A police officer who has suffered a back injury begins to rely on prescription pain killers to get through the day. When his doctor will no longer refill his prescription, he talks a nurse into supplying him with stolen pain pills. This scenario from the hit cable television drama Southland reflects an everyday reality – many healthcare workers are diverting pain medication. Since most medical facilities store controlled drugs in locked cabinets, one of the most unfortunate aspects of drug diversion by healthcare workers is that medication is often stolen directly from patients.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency regulates the distribution of controlled substances in hospitals and medical centers. The majority of healthcare workers adhere to the DEA’s regulations, but some divert and abuse prescription drugs to relieve stress, reduce anxiety or improve work performance. What begins as self-medication can lead to a cycle of drug abuse and addiction.
Other healthcare workers divert prescription drugs to supply friends or family members or sell them for a profit.
Substance abuse is a complex disorder that has many causes. One of the biggest influences is the family. Scientific research shows that both genetics and the home environment can create a circle of family addiction, with one generation passing on addiction to the next.
The Genetic Factor
By studying the rate of alcoholism among adoptees whose biological parents were alcoholic, researchers have found that the children of alcoholics are 2 to 9 times more likely to become alcoholics. The abuse of cocaine, opiates, stimulants and sedatives follow this same pattern. According to the Genetic Science Center at the University of Utah, there is no single gene that is responsible for addiction. Instead, vulnerability to addiction is caused by many interacting genes.
Are you thinking of starting a tobacco habit for the first time? How about resuming an old habit that you thought you’d whipped? Either way, a recent study by the Masonic Cancer Center and the pharmacology department of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis has some really important news for you: Smoking causes DNA damage within minutes of inhaling.
Lead study author Stephen S. Hecht stated in a press release via the American Chemical Society that “The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting smoking.” This study is also featured in the current edition of the journal of Chemical Research in Toxicology, reports the 15 January 2011 issue of Bloomberg Busineweek’s Health Day section. With all these impressive scholarly publications, it does appear that Hecht’s study should be given very strict attention by new smokers, relapsers, and smoking “wannabe” young people.
The verdict is in, and it isn’t good: As predicted, the number of alcohol-related incidents involving underage drinkers on New Year’s Eve tops the list in emergency rooms all over the U.S.
Many experts in addiction prevention and treatment may find this to be a “no brainer” since underage drinking and other drug use has long been a serious mental health concern; still, it’s difficult to think that it may be you, your child, or someone else you love that lies bleeding and comatose in an ER surrounded by strangers.
In the December 2010 edition of Readers Digest magazine, ER medical personnel braced for the onslaught of minors, correctly predicting that New Year’s Eve would once again be a bad night for making those dreaded calls to parents that always begin with “This is Dr. ****** in the emergency room…”
On Tuesday February 1, 2011, Los Angeles Police arrested former USC quarterback Mitch Mustain for suspicion of selling prescription drugs. Mustain was shortly released on bail with no charges against him.
Late Tuesday night, at 8:10 p.m. LAPD arrested former USC quarter back Mitch Mustain. Mustain, 22, was arrested for allegedly trying to sell Adderall, an amphetamine, to an undercover agent. The arrest took place in the San Fernando Valley by the West Valley Division of the LAPD. Mustain was escorted to the Van Nuys Jail and booked at 10:44 p.m. Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Bruce Borihanh said, that the arrest was a result of a sting operation, but police did not elaborate on details of the case.
The war on drugs between the United States and Mexico takes a medieval twist as the U.S. border patrol works together with the Mexican army to confiscate a catapult.
Surveillance cameras on the Arizona/Mexico border led to the capture of drug smugglers trying a new approach to get drugs into the U.S. – an
On Friday January 21, 2010 National Guards at the Naco Border Patrol Station, which is about 80 miles southeast of Tucson Arizona, noticed some suspicious activity in their surveillance cameras.
Late in the evening, they saw several people preparing a catapult and launching objects over the International Border fence. The National Guard and Border agents immediately contacted the Mexican authorities to go and investigate.