Quick local stories | New and nostalgia songs | Mid July 2019

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In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (134):
Tall Trees Grove, National Parks, creative commons
(10:41) An Arcata doctor accused of overprescribing opioids has been battling the state medical board to keep her license, garnering a significant amount of community support while raising concerns about California’s mandates for tapering opioids.

The Medical Board of California’s complaint against Dr. Connie Basch surrounds five Humboldt County patients that were taking high doses of opioids and anti-anxiety meds.

“Although she’d tapered them to lower doses, the complaint alleges the amounts are still excessive and the combination of drugs places the patients at risk of overdose and death,” reads a recent report by Pain News Network.

Dr. Basch claims none of those five patients died, overdosed, or were otherwise harmed by her tapering schedule.

“The California standard hasn’t caught up with what they’ve realized at the national level, that forcing tapers (on legacy patients) is not a constructive intervention,” she said in an interview with Humboldt Last Week. “...It should be individualized. I believe you have to persuade people to (taper) and then they do well.”

“(Those five patients) were stable,” she said at another point in the interview. “They were on ridiculously high doses but they had been for years from other prescribers ...I feel worried that the medical profession (in California) is making an error (regarding tapering policies) that I think many of us are seeing as harmful, but are afraid to speak up. We are so intimidated by authority.”

“A decrease of 10 percent of the original dose per week is a reasonable starting point,” reads a CDC pocket guide for tapering opioids. “Some patients who have taken opioids for a long time might find even slower tapers (e.g., 10 percent per month) easier.”

“No standard opioid tapering schedule exists that is suitable for all patients,” the FDA acknowledged in April.

Fighting the opioid epidemic is important but is the fight going too far when it comes to Dr. Basch?
Her interview begins 10 minutes and 41 seconds into this week’s episode (10:41). She explains why she believes California’s tapering guidelines are doing more harm that good, her approach when treating pain patients, and how she believes our state can make better progress battling the opioid epidemic.

The aforementioned investigation has been in progress for almost two years now while Dr. Basch has simultaneously been permitted to keep treating her over 1,400 patients. It’s unclear when she’ll find out if she can keep her medical license. Stay tuned with Humboldt Last Week for future developments.

You can read more about Dr. Basch and the Full Circle Center for Integrative Medicine via their website here.

Also in the latest episode: A teen’s family dragged him to the police station after finding out he recruited for a white supremicist hate group, by next summer Humboldt County’s District Attorney will consider over 1,000 pre-legalization cannabis convictions for dismissal, Reggae on the River gets a substitute event, learning more about Humboldt State’s new president, Sara Bareilles’ Grammy chances might have increased, military choppers, the internet wants Guy Fieri to be a Disney star, a Holocaust survivor wants his photos back, a local teen’s award-winning movie is now on Amazon Prime, Tall Trees Grove love, and much more.

Plus! Event picks, the attraction of the week, and HLW altRadio with new and nostalgia songs.

Humboldt Last Week is available at:
99.1 KISS FM Mondays
and soon at northcoastjournal.com