How Misuse of a Single Paragraph Ended Up Killing 60,000 Americans Per Year

How Misuse of a Single Paragraph Ended Up Killing 60,000 Americans Per Year | writing | Big Pharma General Health Medical & Health Sleuth Journal Special Interests US News

Opioid addiction is at an all-time high in the U.S., and according to many addiction specialists, pain and hopelessness are primary drivers of this burgeoning crisis.1 Limiting the availability of opioids and making overdose-reversal drugs and treatment for drug addiction more readily available are part of the answer. But it’s not enough.

We have to take a much deeper look at the root of the problem. What is causing all this physical pain and emotional distress in the first place? Clearly, the U.S. health care system is grossly ineffective when it comes to addressing chronic health problems. Whether pain is promoting hopelessness or the other way around is difficult to ascertain, but the two appear to be closely intertwined and need to be addressed together.

Somehow or another, we need to refocus our efforts to create lives worth living, and improve access to and information about basic disease prevention, which begins with diet and basic lifestyle choices — the kind of information I’ve focused on with my newsletter and website.

That said, it’s worth looking at how use of prescription opioids ended up getting so out of control. Doing so will reveal an oft-ignored truth: Drug companies may, and often do, promote drugs that do more harm than good. After all, drugs are profit centers, and drug companies are first and foremost beholden to their shareholders — not patients — who expect to make a decent profit from their investments.

To maximize sales, drug companies may hide information, misinform and/or outright lie about their medicines, and this is precisely what happened with narcotic painkillers.

The Paragraph That Spawned the Opioid Crisis

In 1980, a five-sentence-long letter to the editor was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. Under the headline “Addiction Rare in Patients Treated With Narcotics,” the short letter, written by Jane Porter, a graduate student at Boston University Medical Center, read:

“Recently, we examined our current files to determine the incidence of narcotic addiction in 39,946 hospitalized medical patients who were monitored consecutively. Although there were 11,882 patients who received at least one narcotic preparation, there were only four cases of reasonably well documented addiction in patients who had no history of addiction.

The addiction was considered major in only one instance. The drugs implicated were meperidine in two patients, Percodan in one, and hydromorphone in one. We conclude that despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.”

This turned out to be a letter with dire repercussions for millions of people in the decades to come. As noted in The Atlantic, this letter to the editor ended up being “so routinely mis-cited” it took on “a life of its own.”2

“[NEJM] … is issuing a corrective. It’s a new study3 … from a team led by David Juurlink at the University of Toronto that tracked how the five-sentence letter passed through the game of academic citation … to become evidence that opioids are safe for chronic pain. In fact, it said no such thing,” The Atlantic notes.

“… Hershel Jick, a doctor at Boston University Medical Center, had a database of hospital records that he used to monitor side effects from drugs … Something, perhaps a newspaper article, got Jick interested in looking at addiction. So he asked a graduate student, Jane Porter, to help calculate how many patients in the database got addicted after being treated with pain medicines, and dashed off a letter to the [NEJM].

Its brevity was commensurate with the effort involved … But as it began to accrue citations, its findings also began to mutate. Porter and Jick had only looked at hospitalized patients in regimented settings, but that detail got lost in the push to prescribe opioids to patients at home — an entirely different scenario.”

Drug Companies Latched on to Evidence That Wasn’t

In the years to come, this letter to the editor (most letters do not undergo any kind of peer-review) became an oft-cited piece of evidence used by drug companies and pain specialists alike. In all, it’s been cited more than 600 times since its publication, serving as the basis of misleading and inaccurate statements such as: “[P]ain population with no abuse history is literally at no risk for addiction,” and “There have been studies suggesting that addiction rarely evolves in the setting of painful conditions.”4

A remarkable 80 percent of the articles citing Jick’s letter failed to include the facts that his data pertained specifically to hospitalized patients receiving the drugs on a short-term basis. You simply cannot assume that because a narcotic is safe to use in the short term under careful monitoring by hospital staff, it will be safe long-term, and without careful monitoring.

According to Juurlink, “It’s difficult to overstate the role of this letter. It was the key bit of literature that helped the opiate manufacturers convince front-line doctors that addiction is not a concern.”5

Purdue Pharma used it as the basis for its claim that opioid addiction affects less than 1 percent of patients treated with the drugs. In a recent interview with The Associated Press (AP),6 Jick said he was “mortified that that letter to the editor was used as an excuse to do what these drug companies did.” He also clarified that his letter “only referred to people getting opioids in the hospital for a short period of time and has no bearing on long-term outpatient use.”

Researchers and journalists were no better. While the findings detailed in the letter were exceptionally narrow and the “study” less than thorough, researchers and journalists started referring to it as “extensive,” citing it as a “landmark report.” In 2001, Time magazine reported:7

“Many physicians now concede that patients have been undermedicated for decades, suffering needlessly. One reason was concern that big doses of opiates could depress respiration, but a large part stemmed from an exaggerated fear that patients would become addicted.

This fear, which continues to hold sway over American medicine, is basically unwarranted. A landmark study … found that only four became addicted to the [narcotic] drugs they received as patients. ‘You don’t see cancer patients running around robbing shopping malls to support their habits,’ notes Carr.”

NEJM Issues First-Ever Warning on 40-Year-Old Editor’s Note

Following the publication of Juurlink’s investigation into the citation trail leading from Jick’s letter to all manner of false claims, NEJM has now added an editor’s note to the 1980 letter,8 saying, “For reasons of public health, readers should be aware that this letter has been ‘heavily and uncritically cited’ as evidence that addiction is rare with opioid therapy.”

NEJM editor, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, explained his note to AP, saying, “People have used the letter to suggest that you’re not going to get addicted to opioids if you get them in a hospital setting. We know that not to be true.”9 The journal has also added a link from Jick’s letter to Juurlink’s new study — a move that should eliminate most misuse in the future. As noted by Juurlink:10

“In conclusion, we found that a five-sentence letter … was heavily and uncritically cited as evidence that addiction was rare with long-term opioid therapy. We believe that this citation pattern contributed to the North American opioid crisis by helping to shape a narrative that allayed prescribers’ concerns about the risk of addiction associated with long-term opioid therapy.

In 2007, the manufacturer of OxyContin and three senior executives pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the risk of addiction associated with the drug. Our findings highlight the potential consequences of inaccurate citation and underscore the need for diligence when citing previously published studies.”

60,000 Americans Overdosed in 2016

Opioid addiction and accidental overdoses are now taking a tremendous toll. According to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50!11 In 2015, more than 52,000 Americans died from some form of drug overdose; 33,000 of them involved some form of opioid.

Preliminary data for 2016 reveals that death toll is anywhere from 59,000 to 65,000.12 That’s a 19 percent increase in one year, and the largest annual increase of drug overdose deaths in U.S. history. Between 2014 and 2015, drug overdose deaths rose by 11 percent.13The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include14 methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®).

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are also being abused by a rising number of people. A recent article in The New York Times15 highlights the tragedy of Grant Seaver and Ryan Ainsworth, two 13-year-olds who died after taking the synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “pinky.” They got the drug from a teenage friend who had bought it on the dark web using bitcoin.

The sheer potency of synthetic opioids make them ideal for mailing. A standard envelope can hold enough fentanyl to get 50,000 people high. And, while the dark web marketplace Silk Road was shut down in 2013, others have popped up in its place, allowing people who might otherwise not have access to narcotics get them through the mail.

