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Self Medicating seems to be a national pastime. Witness all the advertising targeting potential users. Television, magazines and radio are chocked full of products to ease unwanted conditions. Here we have posted stories related to either problems associated with self medicating or with drug and/or alcohol abuse.
 


Prescription Drug Abuse Poses Public Health Threat
Source: PR News Wire

(May 6, 2009) - A national alliance of families, the pharmaceutical industry, patients, consumer groups, and drug abuse prevention advocates released a national strategy proposal to counter the continued rise in prescription drug abuse.

"Rising rates of prescription drug abuse are the result of a combination of factors and can only be countered successfully by a coordinated, multi-sector strategy," said Michael Barnes, executive director of CLAAD, the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence. CLAAD's National Prescription Drug Abuse Strategy, co-written with the Human Resources Development Institute, advocates a balanced public policy approach.

Recent reports note that prescription drug abuse surpasses the public abuse of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines, coming in "second" only to marijuana. Controlling the abuse of prescription medications is complicated by the need to keep such medications available for lawful use by patients and prescribers.

(Full Story)
Prescription for Problems
Source: MSNBC - Delaware Valley - PA/NJ
By: Jo Ciavaglia

(December 26, 2008) - Most people know prescription drugs can be dangerous, but fever reducers, cold and flu medications and even pain relievers sold in supermarkets and drug stores can be potential killers, too.

Dr. Daniel Haimowitz suspects an over-the-counter sinus medication may have contributed to the heart failure of a patient last week.

The Bristol Township geriatrician also has patients on prescription blood thinners who've developed stomach ulcers after taking over-the-counter pain relievers. He said he had trouble thinning the blood of another patient - until she stopped taking her daily vitamins.

His experiences aren't unique. New research suggests nearly half of older adults in the U.S. combine prescription and nonprescription drugs and 1 in 25 are at risk for potentially dangerous interactions or overdose, according to a study in Journal of the American Medical Association.
 
Prescription drug addiction problems
Substance Abuse is Community Concern
Source: BattleCreekEnquirer.com

(November 16, 2008) - Substance abuse is as inclusive in its devastation as it is elusive in its remedy. From the wealthy corporate executive who cannot control his or her drinking to the baby born addicted to crack cocaine, drugs and alcohol ruin lives and undermine communities. We all feel the impact to some degree.


For several months, Enquirer news staffers have been delving into the many issues related to substance abuse and how the problem affects families, businesses, law enforcement, courts, schools and countless other aspects of our lives.

Beginning today and continuing over five weeks, they will report on how misuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications and even household substances takes its toll, from the tragic loss of life to the drain on public dollars.

Substance abuse crosses all boundaries - age, income, gender, race, neighborhood, education.
Prescription drug abuse deadlier than illegal drugs
Prescription Drugs Deadlier Than Alcohol or Illegal Drug Abuse
Source: WBAY.com
By: Marcie Kobriger

(November 12, 2008) - While abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs is a dangerous problem, it's the misuse of legal substances that's killing more people in Brown County.

"In Brown County right now, our highest problem in illicit drugs is cocaine, the powder base. We're dealing with that," Chief Deputy John Gossage says.

But while cocaine may be the number-one narcotics problem for law enforcement on the streets, it's not the drug most responsible for killing its users in Brown County.

"The big problem has been the use or misuse of prescription medications. By and large, that's the largest number of deaths that I see drug-related," Medical Examiner Al Klimek said.
Prescription drug abuse deadlier than illegal drugs
Prescription Drugs Kill 300 Percent More Americans Than Illegal Drugs
Source: NaturalNews.com
By: Joe Gutierrez

(November 10, 2008) - A report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission has concluded that prescription drugs have outstripped illegal drugs as a cause of death.

An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. According to state law enforcement officials, this is a sign of a burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem.

(Full Story)
Prescription painkillers cause overdose
New Prescription Drug Cocktail is Claiming Young Lives
Source: Houston News
By: Kevin Peters

(November 3, 2008) - There’s no greater bond than a mother’s love, but no amount of Peggy Hemmenway’s love could save her 21-year-old son, Phillip Ray Cottle, who suffered from cystic fibrosis.

Phillip Ray Cottle died of a reported drug overdose.
Cottle was given powerful prescription drugs to ease his pain, but Hemmenway says those same drugs became her son’s addiction two years ago.

“He would get Vicodin, Hydrocodone,” said Hemmenway.

She said that her son abused the meds and even mixed several at a time.

