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Archive for the month “June, 2012”

More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs Large study found association was strongest with painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin

Prescription drug abuse among American college students is linked to depression and suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 26,000 college students at 40 campuses who took part in the 2008 American College Health Association National College Assessment survey.

As part of the survey, the students were asked about their nonmedical use of prescription drugs such as painkillers, stimulants, sedatives and antidepressants, and about their mental health symptoms over the past year.

About 13 percent of the college students reported nonmedical use of prescription drugs. Those who said they had felt hopeless, sad, depressed or had considered suicide were much more likely to abuse prescription drugs.

This association was especially strong among female students who reported painkiller use, the researchers found.

The study will be published in the August issue of Addictive Behaviors: An International Journal.

“Because prescription drugs are tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and prescribed by a doctor, most people perceive them as ‘safe’ and don’t see the harm in sharing with friends or family if they have a few extra pills left over,” study co-author Amanda Divin, an assistant professor of health sciences at Western Illinois University, said in a university news release.

“Unfortunately, all drugs potentially have dangerous side effects. As our study demonstrates, use of prescription drugs — particularly painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin — is related to depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in college students. This is why use of such drugs need to be monitored by a doctor and why mental health outreach on college campuses is particularly important,” Divin explained.

The findings suggest that college students are abusing prescription drugs to ease mental distress.

“Considering how common prescription sharing is on college campuses and the prevalence of mental health issues during the college years, more investigation in this area is definitely warranted,” Divin said. “Our study is just one of the many first steps in exploring the relationship between nonmedical prescription drug use and mental health.”

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more aboutprescription drug abuse.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved

.http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/06/19/more-mental-health-woes-in-college-kids-who-abuse-prescription-drugs?goback=%2Egde_2059383_member_128162218

Obama administration is working on reducing prescription drug abuse across USA

White House Drug Policy Director commends use of technology in combating nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.

USA Mobile Drug Testing of Central Long Island New York shares this report from HHS.gov, and if we can help reduce the abuse by helping you set up a Drug Free Work Place..contact us. http://www.usamdt.com

Existing prescription drug use data will be made available to providers and pharmacists when treating patients in ambulatory and emergency departments through a new pilot program launched today by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The pilot projects, which will take place in Indiana and Ohio, will measure the effects of expanding and improving access to prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and are part of the Obama administration’s comprehensive efforts to reduce the prescription drug abuse epidemic. 

PDMPs are statewide electronic databases designed to be used as a tool by health care providers to identify and intervene in cases of potential prescription drug abuse.  The databases collect, monitor, and analyze electronically transmitted prescribing and dispensing data submitted by pharmacies and dispensing practitioners. PDMPs collect a considerable amount of useful information; however, many states do not use these databases enough. Improving real-time access to the information contained in the PDMPs will provide an incentive to health care providers to use the program. Thus far, 49 states either have legislation authorizing PDMPs or have active programs.

“Technology plays a critical role in our comprehensive efforts to address our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). “Together with education, proper disposal practices, and enforcement, improving existing prescription monitoring programs is a priority for this administration.  We hope these innovative pilots will help usher in an era of ‘PDMPs 2.0’ across the nation to improve real time data sharing among, increase interoperability of data among states, and expand the number of people using these important tools.”

“The PDMP pilot projects being launched today will help hospital staff identify a patient’s controlled substance history at the point of care to enable better targeting appropriate treatments and reduce the potential of an overdose or even death,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., Sc.M., national coordinator for health IT. “We are not creating new systems, we are adding value to those that exist.”

The pilot project in Indiana will demonstrate how emergency department staff can receive a patient’s controlled substance prescription history directly through the Regenstrief Medical Record System (RMRS), a care management system used by Wishard Health Services, a community health system in Indianapolis, and other hospitals.

The project is a collaboration between ONC, Regenstrief, Wishard, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Appriss Inc., and the State of Indiana.  In some states, Emergency Departments are responsible for almost 25 percent of all controlled substance prescriptions.

The Ohio pilot project will test the impact of having a drug risk indicator in the electronic health record and how that affects clinical decision making.  The Ohio project is a collaboration with the Springfield Center for Family Medicine, Eagle Software Corporation’s NARxCHECK, the State of Ohio, and MITRE.

The Enhancing Access to PDMPs Project stems from joint efforts of public sector and private industry experts that participated in the White House Roundtable on Health IT and Prescription Drug Abuse in June 2011. In turn, the HHS Prescription Drug Abuse and Health IT Work Group of the Behavioral Health Coordinating Committee created the Action Plan for Improving Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs through Health Information Technology

The project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and managed by ONC in collaboration with SAMHSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the ONDCP.

