Escalating The War On Drugs – The SITSA Act is Approved in Committee

Escalating The War On Drugs – The SITSA Act is Approved in Committee

This month, the House Judiciary Committee quietly approved a bill that would amend the Controlled Substance Act and give the Attorney General of the United States unchecked authority to outlaw any substance that meets a broad set of new criteria. As the opioid crisis in the United States rages on, lawmakers and the Trump Administration are eager to pass new legislation they believe will combat the epidemic and reduce the number of Americans that die each year due to an opioid overdose (In 2015, the CDC estimates 33,000 deaths were attributed to opioid overdoses).

The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017 (SITSA) would create a new scheduling category under the Controlled Substances Act, known as schedule A, for substances that “resemble currently scheduled substances” and have an “actual or predicted stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system similar or greater to that of currently scheduled substances.” Under this new schedule, the DEA and the Attorney General will have the authority to circumvent existing procedures required to schedule any new substance.

Under current drug laws, the DEA must provide real and objective evidence to justify the scheduling of a substance. They must consult with Health and Human Services and complete an 8-factor analysis of the substance that evaluates the potential for abuse and the risk to public safety amongst other things. The DEA has complained this is an “arduous and time-consuming process” that hamstrings their ability to crack down on newly created synthetic substances.

Critics of the bill are concerned about the broad powers that would be granted to the Attorney General to escalate the war on drugs and infringe on civil liberties.

Many in the kratom community believe that the passage of this legislation would eventually result in the scheduling of kratom, an unregulated plant from Southeast Asia that is considered by many to be one of the best tools known to ease opiate withdrawal symptoms. The DEA attempted to make kratom a schedule 1 substance in September of last year only to withdraw their plans after huge public backlash of the decision. The independent 8 factor analysis that the DEA had to request from Health and Human Services concluded that kratom should not be scheduled. If the SITSA Act is signed into law, Attorney Jeff Sessions would have the power to outlaw substances like kratom without consulting with Health and Human Services and without performing the due diligence that is required of the DEA today, effectively expanding the power of the federal government and reducing its accountability to science and the public’s wishes.

About Author

Andrew Graham is a libertarian and the owner of The Kratom Connection.

Sources

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CDER/UCM180870.pdf

https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DEA-Ashley-Synthetics-Testimony-HJC-Crime-Subcommittee-27June2017.pdf

http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/13/house-advances-bill-that-would-broaden-t

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/16/congress-is-considering-a-bill-that-would-expand-jeff-sessions-power-to-escalate-the-war-on-drugs/?utm_term=.d0f89255c545

Authored by: Andrew Graham

There are 41 comments for this article
  1. John Brolin at 12:07 pm

    Kratom saved my life. I’m a 42 years old man that is clean living, patriotic, college educated, and steadily employed. I’m also someone that has suffered from severe depression and anxiety since I was a teen. I’ve been formally diagnosed by board certified psychiatrists and have regularly seen mental therapists since I was a teenager. Along with therapy, I have also been prescribed many different types of pharmaceutical medications over the years. In the interest of brevity I won’t detail each of my medication experiences here, but I will summarize by putting my experiences in two groups: every medication I tried was either ineffective or unacceptable. Ineffective in that the medications work over the longterm, or unacceptable in terms of effect (impaired, health issues, addiction potential, etc.). My situation felt hopeless because my therapist insisted my condition warranted medication, but I was done pumping my body with pharmaceuticals that often made me feel worse. While highly skeptical, I was desperate enough to take a friend’s advice to explore what natural supplement or pharmaceutical alternative options might be available. Nothing worked until I found kratom. When I finally discovered kratom I felt as if I’d been given a gift from God. Kratom greatly reduced my anxiety without making me feel groggy or “out of it”. It did give me a floaty feeling for the first couple weeks of use but that subsided after regular use. I felt no addiction nor any desire to take more than I needed. Put simply, kratom is highly effective medicine for me. I could go to new places without fear or apprehension, I felt comfortable (and looked forward to) socializing in groups and to meeting new people where I dreaded it previously. I rediscovered my ambition and a hope for a brighter future. I reconnected with family and friends for the first time in many years and my career in software development took off. Kratom is nothing short of a miracle for me. It gave me my life back. I continue with ongoing therapy and still have some tough days now and then, but those days are far fewer, and my anxiety is now manageable with kratom. That was six years ago. Now I face the prospect of losing it all. I’m not just angry or frustrated, I’m terrified.

