40,000 suicides a year and no epidemic here .. only some lives really matter

wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather


I have a large LCD TV sitting on my desk my laptop and last night as the NBC national news went off, I had not had taken the time to look at the TIVO guide as to what is coming on at 7 PM. Saturday night at 7 PM is not normally have much of anything worth watching. Up pops a ONE HOUR special by one of the local anchors about SUICIDE AWARENESS. The above two clips are from the special.. I have been in contact with the reporter trying to get to be able to embed the entire hour on my blog. 112 suicides A DAY… 22 of those being veterans… and we are spending 51 billion on trying to keep 43 OD deaths and we don’t really don’t know how many of those are actual suicides using medications , alcohol and/or other substances. Here is another report from the same stationwave3.com-Louisville News, Weather



where parent basically caught a community back lash because they started to publicly speak about their teenage daughter committing suicide.

I have exchanged a couple of emails from the reporter from this station and according to her.. it was a “FIGHT” to get the station manager to allow this one hour special to happen, but I sense … she is not done with this issue and from her emails.. she is aware of the issue of mental health, substance abuse and chronic pain issues that our country has and refuses to deal with..

Those we chronic pain are twice as likely to commit suicide.. everyone needs to become more seriously about admitting when relatives commits suicide.. what if it came to light that > 50% of the deaths that the DEA/CDC counts as OD’s was actually suicides because the pt was denied adequate pain management because of the DEA activity and/or the CDC’s protocols or guidelines on pain management.

100 K lawsuit over suffered loss of sleep and feelings of racial stigmatization

Black customer forced to prepay for meal files $100K discrimination lawsuit


An African American man who says he was asked to pay for his meal before dining at a Washington state restaurant—unlike white diners around him– has filed a $100,000 discrimination suit against the chain.

Brian Eason, a real estate agent who also serves as a deputy with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, went to the Vancouver, Wash. location of Elmer’s—a pacific Northwest chain of diners—on Dec. 16, 2014, reports The Oregonian.

After ordering from the waitress, she “demanded that he prepay for his meal,” according to the lawsuit.

“I was kind of curious about it and said ‘Well, is that new?’ And she said ‘Yes, we had a few walk-aways and my boss asked me to ask for prepayment,” Eason told The Oregonian on Wednesday.

At first, Eason says he was unphased but when he ordered another drink and was again asked to pay, he began to question the policy.

“I said ‘This is kind of odd that I have to prepay every time I order my food and drink,'” Eason recounted. “

 The waitress, who has not been named, reportedly replied , ‘I think it’s discrimination and my boss is here, and she’s forcing me to have me do this.'” The lawsuit says that the waitress acknowledged the policy was “racist.”

Eason says his server was apologetic and he ended up leaving her a tip and a $10 Starbucks gift card. He left Elmer’s but shortly returned after thinking about the waitress’s comments.

Back at the restaurant, Eason asked two white diners if they had been required to pay upfront before receiving their food and was told that they had not.

After the incident, Eason debated about whether to pursue legal action but after many sleepless nights, he says his family persuaded him it was the right thing to do.

“My office is right down the street there,” Eason said. “It’s a constant reminder of ‘They don’t want me in there.'”

On Tuesday, Eason filed a lawsuit in the circuit court of the State of Oregon, Multnomah Count, accusing Elmer’s of engaging in discriminatory practices.  He is seeking $100,000 in damages due to the fact that he has “suffered loss of sleep and feelings of racial stigmatization” over the incident.

Elmer’s, a Portland based chain, is owned and operated by Karsan which is named as one of the defendants. A representative for Karsan says they are “actively looking” into the incident but would not comment further due to pending litigation.

Jill Ramos, Elmer’s director of restaurant support, provided the following statement to The Oregonian: “At Elmer’s, we are proud to provide a welcoming Guest experience to everyone in the communities we serve. We are disappointed to hear about the complaint which occurred at one of our franchise-operated restaurants.”


Pharmacists, law enforcement discuss Indiana’s opiate crisis – just talk… no action ?

Pharmacists, law enforcement discuss Indiana’s opiate crisis


It would appear that Tamara Watson (narcotics investigator) doesn’t know the difference between Morphine – which doesn’t come in a 80 mg strength- and Oxycodone which comes in a tamper resistant 80 mg dose.. and is worth abt $1/mg on the street. Notice that they state that Heroin abuser first abused Rx opiates… it does not say that they were prescribed those Rx opiates or if they stole them or bought them on the street.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana continues to lead the nation in pharmacy robberies. At last check, Indianapolis had experienced more than 150 pharmacy robberies as of mid-October of this year, a statistic that law enforcement officials say points to a larger problem – the demand for more prescription pills on the streets.