Two months ago, Hemmenway says, her son took a powerful mixture and never woke up.

(Full Story)
Medications at home open door to drug abuse
Prescription Drugs Left Around the House Tempt Kids
Source: Los Angeles Times Health
By: Melissa Healy

(September 15 2008) - Prescriptions for painkillers -- left over from surgeries, orthopedic injuries or dental work -- frequently languish, unfinished, in family medicine chests.

Supplies of anti-anxiety medications, including the benzodiazepines known by their commercial names Xanax and Ativan, take up shelf space because they are prescribed for episodic use. And as a growing number of adults are diagnosed with ADHD, their stimulant medication often sits alongside that of their children with attention difficulties.

(Full Story)
Increase in prescription drug abuse cites need for effective rehab programs
Cocaine Use by U.S. Young Falls; Prescription Use Up
Source: Bloomberg.com
By: Aliza Marcus

(September 4, 2008) - Bloomberg - Cocaine use among young adults fell 23 percent last year as the cost rose, and more are turning to drugs such as painkillers found in medicine cabinets to get high, the U.S. government said in an annual report.

The average price for a gram of cocaine rose 21 percent in 2007, according to the report today from the government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Over five years, the share of young adults taking prescription drugs for non-medical purposes increased 12 percent. The report didn't give a year-over-year change for prescription abuse.

(Full Story)
Prescription Drug Abuse More than Kids Getting High
Source: Reuters

(July 30, 2008) - BOSTON (Reuters) - As state, federal and local authorities across the United States struggle to contain a rising tide of prescription-drug abuse, Reuters Boston Bureau Chief Jason Szep spoke with Stephen Pasierb, president and chief executive of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a non-profit advocacy group.

What follows are excerpts from the interview.

REUTERS: What prescription drugs are abused the most and how would you characterize the scale of the problem?

PASIERB: On the prescription side, there's a number of abused products or misused products, from the Attention Deficit things like Ritalin and Adderall on and on and on. But probably the most pernicious and most dangerous of all those are the prescription pain relievers. These are led by OxyContin and then the Percodan, Percocet and then followed up by Vicodin and all the hydrocodone generics.

(Full Story)
Prescription for Addiction: Abuse of Painkillers Fastest Growing
Problem in Montana

By Tristan Scott of Missoulian
Source: Missoulian.com


(July 20, 2008) - The face of addiction in Montana has a new look: Clean. Middle class. Legal.

While gruesome images of meth addicts grab the billboards, the number of people abusing prescription painkillers statewide has skyrocketed, with a startling increase in fatal overdoses.

More Montanans die of prescription drug overdoses than any other kind, including illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Last year, the state recorded 141 deaths directly related to the abuse of four kinds of prescription pain relievers, according to toxicology reports at the state crime lab in Missoula. That's one death every 2.5 days. In another 324 deaths, painkillers were present but not necessarily the primary cause of death. Meth, by comparison, killed eight people in Montana last year.
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Full Story)
Marijuana cause Teen Depression
Government Says Use Lowers Self Esteem And Well Being Worsened
Source: EON

(May 12, 2008) - Washington, D. C.- The National Drug Control Policy Office housed in the White House sent out a message for anyone who is using marijuana, especially teenaged users: “ It’s a bad combination.”

John Walters, who is the Office of National Drug Control Policy Director spoke out on the issue at a meeting with the media, to illustrate the issues on teens and Marijuana usage.

“Our report shows that nearly a dozen medical studies about mental health and marijuana use show that teenagers who are depressed try to self medicate and take marijuana, and it makes the condition worse,” said Director Waters.
(
Full Story)

Ads focus on children's prescription drug deaths
By Nick R. Martin
Source: East Valley Tribune

(May 23, 2008) - Tammy Pasanella sobbed as she stood in front of a wall of television cameras and reporters on Friday and recalled how her son, Chandler Valley Christian High School football player Danny Pasanella, slipped into a prescription drug addiction and, ultimately, death.

It was a dramatic turnaround from the days just after her son died in September when, she said, she shunned the media because they were obsessively focusing on Danny's overdose death.

Now Tammy Pasanella is embracing the attention.

She and four other mothers helped launch an ad campaign Friday that will use TV, radio, billboard and print ads to warn other parents about the dangers of prescription drugs.

