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Author: Shernide Delva
A drug intended to treat cancer could have another purpose: curing cocaine addiction. Recently researchers discovered that a drug used in cancer therapy trials might instead be the key to promising new treatment for cocaine addiction.
The research stemmed from Cardiff University in Wales. The trial drug, from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, may be able to wipe away memories that trigger cocaine cravings.
“We have demonstrated that a single administration of a trial drug from Pfizer can completely obliterate cocaine-associated memories and significantly accelerate the end of drug-seeking behavior in animals,” said Professor Riccardo Brambilla from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences. “With this drug currently being used in cancer trials, it could be easily repositioned for treatment of cocaine addiction and other drugs of abuse.”
Still, while these results show promise, the study has only been tested on mice. Until the researchers conduct the study in human trials, it will be quite some time before the drug potentially “cures” cocaine addiction.
Those who struggle with cocaine addiction know more than anyone how intense the cravings for the drugs can be. Just the mere sight of cocaine can trigger the desire to use. Numerous research studies confirm the phenomenon of craving. However, in recent years, scientists have pushed for developing drugs that could revolutionize treatment for cocaine addiction.
The 18-MC Drug
Back in 2014, Buzzfeed reported that Dr. Stanley Glick, former head of the Department of Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience at Albany Medical College, created 18-MC, a drug that has shown great success in animals. When tested on rats, the results were extremely promising. Rats strongly addicted to cocaine lost their desire to use after a few doses. Scientist soon conducted initial tests on human patients, and so far little side effects have been reported. Still, it could take years, even decades for these potential “cures” to hit the market if they ever do.
For now, the medical community is largely optimistic about the types of treatments that could soon revolutionize addiction treatment:
“We know that addiction is a disease and that ‘Just Say No’ is a delusion,” said Steve Hurst, founder, and CEO of Savant HWP who is collaborating with Glick on developing 18-MC. “If your brain tells you to go drink, or do cocaine, or shoot heroin—that’s not willpower. This whole notion is a reason I think addiction medicine is such an emerging field. We understand a lot about the disease we didn’t understand 10 years ago.”
Should Drugs Like These Exist?
With the constant influx of new treatments for addiction, some argue that the best way to give up an addiction is through seeking professional treatment and joining a support group (like AA). The notion of using drugs to rid one’s drug addiction may seem like a backward solution. However, addiction is a disease and drugs like these could be extremely viable options.
Whether you agree with it or not, the reality is drug addiction is a serious problem. Addiction is taking more and more lives away each year. The United States is in the midst of an overdose epidemic. While this might not be the ideal way of combatting addiction, these drugs offer the potential to save countless lives.
Still, it will take quite some times for many of these drugs to hit the market. Therefore, if you are struggling with addiction, understand that it is a disease, and you need to get treatment. We can help you acquire the tools to be successful. Stop trying to do this on your own. Call toll-free today.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Well the weather man might not get the joke, the truth is the New York City Police, working alongside federal law enforcement agents, have recently made a bust that will cancel the white Christmas in NYC. According to Police and federal agents who broke the story, this week they have seized what they described as a “staggering” cargo of cocaine in the Bronx.
2 Names Making the Naught List
Apparently this massive shipment of cocaine had been shipped from Massachusetts, and in the course of the bust two men from Puerto Rico were arrested in connection to the bust. The two are allegedly part of a major drug trafficking network, and now they are definitely making the naughty list this holiday season for their involvement with this immense amount of illegal drug possession. Those two men were:
- Mark Soto
- Xavier Herbert-Gumbs
So far these two men have each been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Brand Name Bust
The sleigh-ride for these traffickers was cut short when a joint operation with New York Police Department detectives and Homeland Security Investigations agents stopped their cars this past Thursday evening. The law enforcement officers then discovered brick-shaped packages of cocaine pressed into bundles and marked with brand names in the vehicles.
According to local new networks in the area authorities stopped a rented vehicle around 6:15 pm, finding 110 pounds of cocaine inside. 24-year-old Herbert-Gumbs was reportedly a passenger in the car and confessed to the authorities that he had placed the box holding the cocaine bricks in the vehicle.
About an hour later, authorities stopped 23-year-old U.S. Army Reserves private Mark Soto as he was taking a duffel bag out of the trunk of a different vehicle. The new report claims that these authorities found 26 pounds of cocaine inside the bag.
