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Could More Government Regulation Help Prevent Addiction?

There are many areas that we, as Americans, resent the idea that the “government” wants to be involved in our lives, and rightfully so. However, there is a time and place for government oversight that seems not only appropriate, but also smart.

One way to evaluate the wisdom of allowing government is to look at where government regulations have been effective at curbing the illicit sale of addictive pharmaceuticals. addiction

The government doesn’t hesitate to intervene in the public’s lives when a law is broken, and the public supports or is silent about this type of government involvement. However, when the addiction prevention professionals ask the legislators to control the production and sales of ephedrine, a drug in cold medicines and the needed raw product for meth labs, we are told that it is anti-capitalism and against the free-market.

When over one million people sign a petition to ban the production and sale of Oxicontin opiates because it is medically unnecessary because there are other opiate analgesics that are just as effective without as much addiction potential, we are, again, told that we are interfering with the free market.

Florida has been identified as the state with the highest level of prescription painkiller diversion and illegal sales of these drugs on the streets, but when a bill was introduced to better monitor prescriptions of controlled substances, it failed due to conservative pressure to keep government out of the free market.

When you look at countries in Europe that put restrictions on these drugs, you find that they don’t have meth labs and the methamphetamine problems that we have in American. You find other countries that have very few opiate painkillers and do not allow the marketing of large varieties of painkillers that compete with heroin in terms of the “high” that ones gets as a side-effect of the medicine. These countries have fewer diverted pharmaceuticals and, therefore, fewer people addicted to them.

When one examines why legislative bills that would sensibly control pharmaceuticals drug rehab that have a direct connection to illicit drug diversion and addiction, you find that the pharmaceutical companies invested in keeping government from having these logical controls, and, therefore, lobby to maintain the status quo. There are other money interests that profit from this avenue of addiction that also influence our legislators from making laws that could greatly impact this severe problem in our society.

There are many places in our commerce where government oversight may not be beneficial, but with the public health issue of addiction, we would benefit from sensible policies that would regulate these addictive drugs more effectively. Millions of dollars are spent on the “war on drugs” with addiction treatment being a large part of those costs. The total savings in dollars and pain and suffering could be greatly reduced if we would follow the types of policies that have proven effective in other countries.


How Physicians Are Contributing To Opiate Addiction In America

In the last fifteen years, there has been a tremendous rise in opiate addiction originating from prescription painkillers and not from the traditional sale of illicit drugs on the streets.

Anyone that goes to their doctor about a chronic pain problem knows that they may get a prescription for a painkiller that can be addicting, but they never realize how severe the addiction problem can become. In interviews with hundreds of patients that are addicted to their pain medications, one sentiment is always expressed: “If I would have known that I would be in this condition, I would have never taken these medications”.

Unfortunately, most people do not understand how severe opiate withdrawals painkillers can be and they don’t realize that even after they have gone through the physical withdrawals, they will suffer with sleepless nights and drug cravings for many months after they stop taking these opiate painkillers.

These patients with pain problems need more than just a prescription for opiate pain medication. They need to understand that if they are going to have chronic pain, trying to medicate it away with drugs is only a temporary fix. After taking opiates for two weeks or more, the patient will begin to develop a tolerance for the drug and will require higher doses to achieve the same results.

After increasing the medicine dosage, the analgesic affects increase, but not to the level that they were when they first took these drugs. This tempts the patient to take more than the prescribed amount and soon he is going back to his physician wanting to refill his medicine sooner than the doctor can allow.

These are very common problems with all physicians that prescribe opiate painkillers, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If someone truly has moderate to severe chronic pain problem, they should be referred to an ethical pain management physician. These doctors specialize in handling these types of problems and they spend the time to educate the patient on what they can expect from these drugs drug rehab and what actions, other than opiates, that they need to do to help relieve their pain.

