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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recovery Month Coming to an End

The month of September is Recovery month, it may be coming to end, but, there is still plenty of recovery related events that addicts can involve themselves with. There are always events taking place in your local community that you can easily find out about by using the "Events by State" tracker on the Recovery Month website. Recovery has to do with community and the better connected one is with their community the greater chance for long term recovery.

The Recovery Month website has created a specialized kit that can help you with hosting your own recovery event any time of year; they also have: podcasts, research studies, stories of recovery, and customizable public service announcements for television. Obviously, some recovering addicts live in places that Recovery Month events are not being held and traveling to the events is unaffordable. Fortunately, there is a host of recovery related social networks that one can participate in, like Rally for Recovery! Online, whose visitors currently celebrating over 10,000 years of recovery; make Twitter updates, share your story, scan photos and videos from events that you have attended.

Everyone who has struggled with addiction in the past is obligated to give back to the community which helped save their life - you can never do too much. The new tools that are available have the power to aid one's recovery and help everyone stay connected no matter where they are in the world. Help yourself by helping other people.... Paying it forward is how the program of recovery has had continued success since 1935 and how it will continual to save lives in the future.

Rally for Recovery! Online is sponsored by Faces & Voices of Recovery, on Sept. 16 they released a DVD, "Our Stories Have Power", watch the preview below:

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Policy: Addictive Substance Advertisment Bans

Television these days is chock-full of advertisements that try to entice you to ingest substances that may be harmful to your health. One ad right after the other has to do with a prescription medication that might change your life or an alcoholic beverage which would be best for quenching one's thirst. Repeated exposure can convince children that they should try out the things that they see; some kids start drinking at very young age in part because of the heavy exposure to alcohol ads which depict people having a great time while consuming alcohol.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for a ban on all tobacco advertising that can be seen easily by children as well as alcohol ads and other prescription drug ads on television in a new policy statement. “It’s time to eliminate all tobacco advertising and decrease greatly the depiction of smoking in mainstream media”, write researcher Victor C. Strasburger, MD, and colleagues in Pediatrics. “Although parents, schools, and the federal government are trying to get children and teenagers to ‘just say no’ to drugs, more than $25 billion worth of cigarette, alcohol, and prescription drug advertising is effectively working to get them to ‘just say yes’ to smoking, drinking, and other drugs”. More money is spent on figuring out how to get people to drink and drug than is spent on prevention and treatment for those who become addicted.

The entertainment industry is also to blame for mixed messages to children about the effects of drugs and alcohol which is why the Academy is asking Hollywood to restrict tobacco and drug use in television and films that are directed at younger audiences. “Unlike traditional advertising, media depictions of legal drugs are generally positive and invite no criticism, because they are not viewed as advertising,” the Academy claims. Society needs to work together on smoking, drug, and alcohol prevention; kids that start experimenting with those substances are much more prone to addiction.Ban

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick Cheap Drug Test for Parents To Check If Their Kids Are Using Drugs

Both addiction and recovery begin in the household, the environment children grow up in can influence teenagers to start experimenting with drugs and alcohol and usually it is the parents who discover that their child is using. Learning that there is a problem isn't the easiest thing, without a drug test it easy for teenagers to talk their way out of accusations. Most parents are hesitant to drug test their children, there are many cases where parents would rather not know the truth; the catch is that knowing the truth could ultimately end up being what saves a child's life.

A British company created an affordable hand-held drug testing device that uses a saliva sample, in 5 minutes parents can know if their children are using drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine or other illegal substances. Universal Sensors Ltd, of Ickleton, Cambridgeshire, said their Vantix biosensor technology could also be used by the police to carry out roadside tests on drivers suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs. Kevin Auton, the company's Commercial Director, told the press that they realize the availability of such a device poses ''huge implications for society", reports the UK's Daily Mail.

The test will be inexpensive and they will be able to produce 30 billion tests a year, "It's as simple to use as a pregnancy test." He added that the company was "very focused on getting the test out of the laboratory and onto other platforms". A test like this will be very useful and the most important aspect is the price, a lot of parents won't drug test their children because traditional drug tests are very expensive. Now parents will have no excuse for not testing their kids and problems can be dealt with before they get any more out of hand.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No Prescriptions for Cough Medicine

There many teenagers that abuse cough medicine to achieve some kind of hallucination; it has been dubbed "robo-trippin" because of the cough medicine Robitussin which has Dextromethorphan (DXM) as an active ingredient. Another common cold medicine that is abused quite frequently has been called "Triple Cs" which is derived from the Coricidin brand name of cough & cold medicine; the pills have three C's printed on them. DXM exists in almost all cough suppressants, in low doses there are not hallucinogenic properties which is why it has continued to be sold over the counter without a prescription. Unfortunately, there have been a lot kids abusing these medicines and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had requested that the FDA consider requiring prescriptions for Dextromethorphan. Requiring a prescription would really reduce the risk of people getting hurt from the drug, DXM by itself is not that dangerous, but, problems arise when people mix DXM with other drugs from acetaminophen all the way to amphetamines.

