SAMSA Releases New Prescription Drug Abuse Data

Here is the SAMSA's latest "State Estimates of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers."

The Denver Post hyperventilates:

Six percent of Coloradans said they used prescription painkillers — such as Percocet or Oxycontin — for nonmedical purposes in 2010 and 2011, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That was second only to Oregon, where the rate was 6.37 percent.

How about reading the fine print? [More...]

Combined 2010 and 2011 (hereafter "2010-2011") data indicate that about 1 in 22 (4.6 percent) persons aged 12 or older nationwide reported having used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year, which was lower than the rate using combined 2009 and 2010 (hereafter "2009-2010") data (4.9 percent).

There were no increases:

Changes over Time

The national rate for the total population declined between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (from 4.9 to 4.6 percent). This rate also decreased nationally among persons aged 12 to 17 (from 6.4 to 6.1 percent), and among those 18 to 25 (from 11.5 to 10.4 percent); however, the rate remained unchanged for persons aged 26 or older. Between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, past year nonmedical use of pain relievers among persons aged 12 or older decreased in Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Among 12 to 17 year olds, Maryland's and Mississippi's rates decreased between these time periods (from 5.8 to 4.6 percent and from 8.5 to 6.9 percent, respectively).

Among persons aged 18 to 25, the rates of past year nonmedical use of pain relievers declined in 14 States (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia). Among persons aged 26 or older, Oklahoma's rate decreased from 5.3 to 3.9 percent. There were no other changes at the State level in any of the age groups.

The unchanged rate in adult non-medical use is for those 26 and older -- rates which are already the lowest among the age groups, between 3 and 5%.

That fewer than 5% of adults over age 26 (4.4% in Colorado) reported taking a pain killer when it wasn't medically necessary hardly seems like an epidemic.

The report concludes:

These findings suggest that efforts to reduce the nonmedical use of pain relievers have resulted in some progress, although this progress has not been uniform across all States.

Why isn't the headline "National prescription drug abuse rate declines?"

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    It (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:30:31 PM EST
    seems pretty obvious that people like to get high.
    I assume that is what is meant by "non-medical" use.
    Although, I think there is a case to be made for getting high as a medical procedure. It can make people feel better. WTF is wrong with that?

    And if benign substances are denied people, substances such as pot, people will turn to other things - some of which can have nasty side effects.

    I believe, maybe I'm wrong, that even terminally ill patients who are in extreme pain are denied heroin. What is the sense of that?

    But to return to the subject at hand. People will use medicine to get high. They will use glue to get high. People like to get high. It has been that way since forever.  What is so difficult to grasp about that?

    they might become addicted! (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by cpinva on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:51:07 AM EST
    I believe, maybe I'm wrong, that even terminally ill patients who are in extreme pain are denied heroin. What is the sense of that?

    and the DEA says so. don't let the fact that there are few, if any, doctors in the DEA bother you, it clearly doesn't bother anyone else.

    it's funny, sort of, that we rail against health insurance companies, who employ high school graduates, to determine whether or not a drug or procedure will be covered. yet, you hear virtually nothing, about the fact that people, with a comparable science education, leading or employed by the DEA, are deciding what drugs are allowable, and telling dr's what they can and can't prescribe, for their patients.


    Way too harsh... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:46:33 AM EST
    They've got PhD's in thuggery.

    And a BA... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:09:25 AM EST
    in welfare queen profiteering.

    Government of the Prison Industrial Complex (none / 0) (#39)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:20:05 AM EST
    for the Prison Industrial Complex, and by the Prison Industrial Complex...

    I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:31:09 PM EST
    Of course terminally ill patients are going to be denied heroin, because heroin is a street drug. But when such patients are experiencing extreme pain, they are often prescribed and administered morphine sulfate, which is the legal derivative cousin of heroin, otherwise known scientifically as diacetylmorphine. Or they are given other pain medications, as both appropriate and necessary.