    What are we asking for? We are asking our government to keep kratom freely available and affordable to adults. Tax away if you need to. While it’s not perfect, the evidence thus far shows that kratom does FAR more good for society than it does bad. I think regulation (21+ to buy, tax it, health warnings on packages, FDA checks for purity, etc.) is something most of the kratom community would strongly support as a reasonable compromise. However, making kratom outright illegal while the voices of hundreds of thousands of responsible citizens are protesting for legitimate medical reasons is simply UN-AMERICAN. Our government is supposed to listen to the people. Illegality would do nothing but create a yet another black market, encourage tainted product, and further inflate America’s already unmanageable incarceration problem. It makes no sense. All that said, if new large sample data (not anecdotes, politician opinions) from a reputable unbiased source reveals evidence that kratom has longterm health implications or risks that are clearly greater than its rewards, then by all means, legality should be considered. The fact is we are nowhere close to that point and there are thousands of kratom users happily willing to participate in medical safety studies to determine if there is in fact a health risks. Perhaps new (and better) medications could be developed from kratom studies, but kratom in its natural form should not be illegal during during the study process.The hundreds of thousands of Americans using kratom today are not just kids or lowlifes chasing their next high, they are your neighbors. They are white collar, blue collar, young, old, male, female, republicans, democrats, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and military veterans of all colors and creeds that share one thing: they have a SAFE, EFFECTIVE, and AFFORDABLE alternative to prescription pain killers, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, numerous other pharmaceutical medications, and deadly street drugs. Millions of people can attest to the evil that pharmaceuticals and street drugs can do, but kratom does not destroy people and families…it does just the oppossite. We are not kids trying to get high, we are exercising our Constitutional right to pursue health and happiness. Happiness, relief, and hope aren’t crimes.

    I, along with hundreds of thousands of other Americans, respectfully ask the DEA and our government to keep kratom legal, affordable, and accessible. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    John Brolin

  2. Judy at 4:06 pm

    “give the Attorney General of the United States unchecked authority” ?????
    That’s the scariest thing I’ve heard in a long time!!! God help us all!!

  3. Lynn Daniel at 7:01 am

    More Orwellian, Satanic, backwards, deceptive and totally inappropriate [edit] that targets innocent people, not the crack heads and drug pushers of the world (like Big Pharma and Monsanto). What more can we expect from our souled out “leaders”? I knew these evil Cluster B, Control Freaks would find a way to take away yet another good GOD GIVEN thing from us. They won’t stop until we are laying on the ground with a jack boot on our faces.

  4. Dee at 2:41 pm

    I’ve been searching for answers like everyone else. It appears that people have gotten casts in which to make copy cat or counterfeit pain medications like Vicodin or Percocette but they are made of “created” Fentanyl or Carfentanyl, not prescriptions. The CDC stated half the deaths are from this.also just read about some “DarkNet” sites where they actually sell counterfeit Fentanyl and Carfentanyl. This is what is killing people. I fear for our future.
    There are people on twitter #chronicpain. There is a doctor on there trying to help people.

  5. cindy deim at 11:38 am

    Andrew Kolodny
    Please tweet this guy. I have been most every day, they need to hear from us, the people they are hurting.

    https://twitter.com/andrewkolodny?lang=en
    Here is the latest from his blog https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/reality-check-chronic-pain-sufferers-deserve-better-than-opioids/article21150146/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

    We do deserve better but until they find it, they are torturing us!

  6. Reed at 10:54 am

    So, they really want to see more Heroin and “uber” deadl Fentanyl, is what I get from this. This is a power grab that will end in casualties in the cp community. An unchecked “emergency” knee jerk. Jeff Sessions (Pikachu with the IQ of an inanimate object), Chris Christie (not even going to start on him) and the DEA (Who are desperately trying to justify their jobs & agent recruiting) along with the P.R.O.P. nazi’s must have cooked this one up. I think I’ll start looking at property in other countries, as the US is showing signs of abolishing liberty, and basically everything it once stood for. Sad.

  7. Danny Elliott at 1:57 pm

    No worries, Kel b. It certainly wouldn’t have been the 1st time I had made a mistake and I’m sure others will happen in the future! Lol!

  8. Kel b at 1:30 am

    Danny
    My apologies! Link is fine. I just read part of “write your congressmen”, then went to link. Mistakenly thought link was for congresspeople. Read rest of your comment after. Sorry I didn’t read in full before commenting. I thought of correcting my statement right away, I should have. And thanks again for the link and info!
    Everyone should do this and its super easy to do!!

