Africans Need Drug Education Too

by Mike Miller April 11, 2013

Over the past few months you may have read a few blog entries I have written in an effort to expose the drug problems currently raging through Africa. For those of you who have missed them, and have an interest in just how severe Africa’s drug problem is I suggest you refer back to the blog.

The problem in Africa is not only use, of course it is trafficking too. Africa now occupies second position worldwide in the trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs. As reported in

According to UN statistics 37,000 people in Africa die annually from diseases associated with the consumption of illegal drugs. The UN estimates there are 28 million drug users in Africa, the figure for the United States and Canada is 32 million.

Worrying trend

The UN report confirms what my colleagues have been saying for years, namely that the rate of consumption of illegal drugs in Africa is on the rise. However, this is the farthest reaches of the Third World and records of drug consumption in Africa are incomplete.

Africa's rising illegal drug consumption can be attributed to political instability as well as porous borders. West Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America have chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe. West African countries such as Guinea Bissau, Liberia and others were becoming the target of these criminal organizations, which were taking advantage of the weakness of police and the lack of money and resources to use these countries for transit purposes.

Youth most vulnerable

Of course with increased drug use and drug trade, the youth are the most susceptible, especially those who were unable to resist peer pressure and start experimenting with drugs.

I am happy to hear officials in West Africa say that the key to curbing this trend is to educate youth and the society at large about dangers of consuming drugs. Institutions frequented by youth like churches, mosques and universities should be actively involved in passing on this information.

I would hope to see some publicly supported drug education classes in the near future.

Minor in Possession Class and High School a Winning Combination

by Mike Miller April 9, 2013

Does it surprise you that the rate of drug use and abuse is higher among high school drop-outs than those who matriculate? Of course it doesn’t. Why? Because drug use certainly inhibits the long-term chances of success.

The link between poor academic performance and substance abuse just got stronger, with a new U.S. government report showing ties between the two. As reported in

This is a no brainer, really. The report showed that high school seniors who dropped out of school before graduating were more likely to drink, smoke cigarettes and use marijuana and other illegal drugs. No duh!

Why are we even studying that? It is kind of a joke that he researchers said their findings should prompt communities to develop strategies to keep teens in school and prevent problems with substance abuse.

Aren’t communities already trying to develop strategies to keep teens in school and prevent substance abuse? What a colossal waste of time and money.

The only part of interest, though I still believe this to be a waste of time, energy and money, were the statistics.

With respect to smoking and drugs (using high school seniors) the study revealed that those who dropped out of school were more than twice as likely to be smokers, or have smoked in the past month, than students who stayed in school, while more than 31 percent of seniors who didn't receive their diploma used drugs, compared with about 18 percent of students who had finished high school.

Almost 30% of dropouts smoked marijuana and 10% abuse prescription drugs.

It is no surprise that dropouts were also more likely to drink—the study showed that nearly 42 percent of seniors who didn't finish high school drank and about a third engaged in binge drinking, by comparison about 35 percent of those students who stayed in school drank and only about one-quarter said they binged on alcohol.

I still believe that we should mandate alcohol classes and drug classes each year for all students. The combination of education and graduation will lead to a better America.

Adderall Could Lead to Drug Class or Worse

by Mike Miller April 7, 2013

This is the ninth in a series of blogs looking at the prescription medication known as Adderall. For those of you unfamiliar with this stimulant, I encourage you to start at the beginning of the series.

One thing I can assure you, that after reading this series you will look at your use, or the use of others in a different light. As reported in

One of the many sad stories surrounding Adderall addiction is Richard Fee. An intelligent and articulate young man lying to doctor after doctor, physicians issuing hasty diagnoses, and psychiatrists continuing to prescribe medication — even increasing dosages — despite evidence of his growing addiction and psychiatric breakdown.

While it is true that very few people who misuse stimulants devolve into psychotic or suicidal addicts, Fee’s is a textbook case for ways that A.D.H.D. practices can fail patients, particularly young adults.

It is especially frightening because young adults are by far the fastest-growing segment of people taking A.D.H.D medications. Nearly 14 million monthly prescriptions for the condition were written for Americans ages 20 to 39 in 2011, two and a half times the 5.6 million just four years before.

In future blogs we will look at our textbook case, examining just how Richard Fee went from being on top of the world to a miserable drug addict. We will ponder the notion if drug classes could have prevented what happened to Fee and is happening to many others around the country right now.

