Blog

 

Ohio valley reports-

A new form of heroin is hitting the US and it’s laced with a type of fentanyl that can be resistant to the life saving drug Narcan.

While the new drug has not yet hit the Ohio Valley, it’s getting close.

Authorities in Pittsburgh say that they have seen a few cases.

According to the DEA, Acryl Fentanyl is being manufactured overseas, smuggled into the US, and mainly sold on the web.

The DEA said there have been two overdose fatalities in Western Pennsylvania, with one of them in ButlerCounty last November, and one in Beaver County in January.

According to the DEA, it serves no legitimate purpose.

“It’s a Schedule I drug, so this one has no medical use at all. At all. So it’s here illegally,” said DEA Special Agent David Battiste.

According to the DEA, 613 people died due to overdoses in 2016.

80-percent of them were fentanyl related.

Acryl Fentanyl comes in powder form, and looks similar to fentanyl.

Even a narcotics expert could not tell the difference with a naked eye.

More

 

Medicine net writes

What is the connection between low self esteem and drug abuse?

Eleven year-old boys who displayed evidence of low self-esteem were more likely to be dependent upon drugs at age 20 than boys who didn’t have low self-esteem, according to a study conducted at Florida State University.

Sociology professors studied a sample of over 870 boys from diverse racial and ethnic groups for a period of nine years to try to identify potential early warning signs for drug dependence. They asked the boys to rate the truthfulness of statements such as “I feel like I am a failure” and other measures of low self-esteem. The researchers also asked the boys to rate the level of approval their close friends had for people who smoked cigarettes, used marijuana or cocaine, or drank alcohol.

Boys were first interviewed when they were in either sixth or seventh grade, and the participants were subsequently interviewed three more times over a nine-year period. The final follow-up interview took place when most of the boys were between 19 and 21 years old.

What does drug dependency mean?

The researchers classified “drug dependency” according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Essentially, the APA defines someone as drug-dependent if he or she exhibits three or more symptoms of dependence, such as using larger and larger amounts of a drug over time, has failed at attempts to stop the drug use, or withdraws from family and friends because of drug use.

Boys who had very low self-esteem in the sixth or seventh grade were 1.6 times more likely to meet the criteria for drug dependence nine years later than other children. Those who believed that their peers approved of alcohol,tobacco, or drug use were also more likely to be drug-dependent later in life. Overall, 10% of those in the study were found to be drug-dependent.

How can we prevent boys from using drugs?

While it is already known that low self-esteem is correlated with drug use in adolescents, this study is important because it suggests that early, measurable factors (low self esteem and belief that their peers approve of drug use) can identify boys at future risk for drug dependence as early as age 11. Early intervention and prevention efforts could target potential at-risk boys before they reach their teens, when experimentation with drugs is most likely to begin. Both parents and teachers can be on the lookout for signs of low-self esteem and can even use a simple questionnaire to identify feelings of low self-esteem.

MORE

 

Drug Abuse.gov writes

Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.

What Is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.

Image of the brain's reward circuit.

What happens to the brain when a person takes drugs?

Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit” by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This reward system controls the body’s ability to feel pleasure and motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable “high” that can lead people to take a drug again and again.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine by making less of it and/or reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high. It can also cause them to get less pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:

  • learning
  • judgment
  • decision-making
  • stress
  • memory
  • behavior

Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.

Why do some people become addicted to drugs while others don’t?

No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:

Photo of a young woman seated and leaning forward against the backrest of a park bench.Photo by ©Aleshyn_Andrei/Shutterstock
  • Biology. The genes that people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction. Gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction.
  • Environment. A person’s environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of drug use and addiction.
  • Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.

Can drug addiction be cured or prevented?

As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isn’t a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.

Photo of a person's fists with the words "drug free" written across the knuckles.Photo by ©iStock.com/Winfried Eckl

More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

 

MORE

 

WKYT reports

LEXINGTON, KY. (WKYT) – A four-day summit addressing the drug abuse problem in the United States kicks off Monday in Atlanta.

This is the sixth year of the “National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit.”

This gathering is the brain child of Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers.

Rogers will be one of the speakers along with Health And Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Governor Matt Bevin will also speak at the conference.
It is the largest annual conference addressing the opioid crisis.

The Summit began in 2012 under the leadership of Operation UNITE and Rep. Rogers.

Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, Inc.) was created in 2003 by Congressman Rogers to rid communities of illegal drug use through a comprehensive approach that includes educating youth and the public, coordinating substance abuse treatment, and providing support for families and friends of substance abusers. UNITE serves a 32-county region in southern and eastern Kentucky.

 

Ozark Radio Reports

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would give people immunity from small drug possession charges while seeking medical assistance for overdoses.

The bill was approved by a voice vote with bipartisan support. It says that people can’t be penalized for seeking medical assistance for an overdose if they possess small amounts of drugs or are in violation of probation, parole or a restraining order.

Supporters of the bill say it will save lives and help solve the growing problem of heroin overdoses in the state, though it would apply to all drugs and alcohol.

Few opponents raised concerns over whether the bill would actually solve the problem. They said it could help end addiction if people got charged and went to drug court for treatment.

More

12345...