It’s an issue I-Team 8 has covered for months. Often time, the crimes involved very similar scenarios – suspects would most often use a threatening note implying that they had a weapon and then make off with thousands of dollars worth of prescription pain medications. The demand on the black market is high, according to Tamara Watson with Indiana State Police. As a narcotics investigator, Watson says the business model of running a black-market drug operation is “hard to argue with.”

“If you can get a prescription from a doctor, it’s a co-pay. (It’s enough) for you to have enough to make a car payment, a house payment and buy groceries for the month,” she said. “One morphine pill 80mg, can go from $80 to $100 on the street so when you have a physician that is going to prescribe someone a 30-day supply of morphine, 80 mg, they take that every four to six hours a day, add up.

Watson was among more than 800 law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists or other stakeholders who take part in a two-day anti-drug symposium put on by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office.

“You are very likely to be involved in a pharmacy robbery in the state of Indiana. If you are a pharmacist, that risk is high,” said Tamara Watson with Indiana State Police. “I know that all pharmacists that I have dealt with are concerned about a repeat. Once you’ve been robbed once that individual is likely to come back and visit you again,” she added.

While pharmacy robberies weren’t the main topic discussed during a panel session Thursday morning, there were other concerns about Indiana’s heroin and opiate epidemic. Among them, there is increased concerns and complexity when it comes to physicians and pharmacists being able to strike a balance with prescribing pain medications.

Members that attended the morning session shared stories about patients who couldn’t get refills or others who said there is the potential for non-drug abusers be “red-flagged” if they receive prescriptions from more than 10 prescribers within a 60-day period. In Indiana, that automatically flags a person as a potential “person of interest.”

“A little bit of the discussion today has been the difficulty in transitioning to some of these steps that the physicians have to take,” Watson said. “The problem is if you have four to five doctors in one location and you get a different prescriber each time, that actually shows up that you’ve had more than one prescriber when in actuality you’ve gone to the same facility even though you’ve just received a prescription from more than one provider.”

When asked if that’s happening, Watson said: “There is that potential. It’s not a perfect system. (INSPECT) is an excellent tool. what are hoping happens is that the pharmacist will double check with the physician in an attempt to resolve that issue.”

Later in the day, Zoeller announced a new grant program to fund a surge in naloxone distribution, with the goal of ensuring all first responders are equipped with the life-saving treatment and trained to administer it. Naloxone – or Narcan – is an antidote often used to reverse the effects of a heroin or opiate overdose.

According to a 2015 Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) report, the number of heroin overdoses in Indiana more than doubled from 2011 to 2013. Three out of four new heroin users report having abused prescription opioids prior to using heroin, according to a statement from Zoeller’s office.

Political hypocrisy ?


Chris Christie dismisses the issue of gambling and addiction but.. in other statements .. he has stated that if he becomes President he would reset the WAR ON DRUGS back to the 70’s… that is not a good thing…

I am not for or against Christie nor any of the other 200 candidates that are running for President


Some lives do matter… but the media seems to be very selective as to which ones ?

VW emissions cheat estimated to cause 59 premature US deaths


nearly 500,000 VW diesel cars with “rigged” pollution software.. will kill as many people by the end of 2016 … that mental health depression suicides causes in abt 12 HOURS.. do some lives really not matter ?

Nearly 60 people will die prematurely from the excess air pollution caused by Volkswagen cheating emissions tests in the US, according to a new study.

The first peer-reviewed estimate of the public health impacts of VW’s rigging of tests for 482,000 diesel cars in the US found that if the company recalls all the affected cars by the end of 2016, more than 130 further early deaths could be avoided.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Thursday, concluded that most of the 59 premature deaths were caused by particulate pollution (87%) with the rest caused by ozone exposure (13%). Most of the deaths were estimated to have occurred on the east and west coasts of the US.

The number of deaths was reached by looking at the amount of extra pollution emitted between 2008 and 2015 by the VW cars fitted with the defeat devices.

Particulate and ozone air pollution in the US was estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency to cause around 164,300 premature deaths in 2010. Diesels still make up a relatively small share of the US car fleet.

