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Archive for September, 2008

Oxycontin, The Runaway Train

Introduced in 1995 by Purdue Pharma, Oxycontin is a pill that gradually releases steady amounts of narcotics for 12 hrs.  Before Oxycontin patients were required to take pills every four hours to achieve significant relief.  By crushing oxycontin pills, drug abusers can get the full 12-hour narcotic effect almost immediately.  It is proven that snorting or injecting this pill can lead to overdose or death.  Because of the quick heroin like high Oxycontin has become very popular as a street drug and has been touted as reaching epidemic proportions across our country.

According to data by IMS, the annual number of prescriptions for Oxycontin, for non-cancer increased nearly tenfold, from about 670,000 in 1997 to about 6.2 million in 2002.  This is a direct result of Purdue Parma’s aggressive Oxycontin promotional machine.  Since Oxycontin’s introduction in 1995 they have used an intense and often times corrupted marketing strategy.  The FDA cited Purdue Pharma twice for using potentially false or misleading medical journal advertisements for Oxycontin, which violated the Food, Drug, and cosmetic act 1938.  Because of their market machine that is geared toward manipulating doctors the pill is not used only used for cancer related pain but is now used for patients with moderate to severe pain.  Purdue Pharma continues to distribute material to doctors promoting Oxycontin and other Opiods NON-SELECTIVE for a broad range of pain disorders regardless of diagnosis.  This has resulted in opiods being given inappropriately for chronic pain generated by psychological disorders and other somatic disorders.  As a result Oxycontin is now the most heavily prescribed medication in the country.  A DEA report indicated that more than 7.2 million prescriptions were dispensed in 2002 and approximately 5.8 million prescriptions were for the single entity product Oxycontin.  There is currently no regulation that says doctors have to prove they have taken pain killer responsibility courses in order to prescribe these drugs.  So permission to prescribe Oxycontin is granted routinely without special training.  Purdue Pharma has manufactured a train, loaded it with jet fuel, and now it is careening out of control with no means to control it.

During these years of increased sales of Oxycontin there were marked increases in opiod related deaths do to non-medical and therapeutic uses.  As a direct result of Purdue Pharma marketing strategy, between the years of 1997 and 2004, there was a 556% increase in the sales of Oxycontin and a 500% increase in therapeutic grams of oxycontin used.  There has also been a 568% increase in the non-medical use of Oxycontin during this time period do to the diversion and sale of the drugs by those motivated by economic gain.

So lets really explore what these statistics are saying.  As the sales of Oxycontin increase and more people start taking it, the statistics show at the same rate these same people are gradually taking more and more mgs of the drug.  This shows that more and more people are becoming increasingly addicted to Oxy as a direct result of Purdue Pharma aggressively pushing these drugs to our public.  Purdue Pharma has single handedly created a street level drug market by purposely over supplying a deadly drug to our public, and specifically the young people in our society.  They are destroying the lives of a generation from their ivory tower in Connecticut.

Also during this time the study was conducted there was a 129% increase in opiod related deaths not including heroin: from 1942 deaths in 1999, to 4451 deaths in 2002.  If we were to extrapolate the 4451 figure in 2002 over the next four years to the end of 2006 the total number of deaths would be a staggering 22,255.  This death rate exceeds the deaths caused by 9/11 and the Iraq war combined.

The bottom line is this we need legislation that classifies Oxycontin to its original use, which is Cancer and severe pain.  Both the corporate influence of sales through over promotion, and the lack over regulatory oversight to protect the public have left our us with an epidemic that is absolutely killing our children and tearing a hole in the fabric of our society.  This is a fixable problem and it starts by holding those responsible accountable for there actions.  Really everyone is responsible in a democratic society we just have to come together and speak our minds.  At Narconon we are fixing those broken lives left in the lurch by Purdue Pharma.

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Flavored Cocaine

Federal drug agents say candy-flavored cocaine is a new and troubling development and are hoping to keep it from spreading to the rest of the country after its recent emergence in California.

Drug rings have occasionally sold cocaine mixed with candy powder, but investigators said the new product was significantly more sophisticated and lucrative. Cocaine cut with an added flavoring is less potent, but the 1½ pounds seized in April were a full-strength powder into which strawberry, coconut, lemon and cinnamon flavoring had been chemically synthesized.

