Heroin, Mexico Becomes The Largest Exporter To United States Drug Addicts

Mexico has a new distinction in the world of illicit drugs as Heroin has seen a six-fold increase in production from 2007-2011 making it the largest Opium producer in the World to second place Afghanistan. Previously 87% of the World’s production of Opium originated in Afghanistan in the 2004 period which contributed roughly $4 billion dollars per year to the country with a 4,500 metric tons output noted in 1999.

The farming of Opium in Mexico goes back to the early period of the 1900s when its cultivation and use were then attributed to Chinese immigrants using the substance. Following the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914 by the U.S. congress the price for opium soared. Mexico which was already involved in a revolutionary war was directing its resources to that end. So Mexican drug farmers and smugglers jumped onto the supply train supplying the American need for opium based products which was now a profitable business venture.

Up until 1926 poppy cultivation was perfectly legal in the Mexican territories and as in the U.S. opium was illegal this new road to another profitable enterprise was wide open. And the young drug cartels took notice of this by supplying the U.S. with growing quantities of this drug. There was even a bigger opium boom period after the end of World War II which only ingrained and strengthened this illicit contraband crop. As Mexico itself did not experience or see any effects of widespread drug abuse by its citizens the government even tolerated what little illicit drug production that was perceived to be occurring on Mexican soil.

Prior to and during the World War II period numerous military bases were constructed on the U.S. Mexican border which only contributed to the development and refinement of heroin distribution networks and increased ease of using new smuggling routes.

As the Mexican drug smuggling culture had grown while becoming more specialized with a captive audience just across the border the financial incentives only further fueled our unholy alliance. During the 1960’s period Mexico became a Major exporter of Marijuana and Heroin to the U.S. population. Efforts that were taken on our European counterparts smuggling operations only strengthened Mexico’s hand as in the early 1970 period they became the number 1 drug exporter. It was noted that in 1974 at least 75% of the U.S. Heroin Market was of Mexican origin.

It was not as if the United States government had not taken notice of this problem as in 1969 Mexico grabbed the dubious distinction as being the primary distributor of illicit drugs to our country.

Oil was a driving effort in this change of mind by both governments as the discovery of this black gold was discovered in southeastern Mexico. The Mexican government which could realize a profit from this cash crop in concert with the U.S. government then attempted wholesale eradication of the illicit drugs farm crops. The defoliant paraquat was used in ever-increasing amounts in trying to destroy the farmers crops of poppies and Marijuana. Yet little success was ever realized even after their crops were sprayed they just immediately harvested them for export to their northern customers, U.S. citizens. As the drug eradication program now had the unintentional effect of introducing contaminated crop byproducts into our country it was prematurely interrupted.

The Mexican farmers nevertheless took matters into their own hands moving crops to other regions where their detection would prove to be more difficult for anyone to find and destroy them.

Also these Mexican drug manufacturers only became more sophisticated, powerful and dangerous to anyone foolish enough to cross them. At least 70% of all South American cocaine passes directly through Mexico which is also the largest supplier of marijuana to the U.S. and Heroin cultivation and smuggling is growing at alarming rates.

The prices for legitimate crops of coffee and corn products has fallen with the Mexican government offering no or limited help to the effected farmers. This has only driven once legitimate farming operations to more lucrative cash crops such as Opium. Where coffee sells for 15 cents per pound Opium gum sells for $700-1200 U.S. dollars per pound which is a determining factor as to which types of crops farmers would plant.

In the year 2003 the DEA estimates Mexico generates between 3600-5000 hectares or 95,220,000 pounds on the 5000 hectares figure. The eradication efforts of the 1970s were purely for economic or more simply put dollars, yet Opium production is now larger than any oil revenue that can be found operating in Mexico.

Mexico averaged around 7.2 Metric tons or 15,873.282 lb this was in the early half of the latest decade in the 2000s. At this time this was 30% of U.S. Heroin consumption nationwide while 98% of the Heroin consumed west of the Mississippi came from Mexico.

In the latter part of the decade along with being the United States largest supplier of Marijuana, Mexico has also become the largest supplier of Heroin. As of 2009 the worldwide value of the Heroin market was placed at $55 billion dollars with some reporting it to be closer to $65 billion annually. The United States consumes somewhere around the $8 billion dollar a year mark in regards to Heroin usage.

As of 2008 America is estimated to have consumed 6% or 22 metric tons (or 48,501.697 lbs) of the Heroin produced worldwide however now Mexico is the largest exporter of this drug to our country as was reported by the American government in 2008 when they supplied data for reporting purposes.

Also in the 2008 year period Mexico saw an explosive growth in Heroin farming operations a reported 120% increase to this illicit, illegal and deadly drug trade. The resultant output was estimated to be 325 metric tons (716,502.352 lb) of raw Opium which could produce 40 metric tons (88,184.904 lbs) of Heroin.

If seizures are figured into the equation for calendar year 2008 there were 430 metric tons (947,987.727 lbs) almost 1 Trillion metric tons were produced worldwide and the industry continues to thrive even though 91 metric tons were confiscated or seized. Quite simply put this trade in an illicit drug shows no signs of slowing down along with a profit margin any CEO would proudly share with their shareholders.

