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Heroin’s surge raises life-or-death medical ethics issue

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posted on Jan, 2 2016 @ 10:05 AM
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a reply to: reldra

It falls back on this :

Courts have indicated that this stand is legal because it is a form of resource rationing, he said.


These are specialist surgeons that are utilizing very highly specialized skills which take many many hours to do, utilizing precious time and resources on patients who admittedly have no interest in changing their life destroying habits. The surgeons themselves try to focus their efforts on those that show a willingness to address their problems and show an effort to turn their lives around.

This is not as simple as just treating someone for a cold or flu or treating massive lacerations. These addicts are essentially becoming a touch drain on the medical industry and hospitals, with each procedure and stay costing upwards of $500,000 .

Knowing Florida though, we will probably approve the needle exchange at some point, with attachments. Something along the lines of a repeat user who is undergoing a second procedure will spend a year and change in prison in order to make sure they are cutoff cold turkey and then diverted into programs for rehabilitation afterwards.
Many of these people have no insurance, and the bill is left to the taxpayer. At one point $1,000,000 cost to the tax payer for a condition that the user knows full well is a direct result of their illegal and criminal habits has to be addressed in a criminal manner IMO.

That may sound pretty bad, but again unless you have witnessed first hand the destruction this drug wreaks on those around them, their family, friends and so on it really is hard to really get a complete picture. Many relatives around the country have been murdered by their own addicted family members attempting to stop them from stealing from them or simply or refusing to give them money. There has to be a point where society draws a line and says "Enough is Enough!"

Cost of invading Afghanistan I suppose.

So to be clear, I do agree with the surgeons, I can empathize with the families who themselves have become victims to the criminal and violent acts of the addicts. I Do support a needle exchange program, and I support sending the addicts to prison after full recovery after a second procedure. That last part is my suggestion and noone else is really leaning that way, but every day they are left out into the streets is more money they will cost the taxpayer in the medical industry and more and more crime they will perpetuate on innocent civilians as well as their own families.

Again there has to be a point where we stop enabling these people and force them to live through the consequences of their choices.




posted on Jan, 2 2016 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: AmericanRealist


The resurgence of these problems within an individual are a direct result of their self destructive illegal habits, and it is getting waaay too expensive!


As I understand it, much of the problem lies with the irresponsible (and dangerous) ways doctors have prescribed opioids to the masses, often leading to addiction. In fact, Obama et al instituted regs to limit these prescriptions for these very reasons. But the addiction is not addressed, so once the legal prescription is cut off, the now-addicted patients turn to illegal street sources for their fix.

The saddest part is that there is a non-addictive, non life-threatening alternative which was criminalized for all the wrong reasons: Marijuana. I know two people who swear by medical marijuana for their pain, and curse the opioids they were once prescribed. One suffers numerous problems from a roll-over big rig accident... the other suffers from gunshot wounds that darn near resulted in the amputation of his lower leg. Both have major pain issues that are easily managed with marijuana (that never killed anyone).



posted on Jan, 2 2016 @ 11:15 AM
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Its about time that the medical profession recognizes Ibogaine's potential for curing heroin addiction.

They cant keep it a secret forever!!

for anyone who has never heard of it just type "addiction ibogaine" into youtube.



vimeo.com...


edit on 2-1-2016 by MrMasterMinder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: AmericanRealist
a reply to: reldra

It falls back on this :

Courts have indicated that this stand is legal because it is a form of resource rationing, he said.


These are specialist surgeons that are utilizing very highly specialized skills which take many many hours to do, utilizing precious time and resources on patients who admittedly have no interest in changing their life destroying habits.


Admittedly have no interest in changing... Admitted by who? You or addicts? I'm 42 and I've buried more friends the past 5 years than I've seen get married in the last 20. I can count on one hand how many of them enjoyed being junkies whereas the rest eventually hated what they had become and were going through the motions to keep themselves from being dope sick. The level of suffering one goes through during withdrawals is a far bigger incentive when treatment options aren't available because beds were full or the facility didn't take their insurance or in many more cases, there was no insurance. I lost one of my closest friends just over a year ago and he was in a 5 day/week outpatient program. It wasn't a desire to stay clean, it's got to do with fundamental changes in brain chemistry that occur. Nobody wants to die a junkie. Simple things lime a suboxone prescription remove the fear of withdrawal and allow them to receive treatment. There are so many options that don't involve locking people up for what amounts to an illness. Do we deny cancer patients treatment when they were a 2 pack a day smoker for 40 years and get lung cancer?

