Feds: A popular drug from the disco era is making a deadly return

Today’s narcotics abusers may be turning to cocaine in part “because there’s been a lot of bad press about other drugs.”

By Corky Siemaszko

 

The bitter lessons about the dangers of cocaine from the disco era in the 1970s may be lost on a new generation of drug abusers.

A phenomenon known as “generational forgetting” may be one of the reasons for the deadly uptick in cocaine deaths that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week, experts said.

“Certain drugs seem to go in and out of style,” Daniel Raymond, deputy director of the Harm Reduction Coalition, said. “Right now we’re seeing an uptick in cocaine use, and we’re hitting that point in the cycle where we’re starting to see more fatal overdoses.”

“Absolutely, there is a generational piece to this,” said Hans Breiter, a Northwestern University psychiatry professor and one of the world’s leading experts on how cocaine stimulates the human brain.

Today’s narcotics abusers may be turning to cocaine in part “because there’s been a lot of bad press about other drugs,” Breiter said.

Just like the generation that dealt with the horrors of AIDS was followed by another that was less afraid of the scourge and thus more likely to have unprotected sex, today’s drug users aren’t afraid of cocaine like they should be, he said.

“We see this kind of forgetting in politics all the time, for example,” he said. “People resurrecting ideas like trickle-down economics, even though it’s been pretty much invalidated.”

On Thursday, the CDC reported that overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising around 2012 and jumped by more than a third between 2016 and 2017.

CDC researchers also found that almost three-quarters of the deaths involving cocaine in 2017 were among people who had also taken opioids.

But deaths involving cocaine alone also increased, said the CDC’s Lawrence Scholl, who was one of the study’s authors.

That could be because there’s more cocaine on the streets, Raymond, of the Harm Reduction Coalition, said.

“We have a greater supply of cocaine now than we did 10 years ago,” he said. “My understanding is production had fallen off in Colombia and it has been increasing again.”

Sheila Vakharia of the Drug Policy Alliance wrote in an email “there is definitely something to be said for cyclical theories of drug use because when we focus a lot of time/energy/resources on restricting the ‘drug du jour’ it opens the market for alternative drugs and encourages suppliers to diversify.”

Of late, the drug du jour wreaking havoc across America has been opioids, which have killed tens of thousands nationwide, with the addiction cutting like a scythe through states such as West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC.

But the Drug Enforcement Administration also reported in its National Drug Threat Assessment last year that cocaine availability has increased steadily in the United States since 2012, especially on the East Coast and in the South.

According to the CDC report, 10,131 out of the 13,942 cocaine-involved deaths (almost 73 percent) also involved an opioid.

Heroin is an opioid made from morphine. But drug dealers have been boosting profits by cutting their drugs with synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is 25 to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Breiter said drug addicts often get high on something known on the street as a “speedball,” which is a combination of cocaine and heroin.

“People will use heroin to blunt the severity of coming down from the high of cocaine,” he said. “It can be quite severe.”

The problem is that when the heroin is cut with an opioid, it can make this drug cocktail even more lethal, the experts said.

Vakharia said there have been reports of drug dealers cutting cocaine with opioids and “cocaine users naïve to opioids are overdosing because they have no tolerance.” But neither she nor her colleagues at Drug Policy are convinced that is the case.

“It makes little sense,” she wrote. “Why would a seller want to kill off a customer.”

Raymond agreed that he didn’t believe that fentanyl-contaminated cocaine was intentional, given the opposing effects of the two drugs.

“We’re not seeing a huge trend of cocaine intentionally mixed with opioids like fentanyl,” he said. “Why? I think that’s probably because fentanyl is very sedating, cocaine is very stimulating.” (Click to Source)

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Federal opioid pill bust reveals doctors trading pills for sex, dentists pulling good teeth

Terry DeMio, Cincinnati EnquirerPublished 5:35 p.m. ET April 19, 2019

CINCINNATI – They were medical professionals but they traded prescription pain pills for sex, prosecutors say. Others let untrained office workers examine patients, leaving a blank prescription pad at the clinic, their indictments reveal.

One dentist extracted the healthy teeth of patients as an excuse to give them painkillers, the feds say. Two of the prescribers charged in this week’s federal opioid sweep caused the deaths of five patients because of overprescribing, court papers show.

All of the 60 doctors, nurse practitioners, office staff, pharmacists and dentists charged in an Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioids Strike Force investigation face felonies for prescribing opioids when they shouldn’t.

