The rise of heroin use following the surge of the opioid crisis that ravaged the United States is only fanning the problem of addiction. With more and more individuals resorting to lesser cost heroin after the heavy crackdown and monitoring of prescription-grade pills, the need of the hour calls for public health and law enforcement agencies to come together to prevent the outbreak of another substance use epidemic. …Read more
The use of pharmaceuticals for non-medical purposes has become more common than ever before, especially among college-going students. The surge in prescription drug abuse in the United States is largely driven by the easy availability of such drugs in medical stores, or at times, even at homes. Prescription drug addiction is a grave problem since most people do not hesitate from sharing these drugs openly among friends and family, as well as other near and dear ones. But, the worst part is that most people perceive such medications to be safer than other illegal drugs, primarily driven by the fact that most of them are prescribed by doctors and are also legally sold in pharmacies. …Read more
Taking medicines without doctor’s recommendation or consuming more than the prescribed dosage can lead to serious health repercussions. A prolonged use of such prescription medications may lead to a dependence on them, owing to their ability to cause a euphoric “high”. However, one of the major causes of prescription abuse, especially among teenagers, is the illegal sharing of prescribed medicines among peers and friends. But, when it comes to women and the elderly people, the primary reason behind the high rate of prescription drug abuse is the tendency to over use and misuse the prescribed medication (usually the painkillers). …Read more
The use and abuse of addictive substances to feel ecstatic and has been practiced for centuries, probably since the existence of mankind. Interestingly, addiction, like humans, has evolved significantly, both in terms of the type of substance and methods to abuse substances. Such has been the level of curiosity in the humanity that no stone has been left unturned to explore, discover and invent as many drugs and addictive substances as possible. As a result, besides abusing common psychoactive drugs, such as cocaine, heroin or marijuana, people are also experimenting with synthetic drugs (designer drugs) like ecstasy, LSD, etc. …Read more
Maia Szalavitz’s book on drug addiction, “Unbroken Brain,” has created quite a ripple in the market, and it is rightly doing so. She not only offers a new angle on the entire phenomenon of drug addiction, but also explains the problem in a very detailed and succinct manner. As the problem of drug addiction gets deadlier with time, it is essential to discuss the author’s point of view. By clearing away all doubts and misconceptions, Szalavitz challenges the modern assumptions related to drug addiction. …Read more
Drug addiction is a severe problem that can only be treated by a sustained program that takes into account both the somatic and the psychological causes of addiction. For those struggling with substance abuse, going through the taxing process of detox can be a grueling journey, devoid of any fun or enjoyment. But, rehabilitation is the most reliable and effective way to get clean. …Read more
Thousands of young and old people are hooked to one kind of drug or the other across the United States. The fact that an increasing number of them are bearing the burden of adverse consequences of addictive substances has made it necessary for researchers to look at various factors that may help predict drug use at an early stage. …Read more
Although the invention of different drugs to treat various diseases can be termed as miracle, the same can also be outlined as a destructive force, affecting people of any age, gender or race. Scopolamine, also known as the “Devil’s Breath,” is one of them. …Read more
Antibiotic resistance has become a global threat, so much so that the UN General Assembly took it up for consideration in September 2016. This is the fourth health issue ever to be considered by the United Nations as a global threat after HIV, non-communicable diseases and the Ebola virus. It is an imminent problem of which the world needs to take cognizance because:
– according to a high level report released in 2014, it is estimated to claim 10 million lives a year by 2050
– at least 2 million people get infected by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die due to these infections, each year in the United States alone.
Understanding antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to become resistant to such antibiotics. No amount or type of medicines work on antibiotic-resistant bacteria or superbugs.
Essentially, this translate into rendering treatment of what were earlier common infections like TB, blood poisoning, pneumonia, and the likes increasingly harder and sometimes even impossible. This condition leads to prolonged hospital stays, skyrocketing medical bills and in severe cases, even death.
It is important to understand antibiotic resistance as it is escalating to dangerous proportions with new resistance mechanisms emerging and spreading across the globe making treatment processes complicated and at times, ineffective. And without proper direction, we would just be driving headlong into an era where the tiniest of injuries and infections would have the power to claim lives.
Putting an end to antibiotic resistance
According to a CDC report, one in every three outpatient antibiotic prescriptions is unnecessary. This means that at least 30 percent such prescriptions can be easily avoided. And yet these medicines are prescribed, bought and ingested.
Antibiotics tend to become lesser and lesser effective with each use. Working towards preventing antibiotic resistance from spreading, CDC has launched the Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs which provides toolkits and guidelines to health care providers with the aim to improve the use of antibiotics.
On the patients’ part, it is essential to be aware of the antibiotics that we are taking and stop the over and unnecessary use of these. It is also time for us to join hands with health care providers and put to an end to the misuse, overuse and abuse of antibiotics. However, it is us, the consumers who have to question if the antibiotic is really necessary before popping them.
What also needs to happen hand-in-hand is a change in behavior of the health care providers. They must ensure that a prescription for antibiotics is given only when it is really warranted. Otherwise, what we would eventually end up doing is push our race towards that very dark and uncertain post-antibiotic era which we are fighting so hard to resist.
Recovery road map
The global Ebola outbreak was lesson enough that there are really no barriers and that every superbug is just a plane ride away to your town. Only when each one us – every consumer, patient and health care provider joins in the fight against superbugs will the war be won.
If you or your loved one is struggling with prescription drug or substance abuse, you can contact the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline for information on inpatient drug abuse treatment centers USA. You can chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 for expert advice on help for drug addiction.Read more
Synthetic drugs, also called club or designer drugs, are chemical, lab-created substances that mimic natural drugs such as marijuana, cocaine or morphine. Although they are similar to cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis, they are not derived from plants. These drugs have varied effects on the brain or behavior of users. The New York Department of Health defines synthetic drugs “with properties and effects similar to a known hallucinogen or narcotic but having a slightly altered chemical structure….” Basically, the term ‘synthetic drug’ covers a wide, ever-changing range of substances. …Read more