addiction

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How low can you go? Stealing drugs from veterans?  I am a proud U.S. veteran, prouder still to consider myself a veterans advocate. I’ve seen too many veterans in pain.  I don’t think people who haven’t been there realize how much war is hell. They were stolen by a doctor.  A credentialed anesthesiologist.

I remember when I was first hitting dating bars and such, it was not uncommon for a  non-doctor to wear a T-shirt that said “trust me; I’m a doctor” that I guess was supposed to induce young women into the early stages of romance. Read more on Stealing Drugs And Eliminating Health Care…

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Okay, those lovable folks at Purdue Pharmaceutical decided to claim that Oxycontin, one of the favorite drugs at least of the street addicts I have seen and treated at an addiction center, is less “addictive” and less “abusable” than similar drugs.

Read more on Can’t They Sell Enough Oxycontin?…

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As a proud veteran of the US Army, I fought tears as I read how the pain of our combat veterans has been manipulated by war profiteers. I put on that green uniform and I swore to put my life on the line.  I became a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans and the co-surgeon general for the Jewish war veterans and I tried, really tried, to make things better for the troops.

Read more on Veterans are getting screwed more than you or I knew….

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I heard it long ago, when I was early in my training, at some big international psychopharmacology meeting so I reproduce it here. “What people really want is an on-off switch.” Most people seem to get through life pushing the envelope only minimally.  A few cups of coffee in the morning helps promote “alertness.” A drink or two with the guys after work helps to “wind down” on the way home. Neither of these decisions is harmless. Although there are indeed some beneficial compounds in some forms of alcohol, I have come to believe that civilization has taken a poor turn in validating its use for a very long time.

Read more on Addictive Drugs and Questions They Raise…

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I have seen them.

Men, who sit in my office and tell me they are addicts to internet pornography.

They describe symptoms that have long been regarded as markers of addiction.

Dependence — They start feeling poorly, maybe even depressed, if they don’t get their regular quota of exposure.

This is easy enough to get on the internet, so everybody who feels they want this (or “need” this) is able to get it. Read more on Internet Pornography IS Addiction…

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This story found me in the headlines: Colts’ Jim Irsay discusses addiction.” I had never heard of and would not have been able to cite the name of the owner of the Baltimore Colts. I certainly am no fan of professional football.  I have reviewed recent problems in other posts. It seems to me that football — seemingly more than other sports — breaks brains, heads, bones and lives and may foster drug addiction to boot. Read more on Baltimore Colts Owner Jim Irsay – Too Rich To Need Help?…

Filed under Diagnosis, Sports, Substance Abuse by on . Comment#

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I talk to a great many people in a great many areas and fields.  In California, a lot of the mental health treatment programs are having “Obamacare-it is.”

While consumers who tried to use the official website to get enrolled for insurance had their “challenges” – to put it politely – the facilities expected to treat patients are having to do some major adjustments.

If you aren’t aware (especially you, Rip Van Winkle), “Obamacare” is what people lovingly call The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

I use the term “Lovingly Call” in the same manner people called homeless camps during the Great Depression “Hoovervilles” – blaming President Herbert Hoover for ruining the US economy and leading to the stock market crash.  Many feel Pres. Obama has done something similar to health care. Read more on Dual Diagnosis Should Not Be A Reason To Refuse Treatment…

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In this life, everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler.  That includes this questionnaire study about marijuana as an exit” drug for substance abuse.    This article hit a nerve because there are issues here I have come up against before.  And I mean “against.”  I don’t mean to say it isn’t “good science;” it is. I’m talking about the emotional resistance to the idea that detoxifying from a medication can be comfortable, painless, and effective.  I see this coming like I see the sun rising in the morning, because I have been to this place. A few years ago, I found myself in an informal banquet room across the parking lot from a hotel type establishment in a touristy part of San Diego.  There was a woman rep from the drug company, Hythiam.  She wasn’t an ex beauty queen like most reps, but a fairly credentialed therapist who actually knew what she was talking about.  My husband was there with me; a younger, chubbier, and more naïve me – therefore, less authoritative.

These Hythiem/Prometa folks had a great schedule of IVs that removed physiological cravings for various substances of abuse, including methamphetamine.  Basically, they use safe and older type drugs intravenously for a lovely pharmacological intervention.  The cravings stop, and the person does not “need” to use the drug. Neither they nor I was stupid and naive enough to think that was all you had to do.  Aftercare was important and I was ready to jump in.  They recommended vitamins — I recommended lots of vitamins, high dose, and chelated to cross the blood-brain barrier. But these addicted folks needed “prosthetic lives.”  When all you can muster goes to satisfying a craving or a need, there are not many hours left in the day for work or relationships.  I helped with this, too. Some people had problems, but they were mostly because of the psychosocial void left when they did not go for drugs, and their inability to fill it.  I worked my damnedest with these folks; and like the company, was eager to be accepted into the addiction community. There was this reception, and they had invited people from every substance abuse program in town.  I was there and ready to go to bat as the only physician who had experience with these folks locally. Two people showed up.  One was an older, fatherly type. The other was a young sidekick who was presumably learning from him.  This older guy said something that rings in my ears now. “You got to earn your sobriety.” Read more on Time to Stop Judging and Start Healing…

Filed under medicine, News, Substance Abuse by on . Comment#

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The first time I heard about using empty whipped cream dispensers to get “high” was a long time ago.  I was living at my parents’ house after I had finished medical school in France.  I had done my thesis as quickly as possible, in the fall.  My residency was projected to start July first.  I promised my parents I would do what I could to earn my keep.  I sold kitchen cabinet fronts over the telephone, got involved in a chorus production of “Pirates of Penzance,” and substitute taught for awhile.

As a substitute teacher in suburban Boston I was taught everything from senior hygiene to 9th grade algebra.  A principal saw me teach 9th grade algebra and told me the heck with the credentials — the way I put across factoring quadratics was good enough for him to take me on permanently.  I was leading the class in yelling, singing, and dancing “everybody factor.”  And they were.

I told him I was going Cincinnati to start a surgical residency.  He stared at me in disbelief.  I told him I had more important news for him. Read more on Teens and Inhalant Addiction and — K2 Spice?…

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California is known as “The Golden State” and some have called it “The Land of Milk and Honey.”

The Beverly Hillbillies noted that it was the home of “Swimming pools – Movie stars.”

That should be encouraging for people like my 27 year old, freckled, red-headed patient.   After all, he had a pool cleaning business. But he was nervous — really nervous.

He did not have full-blown panic attacks, though he certainly fit the criteria for generalized anxiety attacks. Sometimes he did get a “heart in the throat” kind of feeling; something which some people would have called a “truncated anxiety attack.” But he had a lot of them and they really didn’t cramp his style very much.

He did not sleep very well, confessed that concentration was poor, and had great difficulty trying to find any interest in collegiate academics. As a result, his grades suffered considerably. And while I could potentially chalk this up to him falling into a category of males who may be better equipped for trade school than an actual 4-year college (based on patience; not necessarily intelligence), I didn’t believe this to be his case at all.

This guy was anxious. Read more on Stuck On The Treatment Treadmill…

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