U.S. Life Expectancy Drops Amid Rising Suicide, Drug Overdose Rates

Life expectancy in the United States has dropped 2 years in a row. Yikes.

In this piece, I’d like to cover the in-depth reports outlining 2017, and then we will get into the overview for 2018 in the next piece. Three reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that in 2017, it was the longest decline in U.S. life expectancy at birth since World War I. Sadly, the dismal reports show that rising suicide and drug overdose rates were among the main contributors to the decline.

Source: CDC

Between 1915 and 1918, WWI and a flu pandemic killed 675,000 people in the U.S. and an estimated 50 million people worldwide. That was the last time there was such a startling drop in the number of years Americans could expect to live. In most developed nations, life expectancy has continued to climb over the decades.

The reports suggest that American society is quite sick.

Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director, said: [2]

“Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

Source: CDC

Joshua M. Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: [1]

“I think this is a very dismal picture of health in the United States. Life expectancy is improving in many places in the world. It shouldn’t be declining in the United States.”

S.V. Subramanian, a professor of population health and geography at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, asked:

“After 3 years of stagnation and decline, what do we do now? Do we say this is the new normal? Or can we say this is a tractable problem?”

Source: CDC

An American born in 2017 can expect to live 78.6 years at birth, down 1/10 of a year from 2016, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Men can expect to live 76.1 years, down 1/10 of a year from 2016. Life expectancy for women remains unchanged from 2016, at 81.1 years.

Drugs are Still Doing Americans In

The overall number of fatal drug overdoses rose from 63,632 in 2016 to 70,237 in 2017 – an annual record. Opioids sold on the street caused 47,600 overdoses in 2017 – another record, driven largely by an increase in fentanyl deaths. President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency in August, 2017 [2]

The number of fatal drug overdoses has more than quadrupled since 1999. Deaths from opioids were nearly 6 times greater in 2017 than they were in 1999.

There was no increase in overdose deaths from legal painkillers in 2017. As well, heroin overdoses did not rise. Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the Center for Health Statistics, said that efforts to keep legal painkillers off the streets and out of the hands of drug dealers, as well as prescription drug monitoring programs, may have contributed to the steady numbers.

Source: CDC

Authorities have been cracking down on so-called “pill mills,” unscrupulous doctors, and states have been going after drug companies that belched out suspicious amounts of pills to states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic.

Anderson also credits the wider availability of the opioid antidote naloxone, efforts to educate substance abusers as they leave jail, more treatment programs, and expanded Medicaid programs for the lack of an increase in legal opioid and heroin overdoses.

As 2018 draws to a close, provisional data for the first 4 months of the year hints at a plateau in overdoses and possibly a slight decline.

But the plateau in heroin deaths doesn’t necessarily mean fewer people are dying from hard drugs. According to Sharfstein, it reflects the fact that fentanyl has overtaken heroin on the illicit drug market.

In fact, the reports show that fentanyl-related deaths climbed from 19,413 in 2016 to 28,466 in 2017.

Source: CDC

Yet, despite all this death and chaos, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently decided to approve a powerful new opioid that is 5 to 10 times more potent than fentanyl.

West Virginia continues to lead the nation in overdose deaths, followed by Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, the data show. The state least affected by drug overdoses was Nebraska, where there were just 8.1 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. By comparison, West Virginia had 57.8 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents.

Yikes.

Life Expectancy Cut Short … on Purpose

Source: CDC

As doctors and researchers work to find ways to expand Americans’ life expectancy, it seems that many Americans simply want to “check out” and do so by taking their own life.

Suicide has been the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for the last decade, increasing from 10 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people in 2017. Female suicides increased more sharply than male suicides, though more men than women die by suicide each year.

Between 1999 and 2017, the male suicide rate increased by 26% – from about 18 suicides per 100,000 to almost 22 per 100,000.

The suicide rate among women during that period rose from 4 suicides per 100,000 to nearly 6 per 100,000, or 53%. Women between the ages of 45 and 64 experienced the highest suicide rates in both 1999 (6 suicides per 100,000) and 2017 (nearly 10 suicides per 100,000).

