Sunday Open Thread

I'm putting aside the budget fight today to finish my outline on "The New War on Pain Meds and Criminalization of Doctors and Patients" for the upcoming NORML Aspen Legal Conference (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, June 2-4. )

The full agenda is here. If you'd like to attend, you can register here. This annual seminar is very popular, and unlike NORML's annual legal seminar in Key West, it is open to non-lawyers at a reduced rate.

As in past years, there will be a dinner banquet/benefit at Gerry and Chris Goldstein's home, prepared by Cache Cache chef Chris Lanter and his staff, and on Saturday afternoon, we'll be having an afternoon cookout at Hunter Thompson's Owl Farm, courtesy of Anita, with live music, great food and lots of comraderie.

Here's a video I made of the Aspen 2006 event.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    The problem with the pain meds docs (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 02:23:08 PM EST
    While I obviously don't want the drug war extended, and while there are folks who legitimately need to be doped up all day (very few, but there are some), I find it very disturbing that the modern medical establishment will gladly turn people into drug addicts before ever accepting that a huge amount of chronic pain in this country is psychosomatic in origin.  Fibromyalgia, for one disturbing example, is a condition (or collection of them) that modern medicine can't come close to explaining or adequately treating, so they dope down the symptoms, never treating the cause, which is emotional in nature.

    Think about it: the same region of your brain that controls every vital physical system in your body is the same region of your brain where all your repressed rage and anger and feelings of inferiority and dependence and sadness and fear, where all of those overwhelming subconscious emotions are stored.  The implications of this are profound and, for the most part, ignored by modern medicine.  

    Disagree (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 04:08:13 PM EST
    Have you met anyone who suffers from it? I have, and it's not in their head. But that's one condition, there are so many more that people suffer from. The Government is on a campaign to treat doctors as drug dealers. Some quotes:

    "By demonizing physicians as drug dealers and exaggerating the health risks of pain management, the federal government has made physicians scapegoats for the failed drug war."

    Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers: The DEA's War on Prescription Painkillers by Ronald T. Libby (CATO Policy Analysis, June 16, 2005)

    "The sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship is being destroyed by federal bureaucrats, who have turned the drug war into a war on pain relief. Americans suffering from chronic pain and their doctors are the real victims of this unprincipled and medically unsound federal campaign.."

    The Federal War on Pain Relief, RON PAUL'S TEXAS STRAIGHT TALK: A WEEKLY COLUMN (Ron Paul, Wash., D.C.), Apr. 19, 2004

    "'[P]hysicians are particularly easily deterred by the threat of governmental investigation and/or sanction from engaging in conduct that is entirely lawful and medically appropriate. . . . [A] physician's practice is particularly dependent upon the physician's maintaining a reputation of unimpeachable integrity. A physician's career can be effectively destroyed merely by the fact that a governmental body has investigated his or her practice.'"

    Judge Alex Kozinski , Conant v. Walters, 309 F.3d 629, 640 n.2 (9th Cir. 2002) (Kozinski, J., concurring) (quoting expert witness Alice Pasetta Mead's report)

    Those are just teasers, for the facts, you'll have to come to Aspen!


    Pain is always real, Jeralyn; (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 04:21:19 PM EST
    Dadler wasn't saying that it's imaginary, only that there is very little effort put into getting to the root causes of pain.  As soon as most docs rule out the most obvious reasons, out comes the prescription pad and that's pretty much that.

    The mind is pretty wily, and has infinite ways of creating physical distractions from things people don't want to face; of course people do have physical reasons for pain, but it's interesting to me that fibromyalgia is everywhere now, with hard-core advertising of drugs being used off-label to treat it.  Watching those infernal "Lyrica" commercials, I am always struck by the bright-eyed, coherent women singing its praises - when my husband was prescribed it for trigeminal neuralgia, he could barely function.  And he was prescibed enough of it to fill a candy jar.

