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  • Dying to Get High: Half of 2014 U.S. Drug Deaths Caused By Opiates

    It's well-documented that heroin and prescription painkiller abuse are two of the biggest drug problems in the U.S., but a new report from the Drug Enforcement Administration highlights just how serious the problem is. Shocking Death Rate Chuck ...

    ... in the U.S. These powerful opioids, which were originally designed to alleviate or at least lessen the effects of chronic pain, are now officially responsible for an astounding 44 overdose deaths each day. Although those ... continue reading
  • Am I Addicted to Pain Killers? How Can I Quit Safely?

    If you've been taking pain killers for an extended time, particularly after the pain that originally prompted their use has subsided, you might well wonder whether you're addicted to pain killers. Though many people take pain killers following a ...

    ... t taken the medication at the normal time? “Am I using more of the medication over time to feel the same effects? If you take pain killers even when you aren't in pain, this is a psychological (in most cases) response to ... continue reading
  • I’m Having Opiate Withdrawals – Am I Addicted?

    Shelly's knee surgery went great. The doctor said she'd be running again in no time. Before she'd be ready for her next 5K, she'd have to endure some fairly intense pain and a lot of physical therapy. While in the hospital, Shelly received regular ...

    ... the withdrawal symptoms kick in as your body and brain try to restore balance without the medication. Like ... it or how much you're taking Additional Reading: Outlook on Opiate Abuse: There's Good News and Bad News Image ... continue reading
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  • 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 ...

    ... attack and stroke. Stroke: If blood flow to the brain is interrupted, a stroke may occur. This can result ... onset of these issues. Imagine feeling like you're 75 on your 30th birthday. You lack the energy and physical ... 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 ...

    ... much higher dosages just to have the same effect. Next thing you know, you're struggling with ... of thousands of people have kicked their benzo addiction, going on to lead healthy, happy and decidedly sober lives…and you ... 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 ...

    ... a West African plant. She knew it affects the brain in some way to help with heroin addiction. Holly ... illegal in the U.S.) Ibogaine can cause severe side effects , including: Ataxia (loss of control of body movements) ... 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 ...

    ... These brain chemicals regulate our mood and keep us balanced. It can produce a euphoric effect, making ... anxiety if the drug cannot be obtained. General side effects of tramadol abuse include insomnia and risk of seizures ... 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. ...

    ... 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 contain more of the active ingredient and can be altered ... 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 ...

    ... U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) reports that the availability and abuse of heroin is steadily on the rise in America. Tragically, this trend means that heroin-related deaths are also climbing in staggering ... 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 ...

    ... greater risk of new HIV infections than ever before.” In fact, the opiate crisis has had such an impact on these communities that whites who inject drugs now have more HIV diagnoses than any other racial population - for ... 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 ...

    ... has made its way into our nation's illegal drug market. It's often disguised as heroin and can kill on contact. Just two milligrams is enough to kill 100 people. This synthetic opioid first appeared in Ohio back in July ... 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 ...

    ... uproar seemed to have started once the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cracked down on both Walgreens and CVS, fining them millions after violating federal rules for dispensing controlled substances. As ... 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 ...

    ... delivery systems.” Others believe the number of prescribers should be increased, but with the same limit on the number of patients. This could be accomplished by allowing nurse practitioners or physician assistants in ... continue reading
  • Don’t Do Me Any Favors: When Sharing Means Anything But Caring

    Tom fell off a ladder and hurt his back. His doctor gave him a prescription for Percocet , a powerful opioid painkiller. He only took a couple and now he's got ten pills left over in a bottle sitting in his medicine cabinet. If this scenario (or a ...

    ... hasn't received a prescription starts popping someone else's pills, it's very dangerous. They could be on other medications that create a deadly combination . They may have other health concerns that will be affected by ... 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 ...

    ... or labored? If a loved one exhibits any of the above symptoms, you've got a potential overdose situation on your hands. Whether they've taken too much Xanax, or more likely, combined it with other substances, there's ... 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 ...