The CDC has declared that the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of prescription drug overdose deaths. Deaths from prescription drugs now outnumber deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. Over the past decade, prescription drug-induced deaths have approached motor vehicle deaths as the leading cause of all injury deaths.  Programs that test collaborative efforts such as the PDMP will help identify best practices to help health care professionals combat prescription drug misuse at the moment of care.

For additional information about ONC or on the PDMP project, visit http://HealthIT.HHS.gov

For additional information about Regenstrief Institute, visit http://www.regenstrief.org/

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/06/20120621c.html

 To read the Obama administrations action plan to reduce prescription drug abuse, click here:http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/issues-content/prescription-drugs/rx_abuse_plan.pdf 

Baby soap causing false positive drug tests for marijuana

Just found this article about baby soap, now we usually see articles telling people how to beat a drug test, so its surprising to see how something can cause a false positive. USA Mobile Drug Testing always recommends a lab based confirmation test to avoid unclean results……Certain soaps used to wash babies shortly after birth may cause the baby to test positive for marijuana on some newborn screening tests, a new study suggests.

In the study, urine samples that contained minute amounts of any of five baby soaps — Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo — gave a positive result on a drug screening test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.

The researchers began their investigation after nurses at a North Carolina hospital reported an increase in the number of newborns testing positive for marijuana.

The amount of soap in the urine needed to produce a positive test result was tiny, less than 0.1 milliliters, the researchers said.

It’s important to note the soaps do not produce a “high,” or any other effects of marijuana, in infants. “It’s not marijuana a in any way, shape or form,” said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Universtiy of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A screening test that indicates a baby has been exposed to marijuana can lead to the involvement of social services, and accusations of child abuse, the researchers said.

Given these consequences, it’s important for health-care providers and laboratory staffs to be aware that these soaps may lead to a positive test for marijuana, and to consider confirming positive tests with a more sensitive method, the researchers said.

“We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused” of drug use, and to help ensure that intervention efforts are directed to babies who are truly at risk of drug exposure, said study researcher Dr. Carl Seashore, a pediatrician in the newborn nursery at UNC Chapel Hill.

Drug screening tests in hospitals that come back positive are not usually sent out to laboratories for additional conformation, because of the time and cost involved, Hammett-Stabler said.

Newborn screening for exposure to marijuana is common, and is especially recommended for babies born to women considered to be “high risk” for drug use, such as those who do not come in for prenatal care visits, Hammett-Stabler said. At UNC Chapel Hill, 10 to 40 percent of babies born in the hospital receive the test each month, Seashore said.

Why the result?

The researchers aren’t sure why the baby soaps cause the marijuana screening test to come back positive. It could be that some of the compounds in the soap have a structure that is partly similar to THC, or it could be that chemicals in the soap change the way the test works, Hammett-Stabler said.

The test is likely showing a positive result because some residual soap on the skin is washing off into the baby’s urine sample, Hammett-Stabler said.

When a more sensitive test was used on the urine samples containing the soap, the test came back negative, she said.

Piece of the puzzle

One positive test for marijuana exposure would not likely be enough to get social services involved with the parents, Seashore said.

“It would only be one piece of the puzzle,” Seashore said.

Other factors would be taken into account, such as a history of substance abuse or lack of prenatal care, Seashore said.

The UNC Chapel Hill now sends all positive newborn drug urine tests for conformation before any action is taken.

The study, published in the June issue of the journal Clinical Biochemistry, also highlights the importance of collaboration and communication between different units of a hospital, the researchers said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47814187/ns/health-health_care/#.T-DzDLVST0c

Parents are a key part of the fight against the emerging threat of synthetic drugs & Bath Salts

“Synthetic drugs like ‘Spice,’ ‘K2,’ and ‘bath salts’ are a serious threat to the health and safety of young people throughout America.  Parents and adult influencers must understand the serious threat these drugs pose and act today to talk to teens about the serious health and safety consequences of drug use – in whichever form it may come.”

The Partnership at Drugfree.org introduced a new information kit for parents and adult influencers, which contains tools to help them talk with teens about synthetic drugs, and how to recognize the warning signs of use. The kit includes a slidecast  about these drugs and provides information on what to look for, their street names, and what their effects are.