The accusations in some of the indictments go beyond making money off people with addiction disease or acting to obtain drugs to feed their own addictions.

For example, Dr. Thomas Ballard III is accused of giving pain pills to people in exchange for sex and prescribing opioids to at least one pregnant woman, who died.

Court documents say Ballard, of Ballard Clinic-Family Practice in Jackson, Tennessee, didn’t monitor his patients for addiction as required. He also prescribed the deadly combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, a sedative, despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA warnings. He was charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting, as well as unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances.

Combining opioids and benzodiazepines, which are sedatives often prescribed for anxiety disorder or depression, is deadly. In 2016, the CDC issued new guidelines recommending that clinicians avoid prescribing the two kinds of medications together.

Ballard’s case wasn’t the only drugs-for-sex case in Jackson.

The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force announced that they have charged 60 individuals, including 53 medical professionals, with crimes related to illegal distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics. Albert Cesare, acesare@enquirer.com

 

\There was also Jeffrey Young, the self-nicknamed “Rock Doc,” who actually is a nurse practitioner, accused of trading opioids for sex.

A federal grand jury indictment says that Young prescribed about a half-million hydrocodone pills, 300,000 oxycodone pills, 1,500 fentanyl patches and 600,000 benzodiazepine pills over three years. His supervisors, Dr. Alexander Alperovich and Dr. Andrew Rudin, were also indicted.

Young even had a radio show about his clinic at one point.

In Kentucky, there was an absent doctor. Dr. Mohammed A.H. Mazumder of Prestonsburg, owned Appalachian Primary Care in Prestonsburg. A federal indictment says he told his employees, who weren’t doctors, to receive patients at the clinic when he wasn’t there. The indictment says that a medical technician evaluated patients, then two receptionists called pharmacies with prescription orders for pain pills and other drugs under Mazumder’s name. The clinic billed Medicare and Medicaid, as if Mazumber had done the job.

Dr. Denver Tackett ran a dental clinic in McDowell, Kentucky. An indictment accuses him of prescribing oxycodone and hydrocodone that were not reasonable for the treatment of patient’s illness or injury. He also is accused of pulling teeth out of six patients from 2016 to 2018 who had no need for extractions, as well as submitting claims to Medicare and Medicide for procedures he did not perform.

Tanya Mentzer, an office manager at a family medicine clinic in the city of Hoover, Alabama, also faces federal charges. She had no medical education, license or medical experience, say the feds, but she is accused of distributing and dispensing controlled substances illegally to gain money.

The indictment claims that she and co-conspirators operated their business as “a pill mill, frequently providing dangerous, addictive, powerful opioid cocktails” for no medical reason. (In this indictment, the co-conspirators are unnamed.) The clinic was often open at odd hours, including after midnight, the feds say.

Also in Alabama, Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turnerof Choice Medicine Clinic near Huntsville, is accused of prescribing excessive amounts of drugs, giving patients as many as 15 pills a day and leaving blank forms to be filled out by staff when she wasn’t at the clinic. She was the sole physician at the clinic, the indictment says.

Dr. Darrell Rinert, an internist with a license to practice in Tennessee, is accused in a federal grand jury indictment of causing the deaths of four people, after prescribing them hydrocodone repeatedly from 2014-2016. An indictment claims that Rinert routinely prescribed “highly addictive opioids” including morphine sulfate, hydrocodone, oxycodone and dextroamphetamine for patients without a legitimate medical reason.

The state medical board suspended him in November 2018 through May 2019, when his license will expire.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr released a statement calling the investigation “outstanding.” He added, “The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said stopping the illegal sales of opioid prescriptions is a crucial goal for President Donald Trump.

Azar also referred to the operation’s first-of-its-kind effort to get treatment to the patients left behind.

“It is also vital that Americans struggling with addiction have access to treatment and that patients who need pain treatment do not see their care disrupted, which is why federal and local public health authorities have coordinated to ensure these needs are met in the wake of this enforcement operation,” he said. (Click to Source)

More: See the full list of those indicted.

Costa Mesa files lawsuit against distributors and manufacturers of opioid pain medication

Costa Mesa is taking distributors and manufacturers of opioid pain medication to court in a bid to recoup tax dollars it alleges were spent as a result of the addiction epidemic that has afflicted communities coast to coast.