    Pain is real, but everyone who has it wants it to be sourced to a physical cause, and no one ever wants to investigate whether there might be something deeper going on.  Why?  It's too hard - and besides, the reimbursement rates for mental health care - for those who even have the coverage - are much less than they are for any specialist that doesn't have "psych" in his or her job description.


    See my above post, Anne (none / 0) (#35)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 06:45:50 PM EST
    I have enjoyed posting with you here. I assure you, I am in no way a person who would blithely tell someone, "Oh, your pain isn't real, it's all imagined."  Never.  Not even close.  Pains me that I still can't communicate clearly.  Peace.

    Wait - reading your last comment to (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 07:42:26 PM EST
    Jeralyn, you say goodbye - for good?

    Say it ain't so, Dadler - your voice is too important here for you to take it away.  Take a couple days, if you need to, but please don't make it a permanent exit.

    Dr. Sarno is someone I think most people would benefit from reading; a medical doctor, who has seen more than his share of people in pain, who couldn't understand why some people with severely herniated discs had no symptoms or pain while others, whose scans showed no abnormalities, were so debilitated by pain they had more or less ceased to function.  Their pain was real, but it wasn't a physical injury or condition that was creating it.

    I hope I'm wrong about what sounded like "goodbye;" if not, I hope you will reconsider.  


    I think he meant for tonight (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 01:33:43 AM EST
    He said he had an appointment to go to.

    He knows he's appreciated here.


    Jeralyn, I love you (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 06:44:42 PM EST
    But I am terribly disappointed that I have failed to communicate clearly enough, or that you are misinterpreting what I mean, or a combination of both.  It genuinely pains me this occurs, as I know both of us are good people.  But, let me make it clear, when you implay that I am saying the pain is not real and not physical and is all imagined, which is what the "all in the head" that you reply to me with means, you are not understanding me at all. Nor would I ever want docs gone after, the entire drug war disgusts me, but the nature/implications of chronic pain is personal to me, very much so.

    I have suffered from chronic pain, and still do, for more than 30 years.  Pain so extreme, in my feet for one example, that it causes me to lose my breath and shudder, and feels like the next step I take will cause the arch in my foot to rip in half.  

    I have a partially paralyzed lower right leg, the result of a genuine physical injury, from an L5/S1 disc that blew to bits and took my foot with it.

    I began suffering from chronic pain after being abused as a child.  Pain so intense there were days when I was nine or ten that all I could do was curl up in a tight ball and jam myself into the corner of my bed for a few days.  

    You can choose to believe this is where I come from or not, but I understand how the pain I, and millions of other feel, is real.  Why you would think, after the many posts and links I've made on this topic, that I am an "oh it's just all in your head" person, I have no idea.  But it saddens me that I have failed to properly communicate, which I must have done.

    I have taken pain meds, and believe, AS I SAID, that obviously some people need them.  There are legitimate injuries and physical conditions that require them.

    My ENTIRE POINT is that I disagree, in many cases, with the diagnosis of the ORIGIN of the pain.  Fibromyalgia, in my very studied opinion on this matter, as a person who suffered from enough conditions on the checklist to qualify as a fibromyalgia patient, is largely a mindbody disorder.  That is, and here is where I have trouble communicating I guess, the brain, specifically the subconscious brain, that part of the brain that factually controls our vital physical systems and also stores all that sh*t we have to repress, CAN (not does in every single case of people with pain) induce physical symptoms for psychological reasons.  

    Modern medicine still, though it is improving, denies the ability of the brain to create physical symptoms for psychological reasons.  And that is abusrd.  I have touted the good Dr. John Sarno before, read up on him and mindbody/psychosomatic medicine in general if you so choose.  I am not some loon, this is a very old practice that was used to great effect with, for example, WWI vets suffering from undiagnosable conditions.  It disappeared when the pharmaceutical industry started creating a pill for everything, or so they claimed.  It has been kept alive by people like Dr. Sarno for years, much like the nurse who, basically in the basement, kept alive the Ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy in children.