Boyfriend in Need of DUI Class and Medical Attention

by Mike Miller April 5, 2013

Nicholas Perry had one very bad day. Would it surprise you to know that alcohol played a prominent role in his bad day? Of course it doesn’t – alcohol and bad days seem to go hand-in-hand.

Perry was arrested on several charges after he was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol after a fight with his girlfriend and a police chase. As reported in

He was pulled over after a police saw him throw a plastic cup from the window.

When the 25-year-old Perry eventually stopped, the deputy said asked the driver to show his license and registration, but the driver appeared to reach for documents before speeding off.

After leading police on a short chase, Perry rolled up his window as officers approached his car. He refused to get out and had to be pulled from the car. He told officers that he fled police because he just wanted to get home after visiting his girlfriend. Perry said they had been fighting and the cup he threw from the window contained vodka.

At least he was honest. Perry's breath smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and that he couldn't keep his balance. He had all the signs of being totally hammered.

Perry's girlfriend was not harmed. The same could not be said for Perry. Just get a gander of that mug shot!

Perry's blood alcohol level tested at 0.13 percent. Hopefully as part of his sentence he will be mandated to an alcohol and DUI class.

Military Really Needs to Implement Mandatory Online Drug Abuse Classes

by Mike Miller April 3, 2013

Can anyone argue that a little more education and a little more training is a bad thing? I would hope the United States Military would think more training against the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs could only be a good thing.

There are many who feel that the military takes up an undue portion of our national budget. Do you agree? As reported in

Do you have any idea how much our military spends on pain killers and other prescription medication? Please sit down immediately – these numbers may terrify you!

Over the past decade, the military has spent $1.6 billion on painkillers (opioids) such as Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. $2.7 billion has been spent on anti-depressants and more than $507 million on sleep medications such as Ambien.

Prescription drug abuse, mostly the use of painkillers tripled since 2002. The military substance abuse program has seen an overall increase in the amount of individuals enrolled in their program.

Since 2006, the number of soldiers who enrolled in the Army’s substance abuse program jumped 40% with 23,000 enrolled in 2010. Did you know that prescription drug misuse is the second most illicit drug problem next to marijuana in the nation.

Soldiers also receive psychotropic medications for sleep disturbances, anxiety issues and depression. The increase in medication use parallels the increase in the amount of soldiers receiving behavioral health care and are therefore in treatment for behavioral health issues.

I certainly think a mandated online drug class may be warranted for all military personnel. What do you think?

8 Hour Drug Classes Encourage Brain Training

by Mike Miller April 1, 2013

Here is a simple fact – your brain can be trained. Could quitting drug use forever be as simple as training your brain? Let’s just say the way you first became addicted was due to proper training of your brain!

The mind is the place where we become addicted and it the place to find the solution! As reported in

The problem is that people are self-medicating, a lot of times, and with substance abuse, these underlying issues are what causes that - depression, anxiety and other personal issues.

New technologies allow physicians to diagnose disorders like depression and anxiety-- by checking out your brain waves.

It is a fact that people that tend to abuse substances either have high, fast brain waves or really slow brain waves, and they are using substances to balance that out. To battle substance abuse, professionals need to correct those unhealthy brain wave levels.

Sensors are used detect waves that are out of line. Based on resulting patterns of brain activity. When one’s brain waves are out of control, they can become at risk for substance abuse.

Using a technique called neurofeedback, the brain actually trains itself to operate at normal levels. All you have to do is kick back, and watch a movie.

Could treating substance abuse be as simple as watching a movie? I assure you I will follow this research and report back to you. I still recommend 8 hour drug classes which keep students from ever using or becoming addicted in the first place.

Could California Drug Class Have Saved Doctor’s Career?

by Mike Miller March 30, 2013

To understand the headline for this blog entry you must understand what the true purpose of a drug class is. What do you think drug classes attempt to achieve?

Of course, the majority of people who take California drug classes have been mandated by the court to do so. Given that as a background, obviously drug classes seek to educate about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and offer recipes to prevent a relapse into problematic use. As reported in

If they could be offered prophylactically, perhaps they could keep one from ever using drugs, or helping insure they did not become addicted and abuser. One California doctor wishes he had never developed an addiction.

A San Diego doctor could lose his medical license for abusing alcohol and powerful narcotics, including Oxycodone.

