Cocaine Information

Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from “Coca” in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine.
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Cocaine was labeled the drug of the 1980s and ’90s, because of its extensive popularity and use during this period. However, cocaine is not a new drug. In fact, it is one of the oldest known drugs. The pure chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, has been an abused substance for more than 100 years, and coca leaves, the source of cocaine, have been ingested for thousands of years. Pure cocaine was first extracted from the leaf of the Erythroxylon coca bush, which grows primarily in Peru and Bolivia, in the mid-19th century. In the early 1900s, it became the main stimulant drug used in most of the tonics/elixirs that were developed to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Today, cocaine is a Schedule II drug, meaning that it has high potential for abuse, but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses, such as local anesthesia for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries.

Forms of Cocaine

There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt and “Crack Cocaine”. “Crack Cocaine” is referred to as “freebase”. The hydrochloride salt, or powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and, when abused, can be taken intravenously (by vein) or intranasally (in the nose). Freebase refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is smokable. Crack is the street name given to a freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride. Because crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in less than 10 seconds. This rather immediate and euphoric effect is one of the reasons that crack became enormously popular in the mid 1980s. Another reason is that crack is inexpensive both to produce and to buy. Crack cocaine remains a serious problem in the United States. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated the number of current crack users to be about 567,000 in 2002.

Cocaine Use in the U.S.A.

In 2002, an estimated 1.5 million Americans could be classified as dependent on or abusing cocaine in the past 12 months, according to the NSDUH. The same survey estimates that there are 2.0 million current (past-month) users. Cocaine initiation steadily increased during the 1990s, reaching 1.2 million in 2001.

Adults 18 to 25 years old have a higher rate of current cocaine use than those in any other age group. Overall, men have a higher rate of current cocaine use than do women. Also, according to the 2002 NSDUH, estimated rates of current cocaine users were 2.0 percent for American Indians or Alaskan Natives, 1.6 percent for African-Americans, 0.8 percent for both Whites and Hispanics, 0.6 percent for Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders, and 0.2 percent for Asians. The 2003 Monitoring the Future Survey, which annually surveys teen attitudes and recent drug use, reports that crack cocaine use decreased among 10th-graders in 30-day, annual, and lifetime use prevalence periods. This was the only statistically significant change affecting cocaine in any form. Past-year use of crack declined from 2.3 percent in 2002 to 1.6 percent in 2003. Last year, the rate increased from 1.8 percent to 2.3 percent, and this year’s decline brings it to approximately its 2001 level.

Data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) showed that cocaine-related emergency department visits increased 33 percent between 1995 and 2002, rising from 58 to 78 mentions per 100,000 population.

The Way Cocaine is Consumed

The principal routes of cocaine administration are oral, intranasal, intravenous, and inhalation. The slang terms for these routes are, respectively, “chewing,” “snorting,” “mainlining” or “injecting,” and “smoking” (including freebase and crack cocaine). Snorting is the process of inhaling cocaine powder through the nostrils, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Injecting releases the drug directly into the bloodstream, and heightens the intensity of its effects. Smoking involves the inhalation of cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs, where absorption into the bloodstream is as rapid as by injection. The drug also can be rubbed onto mucous tissues. Some users combine cocaine powder or crack with heroin in a “speedball.”

Cocaine use ranges from occasional use to repeated or compulsive use, with a variety of patterns between these extremes. Other than medical uses, there is no safe way to use cocaine. Any route of administration can lead to absorption of toxic amounts of cocaine, leading to acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies that could result in sudden death. Repeated cocaine use by any route of administration can produce addiction and other adverse health consequences.