Gordon Taylor, the DEA’s assistant special agent in charge of the investigation, called the emergence of the candy-flavored cocaine especially disturbing because it suggested that manufacturers and pushers were developing more sophisticated techniques to appeal to children and teenagers.

“Attempting to lure new, younger customers to a dangerous drug by adding candy flavors is an unconscionable marketing technique,” Taylor said. He said it was vital that law enforcement authorities work together quickly to shut down operations that could spread the new drug to other parts of the country.

Taylor and other DEA agents said their next steps would be critical, as the flavored drug, apparently intended to appeal to children and women, had not been seen elsewhere in the country.

But this seizure is believed to mark the first time that distributors have managed to directly fuse flavoring into the powder itself, and it raises the stakes in a relatively new front in the war on street drugs.

Links: Information on Effects of Drugs on Kids

http://www.freedomtreatmentcenter.com/effects-of-drugs-on-kids/

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Strawberry Quick

A new twist on Crystal Meth production includes adding Nestle Strawberry Quick. The Crystal Meth produced this way is being referred to as “Strawberry Quick” or “Strawberry Quik”. There are other flavors too including chocolate, cola and other sodas. And the DEA says that one agent reported a red methamphetamine that had been marketed as a powdered form of an energy drink. Reports of candy-flavored methamphetamine are emerging around the nation, stirring concern among police and abuse prevention experts that drug dealers are marketing the drug to younger people.

Drug traffickers are trying to lure in new customers, no matter what their age, by making the meth seem less dangerous when in fact it is just as poisonous and dangerous. Strawberry Quick looks like hard candy, bits and pieces of chunky red lollipop or pop-rocks. In reality, it’s highly-addictive methamphetamine. Strawberry Quick is popular among new users who snort it because the flavoring can cut down on the taste. Teenagers who have been taught meth is bad may see this flavored version as less harmful. ‘Strawberry Quick’ is designed for the younger crowd. Traffickers know that the word is out about what a horrible drug meth is. They are having a tough time selling this product, especially to young people. What do people in marketing do when they have a tough time selling a product? They have to come up with some sort of gimmick.

There is one bit of good news in all this: Methamphetamine use is down for much of the country for the second year running. Researchers say it appears this latest meth epidemic reached its peak in 2004 and 2005, and data from the federal government shows the number of first-time meth users has steadily declined in recent years. The number of people 12 and older who used methamphetamine for the first time in the previous year decreased from 318,000 people in 2004 to 192,000 people in 2005, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In 2006, there were an estimated 731,000 current users of methamphetamine aged 12 or older (0.3 percent of the population). Of the 259,000 people who used methamphetamine for the first time in 2006, the mean age at first use was 22.2 years, which is up considerably from the mean age of 18.6 in 2005. The use of meth in 12-17 year olds is still falling, but it seems that from 2005 to 2006, lifetime methamphetamine abuse increased among those 26 and older, particularly among those 26–34 years of age.

Our work is no where near done, but the stats are getting better. I believe that this trend is due to the fact that Drug and Law enforcement agencies took notice of how bad it was getting and in 2004 stepped up their efforts to combat Methamphetamine use and manufacturing.

Marketing Meth

Few are surprised that a phenomenon such as strawberry-flavored drugs appears to have originated in California, whose drug dealers have a history of colorful marketing tactics aimed at kids.

In March 2006, DEA agents raided several warehouses near Oakland belonging to Beyond Bomb, a company that manufactured an entire line of marijuana-laced snacks and soft drinks.

Authorities uncovered thousands of marijuana plants, as well as an array of products, among them “Pot Tarts,” candy called “Stoney Ranchers,” drinks named “Toka Cola” and chocolate named “Rasta Reece’s” and “Buddafingers.”

As the case progressed, some argued that the operation was simply providing products to medical marijuana patients, who are allowed to take marijuana with a prescription under California law. But federal authorities say marijuana use is illegal under all circumstances.

“In a way, this case sort of answers the question, ‘What will they think of next?’ ” said Javier Pena, special agent in charge of the Oakland DEA office at the time of the busts at Beyond Bomb.

