1-ribbonFirst they came for the mentally ill addicts, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a mentally ill addict.

Then they came for the empathetic prescribers, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a empathetic prescriber.

Then they came for the Pharmacists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Pharmacist.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me

“I’m about ready to eat a 9 mm or something. I just can’t take it anymore. This is not life to me,”

Pharmacy board could make it easier to legally get pain pills


Tampa, Florida — It’s been an agonizing battle that’s lasted five years.

People who have legitimate needs for painkillers struggling to get their prescriptions filled.

The folks who need their pain medication may have hope after a meeting Monday with a committee for the Florida Board of Pharmacy.

Imagine being in excruciating pain, getting a prescription for pain medication from your doctor, and having to go to dozens upon dozens of pharmacies to try and get it filled.

That’s a reality for thousands of people in Florida including James Harvey in Spring Hill.

Getting painkillers to those who need them WTSP

“I went to every pharmacy in Hernando County. And they tell you either they do not have them, or they won’t fill them,” Harvey said.

Harvey can walk for about 15 minutes on a good day.

“I can’t do anything anymore. I can’t walk down the street, I can’t walk around the yard.”

He’s in excruciating pain every moment of every day after he broke a spinal disc in his back.

“It hurts from the center of my back to the tips of my toes.”

And Harvey says he’s at the end of his rope.

What do you think? Join the conversation about pain meds on Facebook

“I’m about ready to eat a 9 mm or something. I just can’t take it anymore. This is not life to me,” he said.

Even with a valid doctor’s prescription, Harvey is one of thousands in Florida who can’t get their legal pain medication.

While bringing us into his home, Harvey nearly tripped and fell because of his pain.

“I just don’t want to hurt anymore. I’m tired of it,” he said.

It’s the many cases just like Harvey’s, or worse, that have brought the Florida Board of Pharmacy Controlled Substance Committee to Tampa.

It’s discussing new language to make it easier for pharmacists to prescribe pain meds emphasizing “it’s unacceptable not to fill as well,” said Committee Chair Gavin Meshad.

Now, it’s up to the pharmacy board to approve the new language emphasizing that pharmacists have to use their professional judgment, not just fear sanctions from the board or the Attorney General’s office.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office issued this statement on the pharmacy board changes: “No one wants to see anyone suffer; and we are encouraged that the Board of Pharmacy is bringing together state and federal government agencies, as well as, pharmacies and distributors to address this critical healthcare issue.”

How did we get this point?

It started about 5 years ago with the massive crackdown on pill mills in Florida. There were restrictions on how many times doctors could prescribe pain pills and how often they could be dispensed without government oversight or even sanctions.

We talked to 10 News health care expert Jay Wolfson to find out what folks are up against for change.

“I think they’re up against the illegitimate uses which are extraordinary and substantial in this state,” Wolfson said. “The problem is for those people who have legitimate needs who are not able to get it. Finding that balance is a tough policy and social decision.”

We’re going stay with this story and keep you update on any action taken to make it easier for you to get your pain pills.

Click here to contact the Florida Board of Pharmacy.

You think that the cost of oral opiates are HIGH now…

Opioid bill includes pill buy-back language


(Oct. 5, 2015) In legislation passed Thursday by the Massachusetts Senate to fight drug abuse, language sponsored by Cape and Islands Sen. Dan Wolf (D-Harwich) would establish a program to require pharmaceutical companies to buy back prescription drugs already distributed but not used by patients, whether those pills are returned voluntarily or confiscated by law enforcement.

 Proceeds from the required buy-back would fund drug treatment and prevention.

 “Pharmaceutical companies must join us all in fighting drug abuse, and this is an important way for them to do that,” Wolf said. “Companies that create these beneficial compounds certainly do not want to profit from abuse and tragedy. So when painkilling pills are over-prescribed, or stolen for re-sale, surely pharmaceutical companies should welcome this opportunity to compensate our communities and create a strong incentive to reduce excess supply.”

 “What this amendment does is recognize that for an industry approaching $15 billion, only about 58 percent of the drugs are actually used for the purpose of their manufacture,” Wolf said on the Senate floor. “Fully 42 percent of these drugs are not being used for the purposes and individuals they were made for. The others are hitting the streets, or discarded.

 “We want to find a mechanism to submit those drugs back to the pharmaceutical companies, and have them return revenue made in their sale. It is a fair, just, balanced way to approach this. And it would create funding for prevention and treatment.”

