Testing It Up » October 2009

Monthly Archives: October 2009

Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse is Leading even Pre-teens to Need Rehab in Australia

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According to government reports Australia is dealing with children as young as ten reporting for rehabilitation. These pre-teens are seeking rehabilitation for addiction to substances like alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines and heroin and the numbers say that such occurrences are becoming more common. While there are a wide variety of reasons such treatment is sought out most of those seeking treatment are dealing with alcohol problems. At a rate of roughly 44% (up from 38% in 2002/2003) alcohol poses a larger problem for young teens and pre-teens more and more each year.

While it’s not totally unheard of for pre-teens this age to seek treatment from time to time the increase is definitely worth watching since it’s been on the rise over the last few years along with drug abuse (which while remaining lower than alcohol has had a bit more users as well) This increase comes after a steady five year declining period and accounts for about 700 more substance abusers seeking treatment recently. Heroine, while nowhere near as highly available or used as it was during the heroin heavy 90s is making a comeback in the country as well. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s study shows that there is a clear need for some sort of substance abuse management in this age group.

Celebrity Substance Abuse

Andre Agassi Confesses to Crystal Meth Use!

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When one talks about tennis, one inevitably will have to mention a name that has long been synonymous with the game. True, we now have new and younger stars that dominate tennis, but before they even were, there was an Andre Agassi.

The talk – or tweet – of the town in the past few days was quite a bombshell — the one-time world number one tennis player ‘fessed up to taking crystal meth at a “low point in his life”. Why the sudden surge of honesty? The “confession” is part of the story that is Andre Agassi, a story that is currently being told through an autobiography called “Open”.

Andre AgassiThere are mixed reactions to the news. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, now the reigning tennis greats, ranked world number one and number two respectively, expressed disappointment over Agassi’s “revelations”. Prior to Andre Agassi’s admission, tennis was one of the sports that has been spared from drug-related scandals.

According to his autobiography, Agassi reportedly took crystal meth, a recreational drug, in 1997. The situation even reportedly went as far as Agassi actually failing a drug test. Agassi admits further that in order to get himself out of that bind, he sent a letter to the ATP and lied that he only received a positive test because of a spiked drink. In reality, he knew all too well that there was definitely a reason for the test to yield positive.

Despite the disappointments expressed by Federer and Nadal, however, Agassi received some love at the home front. Fellow American and Wimbledoon finalist Andy Roddick said that inspite of it all, he still looks up to the eight-time major winner. In Agassi’s defense, Roddick said that at the time crystal meth played a tiny part in Agassi’s life, he was no longer part of the sports’ top 100 and people actually believed that he was already on his way out.

Still, however, Agassi won five more majors after the 1997 incident.

Substance Abuse

Water in Bong Counts as a Drug in Minnesota

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A Minneapolis woman found out the hard way that a little left over bong water can get you in just as much trouble as the real thing. The Minnesota supreme court rules 4 to 3 that bong water that held traces of meth constituted a mixture with a controlled substance rather than just drug paraphernalia.

Sara Ruth Peck (the woman who is now going to be dealing with a retrial on her September 2007 drug arrest) first dealt with the police when they searched her home and found a bong that tested positive for meth along with a lighter and pipe. Her children ages 12 and 8 were home at the time and prompted charges of child endangerment along with felony fifth-degree drug possession for the bong.

The case for felony drug possession was originally thrown out when Peck argued that the water didn’t constitute a mixture under the state’s law. In the state of Minnesota 27 grams or more of meth constitutes first degree drug possession, the police in Pecks case counted the weight of the bong as well making her possession 37 grams at the time of her arrest.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the bong’s contents did indeed fit the mixture law as it is defined “a preparation, compound, mixture, or substance containing a controlled substance, regardless of purity.”.  First degree rulings on drug possession generally result in 7 years of prison time which stands in extreme contrast to the $300 fine that Peck would be facing if the bong water was considered paraphernalia. Many consider the court’s ruling harsh and abusive of the law, only time will tell just how the case turns out for the defendant.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Substance Abuse