After the hauling the two into custody the officers took their inventory and according to the court records, the defendants were allegedly transporting 136 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $3 million! New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said during a statement concerning the case,
“The sheer amount of cocaine seized in this case is staggering. This is the largest seizure of cocaine being transported in the region that our office has handled in recent years.”
But there was even more gifts to be unwrapped by the officers, because following the arrests investigators claimed they also seized $6,000 and a U-Haul equipment contract in the name of “Mark Gomez,” an alias they said Soto used, after officers had searched an apartment Friday evening on the block where Soto had been stopped.
Reports have also shown that police found identifying documents belonging to Herbert-Gumbs inside the vehicle Soto was using when he was arrested, suggesting it is evidence that the two were working together in some capacity while trafficking their respective bricks of “cheer” for special delivery. Glenn Sorge, acting special agent in charge HSI New York, stated:
“The violence associated with cocaine trafficking and the illicit proceeds poses a major threat to our communities’ welfare. HSI remains at the forefront of combating criminal organizations that threaten our homeland by smuggling drugs into the United States.”
Soto and Gumbs were arraigned the following day in Manhattan on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $400,000. Looks like a lot of people won’t be getting cocaine for Christmas, but there might be a few extra lumps of coal for these two behind bars.
Drug policy and reform are changing the game for the cartels and drug traffickers, while law enforcement is taking a stand against the availability of drugs in response to mounting overdose deaths in America. For those suffering from drug addiction these reforms also mean change in a compassionate approach to help them the choice to get help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Ever since August 28, 2015 anyone and everyone seems to have something to say about Narcos, the new hit series that debuted on Netflix and has a monumental momentum that has not stopped since. The show has been talked about on practically every channel, has flooded all Facebook (not to mention other social media) news feeds, and has become a centerpiece of conversation in every medium.
Even the people who have never seen a single episode have chattered about how the plot must be well worth the hype, and everyone else eagerly awaits a second gripping and climactic season.
So why has Narcos taken over, and what hidden truths of the drug trade can we learn from it?
Narcos is an American drug trafficking crime drama television series that was created by various talented writers and producers, including:
- Chris Brancato
- Carlo Bernard
- Doug Miro
Narcos has Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha in the captains seat, and thus far he appears to have done a great deal of justice to the material.
This uniquely epic is so far a 10 installment long episodic portrayal of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel has a thrilling way of packing a serious punch, while also entangling the tales of United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.
Narcos unravels a dramatic reenactment of the real life events surrounding of the progression and expansion of cocaine drug cartels across the globe, while highlighting law enforcement efforts to bring it all crashing down. Wagner Moura stars as notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, with plenty of blood and brutality to go around.
True Narco Cinema
The series is set during the 1980s Colombian drug war, but it’s more generally about the myths that drug lords, politicians, and cops tell the communities they serve, which has historically been a way they preserve their power; feeding into the fear and mythology that surround them.
Narcos producers call this “magical realism,” but it is actually an old Latin American genre of a storytelling tradition called “narco cinema,” comprised entirely of B-movies about the drug trade. Narco cinema works its own magic through a deeply romanticizing the power and violence of drug lords; turning cops into villains, drug kingpins into underdogs turned heroes, and beauty queens into narcos.
Underneath all this, Narco cinema skillfully exposes the weaknesses and corruption of government systems that have allowed the cartels to infect them and take advantage of the people, which is a clever way to show the truth of how cocaine and cocaine traffickers like those on Narcos have devastated the lives of those around them.
Many people who have made a habit and even a living of dissecting and evaluating films and media have praised the series, and one thing many have pointed out is even though the show has bent the truth a bit to make for more entertaining television, it may more accurately portray the uglier, more sinister side to the reality of drug cartels.
Narcos has been valued by many as the first American production in the true narco-cinematic legacy. Unlike most American depictions of the drug trade, Narcos manages to glamorize its protagonists while still revealing the disturbing structural problems they are working within, exposing the world to the key dynamics in the real life drug wars; specifically the way drug lords and corrupt cops and DEA agents mold their own myths and do everything in their power to instill those terrifying yet empowering legends about them in order to preserve their power over the people.
Drug lords oppress the people, they terrorize communities and they destroy lives across the board. Yet because they are made into these grandiose legends of rags to riches through overcoming injustice, they are idolized. What Narcos has done in the eyes of many is it has continued to stroke the ego of the drug lord just enough, while trying to show the viewer just how disturbing and tragically wicked the world of the drug dealer can be. It is not all fun and games, not all a hero’s journey. It is a twisted and ugly world, and the hidden truth they try to display is that the legend is more important to the drug lord than the truth, because the truth is a lot uglier and a lot less heroic than the stories they tell about themselves.
Along with dramatic series about drug abuse and drug trafficking, Netflix also features some excellent drug documentaries that may also give you insight into how substance abuse and addiction destroys lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Recently there has been a lot of talk about new technologies being developed in regards to drug testing and new devices that have been developed here or there that are designed to detect specific narcotics. From marijuana breathalyzers to alcohol consumption wrist bands, there are all kinds of new inventions or techniques that are being used to identify when someone is getting a little past their limits, and now we are entering familiar secret-spy sounding territory.
Research has just been published in the journal Analyst that aims at demonstrating a new, non-invasive test that can detect cocaine use through a simple fingerprint.
Your probably wondering how can they know for sure your using? After all couldn’t traces of the powder just be in your skin if you handled it or something? Well actually this new fingerprint method can determine whether cocaine has been ingested, rather than just touched.
Nerdy Justice League
All previous fingerprint tests have employed similar methods as this most recent development, but they have only been able to show whether a person has touched cocaine, and not exactly if they have actually taken the drug.
University of Surrey led a team of researchers from several different schools, pulled together like a nerdy Justice League that included:
- Netherlands Forensic Institute (NL)
- National Physical Laboratory (UK)
- King’s College London (UK)
- Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
This conglomerate of chemistry geniuses and other science scholars used different types of an analytical chemistry technique known as “mass spectrometry” to analyze the fingerprints of patients attending drug treatment services, and the prints were tested against more commonly used saliva samples to determine whether the two tests correlated. Lead author Dr. Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey stated:
“When someone has taken cocaine, they excrete traces of benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine as they metabolise the drug, and these chemical indicators are present in fingerprint residue. For our part of the investigations, we sprayed a beam of solvent onto the fingerprint slide (a technique known as Desorption Electrospray Ionisation, or DESI) to determine if these substances were present.”
According to Dr. Bailey DESI has been used in the past for a number of forensic applications, but no other studies have shown it to demonstrate drug use such as this.
Back to the Future
Researchers believe that the applications for this test could be far-reaching and could make a vast impact in the justice system. Drug testing is routinely utilized in:
- Probation services
- Courts and other law enforcement agencies
While we have relied on urine tests and other methods, these forms of traditional testing methods have limitations. Blood testing requires trained staff. Urine testing brings up privacy concerns. Bodily fluids can create biological hazards, and often these kinds of tests require for particular storage and disposal methods and off-site analysis. So it creates a whole realm of other obstacles.
But beyond all that even is the concept that makes this kind of testing always feel like something out of a scifi movie or a spy-thriller. Dr. Bailey added,
“The beauty of this method is that, not only is it non-invasive and more hygienic than testing blood or saliva, it can’t be faked. By the very nature of the test, the identity of the subject is captured within the fingerprint ridge detail itself.”
It is anticipated that this technology could see the introduction of portable drug tests for law enforcement agencies to use within the next decade. According to Dr. Bailey there are already companies working to miniaturize mass spectrometers to make mobile finger-print drug testing a thing of the present. It not only becomes more easily accessible for law enforcement, but it is also safer on several levels for the individuals being tested.
So the only question left is; how long before we have this for other illegal substances. How long until we can detect heroin and other opiates or MDMA from someone’s fingerprint? And how much will this change the war on drugs?
Drug testing can be huge to keeping the streets safer from drugged drivers, and it can change a lot about how drug treatment is handled and monitored, and that could help save lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Photo Via: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Hardy
Author: Justin Mckibben
I have to say that being a huge movie buff, and I’m the kind of guy who tries to remember every role my favorite actors/actresses play in. I highly anticipate the new Mad Max: Fury Road film starring the London talent turned Hollywood hero Tom Hardy, and as someone that follows the careers of actors and actresses I’m impressed with after they are able to grab my attention with just one intriguing role, I have become a huge fan of this guy. So when I first read about Tom Hardy speaking openly about his battles with drugs and his road to recovery it was something that makes him seem more human, and I might actually be a bigger fan for it.
