TODAY, THE FDA REQUESTED THAT OPANA ER BE REMOVED FROM THE MARKET DUE TO ADDICTION & DEATH. IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!


Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove its opioid pain medication, reformulated Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride), from the market. After careful consideration, the agency is seeking removal based on its concern that the benefits of the drug may no longer outweigh its risks. This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse.

The FDA’s decision is based on a review of all available postmarketing data, which demonstrated a significant shift in the route of abuse of Opana ER from nasal to injection following the product’s reformulation. Injection abuse of reformulated Opana ER has been associated with a serious outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C, as well as cases of a serious blood disorder (thrombotic microangiopathy). This decision follows a March 2017 FDA advisory committee meeting where a group of independent experts voted 18-8 that the benefits of reformulated Opana ER no longer outweigh its risks.

Opana ER was first approved in 2006 for the management of moderate-to-severe pain when a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period of time. In 2012, Endo replaced the original formulation of Opana ER with a new formulation intended to make the drug resistant to physical and chemical manipulation for abuse by snorting or injecting. While the product met the regulatory standards for approval, the FDA determined that the data did not show that the reformulation could be expected to meaningfully reduce abuse and declined the company’s request to include labeling describing potentially abuse-deterrent properties for Opana ER. Now, with more information about the risks of the reformulated product, the agency is taking steps to remove the reformulated Opana ER from the market.

The FDA has requested that the company voluntarily remove reformulated Opana ER from the market. Should the company choose not to remove the product, the agency intends to take steps to formally require its removal by withdrawing approval. In the interim, the FDA is making health care professionals and others aware of the particularly serious risks associated with the abuse of this product.

The FDA will continue to examine the risk-benefit profile of all approved opioid analgesic products and take further actions as appropriate as a part of our response to this public health crisis.

For more information, please visit: Opana ER


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SUBOXONE: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY!

Suboxone is a popular, prescription-only drug that effectively suppresses opioid cravings and reduces the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Although Suboxone has assisted thousands of individuals struggling with opioid addiction, the drug is not without its risks. While critics express concerns over the long-term risks of Suboxone, namely dependency, there is also a more immediate risk of Suboxone use — the drug’s dangerous interactions with other substances.

According to statistics gathered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), there were 30,135 buprenorphine-related emergency room visits in 2010. Not surprisingly, 59 percent of these hospitalizations involved additional drugs. As Suboxone’s popularity increases, it’s crucial to understand the drug’s risk, especially the dangers of mixing Suboxone with other substances.

How Suboxone Works

A combination of the drugs buprenorphine and naloxone, Suboxone works to satiate the brain’s desire for opioids without offering the rewarding effects. Functioning as a partial opioid agonist, or weak opioid, the drug buprenorphine locks onto the brain’s opioid receptors, which alleviates withdrawal symptoms, diminishes cravings, and prevents other opioids from reacting with the brain’s receptors.

While buprenorphine “tricks” the brain into believing a full dose of an opioid was taken, naloxone then blocks the brain’s opioid receptors, immediately eliminating the pleasurable effects of the buprenorphine.

Since Suboxone does include an opioid, taking other drugs while on Suboxone can be life-threatening. If you are on a Suboxone regimen, it’s vital to avoid the following substances due to their dangerous interactions.

Benzodiazepines (“Benzos”)
Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin) are typically prescribed to alleviate anxiety and treat insomnia. Categorized as depressant drugs, or “downers,” benzodiazepines sedate the central nervous system, which slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and depresses breathing. The buprenorphine in Suboxone also functions as a depressant drug. When taken together, the effects of each drug are both exacerbated, and the combination can lead to severe lack of coordination, impaired judgement, unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and even death.
Cocaine
By counteracting the effects of the other, combining Suboxone and cocaine produces two dangerous effects for users. As a stimulant, or “upper,” cocaine has shown to reduce the amount of buprenorphine in the bloodstream of a Suboxone user, which may quickly lead to opioid withdrawal symptoms. Combining cocaine and Suboxone also increases the risk of a cocaine overdose. As a depressant, Suboxone reduces the effects of cocaine, giving the false sense to users that their body can handle more cocaine — even when it can’t.
Alcohol
Much like benzodiazepines, alcohol is also classified as a depressant, affecting the body’s central nervous system. Due to its popularity and broad acceptance, alcohol may present the most danger to an uninformed Suboxone user. When someone begins Suboxone, he or she may not consider the risks of drinking alcohol. However, the combination of alcohol and Suboxone can produce the same dangerous (and sometimes fatal) effects as mixing benzodiazepines with Suboxone, including unconsciousness and respiratory failure.

Suboxone is a combination drug comprised of two substances: Buprenorphine & Naloxone

Buprenorphine—a relatively mild opiate analgesic with mixed opioid receptor agonist activity; historically used at low doses to manage mild to moderate levels of pain.
Naloxone—an opiate antagonist used to reverse or eliminate the effects of opiates in someone’s system.
Buprenorphine has been available since 1985, but a major shift happened in 2002 when the trade formulations known as Subutex and Suboxone became approved in the US, and began being marketed for the treatment of narcotic addiction. Subutex contains buprenorphine only while Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone, also known as Narcan. From this point forward, doctors were permitted to prescribe the substance to individuals that were struggling with opiate addiction.

In a similar way to methadone, the thought is that Suboxone will limit withdrawal symptoms and decrease the frequency and intensity of cravings in the person addicted to opiates, making it a safer alternative. Its levels can be monitored and reduced until the person is no longer addicted.

Suboxone typically comes as a sublingual strip rather than a pill. This means it can be dissolved under the tongue discreetly without water to wash it down.

Suboxone acts as a depressant in the body, which means that it slows down the person rather than speeding them up, as a stimulant would do.

