New Articles Highlight the Deadly Rise of OxyContin in NorCal

We just were scanning the news for the latest on the OxyContin epidemic in the United States and we saw two separate articles that: have very similar story lines were published almost simultaneously(one day apart) occur in Northern California focus on the misconception that "legal" drugs are not deadly OxyContin: a Silent Growing Problem Among Youths This story,  from the Contra Costa Times, shows a tragic tale of a young man who took an overdose of OxyContin while on campus at Arizona State University. In Northern California, middle and upper class neighborhoods are particularly prone to OxyContin and other prescription drug addiction because "access to medical care may be greater, and acceptance of hard street drugs lower." Teens, Young Adults Abuse OxyContin in Northern California This story also focuses on the "generation of kids that said 'no' to marijuana and heroin." Unfortunately, in the words of Jin Tanaka, "We didn't teach them about prescription medications like OxyContin." The false sense of security that comes from taking a drug that…

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Purdue Pharma Guilty Parties: Where Are They Now

A great article in Oregon's Salem News online resource points out some of the latest about Purdue Pharma's guilty former top execs. This article, written by Marianne Skolek, is a good look at the reality of corporate white collar criminals and their lack of accountability for the lives they have ruined. The article reminds us that these men were the subject of a criminal investigation regarding their involvement in developing and unleashing the most deadly narcotic painkiller every legally sold in the United States: OxyContin. Howard Udell Howard Udell supposedly has "retired as a Purdue Pharma employee" but he does work as a Consultant for Purdue "on certain matters."  His email address is [email protected] and his office sits in Purdue Pharma's building. Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim is now on the board of NeuroPhage board of directors.  NeuroPhage is a company that develops treatment for Alzheimer's. Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim has formerly pleaded guilty to "misbranding OxyContin." Michael Friedman Michael Friedman, the former president of Purdue…

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Surprising Ally in OxyContin Struggle: Eminem

Eminem recently told Vibe magazine that some of the deaths that we have witnessed in recent months and years are due to irresponsible doctors prescribing drugs to celebrity patients. Here at StopOxy we know that Eminem has a dubious history of singing about drugs in a glorified way but his latest statements make us believe he might be able to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs. We have recently  seen Michael Jackson's death as an overdose of sleeping pills (and he was a documented addict of drugs like Vicodin and Xanax). And more recently Brittany Murphy's (Eminem's co-star in 8 Mile) sudden death was officially listed as pneumonia but she had been using drugs like Vicodin and Klonopin.  Of course, Anna Nicole Smiths overdose a few years back still dominates tabloid news. Not Just Celebrity Doctors Have Motivation to Irresponsibly Prescribe Of course in the specific Vibe article, Eminem focuses on the doctor's prescribing unhealthy combinations of drugs to celebrities because the doctors want to "stay on the…

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Treatment Admissions for Painkillers is Up 400%

Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment for Prescription Painkillers Increases 400% An increase in the misuse of prescription painkillers has led to a dramatic increase in the number of admissions for substance abuse treatment due to abuse of the drugs. The proportion of all substance abuse treatment admissions involving abuse of prescription painkillers increased by more than 400 percent between 1998 and 2008, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Admissions to a substance abuse treatment facility increased from 2.2 percent in 1998 to 9.8 percent in 2008, according to SAMHSA. Increases in admissions associated with abuse of painkillers were found among all segments of the population, regardless of gender, age, race, educational level and employment status. The study determined the following about admissions due to prescription painkiller abuse: Men: The proportion of admissions to treatment due to prescription misuse increased from 1.8 percent in 1998 to 8.1 percent in 2008. Women: The proportion of admissions to treatment due to prescription misuse increased from 3.5 percent…

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Drugs at High Schools: More Pills Than Ever

Drugs at High Schools: More Pills Than Ever We've been reporting frequently on the disturbing trend of prescription drugs becoming more and more the drugs of choice on college campuses. Abuse of any prescription drug is potentially deadly and any prescription drug use can be habit forming.  Opiate drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin carry with them a particularly high risk of building tolerance in the individual leading to physical and mental addiction.  Also, the similarity in sensation of narcotic opiate painkillers is  identical to another well known opiate - heroin.  The evolution from Oxy addiction to heroin addiction and eventual overdose has been the main catalyst driving policy makers to re-think the legality of OxyContin. A recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that was conducted in the second half of 2009 and released last month in June shows that High School students have caught on in record numbers to the recreational effects of various substances - OxyContin included. Attention related drugs like Ritalin are still…

