AlexOn-UnderstandingFlashTrash09 | Oxycodone | Drugs

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 PRN web domain disappeared, and with it years of pain patient testimonials and solid information provided by committed advocates including doctors and lawyers. These short exercises in Flash Trash analysis were located at:

Alex on Flash Trash analysis - 2009–05–14
Flash Trash is probably the most common stupid statistical trick of the drug warriors being an almost obligatory component of the Initial Media Smear that invariably kicks off a pain doc persecution. But it is 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 releases on your MySpace page!! But seriously, this is really easy to do. An example from the case 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? Wrong. This, dear fellow students is FLASH TRASH, a common statistical trick of drug warriors. Flash Trash is: “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 365 days/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 new patients 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.[1] Then raid the doc and commence initial media smear with lurid statistical 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 at shredding Trash Journalism and government propaganda!

Here is the case: Pain Doc Volkman Speaks Out Against DEA in April - Gets Indicted in May. The charge under consideration is “distributing more than 1.5 million pain pills between 2001 and 2006 while working out of southern Ohio clinics in Portsmouth and South Point…” Damn; sounds bad for doc Volkman, no? Here is the Flash Trash analysis: 1.5 million pills / 5 years = 300,000 pills per year. If 'pain treatment' = 4 pills/day of opioid, a pain pt is prescribed 1440 pills/yr. 300,000 pills/yr divided by 1400 pills/patient equals 208.3 patients getting opioid 'pain treatment' per year equals 1.75 patients per day. SO: merely prescribing 4 pills/day to 2 chronic pain patients/day works out to more than '1.5 million pills' over 5 years. Depressing. (For further study, see: Modern Examples of Flash Trash in Table Format) – References [1] See Appendix One - Fooling most of the people All of the time; Declare a Perpetual Crisis from my Masters of Public Health thesis: The War on Drugs, War on Doctors, and the Pain Crisis in America ↩

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