Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meth showing a comeback in 2009

Meth showing a comeback in '09


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From the same people who brought words like pseudoephederine and meth-cookin' into the public's vocabulary, comes a new term: smurfing.

"Smurfing" describes the process used by methamphetamine manufacturers as they try and bypass laws that restrict the amount of pseudoephederine products they can purchase at one time.

Pseudoephederine is an ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine.

"Five or six people get together and go from one store to another to another, with each one purchasing the legal limit at each location," said Tom McNamara, Southern Illinois Enforcement Group's special projects coordinator. "They'll cover a large area, as far as 150 miles away."

"Smurfing" was one of the hot topics under discussion at the Southern Illinois Methamphetamine and Other Drugs Conference Tuesday at John. A. Logan College.

Now in its sixth year, the annual conference gathers together those people who deal most intimately with the effects of the drug war - like law enforcement officers, drug treatment specialists, educators, medical professionals, social service workers and child advocates, according to Michelle Hamilton, chairwoman of the Williamson County Coalition Against Methamphetamine Abuse.

When the conference first began, its focus was on the then-explosive growth of methamphetamine use in the region. While new laws helped put the damper on its manufacture for several years, the drug is showing a comeback this year, McNamara said.

"We had our lowest number of labs (seized) in 2008, but we're seeing a resurgence in 2009. We're finding more labs now than at any time last year," he said.

The conference also addresses other illicit substances, Hamilton said, such as prescription drug abuse, which is on the rise in Southern Illinois.

The 500 conference participants also learned about the latest trends, treatments and tactics used in fighting drug abuse during breakout sessions led by experts in the field.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Drug Deaths Exceed Traffic Fatalities

Drug Overdoses Exceed Traffic Fataliies

Recent report by the Ohio Department of Health showed that drug overdoses topped traffic crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio in 2006 and 2007. Prescription pain medicines and heroin played a major role in the fatalities.

"The drug problem is moving from the streets to the medicine cabinet," said Kenneth Hale, the Ohio State Assistant Dean for Professional and External affairs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Prescription Drug Abuse in Arkansas

Police, parents and teachers in Springdale have teamed up to fight teen drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise with 10% of 12-17 year olds having abused prescription drugs.

The Springdale School District and several parent groups hosted a Reuse Abuse talk Thursday night.

One of the best ways to avoid the abuse is to get rid of all old prescription drugs - to help - May 30th the Springdale Police department will host a drug turn-in from 10 to 2pm at the police station.

Substance Abuse - Important Court Case for Teachers

Opposing view: Safety takes precedence
Educators need wide range of tools to protect students in their care.

By Francisco Negrón

Schools have a responsibility to ensure students are safe. When it comes to preventing drug abuse, educators have to make tough, on-the-spot decisions to stem the distribution of potentially harmful substances. Next week, the Supreme Court will consider whether educators can be held personally liable for money damages for searching the person of a middle school student believed to have unauthorized prescription drugs. At issue in Safford v. Redding is whether the search was reasonable.

The wisdom of zero-tolerance policies is not at issue in the court case, and such policies are up to local communities. Working with their elected school boards and school leaders, communities should decide what strategy works best for them. Schools are some of the safest places for students because school boards have policies to prevent and eliminate the dangers of drug abuse and weapons. The real question is whether educators will be able to use a wide range of tools to ensure the safety of the students in their care. Those tools may sometimes include searches based on reasonable suspicion to look for weapons or drugs.

As the Supreme Court held in Morse v. Frederick in 2007, the danger posed by drugs to our students is "serious and palpable." Indeed, the federal government's Office of National Drug Control Policy reported just last year that prescription-drug abuse among youth is increasing at an alarming rate. And, the accessibility of over-the-counter drugs can have harmful, unintended consequences for impressionable teens and adolescents. At a time of crucial emotional and psychological development, a student can quickly fall prey to the scourge of drug abuse.

