WASHINGTON — A Senate report released Thursday lays out systematic failures in the reporting system for suspicious opioid orders, faulting some drug distributors and manufacturers for their roles and criticizing the Drug Enforcement Administration for a years-long lull in enforcement actions.

The findings, the latest in a series of reports from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the top Democrat on the Senate’s leading oversight committee, pointed in particular to disparities between two leading drug distributors: McKesson (MCK) and AmerisourceBergen (ABC).

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  • “The opioid crisis these pills have fueled”
    Oh, give it a break, lady. Substance abuse and addiction have been around since the beginning of time. Most who have studied this substance agree that abuse and addiction rates have stayed relatively the same throughout history.

    The majority of overdoses are caused by heroin spiked with licitly-manufactured fentanyl, along with other substances, including benzos produced by “research chemical labs” located in China (and other areas).
    “4 out of 5 heroin users began with prescription opioids” … The media and government love to spout this study, however, they leave out something very important:

    The subjects of this study began with the non-medicinal use of prescription opioids, most of which were obtained in an illegal manner. (The title of the study should have clued them in – “Associations of Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use and Initiation of Heroin Use in the United States”)

    This means the subjects of this study were already exhibiting the behavior associated with substance abuse and addiction by using the substance (prescription opioid-based medication) for the sole purpose of achieving a high.

    For the majority, substance abuse and addiction begins with the recreational use and misuse of a potentially-addictive substance (regardless of substance), NOT legitimate medicinal use. In fact, even the National Survey on Drug Use and Health determined:

    “less than 4 percent of people who had abused prescription opioids started using heroin within 5 years” and

    “those who transition to heroin use tend to be frequent users of multiple substances (polydrug users).”

    Recent studies have also determined that the percentage of those who entered substance abuse treatment and used heroin as their “initiating opioid of abuse” rose from 8.7% in 2005 to 33.3% in 2015. In other words, more and more people are using heroin without ever being exposed to opioid-based medication.
    The mere exposure and consumption of alcohol does not cause alcoholism. If it did, the majority of Americans would be alcoholics, as most of us have consumed even a small bit of alcohol at one point in our lives.
    Perhaps we should start limiting the amount of alcohol each adult can purchase in a year to end the beginning of alcoholism. How about limiting the amount of junk food each of us can purchase and eat each day to end food addiction, which can lead to major health issues.
    Ban gambling and shopping since both of those activities can lead to gambling addiction and shopping addiction. Need I mention restricting the amount of sex each adult can have per week to end sex addiction?
    https://archive.samhsa.gov/data/2k13/DataReview/DR006/nonmedical-pain-reliever-use-2013.pdf
    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/relationship-between-prescription-drug-heroin-abuse/heroin-use-rare-in-prescription-drug-users
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28582659

  • DEA hoped to put some CEOs in jail for failing due diligence even after discipline. DEA lawyers prevented this. Then Congress passed a law making it near impossible. 46 former DEA agents work to help protect corporations and their CEOs (Whistleblower, 60 Minutes).

  • Were the prescriptions primarily written for Medicaid patients and did the increase coincide with the start of the ACA?

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