The short-term, desirable effects of Suboxone include:

  • A pain relieving effect that is between 20 and 30 times more powerful than morphine.
  • A mild euphoria that can lasts for around 8 hours with general effects of the substance lasting for 24 – 72 hours.
  • A sense of calm and inflated well-being.
  • A perception of fewer worries and lower stress.
    Increased relaxation.

As with other drugs of abuse, taking too much Suboxone in the short-term can lead to unwanted effects including:

  • Sleepiness.
  • Confusion.
  • Nausea.
  • Respiratory depression.

Side Effects

Suddenly stopping use of Suboxone can elicit unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and prove much more difficult to quit than thought.
While Suboxone is used in the treatment of addiction, the drug itself can lead to tolerance and dependence. Suddenly stopping use of Suboxone can elicit unpleasant withdrawal effects, and prove much more difficult to quit than thought. Other side effects that may occur during a period of active use or withdrawal include:

  • Constipation (during use).
  • Diarrhea (during withdrawal).
  • Arthralgia, or joint pain (during withdrawal).
  • Insomnia.
  • Irritability.
  • Jitteriness.
  • Pinpoint pupils (during use).
  • Dilated pupils (during withdrawal).

In addition, partial opioid agonists like buprenorphine and, indeed, opioid antagonists like naloxone can send someone addicted to full opioid agonist substances (like heroin or oxycodone) into what is known as precipitated withdrawal—inducing the onset of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms very rapidly, if not immediately.

Can I Become Addicted to Suboxone?

In 2012, there were more than 9 million prescriptions for buprenorphine written in the US.

While Suboxone is used in the long-term management of opiate abuse to end the pattern of abuse,  it actually can be abused itself. In fact, currently, aside from its prescribed use, Suboxone is a highly sought after drug of abuse. Those abusing Suboxone include:

  • People already abusing narcotics—whether or not they are addicted.
  • People that are unaware of the drug’s risks.
  • People addicted to heroin looking to avoid withdrawals.
  • People on a Suboxone program who become dependent on the substance.
  • Rather than being addicted to the heroin or prescription pills, people become addicted to the Suboxone. Taking the drug for reasons other than its intended purpose increases the risk of becoming addicted or restarting the cycle of abuse and addiction.

Long-Term Effects of Suboxone

Suboxone abuse both directly and indirectly imparts some serious long-term effects that can affect both mental and physical health.

Negative Health Effects

  • Drowsiness.
  • Gastrointestinal issues like constipation, nausea and vomiting.
  • Disorientation and confusion.
  • Decreased pain tolerance.
  • Negative Psychological Effects
  • Increased incidence of depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Isolation.
  • Difficulty in social situations.

Extended Issues

  • Failing relationships.
  • Trouble with responsibilities (e.g. parenting, work, school).
  • Financial strain.
  • Legal problems associated with addictive behaviors.

Suboxone Dependence

Because Suboxone contains an opioid, it can lead to dependence. This means your body starts to build a tolerance to it and you will feel uncomfortable when you stop using it.

One of the key signs of Suboxone dependence is that you start to suffer from withdrawal around 48 hours after ceasing use of the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms can mimic the flu, but they can last for up to a week. It is a sign that the opioid and its ultimately toxic influences are finally relinquishing their grip on a wide range of the body’s systems and functioning.

Suboxone dependence often requires a medically monitored detox period to keep the user comfortable and helps protect them from continuing their drug use in an attempt to stave off the onset of withdrawal.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

The full range of Suboxone addiction treatment consists broadly of a detox stage, a therapeutic stage, and a longer-term recovery phase (which frequently consists of a number of post-treatment aftercare efforts). Conceptually, these stages may overlap to some degree.

Detox

Detox means you’ll be withdrawn from the drug. Normally, this happens gradually with your dose slowly being reduced. This can occur over the course of days, weeks, or months and often incurs as part of an inpatient rehab program.

Therapy

Once your withdrawal is progressing, you can start the process of therapy. Whether the therapy is inpatient or outpatient, it will involve understanding the systems in place that triggered the addiction, and what can be done to maintain life without the substance.

You may encounter different therapists with different styles during this process. For example, a therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy may ask about your thoughts and feelings to assess how these impact your behaviors. You might also be asked about your family and how you relate to others to identify the problematic relationships in your life. Additionally, a therapist will work to determine if the problematic drug use may have been a means of “self-medication”, or done in an attempt to manage other underlying mental or behavioral health issues.

A referral to a psychiatrist may be done to begin psychiatric medications to any concurrent mental health issues, if indicated. Evaluation by a mental health professional will help to identify any potential factors that may have lead to or reinforced ongoing drug abuse or addiction, as well as outline the therapeutic steps one can take to get off drugs.

Recovery

The last stage is recovery, when the period of active addiction treatment concludes, and you are given the opportunity to move forward in your life. You can use the tools learned and the guidance received to move on from your drug addiction.

Strategic aftercare planning will be implemented as most treatment programs near completion. Post-treatment, many benefit from ongoing counseling that is focused on drug use prevention, improved coping skills, and identifying health supports. It is helpful for those entering the long-term recovery phase to obtain individual counseling or coaching and/or support for a period of time.

Sources: drugabuse.com


Once your addiction is over and you’ve detoxed properly in a hospital or detox facility, you’re ready for Victory Retreat Montana.  Currently, plans are in place to build a Bible based ‘alternative’ rehab; however, until it’s completion, we work with people all over the US by phone, Skype, text, email and other modalities. Please give us a call.  Go to VictoryRetreatMontana.com to learn more.

Dereck Merrill survives drug overdose, vegetative state

Dereck Merrill was severely injured by a drug overdose. Some doctors suggested it was time to pull the plug, but his family saw something.