Big Brother Star Arrested in Connection with Oxycodone Drug Ring

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Adam Jasinski, winner of the ninth season of Big Brother, was arrested for his alleged involvement in a drug ring that intended to sell Oxycodone. Found to be in possession of 2,000 tablets and attempting to sell them to a DEA witness in Boston the star now faces charges from the Drug Enforcement Agency. The witness (a drug dealer from the area who’d been arrested earlier this year) met Jasinski at Logan International Airport and proceeded to a strip mall where Jasinski pulled the drugs from a concealed sock and was quickly arrested. If convicted for the incident (he’s facing a charge for both possession and the intent to illegally distribute Oxycodone) Jasinski could face a 1 million dollar fine and as many as 20 years in prison.

According to an affidavit associated with the case Jasinski admitted he’d used the winnings he earned from his stint on Big Brother (an amount totaling about $500,000) to fund his Oxycodone operation and is said to have bragged about getting “thousands’ of the pills for distribution. He then sold the drugs all along the east coast over the next few months. Some speculation has been made that the arrest of actor Sam Jones III may be connected to Jasinski’s arrest  based on the similarity of drug charges.

Early Disease Detection

Breast Cancer: Are Doctors Too Quick to Make “The Cut”?

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When we said “the cut”, we are referring to a mastectomy – and the answer to that question, thankfully, is a no. This is according to a new study conducted by a group that includes Dr. Monica Morrow of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

If and when a mastectomy does occur, it appears that it is not just because a doctor said so; a patient’s preference will also have a lot to do with such a decision.

simple mastectomyWhat this means is that surgeons are not keen on making incisions and performing a mastectomy. On the contrary, if a surgery is to be performed, a majority of doctors will recommend a lumpectomy – a procedure that does not necessitate the immediate removal of the entire breast – over a mastectomy. If a lumpectomy is, indeed, the proper course of action, it can lead to a patient’s eventual cure as many times as a mastectomy can.

Some cancer centers actually report low mastectomy rates, and this is considered as proof that they provide quality care, probably hinting at the fact that doctors are keen on making a thorough assessment and takes care in choosing the appropriate medical action to take; a mastectomy is not considered as the be-all and end-all procedure. When the first surgeon that a breast cancer patient consults immediately advises that she undergo a mastectomy, she is usually urged to go see another doctor and get a second opinion.

As far as mastectomies go, there are patients who simply choose to undergo the procedure based on their own personal preference. It has been mentioned that doctors usually recommend a lumpectomy over a mastectomy more often, but if the first doctor recommends a mastectomy, chances are more often than not that the initial recommendation will be upheld. And then there are women who, despite the fact that their second doctor reversed the recommendation of a mastectomy, still choose to undergo the procedure.

Substance Abuse

Dentists Can Be Used as Drug Dealers

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Addicts have been using doctors to get access to medications for years but most people haven’t even considered the idea that a dentist could be used for the same purpose. For addicts however every avenue is a pathway that could be utilized to get the score they need in a pinch and either talking their way into a dental prescription or faking a problem that warrants it could be utilized to do just that. It only gets easier when the dentist is on the other end of the phone and is writing the prescription without even having seen your face.

Prescription pain abuser is a growing problem in the US and it’s only getting worse with numbers as high as 7 million a number that far outreaches the combined number of heroin, cocaine ecstasy and hallucinogens altogether. That rate has been rising since about 2000 when drugs began to be easily available over the internet. Dentists, veterinarians and doctors are all being utilized by these addicts. Prescription drug abuse is often seen as a non-existent and safe addiction because a doctor has to give you the prescription for you to receive it, an easy way to feel that your use is somehow valid rather than harmful.

The DEA is in charge of regulating a doctor’s right to prescribe medication and they’re cracking down where they can on doctors that are aiding these abusers but it’s hard to know when drugs are being prescribed for the wrong reasons and even the dentists might not be aware of what’s going on.

Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Drug Addiction in the Elderly: An Overlooked Problem

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It's a hard life.