Disturbingly, rising fentanyl addiction also poses novel risks to first responders, law enforcement and even drug-sniffing dogs. The drug is so potent (anywhere from 500 to 1,000 percent more potent than morphine) that inhaling just a few flakes can be lethal.

In Ohio, a police officer nearly died from exposure to a fentanyl-related compound. During a routine traffic stop, he noticed a bag of white powder in the car. He used gloves and a mask for protection at the scene, but didn’t notice he’d gotten some on his shirt. Later, when a colleague pointed out the powder on his uniform, he brushed it off with his bare hand.

An hour later, he collapsed and had to be treated with FOUR doses of naloxone. He was lucky and survived the ordeal. Many fentanyl users are not. Deadly overdoses involving fentanyl rose by 50 percent between 2013 and 2014, and another 72 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Other Opioid Facts and Statistics

To truly understand the enormity of America’s drug problem, consider the following:

Drug overdoses are the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S.

In 2015, 52,404 Americans died from drug overdoses; 33,091 of them involved an opioid and nearly one-third of them, 15,281, of them were by prescription.16,17,18 Meanwhile, kidney disease, listed as the ninth leading cause of death on the CDC’s top 10 list, killed 48,146.19

The CDC does not include drug overdoses on this list, but if you did, drug overdoses (63 percent of which are opioids), would replace kidney disease as the ninth leading cause of death as of 2015, inching its way toward the eighth slot, currently occupied by respiratory complications such as pneumonia, which took 55,227 lives in 2015. As noted earlier, in the 50-and-younger demographic, drug overdoses are now the No. 1 cause of death.20

Opioid use has overtaken smoking

More Americans now use prescription opioids than smoke cigarettes.21 One in 4 Americans (and 1 in 3 millennials) reports knowing someone addicted to opioids.22

Opioids kill more Americans than car crashes

In 2014, prescription drug overdoses, a majority of which involved some type of opioid, killed more Americans than car crashes (49,714 compared to 32,675).23 This held true for 2015 as well, despite 2015 being hailed as the deadliest driving year since 2008. In all, 38,300 Americans died in car crashes in 201524 — a sharp rise thought to be related to a combination of cheaper gas prices and hence increased travel, and using smartphones while driving.25

Drugged driving causes more fatal crashes than drunk driving

Driving under the influence of opioids and other drugs has become a serious problem, now causing more fatal car crashes than drunk driving.26 Prescription and/or illegal drugs were involved in 43 percent of fatal car crashes in 2015, while 37 percent involved illegal amounts of alcohol.

Opioids, specifically, can increase your risk of being involved in a car crash by a factor of 10, having a relative car crash risk between 2 and 10.27 (A driver with no drugs or alcohol in their system has a relative crash risk of 1.)

Americans use 80 percent of global opioid supply

Prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose by 300 percent between 2000 and 2009,28,29 and Americans now use 80 percent of all the opioids sold worldwide.30 In Alabama, which has the highest opioid prescription rate in the U.S., 143 prescriptions are written for every 100 people.31

Financial cost of opioid addiction tops $193 billion annually

Addiction to opioids and heroin now costs the U.S. more than $193 billion each year.

Prenatal exposure is rampant

Despite carrying risks of pregnancy-related problems and birth defects, nearly one-third of American women of childbearing age are prescribed opioid painkillers32 and more than 14 percent of pregnant women were prescribed opioids during their pregnancy.33

Addiction affects more than 1 in 4 opioid users

Studies show addiction affects about 26 percent of those using opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, and 1 in 550 patients on opioid therapy die from opioid-related causes within 2.5 years of their first prescription.34

Opioid addiction has lowered life expectancy in U.S.

According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics, life expectancy for both men and women dropped between 2014 and 2015, for the first time in two decades, and overdose deaths appear to be a significant contributor.35,36,37

Prescription painkillers are the No. 1 gateway to heroin

OxyContin and other opioid pain killers have been identified as the primary gateway drugs to heroin.38 Chemically, these drugs are very similar and provide a similar kind of high. According to a 2013 U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report, nearly 80 percent of people who use heroin have previously used prescription painkillers.39

Opioid use and addiction found to have lifelong health ramifications

According to Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief for psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York, opioids cause changes in your brain that can increase your risk of depression, and the effects may be “long-lasting or even permanent.”40

Opiates depress your central nervous system and slow the electrical activity in your brain, which can result in circadian rhythm disruptions, mood changes and cognitive decline. Opiate use also promotes41 bowel dysfunction, endocrine system (hormonal) problems, sexual dysfunction, reduced fertility, reduced testosterone levels in men and bone disorders.

Drug Industry Responsible for Mass Addiction Now Tries to Cash in on It

Many believe the drug companies that create and sell opioids need to be held accountable for America’s drug problem, especially since several have been caught lying about the benefits and risks of their drugs. As noted by the Organic Consumers Association,42 the drug industry has “fostered the opioid addiction epidemic” by:

  • Introducing long-acting opioid painkillers like OxyContin, which from a chemical standpoint is nearly identical to heroin, and changing pain prescription guidelines to make opioids the first choice for lower back pain and other pain conditions that previously did not qualify for these types of drugs.
  • Promoting long-term use of opioids even though there’s no evidence that using these drugs long-term is safe and effective, and grossly downplaying their addictive potential. OxyContin, for example, became a blockbuster drug mainly through misleading claims that Purdue Pharma knew were false from the start.43

Now, adding insult to injury, drug companies are trying to cash in on the opioid addiction crisis by pushing for legislation to combat the epidemic with, you guessed it, other drugs. NPR recently reported how Alkermes, a company that makes the anti-addiction medication Vivitrol — a monthly injection that costs about $1,000 per shot — is trying to weasel its drug into state laws, making it the sole treatment recommended for opioid addiction. NPR writes:44

“Two years ago, a mental health advocate named Steve McCaffrey stood at a podium in the Indiana statehouse, testifying in favor of an addiction treatment bill … His brief testimony appeared straightforward. ‘We rise in support, urge your adoption,’ said McCaffrey. He said the legislation would move the state ‘toward evidence-based treatment.’ But the bill wouldn’t do that.

Instead, it would cement rules making it harder to access certain addiction medications — medications that many patients rely on. The goal was to steer doctors toward a specific brand-name drug: Vivitrol … State Rep. Steve Davisson, the bill’s sponsor, says McCaffrey helped write the bill … But there was something important that Davisson and other lawmakers didn’t know about him.

State lobbying records show that McCaffrey lobbies for Alkermes, the company that makes Vivitrol …  McCaffrey’s work … is part of a larger pattern … [I]n 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 …

While policymakers are grasping for solutions to the nation’s opioid epidemic, Alkermes … is using policy to promote its drug and, in some cases, hamper access to medications that can help. And in so doing, it’s looking to turn its drug into a blockbuster.”

Industry Regulations Hamper Legal Recourse

A growing number of U.S. states,45 counties and even individual cities have filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers for their role in creating the addiction crisis. Unfortunately, it’s proving to be extremely difficult to hold drug companies accountable for their actions. As reported by Reuters,46 “The industry’s highly regulated nature could pose a hurdle to their success.” Since opioids, like all drugs, are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug companies simply lean on the drugs’ FDA approval.