    I speak anecdotally, having just lost an aunt to lung cancer in September, who was kept pain-free in her final weeks with morphine. I know this because The Spouse and I were the ones who returned the unused vials of the drug to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Diego after she died at home.

    Even 25 years ago, when I was undergoing my first bout with Hodgkin's lymphoma, I was prescribed some pretty heavy narcotics for the pain when tumors pinched off three cervical nerves and practically paralyzed my right shoulder and arm. I wasn't just left to suffer.

    There have been marvelous advances in both hospice care and the science of pain management over the last few decades, and there is no legitimate earthly reason nowadays for terminally ill patients to suffer needlessly in pain when they don't have to. If a patient needs narcotics, most competent medical personnel will generally ensure that he or she will get them.

    In the future, let's please discuss such personally sensitive matters on a reasonably informed basis, and not just rant about them like some talk show host egging on his audience.



    It happens Don... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:41:50 PM EST
    the DEA has some doctors scared to prescribe the necessary appropriate drugs, this is fairly well documented.

    In my very limited experience with doctors, I have even found they are getting tight with effective pain scripts, they try to pawn that prescription strength Tylenol crap on ya. That stuff is for kids.

    BTW Sorry for your loss...I won't even b*tch at you for returning the morphine, though I thought we were friends man!!;)


    Pain medication (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:29:22 PM EST
    and the decision to prescribe it, or not, and the dosage amount, if any, is left up to the doctor`s judgment (I would say, "prejudice.")

    Some doctors believe that pain reduction is a vital part of a successful treatment. Unfortunately, there are too many doctors who subscribe to the sadistic notion that "pain never killed anybody." And, obviously, the DEA's intrusion into the doctor/patient relationship has made many doctors choosing the "safe" path.

    Just because modern medicine has developed effective, pain-free therapies, it's left up to the physician whether to utilize them, or not.

    I think I've had as much experience with doctors, and hospitals, as anyone here. And, the gamut of treatments regarding pain covers the whole spectrum.

    Yes, there may be some doctors who abuse their privilege in prescribing pain meds but the millions of patients who suffer needlessly because of the DEA's intrusion into a field they have no business being in, is nothing short of a National tragedy.


    Diamorphine is the Medical Name for Heroin (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:26:29 PM EST
    ...and it's prescribed.

    Amen... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:24:15 AM EST
    I too would love to know why getting high has gotten such a bad wrap.  Addiction can suck, to be sure, but most users ain't addicts.  Getting high can be a hugely rewarding, not to mention pleasurable, experience. And there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with it.

    Our policies towards drugs are classic kindergarten...Little Johnny won't stop eating the crayons, so the crayons get taken away from the whole class.  It's a god damn shame, we waste so much money and time, and hurt/hassle so many people unnecessarily, all because we can't/won't grow up and face facts.


    You do realize (none / 0) (#18)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:28:27 AM EST
      that for many people opiate abuse not only goes beyond "getting high" but often has little to do with pleasure as opposed to avoiding pain and that a great many people with opiate abuse/addiction problems would like to end the problem but can't?

    Of course... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:46:19 AM EST
    as I'm sure you realize many people can flop a 'cet or pop a 'din for fun on a Friday night and not develop an addiction.  As well as the many people who take opiates for pain relief and do not develop an addiction when the pain subsides.

    Addiction is the problem, not drugs.  The best way to deal with the societal problems associated with addiction is to treat addiction, not prohibit drugs or require a permission slip to legally obtain drugs.  Isn't it fair to call the two prong approach of enforcement and treatment with the enforcement prong being twice as long as the treatment prong a total fail?  I say throw all our eggs in the treatment basket and learn to accept that the ugliness of addiction is something we're gonna have to learn to live, and the best we can do is minimize the damage and offer help to all those that seek it.


    OK. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:53:52 AM EST
      My point is that people here seem to want to make silly claims opiate abuse is not a problem in which society should become involved because... well that's where the argument seems to stop.