There’s been a lot of focus on rising drug abuse problems in teens and younger adults but little has been said about the problems faced by elderly people who face these same addictions. The fact that treatment is often focused at younger people causes the elderly to avoid treatment as much as the perception that drugs like those prescribed for pain aren’t really addictions or unsafe. Even those who do seek treatment face problems as elderly addicts are treated as lost causes and go almost entirely untreated. Resolving drug addiction in this age group is made worse by the frail health state of elderly people and the pain levels that occur as a result. For many the problem begins in their younger years but terrible pain that doesn’t seem to respond well to even prescription pain relievers can results in a desperate search for relief too.

Many of the elderly have families that either don’t see the problem, ignore it or mistake it for dementia rather than addiction. Growing older can be boring and depressing. Watching your loved ones pass on and not knowing what to do with your time can contribute to drug use to relieve stress and pass that time actively. It doesn’t take much to become addicted to it and makes it more likely that the addict will be that much less likely to give it up even if it has become a problem.


Do You Need An At Home Drug Test?

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One way to discover if your teen is doing drugs is to give them a drug test.  While many parents are worried about the idea of drugs, most of the at home tests tend to focus on marijuana in the urine. However, these tests skip the other drugs that may be even more dangerous and may also be part of the system as well. You can use an at home drug test that will effectively screen for all drugs in the system that may be harmful.

You can find out if your teen is taking Opiates, Amphetamines, Meth or Cocaine as well as marijuana when you use an at home test. Many of the street drugs that teens take will show up in this at home drug test that encompasses a wide range of drugs that may be in the system. If you find that your teen is testing positive for drugs, you can take the next step to help them get cured from a harmful addiction

Pregnancy & Fertility

How Does Ovulation Predictor Test Work?

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While contraception is not acceptable in other beliefs, others would rather embrace the practice than suffer the consequences of having more children later on. In this regard, family planning is a must for most couples who believe in responsible parenthood. For those who have prepared for pregnancy, the ovulation predictor test is of great help though.

The ovulation predictor test revolves around the principle of giving a forecast for women who want to increase their chances of getting pregnant. The test detects monthly luteinizing hormone or LH peaks. The LH peak is a period when the LH has substantially increased. From here, the ovulation period comes next. During this period when a woman is most fertile, partners should have sexual intercourse.

The ovulation predictor test comes with a kit. A woman has to take her urine sample then place it inside the container. A vertical strip is utilized in order to detect if she is fertile or not.

For full version of this article, please visit “How Does Ovulation Predictor Test Work?“.

This kit however may not apply to all. The results will not be as favorable to women in their forties since this is a period where the LH hormone increases. In this case, ovulation period is not predicted by the test.

Pregnancy & Fertility

Women’s Hormonal Changes Impact Asthma

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Asthma is one of those chronic illnesses that affect a cross-section of people of all ages. However, there is a special connection between this disease and the female gender. According to Dr. Neil Kao, an asthma and allergy specialist in Greenville, South Carolina who was quoted in a feature on WebMD, women who have asthma have an even harder time than others simply because they are who they are – women.

asthma inhalerThe reason for this is the fact that aside from external allergens that all people with asthma have to face, women periodically go through hormonal changes over a certain period of time and at certain stages in their lives that can affect how well they can breathe. Being pregnant, or having your period, or dealing with menopause can all affect a woman’s breathing. In other words, as in a lot of things in a woman’s life – it’s a girl thing.

When we talk about the female hormone estrogen and its effect on asthma in women, we are not exactly pointing to it as the reason for triggering asthma symptoms. It is the fact that estrogen levels fluctuate at certain periods that can trigger an inflammation in a woman’s airways, leading to the appearance of asthma symptoms.

So, for women who live with asthma, it is not enough to simply be knowledgeable and conscious about the seasons and the specific allergens that trigger their asthma symptoms. It is also necessary to be aware of one’s menstrual cycle. Being pregnant and going through menopause and the hormonal changes that go with them can also have an impact on dealing with asthma.

Generally, significant changes in hormone levels happen throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, regardless of whether her cycle is regular or irregular. For women with asthma, one should watch out during the time right before the start of her period, which is when estrogen levels are at their lowest. According to Dr. Maeve O’Connor, an allergist and immunologist from Charlotte, North Carolina who was quoted in the same feature, it is at this time in an asthmatic woman’s cycle that most asthma-related hospitalizations occur.