Substance Abuse

N-Bomb Drug Sounds As Dangerous As Its Health Risks

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The use of illegal drugs is one of the pressing concerns of governments across nations. The impacts of drug abuse have long been a major issue in politics, economics, and even family life. While this is the case, the alarming reality stands—there is an increasing number of substances being sold, causing an increased number of drug users.

Drug abuse incidents are on the rise, causing negative impacts to communities. Crimes, for instance, have long been connected to drug abuse.

One of the latest party drugs is known as “N-Bomb”, a dangerous hallucinogen that could be fatal in the process.

Fast Facts About N-Bomb

N-Bomb (or NBOMe) is the common name for synthetic hallucinogens (25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe). The drug was discovered by Ralf Heim, a chemist at the Free University of Berlin in Germany. It is classified under the 2C family of phenethylamines (PEA), a class of highly potent drugs.

2C PEA, a drug prepared in laboratories in the 1970s, was useful in scientific experiments and observations of the brain activities of rats. It was observed that 2C PEA had hallucinogenic effects on rats, similar to the mind-altering conditions caused by Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD).

N-Bomb is an alternative drug to LSD, or other types of hallucinogens. It is derived from mescaline, a naturally occurring substance in peyote cactus. Of the three known types of N-Bomb, 25I-NBOMe is said to be the type that is most commonly abused, and is considered to have the most powerful effect on users.

The drug is packaged in various forms: liquid (as a spray), powder, or in paper form known as “tabs” or “blotters”.

N-Bomb belongs to substances that share a core phenethylamine structure. These substances react with serotonin receptors in the nervous system.


Other Names of the Killer Designer Drug

To date, the N-Bomb (scientific name: phenethylamine) is considered as one of the deadliest designer drugs. Just so you know, here are the other names of this drug:

  • Bom-25-CI or Cimbi-5
  • Dime
  • Legal Acid
  • Happy
  • 25B
  • 25C
  • 25I
  • New Nexus
  • Smiles
  • Smiley Paper
  • Solaris

Why Is It Being Abused?

Like any other drugs, N-Bomb is abused for a number of common reasons: to relieve stress, to escape from pain, to experiment, to fit in, to rebel, and to do something out of boredom.

Specifically, N-Bomb, a potent hallucinogen, works as a drug that changes the users’ way of seeing or feeling things. Just a tiny amount of this drug can cause significant changes in how a person’s senses work. This is probably the most common reason why the drug (or any other types of hallucinogen) is abused—it gives the user a feeling of intense elation and euphoria, an incredible sensation of “high”.

Hallucinations make a person feel that the imaginary is one’s reality. The senses go wilder, making you feel that you are mentally stimulated and powerful. Your consciousness, then, becomes more sensitive to the things that are happening. Furthermore, N-bomb has a relaxing effect on the user, causing the person to get more addicted in the substance each time, as the user considers it to be helpful in well-being and social life.

It is said that online dealers of the drug would market it through false advertising, attaching appealing phrases that would make people believe that the drug is safe, legal, and natural. This party drug, as they claim it, would provide the users a different kind of high that feels new, amazing, and wonderful.

This false advertising sparks curiosity, especially among those who are pressured by their peers to try it. The wrong information fed by dealers is the beginning of the interest to try it to experience their claims. In effect, it gets harder and harder for users to take the urge to say no, because before they know it, they are already addicted to the drug.

People rely on the use of this kind of drug, thinking that they would be saved from their problems. They fail to realize that drugs worsen the problems they are running from and create more issues,thereby affecting their health, family, career, and even their relationships.

Effects of N-Bomb

Earning the dub as the killer designer drug, N-Bomb brings about a large number of negative effects in the human body. Among these effects include nausea, loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, rapid heart rate, inability to experience physical pain, extreme high blood pressure, severe fever, seizures, high white cell count, and high acidity level in the body.

Mental effects of N-Bomb include paranoia, frequent confusion, severe auditory and visual hallucinations, agitation, difficulty of communicating and insomnia, memory loss, psychosis, irritability and worsened mood swings, violence, and schizophrenia.

In extreme cases, illnesses attributed to the use of the drug include kidney failure, heart attack, respiratory failure, and bleeding in the brain bleeding.

