Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Why doctors began prescribing more opiods

By Ada Brownell

Who knew wild daring skid-row types wouldn’t be the only ones dying from drug overdoses? Now even professionals, ordinary people and senior citizens are joining the crowd.

The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, since 2000 the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers and heroin. The NY Times reported 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016. CDC says at least 20,000 died from fentanyl, which is synthetic opiods.

I’ve seen what heroin can do. In hopes of helping others, a young woman’s mother called the newspaper where I worked as a reporter and wanted me to write about what happens too often in our nation when an addict dies.

“She was having seizures when we brought her here,” her mother said.

A photographer and I watched the young woman die. She never regained consciousness. She shouldn’t have died so young.

Heroin is called the “recreational” drug. First-time users seek the “high.” They also abuse the drug for the fake well-being they experience. Experts say heroin use often can be traced to a chaotic home, an undiagnosed mental disorder, biological conditions such as lack of neurotransmitter endorphins in the brain, or if there is an addicted family member.

Others ripe for heroin addiction are ravaged by fear, emptiness, guilt, loneliness, relationship problems, or hurts because of abuse or a broken home. The person seeks peace but can’t find it.
The rise in opiod and other drug use began to escalate with the decline of Christianity in America.
Born-again Christians experience what Peter called "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8), and Jesus called it "rivers of living water" (John 7:38). Before he ascended, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you" (John 14:27). They also experience amazing peace. Jesus told his disciples before He went into heaven, "Peace I leave with you" (John 14:27).
The drug addict thinks getting high is the only way to have fun or have peace. Liquor is imbibed for some of the same reasons. During my years in the newsroom where I worked as a journalist one reporter was shocked I’d never had a alcoholic drink.
"How did you have any fun?" he asked.
"I've had lots of fun in my life," I told him, "and the wonderful thing is I knew I had it!" 

Opiods sometimes are abused for much the same reasons, but thousands become addicted because they need pain relief.

I took synthetic morphine after I had knee replacements. My husband  took a similar pain substance. Yet, we were in a hurry to get off the drugs. We stopped them after a few weeks.

Doctors told me not to worry about addiction unless I had something else going on in my life besides pain. He was talking about emotional pain.

I’ve had back problems and recently my doctor was shocked to discover what I use: Horse linament, Absorbine. I buy it at a Farm  & Ranch supply and I use it frequently.

Increased use of narcotics began when doctors discovered pain control assists with the healing process so they began to be more liberal with prescribing narcotics.

 The old notion that pain is somehow "good" for you has been put to rest for good, say health officials. They are increasingly recognizing that control of pain leads to more rapid recovery for hospitalized patients, and can even cut costs.

While pain can function as the body's alarm that something is wrong, it can also be counterproductive, says Dr. Lynn Webster, who directs the Lifetree Clinical Research and Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City.

"Most of us just want to lie there, because if we move after an operation or major trauma, it hurts.

But when patients just lie there, Dr. Webster says they're putting themselves at risk. "Patients who have good post-op pain control are able to breathe better," says Webster. Deep breaths can prevent the development of pneumonia, which can lead to sepsis and, in severe cases, require that patients be put on a ventilator. If patients can get up and walk fairly quickly after a procedure, then they also decrease their risk of blood clots in the legs which, in some cases, can be fatal.

We know Controlling Pain Helps Healing

Controlling acute pain in the hospital setting can also decrease a patient's risk of developing chronic pain later on. When people begin to feel pain, Webster says the body begins to set up an inflammatory process in the central nervous system that's "hard to quiet down." For some people, that inflammation begins to feed on itself and, once discharged from the hospital, patients may go on to experience pain for months, even years afterward.

The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, set new standards for how pain should be treated. It recommended that health providers routinely ask patients about the intensity of their pain — and then do something about it.

In fact, measuring pain has been coined the "fifth" vital sign, along with blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and respiration.

I learned about the amazing benefits that come from stopping pain 20 years ago from an anesthesiologist. His team at Parkview Episcopal Hospital in Pueblo, CO saw amazing results when anesthesiologists became involved in pain control, and not just putting people to sleep.

In most hospitals nationwide today, there is a 1 to 10 scale for patients to rate their pain. Hospitals are paying attention to pain management today, says Dr. Linda Hertzberg, an anesthesiologist at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., and president of the California Society of Anesthesiologists.

Improvements In Treatment

It's nearly impossible to experience absolutely no pain after surgery or a procedure, says Hertzberg. And doctors do want patients to be conscious. Hertzberg says that when patients define their level of pain, it helps doctors target their treatment.