Distribution of estimated actual excess VW light duty diesel vehicle NOx emissions summed over 2008 through 2015 (kg km−2). The median value of emissions is used for each year.
Distribution of estimated actual excess VW light duty diesel vehicle NOx emissions summed over 2008 through 2015 (kg km−2). The median value of emissions is used for each year. Emission density peaks at 446 kg km−2 Photograph: Barrett et al

As well as the early deaths, the researchers estimated that the extra pollution from VW’s cars caused around 31 cases of chronic bronchitis, 34 hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiac issues, and 120,000 days when people had to restrict their physical activity as a result. The economic cost of the health impacts was put at $910m.

Air quality expert Dr Gary Fuller, of King’s College London, said the research was a good assessment of the health impacts but it should not be assumed that the numbers could be extrapolated for other parts of the world, such as the UK.

“The very small number of diesels in the US, and the density of European cities means people are much more exposed to traffic emissions [in Europe] than in the US,” he said. He added that the study may have underestimated the total number of premature deaths because it did not consider the direct impact of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide.

Daniel Kammen, the journal’s editor-in-chief and professor of energy at the University of California at Berkeley, who did not work on the study, said it was a “rigorous evaluation” of “potentially exceeding serious” impacts.

The study assumed the cars travelled 40.5bn km between 2008 and 2015, resulting in excess NOx emissions of 36.7m kg because of the cheating of emissions tests.

VW has admitted that around 11m cars have been affected by the rigging worldwide, with 1.2m in the UK. It emerged early this week that the UK government has only one £100,000 machine able to test real-world emissions.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “The VW emissions scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Many cars that genuinely meet emissions standards in the lab actually produce much higher levels of emissions when used in the real world. It is clear, therefore, that we need a commitment to routine, independent real-world testing on all cars.”

On Wednesday, carmakers in Europe won a one-year delay to such real-world tests, despite the VW revelations.

Does the DEA consider itself ABOVE the LAW ?


DEA Agents Caught Soliciting Prostitutes Rewarded With Light Punishments, Bonus Checks


from the saving-throw-on-‘integrity-check’-fails dept

At the end of September, Brad Heath and Meghan Hoyer of USA Today published a DEA disciplinary log they’d obtained through an FOIA request. The document was obviously misnamed, as it showed plenty of misconduct by DEA agents, but not much in the way of discipline.

Damning, yes, but apparently we still haven’t scraped the bottom of the DEA’s disciplinary barrel. The DOJ’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, has released a new report on DEA misconduct — specifically dealing with the DEA agents who were caught soliciting prostitutes, engaging in “sex parties” and harassing local employees while working overseas.

None of the 14 agents involved lost their job. Two still remain at their overseas posts and the rest (with the exception of one retiree) are still working as agents or supervisory agents. Apparently, DEA misconduct pays pretty well. (h/t PoliceMisconduct.net)

Although none of the 14 individuals received promotions, we found that in 10 instances, 8 employees received bonuses, awards, or other favorable personnel actions, contrary to DEA policy.

The agency’s policy states that agents under investigation are not entitled to collect bonuses for three years after being disciplined for “serious misconduct.” Any agent seeking advancement/bonuses must be subjected to an “integrity check” by the DEA’s HR department to ensure they are not currently under investigation or subject to other disciplinary actions. If the agent fails to clear the “integrity check,” the information is passed on to the Chief Inspector, who has the power to override the three-year waiting period.

Exceptions were made. But the Inspector General’s office is damned if it can figure out why.

The eight employees who received awards were subjects in an ongoing OPR investigation in which the offenses involved integrity and/or sexual harassment issues, with some of the employees serving as supervisors and managers. In many instances, we could not determine the reason why exceptions were made and we were unable to determine when, or if, an integrity check was performed, the results of the integrity check, or the reason for the approval of the proposed personnel action, because the DEA was unable to provide the OIG with complete documentation.

IG Horowitz is very familiar with the DEA’s reluctance to provide documentation. He took his battle with the DEA and FBI over the release of pertinent information to Congress, sailing over the head of the DOJ. In a letter to a Congressional committee, Horowitz threatened these agencies’ budgets by pointing out to legislators that the DOJ components are not allowed to use their funding to thwart their oversight.

But the DEA may have a not-very-legitimate excuse for not handing over documents. It apparently doesn’t care much for recordkeeping, even when it involves a regional supervisor who “failed” to report his underlings’ hiring of prostitutes and brothel patronage.

