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There is no opioid epidemic...

birdup.snaildown

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deficiT said:
I agree in the sense that it should be called the overdose epidemic, as that's what's really happening here.

I don't think the word epidemic is ideal. There has been a massive increase in opiate-overdose deaths and meth/coke-overdose deaths... but the opiate deaths are much higher and rising at an alarming rate.


December Flower said:
That's probably one of the smartest things I've read on the internet

Well, I am the smartest person on the internet. ;)
Seriously, what a lovely compliment. Thank you.
We've come a long way, me and you.

Mu_Opioid said:
The CDC does not publish peer reviewed scientific papers as far as I'm aware. CDC can therefore assert facts and figures at will (whether or not they're accurate) without being subject to rigorous peer review.

Is there a real need for peer review with data as simple as opiate deaths?
Why would the CDC lie about this? Do you honestly think the numbers are wrong?

Mu_Opioid said:
the overwhelming vast majority of opioid users — whether the opioids are used for analgesic purposes, recreational purposes or otherwise — do not descend into desperate and immoral addicts who escalate into fiendish and dangerous IV use.

A) You can die from opiates via all methods of ingestion.
2) You don't have to be desperate to die.
III) You don't have to be immoral to die.
D) You don't have to be fiendish to die.
 

AutoTripper

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A) You can die from opiates via all methods of ingestion.
2) You don't have to be desperate to die.
III) You don't have to be immoral to die.
D) You don't have to be fiendish to die.
In some cases too you can actually be very lucky to die. Like, maybe the one thing we fear the most collectively, can really set us free.

Freddie Mercury was seen as a bright Optimist and man of light, yet he still wrote those lyrics....This world has only one, sweet moment, set aside...for us.

Still it would be nice to at least have a brochure..
 

Burnt Offerings

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I think that there's a lot of room for subtlety and middle ground between "it's all a hoax by an unholy alliance between the public and private sector & pharmaceutical-industrial complex", on the one hand, and all of the hysteria regarding the issue on the other. It's a "real issue", just as crack was a "real issue" during the late 80s/early 90s, and meth was a "real issue" during the late 90s/early 2000s...but, at the same time, the media in true sensationalist, yellow journalism fashion (the default mode regarding any drug-related story) also makes the issue hysterical and advances narratives not born out by the evidence, such as the claim that most, or even a substantial minority, of illegal opioid users start their career with an opioid Rx for a legitimate medical reason. Such narratives do hurt the cause of people who rely on these medications to manage chronic pain, the vast majority of whom do so responsibly.

The narrative of "opioid prohibition and undue regulation is the result of 'big pharma' influence" also doesn't really make sense to me, either based upon the historical evidence of opioid distribution during the 90's and 2000's, or just from a, dare I say it, "common sense" standpoint...wouldn't pharma want a widespread proliferation of their products?
 
Last edited:

Atelier3

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As with all conspiracy theories the OP has failed to explain what incentive so many institutions and so many researchers from so many universities have in downplaying the seriousness of opioid addiction and the resultant deaths. And even if there is a conspiracy surely there would have been a whistleblower or some disgruntled former member of the conspiracy leaking details of the plot.
 

AutoTripper

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As with all conspiracy theories the OP has failed to explain what incentive so many institutions and so many researchers from so many universities have in downplaying the seriousness of opioid addiction and the resultant deaths. And even if there is a conspiracy surely there would have been a whistleblower or some disgruntled former member of the conspiracy leaking details of the plot.
I only want to suggest, with respect to your own views and belief system, things don’t always have to be a conspiracy theory.

There are always ulterior motives at play, especially involving money.

Industry thrives upon manipulation and trickery. Money is the root of evil.

I’m not saying the OP’s specific suggestions here make merit, I honestly don’t know. I mean in a general sense, even if I was not the A1conspiracy theorist you know, I would see it as possible for hidden, likely financial or control purposes, for misinformation to be presented as credible intel to the public.
 