 

In a lawsuit filed March 29, the city argues that the businesses “intentionally flooded the market with opioids and pocketed billions of dollars in the process” while making “false statements designed to persuade both doctors and patients that prescription opioids posed a low risk of addiction.”

 

Such actions, the city alleges, “have not only caused significant costs but have also created a palpable climate of fear, distress, dysfunction and chaos among Costa Mesa residents where opioid diversion, abuse and addiction are prevalent and where diverted opioids tend to be used frequently.”

 

Opioids include powerful legal prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.

 

The lawsuit names about a dozen distributors and manufacturers as defendants, including Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and certain members of the Sackler family that controls the company.

 

“This epidemic has personally touched the lives of many members of our community,” Mayor Katrina Foley said in a statement Thursday. “It’s time that we take action and put a halt to the lives being destroyed and the economic drain opioid addiction is placing on our community.”

 

Purdue Pharma spokesman Bob Josephson wrote in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon that the company “and the individual former directors of the company vigorously deny the allegations in the complaint and will continue to defend themselves against these misleading allegations.”

 

“The complaint is part of a continuing effort to try these cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,” Josephson wrote. He added that he believes the complaint disregards or fails to note facts about Purdue’s prescription medications and pertinent federal regulations.

 

“Such serious allegations demand clear evidence linking the conduct alleged to the harm described, but we believe the city fails to show such causation and offers little evidence to support its sweeping legal claims,” he said.

 

In the suit, Costa Mesa alleges it has seen increased costs in myriad areas as a result of the opioid epidemic, including “medical and therapeutic care,” “counseling, treatment and rehabilitation services,” public safety and code enforcement.

 

A particularly pressing issue from the city’s perspective is the proliferation of local sober-living homes, which house recovering addicts, including those battling opioid dependence. Costa Mesa “has the largest concentration of sober-living homes in Orange County, creating a plethora of nuisance issues for residents, multiple calls for service by police and fire and millions of dollars in legal fees,” according to a city news release.

 

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Costa Mesa fire Capt. Mike Kreza, who died in November after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. The driver, Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, of Mission Viejo, was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. Authorities allege he was in possession of pills prescribed by aTustin doctor who faces federal charges of illegally distributing opioids and other narcotics by writing prescriptions to people without medical examinations.

 

“Costa Mesa has been directly injured by the loss of Capt. Kreza, including costs for training and hiring a replacement, as well as pension and death benefits,” the lawsuit states. “These increased costs could have been — and should have been — prevented by the opioid industry.”

 

Lawsuits such as Costa Mesa’s have become increasingly common. Last month, Purdue and the Sackler family agreed to pay $270 million to the state of Oklahoma to settle claims that aggressive marketing of OxyContin helped create the addiction crisis, according to the

Associated Press. Nationwide, the company faces nearly 2,000 lawsuits, AP reported.

But Josephson said, “We believe that no pharmaceutical manufacturer has done more to address the opioid addiction crisis than Purdue, and we continue to work closely with governments and law enforcement agencies on this difficult social issue.” (Click to Source)

 

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Johnson & Johnson exposed as the mastermind corporation behind the opioid epidemic that kills 60,000 Americans a year

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 by: Isabelle Z.

(Natural News) Who is to blame for the opioid epidemic that is currently gripping the nation and taking the lives of 60,000 Americans each year? Most people tend to blame the makers of these drugs, the doctors who prescribe them, and some even fault those who take these medications. However, now a very familiar name has been exposed as being the mastermind behind the opioid epidemic: Johnson & Johnson.

While you might associate Johnson & Johnson with pure images like the squeaky-clean, soft skin of a baby thanks to years of effective marketing, it appears that something far dirtier is going on at the New Jersey-based multinational personal care brand. The accusation that it was the “kingpin” fueling the opioid crisis in the U.S. and acting as a major seller, provider and lobbyist carries a lot of weight as it comes from Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Mike Hunter.

In May, his state will see the first major opioid epidemic trial take place, and it is expected to set the stage for litigation of a similar nature across the country, not to mention a nationwide lawsuit. Hunter requested that a state court release millions of pages of confidential documents to the public that were submitted by Johnson & Johnson during the case’s discovery phase, writing that the public interest contained therein is “urgent, enduring and overwhelming.”

J&J targeted vulnerable groups while downplaying dangers

The state of Oklahoma is alleging that Johnson & Johnson targeted vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and children, for painkiller prescriptions. The company also funded groups that advocated to facilitate access to the drugs, such as the Pain Care Forum. In addition, they downplayed the drug’s dangers; for example, a brochure made by a subsidiary of J&J geared toward senior citizens outrageously states that “opioids are rarely addictive.”