In 2006 Mexico produced 130 metric tons by 2008 this had increased to 340 metric tons and who knows how much this illicit trade has increased since then as there is no data yet to be evaluated. In the U.S. about 2.1 metric tons of Heroin and Morphine were seized or 9% of the estimated annual flow or importation of these drugs. The supply of this drug is never ever going to drop unless demand for it is somehow stopped and there are no signs that this is ever going to occur.

Appearing on the horizon is a profoundly disturbing scenario for this country and its citizens. The Prescription drug epidemic is being attacked on multiple fronts with little success. However pharmaceutical manufacturers’ are coming close to perfecting tamper proof Oxycontin pill formulations. Once these new tamper-proof pills make it to the U.S. market where will Opiate addicts turn to fill their addictions? As of 2006 85% worldwide production of these drugs were consumed in the United States.

Frighteningly Heroin with its ease of availability, purity and reduced price will be a logical choice for these abusers; they are already showing this trend in various U.S. regions. Mexico will happily oblige by increasing the supply of Heroin for these new users. This could easily become a second renaissance for Heroin with an exponential increase in Heroin addicts not seen in decades.

As Heroin users primarily inject their drug explosions could be seen in AIDS and Hepatitis C among a long list of health effects.

This ongoing and possible future trend seem to pale in comparison in our worries about illegal immigration to this country. And the costs to society from drug abuse or hard drugs such as Heroin and other Opiates dwarfs any cost associated with illegal immigration.

Yet while Mexico is now our largest exporter of Heroin a deadly drug which has devastating consequences for our country and its people we are fixated on illegal immigration instead, an issue with far less of an economic impact on this nation.

Advertisements

Marijuana Legalization It’s the Only Smart Move

With the FBI reporting 829,627 arrests for marijuana in the calendar year 2006 and local government’s spending $10.7 billion a year policing, arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning our citizens it might be time to review America’s priorities.

Citizens in the U.S. are using 31,000,000 (31 Million) pounds of marijuana a year which supports a $113 billion dollar a year industry with no end in sight what are we thinking. There is also the loss of $31 Billion dollars per year in lost tax revenue add that to the cost of enforcement the figure goes to almost $42 Billion dollars a year.

There is also the recent phenomenon of nationwide law enforcement agencies not investigating more serious crimes, one to cut their overall crime statistics and two it means they qualify for more government funding for the war on drugs. This is used in concert with drug forfeiture laws which with or without a conviction deprive countless Innocent U.S. citizens of their property, it’s just a win win for law enforcement agencies across the USA and they are cashing in on it.

However this equates to a substandard enforcement of our laws as criminals who commit serious crimes are quite often overlooked. It’s easier to take down a street level marijuana dealer, take their house, car and possessions and sell them at an auction at a profit then to investigate more serious crimes.

 

If legalization were properly implemented tax revenues would increase. Law enforcement could direct their priorities to fighting real crime and their wasted time could be recaptured. The control of the drug trade by powerful Mexican drug cartels could be greatly extinguished and our government could control the importation and added tax revenue that legalized marijuana would bring to our country.

Just as the U.S. enforces pedophile laws and other offenses against children legislation could be written that would in Fact deter citizens from selling marijuana to those not able to legally have it.

By taking control of the marijuana trade with regulation, import quotas and sales mechanisms our country and its citizens would be better served. This would also in essence put almost $42 billion dollars a year into our nations bank account or $420 billion or almost half a Trillion dollars in a decade.

 

Prison overcrowding with its associated costs is a problem that states across the nation are grappling with every year. California may have to release 20% of its prison inmates to comply with judicial rulings which address the overcrowding issue.  In 2009 the FBI reported 858,408 prosecutions for marijuana or 97.5 arrests per hour. In 1992 the figure was 33 per hour and in 1965 it was 2 per hour but that was before forfeiture laws became such a cash cow.

80% of the property confiscated using this law is from persons never charged with a crime no wonder police departments have changed their priorities. Rather than investigate serious crimes why not go on a shopping spree on the street where you don’t have to pay for anything and even if the property owner gets a lawyer their chance is nil of getting back their property. Even reports of serious crimes are not even being written or never entered into official records to keep crime statistics artificially low, while citizens are being arrested at alarming rates for a spoonful of marijuana, some departments even have marijuana arrest quotas.

When will American citizens see the light and legalize tax and introduce legislation to decriminalize this drug. Yes $7 billion dollars have been generated since 1985 using forfeiture laws but that does not offset all the associated annual costs we are incurring now.

By legalizing marijuana our DEA agents and local law enforcement agencies could redirect their resources to investigating more serious crimes including our Prescription Drug Abuse epidemic. This epidemic is entirely centered in the U.S. as they are legal drugs that are being diverted for illegal sale and destroying lives in the aftermath including many children and teenagers.

I for one would rather have my tax dollars not wasted enforcing marijuana laws and imprisoning those who use it. In my lifetime I have seen that alcohol is a much more destructive drug with devastating consequences attached to its use.

Reading publications across this country there are numerous stories every day on death, assaults and robberies along with other crimes tied to alcohol abuse. In my over than fifty years living in this country I just cannot remember a marijuana user committing these or any other types of crimes because of its use.

Already across the country local governmental agencies are decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana as a cost cutting measures as well as then allowing the local police department to concentrate on more serious crimes. In California along with 15 other states marijuana use is being allowed for certain medical conditions where this use is being taxed and law enforcement time is not being wasted on these marijuana users.

