28 Jul 2011
The Dangerous Addiction to Bath Salts
Today, bath salts are no longer being used as a way to relax and moisturize your skin, instead they are being abused and used as a drug. This new addiction, derived as a stimulant, is raising a lot of concern within medical circles.
This new trend in drug addictions is somewhat different than others, in the sense that bath salt is being used as a recreational drug. Bath salts can come as either a powder or crystal, and they are used for snorting, injecting or smoking. In the months from January to June, poison control centers located across the country have received approximately 3,470 calls related to the bath salt drug.
Rather than a calm high, bath salts are leaving their addicts violent, outraged and psychotic. They are becoming so demented that sedatives are failing to work, and a team of doctors is being required to hold down and treat the addicts.
Since bath salts have become such a dangerous drug, many states are beginning the banning process, in hope to get rid of the drug all together. So far, 28 states have banned bath salts, most including states in the south and Midwest. Northern states such as Maine, New Jersey and New York are also jumping on the bandwagon.
A special task force in New York took matters into their own hands last month. The drug agency sent undercover agents to bath stores to buy the bath salts from distributors in the Manhattan and Brooklyn areas. What they found was that the clerks were even advertising how to ingest the drug and even made comments about how it would not show up on a drug test.
What exactly is it that makes bath salts dangerously addictive? Bath salts are compromised of multiple chemicals that are manufactured, such as mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Both of these are related to the drug khat, which is an illegal stimulant, found in East African countries and Arab. These drugs also distinguish characteristics that are found in synthetic marijuana, which is also a dangerous drug looking to be banned.
While steps are being taken to prevent the abuse of bath salts, the issue isn’t going to fade anytime soon. Bath salts are still easily for sale and can be bought at any age. The average price is $20-$50 depending on the amount in the container. This means even a 12 year-old has the ability to buy this drug and get a high off of it. This is a bigger problem than many people are willing to believe and fortunately, the matter is not being ignored.
25 Jul 2011
Addiction as a Medical Issue
There has long been debate as to whether alcoholism is chiefly a mental or physical ailment, today the conversation is broadening to include all sorts of addictions.
21 Jul 2011
Can I Be Fired for Going to Rehab?
We all know that the first step in recovering from drug abuse or alcoholism is admitting that you have a problem; the rest is supposed to follow from there. However, the logistical problems surrounding how you will actually participate in treatment can seem insurmountable. Parents with small children, for instance, are faced with finding appropriate long-term child care, which can be incredibly expensive.
For others, the main issue will be how to survive financially while out of work. Faced with the need to attend drug addiction treatment, either as a resident or on an outpatient basis, most people will be unable to continue working in the interim. How to maintain a job during alcohol or drug rehab is a major factor for many Americans. In almost all cases, however, deciding that keeping a job is more important than treatment will eventually backfire – untreated addicts inevitably bring their problems to work and end up either getting fired anyway or at the very least compromise the trajectory of their career.
Difficulties in Taking Time off Work for Substance Abuse Rehab
For those fortunate enough to have ample sick time or vacation hours saved up or be covered by a short-term disability policy, time away from work may not be a financial disaster. Others, however, may have to rely on the generosity of family or friends to fill in the gaps left by missing paychecks.
However, not all employers will look favorably upon an alcoholic or a drug-addicted employee. Thus, many employees who decide to go to drug or alcohol rehab will be faced with the question of whether or not their jobs will be waiting for them when they get out.
Legalities of Firing an Employee Who is in Rehab
Can an employer really fire you while you are away getting treatment?
The answer depends on who the employer is, along with the particular situation faced by the employee. In all cases, active drug use can often be a valid reason for firing an employee. For example, if an employee misses work for several days as a result of addiction, the job would not be protected. Nor would it be protected if he showed up high or drunk. However, what if you are not actively using?
Many employers will either have favorable policies with regard to employee retention after substance abuse treatment, or will be under union contract to treat the employee in a certain way. For those without clear guidelines, the Family and Medical Leave Act can often fill in the gaps.
