January 26, 2017

Opioid Use part 1

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

If you’ve read the national news or even picked up a local newspaper in the last year, you’ve heard of the opioid drug epidemic overcoming the nation. Do you know who is taking these drugs and how they are getting them? Are they prescription or illegal drugs, or both? Why are these drugs killing people? Do these drugs work for pain control and are there safer alternatives?

While any one reason may not be one hundred percent the cause, we can put a large amount of blame on the drug makers themselves. Oxycontin, Percocet, Duragesic and Fentanyl (a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin) are the brand names of these opioid drugs. Many believe the makers of these drugs need to be held accountable for this trend, especially since several have been caught lying about the benefits and risks of their drugs.  Heroin is the street drug of choice, but all the others are used and sold illicitly as well.

Let’s start with some statistics. In 2014, more than 28,000 people died from opioid overdoses. In 2013, 16,000 people died from prescribed opioid painkillers. A 2016 study showed a 300% increase in heroin use from 2003 to 2014, reaching 1 million users. Americans use 80% of the world’s opioid drugs. Alabama has the highest opioid prescription rates, 143 prescriptions per 100 people. As a result, more people now die from prescriptions of painkillers than die from street drugs like heroin. “The CDC states that addiction to painkillers is the strongest risk for heroin addiction, and among heroin users, 45% are also addicted to painkillers,” according to Dr. Mercola. How did we get to this point in America?

January 12, 2017

FluMist not effective?

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

If you’ve read this column for any length of time, you know a frequent topic is vaccinations of any kind, but especially the treatment for influenza, aka the flu.

Unfortunately, many people actually believe recommendations from our governments Center for Disease Control (CDC).  They supposedly help people make important health decisions. For many years they have advocated that virtually every man, women and child be vaccinated yearly for the flu.
As recently as last year the CDC recommended that “either vaccine is appropriate (the shot or the nasal spray) for people age 2 through 49.” But, in a complete reversal of itself from last year, the CDC advisory committee now says that the nasal spray vaccine, known as FluMist, NOT be used. How can it be that one year it works and the next year doesn’t?