Especially in our current economic state the USA could put our tax dollars to better use. Not spending over $10 billion dollars a year on prosecuting these people would make good economic sense. Realizing $31 billion dollars in tax revenue per year while at the same time taking control over the importation of this drug from Mexican drug cartels, this would also be an excellent road to travel for our country.

Let’s consider readjusting our priorities by legalizing marijuana along with controlling importation and realizing an economic benefit from the tax revenue it would produce. Incorporated into the legalization I cannot imagine anyone who could argue against harsh laws with accompanying imprisonment of anyone who would attempt to sell marijuana to those not of legal age.

Our youth can be protected by strict comprehensive laws while our law enforcement agencies could go back to investigating and prosecuting serious crimes. The national deficit which is at an all time high thanks to the Bush administration could breathe a little easier. American citizens who were really never big time criminals could be released from incarceration which would reduce prison overcrowding. Then those existing prisons could house serious criminals and our courts would also get relief not having to take the time to prosecute those who use marijuana.

Allowing police to investigate serious crime, not imprisoning non-criminals, reducing the federal deficit and giving overall economic relief to all the states in this country, now that is a smart policy move that Americans could get behind.

Sounds like legalizing marijuana is the smartest move the United States could take and all of us would better served both economically, legally and we could also protect our children.

Substance abuse a Lifestyle choice or an Unwanted Addiction

Back in the last century up until the latter 1990 period illicit drug use could quite often be classified as a lifestyle choice. Many factors could have lead a person down the road from peer pressure, depression, tragic life changing events and the list would go on and on.

Note: Approx 70% related to drugs

Then in the USA we became a society and a people of the pill popping nation. For whatever ailed us a quick doctor’s appointment 10 minutes of our precious time and we were out the door with a prescription for our drug of choice to make all of our worries go away.

This also was a time when the practice of medicine was undergoing a profound change. Physicians were being taught to more aggressively treat their patients pain (this is thought to have started in regards to aggressive handling of a patients pain during various stages of cancer). So the physicians began to follow what they had been taught prescribe, treat acute and chronic pain, prescribe. Also during this time the pharmaceutical industry began to make drugs that were a godsend to those suffering from legitimate chronic pain issues. Autoimmune disorders became more prevalent and stronger drug treatment protocols were sorely needed for these.

Another issue prevalent today in medicine is that doctors believe they went to medical school to practice medicine. Monitoring patients prior to treatment, verifying that drugs were properly being taken and post treatment testing all fell to the wayside. Even though there are urine & blood tests which will give the medical practitioner a valuable insight into their patients use of a medication along with any illicit drug use these tests are rarely if ever performed.

To physicians this felt to them as though they were being asked to perform law enforcement duties which they still feel to this day. This is another component that has lead to a proliferation in prescription abuse within various drug classes. Newly created addicts, long-term addicts being able to continually get medications with ease has all lead and complimented the exponential growth and scope of this present day issue with alarming affects and growing post-mortems.

Having trouble sleeping there’s a pill, sore back here is another one and if your back still hurts here are some more pills, maybe take something stronger that might help.

Above some of the issues and thought processes of doctors are discussed, however there are also financial incentives as well. If the doctor fails to provide the drugs the patient will just go to another doctor who will, by doing the right thing the physician who refuses, tests or offers alternative therapies loses a paying patient, damned if they do damned if they don’t.

You go see the doctor for a few months during treatment they feel you are doing better and their prescription pad goes back inside their lab coat. However you still crave or feel you have a need for the drug so possibly you turn to other avenues to get what you feel you need or deserve. However your need keeps growing and now you need either stronger pills or more of them or both (rationality has left the equation by this time).

Then your home & professional life start to suffer as you spend more time and money seeking out your drug of choice and less time with your family, lies and dwindling bank accounts don’t help this situation they only make it worse. Friends begin to notice your erratic behavior and how you have become more unreliable as time passed, that is if you have already not cut-off communications already.

Possibly you sought help from a rehabilitation center only to have them give you another drug to help you, yet you only become addicted to that drug as well, rather then helping it was only stringing you along, quite often for years.

Rehabilitation centers do have their place and if you need help seek them out. Just do your research for your first attempt unless you are an IV (intravenous user, Injecting) ask about less addictive therapies. If you are only Orally (by mouth) abusing drugs there are other drugs besides Methadone or Suboxone. Ask about all the available drug therapies and their average duration, just don’t go blindly into a program and take whatever They decide not You. For many a less addictive alternative is Clonidine while it will not take away all of your withdrawal symptoms it will make them tolerable, the suggested treatment protocols are shorter and the addictive qualities Greatly reduced.

Picture this, you are a young professional with a family, children, house, great friends, nice car and all the trappings of a successful life. Then when driving home one day you are involved in a car accident and sustain a back injury. Seeing your personal physician the next day you were prescribed an Opioid drug for Acute pain, say Oxycontin.

Note: Oxycontin was only introduced in the United States during mid-1995 as of 2006 over 85% of the worldwide consumption of the drug occurred within this country, during 2006 sales totaled $2.5 billion dollars.