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Featured Facility: Pat Moore Foundation

I just spent some time having an enlightening conversation with Bruce Levinson who is the the Admissions Director for Pat Moore Foundation. Pat Moore Foundation is a highly regarded treatment center that combines a few critical pieces of the treatment puzzle to be effective in helping men and women start the recovery journey: a) Safe, Medically Assisted Detox Being clinically safe when you are detoxifying from drugs is a "no brainer." Quality detox facilities monitor the patient and administer medication (in safe amounts) to reduce discomfort and aid with sleeping. b)12-Step Based Philosophy The 12-Step component can sometimes make people skeptical - especially those who are suffering from the disease of addiction and who have their brain's survival instinct causing them to find reasons to resist treatment.  However, statistics and the history of treating addiction have shown that investment in Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar program provides a great support system and fellowship that is global (and free). c) Therapeutic Processes to Identify Underlying Issues The detoxification stage is…

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Afghanistan Positioned Perfectly to Fuel American Opiate Addiction Epidemic

With news about General McChrystal’s recent firing due to insubordinate comments made against the Obama Administration, Afghanistan is at the top of the news yet again. There were further comments released over the weekend by military brass that described the conflict in Afghanistan as one in which theUnited States doesn’t really have a clear path to victory. A Different Kind of Threat from Afghanistan The situation is not good there, but at home there’s a different epidemic that we’ve been writing about.  The epidemic of opiate addiction due to prescription drug abuse. The progression of OxyContin and Vicodin addicted men and women graduating from opiate pills to heroin continues to claim lives at an alarming rate. A New Look at the Futility of the Drug War in Afghanistan In an excellent article written by Alfred J. McCoy and published on TomDispatch.com, he outlines the history of the heroin industry in Afghanistan. Cultivation and trafficking of heroin has been funding tribal groups like the Taliban since those forces have been…

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Children Addicted to Opiates-A Sad Situation in Afghanistan

Those of us who are on the front lines of addiction treatment know that detoxification from opiates can be a grueling experience that is difficult to witness.  Imagine having to help a child under the age of 5 through such an ordeal. A recent article on CNN.com shows us a tragic side effect of the global system of opiate addiction and supply that OxyContin acts as kind of a fuel for. Of course, it is logical that the community where about 75% of the world's heroin is manufactured is going to be hit hard by the phenomenon of opiate addiction.  This would be Afghanistan, where the poppies are grown, harvested, and processed into heroin. The result is that the drug opium is widely available and abused.  Sadly, families become hooked on the sensation of smoking opium, and the addiction is passed on to babies often through the act of breastfeeding. The United Nations estimates that 1 million out of 18 million Afghanis are addicted to opiates. Afghanistan has some…

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How to Safely Dispose of Prescription Medication

Unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications can stay in your medicine cabinet for years. If you have children at home, this can be risky. They may unknowingly take a high-potency pain medication thinking it would help their headache go away, or they may experiment with the prescription medication or offer them to friends. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take stock of the prescription and over-the-counter medications that you have in your home. Make sure they are properly labeled and out of reach from children. If they are expired or you no longer need them, it’s a good idea to get them out of your house to reduce the risk of prescription drug misuse. Instead of flushing your prescription medication down the drain, follow these guidelines for proper disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications from the Office of National Drug Control Policy: •    Take your prescription medications out of their original containers so that there is no indication of what the drugs are. •    Mix the remaining…

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More on the OxyContinuum from Steve Bruno

The below is reprinted from Interventionist Steven Bruno's newsletter.  He can be contacted by calling 800-880-0330 or visiting http://www.MoreThanHope.com Why is it that almost all of my interventions these days seem to have to do with the pain-killer OxyContin? It didn't used to be like this. Take "Sandra" for example, (not her real name): she is 22 years old, from Washington state, and, until two years ago, was an honor student with bright blue eyes, shimmering hair framing rosy cheeks and a broad smile.  I got her into treatment this past week so hopefully that smile will return. But it's gone now. Over the course of two short years she became depressed and isolated; a shadow that her own family barely recognized.  She dyed her hair black and smeared on heavy mascara and thick make-up to cover her acne scars. When the family hired me to do the intervention, "Sandra" was living with a drug dealer, working in a strip club, shooting and smoking OxyContin and was completely alienated…

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