The DEA said that it was concerned about abuse among teens and the steady increase of emergency room visits due to overdoses, DXM can be very harmful to the body when used in conjunction with other substances. Fever, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and even death can occur if the drug is used inappropriately. Sadly, Associated Press reported Sept. 14 that a panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that cough medicine continue to be sold without a prescription. The panel's vote was 15-9 against requiring a prescription for these drugs, because of the burden it would put on doctors and pharmacies. "For me there was no data to show us that scheduling this product would decrease abuse," said panelist Janet Engle, a professor at the University of Illinois.

It seems like private interests were in mind with the voting process which is why nothing has changed, cough medicine companies would lose millions if people needed a prescription for drugs containing DXM. The FDA has not made a final decision, but, the administration usually sides with the recommendations of its advisory panels.

A video from ABC News covers this story and more that parents can watch for:


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DEA National Take Back Day

Prescription medications have become a major problem on a global scale, more people are abusing prescription drugs than any other drugs. There isn't a household in America that does not have a medicine cabinet full of prescription drugs. With pain medication, people take it until their pain subsides and they put the medication in the cabinet and forget about it. It is at that point teenagers have the ability to get their hands on the drugs and abuse them. Accidental overdoses and poisonings happen all the time when kids scavenge through their parent's medicine cabinets which is why the DEA is asking people to turn in their unused pharmaceuticals.

"The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and state and local law enforcement officials are organizing collection sites nationwide to take-back “unused, unwanted or expired” over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs". Unused drugs are a major problem and they aid in the pharmaceutical epidemic that is crippling America. Many teenagers discover that they're addicts inside their parents' bathroom; Oxycontin, Vicodin, valium, and Xanax can be teenagers' first exposure to narcotics. Teenagers become addicted to drugs every day right under their parent's noses, by the time the problem is discovered it's often too late and recovery is very difficult.

"Leftover prescription and OTC drugs present a public health hazard given the potential for accidental poisoning, abuse, and overdose. They can also pose environmental hazards from unsafe disposal. The DEA has an easy-to-use online tool to locate a collection site near you. The collection is anonymous. See the DEA website for details on what is (and isn’t) accepted".

The National Take-Back Day is Saturday, Sept. 25, between 10 am - 2 pm.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rally for Recovery! Online

Social Networking is a huge part of the recovery process, many aspects of recovery deal with connecting with the community. It has long been said that recovering from drugs and alcohol cannot be done alone; so many elements of 12 step programs have do with interpersonal communication. Being open and honest with your peers about what is happening in one's life is crucial to the recovery process; making connections with other addicts helps guide you through the process - one addict helping another. Wherever there are two or more people there can be a meeting where addicts can talk about their past, present, and future; often times, running an idea by another addict can be what keeps you sober.

Sometimes you are away from your support and need to chat with someone and there is not a meeting available for you to go to. The explosion of social networking websites online has allowed addicts to connect with each other from all over the globe. Mainstream social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have provided the perfect platform for people in recovery to network. In the past two years that have been a few recovery specific social networking sites that have popped up and they became pretty popular; last year we wrote a post about some of them. Just recently, Faces & Voices of Recovery, the national organization for people in recovery from addiction, launched a new web-based resource, Rally for Recovery! Online, where people can register the number of years they have been in recovery from addiction and find out about National Recovery Month events and rallies nationwide.

Rally for Recovery will allow people to find out what is going on in the community allowing addicts to connect with each other with ease. “Faces & Voices is pleased that PRO-ACT’s (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization - Achieving Community Together) Philadelphia 2010 Recovery Walks! will be the national ‘hub’ on September 25,” said Faces & Voices board chair Steve Gumbley. The goal of Rally for Recovery is to speak out for "improved local, state and federal policies and to demonstrate the reality of recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs".

“We are rallying for recovery to help make change happen at all levels,” said Gumbley.

Note: September is National Recovery Month!

