Internet Based Drug Course and Datatbase can Help with Prescription Medication Abuse

by Mike Miller October 31, 2013

The time has come that action needs to be taken to curb prescription medication abuse. What do you think? No person is immune from the ravages of addiction. Parents are losing kids. Kids are losing their parents. Lives are being permanently altered. And let’s face it, the entire fabric of our society is being affected by the rise in prescription medication abuse.

The state of New York enacted legislation that has been hailed as one of the strongest in the nation against the abuse of prescribed drugs. It has now been one year since the law took effect and the results are starting to come in. As reported in www.buffalonews.com.

The I-STOP Law – the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing – aims to improve the communication between prescribing doctors and pharmacists. The law now adds a new prescription drug database, hailed by supporters as the nation’s first such real-time online system.

Now physicians are required to check the registry before writing a prescription for most controlled substances. Pharmacists will have access to the same registry.

The intent is to slow the flood of excess opiates by reducing or eliminating “doctor shopping,” where young people addicted to prescription drugs use multiple doctors to obtain multiple drug prescriptions to feed their addiction.

Hopefully other states will continue to push for databases to track prescription medications. More importantly will be continued efforts at education through drug classes. For many, the addiction is embarrassing. Fortunately, for those who wish to maintain anonymity while seeking help, there are online drug classes too.

Drug Education Discusses the Dangers of Inhalants

by Mike Miller October 29, 2013

As a kid we thought it was really funny to do “whippets.” Do you know what those are? We used to go into the grocery store and suck out all the gas in a can of whipped cream. The buzz lasted for a minute or two. Today’s inhalants are much more lethal, and the problem is getting worse and is starting with children as young as age 10!

Data from national and state surveys suggest that inhalant abuse is most common among 7th through 9th graders. The study found that the nation's secondary school students, 8th graders regularly report the highest rate of current, past-year and lifetime inhalant abuse compared to 10th and 12th graders. As reported in www.lcsun-news.com.

Inhalants are chemical vapors found in paints, glues, gasoline, nail polish remover, aerosols, markers and cleaning fluids that people inhale on purpose to get high.

The impact of inhalants on the human body is not good. Prolonged sniffing of highly concentrated chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can cause irregular or rapid heart rhythms and can lead to heart failure and death within minutes. High concentrations of inhalants also can cause death from suffocation when the inhalant vapor takes the place of oxygen in the lungs and brain, causing breathing to stop. While high on inhalants, people also can die by choking on their own vomit or by fatal injury from accidents. Regular abuse of inhalants can also cause serious harm to vital organs and the brain.

I would recommend mandatory drug educational classes beginning in about 5th grade. Perhaps the school could add an internet based drug course as part of the curriculum in school.

Indian Children Need Substance Abuse Class

by Mike Miller October 27, 2013

Is there anything coming out of India lately that has a positive spin? From taking American jobs to serious issues with drugs and alcohol, India certainly appears to be escaping the Third World only to fall victim to the vices that plague the planet’s top-tier nations.

As a counselor for both in-class and online drug awareness courses I am hyper-aware of the drug-related stories that happen all over the planet. As reported in www.siliconindia.com.

A recent study showed that there are thousands of children affected by inhalants. The primary source of these inhalants are school supplies. Stationary stores no longer serve only as a storehouse that provide all the essential amenities needed by school or college goers but turns out to be an indirect supplier of drugs in the form of whitener or correction fluids, adhesives and so on.

The incidence of drug abuse among children and adolescents is higher than the general masses. An Indian-based survey disclosed the fact that 63.6 percent of patients who came for treatment were victims of drug abuse at a young age of 15 years and below.

Children as young and tender as 12 years inhale fluid and substances like glue and correction fluid to get a firsthand experience of drugs as these are available legally in most of the stationary stores.

According to the survey, 35.1 percent kids are found with a history of substance abuse. It is especially wide spread among street children, working children and trafficked children.

Do you think mandatory drug classes in Indian school could help solve the problem? I appreciate hearing what you think.

Take an Anti-Smoking Class Rather than Research Marijuana Policy Project

by Mike Miller October 25, 2013

If you think the marijuana problem in the United States is totally out of control, rest assured, you are not alone!

Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs in the United States and as a result, has a lot of supporters for its legalization. There are a variety of organizations who gather together to fight for marijuana reform and then there are individuals who protest and fight legislation on their own. However, the largest group working on marijuana policy reform is known as the Marijuana Policy Project. This group has the most members, staff, and the largest budget of any group fighting for this cause.