Everyone agrees that if there is no threat to students' safety, highly invasive searches are inappropriate. But, that does not mean that when they have a reasonable suspicion, educators should stop looking for harmful drugs simply because they cannot find them in a student's backpack or pockets. The more a student's conduct poses a potential safety threat to herself and others, the greater the need for educators to prevent it — for her sake and the sake of her fellow students.

Francisco Negrón is general counsel to the National School Boards Association and its Council of School Attorneys.
Posted at 12:21 AM/ET, April 17, 2009 in USA TODAY editorial | Permalink

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Save Your Company Money By Assuring Access to Substance Abuse Treatment

By investing in substance abuse treatment, employers can reduce their overall costs. Substance use disorders cost the nation an estimated $276 billion a year, with much of the cost resulting from lost work productivity and increased healthcare spending.1

Given that 76 percent of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed,2 employers have a major stake in ensuring that employees have access to substance abuse treatment.


Replacing an employee costs from 25 percent to almost 200 percent of annual compensation— not including the loss of institutional knowledge, service continuity, and coworker productivity and morale that can accompany employee turnover.4

The average cost per visit for outpatient substance abuse treatment (by far the most frequent form of treatment) in 2002 was $26.72.5

Savings from investing in substance abuse treatment can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.6 About 19.2 million U.S. workers (15%) reported using or being impaired by alcohol at work at least once in the past year.3

♦ About 63% of people with substance abuse problems receive outpatient treatment, which minimizes time away from work and costs much less than inpatient treatment.13
Brief intervention among heavy drinkers in one workplace study yielded a three to one return on investment (See chart).14
Providing comprehensive substance abuse health benefits costs just $.06 more per member than imposing a $10,000 limit on those benefits.15

Offer employees health insurance that provides comprehensive
benefits for substance abuse treatment, including therapy, medications, and recovery support.
Ensure that company wellness or Employee Assistance Programs* include substance abuse screening, education, and support for recovery.
Drug-Free Workplace Solutions

1 H. Harwood, D. Fountain, and G. Livermore, “The Economic Costs of
Alcohol & Drug Abuse in the U.S. 1992,” Rockville, MD: National Institute on
Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1998. . (Accessed 5-9-08).
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
Office of Applied Studies (OAS), National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2005 and
2006, Table 5.8A, Rockville, MD: 2007.
nsduh/2k6nsduh/tabs/Sect5peTabs1to13.pdf . (Accessed 5-7-08).
3 M.R. Frone, “Prevalence and distribution of alcohol use and impairment in the
workplace: A U.S. national survey,” J Stud. Alcohol, 67, 1: 147-156, January 2006.
4 F. Leigh Branham, “Six Truths about Employee Turnover,” NY: American
Management Association.
(Accessed 5-19-08).
5 SAMHSA, OAS, The DASIS Report. Alcohol and Drug Services Study (ADSS) Cost
Study, 2004. (Accessed 5-23-08).
6 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A
Research-Based Guide, FAQ11, Bethesda, MD: NIDA, 1999. http://www.nida. . (Accessed 5-9-08).

Costs of Workplace Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Every employer has a major stake in promoting employee access to substance abuse treatment. That’s because:
♦ 76 percent of people with drug or alcohol problems are employed.11

Drug and alcohol problems in the workplace cost American employers billions of dollars each year.1

Understanding the impact of substance abuse on the workplace—and the benefits of facilitating workers’ access to treatment—can help employers build a healthier workforce and a healthier bottom line.

Substance Abuse Imposes Significant Burdens on the Workplace

While some of the costs associated with employee drug or alcohol problems are easy to quantify, others are much harder to measure. All, however, are real.