The defendants in the case include Johnson & Johnson as well as Teva Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, and Allergan. Hunter says the firms deceived the public into thinking the drugs were safe to use over long periods. District Court Judge Thad Balkman recently denied a request made by the pharmaceutical companies involved to delay the trial, saying that it’s in the public’s interest for this trial to begin as scheduled.

Johnson & Johnson is being accused of using a web of domestic and foreign subsidiaries to provide the raw materials needed to manufacture opioids. While companies like Purdue Pharma, who produce OxyContin, certainly need to be held accountable for their extreme irresponsibility, J&J’s culpability is also clear. They played a big role in producing the raw narcotics from poppy fields that are turned into active ingredients in top-selling opioids, boasting that their poppy’s morphine content was some of the “highest in the world,” according to an Axios report.

The two subsidiaries that handled the opium poppy business, Tasmanian Alkaloids and Noramco, were sold by J&J for $650 million in 2016 to a private equity firm. A year earlier, they sold an opioid pill that they had previously marketed known as Nucynta, while they continued to sell the fentanyl patch Duragesic. According to a state court document, the company was a “kingpin behind the public-health emergency, profiting at every stage.” (Related: Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion for making false marketing claims and engaging in kickbacks.)

Johnson & Johnson is also facing legal action for covering up the connection between asbestos-containing baby powder and cancer.

More than 1,600 American cities and 36 states are currently suing the makers and distributors of opioids in hopes of collecting funds needed to deal with the opioid public health crisis.

Everyone who has played a role in this devastating crisis deserves to be exposed and brought to justice, from those who put opioids in people’s hands to those who help pharmaceutical companies obtain the ingredients they need to make these deadly drugs. (Click to Source)

Sources for this article include:

WakingTimes.com

Axios.com

Where you live may influence how much opioid you use

March 11, 2019

In a recent study, researchers found where people live may determine how many opioids they can get.

For example, people who sought care for a sprained ankle in states that are “high prescribers” of opioids were three times more likely to get a prescription for opioids than people in “low-prescribing” states.

The research was conducted by a team from Penn Medicine.

Previous studies have shown that opioid abuse and addiction has become a serious public health issue.

In the current study, the team examined private insurance claims data from more than 30,800 people who visited U.S. emergency departments for an ankle sprain from 2011-2015.

They found that overall, about 25% of patients received a prescription for an opioid painkiller, even though opioids are not the first-line treatment for the health condition.

In total, more than 143,000 opioid tablets were prescribed for patients.

Moreover, there was wide variation across states in opioid prescription. The high prescribing states offer opioids much more easily to patients than the low prescribing states.

For instance, only 3% of patients received an opioid prescription in North Dakota, compared to 40% in Arkansas.

In addition, the team found when patients received opioid prescriptions for long courses (e.g. more than 30 tablets of oxycodone 5 mg), they were five times more likely to fill additional opioid prescriptions over the next 6 months than those who received just a few days’ supplies.

The findings suggest wide geographic variability in prescribing patterns for minor injuries.

The team suggests it is important to reduce the size of new, initial opioid prescriptions, which can increase the risk of prolonged opioid use.

If opioids are absolutely necessary, doctors should prescribe the lowest initial dose possible, which should be no more than 10-12 tablets.

In addition, there should be more specific opioid and non-opioid prescription guidelines.

It is also important to find better non-opioid alternatives for pain management of minor injuries.

The lead author of the study is M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn.

The study is published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. (Click to Source)

Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

 

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

Despite what Big Pharma says, opioids do almost nothing to treat pain – study

Thursday, March 07, 2019 by: Lance D Johnson

(Natural News) A placebo pill is almost as effective as opioids for killing pain, suggests a new meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is because the physiological pain-killing effects of opioids decrease over time. As the pain-killing effects wane, a larger dose is needed, causing opioid addiction. The researchers warn that this can lead to physical dependence and a potential overdose. The study inadvertently found that a placebo can affect how people perceive pain, providing relief with no side effects.

The meta-analysis pooled together 96 randomized clinical trials, including 26,169 patients who dealt with daily pain that was not derived from cancer treatments. From the onset, an opioid prescription relieved pain and improved physical functioning, but as time wore on, the association diminished as the pain-killing effects of opioids decreased over time. Opioid use was also associated with increased risk of vomiting.

