My View on the Opiate Crisis

I have been watching some of the coverage about the opiate crisis here in the US on tv. It seems big pharma has been thrown under the bus but the bus needs to back up and run over all those involved in creating this crisis. The average person does not go directly to big pharma to get their drugs. There is a middleman who is just as culpable as big pharma. In fact, without this middleman, the average citizen would not be able to get prescription opiates.

To be clear, opiates have been around forever. Morphine is an opiate. Morphine has been used as a heavy hitter for pain relief forever. When I had my c-sections, they had me hooked up to a morphine pump. I did not ask for it. I used it because they had already given it to me but soon I realized I did not need it. The second C-section, I used did not use it. I did not see big pharma at my bedside giving me morphine but it was prescribed by my doctor. Doctors are the middle men who are actually the drug pushers. For pushing certain drugs, there are also rewards doctors/hospitals receive from big pharma.

Big pharma visits doctor’s offices or hospitals bringing not only their drug literature but also free samples to get patients to take their drug, free lunches or dinners for the staff, vacations/conferences, and contests for prescribing the most. In other words, they give bribes and these bribes are readily accepted. The only ones not receiving much in the way of bribes are the patients themselves. A free sample or two is not much. It is the doctor who usually decides what brand of drug you will take because it is usually based upon what sales pitch is the strongest or in other words, which bribe is the most lucrative.

Pain relief is a big business at least here in the United States. You can walk into any store which sells over-the-counter medicines and various pain relieving compounds will take up one complete aisle. Unknown to many, these over-the-counter pain reliefs are not safe for us to take as often as is done. But that is okay as the medical community is standing by to offer their “cures” and to assist us in becoming a permanent passenger on the continuous roller coaster ride of healthcare treatment procedures. They know once you embark upon that journey, you will be a source of continued revenue.

Pain relief not needing a prescription is big business. Unfortunately, the medical community and big pharma also know that and have fine tuned their radar to profit from that information. From the moment you encounter any medical personnel from a EMT, a medical assistant, a tech, a nurse, or a doctor who are asked repeatedly about pain. They even use what they consider a universal pain rating scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worse pain ever. If you have pain or they suspect you have pain and may not be admitting to it, you can expect to get “a little something to ease the pain.” This is the middleman at work. This is not to say there is not a need for pain relief but it is overused. The medical community seems to think that giving pain relief is the most important aspect in medical care. But who is most important to–the patient or the medical staff?

Going back to the experience my husband had is a good example of how pain relief can be misused. But who was it misused by? My husband had a heart attack. He was in pain. When I took him to the hospital, he was asked what his pain level was. I had given him a couple of aspirins and put muscle rub on him to help w/ the muscle spasms. He told them his pain level was around a 7 at home but upon arriving at the hospital it was around a 6. They said they would give him something for the pain. He told them he was very leery of pain killers and refused versed/benzos. as he was extremely sensitive to their side effects. The negative side effects included but not limited to raising/lowering his blood pressure, decreasing/increasing his breathing rate, nausea, prolonged impaired functioning abilities both mentally and physically to the point where he was basically in state of inaction, lethargy, tiredness, etc. as well as having prolonged effects lasting much longer than average. Versed/benzo. has made him loose memory from events not associated w/ the versed administered period and also has permanently altered his sleep patterns. They said they could give him a small dose of morphine. They also said nitro would help with the pain too. He looked at me and I told him he should take the morphine for the pain. However, we didn’t know they decided to give him 4mg of morphine which is more than what he should have had. We also did not know that for whatever reasons this hospital chose not to record what he had said about the negative efforts pain killers and versed/benzos have on him. Once he was given the morphine and nitro, his pain level was “a 1 or a dull ache” as he told them when asked. The ER doctor made note of this. As we were sitting there for the long wait for the “quickest” (it was not the quickest as a local EMT service should have been called for ground transport but the “quickest” was their service and the most expensive means) transport by helicopter, I could tell he was not in pain. He was very subdued and deep in thought as I was. When the helicopter crew arrived (let me interject this about the helicopter team–there were 3 of them who entered the ER bay–a nurse, an EMT, and the pilot. I can see the nurse and EMT but the pilot is unnecessary and he should not be privy to the patient’s personal health information as he is not medically involved but rather the driver of the vehicle), as I was sitting there, one of them asked him what his pain level was as don’t forget pain relief is the most important thing. My husband replied it was “a 1 or just a dull ache.” According to the medical records, it was recorded as an 8. For that to be true, he would have been on the floor rolling screaming in pain like I found him at home. He was not. Again, he was very subdued, breathing w/ effort like he had been for the past few months as he had been diagnosed incorrectly (now we know this) with bronchitis. He was not in pain. Once loaded into the helicopter they gave him noise reduction headphones to wear and he said they never asked him again about pain as he could not hear anything but the noise from the helicopter as it was so loud. However, they documented 2 more times his pain level was an 8. Again, he was calmly lying on the stretcher and not screaming and rolling on the floor in pain. Unknown to him and certainly without his consent, the helicopter medics gave him 100 mcg of fentanyl. The administering of the this excessive amount of fentanyl for someone who is extremely sensitive to the reactions of this type of drug is negligent and put him on the course for his abusive hospitalization experience.

