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The History of Poppies and Opium

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

The History of Poppies and OpiumWhen most people think of poppies, they think of an innocent red or pink flower. They might think of the flower that put Dorothy to sleep in The Wizard of Oz, a fairly innocent children’s story. But poppies have a dark side with a long history – they are inextricably tied to drug addiction. Poppies are known as addictive plants and have long been used in opium production.

If you grow poppies in your garden, there is no need to panic and uproot them all at once. Nor is there any need to warn your families, friends, and neighbors against the evils of having a poppy in a bud vase. However, it is vital for everyone to educate themselves about the poppy’s history as an addictive plant. Education will help you and your loved ones guard against hidden sources of dangerous drugs.

How a Beautiful Flower Became a Dangerous Opium

Poppies have been cultivated for opium as far back as 3400 B.C. It was first cultivated in lower Mesopotamia, or what is now Southwest Asia. Poppies were progressively passed from the Sumerian culture to the Assyrians, and then to the Egyptians. The plant was commonly called hul gil, or “the joy plant,” because of the “highs” one can get from opium. From 3400 B.C. onward, opium importing, exporting, and use were common in many empires.

The main reason opium use spread so fast, was the Silk Road. The Silk Road refers to a series of interconnected trade routes running from Europe to China. The trade routes first developed between Persia (now Iran) and Syria, as well as in East Indian kingdoms. They grew along the Mediterranean coast, expanding well into China, and into European nations like Italy. By the Middle Ages, the Silk Road’s trade routes reached as far as Scandinavia. The Silk Road encompassed land and sea routes, making opium spread even farther and faster.

Opium was not always used recreationally. As far back as the 1600s and 1700s, it was primarily used medically, such as in traditional Chinese medicine. Recreational use was not unheard of, but uncommon, until the beginning of the Opium Wars. Until then, people who sought opium for recreational use depended on smuggling and commercial loopholes.

The Opium Wars

Although opium was not the only product traded on the Silk Road, it was always in high demand. Empires used it to increase their power and influence, and to control other nations. For example, Britain used their control of the East India Company to smuggle opium into China during the 1800s. The smuggling guaranteed Britain could meet its citizens’ constant demand for Chinese-produced tea. However, the more opium smuggled into China and other nations, the more people became addicted. By the early 1800s, China’s number of opium addicts had skyrocketed, partially due to Turkey’s involvement in the opium trade. An influx of American ships carrying Turkish-grown opium supplied China and other nations with heavy amounts of this coveted drug.

In 1839, China recognized this problem and shut down Britain’s drug trafficking racket. China also confiscated existing opium, which angered Britain and touched off the first of the Opium Wars. China’s Daoguang Emperor was determined to stop the spread of opium addiction in his country, and so Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu enacted laws banning opium in China and cracking down on opium traders. British traders demanded compensation for their lost opium, but when the Treasury could not afford it, the war was used to resolve Britain’s debt.

During this time, Lin Zexu sent a letter to Queen Victoria, appealing to England’s own ban on the opium trade. He pointed out that if England was going to ban the drug, China was justified in instituting its own ban. In response, the Royal Navy blockaded Pearl Bay to restrict free trade in drugs. However, runs on the blockade, lost English and Chinese ships, and expeditionary forces kept the Opium War going until 1842.

The first Opium War ended with the Treaty of Nanjing, which established Hong Kong as a British territory. The treaty forced China to set up five treaty ports at which the British could trade all goods, including opium, freely. However, a second Opium War began in 1856 when Chinese officials seized the Arrow, a former pirate ship with a Chinese crew and expired British registration. This time France joined the war, having been involved in the treaty port business since 1843. Britain’s constant demand for concessions from China, failed diplomatic missions, and other issues made the Second Opium War stretch until 1860.

The Boxer Rebellion of 1899 further damaged relations between China and the West, and increased the opium problem. Today, the Opium Wars are known as part of China’s Century of Humiliations, and of the conflicts that destroyed Imperial China.

