U.S. Obesity and the Destruction of the Family Unit or a Different Ending

Recent data from the CDC 1985-2010 on obesity is a cause for concern by all Americans. As of 2010 there were approximately 33.8% adults classified as obese and 17% or 12.5 million of our youth ages 2-19 that fell into this classification. In showing that this is a national issue no state in the union had an obesity rate below 20% and 36 states had obesity rates higher than 25% also 12 states had a rate of 30% or more.

In 1990 the statistics were quite different when 10 states who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reported obesity prevalence at <10%. Also no state reported a rate higher than or equal to 15%.

Jump to the year 2000 where no state had an obesity prevalence lower than 10%. While 23 states reported 20-24% and no state reported a rate over 25%.

By 2010 there were no states who reported an obesity prevalence below 20%. Thirty-six states were now reporting rates of 25% (equal to or greater).

The statistics were only reporting what society was already witnessing in their everyday lives. As these statistics grow so does our concern for our children, society and the economic impacts being found in hospitals and clinics nationwide.

In the U.S. Obesity is now estimated to cost $147 bill per year. Approximately 9% medical spending can be tied to this phenomenon. It is also estimated that the obese American spends $1500 more than the average or 41% more than what is considered the average medical cost of everyday U.S. citizens (Note approximately 2009 data).

Future Dire Consequences for the Human Race

In a study done by the Endocrine Society published March 23, 2011 it was found that the hormone Ghrelin is found to be low in obese females. The study while done on mice found that lower levels of this hormone reduced the fertility of the test subjects. While Ghrelin’s specifically cannot be tied to fertility of humans it does fall into the family of hormones involved in regulating reproductive functions in humans and animals.

The lead author of the report Hugh Taylor MD. of the Yale University School of Medicine stated, “While our study involved mice we believe our findings have significant implications for women. Our results suggest that low ghrelin levels could program the development of the uterus in the female children of obese women. These women may then be less fertile as adults”.

A recent study performed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) recommends that young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 30 to 60 minutes each day. It is estimated that 300,000 Americans die annually as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. This is more deaths than that from the result from infectious disease, firearms, motor vehicles, and illicit drug use combined

In some regions school age children receive gym classes only once every two weeks or once a month, when a holiday or a school assembly interferes. Prior to cost cutting measures being instituted only around 33% of students were considered obese this has now climbed to over 50% as standardized educational testing has taken on as the program of more importance versus physical education.

While the lack of physical activity is now being classified as a Major Health Risk little if anything is being done to address the issue. Yes bills are being brought forth across the country however they are gaining no traction and never reach fruition.

Sedentary lifestyles are predisposing Americans for diseases such as stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, various cancers, diabetes, depression, obesity, and much more.

American males watch on average 2 hours of television per day versus 2.4 hours for females. On top of this there is an average of 2 hours per day using computers, gaming and other social media.

Children and teenagers report on average spends 2.2 hr each day watching television, 1.9 hr each day reading or doing homework, 1.4 hr daily on the computer/Internet, 1.2 hr playing video games, and 1.1 hr daily talking on the telephone.

However the above stated data is self-reported and as with other studies of this type the figures are extremely questionable and have a higher propensity for underreporting by the study participants.

For instance another study reported found that time spent watching television, videos, DVDs, and movies averaged slightly over three hours per day among children 8 to 18 years old.

As our recent history shows we are an overly materialistic nation with to much emphasis being placed upon social status and conspicuous consumption. With two working parent households and also a 50% divorce rate all of this must be factored into the matter, however it does not point to a strong and engaged family household. Each and every day this is placing more and more responsibility on America’s children to raise themselves.

Our government via subsides and the like, reduces the overall costs for what are unhealthy foods while fruits and vegetables see none of these government incentives. We as a people want instant gratification and fast food with super-size proportions having their establishments on every street corner are not helping matters.

Can parents be expected to become more engaged in their children’s lives including proper diet and exercise, it doesn’t look promising.

How can parents restrict or control their child’s dietary intake, television viewing habits, computer, video games etc, when they are almost never around the children. Can they become involved in their children’s PTA or other school activities when their jobs will not allow for such involvement as they consume more and more of their time?

Is there any way to improve our lives and those of our children

Maybe American society can consider modifying their lifestyles from todays present mindset. If our children are one of the most important facets in parents lives as is so often spoken of possibly if this is in fact true there may be a sliver of hope.

Is it possible a more expensive or larger home, car, electronic gadget, clothing and high paying or all-time consuming jobs could be of less importance in our lives in the future. Could the family unit again become just that, where parents are actually engaged in all facets of their child’s life. If a little less income where brought into the family household could the parents then lead by example on diet and exercise among many activities, as they might then have the time.

Americans are given one shot on this planet will wealth and materialism be their legacy. Or maybe the legacy could be that of an engaged human being living life to the fullest even though one’s bank account or house might not be as large or they drive a cheaper car? Could two or even (Gasp) only 1 child that could receive more of a parent’s time and love than 2 or more be a consideration?

One can only hope and I only hope the best for all Americans and God bless all of the parents ( of which I am one) on this planet your job is more difficult than any CEO. Sometimes ideas may be unrealistic however in this case can we afford not to take some chances?

Nursing’s Great Peril Which the U.S. will now face with Disastrous Effects for All!

The United States is now reaching a breaking point in regards to the practice of Nursing in medicine.

At a time when the baby boom generation -an estimated 78 million- is entering retirement who will care for them in their so-called golden years.

Hospitals driven by profit margins and not quality care have cut nursing staff and reduced Nurse to Patient ratios to Dangerously low levels. By 2005, roughly half a million U.S. registered nurses (about one fifth of the national total) had chosen not to work in nursing. It is projected that if current trends continue by 2010 that the U.S. will need to train 1.1 million new nurses by the year 2012, which is estimated to be half of our current nursing level.

So who will care for the onslaught of this countries aging population of 78 million coupled with the fact that the U.S. population overall has risen above the 300 million mark.

Hospitals have addressed the pressing needs of their Shareholders by pushing the equation down the line to the nursing staff. Or even further by passing down tasks formerly performed by professionally educated and clinically trained nurses to less educated staff members.

They are now Giving nurses Dangerously high patient counts to care for it is not their concern that the patient receives quality care.

Nurses without the needed resources, horrid working conditions coupled with the nurses well founded fear they cannot adequately care for their patients are all leading to a profoundly troubling conclusion. This should be disturbing for us all as countless nurses have come to realize they can no longer adequately perform their duties and leave the profession altogether.

