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Pain Patient Advocacy / Opioids  / Heroin has made a resurgence. Most opioid deaths are now attributed to illicit heroin NOT pharmaceutical opioids
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Heroin has made a resurgence. Most opioid deaths are now attributed to illicit heroin NOT pharmaceutical opioids

Reading through the multitude of articles based on the Pennington Institute’s Annual Overdose report, one ONE is reporting the very important fact that HEROIN is now the cause of most opioid deaths.


The media has been having a field day for the last few years with the dramatic headline that “pharmaceutical opioids cause more deaths than heroin!”

And now this is NO LONGER true. The 2020 overdose report relates to 2018, and in 2018 more people died from heroin than from pharmaceutical opioids.

So maybe this draconian force tapering of chronic pain patients off their pain medications hasn’t even got statistics backing it up anymore?
In all the articles I’ve read, only ONE has correctly reported that heroin is now responsible for more deaths than pharmaceutical opioids. ONLY ONE.

9News reported:

“A dramatic surge in deaths involving heroin was also revealed in the latest figures inside Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2020, released today by the Penington Institute. For the first time since 2003, more Australians died of overdoses involving heroin than pharmaceutical opioids commonly prescribed by doctors.”


The other articles are still incorrectly reporting that pharmaceutical opioids are responsible for the most deaths.


Chronic non-cancer pain patients are not addicts and they are not the problem. The vast majority of chronic pain patients do not abuse their medications. The problem is the media and the medical fraternity conflating addiction and dependence and demonising a class of medications that does a great deal of good, and avoids needless pain and suffering.


Force tapering chronic non-cancer patients off medications on which they are stable and well managed, sometimes for years, is nothing but cruelty and a misguided knee-jerk reaction. The science doesn’t support it. The evidence doesn’t support it.


Punishing pain patients has to stop!

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