Author: Shernide Delva
As a result of the high rates of heroin and painkiller abuse, some doctors are calling for mandatory drug tests for all pregnant women. The effects of drug and alcohol use on pregnancy is fully known to be harmful, however some argue that drug testing of pregnant women will actually cause more harm than good. Should pregnancy drug tests be mandatory?
When a pregnant woman uses drugs or alcohol throughout pregnancy, she puts her child at risk of developing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) which produces a variety of withdrawal-like symptoms.
Common symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) include:
- Uncontrolled twitching
- Excessive and particularly high-pitched crying
- Problems feeding
- An inability to sleep
Babies exposed to opiate painkiller drugs in the womb can suffer withdrawals that are so painful, that they must be treated with morphine or other sedatives. The long term effects of babies born with NAS are still not fully known, however babies who are born with NAS are more likely to suffer from medical complications such as low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Due to the potentially severe consequences of drug use during pregnancy, many doctors have come out stating that they will require all expecting mothers to complete a drug tests. However, some argue that this will prevent those struggling from wanting to get adequate healthcare due to fear of being criminalized.
Because of this fear, doctors and health officials want to ensure that pregnant woman know they will not be punished for their drug use if the results come out negative. They want lawmakers to shield pregnant addicted mothers from punishment.
So far, legislature have taken the first step of quietly passed measures to prohibit doctors from giving results of a pregnant woman’s drug tests to police without a court order. Without laws like this becoming mainstream, many pregnant women struggling with drug addiction will be too afraid to come forward. However, the symptoms of NAS are too severe to ignore:
“Their care is very labor intensive because they’re nearly inconsolable,” said Dr. Mark Gentry, an obstetrician at Hendricks Regional Health in Brownsburg. “It’s heart-jerking and becoming much more prevalent.”
Gentry’s hospital is one in four in the state of Indiana that will start a pilot project testing pregnant women for drugs with the intention of promoting treatment, not criminalization. For now, women are allowed to opt out of the screenings since they are not legally required to do so.
Gentry states that many women will feel uncomfortable agreeing to the tests for fear of punishment. Under current law, doctors must call child welfare authorities if they feel a child is being abused. That could include cases where a child is exposed to drug in the womb, though no law specifically states this, and the state doesn’t track the number of drug-dependent newborns.
Sadly, hospitals have seen a spike in drug-dependent babies. The rate of babies born with drug dependency nearly quadrupled from 2004 to 2013. Now, every 27 of every 1,000 babies admitted to intensive-care are admitted due to drug related issues. Many states like Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina have tightened legislation to reduce the number of babies born with drug dependency. However, Gentry warn that laws like this actually scare woman away from the care they truly need.
Laws that focus on criminalizing pregnancy women struggling with drug addiction may be harmful to those who are suffering the most. Instead, laws that reaffirm women that they will not be criminalized are more likely to result in more women coming forward with their challenges.
Overall, the main goal is to prevent innocent babies from being born with NAS symptoms. Are mandatory drug tests for pregnant women the solution? If you are a pregnant women struggling with addiction, please come forward. It is not just your life, it is the life of your newborn at risk. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
The 1940’s were kind of a slow time in the history of drug abuse or maybe drug abuse wasn’t as well documented. If it wasn’t well documented it may have been because many of the illicit substances we know today to be illicit weren’t illicit yet. Meaning, a lot of the drugs today that are illegal weren’t illegal yet, so drug abuse wasn’t really classified as drug abuse yet. Also, in the 1940’s drug abuse and addiction were not problems of enough magnitude to capture space in newspapers since Hitler and the buildup to WW II dominated America’s attention. This doesn’t mean there was no drug abuse going on because there was especially with alcohol and alcoholics-in fact because of this the 1940s saw the rise of a program you may know well, Alcoholics Anonymous.
This is the history of drug abuse 1940s.
History of drug abuse 40’s: Emergence of the Hipster
Hipster or hepcat, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the early 1940s. The hipster adopted the lifestyle of the jazz musician, including some or all of the following: dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty and relaxed sexual codes.
History of drug abuse 40’s: Benzedrine aka. Amphetamines
Benzedrine, in the form of inhalers and later tablets, was readily available over the counter until the 1950s. Marketed under this brand name by Smith, Kline & French (the company that was to become part of GlaxoSmithKline), the drug was initially used as a bronchodilator. However, people who needed help to breathe soon discovered that the innocuous inhaler had a potent stimulant effect. By 1949, many stories had been reported of the drug being used for recreational purposes, as well as an appetite suppressant. A decade later, “bennies” (as they came to be known) were reclassified as a controlled substance. Benzedrine was then replaced by non-prescription inhalers containing propylhexedrine, which was sold as Benzedrex.