After seeing your doctor you began taking the pills to deal with your acute pain related to your accident. However during your doctor’s appointment the physician Never told you of the addictive qualities of this drug. You also did not notice the chemical changes that were occurring inside your brain, liver or circulatory system among others. Your heart/cardiac arrhythmias were unusual however they were infrequent so you were not that concerned with them at the time, maybe you become a little more irritable.

Because you were not made aware of the dangers of these drugs you felt no need to be overly concerned with your children gaining access to the drug they had always been trustworthy before and had always been exceptional children and now young teenagers. So into the medicine cabinet they went along with the aspirin and other over the counter medications found in every household.

As your life was getting somewhat back to normal things were looking up, soon you would be able to stop taking the medication as your symptoms of discomfort were apparently getting better. After around 4 months of being treated via a prescription medication, your family practitioner felt as though the medication was no longer needed and you felt better knowing that now you could get your life fully back on track. There had been a few bouts of diarrhea, your heart had maybe raced a few times and maybe you had on occasion been a little irritable with some sporadic insomnia.

During your entire treatment regimen with your physician no lab work was requested or taken for drugs. These could have been important diagnostic tools yet even certified pain management physicians often neglect to comprehensively treat their patients. The 10 minute doctor visits of today do not provide patients with good quality care, however this is how most medical practices operate.

Then the day after your last doctor appointment some problems began to come to the surface after you stopped taking the drug. For some reason your heart was racing a little more than you had previously experienced. You were feeling more agitated and a restless anxious feeling was coming over you. Something was telling you that you needed the drug again even though your back had healed up just fine. However as your doctor had not felt the need to educate you before prescribing the Powerful Opiate based drug Oxycontin you had no idea what was coming.

The withdrawal period for most people is around 3-5 days the problem is the overwhelming compounding symptoms make this feel as though it is much longer coupled with the psychological issues/cravings. After the initial withdrawals the psychological need can stay present for weeks or months.

The human brain is a wonderful organ and is still quite a mystery to mankind. Prior to your accident your brain had been producing and self-regulating the release of Endorphins within your body along with all it’s other duties. Endorphins have many automatic actions or jobs to do within the body and when in balance they are regulated by the brain which releases the needed quantities to the self regulating organism (you). However drugs can interfere with these processes in this case we are talking about Opioids or Opiates. They cause an excessive release of the pleasure hormone Dopamine in simplistic terms the drug takes over for the brain in this regard. One of your bodies important regulating systems has now been thrown out of whack or become imbalanced via addiction and you never saw it coming, nor were you warned. The drug has taken over this process or need your brain has one less duty to perform and you never saw it coming.

You now became more restless, your heart arrhythmias/racing became more frequent. As you try to sleep along with the insomnia being ever-present your legs have become restless, your mind is anxious and your having irrational thoughts coupled with possibly abnormal troubling dreams. Somehow your life has taken on a disturbing trend of some sort, adding to your growing list of problems is the nagging depression that is creeping into your psyche.

Not quite knowing what is going on your not feeling well, you didn’t take all of the medication the doctor gave you for your previous pain prescription. So you take one figuring what the hell it might help. While all of the feelings don’t go away they are substantially better now.

Perhaps you return to your doctor and tell them what has been going on upon hearing your plight they might recommend a Methadone treatment program to get you off of the drug in a rehabilitation setting, unless of course they are Certified in this medical specialty. At this point you may be extremely confused your doctor is telling you to take a drug to get off of another drug? Or maybe you might be told to Tuff-it-out the symptoms of withdrawal will only last a few days. These are our doctors we trust them wholeheartedly even though sometimes this is a misplaced trust.

Then you might be thinking Withdrawals, Nobody said anything about all this before they gave me this drug? You just feel the need to get things back to normal all of these undesirable symptoms are causing problems at home and work and you just wanted it to stop.

So the doctor may say tuff it out, oh and let me give you a tranquilizer to get you through the rough spots. Maybe a nice Benzodiazapine ( Clonzepam, Xanax, Valium) of course they may fail to tell you of the addictive & additive qualities of these drugs. This as well the issues that can occur with concomitant (multi-drug use) which can prove to be hazardous or even deadly.

Opioid & Benzodiazapine drugs are CNS depressants (Central Nervous System) as with opioids; tranquillizers, sleep-aids, anti-anxiety medications can slow down your respiratory system (breathing) for one thing. Put the two together and they may be more of a problem such as going to sleep after taking both medicines, your body stops breathing for you and you die. Note; this would most likely only occur with an Abusive patient who was abusing/over-taking the needed medications and possibly supplementing with alcohol or illicit drug medications, not a very good mixture.

It is Very Important to Note; that when drugs prescribed by a doctor are taken properly following the doctor’s direction you should not have any Issues. This piece deals with addiction, abuse problems & misuse, not those under a doctors care for short or long-term pain management.

So you tuff it out take your Xanax however you feel worse, your at work, nauseous, agitated, restless and you feel your heart racing inside your body. So living in the society we do with Instant Gratification ever-present in our minds you take another one of the left over pills you have with you, at work no less. Again your symptoms subside somewhat and you at least feel as though you can cope with the rest of the day.

However day turns to night you are at home and the feeling of withdrawals are coming on again. You didn’t feel like eating, your favorite television program is on and you do not even want to watch it, although you used to just love watching each and every episode.

