Addiction (Part I): Stop emotional overeating, obesity: You’ve “had enough”!

January 26, 2012 by  
Filed under OBESITY, VIDEO

Addiction (Part I): Stop emotional overeating, obesity: You've
Read more

Inhalants: addictive substances in your household chemicals

May 4, 2010 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

There are many types of addictive drugs. There are the ones taken orally. Some are rolled as a cigarette and smoked. Some are snorted as powder or injected as suspension. And some are sniffed as fumes.

What are inhalants?

You might have experienced it yourself – the smell of glue or gasoline seems to be pleasant. However, beyond the single whiff is a state of feeling high. These substances whose fumes can cause an immediate high when sniffed in sufficient amounts are called inhalants. Inhalants in slang terms are sometimes called Glue, Kick, Bang, Sniff, Huff, Poppers, Whippets, Texas Shoeshine. Not only are inhalants addictive, they can also be very toxic.

What are the most commonly used inhalants?

Unfortunately, inhalants are easily available right within the four walls of our own home. Normal everyday household products can be used as inhalants. The most common inhalants are:

  • Glue
  • Air freshener
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Gasoline
  • Correction fluid
  • Marker pens
  • Some cleaning fluids

In addition, specially prepared inhalants such as amyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite (“poppers”) and nitrous oxide (“whippets”) are at discos, night clubs and concerts.

What are the adverse effects of inhalants?

  • Inhalants have adverse effects on your heart health. When you sniff glue instead of fresh air, you are starving your body of essential oxygen. Your heart starts to beat irregularly.
  • Inhalants produce side effects such as nausea and nose bleeding.
  • Inhalants can also affect other organs including the kidney, liver, and lungs.
  • Chronic use of inhalants can lead to smelling and hearing impairment and muscle atrophy.
  • Inhalants can cause brain damage.
  • Inhalants can kill. Inhalant-induced heart attack and suffocation can lead to death.
  • Inhalants can also cause accidental poisoning among very small children.

Who uses inhalants?

Inhalant users are usually young. A 2006 study showed that 1.3% of teenagers in the US have used inhalants. In developing countries, the use of inhalants is common among street children and adolescents since they could not afford mainstream recreational drugs.

What are the signs of inhalant abuse?

Some of the most common signs of inhalant abuse are:

If you think a friend or a family member is addicted to inhalants, encourage that person to seek professional help before permanent health damage – or worse – death occurs.

Propofol: the doctors’ drug

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

syringeIs your doctor a junkie?

Everybody is suddenly talking about propofol. It’s the drug that killed Michael Jackson, right? The truth it, several substances have been found in Jackson’s system during the autopsy but propofol seems to be the most likely culprit. Just another unfortunate overdose story? Not really.

For one thing, there is more to this drug than just meet the eye.  Propofol is a commonly used anesthetic agent, used to initiate unconsciousness during surgeries. It is supposed to be fast-acting and safe. But medical professionals know better.

It is common knowledge among the medical circles that propofol  is addictive. It is also common knowledge that medical professionals, especially anesthesiologists are misusing and abusing propofol as a recreation drug.

Unbelievable, isn’t it? The very people who are supposed to prescribe and administer drugs are the ones who are most likely to abuse it. In an article in Men’s Health  last year, the question arose whether there is “a junkie in the OR.” And the answer was most likely yes. Anesthesiologists are especially prone to dependence on the drugs they handle. During surgery, these doctors are exposed to sedatives, anesthetics and other drugs, and propofol is just one of them.  One survey of 133 teaching hospitals revealed that ” faculty anesthesiologists and their anesthesiology residents were four times more likely to have had substance-abuse problems than other physicians.” It seems that drug exposure and abuse are an occupational hazard among anesthesiologists.

But here comes the most shocking of all: aside from “pilfering” and “stealing”, the hospital junkies are not really committing a crime when they shoot up propofol. You see, propofol is not a controlled drug, not considered to be a narcotic or addictive substance according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) current list of regulated drugs. While drugs as valium and codeine (found in cough syrups) are controlled and are place under certain “drug schedules”, propofol is not. Strange, isn’t it?

Controlled drugs are regulated in a lot of ways: distribution, storage, prescription, and inventory follow strict guidelines. Only certain medical professionals with special licenses are allowed to prescribe them. It is illegal to transport or carry these drugs across borders unless you have a special license. In other words, these are drugs that you just don’t leave lying around or carry in your pocket. In the case of propofol, no restrictions are in place. It is easily available and accessible to anybody working in a hospital or clinic. Really perfect for a recreation drug, isn’t it?

Michael  Jackson used propofol  as a sedative to go to sleep. Medical professional junkies just use it at subanesthetic levels to get “high” – described as a feeling of elation and sensitation. There have been previous cases of lethal overdose of propofol, including a murder case. A male nurse was found guilty of  murdering his girlfriend with propofol in 2008.

So what are the health authorities doing about this? The DEA is now under pressure and is considering to include propofol in the list of controlled drugs. It takes a lot of publicity, such as in the case of Jackson’s death, to change things for the better.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.