Concerns about generic painkillers increase

Concerns About Generic PainkillersThe White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently sent an alert to law enforcement, particularly along the Canadian border, warning them that Canada had approved non-abuse resistant generic versions of oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and about 40 other painkillers.

“ONDCP expects companies will begin offering these generics without the abuse-resistant features in Canadian pharmacies within the next month,” according to the alert.

The letter warned of the potential for these generics to show up here in the United States, where they are no longer available.

Prescription painkillers have killed more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says the United States is in the throes of a public health epidemic fueled by highly addictive prescription painkiller overdoses.

Approximately 12 million Americans aged 12 and older reported using prescription painkillers recreationally in 2010, according to the CDC. In fact, enough were prescribed to medicate every American adult around the clock for a month.

Full story of generic painkillers at CNN Health

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Surgery Destroys Parts of Brain’s “Pleasure Centers” in Attempt to Cure Addiction

Surgery Destroys Brain Pleasure CenterA controversial surgical procedure being studied in China attempts to cure addiction by destroying parts of the brain’s “pleasure centers,” Time.com reports. The research is being conducted on alcoholics and people addicted to heroin.

The procedure risks permanently damaging a person’s ability to have longings and feel joy, the article notes.

The Chinese Ministry of Health banned the procedure in 2004. Some doctors were allowed to continue to perform the operation for research purposes. In a recent study published in the journal Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, researchers called the surgery “a feasible method for alleviating psychological dependence on opiate drugs.” They note more than half of the 60 patients in the study had lasting side effects. These included memory problems and loss of motivation. After five years, 47 percent of participants were still drug free.

That compares with a 30-40 percent rate of significant recovery with conventional addiction treatment, the news outlet states. Experts feel the small increase in success rates with the surgery is not worth the large risk.

Full story of brains pleasure center at DrugFree.org

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Meth Vaccine Shows Promising Results in Early Tests; Blocking a Meth High Could Help Addicts Committed to Recovery

Meth Vaccine Blocks Meth HighScientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have performed successful tests of an experimental methamphetamine vaccine on rats. Vaccinated animals that received the drug were largely protected from typical signs of meth intoxication. If the vaccine proves effective in humans too, it could become the first specific treatment for meth addiction, which is estimated to affect 25 million people worldwide.

"This is an early-stage study, but its results are comparable to those for other drug vaccines that have then gone to clinical trials," said Michael A. Taffe, an associate professor in TSRI’s addiction science group, known as the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders. Taffe is the senior author of the study, which is currently in press with the journal Biological Psychiatry.

A Common and Dangerous Drug of Abuse

Over the past two decades, methamphetamine has become one of the most common drugs of abuse around the world. In the United States alone there are said to be more than 400,000 current users, and in some states, including California, meth accounts for more primary drug abuse treatment admissions than any other drug. Meth has characteristics that make it more addictive than other common drugs of abuse, and partly for this reason, there are no approved treatments for meth addiction.

Full story of meth vaccine at Science Daily

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Your brain on food: Obesity, fasting and addiction

We all know that what you eat can change your physical appearance. It also alters how your body functions, making it more or less difficult to pump blood, grow healthy bones or process insulin.

New research presented this week at the Neuroscience 2012 conference suggests that what you eat can even alter your brain – and vice versa.

Timothy Verstynen and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the brain activity in 29 adults. The study participants were shown words on a screen in various colors and asked to identify the color, not the word. Sometimes it was easy – the word red printed in red; other times it was harder, like seeing the word red printed in blue.

The overweight and obese participants’ brains showed more activity during difficult questions, suggesting they were working harder to get the same answers.
Verstynen said the results imply that obese people are less efficient at making complex decisions, which could be important for controlling impulse behavior.

Full story of the brain on food at CNN Health

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Internet Changing Addiction Treatment, Expert Says

Internet Addiction Online TreatmentWeb-based programs are proving to be an innovative and powerful adjunct to addiction treatment, according to an expert on internet treatment strategies. However, they are not meant to replace face-to-face addiction treatment, notes Paul Radkowski, CEO/Clinical Director at Life Recovery Program in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Internet addiction programs range from web-based education interventions, to self-guided web-based therapeutic programs, to human-supported web-based therapies, Radkowski explained at the recent annual meeting of the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).

“Addiction is a 24/7 issue, and requires 24/7 solutions. Internet programs can help address that need. They are not meant to replace face-to-face modalities, which provide support and accountability, but can supplement them,” Radkowski said.

Full story of internet addiction treatment at DrugFree.org

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