The Rise of Opium Across the World

Opium first entered the United States when Chinese immigrants arrived to work on our many developing railroads. The Gold Rush of 1849 brought a larger influx of Chinese immigrants, along with increased opium smoking and addiction. Opium addiction was not just a Chinese problem, however. By the mid-1800s, opium dens could be found around Southeast Asia and in parts of Europe. Immigrants from many nations brought opium with them, and dens gradually sprang up in the United States, especially in places like San Francisco and New York.

From the 1850s to the 1890s, opium use became more common in the United States. Opium could be drunk, injected, or smoked; drinking and injection were two popular methods of the time. San Francisco effectively banned opium smoking in the late 1800s, but the versatility of opium made it difficult to eradicate altogether. The Harrison Tax Act of 1914 sought to outlaw opium nationwide. However, opium, and especially its derivatives, was readily available to those who knew where to find them.

Opium Derivatives

Along with opium, itself, heroin can be produced from the opium poppy. This particular type of heroin has a long medical history; it was used as an asthma treatment in the 1830s. It was also used to calm fussy babies, as were its derivatives morphine and synthesized heroin. At the time, “heroin” was a brand name of the Bayer Company, now known for its aspirin, not just a street name or moniker for an illegal drug. After the Civil War, Bayer Heroin was actually used to help people addicted to morphine get rid of their addictions. Additionally, it was used as a pain reliever. These uses eventually backfired, and the Heroin Act of 1924 made heroin use illegal for medical and recreational uses throughout the United States.

Despite heroin’s illegal status, its use has been widespread for centuries. It was popular among jazz players and enthusiasts of the 1930s; this subculture gave us the term “hipster.” Heroin, opium, and related drugs such as LSD, MDMA, and marijuana have gained popularity in recent decades, too. Many people continue to use opium, heroin, and morphine to relieve chronic pain or induce sleep, which can lead to severe and lifelong addictions.

Codeine and Oxycodone are two other opium derivatives. They are arguably more dangerous than some of the others because they are often prescribed to treat common illnesses. Codeine, for example, is found in many popular cough syrups. It can also be taken orally as pain relief, and is much less potent than morphine. Yet constant or prolonged codeine use carries risk of dependency and addiction. As for Oxycodone, it too is a commonly prescribed pain reliever. It is made from a component of opium called the Baine, and can be snorted or injected.

Opium Addiction Signs and Symptoms

Opium has been used in medicine since at least 460 A.D., when Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, admitted its usefulness as a narcotic. However, opium’s addictive effects have consistently proven more harmful than beneficial. Today, opium addiction flourishes around the world, particularly in Asian and South American countries such as Thailand and Colombia. International drug trafficking organizations continue to market opium, heroin, and similar drugs throughout the United States.

Today, opium abuse is more commonly called opiate abuse. Abuse covers illegal drugs such as heroin, as well as legal ones such as fentanyl. Physical signs of the use of opioids include drowsiness, confusion, restricted pupils, slowed breathing, and intermittent loss of consciousness. Some opiate abusers experience marked euphoria and mood swings.

Opiate addicts often “doctor shop” to get the drugs they want. Their loved ones often notice extra pill bottles in the trash, or an increase in doctor’s appointments. Due to the doctor shopping, opiate addicts often experience financial problems. They may withdraw from friends and family to keep their addictions secret.

Some opiates are used to treat anxiety and insomnia, so addicts may experience an upswing of these symptoms when they can’t get their drugs of choice. During opiate withdrawal, addicts battle headaches, nausea, constipation and diarrhea, and fatigue, among other symptoms.

If You or a Loved are Suffering From an Opiate Addiction and Need Professional Help, Please Contact The Treatment Center Now for Individualized, Professional Rehabilitation.

Safe Opiate Detox

Tips on Preventing and Treating Opioid Abuse

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Furanyl Fentanyl: A Dangerous New Opioid

Preventing and Treating Opioid Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 78 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. In the last several years, the United States has witnessed an increase in overdose deaths, particularly as they relate to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. We have recently discussed the dangers of fentanyl in one of our blogs, but information is surfacing that there is a new form of deadly fentanyl circulating. Chinese laboratories are producing and selling a new form of fentanyl – called furanyl fentanyl – to get around China’s recent export ban on the synthetic drug that is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths across the United States.