    The Divided Mind by Dr. John Sarno, MD, NYU Medical Center (LINK)

    Freud was on to this a hundred years ago.  The brain can make amputees think they have a limb that has been missing for years.  The brain can create genuine physical pain.  That's it.  And it is real pain, I have felt it, I still do.  I can't make my leg come back, but I can control things like the horrible foot pain (plantar fasciitis it's technically called), I can make it go away.  All the excruciating back pain and leg pain I had after back surgery, pain that no doctor could really connect to any specific physical injury my riddled body had, all that kind of pain went away.  After I understood the real origin of it.  Not that weird.  The brain is a complex organ.

    Of course there are people, like me even, who had terrible physical injuries that can require medication.  But it can also be true that those same people, like me, and others not like them or me, can have chronic pain whose origin is not a physical injury at the spot of the pain, but mental, emotional in nature.  Unless you don't think the brain can create real physical pain in a spot on the body.  And if you don't, ignore me and good luck to you.

    Forgive the harried nature of this, I have to make an appointment.  Love and respect you, J, sorry we're at odds here.  Peace out.


    And I suck additionally (none / 0) (#36)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 06:52:53 PM EST
    Because I can't also make it clear that this is not simply a pain issue.  There are other physical conditions, digestive, allergy related, etc., which I also suffered from, that fall into this category.  Read that book, if you choose, the guy's just an old MD who's been working and treating chronic conditions at a wildly successful rate for decades.  At a real hospital.  No voodoo involved.  

    In short, legalize ALL drugs (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 07:02:10 PM EST
    But don't allow a reliance on those drugs to keep us from understanding the nature of the epidemic of chronic pain and other conditions that afflicts us.  That is all.  I am a big proponent of the brain.  I think it gets little to no respect in the "chronic pain" discussion.  It is treated as a passive organ, something that just sits in our head and, ho hum, could never do anything physical to us.  That's just absurd, IMO.

    Gone I am.  For good.  Have a great night.


    Hey. Dadler (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 09:06:05 PM EST
    Hope you change your mind. You would be missed and we are already missing more than a few of our past treasured commenters.

    Dadler, please don't leave. (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 12:01:30 AM EST
    It is frustrating, I know, to have your comments misinterpreted and to, perhaps, feel attacked for something you did not actually say. I certainly struggle to say things in a way that will be understood by all the readers here, and not always successfully. And sometimes people respond a bit too quickly, not necessarily with malice, without taking the time to really read a comment.

    I, too, am in constant pain. Some of it can be attributed to observable physical conditions (arthritis, for example), but much of cannot be easily explained. I've had doctors dismiss the pain, attribute it to mental illness and write me off, get kind of annoyed when pain meds do not work, and advise me to just learn to live with it and, well..., shut up. All of this to say that I know from constant pain It is a tough row to hoe.

    I hope you don't leave, but mostly I hope you do whatever is best for you.


    Ack, you're all so sweet, thank you (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 12:28:28 PM EST
    I'm here, all good, last night was a bit rushed, and, listen, I'm trying to finish a book titled THE EARLY DAZE a psychosomatic memoir, so I am desperately trying to work out how to communicate this vital part of my story.  And I realize psychosomatic, the word, has such negative connotations and most people, almost all, immediately think it means "oh, it's all in your head, it's not real," which is exactly the opposite of it.  I just happen to like the term psychosomatic better than mindbody, don't know why except to say it sounds more medical and actually has a longer history.  I can only suggest reading the latest Sarno book I linked to earlier. It's his insight and experience that properly diagnosed me, as he has many others.

    To repeat: Dadler's not going anywhere, NoCal is treating us well, and compared to a lot of folks in the world...we're doing pretty good.  Peace, y'all. (LINK, photo courtesy of our 10 year-old son, using manual on his new camera, not bad at all for a kid.)