♦ Healthcare costs are excessive. Healthcare costs for employees with alcohol problems are twice as high as those for other employees.2

♦ Risk increases. People who abuse drugs or alcohol are three and one-half times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident, resulting in increased workers’ compensation and disability claims.3

♦ Other workers suffer. Fourteen percent of employees in one survey said they had to re-do work within the preceding year because of a co-worker’s drinking.4

♦ Employed relatives pay. More than half of working family members of alcoholics report that their own ability to function at work and at home was negatively impacted by their family member's drinking. 8 Absenteeism increases. Alcoholism is estimated to cost 500 million lost workdays annually.9 Employment is less stable. Individuals who are current illicit drug users are more than twice as likely (12.3 percent) as those who are not (5.1 percent) to have changed employers three or more times in the past year.10


Xerox workers who participated in a wellness program and limited their alcohol consumption enabled the company to reduce its costs for both healthcare and health insurance over four years, achieving a five to one return on investment. 5

One company found that workers who used its Employee Assistance Program (EAP)* for help with mental health and substance use problems had fewer inpatient medical days than those who participated only in the company’s medical insurance plan. In addition, the company averaged $426,000 in savings each year on mental health and substance abuse treatment as a result of employees’ participation in the EAP. 6

Research has shown that savings from investing in substance abuse treatment exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.7

By promoting substance abuse education and access to treatment in the workplace, employers can realize many money-saving benefits:

Reduced absenteeism and job turnover;

Improved worker productivity and job performance;
Reduced healthcare costs
; and
Fewer workplace accidents and disability claims14
Drug-Free Workplace Solutions
Accurate Oral Fluid Technology

1 H. Harwood, D. Fountain, & G. Livermore, The Economic Costs of
Alcohol & Drug Abuse in the U.S. 1992. Rockville, MD: National Institute
on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
1998. http://www. index.html .
(Accessed 5-9-08).
2 Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Brandeis University, Substance
Abuse, The Nation's Number One Health Problem, Princeton, NJ: Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, February 2001: 70.
3 US DHHS, SAMHSA, 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse,
Rockville, MD: US DHHS, 2000.
4 T.W. Mangione et al., “New Perspectives for Worksite Alcohol
Strategies: Results from a Corporate Drinking Study,” Boston, MA: JSI
Research and Training Institute, 1998.
5 S. Musich, D. Napier and D.W. Edington, “The Association of Health
Risks with Worker's Compensations Costs,” Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine. 43, 6: 534-541 (June 2001).
6 T.C. Blum and P.M. Roman, “Cost-Effectiveness and Preventive Implications
of EAPs,” U.S. DHHS, SAMHSA, Pub. No. RP0907, 1995.
7 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment:
A Research-Based Guide, FAQ11. Bethesda, MD, 1999. http://www.nida. podat/PODAT6.html#FAQ11 . (Accessed 5-9-08).
8 Al-Anon Family Groups, Inc., “1999 Al-Anon/Alateen Membership
Survey and Al-Anon Membership Assessment Results: Final Report,”
March 2000.
9 U.S. DHHS, SAMHSA, Worker Drug Use and Workplace Policies and
Programs: Results from the 1994 and 1997 National Household Survey on Drug
Abuse. Rockville, MD: U. S. DHHS, 1999.
/NHSDA/A-11/TOC.htm . (Accessed 5-23-08)
10 S.L. Larson, J. Eyerman, M.S. Foster, and J.C. Gfroerer, Worker
Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs. Rockville, MD:
SAMHSA, OAS, 2007).
work.htm#6.1 . (Accessed 5-16-08).
11 SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and
Health 2005 and 2006: Table 5.8A. Rockville, MD, 2007. /2k6nsduh/tabs/Sect5peTabs1to13.pdf .
(Accessed 5-7-08).
12 Chart: Harwood, Fountain, & Livermore, 1998. Op Cit.
13 Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, analysis of 2001 National
Household Survey on Drug Abuse data from SAMHSA, 2002.
Washington, DC: DHHS.
14 SAMHSA, CSAT, “Substance Abuse in Brief: Effective Treatment
Saves Money,” Rockville, MD: SAMHSA CSAT, January, 1999.