Furanyl fentanyl is a slightly altered version of fentanyl that is not currently on the United States’ government’s list of controlled substances. This means that the slightly tweaked version of fentanyl is technically legal for dealers to sell. The United States is moving quickly to ban the new fentanyl product. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) spokesman Russell Baer stated that the DEA plans to classify furanyl fentanyl as an analog to fentanyl, which means that the altered version would be treated in the same fashion as fentanyl.

The chemical structure of furanyl fentanyl and its effect on the body’s central nervous system is nearly identical to that of fentanyl. Last fall, China banned more than 116 synthetic drugs, which included other analogs of fentanyl, such as acetyl fentanyl. As soon as the ban was imposed, furanyl fentanyl began to appear in the United States. Furanyl fentanyl was recently identified as the cause of death in a fatal overdose of a 30-year-old-man in Illinois. This is apparently the first public reporting of a case in which furanyl fentanyl caused a deadly overdose.

Opioid Abuse Prevention

According to the CDC, at least half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. While the best form of opioid abuse prevention would be to recommend abstinence, we cannot stop people from taking opioid medications for pain. What we can do is educate families on the risks of opioid abuse and provide early interventions before an individual loses everything to their dependency.

The negative side effects, potential for abuse and fatal nature of prescription opioids are well-documented. If you have been prescribed prescription opioids and are concerned about the possibility of dependency, we urge you to get a second opinion regarding non-opioid alternatives for chronic pain, including holistic therapies, such as cold laser therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture. Help is available and recovery from an opioid dependency is possible.

Freedom from Addiction

If you are considering whether or not you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid dependency, we urge you to seek help now. Opioid abuse and addiction is deadly, so it is essential that you reach out for help as soon as possible.

At The Treatment Center, we utilize top-notch holistic therapies to treat pain without the use of narcotics. We will provide you with an assessment of your health, as well as an understanding that there are treatment alternatives to prescription painkillers. If you are already stuck in the vicious cycle of opioid use and need professional inpatient detoxification services, the experienced medical staff at The Treatment Center will help you detox safely. We will help you learn a new way to live, without abusing drugs and alcohol. Do not delay any longer – reach out for help today. Call The Treatment Center at (877) 443-7342, or chat with an admissions counselor online.


What You Need to Know:

  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid narcotic — a prescription drug primarily used for cancer patients in severe pain
  • Fentanyl is 50-100 times more toxic than morphine
  • Overdose deaths related to fentanyl have been on the rise because it is often sold as heroin
  • In China, fentanyl continues to be altered slightly to get around export bans — e.g., furanyl fentanyl
  • There are non-narcotic alternatives for treating chronic pain
  • Recovery from an opioid dependency is possible

President Obama Addresses Addiction as a Health Problem

Monday, April 4th, 2016

President Obama Addresses Addiction as a Health Problem

On March 29, 2016, President Barack Obama spoke at a National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. At the summit, Obama committed to tackling the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation by focusing on prevention and treatment, rather than on dated “war on drugs” policies. Obama emphasized the importance of altering the lens in which we view drug addiction. Instead of looking at substance abuse as a criminal problem, President Obama suggested that we view addiction as a health problem.

Changing the Discourse on Addiction

Obama’s statements build on this month’s congressional movements to change the political discourse regarding addiction and to allocate government funds to fight the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States. Historically, addiction has been viewed as a criminal problem, not as a public health concern. The Obama administration is working to overturn that perspective on addiction and shift it towards a health concern. Obama stated, “If we treat addiction like a crime, we aren’t doing anything scientific and it’s ineffective.”

In many societies, substance abuse became heavily criminalized due to the belief that addicts and alcoholics were immoral, weak in character, selfish, and lacked self-control. In essence, addiction was seen as a moral issue. Over the years, advocates have worked tirelessly to convince the public that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. They attempted to change the approach to treating addiction from a punitive approach to a more rehabilitative one.