      I can surmise they think it is shrewd to pretend there is no problem worthy of attention because attention will lead to actions they don't like. Actually, that silly head in the san approach will only leave the field more dominated by those who prefer a law enforcement approach.

      No one is going to take people seriously if their opening statement is we don't have a problem here,



    I've read every comment (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:08:37 AM EST
    again just to be sure.  But I don't see a single person that has said "opiate abuse is not a problem".  There are some nuanced viewpoints and false equivalences and some big jumps to conclusions.
    No one is going to take people seriously if their opening statement is we don't have a problem here,
    I can't find a single instance of that anywhere here.  Searching on the word "problem" I see mostly you -- doing strenuous battle with straw men.

    Weird, but whatever floats your boat.  Apparently you're going to continue building up an army to smite so I guess I'll just watch from here on in.  No doubt you will build another soldier of straw in response to this comment, so in advance I'll just say:



    The "nuance" (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:09:56 AM EST
     is citing disturbing statistics ( nearly 1 in 20 abuse this substance to some degree) and attempting to put a spin on it to suggest people are overstaing the degree of the problem this abuse presents.

      If you cannot grasp that the purpose of the post was to support the position that abuse of prescription painkillers is not really a problem worth the attention it receives from those in power, I can't really help you much.

     At least Kdog always takes a logical approach if you accept his premises. He believes that just because something does create a problem doesn't mean the government should become involved because opposes greater government more than he does the the consequences of the problem.

      Any rational person would look at the numbers in the SAMSA report and conclude this is a MAJOR PROBLEM with very severe and widespread  consequences. Only purists such as KDog could arrgue consistently witht heir approach to other problems begetting severe consequences that strong governmental action is appropriate.

      The rest of us would only debate what form the government action should take. Solid arguments can be made that BECAUSE THE PROBLEM IS SO PERVASIVE we should conclude the current approach does not work and we should move away from relying primarily on criminalization. No sensible argument can begin from the foolish premise that these numbers show the problem is overstated and THAT IS PRECISELY THE POINT OF THE POST  and many of the comments following.


    If you want to address (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by sj on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:48:06 PM EST
    PRECISELY THE POINT OF THE POST then address it for crying out loud.  Create an original comment and stop screeching at everyone else when you're putting words in our mouths.  

    You say you were here before using a slightly different name.  I wonder why you went away.


    If (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:08:55 AM EST
    heroin was controlled, available for example by prescription, it would cost about 25 cents - the addict would know what they taking - as opposed to now when they might get an injection of battery acid - and a criminal empire would vanish.

    People get addicted to all kinds of things.
    Politics, for example. You have heard the expression "political junkie" haven't you?

    I have known a few addicts in my day.
    What killed them was not the substance, but the alcohol that they had to consume to lessen the horrific consequences of kicking.

    All this is so unnecessary.
    And it makes me angry.

    We learned nothing from the experience of prohibition.
    But the gangsters did.
    This prohibition has lasted much longer.


    I hear you, kdog. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:59:01 PM EST
    Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of people out there who aren't as fortunate as you or me, in that they simply do not possess the personal fortitude, willpower, what-have-you, to know when to say when.

    While we might enjoy our alcohol and herb recreationally, we know our limits and we generally adhere to them. Others do not, and in their excess they cause some very real problems with some very real consequences for our greater community.

    While we're certainly not solving this problem by adopting and enforcing a "zero tolerance" legal policy that effectively criminalizes what's otherwise primarily a socio-medical issue, simply ignoring it because we don't perceive ourselves as being its problem children is no answer, either.

    You and I should probably sit down and discuss this further over some tasty brews and bong hits, because I bet that we could craft some sort of solution which is reasonable and which most everyone could agree and live with. We're just going to need a sober third party in attendance to take notes, so that our brilliance will be preserved for posterity, and won't just dissipate in a cloud of bong smoke.