So again you take some of your leftover prescription and your night becomes tolerable. Still the leftover pills that you have are becoming less and less you start to count them figuring how much longer will they last.

You remember a friend of yours who was prescribed the medication however they didn’t take it because they didn’t like the way it made them feel. Maybe tomorrow you will go visit them even if you had never done so before, they have what you want and until you get it they will become your best friend. Or even worse depending on the length of the addiction you might turn to the street and find yourself a drug dealer to fulfill your growing need.

Well you have now crossed the threshold from a patient needing a drug for pain into an addict needing the pain medication just to function. How could this have happened to you, your educated had never previously abused alcohol, drugs or anything else for that matter during your entire life. Just a few months ago everything was so great, now you were plotting how to get more of a drug for which you no longer had a medical need, only a psychological dependence.

Here you are 40 years of age with two teenage children and a loving spouse, both of you have excellent jobs, your children are fantastic, what else could someone ask for in life. How could this have gone so badly, you did everything you thought was right. You went to your trusted doctor they said you would heal up just fine and then gave you a prescription, how could this have gone so dreadfully wrong.

Monday comes along as you awake in the morning you feel horrible there is no way you could go to work feeling this way, so you called in sick.

However you weren’t so sick you couldn’t go visit your friend (instead of your doctor) who you knew had the drug you thought you needed. The two of you had never been close, there was the age difference and you really had never spent much time together.

Yet still you visited and made as much small talk as you possibly could that morning. You knew that if you asked her outright for drugs she would have refused and seen right through your plan. So after 20 minutes you asked to use the restroom where the medicine cabinet was located. Sure enough on the back of the middle shelf was a full bottle of the drug you were after. She wouldn’t miss it, so you took the entire bottle that should last you 3 weeks or so you though giving you enough time to slowly withdraw from the drug. So this is what you attempted to rationalize in your mind for your actions that fateful day.

After a little more small talk and a promise to get together more often you made your excuses to leave and were on your way out the door. After getting in the car you carefully removed your friends name from the prescription bottle and took two pills (previously you had only ever taken one at a time). Before making the ten minute drive home you would have to stop to pick up your daughter from school.

As you were driving home you didn’t even feel impaired, yet at an intersection an elderly gentleman for some reason felt the need to pull his car directly in front of your car. There was little you could do barely having time to hit the brakes before the collision. The accident while jarring could have been much worse you just received a few small cuts and some bruises, luckily your daughter secured in the back seat received no injuries whatsoever.

The ambulances arrived along with the police as the paramedics looked you over the officer looked around as well and noticed the pill bottle without the required identification attached. The police officer asked if the pills were yours to which you replied they were not and that you didn’t even know how they got there. As you needed stitches to close some wounds you had sustained the officer also asked the hospital to test you for the presence of drugs, he had in fact found drugs in your car so this was a reasonable request.

After waiting in the emergency room and finally getting treated while upset, things were looking better. The accident had not been your fault and you were trying to look on the bright side of this whole ordeal.

A few days later while you were still trying to figure out how to tackle your recently acquired addiction issue someone was knocking on your door.

As you opened the door there stood the police officer from a few days before. The blood test that was requested at the hospital had come back and you had tested positive for the presence of drugs. Also as the pill bottle had been found in your possession you were presumed to be in possession of a controlled substance (illegal narcotics).

The police officer also notified you that the elderly gentleman involved in the accident had died just that morning from injuries sustained in the accident. This had now grown from just an unpleasant experience into a nightmare with no escape.

The officer began to read you your Miranda rights as you were now being charged with Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI, Felony Possession of illegal Narcotics as well as Child Endangerment. Then you were placed in handcuffs as you began your entry into the judicial system. The charges were Very Serious and the reality of a lengthy prison sentence had become a real possibility.

While the story of our young mother is fictional it is not beyond belief that this could occur, it does. A woman in her early forties living the American dream, great husband, children, a fantastic job and a nice home in suburbia. Yet it could all be swept away, first drugs were prescribed for acute back pain as they probably should have, then addiction set-in and for brevity I sped up the time line. Does this happen in real life, many of the addicts of this country will tell you, yes it really does happen. Was she totally at fault, was she just a defective human being, NO. Opioids can and do Adversely Affect Brain Chemistry taking an innocent (never abused drugs in their life) person and for all intents and purposes take over their lives.

I have heard so many people say that drug addicts are just defective people, they brought their addiction upon themselves and they alone should suffer the consequences.

If it were this cut and dry it would be simple I believe that we should pay for our lifestyle choices, just like a convicted bank robber should pay for theirs.

However when the medical community fails the patient by not adequately monitoring their patients and doctors fail to educate their patients as well this becomes a very murky convoluted road indeed and simplistic snap-judgments just do not fall evenly into place. Also after the physician becomes aware of an addicted patient rapid concrete steps need to be taken to assist the patient in the withdrawal process. However this is quite often not the case and the patient spirals down the addiction rabbit-hole unsure of how they will land. This occurs with or without the all needed medical insurance coverage.

In the mind of a teenager Prescription medications are much safer than Illicit Street Drugs.