  9. John S at 9:59 am

    While watching the news last night – about the “Opiate Epidemic ” there was a footnote on the bottom of the screen. Those pop up lines featured for a few seconds while watching / it read ” Alcohol is the deadliest DRUG in America ” .

    Addiction doesn’t need a ” Gsteway ” it will manifest itself after using or participating in many situations!

    Thanks,

    John S

  10. Kurt Finguerra at 9:33 am

    many DEA agents, given the relevant experience, know the war one drugs has been a method of setting up usually temporary drug trends with named drug coming from a certain area we want to ensure is in political chaos. For reasons we can’t see often. There must be information required to fully understand it all and we don’t have it.We have the covers, however unseemly they may be, its probably concerns over a certain regions politics 5-10 years down the road, likely churned out by forecasting tools, human and non, and the best action for ensuring America remains #! country on the way to making the world one big pan-connected community, with people in Zimbabwe having one on on trade deals scaling from one to one to one to int conglomerate. The world is thankfully being forced to peace by greed,

    The financial machine doesn’t want people slavish and impoverished. It wants, and it will create a world where everyone buys into whatever is marketed to them on all levels, from buying equaling believing such and such to be true.. The conspiracy theories of slave states?

    come on, the world is too big to fail. The drug war was sort of a control mechanism to corrupt and allow us to choose whichever person we wanted alive or dead, or moments alive or dead. The research chemical scene to me began in the back of HIGH TIMES, WITH JLF SELLING BIZARRE THINGS LIKE ROAd kill frogs that have active drug in them, to wood rose seeds, mascara, then he got into the 2c”s or something… and was shut down. Next i recall was a bonzai something or other. Oh i forgot elf’s disclaimer set the ar and tone for the b.s level tolerable… it was very high.. Bonsai sold phenazepam, a disaster of a drug but head tight disclaimer but not much else..

    These days the world over there are sites run by addicts who cant handle then volume and split then there are well run, super efficient companies run by people who can see ahead and know whats coming. Addicts are horrible to work with, non kratom sites in refer to..just read reddit rc.. but these companies keep their cool and ship massive quantities.. probably telling the other “we gotta hurry up and be disciplined as fudge for a ew more years and then no more dealing with these punks because the drug war will be over. air sitsa kills the clear web all will go to dark web and innovation will create new standard and new world while on books drugs still illegal. the countries we messed with demanded we stop and I’m sure revelation of truths would be then big fear. Politicians are so ineffective at this age, that until those born after prohibitions ridiculous return decades after its end, which same people will claim as obvious good and prohibition unnatural and market run system that has has to become very innovative,, invading music and entertainment too keep up its story of ho good these things are. remember smoking./ it was horrible but it was what you did,. Because its not prohibited those primal forces own need and satiety are not confused and thus smoking is nearly a relic, vaping a transition to new forms of ingestion for all chemicals.. Grassley needs to address fentanyl, eat.. not all of them. But Pharma is nervous as PYRAZOLAM, a bento i xanax family, is so mild that recreationally its near useless… IT causes no sedation, amnesia, intoxication,a BUT IT WILL DO ONE THING AMAZINGLY WELL. KILL ANXIETY. And they passed on it. people are ta;king about this.. and demands for it is immense..But pressure must have been put on china as Now whats sold is inactive basically.. Imagine the outrage if they had to admit they gave us xanax with its high side effect profile. Pyrazolam can cause dependence but it seems of a much gentler kind.. And take enough of it (its active at 1mg) say 50mg, and you’ll have issues.

    Some smart patriots are jut doing for the world what we cant do for ourselves,

  11. Danny Elliott at 4:35 am

    Kel b,
    I’m not sure what’s happened when you’ve used the link, but I double checked it, and the title of the page it leads to is “United States House of Representatives” and the option that should be opened up has a red link entitled “Find your Representative”. If that’s not what happens when you click on the link, would you please share what page opens when you click on the link in my comment? I’d like to fix it if people aren’t getting what I’m getting. Thanks!

  12. Kel b at 12:08 am

    In response to Danny Elliott’s comment with link to contact/email “Congress”, the link is real easy to follow and send email right from link. However, it is not Congressperson, but state Representative. Enter zip code and call info is there just fill in the blanks. Thx for the link!!

  13. Lisa Osborne at 5:08 am

    I own several domain names that were a Christmas gift to start a movement for pain patients. Danny, Bret, anybody else, we should talk. My thought was a class action demanding pain management as a human right. It was tried before but ended when the woman who started died in a plane crash, I think. I wondered if we could get one of the human rights orgs to take it on for us.

