stem the rate of overdoses caused primarily by illegal drugs ― and that patients are being denied desperately needed relief. There are also troubling indicators that cutting back on opioids increases the risk of suicide among those with chronic pain.

Some chronic pain patients and advocates have even begun compiling lists of individuals they know who have died by suicide after they were no longer able to treat their pain with opioid medication.

“There is no doubt in my mind that forcibly stopping opioids can destabilize some of the most vulnerable people in America,” said Dr. Stefan Kertesz, a professor of medicine and an addiction researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “And the outcomes for those folks include suicide, overdose and falling apart medically.”

I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

For a decade or so, government officials in the U.S. have sought to drive down the opioid supply through a range of tactics ― from increased seizures of diverted opioid medications to state crackdowns on “pill mills.” The Trump administration has embraced the hard-line approach.

In late January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “surge” in Drug Enforcement Administration activity targeting pharmacies and physicians that, in the agency’s view, oversupply opioids. In February, the Justice Department doubled down with the announcement of a new task force that would focus on manufacturers and distributors of opioids. In March, President Donald Trump unveiled a plan to lower opioid prescriptions by a third within three years. And in late June, the federal government arrested 600 people, including 165 medical professionals, for allegedly participating in $2 billion worth of fraud schemes involving opioids.

The Trump administration’s efforts are dramatic even within the context of the CDC’s opioid dose guidelines. The guidelines were originally intended to advise primary care physicians treating chronic pain patients and other pain sufferers. They were urged to exercise caution in prescribing opioids, to use alternatives whenever possible and to prescribe daily doses of no more than 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) for new opioid users.

For pain patients like Jay Lawrence who had already been on opioids for years, however, the guidelines simply recommended regularly assessing the harms and benefits of the dosage. They didn’t advise either mandatory cutoffs or any set limits. (The Tennessee Department of Health’s guidelines would also have allowed Lawrence to stay at 120 mg of morphine when prescribed by a pain specialist.)

But “the CDC guidelines have been weaponized,” said Kertesz. The ramped-up enforcement by the DEA and state regulators has led some doctors to choose caution and to overcorrect in their prescribing, lest they lose their ability to practice medicine at all. Kertesz decried these policies as “simplistic” in a definitive new article published last week in the journal Addiction.

In February, Sessions struck a particularly harsh tone by suggesting that the fate of chronic pain patients was not high on his list of concerns. “I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids,” the attorney general said. “I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little.”

Attitudes like that are based on a series of mistaken assumptions about pain, according to Dr. Thomas Kline, a North Carolina-based family practitioner and former Harvard Medical School program administrator. Kline regularly updates a list of pain patients, published on Medium, who’ve killed themselves in the wake of draconian restrictions on pain medication.

“I ask people to imagine the very worst pain they’ve ever experienced in their lives,” Kline said. “And then that they’re denied relief by a doctor with the one medicine proven effective for pain control for 50 centuries.” (Historical records show that people in ancient Mesopotamia cultivated the poppy plant for medical use.)

The CDC guidelines have been weaponized. Dr. Stefan Kertesz

The government’s aggressive focus on doctors and patients is unlikely to address the very real menace of opioid-use disorders and sharply escalating overdose deaths. Fraud ― driven by pharmaceutical company policies ― and diversion ― the phenomenon of prescription medications being sold as street drugs ― initially spurred a wave of opioid abuse in the late 1990s, as some doctors turned their practices into pill mills. But new reports by the CDC and a drug data firm, the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, suggest that prescription drugs play a much smaller role in today’s crisis.

The reports show that total opioid prescriptions dropped 10 percent in 2017 ― the sharpest annual decline in such prescribing in 25 years. While opioid prescriptions peaked back in 2010, the studies found that growth rates in opioid-linked deaths, overwhelmingly due to illegal fentanyl and heroin, have skyrocketed in the last seven years.

Indeed, although two-thirds of the 64,000 overall drug overdose fatalities were linked to opioids in 2016 ― the most recent year for which there is data ― more than 80 percent of those opioid drug deaths came from illegal street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Prescription opioid drug deaths alone ― excluding methadone ― amounted to less than 15 percent of all drug overdose deaths, or about 9,500 fatalities.

Still, the CDC’s guidelines have triggered restrictive laws in at least 23 states that mandate ceilings on opioid dosage. (Oregon, in fact, is moving to taper dosages down to zero for all Medicaid chronic patients over a year.) That makes relief less attainable for pain patients and threatens the practices of doctors who treat them. These laws have been augmented by the growth of state prescription monitoring programs that use the software NarxCare, which is designed to flag addiction but can also rope in pain patients based on their prescription history and use of multiple doctors.

And in June, the House of Representatives passed over 50 bills that would establish dramatic new restrictions on opioid prescribing, eliciting alarm among patients and some disability rights groups.