 The legislation instructs pharmaceutical companies, working with the Massachusetts Department of Health, to create a program and mechanism to assess a price per pill recovered, levy a fee for each pill to the manufacturer, and put those fees into a fund to support public programs to fight drug abuse. Such a plan must be presented to the Legislature by January 2018.

 “Those who create and profit from these pharmaceuticals must join physicians who prescribe as well as patients who consume to take some of the responsibility for this plague,” Wolf said. “This is one way to do that, one more proactive strategy to end drug abuse.”

 Other key provisions of the legislation include:

 • Add screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment to the list of screenings schools conduct to identify youth at risk.

 • Increase access to specialists who specialize in pain management and treatment by creating a program for remote consulting for physicians.

 • Protect “Good Samaritans” who administer naloxone to an overdose victim from civil liability.

 • Require that Gabapentin, a drug that enhances the effect of opiate misuse, be reported and monitored.

 • Require that all schedule II opiate prescriptions be written in an “up to” quantity, allowing patients to voluntarily reduce the amount dispensed, and require prescribers to educate patients about their right to receive lesser quantities.

 • Allow patients to voluntarily record a non-opiate directive, a binding instruction to prescribers that the patient should not be offered an opiate.

 The legislation now moves to the House for consideration.

FL BOP still talking.. DEA and AG Bondi no where to be found ?

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against others.. but.. not us ?

200+ DEA Agents Use Drugs, Steal Guns, Drive Drunk & Keep Jobs

The nation’s lead anti-drug law enforcement agency isn’t so good at keeping its own agents lawful, or punishing them when they aren’t.


DEA Agent’s Oath

I [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

The agency that enforces federal government’s war on drugs is full of hypocrisy, and the bosses don’t care.

Recent media investigations have found that Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employees have used drugs, distributed drugs, lied to authorities and committed other serious offenses such as “improper association with a criminal element.”

What’s shocking is that the vast majority of these people have not been fired or even seriously reprimanded, let alone faced criminal charges like normal citizens would.

USA Today reports:

“The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed its employees to stay on the job despite internal investigations that found they had distributed drugs, lied to the authorities or committed other serious misconduct, newly disclosed records show.

“The DEA’s internal affairs log shows investigators review more than 200 cases each year and often clear the agents involved. When they do find wrongdoing, the most common outcome is either a letter of caution — the lightest form of discipline the agency can impose — or a brief unpaid suspension.

“In fewer than 6% of those cases did DEA managers recommend firing. In some of those cases, the agency allowed employees to quit. More often, it settled on a lesser punishment.”

Of the 50 who were recommended to be fired by the Board of Professional Conduct over the five-year period, only 13 actually got fired. Some went back on the job after a federal appeals board intervened.”

A follow-up look at the new documents, conducted by the Huffington Post, revealed that numerous employees have failed drug tests, only to receive minor reprimands such as short suspensions. No one was fired, despite policy that states drug users will not be considered for employment.

“Indeed, a closer look at the internal log turns up numerous examples of disturbing behavior being punished with suspensions of a few days, at most. From 2010 through 2015, HuffPost found 62 instances of an employee losing or stealing a firearm; more than 30 violations for driving while intoxicated, including four while driving a government-owned vehicle and one that involved a hit-and-run; two occasions in which employees deprived individuals of their civil rights; nine instances of employees losing or stealing drug evidence; 10 cases in which agents lost or stole a defendant’s property; four violations for committing fraud against the government, two of which were punished by a letter of caution; and two more general violations of DEA policy on drug use. The DEA didn’t fire anyone as a direct result of these actions.”

These revelations come on top of scandals and human rights abuses uncovered in spring.

Daniel Chong was left handcuffed in a holding cell for five days with no food and water, yet the six DEA agents involved received only brief suspensions or letters of reprimand.

When the inspector general found that agents had attended cartel-funded sex parties with prostitutes while stationed in Colombia, then-administrator Michele Leonhart said federal law doesn’t allow her to fire the employees.

“There is a culture of protection internally that has to change. If there’s a bad apple, they need to be fired, if not prosecuted, and that’s just not happening,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The inspector general in the Justice Department pointed out years ago that the DEA’s disciplinary process was extremely lax. But it takes public embarrassment to make anything happen in government accountability, or appear to happen.

The internal ethics watchdog is still undergoing a “systematic review” of DEA’s disciplinary process, according to a spokesman. By the time that is done, the agency will have a new list of crimes and misconduct to hand over.