    Cute pup! (none / 0) (#66)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 12:40:45 PM EST
    Glad things are going well for you up here.

    Add me (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by sj on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 09:20:12 PM EST
    to those alarmed at what I think you're saying.  Are you saying we won't be hearing your voice here any longer?  

    I hope that's not true.  I very much hope that's not true.  We've lost too many articulate voices.


    Add me as well (none / 0) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 01:35:16 AM EST
    There's no need for you to stop posting. We appreciate you here. I hope you just meant you it was your last post for real tonight.

    Dadler, if you're still reading (none / 0) (#44)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 09:55:11 PM EST
    like others i hope you will come back as soon as you feel like it

    i was interested in hearing what you had to say about fibromyalgia

    one of my oldest friends suffers from it

    i understand, from talking a few years ago w/another friend who is a nurse practitioner, that there has been some research that shows involvement of the limbic system in FM, and that FM can happen to anyone at any time, not just to people who might have psychological reasons to manifest forms of chronic pain - & i wonder what you may have learned about that


    I'm with you, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 06:33:46 PM EST
    I wish we would would leave medical problems with the medical experts just as we leave climate change with the climate experts.

    Charlatans exist in every profession, but they should be treated as the outliers that they are.


    The movie 'The Special Relationship' arrived (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:49:29 PM EST
    from Netflix. Just popped it in. It opens in the mid-90's with pre-PM Tony Blair being advised by an unnamed Clinton advisor. His advice:

    Don't come at people with ideas and plans that they don't want. It's easier to change what your party stands for than to change people's minds. Get yourself a political superstar.

    I know it is screenwriting written way after the fact, but it seems an accurate description of the Dem party strategy over the last 15 years.

    From an artistic standpoint (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 04:19:04 PM EST
    I think Hope Davis has laid claim to the Hllary Clinton role in future films, like Michael Sheen always plays Tony Blair.

    Budget cuts in education (none / 0) (#1)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    caught me again. Nonrenewal notice given yesterday, effective end of term. Downsized twice in three years.

    Apparently it's much more cost-effective to hire online adjuncts than to hire full-time faculty.

    Time to write my memoirs. Bound to sell, oh, five copies-- to family members!

    So sorry to hear this, not least because (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    I imagine you to be a wonderful teacher.

    Yeah, this economy's just really helping out a lot of people...helping them out the door.


    Sorry to hear this (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by sj on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:40:08 PM EST
    You do sound like a great teacher and this is a great loss to the students of your school.

    And I enjoy your writing and would buy a copy, too.  So you're up to seven in sales.


    Keep the faith Jeff (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 08:42:10 PM EST
    Don't know you personally but I do know what that kick in the gut feels like.

    But karma has a way of making things right eventually.

    Hold on.


    Errr, Friday, not yesterday. (none / 0) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:00:19 PM EST
    Oh well, I just watched the masters yesterday.

    wow, sorry Jeff! (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:05:29 PM EST
    that sucks

    Gotta love this recovery... (none / 0) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:07:45 PM EST
    It's working out so well for folks.

    Sorry Jeff (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:17:03 PM EST
    Don't know what to say.  And there's a hiring freeze on at Fort Rucker, probably a hiring freeze throughout most of the military.  This is really a downer weekend.

    I'm so (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:45:26 PM EST
    sorry to hear this. I know how heart braking and soul destroying losing a job can be especially in this economy.

    Living on the beach in (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 01:50:57 PM EST
    South America has become a viable option.

    I'm also in that over-50 demographic that will have issues getting re-employed, so I have to make my own options and new choices concerning expatriation.

    I'm glad I'm bilingual. I can teach English for small amounts, undercut the schools!


    Heh. Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 02:09:33 PM EST
    there's a need for English-speaking sociologists in Cuba. Or maybe med school there.

    Geez, Jeff, bad news. They are, of course, (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by caseyOR on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 06:25:43 PM EST
    fools to let you go. Small comfort, I know.