The side effects of the current enforcement efforts are disturbing enough, from patients denied relief to drug shortages to suicides.

No health agency has kept track of all pain-related suicides that may be linked to doctors cutting back on prescriptions. But some preliminary findings from Department of Veterans Affairs researchers indicate that VA pain patients deprived of opioids were two to four times more likely to die by suicide in the first three months after they were cut off, compared to those who remained on their pain medications.

“To protect people, you have to take care of the patient, not the pill count,” said Kertesz, who worked on the VA’s April 2017 study but spoke to HuffPost only as an independent researcher. “The findings suggest that the discontinuation of opioids doesn’t necessarily assure a safer patient.”

Even terminally ill cancer patients are increasingly getting less relief, and there are growing shortages of injectable opioids at local hospitals and hospices, spurred in part by DEA-ordered reductions in opioid manufacturing quotas.

Leah Ilten, a 53-year-old physical therapist who lives in Kennewick, Washington, told HuffPost that as her 86-year-old father lay dying of pancreatic cancer in a hospice, the medical staff ignored her pleas to provide appropriate opioid pain relief, even cutting his dosage in half on the last day of his life. A few days earlier, when he was in the hospital, one nurse explained to her that opioids could lead to an overdose or could potentially cause the man, who lay moaning in pain, to “get addicted.”

“I was horrified,” Ilten said.

In mid-April, the DEA responded to the injectable opioid shortage by lifting production quotas. An agency spokesman told HuffPost that it was “a manufacturers’ problem, not the quotas,” while asserting that progress is being made.

There have been production issues, including Pfizer’s foul-ups with a plant in Kansas. But the DEA’s delay in taking action ― shortfalls were flagged in February in a letter from the American Society of Anesthesiologists and other health groups ― definitely contributed to the shortage, according to Dr. James Grant, president of the ASA. He told HuffPost that quotas were among the factors creating the crisis.

I’m not willing to go back to the state I was in before I started treatment. Anne Fuqua

Faced with the hardline national crackdown on opioid prescriptions, people with chronic pain are trying to raise awareness of the suffering caused by the loss of medications. Some are gathering the names of those patients who ended up taking their own lives, both as a memorial to those who died and as a protest against the health establishment that has seemingly abandoned them. Others are seeking comfort from each other on social media.

Lelena Peacock, who declined to name her southeastern city of residence for fear of retaliation from doctors, is struggling with how to treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia. The 45-year-old found that her social media posts drew other pain patients who turned to her for help.

By her own count, Peacock has thus far convinced more than 70 chronic pain patients to call 911 or suicide prevention hotlines instead of killing themselves.

For Anne Fuqua, a 37-year-old former nurse from Birmingham, Alabama, the motivation for compiling a list of chronic pain-related suicides is to track the damage done by what she sees as policies that have left people like her behind. 

“There’s so many people who have died,” she said. “We have to remember them.”

Fuqua has an incurable neurological illness known as primary generalized dystonia that causes Parkinson’s-like involuntary movements and painful muscle spasms. She started taking about 60 mg of Oxycontin a day in 2000. Her doctor began to limit her access to high doses of opioids in 2014, the same year she started chronicling those friends who had killed themselves or otherwise died after being denied pain medications. Her informal list is now up to roughly 150 people, augmented by lists that other pain patient advocates have compiled.

On July 9, Fuqua joined other chronic pain patients at a meeting at the Food and Drug Administration campus in Maryland to express their fears and outrage at the cutbacks. Sitting in the front row in her wheelchair, she told FDA officials about that list and declared, “I’m not willing to go back to the state I was in before I started treatment.”

Anne Fuqua needs exceptionally high doses to manage her pain because of opioid malabsorption.

Courtesy of Anne Fuqua Anne Fuqua needs exceptionally high doses to manage her pain because of opioid malabsorption.

Fuqua’s own difficulties are compounded by the fact that her body does not respond to even large doses of opioids the way others do ― she suffers from severe malabsorption that hampers her ability to benefit from everything from opioids to vitamin D. Since 2012, she has relied on a strikingly high daily regimen of 1,000 MME of opioids, including fentanyl patches, to manage her pain.

But her physician, Dr. Forrest Tennant, was driven to retire this year after a DEA raid and investigation. The Los Angeles-area physician mailed her a final series of prescriptions, which will run out at the end of July.

“It’s terrifying,” she said looking at her future. “If these were people who had asthma or diabetes and weren’t stigmatized because of opioids, this wouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

Another doctor has quietly stepped forward to continue treatment for Tennant’s remaining patients, Fuqua said, although there’s no assurance that this physician won’t also be investigated in the future.

If these were people who had asthma or diabetes and weren’t stigmatized because of opioids, this wouldn’t be allowed to happen. Anne Fuqua

The raid on Tennant’s home and office last November illustrates the hard-line regulatory and enforcement approach that critics say doesn’t distinguish between pill-mill doctors who deserve to be shut down and legitimate pain doctors who use high-dosage opioids. The wide-ranging search warrant served to Tennant essentially accused him of drug trafficking even though he’d earned a national reputation for deft treatment of ― and research about ― pain patients.