“What so many people don’t realize is that innocent children may somehow get their hands on these products and think they are just normal candy or soft drinks.”

Authorities were tipped to the operation in October 2005 and eventually arrested Kenneth Affolter of Lafayette, Calif., and several employees.

In March, a federal judge in California sentenced Mr. Affolter to nearly six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Links

Facts and Effects of Meth: https://freedomtreatmentcenter.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/meth-facts/

Information on Effects of Drugs on Kids: http://www.freedomtreatmentcenter.com/effects-of-drugs-on-kids/

Illegal Drug Information: http://www.freedomtreatmentcenter.com/illegal-drugs-information/

Signs of Drug Addiction: http://www.freedomtreatmentcenter.com/signs-of-drug-addiction/

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Pregnancy And Drugs

A Double Whammy of Danger

When a woman becomes pregnant, it is vital for her to have a healthy lifestyle: exercising regularly, eating nourishing food and getting plenty of rest. It is also imperative that she avoid anything that can harm her or her baby to be. It is extremely important to give up drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

For a pregnant woman, drug abuse is two times as dangerous than normal. First, drugs may harm her own health, interfering with her ability to support the pregnancy. Second, most drugs can directly impair prenatal development.

Which Drugs are Dangerous?

Virtually all illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, pose dangers to a pregnant woman. Legal substances, like tobacco, alcohol and medical drugs (over-the-counter or prescription) are dangerous and can be harmful. For her own health and the health of her baby to be, a woman should avoid all of them as much as possible, from the time she first plans to become pregnant or is made aware of the fact that she is pregnant.

Drugs and the Stages of Pregnancy

Most drugs can be harmful when used at any time during pregnancy. Others, however, are particularly damaging at specific stages.

The Organ Formation Stage

Most of the baby’s body organs and systems are formed within the first ten weeks or so of pregnancy (determined from the date of the last menstrual period). Through the course of this stage, some drugs and alcohol in particular can cause malformations of such parts ot the developing fetus. This includes the heart, the limbs and the facial features.

The Prenatal Growth Stage

Upon entering the Eleventh week, the fetus will grow rapidly in weight and size. At this point, certain drugs may damage organs that are still developing, such as the eyes, as well as the nervous system. Continuing drug use also increases the risk of miscarriage and premature delivery. But the greatest danger drugs pose at this stage is their potential to interfere with normal growth. Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) is most likely to result in a low birth weight baby born too early, too small, or both. Low birth weight babies require special care and run a much higher risk of severe health problems or even death.

The Stage of Birth

Some drugs will be especially harmful a the end of pregnancy. They can make delivery much more difficult or even dangerous, ot they can create health problems for the newborn baby.

Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs for pregnant women, especially in the early weeks. In the mother’s body, alcohol breaks down chemically to a cell-damaging compound that is readily absorbed by the fetus. Heavy drinking during early pregnancy greatly increases the risk of a cluster of birth defects known as fetal alcohol syndrome. This cluster includes a small skull (microcephaly), abnormal facial features, and heart defects, often accompanied by impeded growth and mental retardation. Heavy drinking in later pregnancy may also impede growth.

It is not known whether light to moderate drinking can produce these effects. However, even if the risk is low, the stakes are very high. Medical experts agree that a woman should avoid alcohol entirely when she decides to become pregnant, or at least when the first signs of pregnancy appear. Even such mild beverages as beer and wine coolers should be off limits.

Tobacco

Smoking during pregnancy appears to raise the risk of miscarriage or premature labor. But the primary danger is hindered fetal growth. Nicotine depresses the appetite at a time when a woman should be gaining weight, and smoking reduces the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen. The fetus, deprived of sufficient nourishment and oxygen, may not grow as fast or as much as it should.

Cocaine & Methamphetamine

Cocaine (including crack) and methamphetamine (speed, or ice) are powerful stimulants of the central nervous system. They suppress the mother’s appetite and exert other drastic forces on her body, causing the blood vessels to constrict, the heart to beat faster, and the blood pressure to soar. The growth of the fetus may be hindered, and there are higher risks of miscarriage, premature labor, and a condition called abruptio placenta (the partial separation of the placenta from the uterus wall, causing bleeding).

