FDA Warns CBD Products Can Be Dangerous

The proliferation of CBD products in the “wellness” industry seemed to happen overnight. CBD, a byproduct of marijuana and hemp that does not get users “high”, has been marketing as a cure-all to everything from arthritis to anxiety. Some sellers even claim that CBD can help fight cancer by lowering inflammation levels. Now, the FDA is stepping in and warning users and manufacturers that these products not only may be modern-day “snake oil” but also can cause real damage to some people’s health. What is CBD, Exactly? CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a chemical that’s found in all types of cannabis, even the male plant which is not smoked or used as a drug. Instead of getting a user high, CBD is supposed to have a host of health benefits and has been proven to help with rare seizure disorders in children. However, that’s where the clinical testing has stopped. CBD is being marketed and sold by hundreds of companies, yet it hasn’t been undergone a clinical trial…

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Alcohol Detox at Home

Alcohol is one of the most common addictions in the world. If you or somebody you love has an addiction to alcohol, you’re not alone. The National Institutes of Health states that in 2017, over 26% percent of people over the age of eighteen admitted to binge drinking within the last month, while almost 7% of drinkers of the same ages admitted to “heavy alcohol use” within the past month of the survey. Alcohol is a problem for many people, but few seek recovery and often those who do have to try quitting multiple times before they are able to achieve lasting sobriety. Because of the stigma attached to alcohol, many people seek out more information on alcohol detox from home. But how can you do it safely? Alcohol is Highly Addictive Alcohol is a highly addictive substance. While many people assume alcohol is pretty safe because it’s sold almost everywhere, this is simply not the case. Alcohol changes the way the body reacts and the way the brain…

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Sesame Street Adds Character With Addicted Mom

Addiction is slowing coming out of the woodwork as a stigma that people don’t talk about. In the past few years, it’s no secret that there has been an opioid addiction epidemic. It affects millions of people. More than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And for all those that don’t die, there are hundreds of thousands still struggling to get and stay clean. All of these people are somebody’s daughter or son. And many of them have children, which is why Sesame Street is tackling such a sobering subject for young people. The Addiction Crisis There is a young generation that is growing up without parents or in the custody of other relatives due to this epidemic, similar to the crack epidemic of the 1990’s. Many addicted people end up involved in the justice system, bouncing from treatment-to-treatment, or lost in their addiction bouncing from couch to couch. Many children are too young to understand their parent’s addiction…

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Vaping is Destroying Lungs, Cause Still Under Investigation

Most people know that tobacco and nicotine kill, but many minors don't the warning, especially when it comes to vaping. After all, when a person smokes cigarettes, it usually takes several years to affect the lungs. Vaping, however, has been causing the rapid deterioration of lungs and the FDA still isn’t positive how and why this has happened. Vaping is a Crisis Among Young Vaping has rapidly become an addiction that is prevalent among youth. Described as an “epidemic” by former FDA chief Scoot Gottlieb, the amount of young people who vape electronic cigarettes has risen dramatically in the past few years. According to the National Institutes of Health: “More than 44,000 students took part in the 2018 annual survey of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use in 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. About 37% of 12th graders reported vaping in 2018, compared with 28% in 2017. Vaping of each substance that was asked about increased. This includes nicotine, flavored liquids, marijuana, and hash oil.” Over 400 Vapers Have Now…

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JUUL CEO Apologizes to Parents of Vaping Teens

JUUL Lans CEO Kevin Burns will apologize to parents of teens addicted to nicotine, but seems to dismiss responsibility. In a documentary on CNBC, set to air tonight,  Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns speaks about the recent teen vaping epidemic.  A new documentary, “Vaporized: America’s E-cigarette Addiction,” will air tonight. When Carlos Quintanilla, the reporter for the movie, toured one of Juul’s manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin with Burns. While there, the CEO was asked what he would say to a parent with a child who was addicted to Juul. “First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product,” said Burns. “It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.” In 2017, the number of teens who had vaped grew to two million. Activists againse vaping say that the…

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Florida Drug Dealers Face Murder Charges for Fentanyl

