Friday, February 7, 2014

Do Nothing

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. With the 15 minutes of fame, attention or giving a shit now coming to the end with the guest list of the Phillip Seymour Hoffman funeral marking the last moment, until the Oscar tribute in a couple of weeks.

Then like the champagne toast glasses to recall ironically an admitted alcoholic and drug addict has to be like frosting on a cake for a person who died from overeating ends and we move onto the next national act of mourning, grieving or pearl clutching.  And we do nothing.

Look the deaths of Trayvon Martin the year has gone and nothing changed; we marked Sandy Hook with a big slew of gun laws didn't we?  Aurora passed by with not even a free matinee day.  We move on to the next ubiquitous # or Like as does the wind.  And nothing was done to change gun laws or the violence that results from the laws that enable it.

Only a few weeks ago the only Governor in the country devoted his entire State of the State speech to heroin addiction in his state Vermont. And Chris Christie in between his own addiction to food stopped to discuss that jailing drug users was a failure so treatment might be a better course of action, then went back to denying Bridgegate and nothing was done more with regards to the matter.

Attention deficit disorder is big complaint and even more drugs are dispensed for that fake disorder and yet it seems to be a national problem.

So as we try to figure out what the resolution to drug addiction is other than imprisoning them or letting them die, I suspect that latter one is the preferred one, the New York Times last November wrote an extensive series about the drugs used to treat opioid addiction. Trade offs they have a few but it needs to fully examined to find out what is going to work. 

The article, Addiction with a Dark Side, and information from that series is here. It is lengthy it is complex and it does not have any answers.  But it is actually a source of information and that is better than nothing.

And I read one of the many responses to the article and this stood out....

To the Editor:
Re “Addiction Treatment With a Dark Side” (“The Double-Edged Drug” series, front page, Nov. 17):
Buprenorphine is not a panacea, but it is one of the most highly effective treatments we have for a deadly disease that now kills more Americans than car accidents or firearms: opioid addiction. The evidence supporting buprenorphine is so strong that it has been listed as a World Health Organization essential medication.
Your article is right to highlight some of the problems, including a lack of access to well-trained addiction physicians and the role of the pharmaceutical industry. However, it highlights the relatively few deaths that may have involved buprenorphine in combination with other drugs as opposed to the tens of thousands of deaths that occur each year from heroin and prescription opioids.
For every person who overdoses on buprenorphine there are thousands who don’t and thousands more who die each year from other opioid overdoses whose lives may have been saved with buprenorphine.
There are 20 million people in this country who need treatment for addiction and don’t get it, and every 19 minutes another American dies from an unintentional overdose. There is extensive evidence from studies across the world that buprenorphine has been associated with a dramatic decrease in deaths due to overdose.
Great strides have been made in destigmatizing and mainstreaming addiction. Articles like this that amplify the risks of a lifesaving medication and imply that a large number of prescribing physicians are behaving badly do a great disservice to the public’s understanding of addiction and the effective treatments for long-term recovery.
Charlestown, Mass., Nov. 17, 2013
Dr. Wakeman is an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Rich is a professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and an attending doctor at the Miriam Hospital.

I was told by a retired Teacher the other day to not believe everything I read.  And then I thought "wow she is an Educator," thankfully retired. But if you wonder why we have a problem in Education, she is an example.  Imagine not reading and every time I did questioning the "reality" of that information.  No wonder kids have no respect for information and in turn education.  It is easier to do nothing.

We need to read and then ask questions to seek out more information, to ask questions to seek truth and to seek answers.

America has become a lazy complacent participant an enabler just like those who knew that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had a problem and did NOTHING.  

Ask yourself if you want to do nothing and what does that say about you?  

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