New Spectrometry Detection Techniques Evolve Into A Portable Technology To Combat Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
Becoming more and more of a problem, prescription drug counterfeiting is a major problem across the world. Speaking at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, Dr. Facundo M. Fernández described how his team has developed technology that reduces the time needed to check a prescription drug sample for authenticity from a half hour to a few minutes.
ONE80CENTER supports such international efforts to protect and validate the authenticity of prescription drugs. What is amazing to the clinical staff at ONE80CENTER is that the researchers are working on the prototype of an affordable, portable version of the device to battle prescription drug counterfeiting in the field. Fernández explained: “They could sort the good medicine from the bad immediately, without shipping samples to laboratories and waiting days or weeks for the results.”
Battle Against Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
From the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Fernández said new ways of revealing prescription drug counterfeiting is essential to the health of consumers. The counterfeiting problem is spreading with the globalization of pharmaceutical production. In addition, with the burgeoning market of prescription drug abuse and addiction, the production methods of the drug counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated. In regards to prescription drug counterfeiting, Fernández said, “It is hard to tell from looking at the packaging. The packages look absolutely professional and authentic, sometimes right down to the hologram seal introduced to discourage counterfeiting.”
Counterfeiting involves all kinds of medications, from prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percodan to lifestyle medications like Viagra to drugs for cancer, malaria and tuberculosis, diseases that cause millions of deaths annually. Incredibly, in 2011, the World Health Organization says that about 10 percent of medications worldwide are counterfeit. Estimates run even higher in poor, developing countries in Southeast Asia and Africa, where past reports have stated that as much as one-third of tested drugs are fake.
Spectrometry & Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
Fake medications sometimes contain the correct active ingredient, but at the wrong dose. Too much could result in an overdose and possibly death. Too little could result in drug resistance, leading to a situation where the real medication doesn’t even work anymore. To check the drugs, they use mass spectrometry (MS), a standard laboratory technology that weighs molecules in order to identify them. “So-called ambient MS methods require much less instrument and personnel time than traditional methods, so we use them as a first pass to look at the quality of large sample sets,” said Fernández. The team is now working on a prototype instrument that medical researchers could use to identify prescription drug counterfeiting in the field.
Fernandez illuminated how such a portable process would work in he field to battle prescription drug counterfeiting: “These are methods that let you analyze a solid sample without any significant preparation. You can take a tablet, put it in front of the instrument with an ionization source, and you get a quick snapshot of what’s in the sample. It provides a very high-throughput pipeline to identify suspicious samples quickly.” ONE80CENTER supports such incredible breakthroughs in technology, and we can imagine how such breakthroughs can be applied in recovery scenarios to identify substances and to even demonstrate the further risk of buying so-called prescription painkillers in an illegal environment.
Revolutionary Drug Research Breakthrough Offers A Light At The End Of The Dark Tunnel For Heroin And Prescription Painkiller Addiction
The war against the addiction to opioid drugs in a multitude of forms ranging from morphine and heroin to prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percodan often feels like a never-ending war. Whether the drugs are obtained legally or illegally, once a person becomes addicted the battle to become clean is a struggle against one of the most manifestations of chosen slavery in our world. ONE80CENTER is amazed by the news of a new medical breakthrough that could possibly signal a turn in the battle and a path that could lead to a new era of freedom from prescription painkiller abuse and opioid addiction.
Naloxone And The Body’s Immune System Response
A new drug that could be a revolutionary breakthrough in both the treatment of addicts and the long-term management of chronic pain can block the immune system mechanics behind opiate addiction. Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Colorado in the United States have pinpointed a key mechanism in the body’s immune system that amplifies addiction to opioid drugs. The results of the study showed that the drug (+)-naloxone (pronounced: PLUS nal-OX-own – a mirror-image drug to the widely known naloxone, or (-)-naloxone) would selectively block the immune-addiction response.
The results – which could eventually lead to new co-formulated drugs as assist patients with severe pain, as well as ending heroin addiction and prescription painkiller abuse, was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The team has focused its research efforts on the immune receptor known as Toll-Like receptor 4 (TLR4).