For teenagers these drugs of abuse are usually readily available in either their parents or a friends parents medicine cabinet. Some of these drugs are designed to be long acting, so a prescription drug when taken properly has a longer duration of action. However street-lore educates the young drug abuser rapidly they learn to crush and snort or inject the drug for a more potent effect. Unbelievable but true the manufacturers of these drugs even stated this on packaging materials (in regards to the crushing), so let the experimenting begin.

However again these drugs are CNS depressants and can slow respiration (breathing) along with other affects. A teenager abusing this type of drug with little or no tolerance can crush, then snort these drugs go to sleep and never awaken again. The brain normally would be able to successfully address this issue, noting that the oxygen concentration was getting low the brain would then fire the needed synapse (trigger) and the body would respond by increasing breathing activity or the body would begin to take deeper breaths. However the drug has the Nasty little affect of shutting down this autonomic (automatic) response and the patient can expire.

It is Imperative that parents keep these types of drugs or all drugs locked away or secured to keep their children or their visiting friends from finding them and possibly using them.

A teenager who experiments with prescription drugs has an exponentially higher probability of becoming an addict versus someone 21yrs of age or older does after they are prescribed one of these medications.

Some people have abusive tendencies built into their genetic make-up for self-medicating (drug or alcohol abuse). Teenagers are especially in danger because of the fact that their brains are not fully developed until around the age of 25 years when the area of the brain specifically the Pre-frontal Cortex has reached maturity. This area of the brain controls impulse-control, judgment, decision-making, planning, organization and is also involved in other functions like emotion yet until approximately 25 years of age the Pre-frontal Cortex is not fully developed/matured.

In our present age of single parent households teenagers have quite a bit of unsupervised time on their hands (latch-key-kids). They are known to be inquisitive some are rather adventurous and the teenage-invincibility argument is sometimes put forth. Their lives are going through profound changes during these early years and experimentation is around every corner. Street lore or somewhat knowledgeable yet dangerous friends can take a well balanced teenager and turn them down the wrong path which may lead to drug or alcohol abuse.

Parents, Grandparents, older Nieces, Nephews, Aunts & Uncles unguarded medicine cabinets can turn into drug wonderland.

Even the best and brightest of our children can become friends with troubled teens. Even as we trust our children (in regards to drugs this should not be the case) their troubled friend may ask to use the restroom with their only intent being finding the drugs that can be found within. Also after these troubled teens abuse the family medical cabinet they can then try to get your child to experiment with the very same drugs they did.

So this is a Cautionary tale not some wild fiction from a novel. Be open and honest with your physician if you are prescribed a medication take it properly and Destroy what you do not use (not by flushing it down the toilet). Keep your medications hidden or locked away so that only you or your caretaker knows where they are stored.

Remember Teenagers View Prescription Drugs as being Safer than Illicit Street Drugs

If after taking a prescription medication you fall into the Addiction Pool first ask the doctor who prescribed you the drugs for help. If that fails then Do Not Hesitate to get help from a doctor who will treat you. Drug addiction is nothing new to the medical profession and you should not have any trouble finding a doctor willing to treat you who will give you caring comprehensive medical treatment to return you to your pre-addiction status.

Even though your child is an angel what would be the harm in having a drug screen done on them with their yearly physical. It’s also a consideration to only give your child or teenager 24hrs notice if that much, of their impending physical so they cannot attempt to take counter-measures to produce negative results when they are in fact self-medicating.

From 6 to 60 drug addiction is a real possibility, getting a drug prescription under false pretenses and then selling (redirecting) the drugs might bring you some cash. However it might also get you placed in one of America’s prisons. Teenagers your young lives are difficult enough as is, adolescence comes with it’s own sets of problems. Try not to add drug abuse to your list of challenges.

For adults think about following or at least considering some of the ideas I’ve written about and to also consider being more compassionate to those who are suffering, remember not all of these people just woke up one day and said, “hey today I’m going to become an addict and throw my life away”.

Also remember that should you confront or a friend confides in you their problem.  You are way in over your head, get them some help from a medical professional. That is If and Only If they admit they have a problem and that they alone have decided they want to stop. No amount of money or well intentioned acts will work unless the patient decides they need Help.

Drugs prone to abuse; Cocaine, Heroin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percoset, Percodan, Roxycotin, Soma, Benzodiazapines; Klonopin, Xanax, Valium,Tricyclic & MAO anti-depressants and the list goes on and on

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

The Opiate Epedemic & the Dangers for Teenagers

In the USA today it’s hard to watch a television news report or read a publication which does not cite the every growing abuse of Opiates. Roxycotin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percoset etc. Everyday new stories of abuse, rising criminal rates, incarceration and death related to this epidemic are printed or reported on.

This prescription drug abuse epidemic is found throughout all age groups. However the highest concentration can be found in those in their forties along with young adults and teenagers.

Between 1992 & 2002 there was a 236% percent increase of abuse cited in two studies conducted in these time frames. In the rural areas of Virginia death rates increased 300% from drug abuse between 1997 & 2003 while 74% of those deaths were attributed to Opiate use via prescription drug abuse.

The death rates from prescription drug abuse have now overtaken the use of illicit narcotics a profoundly disturbing trend which only grows stronger everyday in America.

While cities with their concentrated populace would be thought to have the highest rates suburban and rural areas are bucking the conventional wisdom via high rates of abuse and deaths related to prescription drug abuse. Studies have shown that hydrocodone and oxycodone have a higher potential for abuse and use by these newer drug addicts.

