Archive for March, 2012

 

Prescription Abuse Among Antidepressant Users

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Reuters health from New York is reporting that even though recent debates about how well antidepressants really work in people  with only mild to moderate depression they have come up with a new analysis of drug studies and they suggest they may have some benefits across the board.  From the University of Chicago, Robert Gibbons, the study’s lead author said, “The idea that unless you’re very, very ill, you’re not going to benefit from treatment does not appear to stand up, when looking closely.”  Researchers have found that more patients taking Prozac or Effexor had a substantial improvement in their symptoms than those taking a drug-free placebo pill it didn’t matter how bad their symptoms were in the first place.

One researcher who was not involved in this study noted that its findings still don’t mean the drugs are any better than non-drug methods of treating depression, there is still talk therapy and being more physically active.

Gibbons and his co corkers looked at and analysized outcomes for each individual patient in published and unpublished trials that were testing the effects of six weeks of treatment with antidepressants versus placebo pills.  It is noted that most of those trials were funded and run by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture Prozac and Effexor – Eli Likely and Wyeth, respectively.  They looked at 12 studies of Prozac in adults and four each in elderly patients and youth, as well as 21 trials of immediate-or extended-release Effexor in adults.  About 9,000 participants were included.  This is what they found:

Adults taking Prozac had a least 50 percent improvement.

Fifty-five percent of adults on Prozac responded to treatment compared to 34 percent in the placebo group.  In the young people 30 percent on Prozac had significant symptom improvement compared to just six percent of the comparisons.

It did not matter how severe patients’ symptoms were before starting treatment there was some benefits.  When they looked at the elderly they found the difference between the treatment and placebo it was smaller.  17 older patients would have to be treated with Prozac for one to gain from it.  Gibbons said, “Clearly the efficacy of antidepressants is age-dependent, (and) largest, most interestingly, in youth, which I don’t think would be the mainstream view in psychiatry.”

Irving Kirsch, who studies antidepressants and placebos at Harvard Medical School in Boston said, “This new report didn’t make me more optimistic about the drugs.  There are alternative treatments for depression that also produce about the same symptom reduction as the drugs do, but without the risk of side effects, including psychotherapy and exercise.”

Antidepressants are on the prescribed drugs that are being abused in this country.  The drug companies are trying to make sure their popularity continues to be high.  There are other alternative ways to help yourself if you are depressed.  Don’t just take a drug.  Find a natural way first.

It’s been proved that prescription abuse can lead to heroin abuse.  If you or someone you love needs help finding heroin rehabs, call our hotline now at 1-877-340-3602.

Heroin and Prison in New York City, New York

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Just recently there was a study done and it was led by Sungwoo Lim of the New York City Department of health and mental Hygiene.  They looked at 155,000 people released from New York City jails over five years and what they found was that former inmates were twice as likely as other city residents to die of a drug overdose or homicide.  Those risk were especially high in the first two weeks after release and that is five to eight times greater compared with other New Yorkers’ risk during the same two week period.  It was also found that some other inmates had elevated risks of suicide that was including whites and people who had been homeless before going to jail.  All of these finds did appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology and they are in line with studies from other parts of the US and in the UK and Australia.  With all of these studies they have come up with the idea that there is a need for more programs.  They are suggesting mental health counseling and drug abuse treatment to be offered in jail and then something to help them in the community after they are released.

A fact that has been noted just recently is that more than half of Americans behind bars have symptoms of some type of psychiatric disorder, ranging from schizophrenia to major depression.  Most of these inmates meet the definition of drug or alcohol dependence.  It is also very interesting that only one fourth of these inmates receive mental health treatment while incarcerated.

Dr. Josiah D. Rich, said, “The largest mental health facility in New York City is Rikers Island.  A little over 2 million Americans are incarcerated, the majority being black and Hispanic men.  But many more flow in and out of jails each year.  Some are there for days, others for weeks to months.  When they come out, they may find that life is very different.  You may not have a job; you may not have an apartment.  Your social relationships may be up in the air.”

There is a huge problem with addiction to opiates which include not only illegal drugs like heroin but also prescription medications like Oxycodone and hydrocodone.  These addicts go to jail get off the drug for a few months when they go home they get back on it at a high rate and then they overdose.  That might explain the increased risk of drug related deaths in this study.  Overall, 1,149 of those people died after release; 219 were drug related deaths and 219 homicides.  There were 35 suicides among former inmates.

Rich said, “Ultimately, the best course will be to get more of those people into treatment, rather than a long stint in jail.  The answer is to figure out how we can stop incarcerating so many people.”

New York City drug rehabs could help people before they end up in a life of crime.

That would seem to be the answer.  Most of these inmates got into trouble because of their drug abuse.  The ultimate solution is to help people get off drugs and give education to all as to not do drugs in the first place.

If you or someone you love needs a New York heroin rehab, call our hotline now at 1-877-340-3602.

 

Synthetic Methamphetamine in Beaumont, Texas

Monday, March 26th, 2012

There is a new kid on the block according to the Jefferson “county Crime lab.  We all know that marijuana is one of the most common drugs that are seized in the US; now a new drug called “pump it” has made its debut in the drug market.  This drug was known as “bath salts” and it was legal until just last September.  What this drug does is mimics the effects of methamphetamine and you can find it area convenience stores.  Rod Carroll, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office stated, “It’s the commercialization of the illegal drug trade.  They (drug manufacturers) built an enterprise with their money, knowing they needed a marketing plan to sell this.”

