Archive for July, 2011

A Look into Psychedelic Treatments for Drug Abuse

Treating drug addiction is never easy, and it requires much time and effort for a person to become sober again. When an individual is trapped in his addiction, a lot of factors come into play, and they all contribute in coming up with complex troubles that a drug abuser and the people around him eventually experience.

There are some who prefer to go into alternative types of treatment for drug addiction. Among the methods, the psychedelic substance treatment is one of the promising ways to treat drug addiction, although many will be doubtful of their efficacy at first glance. Psychedelic which means soul-manifesting was first introduced in 1957 by Humphry Osmond, a psychiatrist.

psychedelic substance

One psychedelic treatment that comes all the way from the Amazon is the Ayahuasca. It is a brew made from a vine and a leaf which has been known to treat problems of the body, mind and spirit. It has unique healing properties, which has been proven by a large congregation in Brazil. The Santo Daime claimed that members of the church who struggled with substance abuse were able to turn their backs on their addictions just by having regular consumption of ayahuasca brew.

The Iboga is another psychedelic plant drug from West Africa which contains the alkaloid ibogaine, known to take away an individual’s addiction to certain substances by fixing the brain chemicals that will control his mental and biological inclinations.

Lastly, the cactus peyote is also a psychedelic drug which can fight drug addiction. In fact, the Native American Church’s religious ceremonies of legally dispensing peyote have been a sought-after rite by those who want to be free of their drug dependency. There has been a number of testimonies made by troubled addicts that this plant has helped them get back on the right track again.

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Amy Winehouse’s Family Says Alcohol Withdrawal Killed Her

The circumstances in Amy Winehouse’s death have given some tabloid writers and journalists the idea to blame Amy herself, and the people around her, for her untimely demise.

Amy WinehouseHowever, reformed Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan thinks otherwise, and tells Amy’s critics that putting the blame on the jazz singer and on her “advisors”  for what has happened isn’t right. McKagan says “no one loves to be addicted to drugs,” and those who judge Amy don’t understand the real problem that goes with addiction.

In his column for the Seattle Weekly, McKagan confirmed that he also knew the people who took charge of Whinehouse’s career, and they are good and straight people. “It is a shame that people like this, people who have tried their best to help Ms. Winehouse in the past few years, get their names dragged through the mud,” McKagan writes.

Meanwhile, Amy’s family blames her withdrawal from alcohol as the root cause of her death. With still inconclusive autopsy results, the “Rehab” singer’s family said that Amy was advised by her doctor to gradually distance herself from alcohol especially with her heavy drinking habits. The jazz diva instead abruptly stopped drinking, and this could be what killed her.

A report from Britain’s Daily Sun quoted someone from Amy’s family and says, “Abstinence gave her body such a fright, her family thought it was eventually the cause of her death.”

Earlier reports that circulated the net puts Amy in a bar drinking “gallons” of gin 72 hours before her death. Her father was quick to clear the allegations saying Amy wanted to prove she can do without alcohol. It was just so sad that her daughter wasn’t able to take the shock of giving alcohol up coupled with the bad turn of events in the last few years of her life.

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Drug Firm Accused of Manipulating Results

What if a drug research firm that is supposed to aid the government in regulating drug companies makes its own decisions and begin falsifying actual results?

Medical research contractor Cetero Research, after two inspections in 2010 and a third-party audit, is now accused of having “significant instances of misconduct and violations,” at least as far as their Houston, Texas branch is concerned.

drug testingThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that drug companies who have acquired the services of Cetero Research for their clinical studies and drug evaluations may have to do re-evaluations as the FDA has already gathered strong evidences which shows Cetero Research has been “faking documents and manipulating samples.” The firm is responsible for the requirements that drug companies need in their drug approval applications with the FDA like the above mentioned clinical studies and bioanalytics.

The FDA is concerned and alarmed by what they have found out about the drug firm. The government arm has asked drug companies to identify applications they have submitted and approvals that they have received which were made possible with Cetero Research’s aid as the documents they have submitted may have been part of the fraud that the company has committed. This is very important to ensure the drug safety and efficacy of medications that are already in the market, or about to be approved for distribution.

“The pattern of misconduct was serious enough to raise concerns about the integrity of the data Cetero generated during the five-year time frame,” says the FDA in a Reuters report. They are requiring drug applications and approvals made within the period of April 2005 to June 2010 to be re-evaluated.

