Bit(ch) 15: “They had me on Morphine and OxyContin for a while…”

Kylie “Tee” Toponce. Why Marijuana Works Better Than Opiates to Control Pain. AlterNet, 5/9/14.

“It started with a snowboarding accident; my knee got really messed up. They had me on Morphine and OxyContin for a while, but eventually the prescriptions ran out. As soon as they stopped giving me a legitimate source, I got into the underground scene,” says Randall*. “I was pronounced legally dead once, but I still didn’t clean up. My eight-year addiction didn’t stop until it eventually landed me behind bars.”

CDC. Policy Impact: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses: What’s the Issue? http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/

Fucking “Randall”—acute pain and he gets motherfucking morphine and Oxy as first choice pain meds? Come on! Morphine? Who’s this quack and why won’t he give me some fucking morphine?

Cases like Randall’s are not uncommon; roughly 6 percent of people who take legitimately-prescribed opiates try heroine within ten years.

How A Big Drug Company Inadvertently Got Americans Hooked On Heroin. HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/heroin-epidemic_n_4790898.html

“not uncommon”? “Not rare” is 6%? Out of 100%, 6% is “not uncommon.” WTMF? This means that 94% of the time, people given prescriptions for Oxycontin and its relatives do not become “Randalls.” Out of 100 people, only 6 are Randalls. What about us 94 Percenters?

I agree that “125,000 [overdose deaths] in the last decade,” about 1250 per year, is alarming. If MADD’s statistics are accurate “28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes” every day, about 10,220 a year. Cigarette smoking leads to “480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.” I’m not saying the overdoses aren’t significant or that nothing should be done about the increase in opiate-related overdoses and rising rates of heroin use and overdose deaths, but I am complaining about the whiff of hysteria I smell every time opiates or pain medications are mentioned. Should caution be applied? Yes. Unlike in fucking “Randall’s” case. Should patients on opiates be educated and, if at risk, screened? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that 1 prescription of Lortab or even Oxycontin will create an opiate addict or will inevitably lead to junkie status and overdose death because…I’ve never quite found the reason why when those at most risk to die of opiate overdoses are “35 to 54 years of age,…white or Native American,…on Medicaid,…living in a rural area.” Other groups also are at risk but if doctors don’t screen or educate their patients on how to properly and safely use pain medications, why use the outliers to punish the 94%? Because that obviously has not worked.

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DTMFA

I so love Jenni Prokopy.

 

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Pain 3 Ways

Differences in pain treatment can be summed up as follows:

A white man walks into a doctor’s office complaining about pain. He leaves the office with a prescription for pain medicine. Possibly Oxycontin.

A white woman walks into a doctor’s office complaining about pain. She leaves the office with a prescription for anti-depressants. Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Viibryd. And possibly Abilify added on if the complaints continue.

A person of color, pick a gender, walks into a doctor’s office complaining about pain. That person of color leaves the office with nothing.

The End.

——

Green, C., & Hart-Johnson, T. The Adequacy of Chronic Pain Management Prior to Presenting at a Tertiary Care Pain Center: The Role of Patient Socio-Demographic Characteristics. The Journal of Pain, 11.8 [August 2010]: 746–754.

In several clinical vignette studies, women and minorities received lesser quality pain care for acute, chronic, and cancer pain when presenting with similar pain problems than men….These and our current findings provide support for differences in pain-care quality. Although no racial differences in analgesic prescribing adequacy were found, we did identify differences in analgesic prescribing adequacy by gender. The gender gap was widest among younger patients and diminished as they approached age 50, suggesting younger women are at risk for lesser quality pain care.

Kposowa, A., & Tsunokai, G. Searching for relief: racial differences in treatment
of patients with back pain. Race & Society, 5 (2002): 193–223.

Results provide evidence to suggest that there are substantial racial/ethnic disparities in the likelihood of obtaining prescriptions for back pain in the United States. African American male patients were significantly less likely to receive pain medications than White male patients. African American and Hispanic male patients were considerably less likely than their White counterparts to receive prescribed pain medications. These results persisted even after controlling for the potentially confounding effects of pain intensity and source of payment. In addition, African American and Hispanic patients presenting with back pain received fewer medications on average than White patients [213].

Mossey, J. Defining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pain Management. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 469:7 (Jul 2011), 1859-1870. Link.