The DEA also told us that it was unable to provide us with any documents that reflect when the counseling session occurred with the Regional Director, the DEA Administrator, and the Deputy Administrator, or what matters they discussed. Given the gravity of the allegations, and the importance of keeping records related to misconduct reviews, we are concerned that the DEA was unable to provide any written documentation confirming that the counseling occurred and the substance of the counseling.

This official — who was apparently given an undocumented tongue-lashing — landed a $12,000 bonus. This was his reward for covering up the misconduct of his agents.

A Supervisory Special Agent who did nothing to prevent “sex parties” with prostitutes from occurring at DEA offices (arranged by local law enforcement officials) was given three bonuses totalling $8,500 — all while still under investigation.

In the private sector, soliciting prostitutes while on the clock is a good way to get yourself fired. In the DEA, where integrity is a must — considering the constant temptation of money and drugs — it’s barely worth a two-week suspension. Most agents saw single-digit suspensions, while others only received “letters of caution.” And a regional director overseeing all of this received nothing but an alleged, completely undocumented verbal rebuke. At the DEA, the only thing better than the lack of serious discipline is the bonus checks agents receive while still under investigation.

Is this a good thing or bad thing ?

Google wants to monitor your mental health. You should welcome it into your mind

The use of technology to track and treat mental illness is deeply worrying but sadly necessary

Next week, Dr Tom Insel leaves his post as head of the US National Institute of Mental Health, a job that made him America’s top mental health doctor. Dr Insel is a neuroscientist and a psychiatrist and a leading authority on both the medicine and public policies needed to deal with problems of the mind. He’s 64 but he’s not retiring. He’s going to work for Google.It’s not alone. Apple, IBM and Intel are among technology companies exploring the same field. IBM this year carried out research with Columbia University that suggested computer analysis of speech patterns can more accurately predict the onset of psychosis than conventional tests involving blood samples or brain scans. Other researchers theorise that a person’s internet search history or even shopping habits (so handily recorded by your innocuous loyalty card) can identify the first signs of mental illness. Computers can now tell when something is about to go terribly wrong in someone’s mind.
We now live in a world where your phone might observe you to help assess your mental health.”

That development is striking enough in itself, but the way in which researchers like Dr Insel want to use this new technological power raises even more questions.

Wearable technology has been a hot topic in medical innovation for several years now. A growing number of people choose to track their own physical condition using FitBits, Jawbones and other activity trackers, tiny wearable devices that monitor your movements, pulse rate, sleep patterns and more. Once the preserve of obsessive fitness fanatics, “self-monitoring” has the scope to transform healthcare. The ever-increasing number of people with chronic conditions can track and electronically report their symptoms, reducing the number of routine (and expensive) consultations they need with medical staff and ensuring a quicker response to changes that do require direct professional attention.

Self-monitoring will also surely play a bigger role in preventive public health. Wearing a pedometer that counts the number of steps you take in a day has been shown to spur people to walk more. What would happen to your consumption of alcohol and sugar if a device strapped to your wrist displayed a continuous count of your calorie and unit intake for the week?

Dr Insel is part of a school of thought that suggests this technology is even better suited to mental health. The symptoms of depression, for instance, are inconstant, ebbing and rising without obvious pattern. A short consultation with a doctor once every few weeks is thus a poor means of diagnosis. But wearable technology allows continuous monitoring. A small portable device might monitor your tone of voice, speech patterns and physical movements, picking up the early signs of trouble. A device such as a mobile telephone.

Yes, we now live in a world where your phone might observe you to help assess your mental health. If you don’t find that prospect disturbing, you’re either fantastically trusting of companies and governments or you haven’t thought about it enough.

But that feeling of unease should not determine our response to technology in mental health. In fact, we should embrace and encourage the tech giants as they seek to chart the mind and its frailties, albeit on the condition that we can overcome the enormous challenge of devising rules and regulations protecting privacy and consent.

Because, simply, existing healthcare systems are failing and will continue to fail on mental health. Even if the current model of funding the NHS was sustainable, the stigma that prevents us discussing mental health problems would ensure their prevention and treatment got a disproportionately small slice of the pie.

We pour ever more billions into dealing with the worst problems of physical health, and with considerable success. Death rates from cancer and heart disease have fallen markedly over the last 40 years. Over the same period, suicide rates have gone up.

