Category Archives: Prescription Drug Abuse

Nicotine your Gateway Drug?

Everyone knows that cigarettes, well tobacco products in general, are bad for you, but recently there was a study done on mice, whose genetic make up is very similar to humans (that is why they use mice for experiments), with how tobacco will later have an effect on their reaction to other drugs.

What they found out is that there was an increased response of the mice to cocaine after they were “prepared” with tobacco first. This means that after using tobacco for a limited number of days (seven to be exact). the mice had an increased response to cocaine once it was given to them. After further studying the effects of nicotine on their genes, it was shown that it changes the DNA structure and make up of the particular gene responsible for addiction. This, in turn, changes the reaction mice to cocaine by making them more vulnerable.

The results of this study goes along with previously published statistics determining if people had used tobacco before using illegal drugs. It was found that people who had used tobacco prior to cocaine were more dependent upon it than cocaine users who had not smoked or chewed tobacco.

So, the next time you think about lighting up, think about your future and dreams, and make a healthy choice to not do it because in the long run it will save your future, your lungs, and your genes!


Your Weight and Drugs

Usually when you hear about “illicit drug use” (or illegal drug use) you are in school learning about staying drug-free, or from friends who may have used, or in the news. However, have you ever heard about it when someone was talking about being overweight or too thin? I know I haven’t!

Recently there was an article posted on Medical News Today’s website about how the use of illegal drugs is correlated, or connected, to weight gain or weight loss. Although short, it stated that those who are underweight or overweight are 20-40% more likely to use illicit drugs. They say that this association could be due to “psychological factors, such as friendship, self-esteem and parents’ education level.”

Perhaps those who are not happy with their weight turn to illegal drugs to get to the weight they would prefer? Or could those who use drugs eat, more or less, while doing so?

I would like to hear from you and what do you think it could be from or what you think about this article.

When Does the Stress Become too Much?

Everyone deals with stress differently and can tolerate different amounts. There are many things that stress us out, too. This can range from a fight with your parents before going to school, to feeling like you failed your test, to trying to be popular or wear the latest fashions. Dealing with stress is stressful even in itself! Some people eat away their stress, while some exercise or go shopping, and some turn to harmful behavior to find relief.

Harmful behavior can include sneaking alcohol from your parents’ stash, smoking cigarettes, cutting yourself or inflicting harm to your own body, or even turning to harsher drugs like prescriptions. These forms of “stress relief” take you to another place that you can become easily addicted to, which are very unhealthy and dangerous, and can last into adulthood.

It is important that you as a teen find healthy coping mechanisms that aren’t just a quick fix. Other options to harming oneself doesn’t involve quitting cold-turkey, but might include seeing a counselor to talk about your life and what you may be feeling or even join a support group. Usually a school counselor or your professional counselor will be able to tell you about any support groups in your area. Sometimes even talking to a pastor, teacher, coach, a friend, or anyone who is a trusted adult that can really help these feelings of hopelessness and intense stress.

There are other ways to cope with stress, so don’t let harmful behavior run your life.

Have more questions? Visit this link or talk to your doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist.

A Deadly Addiction

If thought about, it is agreeable that we, as human beings, make connections with a variety of people and objects. Some people we have not met, yet we have made a connection with them solely on the basis of seeing them on TV or hearing them on the radio. Any one person’s death is a tragedy to another, especially if they are a family member, but even if they are a celebrity. The cause of death can be vast, but one thing is clear: death steals.

Recently it was reported that Amy Winehouse, a famous singer and songwriter, died early this week. The autopsy was inconclusive as to the direct cause of death, but Winehouse openly admitted in interviews that she battled drug use. Whether or not Ms. Winehouse died from drugs is not the issue-although quite controversial, it is the importance of  knowing and understanding the effects of drug addiction that we look at Winehouse’s life choices.

There are various thoughts about drug addiction in general and the majority of views point to it being a negative thing. Drug addiction or even alcoholism tears family apart, destroys trust and health, and leaves people desolate. According to people who become dependent on substances can be held by its grasp either mentally or physically, both showing outward signs. A lot of people believe that drug addiction and alcohol dependence is easily fixable, especially if you have lots of money, by going to treatment centers and making the decision to change. However, it is more complex than that because it is a disease that is dealt with by taking a step-by-step process each and every minute of every day.

Those who even have the strongest will power or a lot of money may not be able to overcome their addictions easily. If you have a friend who is dependent on drugs or alcohol, let them know that they are not alone in dealing with it. There are people who understand and can truly help them before it is too late. Don’t let addiction, to anything, take away their life from you and the ones who love them. Talk to them today about getting help.

Skittles Parties: Please Do Not Taste The Rainbow

Skittles Parties or Pharming Parties, a party where teens take whatever prescription medication they can find at home, then mix all the pills up together and take a handful. These random combinations are  also known as “trail mix”. This last weekend my friend told me that her son was invited to one of these parties. So of course I decided to find as much information as I could. No matter what you call it, it is no party. Urban Dictionary defines Skittles Parties as “a party where a bunch of teenagers or young adults get together with a lot of random pills.usually taken from parents medicine cabinets. they put them all into a pile and every one takes a few. you don’t know exactly what you take.”

An article in Time reported that the new trend of legal medication being the drug of choice is increasing. The same article states that 2.3 million kids ages 12 to 17 took legal medications in 2003. Due to the fact that these prescription medications are legal, some people believe that they are safer than taking illegal drugs. Unfortunately these medication taken at random with other prescription medications is extremely dangerous and can lead to death. 

One of the places that these drugs or medications are coming from is our own homes. One of the meanings of pharming is just that, farming for prescription medications in and around homes. Prescription medications need to be monitored and disposed of properly. Some people get their pills off the internet or even fake symptoms to get them from their own doctor. Pharming parties are dangerous and need to be talked about by all of us. We need to be aware of what is going on in the lives of the people we love.  These types of parties appear to be a trend that is not going away but making itself comfortable.