“In their view, judges and juries could defer to the agency’s approval of the companies’ opioid products as safe and effective for treating chronic pain and of the drugs’ warning labels that disclosed addiction-related risks,” Reuters notes.

“Carl Tobias, a professor at Richmond School of Law, said FDA-approved warning labels and the role of doctors in prescribing medication can insulate pharmaceutical companies from liability for failing to warn of a drug’s risks. But he noted Ohio’s lawsuit claimed the companies used advertising in medical journals and marketing presentations to downplay the risks of opioids.

In announcing the lawsuit, Ohio Attorney General [Mike] DeWine argued the drugmakers’ deception continued ‘despite the warnings in the small print of their very own drug labels and package inserts which clearly contradict their marketing.’ ‘You can give a great warning but undercut it, and that can go to the fraud point,’ Tobias said.”

Drug companies are also arguing that state and local governments should not be allowed to use private lawyers when filing these kinds of lawsuits against them. Private attorneys typically receive a percentage of the settlement, and drug companies have argued that hiring private lawyers rather than using public servants violates their constitutional rights to due process. This ridiculous argument has already worked once.

Last year, a judge invalidated the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll’s agreement to represent former New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster in his lawsuit against Actavis Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals.47 The ruling effectively prevented the state from filing suit, since no “public servants” with the prerequisite legal skills are available to run the case.

Are You or Someone You Love Addicted to Painkillers?

This is a Flash-based audio and may not be playable on mobile devices.

Anyone can get hooked on opioids. It doesn’t matter where you live or how great a family you came from. STAT News’ special report, “52 Weeks, 52 Faces” features obituaries of people who lost their lives to opioid addiction. You’d be hard-pressed to “peg” any one of them as a drug addict.

Some marketing materials for opioids still claim the drug will not cause addiction “except in very rare cases,” describing the adverse effects patients experience when quitting the drug as a “benign state” and not a sign of addiction. This simply isn’t true. Panic is one psychological side effect commonly experienced when quitting these drugs, and this can easily fuel a psychological as well as physical dependence on the drug.

It’s important to recognize the signs of addiction, and to seek help. If you’ve been on an opioid for more than two months, or if you find yourself taking higher dosages, or taking the drug more often, you’re likely already addicted and are advised to seek help from someone other than your prescribing doctor. Resources where you can find help include:

With all the health risks associated with opioid painkillers, I strongly urge you to exhaust other options before resorting to these drugs. For a long list of alternative pain treatments, please see my previous articles, “Treating Pain Without Drugs,” and “New Treatment Guidelines for Back Pain Stress Non-Drug Interventions.”


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The post How Misuse of a Single Paragraph Ended Up Killing 60,000 Americans Per Year appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Democrats Are Hoping This Is Watergate – But In Reality Comey’s Testimony Turned Out To Be A Huge ‘Nothing Burger’

Democrats Are Hoping This Is Watergate – But In Reality Comey’s Testimony Turned Out To Be A Huge ‘Nothing Burger’ | James-Comey-Voice-Of-America-Public-Domain-YouTube-Screenshot | Politics Special Interests Trump

Many were anticipating that #ComeyDay would be the most monumental congressional hearing in decades, but the truth is that it turned out to be quite a dud.  During two and a half hours of testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know.  Of course liberal news outlets such as CNN are breathlessly proclaiming that we are now “in Nixon territory”, but that isn’t accurate at all.  There is absolutely no evidence that President Trump committed any crime, and there is absolutely nothing that warrants impeachment.

And I am far from alone in that assessment.  For example, an analysis published by CNBC says that nothing in Comey’s testimony was “powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively”…

“Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday will indeed have a big political impact in Washington. It will foster more partisan bitterness and more bad feelings about our political process and news media. But none of his testimony rises to the level of anything legally powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively.

The bottom line is that Comey spent a few hours Thursday telling the Senate committee that he felt uncomfortable and even stunned by President Trump’s behavior. And he peppered that narrative with numerous damaging statements about the president’s behavior and character, including basically calling him a liar”

When Comey accused Trump of being a liar, that certainly made a lot of headlines, but unless you are under oath it is not a crime to lie.

Perhaps we should make it a crime for our politicians to lie, because if we did we would clean out the toilet that Washington D.C. has become rather quickly.  But as it stands, even if Trump is a low-down dirty liar as Comey is claiming, that would simply put Trump on the same level as most of the current members of Congress.

The much more important question is whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice.  Fortunately for Trump, there is a very clear answer to that question.

First of all, we must remember that Trump was Comey’s boss.  As chief executive, Trump has constitutional power to direct the activities of his subordinates, and he is free to fire them whenever he chooses.  So, as Alan Dershowitz just pointed out on CNN, Trump cannot be impeached for simply exercising his constitutional authority…

Renowned Harvard professor and legal mind Alan Dershowitz sparked quite a reaction during a CNN segment on Wednesday night after he proclaimed that former FBI director James Comey’s prepared testimony indicates that President Donald Trump didn’t commit any crimes.

Dershowitz argued that Trump “could have told Comey, ‘You are commanded, directed to drop the investigation against [Gen. Michael] Flynn,’” but noted that he didn’t do so, according to Comey’s prepared testimony that was published on Wednesday.

The famed attorney also said Trump could have pardoned Flynn as well, but also chose not to do so. In the end, he concluded that there appears to be no criminal activity on the part of the president, particularly when it comes to obstruction of justice claims.

Traditionally, the FBI has operated in a highly independent manner, but there is nothing in the law that gives the FBI independent status.

If Congress wants to pass a law to remove the FBI from being under the president’s authority they can certainly do that, but as it stands what Trump did was fully within the law.

But even if Trump didn’t have the authority, there would still be no obstruction of justice.  The two most important federal statutes that cover obstruction of justice are 18 U.S.C. § 1503 and 18 U.S.C. § 1505.  In both cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to prove that Trump acted “corruptly” in this case.  Not only that, there was no “proceeding” that Trump was trying to influence.  For a more extended analysis, please see the article that I posted yesterday entitled “Even If Everything James Comey Is Claiming Is True, There Is Still No Evidence That Trump Is Guilty Of Any Crime”.

If Comey is being straight with us, and at this point his credibility is pretty much shot, but if he is being straight with us there is still nothing that is going to end Trump’s presidency.

What Trump did may have been “inappropriate”, but you don’t impeach a president for being “inappropriate”.

In the aftermath of Comey’s testimony, Trump’s attorney said that the president feels “completely and totally vindicated”

President Donald Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Wednesday said his client felt “completely and totally vindicated” by James Comey’s prepared opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Comey’s remarks, released Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s Senate hearing, confirmed previous statements by Trump that Comey had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated amid the FBI’s wide-ranging inquiry into Russian meddling in the election and the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

Personally, I hope that this whole “scandal” will go away now.  There never was anything to it in the first place, and the American people want a government that is going to focus on solving problems instead of focusing on investigations that were doomed to go absolutely nowhere from the start.

But even if this Comey angle doesn’t work out, the Democrats will just keep on trying.  In fact, the Huffington Post is already starting to promote the theory that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is an impeachable offense.

In the end, the Democrats are never going to give up until they find something that they can use against Trump.  What I am hearing is that they are going to make an all-out push to take back the House and the Senate in 2018, and if they can do that they plan to use their congressional majorities to get rid of Trump one way or another.

