Highland Pharmaceuticals Claims To Have Developed A New Form Of Pseudoephedrine Called Tarex That Cannot Be Used To Make Crystal Meth
Highland Pharmaceuticals claims to have developed new form of pseudoephedrine that cannot be used to make methamphetamine. The formulation known as Tarex could reach the market in 2013, offering a cold-remedy alternative without the negative of being the key active ingredient in methamphetamines. Although the claim of the small St. Louis-based company has yet to be fully verified and scientifically proven, the Clinical Staff at One80Center believe it would be a huge step in combatting the crystal meth plague that has seized communities across the country.
Crystal Meth Resistant Pseudophedrine
Highland president and COO Jim Bausch said his company’s form of pseudoephedrine is just as effective as those currently on the market. The major difference, of course, is that Tarex can’t be extracted and used to make crystal meth. Bausch explained, “We can stop clandestine production of meth.” Some narcotics officers believe the Tarex technology could finally help turn the tide against meth labs that have ravaged much of the Midwest, South and West for two decades.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has done preliminary testing of Tarex using extraction and production techniques typically used by meth lab operators. Early results are “promising,” said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne, noting that testing continues and full analysis has yet to be completed. A problem is the ingenuity of illegal chemists and drug makers to get around such attempts in the past.
Shake -And-Bake Crystal Meth No More
Pseudoephedrine is found in popular cold and allergy medications. Meth makers combine the pills with dangerous and highly flammable chemicals to produce the drug, most often by shaking up the ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle — a process known as “shake-and-bake” meth. A key to meth production is crystallization. Emilie Dolan of Highland Pharmaceuticals said Tarex interrupts the process because rather than crystallizing when heated with the chemicals, it results in a gooey substance. “Especially with the shake-and-bake method, you can’t get meth out of it,” Dolan said. “It kind of gunks up.”
“We Had To Do Something.”
Highland Pharmaceuticals began 12 years ago as a small firm seeking to improve technologies for drug delivery. Located in Missouri, surrounded by counties that have among the highest meth lab seizure rates in the nation, the company decided to confront the problem of pseudoephedrine. “With the huge epidemic in our own backyard that we hear about every night … we had to do something,” Bausch said.
Highland Pharmaceuticals wants Tarex to be exempt from new Missouri state laws that would require a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine products. In addition, it has asked the DEA to exempt Tarex technology from the Combat Meth Act of 2006, which requires all pseudoephedrine products to be sold from behind the counter. The exemption would allow Tarex products to be sold in front of the counter. If the claims made by Highland Pharmaceuticals hold up to rigorous future testing by the FDA, then One80Center agrees that there is no need to keep Tarex behind the counter. If Tarex cannot be made into crystal meth, then there is no need to negatively highlight a simple cold remedy.
In An In-Depth Analysis, A British Panel Of Addiction Experts Ranks Alcohol As The United Kingdom’s Most Harmful And Dangerous Drug
The Clinical Team at ONE80CENTER were not surprised when an in-depth study by a panel of British Experts concluded that alcohol is the world’s most dangerous drug when you consider the harm it does to drinkers, their friends and families and to society in general. The damage that alcohol does exceeds the dangers of any other drug category examined, including, methamphetamine, heroin and crack cocaine. When the overall danger to both the drinker and to others is taken into account, alcohol clearly presents the greatest ongoing societal problem.
True Danger Of Alcohol Revealed Is No Surprise
Are you surprised that this is the conclusion of a panel of British experts that assessed and ranked the harm caused by 17 different drugs, both legal and illegal? Members of Britain’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and two specialists from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) carefully assessed the harm caused by each drug in 16 separate categories. The scientists ranked each drug on a scale of 0 to 100 in nine areas related to the harm that the drugs do to the individual and seven categories of harm they do to others.
In the comprehensive study, the British panel looked at the physical, psychological and social harm the drugs do to life expectancy, health risks, dependence, mental functioning, loss of tangibles and property, loss of relationships, crime, costs to society, family adversities and other factors. By applying a multi-criteria analysis to each drugs included, then weighing the priority of the harms and the relative dangers, the scientists were able to give each drug a score that could be compared and combined across all 16 criteria. Alcohol easily came out on top.
