Tag Archives: prescription

Prescription Drug Detox

17 Oct

Addiction to prescription drugs has become an alarming problem to modern society, and it’s a hard problem to tackle because few of those suffering from it know where or how to undergo prescription drug detox. Remedying the situation isn’t very easy as life has become so dynamic that many people can’t cope with it without the aid of prescription drugs: they use the drugs to make themselves function, or worse to simply feel any comfort.

Often people are found to be using painkillers and other anti-anxiety drugs to keep themselves somewhat relieved from the stress of their stressful life. And while doing that it is found that they gradually becomes addicted to these prescription drugs.

Oxycontin is one of the prescription drug most abused. People start taking it as it both helps improve work performance and makes the abuser feel better. Once started, the use of oxycontin can only be stopped with the aid of an oxycontin detox center. In other cases, people take the drugs because they are unhappy with their situations but can’t find the means to change it.

For some, the onset of depression symptoms – even without professional diagnosis – is enough to make them take drugs, thinking that it will help them feel better. Other, still, develop an addiction to prescription drugs from trying to treat an addiction for other substances. Methadone, for example, is used as a substitute when treating heroin and morphine.

Individuals who have become dependent on a prescription drug for their mood and ability to function is categorically an addict and are people who need help. They need to be made aware of their condition and helped into recovery. They need to undergo detox methadone or prescription drug detox and be admitted to rehab.

In fact the point is that there should be proper treatment procedure for the best cure of theprescription drug problem, otherwise the results may be devastation and the patient may go under depression and can even return back to his addiction problem. Other than that there is also another important thing to mention in this respect.

The initial stages of prescription drug detox is painful as the patients’ body tries to adjust to its new condition. This is why it is important for addicted individuals to go to a detox center that is maintained by professional health care providers who can provide some level of comfort during this trying period. Once patients have successfully detoxed, they will then go to a drug and alcohol rehab to recover.

Becoming addicted to prescription drugs isn’t always the fault of the individual. However, seeking treatment once addiction is confirmed is one’s responsibility to oneself. Although treatment will not be easy and prescription drug detox can even be painful, going through with it is the only safe way to stop addiction and have the chance to a productive, healthy life again.

Teens and Prescription Drugs Abuse

30 Sep

Protecting teenagers from addiction is very challenging as drugs – both illicit and prescribed – have become easier to obtain. The abuse of prescription drugs, in particular, has risen to an alarming frequency. Already, it has resulted into many stressed family and going to counseling programs on how to prevent and treat abuse of prescription medicines. In many cases, teens even had to get admitted to drug rehab treatment centers.

To get a better picture of the situation, we need to look at how abuse of prescription medications has changed in the U.S. the prevailing trend appears to be a decline in use of illegal drugs that are sold on the streets plus a shift towards using prescriptions to receive high. While marijuana still remains to be the drug usually chosen among the younger generation 12 to 17 years of age, prescription medications are second in line to be abused probably the most. Approximately 6 percent more teens use marijuana than they generally do prescribed drugs, a well known fact which demonstrates that prescription drug abuse is continuously increasing.

The reason for this is perhaps the belief that the high from prescription medicines are safer to that achieved through illicit drugs and the accessibility or availability of prescription drugs. According to one study, approximately half of all Americans are taking prescription drugs, which teens living in the same house can easily take. The study also reports that the most abused prescribed drugs by teens are painkillers (Vicodin, or a mix of hydrocodone and paracetamol) and oxycodone (OxyContin).

Data also shows that teens on the South East and West are generally more prone to abuse prescription medications. Statistics also reveal that death by drug poisoning could be caused by prescription medicine abuse and also the illicit make use of street drugs. Get Info and Treatment: So, exactly what are the factors behind drug abuse concerning prescriptions? Information shows that most youngsters in their teen period casually use prescription medications for getting high, lessen stress or anxiety, increase energy or wakefulness and enable them to concentrate.

Many teens who take prescription drugs believe that it isn’t addictive and that it’s the “safe” choice over drugs sold on the streets (crack, heroin, etc.). They also claim that their habit was started taking drugs to make themselves look cool among their peers or in order to fit in. For these reasons, schools need to increase awareness of the true effects and dangers of the abuse of prescribed medicines. However, the responsibility of informing teenagers about the real dangers of these medicines still lies on the parents.

New Drug Use Among the Youth

30 Sep

We all want to protect our kids and make headway in the battle against teen substance abuse and the spread of illegal drugs. Reports on illicit drug use among teenagers reveal that more than 30 percent of 8th graders have tried or are using drugs. That figure increases to almost 45 percent among 10th grade students, and up to 53 percent among 12th graders. At least 24 million Americans, many of them under age 20, have a substance abuse dependency.