    Aloha. ;-D


    To me, (none / 0) (#60)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:38:30 PM EST
    what you're saying doesn't make a lot of sense.
    You assume that because you can say when, you have a right to tell others when to say when.

    This smacks of elitism to me.

    You are expressing a kind of superiority to those whom you consider do not possess the kind of majestic self-control that you think you do.

    Cars can be dangerous in the hands of people who are nervous or distracted. Cell phones can be dangerous. Glue can be dangerous. Hammers can be dangerous. But we can't ban all of these things because others might use them to injure themselves or others.

    What we can do is offer our advice and opinions about when people might consider that they have a problem.

    But as I have noted, there is a term: political junkie. People who addicted to the goings on in the world of politics. There are people who addicted to soap operas - can get depressed or disoriented if they miss a show. People can be addicted to their relationships to the detriment of their careers, their families or even their lives.  

    That's the way it goes. People are people. People can get fkd up. Sometimes people want or need to get fkd up just to escape what is for them a grim reality of existence.

    I can't see the benefits of judging people who drink or smoke more than you think they should.


    I just read today that Patrick Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:21:09 PM EST
    is claiming that pot "destroys the brain and expedites psychosis."

    Sometimes the falsehoods come from all corners.

    Given his own family's ... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:26:55 PM EST
    ... well-documented and well-publicized experiences with substance abuse issues, not excluding his own, Patrick Kennedy's expressed intolerance towards pot doesn't necessarily surprise me.

    Ex-addicts like Kennedy can often be insufferable boors about such matters. There's simply no middle ground with them and they swing from one extreme to the other, transiting from boffo party animal to judgmental finger-wagger. They remind me of a guy we used to call "The Preacher," who used to hang out on the Hotel Street Transit Mall here in downtown Honolulu and harangue people waiting for the bus, until he'd finally be told by the cops to stop bothering others and move on.

    "Look at me," The Preacher would exclaim as his tag line, while often waving an open Bible in one hand at which he would never so much as glance even once. "I used to be all messed up on drugs -- now, it's only our Lord Jesus Christ messes me up!" Amen, brother. Peace be with you. Now, leave us alone.



    I see where he's coming from (none / 0) (#61)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:37:00 PM EST
    I'm an ex-cigarette smoker and am now probably one of the most intolerant-of-cigarettes people you will ever meet. But, there is nothing -- nothing -- beneficial about cigarette smoking. It causes numerous diseases and it kills. It's one of the main causes of my mom's death, and the direct cause of the death of two dear friends of mine.

    As for pot... there was a time when I couldn't get through a day without it, and I have no regrets about that. I think it alleviated a lot of the cr*p that was going on in my family at the time. I don't believe it harmed me (there is no evidence it did) and I still love the aroma. But, even though I don't partake anymore, I wouldn't make up stuff about it the way P. Kennedy is doing. He has no science to back up his claims, and he comes off as ridiculous with that statement that it leads to psychosis. And I think he is really dirtying up the debate about legalization, because he is wrongly connecting legalization with use. His screed is now just more "but what about the children???" nonsense. It wasn't legal when I was getting high everyday, so, obviously, it wasn't hard to get ahold of. Ever.

    One can be opposed to something for personal and political reasons without resorting to crackpot theories. He's not helping anyone.


    only half false (none / 0) (#68)
    by diogenes on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:58:59 PM EST
    It is well established that marijuana can speed a first break of psychosis in those vulnerable to schizophrenia and contribute to psychotic relapses is people with schizophrenia.

    This issue is dear to me (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by kempis on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:38:22 AM EST
    In fact, yesterday was the first day I was able to be oxycodone-free in six years, thanks to the miracle of a successful spinal cord stimulator implant I received this November.

    But there is no way I could have functioned--and that includes working--without a low dose of narcotics to keep sickening neuropathic pain at a simmer. The medicine helped me to live through it.