The Marijuana Policy Project has four main objectives, which are:

  • To increase public support for non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies

  • To find and activate any other supporters of these same changes to marijuana policies

  • To change state laws to either reduce or completely eliminate penalties for the medical and non-medical use of marijuana

  • To achieve an influential role in Congress

The Marijuana Policy Project aims to be objective and realistic with their goals, so they advocate the taxing of the sale of marijuana as well as regulating the possession of it. They envision this process to be similar to that of alcohol because their aim is to create a nation where people are educated about marijuana, responsible, and the treatment for problems associated with it are non-coercive and reduce harm.

Rob Kampia, Chuck Thomas, and Mike Kirshner are the founding members of the Marijuana Policy Project and before this venture they worked at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Amid a lot of fighting within the NORML organization, its director fired Kampia and Thomas because they wanted to see big changes in the organization and as a result were seen as being controversial. At the same time, Kirshner decided to quit , NORML on his own and the three men began developing their own organization, which implemented all the ideas that they had been pushing for and were eventually fired for at NORML.

The Marijuana Policy Project was officially incorporated on January 25, 1995 as a not-for-profit organization in the District of Columbia. The group quickly surpassed that of NORML in its members and funding to help them become what is not the largest and most powerful marijuana policy reform group in the United States. They have over 32,000 members who pay dues every year, 21 staff members, and their annual budget is $2.85 million. As the Marijuana Policy Project continues their fight, they also continue to grow in size and support every year.

Actor Cory Monteith Took Drug Class

by Mike Miller October 23, 2013

It is yet another tragic tale of a young life lost to the ravages of drug abuse. There have been many before Cory Monteith. Unfortunately, there will be many more in the future.

My goal as a counselor for an online alcohol and drug class is to reduce the number of youngsters who become addicted to drugs or alcohol. As reported in www.nbc4i.com.

The coroner's office of British Columbia confirmed Monteith died from an overdose of alcohol and heroin. Monteith will be best known for overdosing on drugs and being a star on the Fox television show Glee.

The 31-year-old actor was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room on July 14th.

He had been open about his struggles with addiction stating he had begun smoking marijuana and drinking by the age of 13 and that his drug use was out of control by the time he was 16.

Monteith went into rehab when he was 19 after his family staged an intervention.

In April, Monteith checked himself into a treatment facility again.

Treatment is only the beginning of a lifelong process. If you have heart disease and don't follow a recommended diet and exercise regimen, you're likely to have another heart attack. It's the same with addictive illness. If you don't follow the treatment plan, you are likely to relapse.

Opiates pose a serious danger to recovering addicts who decide to use again.

I hope that continued efforts at drug education, with drug classes and support networks will help keep youngsters from ever trying drugs in the first place. Abstinence truly is the best remedy to fight our nation’s ever-increasing addiction problem.

What Does NORML Think of Drug Classes?

by Mike Miller October 21, 2013

In one of our earlier blogs we touched upon the Marijuana Policy Project which is the largest organization attempting to legalize marijuana in the United States of America. Perhaps the pro-weed group that you are most familiar with is the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

People fight every day all over the country for the right to smoke marijuana legally because it is and always has been such a popular drug. Regardless of the reason, it remains an ongoing battle between the citizens of the United States and Congress and the federal government.

While some citizens find it gratifying enough to protest on their own and fight independently, others join forces with organizations based on a belief of strength in numbers. These organizations are non-profits and have garnered a lot of attention across the country over the years. NORML, like many of its fellow marijuana reform groups, is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. Their main goal is to shift the public opinion sufficiently enough to eventually be able to legalize the non-medical use of marijuana throughout the United States.

Keith Stroup, the founder of NORML, created the organization in 1970 on a budget of only $5,000, which (not so surprisingly) was donated by the Playboy Foundation. What began as one man’s fight for marijuana reform has turned into a nationwide campaign over 40 years later. NORML has been very successful in getting its message to reach far distances to the public and continues to attract a lot of media attention.

The effect that organizations like NORML will be able to have in the long run still remains to be seen, but there is no sign of the fight for marijuana reform slowing down.

Level 2 Drug Class Keeps Kids Away From Bath Salts

by Mike Miller October 19, 2013

There is no denying that parents today need to be especially vigilant in making sure their kids are not using drugs or alcohol. Following the trends in teen drug use and abuse is one way for parents to recognize the dangers teens face each day, especially when school starts and new friends and pressures begin showing up. Below are three drug trends (bath salts, steroids, inhalants) that are sometimes erroneously thought to be less harmless than others.

