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Brain Protein May Be Possible Alcoholism Cure

According to UH College of Pharmacy medical chemist Joydip Das, a brain protein that attaches to alcohol is a potential cure for alcoholism. MUNC 13-1, as the protein is known, has a critical role in the development of tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the brain gets used to a substance and increasing amounts become necessary to achieve the same effect.

Das:

“Addiction to alcohol remains one of the most significant mental health problems throughout the world. A major challenge is to understand how ethanol, or alcohol, changes behavior and the brain during the descent into addiction.”

“If a person becomes tolerant of one drink, he will have another and maybe another. If we could stop alcohol from binding into MUNC 13-1 it will help problem drinkers in reducing tolerance. If we can reduce tolerance, we can reduce addiction.”

The MUNC 13-1 and alcohol binding processing occurs in a brain synapse, where a single neuron transmits a signal to another. More precisely, the attachment takes place in the presynaptic space, a part of the synapse mechanism that is not often studied or understood.

During a binge, alcohol invokes widespread and long-term changes in neural activity, changing both presynaptic and postsynaptic actions.

So far the research has been done using the Drosophila genetic model system, which is a simple model but has several similarities. This activating protein is known as D unc13, an equivalent to MUNC 13-1.

Das:

“Reduction in Dunc13 produces a behavioral and physiological resistance to [the] sedative effects of ethanol. We need to develop a pill that would inhibit alcohol binding to MUNC 13 and reduce its activity. Based on our results so far, this would likely reduce the formation of tolerance, making it harder to become addicted to alcohol.”

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post Brain Protein May Be Possible Alcoholism Cure appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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The Difference Between High-Functioning Alcoholics and Binge Drinkers

Today’s drinkers often find it challenging to tell the difference between letting loose a few times a month and alcoholism. And then, alcoholism manifests in both those who maintain a job and home life and people who have become completely dysfunctional – heavy drinkers who are reaping severe negative consequences as a result. binge drinkers. Binge drinkers

But there are distinct characteristics that define the difference between binge drinkers and high-functioning alcoholics, although their behavior may look quite similar to those on the outside looking in. Each level of excessive alcohol use is often rooted in its own set of contributing factors and treatment should be approached in a way that is unique to the condition and the individual who needs help.

The following are five distinguishing characteristics that differentiate binge-drinking and high-functioning alcoholism.

Physical Dependence

One significant difference between the binger and the functioning alcoholic is the level of dependence. Binge-drinkers are addicted to alcohol, although they may experience increasing tolerance.

Typically, these drinkers may go several days without a drink or even wanting a drink, then going over-the-top on the weekend, such as having “one too many” at a bar, party, or club.

High-functioning alcoholics, on the other hand, do suffer from some level of dependence. They tend to drink almost every day, but their drinking may be confined to post-workday activities. Therefore, their habit may not significantly interfere with their lives, compared to those who drink during nearly all their waking moments.

Amount of Alcohol Use Vs. Symptoms of Addiction

Binge-drinking is defined by the number of drinks a person consumes – some experts place this number as just more than what it takes to induce a blood alcohol level over .08 in the course of a couple of hours. This equates to the consumption of roughly 4-5 drinks in a given session.

Conversely, alcoholism is not characterized by the number of drinks consumed but rather whether the following factors exist: (1) physical dependence, (2) increased tolerance, (3) preoccupation with alcohol use including cravings and avoiding situations in which alcohol is unavailable.

The Frequency of Alcohol Use

The frequency of alcohol consumption is also a distinguishing factor between the functional alcoholic and the binge-drinker. As noted, binge-drinkers often confine their alcohol use to a few days a month or in specific settings, such as a bar night out with friends.

High-functioning alcoholics tend to prefer ritualized habits, such as drinking after work or before bed. They may not consume as much as the binge-drinker, but they work to maintain a regular daily drinking habit and will appear irritated, agitated, or downright angry if they are somehow unable to engage in this ritual this on any given day.

Where Alcohol is Consumed

The time and place alcohol abusers tend to drink is also different for binge-drinkers vs. functioning alcoholics. Bingers are most likely to do so in groups of friends or family in social settings, and will probably be among some other binge-drinkers.

High-functioners, on the other hands, may often drink alone or secretively, sometimes sneaking alcohol into situations that are inappropriate for drinking.