    Yet I always felt the need to explain to anyone who knew I took it: yes, I really need it, no I don't take enough to get high, my PC and pain management doctors both signed off on this while we try to find a better fix. It sucks to be in debilitating pain, find something that makes it a little bearable, and then have spend energy you don't have defending it.

    So I appreciate this post, Jeralyn. Thanks.

    I am just glad you (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by me only on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:58:27 AM EST
    found a doctor who could work with you.  My FIL eventually grew tired of government harassment and closed the pain clinic. (He was 70 at the time and no longer had the energy to continue fighting, he has his own health problems.) He had a few patients that were never going to get relief via surgery and drugs are the only (current) option.

    just a guess on my part. (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by cpinva on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:36:18 AM EST
    Why isn't the headline "National prescription drug abuse rate declines?"

    but possibly, because that headline would be met with yawns. yawns don't sell papers, or get free publicity (well, depending on who and where the yawning is done, i suppose.). i suspect the reason non-medical use in the >26 age group didn't decline, is because adults in general, tend to have easier access to prescription drugs. just a thought.

    oh yeah, i did read about this:

    I just read today that Patrick Kennedy is claiming that pot "destroys the brain and expedites psychosis."

    i noticed he failed to provide any actual tangible, scientific evidence supporting his claim, other than his personal addictive experiences. i've no doubt he's sincere, and he actually believes that. there may well be some truth to his claims, but that truth has yet to make itself known in the scientific community. it has also failed to make itself known in the medical community, even anecdotaly, as there is no reported case, ever, of someone ending up in the ER, as a consequence of pot use, all by itself. alcohol & cocaine? yep, plenty of those. heroin & crack cocaine? yep, plenty of those as well. along with tons of peer reviewed research, attesting to the deleterious affects of those drugs use, both physically and mentally. so far, none on pot.

    the sad thing is, unsubstantiated claims like that, taint the credibility of his foundation's other, legitimate work. maybe one of the family should have a chat with him, and strongly urge him to keep his mouth shut in public, for the good of the foundation.

    Posted my reply to Donald before reading (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:40:39 PM EST
    your comment here. You said it well.

    Self reporting (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:24:36 PM EST
    Never accurate, always lots of under-reporting, and the more socially unacceptable the behavior, the lower the self-reporting rate.

    I'd rather drugs be legalized, regulated and discussed and dealt with much more openly and honestly, but you know my issue, J: It's this notion that what is considered medically necessary is actually that. I have too much experience with the medical establishment's willful ignorance of the power of the human brain, specifically its ability to create physical pain for psychological reasons -- but since the brain only controls EVERY physical aspect of your being, it could never have that ability.

    Medicine is doing its patients just as much of, and IMO a more insidious and harmful disservice, by denying them knowledge, by inexcusably rejecting the power of the brain, as the government does with drug prohibition too much of the time.

    The Question is BS Anyways (none / 0) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:24:40 PM EST
    ... reported having used pain relievers nonmedically in the past year...

    They should asked if you acquired paid medication for purposes other than managing pain.  The prescription process guarantees people will have extra pain medication in their homes from time to time.  It's one thing to take it because it's there, it something very different to actively seek it out.


    Shrug (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:03:24 AM EST
    4.6% of the population over 12 years old is a little over 1 million people.  Seems if 1 million people in the US had smallpox, we'd call that an epidemic.  Why the softening on semantics because it's about getting high?

    Maybe because one (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:04:14 AM EST
    of those things you mention is a contagious potentially fatal disease and one isn't?  Of all your false equivalences, this one is right up there.

    I've been meaning to ask you though, what do the cherry blossoms look like?  Does it look like there will be another early season?


    And your point is? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:11:31 AM EST
     What difference does that make in terms of the severity of the problem and whether it should be connsidered a serious problem?

      Tainted food deaths are generally not the result of somethig that is spread from  human to another, but I'm pretty sure if they were as common as overdose deaths we'd be demanding more action.


