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April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018

Yesterday, April 4, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Trump administrator makes a compassionate socially responsible decision. How long will he last? By Hal Brown Comments
Scroll down to read the press release from Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams (about):
Surgeon General Releases Advisory on Naloxone, an Opioid Overdose-Reversing Drug
Urges more individuals to carry life-saving medication
 This is being covered by the AP and is making it onto websites like The Daily Beast. Narcan (naloxone) is the life-saving overdose reversal drug the notoriously incompetent and cruel Gov. LePage of Maine didn’t want to allow paramedics to carry. 
"Naloxone does not truly save lives, it merely extends them until the next overdose," said Gov. LePage in his veto message. "Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of Naloxone in the other ... serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction."  NECN
It looks like we actually have a highly placed Trump government official making smart and empathic decisions. He pushed for needle exchanges for adicts to combat the HIV epidemic and during his Senate confirmation hearing pledged Tuesday to put science ahead of politics telling senators that while science was critical it had to be applied in a “sympathetic and empathetic way.” USA Today

How long will he keep his job?

Trump has mentioned making sure Naloxone is readily available:
Mr. Trump did address an oft-repeated request by state and local authorities by announcing that two drug manufacturers of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, Adapt Pharma and Kaleo, will be distributing some free units to high schools and universities around the country. Naloxone manufacturers have drawn scrutiny for their exorbitantly high prices. When CBS News contacted Adapt Pharma in January, they said that they had yet to hear anything from the White House months after Mr. Trump had announced the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. CBC News in an article aptly titled to show where is priorities are: Trump focuses on law enforcement side of opioid rollout , March 19, 2018.
However, empathy and compassion aren’t in Trump’s makeup. He probably is like Governor LePage in thinking that every dead addict is one less drain on respectable society. Trump has to mention funding drug treatment just for the optics of it. His answer to the opioid crisis is to fund law enforcement, institute the death penalty for dealers, and of course, build the wall which he may or may not know won’ t stop the illegal opioid trade.
I am not expecting that this announcement will be condemned by Trump or lead to his considering firing Adams. However, the next time the surgeon general makes a decision based on both good science and compassion there's no telling whether someone on Fox News will condemn him and tell Trump to fire him.
This is what it comes down to. We find one Trump administration official to admire and be glad to have running a department, and end up wondering how long such a person can last in the age of Trump.

NEWSWEEK Jerome Adams, the Indiana state health commissioner, was nominated last week to serve as surgeon general by President Trump to succeed Vivek Murthy, who resigned in April. While Adams has not yet been confirmed to the post, the nomination is generating interest on both sides of the political aisle as well as among the public. That's because two years ago, Adams was integral to addressing an HIV outbreak in rural Indiana by convincing then-Governor Mike Pence to provide a temporary free syringe exchange in order to slow the spread of the virus. In light of the escalating opioid epidemic that is continuing to sweep across the U.S., many people are hopeful that Adams may hold similar sway in his new national post , if he is confirmed.

PRESS RELEASEL Surgeon General Releases Advisory on Naloxone, an Opioid Overdose-Reversing Drug
Urges more individuals to carry life-saving medication
The medication, naloxone, is already carried by many first responders, such as EMTs and police officers. The Surgeon General is now recommending that more individuals, including family, friends and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, also keep the drug on hand.
An estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. struggle with an opioid use disorder. Rates of opioid overdose deaths are rapidly increasing. Since 2010, the number of opioid overdose deaths has doubled from more than 21,000 to more than 42,000 in 2016, with the sharpest increase occurring among deaths related to illicitly made fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids).
Opioids are a class of drugs that include medications, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, which are commonly prescribed to treat pain. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is approved for treating severe pain, typically post-surgical or advanced cancer pain. However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related harms are a result of illicitly made fentanyl.
“Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose – that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” said Surgeon General Adams. “It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.”
Naloxone, an FDA-approved medication that can be delivered via nasal mist or injection, is not a long-term solution, but it can temporarily suspend the effects of the overdose until emergency responders arrive.
“To manage opioid addiction and prevent future overdoses, increased naloxone availability must occur in conjunction with expanded access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder,” the Surgeon General said.
All states have passed laws to increase access to naloxone and, in most states, you can walk into a pharmacy and request naloxone even if you don’t already have a prescription. In addition, most states have laws designed to protect health care professionals for prescribing and dispensing naloxone from civil and criminal liabilities as well as Good Samaritan laws to protect people who administer naloxone or call for help during an opioid overdose emergency.
Naloxone is covered by most insurance plans and, for those without coverage, may be available at low or no cost through local public health programs or through retailer and manufacturer discounts. It is easy to use, safe to administer and widely available.
Today’s Surgeon General advisory on naloxone is part of the administration’s ongoing effort to respond to the sharp increase among drug overdose deaths. Just last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data showing a rise in emergency department visits for opioid overdoses. From July 2016 through September 2017, opioid overdoses increased 30 percent in all parts of the U.S.
Expanding the use of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone is a key part of the public health response to the opioid crisis, along with effective prevention, treatment and recovery programs for opioid use disorder. Research shows a combination of medication, counseling and behavioral therapy, also known as Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT, can help people achieve long-term recovery.
For more information on how to get help, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or go to to find a treatment center.
To learn more about how individuals can recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, visit to read more.

The first thing I read this morning was the title of an opinion piece in the New York Times. It gave me my excerpt of the day.

The Contract With Authoritarianism

By Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times

Mr. Edsall, the author of “The Age of Austerity” and four other books, contributes a weekly column on politics.

In 1994, Newt Gingrich, brandishing his Contract with America, led a Republican revolution that swept aside Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate, initiating an epoch of conservative ascendancy that lingers on. Don Sipple, a Republican campaign consultant, declared at the time that the 1994 midterms pitted a Republican Party calling for “discipline” against a Democratic Party focused on “therapy.”
Two years later, George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at Berkeley, published “Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think,” which argued that
Deeply embedded in conservative and liberal politics are two different models of the family. Conservatism is based on a Strict Father model, while liberalism is centered on a Nurturant Parent model. These two models of the family give rise to different moral systems.
Several approaches to contemporary politics echo the insights of Sipple and Lakoff. The crucial word now, however, is authoritarianism.
The election of Donald Trump — built as it was on several long-term trends that converged in 2016 — has created an authoritarian moment. This somewhat surprising development is the subject of “Remaking Partisan Politics through Authoritarian Sorting,” a forthcoming book by the political scientists Christopher FedericoStanley Feldman and Christopher Weber, who argue that
Three trends — polarization, media change, and the rise of what many people see as threats to the traditional social order — have contributed to a growing divide within American politics. It is a divide between those who place heavy value on social order and cohesion relative to those who value personal autonomy and independence.
The three authors use a long-established authoritarian scale — based on four survey questions about which childhood traits parents would like to see in their offspring — that asks voters to choose between independence or respect for their elders; curiosity or good manners; self-reliance or obedience; and being considerate or well-behaved. Those respondents who choose respect for elders, good manners, obedience and being well-behaved are rated more authoritarian.

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