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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
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
By now, most of us know what heroin is, but are there things we do not know about the drug? A recent article listed several facts about heroin, and some of them were quite shocking. The United States is currently in the midst of a heroin epidemic. Therefore, it is critical that both medical professionals and the public fully understand this drug.
All About Heroin: A Basic Overview
In case you were unaware, heroin derives from morphine, a naturally occurring substance that can be extracted from the seedpods of several types of poppy plants. The chemical name for heroin is diacetylmorphine. Heroin is the fastest acting opiate drug. Whether heroin is injected, smoked or snorted, the drug enters the body rapidly and causes a range of physically and psychological effects.
The U.S. has seen heroin cycle in and out of popularity. In the 70s, heroin was becoming a huge problem in urban communities specifically in areas around New York City. It was estimated that close to 200,000 people in the city were using heroin. A popular park in New York City, known as Hyde Park, earned the infamous name “Needle Park” because the amount of syringes that were found all throughout the park. Fortunately, the heroin epidemic of that era died down around the time Rudolph Giuliani was elected. Many new yorkers credit Giuliani for the measures he took to clean up the city.
The Heroin Epidemic Today
These days, however, heroin is not hitting just urban communities; the epidemic has spread throughout the countries in places people would have never suspected. Areas in the suburbs are seeing a spike in heroin use. The prescription opioid epidemic is the main reason for this resurgence. Many who were prescribed prescription opioids by their doctors became dependent on the drug and soon moved on to heroin as a cheaper, quicker alternative.
Heroin is much cheaper than prescription drugs, and it is easier to acquire. As laws are placed to prevent further prescription drug abuse, heroin use becomes a more popular alternative. Unfortunately, it is a vicious cycle.
With new users come new problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. Heroin claimed the lives of more than 8,300 Americans in 2013.
Five Compelling Truths About Heroin
Now, that you know some basic information about the current heroin epidemic, here are five interesting facts about this dangerously addictive drug. Perhaps reading them will further solidify the reasons to avoid trying heroin in the first place.
What Being “On The Nod” Really Means.
When most people envision the high of heroin, they picture a person “nodding off” from the drug. Nodding off, or “on the nod” essentially describes a person who is in a state where they alternate between drowsiness and wakefulness for several hours. Imagine a student in a boring lecture trying desperately to stay awake. Their head will drop down as they get sleepier but immediately jerk upward in an attempt to stay awake.
The nodding from heroin use happens because heroin is a sedative. A person will go from feeling awake but sleepy and eventually fall into a deep sleep that he or she cannot be shaken from. While this may be desirable for a heroin user, it is the first step on the road to excess sedation. The nod can be especially dangerous if the user loses consciousness. In some cases, a person can slip into a comatose state and then sink into an overdose. Breathing becomes severely slow and sometimes stops.
Was Heroin Ever Sold Over-The-Counter?
Heroin was created from morphine in 1874. However, Heroin was introduced for medical use in 1890 by The Bayer Company of Germany. Three years before that, a chemist wanted to create a safer alternative to morphine— one that was less addictive and had fewer effects. In his attempt to create the drug, he created heroin, which he believed to be a more dilute form of morphine. The reason the drug was called “heroin” was because he believed the drug had heroic qualities.
Starting in the early 1900s, Heroin was found in products like cough syrups, and remedies for infant colic. Heroin was marketed and sold over the counter in the United States and several other countries. Doctors thought the drug was great for insomnia.
However, a few years later, heroin was discovered to be two to three times more potent than morphine, and more rapidly absorbed by the brain. Doctors also realized that heroin was actually more addictive than morphine! Needless the say, eventually the drug was taken off the shelves.
The “Heroin Chic” 90s Fashion Movement.
In the 90s, being waif thin was all the rage in the high fashion community. Models like Kate Moss, were so emaciated, that they looked like they were strung out on drugs. To add to the look, the models often posed with blank stares, dark eye circles, and pale skin.