Source: Faces & Voices of Recovery

Friday, September 10, 2010

Diane Schuler Private Investigation Revealed

The case of the wrong-way Taconic Parkway driver Diane Schuler may finally be able to be put to rest, all the facts that could be accounted for have been. A private investigator hired by Diane Schuler's husband determined that there are no discrepancies with the toxicology report on Schuler and the autopsy is clear; Diane Schuler had consumed as much as ten shots of vodka and smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel that day. "Absent any other investigative knowledge or medical determination there is nothing to counteract the Westchester medical examiner's findings," investigator Tom Ruskin said Wednesday.

Tom Ruskin, of CMP Group Investigations, has worked for over a year on this case, he said has not been in contact with Daniel Schuler or his lawyer, Dominic Barbara; they will not return his phone calls and they are going a different direction with this case - they are not ready to put the matter to rest. Daniel Schuler cannot accept the findings of the autopsy and toxicology report and apparently decided to take part in an HBO documentary that would exhume Diane's body. It is almost hard to believe that he would refute the scientific evidence of the car accident and what the causes were. The state of New York knows it, Tom Ruskin knows it, and the families of all the other victims know that Diane Schuler was heavily intoxicated and ended the lives of seven innocent people back in July of 2009.

"We were never consulted," Ruskin said. "It came as a surprise to me and my firm and my investigators that this was being done." Why Schuler made the decisions she made on that day know one will ever know, but, it happened no matter how many autopsies are done. We can only hope that people will take something from this tragedy so that we can help prevent it from happening again.

"You want the answer to these things. The public wants the answer. Why does a mother do this with her kids present? That why may never be answered," he said. "This is a story that has kept me up, kept my investigators up, it has eaten at everyone involved in it," he said.

New York Daily News

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stars are Treated Differently than Citizens

Drug use among "stars" is more common these days as can be seen in the headlines, it seems like every week there are stars who get arrested with drugs ostensibly without very much punishment. Celebrities have an above the law mentality and when you bring drugs into the picture things can become messy. Paris Hilton is one of those stars that appears to dance around the authorities with her drug use. Just last summer, Hilton was detained in South Africa for allegedly smoking marijuana at the World Cup. Her publicist called the July 2 incident "a complete misunderstanding," and the case was dropped. There are many people who do not believe that to be a big deal, a little marijuana; but, it is still illegal in a number of places around the world.

Last weekend, Hilton was riding in a black Cadillac Escalade which was pulled over in front of the Wynn Hotel on the Vegas strip. Police detected the smell of marijuana coming from the SUV, Lt. Wayne Holman told CNN. The driver, Cy Waits, a Las Vegas nightclub mogul and the rumored boyfriend of Hilton was arrested for driving under the influence and Hilton was arrested for cocaine possession. Paris Hilton was released from a Las Vegas, Nevada, jail Saturday morning.

"This matter will be dealt with in the courts, not in the media, and I encourage people not to rush to judgment until all of the facts have been dealt with in a court of law," Hilton's attorney, David Chesnoff, said in a statement. Not much of a surprise there; and Hilton will, more likely than not, skirt this case - pay a small fine and continue living her life. The average addict arrested with cocaine is looking at doing time for sure, almost a guarantee; celebrities in most cases get a hundred "get out of jail free cards" before a judge gets fed up and decides to inconvenience a celebrity's life. It sends a poor message to the public when stars are treated differently than regular citizens.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nicotine Tied to Alzheimer's Risk

Alzheimer's plagues millions of Americans as they reach old age; it is the most common form of dementia that develops in the human brain. Science has yet to make a medical breakthrough in curing or preventing the disease from happening. Studies done in the past suggested that low amount of nicotine may help prevent the proteins associated with Alzheimer's from forming in the brain. However, a new lab experiment in which rats with brain protein plaques developed further symptoms of Alzheimer's when given nicotine.

"Yan-Jiang Wang's team at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, injected amyloid plaques into the brains of healthy rats and gave some the equivalent of a smoker's daily dose of nicotine for two weeks, while others received nothing", reported the New Scientist. The rats showed early signs of tau tangles and had difficulty navigating a maze; the rats that were given nicotine did much worse navigating the maze than those who didn't receive a dose. It may be the case the nicotine will speed up the development of dementia in the brain.

According to the latest (2010) projections released by the national Alzheimer's Association:

  • Alzheimer's is the most frequent cause of dementia, accounting for 70 percent of all cases of dementia in Americans aged 71 and older.
  • By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old. That year, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer's is expected to reach 7.7 million, more than a 50 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 order older currently (2009) affected.
  • By 2050, that number is expected to reach between 11 and 16 million unless medical breakthroughs identify ways to prevent or more effectively treat the disease. Barring such developments, by 2050 more than 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease will be aged 85 or older.

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