Source: CDC

Suicide rates in rural counties were significantly higher than in urban counties.

Redfield said:

“We must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier.”

He added that the CDC “is committed to putting science into action and to protect U.S. health.”

This news is obviously unfortunate, but hopefully with more awareness being risen around the country, we can collectively take measures improve quality of life across the board.

Sources:

[1] The Washington Post

[2] CNN

Surpassing Overdose: Study Links Opioids to Heart-Related Deaths

The opioid epidemic has been a topic of conversation for a years now. With doctors and pharmacies being instructed to be more careful with their prescribing of the medication, and some states even asking them to look up a patient’s drug history before dispensing the drugs, it comes as no surprise that abuse and overdose are two huge issues. However, research suggests that many patients, especially those on long-term opioids, are dying not only because of overdoses, but simply because they are using them for far too long.

The study, which reviewed 45,000 patients from Tennessee from 1999 to 2012, found that those who had been prescribed opioids had a 64% increased risk of dying within 6 months of starting a regimen of the pills, compared to patients who were on other types of medications.

Although overdose and sharing medication is certainly a risk, the study claims that many doctors prescribe medication without thinking about the risk they may have for cardiovascular patients.

Patients with heart problems are the most vulnerable, as long-term opioid use can lead to slowing down of the heart, particularly when mixed with alcohol. This can lead to an accidental death. Opioids are also particularly dangerous for patients with sleep apnea, as the pills can disrupt the patients’ breathing patterns even further. This can lead to irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and in some cases, even death.

All of the patients in this study were on Medicaid and were receiving long-term opioids for problems such as backaches, and chronic asthma and bronchitis. None had a history of abusing drugs.

Because they were on Medicaid, it is possible that they were unable to access medication that would actually treat the problem they had, thus doctors were over-prescribing opioids for temporary relief of the symptoms without curative benefits.

Dr. Magdalena Anitescu, a pain management expert at the University of Chicago, stated that there needs to be a huge change in how treatment is regulated. She states that alternative treatments can be just as effective, however, patients need to be granted access and doctors need to be educated on what else can be done besides simply prescribe opioids.

“We have a major cultural shift ahead of us,” said Dr. Chad Brummett, director of pain research at the University of Michigan Health System.

The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Sources:

Claims Journal

CBS News

Judge Says “No” to Pharma Firms’ Request to Delay Opioid Trial

The first major trial of whether pharmaceutical companies bear responsibility for the opioid crisis is slated to start in Oklahoma on May 28.  Three major drug manufacturers and 10 of their subsidiaries tried to convince Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman to delay the jury trial for 100 days, but Balkman ruled that it will move forward as scheduled. [1]

Following a nearly 2-hour hearing in his Norman, Oklahoma, courtroom, Balkman said:

“The wheels of justice … will continue to grind toward a trial date of May 28, 2019.”

Lawyers for the companies say they will appeal the judge’s decision.

In a statement, Purdue Pharma, maker of the blockbuster drug OxyContin, said it was “disappointed the court has denied its motion for a continuance. The facts show clearly that the state of Oklahoma has repeatedly failed to meet its obligations to produce critical information and documents to Purdue and the other defendants in this case.”

Purdue accused the state’s privacy attorneys of “flagrantly” violating court orders to turn over the material, “which has unfairly prejudiced Purdue’s ability to adequately prepare our defenses.”

Read: This 1980 Letter from Researchers Helped Fuel the Opioid Epidemic

The judge further enraged the drug companies by saying he will permit cameras in the courtroom.

The trial stems from a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter against some of the largest opioid manufacturers in the nation that alleges the companies’ deceptive marketing practices over the past decade fueled the opioid epidemic in that state. Hunter claims that Purdue, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, and others deceived the public into believing that opioids were safe for extended use. [2]

In response to the defendants’ claims that state attorneys had been “stonewalling” discovery for the past year, the attorney general called the drug companies “desperate” and grasping “at whatever straws they can find.”

In a court filing, Hunter wrote:

“The State did not manufacture opioids. The State did not target veterans. The State did not target legislators. The State did not target doctors. The defendants did all that.”