Pain Management and Prescription Drugs. Common Sense for Drug Policy, DrugWarFacts.org.

20. (Undertreatment of Pain More Common Among African-American Patients Than Whites) “Undertreatment of pain among African Americans has been well documented. For example, children with sickle-cell anemia (a painful disease that occurs most often among African Americans) who presented to hospital emergency departments (EDs) with pain were far less likely to have their pain assessed than were children with long-bone fractures (Zempsky et al., 2011).

“In general, moreover, a number of studies have shown that physicians tend to prescribe less analgesic medication for African Americans than for whites (Bernabei et al., 1998; Edwards et al., 2001; Green and Hart-Johnson, 2010). A study that used a pain management index to evaluate pain control found that blacks were less likely than whites to obtain prescriptions for adequate pain relief, based on reported pain severity and the strength of analgesics provided. Because such an index is a way to quantify a person’s response to pain medication alone, it is likely that people in this study did not receive other types of treatment for pain either.”

Source: Institute of Medicine, “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research” (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2011), p. 68. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13172

27. (Populations At Increased Risk For Chronic Pain And For Inadequate Treatment) “An important message from epidemiologic studies cited by Blyth and colleagues (2010) is ‘the universal presence across populations of characteristic subgroups of people with an underlying propensity or increased risk for chronic pain, in the context of a wide range of different precipitating or underlying diseases and injuries’ (p. 282). These vulnerable subgroups are most often those of concern to public health.5 Increased vulnerability to pain is associated with the following:

“• having English as a second language,
“• race and ethnicity,
“• income and education,
“• sex and gender,
“• age group,
“• geographic location,
“• military veterans,
“• cognitive impairments,
“• surgical patients,
“• cancer patients, and
“• the end of life.
“Many of these same groups also are at risk of inadequate treatment.”

Source: Institute of Medicine, “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research” (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2011), pp. 64-65.

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13172

- See more at: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Pain#sthash.cexZY0YU.mYofam3q.dpuf

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Bit(ch) 14

Ideology is the refuge of the stupid.

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“Who wants to be in a party that’s anti f*ck-ins?”

The Raw Story. ‘I’m pro f*ck-in’: Cenk Uygur mocks GOP’s shrill response to Hobby Lobby joke. 7/2/2014.

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1341

1341? LA’s incarceration rate in States of Incarceration: The Global Context from the Prison Policy Initiative:

world incarceration_states as countries

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Bit(ch) 13: Fuck!

The Supreme Court Just Made It Harder For Women To Exercise Their Right To Choose. 6/26/14. Think Progress.

Thanks, Supreme Court. With Governors Jindal and Walker competing to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics ["abortion clinics" they're called though only 3% of what PP clinics do nationwide is abortion services; much of what PP does is STI/STD
testing/treatment and contraception] and clinics that provide abortions [along with other services] as an audition for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination [http://www.gop.com/act/presidential-straw-poll], this is another Fuck You! and if you think this is “just some women’s issue,” wait until the Supreme Court comes for your ass.

Yes, I’ve had an abortion. I feel no shame and had no “negative effects” or guilt and not because I’m a sociopath. [Honestly, I felt relieved and hungry.] Men making those decisions for women is patriarchy [from The Males of Games] without a smile.

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Flood into Baton Rouge: June 28

Flood into Baton Rouge: June 28

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Email Subject Line: Due process unconstitutional?

______,

On Tuesday morning, teachers across California got up, went to their schools and dedicated their day to helping students learn and grow.

While teachers led their classrooms, a judge in a Los Angeles courtroom said that for students to win, teachers have to lose.

You’ve probably seen news about Vergara v. CaliforniaWe want you to hear directly from us about how we’re fighting—in California and across the country—to support students, protect teachers and tackle the real issues facing public education.

Before we get into the details, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge the teachers in California’s classrooms. Our opponents have spent months—and millions of dollars—vilifying California teachers to push a political agenda. So we want to start by telling teachers across California that we see their dedication, and we’re grateful for their service.

Sign our thank-you card to California teachers, and let them know you honor their commitment and courage.

If we want every child to have a chance to thrive, we must retain and support a stable teaching force—especially in high-poverty schools. By attacking the rules that protect and support teachers, the Vergara decision destabilizes public education.