This is just another reason why the 2018 mid-term elections are going to be the most important mid-term elections in modern American history, because if the Democrats have their way Trump will never even make it to 2020.


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It Is Becoming Illegal To Be Homeless In America As Houston, Dallas And Dozens Of Other Cities Pass Draconian Laws

It Is Becoming Illegal To Be Homeless In America As Houston, Dallas And Dozens Of Other Cities Pass Draconian Laws | homelessness | Civil Rights Government Government Control Special Interests

Should we make homelessness against the law and simply throw all homeless people into prison so that we don’t have to deal with them?  Incredibly, this is actually starting to happen in dozens of major cities all across the United States.  It may be difficult to believe, but in many large urban areas today, if you are found guilty of “public camping” you can be taken directly to jail.  In some cities, activities such as “blocking a walkway” or creating any sort of “temporary structure for human habitation” are also considered to be serious crimes.  And there are some communities that have even made it illegal to feed the homeless without an official permit.  Unfortunately, as the U.S. economy continues to slow down the number of homeless people will continue to grow, and so this is a crisis that is only going to grow in size and scope.

Of course the goal of many of these laws is to get the homeless to go somewhere else.  But as these laws start to multiply all across the nation, pretty soon there won’t be too many places left where it is actually legal to be homeless.

One city that is being highly criticized for passing extremely draconian laws is Houston.  In that city it is actually illegal for the homeless to use any sort of material to shield themselves from the wind, the rain and the cold

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is taking a similar approach—his anti-encampment ordinance makes it illegal to use “fabric, metal, cardboard, or other materials as a tent or temporary structure for human habitation.” This ensures that the Houstonian homeless are vulnerable not just to the elements, but also to the constant threat of the police. Officials cite one of the most common justifications for crackdowns on the homeless: neighborhood safety (a more socially acceptable way of talking about the not-in-my-backyard mentality).

With all of the other problems that we are facing as a nation, it stuns me that there are politicians that would spend their time dreaming up such sick and twisted laws.

According to one news report, the homeless in Houston are now officially banned from doing all of the following things…

1. They can’t block a sidewalk, stand in a roadway median or block a building doorway. (AKA they can’t panhandle).

2. They also can’t do any of these things — blocking walkways — under state law that already existed.

3. They can’t sleep in tents, boxes or any other makeshift shelter on public property.

4. They also can’t have heating devices.

5. They can’t carry around belongings that take up space more than three feet long, three feet wide, three feet tall.

6. People can’t spontaneously feed more than five homeless people without a permit.

If I was a homeless person in Houston, I would definitely be looking to get out of there.

But where are they going to go?

Things are almost as bad in Dallas.  In fact, it is being reported that the police in Dallas “issued over 11,000 citations for sleeping in public from January 2012 to November 2015.”

When you break that number down, it comes to 323 citations per month.

Of course some people have tried to challenge these types of laws in court, but most of the challenges have been unsuccessful.  For example, just check out what recently happened in Denver

Three people who were contesting Denver’s urban-camping ban were found guilty on Wednesday, April 5, at the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse. The defendants — Jerry Burton, Randy Russell and Terese Howard — were determined to have unlawfully camped on November 28, 2016, and to have interfered with police operations at one location. All three were sentenced with court-ordered probation for one year and between twenty and forty hours of community service.

The case challenged Denver’s unauthorized-camping ordinance, which has been divisive ever since Denver City Council approved it in 2012.

Since the courts are generally upholding these laws, this has just emboldened more communities to adopt anti-homelessness ordinances.  According to one report, dozens of major cities have now passed such laws…

City-wide bans on public camping (PDF) have increased by 69 percent throughout the United States. What used to be seen as an annoyance is now prohibited, forcing fines or jail time on those who certainly can’t afford it. The only nationwide nonprofit devoted to studying this, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, has been tracking these changes since 2006. Their findings? There are a scary number of laws passed that ironically make it costly to be homeless.

For example, in 33 of the 100 U.S. cities they studied, it’s illegal to publicly camp. In 18, it’s illegal to sleep in public. Panhandling is illegal in 27 cities.

In 39 cities, it’s illegal to live in vehicles.

As I have warned repeatedly, we are seeing hearts grow cold all around us.  Instead of doing everything that they can to try to help those in need, communities are trying to make them go some place else, and those that try to feed and help the homeless are being harshly penalized.

Sadly, all of this comes at a time when homelessness is on the rise all over America.  In a previous article I pointed out that in New York City the number of homeless people recently hit a brand new all-time high, and things have gotten so bad in Los Angeles that the L.A. City Council has formally requested that Governor Jerry Brown declare a state of emergency.

We tend to think of the homeless as bearded old men with drinking problems, but the truth is that many of the homeless are children.

In fact, the number of homeless children in the United States has risen by about 60 percent since the end of the last recession.

If this is how we are going to treat some of the most vulnerable members of our society while things are still relatively stable, how are we going to be treating one another when the economy completely collapses?


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Source: Alternative news journal

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Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain

Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain | birch-tree | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments.  In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice?  Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect!

Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

What is Birch Oil?

Not surprisingly, Birch essential oil comes from the bark of birch trees. The scientific name is Betula Lenta and sometimes the oil is referred to as Sweet Birch Oil.

Pure, unadulterated birch oil, while not rare, can be difficult to find. That said, it is not an expensive oil relatively speaking.  What makes it special is that 100% pure Birch essential oil contains both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Both have a cortisone-like quality that reduces discomfort in the muscles, bones, and joints and in addition, are recognized as germicides and bactericides in the world of medicine.

Whereas Birch essential oil is an effective anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, and diuretic, it really shines in its use to combat muscle and joint pain.  Bar none, Birch is the oil you want to use to relieve the pain of arthritis, tendonitis, gout, and severe muscle cramping.

How to Use Birch Oil to Fight Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

In my own household, we use Birch essential oil blended synergistically with both Geranium and Lemongrass oils.  We came up with this formula by trial and error and although it uses other oils, we still fondly refer to it as “The Birch”.

We use “The Birch” in two ways: as a topical, roller-ball application diluted with fractionated coconut oil, and also as a heavy duty pain-relieving salve. According to Shelly, who is also known as the Survival Husband, the back to back use of both the roller ball and the salve, morning and night, has made the arthritis in his hands bearable.

Here is what he has to say:

“Before using the essential oils Gaye made up for me, I had so much arthritis pain in my right hand that at times my hand was non-functional.  After using the EO blends morning and night for five months, my arthritis pain has almost disappeared.

I can ride my Harley, play golf, do my chores, and simply get through the day with minimal discomfort.”

Replicating the formula I made for Shelly is easy.  Here are my two “arthritis busting” recipes.  That is what I call them although, of course, they are used for other aches and pains as well.

Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula

6 drops Birch Essential Oil
6 drops Geranium Essential Oil
6 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 5ml roller ball bottle.  Top with enough fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to fill the bottle.  If you are using a 10ml roller ball bottle, just fill half way.  (I find that the 10ml size is more common.)

Arthritis Busting Salve

30 drops Birch Essential Oil
30 drops Geranium Essential Oil
30 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 1 ounce jar (I use both these and these).  Top with either Plain “Simple” Salve or DIY Miracle Healing Salve and mix well with a small stick (I use a coffee stir stick).  Use twice daily or as needed.