How Cocaine Works

pleasurable effects, and the reasons it is so addictive. One mechanism is through its effects on structures deep in the brain. Scientists have discovered regions within the brain that are stimulated by rewards. One neural system that appears to be most affected by cocaine originates in a region located deep within the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Nerve cells originating in the VTA extend to the region of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens, one of the brain’s key areas involved in reward. In studies using animals, for example, all types of rewarding stimuli, such as food, water, sex, and many drugs of abuse, cause increased activity in the nucleus accumbens.
Cocaine in the brain – In the normal communication process, dopamine is released by a neuron into the synapse, where it can bind with dopamine receptors on neighboring neurons. Normally, dopamine is then recycled back into the transmitting neuron by a specialized protein called the dopamine transporter. If cocaine is present, it attaches to the dopamine transporter and blocks the normal recycling process, resulting in a buildup of dopamine in the synapse, which contributes to the pleasurable effects of cocaine.
Researchers have discovered that, when a rewarding event is occurring, it is accompanied by a large increase in the amounts of dopamine released in the nucleus accumbens by neurons originating in the VTA. In the normal communication process, dopamine is released by a neuron into the synapse (the small gap between two neurons), where it binds with specialized proteins (called dopamine receptors) on the neighboring neuron, thereby sending a signal to that neuron. Drugs of abuse are able to interfere with this normal communication process. For example, scientists have discovered that cocaine blocks the removal of dopamine from the synapse, resulting in an accumulation of dopamine. This buildup of dopamine causes continuous stimulation of receiving neurons, which is associated with the euphoria commonly reported by cocaine abusers. As cocaine abuse continues, tolerance often develops. This means that higher doses and more frequent use of cocaine are required for the brain to register the same level of pleasure experienced during initial use. Recent studies have shown that, during periods of abstinence from cocaine use, the memory of the euphoria associated with cocaine use, or mere exposure to cues associated with drug use, can trigger tremendous craving and relapse to drug use, even after long periods of abstinence.

Effects of Cocaine Use

SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF COCAINE
Cocaine’s effects appear almost immediately after a single dose, and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Taken in small amounts (up to 100 mg), cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert, especially to the sensations of sight, sound, and touch. It can also temporarily decrease the need for food and sleep. Some users find that the drug helps them perform simple physical and intellectual tasks more quickly, while others experience the opposite effect.
The duration of cocaine’s immediate euphoric effects depends upon the route of administration. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. Also, the faster the absorption, the shorter the duration of action. The high from snorting is relatively slow in onset, and may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.
The short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels; dilated pupils; and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Large amounts (several hundred milligrams or more) intensify the user’s high, but may also lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior. These users may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or, with repeated doses, a toxic reaction closely resembling amphetamine poisoning. Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF COCAINE
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. Thus, an individual may have difficulty predicting or controlling the extent to which he or she will continue to want or use the drug. Cocaine’s stimulant and addictive effects are thought to be primarily a result of its ability to inhibit the reabsorption of dopamine by nerve cells. Dopamine is released as part of the brain’s reward system, and is either directly or indirectly involved in the addictive properties of every major drug of abuse.
An appreciable tolerance to cocaine’s high may develop, with many addicts reporting that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first experience. Some users will frequently increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. While tolerance to the high can occur, users can also become more sensitive (sensitization) to cocaine’s anesthetic and convulsant effects, without increasing the dose taken. This increased sensitivity may explain some deaths occurring after apparently low doses of cocaine.
Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations.

Full Article on Cocaine

Cocaine on our streets ‘more lethal than ever before’

A former drug addict turned recovery leader says that increased purity of the Class A drug is making it more dangerous to take

Cocaine being sold on our streets is now MORE LETHAL than ever before, a former addict turned recovery leader has warned.
Higher levels of drug purity combined with widespread availability and cheaper prices could be behind the deaths of 17 young people from cocaine use in the Hyndburn area in the last nine months, it is believed.

Former cocaine user Phil Galpin, who works in Accrington for Red Rose Recovery supporting addicts, told the Observer it has never been easier to buy cocaine.
He said: “The fact that the purity is increasing so much is partly accountable for all the deaths that have been attributed to cocaine recently.
“Hand in hand with greater purity comes greater risk of overdose. The dangers are also much higher for sporadic or binge users who don’t have the tolerance of a regular user – people die.

“The price has come down dramatically for cocaine and the availability is widespread now, even more than when I was in active addiction.”
Phil said many recreational users will not realise they are addicted.
He added: “The availability has never been as easy as now to purchase drugs. We have had service users who have dealers who do home deliveries. I think all of those factors are leading people to fall into addiction almost blindly.
“All the demographics are affected by cocaine and it’s really important that we have this campaign highlighting the dangers and how to access help when addiction takes grip. I think it will make a difference.”

Mr Galpin, who is east Lancashire team leader for Red Rose Recovery, on Cannon Street, first took illicit drugs at 12, and began abusing crack-cocaine, psychoactive drugs and amphetamines in his teens.
He said: “I would wake up on Sunday not knowing where I was. Sometimes I’d be covered in my own blood, sometimes it would be other people’s.”
Now 40, he says when he tried to kick his drug habit, he was surprised to find cocaine the hardest to quit.
He said: “I still don’t know the point at which my recreational use became addiction.