When patient ratios rise nurses cannot properly monitor their patients they just don’t have the time. Drugs along with their importance of timely delivery which are extremely important if not imperative to treatment are quite often given at a later time all to the patients detriment and this is just one aspect.

There was a time when nurses could properly monitor their patients not only checking their vitals but also observing the overall organism which is the patient. The fingernails, skin color the presentation of the eyes changes in respiration and more. Patients on ventilators require even more time to be clinically observed for signs of distress or deterioration.

Case in point fifty year old patient whom staff denotes is agitated and has to be restrained. Shift after shift given their precious few moments to see the patient all verbally note this as does a respiratory specialist and a speech pathologist. This occurs over a 3 day period when finally a more well rounded RN checks on the patient at the beginning of her shift. Within 5-10 minutes a syringe with a semi-neon substance is brought in the unit and is injected into the patient. The agitation ceases the restraints are no longer needed the patient is still semi-lucid as they were before only now more relaxed.

This nurse for whatever reason read the patients chart and took the time to observe and even though she fell a little behind in her duties, she treated the patient. Here this poor man unable to communicate as he had a trach tube, was in rather excruciating pain. Luckily for him a skilled, caring and comprehensive nurse who had not yet suffered burn-out was handed his chart for the day along with many others. If it were not for this lucky occurrence of events who knows how long this man would have suffered needlessly.

Doctors see patients however Nurses carry out and truly care for the patient in a day to day setting.

As long as hospitals only address the issues of their Shareholders (stock holders) and keep inventing methods to improve Profits without a care in the world to Patient care we will all suffer. Until nursing staffing levels and working conditions are addressed this extremely troubling trend will continue in medicine as hospitals further deteriorate.

For the 78 million baby boomer’s who will require extensive, complicated and more demanding procedures and care the outlook is Bleak.

Needed now more than ever and in Greater Numbers with better working conditions. If this issue is not addressed many will Suffer and Die Needlessly.

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.

U.S. Income Inequality is Destroying the USA for the rich & Poor

During the 1970 period 15% of American’s lived in either poor or affluent developments. When we look at the data for 2007 a full 35% lived in one of the two neighborhood types. Between the 2000 and 2007 period there was a surge of Income Segregation for black and Hispanic family units while this was not as rapid as the 1970 to present era it was dramatic. This recent phenomenon Income Segregation has been only increasing in the last four decades crossing all racial boundaries without regard or concern it is just a merciless drum. There are those With alongside those Without and in the end we will all suffer for it as it will only greatly contribute to the decline of the United States of America.

While for some, those not having to share their affluent schools and social systems with others this may look promising to them. However it does not look promising for our or other countries poorer citizens or for the USA as a whole in the long run.

Also funding attitudes may change as further segregation continues with the affluent less likely wanting to fund programs that were funded in more segregated communities of times past.

The Brookings institution found that those American’s living in Extreme poverty rose by 1/3 from 2000 to the latter half of the decade. Those in the suburbs did not fare well either as there was a 53% increase in those living in poverty from 2000-2010.

Even those of the affluent classes are showing growing concern for this phenomenon as it will continue to be detrimental to the United States as a whole until it is addressed, yet this is mostly seen in Economists who really have a grasp of the big-picture. In a September 2011 study done by the International Monetary Fund it found that greater income equality positively correlates with a nation’s economic growth.

We are constantly told by our elected officials in Washington that the U.S. must reduce environmental regulation and reduce taxes. This in a country where the effective corporate/business tax rate is 17% not 35% as the thirty-five percent figure does not take into account all of the tax loopholes used by those corporations that do pay taxes. Many corporations pay little if any taxes via the use of offshore tax-havens, the figures estimated to be in the trillion dollar range. The top 1% has seen their income increase by 270% versus 19% for the bottom tier of Americans from 1979-2007.

CBO 2007 data

In the CBO report it was also found that between 2005-2007 that the after tax income of the top 20% of the U.S. population exceeded the remaining after-tax income for the rest of the nation. It was also found that the top 1%’s share of total market income increased from 50-60% while all other income ranges saw a decline.

Two factors were cited as the reason for this inequality one being an increase of each individual source of income; labor, business income, capital gains, capital income etc. The report noted that these sources of income were less evenly distributed in 2007 than in the 1979 period. For instance labor income has been more evenly distributed versus capital and business income with even more of a disparity in regards to capital gains. For the period 1979-2007 the share of income derived from capital gains and business income showed increases while labor income decreased furthering the economic divide which contributed to the greater distribution of wealth inequality in America.

Again our Washington government officials tell us that entitlement programs which benefit the under-classes must be cut while the taxes and regulations which favor the rich must be eliminated or reduced to tackle our $14 trillion dollar deficit.

This chart to the left shows a different picture where the Bush-Era tax cuts which primarily benefited the wealthy are in fact the driving force.

While the current Washington Republican stance that reducing taxes, environmental regulations and reducing or returning banking/investment regulations to per-recession levels totally contradicts the opinions of the World’s leading economists.

The International Monetary Funds 2007 report finds that Income Equality Positively correlates to Stronger economic growth. It was found that a mere 10% decrease in inequality increased the expected duration of economic growth by a full 50%. The comprehensive study using data collected between 1950-2006 found countries with more income equality stayed in or fell into deeper recessions. It was also found that countries with a more equal distribution of wealth, that their economic growth lasted much longer.

It was also found that income equality was of more importance  and corresponded more strongly to sustained economic growth than other economic factors. Restoring or attempting to address income inequality was further shown to be of a much greater importance than the lowering of debt levels.

The study authors stated, “Sustainable economic reform, is possible only when its benefits are widely shared.” The breadth of income inequality in the United States now more closely resembles the economies of Iran and Russia versus other developed countries.

Economists have attempted to explain that stagnant(not rising) wages for the last four decades as a part of the widening income inequality while the upper class have been those who have seen benefits increase over the more the forty year period.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated, “An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year — an economy like America’s — is not likely to do well over the long haul,” in an article he wrote for Vanity Fair.

So as the hard numbers from the most recent data point out along with a Worldwide consensus of economists.

Our Republican Washington legislators and followers of Grover Norquist have all gotten it Very Wrong.

Or is the reality that our politicians are really just bought and paid for by the top 1% who are only interested in one thing Money$$$ and the rest of the United States of America can go straight to hell.

