Have you ever heard of a “super-frequent user” in the context of medicine and health? Doctors and others in the field use that term to refer to those patients who they see all the time in the emergency room, specifically those who end up in the ER at least 10 times per year. Understandably, doctors are concerned about these patients, and want to find out what the problem is so that they can help them improve their health and lead a happier existence. There has long been a widespread assumption that in most cases, super-frequent users were probably by and large drug addicts or alcoholics, and this assumption appears to have been confirmed by a study released recently by the Henry Ford Health System. Continue reading
The news media seems to have moved on to other topics than synthetics, perhaps because of all the furor surrounding marijuana in so many states. But at the same time that synthetics fell off the front page, that criminal industry has continued to operate. In fact, in the last few days, news reports have surfaced of a rash of overdoses in the Dallas area. In just 48 hours, just two Dallas-area hospitals received 30 people who had overdosed on “synthetic marijuana” called K2.
You may not realize that K2 really has nothing at all to do with marijuana, other than affecting some of the same parts of the brain. The nickname implies that someone synthesized (found a synthetic method of duplicating) marijuana but this is completely untrue. The chemicals used as “synthetic marijuana” are usually from a class of drug called cathinones. You can read more about this class of drug here:
Drugs in this class include mephedrone, methylone and MDPV.
The people arriving at the ERs were often psychotic, heavily agitated and in danger of hurting themselves or others. Many had to be sedated or restrained. Continue reading
Glow parties are one of the latest ways for young people to get out, cut loose and enjoy a good time. They’re especially popular among teenagers, with high school students across the nation hosting and attending these types of events. In many cases, glow parties are ticketed events, where guests are required to purchase their admission to the party, and the money raised through ticket sales goes to pay for the elaborate decorations found at a typical glow party. Usually, a glow party will take place at a large venue such as a vacant warehouse, where powerful sound systems are set up to pump the music out while the party goers dance to the rhythm. In theory, glow parties are supposed to be a safe place for high school students to have fun with their friends. They are typically promoted as being alcohol free, making them an attractive alternative in the eyes of parents worried about letting their children attend parties where they could get into bad situations by drinking. More and more, however, word is getting out that glow parties might not be that safe after all. Continue reading
It is very rare that a person tries heroin or cocaine as the first experience with drugs. Instead, most people who do try drugs have already been using a “gateway drug” for some time leading up to that point. A gateway drug is one which serves to open the door to using harder drugs. The three most common gateway drugs are: Continue reading
If you are a parent and are concerned about keeping your kids off drugs, you will of course be telling them not to smoke pot, not to inject heroin and not to snort cocaine. You might even be on the ball and know to warn your children against the nonmedical use of painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as the abuse of ADHD stimulant drugs including Ritalin and Adderall. Would you know, however, about “Smiles” or “Ice”? How about 4-Methylaminorex or 2CE? Increasingly, synthetic drugs are being found in the hands of young people across the United States. In fact, synthetic marijuana, referred to commonly as Spice or K2, was the second most popular drug among American high school students last year. Here are the details on three of the newest synthetic drugs: Continue reading
It may not seem like it to a person who has never been addicted, but fear is a big reason that the addicted stay addicted. The continuous presence of fear is a big part of what keeps them locked in their addictions.
When they are high, they don’t feel any fear. They feel confident, relaxed, happy, hopeful, even magnanimous. They may feel they can take on any challenge, even if this is a complete illusion. They may be mellow, euphoric. Continue reading
How much do drugs really cost the United States? We all know that drugs are taking a major toll on society, but what is the real impact that they have on our country? It’s difficult to answer this question with any type of certainty, since it would be almost impossible to tally up every one of the many different types of costs and the total value of lost potential as a consequence of drug abuse and addiction. In 1990, however, an attempt was made to find an answer, in a study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The study was titled, “Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Mental Illness: 1985,” and it was the result of an exhaustive analysis of the available economic and public health statistics, with the goal of estimating the dollar value of the costs of drug abuse, alcohol abuse and mental illness in this country. The answer they found was truly staggering, with a price tag of $218.1 billion for the losses our economy suffered that year as a result of substance abuse and mental illness. Drug use and alcohol abuse together accounted for 52% of the total, a figure that amounts to $113.41 billion. With inflation factored in, this figure adds up to $246.55 billion. Continue reading
One might just hope that our high numbers of drug-abusing teens are just due to parents not knowing exactly how to approach the subject with their kids. Or maybe they will talk to their kids about a few drugs and omit others.
But all too often, parents are actively involved in their children’s drug abuse. Continue reading
On Saturday the 1st of February, America went to bed looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday the next day, but on the 2nd the nation awoke to the tragic news that one of its favorite actors had been found dead in his Greenwich Village apartment. The body of Philip Seymour Hoffman was discovered by a friend of his on the Sunday morning when Hoffman was expected to pick up his three children but never arrived. The actor was 46 at the time of his death, and was widely recognized as being among the finest actors of his generation. Several days after the news spread of Hoffman’s untimely demise, the officials still had not yet released a statement concerning the cause of death, but there can be little doubt as to the answer for this question. It is all but certain that what happened on Sunday is that Philip Seymour Hoffman joined a long list of other talented artists who have lost their lives to drug addiction. Hoffman was found with a syringe stuck into his arm, with several other needles around his apartment. Investigators at the scene discovered 5 empty bags of heroin, along with a staggering 65 full bags of the drug. Continue reading
Will Colorado some day end up like Northern California? Could the Centennial State’s economy come to be dominated by the cultivation and sale of cannabis? By some reports, the entire economy of Humboldt County on the coast of rural Northern California revolves around marijuana. Property owners planting cannabis on their land. People being employed on the grow operations, including seasonal laborers who stand by the roadside advertising their services as cannabis trimmers for the harvest. And then there are the activities that support the marijuana trade, from the businesses that sell equipment and good necessary to the operations to everything from grocery stores and landlords whose livelihood depends in large measure on the fact that so many people in that area are working in the illegal drug trade. On paper, Humboldt County’s economy is heavily dependent on other sectors of industry — for example, the county is the source of a major portion of all the timber exports from California — but this of course does not include the impact that growing and selling cannabis has on the local economy. Simply put, many of the jobs in Humboldt County are entirely dependent on the fact that the area is the source of a large amount of all the domestically grown marijuana in the United States. In fact, Humboldt County is part of a larger region known as the Emerald Triangle (similar to the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia which is a region famous for opium production), which also features major marijuana growing regions including Mendocino and Trinity Counties. Continue reading