Methods for treating pain have advanced dramatically, starting with the discovery in the mid-1980s that medication could be delivered directly into the spinal cord and prevent the brain from receiving information about pain, or even the surgery or procedure being performed — the medication literally stops the pain signals in their path.

Herzberg mentioned peripheral nerve blocks. He said you can numb up someone's arm or shoulder, or numb up their leg for a period of up to 24 hours. 

I've met a  few people who have implanted pain control pumps.

But pain control still relies largely on pills and now too many people are hooked on opioids. I read where one man became addicted because his ObamaCare health plan cut services in his area and he could no longer afford needed surgery and had to get by on pain pills.

Why do so many die? Often overdose is accidental, but some people want more of their drug, and too much can kill.

What happens in the body with an overdose of heroin or another opioid?

Why do they die? Dr. Karen Drexler, associate professor at Emory University psychiatry department, in a CNN report said, “Overdose can cause blood pressure to dip, resulting in heart failure.”

But also the drug affects the way the heart pumps blood and many addicts forget to breathe because the respiratory system shuts down.
I've seen people become addicted to pain killers. It seems the ones most apt to addiction are those who have emotional pain, as well as physical pain.
On the surface, opioid pain relievers don’t seem near as harmful as heroin. Heroin is a powerful semi-synthetic opiate derived from morphine and is most often used as a recreational drug. Heroin delivers an intense “rush” and is more powerful than most opioid analgesics because it crosses the blood-brain barrier more rapidly.

A physician told me years ago that every drug we take into our bodies has a side effect—even aspirin. We have to decide if the reason we need the drug outweighs the side effects. Then take the drug according to the doctor’s instructions, paying strict attention to the amount and frequency.

Thank God for modern medicine and the knowledge he gave humankind so we discovered pain relief. But God does give us the knowledge that such drugs need to be controlled and to resist addiction.

If you need a miracle, read Ada Brownell's new book, What Prayer Can Do. There are true stories of deliverance from drugs and alcohol.
A Collection of true stories by Ada Brownell Published by The Pentecostal Evangel
By Ada Brownell
Ennis L. Surratt clutched the cool metal handle of his .45 pistol. Through the weeds he could see three men coming. He knew they would come near where he crouched because they would be coming after the barrel of whiskey that had disappeared from his still the night before.
When the men were only a few feet from the barrel, Ennis stepped out in front of the man who seemed to lead the way.
“You’re not taking this barrel,” Ennis growled, keeping his right hand next to the gun. “You stole it last night, and we’re going to settle it right here.”
He drew his gun and aimed it at the thief.
“Shoot!” the thief yelled as he whirled with his double-barreled shotgun.
 An explosive charge sounded from the shotgun and Ennis fell to the ground. Pain surged through his neck and chest, and hot blood trickled from the wounds, but Ennis raised up on one knee and fired the pistol.
With a cry of anguish, the thief dropped the shotgun and fell into the weeds.
Ennis fell back again, and both men cursed and writhed with pain until they were taken to town for treatment. Ennis was filled with buckshot but not hurt seriously. The other fellow, however, was in serious condition.
Events like this were why the bootlegger became known as “the meanest man in town” and that caught the attention of two lady evangelist holding a tent revival in that town. The women decided if the meanest man in two would be changed by the power of God, there would be revival.
How God reached down and Ennis upside the head. He changed so much he became a fiery gospel preacher that won not only many others to God, but his own children, who became ministers of the gospel as well. One of his sons pastored the author’s church several years.
Read the story of Ennis Surratt and many others in What Prayer Can Do, on sale now at http://ow.ly/9CEI30h4IdL

Friday, January 12, 2018

Why Would God Answer My Prayers?


By Ada Nicholson Brownell

What makes you feel God will answer your prayer? Who do you think you are?

These thoughts came recently as I prayed specifically for something I urgently needed. Immediately I was humbled. I knew I wasn’t worthy of the wonderful things God already had given me, let alone more. A great heaviness covered me.

Only a few days later I noticed the latter part of a familiar Scripture verse. Formerly I’d always paid most attention to the first part: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is …” But now the rest of the verse caught my attention: “…and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Those words came alive to me that day. I realized when we pray, believing God for the answer, we are pleasing Him—not imposing on Him! To please God we must believe that He will reward all who diligently seek Him, and we do that when we pray in faith.

Because I am from a family that believes in prayer, I saw the rewards of diligent prayer early in life. We saw one relative after another surrender his life to God in answer to prayer.

