April 5, 2016

New Drug Alert - Epidemic declared!*

Today we have become aware of a new, terrifying drug trend sweeping the nation. Teenagers are combining ED medications with Minoxidil for a fast, crazy high lasting well over four hours. Kids refer to this combination as "Drug X". 

Teens everywhere are succumbing to the siren call of Drug X, and health officials are declaring a new drug epidemic as it sweeps the boulevards and gated communities of our nation. 
Most worryingly, this drug is easily manufactured by simply combining the two drugs, which are often easily obtained at home. Parents may not realize there is a problem until "date night" when they discover the missing ingredient.
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=472336

DrugX and Addiction*

Doctors say compounds like DrugX are highly effective for treating ED. And patients are much less likely to get addicted if they use these drugs in just the dosage necessary to treat their ED.
But when a person starts taking compounds when they are not in ED, or in doses beyond what is required to treat their ED, doctors say the drugs have a different metabolic impact on the brain. In those situations, addiction is highly likely.
Many teens crush up DrugX pills and snort them to get high, getting a hefty dose of drug all at once when they are not having ED to begin with. This form of taking in the drug is much more likely to lead to addiction.

 A Pricey Habit*
DrugX is very expensive on the street: $80 for one pill. To pay for his habit, Ryan says he cashed $7,000 in savings bonds his aunts had given him on birthdays. He sold his PlayStation, leather jackets, cell phone — everything he had — just to stay high and keep from getting sick. He finally broke down and asked his parents for help.
Looking back on it, Ryan says he didn't think using DrugX would be that dangerous because it was a prescription pill — that made it seem safe. Many different kids at his high school were playing around with it, he says: "People from every sort of group — the burnouts, athletic kids, the geniuses and, like, girls playing wicked-good softball [who were] offered scholarships to places — they would be using it."
That sentiment is echoed by 18-year-old Mike, a recovering DrugX addict in Winthrop, Mass. Mike says he was always an athlete and played football. Until his sophomore year in high school, he attended a prep school with wealthier students; he later transferred to the local public school. He says that, if anything, he saw more DrugX at the prep school.
"All the popular kids — that was the cool thing to do," Mike says. "It seemed like it was cool because it was so expensive, this big rich drug. And a lot of rich kids were doing it because the poor kids couldn't afford it."
DrugX is so expensive that many teens turn to stealing to support their habit.
"I stole so much money from my parents," says Katie, 18, who is also a recovering DrugX habit. She says she and a friend both stole their parents' ATM cards to support their habits. "I stole $5,000 from my parents in two months."
Katie also wrote checks from her mother's checkbook. Katie's parents say she and her friends stole cameras and jewelry from their house. Somebody stole her father's wedding ring out of his top drawer.
"It's like someone just punched you in the stomach," Katie's father said in an interview with NPR. "You know you're never going to get it back. And what did it get used for? The addiction." 

In the face of such a monumental problem, Congressmen are being called upon to offer some solutions. After consultation with many experts and industry representatives, millions of healthcare dollars are being earmarked for education and treatment programs to address the issue. Congressman
Richard Priap responded to questions at a press conference yesterday:
Obviously, any sort of ban on the drugs being used illicitly to create this compound is impractical and does not address the root problems. Denying millions access to these needed and useful drugs solves nothing and simply creates a more profitable market for smuggling rings to fill. Law abiding citizens will be denied needed treatments while criminals continue to have access, which is always counterproductive. Prohibition simply does not work, as we have demonstrated again and again.

 Obviously the above is satire. Please note that the paragraphs colored yellow are taken from an NPR story on OxyContin that can be found in its whole and unaltered state HERE .
 As a hospice nurse, I have seen how the panics over OxyContin abuse have negatively affected patients who NEED these drugs for severe pain, with little impact on overall narcotic abuse nationwide. I watch huge numbers of people suffering the effects of bans on psuedoepinephrine based drugs in an attempt to address methamphetamine abuse, again with less effect on drug manufacturing than it has on law-abiding allergy and virus sufferers.
I picked on NPR for the *protected* satire above because the article for me highlights the reporting that goes along with issues that affect the wealthy white and educated demographic. It is an emergency, an epidemic, requires immediate action. I mean these kids are moving on to HEROIN for heavens sake! Poor people use heroin. 

So I wondered - what would happen if Richie Rich started getting high from a combination of Dad's hair restorer and impotence meds?

 Please note - this is not a real thing and if you try this then you are stupid and deserve whatever horrific mutation results. 


Rhianon Jameson said...

Because I am a gullible person, you had me going for several paragraphs before I thought this must be satire. (Congressman Priap certainly helped in that regard. (It helped that I had no idea what Minoxidil did, though, amusingly, I see iOS knows enough to auto-complete the name.)

Regulations and concern in the medical community regarding prescription drug abuse certainly create problems for people. I always feel like I'm doing something wrong when I sign for a handful of Sudafed pills. I have to refrain from telling the pharmacist that I would *never* make meth from it: I've watched "Breaking Bad," and everyone knows the blue meth is much better. (I'm gullible, but I've also learned over the years that some people don't take well to inappropriate humor.)

Years ago, the husband of a friend had terminal cancer and was prescribed morphine for the pain. The prescription was for x number of pills a month. One day, he ran short. His wife went to the pharmacy to get a refill, and was told no, we can't fill the prescription for another few days, until the month is up. The wife gets on the phone to her husband's doctor, who says he won't prescribe more because he doesn't want the husband to "become addicted" to opiates. At this point, the wife lost her cool and pointed out in no uncertain terms that the guy was dying, would be dead inside a month, and opiate addiction was pretty much the least of anyone's concerns. No soap, and the guy had to tough it out for a few days.

At any rate, this seems to be an increasing problem.

Fogwoman Gray said...

Yeah, we were making real progress in getting narcotics for our terminally ill patients. We reassured doctors that "nobody has EVER been investigated for prescribing narcotics to terminally ill patients" which was true at the time. Couldn't give that reassurance today.