The election night news that may or may not have surprised you, depending on how much attention you’ve been paying to the issue, relates to marijuana. If you didn’t know, the citizens of Colorado and Washington State opted to legalize marijuana for recreational use and in Massachusetts doctors can now prescribe marijuana as medication.
In an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Daily News a doctor who has “spent 25 years as a doctor treating drug abusers” expressed his views on the matter. While he is primarily addressing the issue from a political standpoint, it is interesting to read what he has to say about the health ramifications of such laws:
Take, for example, medical marijuana laws. They were sold to more than a dozen states with promises that they’re only for serious illnesses like cancer. But that’s not how they work in practice. Almost all marijuana cardholders claim they need it for various kinds of pain,”
He notes that it is easy to pretend you are in pain and goes on to add that, “Pain patients are mostly female, whereas a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that adult cannabis abusers were 74 percent male.”
This doctor feels that the notion that marijuana is harmless is misleading, especially for teens. Teens who use pot on a regular basis don’t perform as well in school as those who don’t and some can permanently lower their IQ by smoking pot.
You think tales about flesh-eating zombies are scary? What about the real-life story of flesh-eating cocaine?
Last year, it was discovered that cocaine that was cut with a veterinary drug that is used to rid cattle, sheep, and pigs of worms had a terrible effect on humans: it ate away at their flesh. ABC News reported that over 80 percent of the country’s coke supply contains this veterinary drug. Instead of stretching their supply by lacing cocaine with something like baking soda, using the veterinary medicine may enhance the effects of the drug, but the consequences can be devastating.
People who use the tainted coke can see their flesh start to change days after using it: blood vessels that connect to the nose, ears and cheeks come under attack and without a supply of blood, the flesh begins to rot.
For some people, using illegal drugs is fun and perhaps even thrilling. However, one of the problems with using illegal drugs is that 1) you cannot really be sure exactly how they will affect you and 2) you cannot really be certain that what you are getting is the drug you assume it to be. One of the most frightening things about drug abuse is that you can consume drugs laced with substances that can do even more harm than they pure form of the drug itself.
Like a number of other drugs that are now classified as addictive, OxyContin originally had a medical purpose. It is a very effective pain reliever and if used in the right way, it may even relieve someone of pain for 12 hours.
According to Discovery Health:
“Oxycodone is an agonist opioid. Opioid agonists are some of the most effective pain relievers available. Unlike other analgesics, opioid agonists have an increasing analgesic effect with increased doses. Meaning that the more you take, the better you feel…You can see why, particularly for people who suffer chronic pain, a medication like OxyContin can be so beneficial: It can potentially provide up to four times the relief of a non-opioid analgesic, so even the most severe degree of pain can be managed.”
The danger with this is that those who are in chronic pain and really need OxyContin may eventually become dependent upon it Additionally, its pain-relieving properties are of interest of people who are not suffering from chronic pain, but just want to numb themselves to life.
However, because it has a controlled-release mechanism, people who wish to abuse OxyContin will find some other way to ingest the drug such as chewing, injecting or snorting it so that they can feel its effects sooner.
People who take OxyContin as directed are not likely to become addicted. Those people should however, take care to dispose of their prescription properly to prevent the drug from being abused.
Despite their reputation as substances that can enhance one’s experience and help someone have a good time, club drugs are very dangerous. There are sources online and elsewhere that would lead people to believe that these drugs are non-addictive and somehow “safe.”
For example, ketamine, which is known to enhance colors and produce feelings of euphoria, can also cause vomiting, convulsions, starve the brain of oxygen, and users can quickly become dependent on it. Because this does not happen to all users and because there are enough stories of people using a drug like ketamine with no incident, this and other club drugs have gotten a reputation as being drugs that one can use to have fun without worrying too much.
However, one popular site that gives information about such drugs for those who would want to take ketamine at a party outlines the effects of ketamine differently, saying that a little can make one feel dreamy and that is resembles nitrous oxide And this website tells would-be users that a large does of ketamine (also popularly known as “ecstasy”) can cause something that resembles a “near-death” experience. It even outlines dosage amounts.
While it is admirable that they want to inform people without frightening them, it seems as if they are leaving out some of the harsh realities of taking a club drug like ketamine.
