In Ohio, with safety restrictions loosened for methadone, deaths predictably surge despite Narcan campaigns reducing deaths for all other opioids

by Clark Miller

Published January 1, 2024

From the Ohio Department of Health’s optimistic report – 

“Combatting the overdose crisis is a priority for Governor DeWine,” said Recovery Ohio Director Aimee Shadwick. “Ohio’s reduced overdose rates in 2022 signal a step forward in our battle against substance use. However, the fight is far from over. Each life lost reminds us of the urgency to unite, implement change, and save those in the grip of this crisis.”

What Ms. Shadwick meant to say, or in any case would have said if injected with high doses of truth serum, is something like this:

The evidence tells us clearly that Ohio’s reduced overdose rates in 2022 are due to naloxone campaigns that easily account for the change and keep increasing numbers of opioid users from dying, with no reduction in the high-risk opioid use causing continuously increasing incidence of potentially lethal overdose, despite steady increases in provision of American Medicine’s Gold Standard cures.

Those nation-wide campaigns that have dramatically increased distribution and use of Narcan for OD saves were occurring in Ohio as well, described here and here – describing over a period through 2021: “The number of naloxone units distributed statewide by Project DAWN, an overdose education and naloxone distribution program, jumped from 19,142 units in 2017 to 113,375 units in 2021.” 

That is, Ohio is experiencing the same continuing surge in high-risk opioid use and overdoses as in the U.S. generally and as evidenced by increases  in non-fatal overdoses and in incidence of injection-related infectious diseases, – both measures of the high-risk opioid use America’s cures are assured to treat – unlike fatal overdoses which are not a meaningful measure of problem opioid use, instead confounded by changes in incidence of use of naloxone to reverse potentially fatal overdoses.

But let’s focus on the results for methadone and other opioids in Ohio, as America’s top experts push for less restrictive, less monitored dispensing of the “miracle molecule” methadone.

As they do here – 

From the Ohio DOH report – 

Focusing on opioids, with trends approximated over years of loosened safety restrictions for methadone – 

Methadone overdose deaths increased over the period of predictable increase, despite naloxone campaigns that were effective enough to moderate death trends for other opioids. 

From JAMA, an illustration that Ohio is one of a minority or few states that increased methadone provision over past years by relaxing longstanding safety standards. 

Arizona is another, and with the same predictable result

of increased high-risk use and adverse outcomes tied to methadone expansion. Those effects are described here and predicted here, in a post from 2019. 

There are no surprises here. 

Rather than constituting a form of treatment or providing benefit of any type for compulsive opioid use, methadone like buprenorphine is established as fueling and driving the lethal crisis by diversion and abuse and, as constituting medical attention for the entirely non-medical condition of compulsive substance use, diverting at-risk patients away from evidence based treatments thereby depriving them of key, required experiences, therapies and psychological gains they need. 

Just as with assurances from America’s top medical experts, institutions, trusted media outlets, that opioids were safe and effective for all pain, just as with the same expert class generating the lies that SSRIs or other medications treat depression, there has never been evidence to support the fabrications that substitute opioids save lives or are a form of treatment for compulsive opioid use. 

Against truth, the power of esteemed professional classes of useful idiots is insidious and lethal. 

But not indefinitely and only if tolerated. 

Body being taken out of an ambulance

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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