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.

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.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) American Patriots Of Our Time!

The nascent U.S. movement collectively known as OWS does not have a written constitution or a codified plethora of documents laying out in detail any specific agenda. So they are scoffed upon by the political elites and corporations across America.

The United States Congress has written and promulgated tens of thousands of documents, chock full of executive summaries, reams of studies and a specific set of rules, procedures and decorum laid out in a dizzying fashion. Most bought and paid for by Lobbying firms and their never-ending supply of cash fed by large corporations with their corporate backers. Even current & former members of congress are not well versed in all of these and other facets of congressional life and it’s implications. On to many occasions for it to be some type of anomaly congressional members have stated they do not even read the bills they pass in the U.S. House & Senate.

What Occupy Wall Street does have is a great number of ordinary U.S. citizens all under the umbrella of being sick and tired of our current system. They rail against banks & investment houses who almost brought our country to it’s collapse along with the top 1% who assisted in almost destroying this country. To me this appears to be a comprehensive cohesive structure even if reams of paper are not present speaking volumes yet saying nothing, like in corporate or government settings.Their words still resonate and this movement grows everyday.

Little if any accountability was exerted or accepted during the U.S. current recession and even though these institutions behind our near collapse have mission statements, comprehensive studies, etc. All of these are written on paper that is as worthless as all the rules and studies. For these bastions of a free market society believe they are accountable to no one other than the shareholders of the corporations and quite often even the shareholders are left under-the-bus, lifeless and no longer needed. Or the shareholder who is now financially destroyed can no longer buy a ticket to have a hand worth playing.

The citizens of this country have quietly raged at the excesses of corporate America, wall-street, banks and our current Worthless Do-Nothing Congress. However these have been fleeting moments then it’s on to watching the so-called leader in news propaganda machine. There under the cloak of being fair and honest the populace is indoctrinated, reeducated and shown the errors of their ways. On these programs that hours, so-called journalist makes fun and sport of these people who are in essence fighting for America before what little is left is swallowed whole by the elitist 1%ers.

Yet under duress by the thugs who represent law enforcement as they are beaten, pepper sprayed, hit with rubber bullets, unjustly incarcerated and then released without charge. These American Patriots stand for those to fearful or lazy to stand up for themselves or their rights as Americans.

Our founding fathers fought against tyranny and oppression and are now hundreds of years later are regarded as Heroes as they were in their day and age.

When our country was attacked from within and there were those who wished to tear our country apart all for their love of money coupled with their oppression of those they felt were inferior and deserved to be abused and tortured. Our countrymen fought and died for this country to make it a better place for All Americans. The man who lead us in this battle for our souls was then assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Again Abraham Lincoln and his complementaries along with George Washington was regarded then as now as Patriots. They offered the best America had to offer, they fought for All Americans and what was Right, Honorable and Just.

The British at the time of the Colonial War looked down upon George Washington as an inferior 1%er that could be crushed out of hand. How wrong they were just as many people of this country looked down upon Abraham Lincoln. How did this many of simple means reunite this country and help enormously in the early stages of our national history, he only did what he thought was Right and Just.

Well these are just a few of the many Patriots who were underestimated by the elitists of the various times. Yet they flourished as did our country and today these nascent patriots known simply as Occupy Wall Street or OWS are being called upon to be the Patriots of this age.

They are unlikely heroes as were those before them yet their profound importance again cannot be diminished or simply be pushed aside. Even though our current 24hr news cycles may move on to other subject matter the voices of OWS and the 99% of whom they represent, will not just go away.

So while they fight this war for the American soul and what is right and just in this country they should Never be underestimated.

They are American Patriots who are being oppressed and attempts to marginalize their movement will ultimately fail.

Is our United Stated Congress fighting for the 99% of it’s citizens, NO.

Are the Patriots of OWS being oppressed, abused mistreated while they present themselves in peaceful protests to attempt to correctly realign America’s moral compass, YES.

May God or the heavens, Buddha and other forms of spirituality give them strength. Let us all the 99% think of them daily and keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Let us all hope that America the nation can again find it’s moral compass. Or better yet become involved in your area or even travel to the areas across this nation where the movement is strongest, for we all are one people with common goals.

Maybe again we can become the land of the free and the brave a melting pot of peoples where everyone has the same opportunities to live happy and prosperous lives without tyranny or oppression by the few against the many.

For the sake of our country, or children and our souls we must find a place of common ground of fairness in life and liberty in our lifetimes. Now we are the 300 million+ being led by the 1% elitists who are not concerned or the least bit interested in anyone’s future but there own.

OWS is simply fighting for the rights of all Americans, they are the Patriots of our time!

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.

NEW Stimulus Spending Is A Very Viable & Needed Program NOW!

While our do nothing House Republicans (John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan etc.) along with their like minded Senate counterparts are mired in trying to destroy the EPA, eliminating financial reform and redistributing more wealth to the top 1% as they also attempt to destroy the rights of the American worker this listing is some of their objectives. As to what are their goals for America in the end who knows or one can only guess, yet average Americans are no where on their radar. In the Senate Republican Senator Mitch Mcconnell is in lock-step with them, he will jump right on their obstructionist train to nowhere at any given moment in time. It’s as if they are on some type of crusade to set back the clock to before the Gilded Age. The hard fought battles for American workers along with our historical albeit mediocre attempts to control pollution of our water, air, land and sea and other environmental efforts are just more cannon fodder for them to try to tear down.

It’s as though they only have a few months of life left on this Earth. And during this time they want to accomplish as much death and destruction as possible by setting back Environmental and hard fought Labor rights and safety all for the sake of pandering to their dark overlords. Who of course will give freely to their re-election campaigns and donate to their pet projects in their respective districts.

As for debt take a look at this chart;

Gutting a women’s right to choose, eliminating health-care for low income families. Other than blocking any useful legislative options and basically doing nothing until after the elections the American public waits and suffers as brinkmanship is the order of the day for the republican party. It doesn’t have to be right for the American public only the Lobbyists, Banks/Investment houses and 99% of the top 1% that’s all the republicans care about $$$.

Stimulus/deficit spending would benefit this country enormously and numerous economists believe in this methodology. Which would benefit our present and future generations if properly directed. It could also be argued that it would be cheaper in the long run to address our transportation issues in today’s dollars versus kicking the can down the road (pun intended).