If these drugs are taken late in pregnancy, the baby may be born drug dependent and suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and sucking difficulties. Some experts believe learning difficulties may later develop.

Heroin & Other Narcotics

Heavy narcotics use increases the danger of premature birth with such accompanying problems for the infant as low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and bleeding within the head (intracranial hemorrhage).

The babies of narcotics-dependent mothers are often born dependent themselves and suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, vomiting and diarrhea, and joint stiffness.

Women who inject narcotics may become infected with the HIV virus from dirty needles and may subsequently develop AIDS. HIV-infected women obviously run a high risk of passing the virus on to their babies.

Inhalants

At least one inhaled substance has been clearly connected with birth defects. The organic solvent toluene, widely used in paints and glues, appears to cause malformations like those produced by alcohol (which is itself an organic solvent). It is possible that all organic solvents may cause birth defects.

PCP

PCP (phencyclidine, or angel dust) taken late in pregnancy can cause newborns to have withdrawal symptoms, such as lethargy alternating with tremors.

Marijuana

Studies of marijuana use by pregnant women are inconclusive, because marijuana is often used with other drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol. Like them, it is associated with premature birth and low-birth weight babies.

Medications

Many medications have side effects that are potentially harmful during pregnancy, but their benefits may outweigh their risks. A woman should consult her doctor or midwife before taking any drug, even one sold over the counter. Below are a few examples of medical drugs that must be used with extreme caution or avoided altogether.

  • Antimigraine drugs, such as ergotamine and methysergide, are used to head off migraine attacks but raise the risk of premature labor.
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) and etretinate (Tegison) are used to treat chronic acne and psoriasis. They may cause chronic malformations during the stage of organ development.
  • Anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and carbamezapine (Tegretol), are used to prevent epileptic seizures. They are associated with defects of the heart and face, as well as mental retardation.
  • Anticoagulant drugs based on coumarin are used in the treatment of heart disease and stroke, to slow blood clotting. Taken during early pregnancy, they are associated with facial malformations and mental retardation. Later on they raise the risk of uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) interfere with blood clotting and increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding for both mother and baby. Toward the end of pregnancy, they hinder production of the hormones that stimulate labor, so that labor may be dangerously delayed or extended.

Links:

More information on Pregnancy and Drug Use: http://www.freedomtreatmentcenter.com/pregnancy-and-drug-use/

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Cheese Heroin

A cheap, but highly addictive drug known as “cheese heroin” has killed many teenagers in the Dallas, Texas area over the past couple of years. The number of deaths that cheese was known to be the cause of sits at 40, but it is hard for coroners to tell exactly what specific drug is the cause of death, so the lives taken by “cheese heroin” could be higher than 40.

Cheese Heroin is a blend of “black-tar heroin” (which is about 30% pure heroin) and is combined with over-the-counter medications that contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine (found in Tylenol PM). Cheese samples obtained in north Dallas, Texas contained between 2% and 8% heroin. The sedative effects of the heroin and the nighttime sleep aid makes quite a deadly brew.

Monty Moncibais is a Dallas, Texas detective that had this to say about cheese heroin, “A double whammy – you’re getting two downers at once.”  “If you take the body and you start slowing everything down, everything inside your body, eventually you’re going to slow down the heart until it stops and, when it stops, you’re dead.”

The DEA is concerned about this drug trend spreading to other cites, so they are working hard to educate everyone about cheese heroin. They are also trying to identify the traffickers of this new brew.

My Opinion

I find it very alarming to know that middle schoolers are using this drug and that they think its “kewl”. This is very scary; it tells me that most of these kids are doomed to become drug addicts. It also shows that our education on the dangers of drugs is lackluster and Ineffective. Now I’m not slamming anyone who tries to educate our youth about the dangers of drugs, but obviously what we are currently doing just isn’t cutting it. I believe that the only way for drug education to be effective is to truthfully convey the danger, like I mean “True Bluntness”. We need to almost scare them with the truth of what drugs do and what they lead to.

Now I’m not saying take some 5th graders and scare the hell out of them with a bunch of facts. No, no. We should use a gradient that is increased each year through out there schooling. That means that data is going to stick, because each year they will get more and more pieces of the puzzle, more significance of what it means to them and their future survival. So I say have several assemblies a year, every year. Starting in elementary school (I think I was in 4th grade when I had my first D.A.R.E. assembly) and all the way up till senior year of high school.

