Dr. Thomas Kline - The other side of the opioid crisis
February 04, 2019
Dr. Kline and I had a fantastic conversation and we hope to have him on again very soon. We talked about how we got to where we are today with the "opioid crisis" and solutions for helping people with chronic physical pain, as well as those with biologically caused opioid addiction.
Dr. Kline has dedicated his life to healing. He has been a doctor for 42 years, he did his residency at Stanford, and has worked at Harvard Med as well as Boston Children's hospital - he now resides and runs his own practice in North Carolina.
You can follow his work on Medium.com
And on Twitter
One of the main topics we covered was surrounding how much misinformation, deceptive information and out right lies are being peddled by those whipping up the masses, which in turn, is causing widespread and unwarranted fear. Dr. Kline is currently focused on eliminating that irrational fear, which is propelling the current war against pain patients, by educating the public, doctors and legislators about the truth concerning opioids.
Dr. Kline explained the biological mechanisms for addiction. He factually broke down the differences between addiction "A" disease versus addiction "B" disease - which is the type that those with true opioid addiction have. It is a receptor polymorphism (deformed receptor) and 80% of people with addiction "B" are exposed to opioids in high school.
Those without the misshaped receptors don't take the "magic carpet ride" when they take opioids, unlike those with the physical elements that cause addiction "B" experience.
He went all the way back to 1915 and told the story of how prohibition started and the status of the current War on Drugs and how it is causing havoc for pain patients and the doctors who are trying to help them.
He urges for addiction and chronic pain treatment to be returned back to the medical system. Currently those with the horrible disease of addiction are treated like lepers and have no place to go. Dr. Kline advocates for medically assisted addiction treatment which proves successful in most cases - and the government doesn't have to or need to get involved.
We talked about the almost religious nature of how the anti-opioid folks are going after doctors and patients. Dr. Kline explained that its much like the Salem Witch Trials which were more wide spread than you think.
He also spoke about why we have the separation of Church and state in this country. Back in the Pilgrim days there were religious courts that could and did kill people for not conforming to social norms. This has direct implications for how the opioid crisis is being prosecuted.
We also touched on how the chronic pain patients in America are being treated and how it's analogous to how no one wanted to help people with AIDS back in the 80's. I've personally had doctors refuse to "take ownership" of certain health issues I have because it would have compelled them to be responsible for relieving my pain. Which most doctors would rather not deal with patients with pain.
Dr. Kline did advocate for ending drug prohibition but honestly added he doesn't have all the answers. We discussed briefly Portugal and Switzerland's take on ending the War on Drugs. He did ask the audience to send him suggestions about how we can start eliminating the destructive War on Drugs.
If you too have an idea please reach out to Dr. Kline on Twitter: @ThomasKlineMD
Overall Dr. Kline believes as I do, that education and presenting the facts persistently are the only ways to change the minds of the public and the politicians.
He even advocates the truthful teaching of teenagers -about opioids in high school and explaining that if they feel or see someone experiencing insane amounts of euphoria from taking opioids, very likely they could be addicted and they'd know to get immediate medical help.
He also talked about we could save almost all the people who overdosed on opioids by medically managing addiction, removing the criminal justice system from the practice of medicine, ending the War on Drugs, educating people on the dangers of mixing drugs, and by teaching those in the addiction community how to resuscitate one of their own, with a simple $20 device that could help their friend breathe and stay alive, in case of an overdose.
Finally we touched on the FDA July 9th meeting - in which Dr. Kline will be in the audience attending. The meeting is the first time since the most recent opioid hysteria swept the nation that the FDA is actually going to talk to the people most affected by the new medical inquisition that has caused wide spread damage to individuals in pain, as well as to the doctor patient relationship.
I you are a pain patient please leave your comment on the FDA website. They are taking comments until Sept 9th 2018. By law they have to read those comments and enter them into the official record.
Here you can make your voice heard. Currently there are only 851 comments. Let's get they to 1000 by tomorrow.
Here you can watch the meeting from 10:00am to 4:00pm
And here you can read the meeting agenda.
At one point everyone has experienced terrible physical pain. Now think if that pain never went away. That's what living with chronic pain is all about. And those in pain should have access to the safest, most effective pain relieving substances known to man - opioids.
Thanks to Dr. Kline for the informative and enjoyable conversation.
Please share this post to all those that you know who are suffering in pain and can't get help or if you suffer from chronic pain as well. Dr. Kline is a shining beacon of compassion in the darkness of despair, that is the current atmosphere of the opioid hysteria.
Thanks for reading and listening,
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