    I have met several doctors who have told me that they want in if it becomes a reality–I think there is a huge potential here for patients to work together and also have support from quite a few medical people who agree things are broken. So like I said, I own several domain names. It is 5am here, so I am not crawling out of bed to get them now but I will get them later if you are interested.

  14. Michael at 11:43 am

    Discusted Citizen is so correct in that all Chronic Pain sufferers need to ban together!! We also need to start a Go Fund Me Account or some type of fund to ” wet the appetites ” of competent attorneys nation wide to join this fight!! I can’t elaborate at this moment as I have been served to appear before a chancellery court to defend my right to have comfort, and my only crime is suffering for over 32 1/2 years and not abuse my regimes to fight this disease. And now I am battling more serious diseases also. This weaning out of legitimate patients has to stop!!! As for now I am preparing for depositions that I can’t afford and getting to appointments in between for more problems. Anyone who wants to try to get together a force to fight this non-sense contact me.

  15. **PLEASE Read/Rae** at 9:26 am

    IMPORTANT-please See below:
    I agree w/Danny & “Disgusted Citizen!”
    The time to act is NOW: contact your state reps, congressman, even the office of the president etc ALSO: journalists-
    Bret Baier@
    special@foxnews.com
    Also: Congressman/house majority whip: Steve Scalise (possible advocate due to his recent injuries & tragic shooting)
    https://scaliseforms.house.gov/contact/

    Serious consequences are underway (ie: removal of Opana-just the beginning) if we don’t mobilize & voice our outrage!!

    PLZ READ THE FOLLOWING!!!!!: There is a **so-called pain dr**[William Malone] claiming the CP community & doctors ARE responsible for the starting of this epidemic in the 90’s. He claims all CP patients became addicted, diverted their meds, doctors over prescribed & are uneducated in how to treat CP (the kicker>>)ALL CP PATIENTS need to be taken off meds & even suggests our brains are damaged & become “plastic!” WE need long-term psychological treatment to learn to feel joy again!! I caught this program (see links below ) & took notice of the doctor pushing his new book & the sale of Narcan. I was proud of the CPP callers to the program who made great & valid points–we were represented well! TAKE ACTION NOW my fellow CP friends!!! We KNOW that all medications have side-effects & weighing benefits to risks when deciding to take ANY medication–why should this be any different & WE HAVE NO CHOICE! We’ve been abused & tortured enough!

    See**opioid epedemic@
    https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2017/07/30
    Dr.William Marrone
    http://www.americannarcan.com/

  16. Bruce at 8:46 am

    We have to organize a protest – contact some alternative media outlets, establish our narrative, backed up with statistics and research, and descend on Washington DC. I participated in a forum held by FDA in Rockville, MD over the Internet in reference to the rescheduling of some drugs that affect the chronic pain community. My point was that not only are the “opoid overdose” numbers skewed to show bias toward prescription painkillers as a gateway drug to heroin, that they also NEED SOMEONE WHO IS IN PAIN TO SIT ON THEIR COMMITTEES AND ACTIVELY PUSH OUR NARRATIVE. We are ignored on Internet posting boards – we need to organize and be heard!!

  17. Ibin at 8:14 am

    I believe that no patient with pain has a problem with “the war on drugs”. We have a problem with the war on patients with pain from dot.gov. I just can not believe the asinine “thinking” from the authoritarians on the subject of continuous pain and the sufficient treatment…..thereto.

    Patients with ZERO negative health affects from medication, ZERO “crime” records. Zero input from our providers that KNOW if and how to treat an incurable pain generating health condition.

    In NC, I e-mail the state medical board almost daily, and send letters weekly. Perhaps the governing medical board with enough outcry from patients with pain can influence the asinine “thinking” from policy makers?

  18. john onan at 7:05 am

    didn’t think it would happen to me until july 20 2017. kept reading about others getting their pain meds taken away.
    july 20th, i call the dr office for my script. next day, i see i’ve been given 14 pills and told to taper myself off . doctor that i’d never met said i had an “inconsistent urine test” from back in april. no f’ing way.
    i have no insurance at the moment and i need to find a new doc right away. 11 days later and the withdraws just refuse to end!!