We also saw physical healings. Years ago my mother had a growth come on her eye, and it rapidly increased in size. Two of my aunts, Marge Weekley and Dorothy Howard, fasted and prayed 3 days. At the end of the week the growth fell off.

My mom’s brother, Willie Shepherd, became blind after his one good eye hemorrhaged following cataract surgery. He went to one of the best eye doctors in Colorado and was told nothing could be done for him.

“You might try prayer,” his hometown doctor finally told Willie’s wife.

When we went to see Uncle Willie, he chatted with us awhile and in the course of the conversation he wanted to show us something someone had given him. He felt around on the table in front of him, then in exasperation cried, “I can’t see!”

We sent word to the family to pray. The progress seemed slow, but one day Uncle Willie called me on the phone. The doctor had just taken the bandages off and Willie was crying.

“I can see my coffee cup,” he choked out.

Only a few months later his vision was completely restored, and he got his driver’s license back.

Prayer has brought me through many crises. My sister Erma Sparks found her daughter Pam had numerous lumps under her arms. Doctors said the lumps could indicate any one of several diseases, most of them fatal.

But God answer prayer, and no serious trouble developed.

My sister, Joan, had a large mole removed from her body which was identified as being a malignancy of the worst kind. Surgeons expected the cancer to spread and take her life.

When it was diagnosed, Joan had three daughters, one kindergarten age. “How can die and leave my girls?” she cried.

She had radical surgery, and her legs and other parts of her body constantly ached. She was consumed by fear, until one day she reached out to God and believed He was healing her. The cancer never returned, and she lived fifty-some years after that.

The prayer of faith still raises the sick, as we’re told in James 5:15. Not everyone is healed, but anyone who asks those who pray about the answers to prayer they’ve received will hear plenty of amazing testimonies, as I have heard from so many.

My children and grandchildren all have testimonies of miraculous answers to prayer.

God still is the rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)

What prayer can do

By Ada Nicholson Brownell

Released Dec. 17, 2017

Pray. God answers.

 True testimonies of events where God intervened.

Ennis Surratt, known as the “meanest man in town,” changed in a moment. John Feliciano, blinded in an industrial accident, sees instantly. Marjorie Eager’s family escapes death when God stops a forest fire. A mother prays on her deathbed for her sons to meet her in heaven, and years later God grabs Gary Hilgers out of sin and turns him around. More amazing chapters originally published in The Pentecostal Evangel, enough for every week of the year, with three bonuses. By here:

Monday, January 8, 2018


By Ada Brownell

Following is an article on truth that I wrote a while back, but it's important now because my new book's greatest asset is the true stories that appear in WHAT PRAYER CAN DO.

Here's the short summary: 

What prayer can do
By Ada Nicholson Brownell
Released Dec. 17, 2017

Pray. God answers.

True testimonies of events where God intervened.
Ennis Surratt, known as the “meanest man in town,” changed in a moment. John Feliciano, blinded in an industrial accident, sees instantly. Marjorie Eager’s family escapes death when God stops a forest fire. A mother prays on her deathbed for her sons to meet her in heaven, and years later God grabs Gary Hilgers out of sin and turns him around. More amazing chapters originally published in The Pentecostal Evangel, enough for every week of the year, with three bonuses.


                                                          By Ada Brownell

Christian writers wary of preachiness often avoid a gospel message in their writing. Many, however, don’t know what “preachy” is. When I first noticed editors’ guidelines advising against it, I feared they didn’t even want to publish anything with a scripture in it.

Then a secular writer, Frank Luntz, author of Words that Work, explained how to avoid being preachy: “Tell the truth,” he said, “but don’t do it in a condescending manner.”[i]

How important is truth? Should we “spin” it so it will be accepted? “Spin,” used so often these days by politicians and others is actually “twisting the truth” or avoiding it.

 Sometimes telling the truth is difficult, in our writing and in life. We need to be dedicated to truth, even in the family.

I can’t imagine how Mary felt when she had to tell Joseph she was pregnant with the Messiah. She excitedly told her aunt Elizabeth, and rejoiced so much her words became the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). But Joseph considered breaking their engagement privately. Nice the angel also visited Joseph with the news of the Messiah, so he believed his virgin and quickly married her (Matthew 1:18-25).

The Apostle Paul usually offset hard truths by wonderful revelation: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

John, the disciple, who spoke continuously about love and penned John 3:16, didn’t hesitate to write hard truths: “If we say we have fellowship with him (Jesus), and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1John 1:6). But he adds, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Jesus certainly didn’t stumble at the truth, either. For example, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:41). But went on to add the contrast of hope, “And these shall go away to everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:46).

