SADLY MY SERVER IS DOWN ONCE MORE....
I GUESS MAINTERANCE....
HANG IN MY SITE WILL BE BACK ALL TOO SOON'''
WELL HOPE SO.
THIS TIME I CANNOT EVEN EMAIL THEM; THEY REALLY DID NOT WANTED BOTHERING THIS TIME;
WILL JUST HAFT TO PATIENT WITH THEM.
HAVE SOME GREAT STUDIES READY TO BE UPLOADED UP.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VACCINE
COIN....what is hidden from you!!
Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Parents and Pediatricians Need To Be Aware Of
By Dr. Mercola
Vaccines: Are they safe? Are they effective? To help answer those questions is Neil Z. Miller,1 a medical research journalist and director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute.
Miller has investigated vaccines for three decades and written several books on the subject, including:
"Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?,"
"Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners"
and, most recently, "Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers."
"Miller's Review," published in 2016, is a magnificent piece of work. In it, he reviews the concern about vaccine safety and efficacy raised by 400 peer-reviewed published studies. The book doesn't review studies that support vaccination (almost all of which are funded by the industry and the government, by the way) as those studies are available on the CDC website.
"I got started when my own children were born … over 30 years ago … When my wife was pregnant, I felt I had to do due diligence about vaccines. I have to be honest, though. Before I even started to research vaccines, my wife and I pretty much knew intuitively that we were not going to inject our children with vaccines.
When I give lectures, I often tell people, 'How can you expect to achieve health by injecting healthy children with toxic substances?' I intuitively knew that … but still felt an obligation to do my due diligence and to do the research," Miller says.
"The thing is that when I do things, I do them pretty thoroughly … I was doing my research at medical libraries. I was gathering everything and I started to collate it and coordinate it … People started to find out about the information I had organized. They were asking me about vaccines even way back then. I organized it into a booklet. I started to share that with people. Everything snowballed from that first booklet."
Don't Believe the 'There's No Evidence' Argument
"Miller's Review" was created in response to the common refrain that "there are no studies showing vaccines are unsafe or ineffective."
"I hear this often," Miller says. "Parents come to me all the time, saying, 'My doctor told me that vaccines are safe and there are no studies that prove [otherwise].' I've been doing the research for 30 years. I know of literally thousands of studies that document [concerns]. My books all document [those] studies."
"Miller's Review" is unique in that it summarizes 400 studies in bullet points with direct quotes from the study — with one study per page — plus citations so that you can find and read the study in full should you decide to do so. All of the studies are published in peer-reviewed journals and indexed by the National Library of Medicine.
"These are valid studies by valid researchers in many journals that people have heard about — The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, all the mainstream journals (and some of the smaller journals, but they're still valid peer-reviewed studies) that show there are problems with vaccines: There are safety problems, there are efficacy problems.
They're all in one place so that people, like doctors, can get this information all in one convenient place. This book has been very effective with medical doctors. When medical doctors who are on the fence, or who are pro-vaccine, get this book and read it, I hear back from parents that their doctor is no longer pressuring them to get the vaccines.
Their doctor is now respecting their decisions to not vaccinate or to go to some sort of alternative vaccine schedule if that's the choice these parents make …
I am all about having uncensored, unfettered access to all of the available information out there about vaccines. Not just what your medical doctor wants you to know. Not just what the pharmaceutical companies want you to know and not just what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling doctors to share with their patients.
I want [parents] to be absolutely free to make a decision whether or not they want to vaccinate their children … It's really a human rights issue. It's really about the mandatory aspect of vaccines. I think all vaccines are problematic. I think this not just based on my own feelings, but based on the evidence I've researched over the years."
Uninformed Decision-Making Is Part of the Problem
Ultimately, every parent will make a decision about whether or not to vaccinate. The problem is, most of the time, it's an uninformed decision. An issue brought up in some of his earlier books is that there's been a deliberate misinformation campaign aimed at making you believe vaccines are far more effective than they actually are.
For example, disease incidence data is used to suggest vaccines have dramatically reduced the incidence of a given disease, when in fact the disease rate had already declined by 90 percent, or more in some cases, before a vaccine was ever available. Measles has been problematic in developing nations, mostly because of malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, lack of clean water, sanitation and quick access to medical care. As these measures are addressed, the mortality from measles declines on its own.
Vitamin A appears particularly important, and studies sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed that high doses of vitamin A supplementation protect children against complications and death associated with the disease.
"By the time the measles vaccine was introduced in the United States in 1963, by the late 1950s, the mortality rate from measles had drastically dropped. This was due to the [fact] that the population had gained protection against the more dangerous ravages of the disease. This happens with a lot of different diseases.