“The benefits of opioids for managing chronic pain tend to be quite modest,” said study author Jason Busse, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of anesthesia at McMaster University‘s school of medicine in Ontario, Canada.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and medical cannabis also showed similar improvements in pain and physical functioning, with less dependency issues. In the case of medical cannabis, there is no threat of an overdose.

This meta-analysis supports the CDC’s newest 2016 guidelines, which urge health care professionals to prescribe opioids more responsibly. The National Institutes of Health have initiated an opioid addiction research plan to research the effectiveness of non-drug, mind/body techniques for alleviating pain and helping tissues heal. Yoga, tai chi, mindfulness meditation, nutrition, and acupuncture will all play a role in future protocols for helping Americans who struggle with chronic pain, stiffness, and poor tissue healing.

Herbalism offers great pain relief solutions

According to the CDC, there are roughly 50 million Americans struggling with pain that lasts longer than three months. Chronic pain is now one of the top reasons why people seek medical care in the U.S. Much pain can be relived through anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrient supplementation. Herbalists and naturopathic doctors have successfully used anti-inflammatory, plant-based compounds to treat pain stemming from injury or chronic disease.

White willow bark: An extract of white willow, containing salicin, is an effective pain relief remedy. When salicin converts to salicylic acid in the body, it can effectively relieve headaches and cramps.

Jamaican Dogwood bark: An extract of Jamaican dogwood bark can mitigate pain in the tissues, relieving menstrual cramps, migraines, and nerve pain. Its unique content of glycosides, flavonoids, rotenone, and resin alkaloid, make it suitable as an anodyne, anti-spasmodic, and sedative.

Turmeric: Curcumin, found in turmeric, is an effective anti-inflammatory. When its absorption is maximized, turmeric can noticeably reduce pain throughout the body. A 2008 study published in Critical Care Medicine found that turmeric down-regulates inflammatory genes and can replace the drug dexamethasone for the treatment of lung transplantation-associated injury.

Guggul gum resin: The anti-inflammatory properties of guggul make it effective for mitigating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Guggul relieves joint pain, stiffness, and swelling and reduces circulatory levels of cytokines, which are inflammatory substances secreted by certain cells.

Devil’s Claw: The root’s two most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds are harpagoside and beta-sitosterol. When synthesized by the body, these compounds help reduce swelling in tissues, making way for quicker healing. While also containing three trace minerals that speed up healing, chromium, magnesium, and selenium, devil’s claw helps remediate rheumatoid Arthritis, sciatica pain and gout.

Opioids are dangerous medication that cause physical dependence and waning results. Medical cannabis and other powerful phyto-nutrients provide a safer pathway for pain relief. When chronic pain is present, it’s very important to investigate the root cause in case a more serious underlying issue is occurring, such as an internal bleed from an artery dissection. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

IntegrativePractitioner.com

IntegrativePractitioner.com

HealthGuideInfo.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalPedia.com

NaturalPedia.com

Self.com

 

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Kratom Overdoses Are on the Rise. Why They’re Hard to Spot

The FDA reported a spike in kratom overdoses. Here are the warning signs.

Written by Gigen Mammoser on February 22, 2019

Kratom use has ballooned in recent years. So have overdoses.

In the United States, calls to poison control centers about the drug have jumped dramatically. About 32 percent of those cases ended up being admitted to the hospital, with more than half resulting in serious medical outcomes, including 11 deaths.

According to new research published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, between 2011 and 2017, 1,807 kratom exposures were reported to poison control centers. Two-thirds occurred between 2016-2017 alone.

In 2011, only 13 exposures were reported, compared with 682 in 2017 — jumping from about one call per month to two calls per day.

All in all, a more than 50-fold increase.

“It has gotten more popular I guess you would say. When we started there were tens of cases and now there are hundreds of cases per year,” said Rick Spiller, MS, DABAT, FAACT, a co-author of the research, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

What is kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a Southeast Asian tree. Leaves of the plant, consumed raw, in capsules, or tea, are known to produce mild stimulant and opioid-like effects. The plant has been used traditionally for centuries as an analgesic and substance that can be misused in places like Thailand and Myanmar.

It has been described by experts as an “atypical opioid” because of the pathways through which it interacts with the brain.

“It’s a more complex substance. It’s not just a single mechanism,” said Spiller.