History of drug abuse 40’s: Cocaine
In 1914, the Harrison Narcotic Act outlawed cocaine in the United States and usage declined throughout the 1940s through the 1960s. In the 1970s cocaine regained popularity as a recreational drug and was glamorized in the U.S. popular media. Articles from the time proclaimed cocaine as non-addictive. The drug was viewed as harmless until the 1985 emergence of crack.
History of drug abuse 40’s: LSD
LSD was accidentally discovered and ingested by Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist working for Sandoz Laboratories, who found himself embarking on the first LSD “trip” in history in 1943. Soon after Hofmann’s initial experimentation with LSD, he provided samples of the drug to psychiatrists at the University of Zurich for further testing into possible uses. In the 1950s, the U.S. military and CIA researched LSD as a possible “truth drug,” which could be used for brainwashing or inducing prisoners to talk. However, after military interest in LSD waned in favor of other drugs, the psychiatric community began to research and issue reports on the drug’s possible therapeutic capabilities for psychotic, epileptic, and depressed patients.
History of drug abuse 40’s: Marijuana
The Volstead Act of 1920, which raised the price of alcohol in the United States, positioned marijuana as an attractive alternative and led to an increase in use of the drug. “Tea pads,” where a person could purchase marijuana for 25 cents or less, began appearing in cities across the United States, particularly as part of the black “hepster” jazz culture. By 1930 it was reported that there were at least 500 of these “tea pads” in New York City alone. During the Great Depression as unemployment increased, resentment and fear of the Mexican immigrants became connected to marijuana use. Numerous research studies linked marijuana use by lower class communities with crime and violence. In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which criminalized the drug. From 1951 to 1956 stricter sentencing laws set mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses. In the 1950s the beatniks appropriated the use of marijuana from the black hipsters in the 40s and the drug moved into middle-class white America in the 1960s. In the second major wave of American opiate addiction, heroin was integrated into the new cultural identity of the “hipster”, first through the Harlem jazz scene in the 1930s and 1940s and then through the Beatnik subculture of the 1950s. During this period the major supply of heroin entering the U.S. came through the “French Connection” which was a collaboration between Corsican gangsters in Marseille and the Sicilian Mafia.
History of drug abuse: The Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous
While Alcoholics Anonymous has a long history before the 1940’s, 1940 was a year after the Big Book was published. In the 1940’s many aspects of AA’s traditions came about. The 1940s saw the immense growth of AA from being one small house to moving west, north, south, and east. Meetings began forming in France and Ireland as well as Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand by 1946. In 1947, meetings starting forming in England, Canada, Brazil and then the following year Sweden, Finland, Japan and Korea followed suit. Growth continued liked this, exponentially across the world throughout the entire 1940s.
If you or someone you know is in need of drug abuse treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
“But I would not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned.” – Bob Dylan (Rainy Day Women #12 & 35)
I don’t want to generalize this decade as a decade of sex, drugs, and rock &roll, but that is probably an accurate description of it. At least for those who were involved with the counterculture, beat generation and were “hippies”. The 60’s were characterized by change not just in civil rights and the protests against Vietnam but also in music and the use of illicit drugs. An entire book could be written on the changes that happened in the 60’s and many books have been written.
Today, we are going to talk about the history of drug abuse and one of the biggest changes in the 60’s which was the widespread use of illicit drugs, primarily hallucinogens such as marijuana and LSD.
Before this time, drugs, specifically marijuana was primarily used by jazz musicians and hip characters in the inner cities. This was known as the beat generation.
(Beat generation, is a term applied to certain American artists and writers who were popular during the 1950s. Essentially anarchic, members of the beat generation rejected traditional social and artistic forms. The beats sought immediate expression in multiple, intense experiences and beatific illumination like that of some Eastern religions such as Zen Buddhism. In literature they adopted rhythms of simple American speech and of bop and progressive jazz. Among those associated with the movement were the novelists Jack Kerouac and Chandler Brossard, numerous poets (e.g., Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Gregory Corso), and others, many of whom worked in and around San Francisco. During the 1960s “beat” ideas and attitudes were absorbed by other cultural movements, and those who practiced something akin to the “beat” lifestyle were called “hippies.”)
And, LSD, which was virtually unknown to American society in the early sixties and was still legal until 1966. LSD gained widespread recognition as a result of the very public exploits of so-called acid gurus, Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey. By the mid-sixties, seemingly overnight, marijuana and LSD use was common across the country, especially among the young.