    ... is broken down into five categories or schedules. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedules drugs based on: Accepted medical use in the U.S. Abuse potential Likelihood of causing dependence when abused Schedule ... 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 ...

    ... Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Allergan. It claims the companies have been on a decades-long mission to persuade patients and doctors to believe lies. While knowing opioids are ... continue reading
  • Police Are Gearing Up to Face Down a Couple of Killers

    Guns won't help. A bullet-proof vest won't cut it. No badge, baton, hat, or handcuffs will stop the threat. The latest danger faced by law enforcement officials is a class of drugs that can kill on contact. Standard-issue equipment is no longer ...

    ... the threat. The latest danger faced by law enforcement officials is a class of drugs that can kill on contact. Standard-issue equipment is no longer enough. To protect and serve, modern police officers must receive new ... continue reading
  • True or False: Ready to Put Your Fentanyl Knowledge to the Test?

    Fentanyl. This potent opiate has added a whole new level of danger to the opioid crisis, causing a staggering number of overdoses and deaths. Part of its overall threat is the lack of public knowledge and awareness. So, how much do you know about ...

    ... he returned to police HQ to complete the paperwork. While there, a fellow officer pointed out a white powdery substance on Green's shirt. Thinking nothing of it, he simply wiped it away. An hour later, he was unconscious ... continue reading
  • What’s New in the World of Tamper-Proof Bottles? (Does it Matter?)

    One in 20 Americans are popping pills that have been prescribed for someone else. And the CDC reports that most misused prescription opioids are obtained from family members - many of them stolen from medicine cabinets. We Need Solutions This abuse ...

    ... who really wants those pills can simply smash through the bottle. Others point out that a person who's bent on getting drugs will just find them somewhere else. They say the tamper-proof bottle devices only make it more ... 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 ...

    ... , but over time she felt the negative cognitive effects of benzos making her less sharp and productive. ... as she came off the medication, she gradually felt her brain coming back. She was sharper at work, more present with ... 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, ...

    ... effect of opioids is influenced by their rate of entry into the brain. Basically, “the faster the drug enters the brain - across the blood-brain ... pain. In all tests, NKTR-181's effects were the same, whether it was snorted ... 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 ...

    ... such as headaches, jitters and heart palpitations. It also reduces serotonin 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 ... 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 ...

    ... the short-term. The most frequent minor side effects of Percocet include constipation, nausea, headache, ... or overused, it fogs your mind as it floods your brain's opiate receptors. As a result, thoughts are unclear 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 ...

    ... Do you find yourself taking Tramadol for its euphoric effects, release of inhibitions, and feelings of peace and ... the brain and body become accustomed to the drug, higher doses are needed to achieve the same effect. For ... 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 ...

    ... a quick $45 million in sales its first year on the market. Ten years later, sales of OxyContin ballooned ... Oxycontin: What You Need to Know Interacting with the brain's opiate receptors, much like morphine or heroin , Opana ... 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 ...

    ... implant floods the receptors in your brain that typically attract and hold opioids. ... Take Probuphine? The implant is officially FDA approved and currently available on the market. But the $64K question is: Is it right ... 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 ...

    ... Prison System Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain, preventing an euphoric high. Approved by the ... director of Health, Law and Policy at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Those who do use it ... 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 ...

    ... on a very popular TV show. Vicodin is an opiate-based painkiller that can cause euphoric effects when ... addictive, and it inhibits the section of the brain that controls pain. Serious withdrawal symptoms such as fever ... 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 ...

    ... discomfort. Fentanyl is the strongest prescription painkiller on the market: 100 times stronger than ... , even the smallest dose is enough to cause deadly side effects - especially in those taking it for the first time. ... continue reading
  • Drugs vs. Supplements: What's the Difference?

    Your regular doctor suggests taking a supplement to improve your overall health. And then your specialist recommends a completely different combination of drugs and supplements. It's so easy to get overwhelmed. Which one's right for you? Navigating ...