Our interstate highway system was begun in 1956 under Dwight Eisenhower who championed its construction. Now in 2011 with the U.S. population in the 300mil+ range little has been done in maintaining this invaluable resource.

All across the country bridges and highways are crumbling our electrical infrastructure is outdated and our plumbing, sewage and water pipes are bursting with regularity.

Emergency medical first responders in Ohio are told to stagger their vehicles when responding to accidents and fires. This is occurring here and across the country for fear that if the fire trucks were not appropriately staggered that their combined weight could quite possibly lead to a bridge collapse.

In major metropolitan areas a bicyclist can make better time as cars sit engines running as they slowly inch their way to work. Even in areas with mass transportation the sheer mass of the populace requiring transportation is reaching a breaking point.

Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s drinking-water systems a grade of D-minus. Roughly 10 billion gallons of sewage seep into these crumbling pipes each year, think about that as you turn on the facet for a drink or fill the tub to bathe your child. Ancient sewage and water systems along with decrepit water treatment facilities to name a few place hundreds of millions of people at risk. The EPA places the cost of fixing our Civil War Era water system at $335 billion.

Our railway systems which move over 42% of U.S, freight annually from oranges to nuclear devices etc and this does not include passenger traffic, are left to their own devices. Businesses which must be connected to each other to facilitate the moving of goods for countrywide & then worldwide distribution to name a few of the reasons for properly maintaining this method of transportation, yet it is taking a backseat. With almost $37bil dollars in revenue (2002 data) not including the billions paid in taxes, wages along with the 175 thousand+ employees (2002 data). There is also the ever important Coal which is transported via rail as over half of the electricity for our country is created with coal.

The electrical grid with its attached power plants and electrical distribution centers which are our lifeline are facing daunting challenges with little inclination towards a proactive versus reactive mindset. This places the average American in a precarious situation let alone the risks for companies large and small. Allowing our electrical system to continue to degenerate places all of us at risk as some of our recent large electrical outages have shown.

Congested skies outdated aircraft, radar systems, airports and telecommunications used by our airport systems are all in desperate need of repair or replacement. Our aging fleet of aircraft and the disastrous consequences of not properly addressing just this issue. Deregulation which promised more competition and safer skies has of course been proven dreadfully wrong.

Cost cutting, less comprehensive maintenance, if and when performed and using outdated aircraft coupled with an ancient infrastructure to support it have all proved to be extremely dangerous for the public in the skies across our country and the world.

The World Economic Forum rated the USA at #1 during the 2005 period however as of 2011 we are now ranked at 15th. There are the economic impacts said to be $129bil per year, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that this adds $97bil a year to the cost of motor vehicle operational costs. Then there are the economic consequences of flight and travel delays which add another $32bil to the equation.

It is suspected that if issues with the U.S. infrastructure is not dealt with immediately the consequences and associated costs will rise exponentially. For example, “Within 10 years, U.S. businesses would pay an added $430 billion in transportation costs, household incomes would fall by more than $7,000, and U.S. exports will fall by $28 billion.” as expressed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

A study by one group of over 80 experts affiliated with the Urban Land Institute that $262bil dollars a year must be spent on our ancient crumbling infrastructure. This as we lose more economic ground to Brazil, China and India who are apparently doing a much better job at addressing these and other issues.

The recent squabbling by our congressional leaders in just dealing with the FAA funding issue shows that they are incapable of addressing anything other than their own personal agendas, governance is just a fleeting moment not often seized upon by our current Do-Nothing congressional leaders.

In regards to the report by ASCE congressional Representative Nick J. Rahall II stated, “Today’s report provides the cold hard truth that America’s economic recovery and long-term competitiveness will suffer if we continue to under-invest in our future, Slashing investments by one-third, as Republicans have proposed to do, will make the economic impact on America’s middle class even worse than the grim predictions by the economists in this report”.

Furthermore included in the report by the American Society of Civil Engineers there are other significant issues for Americans at large. The report states that 870,000 jobs will be lost and an economic impact of $3.1 trillion by 2020. To reverse or eliminate these last figures will require an investment of $1.7 trillion by the year 2020, pretty simple math if you ask me. The investment required versus what is actually being spent today differs by $94 billion a year according to the estimates.

The president of ASCE Kathy J. Caldwell said, “The link between a nation’s infrastructure and its economic competitiveness has always been understood. But today, for the first time, we have data showing how much failing to invest in our surface transportation system can negatively impact job growth and family budgets.”

Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas J. Donohue said,

“Without more robust economic growth, the U.S. will not create the 20 million jobs needed in the next decade to replace those lost during the recession and to keep up with a growing workforce”. He also said the necessary spending was “not just transportation for transportation’s sake.”

Also the Economic Development Research Group spokesperson Steven Landau talked about the U.S. infrastructure dilemma. “Business will have to divert increasing portions of earned income to pay for transportation delays and vehicle repairs, draining money that would otherwise be invested in innovation and expansion”.

Yes we will be adding to the deficit however Revenue sources will offset some of these affects. Those with jobs have money, need newer cars, fuel to drive, new clothes to buy, groceries to feed their families and possibly a new house thanks to the salary of their new job. Economists speak of a lack of demand by our present economy by spending money on needed infrastructure projects part of that demand will be addressed.

Also multi-national corporations need reliable modes of transportation for their goods. Poor infrastructure leads to No capital improvements, corporations do not want to relocate to an area where reliable transportation of goods & services are questionable.

So instead of Gutting the EPA or trusting the Banks & Investment houses to act responsibly. Rather than giving tax cuts to large corporations & individuals and trying to Gut family planning clinics. As well as cutting whatever slim safety net we have in this country for the less fortunate the republicans in power are only interested in future elections and undermining the other guy, oh and screwing the less fortunate.

Rather than being obstructionist at every turn our congressional legislators could do something positive for this country. Rather then John Boehner backing the destruction of our educational system from kindergarten to college we could work to strengthen what we already have in this country. Rather then the calls to destroy our current education system and rebuild it with for profit collages possibly a more sane thought process can be found.

What we now need is more honest people like Warren Buffett and Russell Simmons even Bill Gates is open to Real Tax Reform. Not the ridiculous talk of John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan just to name a few of those more interested in following the money instead of serving the people of the United States of America.

If we can get some honest republican legislators who are interested in this country as a whole. And who treat this countries real problems instead of being in the back-pocket of cash-flush Lobbyists real change could actually occur.