In my book, I've got many different types of graphs and illustrations to help the reader understand the main points I'm making … [M]any of these graphs show that these diseases were declining significantly on their own, well before vaccines were introduced.
For example, scarlet fever. Where did scarlet fever go? Why don't we see cases of scarlet fever when we didn't have mass vaccinations with a scarlet fever vaccine? That's an important point to be made."
Many Childhood Diseases Are Protective Against Cancer
Another significant point is there are dozens of studies demonstrating that contracting certain childhood diseases actually protects you against various types of cancer later in life — everything from melanoma to leukemia.
It's important to realize that when you have a naturally-acquired infection, you're really exercising your immune system quite profoundly, developing authentic, lifelong immunity in the process, which is radically different from the type of artificial and temporary immunity you get from a vaccine.
One of the reasons for this is because vaccines stimulate a completely different part of your immune system than does fighting off a naturally-acquired infection. There's even evidence suggesting childhood diseases help protect against future heart disease.
"[A] Japanese study … looked at over 100,000 men and women of elderly age. They looked back at their history of catching these common childhood illnesses. Did they catch chickenpox, rubella, measles and mumps? What they found was it's actually protective against heart disease.
You're protected against heart attacks and various types of arteriosclerotic disease of the artery systems. It's protecting the arterial system so that you are protected not only — when you catch these diseases — from cancers, but from heart disease, heart attacks and strokes as well … There are different theories on why that takes place. But the important thing is that study after study confirms that it takes place."
Vaccines Create Problematic Mutations
Another vaccine-related problem that many are completely unaware of is the fact that vaccines cause mutations in the disease-bearing microorganisms, much in the same way antibiotics cause bacteria to mutate. The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP), for example, has caused the pertussis microorganism, Bordetella pertussis, to mutate and evade the vaccine. The same thing happened with the pneumococcal vaccine and the Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine.
"They're finding, for example, when you've got a vaccine that targets only certain strains of disease where multiple strains are actually causing the disease, the vaccine is pretty effective at reducing the incidence of disease from that particular strain. But what happens is the other strains come and take their place … They come back even stronger.
That's what [happened] with Prevnar, a vaccine for pneumococcus, pneumococcal disease. All infants that receive vaccines according to the CDC's standard immunization schedule receive a pneumococcal vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. That vaccine only targeted seven strains. Pneumococcal has 90 different strains capable of causing pneumococcal disease.
They were pretty effective at reducing the amount of disease caused by the pneumococcal strains targeted by the vaccine. But what happened within just a few short years, the other strains became more prevalent … taking the place of the original strains [and] they became more virulent.
They came out with a new vaccine in 2010 … to deal with the vaccine losing its efficacy because of what I just explained. The new vaccine included the original seven strains plus six additional strains, the ones that were causing most of the pneumococcal disease now. Within two years of the new upgraded, updated pneumococcal vaccine, the strains had already mutated … "
Tragically, parents are being blamed and harassed for many of these vaccine failures. Parents are being told that if you don't vaccinate your kids, you are responsible for spreading the disease. That's the idea the CDC, the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry are promoting.
However, if you actually read the studies, you'll find what the scientists know —the real problem is evolutionary adaptation. Dr. Meryl Nass expounded on this issue in a 2013 interview. The microorganisms adapt. "What's happened with pertussis [is] the pertussis microorganism has changed. It's now not only become more virulent; it's become more prevalent," Miller explains. "It's evaded the actual vaccine."
Herd Immunity Cannot Be Achieved Through Immunizations
Another core argument for mass vaccinations is achieving herd immunity. Miller believes, and I agree with this belief that herd immunity may never be achieved through vaccination because high vaccination rates encourage the evolution of more severe disease-causing agents. In a vaccinated population, the virulence increases due to selective pressure, as the pathogen is strengthened and adapts in its fight for survival against the vaccine.
Meanwhile, in an unvaccinated population, the environment actually promotes lowered virulence, as the pathogen does not want to kill its host. A wise pathogen is one that's able to infect many hosts without killing them, because when the host dies, the pathogen loses the environment upon which its own survival depends.
However, once the disease organism mutates and becomes more virulent within the vaccinated population, it raises the stakes not only among the vaccinated but also among the unvaccinated, who are now faced with a far more virulent foe than normal.
"In terms of herd immunity, you not only have … this selective pressure that's keeping you from being able to achieve herd immunity (because the microorganisms are always attempting to evade the vaccine), but pertussis vaccine is only 60 percent effective. That's with the best estimates. And that's only for a couple of years.
Studies show that even after three, four or five years, you're back to almost no efficacy whatsoever, almost back to the pre-vaccine period.
