Alexander DeLuca, M.D.
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References and Resources: War on Drugs, War on Doctors, and the Pain Crisis in America
War on Doctors -The Classics
For access to all References and Resources and Links pages please access The Library.
Major topic areas are; 1) War on Drugs, War on Doctors, & the Pain Crisis in America, and,
2) Abstinence, Moderation and Harm Reduction Approaches to Alcohol Problems.
The most recently added resources are listed near the top of the Homepage.

Compiled by Alexander DeLuca: 2002 - 2005.  Page modified: 2005-10-12. Most recent addition: Instant classic! - added 2005-06-09.
[This Collection is a subset of the Complete WOD/WOD/PCA reference and resources]

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Instant classic! -- Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers - The DEA's War on Prescription Painkillers by Ronald T. Libby, Cato Policy Analysis #545; 2005-06-16 -- "The government is waging an aggressive,
intemperate, unjustified war on pain doctors [which] bears a remarkable resemblance to the [Reign of Terror] against docs under the Harrison Act of 1914, which made it a [federal crime] for physicians to prescribe [opioids] to addicts."

Scholarly, thorough, in-depth analysis - excellent work! Especially strong examination of DEA's vindictive media manipulation tactics.

New Classic!
The Quality of Mercy -
Why Effective Pain Treatments aren't Used by Brownlee et al; US New&World Report; 1997 -- "What is lacking is not the way to treat pain effectively but the will to do it. [Docs] are afraid to prescribe... out of fear [of] overzealous law enforcers"

Major coverage of the pain crisis circa mid '90's. This article could pass as current. Hell, so could Rufus King: "Jailing the Healers and the Sick" published in 1953 Yale Law Review. <sigh>

The Challenge of Prescription Drug Misuse: A Review and Commentary by William Hurwitz; Pain Medicine; 6(2); March '05 -- "This article presents an analysis of... illicit use [and suggests] that a... policy focused on physicians is unlikely to reduce the overall use of illicit drugs, but that it is likely to have an adverse impact on [medical ethics and] pain treatment."

Vintage Hurwitz - carefully constructed and complex analysis and a unique view on the data. Explains exactly why seeking 'Balance' & 'Aberrant behaviors' & 'Appeasement' will always fail. Brilliant, important work!

The Tragedy of Needless Pain by Ronald Melzack; Scientific American; 262(2); 1990. -- "Society's failure to distinguish between the emotionally impaired addict and the psychologically healthy pain sufferer has affected every segment of the population. Perhaps the most distressing example is unnecessary pain in children."

The Police State of Medicine by William Hurwitz, M.D.; 1997. -- "I will begin with a review of the legal events in my case.  I will then tell you about my patients and the impact of the legal action against me on them.  Finally, I would like to address two related questions:  1) How does the police state of medicine affect medical care?  2) What can we do about it?"

Comment:  A true classic in War On Doctors annals.  Now reformatted for improved readability and Print Version added.  ..alex...

The Narcotics Bureau and the Harrison Act: Jailing The Healers And The Sick.  by Rufus B. King, Yale Law Review, 1953. -- "The Division had what it wanted. Any doctor who prescribed any narcotic drug to any addict could be threatened with prosecution or packed off to prison and good faith was no defense. Immediately there commenced a reign of terror. The medical profession was shamelessly bullied and threatened, until it withdrew, totally and irrevocably, as the addict's last point of contact with society."

The Drug Hang-Up, America's Fifty Year Folly. by Rufus B. King, 1972. -- A true classic! This with King's Jailing the Healers and the Sick, and Brecher's Licit and Illicit Drugs, are critical to understanding the historical crux of the War on Drugs / War on Doctors.

** Revised : June 8, 2004:  All Chapters Available **
** Revised : June 24, 2004: Print Version fixed **
** Revised : June 24, 2004: PDF for Chaps 16 - 30**

Licit and Illicit Drugs by Edward Brecher and the Editors of Consumers Reports Magazine, 1972. (Chapters 1-50 currently available)
 A demystifying experience. This work and Rufus King's 'Jailing the Healers and the Sick' and 'The Drug Hang-up, America's Fifty Year Folly'  provide the historical context for understanding the war on doctors and the pain crisis in America. 

Mandatory Madness by Eric Snider, Weekly Planet, 6/17/2004 -- This is an EXCELLENT article about Richard Paey, a patient with failed back syndrome, recently sentenced to 25 years in prison.  His *only* crime was trying to ease his pain. --

THIS IS SO WRONG  ==>  Please join the Pain Relief Network    ..alex...

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Chronic Pain: Part 1. A New Disease? // Part 2. The Case for Opiates by Daniel Brookoff; Hospital Practice; 2000. "If a patient's physical pain has prevented him or her from living life fully, using a medication that allows a return to normal activities cannot be called drug abuse." -- Compare and contrast to the article by Ballantyne  (directly below). Brookoff is accurate, thorough, and lacks the creepy, vapid feeling of Ballantyne's work. This is a far better Review, IMO.     ..alex...

Trends in the medical use and abuse of opioid analgesics - by David Joranson, JAMA, 2000. "The trend of increasing medical use of opioid analgesics to treat pain does not appear to contribute to increases in the health consequences of opioid analgesic abuse."

The DEA's War on Pain Doctors - by Frank Owen; Village Voice. 11/05/2003. "What's going on here is morally reprehensible and medically incomprehensible and it has to stop. Doctors who treat pain patients are not criminals." -- !! JOIN the Pain Relief Network !!

No Relief in Sight - by Jacob Sullum, Reason Online. "Torture, despair, agony, and death are the symptoms of 'opiophobia,' a well-documented medical syndrome fed by fear, superstition, and the war on drugs. Doctors suffer the syndrome. Patients suffer the consequences." (Jacob Sullum, Reason Online)
Deadly Morals  - by Katherine Finkelstein, Playboy Magazine. "The DEA is busting doctors for prescribing medications - and patients are dying in pain."
How Pain is Under-treated in the U.S. - by Skip Baker, American Society for Action on Pain
There's Just No Justice in the War on Drugs - by Milton Friedman, New York Times. "Can our laws be moral if they have so racist an effect?"

Treating Pain During a Drug War; by Siobhan Reynolds, Pain Relief Network, 10/19/2003. "The drug war bureaucracy threatens the medical system at many levels, with varying degrees of bullying and violence. In turn, the medical community has made adaptations in the way pain care is delivered to avoid being on the direct receiving end of the violence... [Every] single aspect of pain management... has been distorted by the imperatives of the War on Drugs. These adaptations have resulted in a civil rights and health catastrophe."

Pain & the Law website (EXCELLENT new web resource!)
Drug Policy Alliance website (The nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs.) (Dr. Weitzel attracted the attention of regulators because he was a “psychiatrist prescribing opiates.” A nurse mischaracterized a string of deaths that had occurred in the past, the state brought homicide charges, the DEA brought other, unrelated charges, and Dr. Weitzel was imprisoned and has lost almost everything. THIS IS THE WAR ON DOCTORS in America.)
Reason Online website - Reason is the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets.” It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews.  Reason Online is updated daily with articles and columns on current developments in politics and culture.  It also contains the full text of past issues of the print edition of Reason. Reason Online is entirely free! Also, see their EXCELLENT collection of 29 articles on the "War on Drugs" written over the period 1/26/00 - 2/8/02.

Addiction, Pain, and Public Health website

Alexander DeLuca, M.D.

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Originally posted:  2004-08-30

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