These symptoms are hard to recover from, because this drug is so potent that it takes a long time before the body can excrete the amount taken in. There are cases wherein long-term abusers of this drug resort to suicide because of severe, long-term hallucinations causing wild, distorted beliefs.

It should be emphasized that all these negative effects in the body may lead to comatose, that may later on lead to death.

Drug abuse, especially those substances that are highly potent, can lead to serious problems other than on one’s health and well-being. Strong addiction distorts the normal processes and functions of the brain and of the other body systems, leading to poor performance in the areas of career and relationships.

Detection and Testing of N-Bomb

Symptoms of the early stage of N-Bomb addiction include the following: rapid eye movement, dilated pupils, irregularities in the body temperature, loss of appetite, and impaired motor skills, among others.

If these symptoms are observed, be informed that there are several ways to detect drug abuse. N-Bomb, like other hallucinogens, can be traced through hair follicle testing, urine testing, and thin layer chromatography. These methods are highly recommended for most types of drugs listed under “party drugs”. Below are brief descriptions of these methods:

  • Hair follicle drug testing is a forensic analysis that has the capacity to detect possible drug abuse in longer spans of time. At an average, this method can detect drug abuse in the past ninety days. In the absence of hair strands in the head, other body hair may be used for testing.
  • Urine drug testing is known as one of the most common methods for drug substance detection. It has the ability to detect not only the presence of drug substances in the system, but also the presence of alcohol. Urine, as a body’s discharge, is a good medium to detect the presence of illicit substances in the body.
  • Thin layer chromatography is usually used to find out if drinks in a given event (e.g. alcoholic drinks served during parties, or non-alcoholic drinks given to an unknowing victim) contain party drugs such as N-Bomb. This method is considered as one of the most common separating techniques of mixture composition in chemistry as it allows the detection of possible various substances, regardless of the percentage composition in the mixture or molecular size.

Treatment of N-Bomb Addiction

Hallucinogen addiction does not have any pharmacological treatments. Once you find out that someone you know is engaged in N-bomb addiction, make sure that the person is given the right amount of time and attention to distract the person from giving in to his or her urge to use the drug one more time.

Family members of a person who has developed addiction should be patient enough in the process because recovering from the use of drugs, specifically of the use of hallucinogens, is not easy at all. Hallucinogen addicts have the worst mood swings, and so the family’s patience is really needed.

It is highly recommended that people who have N-bomb addiction be enrolled in rehabilitation program to help them overcome their difficulty. Because hallucinogens act on serotonin – a neurotransmitter of nerve impulses – sedation would usually be needed to calm the patient. Specialized facilities in this drug rehabilitation will determine the types of activities that can help divert the addiction to something useful and productive such as painting, dancing, and other forms of arts and physical activities.



N-Bomb causes a large number of negative impacts in the body. To think that it is beneficial is a bad idea for the reason that it disrupts the normal mental processes, and even those of the other body systems. While others may survive the ill effects of the drug, others may still experience its effects that may even lead to death.

What should be emphasized here is that no amount of curiosity can ever rationalize one’s interest to try something that can cause serious harm.

It is not a terrible idea to have fun every once in a while. However, the type of “fun” you wish to try and get yourself into should be well thought of. Doing drugs opens doors for bigger problems; and while some may see drugs in a positive light at first because of the feeling of “high” they cause, the long-term effects still do not get cancelled out in the process.

Simply put, illicit drugs are dangerous to health. These substances poison the body organs, causing a person to develop a large number of illnesses that may also be fatal.

Like any other advice we can give to people who have acquired a strong urge to try doing drugs, it is always best to inform yourself of the negative impacts drugs may cause. After all, it is your own body that will suffer the consequences in the long run, and not the people who pushed you to try a different kind of party, which will later probably change your life forever—albeit in a negative way.

Just because you see others do an act does not mean you should also try it with them. Learn how to protect yourself from inherent dangers by choosing the peers you spend most of your time with.

Substance Abuse

All You Need To Know About U-47700

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In July 2016, reports came out of a new drug that was found in the body of music legend Prince, who died on April this year. The investigations disclosed that while it was an overdose of the drug fentanyl that caused his death, there was a cocktail of drugs in his system that may have contributed to the fatality.