President Barack Obama is trying everything he can to right the wrongs of previous administrations. President Obama is also trying to put America and the people who reside within it back to work.

Yet at every turn the Obstructionist House Republicans are there to screw up every positive opportunity to get this country back on the right track. Their Wealthy Overlords will not allow them to do the right thing they only want to make Millions More$$$, Screw everyone else in this country Only the Top 1% Matter.

Stand up America we need to fix this country and instead of electing bought and paid for politicians we need men & women of Honor & Integrity, not the politicians of today obviously, but a new breed of politicians that will do what is right for this country.

Barack Obama is a man of Honor & Integrity handed a broken country by George W. Bush. Trying to fix all the wrongs while being thwarted at every turn by legislators more interested in the next election cycle then doing what is right for the American public the President is fighting an uphill battle at every turn.

This while propaganda machines ostensibly acting as news organizations misrepresent, mis-quote, use spliced together video clips (it is of no consequence to them they are almost always taken out of context and misrepresent the truth) and attempt to indoctrinate ordinary U.S. citizens into talking parrots regurgitating republican talking points.

I voted for Barack Obama the last election and I will again without and regrets.

Our infrastructure is crumbling and needs to be rebuilt and maintained now, not next year or never if the fat-cat republicans have their way.

So stand up and be counted write, call, donate and do whatever you can this is our country all 100% of us not just the super wealthy 1%. If we don’t stand up now what world are we leaving for our children, Please do the right thing.

Let’s start fixing this country by putting the shovels and heavy equipment in the hands of the American workers who built this country and know what to do. Tell Congress were sick and tired of their Lies and Pandering, either put-up, shut-up or get out of town.

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.

Texas the Death Penalty Machine!

The Electric Chair

Soon another Texas death-row inmate will be put to death, Hank Skinner is one week from death. Despite Extremely Significant evidence that has Never been tested during his trial or sentencing in 1995. This coupled with the fact that Skinner’s legal team has been trying to have this DNA evidence tested for over a decade and they will pay All of the Costs for said testing.

The evidence in question that has never been tested includes a rape kit taken from the mother-Twila Busby-who was murdered on December 31, 1993 in Pampa, Texas along with her two adult sons, Randy Busby and Elwin Caler. Other items never tested, Blood from the murder weapon, scrapings from Twila’s fingernails, blood from a jacket found in the home. As well as hairs, found clutched in Twila’s hand that likely came from her killer.

Even though the inmate’s legal team have been trying to just get the evidence, pay for the testing at No-Cost to Texas. The Texas 31st District Attorney’s office has Refused their request for over ten years.

The attorneys for Mr. Skinner are only trying to test evidence that the state of Texas should have tested themselves, however they did not.

Also Toxicology experts have stated that upon the night of the murder Mr. Skinner had to high a concentration of drugs in his system to have been able to commit the murders for which he will soon be Executed.

Northwestern University Medill Innocence Project students (They are ANGELS on Earth) became involved with his case in 1999. Skinner’s former neighbor and ex-girlfriend told the students that the police had coerced her into giving false statements. She further stated that she no longer would stand by her previous statements.

There was further evidence as well during this period, before her death Mrs. Twila Busby’s said she was being stalked by an uncle. Mrs. Busby had also confided to friends before her death that the uncle had raped her all of this around the period before her life was taken.

Furthermore it had been established that the Uncle had met and talked with Mrs. Busby at a party the night of her death. There were also reports that neighbors had witnessed him cleaning and repairing his trucks in the days following the murders. The Uncle had also been seen wearing a wind-breaker that was similar to one found at the crime scene. Unfortunately the uncle died in an accident in 1997, he was never questioned by the state, why?

While one witness recanting of testimony could be quite possibly be dismissed and disregarded the cumulative evidence could not be by a justice system interested in truth and justice.

There was also a popular national television show, during an appearance during which a Medill Professor asked for and the current (at that time) District Attorney agreed to test the hairs found clutched in Twila’s hand the deceased mother. However when the evidence was preliminarily tested and the results were showing that the hairs probably did not belong to Mr. Skinner the testing was stopped nor was any of the other evidence which had the possibility of seeing the light of day yet the testing would Never be performed.

The additional witness testimony was Never reviewed numerous pieces of evidence were never tested. The thought process is that the District Attorney only zeroed in on Mr. Skinner gathered the evidence they thought they needed and won their conviction.

While the laws of Texas do have the right for the defendant to request DNA testing that might prove their innocence. The state has maintained that Mr. Skinner could have asked for the testing during his trial and because he did not during his trial they have fought for 10 years to deny him testing that might prove his innocence or his guilt.

There is also another problem Mr. Skinner in Fact had Requested the testing at his trial. However his court appointed representative decided against this even though his client the defendant had requested the testing.

The Court Appointed defense attorney was a former prosecutor who had lost his job after being caught stealing money during a drug seizure case. The trial judge was reported to be a friend of the former disgraced prosecutor and assigned the case to him. He also stipulated that the now Court Appointed defense lawyer be paid around the same amount the attorney owed the state of Texas for his previous prosecutorial misconduct.

The Supreme Court of the USA granted a stay last year as to whether federal civil rights laws would allow Mr. Skinner to contest Texas’s interpretation of their own state law. In March of last year the Supreme Court did rule in Mr. Skinner’s favor, however the testing was not ordered. Rather the Supreme Court only ruled that Mr. Skinner had the right to press for testing via the misinterpretation

However the legislature for the state of Texas negated any action as they passed a revision to the existing DNA law in regards to testing. The Senate and House of the Texas legislature passed the revision with few if any dissenting votes. The new revision allows for a defendant to request testing even if their court appointed attorney requested it or not. Mr. Skinner was even referenced during the legislative process it finally looked as though Hank Skinner was going to get his day in court.

Now Mr. Skinner having been imprisoned since 1995 would either have his guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt or he would be exonerated and released. At the very least all of the appropriate evidence Expected to be tested during a capital murder trial would finally see the light of day. Lady Liberty would hold the scales of Justice and Hank Skinner would finally receive a fair and impartial finding of guilt or innocence.

The revised law was enacted on September 1, 2011 and Mr. Skinner’s Attorneys promptly filed for testing. However the State Attorney instead of granting the testing instead asked for an execution date and it was approved. Instead of the testing that had been requested for over ten years and the fact that the state of Texas would not have to pay for it, Mr. Skinner was scheduled for execution November 9th, 2011.

