Showing posts with label opioids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label opioids. Show all posts

Friday, March 22, 2024

News That You Can Use

This weekly column consists of letters written to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now and haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

“Popular culture is a place where...propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing.” 
                                                                                                    -Criss Jami

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

My news you can use file is filling up my hard drive so I've pulled out some of the more interesting stories. 

According to Renaissance Recovery (Effective treatment for addiction, founded by people in recovery), who would seem to be in a position to know, "There is...

{Founded by people... Now that's what I call making lemonade when life serves up lemons.} 

"There is a widespread shortage of the prescription medication hydrocodone in the United States, with drug manufacturers failing to provide clear reasons for the scarcity."

{Wait-wait-wait. Are you confessing that...}

No, I'm not, other than Ianazones Peperoni Pizza (ask for lightly baked as they tend to over-bake) my only addiction is current events and I've been unable to find a rehab that treats current events junkies. 

{Then how did...}

Someone that I'm very close to, who comes from a long line of drunks and druggies on both sides of her family, is suffering from Lyme disease that has triggered a cascade of other problems, including severe pain, told me. 

She's terrified of becoming addicted to painkillers and approaches the problem hyper-vigilantly, always careful to take the absolute minimum of her prescribed meds to get relief. 

She mentioned that there are all sorts of opioid painkiller shortages which sometimes results in her and her Docs having to get creative to keep her pain under control. She quite rightly refuses to buy anything "off the street," terrified of getting something laced with fentanyl.

{This makes no sense, I thought...}

So did I. Feel free to go a-googlin (I did) and you'll discover that the DEA, the FDA, and Big Pharma are basically stonewalling the public as to what's going on. The Fedrl Gummit has yet again dropped the public health ball, Big Pharma is afraid of lawsuits, and innocent people are suffering.

{Well, maybe. But the Princess of Wales is using AI or something to tweak family photos! What about that?!?}

According to FoxNews (I know, I know. Thank God for CNN, right? The writer emits an undignified giggle....) there's trouble in the District of Columbia school system. 

"Nearly 6 in 10 of the 500 children at Maury Elementary School are white. At Miner Elementary School, 80% of the kids are black, many of whom are in foster care, receive public assistance or are homeless." (My underlines and I decapitalized Black and White 'cause I'm not nuts.) 

In the name of DEI, D.C. officials want all students to start off at one of the two schools and finish at the other. Problem solved, yes?


Parents of the kids currently enrolled in one school or the other have gone to the mattresses in opposition to the plan for all of the reasons you can easily imagine. If you should go a-googlin' for details please advise me if you find the answer to two questions I've been unable to discover.

Has the plan been officially approved, or not?

Has anyone suggested using the vast resources of the Fedrl Gummit to resolve the problems at Miner and let the kids remain in their current schools? The knowledge gained could be used to fix problem schools all over America. 

I just thought of a third question. What's the official position of the local teachers union given that teacher's unions are well known nationwide for their expertise and unflagging dedication to educating the nation's young people?

Ban TikTok? What about free speech!
The Emperor never rests when it comes to protecting his flock. According to the Wall Street Journal, there's a citizen of the Middle Kingdom living in Italy who, via X and a website, provides news that's censored in China to over a million people still enslaved there. 

"Now, he is encouraging his China-based followers to drop him, after many of them told him they have been subjected to police questioning."

{Enslaved? That's a bit hyperbolic, don't ya think?}

Ask the Weigers, the Tibetans, millions of 996 employees (someone has got to make the sneakers and iPhones, and...), citizens with bad social credit scores, Hong Kongers, people that... 

{996 employees?}

9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. 

{My old man worked 12 hr. days.}

So that you, or anyone, wouldn't/shouldn't have to. Although... wait, you had a father? How could... never mind.

If you're too busy to follow the link and read the fascinating/horrifying article, one more quote if you please. 

"Li said in an interview that his website and X account have become frequent targets of hacking and cyberattacks and that he has moved four times in the past year for fear of being tracked down by Chinese authorities."

Checked your white privilege lately?
Did you know that marriage promotes white supremacy?

From an article in The College Fix: “I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy,” I'll bet you're wondering what marriage fundamentalism is, right? 

Well, the quote is from Professor Bethany Letiecq, of George Mason University. " associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development, specializing in the utilization of community-based participatory action research approaches, anti-racist research methods...and mixed method designs (e.g., qualitative and quantiative methods) in partnership with minoritized and marginalized families."

Benjamin Vogel (a student at Hope College, who wrote the College Fix article) got the marriage fundamentalism quote from a paper published by Dr. Letiecq in The Journal of Marriage and Family with the titillating title: Theorizing White heteropatriarchal supremacy, marriage fundamentalism, and the mechanisms that maintain family inequality.

{Cool, but what's marriage fundamentalism?}

Sorry for the drift, but as a public service... I'm sure that many people are familiar with the phrase "publish or perish," which refers to climbing the occupational ladder to become a full professor with bulletproof tenure and then remain at the top of the academic food chain.  

Big BUT, publish what? Where? Well, often as not it's obscure papers for obscure academic journals that almost no one will ever read. 