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employee can get up to 12 weeks of leave (either paid or unpaid) every 12 months in order to handle a serious health condition that prohibits him from working. This includes entering rehab, as long as there are no independent reasons for firing the individual (such as poor performance due to active addiction or alcoholism).
The Chances of Keeping Your Job While in Rehab
Once an employee is granted a leave of absence, the employer must protect the position until the authorized period of leave expires. More importantly, however, the employer must maintain the employee’s health insurance coverage (albeit at the employee’s expense). The problem with the FMLA is that it applies only to companies that employ fifty people or more. The rules surrounding the implementation of a FMLA-based leave are also complicated and can cause a person to lose coverage if details get missed. If you are considering entering drug rehab during a leave of absence from work, consult with an employment lawyer in your state in order to maximize your chances of keeping your job.
20 Jul 2011
Betty Ford: Drug Rehab Pioneer
The recent death of 93-year-old Betty Ford, one of America’s drug rehab pioneers, reminds us how relatively young the practice of formal drug addiction treatment is. Mrs. Ford, former first lady of the United States, was one of the first well-known Americans to make public details about her addiction to alcohol and pain medications. Although it often seems today that addiction in celebrity circles is a right of passage, Mrs. Ford lived in a much different time.
A recent report from the United States CDC shows just how disturbing abuse of prescription drugs have become in the state of Florida. The coroner’s office in Pinellas-Pasco county show deaths from prescription drugs, especially Oxycodone, has increased by over 250 percent in the last six years.
On July 8th, Australia placed a ban on all substances that are like Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, including eight that were synthetic-based types.
Ohio is the most recent state to acknowledge that, for some convicted of drug crimes, drug rehab is a far smarter alternative than prison. Last week, Governor John Kasich signed a bill that could allow thousands of to leave prison early to attend drug rehab.
11 Jul 2011
Krokodil, Russia’s Deadly Plague
Krokodil is an opiate whose use is sweeping across the Russian landscape like a deadly plague. The drug first appeared in 2002, but today accounts for nearly half of Russia’s drug addicted population. Nearly one million young Russians are succumbing to the drug’s gruesome power.
The medical term for the drug is desomorphine and it is sometimes referred to as morphine’s dirty cousin. Dirty because of the way that the drug is made. The drug is cooked with a recipe whose key ingredient is codeine. To the codeine, home manufacturers add solvents like gasoline, hydrochloric acid, iodine, paint thinner and even the phosphorous scrapings from the sides of matchboxes. Users then inject themselves with the corrosive brew whose high lasts not more than an hour or so. The damage done to the tissue surrounding the injection site is far more lasting.
Devastating Effects Of Krokodil
The drug is called Krokodil because the skin surrounding the site of injection resembles a crocodile’s. With frightening quickness the skin turns green and scale-like as blood vessels burst and tissue dies. Instances of gangrene have become common and often the user faces amputation related to the drug’s devastating effect. This drug can permanently destroy important brain function, result in physical disfigurement and consistent users rarely live beyond two to three years.
The federal Drug Control Services of Russia report that from 2009 to 2010 alone use of the drug grew 23x. Before the end of the first quarter of 2011, authorities had taken possession of an astounding 45 million doses. Krokodil produces an effect similar to heroin (Russia’s drug of choice among addicts) but is three times cheaper to produce. Made from codeine which is available over-the-counter and an array of ingredients readily accessible, the drug is both inexpensive and simple to create, which explains why it has been termed the ‘drug for the poor’. The poor and the young, unemployed or underemployed are most likely to be Krokodil users.
Russia has 2.5 million drug addicts according to Health Ministry officials. Most of those are addicted to heroin, the other roughly half are enslaved to heroin’s dirty cousin Krokodil. Yet the Russian government has been unprepared to rehabilitate its drug addicted citizens. Until recently there have been only a few government sponsored rehabilitation facilities in which to house and treat addicts. On the other hand, Evangelical Christians within Russia run 500 self-supporting rehab centers where addicts are slowly reintroduced to the normal routines of life along with Bible study and prayer.
Those at the highest levels of government appear to be waking up to the rampant danger of Krokodil. Plans are in place to create a network of rehabilitation centers to help turn back the tide of Krokodil addiction in the country.