The drug cocktail included a new designer drug called U-47700. The substance took longer to be detected as it required more sophisticated laboratory equipment and testing techniques.

In other news reports, concern has been expressed over the drug U-47700, which has been the cause of about 17 U-47700 overdose cases in at least 10 states in the country since the first documented incident in Knoxville, Tennessee in June 2015.

Furthermore, it has also contributed to about 50 deaths nationwide, prompting law enforcement officers to seek an immediate ban on the substance. As of June 2016, the states of Kansas, Wyoming, Ohio, and Georgia have taken action to have U-47700 banned.

What is U-47700?

U-47700 is an opioid analgesic drug that was developed by a pharmaceutical manufacturer called Upjohn in the mid-1970s. It was derived from an earlier opioid AH-7921. It is known to have 7.5 times more potency than morphine. Some of its popular street names include Pink or Pinky.

According to Barry Logan, head of Pennsylvania-based NMS Labs forensic toxicology, U-4770 is a product of several experiments and was developed by the pharmaceutical as their analysts were looking for a synthetic alternative to morphine.  In particular, the scientists were studying the molecular activity of a number of chemical compounds that affect the opioid receptors in the brain. It was not originally intended for human consumption but for research purposes only.

Currently, the drug is produced by companies in China and is smuggled into the U.S., where it is being sold over the internet. Most buyers may not even be aware of the compounds of U-4770 or its dangers.

How Does U-47700 Work?

U-47700 works by binding to and activating the µ-opioid receptor. Like other opioids, it mimics the endogenous endorphins which are found in the body. The effect is the production of euphoria, pleasure, general excitement, sleepiness, and pain relief.  It has been said that the effects produced by U-47700 are similar to those elicited by the opioid oxycodone.

U-47700 also works as an agonist for the kappa-opioid receptor system. As a result, it has become the lead compound of some kappa-opioid receptor ligands including U-50488 and U-69,593 which also have similar structures.

Side Effects of U-47700

The physical side effects produced by the drug includes pain relief, physical euphoria that may be less intense than morphine, feelings of warmth and physical comfort, itchiness as a result of the strong histamine actions of the body, respiratory depression that tends to be stronger in comparison to that produced by other opioids such as heroin and morphine, semi-consciousness or unconsciousness, sedation, cough suppression, constipation, urinary retention, pupil constriction, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, flushed skin, and decreased libido.

The drug also affects cognition and behavior. Some of the effects include overwhelming feelings of emotional bliss and happiness, suppression of anxiety, impaired judgment, confusion, and compulsive redosing or addiction.

U-47700 also produces after effects that occur after the peak has passed or during the “comedown” or “crash.” These effects include cognitive fatigue, thought deceleration, anxiety, depression, and irritability.

Potential for Toxicity and Long-Term Damage

Because of its potency, it can produce long-term effects that include diminished libido and memory loss.

It has the potential to produce lethal effects when used in conjunction with depressants such as alcohol and benzodiazepines.

In addition, the nasal administration (snorting) of the drug’s crystals can cause damage to the mucous membranes. If vaporized, however, it can seriously harm the lungs.

Potential for Tolerance and Addiction

Chronic use of U-47700 can lead to dependence and addiction. As with other opioids, it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and can cause psychological dependence among users. When tolerance sets in, users will have to keep increasing the dose consumed. This puts them at a higher risk of fatal overdose.

Users who develop an addiction to the substance will develop compulsive patterns and will keep seeking ways to use the drug despite knowledge of its ill-effects. When the use is stopped abruptly, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Dangerous Drug Interactions

The use of U-47700 in conjunction with other drugs or substances can produce serious and life-threatening effects. Some of the drugs that are known to be potentially dangerous when combined with U-47700 are the following:


When U-47700 is used with depressants, there is an increased risk of developing fatal respiratory depression, muscle relaxation, sedation, loss of consciousness, and amnesia.


The combination of U-47700 and any form of dissociatives can induce vomiting during unconsciousness. This episode can trigger suffocation and death.