By your own logic, I shouldn't have had the recent surgery I did because I knew when I enlisted that jumping out the back door of a C-130A could lead to potential health risks down the road.



The surgeons themselves try to focus their efforts on those that show a willingness to address their problems and show an effort to turn their lives around.


While a court may have upheld the legality of denying treatment, it's still highly unethical and an egregious violation of the Hippocratic Oath. Apparently these practitioners have taken the Hypocritical Oath instead.


This is not as simple as just treating someone for a cold or flu or treating massive lacerations. These addicts are essentially becoming a touch drain on the medical industry and hospitals, with each procedure and stay costing upwards of $500,000 .


The way you put it, you make it sound like every addict in Florida has heart valve infections that need to be surgically treated and they're destroying your healthcare system. It's a simple solution, needle exchanges and increased access to treatment options.


Knowing Florida though, we will probably approve the needle exchange at some point, with attachments. Something along the lines of a repeat user who is undergoing a second procedure will spend a year and change in prison in order to make sure they are cutoff cold turkey and then diverted into programs for rehabilitation afterwards.


Let's hope Florida gets it's head out of its bum. The states lax laws with your pill factories a few years ago is what led to,your heroin epidemic. The state should accept its own roll in all of this instead of criminalizing people.



Many of these people have no insurance, and the bill is left to the taxpayer. At one point $1,000,000 cost to the tax payer for a condition that the user knows full well is a direct result of their illegal and criminal habits has to be addressed in a criminal manner IMO.


Addressing this in a criminal manner hasn't worked since the inception of the war on drugs under Nixon. Countries like Portugal who have decriminalized personal use, increased access to clean supplies and needle exchanges and switched to inpatient treatment for those who choose it over incarceration have reduced addiction rates, HIV infection rates and other STI rates as well as reduced death by overdose. There are far better options than incarcerating people.


That may sound pretty bad, but again unless you have witnessed first hand the destruction this drug wreaks on those around them, their family, friends and so on it really is hard to really get a complete picture. Many relatives around the country have been murdered by their own addicted family members attempting to stop them from stealing from them or simply or refusing to give them money. There has to be a point where society draws a line and says "Enough is Enough!"


How many is many? Can you cite statistics or is this just a strawman built upon prejudice?


Cost of invading Afghanistan I suppose.


Heroin was in vogue long before we invaded Afghanistan.


So to be clear, I do agree with the surgeons, I can empathize with the families who themselves have become victims to the criminal and violent acts of the addicts.


This is a strawman argument. Again, you generalize and stereotype all addicts based on popular media stereotypes. What are the actual statistics showing that all of these addicts are robbing and killing their family members?


I Do support a needle exchange program, and I support sending the addicts to prison after full recovery after a second procedure. That last part is my suggestion and noone else is really leaning that way, but every day they are left out into the streets is more money they will cost the taxpayer in the medical industry and more and more crime they will perpetuate on innocent civilians as well as their own families.


The entire premise of this thread is predicated on infections from blood born pathogens wreaking havoc in the thoracic cavities of addicts. If they have access to clean needles, then you solve the problem so why should they be imprisoned as opposed to be given proper treatment? The War on Drugs is over 40 years old. Prison hasn't cured any addictions, treatment programs do.


Again there has to be a point where we stop enabling these people and force them to live through the consequences of their choices.


You can cease enablement without locking people up though. It's not the one way street that you're attempting to drive them down.



posted on Jan, 2 2016 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: peter vlar
Extreme physical actions in the service of your country is not the same as willingly and by choice starting and maintaining a drug habit that is pretty much explained from elementary school will destroy your life.

Your experience with drug addicts may differ from mine. Again, I lived only a few minutes walk from many of the pill mills that were in operation which were doping this country up like an epidemic. I had to see the consequences of that epidemic first hand, and lost a few friends to death and/or prison as well.