Daniel V. Palmer

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese_(recreational_drug)
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/12/cheese.heroin/index.html

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DMT

COMMON & BRAND NAMES

DMT, Dimitri, Divine Moments of Truth, Businessman’s Trip

EFFECTS CLASSIFICATION

Psychedelic Tryptamine

CHEMICAL NAME

N,N-dimethyltryptamine

DESCRIPTION

DMT is a powerful, visual psychedelic which produces short-acting effects when smoked. It is used orally in combination with an MAOI. It is naturally produced in the human brain and by many plants. DMT is a psychoactive chemical in the tryptamine family, which causes intense visuals and strong psychedelic mental effects when smoked, injected, snorted, or when swallowed. When smoked, DMT generally reaches full effects within 10-60 seconds of inhalation. The main effects of DMT last approximately 5-20 minutes when smoked, with a period of 1-2 hours before fully returning to some what normal in most peoples case.

EFFECTS

  • short duration
  • overwhelming fear
  • immersive experiences
  • slight stomach discomfort
  • radical perspective shifting
  • overly-intense experiences
  • hard on the lungs to smoke
  • change in perception of time
  • auditory hallucination (buzzing)
  • powerful “rushing” of sensation
  • difficulty integrating experiences
  • profound life-changing spiritual experiences
  • intense open eye visuals and kaleidoscope patterning
  • color shifting (for example red green and gold coloring to the whole world)
  • fast onset and intensity can lead to problems if not prepared (dropped pipe, knocking things over, falling)

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Ketamine

COMMON & BRAND NAMES

K, Special K, Cat Tranquilizer, Blind Squid, Breakfast Cereal, Cat Valium, Date Rape Drug, Green, Keller, Keller’s Day, Ket, Ketaject, Ketalar, Kit Kat, New Ecstasy, Psychedelic Heroin, Purple, Special la coke, Super Acid, Super-C, Super-K, Vitamin K, Vit K, K-Train

EFFECTS CLASSIFICATION

Dissociative Anaesthetic; Psychedelic

CHEMICAL NAME

2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(methylamino)-cyclohexanone

DESCRIPTION

Ketamine is a dissociative psychedelic used medically as a veterinary and human anesthetic. The user feels its hallucinogenic effects and experiences impaired perception. Ketamine commonly elicits an out-of-body or near-death experience; it can render the user comatose. A well-known effect of Ketamine at higher-range doses is the “K-hole”, where the user is removed from reality and set adrift in an introspective dream-like world, often involving complete dissociation, immersive visuals and out-of-body experiences. At higher doses, the user can be incapacitated and unresponsive, or uncoordinated and erratic, appearing unwell to the uninitiated eye. Nausea and vomiting may also be present. While Ketamine is not known to be physically addictive, prolonged use could be tolerance-building as well as leading to psychological dependency. Ketamine can be injected, snorted and taken oraly; snorting is the most common method of use.

EFFECTS

  • Nausea
  • Rapture
  • Vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Boredom
  • Slurred speech
  • Increase in energy
  • Analgesia, numbness
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of time perception
  • Out-of-body experience
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Sense of calm and serenity
  • Shifts in perception of reality
  • Dissociation of mind from body
  • Meaningful spiritual experiences
  • Risk of psychological dependency
  • Pleasant mental and/or body high
  • Nasal discomfort upon insufflation
  • Ataxia (loss of motor coordination)
  • Severe dissociation, depersonalisation
  • Severe confusion, disorganised thinking
  • Open- and closed-eye visuals (common)
  • Paranoia and egocentrism (with regular use)
  • Discomfort, pain or numbness at injection site
  • Distortion or loss of sensory perceptions (common)
  • Frightening or untimely distortion or loss of sensory perception
  • Enhanced sense of connection with the world (beings or objects)
  • “K-hole”; intense mind-body dissociation, out-of-body experiences, highly realistic visuals
  • Susceptibility to accidents (from uncoordination and change in perception of body and time)
  • Depression of heart rate and respiration (risk increases with increased dose or when combined with depressants)

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