Generally, stimulants and depressants are dangerous combinations. When U-47700 is used in conjunction with any stimulant, there is an increased risk of excessive intoxication. Stimulants reduce the sedative effect of U-47700. However, when the effects of the stimulant wear off, the effects of U-47700 are considerably increased. This is potentially dangerous.

U-47700 may come in different forms, such as a pink pill like this one.

U-47700 may come in different forms, such as a pink pill like this one.

U-47700 Similarity to Heroin

According to the World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, addiction to U-47700 and other synthetic opioids in the U.S. is increasing even as these are used to replace heroin. These may be due to the availability and accessibility of U-47700 in the country.

Because U-47700 is available in both powder and granular form, it is relatively easier to use and abuse compared to other prescription opioids. This is because the latter are formulated to prevent abuse and are difficult to inject or snort. Thus, U-47700 is fast becoming a drug of choice among opioid addicts.

Some evidence suggests that the drug also induces a euphoric high that is similar to heroin although the effects last for a shorter period. This may be one of the reasons why it is also becoming an alternative drug among heroin users.


U-47700 now represents a part of the growing crisis of opioid addiction in the country. As with most synthetic drugs, law enforcers and lawmakers are struggling to cope with the developments of the drug trade in the market and are trying to pass immediate measures to classify and ban the substance.

Substance Abuse

Federal Bill Proposal Aims To Create Database of Designer Drugs

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Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velazquez recently introduced a bill to allocate $2.5 million in federal funding to start an outreach and educational campaign, as national efforts against synthetic drugs continue to push on. The bill aims to help in the campaign to combat synthetic drug use, and develop a comprehensive database of designer drugs that will require the help of several government agencies.

In a news statement, Velasquez said that this is in response to the surge of overdose cases in July, which rendered the busy streets of New York looking like a scene out of a Walking Dead episode. In a single week, more than 130 victims have been recorded to have suffered from health problems due to the use of synthetic drugs. This prompted Velasquez to create a bill that will help in funding her cause.

This fight against the epidemic of synthetic drugs includes unregulated chemicals that can cause adverse side effects and increase danger for other users.

The bill is entitled “Synthetic Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Act”, and it requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop necessary measures and comprehensive strategies to prevent the use of synthetic drugs. CDC will have a year to come up with new strategies in the rehabilitation of the users. The proposed bill now calls for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) together with Secretary of Health to jointly develop a national database for synthetic drugs.


Substance Abuse

What is Clonazolam and Why Is It Dangerous?

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Another drug that has recently become popular among benzodiazepine users is one called Clonazolam. This is currently being sold online as a designer drug and is easily accessible through online vendors.

Various forums and threads such as those found on Reddit discuss accounts of user’s experiences when using the drug. They also exchange information as to how and where to purchase it, as well as its effects, advantages and disadvantages. Some threads also show users comparing the drug with others of the same class such as Etizolam and Xanax. The number of entries would probably surprise a reader as to the number of people who are probably hooked on benzodiazepines and are always looking for new ones that could work better than the previous drug.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos” are a class of psychoactive drugs that affect the neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The drug acts as a sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant. These drugs are medically prescribed for conditions such as anxiety, agitation, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, seizure control, muscle relaxation, and inducing sleep before surgical procedures.

When used appropriately and for a short duration, benzodiazepines are relatively safe. However, they have the potential for developing tolerance, dependence, and abuse. Long-term use can cause impairment and unpleasant behavioral effects such as aggression and rebound anxiety. The sleep-inducing properties of benzodiazepines have also been found to decrease in effect for users who have been taking for a relatively long time.

Some of the most familiar names are Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. While there are approximately more than 2,000 benzodiazepines that have been produced and are available in the market today, only 15 of these have been currently approved in the United States. New types, however, have come out and are sold over the internet. One of which is the drug called Clonazolam that is also becoming a trend among benzodiazepine chronic users.

What is Clonazolam?

Clonazolam, also known as Clonitrazolam is a medium-duration psychoactive drug that also belongs to the class of benzodiazepines. It produces anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, depressant, and amnesic effects. It is a derivative of the FDA-approved benzodiazepines clonazepam and alprazolam.

