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Information & Facts About Opioids



CDC - Center for Disease Control - Opioids


FDA  - Drug Safety Information

HHS - Department of Health and Human  Services - Opioids

NIH - National Institute of Health - Opioid Summary by State


(Morphine Milligram Equivalent)


Federal Agency Information

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the DHHS includes information about programs to combat waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare program.

OIG's Reading Room posts advisory opinions under the Medicare/Medicaid Anti-Kickback Law and lists of persons excluded from the Medicare/Medicaid Programs.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Office of Administrative Law Judges conducts formal hearings in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act in connection with enforcement and regulatory cases brought by the DEA under the Controlled Substances Act and its attendant regulations.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world's largest medical library. The Library collects materials and provides information and research services in all areas of biomedicine and health care.

National Resources

National Safety Council  

Role in Procurement of CDC GUIDELINES 

The National Safety Council formally dedicated its resources to fighting prescription drug overdose in 2012, although an NSC study five years earlier laid the groundwork for this important initiative. The study revealed prescription drug overdose was the fastest-rising cause of unintentional death in the U.S.

Since then, NSC has positioned itself as the resource for employers, families and prescribers on the opioid crisis. NSC has taken key steps towards eradicating this epidemic.

Timeline of Events 




  • December – Attended signing of the 21st Century CURES act, which NSC supported  
  • October – Partnered with American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Physicians to sponsor systematic evidence review for acute pain treatment
  • September – Established NSC Physician Speakers bureau
  • September – Sponsored Fed Up Rally
  • August – Conducted second Overdose Awareness Day in Chicago's Federal Plaza
  • August – Participated in meeting with Surgeon General and ONDCP Director on efforts to fight the opioid overdose epidemic with other leading organizations
  • July – Supported passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)
  • June – Published Prescription Nation 2016 report
  • March – Published results of the  national prescriber survey
  • March – Met with HHS Secretary staff about efforts to fight the opioid crisis
  • February—Testified at U.S. Senate Aging Committee hearing on Opioid Use and Abuse Among Older Americans
  • January – Testified in support of CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline for Chronic Pain at meeting of the CDC Board of Scientific Advisors




  • October – Released Prescription Nation report calling for state action to address the opioid crisis
  • March – Held prescription drug symposium "Preventing Prescription Drug Overdoses: A National Strategy"


  • December – Convened prescription drug expert panel comprised of business leaders, medical and pharmacy professionals, insurance industry and government experts
  • June – Partnered with National Governor's Association to provide grants to seven states to develop statewide plan to address prescription drug misuse
  • May – Launched the NSC prescription drug overdose initiative

Opioid Summaries by State

Everything you need to Know About ILLICIT Fentanyl

Opioid Information & Facts

Fentanyl 101



 This deadly synthetic substance is being added to most street drugs like heroin, cocaine,  meth, and look alike counterfeit pills.   It's so potent, one pill can cause an overdose!   

Learn More about ILLICIT Fentanyl Below:

Partnership for Safe Medicines 


Learn More

Video Series by George Knapp



Informative Video Series About the True Cause of the Opioid Crisis. 

 #OurPain: Opioid crisis leaves legitimate pain patients struggling
When you hear the word "opioid" on the news, it is usually attached to other words, including "crisis" and "epidemic."
Read More »News

#OurPain: The other side of opioids
Millions of Americans who rely on opioid medications for pain relief are in anguish because of government pressure to reduce prescriptions across the board.
Read More »News

#OurPain: How money factors into the opioid debate
Pain doctors say they'd like to wean their patients off of opioids when feasible, but many of the alternative treatments are not covered by public or private insurance programs.
Read More »News

#OurPain: Opioid crackdown leaves veterans in pain
The years of service and injuries take their toll and for many, the only relief comes from opioids. But navigating the VA system is far from easy and fewer prescriptions are being written.
Read More »News

I-Team Exclusive: The real numbers behind Nevada's opioid deaths
You've probably heard political figures make the claim that at least one Nevadan dies every day from an opioid overdose. That figure of more than 360 opioid deaths per year in our state has been repeated over and over, but is it true?
Read More »News

I-TEAM: Opioid addiction versus dependency
Millions of chronic pain patients, already living in agony because of disease or injuries, now live in fear that their medicine will be taken away because they've been stigmatized as drug addicts.
Read More »News

Patients, doctors struggle with new law aimed at reducing overdoses
A state law barely two months old is wreaking havoc for doctors and their pain patients.
Read More »News

#OurPain: Pain doctor who defends opioids under investigation
A prominent pain doctor who was part of the I-Team's special project about the war on opioids is now the focus of a DEA investigation.
Read More »

More Videos

Task Force Resources




Find out more

Links to stories, articles, papers and more on the opioid crisis


The Other Side of Opioids:


Millions of Americans who rely on opioid medications for pain are in anguish because of government pressure and media reports to reduce prescriptions. George Knapp recently produced an investigative series for KLAS on opioids, and the people who truly need them. For his C2C special, he delved into the world of pain relief, big pharma, and government intrusion, with a variety of physicians and professionals.

First hour guest, pain management expert Dr. Lynn Webster acknowledged that of the some 64,000 drug-related deaths in the US in 2016 most were opioid-related, however only 25% of those were tied to prescriptions, and when they were, the drugs were not from their own prescription. All across the country, physicians have been frightened into scaling back pain prescriptions to patients in need, Webster reported, because they might face investigations by the DEA that could unjustly ruin their careers.

Research chemist Josh Bloom talked about the "war on pain patients" that's been taking place in recent years. The pharmaceutical industry bears some of the blame in their drug development and lack of warnings, he remarked. But the CDC has twisted statistics in creating their guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain-- as addiction for pain patients is relatively rare, he stated. President of the International Pain Foundation, Barby Ingle, shared her years long struggle battling chronic pain. We're advocating, she said, for open access and life saving medications for patients, "and protection for providers that are willing to help us."