Even the San Diego County Medical Society acknowledges that drug and alcohol abuse among doctors is a significant problem.

Dr. Samuel Gerson is an emergency room doctor, at the UCSD Health System. Dr. Gerson continues to treat patients, even though he admitted stealing another doctor's prescription pad to get Oxycodone and Endocet, powerful and very addictive narcotics.

Both UCSD and Gerson’s lawyer say the doctor is not a threat to his patients, because he is no longer impaired, has completed a drug rehab program, and submits to drug testing and weekly therapy. Would you want him treating you in the ER?

While I believe everyone must be given a second chance, I think Gerson should be mandated to weekly drug tests and not be re-instated until at least 6 consecutive months of clean tests. And I think that another drug class and monthly drug test are in order.

Take a 12 Hour Drug Class before Using Adderall

by Mike Miller March 28, 2013

This is the eighth in a series of blogs addressing the prescription medication Adderall. Why so many consecutive entries on one drug, you ask? Believe me, we cannot have enough. Adderall is becoming a series problem for those of all ages. In our previous entry I looked at the problem with “adult on-set Adderall addiction.”

The premise here is that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the only valid reason for prescribing the stimulant, Adderall. ADHD is a medical condition that usually is diagnosed early in life. Rarely does someone find out after their teens that they have ADHD.

When we were kids, doctors prescribed a drug called Ritalin. My loyal readers over the age of 40 certainly are familiar with Ritalin. Most probably know someone who had taken Ritalin as a child.

The increase in the use of Adderall is almost at epidemic levels. Of course, there cannot be that many people with ADHD. The users are adults looking to not feel tired and be more focused and students who are looking for the same.

What few realize is that this is not a short-term fix. This is an addictive chemical compound that will mess them up for life. In the next few blogs we will look at the example of one student who seemed to have the world by the short and curlys until Adderall entered the picture.

Does Montana Need to Mandate Drug Prevention Education?

by Mike Miller March 26, 2013

Looking at one individual state can be a microcosm of the bigger picture of the nation’s issues. Recently we looked at Ohio. Today we look at Montana.

It's been labeled the invisible epidemic by some. Of course you know what I am talking about, right? The problem with use and abuse of prescription medications. As reported in

Do you believe this? According to the Montana Department of Justice, prescription drug abuse is 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined.

That is a bold statement!

Prescription drug abuse does count for 100 more deaths than Montana's roadways.

In Montana and other states, it is not uncommon for armed and unarmed people to threaten pharmacists, and demand medication. Drugs often robbed are Fentanyl patches and Oxycodone pills, both potent painkillers.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs are painkillers, but drugs designed to help with depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorders are also popular.

Officials in Montana are willing to term the prescription drug abuse as “epidemic.” If that is not alarming, what is.

It is not all bad news. There have been some positive developments against prescription drug abuse. The establishment of the prescription drug registry now allows doctors and pharmacists to more easily identify drug seekers. This will certainly help – if doctors use it.

Hopefully Montana drug classes and increased public awareness will keep a few would-be users and abusers from never trying prescription medications in the first place.

Can Drug Awareness Classes Keep Adults Off of Adderall?

by Mike Miller March 24, 2013

This is the seventh in a series of blogs addressing the current surge in usage of a medically-prescribed stimulant called Adderall. This installment will take a look at what I call “adult-onset Adderall addiction.” This is a group of adults, both male and female, who start using and abusing (perhaps) Adderall as adults.

Adderall is most commonly prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For those of you who read my blog regularly, and I know you do, you know how I feel about how commonly prescribed Adderall is.

The only other drug I can compare it to is medicinal marijuana. Since the American Medical Association has not given one legitimate medical reason for marijuana use, yes pot fans that includes, AIDS, cancer and the ever-easy fall back glaucoma, it appears there is no legitimate reason for medicinal marijuana. But how people get medical recommendations for medicinal marijuana is fodder for another blog series.

How can so many adults all of the sudden develop ADHD? I mean that is not a disease that manifests later in life.

Could some adults look to Adderall to get them back in the game? Are they seeking to regain an edge they felt they once had. I have counseled a few individuals who admitted Adderall made them feel sharp again and that they would continue to use it for as long as it proved necessary. Yet these were drug addicts for whom addiction issues had been present before. I did my best to discourage further use since they clearly are not ADHD.