Kim Muncy’s 25-year-old son lay on an emergency room table, unresponsive and unconscious. A drug addict who had overdosed on opiates and benzodiazepines, Dereck Merrill was not likely to make it out of a vegetative state.
If he lived at all.
Muncy did not want her son to die alone among strangers at LewisGale Hospital Pulaski. She was so determined that she tried to talk her way back to the room where they were trying to stabilize him.
“I’m a nurse. I can stay out of the way,” she pleaded. “If he’s not going to make it, I want to be there to hold his hand.”
That was March 24, 2012. The mild-mannered nurse has given up a lot to remain at her son’s side in the time since — her job, her home, most of her free time.
She’s been through the five stages of grief, finally landing on acceptance as the best path for caring for her family and making the perils of drug addiction known. She’s also joined an effort to create a law in Virginia that provides legal immunity for those who call for medical help when a person overdoses.
“Being a family of faith, I think God picked me for this journey because he knew I was a nurse, and he knew I was a blabbermouth,” the 48-year-old mother said.
“He knew I had the ability to spread the word from coast to coast about what substance abuse has done to my child.”
Glassy eyes and SpaghettiOs
Muncy has told her story to area high schools, to youth groups and to recovery program participants. She begins with her son’s troubled primary and secondary school years — Merrill’s severe ADHD and poor school performance; the legal wrangles he got into when he got caught selling his Ritalin and other ADHD drugs for money to buy stronger drugs like Xanax, Valium and Loratab.
The first time Muncy suspected her son was getting high? He came home glassy-eyed, reeking of marijuana and tried to eat everything in sight. He was 14.
“He’d wolf down a can of ravioli then get a can of spaghetti and meatballs. He’d leave the fork in the can, and throw the whole fork with the can away,” she said.
Drug counseling, family counseling — they tried everything they could afford. She was in court so often for Merrill’s drug-related offenses that a Montgomery County bailiff made a crack about reserving Muncy her own seat in the courtroom.
At 17, Merrill was ordered to intensive drug rehab after a conviction for drug possession — his third — and intent to distribute. His crime? He’d stolen the painkillers prescribed for his mother, who was recovering from back surgery. She’d locked them up, but Merrill and a friend figured out how to open the safe.
Merrill had been doing better after a year of drug treatment, or so his mother thought. He was working some and living with a girlfriend in Pulaski County.
After the death of Muncy’s mother, however, Merrill became distraught. He’d been raised with the help of his grandmother, who baby-sat while Muncy put herself through nursing school. Merrill’s father was absent most of his life and died when he was just 15.
When she first learned of Merrill’s “injury,” as Muncy calls it, she and her new husband, Doug Muncy, had just sat down to supper. Merrill’s frantic girlfriend called to say she’d come home from work to find him vomiting, struggling to breathe and white as a ghost.
They’d been to a party the night before, and she’d gone to work that morning, thinking he was just asleep, she told Kim Muncy. She divulged no information about which drugs he’d been taking or even where the party was, family members say. Tests confirmed he had marijuana, benzodiazepines, opiates and alcohol in his system.
“The effects were parallel to what you might see in a heroin overdose,” said Carilion Clinic neurologist Jay Ferrara. The nerve coatings on his brain were so damaged that an outright hole had developed, with fluid replacing what was once been white matter. “He was as profoundly brain-injured as one can be.”
His heart, kidneys and liver were also failing.
Praying for a miracle
Doctors had little hope that Merrill would ever awaken from his vegetative state. They tried one drug after another, but nothing worked. At the long-term acute care facility he was transferred to in Lynchburg, a neurologist held up the Karen Ann Quinlan case as an example of why Kim Muncy should consider pulling the plug on her comatose son. The famous right-to-die case culminated with the young woman living on in a persistent vegetative state for nearly a decade — while a legal battle raged around her.
“They wanted us to discontinue tube feeding and just let him go,” Muncy said.
She and Merrill’s little sister, Deanna Farley, sensed something perking behind his dull stare. Muncy called it “a kind of flicker.” Farley saw it as “a little smirk.”
Neither one of them was sleeping well from driving between Christiansburg and Lynchburg. When the Lynchburg doctor persisted with talk of letting her son die a dignified death — he’d been lying in bed with contracted muscles, and he was beginning to get bedsores — Muncy finally snapped.
“What part of this don’t you understand? I’m not stopping the feeding, period,” she said.
The doctor relented, but the hospital could not keep Merrill much longer. Muncy spent the next week calling 75 rehab and nursing facilities from Wytheville to Richmond, offering to personally provide all his nursing care.
Merrill was too young, too needy and too likely to trigger scrutiny from state long-term care inspectors, Muncy said. The more complicated a patient is, the more likely surveyors are to dive into their care to make sure every decision is backed up with paperwork.
“Patients like Dereck are risky,” Muncy said. “The philosophy is, if it’s not documented, it’s not done.”
Muncy and her husband, a Roanoke mail carrier, prayed for a miracle — for a facility in the region to take Merrill so they wouldn’t have to move.
Only one was willing to take him on.
Magic number eight
It wasn’t quite a flicker, but Stephanie Mangan thought she spotted something behind Merrill’s blue eyes the first time she saw him, four months after his overdose. An occupational therapist at Raleigh Court Health & Rehabilitation Center in Roanoke, she saw in his limp body and faraway stare “some form of drive, some kind of yearning to participate or move,” she recalled recently.
One day in July 2012, she was doing her usual range-of-motion exercises, bending Merrill’s arms and counting softly as she worked to keep his muscles limber.
“Four … five … six … seven,” she said, flexing his elbow as she counted.
“Eight,” Merrill said softly.
He hadn’t spoken in four months. Hadn’t communicated at all. Couldn’t move beyond blinking his eyes.
Now he was not just speaking a word, but saying the correct word in a sequence.
Mangan ran through the facility hallway, telling everyone she saw, “Dereck just spoke!”
The Raleigh Court therapy staff shepherded his gradual awakening, first teaching him to blink for yes or no, helping him put sound behind his mostly mouthed words and teaching him to eat.
His sister shocked everyone, including his doctors, when she described how Merrill happily mouthed the words to the entire Justin Bieber song, “Baby.”
No one believed her that he really knew the song, but Farley recorded the entire performance on her cellphone.
“We had to show the video to the doctors to prove that he was really all there,” said Farley, 21, who helps care for Merrill in the Grandin Court ranch house the family moved to so they could be near him. Farley said she postponed college to help him, and she wants eventually to be a rehabilitation therapist of some kind.
Once the Raleigh Court rehab staff got Merrill speaking and participating more fully in his recovery, he was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for a month of intensive rehabilitative training. Though he’s technically still a quadriplegic, he now has limited use of one arm and can feed himself with help.
Certified nursing assistant Andrea Trenor at Raleigh Court became so close to the family that she accompanied Farley to visit Merrill in Atlanta.
“I’m so proud of you, Dereck,” she told him during a recent social visit to the Raleigh Court facility. Muncy took the staff a giant sheet cake that said, “Thank you, Raleigh Court,” and the therapists and aides cooed over how much Merrill had progressed.
“When he first came in he was stiff, and he couldn’t bend or talk. Then he started whispering, then speaking, then making jokes,” Trenor said.
“Many of them inappropriate,” Farley said, laughing.
Not long ago, from the other room, his mother heard him whisper “Hey, baby” while watching a female weather broadcaster on TV. “His new love is Kristina Montuori,” Muncy explained of the WSLS (Channel 10) meteorologist.
When Muncy asked whom he was talking to, Merrill brightened and explained: “I’m saying hi to my girl on TV. Mom, she’s so hot, she’s making the temperature go up in the 70s.”
From acceptance to activist
She’s given up about $60,000 in nursing salary to care of Merrill, working only part-time on weekends for a local hospice company. Initial hospital bills were covered by Muncy’s insurance, followed by Medicaid once Merrill was rendered fully disabled.
The newlywed life she and Doug were enjoying pre-injury — going to church, fishing and going to auctions — has all come to a halt.
Family members say their goal now is to tell Merrill’s story as far and wide as they can, in person and through a social media campaign they call U Turn for LIFE. Muncy is teaming up with Robin Roth, the Roanoke County mother who lost her 21-year-old son, Scott, to a heroin overdose four years ago.
They hope to resurrect a 911 Good Samaritan bill that would provide legal immunity to people who call for medical assistance when someone overdoses, rather than flee the scene for fear of legal trouble. HB 557 was introduced by Del. Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, but was tabled in the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, 23 states already have enacted similar legislation.
Carr said she plans to introduce another version of the bill next year, recrafted to address opponents’ concerns. Fear of prosecution was a factor in the cases of Scott Roth and Merrill, both of whom could have benefited from earlier interventions, their mothers believe.
Merrill’s friends “took him home and put him to bed when he was passing out,” Muncy said. “Later, at the hospital, they were afraid to tell what he’d done at the party. The doctors wanted to know so they could help him, but everybody played dumb,” she added.
In both men’s cases, smoking marijuana led eventually to much harder drugs, which is why both Muncy and Roth hope to stop efforts to legalize marijuana in Virginia. Roanoke County prevention coordinator Nancy Hans agrees with that strategy, citing Harvard Medical School professor Bertha Madras, whose research underscores how addictive and harmful the drug can be, especially to developing adolescent brains.
“Marijuana is definitely a gateway drug,” Hans said. “In Dereck’s case, it led to not just a drastic change in his life but to his whole family and beyond.”
A new purpose
Ferrara marvels at Merrill’s high quality of life, calling him an inspiration to his doctors and to other brain injury patients. He credits his mother for her remarkable care and advocacy.
“Although he has trouble learning the date and other things going on in the world, and certainly needs help in terms of [daily activities], I do think his family life is rich. He has a great sense of humor and is really a charming guy,” Ferrara said.
That charm was on quiet display during a recent visit to Hidden Valley High School, where Farley pushed him in his wheelchair, and Muncy showed the video Farley made to help spread the word about U Turn for LIFE.
“You can ask us anything,” Farley said at the start of the Q&A session, and slowly and shyly the students did open up: Why are drugs so accessible? What does the future hold? How do you deal with the stress of it?
Asked by one student what his goal is now, “If you don’t do drugs, I will have achieved my goal,” Merrill said.
“That’s why I lived,” he added. “It’s my purpose now.”

