Trump to Seek Harsher Penalty for Drug Crimes and Limit Pain Pill

Donald Trump wants more mandatory minimums and other increased penalties for drug crimes.

He also wants to decrease pain-pill prescriptions by one-third over the next three years and limit Medicaid's reimbursement for them.

The Trump administration said it will seek stiffer penalties against drug dealers — including the death penalty where appropriate under current law — and it wants the number of prescriptions for powerful painkillers to be cut by one-third nationwide as part of a broad effort to combat the opioid crisis.

...It also wants to tighten the number of opioid prescriptions that can be reimbursed by Medicaid as a way to curb overprescribing.

Donald Trump is not our doctor. [More...]

Think about getting a root canal or having teeth pulled and having the dentist give you a prescription for three pain pills. Think about having a broken bone and being told to take ibuprofen. Think about a politician instead of your doctor deciding whether, and how many pain pills you can have.

We cannot jail ourselves out of a medical problem. Most opioid deaths involve the use of at least one other drug (or alcohol.)

By fixating on fearing opioids, we are missing the more culpable factors that lead some people to keep using drugs despite negative consequences. Opioid use on its own is not dangerous, and it’s time we stop demonizing it. Instead, we must implement a national overdose education strategy targeting the immediate factors of opioid-related overdose: drug mixing and tolerance changes.

That's why the Supreme Court ruled in Burrage v. U.S. in 2014 that in cases where the Feds charge someone under the enhanced penalty provision for distribution of drugs resulting in death of the user (where “death or serious bodily injury results from the use of [the distributed] substance”), the government must prove that but for the drug distributed the user would have lived.

We hold that, at least where use of the drug distributed by the defendant is not an independently sufficient cause of the victim’s death or serious bodily injury, a defendant cannot be liable under the penalty enhancement provision of 21 U. S. C. §841(b)(1)(C) unless such use is a but-for cause of the death or injury.

We don't need more crimes for which the death penalty may be sought. We don't need greater penalties or more mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. We don't need politicians or the Global Holy Warriors of the D.E.A. deciding what pills and how many our doctors can prescribe.

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  • Display: Sort:
    We should.... (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 10:44:54 AM EST
    decriminalize all drugs and make them available in safe(r) doses with known ingredients to addicts, always coupled with an offer for free detox and addiction treatment regardless of the addict's ability to pay for it.  

    Build detox and rehab centers, not prisons. Lend a hand, not handcuffs.

    And, foster additional (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 11:17:27 AM EST
    studies to ascertain effective medicinal uses, safety levels and more efficacious treatments for addiction/dependency.

    Why not? (none / 0) (#3)
    by CST on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 11:24:34 AM EST
    The war on drugs has been a smashing success so far.

    I'm so glad we continue to make evidence-based policy decisions in this country.

    I've been to too many funerals for this epidemic.  I've never left one of those funerals thinking "what we really need is another funeral".

    They already cut back the amount (none / 0) (#4)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 12:40:01 PM EST
    of opioids here in Florida.  After shutting down the pill mills all over Dade and Broward counties they also limited the amount a doctor can prescribe, which is 38 pills with no refills for the entire state.  

    Having just had a root canal I can say the pain stopped immediately after the dentista removed the root.  However the days before were quite painfull.  The many old ski injuries and hard workouts at the gym are continually painfull.  Lately I have gone back to ibuprofen and aspirin since they reduce the swelling that causes the pain I have.  If I took enough pain pills for those problems I wouldn't be able to function.  Jeralyn is correct; if you break a bone you need pain pills, but just for a few days.  

    The President will never stop the stoners from getting high by cutting down the amount of pain pills prescribed by doctors.  He has already cost Medicare more money by demanding a doctors visit instead of three refills in my case.  Sure there are unscrupulous doctors but that cannot be the reason thousands of pain meds are out there for sale everywhere.  They could be bogus pills coming in from Mexico, I just don't know.  I do know I'm going in for a refill soon, even though I still have 25 of the 38 he prescribed last September.  Better safe than sorry.

    You asked how to get an ulcer (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 02:50:33 PM EST
    Other than bacteria ibuprofen is probably the best way.

    Just sayin


    If you take aspirin regularly, (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 04:48:39 PM EST
    get enteric coated aspirin.  Enteric coated aspirin  may delay or reduce effectiveness somewhat, but it offers some safety protection.

    Because of f*cking course he does (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 02:46:48 PM EST
    "U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday backed a plan outlined by President Donald Trump aimed at combating the opioid crisis by vowing to seek the death penalty "wherever appropriate" against drug traffickers."


    Take away my pain meds... (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 03:52:14 PM EST
    and I can guarantee if you gave me one minute in a locked room with that tiny, two-bit cracker and he'd be the one wishing he was dead.