Level of Control

Because binge-drinkers, by definition are not addicted to alcohol, they have an easier time cutting back and setting limits. Alcoholics, high-functioning or otherwise, have great difficulty with control and experience daily cravings and uncontrollable drinking.  These traits will continue despite adverse consequences that result from their actions.

Make no mistake – alcoholics also tend to engage in binge-drinking, a habit that they might define as drinking significantly more than they usually do when they are adhering to their ritualized behavior. Bingers, however, are not dependent on alcohol but may be at a heightened risk for true alcoholism later. However, these drinkers do not share addictive characteristics with high-functioning alcoholics unless their disease advances.

Treatment Approaches

Each alcohol-related conditions requires a different approach to treatment. For example, binge-drinkers may find recovery less grueling, and receive an intervention and/or have visits with an addictions counselor and support groups. Alcoholism, conversely, often requires long-term, structured treatment that helps the individual get sober and maintain sobriety even the face of severe cravings and the desire to return to drinking.

Conclusion

Binge drinkers and high-functioning alcoholics do share some characteristics in common, but it is important for both the drinker and his or her loved ones to understand the differences due to the implications for treatment and the mechanisms at work behind each habit.

Both conditions are harmful and dangerous and can lead to serious injury, damage to relationships, or legal problems.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post The Difference Between High-Functioning Alcoholics and Binge Drinkers appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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Shocking, Stigmatizing New Anti-Opioid Ads: Just Say No To Drugs 2018?

Four new public service announcement (PSA) anti-opioid ads released last week feature actors portraying people who go to extreme and shocking lengths to support their opioid addiction.

These acts include disturbing images of one man breaking his own back, another man breaking his hand using a hammer, and a woman driving into a dumpster – all of which claim to show the dark side of opioid use and the painful extent people will go to feed their habit.

The PSAs are purported to be based on the real stories of actual opioid addicts and are said to be part of a proposed $.6 billion war on the opioid epidemic.

Since their debut on June 7, the ads have been compared to the “This is your brain on drugs” campaign from the 1980’s, but those comparisons have not always a positive one. The PSAs have received mixed reviews from drug policy organizations – some views appear to support the ad’s theme, while others condemn them to mere “shock value,” labeling them as “misleading,” among other negative connotations.

The campaign was the product of an anti-opioid effort known as “The Truth About Opioids,” or a collaboration between the Truth Initiative, the Ad Council, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the Trump administration.

Other partners include Amazon, Facebook, Google, and YouTube, all of which have donated airtime to the PSAs, a combined effort said to be worth around $30 million.

Advocates for the ads, such as the president of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (PDF), Fred Mensch, have touted the campaign as having “the potential to generate a dialogue between parents and kids on this complex health issue.”

Also, director of audience development for the Drug Policy Alliance extolled some aspects of the campaign for offering useful information but noted that the PSAs portray “really extreme cases. It’s all about self-harm to seek opioids, and they also end with the same ‘fact’ about how dependence can start after five days, and that’s just an incredible simplification.”

Others, such as Daniel Raymond, deputy director of planning and policy at the Harm Reduction Coalition, have referred to the anti-opioid PSAs as “the 21st-century version of the egg-in-the-frying-pan” ads from the eighties, an effort, by the way, which was created by the PDFK.

Raymond:

“We don’t need shock value to fight the overdose crisis. We need empathy, connection and hope for people struggling with opioids. The White House missed an opportunity to combat stigma and stereotypes, portraying people who use opioids as irrational and self-destructive.”

The campaign message appears to reflect what President Trump referred to in March as a “large-scale rollout of commercials” that would function to increase awareness about opioid addiction.

During this time, Trump stated that he supported “spending a lot of money on great commercials showing how bad [opioid addiction] is.” He added that the administration would make the ads “very, very bad commercials” that would scare audiences “from ending up like the people commercials.”

In May, an anonymous source with a connection to the ads was quoted by Axios as saying that Trump “thinks you have to engage and enrage.”

Still, other experts feel the PSAs are stigmatizing, disturbing, off-target, and reinforce negative stereotypes of drug users – not unlike those portrayed in the “Just Say No” campaign in the 1980s.

Each ad’s main character issues the same statement: “I didn’t know they’d be this addictive. I didn’t know how far I’d go to get more.” But the message may be lost on those who find the subjects featured in PSAs pitiful and worthy of disgust – namely, people who are not battling a substance addiction or are close to someone who is.

By inciting fear about how addictive these drugs are, the ads appear to increase the stigma surrounding drug abuse (albeit unintentional) implying that it is irresponsible and shame-worthy. The result of this stigma is to delegate users to the outskirts of society instead of providing useful resources and hope.

Stefanie Jones, director of audience development at the Drug Policy Alliance, stated that the campaign does nothing to reduce the stigma that surrounds drug use:

“It’s disingenuous and misleading to take one extreme account—or four, as it were—and present that as the average experienceWe need to be unbiased. We need to be non-judgmental. And this sort of emotional approach flies in the face of all of that.”

Jones also pointed out that in each ad’s story, painkillers were needed, an issue that the campaign does not seem to address. Moreover, how did these subjects continue to obtain pain medication beyond recommended guidelines for acute pain?

Indeed, these anti-opioid ads convey a message that places blame on the people who are addicted and commit self-harm in order to receive more drugs, but the people supplying the drugs (i.e. pharmaceutical companies, health providers, etc.) apparently get a free pass.

Instead of using scare tactics such as shocking PSAs and threating street dealers with the death penalty, it may behoove the Trump administration to examine the overall structural issues that have contributed to the drug epidemic.

In other words, the drug crisis won’t abate until the government starts holding drug makers and physicians equally accountable for their role in the rising number of opioid dependents and overdoses that have grown exponentially in the last two decades.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post Shocking, Stigmatizing New Anti-Opioid Ads: Just Say No To Drugs 2018? appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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Music Heals Series – Seattle’s KEXP Spotlights Musicians and Stories of Addiction

The “Music Heals” series, by Seattle radio station KEXP, showcases artists from a wide range of music genres who share their stories of addiction and recovery.

Among those interviewed were Peter Buck (lead guitarist, R.E.M.), Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), Julien Baker and Macklemore.

Buck:

“I hate that word ‘sober.’ Sober as a judge.”

Instead, he would prefer to call it “focused”:

“I decided that I was in a place in my life where I needed to focus on the things that were really important. ‘Well, what is important in my life?’ And alcohol and drugs or whatever weren’t on the list. It’s family, friends, music. That’s it.”

Seattle native and rapper Macklemore also participated in the series. Previously, he had collaborated with President Obama to promote awareness of the opioid epidemic and put end the stigma that so many drug abusers face:

“I never had moderation. I couldn’t get enough every time that I drank or used drugs. That started at the age of 14 and I haven’t looked back since.”

Before his first stint in rehab, he was resistant but now considers it “the best decision I’ve ever made”:

“I wanted to think that I could do it on my own. I wanted to think that I could white-knuckle it and just stop. At that point, I had had over a decade of trying the same pattern, the insanity of thinking that I can just do this on my own.”

He gave credit to his higher power, 12-step meetings, and becoming involved in the recovery of others, among other activities. He also said that eating a balanced diet, exercising, and music helped him to stay focused:

“If I don’t work a rigorous program then eventually I will go back. Eventually, self-hatred will seep in. Eventually self-seeking and selfishness seep in. That’s when a drink or a drug sounds like the best idea. It’s happened time and time again with me.”

You can read more contributions from artists at https://www.kexp.org/musicheals/.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post Music Heals Series – Seattle’s KEXP Spotlights Musicians and Stories of Addiction appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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Opioid Epidemic May Be Impacting American Economy, Says Federal Report

The U.S. Federal Reserve released a report last month that speculates the opioid epidemic may be hurting the American economy as well as the financial outlook of many of its citizens. American Economy

The report showed that about 20% of Americans knew someone who at some point had been addicted to prescription drugs or opioids.

The Federal Reserve commenced its yearly national survey in 2013, but the most recent report is the first to address the opioid crisis. The latest data reveals that exposure to opioid dependence is twice as likely to occur to white Americans versus African Americans, despite variances in education levels.

When a survey participant had been exposed to opioid abuse, it reduced the likelihood that that person would respond with a favorable rating regarding the local or national economy.

However, specific questions on the survey suggested some favorable progress. From 2013-2017, for example, adult Americans who reported “living comfortably” rose from less than two-thirds (60%) to three quarters (75%.)

Also, most of those who responded said they were satisfied with their income and benefits over the past years, and less than 20% of adults who were employed perceived the future outlook for employment opportunities despairingly.

Many respondents, however, reporting that they did not have adequate savings to cover an unexpected $400 expense – a troubling fact that could cause additional problems for those seeking treatment for substance abuse.

The yearly survey culled information from November-December of 2017. At that time, the unemployment rate was just over 4%, and since then the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post Opioid Epidemic May Be Impacting American Economy, Says Federal Report appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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Summer Creepin’ In: The Relationship Between Music and Drugs

For decades popular music has both glamorized and warned against the recreational abuse of both drugs and alcohol. During the 1960’s and 1970’s especially, drug references, both overt and subtle, permeating the airwaves. music and drugs

One such particularly macabre example is “That Smell” by the American rock band  Lynyrd Skynyrd. The second verse and chorus go like this:

Angel of darkness is upon you
Stuck a needle in your arm
So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
And one more drink fool will drown you
Ooooh that smell
Can’t you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

The song was written by Ronnie Van Zant (vocalist, lyricist) and Allen Collins (Guitarist, lyricist) of  Lynyrd Skynyrd. That Smell appeared on the band’s 1977 “Street Survivors.” Van Zant penned the song as a warning against the overuse and drugs and alcohol.

According to Van Zant:

“I had a creepy feeling things were going against us, so I thought I’d write a morbid song.”

Many fans believe these lyrics were eerily foreboding, as three days after the album’s release, several members of the band, including Van Zant, were killed in a plane crash.

For every song that warns against the excessive and careless use of substances, however, some songs appear to glorify drug abuse. Unfortunately, many of these songs have come under fire due to false assumptions, such as Eric

Others songs feel somewhat apathetic or address both the adverse and desired effects of drugs. Take the chorus of “Last Dance With Mary Jane” by Tom Petty, for example:

Last dance with Mary Jane
One more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and
I’m tired of this town again

In yet another case of self-fulfilling prophecy, Petty died in October, of mixed drug intoxication. Among those drugs found in his system was the powerful opioid fentanyl – a far more dangerous and deadly drug than “Mary Jane” – a slang term for marijuana.

The Effect of Music and Drugs on Adolescents

So how exactly, does music influence teens, a demographic group that is probably the most susceptible to suggestion? Research has found that teenagers who listen to music about drug abuse are more likely to partake in substances. For instance, adolescents who listen to songs that mention marijuana are at a heightened risk for use.

Some artists have also been vocal about conflicted feelings concerning fame and idol worship, such as Nirvana vocalist Kurt Cobain (who penned the song “Lithium.) He died in 1994 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while high on heroin.

The Drug Culture and Party Drugs

To find drugs used in the club, rave, and festival scene, look no further than for acronyms and cute slang terms to identify an inseparable, interconnecting weave between stimulants, hallucinogens, and young people partying into the early morning hours.

Let’s start with EDM (electronic dance music) and its connection to party drugs such as MDMA (Ecstasy) GHB, Roofies (rohypnol), Special K (ketamine) and LSD, among others.

These drugs can be hazardous and even deadly, although fatalities are relatively rare compared to say, heroin. Moreover, many of these drugs are more likely to result in emotional or habitual addictions as opposed to total chemical dependence.

Party drugs can be dangerous for other reasons, however – GHB, rohypnol, and Special K are all used as “date rape” drugs and can severely impair judgment.

What’s more, “uppers” such as cocaine and amphetamines can be mixed with heroin or other opiates/opioids to form a toxic drug cocktail known as a “speedball” – a combination that killed both comedian/actor John Belushi in 1982 and actor/musician River Phoenix just over a decade later.

More research has shown that drug references in music are associated with an increase in MDMA use. In fact, a recent survey of music festival participants revealed the following:

  • 75% consumed alcohol
  • 38% used forms of marijuana
  • 13% used MDMA or ecstasy
  • 8% used “magic” hallucinogenic mushrooms
  • 8% used LSD
  • 7% used Cocaine
  • 4% used Opioids

There’s no question that the “everything goes” festival environment and the ubiquitous availability of drugs increases the temptation to use, and party-goers often believe that drugs are a necessary party of the experience.

In Conclusion

It’s important to note that not everyone who listens to music that references substances automatically engages in the use of drugs. Also, those who use drugs do not always do so because of drug references they are exposed to in music. But there is a link, just as for many, there is a perceived connection between alcohol use and bonfires – they have a definite association but are not necessarily exclusive to each other.

What young people who enjoy music should know is that musicians tend to be creative, and the creative-type personality also tends to be experimental. But being creative does not, by any means, have to lead to excessive drug use, nor does drug use enhance our ability to be creative. Instead, it is still paired with the same risks and has ultimately ruined the lives of many musicians instead of contributing to their success.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Extra: Renowned Musicians Who Have Died Due to Drugs or Alcohol (Complete List Here)

Dinah Washington, d.1963, Barbituates
Jimi Hendrix, d. 1970, Barbituates
Janis Joplin, d. 1970, Heroin
Jim Morrison, d. 1971, Heroin suspected
Gram Parsons, d. 1973, Morphine and alcohol combo
Nick Drake, d. 1974, Amitriptyline
Tim Buckley, d.1975, Heroin, morphine, and alcohol
John Bonham, d. 1980, alcohol
Kurt Cobain, d. 1994, suicide while heroin-intoxicated
Shannon Hoon, d. 1995, cocaine
Dee Dee Ramone, d. 2002, heroin
Rick James, d. 2004, assorted substances
Kevin DuBrow, d. 2007, cocaine
Ike Turner, d. 2007, cocaine
Michael Jackson, d. 2009, Propofol and benzodiazepine
Amy Winehouse, d. 2011, alcohol
Whitney House, d. 2012, cocaine
Chris Kelly, d. 2013, cocaine and heroin combo (speedball)
Scott Weiland, d. 2015, cocaine
Prince, d. 2016, fentanyl
Lil Peep, d. 2017, fentanyl and Xanax
Tom Petty, d. 2017, fentanyl

Music and drugs, Music and drugs, Music and Drugs, Music and Drugs

The post Summer Creepin’ In: The Relationship Between Music and Drugs appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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Drug Diversion Can Still Thrive Despite Prescription Opioid Crackdowns

Drug diversion, or the illicit sales and use of prescription drugs such as opioids, is a scourge that interrupts both the drug supply chain, a process that begins with manufacturers and distributors and ends at pharmacies, physicians, and finally, consumers.

In the case of opioids, drug diversion is a massive problem due to the ongoing opioid epidemic, a crisis that is taking the lives of thousands of people each year – and also leading some to turn to heroin and other powerful drugs.

For years, officials and healthcare professionals have known that recreational or non-medical use of prescription medications is an increasing public health matter. Experts believe that most diverted prescription drugs used recreationally are obtained from friends and family, and organized crime involvement is negligible in comparison.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), less than 1% of legally prescribed painkillers end up a product of drug diversion. The selling or sharing of a patient’s prescription drugs is minuscule when compared to the effect of such diversion higher in the chain of supply.

Pill Mills and Drug Diversion More Often Occurs at Hospital, Clinic, Distributor, and Pharmacy Levels

For example, drug company Effingham Health Systems recently settled to pay more than $4 million concerning a DEA investigation into reports that tens of thousands of oxycodone pills appeared to have been diverted for at least four years.

Other incidents of high-scale drug diversion are prevalent. The AP (Associated Press) reported instances of diversion at around 1,200 U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs facilities, having risen from 272 in 2009 to nearly 3,000 in 2015.

Five years ago, Walgreens was fined $80 million for insufficient record-keeping, and violations regarding dispensaries that allowed millions of doses of controlled prescription drugs to be diverted to the black market.

Then in 2007, the DEA approximated that prescription drug diversion was earning $25 billion each year in the U.S. In fact, about one-fourth of methadone and oxycodone thefts were committed by employee misappropriation at healthcare entities such as hospitals and pharmacies.

Then in 2017, a Porter Research survey found that 96% of healthcare personnel reported that drug diversion frequently happens in the industry and that nearly two-thirds (65%) believe that much of this pilferage remains undetected.

Pills mills played a massive role in the epidemic, as well. In Florida, so-called pain clinics would give opioids such as oxycodone to seemingly anyone who had a complaint. They also were responsible for millions of doses of narcotics trafficking northward, stashed by those who traveled down to popular pill mill areas such as Miami and back up to states such as West Virginia – a state that is still the hardest hit by the drug epidemic to this day.

Given these facts, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recent statement comes across as a bit simplistic:

“It’s a common-sense idea: the more a drug is diverted, the more its production should be limited” and that the proposed rule “will give DEA more information to help the agency protect law-abiding Americans from the threat of drugs — and that makes all of us safer.”

The rule in question would force drug companies to justify production, a move that would theoretically decrease drug diversion.

Sessions appears to be operating under the assumption that restricting production will automatically curb drug diversion. However, economic theory suggests that effects resulting from this action would be contrary to Sessions’ belief.

Moreover, supply reduction leads to shortages, which drives up cost – creating even more incentive to divert more prescription narcotics to the black market.

Moreover, there is little to no evidence that persons who divert prescription drugs are reacting to DEA productions quotas, and in fact, they might not even be aware of them. Instead, people will divert the amount they need and can do so without being thwarted by law enforcement.

Sessions’ contention also suggests that limiting production of opioids will not impact legitimate prescriptions and professional administration. Currently, injectable opioids are becoming scarce in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Therefore, more nuanced approaches are needed, such as grants for research to employ advanced data analytics to identify larceny and drug diversion in hospitals. Such efforts should also be aimed at distributors, wholesalers, clinics, and pharmacies.

Conclusion

Drug diversion is a massive problem, but it is not new, nor is it restricted to individual patients with prescriptions for narcotics. Instead, safeguarding the supply chain from maker to distributor to patients may be the answer, ensuring that prescription drug recipients have access to them and are not suffering due to drug diversion and government limitation of resources.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.

~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post Drug Diversion Can Still Thrive Despite Prescription Opioid Crackdowns appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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More Youths Overdosing on ADHD Drugs, Study Reveals

Research on the number of U.S. poison control centers concerning pediatric ADHD accidental and intentional misuse, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) shows a significant increase in overdoses resulting from exposure to ADHD drugs among youths aged 19 years and younger.

The study was published in Pediatrics, analyzed data on pediatric exposures to ADHD medication from the National Poison Data System from 200-2014. Investigators combed through data regarding reports of misuse to determine if the exposure rate had increased over the examination period.

The report reveals that poison control centers in the United States garnered over 150,000 exposures to ADHD medicine during that time frame, and roughly 75% of those who used were children under age 12.

Although most exposures originated from medication errors (accidental misuse), substance abuse did reflect a substantial number of exposures, especially among teens. Per the study, half of reported exposures among adolescents from age 13-19 occurred as the result of intentional misuse (recreational.)

The study says that no treatment was given to the majority of exposures, with less than 30% being admitted to the hospital or receiving treatment for substance abuse. Among the total number examined, however, only three deaths occurred.

Although there was a small reduction in pediatric exposures reported to poison control centers from 2011-2014, the study found that the rate of reported exposures rose over the time frame analyzed. The report concluded that that the increasing rate of pediatric exposure to ADHD medication, especially the increase in intentional abuse and substance misuse is of grave concern.

Common Stimulant ADHD drugs include:

  • Adderall (amphetamine)
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Concerta (methylphenidate)
  • Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)
  • Daytrana (methylphenidate patch)
  • Metadate or Methylin (methylphenidate)
  • Dexedrine or Dextrostat (dextroamphetamine)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)

Non-stimulant drugs for ADHD have fewer side effects, last longer, and have less potential for abuse. These include:

  • Strattera (atomoxetine)
  • Intuniv (guanfacine)
Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.

References

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2018/05/17/peds.2017-3872sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000 000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

~ Natalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post More Youths Overdosing on ADHD Drugs, Study Reveals appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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A Brief History of Addiction

Many believe people consider addiction to be a relatively recent problem that developed over a few hundred years. The history of addiction, however, actually began thousands of years ago. Historians believe that near the beginning of humanity, people have been using substances for medicinal, recreational, and religious purposed.

For example, philosophers and other experts recognized the dangers of alcoholism long ago. The Greek philosopher Aristotle documented Alexander’s withdrawal symptoms and warned women of potential injury to a fetus if they drank while pregnant.

Some who have studied the origins of modern addiction treatment credit Calvinist scholars. They introduced reasons for heavy drinking, which were not adopted by physicians until several centuries later.

In the 18th century (the 1700s) experts identified the addictive qualities of opium when people in China developed a dependence on the drug. During this time, alcohol addiction was becoming a scourge among working-class Europeans. Indeed, an American physician named Benjamin Rush also recognized that compulsive alcohol use often resulted in a loss of self-control and blamed alcohol for the disease but not necessarily the persons suffering.

Not until the 19th century did experts develop medical journals specific to the disease. In the U.S. in 1876 the Journal of Inebriety was released. Several years later, the British Journal of Addiction was also created.

By the 1890s, Emil Kraepelin, a physician, had a profound influence on modern psychiatry and battled against alcohol. Meanwhile, the famous neurologist Sigmund Freud began laying the foundation for addiction treatment using psychology.

Use of Addictive Drugs

Much of human history comprises the use of addictive drugs for medicinal purposes. Early records reveal that opium was commonly used to treat grief and pain, and doctors still employ the use of synthetic opiates and opioids for the treatment of pain due to injury, surgery, palliative care, cancer, and even chronic pain such as fibromyalgia.

Priests and shamans have used plants to invoke euphoric and enlightening trances. For 4000, religious people in Asia have consumed mushrooms in rituals, and spiritual groups in Central America have used mushrooms and other hallucinogens such as Ayahuasca for similar reasons. Native Americans used cactus to enter a state of spiritual reflection.

Recreational consumption of addictive drugs has been ongoing for thousands of years and includes commonly used psychoactive substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. The oldest grape vines have been dated between 7000 and 5000 B.C., indicating that wine (particularly Mead or honey wine) is one of the oldest recreational substances. Also, cannabis is now being sold legally in many areas and is both smokable and edible.

Modern addiction medicine has grown far beyond past knowledge, but much of what we understand about addiction was forged long ago, sometimes lost to history until the right person recognized that addiction was a disease and could possibly be treated.

Today, we face a drug and alcohol epidemic of unprecedented proportions, that includes prescriptions drugs, cocaine, heroin, meth, and many more dangerous drugs. According to the CDC, in 2016, more than 64,000 Americans alone died from an overdose related to drugs and/or alcohol.

~ Natalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post A Brief History of Addiction appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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Massive Drug Seizure in Fort Lauderdale – $400 Million

At Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the U.S. Coast Goard confiscated a drug seizure including approximately 13 tons of drugs on April 24. According to the press release from the Coast Guard, the drugs included around 12 tons of cocaine and nearly one ton of marijuana.

The street value of the drugs was estimated at nearly $400 million dollars. The drugs were confiscated off the coasts of Central America and South America.

The drugs seized were offloaded from ships in the international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and were the combined total of interdictions by six different Coast Guard cutters and two vessels from the Canadian Navy.

The Cutter Legare was responsible for most of the seizures, which included a total of eight marijuana kilos and more than 2,000 kilos of cocaine over a period of five investigations of ships that were suspected to be involved in drug smuggling. The Legare is based in Portsmouth, Virginia, and was used to offload the narcotics in Port Everglades on April 24.

Authorities stressed the cooperation of law enforcement agencies involved, as well as the cooperation of the Justice Department, The Defense Department, and Homeland Security.

These at-seas interdictions are often a multi-step process, and law enforcement and military personnel are responsible for identifying and tracking vessels, while drug seizures are conducted by the Coast Guard.

Cmdr. Jonathon Carter, per the New York Post:

“What these numbers represent is an increased commitment by the US and international partners to combat transnational criminal networks and promote stability in the Central American region, along the US southern border, and in the southern maritime approaches to the US. Today’s offload sends them a message that our network of partners and allies remains resolute in our commitment to stem the flow of illicit trafficking that breeds instability.”

US Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Brandon Murray also told The Post that the confiscated drugs are typically sent to federal labs for testing, with some kept as evidence for subsequent trials.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

The post Massive Drug Seizure in Fort Lauderdale – $400 Million appeared first on Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery Information | Resources.

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