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  • Doctor Shopping…at the Local Vet's Office?

    The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic ; each day, 91 people die of an opioid-related overdose . It has gotten so bad that some people are willing to do whatever it takes to get high - even taking medication that's prescribed to ...

    ... . It not only helps aid animals with arthritis and other ailments, it's also the same drug prescribed to human patients to help alleviate their pain. Substance abusers seek these drugs - and others - when they show up to ... continue reading
  • Don't Overestimate Your Heroin Tolerance - It Might Be the Last Thing You Do

    You may have heard about fentanyl, a synthetic opioid similar to morphine. What you may not have heard about, however, is the ultra-potent concentrated version of it: carfentanil . What We Know About Carfentanil Developed in the mid-1970s as a ...

    ... 000 times more potent than morphine. A lethal dose in humans is only 20 micrograms, which is the size of a ... in - we're told - by the U.S. mail system, usually from China,” Ohio Senator Rob Portman said . “Some laboratory ... continue reading
  • Will These New Tools Help to Fight Opioid Addiction?

    With 78 Americans dying every day from opioid overdose, there's no question that our country is in the midst of an epidemic. But the good news is that there's hope on the horizon. Help is on the Way In May of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug ...

    ... - are detected. As a result, the immune system releases antibodies to seek out the opioids, which then ... it took much longer for the drug to impart its toxicity. If this effect holds true in humans, the researchers ... continue reading
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  • Could This Inexpensive Medication Reduce Your Withdrawal Symptoms?

    Withdrawal. It's a huge hurdle on the path to recovery. Those struggling to leave opioids behind know they'll eventually have to face the intimidating mental and physical effects of withdrawal. It's a powerful and frightening thought. Some of the ...

    ... the symptoms of withdrawal. Dr. Trang says their next steps will be to determine the drug effectiveness in humans and to ensure its' safety. Their goal is to develop an effective method to treat the millions struggling ... continue reading
  • Let’s Talk Truth: Exactly How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

    If you throw back a beer on Friday night, it's out of your system by Monday morning. But, what about other drugs? Most drugs linger a bit longer than alcohol. In fact, some of them stick around for a long time. This slower processing can surprise ...

    ... planned his partying around it. Kevin now assumes he's in the clear, as long as he doesn't use cocaine at work. Cocaine stays in your system for 48 hours. After a late night of Wednesday debauchery, a Friday morning drug ... continue reading
  • 5 Tips Guaranteed to Help You Handle Your Triggers

    I can hear the sirens blasting through my neighborhood, and it reminds me of when they were taking me away to the hospital after I passed out drunk on a city street. I put my head under the covers and pull my cat closer. The sound of sirens is one ...

    ... even when I needed it, I can go to the hospital and stay calm. Here are some tips I picked up to handle my triggers: ... to use when you go to certain places. You're human. Tip #5: Listen to your instincts. Sometimes our ... continue reading
  • Can You Stay Calm…and Trash the Benzos?

    After suffering an embarrassing panic attack at the mall, Kara visited a psychiatrist. He prescribed medication to help Kara with her symptoms - within a couple of months, this “solution” turned into an addiction. Now Kara has anxiety issues as ...

    ... in the brain. Sleep Off Anxiety Your sleep schedule has a huge impact on your health and mood. A tired nervous system is more likely to suffer from a panic attack or other anxiety symptoms. Get the rest you need. Keep a ... continue reading
  • 25 Harmful Effects of Morphine

    Morphine is an effective pain reliever. It's administered frequently by healthcare professionals. It's prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain after an accident, post-surgery, or for a chronic condition. It's accepted for common use throughout ...

    ... system. As it suppresses pain, it also makes you tired. Inattentiveness - With morphine in our system, it is harder to stay ... pregnant. Impotence - Studies have linked long-term use of morphine to erectile dysfunction and ... continue reading
  • Vivitrol's New and Controversial Role in Prisons

    When I was in prison, the majority of inmates struggled with substance abuse. And because the prison system did very little (if anything at all) to rehabilitate us, it wasn't unusual for those who were released to almost immediately overdose or ...

    ... with a new drug offense. Thankfully, the prison system has finally opened its eyes to the staggering recidivism ... inmates can stay off drugs once they enter “the free world.” Vivitrol and the Prison System Vivitrol blocks ... continue reading
  • Methadone and Suboxone: What’s the Difference Anyway?

    An estimated 1.9 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioid drugs. Although there is no magical drug to treat opiate addiction, as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) approach, there are a handful of treatment ...

    ... ? Methadone changes the way the brain and the nervous system respond to pain in the body. It is used ... that same year. Q: Can you overdose on methadone? A: Yes How Long Do I Need Them? If you “dose” at an OTP, you will ... continue reading
  • Is This New Drug the Holy Grail of All Pain Relievers?

    Millions of Americans suffer daily from chronic pain. Factor in all the people managing temporary pain after accidents or surgeries and you have a massive number of people on prescription painkillers. Abuse of morphine, an extremely powerful and ...

    ... ability to slow the respiratory system. Unfortunately, this can turn fatal if the system is slowed too much. This ... suffering from chronic pain. Researchers hope to begin human trials in the next two years. If proven ... continue reading
  • 3 Devastatingly Dangerous Alcohol-Drug Combos

    According to statistics compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 25 percent of substance-related emergency room admissions involve a combination of both drugs and alcohol. Poly-Drug Abuse Although ...

    ... Both alcohol and benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system. When combined, the central nervous is affected twice ... Regardless of a person's tolerance, the human body cannot handle the powerful effects of ... continue reading
  • 5 Reasons Driving on Benzos is Just a Bad Idea

    Quick reflexes and sharp thinking - these are two of the most important qualities of a safe driver. If someone is sharing the road with you or if you're a passenger in their car, you want them to possess these traits, right? Well, if they're taking ...

    ... Relax Your Muscles Acting on the central nervous system , benzos cause muscle relaxation. In fact, this ... Benzodiazepines Can Impair Your Thinking Without a clear head, stay home or call an Uber. Whether you're flying ... continue reading
  • Is the Trump Administration Revamping the War on Drugs?

    In 1971, President Nixon declared the “War on Drugs,” labeling drug abuse as “public enemy number one.” The creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) followed soon after; they were charged with enforcing federal regulations and ...

    ... substance abuse have exhausted their entire support system. Programs like Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery ... the chance to rebuild their lives. We'll have to stay tuned to see how Jeff Sessions and the rest of the ... continue reading
  • The Dos and Don'ts of Ritalin Recovery

    His paper was due tomorrow and Darren had barely started (if you count typing his name and the title of the paper as “started”). What Darren had really started to do was panic. He knew he'd have to stay up all night to finish, but he was already ...

    ... really started to do was panic. He knew he'd have to stay up all night to finish, but he was already feeling sleepy at ... enabling, Patrick let Darren know he would no longer engage in any activity that promoted his use of ... continue reading
  • Chicken vs. Egg: Which Came First, Heroin or OxyContin Addiction?

    For centuries, people have debated one age old question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? While both sides of this argument have their valid points, the question itself has evolved, making its way into other areas of society, including the ...

    ... drugs and how their abuse can impact the human body. OxyContin and heroin are both members of ... life back. No one is a lost cause; no matter how long you've been living in active addiction, you can regain your sobriety ... continue reading
  • Workplace Adderall Abuse: 9 Signs It’s Time to Get Help

    Colleges and universities across the country are struggling to tackle the huge rise in students using ADHD drugs like Adderall as study aid , but the problem doesn't magically disappear after graduation. Businesses across the country are finding ...

    ... of work and attention on your part. While it's simply part of the job sometimes, routinely using Adderall to stay awake for days on end is not. Weight Loss : One of the major side effects of stimulant medications is that ... continue reading
  • Let's Talk About the Elephant Tranquilizer in the Room

    It's 10,000 times more potent than morphine. It's 100 times more powerful than fentanyl . What is it? Carfentanil. Designed as a tranquilizer for elephants, this deadly substance has made its way into our nation's illegal drug market. It's often ...

    ... data. We don't know what the lethal level really is. There is no therapeutic level - it's not meant for human use.” What we do know is that drug dealers are adding this potent substance to heroin . The hope is to bulk ... continue reading
  • Pay Attention: 7 Red Flags of a Xanax Overdose

    Shannon was feeling even more anxious than usual, so she picked up her Xanax bottle and popped an extra pill. The doctor said to take it only as prescribed, but she figured an extra one wouldn't hurt. Feeling calmer, she decided to drive over to her ...

    ... dosage than prescribed, causes a slowed heartbeat and severe breathing problems. An overdose can stop your breathing entirely. Stay Alert, Save a Life The threat of overdose is more common than you think. Xanax and other ... continue reading
  • How Does Ibogaine Treat Opiate Addiction?

    Holly started using heroin when she was 18 - at 26, she was at the end of the line. Her whole life revolved around getting high. In the past, she had tried 12-step programs, counseling, in-patient rehab, and even drug-assisted therapy…it seemed ...

    ... . Would she always be addicted to heroin? Was there anything she hadn't tried? During her most recent rehab stay, one of the other patients mentioned Ibogaine. Holly hadn't heard of it before, and was intrigued by the ... continue reading
  • Ambien: Sweet Dreams or Total Nightmare?

    Kate bolted out of bed at the sound of her doorbell. It was 3am; she couldn't imagine who would be at the door. She rushed to the foyer to find her best friend, Nicole, standing on her porch, dressed in her PJs. In a crazed, trance-like state, ...

    ... is a sedative prescribed to treat insomnia. It affects chemicals in the brain to help you fall - and supposedly stay - asleep. While Ambien can be very effective in helping you drift into slumber land, it also poses the ... continue reading
  • Anxious About Anxiety: Why We Reach for Xanax

    We're an anxious nation. According to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States. (The fact that we have an association devoted to anxiety says something about us, ...

    ... emotion. It helps keep us safe and provides the adrenaline rush we need to either flee dangerous situations or stay and fight. Here's where the issue gets sticky: We forget anxiety (fear) is a normal feeling. We convince ... continue reading
  • Countering the Myths About Methadone: Is it Right for You?

    Methadone maintenance has been around for years as an effective treatment for opioid dependency . Yet, its use remains controversial, and there's seemingly no end to the myths and false information aimed at discouraging anyone from using it as a ...

    ... non-medical treatments, on the other hand, carry a long-term success rate of only 5-10 percent. With that in ... early or incarcerated environments. Methadone has helped many people stay on track in recovery - but it's not a ... continue reading
  • CDC Wants Medicaid to Restrict Access to Methadone for Pain

    Methadone is in the hot seat again. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged Medicaid to restrict access to the drug, citing that methadone - when prescribed for pain, not for opiate addiction - accounted for ...

    ... chronic pain or addiction. Only time will tell how - or if - this move by the CDC will actually yield results. Stay tuned… Additional Reading: Will These New Tools Help to Fight Opioid Addiction? Image Source: iStock continue reading
  • Switching Depression Medications and Doing it Safely

    Hillary felt sleepy all the time. She was also experiencing daily headaches. She noticed these symptoms began when she started taking a prescribed antidepressant . Hillary decided it wasn't worth the side effects. She was tired of feeling tired and ...

    ... . Once they switch, half of those individuals switch again to a third strategy . It's important to stay in close communication with your doctor throughout this process. In some circumstances, it might be important to ... continue reading
  • Desperate or Dealer: Officers Tasked With the Vetting Process

    Katrina was arrested in 2006 in South Florida for selling a small amount of heroin . Recently kicked out of a rehab for fraternizing with men, she was living between the couches of different “friends,” most of whom were on drugs or associated ...

    ... before she quit using. “They aren't doctors or therapists. It's great if they can offer people a chance to stay out of jail, but I'd want to be sure that mental health professionals made the final decision in who gets ... continue reading
  • Here’s a Simple Way to Decrease Opiate Cravings

    We all know that getting enough sleep is important to your mood and overall health, but it also plays a crucial role in addiction recovery, too. According to a recent Penn State study , squeezing in enough shut-eye can actually lower drug cravings ...

    ... Lydon-Staley, both in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, along with researchers ... less likely to care as much about staying clean or about your long-term future. Getting enough sleep is important; ... continue reading
  • Trading Dependencies: There’s Nothing “Mild” About a Kratom Addiction

    Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom, is a large tree in the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asia. It is said that Kratom affects the human brain similarly to an opiate , although there is no conclusive clinical data proving how the ...

    ... Southeast Asia. It is said that Kratom affects the human brain similarly to an opiate , although there is no ... to coffee, this tropical plant native to Southeast Asia has long been used in that region as a stimulant. Thai ... continue reading
  • Methadone Maintenance is Finding Success Behind Bars

    According to data from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, approximately 2.3 million Americans are currently in prison or jail, and 65 percent of this population meets the medical criteria for ...

    ... methadone maintenance. “For most of these people, the very reason they are caught up in the criminal justice system is related to their addiction to begin with,” said Rich. Although this study was relatively small, its ... continue reading
  • The 7 Most Addictive Prescription Medications

    Prescription drugs are commonly given to people suffering from with injuries or illnesses. They're legal when you've been prescribed the medication by a legitimate medical provider. However, these drugs still can be addictive when taken as ...

    ... psychotic episodes when abused. 7. Amphetamines Amphetamines are often used by those who would like to stay awake longer, so you might see someone with narcolepsy taking them. These drugs cause euphoric effects similar ... continue reading
  • Turns Out Tamper-Resistant Painkillers Aren’t Helping

    Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic. Nearly 5 million Americans, or 1.9 percent of the population, use pain relievers - or opioids - for non-medical purposes, according to a 2012 survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ...

    ... opioids - for non-medical purposes, according to a 2012 survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of this segment, many have zeroed in on extended-release opioids over instant-release drugs since they ... continue reading
  • What We Learned From SAMHSA's 2015 Prescription Drug Study

    The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides national and state-level data on the prevalence, patterns and consequences of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use in the U.S. It's sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health ...

    ... Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and provides an annual survey involving interviews with approximately 70,000 randomly selected individuals ... continue reading
  • Making Sense Out of the Confusing World of Ritalin

    Sharon is at another meeting with her son's teacher. Aiden's teacher says he's unfocused and disruptive in class. Sharon knows her son behaves the same way at home. Last night's battle over homework fresh in her mind - and she doesn't know what to ...

    ... stimulant medications. Cut to the Chase: What is Ritalin? Ritalin, or methylphenidate , is a nervous-system stimulant. Yes, a drug commonly prescribed for hyperactivity disorder is actually a stimulant. While this seems ... continue reading
  • Newsflash: Tramadol Really is an Opiate

    For years, tramadol was thought of as a safe alternative to opiates . It was viewed as less habit-forming and easier to tolerate than its “stronger” counterparts like oxycodone. Doctors handed out free samples of Ultram (tramadol's brand name), ...

    ... while analgesic simply means “painkiller.” In short, tramadol binds with opioid receptors in the central nervous system and blocks pain signals. So, what did change? Awareness. Members of the healthcare industry began to ... continue reading
  • Yes, Suboxone is Sober & The Truth About Suboxone

    In 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription pain medication. During that same time, as many as one in four people who received opioids for treatment of long-term pain in primary care settings struggled with an opioid ...

    ... four people who received opioids for treatment of long-term pain in primary care settings struggled with an opioid ... other hand, offers a less traumatic way to get and stay sober. As such, success rates for Suboxone, as ... continue reading
  • Good News: Dr. Reddy's Will Produce a Cheaper Generic Form of Suboxone

    Suboxone - a medication used to treat opioid use disorder - is sadly inaccessible to a lot of people due to one simple factor: cost. But that's about to change. Last month, a supplier of generic drugs - Dr. Reddy's Laboratories - was allowed by a ...

    ... of whom need help but go untreated, we remain relentless in our pursuit to transform addiction from a global human crisis to a recognized and treated disease.” I can't help but wonder if this company was so concerned ... continue reading
  • A Straight Story on the Real Dangers of Xanax

    “Yeah, I was feeling uptight before he was about to pick me up for our date, so I popped a Xanax,” said my friend. I cringed. It seemed like everyone I knew was using benzos to calm down, chill out, get through a first date, or ace a ...

    ... never get away with that on alcohol - or at least not for long. Xanax doesn't smell. You can take it in the bathroom at ... but it's worth it. Additional Reading: Can You Stay Calm…and Trash the Benzos? Image Source: iStock continue reading
  • Methadone Maintenance Clinics: Everything You Need to Know

    If you're addicted to opiates, a methadone clinic can provide ongoing medication maintenance to help you quit them. Committing to a methadone maintenance program for at least 1 year will likely change your life for the better and help you commit to ...

    ... change your life for the better and help you commit to staying clean. You may not be aware of any methadone clinics ... treatment on the day of your initial assessment, as long as you're eligible. Your initial dosage will not ... continue reading
  • A Look at the Physical Anatomy of an Overdose

    A drug overdose occurs when the body has been overloaded with either prescription medication or an illicit substance. Under normal circumstances, our body's metabolism would be able to detoxify the substance in order to avoid its potentially harmful ...

    ... mix can cause an overdose in a first-time or long-time user. Overdose is most common among meth users who ... insomnia and anxiety. Focusing on the central nervous system, sedatives like Xanax and Valium , slow down ... continue reading
  • Suboxone Debate: What Is the Big Problem with Buprenorphine?

    When it comes to this nation's chemical dependence, few drugs have achieved the notoriety and reputation of opioid drugs. In fact, things have spiraled so far out of control that opiate addiction is now considered an epidemic. Despite leaving a ...

    ... also marketed as a safe treatment for long-term maintenance. According to Reckitt Benckiser, doctors ... safety—and the safety of your loved ones—is to stay informed and up-to-date on emerging and established recovery ... continue reading
  • New Experimental Opioid Makes Some Awfully Big Promises

    For many, getting hooked on opioids starts innocently enough. Typically, it's a way to find relief from chronic pain. But the feeling of euphoria - or “high” - that accompanies each dose is ultimately what keeps users coming back for more, ...

    ... as NKTR-181 - is as effective as existing long-acting opioids, according to Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Stephen ... testing, with successful results. In one “human abuse liability” study, Doberstein reported that subjects ... continue reading
  • New Study: Amphetamine Abuse and This Old Heart

    It's called speed for a reason. Amphetamines, like Ritalin or Adderall, accelerate your heart rate. They send your nervous system into overdrive. Guess what else it speeds up? The aging process. That's right. Pumping your system full of amphetamine ...

    ... to. Since amphetamine affects the entire cardiovascular system, arteries also lose optimal performance. They become ... heart and arteries become less effective, blood no longer travels through the body as it should. In many ... continue reading
  • Pop Quiz: Let’s Test Your Benzo Knowledge

    In 2013, 13.5 million adults filled a benzodiazepine prescription in the US. These drugs are used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and seizures. They are also highly addictive and frequently abused. How much do you know about this class of ...

    ... have a shorter acute phase, closer to seven days. Long-acting benzos, such as Valium, can cause withdrawal symptoms for ... your brain and the rest of your central nervous system. By enhancing the GABA, benzos create a ... continue reading
  • Big Pharma: Are They Advertising Addiction?

    Pharmacological companies do not have a good rap. They've been known to bury bad news, which has had an effect on people's health, and therefore their lives. Whether it's not testing drugs properly, as with the case of thalidomide (caused defects in ...

    ... to get better, so a product that causes adverse effects is often quickly noted. The FDA also runs a drug reporting system to ensure that drugs do what they say they're supposed to do with the side effects reported by the ... continue reading
  • Outlook on Opiate Abuse: There’s Good News and Bad News

    It's no secret that the abuse of prescription opioid painkillers, like OxyContin and Percocet , has reached epidemic levels in the United States. But a recently published study highlights a strange trend: Non-medical use of opiates has decreased, ...

    ... School of Public Health in Baltimore, who co-authored this report, but “the ability of the health system to detect and provide timely access to treatment does not seem to be improving much.” Additional Reading: Taking ... continue reading
  • Taking Action: How to Intervene During an Overdose

    Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accident death in the United States. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 43,982 drug overdose deaths occurred in 2013 across the nation. That's two times the amount of overdose deaths a ...

    ... two quick breaths into their mouth. Then give one long breath every five seconds. Step #3 Administer Naloxone Naloxone ... depressing effects of opiates on the central nervous system. Naloxone kits are available in two forms ... continue reading
  • DEA Finally Acknowledges the Heroin Epidemic

    According to recent statistics gathered during a detailed research investigation - a project aptly dubbed The National Heroin Threat Assessment - the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) reports that the availability and abuse of heroin is ...

    ... heroin their greatest concern to public safety. If that's not frightening enough, according to the National Seizure System, heroin seizures across the U.S. increased 81 percent from 2010 to 2014. In simple terms; heroin ... continue reading
  • CDC Issues Urgent Call for More Needle Exchange Programs

    The controversy over needle exchange programs is nothing new. It's been debated for decades. What's new is the CDC's latest report that shows a change in trends. According to the recent report , new HIV infection numbers are growing and we don't ...

    ... out that programs aren't located in the areas that need them the most. Using National HIV Surveillance System data, the CDC analyzed trends in HIV diagnoses. “There's a striking mismatch,” said John Brooks, a senior ... continue reading
  • Here’s What You Need to Know About the Probuphine Implant

    Probuphine is the very first breakthrough buprenorphine implant. What is buprenorphine, you ask? It's a common prescription for opioid addiction treatment and it prevents withdrawal symptoms. The Probuphine implant looks like four matchstick-size ...

    ... takes about 15 minutes and is completed in an outpatient setting. The device then releases buprenorphine into your system for six months. After six months, it is removed through a similar procedure. Once the old one is ... continue reading
  • Fake Xanax is Here…And It’s Deadly

    We're feeling the anxiety these days and an increasing number of people are turning to drugs like Xanax - a mild sedative used to treat anxiety - as a way to better function in their daily lives. But with more users, the likelihood of abuse also ...

    ... suffered from heart attacks and one from heart failure, while others experienced a major hit to respiratory and nervous system function. One of the victims even died. These cases should serve as a warning to anyone who's ... continue reading
  • Are We Creating a Generation of Addicts With ADHD Medication?

    Jack During his freshman year, Jack's grades started slipping. He found it hard to keep up. He knew several classmates who used uppers for extra boosts when they needed them. In hopes of finding an endless supply of energy (and improving his ...