A Word of Caution

Birch essential oil is a strong oil and if used undiluted, may cause irritation.  In addition, Birch should be avoided by those who use blood thinners, have epilepsy, or women who may be pregnant.

If you do use blood thinners, I suggest substituting the birch essential oil with additional drops of lemongrass oil. While not quite as effective as Birch, Lemongrass EO is an amazing pain reliever in it’s own right.  It is also a very inexpensive oil.

About Essential Oils

After a significant amount of research, for health, first-aid, and wellness purposes I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  There are a lot reasons, the most important being their commitment to both quality and value.  I am satisfied that the raw materials used in Spark Naturals products are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

If you decide to make a purchase from Spark Naturals, please know that you will enjoy a 10% discount on your order when you use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. (Note:  I do receive a small commission on your purchase and for that I extremely appreciative.)

The Final Word

As I have mentioned, we call our Arthritis Busting formulas, “The Birch”.  In reality, the title of this article could have been “Using Essential Oils for Joint and Muscle Pain”. Still, with Birch essential oil being a key component, I wanted to introduce the oil to you along with some of its beneficial properties so that you can explore more uses on your own.

Personally, I love using all three of the oils in “The Birch” and even though I do not have arthritis myself, I find the formula useful for breaking down those knots of stress that appear on my neck and on my shoulders.  And for cramping hands and toes?  Nothing beats “The Birch” aka the Arthritis Busting formula.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!Save

The post Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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During The Trump Era, Will Men Finally Start Acting Like Men Again?

During The Trump Era, Will Men Finally Start Acting Like Men Again? | weak-man | Sleuth Journal Society Special Interests US News

One of the primary reasons why Donald Trump is in the White House today is because he didn’t act like a typical wimpy politician during the campaign.  The American people were hungry for someone who is strong, someone who is a fighter and someone who will stand up for what he believes.  In other words, they wanted a man and not a wimp.  Yes, Donald Trump has done and said some things that are very regrettable over the years, but many Americans were willing to overlook those imperfections because at least he was willing to go to battle.  Now that he is president, will he inspire millions of other men to finally start acting like men again?

Too many men today would rather go to the spa than pick up a shovel.

Too many men today speak of the need for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”.

Too many men today are living in a state of suspended adolescence and are putting off marriage and family indefinitely.

Too many men today are more likely to be called a “snowflake” rather than a “warrior”.

In an absolutely remarkable article that was published earlier this week, author Todd Starnes made some keen observations about modern “men”.  The following is a short excerpt…

In today’s reengineered version of manhood, guys no longer have friends – they have bromances and they settle disputes by hugging it out.

Men’s magazines are now filled with articles like, “Should a Man Show Nipple?” and “What Men Know about Wearing Eyeliner.”

In America today, boys generally don’t do as well as girls in school.  And young women are far more likely to go to college than young men.  In fact, we have almost gotten to the point where 60 percent of the students in our colleges are women.

And when they leave school, young men are far more likely to move back in with their parents than young women are.  In a previous article, I noted that the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are living with their parents is now the highest that it has been in 75 years.  If young men were living independently at the same rate that young women are, this crisis wouldn’t even exist.

And the truth is that young women are looking for young men that are willing to be independent.  A few years ago, Todd Starnes “conducted an unscientific poll to determine what the average American woman looks for in a man”, and this is what he discovered

1. Has a job;

2. Drives a pickup truck;

3. Uses the bathroom standing up;

4. Eats meat;

5. And is willing to carry them out of a burning building.

In other words — they want the kind of man made in God’s image — not the image of some effeminate intellectual stuffed in skinny jeans sipping chai tea with his pinky finger extended.

And a more scientific survey that was conducted a few years ago found that 75 percent of all American women do not have any interest in dating unemployed men.

Women want men that will love them, protect them and provide for them.

Unfortunately, those kinds of men are being systematically demonized in our society today.  To the liberal mind, the “traditional man” has come to represent “male oppression” that must be eradicated at all cost.

This may sound strange to you, but this is the kind of philosophy that is being pounded into the minds of impressionable young adults at colleges and universities all across the nation.  And some of these impressionable young adults buy into this philosophy to a frightening degree.

For example, one very prominent feminist blogger has actually called for the eradication of all men

A controversial video blogger has suffered a social media backlash after a video of her suggesting that the male species be wiped out – including babies – re-surfaced.

US vlogger Jenny McDermott, 33, made the bizarre ‘kill all men’ content in July last year and posted it on her YouTube channel.

The 33-year-old, who’s Twitter bio describes her as a secular humanist and trans loving feminist, rants in the short video that she’s ‘sick of being a baby factory that produces more men, that in the future will subjugate me.’

Someone might want to tell her that the human race would cease to exist without men, because apparently she hasn’t thought that far ahead.

But while McDermott may be on the outer fringe, the truth is that she is just a very small part of a very powerful “anti-male” movement in this country.

If you can believe it, at this point even some divinity schools are telling their professors not to use male pronouns for God

Two prominent divinity schools have instructed their professors to use gender-neutral language when referring to God.

According to National Review, the divinity schools at Duke and Vanderbilt Universities have told their faculty to give “consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the Divine,” in an effort to be more “inclusive” and to “mitigate sexism.”

Of course if men want to be respected, they need to start acting like gentlemen instead of like deranged animals.

I often quote from two different surveys when I talk about the state of men in our country.  One of those surveys found that 64 percent of all Christian men in America watch pornography at least once a month, and another survey found that 68 percent of all Christian men in America look at it “on a regular basis”.

That is not how men are supposed to behave.

A gentleman is self-controlled, patient, strong, temperate and willing to make sacrifices for others.

But how many men could be described that way today?

In the old days, men dedicated themselves to God, family and country, but today many men appear to be self-obsessed narcissists that are constantly chasing whatever they think will make them feel good in the moment.

If we want to make America great again, then men (and women) need to start dedicating themselves to becoming great again on an individual level.

So ultimately the fate of this nation is not going to be determined by any politician.

Rather, the fate of this nation is going to be decided by what goes on inside our own hearts.


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Activists Hope To Turn Trump’s Inauguration On January 20th Into One Of The Biggest Riots In U.S. History

Activists Hope To Turn Trump’s Inauguration On January 20th Into One Of The Biggest Riots In U.S. History | Anti-Trump-Protesters-In-Chicago-Photo-by-nathanmac87 | Politics Protestors & Activists Trump

(image: nathanmac87)

Radical leftists are planning to make January 20th the most chaotic Inauguration Day in American history.  Their stated goal is to “disrupt” the Inauguration festivities as much as possible, and they are planning a wide range of “actions” to achieve that stated goal.  Some of the more moderate groups are using terms such as “civil resistance” and “civil disobedience”, but others are openly talking about “blockades”, jumping barricades, throwing projectiles and “citywide paralysis”.  My hope is that all of their efforts will turn out to be a big flop, but it is important to understand that these groups are well funded, highly organized and extremely motivated.  The election of Donald Trump has been perhaps the single most galvanizing moment for the radical left in modern American history, and they are working very hard to turn January 20th into a major political statement.

In fact, just recently one activist group took out a full page ad in the New York Times

Thousands of activists, journalists, scientists, entertainers, and other prominent voices took out a full-page call to action in the New York Times on Wednesday making clear their rejection of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence with the simple message: “No!”