“It’s a silent assassin, you will think that you can stop at any point but then you find out you can’t.
“With increased purity the highs are higher and the lows are lower, which increases the possibility of becoming an addict. It’s a perfect storm.”

Campaign to highlight toll on our communities

The Observer has launched a campaign to highlight the devastating toll that cocaine is taking on our communities.
We have joined forces with coroner Michael Singleton after he warned that deaths caused by this evil drug have reached epidemic levels.
In the last nine months alone the number of people officially recorded as having lost their lives in the Hyndburn area as a result of using cocaine has risen to 17. The youngest was 16, the oldest just 33.
These are just the cases to have reached the coroner and it is thought that the actual number could be much higher. Mr Singleton is at a loss to explain why this epidemic is occurring here and now in Accrington, but it is thought increased availability or a drop in price could be to blame.

We are calling on all sections of the Hyndburn community to pull together to take this evil drug off our streets. So please watch out for signs of cocaine use, make sure your loved ones are aware of the dangers and give the police the information they need to bring down the dealers profiting from this deadly powder.

What you can do to help

l Educate yourself and others – National organisations such as Frank offer detailed explanations of what the short-term and long-term effects of drug use are and the risks.
l Talk openly about it – Speak to friends and family and create an honest dialogue.
l Spot signs of drug use – Cocaine can change people’s personality. In the short term cocaine can make a user feel confident and wide awake. But repeated use can cause agitated behaviour, mood swings, severe addiction and heart attacks.

Written at Cocaine

Kratom Overdose

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a psychoactive botanical substance derived from a tree native to Southeast Asia and certain areas of Africa. Kratom has long been used in traditional medicine, but more recently, the drug has seen more widespread use throughout the world for medicinal and recreational purposes, for issues such as:

  • Intestinal problems.
  • Muscle pains.
  • Coughing.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Opioid withdrawal.

Is Kratom Safe?

Some of the active chemical components in Kratom bind to and activate opioid receptors the brain, which helps explain the substance’s ability to elicit pain relief and euphoria. The full pharmacologic properties of Kratom aren’t fully understood, and there remains a great deal of debate over the safety of the drug. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has identified Kratom as an emerging drug of abuse. This is due in large part to numerous studies having found that Kratom use is associated with psychosis, seizures, and even death. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confirmed that Kratom was involved in 15 deaths from 2014 to 2016. However, there are no published studies about how much Kratom it takes to overdose, so it is difficult to determine how much is safe to consume.

Signs and Symptoms of Kratom Overdose

Kratom has been on the DEA’s list of drugs of concern for several years because of its potential for toxicity and overdose. And because of the number of fatalities associated with its use, the United States is considering scheduling Kratom as an illicit drug.
In a study conducted on Kratom use and overdose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used reports from the National Poison Data System to investigate the prevalence of Kratom use based on the number of Kratom-related incidents that resulted in poison control calls. Between 2010 and 2015, calls to poison centers associated with Kratom use increased from 26 in 2010 to 263 in 2015, and more than 40% of the calls to the poison centers were serious or life-threatening cases.
People who called the poison centers reported the following signs and symptoms of a Kratom overdose:

  • Nausea.
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate).
  • Hypertension.
  • Agitation or irritability.
  • Seizure.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Coma.

Written at Kratom

 

Former registered nurse accused of taking narcotic drugs intended for patients

NEAR SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) –
A former nurse has been indicted for allegedly taking narcotic drugs that were intended for patients.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that a State Grand Jury had indicted Danielle Lynn Langham on 23 drug diversion-related offenses.
Investigators say that the 44-year-old Langham worked at a Scottsdale surgery center where she tampered with and diverted narcotic medications (Fentanyl and Dilaudid) from vials on hand at the surgery center.
She was also accused of diverting the prescription drugs for her personal use and that she refilled the vials with sterile saline to avoid getting caught.
The alleged offenses took place between August 2015 and May 2016.
Langham previously surrendered her Arizona nursing license on May 2, 2017.

Written on AZ Family at: Narcotic Nurse

This is typical addict behavior. If you see a coworker or know of someone doing this, get them help right away. This is NOT normal.

How to Get Through Pain Without Painkiller Addiction

The opioid epidemic in America is at a record high. A vast majority of the time, people who got addicted initially went to their doctor for pain relief or a medical procedure. Most of them had no intention of developing a painkiller addiction, and they never even saw it coming.
Painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Percocet are amongst the most prescribed painkillers in America. This family of drugs is also incredibly powerful. A single prescription – one bottle – is enough to get a person hooked, especially if they take more than the recommended dose. It is vital for people to understand the pills they have in their possession so that they keep themselves and other loved ones safe.