However, there are many “pain management clinics” that are not providing ethical and conservative administration of these strong medications and many patients are still becoming “middle-class drug addicts” because of the amount of painkillers that are being prescribed by these specialty clinics.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being lost in our society by previously productive individuals that have become drug addicts though very little fault of their own. These types of analgesics are extremely habit-forming and, when they are stopped, the withdrawals and consequences of being addicted to these opiates takes up to six months to fully handle the side effects of their addiction analgesics.

Most people in with severe pain should research the consequences of these drugs before they take agree to abide by the doctor’s advice to use them on a daily basis. This form of iatrogenic addiction is becoming epidemic and even though the medical community and the Drug Enforcement Administration know how many lives are being wrecked by these prescribed drugs, the problem is continuing to get worse. It is everyone’s personal responsibility to be aware of the dangers of these medications. Professionals in the alcohol and other drug rehab field have seen countless numbers of broken marriages and divorced parents starting with medication to help relieve one’s pain.


Should Parents Be Concerned If Their Children Are Using Spice Or K2?

The direct answer is YES. Spice and a similar compound, K2, are commercial names for imitation marijuana marijuana that is being used across the United States by many of our teenagers and young adults. Spice or K2 is a synthetic cannabis drug that is psychoactive herb that mimics the effects of marijuana or cannabis.

These synthetic compounds, generically called designer drugs, were first seen for sale in the first part of the 2000 and were thought to be a harmless mixture of legal herbs, but further analysis showed that they were synthetic cannabinoids that have the same effects on the body as THC, the cannabinoid that causes the drug effect in marijuana.

Since there are presently no laws to make the sale of Spice and/or K2 illegal, the youth of America are using this window of legal opportunity to purchase and use a drug that is considered by professional as being more dangerous than marijuana.

The manufacturers of these drugs spice claim that they are a combination of medicinal herbs that are totally safe and legal. However, when professional chemical labs in Germany analyzed their products, they were unable to find the “fingerprint” molecules of the listed ingredients, but instead they speculated that these products were made form synthetic cannabinoid drugs. In fact, the chemical in Spice that causes the pot-like affects is about four to five times more potent than THC.

The products are being marketed as an “aromatic pot” or a nicotine-free pleasure smoke. It is being sold on-line and at head shops.

In 2009, the British government expressed concern on it rapid popularity and Germany, Austria and France have banned the sale of these substances.

In the United States, Spice is a banned substance, but K2 is still legal even though the Drug Enforcement Administration considers K2 a “drug of concern”, it is still being marketed on the Internet and in some head shops. Some states, Kansas and Kentucky, have introduced legislation and Health Department bans on K2 and other states are in the process of banning it as well, but it is still too easy for our minors to get access to the dangerous drug that is manufactured mainly in China and Korea.

Regarding whether parents should be concerned, the answer is definitely YES, since there are report of young people that have had untoward effects from this drug, including drug-induced psychotic episodes drug rehabs that have led to suicide in some cases.

We used to feel that if something was legal to sell, that the Food and Drug Administration would ensure the public that it was save, but we need to start relying on our own research before we jump to that conclusion.
Not only is it dangerous because of the side affects of drug, but it is obviously a poison to humans and will retard ones abilities to learn and remember what they have been studying, which is enough reason for parents to be highly concerned about its distribution to their children.


Drug Education And Prevention Strategies

Since the 70s when President Nixon declared his “War On Drugs”, the public and private schools have attempted to find the right messages to give their students to help prevent them from abusing alcohol or other drugs. Over the past forty years, the use of these substances has increased, with some years showing lower rates than the previous years, but no one in the alcohol and drug education and prevention field would claim that we are doing all that is needed to help our students make proactive and positive decision about their use of alcohol and other drugs.

Since prevention research takes years to establish the effectiveness of a prevention or education strategy, the prevention field drug rehab floundered with programs that have proven to produce untoward consequences with some prevention programs actually raising the experimentation and use of these dangerous substances.