Why was this done? Why did they falsify the records? Why do they so freely give opiates such as fentanyl? My husband did not want or need the fentanyl but they gave it to him without his consent or knowledge. It is clear why he was given fentanyl. He had not consented for the procedure the hospital wanted him to have. He wanted more information and for me to be involved when he arrived at the second hospital. They did not want this to happen so they chose to drug him to make him compliant and submissive as this is what fentanyl did. He actually told them it would severely impair his functioning abilities so they did it on purpose. He was isolated from me and I could not question what they were doing. They were able to do it without him knowing it. He thought he was loosing his mind because he had no clue as to why he was feeling like he was a spectator who was detached from what was happening and did not have the ability to call “cut” or stop the action. Drugs like fentanyl and versed are used to control. It makes their jobs easier because the patient does not interfere with what they plan to do.

As he made compliant by the helicopter crew to have a procedure he did not want or consent to, the cardiac cath lab personnel was there to give him versed and more fentanyl. Although he had personally had enough fentanyl to bring down an elephant, the cath lab needed to justify the administering of more drugs so they said he was in pain. He said he was not in pain. The result was life threatening as his blood pressure plummeted. But that was okay because they got to give him other drugs to fix that. Never mind, they also almost killed him by their negligence. They also labelled this crime as cardiogenic shock rather than negligence of giving him drugs that he had told them would have adverse effects. He was a man who was having a heart attack which destabilizes blood pressure giving him drugs he had told them would also destabilize his blood pressure (they also know that fentanyl and especially with the combination of versed has the possibility of doing this too) along with nitro which decreases blood pressure in addition to having right and left side involvement. They set a course to kill him but luckily didn’t succeed. For those interested, the use of versed and fentanyl is called conscious sedation. Versed is used primarily to erase memories, to make you submissive, and to encourage uninhibitiveness (which is another way of saying that when they have you naked for no reason, you will do nothing about it). Fentanyl does reduce pain but the cath is not painful but rather uncomfortable at the most for selected periods of time. It is not something the average person could not tolerable but the US medical community likes for their patients to be drugged so the medical staff has freedom to act however they choose and you won’t interfere or remember. An interesting fact is that in Europe, they generally use no type of painkiller or sedative for angiograms/angioplasty.

What the above story demonstrates is the lengths medical staff will go to give opiates. They are indeed the drug pushers. Big pharma might be the drug lords but the medical community certainly are the street level drug dealers. They are the ones who connect the average person to the drugs which eventually the addicted person will get any way they can. They do not care about the consequences they have caused. In fact, they have found a new way to profit from the opiate crisis they helped to created. They will now treat the addiction they caused. Of course, this treatment is a very lucrative revenue stream which is the reason there is an opiate crisis. Everything is about money, power, and control. Big pharma should not be the only ones paying the price for the opiate crisis. The doctors, hospitals, and nurses knew these drugs are addictive and were being over prescribed. Big pharma did not administer the drugs nor did they prescribe them. The drug dealers did that. Most addicts became addicted to these drugs through a medical encounter. It is time for the blame for this crisis to be shared by those actually pushing the drugs. In my husband’s case, those involved in forcing those drugs into his body should go to jail to serve time for physically shooting him up with opiates he did not want or consent to having. Is this the type of medical treatment we should have in the United States where medical providers can inject you with drugs against your will and then stand by as if they are innocent in the carnage they have helped to create?