"The pain that we go through is unbearable and indescribable," Pasanella said at an afternoon news conference at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in downtown Phoenix. Her son overdosed on a combination of OxyContin, Vicodin, and heroin.
(
Full Story)

State: Prescription Drug Abuse Health Threat
Team 5 investigates doctor shoppers - prescription drug ring
Source: WCVB - The Boston Channel

(May 14, 2008) - BOSTON -- When she was in her 20s, Lauren Nugent had surgery after surgery. She was prescribed painkillers each time. But when her doctor told her she was better and could stop taking Vicodin and Percocet, Nugent said she couldn't.

"At one point, I was up to 25 pills a day," said Nugent.

She described herself as a hard-core addict.

"If I didn't take that pill at that time every day, my body couldn't handle it. I was at a doctor's office at least every 48 hours. I probably went to four doctors a week."

Lauren is what public health officials call a "doctor shopper," an addict who gets painkiller prescriptions from multiple doctors. The state calls the practice a public health threat that rivals street drugs like heroin.
(
Full Story)

Use OTC Drugs Only as Directed
Source: HULIQ.com

(May 8, 2008) In 2006, more Utahns died as a result of unintentional over-the-counter or prescription drug overdoses than died in motor vehicle crashes. The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) today unveiled a new education campaign meant to reduce the number of unintentional prescription pain medication overdoses in Utah by 15 percent by 2009.

Over the past few years, the Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) noticed an increasing trend in causes of death among Utah residents - overdoses of prescription painkillers. Officials did some research and determined many of the deaths were due to dosage mistakes or the fact the victims had combined the painkillers with other prescription drugs.
(
Full Story)

Drugs: Throw them out with the cat litter
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association)

(May 8, 2008) - We all know prescription drugs are dangerous – so how best to dispose of them when you get them home from the pharmacy? The prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has come up with some helpful hints.

Many people flush them down the toilet, but a recent study discovered they get into the public water supply that way, and traces of around 100 drugs can now be detected in a glass of water in the typical American home.
(
Full Story)
Prescribing Temperence
By Solmaaz Yazdiha
Source: The Daily Collegian


(May 1, 2008) - There is no denying the counter-culture which fueled the drug revolution and experimentation of the 1960s. We are the offspring, and we live in a highly medicated era.

A product of the "War on Drugs," our generation has become the guinea pigs of an Rx rage. In our medically and technologically advanced decade, every symptom necessitates diagnosis, every ache demands attention and every pain can be alleviated with a prescribed cure.

Recently and dramatically, more and more children are being diagnosed with severe psychiatric disorders. As a result, the youth of our country are being prescribed medications that have only just begun being tested in children. Is there truly a serious increase in childhood disorders? Or are drug manufacturers working together with physicians simply to boost sales? Could these bogus diagnoses be more plainly blamed on being a living, breathing child?
(
Full Story)
Want Some? 23 percent of Americans share prescription medication
Source: Fox News

(April 30, 2008) - In a new survey of 700 Americans, about 23 percent admit to "sharing" their prescription medications with others, Reuters reported.

The medications most shared included Allegra (25 percent admit to sharing), Darvocet and OxyContin (22 percent), as well as antibiotics like amoxicillin (21 percent), according to the study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Antidepressants, anti-anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity medications like Paxil, Zoloft, Ritalin and Valium were shared by 7 percent of respondents.
(
Full Story)
More teens addicted to prescription drugs
Local detox center sees jump in patients
By Misti Crane
Source: The Columbus Dispatch


(April 28, 2008) - OxyContin ruled Jennifer's days. She crushed and snorted the painkiller when she woke up, before she left for high school, during school, at home at night, before bed.

Sometimes she had to pay -- 80-milligram pills can go for $50 or more -- but usually her boyfriend or someone else at her suburban school got it for her. Pretty much everyone she hung out with smoked pot and drank, and many took pills.

She started with marijuana at 13, dabbled in alcohol but didn't like it all that much, and then started taking Vicodin. When the prescription painkiller stopped doing anything for her, she tried another narcotic, Percocet, but wasn't impressed.
(
Full Story)
'Oxycontin took over my life'
By Barbara Brown
Source: TheSpec.com

(April 26, 2008) - Shaun Wade carries her picture in his wallet, a constant reminder of the danger of abusing the powerful prescription painkiller OxyContin.

The photo shows him partying with his friend, Lise Trepanier, who he was convicted of killing by accidentally injecting her with a fatal dose of the opioid.

The Hamilton woman is one casualty of a drug that is more addictive and subject to abuse than first thought.
(
Full Story)

Teen prescription drug abuse a growing trend
By: Tom McMahon
Source: SWIowanews.com


(April 19, 2008) - Sandi Delack has encountered middle school students who've taken their parents' prescription medications in order to get high. Delack is a Rhode Island school nurse and president-elect of the National Association of School Nurses

This week her organization announced a new initiative to respond to the growing rate of prescription drug abuse among middle and high school students nationally.

