RESEARCH UPDATE:

Accumulating Evidence of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Worsening Not Treating America’s Lethal Epidemics – Hepatitis C

by Clark Miller

February 27, 2020

Hepatitis C, Hep A and other infectious drug injection-related diseases are on the rise in the U.S. “in wake of opioid crisis”, caused by unrelenting, continuing increases in high-risk opioid use.

Newly released data for Hep C incidence from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) add to accumulating evidence consistently affirming the predictable worsening of America’s lethal opioid epidemic by continued investment in contraindicated medical “treatments” including the “gold standard” medical provision of addictive, abused and diverted opioids for the non-medical condition of compulsive opioid misuse.

From the AXIOS report –

The rate of pregnant women with Hepatitis C was 5 times higher in 2015 than in 2000 due to the substantial level of opioid abuse in the U.S., according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday

The big picture: 68% of pregnant women with Hepatitis C have opioid use disorder. Overall cases of the virus almost tripled in the past few years, an effect of the opioid crisis and the unsanitary use of needles by drug users, CDC previously reported.

By the numbers: Rates of pregnant women with Hepatitis C and opioid use disorder spiked 148%, from 87.4 to 216.9 per 1,000 deliveries. The rates among those who did not abuse opioids were much lower, increasing from 0.7 to 2.6 per 1,000 deliveries.

The more gold standard medical cure applied to diseased brains, the more high-risk use and deaths mount.

SAMSHA bupe client trends2
Overdose deaths US trend The Guardian

That’s a demonstrable pattern – despite efforts of popularizers of the failed medical OST “treatment” – that is not explained away by the known risks of fentanyl.

 

Recent posts at A Critical Discourse:

Fentanyl is the New Purdue Pharma – A Necessary Distraction from the Forces Driving Worsening Lethal Epidemics

And

RESEARCH UPDATE – Fentanyl is the New Purdue Pharma – A Necessary Distraction from the Forces Driving Worsening Lethal Epidemics

As in fabrication of lethally false public health disinformation required to allow runaway, medically inappropriate medical distribution of Schedule II opioids generating today’s lethal crisis, the branding of publicly-funded distribution of diverted and abused opioids as a medical “treatment” has required a collaboration of media with top medical and research institutions to obscure research results and defects and create the necessary fiction.

On any critical evaluation of the research, that fiction unravels.

TRENDS IN OPIOID-RELATED OVERDOSE DEATHS DO NOT MEASURE EFFECTIVENESS OF OST

The reasons are explained and discussed in this post and additional posts at A Critical Discourse – each post with detailed explanation linking to primary research and other sources.

THERE IS NO BODY OF SUPPORTIVE EVIDENCE FROM STUDIES THAT CONTROL FOR THE MOST LIKELY OF CONFOUNDING EXPLANATIONS FOR  ANY SLOWING OF MORTALITY – INCREASED AVAILABILITY AND USE OF THE OD DEATH-REVERSING DRUG NALOXONE

On analysis of the evidence, naloxone use – its reduction of deaths acting and measured directly, unlike presumed benefit from OST – directly accounts for all apparent changes (= decreases) in opioid-related overdose deaths. This result holds when results are available on a local level (e.g. here, here, here, and here) and when national data are examined

ATTRIBUTING BENEFIT TO OST REQUIRES EVIDENCE OF REDUCED HIGH-RISK USE OF OPIOIDS

As described in detail in this, this, and other posts, that is the mechanism by which OST could possibly provide benefit. When outcomes are critically analyzed, the evidence points consistently to provision of the medical model fix, “treatment”, for problem opioid use  worsening, not protective for, high-risk use and associated harms including opioid-related mortality. Because high-risk use, measured as non-lethal overdose incidence (eliminating the confounding, established effects of expanding naloxone use and campaigns) has increased nationally and consistently in multiple locales where data are available as dose of the medical cure increases.

And as explained and established by multiple lines of evidence in this post, and this, emergence over past years of the potent opioid fentanyl in street economies of illicit opioid use does not qualify those invalidating results – fentanyl cannot explain away the failure of increased provision of the medical “treatment” to reduce high-risk opioid use.

In addition to non-lethal overdose, a direct measure of high-risk use of opioids is incidence of opioid injection-related infectious disease, like endocarditis.

Think about it. We are looking at incidence of infectious diseases caused by injection of opioids. That use of opioids is high-risk. If OST provides benefit to at-risk users, the mechanism is by reducing risk and associated problems related to opioid use.

Trends of decreased incidence of an injection-related infectious disease could be attributed to a variety of factors including: changes in public health, prevention, or medical interventions; decrease in high-risk opioid use including use by injection; clean needle exchanges; behavioral health treatments; others. Identifying the factor(s) any decreases could be confidently attributed to would require that multiple congruent, well-designed studies and other lines of evidence point to those factors and not others.

Increases in incidence, like those we’re seeing, are different. If increases of significant magnitude occur over the same time period that an intervention, like the medical OST fix, hypothesized to be a “treatment” or protective factor has also increased, then that constitutes strong evidence against that intervention as beneficial in reducing high-risk use.

As we would predict from everything we know about problem substance use and the failure of medical approaches to provide benefit for that non-medical problem, those diseases are increasing in prevalence.

These consistently accumulating results – high-risk opioid use increasing in response to increasing provision of the medical model “treatment” for high-risk opioid use – predictably invalidate and expose the fabricated evidence base for the publicly-funded medical fix for the non-medical condition of compulsive substance use.

For rates of opioid injection-related infectious disease, as with increasing rates of another measure of high-risk opioid use – non-lethal overdose – as provision of the medical cure increases, predictable, invalidating outcomes and patterns are emerging.

Hep C, Hep A, and other infectious diseases are on the rise in the U.S. “in wake of opioid crisis”, caused by unrelenting, continuing increases in high-risk opioid use, that high-risk use generated by iatrogenic (medical provider-caused) runaway prescription of opioids over decades against all indications, for the non-medical condition of common chronic pain, now driven and worsened by the runaway dispersal of addictive and diverted opioids (methadone, buprenorphine) constructed without evidence of benefit as a medical “treatment” and fueling economies of abuse and high-risk use. And funded fraudulently with public healthcare money.

Against continued rationalizations (collaborative media/industry lies) for the failures of the fabricated medical “fix” for the medically-generated lethal opioid crisis – the increases in injection-related infectious diseases provide determinative confirmation of the predictable harms and failure of never-validated medical fixes for the non-medical condition of compulsive opioid and other substance use.

The more gold standard medical cure applied to “diseased” brains, the more high-risk use and deaths predictably mount.