Archive for the ‘drug abuse’ Category

High Prescription Drug Use and Abuse in Colleges

March 8, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
March 9, 2008

American college students use and abuse prescription drugs like never before.  They are following in the always dangerous and sometimes deadly steps of celebrities.
alprazolam 2mg tablet bottle

alprazolam 2mg tablet bottle

Actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills, the New York City medical examiner’s office said.  Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and other “celebrities” have also been known to take these medications.  Used together — and with alcohol — these drugs have an unpredictable impact, can be addictive and are sometimes fatal. 

Lohan in a frightful piblicity photo.

And the shooters in the most violent campus multiple-killings, at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, have both had some history with a mixture of prescription medications.
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The journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine recently reported that compared to college students taking prescription drugs for medical reasons, those who use medications without a prescription are more likely to abuse illegal drugs.  The report also gave information on the high number of our college students using such drugs as sleep aids and anti-depressants.

Sean Esteban McCabe, Ph.D., M.S.W. (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) says that in the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in prescription rates of medications – such as stimulants, opioids, and benzodiazepines – that are likely to be abused in the United States.

“These increases are likely the result of many factors, including improved awareness regarding the signs and symptoms of several disorders, increased duration of treatment, availability of new medications and increased marketing,” said Dr. McCabe. “The increases in prescription rates have raised public health concerns because of the abuse potential of these medications and high prevalence rates of non-medical use, abuse and dependence, especially among young adults 18 to 24 years of age.”

Most people familiar with today’s young people, the Hollywood tabloids and other information sources can readily conclude what drugs are most used and abused.

Painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills are the most used and abused drugs among our college students and throughout our society, experts say.

According to Medical News Today, Dr. McCabe used a Web survey of 3,639 college students to acquire information about prescription drug use and potential drug abuse. The average age of the sample was 19.9 years. Students were asked if they used prescribed or had used without a prescription.

Students were also asked if they had experienced drug-related problems like engaging in illegal activities to obtain drugs, having withdrawal symptoms, or developing medical problems due to drug use.

Results of the survey are summarized below:

–59.9% reported medically using at least one of the four drugs with a prescription

–About 20% reported taking them without a prescription for non-medical reasons

–39.7% reported that they had used the drugs only by prescription

–4.4% used medications, but were not prescribed them

–15.8% reported using some medications, both with and without prescriptions

The researcher also found that students who reported using drugs without prescriptions were more likely to screen positive for drug abuse compared to students who never used them or who had only used them for medical reasons.

Dr. McCabe believes that physicians should be extremely careful when prescribing commonly abused drugs to college students.

“Clearly, appropriate diagnosis, treatment and therapeutic monitoring of college students who are receiving abusable prescription medications is crucial, not only to improve clinical outcomes but also to help prevent the abuse of these medications within a population that is largely responsible for its own medication management,” he writes.

“Finally, any efforts aimed at reducing non-medical use of prescription drugs will have to take into consideration that these drugs are highly effective and safe medications for most patients who use them as prescribed.”

There is another insidious implication of Dr. McCabe’s study.  If college students are taking these drugs at an alarming rate; when did they start?  For most, they start down this path while in high school or before.

Some of the Commonly Abused Medications

Oxycodone, a painkiller, is the active ingredient in the prescription drug OxyContin. Hydrocodone, another painkiller, is often combined with acetaminophen, as in the prescription drug Vicodin. Diazepam, sold under the commercial name Valium, is used to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. Temazepam, brand name Restoril, is prescribed in the short term to help patients fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

Alprazolam, commonly known under the brand name Xanax, is part of a class of medications called benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

Doxylamine, found in common “nighttime sleep aids,” is an an antihistamine that causes drowsiness as a side effect and is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia. (It is also used, in combination with decongestants, to relieve cough and cold symptoms.)

Ambian is a nightime sleep aid that is often abused and can be addictive.

The painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone are opiates, which are dangerous when combined with anti-anxiety medicines like diazepam, alprazolam and temazepam. According to a Drug Enforcement Administration Web site, oxycodone is often abused and an acute overdose can cause respiratory arrest and death.

Diazepam is sold under the brand name Valium and alprazolam is sold under the name Xanax. Temazepam is also used as a sleep aid and sold under the name Restoril. Doxylamine, a sleep aid and antihistamine, is an active ingredient in a number of over-the-counter medications, including NyQuil.

Related:
Northern Illinois Univ Killer Took Usual Deadly Cocktail Of Prescribed Drugs

AP probe finds drugs in drinking water

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Alarming Facts

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Another “Celebrity” In Trouble for Prescription Drug Abuse

February 8, 2008

PAHRUMP, Nev. – Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss was arrested Thursday on charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and driving under the influence, authorities said.

In this image released by the Nye County Sheriff's Office, former ...
In this image released by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss is shown in a booking mug released, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Pahrump, Nev. Authorities say Fleiss was arrested Thursday morning on charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and driving under the influence.
(AP Photo/Nye County Sheriff’s Office)
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Fleiss was pulled over at about 9:30 a.m. by sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of a possible drunken driver, the Nye County sheriff’s office said.