The kit is available at The Partnership at Drugfree.org website and is part of a “Parents360″ community education program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

USA Mobile Drug Testing of Central Long Island tries to keep the public informed by posting up to date informational articles on their facebook page to assist all. USAMDT can also help parents to obtain drug tests for their children when they feel it is warranted as we have a relationship with these laboratories doing designer drug, synthetic drug & bath salt testing. Call 516-802-3546 for more information. 

“Bath Salt” Drug Test Panel Expanded to Detect Seven New Compounds

Breaking news on the war against drug abuse:  Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (the government services division and one of the nation’s largest drug and alcohol testing laboratories)  now offers an expanded urine drug test for 21 designer stimulants, commonly referred to as “bath salts.” The panel, which originally covered 14 chemicals, now detects seven newer-generation compounds.

 ImageHealth and regulatory agencies face numerous challenges with these ever-changing designer drugs. Although the federal government enacted an emergency ban on three designer stimulants in late 2011, newer active ingredients continue to surface. The ban is effective, but manufacturers immediately respond by altering the active ingredients, the most prevalent are pentadrone and α-PVP, which were identified in 92% and 41% of the respective positive samples.  According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 12 states have already banned one or more of these next-generation drugs, and a federal ban is likely to follow.

Abuse of designer stimulants, marketed as bath salt products, remains pervasive, as they are easy to obtain, often produced with legal ingredients, and go undetected by standard urine testing. These drugs reportedly possess the worst characteristics of LSD, PCP, MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and often require users to seek immediate medical help. In 2011 alone, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) received an alarming 6,138 calls related to designer stimulant ingestion.

A pioneer in establishing testing for designer drugs, Redwood understands that the analysis of synthetic stimulants is a moving target, principally because nefarious “drug chemists” continue to develop new substances that circumvent federal regulation. By analyzing thousands of urine specimens and monitoring changes in drug positivity rates, RTL can verify the extensive manufacture and use of newer synthetic cathinone chemicals. This research, in fact, led to the addition of the seven new substances on RTL’s designer stimulant panel.

When The New York Times published their latest story on the death of former Wild hockey player Derek Boogaard, they reported that Boogard had been addicted to prescription drugs. And he’d gotten many of those drugs by doctor-shopping and buying them on the black market.

The black market for prescription painkillers

11:15 AM, June 12, 2012

It’s no surprise since prescription drugs can bring in large sums of cash. In 2011, U.S. sales of prescription painkillers amounted to $9 billion. They’re also extremely dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14,800 Americans died from overdosing on opioids in 2008, the most recent year data is available – more than the number of deaths from heroin or cocaine.

How easy is it to get large quantities of prescription drugs for personal use? Can you buy them on the street? And why are so many people abusing them?

Felix Gillette, staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek,published a story this month about the twin George brothers who ran a pain clinic pill mill to distribute large amounts of prescription drugs:

 

It was a good year to be in the business of servicing people in pain. The economy was tanking. The real estate market was in free fall. People were losing their homes, businesses, savings, and jobs, and looking for an escape from their discomfort. The George brothers ran an ecumenical clinic. Their doctors didn’t discriminate among the causes of human suffering–be it back pain, fibromyalgia, toothaches, cancer, depression, divorce, boredom, mental illness, unemployment, hip replacement, or withdrawal symptoms.

 

Just about everyone who came through their doors walked away with the same remedy: a prescription for a month-long supply of powerful opioids. More often than not, the pills were small and blue–generic, immediate-release oxycodone-hydrochloride, which everyone called “roxies.” The customers often left satisfied and frequently returned.

 

Gillette will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday to talk about the black market for prescription drugs. Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at Hazelden, will also join the discussion.

USA Mobile Drug Testing shares report on benefits of a Drug Free Work Place

 The most notable benefits of workplace drug testing are as follows:
improvement in productivity, a decrease in absenteeism rates, a decrease in workers’ compensation
incidence rates, and a decrease in employee turnover rates. More research is needed to fully document
these initial finding but the significance is that it again documents the perceived benefits of drug
testing as an effective cost management tool a decade after it was initially reported to do so in the workplace.

USA Mobile Drug Testing of Central Long Island 516-802-3546 can assist you with writing a comprehensive policy and guide you with your program.

Read on for the full report: http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%205%20Issue%204/Basic-11-22Efficacy%20Study%20Publication%20Final.pdf?goback=%2Egde_2021166_member_123905598

NYS DOT mandated Supervisor Training FMCSA webinar Drug & Alcohol June 29


Supervisor Training Webinar

DOT/FMCSA Supervisor Training

Friday, June 29,2012

10am – 12:15pm, EDT

Normally $45.00, Special Pricing from USAMDT just $15.00 per person


USA Mobile Drug Testing is offering a special webinar to New York State companies. This is your required 2 hour class and certificates will be issued.

