CVS to be First U.S. Drugstore Chain to Stop Selling Tobacco Products

CVS_anti-smoking_logo_2-5-14

CVS Caremark announced Wednesday it will stop selling tobacco products by October 1, the Los Angeles Times reports. CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, will be the first national pharmacy company to stop selling tobacco.

The company has more than 7,600 retail stores, the article notes. Public health advocates have pressured retailers for years to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. CVS says its annual sales of tobacco products total about $2 billion, or about 1.6 percent of the company’s revenues in 2012.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company,” President and CEO Larry J. Merlo said in a statement. “The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health.” The company also said it will launch a “robust national smoking cessation program” this spring.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauded the company’s decision. In a statement, President Matthew L. Myers said the move “represents one of the strongest actions any business has ever taken to address the enormous public health problems caused by tobacco use. CVS’s decision will reduce the availability of cigarettes and other tobacco products and sends an unmistakable message to all Americans, especially children, that tobacco use is uniquely harmful and socially unacceptable.”

Target announced in 1996 that it would stop selling tobacco products. No major retailer has limited tobacco sales since then, according to the newspaper.

Click to http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/marketing-and-media/cvs-to-be-first-u-s-drugstore-chain-to-stop-selling-tobacco-products?utm_source=Join%20Together%20Daily&utm_campaign=3aa554f9da-JT_Daily_News_CVS_to_be_First_U_S_Drugstore_&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_97f4d27738-3aa554f9da-221343641

TeshuvahRoad

Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization

Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalize recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses.

According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, 37 people were killed across the state on Jan. 1, the first day the drug became legal for all adults to purchase. Several more are clinging onto life in local emergency rooms and are not expected to survive.

“It’s complete chaos here,” says Dr. Jack Shepard, chief of surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver. “I’ve put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute.

“We are seeing cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria and multiple organ failures. By next week the death toll could go as high as 200, maybe 300. Someone needs to step in and stop this madness. My god, why did we legalize marijuana? What were we thinking?”

Rainin’ Fire in the Sky

Colorado and Washington state approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use in November though statewide ballot measures. Under the new policies pot is legal for adult use, regulated like alcohol and heavily taxed.

One of the principal arguments of legalization advocates was that cannabis has long been considered safer than alcohol and tobacco and was not thought not to cause overdose. But a brave minority tried to warn Coloradans of the drug’s dangers.

“We told everyone this would happen,” says Peter Swindon, president and CEO of local brewer MolsonCoors. “Marijuana is a deadly hardcore drug that causes addiction and destroys lives.

“When was the last time you heard of someone overdosing on beer? All these pro-marijuana groups should be ashamed of themselves. The victims’ blood is on their hands.”

One of the those victims was 29-year-old Jesse Bruce Pinkman, a former methamphetamine dealer from Albuquerque who had recently moved to Boulder to establish a legal marijuana dispensary.

Pinkman was partying with friends when he suffered several seizures and a massive heart attack which ultimately proved to be fatal. Toxicology reports revealed that marijuana was the only drug present in his system.

“This is just a terrible tragedy,” says his friend Peter. “Jesse was trying to go legit and now this happens? I guess drugs really are as dangerous as they say.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the ballot initiative that legalized the drug, says he will call a special legislative session to try and overturn the new law.

“We can’t sit idly by and allow this slaughter to continue,” he said during a press conference Thursday.

Click to http://dailycurrant.com/2014/01/02/marijuana-overdoses-kill-37-in-colorado-on-first-day-of-legalization/

Human trials for cocaine vaccines to begin in 2014

This is a bad idea and could lead to genetic engineering of humans.  Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes.

(NaturalNews) A team of researchers led by Ronald Crystal at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York have developed two “anti-addiction” vaccines, which stop cocaine from reaching the brain. Crystal says he hopes to see people “thinking about addiction the same way you think about mumps and measles and polio, and eradicating it.” The first vaccine uses viral proteins of a modified cold virus attached to cocaine-like molecules to trigger the body to produce cocaine antibodies.