For those of you unaware of them, bath salts, not the cosmetic variety but illegal designer street drugs, are now being used as a type of drug when they are laced with synthetic stimulants. Because these drugs are relatively new, and for now, unregulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), scientists are not exactly sure of the ingredients in each brand. Chemicals in bath salts mimic the effects of amphetamines, such as racing heart, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature and seizures. As reported in www.lcsun-news.com.

It is too early to tell what the exact short-and long-term effects from abusing bath salts are, but effects can include extreme paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, chest pains, soaring blood pressure and rapid heartbeat.

I would recommend that each parent take a level 2 online drug class with their child. This will help educate both parents and kids as to the true dangers of using bath salts.

Can 24 Hour Online Drug Course Keep Your Kid Off Steroids?

by Mike Miller October 17, 2013

Most of the information out there regarding teens and drugs involve marijuana, cocaine and other recreational drugs. Little light is shed on another drug that kids are taking with greater frequency – steroids.

Teens might see steroid use as popular among professional athletes, especially with one of the most famous baseball players to date, Alex Rodriguez, admitting to using steroids, but when teens do use them, they face drastic effects to the body. There are many different anabolic-androgenic steroids including andro, oxandrin, dianabol, winstrol, deca-durabolin and equipoise, but many people just call them steroids, 'roids or juice. As reported in www.lcsun-news.com.

While the pressure to exceed both on and off the field is greater now than ever, parents and kids need to be aware of the severe side effects. Side effects from steroid use include prematurely stunted growth through early skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes, meaning teens risk remaining short for the remainder of their lives if they take anabolic steroids before they stop growing.

Other side effects include jaundice, fluid retention, high blood pressure, increases in LDL (bad cholesterol), decreases in HDL (good cholesterol), severe acne and trembling. In addition, there are some gender-specific side effects including shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts and increased risk for prostate cancer in men and growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, enlargement of the clitoris and a permanently deepened voice in women.

Would you want to face any of these side effects? Even worse, would you want your kids to suffer from them? Do yourself a favor and take a Level 3 drug course to educate yourself on the dangers of steroids.

Could an Addiction Class Help with Your Itch for Your Mobile Device?

by Mike Miller October 15, 2013

Addictions occur in all facets of life. Most notably we hear about drug addictions, alcoholism and gambling problems. But people can become addicted to anything from exercise to religion to mobile devices.

A good addiction class explains the nature of addiction and how to overcome these enslaved tendencies. Are you addicted to your mobile device? As reported in www.nytimes.com.

That uneasy feeling that often accompanies our first experience with a new technology quickly subsides, and we are won over. Sure, smartphones track us everywhere we go, but who worries about that when they’re so cool and useful?

Adapting to a new technology is like a love affair. The devices, apps and tools seduce us. It is easy to become dependent on them.

This new technology can be quite intimidating and even freaky. The first day I used Google Now, my phone buzzed to tell me I needed to leave in 15 minutes for my restaurant reservation, because there was traffic on the way.

The thing is, I had never told my phone I had a reservation. Or where I was, or the route I planned to take. Google had spotted the OpenTable reservation in my Gmail in-box, knew my phone’s location and checked Google Maps for traffic conditions.

I was creeped out. Am I going to become addicted to something else? I do have an addictive personality. Going through an online addiction course helped me recognize that I was becoming dependent on my technology. If you think you might be addicted to your mobile device, please try taking a good online drug class.

Tobacco Course Helps You Think Twice About E-Cigs

by Mike Miller October 13, 2013

As the education director for Internet based tobacco classes, I can tell you the rate at which teens are having to take tobacco classes is substantially on the rise. One of the primary driving forces is electronic cigarettes.

This is the fifth in a series of blogs looking at e-cigarettes and the efforts to curb use as well as enforce where they can be used. As reported in www.nytimes.com.

The general attitude among a good part of society is to tolerate them, as long as no one complains about it. That is true indoors and outdoors.

So what is the legality of e-cigarettes? They are basically legal everywhere. Cities and venues often have “no smoking” and “no tobacco” policies, but nothing against nicotine itself.

How do you feel about them? More likely than not you tolerate them like all of us because they are really not offensive.

It is an establishment’s right to ban e-cigarettes and some have actually done so.

Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio have been spotted in New York clubs using e-cigs.

The growing popularity of e-cigarettes is also creating headaches for club security personnel, who have spent the last decade watching for smoke with the eagle-eyed focus of someone manning a fire tower. In a dim club, it is hard to tell the difference between a Marlboro and an NJOY King, which is designed to mimic a real cigarette, from the cherry-red tip to the paper butt.

It will be interesting to see what if any legal barriers are placed on these nicotine devices.