Last year the state legislature made the chemical formula for bath salts and similar products illegal.  So what did the drug companies do?  They started selling the over the counter packet as either shoe deodorizer or plant food.  So if you want some you can ask for that by name because it is out of the view of the ordinary customer or law enforcement.  They will be under the counter.  The Vidor police arrested four clerks at Orange County area convenience stores where “Pump It” was being sold.  Dave Shows, Vidor’s Police Chief said, “The ones buying it (the drug) are former crack heads, meth heads.  The people selling it are people who don’t care about this community and don’t care what they do to people’s lives.  If we are seeing it here, people are seeing it everywhere.  It’s not unique to Vidor.  It’s being made in labs and shipped in from out of town.  This drug is much more dangerous than other controlled substances.  This is bad stuff.  It causes paranoia, hallucinations, increased body temperatures.  Its way worse than meth and worse than crack.  It has the effects of all those drugs rolled into one.”

Bath salts showed up in 2010 and narcotics officers were really not sure what they were seizing.  It seems that there is an ongoing research project to find out what these drugs are.  This substance can be smoked, eaten or snorted.  It is very addictive.  It gets into your system and messes with your brain cells.  They are not as expensive as meth or cocaine and you can find them almost anywhere.  It is not being openly displayed like it was before.  After it became known that bath salts were illegal the manufacturers simply changed the packaging.  Now it’s shoe deodorizer or plant food.  That is what they are asking for now.  The addict will go to any means to get his fix.  It seems the people who sell to the addict will do the same thing.

It has been found that synthetic drug abuse can lead to heroin abuse.  Heroin addicts often cannot recover without the help of a heroin rehab.

If you or someone you love needs a Texas heroin rehab, call our hotline now at 1-877-340-3602.

 

Heroin and Guns in Baltimore, Maryland

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

A three month investigation came to an end in Baltimore this week.  This investigation was done by Baltimore City Police and agents from the Department of Homeland Security.  It netted them into a gun and drug ring with a massive bust.  Three suspects were arrested.  City police said they started to keep track of the suspects in January using wiretaps.  Warrants were issued at four houses in the city and a storage unit.  When the arrests were made they found 16 guns, a large amount of heroin and cash along with some bullet proof vest.  Baltimore City Police Detective Donny Moses said, “The commissioner is always talking about getting guns off the street –‘bad guys with guns off the street’ – and we did just that.  Everything that goes hand-in-hand with the drug trade, everything that’s behind and pushing violence in Baltimore City is represented in that seize.”

One of the suspects lived above a dentist’s office in Baltimore.  The staff at the office said he was seen in January and that he had some suspicious people working for him.  Amber Ort a person who knew the suspect said, “He just seemed like a really nice guy.  I talked to him a couple of times outside.  He had some people working for him, like they were picking up trash outside, and they kind of looked sketchy.  So, I thought maybe he was doing something, but never like what we just heard.  I never would have thought of that.”

The war on drugs goes on in Baltimore.  It is a daily occurrence.  Drug addicts fuel the economy in many unfavorable ways.  Baltimore, Maryland drug rehabs constantly struggle with it.  If you know someone who needs help getting off of drugs get them some help.  Something can be done about it.  Get them to an inpatient treatment center where they can detox and withdraw in a safe and natural way.

If you or someone you love needs a Maryland heroin rehab, call our hotline now at 1-877-340-3602.

 

Prescription Abuse in Buffalo, New York

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

WKBW.com is reporting that New York Senator Charles Schumer has just recently given the news to the public that his plan to crack down on prescription drug theft, the SAFE DOSES Act, has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously.  One would observe that this is a critical hurdle to stop the spike in drug abuse in New York State.  Reports are showing from the Upstate New York Poison Control Center that there have been over 12,800 cases of prescription drug abuse total in New York and this abuse has fueled dozens of pharmacy robberies across the states which lead to some deaths.  The SAFE DOSES Act purpose is to combat theft at every point of the supply chain.  It starts at the drug warehouse to the delivery truck to the pharmacy.  Penalties are being increased and medical product theft is being put under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law; this gives law enforcement access to tools to combat drug rings.

Schumer is stating, “This is huge step towards curbing the prescription drug epidemic that is sweeping across New York and the entire country.  The SAFE DOSES Act will help ensure that prescription drugs like Oxycontin and hydrocodone make it from the factory to the patient and nowhere else.  Pharmacy robberies have put our communities in danger and have turned deadly in the last year – we need to give law enforcement the tools to fight back.”

Prescription drug abuse is in every part of New York State.  The Upstate Poison Control Center reports the following prescription drug abuse cases during 2011:

Capital Region had 1,452 cases reported

Central New York had 3,103 cases reported

Rochester Finger Lakes Region had 2,063 cases reported

Hudson Valley had 1,428 cases reported

Western New York had 2,324 cases reported

Southern Tier had 1,431 cases reported

Northern Country had 1,070 cases reported

This new plan will direct increases in sentences for robbing pharmacies of controlled substances and commit a new crime for the theft of medical products.  There is a heavy demand for prescription drugs and it is often fed by pharmaceutical theft. According to the DEA In 2009 $184 million worth of prescription drug were stolen in the US that is a 350% increase from 2007.  There were a total of 129 pharmaceutical cargo thefts between 2009 and 2011.  Armed robberies at pharmacies rose 81 percent between 2006 and 2010.  During the same period the number of pills stolen went from 706,000 to 1.3 million.  This crime wave has overwhelmed law enforcement.  This bill that has passed will help with that.

Broad prescription abuse eventually leads to an increase in heroin addiction.

If you or someone you love needs a New York heroin rehab, call our hotline now at 1-877-340-3602.