    ... accomplish, meaning suspect supplements can remain on shelves for years. You should complete ... supplement is “all natural,” it doesn't cause adverse effects . Many drugs and supplements interact poorly with each other ... continue reading
  • Portrait of the American Overdose: Do You Fit the Profile?

    Overdoses from illicit drugs and prescriptions painkillers claim a total of 45,000 lives in the US each year. Who are the people typically among these tragedies? You might be surprised. Statistics show that the profile many Americans envision when ...

    ... 2015, heroin overdose deaths tripled. Ranking third on the list are semi-synthetic opioids, which account ... a lethal rate. Mixing heroin with pain pills can have similar effects. Are You at Risk? Do you or a loved one fit ... 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 ...

    ... . Hillary decided it wasn't worth the side effects. She was tired of feeling tired and achy, ... know what she should do next - she felt bad both on and off the pills. Proper Protocol Hillary's actions demonstrate what ... 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 ...

    ... The extent of brain damage is largely dependent on the amount of time the brain is without adequate oxygen levels. Minutes, and even seconds, may dictate the severity of the damage. The Effects of Hypoxic Brain Damage It ... 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 ...

    ... general go-to for insomniacs; Americans spent over $40 billion on sleep aids in 2015. So, what's the big deal? ... addictive and pose the risk for serious side effects and overdose. Today, doctors are prescribing fewer of ... 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 ...

    ... to find an appropriate long-term solution. In the cases of certain cancers and other conditions, the emphasis is on management rather than cure. HIV and AIDS HIV and AIDS are often called the same thing, although that's ... continue reading
  • Who Will Win the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge?

    $6.5 million is up for grabs. The state of Ohio recently launched its Opioid Technology Challenge, calling on healthcare providers, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The goal is to generate ideas that can be developed into solutions to curb the ...

    $6.5 million is up for grabs. The state of Ohio recently launched its Opioid Technology Challenge, calling on healthcare providers, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The goal is to generate ideas that can be developed into ... 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 ...

    ... 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 my ... 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 ...

    ... the scary thing is, it doesn't necessarily need to be intentionally ingested. “If a person just gets it on their hand and accidentally touches their eye, touches their mouth, that could prove to be fatal for them,” said ... 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 ...

    ... to argue that she should have another child, but is ordering a woman not to get pregnant an intrusion on women's reproductive freedom? That's a tough question. Women's rights advocates argue that the government would be ... continue reading
  • How to Get Off Suboxone: 3 Steps to Take When Quitting

    Approved by the FDA in 2002, buprenorphine - brand name Suboxone and Zubsolv - is now the “go-to” drug for medication-assisted treatment with opiate addiction. Unlike methadone treatment, it can be prescribed by physicians in the comfort of ...

    ... effect.” As a partial opioid agonist, Suboxone's effects are weaker than the effects of a full opioid like heroin or methadone. The effects ... your body has probably become physically dependent on the drug. Here's a look at ... 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 ...

    ... to judge you; they are there to help and they rely on your honesty to help you get the best results. What Kind ... Look Like? You'll probably receive your first treatment on the day of your initial assessment, as long as ... 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 ...

    ... . The following tips may help reduce side effects and help to strengthen your own benzo recovery ... back down the second time, as the brain has been “kindled.” Because of this effect, it is crucial to keep reducing dosage ... 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 ...

    ... proving how the alkaloids work in relation to the human brain. But that certainly hasn't stopped people from abusing ... as a tea. What are the side effects of Kratom? Respiratory depression Nervousness Agitation Aggression ... 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 ...

    ... Brain effects: Like all stimulants, Ritalin increases dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the brain ... or buy it from peers. In fact, the DEA includes Ritalin on its list of most-stolen medications. What Should I Do? ... 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 ...