“Stop the Trump/Pence regime before it starts! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America!” the ad states, followed by a list of signatories that includes scholar Cornel West; author Alice Walker; Chase Iron Eyes of the Standing Rock Sioux; educator Bill Ayers; poet Saul Williams; CNN‘s Marc Lamont Hill; Carl Dix of the Communist Party USA; and numerous others.

The ad pointed people to refusefascism.org, and it asserted that Trump must be stopped whether he was legitimately elected or not

Trump promises to inflict repression and suffering on people in this country, to deport millions, to increase violence up to the use of nuclear weapons on people across the globe, and to inflict catastrophes upon the planet itself. He has assembled a cabinet of Christian fundamentalist fanatics, war mongers, racists, science deniers. NO! His regime must not be allowed to consolidate. We REFUSE to accept a Fascist America!

If you go to refusefascism.org, you will discover that the protests that they are organizing in Washington D.C. will begin on January 14th.  They say that they want to “stop the Trump-Pence regime before it starts”, and they hope to have protests going “every day and every night” without interruption through at least January 20th.

Another group that plans to kick things off on January 14th is DisruptJ20.  Of course that is short for “Disrupt January 20th”.  If you go to their official website, you will find a long slate of events that have already been scheduled.

According to Legba Carrefour, a spokesperson for DisruptJ20, one of the goals of the group is to block major transportation routes into and throughout our nation’s capital.  And he is not shy about the fact that they literally want to “shut down the Inauguration”

“We are planning to shut down the inauguration, that’s the short of it,” he says. “We’re pretty literal about that, we are trying to create citywide paralysis on a level that I don’t think has been seen in D.C. before. We’re trying to shut down pretty much every ingress into the city as well as every checkpoint around the actual inauguration parade route.”

If Carrefour and his fellow conspirators are able to actually accomplish that, it truly would be unprecedented.

And while DisruptJ20 is not publicly advocating violence, they are not exactly discouraging it either…

Carrefour says DisruptJ20 has no publicly announced plans to jump barricades along the inauguration parade route or throw projectiles at the new president, but that autonomous direct actions are encouraged.

“I can’t comment on specific stuff we’re doing like that, mostly because that would be illegal. But, yeah, it will get pretty crazy, I expect,” he says. “‘Have fun!’ I say.”

After the rioting that we have seen in Baltimore, Ferguson, Charlotte and many other communities around the nation in recent years, I hope that authorities are taking these threats quite seriously.

Once Donald Trump won the election, many conservatives seemed to think that the war was won.  But the truth of the matter is that many on the left were completely blindsided by Trump’s surprise victory, and now that they are fully awake they are gearing up for battle like never before.

And these protests are not going to end on January 20th.  In fact, abortion advocates are hoping to get close to a million women into Washington D.C. on the day following the Inauguration to protest for abortion rights.  Filmmaker Michael Moore is hoping that this march will be the beginning of “100 days of resistance” against Trump’s presidency…

Filmmaker and liberal icon Michael Moore has announced his plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration later this month and has called for sore loser liberals to go further — by staging protests acts of resistance through the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency.

In an appearance, this weekend on MSNBC’s The Last Word, the 62-year-old Trumpland and Fahrenheit 9/11 director made a “call to arms” to those opposed to Trump’s presidency to join the Women’s March on Washington scheduled for January 21, the day after the presidential inauguration.

“It’s important that everybody go there,” Moore told MSNBC’s Ari Melber.

Of course it is easy to imagine how all of this could spiral wildly out of control.  If Trump cracks down on these protests really hard in an attempt to restore law and order, that could end up sparking a dramatic backlash against his “police state tactics”.  And if the protests become even bigger and more violent, Trump could respond by cracking down even more harshly.

Let us hope for some really cold weather in D.C. at the end of January so that as many troublemakers as possible get discouraged and stay home.  Violent protests, blockades and riots aren’t going to solve anything, and they could easily open fresh wounds in a nation that is becoming more divided with each passing day.

The post Activists Hope To Turn Trump’s Inauguration On January 20th Into One Of The Biggest Riots In U.S. History appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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War On The Homeless: Cities All Over US Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need

War On The Homeless: Cities All Over US Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need | homeless | Civil Rights Government Government Control Human Rights Losing Rights Special Interests

If you want to be a “Good Samaritan” to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first.  All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless.  For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night.  This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding.  In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.  Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else.

For nearly two thousand years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now many communities are trying to stop this from happening.  Earlier today, I was absolutely stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night…

“I showed up Wednesday morning to find a citation on the door that said we’re going to be fined $12,000 and have a court date because we have unhoused homeless people sleeping outside the church at night,” said Reverend Katie Grover with the Patapsco United Methodist Church.

Grover added that the men and women who sleep outside their doors do so because they have nowhere else to go and because they feel safe there.

“We feel we here as a church that it’s scriptural mandate that’s it an imperative to care for the least, the last, the lost, the poor, the hungry,” she said.

The authorities in Dundalk say that the church is running a “non-permitted rooming and boarding house”, and the severity of this fine is likely to put the church in significant financial difficulty if it is forced to pay it.  You can watch a local news report discussing this story on YouTube right here

Of course Dundalk is far from alone.  All across the U.S. laws have been passed that specifically target the homeless.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the following are some of the most typical ways that the homeless are targeted…

  • Carrying out sweeps (confiscating personal property including tents, bedding, papers, clothing, medications, etc.) in city areas where homeless people live.
  • Making panhandling illegal.
  • Making it illegal for groups to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.
  • Enforcing a “quality of life” ordinance relating to public activity and hygiene.

There are some people that have been feeding the hungry for decades that now find that their work has been suddenly made illegal.  For instance, down in Houston a Good Samaritan named Jay Hamberger is outraged that the help that he has been providing to the homeless for 27 years has now made him an outlaw

Jay Hamberger has been bringing food to Houston’s homeless for 27 years. He feels the city is infringing on his right to help others by requiring him to have prior permission to distribute food on public and private property.

“I’ve done it with impunity for 27 years now, and I’m the most law-abiding outlaw, because what I’m doing is illegal,” Hamberger said. “My understanding is that there’s no legal way to make this right with the city.”

This is just another example of how our society is being strangled to death by control freaks.

If I see someone that is desperately hungry and I want to give that person food, then I am going to do it no matter what the law says.

Unfortunately, as the homelessness crisis continues to escalate these types of laws are only going to increase.  Even in supposedly “tolerant” areas of the country we are seeing draconian measures being implemented.  For example, just check out the new ordinance that was just passed in Los Angeles

LA legislators passed an ordinance that would ban people from sleeping in cars and recreational vehicles (RVs) near homes, parks and schools. Advocates see the ordinance as the latest move to criminalize homeless people.

The Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of the ordinance on Wednesday. Banning people from sleeping near homes, schools and parks in their vehicles, would, if signed into law, only make it legal to sleep overnight in cars and RV’s in industrial or commercial districts from 9:00pm to 6:00am.

As millions of Americans have fallen out of the middle class in recent years, we have seen an explosion in the number of people living in cars, trucks and recreational vehicles.  This is something that I addressed in my recent article entitled “Living In A Van Down By The River – Time To Face The True State Of The Middle Class In America“.  During this time of the year many that live in their vehicles head for warmer climates, and cities like Los Angeles are responding to the influx of homeless people by trying to force them to go somewhere else.

