Testing It Up » September 2011

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Drug Testing

Drug Wipe Causes Controversy Among Many as Validity of Product is Debated

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A private investigator in Florida claims to have found a device that is capable of testing for drug  use with little contact, in fact he claims that it can even test places where the person you want to test has touched removing the need for confrontation. How accurate are these claims and can this truly be a valid way to test?

Victor Ortino, a former candidate for Collier sheriff, has been marketing a tooldrugwipe5c that he says allows parents and employers to secretly test their child or employee for drugs for the last year. DrugWipe, a handheld drug-detection device about the size of a candy bar, tests for drug residue in saliva and sweat. According to Ortino it can even pick up detection materials from locations and devices the person being tested have come in close contact with, perhaps even keyboards, cell phones and common objects like toothbrushes and light switches.

“That’s the beauty of it. The child doesn’t have to be there,” said David Rich, a private investigator who works with Ortino. “They would never know.”

While Ortino and his coworkers are convinced others aren’t so sure of the device. Even if the device is accurate just how invasive and damaging might it be in the relationships of parents and children?

“I think when you have to run into your child’s room and sneak around to see if they’re doing drugs or not, I think the approach is wrong,” said Maria Delgado, executive director of Drug Free Collier, who does not endorse products. “If you have a suspicion, then you need to confront that child or that person in a delicate way.”

A negative result means never having to discuss the subject with the person tested but a positive test will need to be brought up and well before it gets to a point when school officials and jobsites could become involved along with law enforcement. DrugWipe (which is already being used in some European countries to test for drugged drivers) tests for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, methamphetamines, Ecstasy, and benzodiazepines. The results are reported in a window on the device in about 10 minutes.

Florida Drug Screening

Substance Abuse

Prescription Drugs Take-Back in Hawaii Runs Until October

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Residents of Hawaii can ensure that their homes are free from expired, unwanted, and unused prescription drugs that may be inadvertently swallowed by young children, or abused by teens, through prescription drug take-back efforts organized by the state government.

Attorney General David Louie, Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) Acting Administrator Derek Nakamura, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special-Agent-in-Charge Robin Dinlocker, are urging residents in the Aloha State to bring expired and unused prescription medications to various collection points that will be set up across the state.

Attorney General Louie shared: “Unused or expired prescription drugs pose serious health and safety risks for those in our state… This is the third take-back effort in which our department is involved.  I encourage everyone in the state to participate and bring in their unused or expired prescription drugs at the participating take-back locations.”

Acting Administrator Nakamura, on the other hand, shared that 70 percent of controlled substances that were turned in during previous take-back programs were narcotics or painkillers: “In all counties, narcotic/pain killers accounted for the highest percentages of controlled substances collected… This program allows people to safely dispose of their expired or unused medications.”

Hawaii’s prescription drug take-back program started Friday, and will run through the rest of September until October this year.

Several collection points have been set up in Oahu and Guam; collection points have also been set up in Kauai, Maui, Hawaii and Saipan. The specific locations of these collection points are indicated in the press release, featured on the website of the State of Hawaii.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Substance Abuse

Jane Lynch Memoir Reveals Alcoholic Past

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Love her or hate her, Sue Sylvester has certainly become a part of pop culture. Glee, after all, will not be as Glee-full without Sue, and the way she “C’s” it.

Like everyone else, Sue has her history, which is undoubtedly intertwined with that of the person who brings her to life on the small screen, in a big way: Emmy winner Jane Lynch. In her memoir, released last week, Jane reveals bits and pieces from her past, which, as in any other person’s history, has its share of ups and downs.

The Daily Beast ranked the 14 juiciest bits of personal history from “Happy Accidents,” Lynch’s memoir. Ranked number 2 is Lynch’s admission that she was a one-time alcoholic. Lynch recalls being an everyday drinker post-high school, but was eventually was able to give up drinking on her own.

Her last drink, she shared, was red wine. Two decades later, she is still sober, although she does wish that her last drink should have been Miller Light, her drink of choice, instead of wine.

She did, however, seek help at one point. Iin January of 1992, Lynch, then 31, turned to Alcoholics Anonymous, after getting high for the first time.

At number 1 is a fact that many people may not know, and find hard to believe: for all her quick wit, Lynch is actually deaf in her right ear. She was 8 years old when she found out that people actually heard from both ears, because she always heard out of only one ear and though that was true for everyone else.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Sleep Reduces Risk of Diabetes Among Obese Teens

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It looks like one of the best things sleep can do for teens, specifically for those who are obese, is keeping diabetes at bay. A study shows that teenagers who sleep between seven-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half hours at night were able to keep their insulin and blood sugars at an ideal level.