    ... stimulants, increase dopamine - the neurotransmitter responsible for both heightened attention and pleasure. This effect on brain chemistry, coupled with the fact that roughly 6.4 million young people are now diagnosed ... continue reading
  • Warning: This Medication May Cause…Uncontrollable Urges?

    Jim gained ten pounds in two weeks, though he'd been slim and fit his whole life. Gary lost $20K at the casino in Friday night - he'd never bought a lottery ticket up to that point. Linda had sex with three different people in one week, even though ...

    ... people received prescriptions for aripiprazole. The compulsive side effects are thought to be caused by Abilify's influence on dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. If you or someone you love currently takes ... 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 ...

    ... drugs and those who may be at risk of overdosing on a prescribed medication. This model of pharmacy-based naloxone ( ... allows someone to continue his or her substance abuse. On the contrary, these kits are a tool meant to ... 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 ...

    ... 1.85 million, has the highest overdose rate in the nation. Why the Appalachian Region? What's going on in this misty-mountain region? Experts cite poverty and a lack of resources as attributing causes to these alarming ... 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 ...

    ... around - and more money to be made. Once cut, the powder takes on a brown or off-white color. “Black tar” is another form of ... a short-term euphoric effect, binding to opioid receptors in the brain and depressing 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, ...

    ... Xanax abuse . A Medication Nation What's really going on here? Why are we a nation full of anxiety- ... have an anxiety attack , which makes us more nervous…and on we go into an unhealthy spiral that creates a whirlwind ... continue reading
  • The AMA to Drug Companies: It’s Time You Stop Lying to Consumers

    Transparency: The condition of being free from pretense or deceit; readily understood; characterized by accessibility of information. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), Big Pharma lacks transparency. Consumers don't really know ...

    ... First responders, schools, and community groups that rely on this drug to save lives are now finding it ... 12-month period. This would (hopefully) put a damper on the prices of prescription drugs , which have a tendency to ... continue reading
  • Virginia Wants Treatment - Not Jail - For Its Addicted Citizens

    During the four years I was in prison, I met hundreds and hundreds of women. Many were first-time, nonviolent offenders - and almost all were battling some type of chemical dependency. For those with substance abuse problems , incarceration did ...

    ... . And I'm not the only one who feels this way. One state - Virginia - came to the same conclusion on their own. In fact, most Virginians agree that those who abuse drugs or alcohol should receive treatment, not jail time ... 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 ...

    ... between the couches of different “friends,” most of whom were on drugs or associated with the drug trade. She was selling drugs ... or compelling them to undergo psychiatric treatment is on the line. It Needs to Be a Team ... continue reading
  • Intoxicated Pilots Gamble with the Lives of Holiday Travelers

    Now that the holiday season is upon us, the roadways and skies are crowded with travelers. This massive surge of activity serves as a catalyst for travel-related accidents. And while the public is well aware of drug- and alcohol-related driving ...

    ... pilots increases. It also implies the problem could be spurred on as more and more drugs are introduced to the market - ... Learn more about the mental and physical side effects of drugs . Photo credit: Christophe Launay ... 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 ...

    ... as much as 10 percent, through its influence on a neurotransmitter called glutamate. Questions About Safety But ... will affect healthy brain function down the road, but do agree that it has mild side effects and low abuse ... 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 ...

    ... going under the knife with a surgeon who's high as a kite on Vicodin or OxyContin? It's a scary thought, right? Addicted medical ... ignore - or even cover-up - the side effects of a provider's addiction. There is Life After ... 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 ...

    ... Supportive care products such as Movantik can lessen the constipating side effects of opioids ,” said Dr. Julie Beitz, director of ... ; not V8 or anything that's been sitting on your grocer's shelves for months! The involved ... 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 ...

    ... but it's regularly sold as an alternative narcotic on the black market. Simply put; tramadol is ... with the cognitive impairment of OxyContin and other opioids. Its effects can also last for up to 12 hours - far longer ... 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 ...