And this “war on the homeless” has actually been ramping up for quite a while.  Just check out these numbers from the Washington Post

Cities have enacted a wave of crackdowns and new laws against panhandling, camping and other activities associated with homelessness. They say such efforts help preserve the renewed vitality, curbing crime, health problems and behaviors that bother residents and disrupt business.

Between 2011 and 2014, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that bans on sleeping in cars shot up 119 percent, citywide camping prohibitions jumped 60 percent, anti-loitering laws increased 35 percent and anti-begging laws increased 25 percent in a survey of 187 cities.

Homeless people do not have a permanent address, and there is always a temptation to try to force them to go somewhere else so that they become someone else’s problem.

But the truth is that we have a massive national crisis on our hands.  The number of homeless children in this country has increased by 60 percent since the end of the last recession, and the number of homeless people sleeping in shelters has risen to record levels in major cities on both the east and west coast.

And considering the fact that about two-thirds of the country is currently living paycheck to paycheck, how bad will things get once the next major recession strikes?

Poverty is growing all over the nation, and at the same time hearts all over America are growing very cold.

I truly fear for what this country is going to look like just a few years from now.

The post War On The Homeless: Cities All Over US Making It Illegal To Feed And Shelter Those In Need appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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The DEA Would Rather You Be Addicted to Opiates Than Use This Natural Painkiller

The DEA Would Rather You Be Addicted to Opiates Than Use This Natural Painkiller | natural-medicine | Big Pharma Civil Rights DEA Government Government Control Losing Rights Medical & Health Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you know that there is a safe, effective, non-addictive natural remedy for chronic pain? No?

There’s a reason you didn’t know. The DEA is busy trying to ban it.

Kratom is an herbal remedy that is already illegal in several states, and if the DEA has its way, will be considered a Schedule 1 narcotic, right alongside LSD and heroin. You can learn more about the benefits of kratom here and here. You can learn more about the government’s efforts to ban the plant here.

The bottom line is, if Big Pharma can’t make money from it, the government wants to crack down on it “for your own good.” Opiate painkiller addiction is big money for the pharmaceutical industry.

Kratom isn’t just some kind of crazy hippie remedy, either. In the article below, you can read the comments from some pro-kratom physicians. ~Daisy


By Heather Callaghan of  Natural Blaze

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association has just asserted that a delayed U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ban on the kratom plant would stifle scientific understanding of the herb’s active chemical components and documented pharmacologic properties – if it goes through.

The special report cited the pharmacologically active compounds in kratom, including mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, paynantheine, speciogynine and 20 other substances as a reason to preserve rights to study it. Previously, only a couple of components were relatively known and, as it turns out, the government appears to have a keen interest in patents on them.

Additionally, the report stressed the vast amount of anecdotes and current research that demonstrates the herb to be a safe and non-addictive alternative to opioids which have proven to be disastrous and even deadly. There are now more people addicted to opioids than nicotine.

Study author Walter Prozialeck, chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, said:

There’s no question kratom compounds have complex and potential useful pharmacologic activities and they produce chemically different actions from opioids.

Prozialeck points out that even breast cancer treatments like tamoxifen were developed from plant research. Again, if we are to believe that kratom is an “emerging health threat” as the CDC would have us believe – then why does the government own patents for the component? It sounds like the government may be hoarding kratom for the drug companies; whereas, kratom could benefit people as a consumer product and in the medical field.

Science Daily reports:

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is indigenous to Southeast Asia, where the plant was used for centuries to relieve fatigue, pain, cough and diarrhea and aid in opioid withdrawal. Currently sold in the United States as an herbal supplement, kratom drew DEA scrutiny after poison control centers noted 660 reports of adverse reactions to kratom products between January 2010 and December 2015.

Anita Gupta, DO, PharmD and special advisor to the FDA, responds to those claims by saying:

While the DEA and physicians have valid safety concerns, it is not at all clear that kratom is the culprit behind the adverse effects.

In fact, many of those victims were found to have pharmaceuticals like antidepressants in their bodies, yet those have not come under the recent heat lamp.

Dr. Gupta who is also an osteopathic anesthesiologist, pain specialist and licensed pharmacist, treats many patients who use kratom. Gupta adds,

Many of my patients are seeking non-pharmaceutical remedies to treat pain that lack the side effects, risk, and addiction potential of opioids.

The DEA is deciding on whether to make kratom federally illegal and place it as a Schedule 1 drug along with marijuana, LSD and heroin. The comment period has ended so it’s only a matter of time before a decision is reached. Kratom is currently illegal in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

 

Article first posted at DaisyLuther.com

The post The DEA Would Rather You Be Addicted to Opiates Than Use This Natural Painkiller appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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America Needs To Wake Up – There is ZERO Hope For Our Country Until We Turn From Our Evil Ways

city-time

America is never going to be great again until we deal with the wickedness in our own hearts. In recent days I have listened to so many national leaders tell us that Donald Trump is going to win the election and that this will usher in a new golden age of blessing and prosperity for America. Supposedly this is going to happen even though we continue to slaughter babies on an industrial scale, sexually-transmitted diseases are spreading at the fastest pace in decades, the percentage of births out of wedlock is more than 10 times higher than in 1940, and approximately two out of every three Christian men watch pornography on a regular basis. Even though there aren’t any signs of widespread national repentance, we are supposedly going to be showered with wealth, favor, protection and good times for as far as the eye can see. You can believe this if you want, but it doesn’t have any basis in reality.

The truth is that we live in a nation where just about every type of evil that you can possibly imagine is spreading like wildfire. Just look at the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. According to the CDC, there are 20 million new cases of sexually-transmitted disease in the United States every year. And last year, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis grew at a very alarming pace

Cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States have reached new highs, including an increase in syphilis not seen since the mid-1990s, federal health officials said in a report this week.

There were 1.5 million chlamydia cases in 2015 — the last year that numbers were available — a 6 percent increase from the year before, and about 400,000 infections of gonorrhea, or a 13 percent rise, according to a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But syphilis cases increased to levels unseen since the mid-1990s. There were nearly 24,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis cases last year, a 19 percent hike compared with 2014.

We are a nation that has fully embraced the “free love” philosophy of the 1960s. We have sex with whoever we want, whenever we want, and we don’t seem to care about the consequences.

As a result, the nuclear family is rapidly being destroyed.

Back in 1940, 3.8 percent of all babies were born to women that were not married.

Today, that number is over 40 percent.

2008 (the year Barack Obama was elected) was the very first year in our history when 40 percent of all babies were born to unmarried mothers, and we have now stayed at that level for eight straight years.

If we want to make America great again, we can start by not sleeping with people that we are not married to.

But of course an increasing number of Americans (especially our young people) are discarding traditional notions of love, marriage and sexuality completely. At one time we were told that the choice was between “gay” and “straight”, but now many people have decided that they want absolutely no limits. Miley Cyrus is among those that are now identifying themselves as “pansexuals”. The following comes from a recent article by Jennifer LeClaire

“My mom is like an ’80s rock chick—big blonde hair. … She loves being a girl,” Cyrus said. “I never felt that way. I know some girls that love getting their nails done. I … hated it … I don’t wax my eyebrows. I never related to loving being a girl. And then, being a boy didn’t sound fun to me. I think the LGBTQ alphabet could continue forever. But there’s a ‘P’ that should happen, for ‘pansexual.’”