How can you expect to achieve herd immunity with a vaccine that is only 60 percent effective? You can vaccinate 100 percent of the population and you cannot achieve herd immunity with a vaccine that is only 60 percent effective. Influenza vaccines — many years, these vaccines are not good matches for the circulating virus — so you have zero percent efficacy. In the best years, you only have 30, 40 or 50 percent efficacy."
Studies Show Vaccinations Increase Infant Mortality
One of the tenets of conventional medicine is that if you vaccinate a population, everyone is going to be healthier. There will be less disease. But when you compare vaccination rates and health statistics, you find the converse is actually true. This is some of the most compelling information Miller shares in his book.
For example, when comparing vaccination rates in 34 developed nations, they found a significant correlation between infant mortality rates and the number of vaccine doses infants received. Developed nations like the United States that require the most vaccines tend to have the highest infant mortality. You can read this study here.2
"I'm the lead author on that study, actually. My co-author was Gary Goldman [Ph.D., who] worked for the CDC for seven years. He quit when he found that the CDC was not allowing anything detrimental [to get out]. Goldman found problems with the chickenpox vaccine and wanted to publish that data. The CDC said, 'We're not going to allow you to do that.' That's when Goldman quit …
Goldman and I did two peer-reviewed studies … The children in the United States are required — if they follow the CDC's immunization schedule — to receive the most vaccines in the developed world, actually throughout the world. Globally. Twenty-six vaccines. Other developed nations require less.
Some nations only require 12 vaccines — Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland and other European nations — yet they have better infant mortality rates. That's what our study looked at. [V]accines are promoted as being lifesaving. They're given to children to protect them against dying from infectious diseases.
We gathered all the immunization schedules from the 34 nations [and found] the United States had the 34th worst infant mortality rate ... It had the worst. Thirty-three nations in the developed world had better infant mortality rates. We did the study and we found what many people would find to be a counterintuitive relationship.
We found a statistically significant relationship. There was a direct correlation between the number of vaccines that a nation required for their infants and the infant mortality rate. The more vaccines that a nation required, the worse the infant mortality rate."
Why Is This Not Front-Page News?
Many naïvely believe that if all of this is true, if vaccines truly were doing more harm than good, it would be front-page news. The reason you rarely if ever hear anything about studies such as this one is because the vaccine industry has an iron grip on the information being publicly disseminated. Collusion between federal regulatory agencies, the government and the industry is just one of several hurdles preventing this kind of information from being widely known.
You have individuals like Dr. Julie Gerberding, who headed up the CDC and was in charge of infectious disease recommendations for seven years before moving on to become president of Merck Vaccines, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. That's just one of many dozens of examples of this revolving door, which in turn has led to the breakdown of true science-based medicine.
"We have a serious problem where top scientists admit that they drop data points from studies that they've been influenced by the people who are funding their studies to sometimes not publish the study because it didn't come up with the results they wanted, and so on," Miller says.
"We have a serious problem with the pharmaceutical industry controlling which studies get published. Also, there's a serious problem because the pharmaceutical companies are controlling the advertising dollars that go out to the major media.
Mainstream media makes approximately 70 percent of its income from pharmaceutical ads. They do not want to publish or promote anything, even in their newscasts that would be critical of vaccines because it could compromise their potential to keep bringing in these millions of dollars they make every year from the pharmaceutical companies."
The greatest, most serious problem we currently face is the concerted push to mandate vaccines and eliminate personal belief exemptions. For example, to go to school in California, you now have to be fully vaccinated. No exemptions are allowed, which is really a violation of human rights.
Giving Multiple Simultaneous Vaccines Is Extremely Risky, Study Shows
The second study3 Miller and Goldman published analyzed nearly 40,000 reports of infants who suffered adverse reactions after vaccines. Here, they found that infants given the most vaccines were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die compared to those who received fewer vaccines.
It's worth noting that this data was obtained from the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) database, a passive reporting system, and that research has confirmed passive reporting systems underreport by 50 to 1.
What this means is that when you find one report in VAERS, you have to multiply that by 50 to get closer to reality because, on average, only 1 in 50 adverse events are ever reported.
Doctors have a legal obligation to report side effects to VAERS, but they don't, and there are no ramifications for failure to make a report.
Parents can also make a report to the database, and I encourage all parents to do so, should your child experience a vaccine reaction.
At present, VAERS has over 500,000 reports of adverse reactions to vaccines, and every year, more than 30,000 new reports are added to it.
Miller and Goldman downloaded this database and created a program to extract all the reports involving infants. In all, they extracted the reports of 38,000 infants who experienced an adverse reaction following the receipt of one or more vaccines.
They then created a program that was able to determine the number of vaccines each infant had received before suffering an adverse reaction, and stratified the reports by the number of vaccines (anywhere from one to eight) the infants had received simultaneously before the reaction took place. They specifically honed in on serious adverse reactions requiring hospitalization or that led to death. Here's what they found:
- Infants who received three vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving their vaccines than children who received two vaccines at the same time
- Infants who received four vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who received three or two vaccines, and so on all the way up to eight vaccines
- Children who received eight vaccines simultaneously were "off-the-charts" statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving those vaccines
- Children who received vaccines at an earlier age were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who receive those vaccines at a later age
Childhood Vaccination Schedule Is Based on Convenience, Not Science or Safety
As noted by Miller:
"The industry, the CDC and Dr. Paul Offit tell us that you can take multiple vaccines. Offit said you could theoretically take 10,000 vaccines at one time; that an infant can be exposed to that many pathogens simultaneously without hurting the child. The CDC's immunization schedule requires that children receive eight vaccines at 2 months of age, eight vaccines at 4 months of age and eight vaccines at 6 months of age.
I ask parents, 'When did you ever take eight drugs at the same time? … If you did take eight drugs at the same time, would you think it was more likely that you would or would not have an adverse reaction?' Because toxicologists know that the more drugs you take at the same time, the more potential for some kind of a synergistic or additive toxicity … What this study confirms is that it's a dangerous practice to give multiple vaccines simultaneously.
The CDC has put together a schedule based on convenience. They say '[G]ive eight vaccines at 2 months, give eight more vaccines at 4 months and give eight more booster shots at 6 months' because it's convenient. They're afraid that parents will not come to the pediatrician again and again and again if they have to keep coming back for more vaccines, so they get multiple [shots all at once].
They said, 'We're going to make this schedule based on convenience.' Not based on evidence. Not based on science. There's nothing scientific about the CDC's recommended immunization schedule. We've shown it with our study …
We also showed that children who received vaccines at an earlier age are statistically significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who receive it at a later age. We divided it up to children who receive their vaccines in the first 6 months of age versus children who receive their vaccines in the last six months of infancy.
Again, off-the-charts statistically significant, it's much more dangerous to give younger infants multiple vaccines than to give older infants multiple vaccines. This makes sense because they're giving the same dose to a newborn or a baby that might be 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 pounds at 2 months of age versus a child who might be 15 or 17 pounds … at a later age."
You can find "Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers" on ThinkTwice.com. This book is an invaluable resource for parents who want to do their due diligence before making up their mind about whether or not to vaccinate their children. On his website, you will also find his other books, along with studies and publications relating to vaccine safety and efficacy concerns.
Another resource is the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). NVIC is leading the charge when it comes to educating the public about efforts to impose mandatory vaccinations, and how to preserve our health freedoms on the local, state and federal levels.
Ultimately, everyone will have to make a choice about vaccinations. They key is to make it an informed one — to understand and weigh the potential risks and benefits. To do that, you need access to both sides of the debate, and Miller has done us all a great favor by making the largely hidden side of the equation more readily accessible.
AS A KID GROWING UP IN BRITAIN IN THE 1940s and 1950s THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS BABY AND REGULAR CHILD VACCINATION; AS A CHILD UNDER TEN YEARS OLD, I MAY HAVE BEEN VACCINATED A FEW TIMES. YEP I DID GET ALL THE BACIS CHILDHOOD DISEASES EXCEPT FOR HOOPING-TOUGH AND MUMPS. ALL THE KIDS I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH OVER THOSE 12 YEARS, I NEVER HEARD OF ONE COMING DOWN WITH ANY SERIOUS... WHATEVER..... WHEN I LEFT FOR CANADA I HAD TO HAVE A SMALL POX VACCINE....I JUST PRAYED TO GOD IT WOULD HAVE NO EFFECT ON ME, AND IT DID NOT.
THE WAY OF LIFE IN THE 1940s and 1950s WAS A WAY OF LIFE THAT WAS MUCH HEALTHIER IN FOODS, MAINLY ORGANIC, AND WE KIDS IN SCHOOL GOT TONS OF EXERCISE IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL.
I PERSONALLY WAS ALSO DOING AND FOLLOWING THE "HEALTH AND STRENGTH" COURSE BY THE SUPER STRONG MAN CHARLES ATLAS....GLAD TO SAY HIS COURSE IS STILL AVAILABLE TODAY - LOOK HIM UP ON THE INTERNET.
By Dr. Mercola
The HBO documentary “Warning: This Drug May Kill You,” details the devastating effect America’s pharma-driven opioid crisis is having on families and the victims themselves. The film, made by Perri Peltz and Sascha Weiss, features the perspectives of four families whose lives have been ripped apart as a result of opioid and heroin addiction.