How to Prevent Painkiller Addiction

The truth is that sometimes humans need medication to get through the pain. However, pain medication in the opiate family should only be taken when absolutely necessary. There are a lot of alternatives, which we will get into a little later.
Educating yourself on what your doctor is prescribing is one of the best things you can do to stay safe. If you know the power of what you have in your hands, you will know to be more cautious about taking the pill only as needed. If you feel uncomfortable with what the doctor is giving you, ask for alternative solutions so that you don’t endanger yourself.
Exercise extreme caution if you do decide to take painkillers, and only use them exactly as your doctor prescribed, or less. If taken in small doses, these medications do have the potential to help. If a person takes too many pills, their habit may become a problem. The lines tend to get very blurry, very fast.
In addition to preventing your own addiction, there are steps you can take to ensure that your medication doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Teenagers and young adults often go “shopping” in their family member’s medicine cabinets to see what kinds of pills they can find. If you have a prescription to a strong opioid, make sure to keep it safely out of reach, no matter how trustworthy you think the other person may be. If you have children and teens in your household, educate them on the dangers of drugs and make sure to keep open and honest communication between the two of you.

Pain and Surgery in Recovery

A person in recovery with undoubtedly deal with a level of pain and medical procedures. These kinds of situations often lead to relapse because of prescription medications. An ex-addict may find themselves in so much pain that they feel the only way to cope is with opiate painkillers. There are alternatives.
Your recovery always has to come first before anything. That means you need to protect yourself from anything that could potentially harm you. Be transparent with your doctor so he or she knows your addiction history and understands your relapse potential.
In the event that you have to take a medication that is prescribed to you, it’s a good idea to talk to a trusted loved one about holding onto your medication for you. If you don’t have access to the medicine, you won’t be as tempted to take it when you shouldn’t. Also, the other person can monitor how many you are taking.
Many people in recovery would argue that taking pain medication is the same as a relapse. The best thing you can do is avoid these medications entirely, however, circumstances may arise where that just isn’t possible. It is only a relapse if you begin to take more of the medication that’s prescribed. At that point, you are playing with fire.

Alternatives to Painkillers

The good news is that alternatives to painkillers do exist. Going in for surgery or having intense pain doesn’t mean that your only option is taking opioids and creating a painkiller addiction. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns and ask if they have any suggestions.
Doctors can help guide you toward safer medication you can take without worrying about the possibility of addiction. Many people supplement Tylenol and other over the counter pain medication for prescription pain meds.
Holistic therapy exists that can help ease your pain. Some examples include:

  • Yoga
  • Light physical exercise
  • Breathing
  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Guided Meditation
  • Visualization

While these techniques aren’t for everyone, they are worth exploring. They can help with your pain in the moment but also help with your overall lifestyle and wellness. Also, learning how to breathe through tough situations will make every situation that comes your way that much easier to handle.
Having pain or needing a procedure performed doesn’t necessarily mean that addiction is in your future. Know your facts, talk to your doctor, explore options, and stay informed.

Written at: Article

How effective is drug addiction treatment?

In addition to stopping drug abuse, the goal of treatment is to return people to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning. For example, methadone treatment has been shown to increase participation in behavioral therapy and decrease both drug use and criminal behavior. However, individual treatment outcomes depend on the extent and nature of the patient’s problems, the appropriateness of treatment and related services used to address those problems, and the quality of interaction between the patient and his or her treatment providers.

Relapse rates for addiction resemble those of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives. The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse is not only possible but also likely, with symptom recurrence rates similar to those for other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses—such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma (see figure, “Comparison of Relapse Rates Between Drug Addiction and Other Chronic Illnesses”)—that also have both physiological and behavioral components.

Unfortunately, when relapse occurs many deem treatment a failure. This is not the case: Successful treatment for addiction typically requires continual evaluation and modification as appropriate, similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases. For example, when a patient is receiving active treatment for hypertension and symptoms decrease, treatment is deemed successful, even though symptoms may recur when treatment is discontinued. For the addicted individual, lapses to drug abuse do not indicate failure—rather, they signify that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed (see figure, “Why is Addiction Treatment Evaluated Differently?”).