Now I have only met three people who were frequent users of heroin, neither of them had any intention or desire to quit their habit as they were already rock bottom at the point I made a vein attempt to educate/intervene for their sake.

As far as the victimization of the families, perhaps I was overreaching in regards to the violence in relation to the known cases from crack and meth abuse. However, the families still suffer gravely from a family member addict emotionally, psychologically, and financially.

The National Institute of Health goes into vivid detail on the effects of addicts in various family structures and break down the known research by family structure and who the addict may be.

As far as the 40 year smoker with cancer, it still is not the same argument overall, but I myself have made the argument before. I see of no need to go down that route, since this is specifically on the effects from using dirty needles, and I have conceded on the benefit of needle exchange programs.

This discussion is on a very specific disease, and the cause of which specifically being the shared dirty needles resulting in a very specific procedure with a very high price and resource tag. The country is not swarming with cardiologists and heart surgeons to treat the growing number of individuals who need multiple treatments, sometimes within less than five years apart from a very known dangerous drug habit. But the needle exchanges don't suddenly make everyone care when they are jonsin for that fix. Many will just do what they do, and continue to cost the country a great deal of monetary and emotional stress.

It is not like these things are easier on the surgeons either. They are devastated internally, but they have to ration the time and resources they have and focus on the ones that show more promise to actually change their lives.

In any case, our state is working on making the exemption that will allow for needle exchanges, and then we can study over the years how this can impact, whether positive or negative, the general community and the issue at large.

In the meantime, the surgeons should have that right to limit to two procedures when confronted with the growing number of incidents and lack of resources.



posted on Jan, 2 2016 @ 10:22 PM
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a reply to: sweets777

Needle exhchanges do not need to hand out free needles. Addicts can come inside, have whatever substance they want to use properly injected by staff and they can be on their way. No need for used needles left around. But besides that, if it were legal there would just be easy access to needles, and more responsible use overall. The fact the stigma exists at all is part of the problem.

And that goes for overdose as well. Another side effect of prohibition. Adulteration causes overdose (differently dosed substances) or just being misinformed. If the dose is being administered or at least monitored, they wouldn't be taking doses that lead to overdose.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:58 AM
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This is the latest effort I have been able to find for progress in Florida as an effort to combat the topic of the OP.

The public health community says decades of research support the efficacy of needle exchange programs. A longstanding ban on the use of federal dollars for these controversial exchanges has slowed their growth. But 35 states and Washington DC have established the programs anyway. Broward Democratic Representative Katie Edwards is proposing one such program for Miami-Dade County. House Bill 81 would establish a needle exchange pilot program at the University of Miami. The program would be funded by private donations, not state, county or federal dollars. Edwards says the state should turn towards harm reduction.


And also this:

Hoping to stem the spread of diseases such as HIV, a Senate committee Thursday approved a long-discussed proposal that would create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County.

The 5-3 vote by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee means that the bill (SB 242) is ready for consideration by the full Senate when the 2016 legislative session starts in January.

"I don't want the state of Florida to give them (illegal drug users) any encouragement to continue their habits,'' said Hays, who voted against the bill, along with Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and Sen. John Legg, R-Trinity.

Supporting the measure were committee Chairwoman Anitere Flores, R-Miami; Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach; Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach; Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth; and Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.


It is good to see Bi-Partisan support on this issue. It is only a baby step, but it is progress nonetheless.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 04:18 AM
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legalize everything. I have heard all the stories and understand the risks. That is part of being human understanding the risks. If you smoke you can die if you drink to much you can die ect.
Its odd that so many people cant fathom freedom and the negative and positive aspects of free choice. The united states wasn't built to be a big nanny state.