    You know, matey, maybe it's time to get serious about our pirate enterprise. A port of call in a friendly, and cheap, South American locale sounds like the best option I've had in years. Things have been tight for me for years. I have learned to live on approx. $15,000/ year. If I can do that here, I would imagine I can do it even better south of the border somewhere.

    The direction the U.S. is taking, well, I think I've just about given up on this country. Trying over these past few decades to fight this downward trajectory the U.S. seems determined to maintain has worn me out. It has had a very real and serious impact on my health. And I just can't do it any more.

    While Medicare is not available outside U.S. borders, Social Security can be collected wherever in the world one sets up housekeeping. So, it's a matter of making some $$$ until SS kicks in. Maybe we could start a little English teaching business.

    Seriously, Jeff, it just may be time to leave. What do you think?


    South America ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by desertswine on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:21:03 PM EST
    is sounding pretty good. Keep pluggin' away!

    Sorry to hear that (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 02:50:52 PM EST
    and I will buy a copy if you will autograph it.

    Come on up to Tunica and I'll get us a comp for dinner. Next tournament is May.


    Sounds good, Jim, I finish in early may. (none / 0) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:01:08 PM EST
    What's the buy in? Hey, I'll have time to visit!

    I've lost your email (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:03:45 PM EST
    send it to me and I'll send you a schedule.

    ok, I have a new one. (none / 0) (#16)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:16:42 PM EST
    jeffinalabama AT gmail.com (none / 0) (#17)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:17:25 PM EST
    I meant to post that above!

    Maybe we can get kdog (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 04:02:55 PM EST
    to show up...

    Of course he has a special Lady Friend that he may not want to leave behind!


    Special Lady... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 09:07:48 AM EST
    is in Guadalajara, making it hard to travel anywhere else Jimbo!

    Ouch Jeff...now I'm really anti-state as they shed the little they're good for from the various budgets...another check in the pro-anarchy column.

    But maybe a good thing in disguise if it gets you the f*ck outta here and down to Colombia any faster my brother.  When Jeff's Escuela de Ingles is up and running and you need an apprentice you better holler.

    And make that 7 memoirs pre-sold!  If you're interested in a knuckleheaded forward also holler...I'll sing your praises.


    Thanks. (none / 0) (#56)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 09:52:56 AM EST
    Let's plan on meeting up with Jim in Tunica in May!

    Can I interest you degenerates... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 10:25:05 AM EST
    in less friendly, more gritty, probably still chilly in May Atlantic City?

    Still licking my wounded bankroll from the last Mexico jaunt...and an action packed summer concert series in store...and mulling a 5-dayer in Curacao in June if I can swing it.  

    I need a big score on Derby Day, just missed on on Wood Memorial Day.  Picked against the much hyped Uncle Mo off at 1-9, but picked the wrong damn longshots in my bomb exactas! Argh!

    Not a total loss...picked a 48-1 shot cold at Keeneland, but the odds scared me off a 10 dolla win bet, only laying 5.  Nice little hit though, saved my day and put me in the black.  If nothing else, nice to cash a three figure winner...maybe my two year long cold streak is turning...slowly.


    I can see why you aren't in sales (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:25:11 AM EST
    in less friendly, more gritty, probably still chilly in May Atlantic City?


    Besides the cost issue, Grandson will be playing ball and I'll be coaching so I'll be in-out several times during the tournament.


    Lets hope I score big... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:27:51 AM EST
    on Derby Day then...to fund the ultimate Summer of Fun 2011 and squeeze everything in.

    omfg (none / 0) (#60)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:28:25 AM EST
    are you guys going all bipartisan on us?

    Poker isn't political... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:31:29 AM EST
    it's just a way of life!

    Never let something... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:33:28 AM EST
    as stupid as politics get in the way of good friendships Addams Fam...even strictly cyber ones.

