This update lists new material on the Addiction Science Network (ASNet) website including the ASNet Discussion Forum. Beginning with “Theories of Addiction,” podcasts will be available only as downloads for playing on your mp3 player. We thank Podomatic.com for providing storage for the earlier streaming audios which remain available from their website. Click on the links below for direct feed to the new material.
New commentaries added to the ASNet Discussion Forum:
New presentations available from the ASNet Podcast Channel:
This concludes update ASNet12J10.
A new podcast has been added to the AddictionScience.net website. In upcoming weeks we will be exploring this technology and assessing reader interest in producing additional podcasts. The first podcast simply presents scripted material already available from our web pages entitled "A Primer on Addiction" and "The Nature of Addiction." Click here to visit the ASNet Podcast Directory.
A new commentary is also available on drug regulation policy: New Opiate-Based Medication Prescribing Guidelines?. This is the first of what we expect to become an on-going discussion on the tightened regulations for opioid-based medications and the impact on those needing these drugs. Please see the commentary for our initial position statement and feel free to post your remarks in support or against maintaining widespread access to opioid-based medications.
This presentation is available as a podcast:
Click here to listen online without downloading.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently revising their guidelines for prescribing opiate-based and related medications. These medicines are used daily by millions of people for the relief of moderate to severe pain. The FDA's concern is that therapeutic opiate use may lead many to addiction and therefore these medications should be more tightly controlled. The guidelines most likely would further restrict who gets opiate-based medications and under what conditions. Although we strongly support closing Internet drug companies that promote various psychoactive drugs including opiate-based medications and we further entertain the idea of a national registry to avoid duplicate prescription writing through physician shopping, we also believe that too many people now are discouraged from receiving (i.e, patients) or prescribing (i.e., physicians) medications necessary to dramatically improve the quality of life for those experiencing chronic pain.
The United States already has conservative views on the use of narcotic analgesics. Of course there is a lot of variation on opinion and on prescription-writing practices, but overall the U.S. remains rather conservative leaving millions of people under medicated for very painful conditions. Perhaps physicians should have to undergo a one-week intensive experience-pain-as-a-patient training module whereby they would be subjected to moderate but unrelenting pain for a short period of 7 days. Maybe then they would better understand the need and urgency for prescribing proper pain medication. And while we're making up the rules for the rule makers, let's add the policy makers (physician and layman alike) to our special training program. Want to see just how fast the laws and prescribing practices can change?
Patients deserve to receive their pain-relieving medication without everyone being looked upon as a potential addict. The unfounded hysteria and sensationalistic 'scientific' papers published from time-to-time need to quit exaggerating the problem for the sake of another publication and to quit marginalizing these patients who are already suffering considerably.
Very few people who receive opiate-based medication for the relief of pain become opiate addicts. Those that do are written up in reports which eventually find their way as 'scientific' articles, but the millions who don't aren't interesting and don't even make mention in such articles. The problem of addiction to prescription medication needs to be kept in perspective. Yes, many do but most don't become addicted. And of those who do progress on to addiction, the 'scientific' literature fails to note that they first entered a phase of drug abuse whereby they misused the drug by taking it outside the prescribed directions. That is, they didn't really become addicted as a consequence of their therapeutic opiate use, but rather, they abused the drug that was therapeutically made available and later became addicted. The intervening phase of drug abuse is critically important for understanding this progression. Unfortunately, it is usually ignored by those doing 'research' in this area.
(This is another instance where the distinction between drug "abuse" and drug "addiction" is critically important for conceptualizing an important issue. Better training in addiction science as part of the regular medical curriculum would be a giant step forward.) It's impossible to even discuss this topic intelligently without the requisite concepts behind the vocabulary.
Congratulations to me, "The Professor" . This commentary, drafted in September of last year (2011), was never completed or even posted in its preliminary form--another victim of "Bozarth's Law of Procrastination!" Now it's damage control time as the federal government and individual states have scared many physicians into needlessly restricting their prescriptions of opioid medications even further. Stay tuned (and subscribe to the RSS feeds) as this forum category gets shifted into high gear. Ouch that hurt .
Salvia Divinorum and its concentrated extracts are enjoying unrestricted trade on the Internet and in most states throughout the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is currently considering whether this substance (including its concentrated extracts and synthetic analogues) should be “scheduled” and placed on the controlled substance list. Because there are no medicinal uses of Salvia Divinorum recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Salvia Divinorum and related compounds would most likely become Schedule I substances with access restricted to investigational use by DEA licensed researchers. (Click here for more information on the CSA/DEA Drug Classification System.)
The question open for comment is: Should Salvia Divinorum and its extracts become controlled substances? Secondary questions involve: How strong are the effects of this substance and its related analogues?
(Thanks to John Panos for suggesting a posting on this topic now open for commentary. Also thanks to my Advanced Topics in Addiction class for encouraging an interest in this substance.)
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An open, unmoderated discussion forum for the Addiction Science Network, promoting free and open exchange of evidence-based information and promoting scientific analysis of drug addiction and related topics.