Kratom: Curse or Cure?

Recently, the US FDA issued a public health advisory warning the public not to use kratom, a substance purported to treat pain and opioid withdrawal. They give the following arguments: 1) There is no reliable evidence that kratom effectively treats opioid withdrawal; 2) use of kratom can lead to death; and 3) it can worsen… Continue reading Kratom: Curse or Cure?

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Medicaid’s Limits for Non-compliance — Janaburson’s Blog

The opioid treatment program where I work accepts Medicaid as payment, starting a few years ago. Overall, it’s been so beneficial for hundreds of our patients. However, when Medicaid patients have repeatedly positive drug screens, Medicaid overseers threaten to cut off their funding for treatment. Our state’s Medicaid system is divided into counties, and […] via… Continue reading Medicaid’s Limits for Non-compliance — Janaburson’s Blog

Risk Factor: The Pursuit of Happiness

The Epicureans say the highest good is happiness. Thomas Jefferson enshrined the right to pursue happiness in US law. Our society considers happiness the ultimate goal for every citizen. Think about the messages we receive. Prescription drug ads that promise perfect health. Sponsored posts on Facebook the one little secret that will make you seven… Continue reading Risk Factor: The Pursuit of Happiness

What’s this brain reward system you keep talking about?

Mesolimbic pathway by User:Slashme; Patrick J. Lynch; User:Fvasconcellos licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 In my last post, I talked about the hijacking of the brain's reward system and the role it plays in addiction. I need to expand on that, because this is a lot more complicated than it looks. It is fascinating from a Stoic viewpoint: How much… Continue reading What’s this brain reward system you keep talking about?

On Opioids

Vicodin, Lortab, Oxycontin, morphine... They are the source of all relief and of all ills. Of course, I exaggerate, but judging by the discourse around opioid deaths, we appear to be in a life-or-death struggle with these classes of medications. I would not presume to tell someone whether they should take opioids for pain or… Continue reading On Opioids