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When One Drug Goes Out Another Comes In

Prescription opioids were favorites among drug abusers until pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing tamper-proof pills.  However, patents for Oxycontin and Opana ER are set to expire next year, and experts predict opioid abuse will rise once again as generic drugs return to the market.

Unfortunately when one drug goes out, another comes in and plans are underway for many generic brands of painkillers that are already highly abused and dangerous.

Prescription Opioids

Opioids (also known as narcotics) are natural or synthetic derivatives of the opium poppy.  This group includes such substances as:

•    Morphine–an effective painkiller that all other opioids are modeled after.
•    Oxycodone–a semi-synthetic opioid that is contained in a time-release formula in Oxycontin.  It is a painkiller used for moderate to severe pain, especially in cancer patients.
•    Methadone–a synthetic opioid used to treat morphine or heroin addictions.
•    Vicodin–used for severe pain.
•    Codeine–used in cough and cold medicine for its anesthetic and cough-suppressant properties.
•    Hydrocodone–used in combination with other painkillers like acetaminophen to treat moderate to severe pain.  This is the most highly-prescribed opioid, according to the DEA.

Opioids date back to ancient Egypt and are the most addictive substances known to man.  Pharmaceutical companies used to manufacture Oxycontin and other pills as small, white tablets that abusers would crush into powder for snorting, smoking or ingestion.  Manufacturers changed their formulas so that pills couldn’t be crushed and turned to gel upon contact with water.  That was when the statistics on pill abuse crashed, and most opioid addicts turned to heroin for a cheaper high.

With generic oxycodone on the market, however, it could mean a massive uptick in those statistics, with prescription drug abuse once again soaring to new heights.

The Facts on Prescription Pills

In the United States, prescription opioids cause more deaths than all illicit drugs combined (including heroin and cocaine).

In 2009, fifteen thousand Americans died of painkiller overdoses.

In 2010, painkiller overdoses were responsible for 1.3 million visits to the emergency room.  That is an increase of 115% since 2004.

Generic Drugs in Canada

The prescription drug problem is just as bad in Canada, where Oxycontin is known as Hillbilly Heroin.  Last spring, the makers of Oxycontin and Opana ER stopped selling their time-release formulas and generic oxycodone was put back on the market.  Politicians were at odds over what to do about the impending increase in pill abuse, but Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq stated that federal law prevents the banning of a drug just because some people abuse it.  Why should people in pain be denied the proper treatment?

The solution was to monitor the drugs more closely in Canada.  This year the Ministry of Health will implement more rigorous licensing rules.  Pharmacists will be required to report all losses and theft, and any spikes in sales or changes in distribution patterns will have to be reported.

U.S. border patrols and police are on the lookout for the impending pipeline of generic oxycodone from Canada.

In addition to this children have to be educated on the dangers of prescription drugs and why they should not take them to begin with. This coupled with effective treatment for those addicted can bring about a real solution to the problem of substance abuse.

For more information contact www.narconon.org.

Source:  http://www.wbir.com/news/article/245823/2/Generic-drugs-pose-new-threat-in-addiction-fight

Medical Professionals Who Abuse Drugs Not Rare

If you visit the doctor for medical help, chances are you are counting on them to examine you thoroughly, give you an honest diagnosis, and prescribe the medication you need to feel better.  But what if your doctor or nurse was stealing drugs from you?  What if they were writing false prescriptions under your name in order to fuel their own drug habits?  What if they were siphoning off morphine from your dying mother’s IV drip?  Most people are shocked to learn of their own doctors being prosecuted for such unethical practices, but investigators say that it happens more frequently than you’d think.

Taking drugs from patients and using them for purposes other than intended is called diversion.  These days, more and more medical professionals are turning to drug abuse, taking advantage of their positions to get drugs for themselves or selling them and using the profits to buy heroin (a cheaper alternative).  In fact, the American Nurses Association estimates that ten percent of nurses may be dependent on drugs.