People who were involved with drug use in the 60’s also began looking to religious ceremonies of Native Americans where peyote and mescaline were used, to references of marijuana use for spiritual and medicinal purposes in ancient texts, and to books like Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, where Huxley writes of his experimentation with mescaline in Mexico. Other more harmful drugs followed: cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and barbiturates, and the idea of using mind-expanding drugs to gain insight into the world gave way to plain recreational, often harmful use. And harmful use leads to overdoses and deaths.
NOTABLE DEATHS IN THE 1960s DUE TO DRUGS: Believe it or not Janis Joplin (heroin overdose) and Jimi Hendrix (asphyxiation on vomit) didn’t die in the 60s but in the early 70s. Who did die in the 60s are: Rudy Lewis (The Drifters) of an overdose, Dinah Washington (jazz pianist and singer), Brian Epstein (Manager of The Beatles), and Frankie Lymon (Frankie Lymon and Teenagers).
Drug abuse in the 1960s
Marijuana use in the 1960s: A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) sought to portray marijuana as a powerful, addicting substance that would lead users into narcotics addiction. It is still considered a “gateway” drug by some authorities. In the 1950s it was an accessory of the beat generation; in the 1960s it was used by college students and “hippies” and became a symbol of rebellion against authority. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified marijuana along with heroin and LSD as a Schedule I drug which means it has the relatively highest abuse potential and no accepted medical use.
LSD use in the 1960s: LSD has a really interesting place in the 60’s generation making its way into the military as well as social and cultural movements. LSD was popularized in the 1960s by individuals such as psychologist Timothy Leary, who encouraged American students to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” (This cryptic message meant to tune into what is happening, turn on to drugs, especially LSD and marijuana, and drop out of society’s expectations of your future.) Shortly after this news articles about how LSD had caused people to “blow their minds” became pretty frequent. One story told of two teenagers who were “tripping” on LSD and stared directly into the sun until they were permanently blinded. This and other fear-based stories were never documented, and were probably not true, but they demonstrated society’s strong reaction to the psychedelic drug craze. Regardless, Timothy Leary helped to create an entire counterculture of drug abuse that spread the drug from America to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Even today, use of LSD in the United Kingdom is significantly higher than in other parts of the world. And all the while the ‘60s counterculture used LSD to escape the problems of society, the Western intelligence community and the military saw it as a potential chemical weapon. In 1951, these organizations began a series of experiments. US researchers noted that LSD “is capable of rendering whole groups of people, including military forces, indifferent to their surroundings and situations, interfering with planning and judgment, and even creating apprehension, uncontrollable confusion and terror.” Experiments in the possible use of LSD to change the personalities of intelligence targets, and to control whole populations, continued until the United States officially banned the drug in 1967.
Heroin use in the 1960s: Injecting heroin believe it or not was still frowned upon in the 1960s. In fact Abbie Hoffman had this to say about “needle drugs” Avoid all needle drugs. “The only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.” Throughout the 1960s, heroin remained the most feared and romanticized drug in America, with estimates of a half a million addicted heroin users by the end of the decade. However, there weren’t any truly valid methods of estimating the incidence and prevalence of drug use in these years and these figures are probably lower than the actual drug use and abuse in the 1960s.
Barbiturate use in the 1960s: Barbiturates were first used in medicine in the early 1900s and became popular in the 1960s and 1970s as treatment for anxiety, insomnia, or seizure disorders. With the popularity of barbiturates in the medical population, barbiturates as drugs of abuse evolved as well. Barbiturates were abused to reduce anxiety, decrease inhibitions, and treat unwanted effects of illicit drugs. Studies do show that the annual production of barbiturate drugs exceeded one million pounds, the equivalent of twenty-four one-and one-half grain doses for every man, woman and child in the nation, or enough to kill each person twice over.
No drug or substance was off limits during the 60s. The 1960s were probably the decade where drug use changed the most and is probably one of the only decades exclusively defined by a counterculture movement full of protest, spiritual expansion, rebellion, art, and music. This unknown quote probably says it better than anyone else could:
“If you can remember the ’60s, then you weren’t there.” -Unknown
If you or someone you love is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
On Monday, July 9th, 2010 Eva Rausing, philanthropist and wife of multibillionaire Hans Rausing was found dead in an upstairs bedroom in their townhome in Belgravia, London.
Eva Louise Rausing (7 March 1964 – 9 July 2012) was born Eva Louise Kemeny, the daughter of Tom Kemeny, a PepsiCo executive. She was a philanthropist, and a member of the Rausing family, which owns the food packaging business Tetra Pak. She was the wife of Hans Kristian Rausing, whom she met in a rehab clinic in her native U.S.,and with whom she had four children. [Wikipedia, 2012]
Eva and Hans donated large amounts of money to drug treatment charities and seemed to be champions in the fight against of drug abuse. Eva was a patron of the Mentor Foundation, which worked to help people out of addiction and has the Queen of Sweden, Queen Noor of Jordan and Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia as honorary trustees. Prince Charles even considered Hans as a “very special kind of philanthropist”.
