Over the course of the past few years, we have seen an explosion in the rate at which doctors in the United States are prescribing prescription painkillers. Medications including hydrocodone (known commonly by the brand name Vicodin) and oxycodone (Oxy Contin and Percocet), are now among the most commonly used pharmaceutical drugs in America, and they are being used by far more people now than they were in the past. Until recently, opioid painkillers were reserved almost exclusively for cases in which the enormous risk of abuse and addiction was outweighed by the severity of the patient’s condition and the likelihood that the patient would not live long enough for addiction to be an issue. Continue reading
As we moved into the final days of September this year, nearly 4,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States were getting ready. It wasn’t for any type of anticipated spike in crime rates, for training or any of the other usual situations that we expect to see the police preparing for. Instead, thousands upon thousands of law enforcement officers were finalizing their plans for taking part in the Prescription Drug Take Back Day on the 27th of September, an event sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Continue reading
September was National Recovery Month, an event with a history that dates back 25 years. National Recovery Month is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and it has gained the support of thousands of organizations involved in prevention, treatment and recovery from substance abuse and addiction. More recently, National Recovery Month has been joined on the calendar by National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, which now occurs in October of every year. The new event was launched in 2011 when President Obama issued a proclamation to designate the month of October for its observance and of the themes and messages it is intended to spread. Continue reading
At this point, more than twenty states and the District of Columbia have approved the use of marijuana for medical use. While we may agree that there are a few medicinal benefits to cannabis, it is obvious that all the effects of this drug are not yet known. Some of these effects are likely to be damaging – perhaps creating lasting and even disabling damage. What is sad is that many people will use this drug without a true medical justification or they’ll use it recreationally and not be aware of the harmful side of the drug.
This dual nature is not exclusive to marijuana. Drugs in general create some harm as they tend to overwhelm one system or another of the body. But when these drugs really are needed, they provide a vital benefit – so much so that the undesirable effects can be tolerated. Continue reading
Washington State Investigates Increase of Disastrous Birth Defect – One Associated with Early Pregnancy Use of Marijuana
This year, the news media has been reporting on the increase of a particular disastrous birth defect appearing in Washington State – anencephaly. This refers to babies born without a brain or with only part of a brain. In nearly every case, the baby dies within hours or is stillborn.
According to these news reports, a nursing instructor noticed the increased incidence of anencephaly and reported it to state officials. Parents who had babies born with this defect have been questioned but doctors have not yet found a common denominator for these events.
One wonders if the investigating doctors have read the research connecting use of high potency marijuana early in pregnancy with this event. According to a 2012 study, use of potent marijuana during early pregnancy increases the chances of anencephaly. If pot use is a common factor to this increase, this is something that young people planning families and young women everywhere need to know. Continue reading
In states where marijuana is up for legalization for either medical or recreational use, it can be very difficult to decipher the truth about this drug. Those in favor of increased use describe the harmless, even therapeutic nature of the drug. Those against tell a different tale. A new study from the UK shines a bright new light directly on the damage that results from use of this drug.
The study was published by Dr. Wayne Hall of King’s College London, who has carried out this study over a twenty-year period. He reports that that this drug is, indeed, addictive and that one in six teens who regularly smoke this drug become dependent on it.
He further reports:
• Those using marijuana have twice the risk of developing a psychotic disorder
• They do worse in school
• Adolescents who use the drug suffer intellectual impairment
• A driver who has smoked pot has twice the risk of having an accident
• This risk goes up substantially if both marijuana and alcohol were used
• Smoking pot while pregnant reduces the baby’s weight at birth Continue reading
Today, somewhere around 23 million Americans need help for drug or alcohol addiction. Only about one in ten people will find the help they need. The other 22 million will continue to struggle and always live with the threat of an overdose or injury while impaired.
America and many other countries have long histories of alcohol consumption – including, of course, abuse, addiction and overdose deaths all along the way. Some countries have long histories as well of drug use, such as Ethiopia’s use of khat and some Native Americans’ use of peyote. Where does sobriety fit into our current culture? Drugs and alcohol have been used for several thousand years. Is there any reason we should try to curb this tendency?
There is every reason. The biggest reason of all is our children. If you stand back and look at our current society, you may see more pro-drug influences than ones endorsing and supporting drug-free living. Every year, there are more movies and television shows featuring drug-using characters, often without emphasizing the spiritual, mental and moral wreckage that accompanies that use. A steady diet of drug advertisements on television reinforces the message that drugs are an easy, instant solution to whatever ails one. Continue reading
Narconon Redwood Cliffs participated at the Monterey County Fair over Labor Day weekend with a drug education and prevention booth. They were among the many organizations and vendors that set up shop on the 22-acre Monterey County Fair & Event Center, a beautiful outdoor setting with the iconic California oak trees situated only a short distance from downtown Monterey and the Pacific ocean. The Monterey County Fair is part of a tradition dating back to 1935, and over the past eight decades the venue has hosted musical acts ranging from Duke Ellington to Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana and more. The fair is a major event on the yearly calendar for the community in Monterey County and the surrounding areas, and people flock from far and wide to spend a fun-filled weekend with friends and family. All told, there are usually around 75,000 people who attend the Monterey County Fair, making it one of the largest public events in the region every year. Continue reading
Research published recently by the University of Michigan revealed an alarming fact, that 1 out of every 5 men in the United States admit to having been violent towards his partner at some point. The study was conducted with a population sample intended to be representative of the nation as a whole, casting the spotlight on a disturbing aspect of domestic relations in American society. It was released in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, using data gathered from 2001 to 2003 and made available in the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication, which involved survey responses from around 10,000 people nationwide. Continue reading