Obama said that historically, addiction has not been viewed as a public health concern, primarily because it was believed to affect “the poor and minorities.” Addiction was seen as a character flaw, rather than as a disease affecting people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Taking Steps to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic

The Obama administration has taken steps to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. According to Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “research clearly shows that [the medication-assisted treatment] approach, when combined with behavioral therapies, is more effective at sustaining recovery and preventing overdose.” The Obama administration plans to expand access to treatment by issuing $94 million to 271 community health centers across the country to increase substance abuse treatment, with a focus on expanding medication-assisted treatment in underserved communities.

In addition, President Obama signed a memorandum calling for the creation of an interagency task force to expand access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) will soon release a new $11 million funding opportunity to states to purchase and distribute naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. It was the CDC’s first-ever recommendations for primary care physicians on prescribing opioids. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced safety-labeling changes for all immediate-release opioid pain medications, which included requiring a new warning about the serious risks of opioid abuse, opioid addiction, and opioid overdose deaths. As evidenced above, the White House and several government agencies are working hard to combat the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic affecting the United States. Addiction is a chronic, progressive and fatal disease if left untreated, but recovery from opioid addiction is possible. With treatment and support, you or your loved one can recover from opioid use disorder.

Recovery is Possible

Are you or a loved one struggling with drug addiction? If so, help is available. Individuals struggling with substance abuse can experience hope and healing at The Treatment Center. We offer a variety of treatment programs, services, and therapies to best suit the needs of each individual patient. To find out more about our facility, contact us today at 877.392.3342, or chat with an admissions counselor online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CDC Urges Against Prescribing Opiates for Chronic Pain

Monday, March 28th, 2016

CDC Urges Against Prescribing Opiates for Chronic Pain

On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged doctors to avoid prescribing powerful opiate painkillers for patients with chronic pain given that the risks for taking such drugs far outweigh the benefits for most people. The CDC is taking action to combat the nation’s fatal prescription painkiller epidemic.

The new CDC guidelines include an exception for patients receiving cancer treatment or end-of-life care. If doctors determine that such painkillers are necessary in other situations, the CDC suggests that doctors prescribe the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.

The Dangers of Prescription Painkillers

According to the CDC, roughly 40 Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers. In 2013 alone, an estimated 1.9 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opiates. CDC director, Thomas Frieden, commented, “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently…These are really dangerous medications that carry the risk of addiction and death.” Many prescription opiates are as addictive as heroin and poorly control chronic pain.

The CDC hopes their new guidelines, directed to primary care physicians who prescribe nearly half of the opiates, will help doctors determine better practices for prescribing prescription painkillers. Although doctors aren’t legally obligated to follow the guidelines, such directives often have a significant influence. For the first time, the government is communicating that the practice of treating non-fatal pain conditions with long-term opioids is dangerous and inappropriate. Andrew Kolodny, executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, called the guidelines a “game changer.”

Nonopioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

The CDC recommends nonopioid therapy to treat chronic pain outside cancer, palliative and end-of-life care. What types of nonopioid therapy exist for chronic pain? The Treatment Center’s outpatient care center, Restore, provides evidence-based treatments for chronic pain sufferers by offering a wide variety of holistic treatment services. We believe in teaching our patients how to safely and effectively manage their chronic pain. Our alternative pain therapies include chiropractic care, cold laser therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, traditional physical therapy, yoga and meditation:

  • Chiropractic care: Can increase mobility in your neck, back, legs, and arms; relieves stress, tension, and headaches you may experience when quitting narcotic painkillers
  • Cold laser therapy: Effective in reducing joint inflammation and muscle spasms; also increases the effectiveness of chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture: Useful in treating depression and insomnia; reduces drug cravings without the use of other prescription drugs
  • Massage therapy: Can ease anxiety and muscle tension; promotes restful sleep
  • Physical therapy: Can improve your physical health and mobility, particularly if you experience chronic pain or have endured an injury
  • Yoga: Boosts self-esteem; improves physical strength; improves mind-body-spirit connection
  • Meditation: Can improve your ability to cope with stressful situations; promotes feelings of calmness and happiness

At The Treatment Center, we believe that holistic therapies are an essential component to an effective pain recovery plan. Our pain management program will teach you safe and effective ways to manage your chronic pain. With the proper treatment and support, it is possible to learn how to manage your pain without depending on opiate medications.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. The Treatment Center is here to help suffering individuals find lasting recovery. Call our 24-hour confidential helpline today at 877.392.3342. Our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions staff will find you the appropriate help you need to combat your addiction.