During trials on monkeys, researchers used an imaging molecule paired with PET brain scans to measure how effective the vaccine was in preventing cocaine from reaching the brain. LiveSciencereported, “In the monkeys with the cocaine vaccine, the imaging molecule lit up the brain like fireworks. This means little to none of the cocaine administered made it into their brains…. Unvaccinated monkeys gave a much dimmer signal in the brain.” The second method uses a type of gene therapy to introduce the cocaine-like virus into the liver; the liver then produces genetic material that contains a blueprint for the cocaine antibody. Rats vaccinated with this second method produced an abundant amount of cocaine antibodies and did not display symptoms of getting “high” for up to 17 weeks after vaccination.

Thomas Kosten, a researcher for Baylor College of Medicine called the carriers used by Crystal’s team “interesting.” Kosten’s approach, which reached human trials in 2013, uses cholera attached to a cocaine-like molecule to trigger an immune response to the drug. Vaccines developed by Crystal’s and Kosten’s teams would most likely require periodic vaccination. LiveScience explains that the vaccines block cocaine from reaching the brain, thus preventing a high in the user, but do not deal with or treat the desire to feel the high, therefore “there is a worry that drug addicts would try to ‘out-compete’ their antibodies against the drug by taking it in much larger amounts.” Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College still have to test the toxicity of the vaccines, but planned to begin human trials by mid-2014.

Sources:

newyork.cbslocal.com

nymag.com

livescience.com

science.naturalnews.com

Click to http://www.naturalnews.com/043656_cocaine_vaccines_drug_addiction_human_trials.html

Choice of Ending Addiction – 12 Steps or Jesus Christ

Just a question to those who would like to get off drugs & alcohol permanently and turn back from Addiction. Which choice is the best, 12 Steps or the Word of God? Compare the two below.

What does the hopeless 12 Steps teaches:

“Admit that you are powerless” over your problem, and that your life has become “unmanageable”.
“Come to believe” that only “A Power greater than yourself” (God) can save you — “restore you to sanity.”
Surrender your will and your life to the control of the group’s old-timers and ‘God’ as you misunderstand Him.
Perform a “searching and fearless moral inventory” to find and list all of your “defects of character” and “moral shortcomings”, and then confess the “exact nature of your wrongs” to your sponsor and to God.
Ask God to perform soul surgery on you, and fix you, by removing all of your “defects of character” and “moral shortcomings”.
Make amends to all whom you have harmed.
Repeat the above steps endlessly, for the rest of your life, and always promptly admit when you are wrong.
“Seek, through prayer and meditation, to make conscious contact with God.” That is, conduct a séance where you sit quietly and listen for the Voice of God to talk to you and dictate your work orders to you. Pray for the power to carry out those orders. Go do whatever the voices in your head tell you to do. (That is not a joke.)
Claim that you have gotten a “spiritual experience” or a “spiritual awakening” from doing the previous eleven steps. “Carry the message” to anyone else who will listen — make religious converts out of everyone else that you can — and somehow practice the above so-called “principles” in all of your affairs.

This is what the 12 Step Program is based on…  A higher power that is helpless to help you.

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-snake_oil.html

Here’s God’s way of healing addiction permanently…no steps…no sponsors…no disease theories to keep you in bondage:

But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.  1John 1:7-10

Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her. ”Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”  Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”  John 8:6-12

He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:19

Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there, thinking to themselves: “Why does He speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Right away Jesus understood in His spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He told the paralytic, “I tell you: get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”  Mark 2:5-11

So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own town. Just then some men brought to Him a paralytic lying on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the scribes said among themselves, “He’s blaspheming!” But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts? For which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He told the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” And he got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck and gave glory to God who had given such authority to men.
Matthew 9:1-8

With Jesus Christ There Is Hope!

TeshuvahRoad

America’s Number One Prescription Sleep Aid Could Trigger ‘Zombies,’ Murder and Other Disturbing Behavior

Ambien is becoming better known for triggering bizarre behavior than it is for treating insomnia.

On March 29, 2009, Robert Stewart, 45, stormed into the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina and opened fire, killing eight people and wounding two. Stewart’s apparent target was his estranged wife, who worked as a nurse in the home. She hid in a bathroom and was unharmed. Stewart was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder; if convicted, he could face the death penalty. Even though there was evidence that Stewart’s actions were premeditated (he allegedly had a target), Stewart’s defense team successfully argued that since he was under the influence of Ambien, a sleep aid, at the time of the shooting, he was not in control of his actions. Instead of the charges sought by the prosecutors, Stewart was convicted on eight counts of second-degree murder. He received 142 – 179 years in prison.