What is so impressive about the study is how comprehensive the examination of the harm done by substance abuse to both the individual abuser, his family and social circle, and society as a whole. The criteria went well beyond drug-specific mortality and drug-related mortality to examine the economic cost of the substance abuse and the overall damage to the community as a whole. Such criteria are invaluable to seeing the whole picture of the cost of substance abuse and addiction that the staff at ONE80CENTER experience with our clients on a daily basis.
Although the panel’s analysis showed that heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine were the most harmful drugs to the individual using the relative substance; alcohol, heroin and crack were the most harmful to others. When the two harms were combined, the overall most harmful drugs were alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine. Without question, in American society, the clinical experts at ONE80CENTER would point out that prescription painkillers and methamphetamine now most likely should be categorized at the top as well.
With A 72 Out Of A Scale Of 100, Alcohol Ranks The Highest
Here are the scores each drug received for overall harm caused on a scale of 0 to 100 since they are hard to read in the above chart. This is in descending order:
- Alcohol 72
- Heroin 55
- Crack Cocaine 54
- Methamphetamine 33
- Cocaine 27
- Tobacco 26
- Amphetamine 23
- Marijuana 20
- GHB 19
- Benzodiazepines 15
- Ketamine 15
- Methadone 14
- Mephedrone 13
- Butane 11
- Anabolic Steroids 10
- Ecstasy 9
- Khat 9
- LSD 7
- Buprenorphine 7
- Mushrooms 6
The ISCD panel, chaired by Professor David Nutt, concluded that the current drug classification systems do not take into account the actual harms done by various drugs and have little relation to that harm caused. “It is intriguing to note that the two legal drugs assessed — alcohol and tobacco — score in the upper segment of the ranking scale, indicating that legal drugs cause at least as much harm as do illegal substances,” Professor Nutt told reporters. Nutt believes public health strategies need to be adjusted to aggressively target the harm that alcohol does. If not, the damage will only continue to increase.
In recent experience, ONE80CENTER has found that co-occurring substance abuse is becoming the normative reality among our clients and addicts in general. When a prescription or illegal drug is being abused, alcohol seems to go hand-in-hand with this abuse. Alcohol often is used either as a starter substance in the beginning to get the party going or as a way to come down and take the edge off at the end of the night or in the bright glare of early morning.
In addition, since alcohol is so readily available in public venues and private homes. It becomes natural for the drug user to drink alcohol in multiple forms whenever the opportunity arises. Whether it is a beer with buddies, a bottle of wine over dinner, or mixed drinks and shots at a bar, alcohol’s presence is ubiquitous and the damage extreme. If you have a problem with alcohol or any substance or drug that you believe you or a loved one is abusing, contact ONE80CENTER and begin the path of long-term recovery.
United Nations World Drug Report 2011 Abuse Of Prescription Painkillers And Synthetic Drugs On The Rise Globally
According to the United Nations World Drug Report 2011, while global markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis have declined or remained stable, the production and abuse of prescription painkillers and new synthetic drugs like Methamphetamine and Ecstasy are on the rise. Although the clinical experts at ONE80CENTER knew the intensity of the problem in the United States, it was surprising to discover the problem with prescription painkillers is the same all over the world.
Global Drug Use: Prescription Painkillers On The Rise
Globally, some 210 million people, or 4.8 percent of the population aged 15-64, used illicit substances at least once last year. Overall drug use, including problem drug use (0.6 percent of the population aged 15-64), remained stable, found the report. Yuri Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), detailed the problem: “Drugs cause some 200,000 deaths a year. Since people with serious drug problems provide the bulk of drug demand, treating this problem is one of the best ways of shrinking the market.”
The largest increase in drug abuse was the abuse of prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percodan and the abuse of synthetic drugs like Ecstasy and Methamphetamine. Doctors in countries across the world are abusing their power by making extra money writing illegal prescriptions for prescription drugs. The abuse is growing worse in countries where there is limited monitoring of the prescription drug market by local authorities and governments.
Methamphetamine manufacturing appears to be emerging in some African countries. For some time, methamphetamine production has been taking place in South Africa, basically for domestic use. More troubling, recent reports of shipments of methamphetamine from countries in West Africa, notably Nigeria, to various destinations in East and South-East Asia is an international concern. The data clearly implies that a more professional approach to Methamphetamine production has been emerging in West Africa.
