Testing It Up

What do you think the most dangerous drug in the world is?

At TestCountry, we want to hear what you think the most dangerous drug is. You can vote on this list of 10 drugs or add any that you believe should be on the list.drugs and alcohol abuse

Share in the comments section what you think makes the drug you voted for the most dangerous.


Most Dangerous Drugs
August 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm Comments (0)

Substance abuse largely depends on friends’ usage

In one of the least surprising conclusions ever reported in a study, researchers found that the more friends ex-inmates have who abuse drugs, the more likely they are to abuse drugs. teen substance abuse

In the study, which was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Elizabeth Malouf and colleagues at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia studied the drug abuse patterns of 322 male and female inmates of a county jail, asking them to rate their self-control prior to being released, and to report on their own and their friends’ use of alcohol and illicit drugs in a followup visit one year later.

At the followup meeting one year after release:

  • three-fourths of the ex-inmates reported that they drank alcohol,
  • one-third reported using marijuana, and
  • 28 percent reported using cocaine;
  • 43 percent reported at least one symptom of substance dependence.

And the researchers found that the ex-inmates’ levels of substance use and dependence symptoms a year after their release correlated with the number of friends they had who used substances. Participants with few or no substance-using friends reported less use than they had engaged in before their incarceration, and those whose friends mostly or all used reported increased use.

Dr. Redonna Chandler, chief of NIDA’s Services Research Branch, said inmates might get a false sense of security when leaving prison because they are getting away from an environment that facilitates addiction.

“Dr. Malouf found that prisoners’ pre-release self-assessment of their ability to use self-control to avoid drug use had only an indirect relationship to their actual drug use a year later,” she said. “The finding highlights the fact that many prisoners develop a false sense of security about their ability to resist drugs. Imprisonment removes people from the environmental cues that trigger their cravings, which can lead them to think that they are cured of their addiction. However, when they get out and encounter the cues again, they may be just as susceptible as they were before they went in.”

August 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm Comments (0)

Humor Article Exposes Dark Side of Addiction for Nurses

An article on the humor website Cracked.com sheds light on the terrifying reality of drug-addicted nurses.

Told from a first-person perspective by former registered nurse John Brooks from Monroe, LA, the article explains how it is surprisingly common for healthcare practitioners to be addicted to drugs and do them at work while they are responsible for the lives of patients.drug addiction in nurses

Brooks says in the article that nurses are surrounded by temptation everyday because they not only have access to drugs, but also clean paraphernalia for doing them. And since nurses know so much about the effects of the drugs they are taking, he says, they often believe that they can do them safely.

He talks about how he stole the drugs from patients and how the measures put in place to stop this from happening are undermined by the severe nursing shortage in the country.

It is a horrifying reminder that the temptation of drugs can be too difficult for even medical professionals to resist.

To read the article, click here.

July 21, 2014 at 7:49 am Comments (0)

New post gives parents much needed information on Spice

Synthetic marijuana has been a scourge for years now and a recently published post gives parents the definitive information they need to know about this dangerous drug.Spice

The information contained in the article includes the effects of the drug, several statistics about its usage and tips about how parents can protect their children from abusing the drug.

The tips include:

  • Communicate with your teen.
  • Make your position clear.
  • Check in frequently.
  • Look for signs of use.
  • If necessary, seek help.

To read the full Parent’s Guide to Spice, click here.

July 11, 2014 at 11:54 am Comments (0)

Study Shows 1 in 5 High School Seniors Have Tried Hookah

About 18% of high school seniors, or one in five, have tried smoking tobacco through a hookah pipe, a new study has found.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Clare on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Ryan Clare on Flickr

The study, performed by New York University researchers, involved data from the Monitoring the Future nationwide study, which follows teens’ behaviors, values, and attitudes. Of the almost 15,000 kids aged 18 involved in the study, 5,540 were questioned about their hookah use between 2010 and 2012.

Researchers also found that “students of higher socioeconomic status appear to be more  likely to use hookah,” said Dr. Joseph Palamar, assistant professor of population health at NYU Langone Medical Center, in a press release. “Surprisingly, students with more educated parents or higher personal income are at high risk for use. We also found that hookah use is more common in cities, especially big cities. So hookah use is much different from cigarette use, which is more common in non-urban areas.”

Traditionally from the Middle East, hookah involves smoking flavored tobacco from a large water pipe. It’s become increasingly popular in North America and other parts of the world, in part, because it’s believed to be less harmful to the body — the tobacco is considered to be milder. However, that’s not entirely the case because hookah smokers tend to take more puffs in one session, resulting in similar, if not worse effects than smoking.

In New York City, hookahs have become popular, appearing in clubs, increasingly numerous hookah bars, and pretty much wherever someone with a hookah pipe wants to bring it. Among the general population, hookah use has increased by as much as 123%, co-author of the study Dr. Michael Weitzman said. But although they come with similar health risks — respiratory illness, herpes, heart disease, and some cancers — consistent use isn’t such an issue.

“Use tends to be much different from traditional cigarette smoking,” Palamar said in the release. “Right now it appears that a lot of hookah use is more ritualistic, used occasionally — for example, in hookah bars, and not everyone inhales.”

However, the researchers warned that people who begin using hookah may eventually turn to vape pens or e-cigarettes, which also sport a wide range of flavors while remaining mysterious in terms of health effects. Educating the public, and especially the youth, about how smoking hookah isn’t completely harmless may be the experts’ best bet.