    ... often based on non-pathological, normal human imperfections. Being forgetful or distracted happens ... in the dark regarding long-term effects, the FDA data does currently list two long-term concerns: fatal heart attacks ... continue reading
  • Let’s Play: How Much Do You Really Know About Drug Schedules?

    Have you ever heard someone mention a Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Substance? Most of us have seen these labels, but what exactly do they mean? Let's break down this drug scheduling system to get a better understanding of controlled ...

    ... us have seen these labels, but what exactly do they mean? Let's break down this drug scheduling system to get a better understanding of controlled substances and their classifications. Controlled Substances If a drug is ... continue reading
  • Heroin Facts – Because Knowing is Half the Battle

    “Smack” - “Junk” - “H” Heroin is a drug that goes by many names. But no matter what you call it, it's still the same potent, potentially deadly drug. While its name really isn't that important, knowing some basic facts about heroin can ...

    ... a short-term euphoric effect, binding to opioid receptors in the brain and depressing the central nervous system. After the initial euphoria, heroin produces a drowsy state. Since heroin's an opioid, it produces effects ... continue reading
  • Do Safe Injection Sites Violate the Hippocratic Oath? One Nurse Says Yes

    Michael Hesch is a conscious sedation nurse. His job is to intravenously infuse fentanyl and other medicines during surgical procedures. If and when safe injection sites open in the United States, professionals like Hesch may be asked to work with ...

    ... constant monitoring. I'm watching all their vital signs.” Hesch pointed out that fentanyl works by repressing the respiratory system. It's a potent opioid and can be lethal. The same is true for heroin (which is often ... continue reading
  • Is Your Friend High? Here’s How to Tell…

    Your friend seems a little “off.” Is he simply having a bad day? Did he not sleep well? Is he sick? Or is he high? To the untrained observer, it can be hard to tell. But it's important to discern. Depending on the circumstances, it could affect ...

    ... , it may be because they're overstimulated by drugs. (B)reathing Issues: Opioids suppress the central nervous system, slowing down the body. Too much of these substances can slow breathing - so much that it becomes ... continue reading
  • Three Lethal Drug Combinations That Can Kill You

    We all know that certain drugs can cause dangerous interactions when taken together, but some people either don't take the threat seriously or they're simply uninformed when it comes to specific chemicals and substances. Most Dangerous Drug ...

    ... and hoping to control the spread. Alcohol and Benzodiazepines Alcohol and benzodiazepines both have central nervous system depressant effects. Alcohol can compound some of the effects of benzos , and vice versa. That ... continue reading
  • Is There Ever a Good Time to Use Benzos?

    Carol had a severe panic disorder. It started when she was assaulted at age 34. She'd tried many medications, but only Xanax helped. She worked closely with her doctor and never abused them, but over time she felt the negative cognitive effects of ...

    ... certainly better than reaching for a drink. Carol eventually worked with her doctor to make a plan. She stayed strictly off of alcohol, used meditation and exercise to calm her anxiety, and decreased her Xanax dosage on ... continue reading
  • Xanax Overdose, Risks and How Much it Costs

    What is Xanax? Xanax (generic name alprazolam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine drug and central nervous system depressant—a grouping that includes several other sedative, hypnotic, and anxiolytic drugs. 1,2 When taken as prescribed, Xanax can be ...

    ... inhibitory brain signaling to depress the central nervous system, which may be unusually activated, or excitatory, ... in several forms such as short-term or long-term inpatient or outpatient rehab, depending on the level ... continue reading
  • Opiate Alternatives: Doctor’s Got a Brand New Bag

    We have seen a staggering increase in both opiate painkiller and heroin abuse over the last decade. As people become dependent on opiates - physically and psychologically - a vicious cycle of misuse and abuse develops. We've got millions struggling ...

    ... side effects can include immune system suppression, gastrointestinal issues and ... essential to improving physical healing and relieving pain long-term. Massage, Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care Some report these ... continue reading
  • Are Benzos Overprescribed?

    We are an anxious nation. A whopping 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders; that's 18 percent of the adult population! With such astronomical numbers, it shouldn't be surprising to learn anxiety disorders are the most commonly ...

    ... are depressants. They slow the central nervous system by altering brain receptors, ultimately producing a ... who have reached this level of dependence face a long road of recovery. Going cold-turkey is often nearly ... continue reading
  • More Working Class Americans Hooked on Cognitive-Boosting Drugs

    I had just started studying for the Bar Exam when I realized the extent of legal information I'd have to retain wasn't humanly possible. Terrified of failing, I sought outside help in the form of a small white pill: Adderall . Within minutes of ...

    ... , the drug works by affecting the dopamine system and by improving the efficiency of neurotransmitters, the ... Questions About Safety But is modafinil safe in the long-term? Doctors are unsure how chronic use of this ... continue reading
  • Opiates, Overdose and Permanent Brain Damage

    Permanent brain damage due to an opiate overdose is a very real, life-altering consequence of opiate abuse . The dramatic increase of opiate-related deaths is now demanding public attention, but the consequence of permanent brain damage remains ...

    ... and a very depressed central nervous system, which is responsible for your respiratory ... mouth with yours. Breathe out two short breaths, then one long breath every five seconds. Not only can rescue breathing save someone ... continue reading
  • Mars vs. Venus: How Does Gender Affect Prescription Drugs?

    When the book Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus hit book shelves back in 1992, it was a huge hit. By highlighting the differences in men and women, the book's theory is still solidly ingrained in our culture. Though gender equality has come a ...