What a profound irony that we have a government continuing to throw people in cages for possessing or trafficking certain psychoactive substances, while their own go unpunished for the very same behaviors and worse. Even the most loyal supporter of prohibition must find this moral crusade a sham.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/investigation-finds-dea-agents-unpunish…

“We found that medical cannabis, when used for chronic pain over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile.”

Multicenter study examines safety of medical cannabis in treatment of chronic pain


A Canadian research team led by Dr. Mark Ware from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montréal has completed a national multicentre study looking at the safety of medical cannabis use among patients suffering from chronic pain. They found that patients with chronic pain who used cannabis daily for one year, when carefully monitored, did not have an increase in serious adverse events compared to pain patients who did not use cannabis. The results, which have been published online in The Journal of Pain, will serve as a benchmark study on the side effects of cannabis when used in pain management.

“This is the first and largest study of the long term safety of medical cannabis use by patients suffering from chronic pain ever conducted,” says lead author, Dr. Ware, pain specialist at the Montreal General Hospital of the MUHC and associate professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University. “We found that medical cannabis, when used by patients who are experienced users, and as part of a monitored treatment program for chronic pain over one year, appears to have a reasonable safety profile.”

As part of the Cannabis for the Management of Pain: Assessment of Safety Study (COMPASS), that started in 2004, the researchers followed 215 adult patients, with chronic non-cancer pain, who used medical cannabis, and compared them to a control group of 216 chronic pain sufferers who were not cannabis users. The study involved seven centres with pain management expertise across Canada located in Fredericton, Halifax, London, Montreal (two sites), Toronto and Vancouver.

The cannabis users were given access to herbal cannabis containing 12.5 per cent THC from a licensed cannabis producer. Cannabis was dispensed through the hospital pharmacy at each site, and patients collected their supply every month after completing the necessary visits and tests. Along with information on adverse effects, subjects underwent lung function and cognitive testing, and were asked about their pain, mood and quality of life over the one year of follow up. A number of the subjects underwent complete panels of blood tests for routine biochemistry, liver and kidney function, and selected hormone levels. The average amount of cannabis used overall was 2.5 grams per day whether smoked, vaporized or taken as edibles.

“Our data show that daily cannabis users had no greater risk than non-users (control group) to experience serious adverse events,” Dr. Ware who is also a researcher from the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program at the RI-MUHC. ”We found no evidence of harmful effects on cognitive function, or blood tests among cannabis consumers and we observed a significant improvement in their levels of pain, symptom distress, mood and quality of life compared to controls. ”

However, the researchers did report an increased risk of non-serious adverse events in medical cannabis consumers such as headache, nausea, dizziness, somnolence, and respiratory problems associated with smoking.

“It is important to note the limitations of the study,” adds Dr. Ware. “Patients were self-selected, not randomized, and most were experienced users. So what we are seeing is that it appears to be a relatively safe drug when used by people who have already determined that it helps them. We cannot draw conclusions about safety issues of new cannabis users.”

#Walgreen’s good faith denial of care policy ?


This showed up as a comment on my blog today… can you imagine the “suffering” of a person dependent on 100 mcg/hr Fentanyl and 120 mg of Oxycodone daily being thrown cold turkey into withdrawal.  Apparently Walgreens’ “good faith policy” now supersedes the Pharmacy practice act and the individual Pharmacist’s professional discretion.  It is impossible for a corporation to obtain a PharmD degree and pass the national boards to become a licensed Pharmacist… it would appear that Walgreen via its “good faith policy” may be actually practicing pharmacy without a license or at least interfering with their employee Pharmacists from practicing pharmacy as provide by their license and the practice act. The Florida Board of Pharmacy is fully aware of this issue and while they are “discussing” the issue.. pts are suffering, some are committing suicide… not ever pt is getting the pain management that they are entitled to

I live near Jacksonville in Callahan(Nassau county)I get 120 oxycodone and 100 microgram fentanyl patches both for 30 day supply. I went walgreens a little over three months ago and my doc accidentally wrote my scrips wrong,he wrote 45 day supply of 50 mcg fentanyl patches and 120 30 mgs 5 to 6 a day witch is a 20 day supply and insurance wouldn’t cover because of that and I got denied and pharmacist said I have to wait 90 days before I could try back again.now all of my prescriptions are right but the secrectchecklist said if I’ve been denied by a Walgreens they will not fill them but she said I couldn’t try back for 3 months.does any one know if I should not try and fill the patches or should I try everything because I’ve only been on the fentanyl for 4 months and the secret checklist said I need to be on the same medication for 6 months.please help???u can email me at gleaton.bobby@yahoo.com thanks

A epidemic must be in the eye of the beholder ?