Cannabis, which is known as marijuana, remains by far the most widely produced and consumed illicit substance globally, although data on cannabis are limited. In 2009, between 2.8 percent and 4.5 percent of the world’s population aged 15-64 (between 125 and 203 million people) used cannabis at least once. Illicit drug production in Africa is mainly focused on cannabis. While cannabis resin is mainly produced in Morocco, cannabis herb is produced all over Africa.
Still, cannabis herb production is widespread in many parts of the world, notably in the Americas and Africa. Cannabis resin production ‘hashish’ continues to be concentrated in just two countries: Morocco, supplying the West European and North African markets, and Afghanistan, supplying the markets in South-West Asia. Cannabis resin was a far more profitable crop than opium poppy in 2010 in Afghanistan.
Fedotov, stressed the principle of ‘shared responsibility.’ He expressed the need to build national, regional and international efforts in a comprehensive strategy on the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs. In 2009, UN member states reaffirmed the validity of the international drug control regime during the High-Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
ONE80CENTER Supports the UN World Drug Report 2011
ONE80CENTER agrees with the approach adopted by the United Nations. Like our clinical team, the United Nations Drug Report focuses on the essential need to protect health and maintain wellness. In the conclusion, Fedotov noted: “This year is the 50th anniversary of the keystone of the international drug control system: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Its provisions remain sound and highly relevant, as does its central focus on the protection of health.”
SAMHSA Report Shows Huge Surge In Number of Americans Treated for Addiction to Prescription Painkillers From 1999 to 2009
According to a SAMHSA report (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), rehab and treatment center admissions related to prescription painkillers, mostly due to use of prescription opioids, which include painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and Percocet have increased dramatically in the United States between 1999 and 2009, according to a new national report by SAMHSA. The staggering increases for prescription drugs over the 10-year study period shocked the researchers. When the clinical experts at ONE80CENTER learned of the study results, they were not surprised in the least. Admissions at ONE80CENTER for prescription painkillers have been consistent and increasing every quarter. The prescription drug problem is simply out of control.
Rising Abuse of Prescription Painkillers
The findings of the study showed that 96 percent of the nearly 2 million admissions to treatment facilities that occurred in 2009 were related to alcohol (42 percent), opiates (21 percent), marijuana (18 percent), cocaine (9 percent) and methamphetamine/amphetamines (6 percent). The report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identified trends in the reasons why people are admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities. The SAMHSA report revealed that prescription drugs were to blame for 33 percent of opiate rehab admissions in 2009 — up from just 8 percent a decade earlier. And the key prescription painkiller and opiate narcotic that led to this increase is Oxycontin and its rising abuse among teenagers and young people. Oxycontin abuse and addiction is at the heart of the abuse of prescription painkillers.
Does that statistic take your breath away as you come to realize how serious prescription painkiller abuse and addiction have become in our society? A four-fold increase in ten years is staggering, but it very could be a drop in the hat compared to the next ten years. In the past couple of years, Oxycontin abuse and addiction has been increasing both in the so-called legal pill mills, doctors abusing their prescription pads, and street dealers making prescription painkillers the main money staple of their illegal drug inventories.
SAMHSA Report Shows Huge Increase In Opiate Addiction
Compounding the problem, 44 percent of those who abused alcohol admitted to using other drugs as well. Co-dependency and co-addiction is becoming more and more common. “This new report shows the challenge our nation’s health system must address as the treatment needs of people with drug and alcohol problems continue to evolve,” SAMHSA administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, said in an agency news release. “People often arrive in treatment programs with multiple problems — including dependency or addiction to multiple substances of abuse.” Since prescription painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet are legal and prescribed, people seem to be more casual in their abuse and less likely to realize the dangers of addiction and overdose. SAMHSA is focusing on a strategy of education, awareness and prevention.
In the report, however, Hyde made it clear that the rise in patients and addicts seeking treatment for prescription painkiller abuse was the most surprising statistic. The rise in Oxycontin addicts and prescription opiate abusers across the board is a plague that must be addressed today. The clinical team at ONE80CENTER is continuing to do provide not only the best in alcoholism and addiction treatment services, but also raise awareness and foster prevention of the prescription painkiller problem at hand. If you or a loved one is abusing prescription painkillers like Oxycontin or any prescription drug, contact ONE80CENTER today by calling toll free 888.588.4180.