Compared to the other mentioned drugs, however, clonazolam has been reported to be more fast-acting and its effects can be felt within 20 to 60 minutes. It also has the reputation of being highly potent as it produces very strong sedation and effects even when taken in small doses such as 0.5 mg. As such, it may be more dangerous that the other benzodiazepines available in the market.

As with most benzodiazepines, abrupt discontinuation of use can pose serious threats to the frequent users including seizures and sudden death. It is medically recommended that one’s dose is tapered off gradually before it is stopped altogether. Quitting clonazolam abruptly may produce intensive withdrawal effects.

Effects of Clonazolam

The physical effects of clonazolam include extreme sedation which can result in severe lethargy. It has been reported that some users may feel extremely sleep deprived and may even feel as though they are on the verge of passing out. This forces them to avoid engaging in regular activities. This may cause them to fall into complete unconsciousness.

The other physical and cognitive effects include respiratory depression,  dizziness, muscle relaxation, seizure control, spasms control,  loss of coordination, amnesia,  impaired cognitive skills, impaired motor skills, lapses in judgement, thought deceleration, and reduced reaction time.

Long-term use of clonazolam can result in increased seizures among epileptics, aggression, increased anxiety, violent behavior, loss of impulse control, irritability, and suicidal tendencies. These effects have been observed among recreational users, people diagnosed with mental disorders, elderly patients, and those who take the drug at high doses.

Potential for Tolerance and Addiction

Compared to other benzodiazepines, clonazolam has been found to be both physically and psychologically addictive. Tolerance may develop within a few days of continuous use.

As with characteristics of other tranquilizers or sedatives, withdrawal symptoms may be experienced by the patient or user when consumption is ceased abruptly. To avoid this, users are advised to observe a gradual reduction in dosage instead of stopping the use immediately.

Because of clonazolam’s potent sedating effects, the withdrawal symptoms may be more severe. There is an increased risk for hypertension, seizures, and death. Painkillers such as tramadol should be avoided during the withdrawal period.

Potential for Dangerous Interactions

Clonazolam can be dangerous when used in conjunction with other pharmaceutical preparations. The combined effect can produce life-threatening results. Some of the drugs that may produce some dangerous interactions when used with clonazolam are the following:


The combination of clonazolam and depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opioids can cause fatal respiratory depression. Depressants have the tendency to maximize the sedative and muscle relaxant effects of clonazolam. The combined effect can produce unexpected loss of consciousness when taken at higher doses. There is also the increased risk of vomiting during sedation which can lead to suffocation and death.


When combined with any form of dissociative, there arises a risk of vomiting during unconsciousness. This can also lead to suffocation and death.


It is never advisable to combine stimulants with benzodiazepines. Stimulants alter the effect of benzodiazepines by decreasing their sedative effects. However, once the stimulant wears off, the effects produced by benzodiazepines are increased. When using both cannot be avoided, users should strictly limit the dosage of the benzodiazepine.


In recent years, novel benzodiazepines have also proliferated as part of designer drugs sold online or in the black market. They are very accessible and can be bought at a minimal cost, making them very attractive to recreational users and to those who practice self-medication.

Because most of these drugs do not have recognized medical purposes and are not medically prescribed in other countries, they can cause great harm to those who use the drugs recreationally. As such, law enforcers and the public in general should be forewarned of the dangers of these substances as they have a high potential for abuse that may lead to fatal consequences.

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

Study Successfully Stops Alcohol Dependence in Mice

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In a recent issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, a study revealed findings based on other studies indicating that the frequent use of alcohol can activate specific groups of neurons. The more a person drinks, the more the neuron circuit is activated, which then prompts more drinking. However, the findings from the new study postulate a different study.

The study aims to identify if there is a way to influence certain neurons that make-up the circuit. Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), with Professor Olivier George leading the study, based the findings from experiments on lab rats. In both humans and rats, the neurons only make up five percent of the neurons in the brain’s central amygdala.

The experiment used lab rat models of alcohol dependence wherein a special protein will only distinguish the neurons that are activated by alcohol. The rats were then given a compound wherein it can inactivate only alcohol-linked neurons.