    Jim's politics may leave a lot to be desired, but not the man...he's a good egg.


    hear, here. (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 11:35:30 AM EST
    I don't agree with a lot of friends f2f on every political issue, but I still like them.

    Who would want to argue politics (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 12:28:48 PM EST
    when you can check raise your opponent?



    Count me in for book sale #6 (none / 0) (#22)
    by shoephone on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:40:48 PM EST
    I'm sorry to hear the news, Jeff. Hoping you come out on top on this one.

    OK, then I'm really the eight ball! (none / 0) (#23)
    by shoephone on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:42:14 PM EST
    Sorry to hear this (none / 0) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 08:59:46 PM EST
    Here's hoping that something better turns up for you soon.

    "Wozzeck," by Alban Berg @ (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:11:27 PM EST
    Metropolitan Opera. James Levine conducting. He looks quite frail but such sound. Excellent.

    At just 67 (none / 0) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:30:08 PM EST
    James Levine should be in far better shape. Perhaps an off season program using weighted batons is in order, or an appointment at BALCO.

    Doesn't he have severe back problems? (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:37:38 PM EST
    That can hit at any age. It started with me at 22. Despite the myths about "60 being the new 50" and all that nonsense, 67 is not young.

    FP NYT today re pregnant (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 03:15:29 PM EST
    Women whose babies are addicted to prescription pain meds. @ birth and must be detoxed on methadone while hospitalized. Seizures in the womb. Bad stuff and very sad.  

    Mainstream media perpetuates the oxybabies myth (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 04:14:38 PM EST
    From Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers: The DEA's War on Prescription Painkillers
    by Ronald T. Libby (CATO Policy Analysis, June 16, 2005)

    Newsweek, for example, ran a story in 2002 about "Oxybabies," the children of pregnant women on OxyContin, who bore a striking resemblance to the rash of "crack babies" reported in the 1980s.60 The article did point out that despite stories that OxyContin abuse has "swept through parts of Appalachia and rural New England," the number of documented cases of addicted newborns is small, "in the dozens," and that "OxyContin, like other opiates, doesn't appear to cause birth defects."

     After citing a few anecdotal cases of newborns with some health problems that may or may not have been related to OxyContin, reporter Debra Rosenberg still ended the article by questioning whether Oxybabies are a "blip--or an epidemic in the making." But the article's evidence indicates the former, so strongly in fact that one wonders why an article on Oxybabies was necessary in the first place.

    Oxybabies, the crack babies (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 05:41:28 PM EST
    of the 21st century. It's like the media went back to all the crack baby stories that are so last century and just changed the name of the drug. And, as we now know, those crack baby stories were a whole lot of hooey.

    If the media is so concerned about the health of newborns why aren't they writing shocking headline grabbing stories about the effects of poor pre-natal care, often the result of a lack of affordable health care for the mother,  on babies? Why don't we see coverage that details the costs paid by babies and small children who are under-and-mal nourished because their parents cannot afford healthy nutritious food. A nice sidebar for that story would highlight Congress' decision to cut monies for infant and pregnant women nutrition programs so that the rich can enjoy tax cuts.

    Of course, those stories would be a bit too reality-based for today's breed of journalist.


    I do remember the "crack baby" hysteria (none / 0) (#31)
    by Zorba on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 06:12:35 PM EST
    I was in special education, and there was a lot of hysteria at the time that we would, in a few years, be getting all these "crack babies" in special education.  Never happened. (When it came to maternal substance abuse, I was far, far more worried about fetal alcohol syndrome; I did have students suffering from that, and it wasn't pretty.)  And I totally agree with you, casey, about the effects of poverty, with its accompanying poor nutrition and lack of prenatal health care (and the continuing effects of poor nutrition and health care on children).  Where is the outrage?

    Hey, the U.S. is #30 in infant moratlity rates (none / 0) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 09:11:59 PM EST
    Cuba ranks higher than we do. Aren't we proud? By the time the pols in D.C., both Ds and Rs, get through, we may drop down to #40 or #50 in just a few more years.