Xorkoth

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The "epidemic" aspect refers mostly to the fact that fentanyl and fentanyl analogues are showing up in - literally - nearly all street heroin now (like drug testing services are showing 99 out of 100 samples containing fentanyl, and a large percentage are only fentanyl and no heroin), and even fake presses, and even in other drugs. Fentanyl has been a contaminant in several batches of cocaine in my town, recently a casual friend of mine died from it, and another guy I had met a few times but was a friend of my friend died the last time, from contaminated cocaine of all things. There were even fake gabapentin pills with fentanyl in them a while ago. It's crazy. Because of this, the rate of opioid overdoses has skyrocketed. There are without a doubt more opiate overdose deaths in recent times, by a lot. This is just a simple fact which you can see by looking at data that any source has gathered. I am not sure about the number of opioid addicted people, it seems like in the 90s there were also a whole lot of heroin addicts and it was a scourge of the population then, too. Certainly, though, there is a high rate of opiate addicts now, which is a problem. Some areas are hit especially hard, as someone else mentioned, Vancouver has a terrible problem, for example, that you couldn't possibly pretend didn't exist and wasn't much, much worse than at any other point, if you saw it.

As for your assertion that only a "small fraction" of opioid experimenters end up as addicts, I think that is a mistaken assumption that is in fact pretty dangerous to post on a harm reduction forum, where people come to find information and opinions when they are thinking about trying drugs, including opiates. I know for myself, I used opiates for years before I really realized I was an addict, and I spent 10 years of my life really badly addicted. I never went to IV use, because I hate needles, and I kept my life together, but my life became a living hell, and I'm a person who is good at keeping my shit together when inside I'm falling apart, so I'm lucky. And I still struggle. Of all the people I have known who got into opiates, some tried some hydrocodones a few times, maybe an oxy or two, and never developed an addiction, but the great majority of them have either had serious problems, or are dead. I literally don't know anyone who continued to use opioids casually for years, they either didn't use them much and stopped, or developed an addiction. And so many are dead, seriously. I've been doing drugs for decades, and more Bluelighters than I care to think about are dead now, most of them from opiate overdoses. Some of them were good friends. A few people I knew in high school ended up dead (from actual heroin back before the fentanyl days). One of my closest friends died a few years back (from fentanyl sold as heroin).

Give it time, and you'll see. Opiates have a place, for people in a lot of pain. If you had said that most people prescribed them for pain after procedures and such do not end up serious addicts, then I might agree with you. But experimental drug users are opening pandora's box with opiate experimentation. Most people I know in real life, and most Bluelighters who decide to try opiates and stick around for years so that we get to see how it progresses, end up with serious problems eventually, when the purpose of taking the opiates is to get high.

Of course some experimenters don't get addicted. But it has been my experience and observation that if you attempt to use opiates to get high, you will most likely develop a serious problem eventually. The two choices are to try them and stop, or try them and slowly increase rate of usage and dose over time. It is very difficult to maintain an equilibrium where you do not descend into addiction.
 

AutoTripper

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and most Bluelighters who decide to try opiates and stick around for years so that we get to see how it progresses, end up with serious problems eventually, when the purpose of taking the opiates is to get high.
I think that principle could be applied to most DOC’s here too, to varying extents.

So just thought, the demographic this particular site may give in that sense, could be an inaccurate overall representation.
 

AutoTripper

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crack was a "real issue" during the late 80s/early 90s,
In my own hometown of Bedford UK in early 2000’s Crack was pretty massive, ever so popular and so readily available everywhere.

Really seen as relatively acceptable. Coke too of course.

I know a lot of people who went right skew wiff off of Crack habits. I was in “Crack
Dens” by flow of incident, many times, and most uncomfortably so.

And I knew of lots of very criminal like, shady, niceties only don’t get involved type people massively on it. It was everywhere then.

I actually picked up a wildfire catching nickname there once- a nice but junkie black guy Marvin said to me...Man, you really are Jesus aren’t you?

So from those present, suddenly hundreds of people over the town, all I was sound with, call me Jesus to this day. Lol. I did have long dark hair though back then.

But crack was very plentiful in early 000’s. Maybe it just sunk into the background and
found a way to fit into culture.
 

Jagdfeld

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I sympathize with your initial premise, OP. But not really your reasoning.

Individuals are more susceptible to radical methods of coping due to systemic, societal issues. Not simply because drugs are "bad" and more available.