    ... . Using a heating pad on other parts of your body (especially if you fall asleep with it on) can also raise your ... medication need to be made to avoid serious side effects. Additional Reading: The F-Word: 3 Fast Fentanyl ... continue reading
  • Fentanyl: The Newest Lethal Injection Ingredient

    Fifty times stronger than heroin , the synthetic opioid fentanyl is flooding the drug market - and heightening the danger of overdose. In search of cheaper mixes and stronger highs, dealers now lace heroin and cocaine with this potent drug. We've ...

    ... anxiety, while the fentanyl delivers the lethal effects. Barring legal complications or appeals, this new ... to kill. The scary truth is that fentanyl is just as dangerous on the street as it is in the death chamber - if not ... continue reading
  • Study: Medical Marijuana Cuts Use of Prescription Drugs

    A recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, revealed medical marijuana users take fewer other medicines - such as opiates. Researchers monitored the use of prescription medication by participants enrolled in ...

    ... than other prescription medication and had fewer side effects. Most commonly, marijuana was used as an ... a substance abuse issue. She'd become dependent on several of the 18 different prescriptions medications used to ... 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 ...

    ... nervous system. When taken together, each drug's effects are enhanced . Breathing may slow to dangerous levels ... Amino Butyric Acid). This chemical helps direct your brain and the rest of your central nervous system ... 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 ...

    ... can actually lower drug cravings for people hooked on opioids . Researching the Connection Between Sleep and ... . Additional Reading: Addiction is an Emotional Disease With Far-Reaching Effects… Image Source: iStock continue reading
  • 4 Physical Signs You're Addicted to Ritalin

    Ritalin is a stimulant drug used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy. It's classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II narcotic — meaning it's in the ...

    ... to race. He was hit with an intense headache. He collapsed on the floor as his whole left side went numb. He heard ... problems when his body experienced withdrawal . Effects can include increased heart rate and elevated ... continue reading
  • Take My Breath Away: A Deadly Warning About Opiates

    You've just taken an opioid painkiller . The medication travels to your brain, making the pain sensations stop. The same opiates also make you feel much calmer, offering up a bonus anti-depressing effect. And that's the good news. The bad news is ...

    ... brain, making the pain sensations stop. The same opiates also make you feel much calmer, offering up a bonus anti-depressing effect ... with painkillers, preventing negative breathing effects. The results? Pain relief without ... 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 ...

    ... of drug dealers set up shop, doling out pills on street corners, in abandoned houses and everywhere in ... law and policy, University of South Florida, who worked on the study. “There has been a shortage of primary care ... 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 ...

    ... the party going.” What they didn't realize was that their coach would be giving them a drug test after practice on Saturday. Will their Friday night use be detected? Meth stays in your blood for 1 to 3 days after use and ... continue reading
  • 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 ...

    ... on the path to recovery. Those struggling to leave opioids behind know they'll eventually have to face the intimidating mental and physical effects ... the human body, including the brain and spinal cord. After identifying ... continue reading
  • Ryan Haight Act Stands in the Way of Buprenorphine Telehealth

    It's against state and federal law to use telehealth (remote medical services) to obtain buprenorphine for the first time; a medication used to treat opioid use disorder - often known by its brand names, Suboxone or Subutex. This law is known as the ...

    ... in which the facility itself is not registered with the DEA.” In fact, the National Council is organizing a sign-on letter to the DEA about this issue. David believes the DEA needs to move more quickly, “We're frustrated ... continue reading
  • Turns Out Abusing ADHD Meds Won’t Get You on the Dean’s List

    Lindsay felt overwhelmed. With three finals and a term-paper deadline looming in her near future, she didn't know how she would survive, much less get good grades. She decided she needed a boost. She asked around until she found someone willing to ...

