Beyond the World Cup – Brazilian Street Children and Inhalants

*+-When the World Cup is held, the world seems to hold its collective breath. Unlike sports that are primarily American – football, basketball and, to a lesser degree, baseball – soccer truly is international. If this year is anything like earlier years, there will be as many as three billion people watching some or all of these games on television. But as early-arriving news sources have revealed, there is a more sinister side to Recife, the city in Brazil that hosts this event. Many children are forced into prostitution in Recife, children in their early teens or even boys and…

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Australian Athlete Fights his Way Back After Methamphetamine Addiction

*+-A courageous young man has published a book about his trip to the very top of the Olympic diving world, Australian Matthew Mitcham. In 2008, Matthew executed the highest scoring single dive ever seen at the Olympics. He got four perfect-10 scores on a back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twists, a phenomenally difficult dive. You can watch that dive here, if you wish: http://www.olympic.org/videos/mitcham-performs-highest-scoring-dive-in-olympic-history. It’s truly stunning. It was a dive that enabled him to take the gold medal home. Ironically, after the Olympics, he did not get rated as the number one diver by an international ranking organization, he…

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Fourteen Rules When Dealing with Addiction

*+-When you’ve got a loved one who is addicted, it seems like all the rules change. The ways you have learned to care about and be patient with them just don’t work any more. The problem is that it often takes family a very long time to learn this lesson. It’s very hard to shift gears this thoroughly – after all, as we learn to be parents, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters or grandparents, we learn to forgive and trust. When drug or alcohol addiction enter the scene, either the rules must change or everyone may lose the game. It…

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Where Did All this Heroin Come From?

*+-Once upon a time, not so long ago, it was inconceivable that the average American would be addicted to heroin. It was only something that maybe people out on the fringes of society would do. Maybe bikers or jazz musicians or people who spent a lot of time in jail. This never really was the truth, but it was the impression most middle class Americans had. No one THEY knew would ever use heroin, much less be addicted to it. Fast forward to this decade. The growing heroin problem in this country is overwhelming public health departments. Not a day…

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Dramatic Increase of Traffic Fatalities Involving Marijuana

*+-Since Commercialization of Medical Marijuana in Colorado, “Dramatic Increase” of Traffic Fatalities Involving Marijuana-Positive Drivers This blog post is not really about medical use of marijuana or even recreational use of marijuana. It’s just about the fact that some people lose everything when they become addicted to drugs. That includes alcohol, pills, heroin, cocaine or marijuana. Sometimes, that “everything” includes a person’s life. A new study just released by the University of Colorado Denver states the following:

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An Inspiring Town Hall Meeting on Prescription Drug Abuse

*+-On the 13th of May, there was a Town Hall meeting at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public School of Health on prescription drug abuse. President Clinton opened the meeting, and those who provided testimony included Margaret Hamburg of the Food and Drug Administration and the Honorable Patrick Kennedy, former US Representative. There are a few comments that caught my interest, one being: “Pharma is the largest lobby on Capitol Hill.” The presence of so many pharma lobbyists will certainly tend to support the approval of new drugs like the new formulation of hydrocodone, Zohydro. Hydrocodone is already the most-prescribed medication we…

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Is the Next US Drug Trend Going to be Heroin?

*+-The Washington Post just published an article that could be predicting a terrifying trend. According to an April 6th article, Mexican farmers are pulling out their marijuana crops and planting heroin poppies instead. So cheap heroin (far cheaper than prescription painkillers) has been increasingly found crossing the border. Here’s what I am concerned about. As more states authorize the use of marijuana for medical or recreational use, there will be more of that drug in circulation. Prices will come down. That is, of course, the main reason Mexican farmers are changing their crops. They want a crop with a higher…

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Fear: A Major Factor in Addiction

*+-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.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman: A Life Taken Too Soon Because of Addiction

*+-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…

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Will Zohydro be the New Favorite of Opiate Addicts

*+-In December 2012, a group of experts in pharmaceutical drugs was called together by the Food and Drug Administration to provide an opinion on whether or not it was a good idea to permit the manufacture of a new painkiller formulation. The manufacturer was Zogenix. They wanted to sell a new pain pill that contained only hydrocodone, a synthetic opiate. This panel recommended not approving this new drug. Why? Because formulations containing hydrocodone are among the most popular drugs abused by the addicted.

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