TSRI Research Associate Giordano de Guglielmo, who spearheaded the experiment, was surprised with the results. The rats stopped their compulsive drinking for as long as they were monitored. “We’ve never seen an effect that strong that has lasted for several weeks,” said George in a news item. “I wasn’t sure if I believed it.”

The experiment ran 3 times and each time, the rats ceased drinking alcohol. However, when given sugar water, the rats were motivated to drink which shows that the researchers had targeted only alcohol-linked neurons and not the entire reward system. The rats also did not exhibit any withdrawal symptoms.

The researchers hope to track the formation of alcohol-activated neuronal circuits and to find a way to be able to transcend the work to humans.


Health & Wellness

What We Know About The Zika Virus So Far

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The United States and the Pacific is experiencing an ongoing and rampant spread of Zika fever, caused primarily by the Zika virus in the middle of 2016. The outbreak of the Zika virus started in Brazil in early 2015, which consequently spread to some parts of Northern and Southern America and affected several parts of the world.

In February 2016, the World Health Organization has issued a statement saying that the Zika virus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This is evident with the rise of Zika-induced birth defects and neurological problems.

Origin and Rise to Infamy

The Zika virus was derived from the virus family of Flaviviridae and it is mainly spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito-borne Flavivirus was first recorded in Uganda last 1947, and it is loosely related to the following viruses: Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, Dengue and Yellow fever.

To date, the virus has already spread to more than 20 countries in the United States. With the sudden rise and explosion of the virus in the United States, it has clearly caused a cloud of fear among the affected regions because although the symptoms and effects are generally mild, there’s a greater concern with studies showing that there’s a strong link between Zika virus and brain defects in babies.

Virus Transmission

Zika virus is transmitted to people through a bite from the mosquito, which consequently becomes infected when it feeds on a person already carrying the virus. Aside from mosquito bites, it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse even before the symptoms start to manifest.

Some other ways in transmitting the virus is through exposure or through blood transfusion. Moreover, Zika virus can be passed from pregnant woman to the unborn child, thereby causing some birth defects. Those who are infected with the virus show various mild symptoms such as fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, joint pain, headache, and muscle pain. These symptoms may last from a few days to a week.

Health Problems and Risks of Zika Virus

The incubation period of the Zika Virus disease might take a few days to a week, and it might cause varied symptoms. According to Amesh Adalja, spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, about 20 percent of people infected by Zika virus exhibit symptoms.

There are various health effects and risks brought about by the Zika virus. Here are some of the health-related issues that you need to know about:

  • Zika infection during pregnancy can cause different defects such as microcephaly and severe fetal brain defects.
  • Current CDC research suggests that GBS is strongly associated with Zika; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection have been diagnosed with GBS.

Zika Virus and Gullian-Bare Syndrome

The recent outbreak of Zika virus in South America has been on the rise since the middle of 2016, with several studies showing that Zika virus is linked to birth defects especially when pregnant mothers are infected.

A rare and progressive neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome is triggered by infection to the Zika virus. This neurological syndrome and disorder occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, resulting to weakness and paralysis. Most patients can recover over time; however, some experience long lasting effects like numbness and difficulties in movement.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, health officials have reported that there is a significant increase in the number of cases of GBS with countries that have Zika virus endemic. Health officials and researchers reported to have as much as 877 percent increase on the incidence of GBS. An official report evaluated that between April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, there has been a total of 164,237 confirmed and suspected cases of Zika virus infections, with 1,474 cases of GBS.

Testing for Zika

Getting tested for Zika virus is different from testing for flu or pregnancy. There are only a few accredited and certified laboratories that can test for the Zika virus and as a result, specimens have to be shipped to a different location to proceed with the lab testing.

If your city health department doesn’t have any laboratory to do the testing, it will coordinate with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please note that the processing and results may take longer at roughly more than 2 to 4 weeks, especially when the spread of virus increases.

Zika virus testing is only recommended for some people, and it is only recommended that you undergo Zika testing if you have lived or traveled to an area known to have Zika outbreak or if you had sex with a partner who lives in or has traveled to a Zika-infested area.

