How Long Will it Take “Subsys” to Show Up on Drug Overdose Autopsies?

*+-The FDA approves the new sublingual fentanyl spray, but will this super-strong painkiller make it easier for people to overdose on this drug? In January 2012, the FDA announced the approval of a new form of painkiller: a formulation of fentanyl meant to be sprayed under the tongue (sublingual). The new drug is called Subsys and is meant for those suffering from breakthrough pain from cancer.1 This means that Subsys is only supposed to be used when the patient is already on a painkiller and experiences pain that breaks through the existing opioid barrier. But fentanyl is already a common…

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Study Finds Quarter of Suicide Victims are Intoxicated at Time of Death

*+-After reviewing 58,000 suicide cases from across the US, researchers concluded that alcohol played a definite – and tragic – role in these deaths. While numbers varied by gender and ethnic background, on average, nearly a quarter of those who killed themselves were legally drunk when they did so. The legal limit for drunkenness is .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is the limit that can get one ticketed or arrested, if caught driving. While the report did not describe upper limits of drunkenness involved in suicide, certainly some victims would have had much higher BACs. Groups that had higher…

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Will US Follow Finland’s Trend?: Rising Drug Use among Youth and Women

*+-In the United States, the trend has always been toward more illicit drug abuse by men than women, usually in a ratio of two to one. In drug dependence and treatment statistics both, women generally make up about one-third of the total. This ratio varies by the drug being discussed. When it comes to needing treatment for marijuana addiction, only about one in four of those being admitted to treatment for marijuana addiction is a woman. But for crack cocaine and prescription drugs, the ratio of women to men is higher. In fact, more women go to treatment for sedatives…

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Chill Pills Generate a New Threat for a New Generation

*+-Before the 1950s, there were no tranquilizers being marketed. Then came Miltowns, followed by Valium and then followed by the full range of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. By 1957, there had been 56 million prescriptions filled for Miltowns. And with the popularization of this range of drugs, and despite their addictiveness, millions of people have come to depend on these drugs to deal with daily life. In many cases, it’s a whole new generation of young people who are using, abusing or being addicted to them. Some people simply rely on them, filling the prescriptions as needed, and others abuse…

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Litany of Heroin Deaths in Alabama Illustrates Fatal Dangers of Addiction

*+-The shift from OxyContin to heroin and people trying to get high after getting clean are some of the reasons for the upsurge in deaths in Alabama. In May 2012, the Birmingham News provided some grim insight into the fatal results of addiction. In just the month of April, Jefferson County had thirteen deaths from heroin. In all of 2010, there were only 12 deaths from the drug and in 2011, a total of 30 people died. What makes the situation worse is that many of those who died were so very young: a 28-year old man, 38-year old man,…

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Do New Synthetic Drugs Create the Most Dangerous Addictions?

*+-It’s pretty obvious that there are simply no “good addictions” when it comes to drugs or alcohol. It doesn’t matter if it’s alcohol, heroin, prescription drugs, marijuana or cocaine – every addiction is destructive of a person’s life, goals, focus, mental stability and personal integrity. Drugs and alcohol are also destructive of a person’s health and relationships. When addiction takes over a person’s life, then every constructive priority takes a back seat to this overwhelming influence. How then could one pick out one drug that creates the most dangerous addiction? The fact is that there is a class of new…

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Will Canada’s New Oxycodone Formulation – OxyNeo – Solve the Prescription Pain Reliever Problem?

*+-After years of negotiating, Purdue Pharmaceutical and the Canadian Government finally settled on a way to improve the abuse and addiction problem that exists with OxyContin. On March 1, 2012, the new formulation called OxyNeo hit the shelves of pharmacies across Canada. OxyNeo is only available in Canada. Now, instead of a dose of oxycodone that can be crushed and snorted, dissolved and injected or just swallowed, oxycodone is now formulated into a pill that is too hard to crush. Alternately, if those bent on abuse try to dissolve the pill, it turns into a thick jelly substance that won’t…

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Recovery From Addiction Does Not Have to Be Infinite

*+-There are some addiction rehab programs that require a commitment of years. When a person uses support groups for recovery, it may be necessary for that person to commit to years of frequent meetings. A therapeutic community may require years of residence for a person to fully develop sober living skills. On the other hand, a short term program of 28 to 30 days is very often far too short a time to enable a person to rebuild a life that was destroyed by addiction. Perhaps a short term program should be followed by counseling or further service but if…

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In Some Regions of US, Heroin Abuse Worse, First Time Users Younger

*+-It was bad enough that millions of US teens were abusing prescription drugs in increasing numbers over the last decade. Now, many of them are switching to heroin at a very young age, younger than ever seen before. While this fact may take some people by surprise, it was a completely predictable outcome of the effort to make OxyContin harder to abuse. Purdue Pharmaceutical began to ship a new version of OxyContin that was bound to a plastic-like substance. The drug was supposed to be released over time once it was in the body but the pill could not be…

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Eliminating a New Threat: Dangerous K2 Drug Effects and K2 Abuse

*+-It seems like those working in the illicit drug industry are industriously working to keep one step ahead of law enforcement and drug users. It seems they are able to release one new synthetic drug after another onto the market, catching the interest of those who might believe the hype about how “legal” a new drug is and what a great effect it has. One of the latest drugs to appear in this way is a drug being called K2. In some areas, it’s also called “Spice” and it is said to be a synthetic cannabinoid – in other words,…

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