Read: Study Shows How Doctors GET PAID to Fuel the Opioid Crisis

So far, 36 states have filed cases against pharmaceutical companies in state courts. The remaining 14 states are mulling bringing cases of their own. The Oklahoma case will be the first to reach trial.

In the past 3 years, 3,000 people have died of overdoses and more than 1,300 newborns have tested positive for the highly addictive painkillers in Oklahoma alone, the state attorney general’s office said.

In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sources:

[1] Washington Post

[2] CNN

Study: States with Legal Marijuana Administer Fewer Opioid Prescriptions


Research shows that fewer opioid prescriptions are written in states that have access to legal marijuana. Could there be a connection between decreased opioid use and marijuana legalization? [1]

The report, released in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggests that some people turn to cannabis as a way to treat their pain, consequently avoiding more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs as a result.

Many people become addicted to opioid painkillers when they are prescribed the drugs to treat legitimate pain. The authors of the study say that people who avoid that first prescription are less likely to become addicted to opiates.

W. David Bradford, a professor of public policy at the University of Georgia, said:

“We do know that cannabis is much less risky than opiates, as far as likelihood of dependency.”

He added that “certainly there’s no mortality risk.”

No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose (no one!).

Based on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s own assessment that marijuana is useful in treating various types of pain, Bradford and 3 colleagues set out to determine whether people with easy access to medical marijuana are less likely to receive prescription opioids.

The answer is, yes.

Source: CNN Money

The researchers pored over data from Medicare, which mostly covers people over the age of 65. They discovered a 14% reduction in opioid prescriptions in states that have medical marijuana laws. An estimated 3.7 million fewer daily doses of opiates are prescribed in states with medical marijuana dispensaries, the authors said.

States that allowed residents to grow their own medicinal marijuana saw an estimated 1.8 million fewer opioids dispensed each day. From 2010 to 2015, Medicare recipients received approximately 23 million daily doses of the analgesics.

During that same period, opioid use was skyrocketing, so the numbers reflect a slowing of the increase, rather than an actual decline in opioid use in these states, according to Bradford.

Some Study Limitations

The study merely shows a correlation and can’t prove that marijuana use led to a reduction in opioid prescriptions. What’s more, the authors focused on data revolving around a specific older-age group (65 and older), so that leaves out focus on similar correlations revolving around other age groups. Still, the evidence is compelling, and there’s plenty of it.

Further Evidence Shows Fewer Opioid Scripts Where Marijuana is Legal

A study published in September, 2016 showed that people were slightly less likely to test positive for opioids after a state legalized medical marijuana. Furthermore, the results of a small survey released in 2017 revealed that 63% of patients reported being able to replace their pharmaceuticals with marijuana – including opioids, sedatives, and antidepressants – when given legal access. Is the swap a perfect solution? Of course not, but it can certainly be an upgrade for many.

If cannabis wasn’t an effective pain reliever, drug companies wouldn’t be trying to harness its power or fight against legalization.

Of Course Marijuana isn’t a Perfect Solution. Duh – Downsides do Exist

That’s not to say that cannabis is a cure-all that suits everybody. In one study, Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University, found that pot users were 6 times more likely than non-users to abuse opioids. Of course this makes sense when considering the fact that those willing to use ANY drug are by default more likely to use even harder drugs than completely non-users – even if that chance is minimal for a large portion of drug users.

He said:

“A young person using marijuana is maybe putting him – or herself at increased risk. On the other hand, there may be a role – and there likely is a role – for medical marijuana in reducing the use of prescribed opioids for the management of pain.”

Marijuana can also harm the developing brains of teenagers, studies show. Deciding whom cannabis might benefit is a delicate balancing act.

Olfson said studies that follow individuals to see whether marijuana is really a suitable replacement for opiates are needed. That’s easier said than done, however, because the federal government still considers marijuana a dangerous Schedule I drug and keeps tight reins on cannabis research. [2]

Olfson said:

“That does make this a difficult area to study, and that’s unfortunate because we have a large problem with the opioid epidemic. And at the same time, with an aging population, we have lots of people who have pain conditions and who will benefit from appropriate management.”