During 2006 there were approximately 740,000+ visits to the emergency room in regards to abuse of drugs across the US. Of these visits a full 33% percent fall squarely on the back of the Opiate family of drugs being used in a recreational or addictive setting by the patient. There is also the differences in gender to consider where one study points to female abuse at 29.8% versus male 21.1%.

For adolescents who begin prescription drug abuse before or at age 13 there is an increased likelihood of addiction versus abuse at age 21 or above. A 2008 Partnership for a Drug-Free America survey of 6,518 youth produced a rate of 19% reporting abuse of prescription drugs, a very troubling statistic. A staggering 41% of these youths believed that prescription drugs were less dangerous than illegal drugs.

So they raid their parents or other siblings drug medications to get what they believe is a safer way to get high and escape via self-medication. As far as younger youth are concerned a recent study relayed that for 8th 10th & 12th grade students the rates of prescription drug abuse ranged from 1.8-2.7%, 3.9-7.2% and 5.2-9.6%. In the study 2.1% represents 5.2 million teenagers the different rates above for example 1.8% of 8th graders abuse Oxycontin & 2.7% abuse Vicodin either stolen from their parents medicine chest or a friends parents medicine cabinet.

The fearless nature of teenagers only heightens the danger as mixing drugs and alcohol will only make matters worse and could quite possibly lead to a drug overdose. This coupled with the higher propensity of a teenage abuser having a higher likelihood of becoming an addict exhibits a pressing need for parents to keep all medications out of the reach of anyone who might enter their home.

For 2006 the costs to society are an eye opening experience where abuse costs $53.4 billion with $8.2bil going towards judicial costs and $2.2bil for treatment as well as $945million to treat medical complications arising from drug abuse.

As of 2009 drug related deaths took over and surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death. From 1999 to 2007 a four fold increase in drug related deaths were reported. The rate of death in the state of Florida for Oxycodone increased 263% from 2003 to 2009. In the years from 2004 to 2009 emergency room visits from the same drug increased 265% nationwide.

While there is no magic bullet I believe there are steps that can be taken to avoid a patient from becoming an addict.

Physicians in the USA are rarely called to task on this subject in regards to monitoring their patients. This is not to say that all physicians conduct themselves this way. However having been prescribed these types of drugs during my lifetime I have never had a doctor attempt to educate me on the dangers of these drugs. Nor have I ever been tested prior, during or post treatment and I’ve never heard of anyone else who had a different experience, although I am sure there are exceptions.

There are almost no doctors practicing medicine today that will get a urine sample for drug testing prior to writing a prescription for these powerful drugs. Yet these tests are widely available and can be performed at an office visit Before a patient is prescribed any narcotics. The diagnostic test only costs $7 USD and gives results in approximately 5-8minutes.

Why would a doctor give a prescription to a patient already abusing opiates? Post treatment an office visit would be performed 1-2 weeks after the patient had supposedly ceased taking the medication. If this urine test again performed at the physician’s practice during a routine follow-up visit were performed the doctor would possibly then find out that their patient had a high probability of being an addict.

In the two examples above either before or after treatment the doctor could get a clearer picture of what kind of patient they were treating.

The treating physician would then be able to discuss and educate the patient on the effects, costs and treatments available to assist the patient in withdrawing from a drug before they became a full blown addict.

Of course this would be tactfully done by the doctor who would not come in and condemn anyone as an addict. However they could preemptively step up to the plate and educate the patient.

However very few doctors perform these tests to the detriment of their patients. They also fail to educate their patients prior to writing a prescription for these powerful opiates.

It’s much easier to attempt to control addictive behavior prior to a patient becoming an addict than after the fact when the drug has taken hold and changed the brain chemistry of a patient. Yet again this is almost Never done by the prescribing doctor.

If parents were better educated on the prevalence of teenage drug abuse. They would in turn have a better chance of hiding away these drugs so that their children or one of their children’s friends could not innocently ask to use the restroom only to steal a parents medication.

So many look at the costs after the fact rather then attacking the source. Testing new patients for drug use and educating them on the dangers of addiction would be time well spent.

If a patient prior to being prescribed a powerful opiate drug were found to already be using an opiate they might be given the choice of a smaller dose and quantities of drugs or none at all. The doctor would then know that they needed to monitor their patients drug use more closely. They would also be armed and ready to prescribe drugs such as Clonidine to assist the addict during the withdrawal process a more effective yet less prone to abuse withdrawal drug versus Methadone. After the withdrawal period has passed another urine test could be performed to verify success in treating the addicted patient. Also at this time the physician could reinforce the patients education point out support groups as well as relay to the patient that their physician was there to help them to stay clean via treatment and counseling.

For parents there are quick easy to use urine test kits available for around $7 USD to test their children. These tests are accurate, available to order online and produce results in minutes. Upon a positive test of a child the parent could begin to take the required steps to get their children the help they needed. Again it’s easier to treat an addict of only say a month or so versus the later before a visit to the emergency room or even sadly the death of their child.

Would it be considered invasive to monitor and ask your child for a urine sample, yes. If the parent were overly concerned they could set up a doctor’s appointment and give the child no notice until they picked them up at school to go to the doctor for a needed physical, (deceitful yes less prone to a confrontation somewhat, decisions have to be made).

