LET’S TALK ABOUT….OPIOID EPIDEMIC GETTING WORSE!!!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT….OPIOID EPIDEMIC GETTING WORSE!!! Just as I am gearing up to celebrate NATIONAL WELLNESS WEEK, I hear Jennifer Ludden on “Morning Edition”, PBS News, talking about “carfentanil.:

“A powerful drug that’s normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest…. The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the death earlier this year of the pop star Prince.”

The epicenter of the distribution point spiking overdoses is in the Midwest spreading thickly through the New England States, and contaminating every state in the US. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports the five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose are Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and New Mexico. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the DEA says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil.

According to the DEA “…much of the carfentanil being sold on the streets is illicitly imported from China…or brought in by Mexican drug traffickers.” Carfentanil has also been known to be part of Russia’s chemical arsenal.

In addition to the illicit use of shooting carfentanil into the body with a needle, it is also absorbed into the body via inhalation, oral exposure or ingestion, or skin contact.

Carfentanil is so potent that it can be dangerous to anyone who simply touches or inhales it. First Responders are encouraged by the CDC to use HAZMAT suits and precautions when entering a contaminated area.

Tom Synan, police chief in the epicenter of the carfentanil crises, believes this is just the beginning of the synthetic opioids that are making their way into the US. He also points out that “…selling drugs on the street is considered a nonviolent crime…to me, it’s intentional. It’s murder.”

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To me, I am starting to believe that this opioid epidemic is an act of homegrown terrorism. When outside forces influences the destruction of US citizens, I consider that terrorism. This opioid epidemic is a biological weapon that is taking the lives of our citizens. When compared to other terrorist attacks in the US the fatalities are astounding:

Timothy McVeigh, 1995 Oklahoma Bombing killed 168 people

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September 11, 2001 Attacks on New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, killed an estimated 3000+ people and injured over 6000.

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0 1 0 9 1 4 - F - 8 0 0 6 R - 0 0 6 FBI agents, fire fighters, rescue workers and engineers work at the Pentagon crash site on Sept. 14, 2001, where a high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the building on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the building and followed similar attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill. (Released)

From 1999-2014 Opioids responsible for the death of more than 165,000 US citizens (CDC); 4.3 million Americans engaged in non-medical use of opioids each month.

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I had a conversation with a 35 year old, intelligent, friend that has been addicted to heroin since he was 16 years old: “There is another drug being cut into heroin by the Cartel called carfentanil.” I explained the origin, dangers, and mortality rates to him.

“Why are you telling me this?”

“I want you to know what your options are on the streets.”

Silently sad in my head, I was screaming, “I want to save your life. Please start making healthier decisions.” I couldn’t get the image out of my mind of his body being carried away by someone in a HAZMAT suit.

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Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.

OPINION


Springfield Times

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
_________________________________________________________________________________

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This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.

Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

Lifestyle Changes

ASK MAx: national wellness week

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LET’S TALK ABOUT…NATIONAL WELLNESS WEEK!!! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) “envisions a future where people with mental and substance abuse disorders pursue optimal health, happiness, recovery, and a full and satisfying life in the community via access to a range of effective services, support, and resources.”

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Part of the SAMHSA initiative includes declaring September 11 through 17, 2016: NATIONAL WELLNESS WEEK”. One of the purposes is to highlight the changing face of wellness and wellness practices.

According to Dr. Sarah R Linde-Freucht, US Department of Health and Human Services, “health relates broadly to how an individual functions in one’s life…” not only with physical health “…the quality of one’s relationship, and how one adapts to change, and copes with difficulties.”

This new recognition of defining that “wellness” is at the crux of finding life satisfaction for people that suffer with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders.

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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports approximately 1 in 5 adults, 18.5% of the US population, experiences mental illness in a given year; 1 in 25 adults, or 4.2% experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with, or, limits one or more life activities.

SAMHSA estimates 20.2 million, 8.4% of the population of Americans 18 years and older, had a substance use disorder as of March, 2016. This number increases by millions factoring in people with co-occurring mental health disorders.

 

As these numbers continue to grow, along with the state of the changing health care system, the Federal Government has called for a national cross governmental, public/private, and individual initiative to transform how mental health and substance abuse services are delivered in the US with an expected outcome of recovery.