Cetero has not made any comment on the reports and have yet to issue statements with regards to the FDA’s press releases.

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Nursing Home Falls Linked to Antidepressants

A new study has been released which links some types of antidepressants to cases of elders falling in nursing homes. In the first few days when residents are given non-SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant such as bupropion or venlafaxine, elders become more at risk for falls which puts them in a dangerous situation.

antidepressantsIn a report from the Health Day News, Dr. Sarah D. Berry from the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew Senior Life in Boston says that the increase in falling risks also applied to those who were given increased dosage of their current medications. “Our results identify the days following a new prescription or increased dose of a non-SSRI antidepressant as a window of time associated with a particularly high risk of falling among nursing home residents,” she said.

Dr. Berry adds that there is a need for closer monitoring of elders when any of the two factors apply to them to minimize injuries that could happen due to falling.

The results of the study show that fall cases among elders in nursing homes are up by almost 500% whenever they are given new prescription medicines or if their usual dosage is increased. This may be due to the non SSRI depressants that could affect cognitive and motor functions in the body.

There is also the possibility that non-SSRI can cause a significant decrease in blood pressure when elders stand up or the sedation and coordination problems linked to non-SSRI. The need for thorough examination of the side effects of these antidepressants is now being called for.

There are more than one-third of the 1.6 million nursing home residents that are under antidepressant medications. Dr. Berry admits that these drugs are effective and doctors don’t see the need to withhold these drugs based solely on the findings that they could pose greater falling risks for the elders.

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Still No Clear Cause on Amy Whinehouse Death

Preliminary autopsy results released Monday on Amy Whinehouse’s death revealed no concrete cause as to why the singer died. London police said that toxicology results will be available two to four weeks from the time they submitted their samples. Whinehouse’s family and fans are still clueless about her death, and a lot of questions remain unanswered — including the possibility of a drug overdose.

Amy WinehouseThe British singer was found dead in her London apartment last Saturday; she was just 27. Early reports say that Amy was already dead for six hours before her security guard, Andrew Morris, found her body. She last spoke to her team at around 10 am on July 23, and by 4 pm, she was already lifeless. Her body is now with her family and a private funeral will be done later this week, as Jewish traditions require a quick memorial for the dead.

According to a report from the LA Times, Whinehouse’s parents have denied accusations that Amy had cocaine, Ecstasy, and ketamine hours before she died. Police found no sign of drugs in her apartment and it was just last Friday when the troubled singer passed a physical exam.

United Kingdom representative for Amy Whinehouse, Chris Goodman, remembered that on that fateful day, Amy told security that she wanted to sleep but by the time Morris went to wake her up, she wasn’t breathing anymore. “He called the emergency services straightaway. He was very shocked. At this stage no one knows how she died. She died alone in bed,” Goodman continued.

Since her untimely death, Whinehouse’s record sales went up. Her debut album “Frank” and her Grammy-winning one “Back to Black” are raking in huge purchases at Amazon.com. On iTune, her “Back to Black” record is on top of the charts in countries all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany.

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Musical Influence of Amy Whinehouse Lives On

She’s dead at just 27, but her death seem not surprising to the people who knew and surrounded her. Amy Whinehouse’s was suffering from drug addiction, and showing no sign of getting better.

Amy WinehouseIn her short musical career, Amy finished two albums; one entitled “Back to Black” that gave her the distinction of becoming one of the most phenomenal Grammy awards winners.

Her music mostly had the influence of the 1940’s jazz and 1960’s Motown which allowed her to contribute much to the music industry, and gave us an album that’s truly memorable. Her music was created just within the last decade, but they all sound so timeless.

She will be most remembered by the way she sounded. A feature on Time Newsfeed pointed that some said she was just an excellent imitator, there was no one else in her genre that could possibly do a cover of a Sam Cooke song and not sound so inferior to the original. Despite lyrics that are sometimes hard to comprehend and her mournful croons, Amy still had that novel sound which endeared her more to her fans.

Much of her short career was made possible by Mark Ronson. They co-produced her “Back to Black” album, from which the highly successful single “Rehab” was taken. Ironically, the song’s lyrics are quite close enough to mirror the singer’s real life. She has been encouraged to seek help for her drug addiction problems, but she always says “no, no, no.”

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