According to Google, a “pansexual” is “not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.”

Millions of young girls look up to Miley Cyrus as a role model. We knew that this sort of thing was coming in the last days, but it is still hard to grasp how far America has fallen.

And if you try to speak out against this wave of evil, you might just lose everything.

For instance, the bakery in Oregon that didn’t want to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple has been forced to close their doors permanently

The Oregon bakery that made news after it refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding has closed after legal battles left the business financial devastated, according to a Christian news site.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, have shut down their bakery, according to the store’s Facebook page.

‘We have closed Sweet Cakes. We appreciate everyone’s continued prayer and support,’ the post said.

We live in a nation where the culture has been fundamentally transformed. According to a newly released Pew Research Center survey, an all-time high 57 percent of all Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized and only 37 percent are against it. With that kind of a margin, it is only a matter of time before marijuana is legalized all over the country.

We also live in a nation that is absolutely addicted to watching other people have sex. And most Christian men cannot even speak out about this epidemic because they are doing it themselves. According to Charisma News, one survey found that an astounding 68 percent of all Christian men admit that they watch pornography on a regular basis.

But even if we turned away from all of the other behaviors that I have just mentioned, there would still be no hope for our nation as long as we continue to murder babies on an industrial scale.

Did you see the final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? During that debate, Clinton made it exceedingly clear that she is in favor of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The Democratic platform openly calls for taxpayer funding of abortion and a complete repeal of the Hyde Amendment, and Bill and Hillary Clinton have made abortion one of the central pillars of their very long political careers. Their hands are absolutely drenched with the blood of dead children, and the American people are about to reward her by making her the next president of the United States.

So no, I don’t buy it when people try to tell me that America is on the verge of a new era of greatness.

The truth is that we are a cesspool of wickedness and filth, and unless we repent we are going to reap a very bitter harvest from what we have sown for so many years.

The post America Needs To Wake Up – There is ZERO Hope For Our Country Until We Turn From Our Evil Ways appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Could This Popular Pain-Killer Be Causing Celiac Disease?

celiac_disease_nsaid

A study published in the American Journal of Physiology reveals that a popular NSAID drug known as indomethacin may be triggering celiac disease in those who eat gluten-containing foods such as wheat.

Titled, “Gliadin intake alters the small intestinal mucosa in indomethacin-treated HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice,” the animal study concluded that the protein gliadin (one of several prolamine proteins in wheat together colloquially known as a ‘gluten’), ‘…in combination with COX inhibition [produced through indomethacin treatment] caused a basal inflammatory status and an oxidative stress condition in the small intestine of DQ8 mice [a celiac disease susceptibility gene], thus triggering the mucosal lesion and, subsequently, an antigen-specific immunity.”

Rats with the celiac disease susceptibility gene (DQ8), were treated with both gliadin (a gluten protein) and indomethacin, resulting 10 days later in celiac disease-associated intestinal changes, such as “a significant reduction of villus height, increased crypt depth, increased number of lamina propria activated macrophages and high basal interferon-γ.” The pathological intestinal changes (enteropathy) were associated with “high levels of oxidative stress markers, similar to CD.”

The researchers found that, “Notably, after a 30-day treatment enteropathic mice developed serum antibodies toward gliadin (IgA) and tTG (IgG). We concluded that gliadin intake in combination with COX inhibition caused a basal inflammatory status and an oxidative stress condition in the small intestine of DQ8 mice, thus triggering the mucosal lesion and, subsequently, an antigen-specific immunity.”

The researchers stated their findings, “clearly indicated inhibition of COX-2 activity [with indomethacin] is required to generate the gliadin-driven mucosal lesion in DQ8 mice.” In other words, the wheat protein gliadin alone was not capable of inducing celiac disease like lesions in the mice. Co-administration of the COX-2 inhibitor indomethacin was required to generate celiac disease like enteropathy:

“In the present study, we showed that intestinal adaptive immunity toward gliadin was not an essential prerequisite to trigger the mucosal damage in this model. In particular, we found that the simultaneous specific inhibition of COX-2 and gliadin intake were sufficient conditions to generate an even more marked lesion in the small intestine.”

If this animal model reflects accurately human physiology, those who take the NSAID drug indomethacin — and perhaps other pharmaceutical COX-2 inhibitors — may be increasing their risk for developing intestinal lesions associated with celiac disease.

Discussion

We know that celiac disease prevalence is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate. According to the the Mayo Clinic, “celiac disease is four times more common now than 60 years ago, and affects about one in 100 people.” Furthermore, non-celiac gluten sensitivity may afflict everyone, as demonstrated by our research project at Greenmedinfo.com that has identified over 200 health conditions validated in the biomedical literature to be linked to the consumption of wheat, in addition to research that shows that wheat harms the intestines of everyone, regardless of the presence of the classical DQ8/DQ2 celiac disease susceptibility genes.

Stefanie Seneff, MIT researcher, has made a convincing argument for the role of GMO foods contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate contributing to this modern day epidemic. Read her paper, “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance,” to get perspective on the topic. This author has also co-authored an article with Seneff, Jeffrey Smith, Dr. Tom O’Bryan, and Tom Malterre on Roundup herbicide contributing to the explosion of celiac disease epidemics, which can be viewed here.

Glyphosate toxicity likely figures as a primary driver of the increased rates of celiac disease observed over the past few decades, but it is also feasible that the popular use of NSAID drugs contributes to the accelerating epidemic as well, especially considering the manner in which they induce intestinal permeability – which is to say opening up the juncture between enterocytes (intestinal cells) resulting in the infiltration of luminal contents (bacteria and their immunotoxic components such as LPS) and undigested proteins from foods like wheat, which represent over 23,000 different proteins, each one of which is capable of inducing an adverse immune response.

Aspirin, for instance, has been found at low doses to cause small bowel injury consistent with increased intestinal permeability.[1] Ibuprofen has also been found to increase intestinal permeability,[2] while also being linked to cardiovascular disease, responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

Could widespread use of NSAID drugs be fomenting the increased prevalence of celiac disease?

Further research will be needed to know for certain whether or not NSAID drugs are contributing to the significant uptick in celiac disease incidence. For now, the best solution for those who would like to take back control of their health is to incorporate a gluten-free diet, alongside an approach that uses NSAID alternatives to reduce inflammation and pain.

With this in mind, you can deepen your understanding by reading any of the following articles:

For those already suffering from intestinal permeability, Greenmedinfo.com has a research page dedicated to identifying natural substances which heal up intestinal permeability: 50+ Potential Intestinal Permeability Aids.

REFERENCES

[1] Lynne M Howells, Barbara Gallacher-Horley, Catherine E Houghton, Margaret M Manson, E Ann Hudson. Evaluation of small bowel blood flow in healthy subjects receiving low-dose aspirin. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan 14 ;17(2):226-30. PMID: 21245996

[2] T Khazaeinia, F Jamali. Evaluation of gastrointestinal toxicity of ibuprofen using surrogate markers in rats: effect of formulation and route of administration. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2000 Mar-Apr;18(2):187-92. PMID: 10812490

© October 23, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

The post Could This Popular Pain-Killer Be Causing Celiac Disease? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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