Ambien, a member of the class of medications known as hypnotics, was approved by the FDA in 1992. It was designed for short term use to combat insomnia and was a welcome change from the prevailing sleep aid at the time, Halcion, which had been implicated in psychosis, suicide, and addiction and had been banned in half a dozen countries. Ambien works by activating the neurotransmitter GABA and binding it to the GABA receptors in the same location as the benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium. The extra GABA activity triggered by the drug inhibits the neuron activity that is associated with insomnia. In other words, it slows down the brain. Ambien is extremely effective at initiating sleep, usually working within 20 minutes. It does not, however, have an effect on sustaining sleep unless it is taken in the controlled release form.

Although the Ambien prescribing information warned, in small print, that medications in the hypnotic class had occasional side effects including sleep walking, “abnormal thinking,” and “strange behavior,” these behaviors were listed as extremely rare, and any anecdotal evidence of “sleep driving,” “sleep eating,” or “sleep shopping”—all behaviors now associated with Ambien blackouts—were characterized as unusual quirks, or attributed to mixing the medication with alcohol. It wasn’t until Patrick Kennedy’s 2006 middle-of-the-night car accident and subsequent explanation to arriving officers that he was running late for a vote that the bizarre side effects of Ambien began to receive national attention. Kennedy claimed that he had taken the sleep aid and had no recollection of the events that night. After its approval, Ambien quickly rose to dominance in the sleep aid market. Travelers swore by it to combat jet lag, and women, who suffer more insomnia than men, bought it in droves. Sanofi, Ambien’s French manufacturer, made $2 billion in sales at its peak. In 2007 the generic version of Ambien was released, Zolpidem, and at less than $2 per pill, it still remains one of the most prescribed drugs in America, outselling popular painkillers like Percocet and prescription strength ibuprofen.

Shortly after the Kennedy incident, Ambien users sued Sanofi because of bizarre sleep-eating behaviors while on the drugs. According to Chana Lask, attorney for the class action suit, people were eating things like buttered cigarettes and eggs, complete with the shells, while under the influence of Ambien. Lask called people in this state “Ambien zombies.” As a result of the lawsuit, and of increasing reports coming in about “sleep driving,” the FDA ordered all hypnotics to issue stronger warnings on their labels.

In addition to giving consumers extra information so they could take the medication more carefully, the warning labels also gave legitimacy to the Ambien (or Zombie) defense. In March of 2011, Lindsey Schweigert took one Ambien before getting into bed at 6pm. Hours later, she woke up in custody with no idea how she’d gotten there. In the following weeks, Schweigert pieced together the events of that night. She’d gotten out of bed, drawn a bath, and left the house with her dog. She started driving to a local restaurant but crashed into another car soon after leaving her house. Police described her as swaying and glassy-eyed. She failed a sobriety test and was charged with DWI and running a stoplight.

Schweigert had a job that required a security clearance. She had never been in trouble with the law before and was terrified of losing her job and having a criminal record. Prosecutors initially wanted to impose a six month jail sentence in addition to other punishments, but Schweigert’s lawyer argued that Lindsey’s bizarre behavior on the night in question was a result of a medication which warned right on the label that “After taking AMBIEN, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night…Reported activities include: driving a car (“sleep-driving”), making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, sleep-walking.”  In fact, the lawyer argued, Schweigert should have been taken to a hospital, not to jail. Prosecutors dropped the charges and allowed Lindsey to plead to the lesser charge of careless driving, which meant that she could keep her security clearance. Her license was suspended for a year, however, and she had to pay upwards of $9,000 in legal fees.

As a result of the Schweigert verdict, an attorney successfully used the Ambien defense to overturn a 2006 DWI conviction for a New Jersey woman by arguing that the drug’s labeling had changed six months after his client’s arrest. The court agreed, saying that it would be an “injustice to hold her responsible for the undisclosed side effects of a popular and readily available medication that she was lawfully prescribed and properly administered.”