    ... our culture. Though gender equality has come a long way in our society, there are some undeniable ... at night still had high enough levels of it in their system the next morning that it impaired their ability to drive a ... continue reading
  • Let's Talk Dirty: Opiates, Addiction and Constipation

    Although opioids are effective pain relievers, they can do a number on your health and overall body systems. One of the most negatively affected body systems is your gastric system. What's more, long-term use or addiction to opiates can paralyze ...

    ... , they can do a number on your health and overall body systems. One of the most negatively affected body systems is your gastric system. What's more, long-term use or addiction to opiates can paralyze your gut and force ... continue reading
  • New Programs Aimed at Appalachian Opioid Crisis

    A crushing avalanche is crippling Appalachian communities, but it's not the mountainous disaster you might think. This avalanche is a deadly onslaught of opioids . In 2014, the seven Appalachian states accounted for more than a fifth of nationwide ...

    ... research includes efforts to improve conditions for opioid users after prison, as well as evaluations of the healthcare systems in Appalachia. The goal is to gain a better understanding of what changes need to be made ... continue reading
  • What is Ativan? Is Ativan Addictive? Dangers of Ativan Abuse

    Ativan is one of the top 10 psychiatric drugs used in America. Many have taken it; many have abused it. What do you know about it? If you're like most people, your knowledge of Ativan is limited. Even those who use it are often unaware of its ...

    ... . Its interaction with the central nervous system is designed to provide calming and balancing ... prescribed Taking it more frequently than prescribed Taking it longer than prescribed Taking someone else's Ativan All of ... continue reading
  • Can a Judge Order Me Not to Get Pregnant?

    A judge in New York recently ordered a woman who's addicted to drugs not to get pregnant. While no one would argue that someone with an extreme drug problem should get pregnant, there are complex issues involved in ordering someone not to conceive ...

    ... better off helping women take care of basic needs, both physical and mental, than regulating their reproductive systems. However, others argue that mandating a woman not get pregnant is like mandating drug treatment. The ... continue reading
  • Pregnant & Court-Ordered to Take Vivitrol: Is My Baby Safe?

    It's a question many women might be asking themselves, as more and more females of childbearing age are ordered by drug courts to take Vivitrol - the injectable form of naltrexone. An opioid-antagonist, Vivitrol blocks the brain receptors that bind ...

    ... discover I was pregnant and didn't know if the Vivitrol that's already in my system had harmed my baby.” It has long been a principle of medical ethics that experimenting on vulnerable populations, such as prisoners and ... continue reading
  • 7 Signs You May Be Addicted to Tramadol

    Tramadol is an opiate analgesic prescribed for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain. The drug works by changing the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain. Because Tramadol is a milder form of opiate medication, people ...

    ... by changing the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain. Because Tramadol is a milder ... psychological dependence. If you've been abusing the drug for long periods of time, you may start to have compulsive cravings ... continue reading
  • 5 Scary Facts You Didn’t Know About Prescription Opioid Painkillers

    An opioid epidemic has swept the nation. Every day in America, approximately 50 people die from overdosing on prescription painkillers. Over the course of a year, that number grows to 18,250—which is enough to fill every seat at Madison Square ...

    ... given higher doses, and use the drugs longer-term. These statistics are haunting when you consider ... and is suffering an opioid withdrawal. NAS costs the health care system an annual $1.5 billion dollars, 81% of which is ... continue reading
  • Everything You Need to Know About Methadone Maintenance Treatment

    Sometimes it's better to substitute one drug for another. This is called harm reduction and it can make a serious difference in your health and well-being. Methadone is a drug that is frequently used in replacement therapy for heroin or other ...

    ... gain. There are few risks associated with using methadone maintenance on a long-term basis. It has not been shown to damage any major organs or systems of the body. The greatest risk associated with methadone is overdose ... continue reading
  • Chronic Disease Treatment Success Rates

    Testicular Cancer Testicular cancer was perhaps one of the most feared cancers of the 70s and 80s. However, advances in treatment meant that the prognosis of this disease changed from a 5 percent five-year survival rate to an 85 percent five-year ...

    ... used for more severe pain. However, for more serious long-term pain, we start to head into the world of narcotics ... entirely accurate. AIDS is the part where your immune system is fried, and HIV is the disease that causes ... continue reading
  • 6 Things About Benzo Withdrawal You Might Not Know

    What are Benzos? Benzodiazepines (benzos) are an anxiolytic class of drugs that belong to a larger group of substances that can be categorized as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. 1 Benzodiazepines work by increasing inhibitory ...

    ... can be categorized as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. 1 Benzodiazepines ... last dose and persist for 2-4 week, if not longer. 5 For a longer-acting benzodiazepine, withdrawal might start 2-7 days after the last ... continue reading
  • A Living Nightmare: 5 Things Doctors Don’t Tell You About Benzos

    Written by Dean Dauphinais It's no secret that prescription drugs can work miracles when obtained legally and taken as directed. But do you know that some prescription meds can also make your life a living hell. Such is the case with ...

    ... that work on the body's central nervous system to increase the calming effects of a naturally occurring ... stopped. But I was right back where I started. 3. Long-term use can be harmful. Years later, when I started reading ... continue reading
  • Recovery Roundtable: Should Doctors Be Allowed to Prescribe More Suboxone?

    Suboxone is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of heroin and prescription pill addiction . It's widely used as a replacement for methadone and can be prescribed in the comfort of a doctor's office, whereas methadone can only be ...

    ... high-quality MAT both in specialized addiction treatment settings and throughout more mainstream health care delivery systems.” Others believe the number of prescribers should be increased, but with the same limit on the ... continue reading
  • 5 Psychological Side Effects of Percocet

    Percocet is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, landing this medication in a family of drugs known as opioids . They're commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain and work by blocking the pain signals sent to your brain. Percocet ...