Anyways... as to marriage fundamentalism: "I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy. Marriage fundamentalism can be understood as an ideological and cultural phenomenon, where adherents espouse the superiority of the two-parent married family." -Professor Letiecq

I suspect that some of you may be tempted to skip reading Prof. Letiecq's paper but Mr. Vogel's article helpfully supplies us with another quote that explains where Prof. Letiexq is coming from, in his/her/their own words. 

"Letiecq employs 'critical family theorizing…to delineate an overarching orientation to structural oppression and unequal power relations that advantages [white heteropatriarchal nuclear families] and marginalizes others as a function of marriage fundamentalism.'"

{Well who can argue with that?}

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Big Pharma Sucks! Or, It Doesn't...

And tort lawyers Suck! Or, they don't...

Image by Jukka Niittymaa from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in an intersectional meltdown. Intended for H. sapiens who are — in the words of the late, great bon vivant, polymath, and pic-a-nic basket expert, Professor Y. Bear — "Smarter than the av-er-age bear." 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"I believe in prescription drugs. I believe in feeling better." -Denis Leary

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

My late wife was a preemie born in 1952 whose underdeveloped lungs were treated by marinating them in pure oxygen which permanently damaged them. If not for a drug called prednisone created by big pharma that hit the market in 1955, we wouldn't have met in 1985.  

I wouldn't have a world-class daughter and son-in-law; I might not have okay-class grandkids (the Stickies) or at least the ones I've been blessed with.


Lame joke. Gotta make sure they're paying attention. 

In 1954, Dr. Arnall Patz figured out why, despite dramatic advances in the treatment of preemies, a lot of them were going blind. Simply reducing the oxygen levels in incubators solved the problem.

Ronnie's eyesight was damaged, but she wasn't blind when she was brought home from the hospital; she did arrive home with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). 

According to the American Lung Association, "Babies are not born with BPD; the condition results from damage to the lungs, usually caused by mechanical ventilation (respirator) and long-term use of oxygen."

Prednisone, which comes with a boatload of unpleasant side effects, to put it mildly (and an indomitable will) helped to keep her alive for 54 years in spite of her doctors predictions of a much shorter life.  

Recently, everyone's favorite class of legal eagles, tort lawyers...

{You mean ambulance chasers?}

Your epithet, not mine, Dana. Clearly, there are people and organizations that need suing. I just wish America followed the English Rule.

{The what?}  

Wikipedia: The English rule provides that the party who loses in court pays the other party's legal costs. Also: The English rule is followed by nearly every Western democracy other than the United States. 

See, under the English rule, if you sue someone and lose, you have to pay their legal costs. Lawyers won't agree to represent you for "free" (in reality a third of the payoff) if they know the suit is baseless.

{Wait-wait-wait. Why would they file a baseless suit regardless? Isn't that a waste of time?}  

Not if the mark has deep enough pockets. It's often cheaper for the mark to settle out of court than to go to court.

The columnist clears his throat and begins again. 

Recently, lawyers have joined battle in the thriving metropolis of Cleveland. A lawsuit filed against CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, in 2018, has finally gone to trial. 

The plaintiffs are two Ohio counties seeking to recover the cost of dealing with the opioid epidemic — from firms that filled legal prescriptions, written by doctors.   

Several years ago, one of the many times Ronnie was in the hospital because of some illness related to her BPD and/or the side effects of using prednisone for many years (which caused her to be in pain all of the time), the weekend resident doc prescribed oxycontin to relieve what was obviously some intense pain. 

She told me she hadn't felt that "normal" in years, was up and walking around, and was as sharp as a tack. 

On Monday the weekday doc came back on duty and freaked out. The Drug Enforcement Administration had begun watching and there were lawyers staked out under gurneys.

No more of the good stuff (that is to say, actually effective) for you. Suck it up buttercup, too many people looking over my shoulder. 

I've developed a case of Un-huh!/Nuh-uh! syndrome. Is there a pill for that?  

I've read a bunch of articles from mainstream sources researching this column. I don't know if big pharma knew, or at what point, that they had created a monster when they created oxycontin and similar drugs. 

I've read a bunch of articles over the years about big pharma in general and I don't know if it is (they are?) as evil as some maintain, or a force for good as others maintain. I suspect they fall somewhere in between, just like everything and everyone else.

I do know that there are a lot of people that suffer from chronic, debilitating pain that need opioids for relief. I do know that only doctors can prescribe these drugs, which were/are approved by The Fedrl Gummit. 

I do know that statistically speaking, that most of the poor bastards that are overdosing in the streets nowadays die from heroin and fentanyl, not prescription drugs.  

I've gotta go, It's time to take my atorvastatin. Geesh, I can't remember if I took my tamsulosin last night or not...

Poppa loves you,
Addendum: My late wife Ronnie (not a nickname) wore glasses as soon as it was practicable and for the rest of her life. At a fairly young age, the docs announced that her eyesight would shortly, for all intents and purposes, be gone.

Her aunt Golden (also not a nickname) took her to a healing service held by evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman, a controversial figure who was famous enough in her day to have appeared on The Tonight Show in 1974. 

As the story goes, although she still needed thick glasses, the docs declared that she was no longer going blind, and they had no idea why. I wasn't there, being busy being a kid in Pittsburgh at the time, but...

{I don't believe in faith healing.}

Yeah, me neither, Dana.

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