A healthy sleeping pattern could help prevent teens from developing diabetes. Spending less or more time in bed raises the chance of having increased sugar levels, and less amount of deep sleep triggers a drop in insulin levels.

The study involved 62 participants, all of whom were teenagers. They were watched over one and a half days and during this their blood sugar levels were monitored and their sleep patterns were analyzed by researchers.

Dr Dorit Koren, who led the study said: “Our study found to keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night.”

Dr. Koren also said that the research backs up a previous study which shows that adults who are sleep-deprived have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This study will be followed up with a similar analysis, which will involve conducting the study in the homes of obese teenagers as opposed to the laboratory.

“In the meantime, our study reinforces the idea that getting adequate sleep in adolescence may help protect against type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Koren.

In a separate study in 2007, it shows that almost one in three British teenagers only have between four to seven hours of sleep a night.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

“Lost” Actor Accused of Assault by Female Driver

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A female Cleveland bus driver has sued “Party of Five” and “Lost” actor Matthew Fox, after the actor allegedly beat her up, because she would not immediately take him to where he wanted to go. Fox was apparently drunk at that time, and he had asked the wrong driver to drive for him.

Bus driver Heather Bormann has sued Fox for assault and battery in Cuyahoga County Court.

Bormann says she was working as a contract driver for a party bus, taking a private party to and from Shooters, on the night of August 27. At around 1:30am, while she was waiting for her clients to return, Fox allegedly tried to board Bormann’s bus and demanded that she take him to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The complaint described the scenario as follows: “Defendant Fox continued to force his way onto the steps of the bus, and bellowed loudly at plaintiff, demanding she drive him to his hotel. Plaintiff again informed him she could not do so, that this was a private party and that he was trespassing upon a private party and vehicle, without permission to do so, and would have to find another ‘ride.’

“Suddenly and without provocation, Fox attacked plaintiff with his fists, delivering sudden and severe blows to her right breast, groin, arm and legs, inflicting severe, disabling injury and pain to plaintiff.”

Bormann said she instinctively protected herself and was able to hit Fox in the face and head, which cut and bloodied his lip, causing him to spit out blood. Despite this, though, he didn’t back down and continued with his reverie. Bormann continued to put up a fight while severely damaging her left hand and fingers all the while.

Cleveland police arrived at the scene and arrested Fox, but he was released shortly to several people to take him back to the hotel.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Daughter Kara Passes Away of Heart Attack

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A little over two years after the passing away of her father, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Kara Kennedy died of a heart attack on September 16. She was 51.

Kara Anne Kennedy was the eldest child of Sen. Edward Kennedy and Joan Bennett Kennedy. She was a filmmaker, and is remembered as a shy person who led a more private life when compared to her other cousins. She wrote the following for The Boston Globe Magazine: “Unlike my father, I felt more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. But like him, I found my greatest fulfillment in showing the needs and successes of others.”

Ms. Kennedy had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. At that time, doctors had deemed it inoperable. The Kennedy family, however, did not simply accept the diagnosis and found surgeons who were willing to treat her. The cancer eventually went into remission.

Kara Kennedy was born on February 27, 1960. She studied in Tufts University and built a career in television and in film; she served as the producer of “Evening Magazine” on WBZ-TV in Boston until 1990.

Ms. Kennedy also served as director emeritus of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and sat on the national advisory board for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Kara Kennedy is survived by her husband, Michael Allen; children Max and Grace; mother Joan; brothers Patrick and Edward Jr.; stepmother Victoria Reggie Kennedy; and stepbrother and step sister Curran and Carolin Raclin.

Her brother Patrick said: “She’s with my dad now, that’s a consolation for all of us.”

Health & Wellness

Great Low-Carb Snacks to Munch On!

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When it comes to eating healthy, there are times when it is not about skipping, but about making the right choices – especially when it comes to snacks. Sometimes, it is reaching for the right thing to eat – which means shunning those chips and cookies – that makes a difference.

Here are the best low-carb snacks that you can munch on.

Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups. This dish consists of part-skim mozzarella cheese stick, and sliced roasted turkey breast. A serving contains the following: 3.5 grams carbohydrate, 0.3 gram fiber, 144 calories, 17 grams protein, 6.6 grams fat, and 3.8 grams saturated fat.

Peanut Butter and Celery Sticks. Forget about fries and ketchup, and snack on celery sticks dipped in peanut butter. A serving consists of 8.5 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 208 calories, 7 grams protein, 16 grams fat, and 2 grams saturated fat.

Large Artichoke. Sometimes, people reach for chips or popcorn because they are the most convenient things they can grab. A healthy snack, however, can be just as convenient; for this dish, all you need to do is cut a large artichoke in half, and remove the inedible part. Pop it in the microwave in a covered container with half a cup of water, and cook until tender. You may add lemon juice (17 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 76 calories, 5.5 grams protein, .2 gram fat, .01 gram saturated fat per serving), or 2 teaspoons of canola oil or olive oil mayonnaise (17 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 106 calories, 5.5 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 0.1 gram saturated fat per serving).

Nuts. Go nuts for nuts, instead of gaga for chips. A quarter cup of roasted, unsalted mixed nuts of your choice makes for a healthy snack. That much roasted almonds, for instance, contains 6.7 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 205 calories, 9.5 grams protein, 18 grams fat, and 1.4 grams saturated fat.

Early Disease Detection

23 Children in India Receiving Blood Transfusions Infected with HIV

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State authorities have launched an investigation after 23 children who received regular blood transfusions have tested positive for HIV in the Indian state of Gujarat. The children suffer from thalassaemia, a blood disorder affecting the body’s ability to create red blood cells, and received blood transfusions at a public hospital in Junagadh district.

Hospital officials have denied the children could have been infected by its blood supplies while State Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas said that it is possible that the children might have been infected from getting blood transfusions at some other place.

The children’s parents are denying this. Shailesh Balash, a policeman said, “My son has been undergoing blood transfusion since last seven years. Transfusion has been done … every seven days. And all these years and times, it has been done only at Junagadh Civil Hospital. ‘Nobody else but the hospital authority is to be blamed for the negligence.”

“We have never gone anywhere else [for blood transfusions]. How can they (authorities) say that children were affected with the virus before getting registered?,” said Salim Sheikh, the father of one of the infected children.

National Thalassaemia Welfare Society general secretary J. S. Arora said HIV being spread by blood transfusion could be more widespread since HIV screening methods used in most Indian hospitals are outdated.

Early Disease Detection

IUD Lowers Cervical Cancer Risk

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Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small plastic devices inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.  A new study in the British medical journal Lancet Oncology suggests that they may also help protect against cervical cancer.

The team of European researchers analyzed 26 studies and surveys conducted between 1985 and 2007 involving nearly 20,000 women from 14 countries. The study found that women who use IUDs cut their risk of cervical cancer by roughly 50% compared to women who have never used one.

According to Dr. Howard Jones, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, “The hypothesis is that an IUD, because it’s a foreign body, creates an inflammatory response that gets rid of the HPV, which reduces the risk of cervical cancer.”

Dr. Ira Horowitz, professor and director of gynecological oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta also said, “People have suggested in the past that having an IUD put people at increased risk for developing cancer, and we are not seeing that.”

While this is a significant step in the study of IUDs and cervical cancer, health experts not involved in the research don’t see how this study could change how clinicians prescribe IUDs. The study does not prove that IUDs can directly prevent cervical cancer. The new analysis could only suggest that the use of intrauterine devices are associated with a lower risk of cancer. It does not clearly reveal whether a cause-and-effect relationship exists.

Dr. Johnathan Lancaster, director of the Center for Women’s Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center , said “These data may be reassuring for women who have IUDs, but I don’t there will be a substantial impact on prescribing them.”

Early Disease Detection Substance Abuse

Long Term Use of Painkillers Linked to Kidney Cancer

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For some people, having a headache means popping pills in order to take away the pain. But a new study shows that people who use painkillers such as ibuprofen for more than ten years are increasing their risk for kidney cancer.

The results of study indicated that people who took anti-inflammatory medication were 51 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer. Those who took them for over a decade, on the other hand, are three times more likely contact renal cell cancer, which is the most common kind of kidney cancer.

The study involved data from 125,000 participants. Dr. Eunyoung Cho of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, shared that “in these large prospective studies of women and men, we found that the use of non-aspirin NSAIDs (non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs) was associated with an elevated risk of renal cancer, especially among those who took them for a long duration.”

The researchers analyzed data on 77,525 women and 49,403 men. They found those who had recorded use of aspirin and NSAIDs for up to twenty years. During this time, 333 of the study participants developed renal cell cancer.

There was, however, a 19 percent decrease in the risk of developing the kidney cancer among those who use non-aspirin NSAIDs for less than four years. The danger, though, also went up by 36 percent when use went on for four to ten years, and nearly three times for those who use them for ten years or more.