It might sound preachy, but it’s really not condescending. Truth is a light that can save a sinner from falling into the dark chasm of sin and eternal death.  Truth is water to the soul wandering in a dry desert of wickedness and unbelief.

The belt of truth is part of the armor God provides if we ask.

What is truth? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

The scriptures were “God breathed” and are the only effective pattern for living. The Word also is an example for our witness. So for me, I’ll write the truth and hope I don’t do it in a condescending manner.

©Ada Brownell October 2013

[i] Hyperion, New York, 2007

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Prickly Affair By Donna Schlachler

By Donna Schlachter

A Prickly Affair came about as the result of a long-standing friendship, a step-mother who I dearly loved, and a desert oasis I longed to write about. Mary Davis, a good friend, contacted me because I’d worked with her on a previous romance collection, wanting to know if I was interested in another, and I said yes. My step-mom and my dad loved Cave Creek, Arizona, and got married in a little chapel in town there, and I wanted to set a book there because I love the town, too. Being a writer with a pen name, I thought it might be neat to have my main character write under a pseudonym, too.

As with most of my books, my main character, Lily Duncan, is slightly autobiographical. She is strong and independent—or so she thinks—but she also recognizes something is missing in her life. I think readers will connect with the deep longing in her heart.

As for my hero, Peter Golding is named after a chemistry professor I had in college. To be honest, I was a little afraid of him—he seemed so unapproachable. But as the semester went on, I found out he had an incredible sense of humor along with a good dose of an inflated opinion of his own self-worth. My Peter comes west to “rescue” Miss Daisy Duncan from this western backwater of Arizona Territory and whisk her off to the City. Boy, does he have a thing or two to learn!

Writing a romance is challenging for me for two reasons: as a suspense writer, I tend to have three or four subplots going on at the same time, but novellas just don’t have the word count to support that. At the same time, I want to intrigue my readers to keep them guessing, so at least a small subplot is imperative.

The other thing is I must be certain that the hero doesn’t simply come in and save the heroine. Writing a strong female character helps with that, but I don’t want my male character to look weak, either. He has to have certain abilities that will help him save the day at least once.

Getting to the romance can also be a challenge. There must be a reason why these two get together. It’s why we read romance, right? One reviewer said she couldn’t understand why my characters ended up falling in love. We must keep in mind that people in the 1880’s wed for different reasons. Their courtship—if there even was one—looked different than today. For Lily and Peter, they wrote about love and published love stories, but had never been in love. Yet they were drawn to this other person who was completely unlike them and whose life goals were completely different. I think this is a picture of what God does in our own lives. If we were whole, we wouldn’t need Him, and we wouldn’t need a spouse. Yet the combination of our differences makes us whole as a couple, and when we use our passions, experiences, and talents for Him, we are complete in Him.

Next on my plate is the release of The Mail Order Brides Romance Collection in February, also from Barbour Publishing. Then I start planning for teaching at a conference in February and teaching an ACFW online course in May. Already it’s an exciting and busy year ahead!

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.
name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters In Crime, and Writers on the Rock—Denver; she facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. She will be teaching at the Writers on the Rock one-day conference in February 2018. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

About A Prickly Affair in the “Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection”:

Lily Duncan—“Cactus Lil” to friend and foe alike—is as prickly as her name implies, and she likes it that way. Arizona in 1885 is a land as harsh as the moon, but Lil, born and raised near Cave Creek, feels at one with the sand, rocks, and giant saguaros. She loves living in the desert, and is happiest on her own on her small cattle ranch near Cave Creek, Arizona. Although she’s never been in love before, she pens romantic short stories for a magazine under her pen name of Daisy Duncan.

Peter Golding has never been west of the Mississippi, but a tender young woman named Daisy who writes of love and relationships intrigues him. Through reading her powerful descriptions of what love should be, Daisy’s stories have captured a part of his heart.

When Peter’s uncle sends him to find Miss Daisy Duncan and bring her back to New York City, Peter decides to take matters a step further and bring her back as his bride—surely then his uncle will be impressed with her. But when he arrives, he quickly realizes that Miss Lily Duncan is no shrinking violet waiting to be rescued. In fact, she has to rescue him several times.

Cactus Lil finds her heart torn between this stranger from the east and her desire for independence. If she surrenders to her feelings, will she be forced to do his bidding? When she finds a telegram from her editor telling Peter to bring her back or lose his job, she believes his attentions to be self-serving. Will Peter choose her or his job? And will she decide to surrender her heart or send him packing—again?