    Very sad... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 09:13:09 AM EST
    but nothing the DEA can make happy, I assure you.

    A certain level of sadness must be accepted, lest we just pile sad on sad, misery on misery.


    U.S. Budget, pain meds, etc. (none / 0) (#45)
    by mjbarkl on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 10:14:34 PM EST
    1.  Don't like the Ryan budget or the Obama budget?  Draft your own.  You can find mine on my web page or my Firedoglake page ( look for my posting name, mjbarkl which gets about 10,000 hits on Google ), but Jeralyn said "Please don't post your material here " , so I'm not including any URLs.  Anyway, my point is that I'd like to see laundry lists of things you'd (all of you) like to see both added to and excluded from the U.S. budget, item, argument, item, argument, etc.  

    2.  Before my wife died of MS and Cancer and Hospital Mistakes, she kept going for years on pain meds because of the MS pain.  I have mixed feelings about the meds, but I do know that the thought of being deprived of them terrified her.  It makes me nervous when people who haven't been through such pain urge limiting access for those in need.

    Best wishes,

    --Mike, Candidate for Congress

    Dadler has experience (none / 0) (#46)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 10:22:02 PM EST
    with chronic pain. Of course, I've been reading here since 07 or 08, so I'm familiar with his posts.

    S/he's made more than a few over the years. There was some misunderstanding tonight... hope s/he doesn't stop posting.


    I'm thinking/hoping it was more (none / 0) (#48)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 01:08:49 AM EST
    like he was 'done' for the day as he said in one comment he had to get something done. I hope I'm right :P  Also methinks it's 'he'.

    on another note, that sucks that you got notice. I do have faith in your skills, intellect and resilience. I hope if y'all high tail it south, you might accept me. I'd grow/cook for second language skills and a place to lay my head  :)

    Yay!, Free medical clinic at Oakland Stadium opens tomorrow for 4 days . . . so says my local news . . . {head desk}


    The part that alarmed me was the (none / 0) (#52)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 06:48:45 AM EST
    "I've enjoyed posting with you here," in his reply to a comment I made to Jeralyn - and I read that one before the goodbye "for good" comment.  It seemed odd, until I read on and got to the goodbye-for-good comment, at which point it was a 2-plus-2-equals-4 kind of thing for me.  And not in a good way.

    Would love to be proved wrong...


    you can post a link to (none / 0) (#51)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 01:40:10 AM EST
    what you've written that's on the topic of the thread, Don't reprint means don't republish the work here. Link and quote a paragraph or two for context. The object is to keep the comments for comments, like a conversation. So long as you aren't campaigning here, it's fine. (The  reprinting restrictions also keep us free of copyright violation concerns for those who tend to reprint news articles.)

    Posting standards, missing URL (none / 0) (#67)
    by mjbarkl on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 02:32:01 PM EST
    I realize this is your blog site (and a very fine site it is, with a plethora of erudition) and you are entitled to impose whatever rules you wish.  Still, you have your standards so finely nuanced that threading them successfully is a challenge.  For instance, posting on a page entitled "Gun Control Laws Are Not The Answer" a response urging [censored] is unwelcome as, uh, a campaign?  But posting on the same page a call for prisoners' rights (I was an NLG member some years back, so yes, I welcome such calls) is not a campaign? Is a campaign running for political office vs. calling for specific legislative remedies?  So, how about if the candidate is so radical he has no chance of winning such office but his real intent is to raise issues and nudge his President back towards the core of his party's beliefs?  Where is the line?  

    In any event, for my Anti-Ryan Budget the link is:

    Join the Congressman Paul Ryan Budget Challenge:  Bring us your budgets!

    Best wishes,  --Mike


    Don't worry gang... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 09:16:21 AM EST
    Dadler ain't going nowheres...that was a good bye for the evening, I'd bet bottom dollar on it.

    He loves it here and we love him here.