Make no mistake: Last Tuesday was a sad day for public education. While the decision was not unexpected, the rhetoric and lack of a thorough, well-reasoned opinion are disturbing.

For example, the judge believes that due process is essential, but he ruled California’s protections for teachers unconstitutionalbecause he believes two years is not long enough for probation.

The judge argues that no one should tolerate bad teachers in the classroom. We agree—and in many states we’ve reformed the process to protect teachers and ease the burden on schools. But in focusing on teachers who make up a fraction of the workforce, he strips the hundreds of thousands of good teachers of any right to a voice.

In focusing on who should be laid off in times of budget crises, he omits the larger problem at play: full and fair funding of our schools so all kids have access to the classes—like music, art and physical education—and opportunities they need.

The judge seems to think teachers are the core of the problem facing public education. We know that teachers hold our schools together, especially in the toughest times.

Sign our thank-you card, and tell California’s teachers that you know they’re the glue that holds public education together.

Sadly, while the court used its bully pulpit to criticize teacher protections, there was no mention of funding inequities, school segregation, high poverty or any other out-of-school or in-school factors that have been proven to affect student achievement and our children.

And perhaps worst of all, there is nothing in this opinion that suggests a thoughtful analysis of how these statutes should work, or lays groundwork for a path forward. Other states have found ways that don’t pit teachers against students but instead lift up entire communities.

This will not be the last word. As this case makes it through an appeal, we will do what we’ve done in state after state. We will work with parents and communities to fight for safe and welcoming neighborhood public schools that value both kids and the women and men who work with them. No wealthy benefactor with an extreme agenda will detour us from our path to reclaim the promise of public education.

We’re fighting back. When Secretary Duncan praised this flawed ruling, we publicly called him out for his mistaken views. We’ve been making our case in every form of media, all while gearing up to appeal the case in higher courts.

Stand with us in the fight to reclaim the promise of a high-quality public education for every child. Start by showing California teachers that we see and appreciate their dedication.

In unity,

Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
Joshua Pechthalt, California Federation of Teachers

P.S.: We’ve included some fair, well-reasoned coverage of the case below, in case you’d like to read more.

Why the California Tenure Decision Is Wrong and Will Hurt Disadvantaged Students,” American Prospect
Making It Easier to Fire Teachers Won’t Get You Better Ones,” Los Angeles Times
Why that ruling against teacher tenure won’t help your schoolchildren,” Los Angeles Times

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“The truth is that George Will is lying.”

If you didn’t know that George Will is an idiot, his opinion on June 6 sealed it.

Lynn Beisner breaks down his opinions this way:

Like most publications of some repute, the Washington Post does not typically print opinion that is based on clearly fanciful representations of facts. For example, I highly doubt that they would publish a piece in which George Will opined that all extraterrestrial aliens should be required to wear pink in public. Even though that would be nothing more than an opinion, it is based on facts that are not in evidence: that extraterrestrial aliens walk among us and wear clothing.

If you take away the guise of opinion, what you have in Will’s opening lines are propaganda statements that are absolutely contrary to the facts. For Will’s “opinion” to be worthy of printing, the Post had to believe that there is some truth in the following statements:

1. Women receive positive attention for being raped. Having a “coveted status that confers privilege” requires that someone else confer that status and those privileges. Someone must be giving the average survivor so much positive attention that we all want to have the label of survivor.
2. Women want to be raped. After all, anything that is both “coveted” and “confers privilege” is something that women must be dying to experience.
3. Rape is not the reason that rape “victims proliferate.” Will suggests that the reason we have high rape statistics on college is not because rapists rape—it’s because we have made being a rape victim something that is “coveted” and that “confers privileges.” In other words, the problem is not that rape happens. It is that progressives grant that women have the nerve to talk about it. And what will cure that pesky old rape problem is kicking those darn progressives out of university life.
4. Dealing with rape is so “excruciating” for colleges and universities that the pain of victims pales in comparison. Therefore, we must alleviate the suffering of college administrations even if that encourages rape and inflicts more pain on survivors.

Let’s be very clear about what happened here: Under the the guise of giving space to one man’s opinion, the Washington Post has told men that women want to be raped, that women get positive attention for it, and that the real problem is that women talk about it.

The Washington Post has just given young men permission, if not an incentive, to rape.