Written on NIH at: Treatment

Treatment isn’t what will keep you clean, if someone’s never been in the program it’s great for the reason that you will see how people work a program and stay clean outside of treatment center on top of learning how to deal with life on life’s terms with new coping skills and a new mindset. If someone is coming back from a relapse it’s great for the reason that you can relax knowing you’re in a safe place that you can’t use and you have time to think about what happened and focus your mind on to learning new skills for when you get out of rehab. Ultimately though, what keeps you clean is the program. No matter what fellowship you choose they have the same principles. Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are an important part of the fellowships. Follow these and the steps and you shall succeed.

New Research Shows How Marijuana Drops Blood Flow to the Brain. Should You Be Concerned?

Reported rates of marijuana use have more than doubled in the past decade.

Medical marijuana is now legal in nearly half of US states and is increasing access to the drug for current and potential future users. Although it is often portrayed as harmless, and sometimes even therapeutic, there has not been nearly enough studies done to prove this. In fact, marijuana is often prescribed for issues like anxiety, though studies cannot comprehensively show this to be true. The current available information of the impact marijuana has on the neurophysiology of the brain show, predominantly, depressive effects.
In a recent study using PET imaging to demonstrate the release of dopamine in the striatum, a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention, results showed that heavy marijuana use has similar dopamine releasing behaviors as cocaine and heroin. Several studies in chronic cannabis users show structural changes to the hippocampus persist, even after six months of abstinence.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has already warned that we’re too quick to legalize the popular drug when research still hasn’t shown whether or not it’s truly safe.

With Amen’s new research, there is proof that Dr. Murthy’s concerns are well warranted.
Just published in the most recent Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research finds that, after studying imaging of 1,000 cannabis users’ brains, there were signs of noticeable deficiencies of blood flow. The study, which included 25,168 non-cannabis users, and 100 healthy controls, shows a scary and obvious difference in blood flow levels for those that used cannabis. Additionally, those that used marijuana showed a significant lack of blood flow in the right hippocampus, the area of the brain that helps with memory formation. This part of the brain is severely affected with those that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Our research has proven that marijuana users have lower cerebral blood flow than non-users. The most predictive region separating these two groups is low blood flow in the hippocampus on concentration brain SPECT imaging.This work suggests that marijuana use has damaging influences in the brain – particularly regions important in memory and learning and known to be affected by Alzheimer’s. Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function. The media has given a general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug, this research directly challenges that notion.
Several studies of perfusion imaging in marijuana users have shown similar results compared to ours. A small O15 PET study in a sample of 12 marijuana users used a randomized clinical trial design to examine brain perfusion before and after marijuana use. The study results found frontal, temporal and occipital lobe hypo-perfusion – all findings concordant with our study.
At Amen Clinics, we can help you and your loved ones overcome the stigma and suffering associated with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain injury, weight loss, addictions, memory issues, brain fog, and other emotional and cognitive issues. If you are ready to regain control over your life or help a loved one do the same, give us a call at 800-591-0343

Written at: Marijuana

2 addiction treatment center owners indicted after reaping $50 million

Federal prosecutors unsealed indictments on Wednesday charging eight people — sober home and drug treatment owners, employees and a doctor — with health care fraud and money laundering in two of the highest profile investigations in the crackdown on corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry.
Kenneth Bailynson, owner of the defunct Good Decisions Sober Living in West Palm Beach, and Eric Snyder, owner of Real Life Recovery and Halfway There, both face more than 20 years in prison and forfeiture of millions of dollars and dozens of condominiums and homes if convicted of bilking insurance companies out of more than $50 million for bogus urine drug tests for addicts.
The FBI raids at Bailynson and Snyder’s businesses in late 2014 grabbed headlines and were the first in an ongoing multi-agency federal crackdown on patient brokering and insurance fraud called Operation Thoroughbred.
Bailynson, known for his explosive temper, psychiatrist Dr. Mark Agresti, Stephanie Curran and Matthew Noel, employees of Good Decisions, bilked more than 80 insurance companies out of $31.3 million in bogus drug tests, according to the indictment.
The charges span four years and detail how Bailynson operated his sober home as a cover for a full-service drug testing empire complete with its own lab, a doctor to write prescriptions for drug screens and condominiums to house addicts with insurance.

According to the indictment, Bailynson bought more than two dozen condos in Green Terrace, a dilapidated complex at 2800 Georgia Ave. in West Palm Beach. He offered insured addicts free rent in exchange for their urine and their commitment to attend drug programs where Bailynson received kickbacks from the operators for each addict he enrolled, the complaint says.
Bailynson, Noel, Curran and four unindicted co-conspirators also paid kickbacks to recruiters to bring insured addicts to Good Decisions for housing. Bailynson hired Dr. Agresti, a West Palm Beach psychiatrist well-known in the drug treatment community, as his medical director.
Agresti, in turn, wrote prescriptions for urine drug screens that were not medically necessary and did not use the results to determine appropriate treatment, according to the indictment.
A Palm Beach Post investigation in 2015 detailed how Bailynson took over the condominium complex and turned it into an armed camp, where guards with guns made sure addicts did not leave and nosy residents minded their own business. By the time the FBI raided Good Decisions in September 2014, Bailynson had converted the pool clubhouse into a urine collection site and banned unit owners from entering.
Urine testing is a staple of drug treatment, a fast way to track relapse and gauge use of prescribed drugs. It’s also cheap. Corner drug stores sell $25 tests that will immediately indicate the presence of a drug. However, unscrupulous treatment operators hire doctors to prescribe more complex — and costly — tests that reveal not only the presence of a drug, but how much is in the addict’s system.
Addiction treatment bonanza: How urine tests rake in millions
The urine of addicts living at Good Decisions was tested at least three times a week. In all, Bailyson’s businesses billed insurance companies for more than $106 million worth of drug tests. The insurance companies paid out $31.3 million.
The other indictment unsealed on Wednesday accuses Eric Snyder, owner of the defunct Halfway There and Real Life Recovery sober home and treatment center in Delray Beach, Paul Materia, Joseph Lubowitz and Christopher Fuller with running a similar operation that raked in $20.1 million from insurance companies for urine drug tests.
Snyder and Fuller were both arrested in July 2017. In a 26-page federal complaint, Fuller was described as a “junkie hunter” hired by Snyder to provide addicts who had insurance for his sober homes and drug treatment center. The document described how Snyder bribed patients with airline tickets, cash, rent and visits to strip clubs. Fuller trolled AA meetings and “crack” motels to find patients, the complaint said.

Bailynson, Noel, Curran and four unindicted co-conspirators also paid kickbacks to recruiters to bring insured addicts to Good Decisions for housing. Bailynson hired Dr. Agresti, a West Palm Beach psychiatrist well-known in the drug treatment community, as his medical director.
Agresti, in turn, wrote prescriptions for urine drug screens that were not medically necessary and did not use the results to determine appropriate treatment, according to the indictment.
A Palm Beach Post investigation in 2015 detailed how Bailynson took over the condominium complex and turned it into an armed camp, where guards with guns made sure addicts did not leave and nosy residents minded their own business. By the time the FBI raided Good Decisions in September 2014, Bailynson had converted the pool clubhouse into a urine collection site and banned unit owners from entering.
Urine testing is a staple of drug treatment, a fast way to track relapse and gauge use of prescribed drugs. It’s also cheap. Corner drug stores sell $25 tests that will immediately indicate the presence of a drug. However, unscrupulous treatment operators hire doctors to prescribe more complex — and costly — tests that reveal not only the presence of a drug, but how much is in the addict’s system.

Addiction treatment bonanza: How urine tests rake in millions

The urine of addicts living at Good Decisions was tested at least three times a week. In all, Bailyson’s businesses billed insurance companies for more than $106 million worth of drug tests. The insurance companies paid out $31.3 million.
The other indictment unsealed on Wednesday accuses Eric Snyder, owner of the defunct Halfway There and Real Life Recovery sober home and treatment center in Delray Beach, Paul Materia, Joseph Lubowitz and Christopher Fuller with running a similar operation that raked in $20.1 million from insurance companies for urine drug tests.
Snyder and Fuller were both arrested in July 2017. In a 26-page federal complaint, Fuller was described as a “junkie hunter” hired by Snyder to provide addicts who had insurance for his sober homes and drug treatment center. The document described how Snyder bribed patients with airline tickets, cash, rent and visits to strip clubs. Fuller trolled AA meetings and “crack” motels to find patients, the complaint said.

But prosecutors agreed to hold off on indicting Snyder and Fuller as they tried to negotiate a plea deal with both men. After months of delaying the case, prosecutors went ahead and convened a grand jury, which issued an indictment on June 7.

Musclebound millionaire: How Eric Snyder made his fortune

The indictment describes a multi-state business operation that ensured Snyder’s halfway homes and drug treatment center were full. Lubowitz recruited addicts from his treatment centers in New Jersey and was paid a commission for each addict he admitted to Snyder operations.
Patients’ signatures were forged on sign-in sheets, forms were backdated and fraudulent documents created to make it appear absent patients had attended treatment, according to the indictment. Insured addicts who tested positive were rarely evicted and often urine was collected but not tested. Uninsured addicts were given less costly drug tests, according to the indictment.
Materia ran Snyder’s businesses and was responsible for billing insurance and overseeing lab technicians at the on-site laboratory. In all, Snyder billed insurance companies $58.2 million for urine tests and treatment.

Palm Beach Post staff researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this report.

Written on myPalmBeach post at: Palm Beach Rehab

You may also find the actual charges in the link above.

This is one of the instances of “bad treatment” that we at Drug Help Line refer to when we say we know the good ones. This is disgusting but, unfortunately this stuff happens all over the country and certainly elsewhere. Addiction is a serious disease and people are not going to get clean when they get to treatment and it is apparent that the owners only care about the money. This is why our staff at Drug Help Line take the personnel responsibility of making sure every treatment center we send people too is a comfortable and healing environment for the patient. Also, we don’t make commission or anything like that off of getting you or your loved ones into treatment, all we get is satisfaction and relief for helping one more struggling addict. Considering that we assure you that we have your best interest in mind.

Narcotic

A narcotic is an addictive drug that reduces pain, induces sleep and may alter mood or behaviour.

In US legal context, narcotic refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic or fully synthetic substitutes as well as cocaine and coca leaves, which although classified as “narcotics” in the U.S.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA), are chemically not narcotics.
Drug effects depend heavily on the dose, route of administration, previous exposure to the drug, and the expectation of the user.
Aside from their clinical use in the treatment of pain, coughing and acute diarrhea, narcotics produce a general sense of well-being known as euphoria by reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression.
Narcotic use is associated with a variety of effects including drowsiness, itching, sleeplessness, inability to concentrate, apathy, lessened physical activity, constriction of the pupils, dilation of the subcutaneous blood vessels causing flushing of the face and neck, constipation, nausea, vomiting and, most significantly, respiratory depression.
Among the hazards of careless or excessive drug use are the increasing risk of infection, disease and overdose.

What Is Fentanyl (Duragesic)?

Fentanyl is the generic form of the brand-name drug Duragesic, a prescription opioid (narcotic) drug used to treat chronic, “around-the-clock” pain.
It should be used only by people who are “opioid-tolerant,” or who are already taking opioid pain medications, such as morphine and oxycodone, regularly.
Fentanyl is in a class of drugs called opioid analgesics, which work by binding to nervous system proteins called opioid receptors, thereby blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
Duragesic is a transdermal (through the skin) patch.
Fentanyl is also sold as a lozenge under the brand name Actiq, a tablet that goes under the tongue (Abstral), a film that’s applied to the inner lining of the cheek or lip (Onsolis), a tablet that goes between the gum and cheek (Fentora) a nasal spray (Lazanda), a sublingual tablet (Abstral), and a sublingual spray (Subsys).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved fentanyl, which is produced by Johnson & Johnson, in 1968.
Over the years, Johnson & Johnson has issued several recalls of its Duragesic pain-relief skin patches.
In 2004 and 2008, the company recalled some of its patches because of damage that could have caused the medication to leak potentially fatal fentanyl gel.
In 2012, Johnson & Johnson recalled more than 53,000 Duragesic patches after fentanyl crystals were found in a patch (the drug is supposed to be completely dissolved).

Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl use can lead to addiction, abuse, and misuse, even at the recommended doses — this risk is higher for people with a personal or family history of substance abuse or mental illness.
Fentanyl is almost 100 times more potent than morphine, but the drug is designed to deliver small amounts of fentanyl each hour over an extended period of time.
When ingested, however, the Duragesic patch can deliver its entire dose all at once, increasing the risk of an overdose.
In 2008, a study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences reviewed seven case reports of oral abuse of Duragesic and found that fentanyl overdose caused or contributed to the deaths of the persons in each case.