Unfortunately, they were really facing a drug problem themselves and it wasn’t something new. Eva and Hans met while receiving treatment for drug abuse back in the 1980’s. They seemed to be living a solid life in recovery until Eva was caught with crack cocaine and heroin on a visit to the US Embassy in the Summer of 2008. They recently lost custody of their four children to Hans’ sister and tabloids released photos of Hans looking very thin and ill.
We’ve said it over and over again. Addiction kills and it’s not to be seen as a testament of will power. This is truly a tragedy considering that these people had many opportunities available to them in sense of wealth but battled their own demons with drugs. No official cause of death has been determined, as a postmortem done on Tuesday resulted as “inconclusive”, but the police did arrest and question Hans Rausing after the discovery of Eva’s body was made. The worst part about all this is not only did she lose her life but media outlets are reporting that her dead body might have been in the house up to a week before it was discovered.
Update: July 17th, 2012 – Eva Rausing’s husband, Hans Rausing, appears in court charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife’s body.
Addiction doesn’t have to end in death. Choose life, call us now at 1-877-711-4673.
- Drug Addicted Baby Boomers
In The News: Drug Addicted Baby Boomers
After World War II as soldiers’ came back home from the war to start families the United States experienced a baby boom that lasted from 1946-1964. 79 million people were born in America during the baby boom. People born within that time period are referred to as the Baby Boomer generation and include a generation filled with many different groups of people in respects to their gender, sex, sexual orientation, cultural make-up, socio-economical status, political views and the list goes on and on. Every generation experiences its’ own growth and challenges and baby boomers were born into a generation of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Drug abuse has always lurked within American society rearing its’ ugly head in the streets, back alleys, locker rooms, schools, gyms, offices and in our homes. Drug use specific to the baby boomer generation began during War World II, when soldiers were given Amphetamine to combat fatigue and improve both mood and endurance. Soldiers came home hooked on drugs (not just amphetamines either) and thus passed along those addictions to their families – genetically, socially and within the family function. After the war, amphetamine was actively prescribed for depression and soon became the “pep pill” for athletes to achieve better performance. In the 1960’s many “speed labs” popped up but slowly died down in the 1970’s. As we know, drugs such as amphetamine never really go away they either diminish in demand due to government and law enforcement crack downs or due to another rising drug. In the case of amphetamine all three happened and the drug that helped lower it’s’ demand was cocaine. After being banned in 1914 and its’ use slowly diminishing from 1920-1940, cocaine soon became popular in the 1970’s with it’s’ popularization in the media and in entertainment. Cocaine quickly became the thing to do, it was cool – all of your favorite singers, actors, and friends were doing it. At this point the oldest baby boomers were in their early 20’s and partying all night and engaging in drugging and risky behavior. In 1982, there were 10.4 million Americans addicted to cocaine. Whoa! Other drugs that have impacted the baby boomer generation from 1960’s into the 2000’s are crack cocaine, LSD, Marijuana, Opium and Heroin. [PBS, A Social History of America’s Most Popular Drugs 1995-2012]
Fast forward to 2012 and we have a generation of baby boomers that are either still battling their drug addictions from decades ago or they’re becoming addicted later in life. The Huffington Post reports that based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 4.8 million adults aged 50 and older used an illicit drug — whether it was an illegal substance or non-medical use of a prescription — last year. The number of older drug abusers has increased so much in the past decade that the National Institute of Health released its first consumer alert for seniors last month.
This could be for two reasons: (1) there were more people born in that generation and therefore there are now more people in that age group than before; and (2) baby boomers were more likely than previous generations to use illicit drugs in their youth, which is a risk factor for later use.
There’s also the case for those who are being prescribed more medications as they get older for chronic illinesses and are taking them not as directed and becoming accidental addicts. Families are going to have to pay closer attention to the elders in their families and watch for potential drug abuse that’s not just signs of getting older. Whether we want to accept it or not, drug abuse is an epidemic and this is an indication that no one is safe.
What does this mean for treatment centers? The rise in baby boomers is going to force treatment centers to change the way they approach treatment for those in their early 50’s -60’s who’s needs are special to their experience as baby boomers and how they’ve handle their lives in today’s environment. Many of them could be experiencing divorces, loss of jobs, homes and children moving away and starting their own lives. There should be special programs just for those who grew up a generation that embraced drug use which is not portrayed in the media today as it was in the late 60’s – 70s.
If you are a baby boomer or senior in need of drug and/or alcohol treatment give us a call at 1-877-711-4673 and speak to one of our addiction specialist.