The Ambien defense was also used in the case of Julie Ann Bronson, a 45-year-old flight attendant from Texas. In April of 2009, Bronson took a couple of Ambien to help her sleep. She had been drinking wine earlier in the day, and went to bed early. She awoke the following morning in jail, still in her pajamas, barefoot and terrified. When she was told that she had run over three people, including an 18-month-old girl who suffered severe brain damage as a result of the wreck, she was horrified. “It was surreal. It was like a bad dream.” In May of 2012, Bronson pleaded guilty to the felonies of intoxication assault and failure to stop and render aid. “I did the crime but I never intended to do it,” she testified. “I wouldn’t hurt a flea. And if I would have hit somebody, I would have stopped and helped. We’re trained in CPR.” Bronson faced ten years, but because of the Ambien defense, she will serve six months in prison and have ten years of probation.

Not all prosecutors will consider the Ambien defense, and its position within established criminal rules is tenuous. It doesn’t really fall under “voluntary intoxication,” in which someone is responsible for his own intoxication and any events that occur as a result of that intoxication. The Ambien defendants knowingly took the drug, but they were not aware that they were drugging themselves in a way that could produce anything other than sleep. Nor does the Ambien defense fit under “involuntary intoxication,” which is when someone commits a crime after being drugged without his knowledge, or has an unpredictable reaction to a prescribed medication. The defendants knowingly took the medication, and the reactions, although surprising, were not unpredictable because they are listed as potential side effects in the prescribing information. Finally, there is the “unconsciousness/sleepwalking” defense, in which the person is not responsible for the crime if he did not intentionally cause the sleepwalking or unconsciousness. The whole motivation for taking Ambien in the first place is presumably to cause unconsciousness so this defense doesn’t really apply either.

Not everyone who engages in bizarre behavior as a result of taking Ambien ends up in legal trouble. And some people enjoy the high they get from the drug so much that they are willing to overlook the blackouts and negative consequences that result from their drug use. Most recreational users started out taking the drug to treat insomnia, but found that if they fought the drug’s sleep-inducing effect, they could get really high. “It’s like having that last drink at the bar when you know you should go home — I’d fight the pill’s effects and stay up, often telling my friends insane things like how to turn the light in the room into energy, or how paintings of forest scenes on their walls were actually drawings of mermaids bathing themselves in blood,” writes one young woman whose addiction to Ambien caused increasingly bizarre and alienating behavior. She continued taking the pill and staying awake regularly until one morning she woke up with two black eyes and a cut across her nose. Her pillows were bloody, and there was a stranger, naked and wrapped in a rug, on her floor. Neither she nor the stranger had any recollection of the events of the previous night. That situation, though jarring, was not enough to get her to give up Ambien; the high was too good. She took a break, but was soon back to taking it regularly, filled with rationalizations for her erratic behavior (All 20-somethings take drugs!) It wasn’t until she was found wandering the Brooklyn streets in the middle of the night, nearly naked, that she was able to give it up for good.Ironically, you are more likely to be successful using the Ambien defense if you injure or kill someone than if you just crash into a parked car or a tree. DWI laws usually just require the prosecution to prove that the defendant was loaded and got into a car to drive. There’s no requirement to show intention. When someone is harmed, however, it is up to the prosecutor to prove that the defendant was aware enough to be guilty of the crime. If people on Ambien are acting in an automatic, or unconscious state, it’s hard to claim that they have knowledge of their actions. That’s why people like Lindsey Schweigert get suspended licenses while Donna Neely, who was sleep-driving on Ambien and killed a mother of 11, was acquitted of vehicular manslaughter.

Rapper Eminem, whose albums have titles like “Relapse” and “Recovery,” has been open about his battles with prescription drug addiction, including his near overdose on methadone, his relapse, and his eventual detox.  He blames Ambien, however, for huge lapses in his memory over five years and an extended period of writer’s block. “…a lot of my memory is gone. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken Ambien, but it’s kind of a memory-eraser. That shit wiped out five years of my life. People will tell me stories, and it’s like, “I did that?” I saw myself doing this thing on [television network] BET recently, and I was like, “When was that?”” Eminem has kept some of his writing from that period, admitting to Rolling Stone that “It fucking creeps me out…Letters all down the page – it was like my hand weighed 400 pounds. I have all that shit in a box in my closet. As a reminder that I don’t ever want to go back.”