However testing and starting treatment as soon as possible rather then losing your child to drug abuse I’m certain would be much harder.

For those who are addicted there are treatments available however you yourself need to have to have the want to QUIT. There are drugs that will help clonidine is a very good choice I would not recommend Methadone. There are also therapy programs available where you can discuss your issues with people who have already gone through what you are going through right now.

Don’t be concerned about anyone looking down upon you groups created for addicts do not operate that way.

Or you can continue to abuse as you watch your life disintegrate before your very eyes. Possibly losing your family, home, job as well as slowly destroy your body as you will slide further into depression. I beg of you people do care they want to help you,,,Just Take the First Step.

For those with Chronic pain from various elements unfortunately you will probably be on these types of drugs for a lifetime. If you have a medical need and countless patients do then continue your treatment get quarterly liver toxicity tests from your doctor and do the best you can. If you begin taking more and more drugs because of pain coupled with depression consider joining an online forum or group in your area.

It is truly unfortunate that those that abuse these drugs are endangering the lives and mental states of those who Truly Honestly need these drugs to live their daily lives. One minute your fine the next following an accident and your whole life is turned upside down. While it may not matter to you I Do Truly Feel for You and only hope that you can live the best life you can, may God Bless you and help through these times.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

The Court system Guilty or Innocent it doesn’t matter in the USA!

As is has been shown recently in Georgia and many other various locations across the country our judicial system is fraught with dangerous perils and suffering quite often caused by unscrupulous prosecutors hell bent on furthering their careers. In a case in Durham North Carolina a state prosecutor was disbarred and charges were brought against him for prosecutorial misconduct, however this is rarely the case.

Prosecutors only further their political careers by their conviction rates and quite often they become our future politicians. For them the defendants are an afterthought, that they were placed into the system whether innocent or guilty is of little consequence to them even if that defendant was sentenced to death, they won the glorious conviction. Read more of this post

Mexican government to United States Stop selling guns to our drug dealers!

As the United States of American claimed 36% of international arms sales in 2005 to again claim the number one position and have the distinction of being the Worlds largest arms dealer it is no surprise our weapons are being used in Mexican drug wars.

If the soldiers fighting now in Afghanistan and Iraq had a free voice they too would voice their dismay that the bullets, bombs and IED’s used to kill and maim them are of United States manufacture, as these countries are awash in armaments and munitions compliments of the world’s arms dealer. Read more of this post

$500 Million Pledged for Mexico and the lost War on Drugs

Hidden within President Bush’s $46 billion dollar budget request is a $500 million dollar funding package for Mexico and the lost war on drugs. Members of Congress already weary of the costs of the Iraqi conflict are looking on in dismay at the $500 million dollar request as well, which they complain was negotiated in secret meetings between the White House and the Mexican government.

The United States already has the distinction of being a nation with more of its citizens incarcerated than any other industrialized nation and these funds would only exacerbate an already alarming trend. Read more of this post

Screw the Uninsured working class poor let them get a job!

There are so many American citizens that will recite that they have made it and have a home and health insurance. They will often say that the uninsured are not their problem and they do not want to pay increased taxes to deal with the 46 million uninsured Americans. They will say that they worked hard to get what they have and the uninsured are lazy and need to get a job so they will quite complaining all the time.

There is a problem with this argument as disease knows no Socio-Economic boundaries and these diseases will infect anyone regardless of wealth or stature. Diseases only want to infect, grow, mutate, multiply and live on to infect another host without regard to social stature. So for those Americans who say I have mine the hell with the poor, remember that by not addressing the healthcare crisis you or your child may die. Read more of this post

The United States of America and the Functional Illiterates who contribute to its Decline

Functional illiteracy in the United States is growing at a rate of over 2 million new inductees per year into its ranks and the tide will only grow stronger if current educational policies are not changed to address the problem. The Presidential legislation of No Child Left Behind is not working and the country as a whole is now and will in the future suffer the consequences.

Statistics show that functional illiterates in this country;

  1. Constitute 70% of the prisoners in state and federal prisons
  2. That 85% of juvenile offenders are classified as functionally or marginally illiterate
  3. That 43% of those with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty
  4. Over 42 million American adults can’t read
  5. 50 million read at fourth or fifth grade levels
  6. That the total number of functionally illiterate adults increases by approximately 2.25 million persons every single year Read more of this post

“Law and Order”, the Media continues to Destroy and Distort American Jurisprudence

Via the many television shows in America today the ones that draw many viewers are the brand of so-called law and order shows.

However rather than show how the laws of the US should be interpreted and used they dramatize how to Abuse the law and how it is abused within our legal system. Nightly many US citizens watch these television shows and applaud how they rid the streets of our country of criminals who are the scourge of society. They implant in us that abuse of the law by those who are called to enforce it is to be commended not that it is an appalling abuse of the criminal justice system on which this country was founded. Read more of this post

The lost war on drugs by the Worlds Jailer the USA!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The United States of America has the clear distinction of incarcerating more of its citizens then any other industrialized nation, with over 2.2 million incarcerated which is a 500% increase in just over thirty years. This 500% increase is also 7 times greater than in 1970 with a cost to the American taxpayer at some $60 billion a year. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: