prescription drug abuse
Misuse and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, have been front and center in the news for several years. Every day, more than 115 Americans lose their lives to opioid overdoses.
Posted on October 24, 2014 in prescription drug abuse
All opioids carry inherent risks when abused, from illicit heroin to the OxyContin you may be prescribed by your doctor. Prescription drug abuse is at epidemic levels in the U.S., and when users can’t get high using their typical opioid of choice, previous experience shows that they’ll switch to other prescription opioids or even heroin. In this climate of widespread opioid addiction, new dangerous opioids like acetyl fentanyl pose immense risks to the population’s health. Experts have warned emergency physicians to be on the lookout for what appears to be ordinary opioid overdose, but might actually be attributed to acetyl fentanyl, a drug that’s five to 15 times more potent than heroin. Finding out more about this substance and its dangers helps you understand why public health officials are concerned about the upsurge in overdose cases.
Posted on February 3, 2014 in prescription drug abuse
Online shopping has hit brick and mortar retailers hard. From books to clothes to vitamins and even pet supplies, Americans are finding it easier and cheaper to make their purchases online. Ads that market online prescription sales from outside the U.S. offer low prices and quick delivery. But medicines are one item that could prove dangerous to buy over the Internet.
Posted on April 12, 2013 in prescription drug abuse
Rapper Lil Wayne was recently hospitalized in the intensive care unit after suffering from seizures apparently related to his abuse of “sizzurp,” otherwise referred to as “purple drank.” The events of the weekend have put the spotlight on the drink, which is particularly popular in hip-hop communities in the South, and has been implicated in the deaths of Pimp C, Dr. Screw and Big Moe, three prominent artists. This has sparked interest in the drug, and has left numerous readers wondering what “sizzurp” actually is and why people would use it.
Sizzurp – AKA Promethazine/Codeine
Sizzurp is a drink made from a cough syrup containing promethazine (a commonly used antihistamine) and codeine (a narcotic painkiller and cough suppressant), which is consumed in up to 16 times the recommended quantities to achieve a high. The prescription medication is mixed with fruit-flavored soda and dissolved Jolly Ranchers to form a cocktail. Codeine is chemically related to heroin, binding to the same receptors in the brain to produce euphoria. Promethazine is also used as a sedative, creating heightened euphoria when prescribed quantities are exceeded.
An addiction in a friend or family member is difficult no matter what the situation. When that friend or family member is an adolescent, however, the difficulty and sadness may increase many times over. Parents who find themselves in this situation, especially if the kids are college-age or close to it, can be torn between letting the teenagers go and a desire to help and coddle the kids like when they were younger. What they may not realize is that their children are battling the situation, too, and they need all the allies they can get.
Anyone can become addicted at any time in their lives, but the adolescent period is perhaps the most dangerous time in a person’s life. However, it’s teens who are the most vulnerable, not only to social pressure to experiment with addictive substances, but also more vulnerable to the damage those substances can cause. Their minds and bodies are still developing, so teen drug use can progress into addiction faster than in adults. Also because of this development period, addiction can wreak more havoc on the teen brain (which becomes fully developed around 25 years of age), as well as on the adolescent body.
I recently read two very interesting articles profiling Pharma companies in the growing world of pain medication derived from Opioid’s. The first article, “Painful Medicine”, was in Fortune magazine. The second was done by the Associated Press.
What is an Opioid or Opiate? It’s a broad category of drugs that are best known as painkillers. These are naturally derived from the poppy plant and include opium, codeine, and morphine or are synthetic and semi-synthetics variants of those molecules: Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are the most abused opiates.
Posted on June 3, 2010 in prescription drug abuse
Pill Mills in Our Own Back Yard: Harris County Texas provides easy access for prescription pill abuse.
Recent data collected by the Texas Department of Public Safety demonstrates that in Harris County obtaining a prescription for often abused controlled substances is very easy. In fact, some of the highest prescribing doctors in the state reside right here in Houston’s largest county, Harris County. The clinics responsible for the highest numbers of abusable medications are known as “pill mills” because they appear more like mass-production factories than actual medical clinics. Patients form lines that often wrap around the block and are whisked in and out without much, if any, of a medical assessment. They are then instructed which pharmacy to use, often one with financial ties to the clinic itself. These pill mills are most often staffed by physicians without specialty designation for pain or other applicable specialties and accept only cash, often netting millions of dollars every year for those doctors who have relegated their practices to what can be described as selling prescriptions.
Posted on October 10, 2008 in prescription drug abuse
It just seems like a bad idea to be able to get your drugs over the same machine you check your email with. After a recent death New Zealand is looking to crack down on prescriptions sent by mail and ordered over the internet. After the death of Graham David Goodwin, a mental patient, from an overdose of Doxepine that was ordered and shipped from overseas which would be an offense under the current Medicines Act. The current law could result in imprisonment for up to three months.
According to nzherald.co.nz:
Since Mr Goodwin’s, death, Customs had employed an investigation and enforcement team that included pharmacists on site. This had increased the capture of prohibited medicines at the border.
Posted on September 22, 2008 in prescription drug abuse
File this one under the heading of: Everything can kill you.
What is the safest thing you can think of to consume? Water seems pretty high up on that list, right? Well, not really. According to Yahoo news drugs are turning up in some pretty unexpected places…like your drinking water. Yahoo states that at least 46 million Americans have this problem to deal with. It seems that lots of pharmaceuticals are showing up in your local tap water, and the government wasn’t too happy to have to tell us about it. Yahoo is reporting: