Archive for April, 2014

The Cannabis Stereotype: Experts Weigh In On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I Substance together with most dangerous drugs, but this claim seems to lack medical facts.  Even President Barack Obama said in the past that he doesn’t think marijuana can be more dangerous than alcohol.  However, alcohol is readily available to the public while the ban for marijuana hasn’t been lifted by the POTUS despite his favorable statement.

marijuanaA Yahoo! Finance article recently revisited the discussion of famous neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who admitted he was wrong to ignore and not acknowledge the many benefits of medical marijuana.  He even wrote an article against it on 2009.

In his travels, he had convened with medical experts and marijuana patients which led to his realization that the advantages and benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of marijuana for medical purposes.  He conducted his investigation and research, and got to meet real people treated with medical marijuana.  He stayed long in laboratories to study and analyze the controversial plant.

Gupta said the world had been misled for the past 70 years that marijuana is harmful and addictive.  Recent research and studies prove otherwise, he adds.

More and more patients are looking for cannabis because they want to try it for their respective ailments.  In some medical instances, marijuana seems to be the only medication that works.  Some claim that it is safer to use than most prescription drugs.

Marijuana advocates suggest using its medical name cannabis to further establish its rightful role in the society as an effective medicine.

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Anti-Alcohol Council Marks April As Alcohol Awareness Month

Did you know that April is National Alcohol Awareness Month?  This activity is sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).  It aims to increase knowledge and understanding on the effects of alcoholism and related health issues.

ncadd alcohol awareness monthEach year, NCADD chooses a specific theme for its drive.  This 2014, the topic is on underage drinking.  The organization has established policies and programs aimed towards the safety of drinkers, such as coordinating with cab companies to provide discounted rates for the drunk passengers.

Alcohol is a drug commonly abused by almost any age.  However, what is alarming is the increasing rate of alcoholism in young teens and even children who, out of curiosity, experiment with alcohol at a very early age.  Those who started drinking early tend to develop a dependence on the substance.

Alcohol is a drug of choice among the youth.  It is becoming a gateway to greater addiction like marijuana and cocaine and other vices like having casual sex and getting failing grades.

Statistics show a decrease in the percentage of underage drinking.  Chris Thorne, The Beer Institute’s vice president for communications said in a news release, “Judging by the statistics, today’s kids are listening.  But we will remain diligent in working with educators, parents, retailers and law enforcement to eliminate underage drinking.”

Thorne added that research showed that parents have the power to change the decision of their teenagers to engage in drinking.  Brewers nationwide along with government institutions and non-government organizations will support parents in any alcohol intervention program and drive to control alcohol abuse by teens.

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Liquid Nicotine in E-Cigarettes is Poisonous, Says FDA and CDC

In a news report, it is said that the number of calls to poison control centers due to liquid nicotine poisoning found in e-cigarettes has gone up in recent years.

e-cigaretteIn previous years, recorded calls due to liquid nicotine poisoning were just one call per month.  In contrast, in February of this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported calls have gone up to 215.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed to regulate electronic cigarettes which includes packaging, putting a childproof cap and warning labels.  According to Dr. Tim McAfee, CDC’s office on Smoking and Health director, the general public doesn’t know that liquid nicotine is toxic and may post a risk not only to adults but to children aged 5 and even younger who out of curiosity attempt to puff the e-cigarette.  Nicotine is toxic to the brain and may trigger seizure, vomiting and accelerated heart rate.

Although there isn’t yet a single death case reported related to liquid nicotine poisoning, this is not far from happening as e-cigarettes contain high concentration of nicotine enough to kill a child, says McAfee.

In another news release, Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director said, that e-cigarette is highly attractive to children because of its packaging.  The e-cigarettes come in candy and fruit flavors sure enough to entice any kid, oftentimes mistaking it for its purpose.

It has been said that e-cigarette is an effective tool that can aid a cigarette addict to cut down or stop smoking.  To the right hands it can be useful but if it gets in the hands of minors, there lies a big problem.

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Evzio: New Tool to Combat Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription drugs have become one of the most abused substances in the world.  As a matter of fact, abuse of prescription medication has become an epidemic, not to mention a trending topic.  Just recently, another breakthrough in science was revealed.

evzio prescription painkiller drug

Photo credit: U.S. FDA

In a news release, the US FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said that they have approved a new prescription treatment that can avert the side effects brought about by an overdose in opioid.  This medication is the first of its kind that can be used outside of a hospital.  Even family members and other caregivers can administer it to the patient.

The breakthrough creation is called EVZIO, a handheld auto injector that contains naloxone.  It is handy, portable, and convenient enough to be carried inside a pocket and comes with a set of device instructions and trainer kit. This could be helpful during emergencies for people suspected of opioid overdose.  Studies show that drug abuse is the number one cause of death in the U.S., and a large percentage of these may be traced to prescription drug abuse or overdose.

Naloxone is a narcotic drug that reverses the effects of other narcotic drugs like prescription pain relievers.  One of its side effects is that it can alter the way your mind thinks, the ability to act and decide and the way you react to a given situation.  So it is not advisable to be driving when a patient is given a shot of naloxone.  Alcohol intake during treatment is discouraged.

Naloxone has long been used to reverse effects of other narcotic drugs.  It is said to be the standard treatment for overdose.  The evolution of Evzio may help save thousands of lives.

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