  19. Disgusted Citizen at 6:42 am

    The crisis against the REAL PAIN PATIENTS and treatment or lack of is becoming critical. I am ashamed of our government. They just him I the gun and put all these ridiculous laws in effect with no scientific evidence. In just because they can. The evidence they do have on the opioid epidemic is 98% from illicit drug use of heroin and synthetic fentanyl and those who use recreationally on the street. Not the REAL PAIN PATIENTS once again. We have contracts to follow, urine drug test to take, pull counts, use the same Dr and pharmacy. We are closely monitored and have legit diagnosis for our care we receive but yet Drs are leaving practice or being arrested. Last month my pain Dr told me he was no longer prescribing ER meds to his patients and all were being weaned so, so now after many years of the same dose of my Morphine ER low dose daily I’m being weaned off. In now on half dose daily then next month for 2 weeks and off. But some Drs are just cold turkey taking patients off which is so dangerous. We are human and we matter. We are not ADDICTS, we are not junkies. We like I said have legit diagnosis proved by imaging, bloodwork, physical exams, etc. So let the Drs be Drs. They are the specialist. And yes there are some not a huge % that go to the Dr illegitimate but they and up being caught in too. We are never gonna stop those in the street from getting drugs or guns or whatever else they want. I’ve written to every government official including my local representatives and everyone else needs to as well including the White House. I’ve asked them what there plan is for suicide as it is soaring amongst the Pain community by large numbers and how are they going to explain to a family that their loved one died because of their recklessness foolish judgments. Maybe we all need to band together and create a class action lawsuit against them all. Seems as though population control is happening and the hell with those of us who are in pain or those with cancer and dying in pain. It is wrong. Period. We can’t get meds but they have set up clean needle stations for heroin addicts to buy illegal drugs and go their and shoot up under medical supervision with clean needles. Why not take them and put them in rehab. Get them help. Our county has come up with a free program that anyone who ends up in the ER from overdose is assigned a coy selor and sent to a 30 plus day inpatient rehab facility. Get them help and classify all of the opioid epidemic in a while other class and let Drs he Drs and co to ie to treat their patients without fear of retaliation. This is horrific we get treated like criminals, inhumanly, barbaric, and so on. So everyone posse it is time to make a STAND, SPEAK UP, STAND TALL, and MOST importantly BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATES!!!
    Also one other thing about Kratom which the article was discussing. I tried it awhile back and can really say it worked. I was taking a quarter of my pain meds and felt good had more energy and only took a small amount in the morning and at bed. I took the Fibro blend and the Red. So it does work. I stopped when it got sticky last year and they were gonna pull it and reclassify it. But it helps and is great.
    Thanks

  20. Rita KIMBEL at 6:12 am

    7 months now, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve had relief of the neurogenic pain that took over my life 15 years ago. I can’t get the oxy opiate that is needed and worked well for my condition, my family doctor can’t write the script, my pharmacy won’t fill it , my insurance company stopped paying for it. I was left in the gutter, kicked to the curb, felt like I wanted to die, did want to die. Today I use 4 pain relief methods to achieve some sort of relief as I must take what ever my pain doctor will write. I start off with taking an extampza, that takes about 2 hours or more to kick in but the milligram is low and never gives full relief, then the nucynta to help it along, take it every 4-6 hours. The MMJ is immediate relief, but not yet legal in PA. I have a neuro-stimulator implant for 12 years that runs 24/7 and I would not be able to live without it. I have to work all day with these methods rather than take 1 oxycodone pill every 10-12 hours. I will be doing this the rest of my life, doesn’t sound like fun to me. This is what the government and it’s stupid opiate regulations have done for me and it’s sounds like the power they have over all pain patients is getting worse. How can this be allowed to happen? One man should not be given the power to take pain medication away until he feels the pain for himself. Let’s cut him with razors, blow hot air into the wounds and lower him into a vat of boiling water, then let him decide what works to ease his pain.

  21. Kathryn DeVette at 7:21 pm

    Who are these people in control? Doctors that treat pain or people with chronic pain? Probably not. This “war” on drugs is driving people with chronic pain to find drugs on the streets and some to suicide. It’s ridiculous for people suffering. Our pain and suffering is REAL! why why why!

  22. Amy at 6:04 pm

    The National Kratom Coalition Supports S. 1327 / H.R.2851 – SITSA Act (FB Version)
    Recently in the news, we’re are learning more about the growing epidemic of the importation and trafficking of synthetic counterfeit drugs. These copycat opiates pose a danger to our communities. Because of this, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24) have sponsored new legislation, the “Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017” or the SITSA Act to stem the flow of these harmful synthetic drugs.