Hard Man Hardy
Edward Thomas “Tom” Hardy is a 37 year old English actor from Hammersmith, London who made his feature film debut back in the day with Black Hawk Down in 2001. He since has been noted for countless amazing performances in some awesome titles including:
- Star Trek: Nemesis (yes.. he was the main villain)
- RocknRolla (appeared as Handsome Bob)
- Inception (a performance toe-to-toe with Dicaprio’s)
- Warrior (nuff said)
- Lawless (the big brother/soft spoken moonshine man)
- The Dark Knight Rises (duh… anything Batman is awesome)
And throughout his career he went from a much smaller size to a bulky brawler, getting him some serious notoriety as what he says Hollywood sees him as- a “hard man” on set, but that’s not who he thinks he is. This may be most noticeable in his role as the yoked-up mask-faced mercenary BANE from the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
So when Hardy recently talked about his troubles with drugs and how helpless he was in active addiction, I can’t help but imagine him saying (in my best possible Bane impersonation) “I was wondering what would break first, my mind… or my body!” Addiction struck in his mid-20’s, but it seems Hardy counts himself fortunate to have recovered before getting the chance to terrorize us in Gotham City.
In an interview with fellow former addict Kenny Ross, Hardy talked about how his had nearly fallen apart, along with his career due to drugs and alcohol. Despite his successful performance in Black Hawk Down, he quickly found himself in a downward spiral that landed him broken.
“I didn’t want anyone to know I was out of control, but I couldn’t hide it. Eventually, the body gives up. I was completely kaput. I was lucky I didn’t get hepatitis or AIDS.”
Hardy admitted that his troubles began at an early age of 13, when he was already experimenting with hallucinogens. Coming from an affluent home Hardy was kicked out of boarding schools for theft, and an addiction to crack cocaine and abusive relationship with alcohol quickly followed. Hardy was arrested for stealing a Mercedes and possessing a gun at 17, but somehow managed to get off without punishment. The years went on and his addiction was only growing, and he abused crack cocaine consistently. At one point he said:
“I would have sold my mother for a rock of crack”
While it didn’t get to the point his mom was on the auction block, it apparently got bad enough for Hardy to make a change.
“I did something particularly heinous that allowed me to wake up.
“I had to lose something. Sometimes you have to lose something that is worth more to you than your drinking.”
Then one day in 2003 he woke up in a puddle of his own blood and vomit on the streets of Soho, and after years of using and boozing he finally realized he needed help. Luckily for him, he was able to find it.
His Reaction to Recovery
Hardy may have become one of the “hard men” of Hollywood, but he is certainly able to admit his shortcomings and his faults. During an interview Hardy described his transition into recovery from despair and desperation, and how the message had stuck with him.
“I was told very clearly, ‘You go down that road, Tom, you won’t come back. That’s it. All you need to know.’ That message stayed with me clearly for the rest of my days. I am f–king lucky to be here.”
When he talks about his trip to rehab, his intentions going in, and the revelation he had while in treatment it is a very familiar story. This inspiration hits close to home remembering my own journey to treatment for addiction, and one thing I can honestly relate to is when he said:
“I went in thinking I’d do it for a little bit until I can go out and drink and people forgive me. But I did my 28 days, and after listening to people who had been through similar circumstances I realized I did have a problem.”
Hardy has now been sober since 2003, and he credits a lot of that to helping others in many ways to reach out. He has actively worked a 12 Step program, and admits that at times his work may be his substitution for his drinking and drugging, but he does his best to stay aware of what that element of his ambition could do. He is the first to admit he has the same potential to ruin it all today as he ever did, but he is grateful for his life today and for the opportunity to chase his dreams and raise his son.
While our new Mad Max may look like a bit of a bully in his movies, it appears as though he is anything but. As a loving father and active member of a fellowship who has dedicated himself to helping others and spreading the message, he seems to take his role in recovery very seriously, and isn’t afraid to talk about living in the fear. Sometimes we don’t see how our heroes are humans too. We all need a little help sometimes. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135