When evaluated, the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program ne program, that received ample funding and support, was criticized for not producing the level of outcomes that would be expected. When compared to programs that emphasize social and general competencies and used interactive teaching strategies, the D.A.R.E program was substantially less effective. D.A.R.E brings samples of illicit and dangerous prescription drugs to the classroom in a presentation by a local police officer in an attempt to raise awareness and create fear about using these drugs.

Research found that for some students, this approach fueled their adolescent tendency to experiment with those things that adults say are dangerous, causing some students to use more than they would had they not had the D.A.R.E. presentation.

Since that research, D.A.R.E. has revised their approach, but the message that what adults and a caring community may feel is logically the right thing to help prevent adolescent alcohol and drug abuse may have other consequences.

The Scared Straight program drug education that has convicted drug users and pushers tell their stories to adolescents has lately been criticized as having some of the same negative outcomes as seen in the D.A.R.E. program, with too many youth emulating the negative behaviors rather than learning from the consequences of these actions.

As mentioned earlier, programs that utilized interactive teaching strategies have proven to be successful. One program that has had a significant impact on reducing early alcohol and drug abuse uses the total truth about drugs. These classroom presentations use scientific data and true stories about the effects of drugs. Surprising many parents and educators, young adults take the truth about drugs seriously and the success stories from these drug education classes has been astounding.
Certainly we all need to support alcohol and drug prevention drug prevention in our schools, but it behooves us all to use the accumulated data from earlier attempts to find out what works and what doesn’t. Youth substance abuse affects our communities and our futures, so we need to be smart about choosing the most successful approach.


The Problems With Opiate Painkillers

In the past fifteen years, physicians in America have been accused of prescribing opiate painkillers too often without enough concern about the physical addiction potential of these drugs. The most prescribed opiate painkiller is Vicodin, an opiate analgesic (hydrocodone) for moderate to severe pain. The generic for this drug is usually prescribe for anything from headaches and muscle aches to post dental work.

Many patients will joke that the only reason that they enjoy their visit to the dentist is the prescription they get for their “pain”. In years past, this amount of pain was never thought of as needing narcotic pain relief, but with the marketing push from pharmaceutical companies, most physicians and dentist are only too agreeable to give this level of opiate pain relief.

Most people don’t recognize that pain is a vital and useful part of our physiology. Pain is the communication system whereby the injured part of the body communicates with the whole system to call attention that this injured area needs special consideration. Those people that take painkillers are hampering a communication system that will lead to healing their painful area.

People that have muscular skeletal pain, in particular, are doing themselves a disservice by blocking this communication line. In fact, there is a therapeutic process known as prolotherpay that actually accentuates the pain in an injured area to promote healing. Research has found that the body produces specialized cells that will rebuild an injured area when this communication system is allowed to send its messages. When painkillers block these messages, you find that the injured area begins to deteriorate and, of course, the pain is then increased.

Another problem associated with taking painkillers is there strong addictive potential. All opiate painkillers, such as hydrocodone and Oxicontin analgesics will cause physical addiction in a matter of a few weeks. Withdrawals from this physical addition becomes a unpleasant surprise to the uninformed patient that has been using these drugs to end pain that is less severe then that coming from the withdrawals.

Opiate withdrawals are usually described as a severe case of the flu, but what isn’t mentioned is that along with the physical symptoms come a heightened anxiety level and later depression. These symptoms will soon lead to a psychological addiction since no one wants to tolerate this level of discomfort when they know that one more pill will make them feel normal again.

Taking opiates painkillers analgesics causes the body’s natural pain relieving system to suppress its normal production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, and when a person stops taking the pain medications, their perception of their pain will be increased, leading them to need more analgesics.

Most people that are addicted to the pain medications are caught by surprise when they experience the withdrawal symptoms and the emotional depression that follows after one quits taking these drugs. Physicians are not educating their patients about the downside of taking these opiates analgesics so patients are not making informed decisions when given the choice how they are going to deal with their pain.

The addiction to these opiates is literally so powerful that many patients deliberately hamper their healing process to ensure that they doctors will continue prescribing their drugs. There are many reasons why personally and medically, one needs to be very cautious before deciding that