Now with little time to spare Mr. Skinner’s fate rests with the Texas state court which has his petition under review. There is also a federal court involved which is still holding Mr. Skinner’s testing claim open in the event the state court rules against him or takes no action at all. Yet with a state and federal court involved Mr. Skinner could still face Death come November 9th 2011.

Should Mr. Skinner be executed his guilt or innocence would never be proven as the State Attorney would more than likely destroy the DNA evidence upon his execution.

Even as dire a situation as this is there are still other outcomes that could occur. The Texas Governor Rick Perry could issue a 30 day stay to allow for testing or the trial judge could delay the execution. Also the Federal or State court could issue a stay.

However the judicial system moves at a snail’s pace and Mr. Skinner could still be executed by lethal injection on November 9th, 2011.

Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976 Texas has executed more inmates than any other state. It’s worth noting that the states of Florida and California both have higher death row inmate populations. However no other state in the union can touch the execution record of the great state of Texas.

Just looking at the rate of Complete Exoneration of death row inmates in Illinois thanks to the efforts of the Professors and Students at the Northwestern University School of Law is a cause for concern.

On June 29th 1972 the Supreme Court voided all state death penalty laws, saying they were racially discriminatory and haphazard, yet the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Currently as of March 2011 the following states no longer have the death penalty; Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin as well as The District of Columbia and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Cases all across the USA have been dismissed, inmates exonerated and released after extended periods of time with many receiving significant payment from various states.

The reasons for exoneration are numerous and profoundly disturbing not only for the innocent defendants wrongly jailed. It is horrid experience for the wrongly jailed as well as the families of the deceased who are given a false sense of closure.

Prosecutorial misconduct, Law enforcement witness intimidation, misstatements (or outright lies), Forensic labs working with the prosecution to match the courts case versus objective testing. Tampering with or withholding evidence, failure to test pertinent evidence, obstruction and collusion.

Since 1992 Fifteen inmates have been released thanks to DNA testing which is only available to a fraction of death row inmates. The Death Penalty Information Center list 8 inmates executed but possibly innocent. Another figure says that 39 inmates have been executed wrongfully in the USA.

In these United States of America, Ray Krone has the distinction of being the 100th former death row inmate sentenced to death however later exonerated (note later statistical data). Then there is Kirk Bloodsworth who was the first to be released from death row thanks to the use of DNA testing. There are currently over 3000 inmates on death row being housed.

During 1994 80% of the U.S population favored the death penalty as of 2011 a Gallup poll showed this had declined to 61% with 35% opposing it. However when the options of Life Imprisonment without possibility of parole versus the death penalty the figures change considerably with 49% favoring death and 46% favoring life this from a 2010 Gallup poll.

So one question should be do we as a nation prefer to execute even 1 Innocent U.S. Citizen so that we can have a death penalty. The USA already imprisons more of its citizens then any other industrialized nation. 1 in 100 of our population are currently in prison and the ratio only gets worse, however current economic conditions are changing the models for some states such as California. Approximately 2 Million U.S. citizens are now housed in some form be it Federal, State, County, City etc. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics as of 2009 over 7.2 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.1% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 32 adults.

How many times have we gotten it wrong for other crimes, how many of these human beings have been found guilty and are currently in jail.

Unfortunately jails will always be needed for crimes against children, elderly or women are particularly disturbing. As for the death penalty there are to many chances for justice to wrongly judge if only 1 inmate who is innocent is executed it’s too much.

What was done to Twila Busby and her son’s Randy Busby and Elwin Caler was despicable. Nothing can bring these souls back nor the scores of others who have been murdered in our country.

Hopefully Hank Skinner for better or worse will at least be given the opportunity to Finally have the evidence in his case tested before he is executed.

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.

Black Farmers’ $1.2bil Settlement 1 more step to Justice!

With a recent judicial decision a $1.2 billion dollar government settlement for black farmers moved another step towards a realized gain and closure for the affected parties.

The USDA’s Civil Rights History is far from being even close to a level playing field when dealing with this nations black farmers. For decades they were collectively denied any assistance or Loans, while their white-counterparts had no problems with assistance or loans.

This case was originally filed in 1997 as thousands of these unfortunate farmers were penalized for trying to earn an honest living via farming in America’s Heartlands for themselves and their families.

President Barack Obama said, “This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on”.

The head of the National Black Farmers Association via CNN, stated, “So many farmers had given up hope that this would ever come to pass”. While it will now take about one year to review and access the farmers after this is done these fine men & women will receive their long overdue justice.

Unfortunately black farmers now only make up 1% of our nation’s ranches and farms. This was not the case in the 1920 period when black farmers constituted 14% of US farms and ranches.

It is profoundly saddening that Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (once a Tea-Party favorite) voiced the opinion that the settlement was a waste of federal money, along with other Republicans. Bachmann also said, ” When money is diverted to inefficient projects, like the Pigford project, where there seems to be proof-positive of fraud, we can’t afford $2 billion (she was only off by $800 million and still painfully misguided) in potentially fraudulent claims when that money can be used to benefit the people along the Mississippi River and the Missouri River”.

Here we are in the 21st century and still past misdeeds regarding this countries treatment of it’s black citizens via various means of discrimination are still being dealt with and not yet completed near the end of 2011.

So many affluent voices are heard that affirmative action and racial prejudice are things of the past in our history? Seriously,,,, Lynchings of unfortunate blacks were still occurring in 1967 with regularity, hate crimes still occur today.

I’m 52, white (caucasian) and I don’t think it that much of a past history issue for me. My older sister was Literally Kicked out of the state of Florida by the authorities for dating a black man in 1967.

My parents I later found out where also threatened with jail terms, this occurred when my sister went to a convenience store to get a soda. My parents had apparently been charged with making sure that my elder sister was never out of their sight. Yet she innocently went to the store to get a soda pop which was about four blocks from our home and my parents were threatened with jail.

My father a white man had a top-secret security clearance as he supervised the construction of parts for the USA’s growing nuclear arsenal. He could never talk about what he did at work which was very strange, however a small little piece of information was finally found out, nuclear bomb parts were his trade. We were Very middle class with private schools and never were without food or the latest clothing or household items.

It was not until I was 10 years of age I even found out that my elder sister existed. She just happened to visit while not warmly accepted by my father, imagine my surprise. Here was this very nice articulate, intelligent and funny person, my sister (an accountant by trade), why did it take an accidental meeting for this family heirloom to arrive in my life.