 

The SAMHSA initiate pledges to promote wellness for people with mental health and substance abuse disorders by encouraging “Eight Dimensions of Wellness” to become part of everyone’s daily life. The “Eight Dimensions of Wellness” are:

 

  1. Emotional: coping with life and relationships effectively
  2. Environmental: creating healthy, motivated, and stimulating places to live, work, learn.
  3. Financial: satisfaction of current and future financial situations
  4. Intellectual: recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  5. Occupational: personal satisfaction and enrichment of one’s work
  6. Physical: recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  7. Social: developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  8. Centered: Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

 

Now “…you may say that I am a dreamer…but, just imagine all the people…” living in good mental, physical, and emotional health. “Just imagine…” if it turns out to be eight simple dimensions of wellness defined by SAMHSA.

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Become part of the new movement of health, wellness, and prevention. Join the PAW: Program to Achieve Wellness, led by SAMHSA. All individuals, organizations, communities, states, and tribes can take action in educating all Americans to join the movement to live the “Eight Dimensions of Wellness”.

 

Learn how you can get involved at: http://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative.

 

NATIONAL WELLNESS WEEK

September 11 through 17, 2016

 

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.

OPINION


Springfield Times

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
_________________________________________________________________________________

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This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.

Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

Lifestyle Changes

 

 

ASK MAx: GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS ON THE PROGRESS OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC!!

A bottle with a hydrocodone (the generic name for drug sold under other names by various pharmaceutical companies) label and hydrocodone tablets spilling out isolated on white background. Hydrocodone is a popular prescription semi-synthetic opioid that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone is said to be one of the most common recreational prescription drugs in America.

LET’S TALK ABOUT…GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS ON THE PROGRESS OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC!! The opioid epidemic is REAL. It is important for all my readers to understand that the epidemic doesn’t necessarily live on the streets and isn’t limited to illegal drugs.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that there were 10,574 overdose deaths related to illegal opioids in 2014, compared to 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers.

A family member reported these behaviors in their loved one that was abusing doctor prescribed drugs: tried to commit suicide, taken by ambulance to hospital—admitted and weaned over five days as a hospital patient; refused drug treatment. All drugs taken out of home; she found them and stole them back. Failed a UA with her primary physician; she claimed her significant other was giving them to her without her knowing it. Again, she refused addiction treatment yelling “I am NOT an addict!” Some of her family backed her up saying that she was only taking medications that were prescribed by her doctor–they neglected to acknowledge the prescriptions were prior to her overdose.

This is not a “street person”. This is a 60 year old professional woman, who dresses to the nine’s, and, is involved on committees to make our community better. She is one of “you” reading this column.

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GOOD NEWS! In December 2015, both the Democratic and Republican Senators from New Hampshire,–the epicenter of the epidemic–submitted the “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act”. In the midst of a chaotic Presidential election, this bipartisan supported Bill to address the opioid epidemic was passed and sent to President Obama for approval.

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A few important points from this Bill that addresses some of the needs to reduce the epidemic:

  • Presently special licensed physician are allowed to prescribe and oversee the medications needed to treat patients that are chronically addicted to drugs such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, and others. One of the problems is that each physician is only allowed 100 patients. This Bill would allow Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to prescribe and monito patients. The Bill also creates a grant to expand this type of medication assisted treatment.
  • The Bill would expand the access to the drug “naloxone” and who could administer it. Naloxone is given to individuals that have overdosed and are at the brink of death. It is presently administered by first responders. The Bill asks for expansion to all law enforcement and, possibly, getting it into the hands of family and friends.
  • Presently the “Prescription Drug Monitoring” program is overseen by physicians; it would expand the monitoring to include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.
  • Most of all, this Bill expands treatment and prevention education to include medical professionals, educators, teens, young adults as well as families.

 

BAD NEWS!!! This is an election year. While the Bill has passed, the appropriations committee  does not share a bipartisan effort to provide funding for CARA. The US fiscal year runs from Oct 1 through Sept 30. Since the debate has been put on hold until after the elections, funding will probably take two more years.

We all need to be involved in fighting this epidemic. YOU can help by educating yourself on the facts and contacting YOUR local officials. How many of YOUR family members have been inflicted?

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.

 

OPINION


Springfield Times

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
_________________________________________________________________________________

healertoday-logo-sm

This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.

Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

Lifestyle Changes