“He’s highly respected and prominent in pain management,” said Jeffrey Fudin, a clinical pharmacy specialist who heads the pain pharmacy program at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, New York, and serves as an associate professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “Most of his patients had no other options, and they came from around the country to see him.”

Tennant was known for taking on difficult-to-treat patients, including those suffering from pain as a result of botched surgeries and other forms of malpractice. His research included innovations in the use of hormones to alleviate pain and lower opioid use up to 40 percent, as well as work on genetic testing for enzyme system defects that lead to opioid malabsorption.

“The DEA can trigger an investigation every time they misapply the CDC guidelines without paying attention to the population the physician treats or issues of medical necessity,” said Terri Lewis, a patient advocate and a Ph.D. clinical rehabilitation specialist with Southern Illinois University who trains clinicians on how to manage seriously ill patients with incurable pain.

Special Agent Timothy Massino, a spokesperson for the DEA’s Los Angeles division, declined to comment on the agency’s approach to Tennant. “It’s an ongoing investigation,” he noted.

Tennant’s isn’t alone. Physicians must now balance their prescribing obligations to their patients with legitimate fear for their livelihoods.

DEA enforcement actions against doctors have risen some 500 percent in recent years ― from 88 in 2011 to 449 last year, according to an analysis of the comprehensive National Practitioners Data Bank by Tony Yang, a professor of health policy at George Washington University. Even though that’s a relatively small number of arrests compared to the roughly one million physicians in the country, such arrests can have an outsized impact.

“They make big news, and they serve as a deterrent for physicians whose specialties require them to use a lot of pain medications,” Yang said. “It makes them think twice before prescribing opioids.”

Meredith Lawrence shows the tattoo she got after her husband'€™s death. The bluejay represents her husband, Jay; a cup of cof

Dustin Chambers for HuffPost Meredith Lawrence shows the tattoo she got after her husband’€™s death. The bluejay represents her husband, Jay; a cup of coffee is the way she loves to start her day; and the quote is “Sail away with me, what will be will be.”

Dr. Mark Ibsen of Helena, Montana, found himself in a five-year battle against the state licensing board that’s still not over ― even though a judge last month reversed the board’s decision to suspend his license because of due process violations. The court has remanded the case back to the licensing board for potential further investigation of his opioid prescriptions, but Ibsen has decided he won’t resume his medical practice.

That’s bad news for Montana, which has the highest rate of suicide in the country, according to the CDC. What’s more, chronic pain-related illnesses account for 35 percent of all the state’s suicides, as a recent state health department study found.

In the course of his fight with the medical board, the 63-year-old doctor said three of his former chronic pain patients have killed themselves after he and other doctors stopped prescribing opioids. The first of those patients died shortly after attending a hearing to show his support for Ibsen.

The deaths of pain patients haunt those who treated them and loved them. Meredith Lawrence, who sat with her husband to the very end, said, “It was as horrifying as anything you can imagine.”

“But I had the choice to help him or find him dead someday when I came home,” she added.

Lawrence was arrested and sentenced to a year’s probation for assisting a suicide. Now her goal is to fight restrictions on opioid prescriptions.

“If we don’t stand up, more people will die like my husband.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

Art Levine is the author of Mental Health, Inc: How Corruption, Lax Oversight, and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens.

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That study isn’t without flaws. Veterans die by suicide at higher rates than average ― currently accounting for 20 suicide deaths a day ― so they are not a nationally representative sample. And the VA study, which was released at a national opioid summit in early April, has not yet been submitted for peer review.

But another study, published last year in the peer-reviewed journal General Hospital Psychiatry, looked at nearly 600 veterans who in 2012 were cut off from dosages after long-term opioid use and found similar results. Twelve percent of the vets showed suicidal ideation or took violent action to harm themselves ― a rate nearly 300 percent higher than the overall veterans community.

Kentucky drug overdose deaths jump 11.5 percent in 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Drug overdose deaths in Kentucky are increasing despite a drop in opioid prescriptions and heroin use.

A new report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy says 1,565 people died from drug overdoses in 2017. That’s an 11.5 percent increase from 2016. Kentucky overdose deaths have increased by more than 40 percent since 2013.

Opioids are the main culprit in most deaths. Deaths attributed to heroin have declined. But more than half of the overdose deaths in 2017 were caused by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.

Every year, Kentucky lawmakers have been passing more laws designed to address the epidemic. Anti-drug advocates celebrate those changes, but their celebration is tempered once a year when the new numbers come out detailing how many more have died.

Nationally, opioids accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016.

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RELATED:

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…  LINK

All roads in Kentucky lead you through Hell