    ... to develop depression. They speculate the depression is due to resetting the brain's reward system. With long-term use, the painkiller continues to push the threshold for experiencing pleasure until natural rewards no ... continue reading
  • 5 Alarming Facts About Benzo Addiction

    People tend to use benzodiazepines because they work, plain and simple. A group of prescription sedatives, benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV in the Controlled Substances Act and are most commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, namely under ...

    ... numbers of people were prescribed benzos—and stayed on them for years, despite their ... Alzheimer's Disease Is Far More Likely As numbers of long-term-use benzodiazepine prescriptions for the elderly sharply rose (31.4% of ... continue reading
  • Benzo Epidemic: A Killer Hiding in the Shadow of Opioids

    In recent years, opioid abuse has received a lot of attention - and for good reason. In 2014, 19,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids ; that's up 16 percent from 2013. But notice the wording; it's important: “Overdoses ...

    ... because both classes of drugs slow down your body systems and create a sense of calm. With continued use ... many times, for conditions that don't require long-term pharmaceutical therapy. Drugs like Xanax , Klonipin, Ativan ... continue reading
  • Can a Label Really Stop the Abuse of Some Prescription Meds?

    Concerns over the risks of combining benzodiazepine and opioid prescriptions has 41 state health officials petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to place a new black box warning on both drugs' labels to warn patients and doctors of the ...

    ... a new black box warning on both drugs' labels to warn patients and doctors of the potential risks with long-term use. Do We Need Another Warning Label? The petition comes on the heels of a recently published six-year ... continue reading
  • Don’t Be Fooled: Tramadol Abuse Poses Very Real Dangers

    Ultram. Conzip. Rybix ODT. These name brands of tramadol have recently flooded the marketplace with their painkilling properties. Since its approval in 1995, tramadol has become a household name. In 2013 alone, over 43 million tramadol prescriptions ...

    ... the drug cannot be obtained. General side effects of tramadol abuse include insomnia and risk of seizures. Long-term use also results in physical tolerance. More and more tramadol is needed to achieve the mood-altering ... continue reading
  • Asking Yourself: Am I Addicted Benzos?

    If you think you might be addicted to benzodiazepines, you're certainly not alone. In 2011, an estimated 61,000 Americans sought treatment for benzo addiction. And that number has been climbing at an alarming rate ever since. The Benzo Specifics ...

    ... are Xanax and Ativan . Despite their popularity and dose frequency, Xanax and Ativan were never meant for long-term use. While standard doses of these benzos taken as prescribed can help to relieve anxiety and insomnia , ... continue reading
  • Detour: Teens in Rural Areas More Likely to Abuse Painkillers

    When you think about the drug trade in America's big cities, it seems like it might be easier for teenagers to abuse drugs like prescription painkillers. With the massive amount of drugs flowing in and out of large cities, there's certainly no ...

    ... , who worked on the study. “There has been a shortage of primary care practitioners in rural areas for a long time,” said Monnat. “Often, emergency rooms or urgent care clinics might be the only place for someone to ... continue reading
  • Xanax Passes Marijuana as Second-Leading Cause of DUI

    When it comes to driving under the influence of substances that aren't alcohol, marijuana is the biggest concern for many Americans. Colorado has spent millions of dollars on a series of “ Drive High, Get a DUI ” commercials, while Washington ...

    ... , Get a DUI ” commercials, while Washington did the same last year. But in Alabama, alcohol and weed are no longer the main substances plaguing drivers on the state's highways and byways. Believe it or not, Xanax now far ... continue reading
  • Naloxone Kits: Are Pharmacies Set to Combat Opiate Overdoses?

    Mike was at his apartment and using heroin with a group of friends. Since Mike's regular dealer was out of town, he'd picked up the batch from someone different. After shooting up, Mike immediately noticed a difference in the way he felt. Something ...

    ... his or her substance abuse. On the contrary, these kits are a tool meant to keep people alive long enough to get them the treatment they desperately need and deserve. Additional Reading Heroin Use Increasing Across New ... continue reading
  • Study: Abuse of ADHD Meds is Beginning Earlier

    The abuse of ADHD medication is commonly associated with black-market Ritalin or Adderall on campus to aid last-minute cramming sessions. However, a recent study indicates the abuse of ADHD drugs begins much earlier than college. The Dark Side of ...

    ... pre-adolescents are regularly using ADHD medication, then the risk of misuse will be an issue long-before college. As this large (and impressionable) sector of the population continues using and misusing stimulants, the ... continue reading
  • Addiction in the Medical Field: Balancing Healing and Hiding

    Medical professionals work hard to heal the sick, but underneath those white lab coats and cartoon scrubs, many are secretly struggling with the disease of addiction. Working in the healthcare field can feel like a pressure cooker at times. The ...

    ... side effects of a provider's addiction. There is Life After Addiction To achieve sobriety and long-term recovery , addicted medical professionals must first be willing to acknowledge their disease and actively seek help ... continue reading
  • Opana: The New Opiate of Choice Among Addicts?

    In 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the opioid OxyContin for treating chronic pain. The drug netted a quick $45 million in sales its first year on the market. Ten years later, sales of OxyContin ballooned to $3.1 billion and the ...

    ... in a rampant epidemic of opioid addiction . Although OxyContin may not be the epidemic's drug of choice any longer, there are a select number of drugs poised to be injected into its place. One of those drugs is Opana ... continue reading
  • CVS Digs Deep into the Trend of Stimulant Abuse

    Although drugs like heroin and cocaine tend to grab flashier and more dramatic headlines in the media, arguably the biggest substance issue among young adults and college students is prescription medication. In fact, prescription stimulants are ...