Well my sister dated black men and had married a wonderful black man named Marvin and they had two children Lisa & David, two beautiful outstanding children, now adults.

Racial disparities still surround us in our prisons and jails where blacks are over-represented because of unfair sentencing guidelines and extremely poor legal representation, yes some are criminals, however this does not explain the racial disparity found in our legal system.

In the workplace having just retired from a fortune 250 company at the age of 52 -wanting to live the rest of my days as I want to and being financially able to do so- from my own observations prejudice is still rampant. I know of white-supremacists in my own large metropolitan city and have friends who are prejudiced at an alarming rate, it’s quite disturbing.

Imagine my surprise when in the 1980’s my beautiful niece came to visit Florida. We were both the same age group ( I was a year older) she was so beautiful on the outside and the inside and we became fast friends, my Niece who was held from me for so many years. I still recall the time my best friend said, ” Who’s the N***** with you?”. My anger was immediate and in no uncertain terms I made him aware to never speak that word again around me.

So no one in this day and age should turn their back on Any of our fellow countrymen or women. Nor should they try to say that racism isn’t still very prevalent as many would like us to believe. Maybe some day in this country People will just be that People, however for now this is still not the case, especially in the south.

Kudos to these farmers and I am quite sure the monetary amount does not make up for the treatment they endured.

For the few who might read this maybe you might consider giving our fellow citizens a fair chance be they Black, Indian, Latino, Mexican or any other race they are all human beings. They are all just humans trying find their way in life and to care for themselves and their loved ones.

Is this not what we all strive for, so before you make a racist comment about anyone or prejudge them because of the color of their skin maybe you could reflect and then Think-Before-You-Speak.

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.

US Government asking Google to remove content Google say’s, NO

The United States of America now has the distinction of coming in 3rd Worldwide in regards to requests made with Google to remove content.

Many law enforcement agencies are now asking Google to remove Youtube content which they believe is defamatory? Law enforcement is asking for videos depicting possible Police Brutality to be removed.

However quite often Google (the world wide standard search engine) is refusing many of these requests.

Google is putting out a Transparency Report with this being one of the issues covered. During the first half of 2011 there were 757 requests, 80% were related to defamation in the re-quester’s mind as this is how they were classified by the search engine giant.

The company did comply with 63% out of all those submitted by the government entities. However in many cases they did not so a big pat on the back to them for standing up for free-speech.

Also during this period the US government requested information on 5,950 users which they complied with 93% of these which came from government agencies/entities.

So this is a possibly cautionary tale on how our government in the USA is conducting itself and attempting to throttle free speech.

Kudos to Google for taking a stand and watching out for America’s right to know!

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.

Liposuction Dangers is it worth the risk

In two bordering counties in a southern US state five women died from Liposuction procedures in 2011 over a six month period. All of these women were in their thirties and early forties were there warning signs ahead of time?

In 2006 over four hundred thousand of these procedures were performed and complications have been reduced since the advent of this technique.

One women in particular went for this simple procedure however there were warning signs. The physician was not Board-Certified had switched specialties twice in their career and had only performed a general surgery residency over 25 years ago. This doctor also had no Privileges at Any of the local hospitals or any for that matter.

The staff also included a Nurse Practitioner and a receptionist however there was No Crash Cart on-site or the needed monitoring equipment.

What was to be a simple Liposuction procedure went dreadfully wrong as the patient went into an Acute Myocardial Infarction or heart attack. As the physician had No Lifesaving equipment or medications on hand 911 was called upon her arrival at a properly equipped ER twenty minutes later she was pronounced DOA.

All medical procedures carry associated risks however they can be mitigated with the proper staffing, equipment and training.

Early in my career I had the distinct opportunity of working with a very talented and experienced RN who was very aware of current trends in the field. She told of the untold physicians coming to my state and opening Internal medicine and Oncology practices. The reasons were simple their was Money to be made in these specialties the doctors realized this changed their specialty and they came to my state with a vengeance.

No matter that they had not practiced this specialty before, their medical license allowed them to be legally specialized whether they had the training or not it was that way over 25 years ago and it still is today. After completing their medical education a doctor can be a brain surgeon on Monday and a Cardiac (heart) surgeon on Tuesday that’s just the way it works, don’t believe me just check.

Many of these newly practicing specialists really were unsure of what they were doing there was and is money to be made if there is a large swath of patients to choose from in their new field. Calling upon a skilled surgeon in the specialty the night before the novice was to perform a procedure was a somewhat common practice. The nurses in the Operating room knowing that such and such surgeon was to operate that day which caused alarming concern. Oh know Dr. 123 is operating today we need to call for extra blood and plasma as this physician was well know as somewhat of a butcher a somewhat common occurrence thank God some nurses have a keen eye for these things. Yes these things occurred 25 years ago and they still happen today.

So before you undertake any cosmetic surgery including liposuction do your research and get at least two opinions. Are the doctors Board-Certified do they have the need monitoring equipment on hand? Is there a Crash Cart on the premise and are they close to a major metropolitan hospital or any hospital.

What type of liposuction are you going to have done there are different types with differing rates of complications, risks and outcomes.

How much and where on Your body is the procedure to be performed? Has the physician given you too high of an expectation on removal of fat tissue or adipose tissue. The America Society of Plastic Surgeons defines large as 5 liters or 8 1/2 pints. This is consider complex and possibly Life Threatening for large amounts of tissue do you really want to push it? While there are some reports of the removal of much larger masses of material I would hope you would not want to be that much of a risk taker, that is with your Life!

During your research you might wish to find out if an IV (Intravenous Line) is going to be inserted during your procedure. This is a Very Important component as this is a life line for life saving infusion of Live Saving drugs and fluids in case of an Emergency. Monitoring Equipment Cannot be Overemphasized during these types or other types of procedures. If you want to look or feel better about yourself it’s your right and no one says there is anything wrong with trying to improve yourself.

It’s just so important to do your homework are you a good candidate? Who is this doctor and what are his academic credentials are there any malpractice claims is he Board-Certified in the specialty in which you are going to have your procedure done? Is his or her Board-Certification Current every state in the USA has government websites where you can check on their status.

All physicians will recommend or encourage a patient getting a second opinion so why should you not go ahead and get two before hand more knowledge is Power.

Cosmetic surgery is growing by leaps and bounds in this country be forewarned read up on liposuction or whatever procedure you are having. Either at home on the net or at your local library it might be even better at the library or with a close confidant at your or their home.