Opioid and heroin addiction — which public health officials have described1 as being the worst drug crisis in American history — affects about 2.5 million Americans, nearly half a million of whom are addicted to heroin,2 a dangerous street drug that prescription pill addicts can quickly turn to because the cost is significantly less than that of prescription painkillers.
The term “opioid” is used to describe a class of drugs that includes the illegal drug heroin, as well as the legal prescription painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others. Ironically, the silent but deadly opioid epidemic often starts with some of society’s most trusted professionals: doctors.
As noted in the film, a significant number of opioid addictions begin with a trip to the doctor’s office or a hospital as a result of an injury or medical problem for which addictive painkillers are carelessly prescribed. It seems no medical problem is too minor for powerful prescription painkillers to be prescribed.
This is depicted in the film, which details the story of a young woman from Beach Park, Illinois, who became addicted to OxyContin after being prescribed the medication for kidney stones. Not only are opioid pain medications (also called narcotic prescription painkillers) wildly overprescribed, but they are also often given without warning of the potential risks for addiction and/or resources to help deal with the possible risk of addiction.
Nearly 260 Million Opioid Prescriptions Are Written in the US Each Year
The number of opioid prescriptions has increased substantially over the last few decades. “In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills,” according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.3
The result? Drug overdose is now our nation’s leading cause of accidental death. In 2015, accidental drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 deaths, with 20,101 of those deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 linked to heroin. However, 80 percent of heroin users start out on prescription opioids.4
Despite the fact that Americans are dying at unprecedented rates due to Big Pharma’s prescription painkillers, the pharmaceutical industry is rarely named by the establishment media for its deadly role in the growing opioid epidemic.
Kidney Stone Pain Morphs Into Deadly Opioid Addiction for Unsuspecting Teen
Stephany Gay should have been getting her license and learning how to drive when she first became addicted to prescription painkillers. It all began when, at the tender age of 16, she started suffering from kidney stones and was prescribed OxyContin and Vicodin. It didn’t take long before Stephany, who had never done illegal drugs, developed a full-blown dependency on opioids.
The teen confided in her mom after realizing she had developed an addiction. Her mother urged her to see a doctor, but when she did she came home with another prescription: This time it was for Percocet. Stephany also got her younger sister, Ashley, addicted to opioids after offering her the medication for headaches and a better night’s sleep. Stephany’s doctor eventually stopped prescribing her opioids, causing the sisters to turn to heroin to get their fix. Stephany says:
“It made me feel like I could do anything. I felt like superwoman. I didn’t have anxiety. I didn’t feel depressed. I felt happy. I felt warm. I felt like it loved me and I loved it back. I felt like I had a relationship with heroin.”
The sisters snorted heroin for a year before experimenting with a needle. Soon after Stephany started injecting, she lost the three-bedroom home she owned and custody of her young daughter. Ashley, who once told her mother she was “too pretty to die,” overdosed on heroin and died alone in a hotel room.
Eighty Percent of Heroin Users Start With Prescription Opioids
Part two of the documentary, “Addicted to Pills,” details the heartbreaking story of a wife and mother of five children who became addicted to opioids after being prescribed the medication for a Cesarean section. Wynne Doyle, from Mill Valley, California, stopped getting out of bed just one and a half months after giving birth to her third child.
She became addicted fast, says Britt Doyle Sr., who later divorced his wife following years of addiction. Like many opioid addicts, Wynne went in and out of rehab multiple times, only to relapse again. The second rehab she entered was three times as costly as the first, says Britt Sr. But 28 days later his wife returned home with a “whole bunch of pills,” and her addiction started all over again, he says.
Wynne’s addiction grew so intense that she would purposely injure herself in order to get more pills. “I watched her slam her hand in the car door one time, just so she could go to the emergency room,” said Britt Sr., adding that the doctors would always give his wife more pain medication. At one point, Wynne had shattered both of her wrists, but as soon as they healed she would hurt herself again just to get more pills. My wife became a “totally different person,” says Britt Sr. “It was like Jekyll and Hyde.”
Seven years into her addiction and on his wife’s 11th stint in rehab, Britt Sr. had finally had enough. He moved the children out of the house and filed for divorce. Sometime later, Wynne, suffering from kidney stones, was prescribed more painkillers. She had eight bottles filled to the top sitting on her nightstand when her children found their mother lifeless in her bed.
“When I saw the pills on her bedside table when she had passed, that was probably the most anger I could feel, ever, because she’s been to that hospital easily like 50 times,” said Britt Doyle Jr., Wynne’s daughter. “They’ve seen her there unconscious and had to like [sic] pump her stomach so many times. And yet she comes in there and they leave her with more?” she asks angrily.
Adolescents Are 33 Percent More Likely to Misuse Opioids as Young Adults
Part three of the documentary tells the story of Brendan Cole from Allendale, New Jersey. The teen was prescribed opioid painkillers after having a cyst surgically removed. Four years later he died of a heroin overdose. Before his death, Cole overdosed on heroin but was revived with Narcan after his dad woke in the middle of the night to find his son lying in an unnatural position on his bed.
His lips were turning blue and “we heard the air come out of his lungs when we moved him,” said his parents tearfully. Narcan, or naloxone, is an overdose-reversal drug. It’s made by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, which began what appears to be a clear case of price gouging, raising the cost of Narcan by as much as 100 percent.
Cole recovered from the overdose, but the hospital failed to warn his family that patients revived with Narcan may experience intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. As a result, no plan was put in place to help Cole overcome the cravings that would soon follow. The very next day, Cole overdosed again, and this time he could not be revived.
5In people with little drug experience, scientists theorize that “the initial experience of pain relief is pleasurable, and a safe initial experience with opioids may reduce perceived risk.”
Synthetic Opioids Sold Via ‘Dark Web’ Implicated in Growing Number of Overdose Deaths
In addition to prescription opioids, another threat looms: synthetic (and illegal) opioids sold through the dark web — the secret underbelly of the internet, initially created by American intelligence agencies for encrypted communication purposes. A recent piece by The New York Times6 sheds light on an emerging illicit drug trade involving dangerous synthetic opioids that are being shipped into the U.S. via small packages in the mail.
The report reveals “that most of the illicit supply of synthetic opioids is produced in labs in Asia and especially China, where many of the precursor chemicals are either legal or easier to procure.” The synthetic opioids are said to be so potent that they “have become the fastest-growing cause of the overdose epidemic, overtaking heroin in some areas,” reports the Times.
Synthetic opioids being shipped overseas include fentanyl, the infamous drug responsible for pop icon Prince’s death. Fentanyl is so potent that two milligrams is enough to kill and, unlike prescription pills, “enough fentanyl to get nearly 50,000 people high can fit in a standard first-class envelope,” the report warns.
Synthetic opioids obtained through the internet are responsible for the deaths of two teenagers from Park City, Utah. Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth, both 13 years old, died after taking a synthetic opioid known as U-47700, or Pinky. The boys reportedly obtained the drug from another teen who purchased them on the dark web using bitcoin. While synthetic opioids account for a small portion of overall trafficked drugs, law enforcement says “that dark web markets have quickly assumed a more prominent and frightening role.”
Opioids Actually Alter Your Brain Structure
Studies also suggest that drugs for physical and emotional pain may change your brain. In a study by researchers at the University of Alabama, people with chronic low back pain received either morphine or a placebo daily for one month. Both groups experienced similar reductions in pain, but there was a major difference among those taking morphine — changes in the brain.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans showed the patients taking morphine had a 3 percent reduction in gray matter volume over the course of the study. The reductions occurred in regions of the brain that regulate emotions, cravings and pain response.7
Further, the morphine group had increases in gray matter volume in areas related to learning, memory and executive function. Lead study author Joanne Lin told Reuters,8 "Because we are seeing that opioids rapidly change the brain, our take-home message is that opioids should be reserved for cases when most other treatment options have failed."
Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Used for Opioid Prescriptions
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. CMS runs the Medicare program and monitors Medicaid programs run by the states. According to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), spending on opioids in the Medicare system, which is funded by U.S. tax dollars through Medicare trust funds, grew at a faster rate than spending for all drugs.
Data from the OIG shows that between 2006 and 2014, the number of Medicare recipients on opioids grew by 92 percent, compared to 68 percent for all drugs. Medicare recipients are also receiving multiple prescriptions for opioids for reasons other than cancer pain or terminal illness, the traditional uses for these strong medications.
Medicaid programs, supported by taxpayers but administered by states, also reveal excessive opioid use and probable fraud.9 In 2010, 359,368 Medicaid enrollees received an opioid prescription amounting to over 2 million prescriptions, and again suggesting many prescriptions per patient.10
While Medicaid programs likely provide generic combinations of the active ingredient in OxyContin, hydrocodone, to patients, which costs about $28 for a 120-day supply (compared with $632 for the brand name OxyContin),11 taxpayers are still paying at least $56 million for Medicaid opioid prescriptions. The cost of the opioid prescriptions does not take into consideration state-run drug treatment programs and services that are required if and when enrollees become addicted.