FMCSA Required Supervisor Training
 

  Agenda

  • DOT Regulations
  • Company Policy
  • When to Test
  • Harmful Effects of Drugs
  • Indicators of Drug Use
  • Alcohol Testing
  • Harmful Effects of Alcohol
  • Indicators of Alcohol Use
  • Review of Handouts

Handouts will be emailed to each participant. Supervisors must read their company drug & alcohol testing policy prior to attending the webinar.  All participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Meets requirements of FMCSA Subpart F Alcohol misuse and controlled substances use information, training, and referral

§ 382.603 – Training for supervisors. Each employer shall ensure that all persons designated to supervise drivers receive at least 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse and receive at least an additional 60 minutes of training on controlled substances use. The training will be used by the supervisors to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to require a driver to undergo testing under §382.307. The training shall include the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances.

http://usamdt.com/webinars/supervisor-training-webinar/    to register

Call 800-851-2021 for additional program information or to register by phone.

Onset of Teenage Drinking Swayed by Alcohol Use in Movies

Social scientists regularly lament that the bad habits of movie stars and rock and roll artists hold sway over decisions that teenagers make about the use of alcohol and drugs. In a study recently reported in the open access BMJ Journal, investigators from a variety of American research universities reported on a study of over 6,000 U.S. adolescents who were followed and surveyed at regular intervals over a two-year period. Researchers investigated the influence of peer and family factors, as well as media alcohol exposure, as it related to the onset of drinking and to the time involved for a transition to incidence of binge drinking. Investigators also assessed risk factors to drinking such as adolescent reported peer alcohol use, frequency of parental alcohol use, availability of alcohol at home, perceived authoritative parenting, receptivity to alcohol marketing, and movie alcohol exposure.  

 

The results of the study confirm the intuition of many parents and adolescent substance abuse experts. After controlling for demographic variables, high peer alcohol abuse was the most powerful predictor of a start-up to drinking. Drinking onset was next most impacted by high movie exposure to alcohol. The rest of the influences ranked as follows in descending order: less-authoritative parenting (lax standards; flip-flopping), alcohol availability in the home, receptivity to alcohol marketing, and parental alcohol use. Of special interest was that high peer alcohol use was a very strong indicator as to the transition from the onset of drinking to the point where binge drinking began. Peer pressure and social conformity play an evident roll in triggering the initiation of the dangerous behaviors and habits associated with binge drinking.  

This study did not directly address the roll that the mentioned factors play in the initiation of illicit drug use (i.e. cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy etc.). Intuitively, however, it seems that movie exposure to drugs and soft parental stances on those issues would be catalysts in the onset of illicit substances. Nevertheless, this study is a pertinent reminder that an authoritative parental style can decrease the likelihood that adolescents will begin drinking. Parents who are firm and who adhere to rules and standards relating to alcohol consumption should be encouraged to not give in to pushback by their children. Parents who take tough stances with alcohol appear to be more successful than those who do not. But of most interest here is the dynamic effect that alcohol exposure in movies has on both onset to drinking and transition to binge drinking. The authors estimate that movie alcohol exposure accounts for 28% of transitions to drinking and 20% of transitions to binge drinking. Perhaps this data will prompt industry leaders to exert better control over content that deals with alcohol and drug abuse, especially in movies viewed by younger audiences.

 

 

 

Stoolmiller M et al. Comparing media and family predictors of alcohol use: A cohort study of US adolescents. BMJ Open 2012 Feb 20; 2:e000543.

From Medtox Journals

Another issue of Name that drug..increase your knowledge

Name That Drug: If it were an automobile, it would be a corvette!

This month’s drug is another one of those substances that owes its existence to serendipity. First experimented with in 1931, the chemical basis of this month’s drug was used as a starting point in the development of a new class of drugs designed to reduce muscle spasm. It was designed by a research chemist who was devoted to finding medicines that reduced the pain and suffering of children who were wheelchair bound by severe spastic conditions. In 1932, Otto Eislib had his drug. Or so he thought. Unfortunately, early experiments with this drug did not bear out its putative anti-spastic value. Like many other research chemicals of that same era, it was put out to pasture. But it was not over yet. Another enterprising researcher by the name of Otto Schaumann resurrected Eislib’s work and took to further examination of the drug. And low and behold, further study revealed that the drug possessed morphine-like qualities as an analgesic. Perhaps the most interesting facet of the drug at that point was that the drug was a synthesized chemical, a drug that was not extracted or refined from opium. With World War II fast approaching, this month’s drug held promise to combatants as an alternative analgesic to opium-based narcotics. It quickly underwent clinical study and evaluation.