MSN published an article about a New Mexico shop owner that sells ‘meth candy’ and calls this “proof that some “Breaking Bad” fans aren’t really getting the message that selling methamphetamine to solve your financial problems isn’t a good idea.” The shop owner says that she did not intend to make drug use seem glamorous when she created rock candy that resembles meth as a tribute to the popular TV show where a teacher started selling meth to pay for his cancer treatment. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the state’s human services department made a statement about how serious the drug epidemic is in that state.
This is just the latest example of someone making a candy that resembles an addictive substance. The candy is not illegal, of course, but one has to wonder if it is not a dangerous imitation. Even if consuming such a candy does not lead to drug abuse, such a lighthearted approach to a dangerous drug may not be the best idea.
If you didn’t already know, methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth, is extremely addictive. It severely affects the central nervous system. It is made in illegal labs from easy to find ingredients. One of the greatest dangers of crystal meth abuse is the dangerously unpredictable, irrational, violence it can produce.
It is difficult to break a cycle of addiction to crystal meth because once someone uses it again, withdrawal symptoms end. People continue to chase those first highs they felt, even though they experience less euphoria with each rush. This leads people to try to use more and more even with diminishing returns.
There was a national prescription drug “take-back” event this past weekend and according to the website WebMD, “People turned in more than 552,161 pounds of unwanted or expired medications at the [previous] drug take-back event, held in April. Even if you missed it, you still need to be aware of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse that can result from keeping unused drugs around.
But if you decide to exercise precaution and throw away your prescription drugs, how can you dispose of them safely?
Many prescription drug labels have information about how to dispose of your medicine safely but if you are unsure of exactly how to do this talk to your pharmacist.
What you should not do is assume that drugs you have can simply be thrown away with household trash. Certain drugs need to be flushed down the toilet. And other drugs that can be disposed of in household trash should not go directly into the trash as they are. Here are some tips for making sure you reduce the possibly of misuse and identity theft:
-You should scratch out your info or remove the label and shred it so you can keep your prescription information from falling into the wrong hands.
-Placing unused medication in a sealable bag or some other container can make sure the medication doesn’t leak out.
-Another option is mixing unused prescriptions with coffee grounds or kitty litter. You want to mix them into something with a strong odor that will be a deterrent to children, pets or in case anyone decides to rifle through your trash.
The Nashua Telegraph reports that experts in New Hampshire met to discuss “the growing link between prescription drug abuse and suicide.” They can attribute this disturbing trend to budget cuts that have decreased funding for substance abuse programs and to the fact that more prescription drugs are readily available: “A massive increase in the availability of drugs – 83 million more opioids, such as morphine and oxycodone, were prescribed in 2009 than in 2000…”
One of the simplest ways to ensure that prescription drugs are not available for someone to misuse them is to lock up any prescription drugs in your home. Rather than assume that no one you know (family member or guest) would abuse prescription drugs, you should limit access to them. You can also be sure to dispose of any prescription drugs you don’t need and avoid buying over-the-counter drugs in bulk.
Sometimes the temptation to take more than the recommended dose of a prescription drug arises because you think a prescription medication is no longer working. If it seems that a prescription is no longer working as you feel it should, talk to your doctor.
And if you yourself feel tempted to take more of any prescription than you should for non-medical reasons, get help immediately. Rather than feel shame, seek assistance as soon as possible.
Children and Drug Abuse
According to a report by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in March 2011, teens may start to consume alcohol before age 12 and they may begin experimenting with marijuana around age 14. In high school, the use of alcohol and marijuana is considered normal. For parents whose children are abusing drugs, it’s very painful to send them to an in-patient drug rehab facility. If you suspect that your kid is using drugs, make plans to talk to him or her before things get out of hand.
Firstly, it’s important to establish an open communication about drugs. This is not so tough because drug use is discussed in schools, churches, the media, and so on. Why not talk about it in the family? Many teens start to use drugs because they feel too lonely. As they grow older, they have to deal with such issues like insecurity, school work, career choices, peer pressure, love, and other aspects of life. This is why it’s essential for parents to build strong a relationship with their children. When there’s a strong relationship, it will be much easier to talk to them about drugs.