    Small pox is deadly and very contagious (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:21:41 AM EST
    you aren't going to catch percocet by standing next to me though I may fish one out my purse and take it verses just having a nervous breakdown after hearing my spouse has been wounded.

    It has been proven now that giving soldiers opioids after they have suffered trauma disrupts the development of PTSD.  I don't give a rip if someone stressed to the max pops one.  I really just fricking don't. Beats going postal all to hell.


    Again, so? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:25:22 AM EST
     So, as long as you are not personally susceptible to a condition it's existence and prevalence is of no concern to you?

      Even if you are so well self-contained in your concerns, you might consider whether it does indirectly affect you.


    Can we not be concerned (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:50:27 AM EST
    for addicts while preserving and respecting the inalienable rights of users?

    I don't see how users being under the threat of arrest at all times helps addicts, how doctors having to worry about DEA narcs when treating a patient helps addicts...I really don't.  I do see how our policies hurt users and doctors and patients suffering from pain.


    Probably not (none / 0) (#23)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:58:59 AM EST
      First, I'm not sure an argument can be made to support  an inalienable right to consume a manufactured product. Second, I think an approach that follows a go ahead and use opiates  with no restrictions  as you see fit and if you get addicted or overdose we will treat you is not only a very poor idea but one that would have no chance of ever gaining support from more than a tiny minority.  

    Why is it a poor idea? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:37:18 AM EST
    I don't think the law is stopping anybody now...it ain't stopping me.  

    Repealing prohibition and presecription requirements is not saying "go ahead and become a junkie with our blessing", it's just facing facts.  Society can't stop you, has no right to stop you, but if an individual wants to kick a habit society can be there to help them, if we wanna help instead of hurt.

    I also don't see why the fact that pills are manufactured should effect a persons inalienable right to imbibe them as they see fit...we have the inaleinable right to eat & drink lots of sh&t that doesn't grow on trees.  We have the inaleinable right to bear manufactured arms.  


    The bringers of justice almost killed my son kdog (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:51:21 AM EST
    I know some people abuse, almost everybody abuses something.  I've been accused of abusing polymer clay and my families taste buds and soap.  I can really beat up a martini too.

    People need these medications, and the rigidly insane are placing lives and health in danger just so they can practice rigid insanity.


    Oops...my family's taste buds (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:52:16 AM EST
    Contrary to the rumors I only have one family :)

    Preach on to the choir sister... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:01:28 AM EST
    I believe the term is collateral damage.

    I'll go one step futher and claim the inalienable right to be a suicidal stone-cold junkie if I want.  Jimi said it best..."I'm the one that's got to die when it is time for me to die.  So let me live my life, the way I want to."


    I want to know (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:06:03 AM EST
    how you abuse polymer clay.  And soap.

    When I make polymer canes I can't stop (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:27:02 AM EST
    Usually I make a cane and it inspires me to make another and then another and I forget to actually make jewelry or whatever I'm going to do with it.  I have a lot of canes.  And you use a pasta machine to condition the clay, and now there are all these cane recipes using stacks of clay and different pasta machine settings.  There's lots of vigorous cranking though.  Gets wild

    And soap, some kind of cleaning disorder that I got from my mother and my grandmother.  I don't know what a little soap is, my husband says I can take the finish off of anything just to be clean.

    Pinterest has me interested now in hammered wire and I have been collecting examples and some videos, and it is a good base for polymer beads and things.  So for Christmas I got a couple of jewelers hammers, and a mini anvil, a wire jig to make designs.  All very reasonable too, I have started to abuse wire.  It's pretty addictive.  I'm not very good yet.  There is a learning curve, but a success leads to more beatings.  I have not used my tumbler yet because it chaps me that it is going to cost $50 for 2 lbs what they call stainless steel jewelers shot.  I'm told that tumbling your wire pieces is the difference though between a homemade look and a more professional finish so I'm going to have to cough it up whether I think it's pricey or not.  Tumbling though...more abuse:)  But it makes the wire stronger :)


    Okay, I had a completely (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:27:57 PM EST
    different image of what a polymer clay cane is, LOL.