There is a marked reduction in opportunity, growth, happiness, etc when compared to previous generations. The trend towards more dangerous drug use as a means to cope with a more dark reality seems logical.

I think the addiction model and approach is woefully poor, it doesn't really address the actual reasons most abuse drugs in the first place.
 

Burnt Offerings

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I sympathize with your initial premise, OP. But not really your reasoning.

Individuals are more susceptible to radical methods of coping due to systemic, societal issues. Not simply because drugs are "bad" and more available.

There is a marked reduction in opportunity, growth, happiness, etc when compared to previous generations. The trend towards more dangerous drug use as a means to cope with a more dark reality seems logical.

I think the addiction model and approach is woefully poor, it doesn't really address the actual reasons most abuse drugs in the first place.

I agree with the points you raise here. IMO the amount of people who accurately fit the "disease model", i.e. people with a real inability to maintain any sense of normalcy in their lives once a particular drug is introduced, is relatively minimal, and certainly such people are a minority within the overall group of even people who develop a problematic relationship with drugs. Otherwise drug use and abuse often occurs due to external, environmental factors in the individual's life. But these problems are more complicated to address and solve, are often outside the user's control, and takes the focus away from an entirely internalized narrative of drug misuse...whether we're talking about drug misuse as a "moral failing" or drug misuse as a "disease", doesn't matter, the starting and ending point for both is the individual in question.

And, to a certain extent, that's a positive thing, as it encourages personal growth, responsibility and making positive change in an individual's life...however, it mitigates or completely ignores external factors, which are more vexing and difficult to deal with, and often raise uncomfortable questions about the socioeconomic or environmental context that drug use occurs in.
 

Jagdfeld

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And, to a certain extent, that's a positive thing, as it encourages personal growth, responsibility and making positive change in an individual's life...however, it mitigates or completely ignores external factors, which are more vexing and difficult to deal with, and often raise uncomfortable questions about the socioeconomic or environmental context that drug use occurs in.

Definitely don't mean to dismiss that possible byproduct of our current approach, you're absolutely right.

Despite our pleasant interpretations of both the process and the potential outcomes, the numbers belie the reality behind the approach. What success rates do the literature present about 12 step programs, rehabs, etc? Single digit %s? Low double digit for the good ones? Would this suffice in other medical ventures?

In our refusal to raise those uncomfortable questions about systemic and environmental issues, we ignore the greater driving forces behind this current "epidemic." We're looking for explanatory power in blaming the individual. I understand the power of individual responsibility, but I find it unfortunate we can't seem to look much at the clock past the gears.

Additionally, I think most "addicts," those who find themselves in disadvantageous positions potentially as a result of their drug use, need to be empowered. Believed in. Hyped up, so to speak. Not torn down and belittled. To be made to feel welcome and capable. That they're not some freak of nature, morally bankrupt person, but a human just like all of us.

I'm speaking in the 3rd person, but all of this applies to me and my adventures in this crazy life.
 

DarkFuel

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New Mexico
Sorry, I should have posted the link.
I am quite drunk.

This is CDC data.
Deaths/100,000 refers to fatalities from opiate overdoses within the United States.

Anyway... Here is the link:



This is a problem I frequently encounter with people online. Common sense doesn't trump science. It doesn't matter how smart you are. You can't out-logic reality. The CDC doesn't work for Big Pharma. The CDC isn't biased. If you don't believe the data, you don't want to believe the data. Don't underestimate the power of denial.



What is everything?
Common sense is also rarely used,or can be applied to, complex situations or especially multi leveled conspiracies. The more people involved the less likely things are in a straight line
 

Atelier3

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Common sense is also rarely used,or can be applied to, complex situations or especially multi leveled conspiracies. The more people involved the less likely things are in a straight line
When it comes to conspiracies, the larger they are thought to be, the more implausible they are given how difficult it is for people to keep a secret.
 