Source: roanoke.com  Story by Beth Macy

City Suing OxyContin Co. For Causing Opioid Epidemic By Allowing Criminal Trafficking

oxycontin
Courtesy of: Justin Gardner

A major pharmaceutical company that was exposed in 2016 for its complicity in wrecking countless lives is now facing a new kind of lawsuit. The city of Everett, Washington has filed suit against Purdue Pharma, claiming it ignored criminal trafficking of huge quantities of the drug OxyContin – in violation of federal law – and primarily caused an opioid epidemic.

According to the LA Times:

In a complaint in state Superior Court, city lawyers accused Purdue of gross negligence, creating a public nuisance and other misconduct and said the company should pay costs of handling the opioid crisis — a figure that the mayor said could run to tens of millions of dollars — as well as punitive damages.
OxyContin, a patented form of oxycodone which hit the market in 1995, ushered in the era of opioid addiction and brought billions in profits to Purdue Pharma. Owned by the Sackler family, Purdue came to control nearly a third of the U.S. pain pill market through massive marketing and a campaign of deception against doctors and patients.

Purdue identified doctors around the country who were prescribing the most pain medications – even doctors it knew were acting recklessly – and targeted them with a marketing onslaught. It worked, and “from 1997 to 2002 prescriptions of OxyContin for non-cancer pain increased almost tenfold.”