Fentanyl Withdrawal

As with other addictive drugs, stopping fentanyl suddenly may result in withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Restlessness, yawning, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Teary eyes and runny nose
  • Sweating and chills
  • Muscle, joint, and back pain
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Stomach cramps, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Fast heartbeat and rapid breathing

Fentanyl Warnings

Fentanyl carries a black-box warning about its potential for addiction, abuse, misuse, and its associated risk of fatal overdose.
People who are accidentally exposed to fentanyl, particularly children, are especially vulnerable to a fatal overdose.
Fentanyl should be used only by people with chronic pain who are opioid tolerant.
You should not use it to treat mild, post-operative, intermittent, or short-term pain.
People with significant respiratory problems, acute or severe asthma, paralytic ileus (an obstruction of the intestine), or a known sensitivity to fentanyl shouldn’t take fentanyl.
People who are non-opioid tolerant shouldn’t take fentanyl, because the drug carries a high risk of life-threatening respiratory depression (low breathing rate).
Respiratory depression may also occur in opioid-tolerant people, even when the drug is used as directed, especially when first going on fentanyl or increasing the dosage.
If you’re older, debilitated, or have a wasting syndrome called cachexia, you’re more likely to experience respiratory depression.
Potentially fatal respiratory depression may also occur if you use fentanyl while taking cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors, such as ritonavir (Norvir), nefazodone (Serzone), nelfinavir (Viracept), and after consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Using fentanyl while taking central nervous system depressants, such as sedatives, hypnotics, alcohol, and other opioids, can cause abnormally low blood pressure, profound sedation, coma, respiratory depression, and death.
When using fentanyl, don’t expose the patch or surrounding area to direct external heat sources such as saunas, hot tubs, and heating pads, as this may increase your body’s rate of fentanyl absorption, possibly leading to a fatal overdose.
You’re also at risk for increased fentanyl exposure if you have a fever or an increased core body temperature, such as from strenuous exercise.

Pregnancy and Fentanyl

Prolonged use of opioid analgesics (painkillers), including fentanyl, during pregnancy can produce drug dependence in newborns.
It can also result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which has various symptoms and signs, including:

  • Poor feeding and irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremor and seizures
  • Rigidity

Animal pregnancy studies have shown that fentanyl can have an “adverse” effect on the fetus, and so there’s a possibility the opioid may harm developing human fetuses.
It should only be used during pregnancy if the potential pain-relieving benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.
Fentanyl shouldn’t be used during or immediately before labor because opioids can cross the placenta and potentially cause respiratory depression in newborns. The drug may also prolong labor.
Because fentanyl is excreted in breast milk, do not use fentanyl if you’re breastfeeding.

Fentanyl Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Fentanyl

The most common side effects of fentanyl are:

  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea
  • Drowsiness and dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Increased sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling cold
  • Anorexia
  • Headache

Less common side effects, which may be severe, include such things as:

  • Depression
  • Abnormally slow heart action
  • Muscle spasms and tremors
  • Fluid retention and swelling of tissues in the lower limbs
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety, confusion, and hallucinations
  • Urinary problems
  • Tingling sensations

Rare Side Effects of Fentanyl

Rare side effects from using fentanyl have also been reported, including:

  • Euphoria
  • Sexual and erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Eczema and other skin disorders
  • Reduced sense of touch
  • Flu-like symptoms

Fentanyl Interactions

Fentanyl may interact with:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including isocarboxazid (Marplan) and phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Agonist/antagonist analgesics, such as pentazocine (Talwin) and butorphanol (Stadol)
  • Partial agonist analgesics, such as buprenorphine (Buprenex)
  • Anticholinergics

Tell your doctor about any medications, illegal or recreational drugs, herbal remedies, and supplements you’re taking.

Fentanyl and Alcohol

Drinking alcohol while using fentanyl may cause low blood pressure, profound sedation, coma, respiratory depression, and death.

Fentanyl and Grapefruit

Potentially fatal respiratory depression may occur if you consume grapefruit juice or grapefruit products while taking fentanyl.
Respiratory depression can also occur if you’re taking fentanyl with cytochrome inhibitors.

Fentanyl Dosage

Fentanyl (as Duragesic) comes in five strengths, which deliver fentanyl at different rates: 12 micrograms per hour (mcg/h), 25 mcg/h, 50 mcg/h, 75 mcg/h, and 100 mcg/h.
Use only as directed — never put more than one patch on at a time.

Fentanyl Overdose

If you overdose on fentanyl, call 9-1-1 or get emergency help right away.

Overdose symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme sleepiness or fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking, talking, or walking
  • Contracted pupils
  • Faintness and dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Coma

Written on Everyday Health at: Fentanyl Info