Bradford chimed in, saying:

“In this time when we are so concerned – rightly so – about opiate misuse and abuse and the mortality that’s occurring, we need to be clear-eyed and use evidence to drive our policies.

If you’re interested in giving people options for pain management that don’t bring the particular risks that opiates do, states should contemplate turning on dispensary-based cannabis policies.” [2]

Face It – Most People Think Marijuana Should be Legalized

Most Americans are in favor of marijuana legalization in one form or another. A recent Pew survey found that 61% of Americans support full legalization. More states than not currently have cannabis laws – 8 states and the District of Columbia allow residents to use pot however they want, and more than 20 other U.S. states permit medical cannabis.

And while neither Medicare nor Medicaid reimburses patients for what they spend on medical marijuana, the amount of money spent on the drugs in legal states fell by about 8%, so the costs of both treatments might be comparable.

Bradford said:

“I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation that suggested that a daily pain management dose of hydrocodone would be about $10 out of pocket in the U.S.”

Medicare Part D would cover most of that, but a daily pain management dose of cannabis was only about $6 last year, and is likely lower now.

Sources:

[1] NPR

[2] PBS News Hour

CNN Money

Study Shows How Doctors GET PAID to Fuel the Opioid Crisis

Most doctors are wonderful people and consummate professionals who truly want the best for their patients. But a recent study suggests much of the blame for the opioid crisis lies squarely on the shoulders of doctors who write prescriptions for hard-hitting opioids when other simpler pain-relieving methods would suffice.

The study shows that as recently as 2015, doctors were still prescribing the addictive and potentially deadly painkillers even for minor injuries in great numbers.

Researchers wrote in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that 1/4 of patients treated for ankle sprains between 2011 and 2015 were prescribed an opioid to deal with the pain.

For the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analyzed private insurance claims filed by nearly 31,000 patients who had been treated in the emergency room for a sprained ankle. The patients were over the age of 18 and had not been prescribed an opioid in the 6 months prior to their injury.

Researchers looked at prescriber habits shortly before 2016, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines urging doctors to only prescribe opioids in dire situations and the federal government announced it would limit the length of first-time opioid prescriptions. [2]

Read: The DEA Will Slash Opioid Production 25% in 2017

Study leader Kit Delgado, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, said:

“There was this leap to opioids, either in perception of patient expectations or to meet patient expectations.”

The team found that:

  • Overall, 25.1% of the patients studied received an opioid prescription.
  • Most of the opioid prescriptions were for short-term use – about 15 pills (enough for 3 days) and low-dose. However, a small number of patients received a prescription equivalent to more than 30 tablets of medium-strength oxycodone – a drug with “high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
  • Nearly 5% of patients who received a mid-strength opioid prescription progressed to prolonged opioid use, compared to about 1% of patients who were given a more moderate prescription, and 0.5% of patients who did not receive an opioid prescription.

Where a patient lived played a significant role in whether or not they would be prescribed one of the powerful analgesics. In Arkansas, 40% of patients left the ER with an opioid prescription, compared to just 3% of patients in North Dakota. All but 1 of the 9 states that recorded above-average opioid prescribing is in the South or Southwest. [1] [2]

Above-average prescribing was documented in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arizona. [2]

Fortunately, during the study period, overall prescription rates fell from 28% of patients in 2011 to 20.4% in 2015. [1]

Read: Opioid Prescriptions Down for 1st Time in 20 Years

Most opioid prescriptions are written by primary care physicians; emergency room doctors are a blip on the entire map. Overall, there were about 215 million prescriptions for the painkillers in 2016, according to the CDC. [2]

In light of the opioid epidemic that wipes out thousands of lives a year in the U.S., why did doctors prescribe such addictive drugs in such large amounts and doses to so many people? There are 4 possible explanations.

Read: This NJ Hospital Will Do Anything to Avoid Prescribing Opioids

Freebies and Financial Perks

Click for larger version.

No one likes to think their doctor is prescribing them a drug because he or she stands to gain from it, but the disturbing reality is that it happens all the time.