Its complexity means that overdose symptoms can be more difficult to diagnose — especially when compared with traditional opioids. Kratom affects the μ-receptor [mu-receptor], like other opiates, but also affects serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition.

“Kratom is a difficult toxin to manage for several reasons. First, the doses are not well defined because it is a plant product. Second, the toxicity can manifest in very different ways and time frames depending on the patient, what else they may be taking, or how much experience/tolerance they have to opioids. There are a lot of variables,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the medical director of the Fresno/Madera Division of the California Poison Control System.

Why a kratom overdose is different

An opioid overdose typically involves shallow or depressed breathing, slow or weak pulse, and unconsciousness. While a kratom overdose can involve some of these symptoms, it is also frequently accompanied by others that are rarely associated with opioids.

“We clearly saw respiratory depression. We saw coma. That’s what you expect from that μ-receptor, that opioid receptor, but…[we saw] things like seizure, agitation, tachycardia, hypertension. None of this has anything to do with the μ-receptor, but it does with the norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibition.”

The study found that the most common effects of the drug also included nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion.

Treating these widely varying symptoms can’t be done with any single kind of medication. Whereas an opioid overdose is commonly treated with a drug like naloxone (Narcan), often referred to as the “anti-overdose” drug, symptoms like seizures and agitation are treated with benzodiazepines, a sedative.

“We treat what is showing up. Again because there isn’t a lot of data before this, you’d go in and say, oh this is an opiate, and the person is seizing in front of you, and everybody who knows anything about opiates knows that they don’t seize. That’s not what opiates do,” said Spiller.

The reason for the increase in kratom use and overdose isn’t clear either. The drug’s increasing popularity is often seen has yet another facet of the United States’ ongoing opioid epidemic. Anecdotally, users report that the drug can be used as part of opioid withdrawal maintenance, trying to stop using drugs, or at least transitioning away from pharmaceutical pain relievers and other misused drugs.

However, Spiller and his colleagues are concerned that the drug’s reputation as a natural, plant-based remedy is misleading.

“This is not benign because it’s a plant and natural. There is a real concern there that there needs to be some caution,” said Spiller.

That point is reinforced in the study by the fact that kratom is starting to show up in infants.

The authors report seven incidences of newborns exposed to kratom, all of which occurred within the most recent time period, 2016-2017. Five of those cases also showed symptoms of withdrawal.

That means there is the potential for pregnant mothers to pass the drug through the placenta to their unborn babies.

“We don’t know why the mother was using it. We don’t know if it was for pain or to get high or for opiate withdrawal, we just have the neonates with neonatal withdrawal symptoms. That’s something we want to get out there,” said Spiller.

A ‘drug of concern’

Kratom is legal throughout the United States and can be bought over the internet. Both the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have mulled potential action on kratom, but neither has yet acted. Currently the DEA considers it a “drug of concern,” and it has no approved medical use by the FDA.

“This is definitely something to keep an eye on,” said Vohra.

Despite the increase in overdoses and calls to poison control centers, fatalities and hospitalizations associated with kratom use remain relatively low.

Spiller is most concerned with getting more information on kratom out to the public — from those who use the drug regularly to doctors and federal agencies.

“Right now we are seeing hundreds of people in the ER but that’s across the U.S. If that starts turning into thousands I think there is going to be some action,” he said. (Click to Source)

 

Disturbing CDC statistics show that opioids have killed more people than the Vietnam War

Yeshua -Jesus alone, Can Break the Chains of Addiction and Set You Free!Yeshua Set Free with website blue

 

Sunday, February 17, 2019 by: Rhonda Johansson

prescription-bottle-pills-drugs-spilt

(Natural News) Data from a newly released study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that nearly a quarter of a million Americans have died in the last two decades from overdosing on opioid drugs — a number four times the number of U.S. casualties from the entire Vietnam War. The research, which looked at drug overdose deaths from 1999 to 2017, concluded that in 2017, there was a 9.6 percent increase in deaths than the previous year. Most of the deaths were attributed to the excessive consumption of synthetic opioids.

The danger is not limited to adults. Another recent study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine concluded that the number of opioid-related deaths among children has increased threefold. Researchers of this study said that while most of the deaths were caused by the intake of illegal opioid drugs, some children are still being harmed by prescription medicine.

As stated in an article posted on the website of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

Many commonly prescribed opioids do not come in childproof packaging. [Researchers]also warned that as [a] medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder increases among adults, children and adolescents will be more likely to be exposed to opioids such as methadone and suboxone unless more restrictive safety measures are put in place.

