Tag: drugs

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Recently I listened to the Remnant podcast hosted by Jonah Goldberg with Charles C. W. Cooke as the guest. They discussed several very interesting issues, including Brexit and the debates within the conservative community regarding support for Donald Trump. But they also discussed whether drugs should be legalized. Jonah Goldberg is very skeptical of the […]

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Last week I watched the Tom Cruise movie American Made, which is an admittedly fabriciated account of the life of smuggler/pilot Barry Seal, who allegedly graduated from TWA to arms running for the CIA to drug smuggling for the Colombians, but when you check the wikipedia page, nearly all of it seems to have been […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Checkpoints and No-Go Zones

 

Amidst the daily drama of #NeuterTrump collusion with the unconstitutional administrative state and their allies of convenience, the Democrats — and with the latest instance of President Trump actually trying to oppose the Russian regime with which he is willfully falsely accused of colluding — soldiers of the National Guard prepare to respond once again to a threat at our southern border. But what is the nature of that threat? Is it just a group of women and children, even if organized by an open-borders socialist group? Two vignettes may help clarify the real stakes.

A Tale of Three Check Points

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Well for me this was a first. This morning I took the wife for her initial visit to a neurosurgeon, his hair was just beginning to gray. He has a good reputation, is part of the Vanderbilt system, and his medical questions and the way he conducted the exam I appreciated. His plans for follow-up and […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Addiction, Homelessness, and Healthcare

 

I’m really tired today after coming off of working three days in a row. That may not seem like a lot to the regular work-a-day folks, but when you’re in healthcare, the hours are often long and arduous. I’ve worked about 40 hours in the past three days, and I work in a busy Emergency Department in Portland, OR. Every day that I worked, the ED was on divert — meaning ambulances were directed to not come to us because we were so busy.

When I left work last night, there were 30 patients in the waiting room. Many had been waiting three to five hours just to be put in a room; the wait time to see a physician after being roomed was even longer. Staff scurried about looking haggard, pulled in a million directions. At one point I counted 17 patients in the department that had been admitted to inpatient services waiting for a bed, but since the hospital was full they continued to board in the ED. Multiple patients were there with mental health crises that had landed them with psych holds.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Give Me Misery or Give Me Death?

 

Doctors retire. That’s the context of my recent experiment in “detoxing” from two prescriptions, both of which strike me (but not yet the FDA) as good candidates for over-the-counter (OTC) sale. (Most striking detox effect so far: a massive earache.) One is Celecoxib, an anti-arthritis drug. The other is Montelukast, an anti-asthma and anti-allergy drug. What’s scary about selling both these drugs OTC is allegedly death.

Celecoxib is a Cox-2 inhibitor, and those drugs as a class still haven’t completely aired out the stink of death brought on by Vioxx. Montelukast maybe sometimes cause psychiatric side-effects, according to postmarketing reports, raising the specter of suicide (though postmarketing reports could report anything as a side-effect, short of “pet turtle died”). But the most frightening thing about Montelukast appears to be that it’s an effective asthma control medicine, and the FDA is apparently nervous about making effective asthma control medicines available to consumers directly.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Burning Man 2017 in Review

 

With 70,000 hippies streaming past my back window, I believe we can safely say that Exodus is underway. And with Exodus underway, we may safely conclude that the 32nd Burning Man has ended. Thus, for those who are interested in such things, I thought I might provide an overview of this year’s version of the World’s Most Dangerous Art Festival from the perspective of someone who has been going since 1995.

I’m unsure of exactly how many times I’ve been to Burning Man. Somewhere between 19 and 21. I skipped the year my daughter was born, and possibly one other for work reasons back in the 1990s. It’s hard to remember exactly. Nevertheless, I was there for the formative (and highly unsafe) HELCO year of 1996; the “bad year” of death and mayhem which led to co-founder John Law renouncing the event, leaving forever, and the introduction of the entire slew of laws which govern the festival to this day.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dreamland – A Review

 

Billed as “the true tale of America’s Opiate epidemic,” Sam Quinones’s Dreamland is a pretty quick read considering it’s about 350 pages. The blurbs on the back promise “expert storytelling,” and I suppose it is. The storytelling is good enough to make me wonder how heavily Quinones selected for stuff that would make a good story, while other stuff, equally true and relevant, but less dramatic, got discarded along the way. Quinones focuses on the marketing of OxyContin as a safe prescription drug, its subsequent abuse, the spread of a new means of dealing black tar heroin, and the connection between these, telling the tale of several colorful characters along the way.