In 2014 and 2015, opioid makers had no problem paying doctors 6-figure sums for speaking, consulting, and other services. The companies paid thousands of other dollars $25,000 sums during that time. [3]

Click for larger version.

Doctors who hocked the most pain pills to their patients were the most likely to bring in big bucks. It’s not hard to imagine how tempting a 6-figure sum could be to someone with a prescription pad. It’s also not hard to imagine how a doctor would feel beholden to a pharmaceutical company after being paid such exorbitant amounts.

You could almost say the drug companies were the drug kingpins, the doctors were the dealers, and in tragically too many cases, the patients became – unwittingly – the junkies. And if the dealers wanted to get paid, they had to keep moving the kingpins’ product.

Click for larger version.

Ignorance

It’s possible that some of those doctors during the study period offered more opioids because they lacked the medical training to know the full addictive nature of the drugs. [2]

It is a doctor’s job to ease suffering, after all, and physicians have been taught to aggressively treat pain.

In 1980, a 101-word letter written by Boston University Medical Center researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine, served as the foundation for doctors’ opioid prescribing habits for decades.

In the letter, the scientists claimed that “despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.”

Based on these promises of safety, opioid prescriptions exploded.

The scientists went on to say in the letter that in a review of 11,882 hospitalized patients treated with narcotics, they found “only four cases of reasonably well-documented addiction.”

That letter went on to be cited in hundreds of reputable medical journals.

Clueless Prescribing

 

Doctors don’t always know how many pills to prescribe in individual cases. [2]

A Yale University study found that hospitals were able to successfully decrease opioid prescriptions by going into electronic medical records and lowering default settings for pill limits.

Previous studies show that when surgeons have specific guidelines for how many pills they should prescribe after common procedures, opioid use decreased sharply.

Yet other studies show that long-time use may partly depend on whether an individual was treated by a “low-intensity” or a “high-intensity” prescriber in the ER.

Ego

Anyone can go online and give a doctor a positive or negative review. Delgado and his colleagues believe that in some cases, doctors prescribe more opioids in pursuit of glowing reviews.

Sources:

[1] Time

[2] The Washington Post

[3] CNN

OxyContin Maker Wins Patent for Addiction Treatment

A member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma – the same company that makes OxyContin – has been awarded a patent for a treatment for opioid use disorder. [1]

Purdue Pharma is currently being sued by more than 1,000 jurisdictions for allegedly fueling the opioid crisis with its OxyContin painkiller. But Dr. Richard Sackler, one of 6 inventors of the new patent, doesn’t seem to be bothered by that. He is more than willing to gain financially from the very problem he himself helped create, even if it means generating a great deal of criticism in the process.

Colorado is one of the states suing Purdue Pharma. In a statement, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said: [2]

“Purdue’s habit-forming medications coupled with their reckless marketing have robbed children of their parents, families of their sons and daughters, and destroyed the lives of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers. While no amount of money can bring back loved ones, it can compensate for the enormous costs brought about by Purdue’s intentional misconduct.”

In the lawsuit, the state accuses Purdue of downplaying the risk of addiction associated with opioids and exaggerating the medicine’s benefits. The lawsuit further alleges that the drug maker “advised healthcare professionals that they were violating their Hippocratic Oath and failing their patients unless they treated pain symptoms with opioids.”

It’s enough to turn your stomach.

Related Read: The Opioid Crisis Deemed a National Emergency – So What Happens Now?

Profiting from People’s Pain

Source: Sun Herald

There were more than 63,000 drug overdoses in the United States in 2016, and more than 66% of them were attributed to opioids, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Source: Aiken Standard

The patent is for a new formulation of buprenorphine, a medication known to help people kick their opioid addiction. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved it in tablet and film form, but the patent is for a wafter version of the drug that dissolves even faster than existing forms when placed under the tongue. [1]

The patent states that the faster buprenorphine dissolves, the less risk there is for diversion.

As mentioned, Purdue Pharma is facing more than 1,000 lawsuits from cities, states, counties, and tribes. But a case brought by Massachusetts recently named the Sackler family as defendants.