Though it’s easy to get emotional as you talk to your kid about drugs, you have to be calm, and keep an open mind. Take time to learn about your teen’s activities and behavior. It helps to find out what they are doing everyday and who they hang out with. In setting up boundaries, you can ask for input from your kid but when it’s time to enforce the boundaries, you have to be firm. Explain that you love and care deeply about them. Always reinforce your teen’s faith and trust. Try to have small casual talks about drugs regularly rather than long lectures. The conversations are to be positive, and two-way. It makes a great difference when they realize that you are listening to them respectfully. Explain how drug use can have a negative impact on their appearance, health, and physical fitness.
In case you discover that your teen is addicted to drugs, you have to encourage him or her to enter drug rehab. Stress to your teen that they have to turn their lives around and there’s really no shame in signing up for addiction recovery.
People who drink may not be aware of the fact that extreme alcohol abuse can kill. Just as it’s important to realize that a person who drinks excessively should be going to an alcohol abuse recovery program, it’s equally important to know the dangers of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning refers to the state when a person’s body functions like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate are severely impaired as a result of alcohol consumption. A person who is intoxicated by alcohol can lose consciousness or even die.
When a person consumes alcohol, the nerves that control the gag reflex and breathing are inhibited. The gag reflex is a body mechanism which prevents choking. At a certain level, extreme alcohol abuse can cause these functions to stop. A person who has consumed too much alcohol will usually vomit which is hardly surprising because alcohol irritates the stomach. What’s more worrying is the danger of death by asphyxiation which can be triggered when a person chokes on the vomit. Do not think that a person will recover after a few hours of sleep. From the time the person has consumed the last drink, alcohol in the intestine and stomach still go into the bloodstream, causing the BAC to rise even if the person is unconscious.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
• Slow breathing
• Mental confusion, state of unconsciousness
• Hypothermia, paleness or bluish skin color
• Irregular breathing
Do not wait for all the symptoms to manifest when you come upon a person who’s suffering from alcohol poisoning. You should know that there’s a chance that the person who has passed out will die. There’s a danger that the person will choke on his or her own vomit and the victim’s breathing or heartbeat may stop. Seizures can occur as a result of hypoglycemia or extreme dehydration from vomiting. In some cases, victims may even suffer permanent brain damage or death.
If you have a friend who is fighting with an alcohol addiction, make a real effort to explain the importance of addiction recovery to him or her. A leading South Florida addiction recovery center, we have helped thousands of people overcome their problems, and, we can certainly help you or your friend.
In 2010, more than 1 million people in the United States enrolled in an in-patient drug rehab facility. It’s always a good thing for people to come to terms with their drug addiction and seek treatment. Still, the question needs to be asked: Why do people get addicted to drugs?
Drug addiction is described as a brain disease for the simple reason that drugs cause changes in the brain. Studies have shown that the structure and functions of the brain can be altered by drug use. It explains why an addict seeks for drugs compulsively, even when he or she knows that the consequences can be harmful.
There are many reasons why people start to use drugs. Some people take drugs to feel good or feel better. Some people take drugs to reduce stress. Over time, their dependence on drugs become more intense as their “high” threshold is raised. In the beginning, a normal dose may be enough to achieve a “high” but very soon, they will require more doses, and possibly stronger doses. When they don’t get their regular fixes, they don’t feel quite so “normal” anymore.
According to research, the likelihood of drug addiction is influenced by a person’s biological makeup. Some of the factors include ethnicity, gender, social environment, and developmental stage. In comparison to the general population, adolescents and people with mental disorders are found to be more vulnerable to drug addiction.
In homes and families where the older members are dependent on alcohol or drugs, it’s more likely that the children will go on to be dependent on drugs too. Acquaintances and friends can also draw young people into the world of drugs. The risk for drug abuse is higher for adolescents who are academically or socially poor. Since the brain is still developing at this stage, early use of drugs is another factor of addiction.
For people who are looking for a fresh start, Transitions Recovery Program is a highly effective and accomplished Miami drug rehab facility. Give us a call and we will be pleased to explain our various drug rehab possibilities to you.