An Easy Way to Drown the Sorrows of the Job

There are a number of reasons that medical professionals claim to have turned to drug abuse: stresses on the job, and easy access.  Anesthesiologists have the highest rate of dependency due to the potency of the drugs they are dealing with.  Next in line is ICU [intensive care unit] and emergency room nurses.

Not only are they tempted by what’s all around them, they are continually dealing with sick and dying people that they can’t always help.  When they’re feeling vulnerable, the substances in front of them may seem more appealing than ever.

Is Prosecution Too Lenient

Medical boards and officials are being urged to take more stringent action against diverting medical professionals.  Prosecution is not always standard, with some nurses getting off easier than others.

Take the case of Dr. Anne Johnston in Vermont.  Guilty of writing and filling prescriptions for nonexistent patients in order to fuel her own drug habit, Dr. Johnson was disciplined by the Vermont Board of Medical Practice last January.  However, no legal prosecution was done and she has been allowed to continue practicing medicine under a “conditioned” license, which bars her from prescribing controlled substances.  This is not her first offense; in 1998 she was disciplined for a similar charge, but still allowed to continue practicing.  Dr. Johnson works with babies born addicted to opioids.

Other nurses are compelled to leave practice after one occurrence; some do not have their licenses revoked until after three or four incidents.

Deadly Diversion

The dangers of this situation are clear.  Medical professionals operating under the influence of opioids are not thinking clearly, are uncoordinated, and they make mistakes.  People should not feel like they are putting themselves at risk by seeking medical attention.  Patient safety should be of the highest priority.

If you suspect substance abuse in your medical provider, do not hesitate to take action and report your observations.  You have full right to seek medical help elsewhere.

Find a place that you feel comfortable with and be sure to take the necessary steps if you know someone in the medical community who is abusing drugs.

For more information on this topic go to www.narconon.org now.

Source:  http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/medical-professionals-who-abuse-drugs-not-rare/nTXH5/

Meth Mayhem Is Not Just An International Trafficking Problem

Eighty percent of America’s meth supply comes from Mexico, smuggled over the border in windshield wiper fluid and beer.  But local meth labs are still in business, manufacturing crystals in less than an hour using the one-pot method.

Officials report that the problem isn’t finding meth labs, it’s stopping them.  Due to demand and high profits, labs continue to surface across the country, particularly in rural areas.

Clandestine Crank

Methamphetamine originated in Japan; it was used by Kamikaze pilots in World War II to curb exhaustion and bolster courage.  After reaching the United States, it became popular among outlaw motorcycle gangs like the Hell’s Angels, who stored it in their crankcases.  Hence, meth earned the nickname “crank”.

Since that time, meth has gone viral, infesting the streets and homes of Americans in all walks of life and in every economic strata.  A soccer mom in Dallas may be just as hooked as the hollow-eyed, haggard addicts hunched in doorways on the street at night.

Meth can be manufactured using common household products that are harmless by themselves, but when combined to make meth, they are extremely toxic and explosive.  You may be in a meth lab if you find stockpiles of the following ingredients:

•    Acetone
•    Battery acid
•    Brake cleaner
•    Drain cleaner
•    Freon
•    Iodine crystals
•    Paint thinner
•    Reactive metals like sodium or lithium
•    Starting fluid (ether)

One of the key ingredients in meth is pseudoephedrine, which is contained in many cold medications.  Law enforcement officials track sales in order to crack down on meth production, but manufacturers get around this by using others to make purchases, a process known as “smurfing”.  They usually elect innocent-looking people to be smurfers, as in the case of Linda Clark, a sixty-year-old grandmother from Arkansas who was arrested for making thirty-eight purchases of pseudoephedrine in the past two years.  She was charged with aiding the manufacture of meth, a felony.

Mexican Cartels

Mexican drug cartels continue to find their way into the United States despite the increase in border seizures, which has doubled in the last two years.  The four main cartels are Sinaloa, Tijuana, La Familia Michoacana (LFM) and Beltran-Leyva.  The Latino pipeline is why the drug has been dubbed Mexican Ice.

The price of meth has gone down considerably in the past three years while the purity has increased.  However, it is often diluted as it goes down the chain of dealers, which is why many users opt for meth produced by local labs.