    I'd like to see pictures of your canes (none / 0) (#64)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:19:18 PM EST
    My brother used to make the most incredible walking sticks.  He would use intense paint colors on many of them depending on the subject matter.  He would have loved what I am picturing in my head.

    Speaking of what I am picturing in my head, though, you would not believe how I see you wailing on that wire and pasta machine.  I even hear the music for it. :)


    Screaming bloody murder about drug use (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:47:05 AM EST
    Has affected my life though.  The DEA pressured drug manufacturers last year and that pressure began to be felt by families such as mine that have children who must have regular surgeries.  You can find my postings from the hospital on here around March.

    My son had two titanium rods removed from his back, was placed in halo traction, and then had two new rods put in in a different configuration to control his scoliosis.

    After the first surgery, due to DEA pressure accusing drug manufacturers of making too much "product" and encouraging abuse, the hospital was beginning to suffer dangerous shortages. It was decided for IV pain control that my son would be given a less safe opioid because they were running very low on the regular safer IV pain relief of choice. The problem though is that the drug's window between pain relief and respiratory failure is very small.  So in the wee hours after his first surgery I woke up to his monitors screaming.  At his bedside though I could not awaken him, I began to shake his arms and shout his name, it took a few moments but he began breathing again.  I notified his aide, but she was very busy that night and it was days before we actually understood what had happened to Josh that night.  He can never use an inferior pain medication again according to his doctor, he is not a good candidate for that.

    You are wrong though that all this frothing at the mouth hasn't directly impacted my life in really horrible ways, because it did.  We couldn't even get his Tylenol 3 prescription filled in Atlanta for the five to six hour trip by car home.  All the pharmacies were out.  The hospital sent us out the door with a dose, and I called pharmacies on the road home by cell phone until we found one that could fill the prescription.


    Reread your first sentence (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:23:38 AM EST
    What difference does that make in terms of the severity of the problem and whether it should be connsidered a serious problem?
    If you stand by that statement then we're done.  If you want to clarify it -- as in saying something not ridiculous -- I'll read it.

    I will repeat it (none / 0) (#16)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:25:57 AM EST
     and challenge you to provide a sensible answer.

    So, why is alcohol legal? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:11:12 AM EST
    Considering the sedative effect, the dangers of overuse and abuse, the potential to harm others while under its influence, why don't we all need a prescription to be able to buy it?  Isn't alcohol a drug, too?

    Have you seen the statistics on the costs of alcohol use and abuse?  I can assure you, it's no small thing, and yet, anyone of legal age can buy and consume it freely, whether we "need" it or not.  And let's not kid ourselves: we can say that this wine or that beer or this scotch or that bourbon is ever-so-tasty, but is that the reason most people drink?  It may be one reason, but if that fine sipping whiskey or vintage wine were alcohol-free, how many people would be drinking it?  People drink for many reasons other than "it tastes good," much as many people eat for reasons other than hunger and have sex for reasons other than expressing their love.

    Am I suggesting we make alcohol illegal, too?  No.  I'm suggesting that we have a double standard where the use of prescription drugs is  concerned.  Should I be able to buy X@n@x from behind  the counter, without a prescription,  as long as I'm of legal age?  What's the difference if, instead of taking that drug, I go to the liquor store and buy me a big ol' bottle of Malbec?  With no questions asked?

    Anything used to excess is not good, but doesn't it make more sense to be equipped to deal with the consequences of overuse and abuse - of drugs, alcohol, food, sex - than it does to have this vast, complex , authoritarian, judicial  structure in place built on prohibition for some uses but not for others?


    If alcohol wasn't legal I'd never have survived (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:54:17 AM EST
    Bush without eventually being behind bars.  And without it most of my family could never survive Obama :)

    Again (3.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:15:26 AM EST
      Admitting a problem exists is nioot tantamount to advocating the only solution tot the problem is to prosecute people who use the substance that creates the problem.