    Or needing (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 03:55:37 PM EST
    Pain meds?

    This has the potential to do real (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 04:07:32 PM EST
    Damage to the lives of some.

    That's almost funny (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 02:48:54 PM EST
    Since most in this case would be doctors

    By "whenever appropriate" (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 03:05:03 PM EST
    they mean whenever it's an inner city black person who's tailor made for an extended Fox segment on those responsible for the drug scourge in America.

    Trump in lily-white New Hampshire yesterday (none / 0) (#23)
    by CST on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:15:02 AM EST
    "In his speech Monday, Trump cited a recent Dartmouth College study that found that Lawrence "is one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties." He omitted that Lowell was also mentioned in the report as a primary source. Lawrence is slightly more than 70 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to records from the 2010 census, while Lowell stands at just over 15 percent."

    He neglected to mention that Lawrence is also one of the primary sources of people near the New Hampshire border.  I wonder why he went to New Hampshire, instead of West Virginia, which is number 1 for opiate deaths in the United States.  Maybe he couldn't find as many neighboring immigrants to blame.

    Opiates are a huge problem all over lily-white New England.  But Trump still manages to try and turn this into an issue about immigration.


    To (none / 0) (#24)
    by FlJoe on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:29:15 AM EST
    Chants of "Build the Wall no less. Oh, and something, something, Sanctuary cities are the root of all evil.

    "Build the Wall" (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:48:40 AM EST
    In New Hampshire... Are they talking about the Canadian border?

    Nevermind that the entire purpose of Sanctuary cities is that it makes it easier to go after "real crime" in those communities, because you don't have people who are afraid of speaking up.


    Perhaps we can start by executing... (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 05:30:23 PM EST
    the billionaire Sackler family.  I think we should start with the billionaires and work our way down.

    My son, who collects antique medicine (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 06:04:11 PM EST
    bottles, tells me that when heroin was first introduced onto the market, it was first advertised as a safe or safer, alternative to morphine.

    I don't remember the first ads for Oxys, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 'safer' angle was over-emphasized then as well.


    Not just safer. Oxy was marketed (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 06:19:01 PM EST
    to doctors as non-addictive. So doctors prescribed it for just about everything where pain relief was needed. Just about every kind of surgery- oral surgery, back surgery, joint replacement. Some years ago I had an appendectomy, an, even though I told the doctor post-surgery that the pain was minimal, h sent me home with a prescription for OxyContin. A prescription I did not fill.

    The promise of pain relief and no addiction issues proved to be a brilliant, albeit false, marketing strategy.


    I see EAT THE RICH (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 06:04:12 PM EST
    coming back into fashion

    Overdoses of OTC meds (none / 0) (#17)
    by quackn on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 07:22:27 PM EST
    Or, you can do like I did one time.  Take 4,000 miligrams of Tylenol and 1,200 miligrams of Ibuprofen at one time.  I had so much severe pain that, even though I knew I was at risk of an overdose or death, I took the chance.  It actually worked better than any opioid I ever took for pain, and I had no adverse effects.  

    Those people who are on (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 08:10:15 PM EST
    Anti-coagulents for heart problems cannot take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain meds- ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, etc.
    Tylenol does not have anti-coagulant properties like the NSAIDs, but it can be dangerous because the effective dose and the overdose are so close.  An overdose can ruin your liver, even kill you.  Tylenol toxicity from an overdose is the leading cause of liver failure and liver transplants in the US.
    Tylenol is particularly dangerous if you take it and also drink alcohol.

    But for those of us (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Towanda on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 12:21:12 AM EST
    with kidney problems (I had to have one removed in childhood), Tylenol is recommended -- and the other pain relievers could be lethal to us.

    I just add this because I noice that on this blog, medical advice is given that is adverse for me and perhaps for others.

    Maybe we need a new acronym. Noy just IANAL but also IANAD .


    The prescription dose of ibuprophen (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 19, 2018 at 07:53:24 PM EST
    Is 800.  Ive taken 1200 before.  Usually take 800 (that's 4 store pills) if I take it.

    But I can't take it anymore because I take a prescription nsaid called Meloxicam that actually works pretty well.

    Don't take Tylenol tho.


    Meloxicam, as with all NSAID's (none / 0) (#21)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:07:00 AM EST
    can affect the stomach lining and then the blood vessels near the surface and cause ulcers.  All NSAID's should be taken along with food, even a glass of milk, to avoid the problem. IANAD.

    BTW, I prefer Ibuprofen (none / 0) (#22)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 20, 2018 at 08:13:37 AM EST
    because it has a biological half life of 2 to 4 hours.  Meloxicam has a biological half life of 30 hours.  This means Ibuprofen stops the pain and leaves your system very fast.  Just say'in.