In Florida, drug dealers selling fentanyl can now face murder charges if they distribute drugs to a person who dies during an overdose. Responding to the fentanyl and opioid epidemic, about a year and a half ago, voted a bill into law that makes fentanyl a murder weapon. Distributing the drugs is now treated the same as an assault with a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun. The state already applies similar laws to cocaine, heroin and other dangerous narcotics. Indictments Already Underway Since the bill became a law, Florida prosecutors have obtained grand jury indictments for first-degree murder charges against a half-dozen individuals accused of selling the drug illicitly. However, most overdoses are still considered accidental. The first trial for murder is scheduled in December 2019, but prosecutors expect that there will be dozens more cases in the next few months. Lawmakers hope that the new law will help grieving families feel closure. In one such case currently underway, accused fentanyl dealer Calvin Warren Jr., 36,…

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Scientists Explore Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to Fight Addiction

Addiction is costly in many ways. It can cost relationships, families, jobs, and lives. The stigma of addiction can cause people not to seek help, and it seems that the stigma is international, just like the disease of addiction itself. China has been experimenting with different solutions for addiction for years. People often go to the research doctors out of desperation. A recent article by the Associated Press detailed the desperation a man named Yan, in China, felt when over the years he became addicted to crystal meth and, eventually, heroin. His father wanted to help but was tired of watching him bounce in and out of drug rehabilitation. He gave him a choice between another trip to drug rehabilitation, or to try Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. “Of course, I chose surgery,” Yan said. “With surgery, I definitely have the chance to get my life back.” China’s Research into DBS for Addiction China doesn’t have the same medical laws as America, and for many years they tried an archaic…

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Purdue Pharma is Exploring Bankruptcy

Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, is exploring the idea of bankruptcy to protect itself from over a thousand lawsuits filed across the country blaming them, in part, for the opioid addiction crisis that has claimed thousands of lives in states across the US. The manufacturer of Oxycontin, as well as the Sackler family that controls the majority of the company, say they are under duress due to the massive litigation they face by counties, cities, and states. They have been repeatedly accused of misleading doctors through marketing and sales pressures, without mentioning the risks of addiction or downplaying those risks entirely. The bankruptcy type that Purdue is considering is Chapter 11, which would stop the lawsuits from moving forward as Purdue settles the trials under the direction of a bankruptcy judge. Purdue hired law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for restructuring advice last August, making litigants nervous about the possibility of an insolvency claim to shut down the lawsuits. A thousand lawsuits have been consolidated through a…

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Border Patrol Nabs Largest Fentanyl Bust Ever

Last week, the federal government announced one of the largest fentanyl drug busts ever, containing 254 pounds of the synthetic drug. The bust occurred at the Nogales, Arizona border onboard a truck that hid the pills under cucumbers. Alongside the powerful opioid, there was also 354 pounds of methamphetamine. Both drugs have been on the rise in America the past few years, with fentanyl deaths outpacing other opioid deaths rapidly. At its current pace, according to US Customs and Border Control, the opioid epidemic kills ninety people a day. The fentanyl in the seizure is valued $3.5 million and is twice the size of a haul discovered in a truck stopped by state troopers in Nebraska in 2017. Fentanyl is quickly becoming one of the deadliest opioids in the United States, and it often comes to the US via China, passing through US Customs undetected. Last year, the opioid task force recommended that Congress fund new machines for the United States Postal Service that detect drugs. The majority of…

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Cocaine-Opioid Cocktails Have Been Killing Since 2010

People have been dying from opioid and cocaine cocktails regularly since 2010, but there hasn’t been much reporting on it. That’s partially because the focus is on the fact that these deaths were from opioids. But calling these deaths “opioid overdoses” is problematic because, in some cases, the drug users were never aware that they were using an opioid. According to the Washington Examiner, more than 10,100 people died from mixing the drugs in 2017. 7,241 of those deaths showed both cocaine and fentanyl in their systems. Fentanyl is a potent opioid about 50 to 200 times stronger than morphine. It’s also the deadliest opioid in the US, with the majority of deaths in 2017. Deaths caused by opioids and cocaine have risen nearly 76 percent since 2012. Recently, opioid test strips have emerged across the United States as a part of harm-reduction efforts. The strips, which cost $1 each and have been given out with needle exchange programs and at other places drug users frequent, can detect even…

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