    The National Kratom Coalition believes SITSA can be very helpful to supporting the legal use of kratom. SITSA seeks to decrease dangerous copycat synthetic opiates from this country. Thereby, there should naturally be a reduction in opioid abuse and overdose. SITSA, and the Kratom community, seek to accomplish the same mission. Kratom has been known to aid in pain reduction as well as assist relief of opiate addiction. Kratom alone poses no danger or risk of death. However, a kratom-based product with the added synthetic of O-desmethyltramadol called “Krypton” has been known to cause death. Because of this, kratom has received attention and, in some cases, flagged as dangerous.
    NKC does not believe the proposed SITSA legislation, as written, will affect the legal use of kratom. NKC suspects this regulation targets synthetic, lab-created copies of drugs, like Fentanyl and Oxycontin. Nonetheless, we will monitor as it moves through congressional committees. If an amendment adds kratom, the NKC will act accordingly and vigorously oppose the inclusion.
    To be regulated under SITSA a substance must meet three requirements, none of which are relevant to Kratom:
    The substance must have a chemical structure that is significantly similar to a chemical substance already on the controlled substance list. This requirement must be met first, before any of the other requirements are considered.
    The substance must have an effect that is significantly similar to the effect of a substance already on the controlled substance list.
    The substance cannot already be on any controlled substance list or already regulated by the Attorney General.
    The chemical structure of kratom is unlike the chemical structure of other substances on the controlled substance list as confirmed by numerous scientific studies, such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society, written by Andrew Kruegel. The study states that mitragyna (kratom) alkaloids adopt a unique binding pose at the MOR receptors, distinct from that of classical opioids. Kratom is not prohibited by the Controlled Substance Act. The plant is a member of the coffee family and has been noted in scientific study Journal of Analytical Toxicology by Dr. Edward Boyer to be remarkably similar to another legal plant called Yohimbine.

    The list of Schedule A drugs will be full of counterfeit drugs that do not concern kratom and if SITSA passes, as written, authorities will be able to focus on getting dangerous drugs off the streets. Something NKC fully stands behind.

  23. Tim Mason at 5:22 pm

    Addiction begins in adolescence. All alcoholics had their first experience with alcohol as a juvenile, That is where you begin, In the home.

  24. Cathy Reiner at 1:24 pm

    Cathy
    I see if you click in the article a bill to amend the Controlled Substance Act it shows the bill, but I believe you will be giving the Attorney General to much Power for one man. That is why we have the FDA Senate and Congress so all that Power is not in one persons hands to decide what medication should be treated as a narcotic or not. What is next Insides. This panic over addicts and chronic pain and opiates has gone to far everyone who even has to take medicine.There are many Chronic Pain Patients that can not take over the counter medications because of the side affects and are unable to do the moves that PT calls for so what do we do then set in pain all day and wither away not being able to take care of ourselves and end up in a Nursing Home. That is not caring and treating patients that need the medications to be able to live their lives out with Dignity and send time with their Family at least a few days a week. It is inhuman.

  25. Deborah babcock at 1:01 pm

    Marihuana is legal but I can’t get any pain medication for my chronic pain. Nothing works on my migraines but opioid medication!!!! The junkies will findc ways to get it no matter what but innocent people are penalized and treated like a drug addict when talking about opioid pain medication. What do they want people to do,,,,hit the streets for heroine to relieve their pain cause heroin e will always be available !!! They are not going about this correctly and targeting the root cause. THE JUNKIES….oh wait,,the drug addicts can get meds. !! This is an outrage so disappointed in our system !! This all goes against oaths that doctors have taken and also against our human rights !!!!!!

  26. VeryConcernedCitizen at 12:55 pm

    Better still CALL your state rep, EVERY DAY if possible. Let them know that while you are aware there is a problem, this is NOT the answer. As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely & this gives wayyy too much power to the DEA & Sessions, who ia notoriously narrow-minded (being nice about it) when it comes to MMJ. This is the fox guarding the henhouse – the DEA has a conflict of interest in that the more substances they schedule, the stronger their job security becomes!!! Utter BS anyway, for every substance they schedule, the illicit manufacturers just tweak the formula again, usually for the worse.

  27. Caryn at 12:38 pm

    This is the way ALL major decisions are being done in this Trump Administration.
    Quietly, in secret, behind closed doors without ANY science or input from anyone who has a opposing opinion.
    When did we loose our humanity? As seen with the CDC’s shameful behavior, now plunging the sickest, the injured, the diseased into an abyss of pain and despair, we have lost our compassion.
    I feel that if we are judged by our acts of kindness, those doing this will have alot to answer for.
    Without real science, and real data these rash legislative decisions are doing incredible damage and harm to those already suffering in chronic severe pain.
    It’s not just the targeted threat we read here. The real threat is that we were a Country based on compassion, understanding, and open discussions that were held in the light of day, listening to all sides of all issues. We are not that Country anymore.
    Back door legislating, without regard for the tragic outcomes these rash decisions lead to, are morally & ethically corrupt and ultimately.. deadly. One day, when reason and science works it way back into our Government, let us hope that the toll, in disability & death among the Pain Patient Community isn’t
    another ” Holocaust”.
    Shame on those who turn their back on Science, Logic and reason. This carnage lands directly on all of their laps.
    To those who are suffering, you are not alone and we must fight back till this INSANITY is replaced with reason.
    Stay strong.