Right now someone can drink bleach,draino, eat rat poison and inject themselves with air legally! All of that can kill them. but doing a drug may kill them later
I know whats coming next right! but its not additive! lol your highly processed food is additive, your morning coffee is additive, your binge watching of tv series on netflix can be additive. That highly processed food can kill you the coffee you drink can cause your blood pressure to go up and you might have a heart attack if you drink it too much.

hell we all don't eat perfectly, exercise correctly and do it everyday, go see the doctor for every checkup and that's a choice! The war on drugs is BS and creating the same situation that happened with prohibition "its creating a black market" Just because someone has the choice doesn't mean they will take it! The world will never be free of drugs or people wanting to get high in some manner. But labeling these people as lower life forms and forcing them to seek out situation that can put them in harms way just to get it isn't human and it isn't right not even adding in the fact that they could be jailed over it like they are committing a crime against themselves!

society has created this perfect worker bee 1950's image of what people should be and its a bunch of crap. The people who don't fit in have always been labeled lower life forms, made fun of, talked crap about and openly criticized.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 07:39 AM
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Gosh this is a tough one. Addiction, though extremely difficult to conquer is a matter of choice and will.

A medical emergency or accident is just that, they should be priority.

No thing and no person can save an addict, they have to want it for themselves and be willing to persevere down the long painful journey to recovery.

For some that can be three days! Others, years.

So repeated drug addicts are making selfish choices and should be prepared to deal with that. At a certain point not stopping is just about the same as committing suicide. On a happy note! Stopping opiates, even cold turkey, by itself cannot kill you! The lifestyle sure can though.




edit on 21-1-2016 by GoShredAK because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 07:43 AM
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Keep demonizing addicts... Somethings never change in this country.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I had my own addictions I had to recently overcome. In the end, it was me being selfish that was contributing to my behavior. I finally decided I was tired of having that jonesing junkie feeling, constantly and anxiously looking for an immediate fix. It sucks, and after trying for years I finally gave up this behavior. Cutting myself off from other people who swear they are not addicted helped alot.

In the end, I know that an addict is an addict by choice and selfishly so. It took me just being honest and stop making excuses to myself to finally step into the light. The problem with the majority of addicts is they always refuse to be honest with themselves, because most people, especially addicts, dont like the truth about themselves and do not want to hear it.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: AmericanRealist

I'd say that things are a bit more complicated than that. It's great that you were able to kick your habits like so, but not everyone is you. Not everyone has your willpower, your dedication, your drive. On top of that chemicals and drugs affect each person differently. So what you are feeling as far as addiction is concerned could be completely different than what someone else is feeling. This is why addiction is labeled as a disease now. Some CAN beat it, but many cannot and blaming them for their failures isn't getting them any better.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 06:02 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: AmericanRealist

I'd say that things are a bit more complicated than that. It's great that you were able to kick your habits like so, but not everyone is you. Not everyone has your willpower, your dedication, your drive. On top of that chemicals and drugs affect each person differently. So what you are feeling as far as addiction is concerned could be completely different than what someone else is feeling. This is why addiction is labeled as a disease now. Some CAN beat it, but many cannot and blaming them for their failures isn't getting them any better.


I don't think blaming people for failure isn't a good thing however they made the choice to start the habit. Here's a very basic example of the topic. A millionaire buys a boat and I want one but I'm not a millionaire so I cant buy one. By your reasoning the millionaire should give up his boat because some people cant afford it or take care of it mainly the less fortunate poorer people. So we ban owning boats for the good of everyone because some people can't afford it. however that poor guy " me" wanted the boat before and couldn't get it has now won the lottery but I still can get the boat because they are banned now. Do you get what I saying? Just because its a bad situation for some doesn't mean it should effect all of us! Its the same type of logic the ban guns crowd uses. The problem is the guns will still exist and people while still be able to get them. Same with drugs!

however if they stopped the war on drugs. The dangerous people making money off them would go out of business,
The quality of the drug could keep the person from being given something cut that will kill them.
It could stop them from being exploited by a drug dealer.
It could at lest provided them with some level of safety even if its small.
and it would keep the money in the country and not going to some drug lord somewhere else.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 06:20 AM
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No compassion? How about not enabling the weak with sympathy. I think that's the correct view.

I would absolutely give preferential treatment to those choosing a healthy lifestyle and getting the # end of the stick over an addict who ultimately chooses their own plight in the face of constrained resources. That's simply being wise.

edit on 23-1-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 06:51 AM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
No compassion? How about not enabling the weak with sympathy. I think that's the correct view.