In yet another study, researchers wrote that premature death caused by opioids places a growing public health burden in the United States. In a 2018 study in JAMA Network Open, researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada concluded that:

  • Between 2001 and 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in our country increased by 345 percent.
  • By 2016, men accounted for 67.5 percent of all opioid-related deaths, with the mean age of men dying prematurely being 40 years old.
  • Among adults aged between 24 to 45 years old who died in 2016, 20 percent died from an opioid overdose.
  • Adults between the ages of 24 to 34 typically have 12.9 years of life lost per 1,000 population.
  • Similarly, those aged between 35 to 44 years old had 9.9 years of life lost per 1,000 population.

These numbers, shocking and disturbing as they are, fail to influence the decision-making processes of the officials elected to safeguard our health. In November 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved a controversial new opioid which was 10 times more powerful than fentanyl, despite heavy criticism that the drug would be a danger to public health.

Take note that fentanyl is already 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and was initially synthesized to help alleviate pain in terminal cancer patients. The pop star icon Prince died at the age of 57 from accidentally overdosing on this drug. (Related: Painkiller Patch Fentanyl May Have Killed 3,500 People, Warns FDA.)

So where is the outrage? We deliberately presented to you all the numbers, statistics, and data you need to make your own decisions about synthetic opioids. This, to increase your awareness that there may be a (not so) hidden move to hide the truth from you that natural alternatives, such as medical cannabis, may provide safer, and even more effective pain relief than what Big Pharma is offering.

Consider this: Plants like cannabis, which is considered a Schedule I drug whereas fentanyl is a Schedule 8 drug, are regularly demonized for being the reason why our kids die young. However, the CDC’s own data shows that the number of people who have died from this natural treatment is almost negligible, and their own scientists state that pharmaceutical painkillers are a thousand times more dangerous than natural ones.

Evidence also shows that medical cannabis is more superior at relieving pain than opioids.

We urge you to really think and do your research before you pop any type of pill. There may be natural alternatives to deal with your condition — and remember, these options may be less risky too. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

CDC.gov

AAFP.org

JAMANetwork.com

ScientificAmerican.com

ADF.org.au

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

GreenMedInfo.com

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Prescription painkillers found to worsen chronic pain, generating more demand for the same drugs

Sunday, February 17, 2019 by: 

hand-reach-drugs-pink-opioids-pills

(Natural News) The opioid epidemic that is currently plaguing the United States is no longer a secret; millions of citizens across the nation are struggling with an addiction to the prescription painkillers. One of the primary defenses for these often-harmful drugs is that so many people take them to relieve unyielding and insufferable pain.

But what if these drugs aren’t actually helping those people either? Furthermore, what if these drugs actually make pain worse?

A research team from the University of Colorado Boulder discovered just that; opioid painkillers can actually exacerbate chronic pain, and may also prolong the condition that they are supposed to be healing. Perhaps this is why the use of prescription pain relievers like oxycodone and hydrocodone have quadrupled since 1999 — in less than 20 years.

The dangers of opioids simply cannot be overstated. Estimates suggest that over 2 million Americans alone suffer from an opioid addiction, and another half a million people struggle with heroin addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 80 percent of heroin users report that their addiction began with opioid pain relievers. Thousands of people receive urgent medical care for accidental or intentional misuse of these dangerous drugs. On top of that, opioids contribute to up to 60 deaths per day, according to some statistics. (Related: Big Pharma spent $880 million fighting against state opioid restrictions.)

Opioids are not worth the risk

Many people take these drugs daily in an effort to combat chronic pain, but the study from Colorado University Boulder suggests that this could indeed be more detrimental than anything else. In fact, the research team even surmised that “prolonged pain is an unrealized and clinically concerning consequence of the abundant use of opioids in chronic pain.”

The study, which was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in rats, opioids prolonged and increased chronic pain.

The research revealed that just five days of treatment with morphine led to chronic pain that persisted for several months. What the team found was that the drug treatment provoked pain signals from the rats’ microglia — which are a type of immune cell that is specific to the central nervous system.

One interesting aspect of the microglia is their ability to respond to changes in sensory activity and potentially influence neuronal activity acutely and long-term — even in mature brains. A team of researchers from the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Health, noted in their 2011 paper that, “Microglia seem to be particularly involved in monitoring the integrity of synaptic function.”