email Central.LongIsland@usamdt.com  to see if you are correct. Read on for more clues:

It is quite apparent that this month’s drug is a narcotic analgesic drug. It’s a synthetic opiate to be more precise. And if it were an automobile, it would be a corvette. This descriptor belies the drug’s significant potency and power as an analgesic. Yet at the same time, the drug is speedy; it moves quickly through the central nervous system and the body. A significant clue as to its identity is that the drug’s half-life is three hours; its span of analgesic effects is less than other narcotics. This fact among others led to an early belief that this narcotic was “safer” and less prone to abuse than other drugs of its day. In particular, when compared to morphine, hydromorphone, and heroin, this month’s drug appeared to have fewer drawbacks. But like any narcotic that is an agonist of the mu opiate receptor, and this drug is a potent agonist at that, it poses a significant risk as a drug of abuse.

In fact, this month’s drug has had a rather checkered history as a recreational drug. It is a medication that is almost always diverted or stolen from pharmaceutical stores. It is produced as an oral tablet and as a solution for intramuscular injection. On the street, the drug can be crushed and snorted, or crushed and dissolved in water and then injected intravenously. But as recreational users have learned, the drug is caustic at the point of entry into the body. Bloody noses and ulcerating injection sites are often the leave behinds for this month’s drug. In fact, even medically necessary intramuscular injections of this drug can leave behind painful bumps and lumps in connective tissue. Abusers of the drug exhibit some very tell-tale signs of use. Because of its shorter half life, addicts of this drug are forced to use it more often and at shorter intervals. Addicts quickly realize that surface skin areas needed for injection get used up quickly. In relative short order, unseemly areas of raised, sore skin evidence the fact that an addict is injecting this drug.

As an analgesic, this month’s drug is mostly found in use in hospitals. It is relatively rare to find the drug in an outpatient setting. Despite the drug’s significant potency, it is not commonly found in pain management programs, although sometimes this drug is loaded into “pain pumps.” In those instances, the drug is delivered into spinal fluid by means of an intrathecal catheter; it is not administered intramuscularly. Because of its more frequent utilization in hospitals, it should not be a surprise that medical personnel often become ensnared by this drug. In the 1960s and 1970s, anesthesiologists wrestled with the drug. But with the emergence of the fentanyls in the 1980s, medical abuse and diversion of this drug rapidly tapered.

Called pethidine in many circles, this month’s drug is prescribed and abused worldwide. In the United States it is a Schedule II narcotic. Known for toxic effects caused by the metabolites of this drug, other less onerous drugs are used in its place. In-hospital patients often exhibit unpleasant side effects while being administered this drug. As a result, physicians have a tendency to use the drug intermittently; rarely is the drug used continually over a protracted period of time.

Known more commonly in the United States as meperidine, this drug costs approximately $25 for a 50 milligram pill on the street. In some larger American cities the drug can be purchased for half of that. Oddly enough, unlike most other drugs of its class, this drug has no recognized street name. It’s called by its registered product name.

Thank you MedTox journal for providing this informative “game”

Marijuana possession Decriminalized in New York?

USA Mobile Drug Testing of Central Long Island New York reminds you that pot possession is changing, but use is still not allowed by Department of Transportation mandates and  drug tests will still be screening for use!!

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced plans to urge lawmakers to decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana in New York.

Private possession of marijuana is currently a violation and Cuomo said this change would bring consistency and fairness to the law.

Carrying less than 25 grams of marijuana in public would become a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $100 rather than a class B misdemeanor. Smoking and selling the drug in public would remain a crime.

The governor said that more than 60 percent of the people arrested for possession of marijuana were young and 94 percent were minorities.

“The effect of a criminal conviction of a young person can alter the trajectory of their entire life,” Cuomo said at the press conference in Albany.

It was also largely a city issue with 94 percent of the arrests coming within the five boroughs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement today in support of changing the law.

Last year, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a directive to his officers to issue violations, rather than misdemeanors, for small amounts of marijuana that come into open view during a search.

“The governor’s proposal today is consistent with the commissioner’s directive, and strikes the right balance by ensuring that the NYPD will continue to have the tools it needs to maintain public safety — including making arrests for selling or smoking marijuana,” Bloomberg said.

 http://queenscourier.com/2012/cuomo-calls-for-decriminalization-of-marijuana-possession/

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