But such drug dangers represent only a fraction of the problem. Most parents are not aware about the kinds of drugs today’s kids are using to get high. Scary as it may sound, it’s those insidious chemical concoctions – available in our own kitchens, bathrooms, closets, laundry areas, garages and even at our computer workstations – that could destroy the life of our children.

 

The New Dangers of Cheese Heroin

“Cheese” is the slang term for the highly-addictive mixture of prescribed and illicit drugs. It is made from black tar heroin – processed from morphine, extracted from the seedpod of the poppy plant – combined with crushed Tylenol PM. Its cheap cost is one reason why cheese-heroin has a great appeal among teens. Users can buy it for as little as $2 for a single dose. An entire gram (the size of a sugar packet) costs as little as $10. Both students and adults have been known to sell the drug.

Signs and symptoms of cheese usage include drowsiness, confusion and disorientation, depression, sleepiness, excessive thirst, feelings of temporary euphoria, mood swings, poor grades, memory loss and changes in friends, appearance or interests. Withdrawal symptoms range from chills, sweating and nausea/vomiting to insomnia and severe headaches. The drug enters the brain very quickly and has an effect on the entire body, particularly the central nervous system and respiratory system, and overdose can lead to death.

 

Additional Facts about Teen Drug Use

Many kids are looking for a buzz, but instead risking brain damage or death, by inhaling household chemicals like furniture polish, cleansers and disinfectants. Other commonly used inhalants from around the house are glue, spray deodorant, spray paint, paint thinner, propane, even whipped cream in a can.

Drugs are especially bad for teenagers because their bodies are still growing and they are still in puberty. Drug use negatively affects the development of young bodies and can severely damage vital organs like the brain, heart, liver and lungs. Cocaine, for example, can cause a heart attack even in an otherwise healthy young child or teenager.

Prescription Drug Facts

29 Sep

Prescription drugs are generally prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, and, if properly taken, prescription drugs are effective in treating their targeted ailment. However, some prescription drugs are highly addictive.

 

Most Abused

Opioids such as OxyContin, Percocet and Kadian (morphine) are among the most abused prescription drugs. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as barbiturates (Nembutal) and benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium) are also highly abused. Stimulants such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (Ritalin), which are used to treat narcolepsy (sleep disorder), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity, are commonly abused as well.

 

Street Names

Prescription drugs can often be obtained on the streets. Consequently, many prescription drugs have street names: OxyContin–Hillbilly heroin, Oxycotton and Oxycet; Percocet–Percs; Vicodin–Vikes and happy pills; Ritalin–kiddie cocaine, West Coast and Vitamin R; Xanax–totem poles; Benzodiazepines–downers, candy and sleeping pills; Amphetamines–Bennies, Black Beauty, Hearts and Speed; and Barbiturates–Blue Birds, Barbs and Phennies.

 

Risks

The inappropriate use of prescription drugs (using without prescription, medical permission, or not as prescribed) can cause addiction. The excessive use of opioids, pain relievers and narcotics can cause the user’s breathing to slow or stop. Abusing depressants, tranquilizers and sedatives in general can result in respiratory depression (inadequate ventilation), reduced heart rate and seizures. A dependency on stimulants can cause deviant heart rate, elevated body temperature, seizure and cardiovascular shutdown.

 

Illegal Trafficking

A 2007 study by Columbia University, sponsored by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), revealed that 210 hours were spent recording the number of Internet websites that were distributing specific prescription drugs. Through search engines and email campaigns, 187 Internet websites were found guilty of selling prescription drugs over the Internet; 84 percent of these sites did not require prescriptions to purchase the drug. A mere 30 sites required a prescription. However, 17 of them stated that a faxed prescription was sufficient, 4 stated that the prescription had to be mailed and 9 said that they would contact the physician before distributing the drug.

 

Prescription Drug Views

According to the Kaiser Public Opinion Spotlight, most prescription drug users in America agree that prescription drugs have had a positive effect on their lives. 54 percent of adults report using four or more prescription medications daily. There is mixed perception on the pharmaceutical industry, however. Seven out of ten adults report that the pharmaceutical industry is too focused on making money instead of helping individuals. 79 percent believe that high profits are to be blamed for the high costs of prescription drugs, which many feel are unreasonable.

More U.S. doctors facing charges over drug abuse

14 Sep

Michael Jackson’s doctor, accused of killing the pop star with a powerful anesthetic, has joined a small but growing number of U.S. physicians facing criminal charges over their handling of prescription drugs.