The End Result Of Meth Use

Methamphetamine acts on a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine, which regulates pleasure sensations.  It creates a rush of dopamine, giving a strong euphoria that can last as long as twelve hours.  It is also used as a stimulant, as it increases energy and alertness.

On the other side of the coin, meth use can cause diarrhea and nausea, excessive sweating, tremors, jaw-clenching, agitation, irritability, panic, and confusion.  Long-term use produces weight loss, withdrawal symptoms including depression, “meth mouth” (where teeth quickly and drastically decay and fall out), and drug-related psychosis, which may last for months or years after use.  Overdose can cause brain damage, the sense of flesh crawling (leading users to pick at their skin), paranoia, hallucinations, muscle breakdown leading to kidney damage, and death from heart attack or elevated temperature.

The best way to avoid these effects is to stay away from meth. If you are addicted get help. If not get educated so you do not try the drug in the first place.

For more information go to www.narconon.org.

Source:  http://www.10news.com/home/few-states-have-meth-disclosure-laws-for-home-purchases-rentals

Narconon Releases A Special Report On New Designer Drug Smiles

You may have heard about the variety of party drugs out there–meth, Ecstasy, and others.  Recently a new wave of synthetic drugs has hit the streets and schools, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana, or K2.  While they were recently made illegal, drug chemists have come up with a new designer drug that has not yet made the illicit drug list: “Smiles”.

It sounds appealing, doesn’t it?  Think again.  Smiles, or 2C-1, may bring about euphoria, but with it comes a rush of other dangerous side effects including hallucinations, rapid heartbeats and psychotic episodes.  Some describe it as LSD and methamphetamine combined.  The hallucinations are described as very vivid and can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

Grisly Accounts Of Smiles Use

Because the drug is somewhat new, having been created in Europe in 2003 and only recently reaching the United States, not much has been done to study it.  The most abundant information about this substance comes from user accounts, and most of them are terrifying.

One user took Smiles and began shaking, growling and foaming at the mouth, according to witnesses.  He began smashing his head on the ground, and his friends said he was acting possessed.  He stopped breathing two hours later.

Another user described his experience with Smiles online, saying that it made things appear extremely beautiful at first, but when he looked more closely at it would suddenly become very strange.  He said his girlfriend’s face appeared completely black to him, and then the black started dripping out of her eye.

Another described it as a roller coaster ride from hell.

It is untraceable in urine tests, and due to lack of experience with the drug, it makes it difficult for physicians and emergency room technicians to recognize and treat an overdose.  However, they are becoming more familiar with its effects, which can include seizures, kidney failure, and fatally high blood pressure.  Another manifestation it produces is something called “uncoupling”, which means that the user’s muscles become so rigid that they won’t relax and the temperature soars, usually leading to death.

The fact that it is untraceable in drug tests makes it an appealing drug among party-loving teens, college athletes, those entering the military, and anyone required to take a urine test.

Easy Drug Marketing

The trouble with synthetic drugs is that drug designers are continually changing the formulas, and shirking the law by doing so.  Some chemicals may not yet be illegal, so by using them in a new compound it can be promoted as a legal drug.  This is how it was with bath salts and synthetic marijuana until they were put on the illicit drug list this summer.
As a result, hype about Smiles is spreading like a virus, infecting homes and children’s bedrooms through the Internet.  Officials state that drugs used to take longer to spread, but since the advent of the Internet they get around much faster through online word of mouth.

A newer version of Smiles–called 25b-Nbome–has already started showing up in Australia, and it appears to be even more gruesome than the original.  It caused multiple overdoses in the last month, with the most newsworthy being the teen who threw his body into trees and power line poles while high, ultimately killing himself.
In an effort to curb the problem www.narconon.org urges parents to talk to their kid about Smiles and the dangers associated with the drug. Schools should also make their students aware of the effects of synthetics to stop use.

For more information contact www.narconon.org.

Source:  http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/Special-Report-New-Designer-Drug-Smiles-175892691.html