To Quinones, the spread of opiate use to white America – not just to impoverished “rust belt” regions, but also to the offspring of the wealthy, managerial class – is fraught with moral meaning, though perhaps contradictory moral meaning. Heroin tempts us when we’re too wealthy, when we’re too poor, because we feel entitled to pain relief, because we don’t feel entitled to stop when it hurts but instead succumb to pressure to tough it out by any means necessary; it tempts us when we’re underwhelmed by life, it tempts us when we’re overwhelmed… Opiates are both the new party drug and the new drug of social isolation… Addiction is simultaneously a moral indictment of American consumerist excess during the pre-crash boom, a testament to post-crash misery, and an illness which deserves less moral stigma than it gets. Forgive me for suspecting at times that, to Quinones, opiates serve mostly as a random moral generator.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Friday. After it appears, I post it Sunday on Ricochet. More

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With all the insanity of 2016, marijuana legalization has gone more or less unnoticed in this current election season, except occasionally in association with Gary Johnson. I suppose there are a few reasons for this. There are plenty of other things going on in the news cycle to drown it out. It’s not technically a national […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

We typically avoid talking about maddening and infantilizing enteric distress, but there’s a good chance most of us have experienced it at some point. Many a home medicine cabinet contains Imodium (active ingredient, loperamide), and some of us may have had a doctor recommend a newer prescription agent, eluxadoline, for problems that occur with greater […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A High Injustice

 
That's racist.
That’s racist.

The Washington Post reports on the “modern-day civil rights fight” to correct the historical, systemic discrimination in… Maryland’s medical marijuana industry:

Black Maryland state lawmakers are planning to propose emergency legislation to address the dearth of minority-owned businesses approved to grow medical marijuana in the state and may demand scrapping the results of a nine-month application process and starting over. […] The ideas floated at Friday’s meeting included eliminating caps on marijuana growing licenses to allow all minority companies to compete, conducting another round of licensing exclusively for minority-owned businesses and even starting the entire application process over, with race taken into account.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Illegal Substance Do You Crave?

 

The Federal Government has, for quite a long time, banned the sale or importation of a very wide range of products. Having never had access to those products, most Americans don’t know what they are missing. But they are a loss nevertheless.

I wrote this post to find out what I am missing. But I can start by sharing an example or two of what Americans lack, courtesy of a stupid federal bureaucracy:

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At the park near my in-laws’ house in the Denver area, there’s a large enclosure for dogs to run free. Not everyone embraced this addition to the park, but it’s popular with the locals, and I like to see the dogs sprint over the grass after toys and interact with each other. Yesterday, two small, lithe Labradors […]

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Scott Adams’s blog post today discusses behaviors of presidents, and whether or not their past behaviors can offer any insight into their future behavior. Now, Doc’s essay on the subject last week got pulled for CoC violations (which was a shame, because the insights were profound and the comments civil), but he’s far from alone […]

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When VICE initially asked me to go down to Colombia to dig into this scopolamine story, I was pretty excited. I had only a vague understanding of the drug, but the idea of a substance that renders a person incapable of exercising free will seemed liked a recipe for hilarity and the YouTube hall of fame. I […]

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Imagine a place with full employment; everyone who wants a job can have one. The job shortage is so severe that 38% of the people living there are the equivalent of Green Card holders, and another 5-10% of the people who work there are daily commuters from overseas. That would be something like 20 million […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Wrong Kind of Radicalism

 

Let’s talk about marijuana. On second thought, let’s not. Instead, let’s talk about counterproductive political movements and how they turn people off from otherwise worthwhile messages. The protest this past Saturday outside the White House at which proponents of legalized marijuana decided to light up at 4:20 PM present the worst kind of stupidity. Honestly, grow-up, people. If a bunch of home distilling enthusiasts decided to get drunk in public outside the White House, they would have been arrested. The same should have happened to these yahoos.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Other Drug War

 

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration rejected the application of Biomarin Pharmaceutical to market its drug Kyndrisa™ (drisapersen) for use in the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The FDA, as is often the case when it rejects a drug application, listed all sorts of technical reasons why the data presented was not sufficient to establish by respectable scientific means that the drug in question was safe and effective in its intended use. Without question, much evidence from the clinical trials revealed serious complications from the drug’s use, including blood-platelet shortages that were potentially fatal, kidney damage, and severe injection-site reactions. But the no-treatment alternative could prove far worse.

Duchenne is a rare but fatal genetic disorder that attacks only young boys, roughly 1 in 3,500 to 5,000. Typically, it first manifests itself between two and five years of age. With time, it relentlessly weakens the skeletal muscles that control movement in the arms, legs, and trunk. Most of its victims are wheelchair-bound between the ages of seven and 13. By 20, many have died.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Making Drugs Affordable

 

shutterstock_197494286Remember Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive who jacked up the prices of an off-patent drug used by some AIDS patients last year and who was recently perp-walked for securities fraud? The Left treated his arrest as a victory for the common man, but it hasn’t made pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in Daraprim, any more available to those who need it.

Mark Baum, however, has done just that: Since last year’s media fiasco, the compounding pharmacy he runs has been selling drugs with the same chemical properties (with an added, relevant vitamin) for about a $1 a pill. That’s among the reasons why Shkreli’s antics didn’t lead to a pile of dead bodies.

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