Even as the NHS budget grows, NHS trusts’ spending on mental health is falling. If someone with cancer went untreated, we’d say it was a scandal. Some estimates suggest one in five people who need “talking therapies” don’t get them. In a rare bit of enlightened thinking, some NHS trusts are supporting Big White Wall, an online service where people can anonymously report stress, anxiety and depression, take simple clinical tests and talk to therapists.

Technology will never be a panacea for mental illnesses, or our social failure to face up to them. But anything that makes them cheaper and easier and more mundane to deal with should be encouraged.

If you think the idea of Google assessing your state of mind and your phone monitoring you for depression is worrying, you’re right. But what’s more worrying is that allowing these things is the least bad option on mental health.

Troubled youths: hospitals have treated 18,037 girls and 4,623 boys in the past year (picture posed by a model) ‘

Troubled youths: hospitals have treated 18,037 girls and 4,623 boys in the past year (picture posed by a model)

Our mental health services are one of the great scandals of our time’ Photo: Getty Images

The Board of Pharmacy touted a decrease of 40 million opiate doses prescribed between 2013 and 201

Kasich announces expanded system to track prescription painkiller abuse


I wonder how many of those 40 million doses should have gone to legit chronic pain pts ?  How much suffering is this and other BOP’s and bureaucrats/politicians good intentions are causing. ?

COLUMBUS — The pharmacy at a downtown Columbus Kroger became unusually crowded Monday morning as Governor John Kasich announced plans to further a crackdown on prescription drug abuse.

Kasich plans to spend up to $1.5 million over the next year to integrate the Ohio Automatic Rx Reporting System (OARRS) into the existing network of patient medical histories. OARRS is designed to track the prescription opiate history of patients at risk of addiction or abuse.

The integration will allow pharmacists to check patients’ opiate histories within the same system that they view their entire medical history. The goal is to cut down on illegitimate prescribers and the practice of “doctor shopping” for opiate painkillers.

“Whenever I’m with a group of students, particularly college students, I say, ‘I know I sound like Dad,’” Kasich said. “’Don’t do drugs. You take the first OxyContin and the next thing you know, you’re an addict. Once that’s on your back, you may never get it off.’”

Cincinnati-based Kroger is one of the first major pharmacies to integrate OARRS into their medical record system, allowing instant reports on opiate prescription history.

Kasich said that almost every state has a system similar to OARRS, but many health professionals don’t use them, attributing the problem to crippling bureaucracy in the health system. His plan is targeted at making the system easier to use.

He said that he’s not in favor of mandates and that this plan was only possible with the cooperation of the State Hospital Association and the State Board of Pharmacy.

“I would prefer to have total cooperation and community without the bitterness of a sledgehammer,” Kasich said. “You know what? We don’t have to use a sledgehammer, because its working… we are all signing up for these efforts to try to protect our young people.”

The Board of Pharmacy touted a decrease of 40 million opiate doses prescribed between 2013 and 2014 and Kasich recalled his efforts to shut down “pill mills” in southern Ohio, but they both say more needs to be done to curb addiction.

Last month, legislators highlighted the growing danger of fentanyl , an end-of-life opiate painkiller that is purported to be stronger than heroin and linked to a rise in overdose deaths in Ohio.

Tonda DaRe lost her 21-year-old daughter to a heroin overdose 3 years ago after she was prescribed tamper-resistant  painkillers .

“I appreciate that what’s been done in the fight over prescription drugs helps so many other people,” DaRe said. “I don’t want any other parents to go through what I’ve been through, am still going through, her sister, her dad, and her 4-year old son. We’ve got to save these kids.”

Kasich’s Campaign

The event was Kasich’s first public appearance in the state this month. He has been heavily involved in his presidential campaign, particularly in New Hampshire, where the first 2016 primary vote will be held on February 9.

Kasich responded to questions about his campaign, recent polling numbers, and the upcoming third Republican debate.

In response to a statement from Donald Trump in which he took credit for moving a Ford manufacturing plant from Mexico to Avon Lake, Ohio, Kasich said he was clearly mistaken.

“You don’t win jobs through bombast,” Kasich said. “You win jobs by having a stable environment, a budget under control and some reasonable tax incentives. Bombast doesn’t win jobs and those who use bombast as a way to get things done rarely carry the day.”

Kasich took credit for keeping those manufacturing jobs in Ohio, despite the fact the the Ohio Legislature had approved the incentives that brought Ford to Ohio in the first place.

Ben Postlethwait is a fellow in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau. You can reach him via email  or follow him on Twitter @BCPostlethwait