Atelier3

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I agree with the points you raise here. IMO the amount of people who accurately fit the "disease model", i.e. people with a real inability to maintain any sense of normalcy in their lives once a particular drug is introduced, is relatively minimal, and certainly such people are a minority within the overall group of even people who develop a problematic relationship with drugs. Otherwise drug use and abuse often occurs due to external, environmental factors in the individual's life. But these problems are more complicated to address and solve, are often outside the user's control, and takes the focus away from an entirely internalized narrative of drug misuse...whether we're talking about drug misuse as a "moral failing" or drug misuse as a "disease", doesn't matter, the starting and ending point for both is the individual in question.

And, to a certain extent, that's a positive thing, as it encourages personal growth, responsibility and making positive change in an individual's life...however, it mitigates or completely ignores external factors, which are more vexing and difficult to deal with, and often raise uncomfortable questions about the socioeconomic or environmental context that drug use occurs in.
I don’t disagree with what you have written but when I reflect back on my own use I think the disease model accurately captured my relationship with drugs. In my 20s, before I ever went to rehab or got therapy, my use was entirely uncontrollable and all consuming. However getting older it looks more like a moral failing. I could definitely be abstinent if I chose to, thanks to everything I learned in rehab, therapy and so on.

I don’t like the term moral failing, but if I choose to take drugs I inevitably do things that my sober self would think reprehensible and not want to do so there is a moral element to it.
 

emkee_reinvented

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The moment they started prescribing Oxycodone for broken arms that were 'fixed'. I knew something had shifted.

After heavy dental, in your mouth = extremely painful, you would get Ibuprofen. Not Codeine, not tramadol def not Oxycodone.

When I read about a 16 old girl that got addicted to Oxycodone after the broken arm thing, it seemed obvious.
As she was in no pain, the painrelief had no function. Or the function was gettin her addicted. What i understand is the after pain is almost zero with an broken arm. The itching is more annoying i believe.
 

Zephyn

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This is almost as bad as the guy who thought the cia was conspiring to suppress low dose meth
 

xxsicknessxx

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I can't get more pain meds but I'm in more pain. I'm thinking every day about killing myself. What about how many opiet prescriptions there are vs how many people they're are? The problems people with real pain can't get help because the stupid law are just getting worse. I don't understand I lived through the opiet problem. Oxy. It's real it happened I loved through it. But the problem now isn't that people abuse drugs I think it's you can't get pain meds in a reasonable way. I can't get extra, if I lose them I'm screwed, if there stolen in screwed, I can't get more, I can't change my pills from norco to oxy to fight tolerance why? If my doctor's telling me the truth because it would get me black listed from pain pills forever.

Tell me how to get more pain meds? I think that's the crisis. For real, people in pain can't get the help they need and once your in pain and you don't have something to take its impossible to help your self. In lucky I get any help at all but also it makes me sad that I'm getting worse but they're zero more help for me. I dunno. I'll keep trying but I do agree the media doesn't tell the truth. Let's see if the laws ever change to protect me. Because I need protection so I don't lose my pills. It's like people won't vote for anything drug related unless it's making the laws more restricted. They never ease up. It's so unfair. Makes me very sad.
 

deficiT

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I can't get more pain meds but I'm in more pain. I'm thinking every day about killing myself. What about how many opiet prescriptions there are vs how many people they're are? The problems people with real pain can't get help because the stupid law are just getting worse. I don't understand I lived through the opiet problem. Oxy. It's real it happened I loved through it. But the problem now isn't that people abuse drugs I think it's you can't get pain meds in a reasonable way. I can't get extra, if I lose them I'm screwed, if there stolen in screwed, I can't get more, I can't change my pills from norco to oxy to fight tolerance why? If my doctor's telling me the truth because it would get me black listed from pain pills forever.

Tell me how to get more pain meds? I think that's the crisis. For real, people in pain can't get the help they need and once your in pain and you don't have something to take its impossible to help your self. In lucky I get any help at all but also it makes me sad that I'm getting worse but they're zero more help for me. I dunno. I'll keep trying but I do agree the media doesn't tell the truth. Let's see if the laws ever change to protect me. Because I need protection so I don't lose my pills. It's like people won't vote for anything drug related unless it's making the laws more restricted. They never ease up. It's so unfair. Makes me very sad.
I'm sorry you're getting screwed by oppressive drug laws. Please don't let yourself get too far under mentally, I'm sure there's got to be a way you can get your meds.
 
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