Fleiss was arrested on four counts, including possession of dangerous drugs without a prescription and driving under the influence.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080208/ap_on_
re_us/heidi_fleiss_arrest;_ylt=
ArsX2RblLDFL7LrNP6V9Yz2s0NUE

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File photo shows US pop star Britney Spears at the Los Angeles ...
File photo shows US pop star Britney Spears at the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse in January. Spears was released from a hospital psychiatric ward Wednesday, six days after being admitted amid concerns for her mental health, US media reported.
(AFP/File/Gabrile Bouys)

Rehab Report: Singer, Addict Winehouse to Miss Grammys Due to Rehab, No U.S. Visa & More

February 8, 2008
By Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press Writer 

LONDON – Amy Winehouse will not attend this year’s Grammy Awards because her request for a visa was denied, but she will perform by satellite at Sunday’s ceremony in Los Angeles. Winehouse and her acclaimed “Back to Black” album are nominated for Grammys in six categories.
Singer Amy Winehouse arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los ... 
Singer Amy Winehouse arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, in this June 3, 2007, file photo.
(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)

Winehouse’s potent blend of blues, jazz, pop and soul has won praise from critics and fans, but her chaotic personal life has increasingly upstaged her music.
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Concerned family members regularly beg Winehouse to seek help in letters splashed across the pages of British tabloid newspapers and magazines.
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Last month, The Sun newspaper ran still images from a video that it claimed showed Winehouse inhaling fumes from a small pipe. The images were said to have been filmed during a party at her London home.

Shortly thereafter, Winehouse entered a London rehabilitation center, and has been questioned by police.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080208/ap_on_en_
mu/grammys_winehouse;_ylt=AltPGIdShB
wyhujMQnTn8rus0NUE

Related:
Singer Amy Winehouse: Court Ordered Rehab

Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, pictured on January 18, ... 

Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse, pictured on January 18, was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic in Britain to help her battle against drug addiction, her record company said.(AFP/Shaun Curry)
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More Rehab Report

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
The Washington Post
Friday, February 8, 2008; 12:44 AMRehab: Not just for Amy Winehouse! Suddenly, there is a slew of boldface names checking in:

Kirsten DunstFor what: Too much bubbly?

After hitting the Sundance Film Festival party circuit, Dunst, 25, checked into rehab this week, reports People magazine. Dubbed “Kirsten Drunkst” by the tabloids, she told Jay Leno in 2005 she stocks up on Veuve Cliquot champagne at Costco and “I have lots of alcohol and no food in my fridge. . . . Maybe in a few months you will see me in a rehab clinic.”Eva Mendes

For what: Rep’s not saying.Before temporarily checking out Wednesday, Mendes spent several weeks in a Utah center without reporters knowing she was there. The 33-year-old actress decided to “proactively attend to some personal issues that, while not critical, she felt deserved some outside professional support,” her rep told People.

Delta Burke For what: Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding (!)Burke, 51, checked into a psychiatric hospital last week to sort out her meds. “They just weren’t working,” she said in a phone interview posted on TMZ.com. And her pack-rat problem? “OK, have you seen those shows where they don’t find the body for days, and they go in to clean up, and it’s stacks of newspapers up to the ceiling? That’s hoarding, and I hate it.”

Death Threat: What Do Many Teens Have in Common With Heath Ledger, Britney Spears?

February 7, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 7, 2008

There is a huge likelihood that a teenager you know shares these following things with Heath Ledger and Britney Spears: Vicodin, Oxycontin and Xanax and the belief that since doctors prescribed these they are OK to use.

But what few grasp is this: doctors are not saints.  Several told us that they prescribe drugs quickly so they can get to the next patient faster.

Add to this people who mix drugs, take more than is prescribed, mix drugs with alcohol, mix drugs without the primary care physician’s knowdge and “doctor shop.”

You end up with addiction, other illnesses and death.

Sadly, Heath Ledger’s Dad knows this too well.

“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy,” he said.

Intervention is that course of action that stops an abuser or an addict dead in their tracks — before death knoks on their door.

If you know someone who needs care due to drug (including alcohol) addiction or abuse: take action.  Show your love by causing an intervention.

You’ll regret looking the other way for the rest of your life.

Related:
Drug Abuse, Drug Overdose Killed Heath Ledger

Drug Abuse Usually Starts At Home

Singer Amy Winehouse: Court Ordered Rehab

Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers

Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

Addicts Neglected, Over-Medicated Despite Vast System of “Care”

China reports leap in new HIV/AIDS cases

September 9, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported 18,543 new cases of HIV/AIDS in the first half of this year, state media said, near the number for the whole of 2006.

Drug abuse was the main cause of new infections, Xinhua news agency quoted Han Mengjie, an official with AIDS Control Work Committee of the State Council, as saying in a report on Saturday.

Han also warned of the danger of the virus spreading to the general public through unsafe sex ….

Read it all at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070909/hl_
nm/china_aids_dc_1