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 Politics: Sometimes a Clock is Just a Clock

HealthBy Rosemarie Jackowski

"They arrested me and accused me of making a hoax bomb." That is what 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed said. He was handcuffed and arrested because of an innocent high school project. Irving, Texas Police Chief Larry Boyd commented: "We live in an age where you can't take things like that to school." This is Islamophobia gone wild. In case you missed it - Ahmed made a clock. He took the clock to school to show his teachers. Then someone mistook the clock for a bomb. "Paranoia runs deep..."

The War on Terrorism is not the only war we have on our shores today. We also have a War on Drugs. It is a myth to believe that every patient whoever takes opiates for pain will become an addict. That is like believing that everyone who ever has a glass of wine with dinner will become an alcoholic. Addiction phobia has created some unintended consequences.

These two wars are running parallel and creating serious collateral damage. Prejudice against anyone who might be a Muslim is out in the open. All religions and all non-religious beliefs must be respected. No exceptions.

To law enforcement and Homeland Security, everyone looks like a terrorist. Everything looks like a bomb. To the DEA, everyone looks like a drug addict. Every pain med looks like an illegal drug.

It gets worse. Now respected doctors are being 'watched' - in overt ways and also some subtle ways. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program keeps lists doctors who prescribe opiate pain meds. Many doctors have been prescribing pain meds for decades with no problem, but now the government is 'watching'. Imagine being a doctor and receiving an official letter from the government. ...

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The letter compares the prescriptions you have written with the prescriptions other doctors have written. You are given a numerical rating based on your number of opiate prescriptions. This has a chilling effect on the doctor's ability to practice good medicine. Imagine that you are a doctor with a family to support and loans to pay, would you put your patients first? That is a dilemma no doctor should ever have to face.

Doctors should always be free to make the best possible choice for patients. First do no harm should be the rule. The doctor/patient relationship has been destroyed by Big Brother. A conflict of interest for doctors has been created by an intrusive, over-reaching government. When the DEA targets doctors and chronic pain patients, it is just as harmful as targeting innocent high school kids who work on interesting science projects.

According to the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs, as of October 16, 2011, 37 states have operational PDMPs that have the capacity to receive and distribute controlled substance prescription information to authorized users. States with operational programs include:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Eleven states (Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin) and one U.S. territory (Guam), have enacted legislation to establish a PDMP, but are not fully operational… from the US Dept. of Justice web site

"... Barbara Cimaglio, Vermont’s Deputy Commissioner of Health, admits those electronic medical records are not very user friendly. We want to make it easier for them ...,” said Cimaglio.... A streamlined data collection system is one of several improvements to be funded by a $4 million grant to the Department of health from the Centers for Disease Control. Cimaglio says the grant will also be used to create a profile of doctors, so they and their patients can see, for example, whether they write more or less than the average number of painkiller prescriptions compared to their peers...". VPR web site

These two wars are not only doing harm but are also costing taxpayers a lot of money. Think about this. Who is really benefiting? Are we safer when high school kids are arrested for science projects? No.

Are we blessed with an improved health care system when we deny the elderly, disabled, and chronically ill pain meds? No.

So exactly who is benefiting? Maybe law enforcement... lately they have been receiving a lot of expensive military type equipment to fight the imaginary terrorist down the street. About the drug war, I.T. companies have been making big profits. In any war there are winners and losers. The drug war and the war on terrorists have made us all losers.

To end the war on terrorism: "... If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize – very publicly and very sincerely – to all the widows and orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. Then I would announce to every corner of the world that America’s global military interventions have come to an end. I would then inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union, but - oddly enough - a foreign country.

Then I would reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings, invasions and sanctions. There would be more than enough money. One year’s military budget in the United States is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. That’s one year. That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated...". William Blum

To end the war on drugs: Treat addiction as a health problem. Use the money saved to create a real universal health care system.

There is reason to hope. Recently the FDA finally acknowledged that pain can be an important health issue, even for children. The FDA approved opiates for 11 year olds. Anyone who has ever seen a child in extreme pain will understand and not be alarmed.

This is a call to action. Citizens need to speak up and be heard. We cannot wait until it is our child who is arrested, or it is our Grandfather who is denied pain medication. Citizens get the kind of government they deserve...well, sometimes they do.


[29 September 2015]

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