Read: Washington City Sues OxyContin Maker over Opioid Epidemic

Right now, Congress is seeking from Purdue a copy of a deposition from Sackler that was taken as part of a lawsuit brought by Kentucky against Purdue. Though the case was settled in 2015, it marked the only time a member of the Sackler family was questioned under oath about their role in the marketing of OxyContin and what Purdue knew about the addictive nature of the opioid painkiller.

In the patent, Dr. Sackler doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that he’s trying to profit off of other people’s suffering. The description for the patent justifies the need for a new form of opioid addiction treatment by pointing out that people addicted to OxyContin are often willing to break the law in order to get their “fix.” Public safety and law enforcement costs associated with addiction are cited in some of the lawsuits against Purdue.

The description of the patent also states that buprenorphine could also be used to treat pain in people and animals.

Purdue Made Efforts on Paper…

Purdue is trying to show that it is taking steps to address the opioid crisis. The pharmaceutical giant has donated money to the National Sheriffs’ Association to purchase naloxone – a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose – and train law enforcement on its use. It has backed safer prescribing efforts, and in early September 2018, Purdue contributed $3.4 million to a company working on an inexpensive naloxone nasal spray.

…However

There is no question that Purdue Pharma is at fault for a pretty big chunk of the opioid crisis. In 2007, 3 top current and former company employees pleaded guilty to criminal charges, admitting that they falsely duped doctors and their patients into believing that OxyContin was less addictive than other opioid analgesics. It was reported earlier in 2018 that Purdue planned to stop promoting the drug. [2]

Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, a New York-based treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction, said:

“It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health.”

He added that the Sackler family “shouldn’t be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opioids – and that includes opioid substitutes.”

Sources:

[1] STAT (featured image source)

[2] The Washington Post

Sun Herald

Aiken Standard

Opioids are mind-control drugs; MKULTRA is alive and well

Opioids are mind-control drugs: MKULTRA is alive and well

by Jon Rappoport

November 21, 2017

Wikipedia: “[MKULTRA was] the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects, at times illegal, designed and undertaken by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations and torture in order to weaken the individual to force confessions through mind control…MKUltra used numerous methodologies to manipulate people’s mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals…”

A worldwide population enslaved to mind-control drugs—this is a dream that exceeds the fantasies of the old CIA MKULTRA warriors. And it’s here.

A few “adverse effects” of opioids: sedation, psychological dependence, physical addiction, hallucinations, delirium, brain fog, lowered level of consciousness, and thus, increased suggestibility.

Opioid effects may not be as overtly dramatic as those of MKULTRA LSD, but the overall impact on the mind is just as severe.

As I’ve shown in past articles, a major pipeline for opioids starts at the top of the food chain: pharma manufacturers like Purdue and Insys, who are traffickers. (note to reader: Opioid archive here.)

This follows the pattern of LSD, which in the 1960s was manufactured by Sandoz (and then obtained in large quantities by the CIA for MKULTRA). However, now, there is no need for the CIA. Huge shipments of opioids go directly to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics, who are lower level dealers, and then on to addicts.

Mind control has gone public in a huge way—far beyond the reach of LSD in the 1960s and 70s.

In fact, Congress and former President Barack Obama have played a major role in protection of the pharmaceutical traffickers. This assist occurred in April of 2016, when a new law was passed and signed by Obama: Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.

The whole thrust of that law was to create a much higher barrier, blocking the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from freezing pharma’s huge opioid shipments to lower level traffickers.

The Washington Post, which did a long piece on that law, reached out to Obama and his then Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, but both of them declined to comment. Well, enablers of the raging opioid epidemic would opt for silence, wouldn’t they?

Member of Congress, who are now bloviating about the need to curtail opioid trafficking, voted for the heinous law. They would now need to repeal it—but the horse is out of the barn.

The Guardian reports that “More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, most involving a prescription painkiller or an illicit opioid like heroin.”

Millions and millions of opioid addicts from every level of society are looking for their next fix in countries around the world.

In the US, AP states, “The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn, or roughly half a trillion dollars. In an analysis…the Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate.”

Half a trillion dollars.