An IgM-positive or Zika ELISA test can only be indicative and diagnosed on flavivirus infection. Furthermore, the methods available to test for Zika antibodies cross-react with dengue antibodies. Here are some tips on how to get tested for the Zika virus:

  • Determine the need for testing. If you think you’re experiencing Zika virus symptoms, seek the help of your doctors. Your doctor may decide to test you for Zika or other viruses.
  • Get the approval of Health Department before submitting samples.
  • Collect the samples to be forwarded for testing.
  • If your health department or laboratory will perform the actual testing, the results will be sent to your doctor.

Facts and Figures on Zika Virus

  • In 2007, several islands in the Pacific region have experienced outbreaks. Zika virus disease is gradually becoming an infectious disease. In 2015, there are reported outbreaks in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
  • According to the World Health Organization, there is a scientific concurrence that the Zika virus causes microcephaly, GBS, and congenital nervous system malformations.
  • Phylogenetic analysis reports that there are two Zika virus lineages: African lineage and Asian lineage.
  • The first noted case of Zika virus in the United States occurred in January 2016 at Harris County in Texas.
  • There are 45 countries and territories with confirmed indirect transmission of Zika virus disease in different U.S. states since 2015.
  • Fifteen countries and territories in the United States were reported to have cases of congenital syndrome associated with the Zika virus. Moreover, there are three additional countries that were reported to have suspected cases of congenital syndrome associated with Zika virus, and these are Barbados, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
  • On August 9, Canada confirmed to have two cases of maternal-fetal transmission of the Zika virus, including severe neurological congenital anomalies.
  • In Asia, Malaysia reported its first case of Zika virus infection in a woman who was travelling to Singapore.

Treatment and Prevention of Zika Virus

Generally, there are no specific medication and vaccination for the Zika virus. To treat the virus, symptomatic measures and treatment should be done to treat the symptoms that come with it. Those infected with Zika virus are advised to treat the symptoms and to get plenty of rest and fluids. Please take note to avoid drinking aspirin and non-inflammatory drugs to reduce the risk of internal hemorrhage or bleeding. Take medicines such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.

Diagnosis of the Zika virus is largely based on the patient’s travel history, symptoms and even test results. To confirm the diagnosis, blood or urine test must be done to quickly check if you’re positive with the virus. Zika virus can remain in semen for more than 93 days and it can last longer in other bodily fluids like urine, blood and vaginal fluid.

To prevent you and others from contacting the Zika virus, it is best to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites especially since there is no medical vaccine to prevent the virus from spreading.

Here are more tips on how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat your clothing with permethrin.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellants and always follow the instructions on the product label.
  • Do not use insect repellant on babies under the age of 2 months old.
  • Avoid travelling in areas with Zika outbreak.
  • Use condoms to avoid sexually transmitting the virus to another person.

The Zika virus can be indicative of a more severe case especially with the explosion of the outbreak. The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites, and everyone can eventually help control mosquitoes. The government and health organizations can control the outbreak by developing mosquito control plans and to evaluate effective methods and actions needed to prevent or lower down infection to the virus.

Meanwhile, you and your neighbors can also take precautionary steps to reduce the spread of mosquitoes by properly following water disposal. Pregnant women who live in or have traveled to regions with higher Zika incidents may be extremely risky. It is most important to always exercise precautions.

Furthermore, pregnant women are advised to subject themselves to ultrasound scans moe frequently. This method is the most reliable and effective way in detecting microcephaly before the baby is born. Birth defects aren’t usually identified until the second trimester, and that is why it is important for couples to use all necessary preventive measures.

The government and health organizations can protect you by activating Emergency Operations Centers so that scientists can monitor cases of the virus, work on better solutions, and to freely run studies and tests on pregnant women who test positive for Zika virus.

As of the moment, the National Institute of Health is already developing a vaccine that can potentially help put a stop to the rising number of incidents. Scientists are tweaking a vaccine that was initially developed for the West Nile virus, and they expect to launch a safety trial for it within the year.


Substance Abuse

New Designer Drug ‘Pinky’ Causes Death of Two Teens

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“Pinky” may sound like something innocent, but this emerging designer drug has caused the death of two teenagers in Utah.

