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Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wants to cautions US Doctors to the dangers of Opioids

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In the next few days, every doctor in the United States will be receiving this letter, from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

It marks the first time since the position’s inception America’s top doctor has reached out to all physicians.

But Murthy is sending the letters for an extremely urgent reason: Americans are dying each year by the tens of thousands from overdoses of prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin.

“I am asking for your help to solve an urgent health crisis facing America: the opioid epidemic,” Murthy wrote.

In the letter, Murthy empathizes with those doctors who are simply seeking to help their ailing patients.

“It is important to recognize that we arrived at this place on a path paved with good intentions,” he wrote.

But at the same time, he explains those same good intentions have regressed into something far worse.

For a 15-year period between 1999 and 2014, more than 165,000 people in the U.S. died from overdoses that were related to opioid pain medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While some of those perished bought their drugs on the street illegally, several others did not. In 2012, healthcare providers around the nation wrote 259 million prescriptions for such medication — the same amount would equate to enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle.

“The results have been devastating,” Murthy wrote.

He told doctors he was inspired to write the letter after touring the nation and learning that despite widespread media attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, many doctors still didn’t realize how dangerous the drugs could be.

He said even a friend of his didn’t know.

“I was having dinner with him and I said, ‘Can you believe that we were taught that these opioid medications weren’t addictive in our training?’ ” Murthy told a group at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado in June.
 
“And he put down his fork and he looked up at me and he said, ‘Wait, you mean they are addictive?’ ” Murthy added.

As many other doctors would have, his friend, a cardiologist in Florida, learned in medical school and in residency that opioids weren’t addictive as long as a patient was truly in pain, Murthy said.

“He’s trained at some of the best institutions in the country. He’s one of the most compassionate doctors that you’ll ever meet,” he said.

 “Many clinicians have told me they weren’t aware of just how bad the problem had gotten,” Murthy said. “Many were not aware of the connection between the epidemic and prescribing habits.”

Essentially to retrain physicians, Murthy included in his mailing a card with tips for prescribing opioids. The card instructs physicians that they should try other pain relief approaches, such as physical therapy or nonaddictive medications, with most patients before prescribing opioids.

If they do choose to prescribe opioids, he instructs them to “start low and go slow” — meaning to prescribe the lowest dose for the shortest duration of time.

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US calls out China for protecting Masood Azhar

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized China for “shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims,’’

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Shameful hipocracy on Muslims

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticized China for “shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims,’’ referencing China’s treatment of Muslims within its borders, while blocking India’s proposal at the UN to sanction Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar over the Pulwama attack.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is making the rounds in Washington meeting political leaders that include Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla and President Trump. The President tweeted Pichai told him Google is totally committed to the US military, days after he accused the tech giant of helping China and its army. Trump added the meeting went well, and the two discussed everything from political fairness to things Google can do for the U.S.

In San Jose, Dr. Venkat Aachi pleaded guilty to health care fraud and for distributing opioids outside of his medical practice. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines in excess of $1,000,000.

A new $20 million charter high school named after cardiologist and philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel will open this August in a Tampa Bay suburb. It will start with 300 students in 9th and 10 and offer a project-based curriculum. Enrollment is being done by lottery.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Breaking news: Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison on bank and tax fraud charges

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —   Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump’s campaign chairman, received a 47 month sentence on bank and tax fraud charges. Manafort was the first campaign associate of President Trump found guilty as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian interference investigation.

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, are under scrutiny after a conservative group, the National Legal and Policy Center, filed a Federal Election Commission complaint alleging “an extensive off-the-books operation to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures in support of multiple candidates for federal office.”

https://youtu.be/Yk7ATPmanwQ

An attorney for Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign stressed the expenditures were within the law. And Chakrabarti on Twitter said “we were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start.”

One teenager is dead and at least 30 people were injured after a grenade exploded at a bus station in Jammu. Police arrested a 9th grader, after surveillance cameras showed him throwing the grenade. They say he was indoctrinated by the Hizbul Mujahideen. This is the third grenade explosion in the area in 10 months and only three weeks after the deadly terror attack in Pulwama district.

With US FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s resignation, Indian pharmaceutical companies are left to wonder what the next commissioner will do on generic drug pricing, approvals and inspections. India supplies 40% of generic drugs in the U.S.

Ravi Kapur, Deepti Dawar & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Pastor challenges yoga, Hinduism for having ‘demonic’ roots

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Diya TV) — A Missouri pastor criticized yoga for its ‘demonic intent’ because of Hinduism influences. John Lindell of the James River Church in Ozark, Mo., which serves over 10,000 people in its congregation, warned Christians to not partake in the activity.

“They were designed, they were created with demonic intent, to open you up to demonic power because Hinduism is demonic,” Lindell said during a sermon on Oct. 28 according to the Springfield News-Leader.

While yoga is a longstanding practice originating from India, there is no indication that it is based off religious values. According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, it is stated yoga doesn’t adhere to any particular religion or belief system.

Yoga translates to “union” in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. Given its broad meaning, the practice has varied locally and abroad. In addition, there are variations in certain disciplines — which can have a Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism influence — but it is dependent on the type of schools, practices and goals one is pursuing.

In the U.S., it’s become popular for various outcomes. Whether it be for physical, mental or spiritual pleasure, yoga has served as a peaceful outlet for many without it impacting their religious beliefs. While Lindell claimed it’s “spiritually dangerous,” many in the area have responded.

Heather Worthy, a Christian and yoga instructor in Springfield, only had four people attend her class following the sermon.

“It’s so frustrating,” Worthy told the Springfield News-Leader. “The whole thing is quite ludicrous to me.”

Worthy felt attacked, and she wasn’t alone.

With about a dozen yoga classes in the Springfield area, Amanda Davis has spent her last 12 years as an instructor.

“Yoga doesn’t prescribe to any religion, and I don’t think people understand that so they get false ideas about it,” Davis said, one week after a Florida gunman killed two people and injured five at a yoga studio.

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