  28. Joy at 12:36 pm

    Here’s another knife in the back for chronic pain sufferers. I do not believe, even for one second, that their “estimated” annual deaths due to opiods is even close to being actual.
    33,000 people most likely had a mixture of drugs in their system not morphine alone.

    Thank you, Danny Elliot, for giving us an expedited way to show what this bill will do to us
    and how we can act now! We have to show a united effort where many voices become one. We need a spokesperson to get the media to listen to our point-of-view. I know that most of us are in too much pain to be involved in a march in Washington but those of us who could should at least try. There is power in numbers!

  29. Steven at 12:05 pm

    The CIA created this HEROIN CRISIS with their front, AIR AMERICA, exporting HEROIN from Asia, specifically Loas in the 60’s. Now people are dying from heroin in large numbers and chronic pain patients, like myself, are suffering the consequences of the CIA’s wars. My pain meds have been lowered to a level that has my pain level so high that some days I think death is a viable option. I have never had these thoughts before. If I am being honest then I must say that turning to other drugs to help my pain will be a must. I will not and refuse to live in this much pain much longer. The agony I am in now is far too much. I will write to my congressman but I have no faith in them. They vote on what makes them the most money from lobbyists and not their constituents. I have lost all faith in our system as I watch the most crooked new government of my lifetime created by Trump is doing to our country.

  30. elgie swift at 10:37 am

    Smoking and tobacco causes 480,000 deaths per year and drinking alcohol excessively causes 88,000 deaths per year and I’m unsure if that number also includes indirect deaths from alcohol ie. car crashes, and stupidity.

    Odd. Anytime a possible gun regulation comes up, gun activists rise up with the reasoning that
    the “Bad Guys will get guns anyway, this just prevents the Good Guys from getting them legally.” And they usually win. Wouldn’t the same reasoning apply with those of us in chronic pain who do everything by the book?

    Doctors, draw a blood level on your patient to have proof they were functional on the amount prescribed. It does hold up in court according to Practical Pain Management. I’m going to ask my PM to have a blood level for her own protection next time I go in.

    This constant stress is not helping our pain.

  31. Bob Schubring at 10:09 am

    The best example of a harmful Synthetic Analogue today, is Fentanyl. Mexico’s organized crime cartels have made quite a business of grinding up pain pills, diluting them with talcum powder or chalk, adding synthetic Fentanyl that they make from ordinary industrial chemicals. and pressing the mixed powder into imitations of standard US prescription pain meds. People are taking these counterfeit pills and the Fentanyl causes them to go comatose. Many die.

    SITSA misses the mark for one main reason. It ignores why millions of US pain patients got so desperate, as to buy counterfeit pain pills from gangsters.

    That reason is, that the Bush and Obama Administrations attacked our doctors and our pharmacists so viciously, that many of us cannot obtain prescriptions for medically-necessary pain medication, and many of us who do get such prescriptions, cannot get them filled by terrorized pharmacists.

    Mexico’s gangsters saw an opportunity to make a profit, and jumped right in.

    What will undo this problem most effectively, is to roll back the usurpation of powers that led to the Bush-Obama war on pain patients. People didn’t suddenly start dying of opioid pain pill overdoses. People suddenly started dying, when they couldn’t get real opioid pain pills and started taking the counterfeit ones that were adulterated with Fentanyl.

    It’s a hard thing for politicians to admit that other politicians did something wrong, but that’s precisely what we, the people, must insist that they admit. Bush was wrong to attack pain patients. Obama was wrong to attack us harder. Stopping the attacks, is what will stop the influx of counterfeit pills, whether made in Mexico or anywhere else.