     Obviously alcohol creates FAR greater problems in our socoety than do opiates. Why? Because it it used far more by far more people.

      If I were to point out to people like Tracy and SJ that its silly to even suggext people should not consider alcohol abuse a serious issue worthy of serious attention that doesn't mean I am advocating prohibition.


    Nope (none / 0) (#17)
    by sj on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:27:35 AM EST
    challenge declined.  As I said, if you stand by that statement, we're done.  No point in perpetuating the Teh Stoopid.

    then stop perpetuating it! (1.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:33:35 AM EST
    Problem solved.

      Whining something isn't a problem that merits serious attention when it kills a lot of people doesn't strike me as showing any intelligence.


    Because getting high... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:12:43 AM EST
    can be quite nice, at least how I do it;) And I can think of nothing nice about smallpox.

    Why I assume all of the 1 million people getting high on pills need help?  I'd say most just need to be left alone.


    4.6% of the population over 12 (none / 0) (#7)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:44:30 AM EST
     is a lot more than a million people.

      The census link I looked at shows approximately 20% of the population is 14 or younger. That means about 240 million are older than 14. 4% of that is about 9.6 million

    For perspective (none / 0) (#9)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:57:16 AM EST
     It is estimated 1.1 million people in the U.S. are HIV positive.

      If we wish for drug abuse to be treated as a medical/public health issue, it serves no good purpose to under-report the extent of the problem.

     Recent data estimates 37,000 people a year die from opiate overdoses. Deaths from AIDS have declined from numbers higher than that to around 12,000 a year.


    It's also woth considering (none / 0) (#41)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:53:39 AM EST
     what were the cause of % decrease in prescription drug abuse.

      How much of it could be attributed to a constant number of users in a growing overall population?

      How many died of overdoses?

      How many died of health problems exacerbated by drug abuse?

      How many switched to cheaper and increasingly plentiful (and more dangerous) heroin?

      How many quit?

    nonetheless. ]

    Recently I was at my local pharmacy getting a script filled and they called my name. I walked to the counter and they pushed a script in front of me and said "We can't fill this."

    I looked the script, saw that it had my first name but a different last name, and said "That's not my last name, that's not my script."

    So they called the full name and a shaky girl standing in a corner approached the counter, and they told her they couldn't fill a script for "A 1/2 gallon of cough syrup with Codeine."

    Seriously, she thought she could get a script filled for a 1/2 gallon?!

    Did she at least bring a growler? (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 12:44:59 PM EST
    Ha! (none / 0) (#45)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:14:54 PM EST
    Somebody likes... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:12:39 PM EST
    sippin' on some sizurp.  It's her right, her life.

    Thinking she could buy a half gallon legally is another matter...ya need to live in a free country for that, and we sure as hell don't.  In a better world she coulda went to Costco for a good price on a bulk purchase.


    "sizurp," you made me google. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:16:00 PM EST
    I knew a guy... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:19:46 PM EST
    who never went out bar hopping without a bottle of Nyquil in his inside pocket...says it kept the bar tab down;)  

    and still have the same size bar bill. Maybe bigger.

    LOL... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:34:54 PM EST
    I have just the herbal remedy for that hangover, if not the empty wallet;)

    Well... (none / 0) (#52)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:08:57 PM EST
    ...I used to routinely pick-ed up quarts of Vicodin for my grandma at Walgreen's.

    The entire prescription system is basically the same system we all used, and some abused, in high-school for absenteeism.  Some fakes are better than others, I learned to trace a left-handed woman's notes, my mom's, with felon like accuracy.

    I am surprised that they return an obvious forgery.  Kind of defeats all the precautions if she can shop it around.


    alternative was calling the cops, and they didn't want the hassle.

    Or the Liability... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:13:28 PM EST
    ...of a nitwit employee taking a valid prescription believing it was fake.

    if they used mj for non-medical uses.