CARA Senate Bill Passed 94-1 to Combat Opiate Addiction

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

CARA Senate Bill Passed 94-1 to Combat Opiate Addiction

Our Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

On March 10, 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Senate bill passed 94-1 to combat opiate addiction. The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription painkillers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

Prescription drug abuse and heroin use has taken its toll on the country, while also straining law enforcement and addiction treatment programs. Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, as well as the prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and others.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

Introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the bipartisan bill, known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) would expand access to naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug, improve prescription drug monitoring programs, and provide opiate addiction treatment to people who are incarcerated due to drug use. CARA has been in development for three years and is currently the only bill in Congress that includes all four aspects of an appropriate and effective response to combat opiate addiction: prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement.

CARA would provide a series of incentives and resources designed to encourage states to pursue a wide variety of proven strategies to combat opiate addiction. The bill is comprised of six major sections: prevention and education, law enforcement and treatment, treatment and recovery, addressing collateral consequences, addiction and recovery services for women and veterans, and incentivizing comprehensive responses to addiction and recovery.

Senator Whitehouse commented on the bill saying, “This legislation identifies specific steps that will help us combat addiction and support those in recovery, and provides the tools needed for states and local governments –in coordination with law enforcement, educators, and others — to take them. It’s a comprehensive approach to a problem that demands our full attention.”

Improvements in 2016 CARA Bill

What are some of the major features of CARA?

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery
  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders
  • Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction with evidence-based treatment
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid treatment and interventions program
  • Strengthen and improve prescription drug monitoring programs to help states track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals in order to combat opiate addiction

Although there are some concerns with CARA, the effort made by the Senate shows a shift in the political discourse regarding the nation’s opioid epidemic. Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs with the Drug Policy Alliance, commented, “the momentum behind CARA offers hope that lawmakers are starting to evolve toward treating drug use as a health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue.”

On March 7, 2016, the bipartisan bill passed its first procedural hurdle with the Senators voting 86-3 to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. A vote on the final passage of the bill took place on March 10, with the Senate almost unanimously voting in favor of the legislation. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives and Senate leaders are pushing for quick action. The bill is expected to face a more difficult battle in the House, but if CARA reaches the White House, the president is expected to sign it.

Help for Opiate Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an opiate addiction, help is available. Call us today at (877) 392.3342. Our compassionate and knowledgeable admission counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays.

Prescription Medication Overdose Deaths Drop in Florida

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

According to The Miami Herald, overdose deaths due to prescription drugs decreased in Florida by 17 percent last year.

Deaths resulting from cocaine, heroin and fentanyl increased, however, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). A report based on data from state medical examiners confirmed these results.

Alcohol remains the most common substance found in drug induced deaths. The FDLE believes the decrease in prescription medication deaths is a direct result of the state’s successful efforts to close down pill mills, which are pain management clinics that sell prescription opiates to people who want to buy narcotics.

The drugs which caused the most fatalities in Florida last year were benzodiazepines, oxycodone, methadone, cocaine, ethyl alcohol, morphine, hydrocodone and diazepam.

Despite Oxycodone Sales Drop, Problems Still Exist

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Despite Oxycodone Sales Drop, Problems Still Exist

Oxycodone: A the Nationwide Problem

Oxycodone has been a problem across the country for years. The painkiller is an analgesic that was created in 1916. It’s derived from a chemical in poppy plants. This compound, called thebaine, is also an ingredient in other narcotic drugs like heroin and morphine. Originally, Oxycodone was meant to be a non-addictive alternative drugs like heroin and morphine, and were used medicinally as pain relievers before the First World War. After its use and the subsequent addictions that followed, it became apparent that, though less addictive that morphine and heroin, oxycodone is still an addictive substance that should be prescribed with caution.

