Archive for drug testing

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Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Clay Bennett


David Horsey


Bruce Plante

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Clay Bennett


I Wanna New Drug



I had some dental surgery recently which involved a bone graft. For the pain they gave me Vicodin.

I have a liver/kidney ailment and for pain management, they give me Vicodin.

It seems everyone I talk to is given this brand of Hydrocodone when they have a pain issue. It's sort of yesterday's "Take two Aspirin and call me in the morning" kind of panacea. Vicodin, good for whatever ails you.

And I have to say that it has worked amazingly well for me. I've notice no side effects, I only take it when needed and my life goes on, comfortably physically.

Evidently lots of other people are using it, successfully, too. So its time for the FDA to poke it's nose into the issue to see how the medication is used and abused. I appreciate their concern and my protection. Well, sort of.

The New York Times reports:

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended tighter controls on how doctors prescribe the most commonly used narcotic painkillers, changes that are expected to take place as early as next year.

The move, which represents a major policy shift, follows a decade-long debate over whether the widely abused drugs, which contain the narcotic hydrocodone, should be controlled as tightly as more powerful painkillers like OxyContin.

The drugs at issue contain a combination of hydrocodone and an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or aspirin and are sold either as generics or under brand names like Vicodin or Lortab. Doctors use the medications to treat pain from injuries, arthritis, dental extractions and other problems.

That sure got my attention. Am I going to be left in lingering pain, or am I going to have to find a new drug?

Technically, the change involves the reclassification of hydrocodone-containing painkillersasSchedule II medications from their current classification as Schedule III drugs. The scheduling system, which is overseen by the Drug Enforcement Administration, classifies drugs based on their medical use and their potential for abuse and addiction.

Drug classifications are a tricky thing. And they don't always make sense. According to the DEA who classifies marijuana with heroin and ecstacy (absolutely ridiculous but true) there's now a solid threat that requires changing the classification of a medication solely for the purpose of requiring twice as many doctors visits than previously to receive this pain-saving medication. That's right. It doesn't limit the distribution, only the number of refills a doctor can write without seeing you.

So in essence, this is a forced office-visit to your doctor, raising our healthcare costs, when it's not changing anyone's habits. If you think your doctor's are busy enough already, and then add the new patients from Obamacare who now can see a physician, how does this make sense?

While you ponder that conundrum, chew on this:  This recommendation requires the approval of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

That's the same, Kathleen Sebelius-led DHHS, responsible for the "successful" Obamacare computer rollout. I think she's got a bigger headache than adding this to her "must do" list.  Maybe she should just take two Vicodin and call us in the morning. We may all feel better then. And maybe, if we're lucky, the online site will finally be working. Then we can ween her off the hydrocodone she wants to reschedule.


The Case for Requiring Members of Congress to Take Drug Tests


Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

In case you missed it, the Republicans in Congress got the Democrats to agree to drug testing many applicants for unemployment compensation. In return, the Democrats got the Republicans to sign off on an extension of unemployment benefits this year, although with the number of eligible weeks shortened. [...]

In short, the implementation of drug screening (for specified applicants) to receive unemployment funds stigmatizes less fortunate Americans by implying that if you aren't rich and anointed, you are a drug addict, a derelict or a criminal. [...]

Following the logic that people who stand to receive state or federal money should be drug tested, BuzzFlash at Truthout proposes that every member of Congress should pee into a cup and be certified drug free before being allowed to assume office. They should also be subject to random drug tests while they serve in DC. [...]

Let John Boehner be the first to show Americans that he is drug free, and let the rest of Congress - every member of the House and Senate - be forced by law to grab the plastic cup and head for a washroom stall.

You can read the rest here.


VIDEO- Mitt Romney: Welfare recipients should be drug tested, "a great idea."


First there was Georgia, now there's Willard supporting Georgia, by saying he thinks drug testing welfare recipients is "a great", no, even better, "an excellent idea."

Civil rights advocates, meanwhile, have been quick to challenge the constitutionality of drug testing bills that were passed last year, and courts blocked similar bills from being implemented in Florida and Michigan.

Civil rights aside for just a moment, not only is the number of people who use drugs and who also benefit from government assistance extremely low, it's not exactly cost effective either. So, the "They're all addicts!" talking point has been debunked, and the program is costly.

And Wise Man Willard thinks this is a "great" idea. Of course, he thinks outsourcing is too, along with "personhood," corporate personhood, marriage inequality, and abusing his dog.