In Buffalo, an end to deadly opiate overdoses is nowhere in sight


Five people died in suspected opiate overdoses last month in Buffalo, proving to authorities that an end to the deadly opiate epidemic is nowhere in sight.

Just one person died in the city in August from a suspected heroin overdose. That was a major improvement over the 10 suspected deaths in July.

But death tells only part of the story. City police responded to 64 calls for assistance in suspected overdoses in August and to 66 calls in September.

Through June across Erie County, 118 people have died in opiate-related deaths, the county Health Department said. And the toll is expected to get worse, during the lengthy process of confirming opiate deaths. Health officials anticipate at least 270 deaths by the end of this year. The number of deaths countywide last year was 128.

“This is an epidemic that’s probably bigger than what we can imagine,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said.

The commissioner also believes the epidemic is getting worse because of what investigators are finding as they try to shut down opiate peddlers.

When federal agents busted four low-level heroin dealers in June, police discovered those dealers were receiving 1,000 calls and texts a day on average from customers, Derenda said.

“Can you imagine, 1,000 calls a day? Think about that,” the commissioner said. “The majority of customers were from the suburbs and included all walks of life from street people to students to professionals.”

Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New York State have seized approximately one-third of all the heroin that federal agents have confiscated nationwide this year.

“Heroin trafficking organizations are targeting the East Coast with large loads of heroin for distribution in cities up and down the Eastern Seaboard,” said James J. Hunt, the DEA’s special agent in charge of the New York division, which includes Buffalo.

The epidemic “has destroyed families and the quality of life in American cities, leading to over 40 deaths per day,” Hunt said.

And why is the East Coast such a target for the Mexican drug cartels?

Because heroin has been favored by drug addicts on this side of the country, while in the Southwest and West, crystal methamphetamine is often the preferred drug, according to the DEA.

As for Erie County, the 118 confirmed opiate deaths represent individuals who died starting in January and ending around June. Laboratory toxicology tests are pending on many more cases from the summer.

“We probably haven’t even caught up to July yet on the toxicology tests because there is such an overwhelming number,” Erie County Health Commissioner Gale R. Burstein said.

She attributes some of the increase in the number of deaths to heroin laced with fentanyl, a highly potent laboratory-produced painkiller.

And there’s another issue slowing toxicology tests.

“There are different chemical variations of fentanyl and it makes it very difficult to test for,” Burstein said.

Fentanyl does not come from licensed drug manufacturers but rather from unregulated Chinese chemical factories, DEA officials explained. They produce it in kilogram quantities that are shipped to Mexico for distribution in the United States.

Drug dealers end up cutting the heroin with the fentanyl to satisfy addicts looking for more-intense highs and to distinguish themselves as having the best street drugs available, according to law enforcement.

Fentanyl is so potent that, when medical professionals measure it, the amounts are prescribed in micrograms, health and law enforcement officials say. In fact, if fentanyl were measured in the equivalent of three to five grains of table salt, it would be considered enough to kill someone.

All of this, Burstein says, is enough to rate the opiate epidemic as “a public health crisis.”

email: lmichel@buffnews.com

self explanatory

Patrick Kennedy talks about the link between addiction and mental health

Patrick Kennedy memoir takes hard look at family, addiction


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new book by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, youngest son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, openly discusses what he says are the mental illnesses and addictions of himself and his family members, and takes on what he portrays as a veil of secrecy used to hide the problems of America’s most famous political family.


The memoir, “A Common Struggle,” due out Monday, focuses heavily on his relationship with his father and how the younger Kennedy often felt he let his father down while coping with bipolar and anxiety disorders and repeated trips to rehab, even as a Rhode Island congressman.

By his telling, it was a singular experience growing up a Kennedy: Family members have the habit of giving each other autographed photos of themselves; he got one from his father when he was just a baby. A family photo printed in the book depicts him in his bedroom as a young child showing off his aquarium to Henry Kissinger.

But even stranger was browsing through a bookstore one day and discovering a shelf of Kennedy books, and realizing all the family secrets he wasn’t supposed to talk about were written there, he writes.