OxyContin Manufacturer Pays One of the Largest Pharma Settlements in US History
In December 2015, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of OxyContin, settled an ongoing lawsuit brought by the state of Kentucky for $24 million over presenting OxyContin as "nonaddictive."12 Purdue contended that the pill slowly releases the drug over 12 hours when swallowed, omitting the fact that, when crushed, OxyContin lost its time release protections and created an instant high.
"State officials said that led to a wave of addiction and increased medical costs across the state, particularly in eastern Kentucky where many injured coal miners were prescribed the drug," reported The Associated Press.
The 2015 settlement is similar to one Purdue agreed to in 2007 with the state of West Virginia, when it agreed to pay out $634 million because "fraudulent conduct caused a greater amount of OxyContin to be available for illegal use than otherwise would have been available."13 Despite the lawsuits, OxyContin remains on the market.
FDA Orders Drugmaker to Stop Selling Opioid Painkiller
Opioid manufacturer Endo Pharmaceuticals hasn’t been so lucky, however. In an unprecedented move by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), health officials have ordered Endo to remove the opioid painkiller Opana ER from the market due to the conclusion that “the drug’s risks outweigh its benefits,” reported CBS News.14
“It's the first time the FDA has asked a drugmaker to remove an opioid painkiller from the market,” CBS said. “The agency said it has seen a ‘significant shift’ from people crushing and snorting Opana ER to get high to injecting it.” If the drugmaker refuses to comply with the FDA’s request to pull the opioid from the market, the agency can begin a “formal process for rescinding its approval.”
Drug Companies Try to Cash in on Opioid Epidemic
While an increasing number of Americans suffer the devastating effects of opioid addiction, pharmaceutical companies are battling it out to become the top seller of addiction medications. As was highlighted in a recent NPR report,15 rather than working to make various effective treatments for opioid addiction more readily available to those who need it, the pharmaceutical industry is actively trying to stomp out its competitors by restricting access to important addiction medications.
One example of this includes the global biopharmaceutical company Alkermes and its non-opioid addiction medication, Vivitrol, a monthly injection that costs around $1,000. Alkermes, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, is working vigorously to promote its drug at the legislative level as a solution to our nation’s growing opioid epidemic — and while doing so (in some cases) is restricting access to other opioid addiction medications through policy that makes it harder for doctors to prescribe alternatives to Vivitrol.
“An investigation by NPR and Side Effects Public Media has found that in statehouses across the country, and in Congress, Alkermes is pushing Vivitrol while contributing to misconceptions and stigma about other medications used to treat opioid addiction,” NPR reports.
Experts disagree about which opioid addiction medications are most effective. Some argue opioid maintenance drugs like methadone and buprenorphine — both of which contain opioids — are fueling the opioid crisis due to their street value and the idea that offering them to addicts means replacing one opioid for another. Others argue that opioid maintenance medications relieve painful withdrawal symptoms and reduce or eliminate intense cravings.
Federal health agencies and the American Society of Addiction Medicine agree that “opioid abstinence can be dangerous,” says NPR. While there are no studies comparing Vivitrol to methadone or buprenorphine, Alkermes touts Vivitrol as the more effective, opioid-free solution.
Alkermes has significantly increased its spending on federal lobbying, spending $4.4 million in 2016 compared to less than $200,000 in 2010. “Last year, Vivitrol's sales reached $209 million — up from just $30 million in 2011,” NPR reports, adding that Alkermes projects sales could reach $1 billion by 2021.
Treating Your Pain Without Drugs
While opioid painkillers may relieve pain temporarily, the addiction risks can quickly send you spiraling out of control down a dark and dangerous path. As shown in the film, many families touched by opioid addiction end up suffering for years before finally losing a loved one to addiction.
The good news is there are many natural alternatives to treating pain. It’s particularly important to avoid opioids when trying to address long-term chronic pain, as your body will create a tolerance to the drug. Over time, you may require greater doses at more frequent intervals to achieve the same pain relief. This is a recipe for disaster and could have lethal consequences. Following is information about non-drug remedies, dietary changes and bodywork interventions that can help you manage your pain.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciose) is a plant remedy that has become a popular opioid substitute.17 In August 2016, the DEA issued a notice saying it was planning to ban kratom, listing it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. However, following massive outrage from kratom users who say opioids are their only alternative, the agency reversed its decision.18
Kratom is safer than an opioid for someone in serious and chronic pain. However, it’s important to recognize that it is a psychoactive substance and should be used carefully. There’s very little research showing how to use it safely and effectively, and it may have a very different effect from one person to the next. The other issue to address is that there are a number of different strains available with different effects.
Also, while it may be useful for weaning people off opioids, kratom is in itself addictive. So, while it appears to be a far safer alternative to opioids, it’s still a powerful and potentially addictive substance. So please, do your own research before trying it.
Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist, originally developed in the early 1960s for the treatment of opioid addiction. When taken at very low doses LDN, available only by prescription, triggers endorphin production, which can boost your immune function and ease pain.
A primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric, curcumin has been shown in more than 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity. Curcumin is hard to absorb, so best results are achieved with preparations designed to improve absorption. It is very safe and you can take two to three every hour if you need to.
One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known, astaxanthin has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. Higher doses are typically required for pain relief, and you may need 8 milligrams or more per day to achieve results.
Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites, as it worked well for many of my former rheumatoid arthritis patients.
This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider eating some of the pulpy core when you consume the fruit.
Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting your body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain.
Cetyl myristoleate (CMO)
This oil, found in dairy butter and fish, acts as a joint lubricant and anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation of CMO to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Evening primrose, black currant and borage oils
These oils contain the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea, or incorporated into fresh vegetable juice.
Dietary Changes to Fight Inflammation and Manage Your Pain
Unfortunately, physicians often fall short when attempting to effectively treat chronic pain, resorting to the only treatment they know: prescription drugs. While these drugs may bring some temporary relief, they will do nothing to resolve the underlying causes of your pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, making the following changes to your diet may bring you some relief.
Consume more animal-based omega-3 fats. Similar to the effects of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs, omega-3 fats from fish and fish oils work to directly or indirectly modulate a number of cellular activities associated with inflammation. While drugs have a powerful ability to inhibit your body’s pain signals, omega-3s cause a gentle shift in cell signaling to bring about a lessened reactivity to pain.
Eating healthy seafood like anchovies or sardines, which are low in environmental toxins, or taking a high-quality supplement such as krill oil are your best options for obtaining omega-3s. DHA and EPA, the omega-3 oils contained in krill oil, have been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for pain relief.
Radically reduce your intake of processed foods. Processed foods not only contain chemical additives and excessive amounts of sugar, but also are loaded with damaging omega-6 fats. By eating these foods, especially fried foods, you upset your body’s ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty-acids, which triggers inflammation. Inflammation is a key factor in most pain.
Eliminate or radically reduce your consumption of grains and sugars. Avoiding grains and sugars, especially fructose, will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are some of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production, which contributes to pain.
While healthy individuals are advised to keep their daily fructose consumption below 25 grams from all sources, you’ll want to limit your intake to 15 grams per day until your pain is reduced. Eating sugar increases your uric acid levels, which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation.
Optimize your production of vitamin D. As much as possible, regulate your vitamin D levels by regularly exposing large amounts of your skin to sunshine. If you cannot get sufficient sun exposure, taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement, along with vitamin K2 and magnesium, is highly advisable.
Research by GrassrootsHealth suggests adults need about 8,000 IUs per day to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml, but you may need even more. It’s best to get your blood level tested to be sure you're safely within the therapeutic range.
Bodywork Methods That Reduce Pain
Due to the inherent risks of addiction and the other unpleasant side effects of prescription painkillers, I recommend you pursue one or more of the following bodywork methods before taking a narcotic for pain. Each one has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for lasting pain relief and management.
•Acupuncture: According to The New York Times,19 an estimated 3 million American adults receive acupuncture annually, most often for the treatment of chronic pain. A study20 published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing four types of chronic pain, including back and neck pain, chronic headache, osteoarthritis and shoulder pain — more so than standard pain treatment.
•Chiropractic adjustments: While previously used most often to treat back pain, chiropractic treatment addresses many other problems — including asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, musculoskeletal pain, neck pain and whiplash. According to a study21 published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain-free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication.
•Massage: Massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline. A systematic review and meta-analysis22 published in the journal Pain Medicine, included 60 high-quality and seven low-quality studies that looked into the use of massage for various types of pain, including bone and muscle, fibromyalgia, headache and spinal-cord pain.
The study revealed massage therapy relieves pain better than getting no treatment at all. When compared to other pain treatments like acupuncture and physical therapy, massage therapy still proved beneficial and had few side effects. In addition to relieving pain, massage therapy also improved anxiety and health-related quality of life.
•Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): EFT continues to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to deal with acute and chronic pain. The technique is simple and can be applied in mere minutes, helping you to overcome all kinds of bodily aches and pains. A study23 published in Energy Psychology examined the levels of pain in a group of 50 people attending a three-day EFT workshop, and found their pain dropped by 43 percent during the workshop.
Six weeks later, their pain levels were reported to be 42 percent lower than before the workshop. As a result of applying EFT, participants felt they had an improved sense of control and ability to cope with their chronic pain. In the video featured below, EFT expert Julie Schiffman, teaches you how to use EFT to address chronic pain.