I would STRESS Monitoring Equipment on Site, a Crash Cart, Proper Supplies of needed Emergency management materials drugs & fluids. Whenever having procedure be sure you are going to have a Line or IV line in you during the procedure this and a Crash Cart could be the difference between Life and Death.

Enjoy your life do what ever it is that makes you happy and if Liposuction is going to give that to you Great. Just do your research get Educated and Most Importantly Check out your Doctor.

Irag Part I another end did the USA learn anything?

Another conflict brought about by the USA is about to end and the question is have we learned anything from these two engagements?

The first gulf war was about nothing but OIL of that there can be little doubt. This engagement was fought at a monetary cost of $60 billion of which the government of Saudi Arabia paid $36 billion or more than half. Within 100 hours a ceasefire was declared as the ill-equiped Iraq was no match for the aerial bombardment and ground forces mounted against them. It was a short lived conflict which occurred between August 2, 1990 and February 2, 1991.

Iraq had reasons economic and historical in regards to Kuwait as Kuwait was Iraqi territory prior to British Colonialism. They also had issues with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who had helped to fund the Iraq war with Iran. You wonder how Saddam Hussein got some of those so-called weapons of mass destruction? The USA in seeing that Iraq was winning the conflict with Iran had begun to covertly supply Saddam Hussein in the early 1980’s as they wished to be on the winning side of this engagement

As with much of the Middle East and large chunks of Europe after World War I and II the superpowers America, Britain and Russia had arbitrarily carved up new nations and reduced others drastically. These little chess games of the superpowers have created many of the ongoing and past wars since with the oil rich Middle East suffering the most.

Britain which desperately tried to hold on to what little control it had the oil revenues being at the top of their list did not make matters any better. This little game of playing with the lives of other countries did not end in this arena until 1963. Still having governments accept new lines in their peoples nations does not mean that there will not be trouble later. As the British had attempted to strangle Iraq so that they could not compete with their oil and British dominance did not exactly make the Iraqi people trustworthy of outside occupiers.

So on August 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait and within 48 hours they had succeeded in taking the country which was once theirs prior to British Colonialism.

From the beginning the USA called for unilateral withdrawal by the Iraqi army disregarding the Arab League and it’s neighbors. Mostly this was all politically driven with some economics only important to the US thrown in.

As a foot note: This was also the time during which the USA had begun to amass on Saudi Arabian soil with airbases and troops. This would begin the birth of a new threat in coming years. Osama Bin Laden did not take kindly to American Imperialism as well as others.

Iraq made a number of proposals to the USA during this period one of which talked about Banning WMD’s in all of the Middle East. Of course the USA totally disregarded out of hand any negotiations. Even if these agreements or negotiations would benefit the entire world not just the USA. Again the US staunchly held it’s position towards Iraq leave Kuwait and then we might talk, that is when you have no leverage Saddam.

So even after multiple countries had proposed various agreements the British, USA and the Soviets had condemned them out of hand. As is shown again this first war was about nothing but OIL. Famine, drought and death in other countries was of little importance OIL ruled the day now as it did then.

There were also those False Pentagon satellite photos which showed a massive force of Iraqi military and tanks which were used to strengthen the call to arms, however again these proved to be lies. A newspaper publication acquired photos of the same time which showed nothing but an empty desert.

President George H Bush said, ““Within three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression.”

Of course Kuwait got involved hiring a public relations firm in the USA to call for an armed intervention and many millions of dollars were spent on that angle.

There were also the concerns of Saddam’s use of WMD he had been at war with Iran for around 10 years during which the US had supplied him albeit covertly with weapons. So they would have probably had a good idea what they had sold him now wouldn’t they?

There was the meeting with the US Congress set up by the public relations firm with a group of Iraqis’ to push even harder for US intervention, was this by chance or carefully orchestrated propaganda to help sell a war to the American people as would be done in the future.

However it was latter found out that the most damming testimony given was nothing but a Lie the woman who gave the testimony was not even living in Kuwait at the time and was also a member of the Kuwait Royal Family. The American public had been duped again by their own government of course this was not to be a new phenomenon.

Of  course this did not stop George H Bush from repeating these lies to the American public via Television, why would the American public not believe him.

The aerial bombardment began on January 17th 1991 with over 100,000 sorties and 88,500 tons of bombs. This of course destroyed much of Saddam’s military however it also destroyed leagues more of civilian Infrastructure all in the name of OIL. Most of these sorties originated from Saudi Arabia as US airbases which would become permanent in the ensuing years hosted them.

Iraq had declared with no ambiguity that if attacked it would commence SCUD missile attacks against Israel and of course it did. However the Israeli’s did not counterattack at the request of the USA. If they had this would have thrown a wrench in the works as other Arab nations would not have any part as being perceived as fighting along with the Israeli’s. For forty years the Israeli’s had a policy of retaliation yet that never occurred during this conflict only showing that the USA’s control of Israel during this period.

The ground battle during this first conflict were wholeheartedly in favor of the coalition another argument that the Pentagon’s intelligence photos were false there was little if any resistance.

On February 1991 the Iraqi’s were retreating en-mass as this had been guaranteed by the coalition that if retreating they would not be attacked. However contrary to the agreement the retreating Iraqi’s were obliterated on the, “Highway of Death”. While during the conflict the coalition had encountered little resistance and few causalities.

The war or engagement was over hostilities had ceased and the generals met the Iraqi’s and Kurds had been told to overthrow Saddam Hussein and to this end they were trying. An Iraqi General requested that they be allowed to use helicopters as much of their infrastructure had been destroyed. He went further and asked for Armed helicopters which amazingly was approved by a US General. The Iraqi’s then turned those Armed helicopters against their own people who were attempting to overthrow Saddam yet no help came.

In 1992 Dick Cheney made this quote;

I would guess if we had gone in there, we would still have forces in Baghdad today. We’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home. And the final point that I think needs to be made is this question of casualties. I don’t think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties, and while everybody was tremendously impressed with the low cost of the (1991) conflict, for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is, not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the President made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.

Yet Millions of Kurds fled Iraq and over 400,000 were expelled and an untold number of deaths occurred. Even as radio broadcasts implored them to revolt against Saddam Hussein and overthrow the government via CIA run radio stations outside of the conflict. Where were we then where will we be the next time?

Did we enter this first Iraq engagement with false intelligence, Yes

Did our President make false statements to the American public, Yes

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.

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