    ... , physicians who prescribe ADHD medications have to get on board. Researchers say doctors must make it clear that ... your grades, chances are they'll have the opposite effect. Hit the books the old fashioned way - without ... continue reading
  • What's Your Generation’s Drug of Choice? Let’s Find Out…

    Every generation has its trends. From hairstyles, to music, and yes, even drugs. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has been studying the drug habits of Americans for decades. Their survey results reveal patterns of drug use among ...

    ... tender age of 19. Marijuana: This generation lived through the 60's, so it's no surprise marijuana was second on the list. It's also no shocker that the Boomers' use of marijuana is higher than the other two generations ... continue reading
  • Don’t Open Wide: Pulling Dentists Off the Doctor Shopping List

    Imagine you're getting your wisdom teeth removed and at the end of the procedure, your dentist hands you a prescription for a pain reliever - maybe Vicodin or Percocet . For many people, this wouldn't pose a problem. For thousands of others, ...

    ... or Percocet . For many people, this wouldn't pose a problem. For thousands of others, however, getting hooked on opioids through a valid prescription is a chilling reality. Once hooked, as a means to fuel that addiction ... continue reading
  • Druggie: The New Makeup Shade Making Ugly Waves

    Approximately 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, with drug overdose deaths continuing to rise. In fact, since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled. As most of us know, drug addiction destroys lives ...

    ... light of this killer epidemic. Why??? What's on Trend? The latest company to act socially irresponsible is ... a makeup after a derogatory label that has been placed on an illness that is so devastating and so deadly is just ... continue reading
  • It’s Official: Heroin is Deadlier Than Bullets

    It looks like our nation has found a “bullet” deadlier than the traditional calibers. As of 2015, heroin is killing more people than guns. This shift in statistics has happened rather quickly. In 2007, gun homicides outnumbered heroin deaths 5 ...

    ... while an alarming number of Americans developed dependencies on the drugs. To combat the upward trend, ... Century Cures Act . It is expected to be signed into effect by President Obama before the end of his term. The bill ... 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 ...

    ... of the opioid family; they significantly impact the brain and nervous system. In these areas, opiates ... The problem is that prescription opioids like OxyContin mimic the effects of heroin in both the body and mind. The ... 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 ...

    ... by increasing inhibitory neurotransmission throughout the brain. Various benzodiazepine agents are prescribed for ... you on a manageable payment plan. Related Reading Benzodiazepine Abuse Benzodiazepine Overdose The Effects ... 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, ...

    ... a sedative prescribed to treat insomnia. It affects chemicals in the brain to help you fall - and supposedly stay - asleep. While ... of Better Sleep… Despite these dangerous side effects, Ambien has remained one of the top- ... 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), ...

    ... interactions with brain receptors, tramadol can be habit-forming. Its euphoric effects are often sought ... phone-in prescriptions without seeing the doctor. Limits on the length of prescriptions and number of refills are ... 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 ...

    ... often unaware of its potential effects. To ensure you're informed, here's the scoop on Ativan. What is Ativan? Ativan ... interacts with chemicals in the brain to slow down communication between brain nerves. Ativan is used ... 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 ...

    ... of naltrexone. An opioid-antagonist, Vivitrol blocks the brain receptors that bind to opioids, making it impossible to ... , is that little is known about the effects of Vivitrol on pregnant women or fetuses. In a recent ... continue reading
  • Prescription Opiates: As Addictive as Heroin?

    According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 21.5 million Americans aged 12 and older met the criteria for substance use disorder in 2014. Of these, 1.9 million were addicted to prescription opiate pain medications and 586,000 ...

    ... bloodstream rapidly, producing a stronger effect and posing significantly more dangers and risks. 2,3 The Link between Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Because prescription opiates act on the brain in the same way as ... 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 ...

    ... 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 potential risks with long-term use. Do We Need ... 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, ...

    ... Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is the Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit, which guides medical professionals on how they can recognize symptoms of opioid misuse and reduce the risk of death by ... 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 ...

    ... Inmates Up for Success Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study was conducted by researchers ... opiate addiction, criminality and the combined effect both can have on an already overpopulated prison system. ... 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 ...