"We have been aware of the problem for a while," Delack said. "Adolescents get the medication from the medicine cabinet at home or from their friends' parents' medicine cabinets."
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Full Story)
No Solution in a Medicine Cabinet
By Hanan Salem
Source: The Connection


(April 17, 2008) - Bloodshot eyes and a blurred mind cramming textbooks of the incomprehensible; most of us ordinary college students have been there, felt that. That pre-exam panic, when time does not permit bodily activities involving pillows and shut-eye. Let it not be an eye-opener then that caffeine pills, ADDH drugs and every other off or behind the counter drug is replacing a human element of survival: sleep.

According to research by Health Services at Brown University, only 11% of college students have good sleep quality, and 73% have occasional sleep problems. But as with any problem nowadays, there is a pill.
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Full Story)
76% of City's Uni Students Self Medicate: AKU
Source: Daily Times Monitor

(April 14, 2008) - KARACH: About 76% of university students in Karachi self-medicate, experts at the Department of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University Karachi have found in a study - ‘Self-medication amongst University Students of Karachi: Prevalence, Knowledge and Attitudes’ – that appeared in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association in its current issue.

....Self-medication is defined as obtaining and consuming drugs without the advice of a physician either for diagnosis, prescription or surveillance of treatment. This includes acquiring medicines without a prescription, resubmitting old prescriptions to purchase medicines, sharing medicines with relatives or members of one’s social circle or using leftover medicines stored at home
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Full Story)

Health & Home - Migraine headaches: An in-depth Look at a Disabling Condition
Source: EastOregonian.info
By: Kathryn B. Brown


(April 13, 2008) - Headaches. Just about everybody has them occasionally - and some unfortunate people experience them often. The term "migraine" often is used to describe a particularly severe and long-lasting headache, but it's not always used accurately. You can have a horrible headache that is not a migraine - it could be a tension-type headache, a cluster headache, a sinus headache, a rebound headache or a symptom of another problem, such as meningitis.

Migraine headaches are considered one of the most disabling chronic medical conditions and about 12 percent of adults in the U.S. are "migraineurs" - that is, nearly 30 million people suffer from migraines. Recently, some researchers have come to believe migraine headaches are caused by an inherited genetic abnormality.

(Full Story)

Marijuana And Alcohol Taken Together Induced Widespread Nerve Cell Death In Brains Of Young Rats
Source: ScienceDaily

(Apr. 11, 2008) — Marijuana is among the most frequently used illicit drugs by women during their childbearing years and there is growing concern that marijuana abuse during pregnancy, either alone or in combination with other drugs, may have serious effects on fetal brain development. There is strong evidence that THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, crosses the placenta, that maternal marijuana abuse results in intrauterine growth retardation and that infants exposed to marijuana exhibit a temporary syndrome that includes lethargy and decreased muscle tone.
(Full Story)

Teens Feed Drug Habit from Medicine Cabinet
Adults in Marlboro and other area communities may be asking themselves some
questions these days.

Source: News Transcript

By Rebecca Morton Staff Writer


March 26, 2008 - Questions like, "Are my prescriptions running out faster than I expected?" and "Has my teenager mentioned 'pharming' for the upcoming weekend?" If so, the young people are likely not talking about an event involving crops; rather, they are referring to a dangerous new trend among the nation's youths.

Pharming is a slang term that refers to the use of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs to get high, according to information provided by the Marlboro Township Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse and Marlboro Police Department.

(Full Story)
Wait, Educate Before You Medicate
New Data Suggest That Despite Knowing the Risk of Self-Medication, 76 Percent of American Adults Use Non-Prescription Medications for Themselves and Their Children
Source:  PR NewsWire

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., March 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New survey results released today reveal that, while most U.S. adults take non-prescription or over-the-counter medications to treat a variety of common illnesses in order to save time, money and a trip to the doctor, many may be placing themselves or their children at risk by leaving the healthcare provider out of the equation.
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Full Story)

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Prescription Drug Abuse Poses
Public Health Threat


Prescription Drug
Addiction Problems

Prescription Drug Abuse
Deadlier than Illegal Drugss

Prescription Painkillers
cause overdose

Medications at Home Open
Door to Drug Abuse

Increase in Prescription
Drug Abuse Cites Need for
Effective Rehab Programs