Oxycodone comes in several different formulations with various names. It’s most commonly known as OxyContin, but it is also a component of drugs like Percodan, Percocet, Roxicodone, and Roxicets, among others.

The Dangers of Oxycodone

Though it is efficient at relieving pain, the biggest danger with Oxycodone is that it is highly addictive. People who use the drug can quickly develop a tolerance to the compound. As a result, they have to take larger and larger doses to feel the same pain relief or euphoria that comes with it. In fact, some studies have shown that oxycodone is as addictive as heroin. Many people who were simply recovering from surgery or treating chronic pain have found themselves the unwitting victims of addiction through oxycodone.

An addiction to Oxycodone can quickly spiral out of control. Even though most dependencies begin legally, people often find that their prescription isn’t enough to meet their needs. Eventually, they’re forced to begin buying their drugs off the street or supplement with heroin.

The Pain of Opiate Withdrawal

Many people feel trapped by their addiction because it is so hard to break. Missing a single dose can cause strong effects on the body in a matter of hours. Some of these are extremely hard to deal with and include:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle Pain
  • Depression
  • Intense Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Bone Pain
  • Sleep Pattern Changes

Opiate withdrawal is painful and can make sufferers feel out of control. Those who are in the midst of withdrawal should be under the supervision of a medical professional.

A Promising Trend for Opiate Addiction

Despite the threat Oxycodone poses, a positive trend has developed in the past years, and it is being led by Florida. In 2010, pharmacies across the state of Florida sold more than 622 million doses. By 2012, that number had fallen to 498 million. The reason Florida has seen such big changes is because their legislation has taken strong actions to fight “pill mills.” At one point, the state was a haven for those looking to sell or buy narcotic pain pills. The laws were very lax at the time. In fact, 90 of the top 100 doctors prescribing the highest amount of Oxycodone were living in Florida. A year later, that number was down to 13.

The new laws banned doctors from distributing pain pills directly from their offices. Undercover teams helped make arrests and prove how serious law enforcement is about cracking down on these dangerous pill mills. Florida legislation also created a database to track the number of prescriptions each doctor has written, as well as whether patients are getting multiple orders from different providers.

Continued Dangers of Oxycodone Addiction

Although these changes are very positive, unfortunately, they don’t signal the end of troubles for the Oxycodone epidemic that has swept the nation. What pills still remain on the street have nearly quadrupled in value. Previously, 80mg of Oxy fetched about $20. Now, they easily go for $80. And though Florida offers hope, it hasn’t resulted in an end to the problem. A significant portion of people suffering from addiction simply moved out of Florida into areas where the Oxy is easier to obtain. Neighboring states like Tennessee and Kentucky have much more lax laws, making it easier for them to continue a similar lifestyle.

Florida’s Legislative Changes Have Certainly Had a Positive Influence on the State
In the Future, the Rest of the Nation May Follow Suit to Help End Prescription Painkiller Abuse:

The Treatment Center

New Research for Multiple Sclerosis Pain Relief from Marijuana

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

 

New research has learned that the pain relief marijuana may hold for multiple sclerosis patients may be outweighed by the negative effect the drug has on thinking skills. Previous clinical trials have found a small benefit for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with pain, bladder problems and spasticity – all symptoms of MS. Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. The disease is progressive and most patients eventually end up in a wheelchair.
 
“Given that about 40 to 60 percent of MS patients have problems with cognitive function to begin with, any drug that may add to this burden is cause for concern,” said study author Anthony Feinstein of the University of Toronto.
 
“This study provides empirical evidence that prolonged use of inhaled or ingested marijuana in MS patients is associated with poorer cognitive performance, and these effects have to be weighted against any possible benefit of using marijuana for medicinal purposes.”

 

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