Will tries to support his amoral opinion by offering two pieces of evidence. The first are data that he willfully misinterprets. It must be a willful misinterpretation since I am fairly sure I could get a chimpanzee to understand why there might be a difference between rapes reported to campus security and what is reported to social scientists. But let me put it in the most simplistic terms I can: Police do not always file reports on rapes reported to them. And many women are afraid to even tell the police what happened to them because they know how horribly our justice system will treat them. So they are more likely to tell the truth in anonymous surveys than to the police.

Will’s other piece of evidence is a story of campus rape. He pulls selective quotes from transcripts and extrapolates that one story is representative of all date rape on college campuses. The smoking gun for him are the following facts: that the woman had a prior relationship with her rapist, that the woman was there of her own free will, and that she had engaged in foreplay with the man in question.

Since Will seems to think that one story can make a case, let me offer another story of a young woman in college who went to the house of a man she had known her whole life. In fact, they had grown up together. She went to this man’s house of her own free will, engaged in foreplay, took off her own clothing, and even agreed to engage in sex.

That excludes her from the category of a “legitimate” rape victim in Will’s eyes, does it not? And if she talks about it or files a complaint, she should be ignored, right? After all, she must be just looking to get that “coveted status” and the privilege that comes with it.

The excerpt below includes very graphic, horrifying descriptions. But they are there to tear Will and his psychopathic opinions into bloody bits:

So here is the story: When I was 19, I decided to have sex with a man I had known my whole life. I went to his house in my favorite outfit—jeans and a trendy sweater. Under it were my favorite matching baby blue bra and panties. We made out on his sofa, and I followed willingly when he led me to his room.

By the time we got to his bed, I was naked from the waist up. I remember being ashamed of the tiny pooch of my belly, worrying that he would find an extra inch of flesh unacceptable. I shucked my own panties and jeans before I climbed into bed.

You will have to forgive me if I cannot offer a complete narrative of what happened after I entered the bed. I know how guys who excuse rape, like George Will, feel about women who pass out during sex—that they deserve whatever happens. So I know that some will mock me when I freely admit that between pain, shock, and blood-loss I lost consciousness several times.

The man who sexually assaulted me did it with such force that he tore my vagina from the opening through the cervix. I gushed blood, which he later licked up as if he were a vampire. He continued to pound me after he had torn me, banging my intestines for what felt like hours and spreading bacteria throughout my peritoneal cavity.

I drove myself to a friend’s house, and she took me to the hospital. By the time that I got there, I was in critical condition. I coded twice before they could get me stabilized. I saw the white light and had a near-death experience. Surgery and blood transfusions saved my life.

You’d think that with that kind of an injury, I’d definitely experience the status and privilege that George Will claims sexual assault victims are afforded. Everyone would believe my story, and no one would dare say that a woman who had been so brutalized wanted it or had it coming. Right?

But the police would not even file a report or record my statement. In so many words, they explained to me that no reasonable jury could believe that taking off my panties wasn’t a tacit agreement to having my vagina ripped and my intestines pounded and the exterior of my colon bathed in semen. As a single woman, I had entered the home of a single man, so it did not matter how much of his bedroom was bathed in my blood, or that there was a trail of it out of his door and in my car. I had engaged in foreplay with him, so whatever followed, even if it killed me, was fair game.

It never ceases to amaze me how heartless, how anti-empathetic humans can be toward each other. Wait—this case actually did. Wait—most cases of rape and torture do. And leave me breathless, my own PTSD humming in the background.

In reality, I have been humiliated, blamed, and faced with death threats.

A few years ago, I received a rape and death threat against my daughter so gruesome and personal that I have felt obligated to write under a pseudonym since.

The truth is that George Will is lying. There is no privilege or status granted to those who have been sexually assaulted. We are counted as liars or trouble-makers. We become the objects of gossip, attacks, and other people’s projected shame.

I am someone who has born witnessed to and been a victim of the kind of a sexual assault that Will tacitly condones. And without an ounce of sarcasm, I can say that it has given me “a coveted status that confers privileges”—so long as the status you covet is that of advocate, and the privilege you long for is to help others.

…Will lied, and with those lies he gave his tacit permission for college-aged men to rape. For this gross breach in the most basic rules of journalism, he deserves to be fired from any and all media-related jobs. And I, for one, will judge the ethics of media outlets by how they respond to his “opinion.”

Bam.

I expect few spots of honor among thieves media outlets.

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