Purdue has been sued numerous times before concerning its marketing to doctors and OxyContin’s risk of addiction, but the Everett lawsuit is the first to focus on the company’s knowledge of criminal distribution after the Times investigation.

The Times’ investigation, published in July, disclosed that for more than a decade, an internal security team at Purdue monitored doctors and pharmacies it suspected of colluding with dealers and addicts. In the case of the L.A. ring, criminals set up a phony clinic near MacArthur Park in 2008 and worked with corrupt physicians and pharmacies to obtain pills over 18 months.

A Purdue sales manager dispatched to investigate the high volume of prescriptions at the clinic found a rundown building thronged with rough men and urged supervisors to alert the Drug Enforcement Administration, saying she was “very certain this is an organized drug ring.”

Despite her pleas and additional evidence suggesting that pills were pouring into the hands of criminals, company officials did not go to authorities until years later when the drug ring was out of business and its leaders under indictment. By then, 1.1 million pills had spilled into the illicit pipeline.”
These disturbing revelations come on top of a prior investigation that found Purdue maintained a secret Purdue database of 1,800 suspect doctors, but only about 10 percent of them were reported to law enforcement.

As a result of this willful ignorance, OxyContin – a powerful formulation of oxycodone which was labeled a dangerous drug before being patented – flooded the streets across America and gave rise to the opioid epidemic.

By the year 2000, Purdue was producing 160mg tablets which became wildly popular as users could crush, sniff or inject the pill for a powerful, long-lasting high. In 2010, Purdue reformulated OxyContin to make it harder to abuse, but this simply drove addicts to heroin.

Purdue claimed the potential for addiction was very small or “less than 1 percent.” In 2007, “Purdue and its top executives pleaded guilty to charges that it misled doctors and patients about the addictive properties of OxyContin and misbranded the product as “abuse resistant.””

Now, the city of Everett is seeking to hold Purdue accountable for allowing its most profitable drug to flood the streets, by failing to report known criminal trafficking of the drug, which has resulted in countless wrecked lives and millions of dollars in costs to the city.

Heroin is now an enormous problem, thanks to OxyContin. Fatal overdoses are common and government budgets are overwhelmed. Jails are full of addicts in need of detox, city blocks have become open-air drug markets, and homelessness has exploded. At one point, OxyContin was a factor in more than half the crimes in Snohomish County.

“Purdue’s improper actions of placing profits over the welfare of the citizens of Everett have caused and will continue to cause substantial damages to Everett,” lawyers wrote in the complaint. “Purdue is liable for its intentional, reckless, and/or negligent misconduct and should not be allowed to evade responsibility for its callous and unconscionable practices.”

Source: http://www.naturalblaze.com

Snorting Your Prescription Painkillers

Insufflation – better known as snorting – causes drugs to enter your bloodstream quickly, giving you a more intense and faster high. People with chronic pain or those who have a painkiller addiction, seek a way to chase the high they once had. As you may know, the euphoria leaves after a short while, which leaves your body with a desperate need for that high again. What people do is increase their dosage on their own in order to bring back the euphoria. Many even make the decision to crush up their tablets and snort them. They think that it’s the fastest way to reach that desired euphoria again.; however, it’s not.

If you think snorting is a behavior of street Rx drug users, think again.  There are all too many little grannies who are doing it due to the extreme and desperate need for the body to maintain a high.

Why is Snorting Drugs Bad?
Snorting painkillers is significantly more dangerous than taking them as a pill or tablet by mouth, and the decision to crush up your hydrocodone could very well cost you your life.

5 reasons why snorting painkillers could likely cause you to lose your life:

1. It’s Harder to Control the Dosage
The process of crushing and snorting painkillers makes it easier for the drugs to be absorbed into your blood stream. This, in turn, creates a faster and more unpredictable high. Though this might sound appealing when you’re craving a Vicodin (or other opiate) fix, you’ll have zero control over the end result.

Don’t wait
Get treatment before your prescription drug use becomes life-threatening. Let me tell you, it will.

Accidental overdoses are the leading cause of accidental injury deaths, and prescription painkillers are the most frequent source of the overdose. Every time you snort painkillers, you put your life at risk. One American dies every 19 minute for an accidental overdose.

2. Time is running out

Addiction begins with tolerance, which uncontrollably pushes you to use larger doses than you initially were given. At this desperate point, all to many begin to snort.
Once you become addicted to painkillers, quitting without medically supervised detox becomes impossible–and especially dangerous.

3. Respiratory and Sinus Irritation

Snorting these potent substances will cause your sinuses and respiratory system to become extremely irritated causing frequent illness and then, disease. If you’re not careful, you could even choke (to death) as you attempt to snort the drugs.

The damage ranges from mild to life-threatening, but some of the ways snorting painkillers can affect your breathing include:

  • Chronic sinus infections and congestion.
  • Changes in your voice.
  • Frequent nose bleeds.
  • Sleep apnea and snoring.
  • Awakening due to congestion at night.
  • Lung infections, pneumonia, and similar complications.
  • Sores in and around your nose and mouth.

Why not manage the damage today by getting help to get healthy again. As long as you can still breathe, t’s never too late.

4. Intensification of Other Risk Factors

The fact that snorting painkillers is dangerous doesn’t mean that taking pills by mouth is okay… even for people with a valid medical prescription. Signs that your life is headed to total darkness:

  • Depression
  • Difficulties with motivation.
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Sleeping too much… not enough.
  • Changes in appetite and taste.
  • Gastrointestinal distress, such as frequent unexplained vomiting.
  • Constipation / Diarrhea
  • Cardiovascular problems.
  • Increased vulnerability to infections.
  • High-risk behavior, such as doctor shopping and stealing drugs.
  • Difficulty relating to others.
  • Worsening of chronic pain due to the drugs diminishing your overall health.
  • Trouble staying awake during the day, and disruptions in sleep during the night.
  • Vivid goulish dreams.
  • Chronic Heartburn.
  • Palpitations.
  • Apathy.
  • Headache.
  • Severe Agitation
  • Hallucinations – both auditory and visual
  • Skin crawling
  • Having to take a lot of time off from work.
  • Disconnecting from family and friends who don’t use.

5. Unpredictable Effects

The effects of painkiller use are well-known when these drugs are administered orally. But because painkillers were never designed to be snorted, it’s hard to predict how snorting painkillers might affect you.

No matter how much you believe you are in control of your painkiller use, snorting these dangerous drugs robs you of control, and can yield deadly unanticipated side effects and death. These drugs can even place you in a vegetative state for the rest of your life.
Personal factors, such as your cardiovascular health and age, can alter the effects of the drugs.


VictoryRetreatMontana.com – An up and coming alternative method to healing addiction through God’s principles.

Tranquilizers, Benzos & Anxiety, Oh My!

If you are taking Benzos for more than 3 days, you are headed down a very dark, dismal, and lonely road to suffering and death. Benzos will bite back after a while. They will either do the opposite to what they were originally intended for… stop working and cause you to increase the dose to try and  give you the same effect… become engorged in your organs and cause mass organ destruction… produce more anxiety, pain and fear than before you started them… and ultimately, withdrawal which has it’s own set of grave dangers.

What are Benzos? Well, there are many brand and generic names; however, for my purpose here, I’ll name just a few common ones. A few Benzos are: Xanax (Alprazolam), Librium (Chlordiazepoxide), Klonopin (Clonazepam), and Ativan (Lorazepam). The tendencies by doctors are to prescribe them to women far more than men due to their predisposition of considering women weak. Sad, huh? Well, most doctors are not the sharpest tacks in the tool box!

What are the risks? If you don’t want to know the risks and quit reading here, you’re probably addicted and have closed your eyes and ears to learning about what even one pill a day can do to you. As a matter of fact, Benzos will probably kill you way before anything else does. Here’s the down and dirty.

What happens with Benzo use & abuse?     

  • they carry a high risk of accidental overdose
  • they slow your breathing until you just don’t breathe anymore
  • they slow your heart rate which as it’s own set of problems
  • they cause you to ultimately want or need to take more than the doctor prescribed because their effect decreases with the length of time you take them
  • they will dumb you down to not caring about their effects on your mind and body
  • they cause long and short term memory loss
  • they are VERY and insidiously addictive

***If you take Suboxone or Methadone along with these little bad boys, you’ve now created a lethal cocktail, risking cardiac and respiratory arrest. You may as well plan your funeral now because you’re headed in that direction. You ARE committing suicide… a slow suicide… but suicide no matter how you choose to view it.  Many of you may be getting Suboxone or Methadone illegally and not realize their effect with Benzos.

Over 30% of accidental prescription drug overdoses occur due to Benzo use. You’re more likely to use, seek, or wonder about other drugs as well. If you’re taking Opiates along with Benzos, you’re headed toward certain drug overdose – even if you take them ‘as prescribed’. Unintentional prescription drug overdose is now the #1 cause of preventable accidental death here in the US.

If you’re addicted, none of this will scare you; you won’t let it. If it doesn’t scare you, please get help to detox today. Laws are changing anyway and you won’t be able to get them anymore on an ongoing basis unless you agree to see a psychiatrist on a monthly basis. Even with that, your Benzo affair will not last long.   Whatever you do, do NOT NOT NOT stop them on your own. You are going to need professional medical monitored detox in an in-patient facility or as an out-patient. If you try this on your own, you are more likely than not to have seizures, a heart attack, stroke, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest and, of course, death. Withdrawal is a LIFE THREATENING event, so don’t take it lightly.

Trouble comes with symptoms such as: muscle aches and pains, agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, increased or decreased heart rate, sweating, chills, headache, insomnia, impaired judgement, memory loss, shaking, restlessness, restless leg syndrome, delusions, hallucinations, occasional disorientation, blue discoloration of your lips or nail beds, strange symptoms that your doctor can’t diagnose, seizures, suicidal or homicidal ideations, coma… then death.

If you need post-detox or post-rehab support, or just a push in the right direction, our certified life coaches can help.  We work by donation of any size whatsoever, so there’s no excuse. We take your ability or inability to pay off the table!  We work with you via Christian Coaching, Biblical Counseling, Mentoring, Teaching and methods of Paying it Forward. Please use the form below to contact us!

Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lortabs)

***It doesn’t have to be like this (below) if you have natural alternative safe pain control such as Real Time Pain Relief. This has, quite literally, saved me from the constant extreme pain I once had and would continue to have if not for this cream. That’s why we market this.

Hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin, Norco and Lortabs (to name just a few), is prescribed for pain relief – chronic and acute. It is a synthetic Opium combined with acetaminophen (the chemical compound that makes up Tylenol and other similar drugs). Unethical doctors will prescribe them for more than the 3 permitted days because they cause an addiction after approximately 2 weeks of regular use. One of the main reasons for addiction is the euphoria that this drug creates… a eurphoria hard to get away from once you experience it. I use the term ‘unethical’ for the doctors who prescribe these for more than 3 days because they do so in order to fund their bank accounts. Prescribing these will, by law, cause patients to return every month for renewals. It’s a cushy way to make money. When you die from an accidental overdose, there will be 3 more patients to take your place. When doctors are now the #1 cause of accidental death in the US, they know that there will always be a supply of prescription drug addicts to replace you once you’re buried. Sounds cold? It is! Tell it to your doctor.
The unwritten code of ethics is for physicians (and other prescribers) is to offer Hydrocodone for no longer than 3 days. After those 3 days, a medication that is non-addictive should be given in order to prevent an addiction. Hydrocodone will ultimately take your life. You don’t have to increase your dose for it to do it’s evil. All you have to do is keep taking the dose – as prescribed. It will ultimately cause anxiety, lethargy, drowsiness, inability to concentrate, mood swings, preoccupation with having enough on hand, loss of motivation, appetite increase or decrease, inability to handle pressure, depression, loss of interest, loss of sexual functioning, stroke, heart attack, seizures and death. This is only to name a few. It also has a devastating effect on the immune system. It will suppress the activity of natural killer cells that fight cellular toxins, it enhances the growth of tumors, triggers spleen atrophy, decreases levels of interferon (the protein that is produced by cells to fight viruses), decreases helpful T-Lymphocyte numbers, Decreases T-cell function, and inhibits B-cell activity… to name a few. Hydrocodone predisposes the body to illness and infection and will inhibit recovery from surgery and sickness. If you have been diagnosed with any immune disorder, Opiates are the worst drug you can take and your doctor knows this. It will just make you sicker and the doctor will have you in his/her office more often and for more sicknesses and diseases. Don’t kid yourself, it’s all about money!
To recover from Opiate addiction, you need to want it more than you want to breathe. It’s possible; however, in my opinion, it’s possible only with Jesus Christ in your life. Without Him, it will be a lifetime struggle. With Him, it’s a brief and temporary struggle, in exchange for a lifetime of complete freedom. Make no mistake about it, addiction is NOT a disease. Disease theorists are only telling you that in order to fund expensive treatment (rehabs and detox centers, Big Pharma and ongoing addiction – creating a wealth of venues for making money. When the human mind is told it has a disease, it will act accordingly. If the human mind is told it’s just an addiction that can be healed completely, the human mind will completely heal. Add Jesus to the mix, it’s a done deal!
Please note that my focus here is on Rx drug addiction; however, the solution by God’s intervention, is true for any addiction.
InstantPainControl.com 
ToGiveYouHope.com
IatrogenicAddiction.com

Medical Care is now the Number 1 Cause of Death in the US

by Dr. Mercola

The latest data on the leading causes of deathi in the United States has been released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The report, which is based on 2010 data, lists the 10 leading causes of death as follows:

  1. Diseases of the heart
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
  5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Diabetes mellitus
  8. Nephritis, nephritic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
  9. Influenza and pneumonia
  10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)

In an analysis, 24/7 Wall St. determined that the costs to the economy for these top 10 causes, including not only direct medical care but also the indirect loss of productivity, amounts to a whopping $1.1 trillion!

However, there is one leading cause of death that was left off of this list, and when that is factored in the costs to the economy, and the death toll itself, is actually even higher.

The CDC Left Conventional Medical Care Off of Their Death List — It Should be #1

Over a decade ago, Professor Bruce Pomerance of the University of Toronto concluded that properly prescribed and correctly taken pharmaceutical drugs were the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. More recently, an article authored in two parts by Gary Null, PhD, Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Martin Feldman, MD, Debora Rasio, MD, and Dorothy Smith, PhD, describes in excruciating detail how the modern conventional American medical system has bumbled its way into becoming the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

From medical errors to adverse drug reactions to unnecessary procedures, heart disease, cancer deaths and infant mortality, the authors took statistics straight from the most respected medical and scientific journals and investigative reports by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM), and showed that on the whole, American medicine caused more harm than good.

In 2010 (the same year from which the CDC data came), years after the original article was written, an analysis in theNew England Journal of Medicineii piqued my interest – as the researchers found that, despite efforts to improve patient safety in the past few years, the health care system hasn’t changed much at all.

Instead, 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care (some repeatedly) and over 63 percent of the injuries could have been prevented. In nearly 2.5 percent of these cases, the problems caused or contributed to a person’s death. In another 3 percent, patients suffered from permanent injury, while over 8 percent experienced life-threatening issues, such as severe bleeding during surgery.

In all there were over 25 injuries per 100 admissions! In my update to the original Death by Medicine article, you can get an idea of just how deadly the conventional medical care system actually is:

  • In a June 2010 report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, study authors said that in looking over recordsiii that spanned from 1976 to 2006 (the most recent year available) they found that, of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors.
  • An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the U.S. every year.
  • The costs of adverse drug reactionsiv to society are more than $136 billion annually — greater than the total cost of cardiovascular or diabetic care.
  • Adverse drug reactions cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients.
  • The reason there are so many adverse drug eventsv in the U.S. is because so many drugs are used and prescribed – and many patients receive multiple prescriptions at varying strengths, some of which may counteract each other or cause more severe reactions when combined.

How Many Deaths by Medicine are Disguised as Other Causes?

Another issue is just how many “accidents” or “suicides” are actually the result of accidental drug overdoses. Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing — and this is according to the CDC’s own datavi.

In 2009, there were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visitsvii to U.S. emergency rooms nationwide, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribedviii.

Further, between 2001 and 2008, there was a 36 percent increase in hospital admissionsix, and a 28 percent increase in emergency room visits, among children 5 and younger who had accidentally ingested medication. ER visits for ingestion of prescription opioid painkillers, such as Oxycodone, increased 101 percent! So it is unclear how many deaths from accidental drug overdose are classified as accidents or suicides.

The 9th and 11th Top Killers Might Also be Linked to Medical Care

The 11th leading cause of death according to the CDC is septicemia (sometimes called blood poisoning), which is bacteria in your bloodstream that is often caused by an infection in your body — an infection that is often acquired in the hospital! A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicinex showed that sepsis and pneumonia caused by hospital-acquired infections killed 48,000 patients and ramped up health care costs by over $8 billion in 2006. The study also found that 20 percent of people who developed sepsis died; 11 percent of those who developed pneumonia died.

Pneumonia is the 9th leading cause of death, and in some cases may again be related to the high risk of acquiring an infection should you enter the hospital.

A different study in 2006 showed that “central-line-associated” bloodstream infectionsxi caused by catheters placed directly into veins resulted in a $26,839 loss for each patient that came down with this type of hospital-acquired infection. This same study estimated that 2 million people come down with hospital-acquired infections of any type in every year, and that approximately 100,000 die from those infections. Despite their high death toll, hospital-acquired infections make no appearance in the CDC’s report.

Most of the Leading Causes of Death are Preventable

Most chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, are largely preventable with simple lifestyle changes. Even infectious diseases like the flu can often be warded off by a healthy way of life.

Imagine the lowered death toll, not to mention costs to the economy, if more people decided to take control of their health … heart disease and cancer alone accounted for 47 percent of deaths in the United States in 2010, and there are many strategies you can implement to lower your risk of these diseases … and most of the leading causes of death in the United States.

The added bonus to this is that the healthier you are, the less you will need to rely on conventional medical care, which is a leading cause of death. So what does a “healthy lifestyle” entail?

  • Proper Food Choices

For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home.

For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).

Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose. Sugar, and fructose in particular, acts as a toxin in and of itself, and as such drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.

  • Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness

Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I’ve discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information, please review this previous article.

  • Stress Reduction and Positive Thinking

You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.

  • Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D

We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you’re getting out in the sun on a daily basis. Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing numerous illnesses ranging from cancer to the flu.

The important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level, which should ideally be between 50-70 ng/ml year-round. Sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the preferred method for optimizing vitamin D levels, but a vitamin D3 supplement can be used as a last resort. Most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day to achieve serum levels above 40 ng/ml, which is still just below the minimum recommended serum level of 50 ng/ml.

  • High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

Animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived race on the planet.

  • Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible

This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.

References:


Source:  24/7 Wall St. January 18, 2012

Source:  National Vital Statistics Reports January 11, 2012, Volume 60, Number 4

Read the Full Article Here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/11/leading-causes-of-death-cost-for-us-economy.aspx

 

IatrogenicAddiction.com

What’s it like Surviving a Massive Accidental Prescription Drug Overdose?

by Dina Perkins

Let me preface this article by saying that I never came close to looking for a way out of emotional or physical pain with any type of prescription drug. I began at age 11 with a doctor’s prescription.  I learned quickly over the years, that pills were the only answer available.  My parents taught me that doctors were never to be questioned, so – until 9 years ago – I never did.  Children learn what they live, which essentially means that whatever the parents do and believe, the child will do the same. I learned, from a fragile young age,  an unintentional lie from my parents that you never question a doctor; so,  I didn’t. All be it that it was unintentional, it still caused agonizing suffering that led to  my near death in 2007.

Had someone informed or alerted me that Rx dugs were the cause of so much suffering over the years that I took them, I would have jumped to attention and listened; however no one did. It wasn’t until I was having wild hallucinations and was in seriously life threatening withdrawal, that my older daughter said to my in a phone conversation…”mom, it’s just your drugs and you need to go into detox”. She knew all to personally, because four years prior, she suffered similarly from an addiction to Fentanyl pops (Actiq). Her San Diego hot shot physiatrist (pain specialist) sold them to her from her office – to the tune of over $2000/month at that time. (Yes… doctors are drug dealers in white coats!)

Since my near death in 2007, life… in most ways, has been total freedom… a release like no other!  I was in solitary confinement… in a prison of my mind… from Rx drugs that my doctor addicted me to.  At the time of my near death, I had been taking 12 narcotics with the addition of Benzos and antidepressants – all taken EXACTLY as prescribed!  Afer it was over, friends told me, ‘I knew you had a problem but I didn’t want to say anything’.  Friends??? Really???? Real friends don’t do that.  Real friends have your back… even if the truth hurts.

So what is beyond that awesome miracle that Jesus did for me by saving my life, setting me free to never hunger for drugs again,  and giving me a ministry saving the lives of others who ended on the same dark road I once walked on?  Well, everything in life has consequences.  I’m here to tell you that you don’t get off scott free for anything. If we didn’t have lingering consequences, we would all go and do it again… whatever the ‘it’ is to you.

My consequences are, of course, chronic pain which never leaves me alone and  prevents me from doing many things that I want to do.  When I was on the drugs, constant sleep, withdrawal and lethargy stopped me from doing anything whatsoever.  There was NO quality of life on the drugs. All addictive prescription medications have serious ‘forever’ side effects that render you disabled.  I’ll just ask you to do your own research on that; however, I will tell you that my head suffers pain and pressure ALL the time, with visual disturbances in the form of blurriness that occurs often from the pressure and pain behind my eyes. My head and entire body feel like a violent storm is surging – constantly  and there is  a violent ‘vibration’… a ‘buzzing’… that never leaves me alone.  After you stop taking them, SSRI’s cause these types of symptoms, as well as do Benzos. I’ve learned that  as I searched  and researched for answers to these bizarre symptoms.  Doctors will NEVER tell you these things!  they just want you as their cash cow by staying addicted and returning to their offices once a month.

I cope with life after my near death from Rx drugs, through my faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone. I will do His work until the day I go home to be with Him forever. He is all that I need and want.  He has set me on the straight and narrow and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. My joy has been made full and I have the peace of God which extends beyond human understanding.  My pain, for the past 9+ years, is simply a reminder of what an awesome God I serve and I don’t look for a way out of it any longer. If Jesus wants to heal me of the pain, He will.  I’m His child and He knows what’s best for me. There are reasons for everything and I just say, thank you Lord. I cherish each and every God given day I have on this planet because, to pay it forward to all of you, makes it all worth it.

There is hope, help & support.  No doctor or addiction is worth losing your soul over. Contact me.

Who gives you instant pain control?  Jesus, our Messiah.  I may not be the physical relief you want, although He does that too.  It’s the eternal relief and reward to serving Him that you need to be after. IatrogenicAddiction.com