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Oct-06-2014 02:49printcomments

Thousands March on Washington to End Prescription Drug Epidemic

Attorney General Eric Holder resigns! Lois Lerner, Commissioner of the I.R.S. resigns! Julia Pierson, Secret Service Director resigns! It's time for Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the F.D.A. to resign -- or better -- be fired!

Fed up rally
This woman's sign is caption enough.
Photo by Marianne Skolek, Salem-News.com

(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - This past weekend I attended and was a speaker in Washington, DC at the FED UP Rally for a Federal Response to the Prescription Opioid/Heroin Epidemic. It was an experience I will never forget.

Below are the names of the organizations sending representatives to the reception and march to The White House. Pretty impressive don't you think?

It was very impressive -- 2,000 people marching on The White House demanding Margaret Hamburg be removed as head of the F.D.A.

The FED UP Rally calls for immediate, coordinated and comprehensive federal action to end the epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths attributed to opioids (including heroin) and other prescription drugs.

Member Organizations attending the FED UP Reception and March on September 27 and 28, 2014:

  • Advocates for the Reform of Prescription Opioids (ARPO)
  • Affected by Addiction
  • American Addiction Centers
  • Association of Recovery Schools (ARS)
  • Attack Addiction
  • Balance House
  • Behind the Orange Curtain
  • The Honorable Mary Bono
  • Caron Treatment Centers
  • Casa Columbia
  • Christian Life Prison and Recovery Ministries, Inc.
  • Clean Getaway
  • Coalition for Community Services (NY)
  • Compassionate Friends
  • Confirmatrix Labs
  • Connect the Pieces (CTP)
  • Courage to Speak Foundation
  • David Sheff
  • Duffy's Napa Valley Rehab
  • Dynamic Youth Community, Inc.
  • Faces and Voices of Recovery
  • Families Against Narcotics (FAN)
  • Father Martin's Ashley
  • Get Unhooked
  • Gosnold on Cape Cod
  • GRASP Coalition (The Southwest Council)
  • Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
  • Hearts of Hope
  • Heroin Action Coalition of Montgomery County (MD)
  • James Place, Inc.
  • Patrick Kennedy
  • King County Take Back Your Meds Coalition
  • Layne & Sandra Kresser & Family in memory of Josh Kresser
  • Las Vegas Recovery Center
  • Learn to Cope
  • Live4Lali, Inc.
  • Lower Cape Community Addiction Network
  • Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery
  • McShinn Foundation
  • Medsafe
  • Minnesota Recovery Connection
  • MIWhoSoEver
  • NCADD-Maryland
  • NCADD-New Jersey
  • National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse
  • National Youth Recovery Foundation
  • New Direction 4 New Hope Inc.
  • Not One More
  • Parent to Parent, Inc.
  • Phoenix House
  • Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing
  • POWER (servicing women in recovery)
  • Pro-Act
  • RockStar SuperStar Project
  • Runwell, the Linda Quirk Foundation
  • Sage's Army
  • Save the Michaels of the World
  • Seabrook House
  • Shatterproof
  • Stacie Mathewson Foundation
  • Steve Rummler Hope Foundation
  • StopDrug Death.com
  • STOPPnow
  • Tara De Rogatis Foundation
  • The Addict's Mom
  • The Bridge Foundation
  • The Chris Atwood Foundation
  • The Hope2gether Foundation
  • Transforming Youth Recovery
  • United We CAN (Change Addiction Now)
  • You Are Linked to Resources for Families of People with Substance Abuse Problems
  • Young People in Recovery (YPR)

I believe the above organizations will continue to grow in the coming year -- and be a force to reckon with at next year's FED UP Rally. The people who formed these organizations are passionate about saving lives in this prescription opioid/heroin epidemic that continues to be fueled by pharma and the FDA.

These same people have lost family members to this epidemic -- daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and yet in their sorrow, they are making a difference around the country and Canada. Please reach out to these organizations in your state and make a difference with them.

It is difficult for me to single out one organization that does more than another -- or should be held in higher regard because they are all warriors in this fight. But there are several people who stand out in my mind from this weekend.