Pain researcher Stephen Ziegler (related study) lamented that the CDC's guidelines were developed in secrecy-- they should have invited a variety of stakeholders to be part of this process, he argued. 11 out of 12 of their recommendations were based on very weak evidence, he added. 

Advocate and research analyst Richard Lawhern pointed out that there are now hundreds of suicides each year by patients who are deprived of the pain relief they need to function. The government has no business imposing itself on the doctor-patient relationship, he declared. The public is encouraged to voice their views here.




Knapp's News 11/26/17

George Knapp shares a number of items that have recently caught his attention, including a photo essay on the world of manta rays:

How the DEA Changed the Overdose Numbers
The difference between night and day is disappearing, scientists warn
Synthetic THC is safer than actual weed, according to the DEA
For the First Time, a Robot Passed a Medical Licensing Exam
Inside the World of Manta Rays
Japan: Nuclear Reactor Behind Fukushima Disaster Considered for Another Power Plant

Links to stories, articles, papers and more on the opioid crisis

More Information

Links to Resources


Health Care and Medical Organizations

The American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.

American Medical Association promotes the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health and continues to be the leading advocate for physicians and their patients.

American Health Care Association provides information on long-term care including  issue papers, links to U.S. Government reports and databases, and more.

American Academy of Family Physicians preserves and promotes the science and art of family medicine and ensures high-quality, cost-effective health care for patients of all ages.

American Health Information Management Association is the community of professionals engaged in health information management, providing support to members and strengthening the industry and profession.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a home to research centers that specialize in major areas of health care research such as quality improvement and patient safety, outcomes and effectiveness of care, clinical practice and technology assessment, and health care organization and delivery systems. It is also a major source of funding and technical assistance for health services research and research training at leading U.S. universities and other institutions

The American Academy of Medical Management serves as an educational resource in the U.S. for people working in the business side of health care.

American Medical Informatics Association is a nonprofit membership organization of individuals, institutions, and corporations dedicated to developing and using information technologies to improve health care.

The College of American Pathologists, the principal organization of board-certified pathologists, serves and represents the interest of patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine.

Institute of Medicine is a nonprofit organization for science-based advice on matters of biomedical science, medicine, and health. The Institute provides a vital service by working outside the framework of government to ensure scientifically informed analysis and independent guidance.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), an independent and not-for-profit organization, is the predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

National Committee for Quality Assurance is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The organization is frequently referred to as a watchdog for the managed care industry.

Health Law Organizations

The Health Law Section of The Florida Bar posts the latest regulations, Medical Board opinions and other information on Florida health law, regulatory developments and related matters; includes list of all members of the Health Law Section of the Florida Bar.

The American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) is an educational organization devoted to legal issues in the healthcare field.

The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) provides resources, education and leadership to its members and the healthcare and legal communities.

Legislative Information

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) addresses the security and privacy of health data and establishes national standards for electronic health care transactions.

State Legislative Database Search offers key-word searching of all Internet accessible state legislatures.

Florida Legislature is the official site of the Florida Legislature that includes a searchable database of Florida laws.

Florida Law covers Florida health law and other legal issues.

US Code of Federal Regulations is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States.

Cornell Law School provides guided access to legal resources on the Internet including primary and secondary law sources and other legal information and directories.

Telemedicine, Technology & Health Law is Alan S. Goldberg's site on telemedicine, health law, fraud and abuse and related issues.

THOMAS provides Congressional legislative information via the Internet.

Kaiser Family Foundation provides access to resources and information on major areas of health care policy, including narrated slide lectures, research, data, and policy analysis.

Health Care News and Current Events

America's Health Insurance Plans is the national trade association representing the health insurance industry. Their website provides information about health care news and policy updates.

FierceHealthcare provides healthcare management news for healthcare industry executives.

Modern Healthcare provides healthcare business and policy news, research and information.


Journal of the American Medical Association

American Journal of Public Health 

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

The New England Journal of Medicine

Advance for Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine



David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog discusses health law topics and news.

Law Blogs is a directory of legal blogs and attorney blogs.

Information About Opioids


After an eventful summer, and my short hiatus from blog writing, Dr. Lawhern agreed to kick off the academic year with our first post of the year.  I’m sure you will all enjoy this hot topic.  Please welcome guest blogger Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.

As a subject matter expert on public policy for opioid analgesic therapy, I have been deeply frustrated over the purported opioid crisis during the past three years.  I have seen the grievous harms being worked by government bureaucrats who refuse to correct their own errors and biases. 

The 2016 CDC guidelines on opioid prescription in chronic pain — and misdirected doctor persecutions carried out by the Drug Enforcement Agency — are responsible for driving significant numbers of doctors out of pain management practice and denying pain relief to  people in agony as memorialized at these three links.


Although CDC does not appear to be collecting suicide data specific to the denial of pain treatment, I read patient and family reports in multiple chronic pain community groups every month that seem to support this.  Although we do not have definitive National statistics, several case reports show trends that deserted patients have committed suicide because of provider abandonment, unrelenting pain, rapid opioid tapers, or a combination of all three.

Government bureaucrats have been informed repeatedly of their errors in public media.  But they are passively refusing to do anything to correct course.

Richard A Lawhern, Ph.D. is a technically trained patient advocate.  His work has been published or featured in National Pain Report, Pain News Network, PainWeek, The Journal of Medicine of the US National College of Physicians, Practical Pain Management, and other online media.

See Richard Lawhern's Full Article by Clicking the Button Below.  

Read FULL Article Here

Exponential Growth in Drug Overdose Epidemic