    ... these stimulants may provide short-term solutions in the classroom, but are very likely to cause long-term addiction issues. Additional Reading: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Adderall Addiction Image Source: en ... continue reading
  • Which Side of the Naloxone Debate Are You On?

    With the opioid epidemic claiming nearly 78 lives each and every day, President-elect Trump has his work cut out for him in the drug arena. One of his stated policies involves increasing access to naloxone, a medication used to reverse overdose from ...

    ... true value. But one thing is certain: This medication will continue to play a significant role as long as the opioid epidemic continues to ravage our country. Additional Reading: 5 Naloxone Myths Debunked Image Source ... continue reading
  • Shocking Threats Swirl Around Tramadol Abuse

    Though Tramadol hasn't yet achieved the publicity other opioids have in the states, it sure is making waves abroad. Earlier this month, it was revealed that tramadol, an addictive synthetic painkiller believed to be as powerful as morphine , is ...

    ... it), but overdosing is quite common. Symptoms can involve seizures and a fast collapse. And it's no longer just the tramadol abusers who are facing danger; doctors in several countries are now being harassed and attacked ... continue reading
  • Spotlight on ADHD Meds and Their Frightening Meth Connection

    The opioid crisis has been making headlines for years, but there's another drug epidemic that has been flying under the radar: Abuse of ADHD drugs. ADHD drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, increase levels of the brain chemical dopamine and provide ...

    ... and provide mental stimulation. This, in turn, allows users to become more focused and calm because they no longer need to engage in self-stimulating behavior. The number of young people abusing ADHD medication has been ... continue reading
  • The Vicious Attack Against Suboxone Continues

    Buprenorphine, the generic name for Suboxone, is a medication used to treat opiate dependence - it helps minimize withdrawal symptoms. It's often an essential part of a person's recovery plan, mainly due to its accessibility. Users can attain it ...

    ... the claims. In her blog , Dr. Burson writes: “I asked him if it was true that Wal-Mart no longer fills buprenorphine prescriptions, and he said yes, that's true. I asked was that for all forms of buprenorphine, including ... continue reading
  • Yay or Nay: Is the Opioid Epidemic a Conspiracy?

    'Epidemic': Affecting a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population. Opioid Epidemic Statistics Each day, 2.1 million people in the U.S. abuse opioids. The CDC reports that 165,000 Americans died from prescription ...

    ... on,” she claims . “There are millions who are living a better life who are on the medications long-term.” Of course, there are conflicting research results on the opposite side of the argument. Studies have shown that ... continue reading
  • Watch the Fahrenheit With Your Fentanyl

    Fentanyl is an opiate (narcotic) pain reliever typically prescribed to people for severe, ongoing pain or after surgery. This medication is 50 times stronger than heroin and, needless to say, it can be very addictive. Fentanyl can be delivered in ...

    ... 're way too hot for anyone wearing a fentanyl patch. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna (or even a long, hot bath at home) quickly raises your body temperature, rapidly elevating the amount of medication in your body. If you ... continue reading
  • Counting Dangerous Sheep: Why You Should Stop Popping Sleeping Pills

    Here's a question for you: How much sleep do you get every night? As adults, the Centers for Disease Control tells us we require seven to eight hours of sleep per night to maintain good health. Of course, we don't always get these hours. All kinds ...

    ... perspective: Forty-one percent of those who use over-the-counter sleep aids take them for a year or longer. Forty-eight percent use the meds several times each week. Don't Count Medicated Sheep! One small consolation is ... continue reading
  • Finding New Life in a Methadone Program

    After falling off a ladder, Suzanne was rushed to the hospital and examined from stem to stern. Her pelvic bone was fractured and she'd sprained her wrist, but the pain in her left shoulder was unbearable. Suzanne dislocated her shoulder and ...

    ... therapy. After talking to Matthew, however, it was clear she had been wrong. For the first time in a very long time, Suzanne had hope - hope that a methadone program could do for her what it had done for her neighbor ... continue reading
  • Shackled to a Methadone Clinic

    She's been going to the same clinic for five years. Every day, she takes a bus, walks the last two blocks from the bus stop and gets in line for her dose of methadone. Five years ago, Kathy decided she needed help to break her Vicodin addiction. ...

    ... Peter wasn't focused on was the fact that his methadone dosage had gone up 300 percent during his decade long treatment, with no plans to wean him off the drug. He's now dependent on methadone. But, no alternatives are ... continue reading
  • Xanax Turned My Life Upside Down

    “It's the worst mistake I've ever made. I wish I had never gotten that prescription filled.” That's the regret Kelly says sums up her experience with Xanax . At the age of 20, Kelly says she didn't realize what she was getting into when her ...

    ... went to a different physician. He wrote her a new prescription, but Kelly soon discovered that bottle didn't last very long. On top of that, the pills were starting to wear off a lot faster, so she was doubling up the ... continue reading
  • Buckeye State Goes After Pharmaceutical Giants

    An estimated 200,000 Ohioans are addicted to opioids . State officials lay much of the blame at the feet of Big Pharma. State Attorney General Mike DeWine claims several industry leaders “helped unleash a health care crisis that has had ...

    ... claims the companies have been on a decades-long mission to persuade patients and doctors to believe ... While knowing opioids are addictive and unsafe for long-term use, they allegedly used targeted marketing to convince ... continue reading
  • The Other Side of Suboxone

    It's become a commonly prescribed medical treatment for opioid addiction . In some cases, doctors prescribe Suboxone with the intention of stabilize those struggling with continued, compulsive abuse of illicit or prescription opioids to then, one ...

    ... could also lead to withdrawal. If a person has been taking this medication for a long period of time and they no longer receive it, they may be at risk of developing withdrawal symptoms similar to those associated ... continue reading
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