Dr. Mark Hutchinson Leads The Research Team
The lead author of the study, Dr. Mark Hutchinson said:
“Our studies have shown conclusively that we can block addiction via the immune system of the brain, without targeting the brain’s wiring… Both the central nervous system and the immune system play important roles in creating addiction, but our studies have shown we only need to block the immune response in the brain to prevent cravings for opioid drugs… Opioid drugs such as morphine and heroin bind to TLR4 in a similar way to the normal immune response to bacteria. The problem is that TLR4 then acts as an amplifier for addiction. The drug (+)-naloxone automatically shuts down the addiction. It shuts down the need to take opioids, it cuts out behaviors associated with addiction, and the neurochemistry in the brain changes – dopamine, which is the chemical important for providing that sense of ‘reward’ from the drug, is no longer produced.”
The researchers said that opioid drugs such as morphine and heroin bind to immune receptors in the brain known as TLR4 which then act as amplifiers for addiction, ramping up the “reward” effect of drugs of abuse to a high degree. The new drug automatically shuts this effect down. “It really reduces the reward level down to the equivalent of food, sex, and hugs,” said Dr. Mark Hutchinson. In addition, senior author Professor Linda Watkins, from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, went on to explain: “This work fundamentally changes what we understand about opioids, reward and addiction. We’ve suspected for some years that TLR4 may be the key to blocking opioid addiction, but now we have the proof.”
Clinical Trials In Eighteen Months?
Though clinical Trials are still 18 months away, Watkins goes on to say that she and her colleagues “believe this will prove extremely useful as a co-formulated drug with morphine, so that patients who require relief for severe pain will not become addicted but still receive pain relief. This has the potential to lead to major advances in patient and palliative care.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the United States and the Australian Research Council (ARC) funded this study. Clinical trials for the new drug may be possible within the next 18 months.
The clinical staff at ONE80CENTER celebrates the findings and supports the positive applications of such revolutionary research. If we can stop opiate addiction at the onset by preventing the basic mechanisms of addiction from functioning, the battle potentially could be won. Although people wanting the intoxicating effects would still abuse the drugs, the costs and toll of opiate addiction could be rapidly decreased and lessened. As the research updates about the new drug continue to come out, ONE80CENTER will post future info about this incredible breakthrough in the battle against heroin addiction and prescription painkiller abuse.
Advances In Neurofeedback Addiction Treatment Offers Hope To Addicts Struggling To Overcome The Disease Of Addiction
Neurofeedback addiction treatment is a truly positive advance in drug addiction treatment that focus on the neurological aspects of the disease. Since its inception, ONE80CENTER has offered brain mapping and low energy neurofeedback services to our clients These new technologies can help for families and co-workers of addicts to truly understand addiction as a brain disease. Prolonged drug abuse changes the chemistry of the brain. The brain becomes caught up in a dangerous cycle of dependence and compulsion that becomes a Catch-22. To break the addiction, addicts must retrain their brains, and neurofeedback helps jumpstart this process.
Neurofeedback Addiction Treatment and Brain Mapping
Neurofeedback addiction treatment helps addicts regain control of their brains and subsequently their impulses. Impulse control is an essential component of sobriety. The LENS or Low Energy Neurofeedback system uses a very low power electromagnetic field, like the ones that surround digital watches, to foster feedback stimulation. Despite such a weak signal, LENS produces a measurable change without any effort from the client. The result is changed brainwaves and greater impulse control that helps to foster the path of long-term sobriety. As the brainwaves come into balance, clients notice a greater sense of calm and feel less reactive.
Neurofeedback addiction treatment works to counter abnormalities related to the effects of drugs, particularly prescription painkillers like Percodan and OxyContin, on dopamine production in the brain. Drugs cause the brain to produce more of this reward- and pleasure-related neurotransmitter. The reward circuit literally is flooded 10 times more than normal and much more rapidly. Over time, the brain stops naturally producing as much dopamine, leaving addicts depressed. This is why so many drug addicts claim that they end up taking drugs just to feel normal.
Another key diagnostic technique employed at ONE80CENTER is Brain Mapping. Through the process of Brain Mapping, the mitigating physical and neurological factors behind a client’s addictive problems can be clearly addressed. Brain Mapping is a technique to provide the behavioral and medical information needed to rebalance the brain for clients with addictive tendencies, mood disorders, and depressive episodes. Such problems are common in long-term addiction and occur when cognitive abilities have been damaged.