During the same period, a new, less expensive version of heroin was entering the United States from Columbia. The new version outcompeted heroin coming from Asia and Southeast Asia. In fact, the Columbian heroin was so cheap and pure that it increased the number of heroin user and the depth of their drug use.
In 1997, not long after a fashion photographer died of a heroin overdose, the then-president Bill Clinton condemned the “heroin chic” images and advertisements. Clinton suggested that the images glamorized addiction to sell clothes.
Soon, the “heroin chic” look fell out of favor, and eventually much healthier looking models replaced the super skinny waif-like look.
The Different Colors of Heroin.
Heroin comes in three different colors. It is either a white powder, a brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. You might have known this already, but do you know what country of origin is associated with the different types of heroin?
–White Powder Heroin: Heroin which is more refined and pure used to arrive from Southeast Asia. White powder heroin is becoming rarer in the United States. Much of the powdered heroin sold in the U.S. has fillers or contaminants added such as sugars, starches, and powdered milk.
— “Black Tar” Heroin: The sticky black heroin or “black tar” heroin comes to the U.S. from Mexico which is the only country that produces it. The drug resembles a black tootsie role. When the drug is cold, it is a hard substance, however, once the user warms up the drug, it appears sticky, resembling roofing tar.
Formed through an industrial process, black-tar heroin is known for being less pure and lower grade. It also is more similar to opium in its chemical makeup compared to other forms of heroin, and it has other opioid drugs, such as morphine and codeine, in it.
–Brown heroin: Lastly, we have heroin from Columbia which tends to be brown and chalky. Heroin from Pakistan and Afghanistan are also brown, but heroin from these countries are more commonly found in Europe.
Famous Phases from Heroin Withdrawals Symptoms.
Although you may associate phrases like “kicking the habit,” or “going cold turkey” with all drug use; the two phases actually originated from heroin withdrawal symptoms.Heroin is one of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from. Heroin withdrawal is a long-term process that involved commitment, professional treatment, and the right support system.
Over the years, our language has been influenced by what happens when people stops using heroin. The expression “kicking the habit,” for example, is thought to have originated from the kicking leg movements seen in people going through heroin withdrawals. When a person withdraws from heroin, their muscles become lethargic and heavy. They start to feel their legs become twitchy and uncontrollable, which leads to the kicking motion, hence the phrase “kicking the habit.”
Another withdrawal symptom of heroin is cold flashes and goosebumps, which some believe originated the phrase “going cold turkey.” When a person withdraws from heroin, their skin becomes more active. This results in goosebumps and the feeling of going “cold turkey.” Phrases like these are old terms and likely originate 50 to 70 years ago.
Was there anything you learned about heroin that surprised you? Now that you understand how addictive heroin can be, you should know that the best way to overcome this addiction is through receiving professional treatment. Do not try to overcome this disease on your own. You need a plan for recovery. Call today.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Did you ever wonder what kind of mischief the dinosaurs of the world far before our time ever got themselves into? What kind of lives they lived and what we could compare to the way our world is now besides them basically being giant monsters that ruled the world? Well apparently there ain’t no party like a prehistoric party, and dinosaurs were doing drugs way before humans were even a thing.
A new discovery has indicated that psychedelic fungi are as old as the dinosaurs, and this particular brand of plant was probably included as part of the dinosaurs diet. This strange new revelation comes hand in hand with surprising new evidence suggesting that grasses are more ancient than previously thought, and may have co-evolved with dinosaurs.
Plotting Time with Plants
The vegetation being referred to as Grasses (Poaceae) are such a dominant and apparently simple feature of the planet that it’s easy to imagine that they are as old as life on land, but up until this recent correlation all evidence for the origin of Grasses was a rarity.
Fossil records indicate that the great grasslands are a commonplace on earth today have only developed relatively recently, after the development of C4 photosynthesis gave plants a huge evolutionary advantage. Of course this is far before our time, but in the timeline of a planet that separates species that have dominated it that is but a hiccup of time.