More than 80 years ago, the largest pharmaceutical and chemical cartel in the world, IG Farben, brought the Nazi regime into power in Germany. Farben’s ghastly medical experiments on prisoners during World War 2 set the tone for the future of the medical drug industry. We are now seeing that pattern playing out on the world stage with opioids.

I recently looked up the number of different opioid medical drugs on the market. I stopped counting at 50. This is outrageous. With morphine and two or three more powerful opioids, all the legitimate needs of patients in severe pain could be met. In fact, it is the proliferation of various opioids that laid the groundwork for the current addiction and death crisis. There is no way to control the distribution of so many drugs.

Roughly 10 years into its MKULTRA mind control program (circa 1960), the CIA discovered the following: drugs like LSD and more powerful spinoffs were not reliable for controlling minds. The effort to program people to commit certain acts (e.g., thefts and assassinations) and then forget what they had done was unpredictable. There might be some successes, but there were many failures.

However, a different picture emerged. The drugs were effective in creating mind CHAOS.

Yes, the drugs could make the brain resemble scrambled eggs. That was no major technical feat. It was easily accomplished.

—“Control” the mind in the sense of rendering it hopelessly confused, and making it a broadcaster of errant and useless signals. Making it, in later stages, deeply passive.

Enter what we call Globalism today. In essence, this international Rockefeller movement (Rockefeller interests held huge power in the pharmaceutical arena) was aiming for governance of the global population.

What was needed, to accomplish this goal, was a way to repress, derail, confuse, debilitate, and cancel the clarity of minds on a mass basis, in every country of the world.

A silent war. A long-term successful war, in order to erase resistance to a takeover.

Mind control in the sense of mind chaos.

This is the wider version of MKULTRA.

No better example exists than the current opioid epidemic.

Any conspiracy has several levels of “who benefits.” It’s easy to say pharma’s plots are all about money and profit and nothing else. But at the highest level, control over populations is the key. The money is taken for granted.

When a combine like the Rockefeller cartel has all the money it can hope for, it’s aiming for something else.

It wants the world.

And drugs are one of its greatest weapons.


The Matrix Revealed

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)


Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

Filed under: CIA, Globalist, Mind control, Opioids

CBS News 10-27-17… “Drug company founder John Kapoor arrested for alleged opioid scheme”

This is perhaps an indication that these companies promoting “sell whatever drugs we can by pushing doctors to sell them for us” are finally being called out. Time to put an end to this. For these pharmaceutical giants, more and more people waking up is their main cause for “alarm”. This ain’t working anymore.

Some other executives were indicted back in December.

For those wondering about what kinds of things are opioids, check this WikePedia entry.

“Federal agents arrested the founder of a major drug company in an early-morning raid Thursday on charges stemming from an alleged scheme to get doctors to illegally prescribe a powerful opioid to patients who don’t need it… Kapoor is the most significant pharmaceutical executive to be criminally charged in response to the nationwide opioid crisis.

“The company [Insys] makes a spray version of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid intended only for cancer patients. Authorities allege Insys marketed the drug as part of a scheme to get non-cancer doctors to prescribe it. Numerous physicians were allegedly paid bribes by the company to push the painkilling drug.”

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Drug company founder John Kapoor arrested for alleged opioid scheme

Last Updated Oct 27, 2017 12:47 AM EDT

Federal agents arrested the founder of a major drug company in an early-morning raid Thursday on charges stemming from an alleged scheme to get doctors to illegally prescribe a powerful opioid to patients who don’t need it.

John Kapoor, 74, was taken into custody in Phoenix, Arizona. Kapoor is the billionaire founder and former CEO of the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. He faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and fraud.

kapoor-from-insys-website.png

John Kapoor, founder and former CEO of Insys Therapeutics

Kapoor is the most significant pharmaceutical executive to be criminally charged in response to the nationwide opioid crisis.

Brian Kelly, an attorney for Kapoor, said his client “is innocent of these charges and intends to fight the charges vigorously.”

Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January but still serves on its board. The company makes a spray version of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid intended only for cancer patients.

Authorities allege Insys marketed the drug as part of a scheme to get non-cancer doctors to prescribe it. Numerous physicians were allegedly paid bribes by the company to push the painkilling drug.

CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod reports Insys made 18,000 payments to doctors in 2016 that totaled more than $2 million. CBS News has identified headache doctors, back pain specialists and even a psychiatrist who received thousands of dollars to promote the drug last year.

A federal judge on Thursday set bail for Kapoor at $1 million and ordered him to wear a electronic monitoring bracelet and to surrender his passport, CBS News’ Pat Milton and Laura Strickler report.

Last December, six other Insys executives were indicted on federal charges in Boston in connection with the alleged scheme to bribe doctors to unnecessarily prescribe the painkilling drug.

Filed under: apocalypse, cabal, new energies, partners in contrast Tagged: Insys, Kapoor, Opioids, Pharmaceutical industry

Opioid Use Now Tops Tobacco Use in the U.S.

A survey released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that more people in the U.S. use opioid painkillers than tobacco, highlighting the tragic opioid crisis gripping the country. [1]

A federal review published in the spring showed that opioid prescriptions in the U.S. decreased for the 1st time in 2 decades, which suggests that doctors are finally starting to heed warnings about the drugs’ addictive properties. However, that decrease has not translated into fewer deaths. The SAMHSA report illustrates just how widespread the problem remains.

The problem is especially severe in Tennessee, where there are more opioid prescriptions written than people actually living in the state. There are 1.18 opioid prescriptions per every resident of Tennessee. More people died from overdoses in the state in 2014 than from car crashes or shootings. [2]

Source: CDC

Nationally, 37.8% of American adults are using some type of opioid painkiller, while 31.1% of U.S. adults use tobacco problems.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), more than 91.8 million Americans 18 and older used prescription painkillers last year. By comparison, 75.4 million U.S. adults used tobacco products. [1]

Those numbers creep even higher when children 12 and older are included; to 97.5 million and 78.3 million, respectively. And more than 12.5% of those users admitted to misusing the painkillers.

Danny Winder, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research in Nashville, said:

“You’d like to think that is good news and reflects a reduction of tobacco use, but unfortunately that’s not the case. It’s a particularly pernicious problem because of its prevalence…Anytime you have a substance that is legally available and has addictive properties, that’s setting up the problem.” [2]

Actually, smoking rates have declined significantly in the U.S. in the last 50 years. From 2005 to 2015, smoking among adults declined from 20.9% to, or 45.1 million, to 15.1%, or 36.5 million. In the last year alone, the overall smoking rate fell 1.7 percentage points, resulting in the lowest prevalence since the CDC began collecting data in 1965.

However, you don’t generally associate tobacco use with hard drugs, yet many people who die from heroin overdoses begin with a dependence on prescription opioids. Even in those who don’t overdose or graduate to heroin, painkiller addiction can be devastating. In 2015, approximately 40% of unemployed people in the U.S. used a prescription opioid. [2]

Another disturbing finding from the survey is that in 2014, 27.0 million people aged 12 and older had reported using an illicit drug (10.2%). This percentage in 2014 was higher than those in every year from 2002 to 2013. [1]

The 2nd most common type of illicit drug use remained nonmedical painkiller use, but the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2014 who were current nonmedical users of pain relievers (1.6%) was lower than the percentages in most years from 2002 to 2012.

The 2014 NSDUH estimated 66.9 million people aged 12 or older were tobacco users.

Dr. Richard Soper, chief at the Center for Behavioral Wellness in Nashville, said:

“We require tobacco companies to put warning labels on tobacco products; you don’t really see that in opioid products. As long as the FDA is continuing to approve opioids, there will still be access to it. There will still be doctors writing prescriptions.” [3]

In early 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published draft guidelines outlining testing standards for generic drugs that have been produced to be harder to crush and dissolve or snort. The agency requires that generic drug makers be able to prove that their product is bioequivalent to the name brand drug. But under the new guidelines, manufacturers will also have to prove that their generic drug has the same anti-abuse properties as its name brand equivalent.

However, this is the same agency that approved OxyContin for use in children in August 2015.

Sources:

[1] Newsmax

[2] The Tennessean

[3] The Daily Caller

CDC


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