  32. Veronica at 10:03 am

    I have more than one painful autoimmune diseases, and 3 other very painful medical issues. That didn’t prevent my current doctor from refusing to prescribe any pain meds. I don’t get addicted, and am allergic to many of them. I’m in so much pain, that I pray to God to just let me die. If that’s what they are aiming for, they got it!
    I just watched a clip on Princess Diana. She was in Bosnia, and one of the men there said they have so many men who fought in the war commit suicide daily. Sound familiar? He didn’t say they overdosed – they just want to die.
    This is the first period in almost 20 years that I don’t have pain meds. I’ve gained an extreme amount of weight because I simply cannot move, walk, or do much of anything because of severe pain. I’ve tried – believe me, I’ve tried.
    Then, on one of our local stations on tv, one lady was pushing the war on opiates, because her 16 year old daughter was on pain meds. When those were done, she went on heroin. She overdosed and died due to heroin abuse. Where was the parent when the child was taking too many pain meds???? That’s not on us- it’s their fault. Plain and simple. I feel for them, but it has nothing to do with OUR pain!!
    I’m about to give up. This country is just wrong. All of it is wrong.

  33. Sue Stamp at 9:58 am

    Why is it that the people with chronic pain and fatigue are the ones singled out by the government. Do any of them live in the way they are trying to make use live. I wish the whole government could live our lives for one week. Maybe they would understand some of that our lives have become.

  34. M Luis at 9:31 am

    Correction: The American Kratom Association commissioned the 8-factor analysis from leading experts on addiction/abuse Pinney Associates. The FDA/HHS still have yet to produce their own… prior to the Notice of Intent to schedule kratom or since that was withdrawn. Once again, the gov is lacking credible evidence for attempting to Schedule a PLANT.

    To learn more, including how you can help: http://www.americankratom.org

  35. Danny Elliott at 9:18 am

    This is a perfect opportunity FOR EVERY SINGLE READER of this article to write to their CONGRESSMAN, expressing their strong disagreement with this bill.

    The following steps may be helpful:
    1) Use this link to find a) the name of your representative and b) his/her email address: https://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep
    2) Each email/letter should include the name of the bill (SITSA 2017) and the reasons why you are so opposed to the bill. (These emails should be as concise and short as possible, to increase the odds that it will be read in its entirety.)
    3) In my opinion, each email should include the strongest argument against this bill, which is included in the article:
    “Critics of the bill are concerned about the broad powers that would be granted to the Attorney General to escalate the war on drugs and infringe on civil liberties.”
    It is acceptable to use these exact words or a version that says the same thing. Either way, this is a legitimate concern that will be especially effective with most every US Representative because of the” broad powers” it will grant to an individual and anything that will “infringe on civil liberties” is a concern for most Representatives and Senators. The most important thing to remember is that the email or letter itself, expressing disagreement, is what’s most important. It wouldn’t hurt to mention that you will remember how your Representative voted when their re-election time comes.

    If every reader of this article doesn’t take the 10-15 minutes this requires, then we, as a group, aren’t as passionate as we say we are. This is an easy thing to do and it’s an effective thing to do. PLEASE, write your Representative!

  36. Joanne O'Brien at 8:32 am

    It’s not just Chronic Pain Patients using Kratom. I belong to a Kratom group, and have seen many former street drug addicts use it to get clean — on their own — no doctors, no rehab clinic. If there were any truth in the government being concerned about opioid addiction and overdoses, they would celebrate this herb, but I know this move was to make it illegal. Sure they will also be going after all hemp and MMJ products too… really bad news for people with all manner of health problems.

  37. Becky at 8:25 am

    Too funny!! Big Pharmacy makes almost all drugs overseas to save money. It’s ludicrous. They think they can stop China from sending Fentanyl & others. The hundreds of boats in their harbors? Get real?
    It doesn’t stop the addict but you are hurting people in pain with your other stupid attempts. I’m embarrassed by my country on so many levels.

  38. Matthew Berkowitz at 8:01 am

    Who can we contact who can we right to object to this bill Who can we contact who can we write to object to this act. People with cancer and severe pain of being thrown off of their pain medication programs and innocent doctors are being arrested, handcuffed and thrown in jail. Since when did being sick or dying become a crime. my mother has cancer she’s 84 years old they treat her like a criminal and take your aunts from her like she’s some inmate at a prison. If you’re not loved everyone into one category there a drug seeking people and there are people who are very sick and forced to turn to heroin etc. after being on medication for 30 years. in the attempt to stop addiction the government is murdering innocent suffering people, this will not wash write to everybody you’re a senator legislature Your local representative, judges, congressman. They are killing the sick .

  39. Debbie De Anda at 7:57 am

    You will see more die because of pain. It will be blood on government and dr.’s hands

  40. John S at 7:56 am

    Does this mean there are currently no laws that can stop Fentanyl & Herojn coming across our border ?

    Love to see the entire bill.

    John S

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