Then in 2005 distinctive grass features were found in dinosaur droppings. Then more surprising revelation came with the discovery of a grass floret trapped inside a 12 millimeter piece of amber from Myanmar that was dated to 97-110 million years ago. This particular find came with an implication to a story even more likely to make waves, or at least end up trending a little more on social media: Palaeoclaviceps parasiticus, an extinct fungus related to ergot.
So what is so special about that fungus? Well the group of fungi species known as Ergot produces the molecule ergotamine. Still a little lost? Me too, never did know much about botany. That molecule is closely related in structure and effects to lysergic acid, whose amide is… guess who… LSD!
While this doesn’t mean that dinosaurs were wearing tie-dye or staring at the clouds all day listening to the Beetles, at the very least this discovery proves that Ergot dates back well into the dinosaur’s era, whether they hallucinated or not. So this does not prove dinosaurs were affected by its famous derivative, or that they even ate it. But the previous discovery that dinosaurs were eating the grasses and passing them through their system makes it very likely that some were getting a dosing themselves with lysergic acid. The man who inspired Jurassic Park, Emeritus Professor George Poinar of Oregon State University, has stated,
“It seems like ergot has been involved with animals and humans almost forever, and now we know that this fungus literally dates back to the earliest evolution of grasses.”
“But it also shows that this parasitic fungus may have been around almost as long as the grasses themselves, as both a toxin and natural hallucinogen.”
Now you might believe a hallucinogenic plant from a few hundred years ago might not have quite the same effects as a drug from a few million years ago, the ergot sample found is very similar to its modern counterpart of LSD, and Professor Poinar went on to say,
“There’s no doubt in my mind that it would have been eaten by sauropod dinosaurs.”
Based on these findings, and the idea that this fungus was definitely (probably) on the menu for dinosaurs back in the day, many now believe that humans have actually evolved alongside the hallucinogen, which is used to produce LSD. Turn down for the Mesozoic era!
Thankfully, here at Palm Partners we do not discriminate against dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptors alike are all welcome.
All jokes aside, drugs have a long history of causing serious harm to those who become trapped by their use. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
2014 is just about done, and as we prepare ourselves for whatever series of adventures awaits us in 2015, we look back at a lot of historical moments we experienced in many areas of our culture, and a big one is the ‘War on Drugs’ and its progress internationally thus far. It was a year that was thick with violence, corruption, incarceration, addiction and stigma just to name a few. Many insist that the ‘War on Drugs’ is a failed enterprise that we will regret not having a better hold of later on, in fact 82% of Americans recently surveyed believe it has failed.
Some stories echo our larger issues and concerns such as military and economic resources. But when we take a closer look at these 6 headlines and see the bigger picture, these are just a few of the articles out there that seem to sift through the grimes to highlight why the policy of prohibition actually sustains the very drug war between governments, citizens, and cartels that claim lives on all sides.
- “El Chapo” Is Captured in Mexico
Not a single shot was fired when Mexican soldiers and cops closed in on “El Chapo” Guzmán, Sinaloa Cartel boss and former Forbes list billionaire back on February 22, 2014 in Mazatlán. While some say that’s the best possible outcome, others insist there is an underlining meaning that is a lot less optimistic.
The event made great copy. Attorney General Eric Holder called the arrest
“landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States.”
However, according to an expert on Mexican drug traffickers George Grayson,
“The takedown of El Chapo is a thorn in the side, but not a dagger in the heart of the Sinaloa Cartel.”
Drug-related violence has continued in recent months. Second, was it all a set-up? Retired DEA officials seem to believe thiese circumstances sound a little more than far-fetched.
2. China’s Tobacco Epidemic
In China the tobacco habit is severe, killing around 1 million annually.
- Nearly 30% of adults smoke
- 53% of men smoke
In April The WHO encouraged China to use graphic warnings on cigarette packages to fight the tobacco epidemic.
