The discussion, below, originally happened May 2009 on the Chronic Pain Forum of the Pain Relief Network (PRN.) PRN was forced to close December 2010. Christmas Eve, 2011, PRN’s president,Siobhan Reynolds died in a small plane crash that was never investigated. Shortly thereafter, the PRNweb domain disappeared, and with it years of pain patient testimonials and solid information providedby committed advocates including doctors and lawyers.These short exercises in Flash Trash analysis
Alex on Flash Trash analysis - 2009–05–14
Flash Trash is probably the most common stupid statistical trick of the drug warriors being an almostobligatory component of the Initial Media Smear that invariably kicks off a pain doc persecution. But itis easy to spot and analyze using simple algebra. Be a hit a nerd parties! Impress your online “friends”as you shred Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) press releaseson your MySpace page!!But seriously, this is really easy to do.An example from thecase of Dr. Warren Stack - OK, here is the charge:
'Jaroscak said Stack was distributing about half a dozen types of pain medication including,Oxycodone, OxyContin, Xanax, methadone and about 3.5 million doses of Hydrocodone.'[Imagine - a doctor using SIX different medications in his practice. <gasp!>]Wow. 3.5 million doses of hydrocodone - 'nothing short of staggering' as the cops said, right?
.This, dear fellow students is
, a common statistical trick of drug warriors. Flash Trashis: “
The use of suggestive of provocative numbers or statistics, usually presented as true prima facie, which when analyzed using algebra, do not in fact support the implied conclusion
.”To really understand this, let’s do some math. I present a hypothetical:Assume I prescribe to every patient 1 5mg pill of hydrocodone to be taken every four hours.This is not high dose therapy by any stretch of the imagination. OK, 6 pills a day X 365days/year = 2190 pills per year per patient.If I see eight new patients a day, four days a week, 50 weeks a year: 4 X 8 X 50 = 1600 newpatients a year.1600 patients taking 2190 pills a year = 3,504,000 pills = '3.5 million doses of hydrocodone'Classic Big Lie tactics. See how this works?A perpetual drug crisis is declared.
Then raid the doc and commence initial media smear with luridstatistical trickery - some combination of Outcome Obfuscation, Denominator Abuse, Flash Trash, or
Shock Schlock- added to give all the dissembling an authoritative, faux-scientiﬁc, veneer.Finally, just one more example from the Dr. Paul Volkman case, and you’ll all be ninja experts atshredding Trash Journalism and government propaganda!