Tiger Woods was also famously associated with Ambien when one of his mistresses claimed that she and the golfer would have “crazy Ambien sex.” Ambien lessens inhibitions and erases memories, an ideal combination for someone who is cheating on his spouse. The buzz created by the drug appears to enhance sex as well. One woman described feeling “very relaxed and sensual” when she had sex on Ambien. “I suddenly have floaty energy. . I am tired, but energetic. It’s almost like I’m in a dreamlike state. I might compare it a little to weed, but nothing that I’ve done really compares, to be honest.”

The darker flipside to Ambien’s purported sex-enhancing qualities is that it is becoming increasingly used as a date rape drug. In fact, the only case of “sleep-sex” that appeared in a 2008 medical journal review of case reports on Ambien-related sleep behaviors involved the Ambien taker being raped.  The same lack of inhibition combined with amnesia that allows people to commit crimes, indulge in dishonest behavior, and have great sex on Ambien is also an ideal formula for a sexual predator. Ambien is also much more widely available and easily accessible than rohypnol, the drug usually associated with date rape.

Ambien is an effective sleep aid and a huge money maker for its manufacturer. Most people take it as prescribed and treat their insomnia successfully with no problems. But the problems that do occur with the drug are often extreme and tragic, and they seem to be increasing. (These cases only scratch the surface – currently a man in Northern California is using the Ambien defense to fight a charge of second degree sexual abuse of a minor and third degree sexual abuse of a minor. He allegedly molested a 10-year-old girl in April of 2012. He has no recollection of the alleged molestation and a polygraph test supports his claim. His court case is set for March. There is also a whole website,Ambien Outrage, dedicated to making “the public aware of the dangers of Ambien, Ambien CR and Zolpidem.” Additionally it maintains a database of “victims of Ambien,” those people who have either been harmed or killed by people on Ambien, or who have themselves committed bizarre acts while on Ambien.)

In May of last year, the FDA acted again to change the labeling on Ambien, this time lowering the recommended dose and warning people who take the controlled release version that they “should not drive or engage in other activities that require complete mental alertness the day after taking the drug because zolpidem levels can remain high enough the next day to impair these activities.”  If the whole idea of taking a sleep aid is to treat insomnia so that you can function more effectively during the day, being instructed to avoid driving and other activities that require mental alertness seems to defeat the purpose of taking the drug in the first place.

The DEA categorizes drugs according to their potential for abuse and addiction. Schedule I drugs are the most likely to be abused, and Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse or addiction. Ambien is a schedule IV drug, and can be prescribed and refilled without restriction. Some toxicologists, such as Janci Lindsay, believe that many Ambien-related tragedies would be avoided if the drug were upgraded to Schedule II, a category that includes controlled substances such as Ritalin and Oxycontin. Other countries, such as Australia, Taiwan, and Japan, have all issued special warnings about Ambien and have begun regulating the drug more carefully ever since reports started surfacing about “potentially dangerous” Ambien-induced behaviors.

Julie Ann Bronson took ambien and then later got out of bed and got behind the wheel in a blackout. She ended up running over people and causing a baby to have severe brain damage. Lindsey Schweigert also got out of bed, unconscious, and engaged in bizarre behavior before crashing her car. Even in the wake of these and other tragedies, Sanofi still maintains that “When taken as prescribed, Ambien is a safe and effective treatment for insomnia.” Sanofi also points out that the prescribing literature warns patients not to drive or to get out of bed after taking the medication.

Just think: If only Julie, Lindsey, and countless others had followed Sanofi’s instructions and not gotten out of bed, all these tragedies could have been prevented!

Merck is currently working on a new sleep medication which acts on different receptors than the hypnotic medications. In early studies, the drug appears to be effective at treating insomnia while lacking the disturbing side effects of the hypnotics. If successful, the drug would be a much needed alternative to the current group of sleep aids which all work the same way in the brain. It’s not clear, however, that any new medication could even make a dent in the $1.6 billion U.S. market for insomnia treatments currently dominated by Ambien.

Click to http://www.alternet.org/drugs/americas-number-one-prescription-sleep-aid-could-trigger-zombies-murder-and-other-disturbing?ak_proof=1&akid=.1121926.wDJK8-&rd=1&src=newsletter948677&t=11&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

TeshuvahRoad

Ambien is just as Dangerous as Narcotic and Dangerous Prescription Drugs!