“The books were often riddled with inaccuracies, but also riddled with facts that probably would have been much easier to hear first from close family members and perhaps with some context,” Kennedy writes.

He says his father spoke with him only once about his 1969 car accident on Chappaquiddick Island that killed his father’s passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. It happened one year as the anniversary approached.

“‘I just want you to know how bad I feel about everything, and I’m really sorry you have to hear about it,'” he says his father told him. “That was it. Then we just walked in silence.”

Many of the details in the book are no surprise. Kennedy, 48, has been open in recent years about his belief that his father had PTSD after seeing both his brothers assassinated — then being forced to relive the killings whenever they were replayed on television.

But the book contains interesting windows into how his father coped. Sen. Kennedy, for example, wrote a letter to his son when he decided to run for president — to be delivered if he was assassinated.

He also recounts what happened after a 1979 CBS interview when his father famously choked when asked why he wanted to be president. The two went sailing, and the elder Kennedy tried to pretend everything was fine, but kept shaking his head and muttering.

“I had never seen him so upset with himself,” he writes.

Kennedy describes worrying that his father was drinking too much, particularly around the time of the 1991 sexual assault trial of his cousin, William Kennedy Smith. He writes that he, his brother and sister staged an “anemic” intervention, which their father rejected, telling them he was trying to get help from a priest.

His relationship with his father was chilly for years after that, he writes. So chilly that he decided to run for Congress in 1994 without speaking with his dad first. But their relationship righted itself after he took office in Washington the following year, he says.

Ted Kennedy Jr. disputed the accuracy of the book Sunday, saying in a written statement that he was “heartbroken” that his younger brother had chosen to write “an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of our family” that was “misleading and hurtful.”

“My brother’s recollections of family events and particularly our parents are quite different from my own,” he wrote, although he did not give specifics.

Patrick Kennedy’s book describes the first time he got drunk — at age 10 at a state dinner on a diplomatic trip to China — and substance abuse that grew to include cocaine, Adderall and OxyContin. He details trip after trip to rehab starting in high school and his paranoia that someone would recognize him and go public (which did happen).

The book opens on Kennedy’s 2006 car crash outside the U.S. Capitol — which his father downplayed as “a little fendah bendah” in his Boston accent — that he blamed on a mixture of Ambien and Phenergan. He recounts other incidents he attributed to drinking: berating a security guard at the Los Angeles airport and having his girlfriend call the Coast Guard to retrieve her off his boat.

Kennedy remained in politics until 2010, when he decided not to run for Congress again, fearing the job would kill him. He writes that he has been sober for more than four years, and now lives with his wife, Amy, in New Jersey with their children. The couple met not long after his father died in 2009.

In one of the more painful stories in the book, Kennedy recounts the “seething anger and outrage” he felt after being told only Ted Jr. would be allowed to eulogize his father. At the time, Patrick Kennedy was abusing various substances.

He writes that he felt “that I had been deemed not worthy to pay tribute to him because I had an illness that could be embarrassing or inconvenient,” he wrote.

He then was given a letter from his father, written in the 1980s, in which he asked his son to speak at his funeral. Feeling vindicated, Kennedy, with a shaky voice, delivered the eulogy.

It rained here for two days in a row


This is another one of my stupid analogies … For the last two days.. it rained.. probably less than ONE INCH… in the Louisville, KY metro area. Tail gating at football games went on as usual, a planned music festival  didn’t miss a beat, a annual arts festival went on as planned.

But those people along the east coast.. where it rained for a couple of days because of a CAT 4 hurricane out in the Atlantic.  Dumping up to 24 inches of rain on some areas.. and some experienced tropical force winds 39-74 MPH.

Governor of SC has declared a state of emergency. Amazing how the difference in the number of rain drops or inches of rain can make the bureaucracy respond.  Especially when it is perceived that its a large number of its citizenry is being VISIBLY adversely impacted.

Here is the analogy… we have a large portion of the citizenry affected by chronic pain.. a estimated 106 million.. but the impact on their lives is largely INVISIBLE !

When there are FEW people signing untold number of petitions to change various things that impact those in the chronic pain community…

When FEW pts who have been denied care by healthcare professionals file complaints with the appropriate licensing boards….

When FEW pts adversely affected by all of these rules & the war on drugs…  contact their Federal Representatives in Congress….

It is like the few drops of rain that fell on the area over the last couple of days… business goes on as usual for the bureaucracy…. because they don’t see/perceive that a large number of the citizenry is being adversely affected.

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