Netflix Mystery 

OK, can anybody explain this weirdness because we are feeling like we are losing our minds. Last night our flight was cancelled and we were stuck at a motel, feeling exhausted. To relax, we decided to watch some Netflix but it turned out there were no unwatched episodes of Scandal. So we started watching a new show called Homeland. 

The show was good, and after we finally got back home we decided to watch some more of it. But now Netflix tells us that the show is unavailable for streaming. 

Are we going nuts? Is it a case of folie a deux and did we collectively imagine watching that show?

The History of Pain Management 

Until 1990, there existed in the US a world-class, absolutely brilliant system of treating chronic pain. The doctors who worked in these clinics knew that medication should only constitute a tiny part of comprehensive pain treatment that includes psychological, occupational, behavioral, etc components.

These clinics were finding it hard to survive, however. Insurance companies refused to cover anything but meds. And even when doctors managed to convince the insurers to pay for other things, patients clamored for an instant fix and resisted the clinics’ philosophy of individual responsibility for pain.

In the 1990s, an alternative kind of clinic started to spring up. Unscrupulous or downright criminal doctors would sell prescriptions for opioids to anybody who asked for them. It took less than 3 minutes for a patient to see a doctor and leave with a bottle of pills. That these patients started to become horribly addicted, switching to heroin and dying of overdoses interested nobody. 

And the comprehensive clinics that offered non-opioid treatment all closed down for lack of demand. 

Today, even mentioning that chronic pain doesn’t need to be treated with meds makes people angry. (See my previous posts on the subject.) And even just 25 years ago it was an entirely mainstream medical approach.