Drug Abuse Rising, While Alcohol Use Declines

SAMHSA and the White House improperly use statistics to show a decline in substance abuse, electing to point to lower "positive" rates as determined from urine-based drug testing. This defies logic, as most people are aware that prescription drug abuse is at an all time high, and a component of a worldwide problem.

In reality, drug abusers easily "cheat" urine based testing, and most urine drug tests do not target prescription drug abuse such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and benzodiazepines.

On the other hand, treatments episode data show a different story. The number of people seeking treatment for drug abuse continues to rise, while those seeking treatment for alcohol misuse is declining.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

False Positives with Urine Drug Tests?

The following have been noted to react and cause "false positive" results with urine drug screens.

Amantadine Amantadine Parkinsonism
Bupropion Wellbutrin & Zyban Antidepressant&Smoking cessation
Chloroquine AralenTreats Malaria
Chlorpromazine Thorazine, Largactil Psychotic disorders
Desipramine Norpramin Antidepressant
Dextroamphetamine Dexedrine Narcolepsy "sleep
Ephedrine Ephedra and Ma Huang Amphetamines
Fenfluramine Fen Phen Diet pill outlawed by FDA Labetalol Labetalol Blood Pressure
Mexiletine Mexitil Cardiovascular
n-acetyl procainamide Procainmide Cardiovascular
Phentremine Adipex/Obenix/Oby-Trim Diet Pills
Propranolol Inderal Cardiovascular

Dextromethorphan Dextromethorphan Cough treatment
Diphenhydramine Benadryl Allergies
Thioridazine Mellaril RidarilinCanada Tranquilizer
Venlafaxine Effexor Antidepressant

Friday, April 3, 2009

Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse in Schools

SAMHSA Report - United Stated Department of Health and Human Services

12.4 percent of young adults age 18 to 25 used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year.

How did these young adults get these medications?
According to a recent report from SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies, among young adults age 18 to 25 who used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year, over half (53.0 percent) obtained their most recent pain reliever used nonmedically from a friend or relative for free.

Among young adults age 18 to 25 who used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year and met the criteria for prescription pain reliever dependence or abuse, 37.5 percent obtained their most recent prescription pain relievers for nonmedical purposes for free from a friend or relative, 19.9 percent bought them from a friend or relative, and 13.6 percent obtained them from one doctor.
Oral Fluid-based Drug Free Workplace Solutions

Workplace Drug Testing Primer

Drug tests in the USA can be divided into two general groups, federally and non-federally regulated testing.

Federally regulated drug testing started when Ronald Reagan enacted executive order 12564, requiring all federal employees refrain from using illegal substances in specified DOT regulated occupations. Drug testing guidelines and processes, in these areas exclusively, are established and regulated (by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, formerly under the direction of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA) require that companies who use professional drivers, specified safety sensitive transportation and/or oil and gas related occupations, and certain federal employers, test them for the presence of certain drugs. These test classes were established decades ago, and include five specific drug groups. They do not account for current drug usage patterns. For example, SAMHSA / DOT tests exclude semi-synthetic opioids, such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, etc., and other prescription medications that are widely abused in the United States

Non-federally regulated or General workplace drug testing allows for far more effective drug testing procedures. While SAMHSA / NIDA guidelines only allow laboratories to report quantitative results for the " NIDA-5 " / " SAMHSA-5 " for their official SAMHSA-approve tests, many drug testing laboratories and on-site tests offer a wider, " more appropriate " set of drug screens to better detect current drug use patterns. As noted above, these tests include synthetic pain killers such as Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Oxymorphone, Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Hydromorphone. Some also include benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Restoril) and barbiturates in other drug panels (a "panel" is a predetermined subset of tests run). The confirmation test (usually GC/MS, or LC/MS/MS) can tell the difference between chemically similar drugs such as methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy). In the absence of detectable amounts of methamphetamine in the sample, the lab wold report the sample as negative, or report it as positive if present.