    ... . In short, combining drugs and alcohol either masks effects, which increases the risk of consuming too much, or the combination causes a “double-whammy” effect on the same cognitive and physical function. Although there ... continue reading
  • Counterfeit Prescription Drug Operations Thrive in the US

    Prescription drugs continue to remain big business in the United States. Last year alone, the total retail sales for prescription drugs filled at American pharmacies topped $259 billion. But as legal sales continue to rise, it's perhaps not too ...

    ... U.S. sell these narcotics in plain daylight on the streets or retail stores. Despite the fact ... may seem like a fast and easy way to get your hands on the medications you need, but you're also creating unnecessary and ... 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 ...

    ... benzos slow down brain activity, producing sedative, relaxing, and pleasant effects. After a ... use can be harmful. Years later, when I started reading up on benzos, I learned that short-term use is generally safe. Used ... 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 ...

    ... drug. Surprisingly, meth and Adderall caused similar effects with the participants; so much so that the ... need more and more to get the same effect. Eventually, taking the simulant pharmaceuticals becomes cost prohibitive ... 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 ...

    ... profits for the med-makers. The full-force of the pharmaceutical industry has been felt in multiple states on multiple opioid-related issues. A few examples: A proposed bill in Tennessee was designed to reduce the number ... 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 ...

    ... high, look for the following signs of D.R.U.G. A.B.U.S.E. (D)isorientation: A person high on drugs can enter a dream-like state. They may experience euphoria. They don't seem fully present or aware of their surroundings ... 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 ...

    ... a presentation. Worse yet, I knew my pal had been drinking on her date - drinking after she took Xanax. I hate to be ... after you've been on benzos for a while, you can't do math. Gradually all of your brain feels like it's ... 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 ...

    ... 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 ... the drug to impart its toxicity. If this effect holds true in humans, the researchers believe the vaccine ... 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 ...

    ... the pain, but stops the pain signals before they reach the brain. It can be used for back, neck, arm, or leg ... . Plus, they are safe and free of side effects. Exercise Doctors recommend exercise to all patients, but ... continue reading
  • 7 Really Smart Ways to Save Money on Suboxone

    A couple of weeks ago, I saw a Facebook post from an acquaintance of mine lamenting about the exorbitant price of Suboxone. I'd known her to have a problem with opiates in the past, but it seemed like she was doing all the right things to get her ...

    ... was doing all the right things to get her life back on track. Yet, the high cost of her medication was now ... Manufacturer's Copay Cards: Patients can get discounts on out-of-pocket brand-name product costs, such ... 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 ...

    ... misuse” as any action deviating from doctor's orders on the prescription. That means anyone who took a higher ... NSDUH's 2015 survey? How does it affect your view on drug abuse in our nation? Additional Reading: Can a Label ... 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 ...

    ... staff, a few of the things Suzanne really liked about her clinic included: Working closely with an on-site counselor to develop an individual program and dosage Someone is available to speak with clients over the phone ... 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 ...

    ... they're going to be sustaining significant brain damage.” What About Harm Avoidance? Proponents ... they go into the bone, requiring amputation. The effects of heroin on infection will break free, sometimes, in the veins. ... 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 ...

    ... have until this recent court decision had a monopoly on the drug. The FDA Takes a Stand Against ... just a few weeks. There's also a financial impact on the revenue of Suboxone once the generic becomes available as there ... continue reading
  • Introducing the Drug That Can Kill With a Single Dose

    Just when we'd thought we'd heard it all, an even more lethal drug concoction popped up on our radar. It's just the latest killer in the opioid epidemic ravaging our country. Dubbed “gray death” by authorities, this high-potency cocktail is ...

    ... elephants and hippos). And to top it all off, there's also U-4770 mixed in, which is a synthetic opioid known on the streets as “ Pink .” “Gray death is one of the scariest combinations that I've ever seen in nearly 20 ... continue reading
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