July 7, 2014 at 11:16 am Comments (0)

Bill Clinton Pushes for Marijuana “Laboratories of Democracy”

billclintonIn yet another controversial remark from one of the most influential people in recent history, former U.S. president Bill Clinton expressed his openness to studying marijuana within the confines of state law.

According to an NBC interview as published at Yahoo! News, Clinton wants the public to be informed about the whole pot debacle. “I think there’s a lot of evidence to argue for the medical marijuana thing,” said Clinton. He futher added that the issue on marijuana legalization should be dealt with at the state level, and not through federal law. “I think we should leave it to the states… If the state wants to try it, they can. And then they’ll be able to see what happens,” Clinton expressed.

His stance is based on the premise of creating “laboratories of democracy, because nobody really knows where [the issue on marijuana] is going.” Clinton wants the public to get clear answers to unresolved queries about pot.” Are there adequate quality controls? There’s pot and there’s pot; what’s in it? What’s going to happen? There are all these questions.”

It may be recalled that in 1992, the former president admitted to experimenting with the controversial substance, but adamantly denied having inhaled it.

June 29, 2014 at 11:52 pm Comments (2)

Pot-Related Health Issues Spreading In The U.S.

Although more Americans are now embracing the benefits of marijuana to human health, many studies and government agencies including the United Nations are warning the U.S. about a new imminent threat: marijuana-related illnesses.

marijuanaAccording to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the U.S. posted close to a 60 percent increase in emergency room cases due to marijuana use from 2006 to 2010. This is on top of the 14 percent rise in treatment admission cases due to cannabis.

Meanwhile, a study in 2013 revealed the potential adverse effects of cannabis on cardiovascular health. “The current wave of decriminalization may lead to more widespread use, and it is important that cardiologists be made aware of the potential for marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects that may begin to occur in the population at a greater frequency,” the study stated.

The report by UNODC, according to a news item, further stressed the risks posed on young people exposed to marijuana: memory and cognitive problems, respiratory issues, and an inclination to depend heavily on the illicit substance.

June 27, 2014 at 1:53 am Comment (1)

Prescription Drug Abuse Kills More People Than Cocaine and Heroin

The dangers of prescription drug abuse has recently been given more weight through a new study by researchers from Canada’s McGill University.

prescription drug abuseThe research involved a comprehensive review of previous studies on the rise in fatalities caused by prescription drugs. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported about 12 million individuals who admitted to usage of prescription drugs with no prescriptions. What’s worse is that more than 16,000 fatalities caused by opioid painkillers were recorded, according to a news item.

The study, which appeared in the American Journal of Public Health June 19, browsed through medical records and existing studies from 1990 to 2013. Nicholas King, one of the study’s proponents, shared that the motivation behind the study was to provide a undeniable confirmation. “Prescription painkiller overdoses have received a lot of attention in editorials and the popular press, but we wanted to find out what solid evidence is out there,” King said.

From the study, 17 determining factors were identified to have caused the increase in the number of deaths due to prescription painkiller abuse. Some of the notable determinants include higher sales of painkiller medicines, creation of cocktail mixes (opioids mixed with drugs and/or alcohol), and other demographic-centric factors.

King and the study authors believe that knowledge of these determinants should be able to push stronger interventions and better preventive measures to minimize painkiller-related deaths.

June 20, 2014 at 2:11 am Comments (0)

Study sheds light on disproportionate opioid prescribing

Just 5% of opioid prescribers issued 40% of narcotic prescriptions in the country in 2011-12, a study from pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts has found.prescription opioids

High-prescribing physicians wrote an average of 4.6 opioid prescriptions per patient, compared to an average of 1.3 opioid prescriptions per patient for their lower-prescribing peers, according to the study, the results of which were released this month at the annual research meeting of AcademyHealth.

Additionally, patients who saw high-prescribing doctors incurred opioid costs that were nearly 5 times higher than those for other patients.

The study also reported that out of the more than 500,000 prescribers whose practices were analyzed, only 385 were identified as pain specialists.

“The findings of this study could indicate the need for better education about prescribing guidelines or tighter controls on narcotic prescribing,” Glen Stettin, MD, Express Scripts’ senior vice president of Clinical, Research & New Solutions, said in a news release.

June 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm Comments (0)

Addiction vaccines in the works

Scientists are working on the development of vaccines to combat the addictive properties of methamphetamines, nicotine, heroin and cocaine. The vaccines work by triggering the production of antibodies that block the drugs’ ability to get the user high.heroin injection

A trial at The Scripps Research Institute in California cured rodents of heroin addiction.

The vaccine could be ready for human trials later this year and would likely make it impossible for an addict to overdose on the drug, because heroin and its byproducts are neutralized by the immune system before they can do any damage.

“We haven’t seen any rats relapse,” says George Kobb, one of the vaccine’s developers. “We’re guessing it would be unbelievably expensive for someone to try to overdose on heroin with this vaccine. It’d probably take a dealer’s whole stash.”

However, researchers cautioned that the vaccines aren’t a magical cure for addiction.

“Interestingly, while an anti-cocaine or anti-heroin vaccine eliminates the drug’s effects (both pleasant and unpleasant), that doesn’t by itself curb a user’s desire,” wrote Lauren Biron for The Week. “The person still has to want to get clean, in other words, and Janda cautions the vaccines’ potential is not as a cure-all, but rather as a powerful aid to help remove the temptation”


June 2, 2014 at 7:39 am Comments (0)

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