For ONE80CENTER clients, advanced techniques like neurofeedback addiction treatment and brain mapping works to help lessen drug cravings. It can be particularly helpful in tapering off withdrawal treatments. By employing neurofeedback addiction treatment and brain mapping in conjunction, the clinical staff at ONE80CENTER have a designed a program that optimizes the client’s chance to experience long-term recovery and a successful treatment outcome. If you want to know more, please contact the clinical staff at ONE80CENTER by calling 888.593.2301.
ONE80CENTER Alert: Prescription Drug Abuse Is The Fastest Growing Addiction In The United States And Getting Worse
Prescription drug abuse is spiraling out of control in the United States. As the fastest growing addiction in the United States, the prescription drug problem is so frustrating to doctors and the clinical team at ONE80CENTER because these drugs are meant to help. Unfortunately, in the wrong hands, prescription drugs, particularly painkillers like OxyContin and Percodan, are doing more harm than good, and the cost is growing day by day.
Prescription Drug Abuse Spiraling
“Thousands of people are dying. In 16 states, prescription drug overdoses has overtaken motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death,” says Dr. John Dreyzehner, the director of the Virginia Department of Health. As a member of One Care of Southwest Virginia, Dr. Dreyzehener has joined a group of doctors, social workers and other recovery personnel trying to address the growing prescription drug abuse explosion. As Dr. Dreyzehner explains, “This is a national problem.”
ONE80CENTER supports both treatment and prevention solutions, such as prescription drug monitoring programs that include pill counts and drug screens to detect co-occurring disorders and prescription drug abuse. “This is complicated. there is no one easy magic bullet solution to the drug abuse misuse problem,” says Dr. Dreyzehner. The Virginia group believes there are four-lines of defense: proper disposal areas, education, enforcement and monitoring.
A recent survey paints a troubling picture for hospital patients in need of medication because of the abuse that is spiraling out of control. According to the American Hospital Association, the drugs that legitimate patients need might not be there when a doctor prescribes it. More than 99% of hospitals have experienced one or more drug shortages in the past six months, and nearly half have reported 21 or more shortages in that time. In fact, experts are calling it one of the worst drug shortages in history.
Prescription Drug Abuse Leads To Drug Shortages
The reason for these drug shortages, ranging from Adderall and Xanax to OxyContin and Percodan, is the rising levels of prescription drug abuse. Everyday people in your life, people you would not suspect, are becoming prescription drug addicted and drug-dependent. Such people are not buying on the street, but they are doctor shopping and hospital shopping. As a result, the shortages are caused by unexpected surges in demand. ONE80CENTER believes a line has to be drawn in the sand before there are no places left to draw lines and the problem becomes practically unstoppable.
Brutal Killings At Long Island Pharmacy Highlight How A Prescription Painkiller Addict Will Do Anything To Get A Fix
On July 21, 2011, in a small town in Long Island, New York, four innocent people were killed in a pharmacy. After the shootings, the alleged perpetrator stole prescription drugs and ran off. Later, he was apprehended with his girlfriend who is a prescription painkiller addict as well. This horrific incident highlights the dangerous epidemic of prescription drug abuse and how far prescription painkiller addicts will go to obtain the prescription drugs they need.
The Desperation of a Prescription Painkiller Addict
The desperate focus of a prescription painkiller addict on obtaining these strong addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Percodan, to avoid the so-called excruciating pain of withdrawal, leads to tragedy and has driven one addict to cause the death of four innocent human beings. The number of armed pharmacy robberies is apparently increasing across the country. According to the Associated Press, California had 61 in 2010, New York’s robberies increased from 2 in 2006 to 28 last year, and there were 65 in Florida, the pill-mill capital. ONE80CENTER believes it is time to place prescription drug abuse and addiction at the forefront of the battle for education, prevention and recovery.
Physicians and pill mills are handing out highly addictive pain management substances like candy across the country. It appears that patients’ reports of pain to their doctor have increased since the availability of Oxycontin. Prescription painkiller addicts will do anything to get the pills, including forge prescriptions and fake chronic injuries like back pain. There is no way a physician can tell if a patient is telling the truth unless they are trained in the field of addiction and addiction medicine. Even then, it is difficult.
These highly addictive legal drugs are at the root of an exploding new form of legal substance abuse. Their addictive nature combined with growing government regulations and restrictions, have led an illegal street market. These legal painkillers are being used and abused by family members from all parts of our society: middle class, upper class, urban or suburban – they don’t discriminate. Prescription painkiller addicts are present everywhere in our society.
Prescription Painkillers Are Being Abused Everywhere
According to a June study in the e-Publication from the Partnership at Drug Free.org, when prescription painkillers were administered to 192 young adults, only 58% followed their doctor’s instructions; 27% under used their medication and 16% over used it. For those who over used medication, 63% diverted some of their medication to others. The horrific deaths of four innocent people in a New York Pharmacy because an addict needed his drugs should serve as a reminder of this deadly plague in our society.
Prescription painkiller addicts usually begin the downward slide at home. A majority of the prescription painkillers first being misused and diverted come from the home medicine cabinet. ONE80CENTER believes prescription drug abuse and addiction is only going to worsen if we fail to recognize it as the very heart of the drug problem.
After the terrible crime, in the wake of the Long Island drugstore murders, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is comparing prescription opioid addiction to the 1980s and 1990s crack problem. According to the AP, he’s proposing legislation that would be a food start:
- Limit the number of prescriptions doctors can write for opioids and prescription painkillers with addictive qualities.
- Increase prison sentences for prescription drug theft.
- Require better training for doctors before prescribing opioid and prescription painkiller drugs, to “help doctors better identify patients vulnerable to addiction”
Prescription painkiller addicts will not stop until they hit bottom and caused significant damage. It is our mission at ONE80CENTER to stem the rising ride of prescription painkiller addiction through prevention strategies, raising awareness through education, and providing specialized treatment that helps the whole person take the first steps on the path of long-term sobriety.
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.”
From OxyContin addiction to Percocet abuse, from doctor shopping for Vicodin to raiding nursing homes for Percodan, Narcotic painkillers are killing America. With overdoses rates rising across the social strata, including high school students and urban young professionals, narcotic painkillers are killing so much more than pain as their abuse spirals out of control. In the past, illegal drugs were the central focus of the anti-drug campaigns by both the Federal Government and local communities. Today, prescription drugs are the main problem, and the abuse of prescription narcotics is simply out of control. ONE80CENTER recognizes this modern plague, and we are doing everything we can to provide the best in treatment services for narcotic painkiller addiction and abuse while raising awareness and providing educational tools to families and loved ones, co-workers and friends.
It is incredible how many different types of narcotic painkillers there are and the vast variety of dosages and combinations. And the number of brand names that we know better than the actual generic originals is endless and goes on and on.
- The generic name of Hydrocordone includes the brand names of Vicodin, Lortab and Norco.
- The generic name of Oxycodone includes the brand names of OxyContin, Percodan and Percocet.
- Codeine is simply Codeine, but comes in multiple forms like Codeine 5 and attached to Tylenol and other drugs.
- The generic name Hydromorphone includes the brand names of Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5, Dilaudid-HP, and Hydrostat IR
- The generic name Propoxyphene includes the brand names Cotanal-65, Darvon
- The generic name of Meperidine is more recognized as the brand name of Demerol
- Morphine comes in multiple forms, including pills, suppositories and injections, and almost a dozen brand names.
- The generic name of Methadone includes the brand names of Dolophine and Methadose.
And this is not the entire list, and we could include several more generic categories and many more brand names. Nursing homes and elderly communities where these drugs actually are needed for such common chronic conditions as arthritis and joint pain are being raided by desperate drug addicted teenagers and young adults across the country. The abuse is staggering, yet we are turning a blind eye to the problem. No longer! ONE80CENTER recognizes that prescription narcotic painkiller abuse, particularly with OxyContin and Percodan, is a primary threat to the safety and health of the American public, and we will do our best to contain to educate and raise awareness. If you or someone you know has a problem with narcotic painkillers and prescription drugs, do not hesitate. Contact the recovery experts at ONE80CENTER by calling toll free 888.588.4180.