According to a news release, Park City resident Grant Seaver was found dead on September 11 inside his home. Meanwhile, his best friend Ryan Ainsworth was also discovered dead on his home couch two days later. Both were 13 years old and students of Treasure Mountain Junior High School.

Although Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to release the results of the autopsies and toxicology tests, Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter is considering the potential involvement of Pinky, the street name of the designer drug U-47700. “We have received a lot of different social media hits during our investigation. We looked at potentially this pink could possibly be a cause, we don’t know that. There was nothing to suggest at the scene it was ingested,” Carpenter said.

In a statement, Park City School District superintendent Ember Conley explained how synthetic drug use has drastically changed the way authorities and parents take care of kids. “This is a whole new ballgame for parents. This is something that every single one of our parents in Utah need to be aware… This is an all around difficult situation,” Conley said.

Pinky or U-47700 is still relatively new in the United States. As a result, the drug is not yet illegal or banned in the country. However, some European countries have already set policies to ban the said substance.


Substance Abuse

DEA Seeks Placement of Kratom Metabolites Under Schedule 1

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kratom abuse

Heads up for those who are planning to use kratom: The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has recently issued an intention to categorize the active components of kratom as Schedule I controlled substances.

The compounds in question – mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine – mimic the effects of opioid medication, leading kratom to become one of the most highly abused substances in recent times. Despite support from users due to the alleged therapeutic benefits of the drug, the DEA cited that the substances fall under Schedule I due to the following factors:

  • High abuse potential
  • No proof to be effective for any medical treatment
  • No safety precautions for use, even under medical care

Kratom has figured in several cases of medical and even criminal cases in the U.S. According to a press release by the DEA, more than 55,000 kilograms of kratom in various forms – capsules, powder, liquids, and patches – have been seized at U.S. entry ports between February 2014 and July of this year. This figure does not include at least 57,000 kilograms reported to be set for import into the country in the same time frame.

The health risks and toxicity of kratom has led the DEA and other federal agencies involved in the drug watch to consider the substance unfit for human use. Although the plant is popular in some parts of the world because of its pain-relieving and sedative effects, abuse of kratom may lead to a wide array of health signs ranging from dryness in the mouth to delusion and schizophrenia.


Substance Abuse

Expect Higher Designer Drugs Use in Night Clubs, Says Study

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As more designer drugs are being discovered in recent years, recent reports claimed that there are about 700 new street drugs circulating all over the world. Some of these substances are now infiltrating festivals and electronic dance music night clubs.

A survey taken from more than 2,200 U.S. residents revealed that almost half of them have tried using a new drug, the most common of which was synthetic cannabinoids. Joseph J. Palamar, an affiliate of New York University Center for Drug Use and HIV Research  (CDUHR) said in a news item that at least 5 percent of night club attendees are users of psychedelic drugs known as NBOMe. This drug, according to the researchers, is highly potent and dangerous.

It was also found out patrons of night clubs are unaware that the ecstasy that they’re taking may possibly be mixed with “bath salts”, as seen on hair samples taken from them.

According to researchers, frequent club goers have greater risks of taking these designer drugs, and there is also a higher risk among the unemployed to engage with these drugs.

There really should be a widespread awareness program to prevent and reduce the risk of being exposed to these designer drugs. Otherwise, more people will be hooked into using them and would be endangering their lives.



Study: Dogs Like To Receive Praise More Than Food

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Evidence from a recent study showed that dogs prefer to be praised by their owners rather than being offered food.

In the study, fifteen dogs were tested by brain imaging to assess their reaction to different treats. The study focused on behavioral experiments on dogs to gauge what they value more: food or words of praise.

Gregory Bern, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, said in a news release that the study aimed to understand the bond between dogs and humans. The study concluded that out of the 13 dogs that completed the test, most of them prefer praise from their owners over food.

Emory University’s “The Dog Project” focused on investigating the evolution of dogs. The previous research project was designed to show that dogs respond more to scents of familiar people than to other people’s odors. Meanwhile, the latest research study of the team is now focusing more on identifying the dog’s ability to understand human language.

The research is indicative that dogs are hypersocial with humans, thereby creating a unique cross-species social bonding. So the next time that you and your dogs are spending quality time together, you might want to consider giving them some praise rather than giving them snacks.