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Category Archives: Prescriptions

Germany Allows Chronic Pain Sufferers to Grow Their Own Cannabis

This seems like a phenomenal idea. This allows the patient to put their care into their own hands. I wish America would follow suit on this. Cultivating your own medicine and regulating your dosage allows for a sense of control usually lost on patients who use medical marijuana for legitimate purposes.


Article courtesy of Fox News. Please click here for original article.

Published July 22, 2014
cannabis_growing_reuters.jpg

(REUTERS/Andres Stapff)

A German court ruled on Tuesday that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis “for therapeutic purposes”.

Five people suffering from chronic pain brought the complaint to a court in Cologne after Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) refused them permission to grow the plant at home.

The court said the BfArM had to reconsider three of the requests that it had rejected.

While the plaintiffs all had permits to buy and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes, they wanted to cultivate their own because they could not afford to purchase the drug and their health insurance did not cover it.

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How to Talk About Pain

How to Talk About Pain – Courtesy of http://www.nytimes.com/
By JOANNA BOURKEJULY 12, 2014

Credit Paul GarciaLONDON — IN 1926, Virginia Woolf published an essay on pain, “On Being Ill.” Isn’t it extraordinary, she observed, that pain does not rank with “love, battle and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature. She lamented the “poverty of the language of pain.” Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”

Where are the novels or epic poems devoted to typhoid, pneumonia or toothaches, Woolf wondered? Instead, the person in pain is forced to “coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.”

The difficulty in talking about painful sensations forces people to draw on metaphors, analogies and metonymies when attempting to communicate their suffering to others. Woolf — writing nearly a century after the popularization of ether, the first anesthetic — was perhaps too pessimistic about the creativity of sufferers. Take lower back pain, the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In the 1950s, one sufferer of back pain said that it felt like “a raging toothache — sometimes like something is moving or crawling down my legs.” Half a century later, one person confessed that “my back hurt so bad I felt like I had a large grapefruit down about the curve of the back.”

Woolf would not have been impressed perhaps by claims that backs hurt like a toothache or a grapefruit, but she was right to recognize that people in pain seek both to describe their suffering and to give meaning to it.

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States and Painkiller Overdoses

States and Painkiller Overdoses

There are big differences among the states in the rates at which opioid painkillers are prescribed — differences that can’t be attributed to disparate rates of illness or injury. Unfortunately, in places where prescribing rates are high, so are death rates from overdoses.

Opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin may well be overprescribed in virtually every state, but they are egregiously overprescribed in several Southern states, led by Alabama and Tennessee. Doctors in Alabama, the highest-prescribing state, wrote three times as many prescriptions per person for opioid painkillers in 2012 as doctors in Hawaii, the lowest-prescribing state, and federal officials think even Hawaii’s rate is too high.

There is a lot that states can do to stop careless — or drug-dealing — doctors from driving the opioid crisis. In a report this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credited Florida with achieving the first substantial decline in prescription drug overdose deaths in the past decade. That death rate dropped by 23 percent from 2010 to 2012, and the death rate for oxycodone, one of the most widely abused drugs, dropped by more than half over the same period.

Nationally, Florida had been home to 98 of the 100 doctors dispensing the highest amounts of oxycodone directly from their offices. Now, none of Florida’s doctors are among the top 100. It accomplished this by cracking down on so-called pill mills, forcing 250 pain clinics to close, requiring pain clinics to register with the state, prohibiting doctors from dispensing opioids from their offices, and monitoring what narcotics were dispensed.

No other state is dealing with the same level of overprescribing that Florida has now managed to reduce. Each state is apt to face a different constellation of drug problems and questionable medical practices. But the lesson from Florida is that a multipronged approach and the will to crack down can save a lot of lives.

 

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