Why did the epidemic emerge? According to law professor Charles Whitebread, a long-term change in US smoking patterns created partly by federal and state regulations helped prompt this drastic change in Asia. Cigarette companies were soon confronted with a restricted market in America, so many opted to shifting their operations out of the United States and into China, Whitebread concluded.
At a 2012 conference, officials proposed the idea of price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, among the idea for graphic warnings and other initiatives.
China may adopt these proposals. Its government is considering a hike in cigarette taxes, while Beijing is considering a ban on smoking in all the city’s indoor public spaces, on public transport and in the workplace.
3. Pot Legalization Politics
Tuesday November 4th, 2014 the voting midterms drew to a close by early evening and as all the results were tallied and laws were forged and forfeited, it became clear that voters were largely in favor of legalizing marijuana in several states.
Oregon, Washington D.C. and Alaska were among the states in America that had weed winning in the midterms for various forms of legalization of marijuana.
A year ago Uruguay became the world’s first country to legalize the production and sale of marijuana. And in May, it publicized the regulations that will govern its marijuana market. President José Mujica argued that comparing Uruguay’s pot policies with Colorado’s that the United States marijuana model is one where “you prescribe it yourself” as opposed to the Uruguayan system, which regulates consumers.
President Mujica said the Uruguay policy is not designed to promote and expand marijuana use, just to regulate the present population of smokers. Residents 18 and older will be able to choose between three forms of access to non-medical weed
Each buyer will register with the government and be restricted to 10 grams each week.
4. Amphetamine Accelerates in Asia
In the year 2014 national experts have indicated that in East and Southeast Asia the use of ATS [amphetamine-type stimulants] has both increased and diversified, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s annual World Drug Report.
A paper published in Brookings Institution in March of 2014 further elaborated on this idea, stating that China has increasingly evolved into a producing country of new synthetic substances, amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in particular. The report also stated that China is a final consumption market for those same substances, stating:
“38 percent of registered drug users, almost 800,000 people, were identified as users of ATS.”
5. Afghan Opium Cultivation Reaches Record Levels
2014 also was a year for record level of Opium production in Afghanistan. The US military noted in October that regions opium poppy cultivation has almost tripled since 1994. Mother Jones reported,
“That’s despite more than a decade of American efforts to knock out the Afghan drug trade—at a cost of roughly $7.6 billion.”
Other reports claim the last time opium trafficking and production was markedly reduced in Afghanistan was in 2000—the last year the Taliban was in power.
Then later in 2001, only one of the country’s regions continued extensive cultivation. That region just happened to be the 5% of the territory the Washington-allied Northern Alliance controlled, and the United States had teamed with these warlords to assault the Taliban after 9/11.
Some claim that the US military presence has been enriching warlords at the expense of others, and that the booming “illicit trade” is also a vital source of funding for the Taliban insurgency, and a major contributor to the country’s rampant corruption.
According to a recent disclosure, Washington is actually planning to increase the number of troops in 2015 present in Afghanistan, but with so many claiming that American military activity only seems to promote the drug trade, will this really help the ‘War on Drugs’ in the area?
6. Prescription Painkillers #1 Overdose Offender in America
According to a recent national study of hospital emergency department visits for opioid overdoses published online by JAMA Internal Medicine, 67.8% of the overdoses had prescription opioids (including methadone) involved. This number was followed closely by heroin overdoses, and other unspecified opioids and multiple opioids.
The study analyzed 2010 data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample and was adjusted to generate national estimates. Opioid drugs including:
These were the medications prescribed by doctors that are credited as the cause of the estimated 92,200 hospital visits, which is more than 5 times the number of deaths involving opioid painkillers in 2010.
Researchers found that out of all recorded emergency room visits that were a result of a drug overdose:
- Heroin accounted for 16.1%
- Unspecified opioids accounted for 13.4%
- Multiple opioid types accounted for 2.7%
- While even fewer than 2% of overdoses treated in emergency rooms were fatal.
7. Political Leaders Call for End of ‘Drug War’
The ‘War on Drugs’ has never been limited to US soil, and in many of these international cases we seem how even change in other countries can effect Americans. Earlier this year there was a report published by the London School of Economics titled “Ending the Drug Wars”. The report was signed by several officials including:
- 5 Nobel prize-winning economists
- Britain’s deputy prime minister
- A former US Secretary of State
“The pursuit of a militarized and enforcement-led global ‘war on drugs’ strategy has produced enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage,”
The report went on to state:
“new global drug strategy should be based on principles of public health, harm reduction…and human rights.”
Four months later, the Global Commission on Drug Policy picked up where this report left off, when several high ranking officials called for:
“governments to decriminalize a variety of illegal drugs and set up regulated drug markets within their own countries.”
These 7 are all just a few examples of how politics and policies have played out in 2014, and notes how we can start to see a slight shift in an attempt to try and provoke change in the way the world collectively views and addresses the ‘War on Drugs’ on all fronts.
At the same time, it goes to question whether or not the ‘War on Drugs’ is a wholesale failure, or if the primary method needs to be shifted from prohibition to education and regulation. Some think maybe the focus should stop being put on punishing those arrested for drug charges and more on providing chances for treatment.
While the ‘War on Drugs’ may have a lot of changes coming in 2015, the opinion varies as to whether that means the fighting will dwindle, or if the struggles will rage on as people try to adapt, both citizens, authorities and cartels. One thing is for sure, drug and alcohol treatment will continue to strive toward innovation in whatever way to do its part. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
not pictured: meth
By Cheryl Steinberg
According to a 47-page wartime dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence, Adolph Hitler was a notorious hypochondriac and took a shocking amount of medications – 74 drugs in total – including crystal methamphetamine.
Crystal meth is one of the most addictive illegal substances on today’s black market and Hitler was a regular user of it.
The hit show Breaking Bad, which features the character of Walter White, a teacher-turned-drug dealer who manufactures crystal meth, put the drug on the map, so to speak. Nowadays, it’s sought out by addicts for the euphoric alertness it produces. In the past, however, it was valued by the military during the war as a drug which could help combat the fatigue in weary soldiers.
The dossier states that Hitler is thought to have taken crystal meth before meeting with Mussolini in the summer of 1943. Apparently, The Fuhrer ranted non-stop for two hours during the meeting. Furthermore, during his final days in his bunker, Hitler was administered nine injections of a drug called Vitamultin, which contained methamphetamine.
The Effects of Crystal Meth…
…And why it makes sense that Hitler was a user
Crystal meth, or glass, ice, or several other street names, is a powerful stimulant with an extremely high rick of abuse and addiction. In fact, nearly half of first time users and more than 75% of second time users report addiction-like symptoms, such as intense cravings for the drug.
Long-term meth users, such as Hitler was, will experience the following symptoms as a result of their drug use:
- Psychosis (paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive motor activity)
- Changes in brain structure and function
- Memory loss
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Mood disturbances
It’s no wonder, then, that a hypochondriac (read: paranoid), violent, and extremely intense person such as Hitler was an abuser of crystal meth; he displayed all of these symptoms.
Other Rumors Debunked
The dossier also clears up other sensationalized rumors about Hitler, one of the most enduring legends being that he lost a testicle when he was injured at the Battle of the Somme. A morale-boosting ditty called “Hitler has only got one ball” was popular during the Second World War, which probably helped to spread that one. Also, his admirer Unity Mitford once suggested he “lacked something in the manly department.”
The American records, however, which are featured in a Channel 4 documentary, reveal that the feared dictator was not what’s known as a monorchid – the medical term for being born with one testicle. They also poke holes in claims that Hitler was a predatory homosexual who killed 150 of his supporters in order to hide this alleged secret.
If you are struggling with an addiction or substance abuse problem with crystal meth, meth, or any other substance, help is available. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to take your call.