Given that these cells seem to be especially intertwined with the central nervous system, it would be particularly concerning to learn that opioids trigger microglia into action. The team from the University of Colorado Boulder also noted that the microglia play an “important role” when it comes to pain management.

In their abstract, the researchers commented, “These data also provide strong support for the recent ‘two-hit hypothesis’ of microglial priming, leading to exaggerated reactivity after the second challenge, documented here in the context of nerve injury followed by morphine. This study predicts that prolonged pain is an unrealized and clinically concerning consequence of the abundant use of opioids in chronic pain.”

Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia: a known side-effect

The potential for opioids to actually worsen pain has been a known effect of the drugs for quite some time now. The condition even has a name: opioid induced hyperalgesia, or OIH for short. Some of the symptoms of OIH include an expanding region of pain, decreased pain threshold, increased sensitivity to painful and non-painful stimuli, and worsening pain despite the ingestion of an increasing number of opioids.

Many studies have described this phenomenon, with research on this apparent side effect of opioid administration dating back to the 1970s. And yet, in spite of this knowledge, somehow these drugs have been pushed on the public en masse.

See PrescriptionWarning.com for more news coverage of the dangers of prescription medication. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

HHS.gov

WakingTimes.com

PNAS.org

Anesthesiology.Pubs.ASAHQ.org

 
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Overdose deaths tied to antianxiety drugs like Xanax continue to rise

Many fatalities involving benzodiazepines also involve opioids

BY AIMEE CUNNINGHAM – 8:00AM, JANUARY 17, 2019
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SERENITY PILL  Benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, are widely prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia. Also highly addictive, the drugs are involved in more and more overdose deaths.

As public health officials tackle opioid addiction and overdoses, another class of prescription drugs has been contributing to a growing number of deaths across the United States.

Benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, are commonly prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. The drugs are also highly addictive and can be fatal, especially when combined with alcohol or opioids. In the latest sign of the drug’s impact, the number of overdose deaths involving “benzos” rose from 0.54 per 100,000 in 1999 to 5.02 per 100,000 in 2017 among women aged 30 to 64, researchers report January 11 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That’s a spike of 830 percent, surpassed only by increases seen in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids or heroin.

Overall, there were 10,684 overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines in the United States in 2016, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 1999, the total was 1,135.

Benzodiazepines have a sedating effect, and are particularly dangerous when used with other drugs that slow breathing, such as opioids and alcohol. In combination, the substances can “cause people to fall asleep and essentially never wake up again,” says Anna Lembke, an addiction psychiatrist at Stanford University School of Medicine. Benzos and opioids are often prescribed together, and opioids contribute to 75 percent of overdose deaths involving benzos.

The rising number of deaths involving benzos hasn’t stopped the flow of prescriptions. The number of U.S. adults who filled a prescription for benzos rose from 8.1 million in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013, a jump of 67 percent, a study in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016 found. The quantity of benzos acquired more than tripled over the same time.

Increasing deaths

The number of overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines has gone up from 1999 to 2016, now reaching close to 11,000. Deaths among men and women are both on the rise.Number of U.S. overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines, 1999–2016

a graph showing the increasing number of overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines from 1996 to 2016
NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS, CDC WONDER

 

Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the activity of a chemical messenger in the brain that has a calming effect. The drugs help to distribute this neutrotransmitter, called gamma-aminobutyric acid, more widely in the brain. The drugs also work quickly, bringing fast relief.

Benzos are relatively safe for intermittent use over a few weeks. But with daily, long-term use the brain adapts to the drugs. As a result, they become less effective at relieving symptoms, and a person “needs more and more to get the same effect,” Lembke says. “It’s really easy to get people on these drugs, and hard to get them off again.”

Many of those who take the drugs aren’t using them properly, according to a study published online in Psychiatric Services in 2018. Of 30.6 million adults who reported using benzodiazepines, 5.3 million acknowledged misuse, such as taking benzos without a prescription or in a way not approved by a doctor.

National efforts to combat the opioid crisis should also target benzodiazepines, to reduce overprescribing and to educate doctors and patients about the drugs’ risks, Lembke and colleagues wrote in a February 2018 commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Safer treatments for anxiety and insomnia are available, including antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and therapies to change behaviors and learn coping strategies. Lembke says that benzodiazepines are more appropriate for short duration, low-dose treatment in severe circumstances, such as for seizures. That’s “how the evidence supports their use.” (Click to Source)

 
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