Medical negligence cases in the United States are typically handled in civil court, with the victim or victim’s family seeking money damages from the doctor.

In the case of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, prosecutors allege his negligence was so extreme that he should be charged with involuntary manslaughter and punished with prison time.

Fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers more than tripled to 13,800 in the United States in 1999 through 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consequently, more doctors are finding themselves in the sights of prosecutors as states like Florida and Georgia confront the growth in abuse of prescription drugs. The prosecution of doctors is seen as more effective than bringing cases against their patients.

There were just over two dozen reported criminal cases against doctors for malpractice in the two decades from 1981 to 2001, according to Westlaw research by James Filkins, a doctor and lawyer who has written about the criminal prosecution of physicians.

Replicating Filkins’ research, Reuters tallied around 37 reported criminal cases in the decade from 2001 to 2011, with most recent cases against doctors for over-prescribing painkillers and other controlled substances.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration information suggests a similar trend. For 2003, the agency reported 15 physician arrests that resulted in convictions. By 2008, the most recent year with comprehensive data, the number had grown to 43.

 

Criminalizing Malpractice

While the number of criminal malpractice cases is not large, the American Medical Association has cautioned that the trend has interfered with the practice of medicine. Civil prosecutions for monetary damages were sufficient to hold doctors accountable, the organization said.

In 1995, the group adopted a resolution opposing the “attempted criminalization of health care decision-making especially as represented by the current trend toward the criminalization of malpractice.”

The trend is, in part, due to an expansion in white-collar criminal law and drug control laws to include unintentional violations by doctors, said Diane Hoffmann, a law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Many recent cases have been brought under the Controlled Substances Act, enacted in 1970, and similar state laws. To establish guilt under the act, the prosecution must prove the physician knowingly and intentionally prescribed the medication outside “the usual course of professional practice” or not for a “legitimate medical purpose.”

Prosecutors faced this question in the much-publicized case against Anna Nicole Smith’s physician, Sandeep Kapoor, on charges of violating the controlled substances law.

The case hinged on whether Kapoor believed in good faith there was a medical purpose for providing the celebrity with an array of prescription drugs that led to her overdose and death in 2007, according to his lawyer Ellyn Garofalo.

The jury acquitted Kapoor last year.

In the Michael Jackson case, California prosecutors are not charging Murray with violating a controlled substances law. Propofol, the anesthetic Murray is accused of giving to Jackson, is not a controlled substance.

The drug, administered intravenously, is used to induce anesthesia and has rarely been abused as a narcotic.

Prosecutors instead allege Murray breached the standard of care when he administered the anesthetic to Jackson at home and that his gross negligence caused the singer’s death at age 50. Murray faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Murray also faces a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson’s father.

The legal standards in civil and criminal negligence cases are similar. Jackson’s family and prosecutors must prove Murray deviated from accepted medical practices, although the standard for a criminal conviction is “much greater” than for civil cases, said attorney Ed Chernoff, who represents Murray.

Chernoff declined to discuss the Murray case specifically.

Observers said one tactic he might take is to argue Jackson was addicted to sedatives and painkillers and could have given himself the fatal dose of propofol when Murray was out of the room. Prosecutors will have to prove Murray’s conduct actually caused Jackson’s death.

 

The Epicenter

Florida, which has a reputation as the “epicenter” of prescription drug abuse according to state Attorney General Pam Bondi, has indicted dozens of doctors and clinic operators for unnecessarily prescribing pills.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says 28 of its 226 successful convictions of doctors — around 12 percent — were in Florida.

Bondi and the state’s governor have launched a strike force to address the problem and, under a new law, Florida doctors generally can no longer dispense pills at clinics.

“Our marching orders are that we will not turn down a pill case coming into this office,” said state prosecutor Nick Cox.

It is more efficient to pursue the source of the pills — the prescribing doctors — than patients abusing the drugs, he said.

Critics say the scorched earth assault glosses over tough questions doctors face, especially physicians who treat patients with chronic pain. Because pain is subjective, doctors must rely on the accounts of patients who are sometimes addicted and seeking drugs.

“Doctors are not supposed to be law enforcement agents. They’re supposed to believe their patients,” said Hoffmann, the law professor.

Murray’s lawyer Chernoff said it is a mistake to prosecute doctors who are not running pill mills but legitimately trying to help their patients. He blames the trend for having a “chilling effect” on the medical profession as doctors change treatment plans out of fear of facing time in prison.

 

Source: Terry Baynes | Reuters