I have written in the past about JoAnne Peterson, founder of Learn 2 Cope in Massachusetts. She has the attention of elected officials in her state and more importantly she is making change in the treatment of addiction, in support meetings for loved ones, in recovery high schools and most importantly obtaining in-patient care for those battling addiction.

My hope is Learn 2 Copes are set up in every state in the country. Amy Graves who formed "Get Prescription Drugs Off the Street" in Canada is educating and making change.

STOPPnow in Florida run by two women, Janet and Maureen, formed their organization fighting the growth of pill mills -- successfully.

Then there's Emily Walden of Kentucky one woman on a mission to telephone and email elected officials all over the country -- and meeting with elected officials to fight this national health crisis.

At next year's FED UP Rally I would like that at the reception the night before the march, a representative from all the organizations fighting this epidemic give a 1 minute talk explaining what they have accomplished in changes, laws, meetings with elected officials. In this way, every organization will learn first hand what other states has accomplished -- and possibly be able to apply these accomplishments to their state's crisis.

If anyone questions why the FED UP Rally is necessary, all you need to do is read this excerpt from a recent press release from Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

"We continue to encourage the development of both non-opioid pain medications and technologies that will make opioids less susceptible to abuse. FDA is also supporting the development of better treatments for addiction. "Opioid abuse in this country can only be brought under control by concerted effort from many: prescribers, pharmacists, scientists, public health officials, law enforcement, patients and their families. FDA will continue to do its part to overcome this public health crisis."

Opioid abuse in this country can only be brought under control by concerted effort from many: prescribers, pharmacists, scientists, public health officials, law enforcement, patients and their families? No. Dr. Hamburg your hands are very dirty and you and Dr. Rappaport need to go -- you're not protecting the American people.

Unless you're going to build facilities to treat the addiction you have caused by freely approving more and more dangerous opioids, you remain pharma's greatest ally -- and directly responsible for tens of thousands of addictions and deaths in the U.S.

Sleep well...do you sleep well at night Drs. Hamburg and Rappaport?

2,000 people march on the White House - Fed Up with the FDA on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hLXVshGKAo&feature=youtu.be

My Speech at FED UP Rally on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqd-Q2-8Eo4

LP - Supermarket video has you making your debut in the dairy department. Love you more!


Marianne Skolek is an Investigative Reporter focusing on the Prescription Opioid/Heroin Epidemic in the U.S. and Canada. In particular, Marianne has covered the criminal marketing of OxyContin going back to 1999 and continuing to the present.

In 2002, Marianne lost her daughter, Jill to prescribed OxyContin which her physician referred to as "mobility in a bottle." It was, in fact, death in a bottle. After doing extensive research on the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, Marianne began working with the Department of Justice in Virginia in their criminal investigation into Purdue Pharma and in July 2007 was asked by the U.S. Attorney John Brownlee prosecuting the case to testify against the three CEO's of Purdue Pharma, Michael Friedman, Paul Goldenheim, MD and Howard Udell, Chief Counsel. The CEO's pleaded guilty to misleading the medical profession about the dangers of OxyContin. Marianne also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007.

Marianne's research, writing and contact with government agencies and attorneys has also exposed the heavily funded pain foundations set up by the pharmaceutical industry and their paid physician spokespersons who convinced the medical boards in 50 states and Canada that dangerous opioids such as OxyContin were less likely to be addictive. These physicians also downplayed the risks of addictive opioids in books as authors. These books are still available for sale and promoted to the medical profession.

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Lawrence October 9, 2014 5:20 pm (Pacific time)

here's a good op-ed with ties to the opioid epidemic. http://blogs.naturalnews.com/fda-suppressing-kratom/

Dave October 6, 2014 5:41 am (Pacific time)

Kudos to those calling for real change in the prescription opioid epidemic- which has caused the doubling of deaths from heroin from 2010-2012. Not to mention that 25% of pregnant women receive opioids- and their children are born having to suffer from these needless medications. We all know too many in Congress and medicine continue to have poisonous enthusiasm for opioids- despite the lack of evidence-and Portenoy is back- as are his buddies promoting opioids-seemingly incapable of advocating for better solutions for people in pain. And they would call me ignorant- behind doors- but sunshine is the best disinfectant- and in the light of day- the public would see them for what they are- ignorant of so many alternatives for people in pain- and uncaring in that regard. Keep up the fight.

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