I would absolutely give preferential treatment to those choosing a healthy lifestyle and getting the # end of the stick over an addict who ultimately chooses their own plight in the face of constrained resources. That's simply being wise.


wow harsh. Do you truly live a healthy life style? Do you eat meat? Drink alcohol? do you get a full 8 hours of sleep per night? Do you always have protected sex? Do you have sex? Do you exercise regularly? Do you do take vitamins? Do you get regular checkups every year. Do you smoke? are you drinking the suggested amount of water daily? Do you eat at fast food places?

Is there a formula to being healthy or is it educated guessing by highly educated people?
Is a healthy life style dependent on a persons health or is it based of doctors suggestions of what their view of a healthy life style is.

Is risk taking behavior out side of drug use ok and considered a healthy life style like sky diving, swimming with sharks, speeding ect

I not against doctors or western style medicine. I don't believe i know more about health then they do. But i have a hard time taking everything they say as gospel when they can't figure out if milk is bad or good for you or if eating eggs is bad or good for you. I don't believe they have the right to place value on peoples lives as its goes against the oath they swore to protect. I'm aware they make life or death choices everyday. That the job is extremely difficult and frustrating and that it would feel horrible to work so hard only to watch the person they helped keep making the same choices. However refusing to help the sick based of life style doesn't make you a doctor it makes you a judge,jury and executioner
edit on 23-1-2016 by jobless1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 07:07 AM
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a reply to: jobless1

You think all of those are valid comparisons? Please don't insult my intelligence like this and expect a full reply.
edit on 23-1-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 07:32 AM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
a reply to: jobless1

You think all of those are valid comparisons? Please don't insult my intelligence like this and expect a full reply.


yes how dare I question your reasoning on a subject by asking you questions? I don't know what I was thinking obviously your so intelligent that a well thought out response is beneath you! I just thought you would have enjoyed showing your intelligence rather then implying you have "intelligence" and acting like people who don't know you personally could magically tell. Which is usually the sign of someone with a high IQ and


The comparisons had a reason for being asked which alluded your super intelligence. Simply put where is the line drawn once its ok for doctors to refuse heroin treatment based off life style choices? Meaning who's next? Smokers? Alcoholics? Diabetics? Obese people? people who ride motorcycles?

come on judge Judy
edit on 23-1-2016 by jobless1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 07:38 AM
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a reply to: jobless1

If you had a reasonable stance I would reply, but you're obviously not interested. Not feeding you any longer.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 06:52 AM
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a reply to: jobless1

Treat the disease; jail the suppliers. It's what Portugal does and it is working WONDERS for the country's drug habits. But hey, keep telling me I'm wrong and advocate for the same things over and over again. That appears to be working SOOOO well.



posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Not only would we see a huge drop in overdose related deaths and drastically reduced HIV and STD rates, across the board decriminalization or even legalization would drastically cut the number of firearm related homicides. Just look at LA and in late 80's through the 90's, NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago... all of these cities would see a massive reduction in firearm related deaths if the politicized and false paradigm of the 'War on Drugs' were ended.

Hell, even Mexico is starting to head down the same path as Portugal in regards to personal use. The largest impediment towards it working there is that the drug business in Mexico is based not on personal use, but on high quantity exportation and who controls that exportation, of coca and opium related products to America and Europe. There are so many options that serve the tax payers far better than incarceration.

There's a town in Massachusetts about an hour over the border from where I live and their Sherriff has opted to set up proper inpatient rehab for anyone who comes in and requests it as opposed to going around and looking for junkies to arrest. Heroin is an epidemic in the Northeast right now. Upstate NY, Vermont and Mass are being decimated with higher quality and lower priced dope than has been seen in 40 years. I'm 42 and I've been to more funerals than weddings for my friends the last decade. All these people are is a statistic at that point. Somehow they aren't people anymore.

What law enforcement and legislation have tried since Nixon declared war on drugs is entirely ineffective and the only people benefitting from it are Law enforcement agencies getting militarized toys and privately run, for profit prison systems who maintain contracts with a stipulated minimum occupancy clause. It's disgusting and it's long past due that a different tactic is taken. Just my two cents on the topic.




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