In 1969 the fifth Beatle was heroin: John Lennon’s addiction took its toll on the band

In early 1969, the faces of heroin addiction for Paul, George and Ringo were John and Yoko

Fifty years ago, the Beatles entered their final year as a working rock ’n’ roll band. And in the ensuing decades, the reasons for their eventual disbandment have been debated ad nauseam. Was it Yoko Ono’s constant presence in the studio? Paul McCartney’s increasingly controlling nature? John Lennon’s rage to break free of the partnership that he had brokered with McCartney after their meeting in a Liverpool churchyard in July 1957? Or simply Ringo Starr’s apathy or George Harrison’s need to strike out on his own and fulfill his promise as a songwriter in his own right?

In truth, although each of the above was a contributing factor, by January 1969 a much darker force had made its presence known in their world. During that fateful year, the Beatles suffered, as so many families do today, from the daily pain and bewilderment of an opioid addiction.  more

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Center takes strict approach to suboxone treatment

For Cynthia Anders, battling drug withdrawal symptoms came in the form of a black box with a 3-D T-Rex covering.

It has been several weeks since she had possession of the box, but it became a colorful symbol of her ongoing recovery from opiate abuse.

The box was used to keep her prescriptions to buprenorphine, most commonly known by the brand name Suboxone. It is a method, some view as controversial, that uses an opioid to treat opioid addiction by weaning off the cravings.  more

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A Rural Community Decided To Treat Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster

When he was police chief of Stanwood, Wash., population 7,000, Ty Trenary thought rural communities like his were immune from the opioid crisis.

Then, one day, a mother walked through his door and said, “Chief, you have a heroin problem in your community.”

“And I remember thinking, ‘Well that’s not possible,’ ” Trenary recalls. “This is Stanwood and heroin is in big cities with homeless populations. It’s not in rural America.”

Last year leaders declared the opioid epidemic a life-threatening emergency. The county is now responding to the drug crisis as if it were a natural disaster, the same way they’d mobilize to respond to a landslide or flu pandemic.  more

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Heroin and human sleep

Abstract

It has been suggested that drugs of addiction, e.g. barbiturates, cause suppression of REM sleep followed by immediate withdrawal rebound. In rats it has been demonstrated that morphine will suppress REM sleep and, in a pilot study of withdrawal in humans, there was a delayed REM sleep rebound.

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A: Four normal male volunteers had a subcutaneous injection of 7.5 mg heroin on 3 successive nights. During this period the percentage of REM sleep was decreased with respect to baseline values for these subjects and showed a trend back to control values over the 3 nights. On withdrawal there was a moderate but immediate percentage of REM sleep increase which, over the first 3 h of sleep, was significant.  more

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Depression and Opioid Abuse

It’s no secret that opioid abuse is a growing problem in the United States. An estimated 2.4 million people in the United States abuse prescription painkillers, and almost half a million people suffer from heroin abuse. But people abusing opioids also often face the additional burden of depression. Left untreated, this often hidden mental illness can make recovery even more difficult.

The relationship between opioid abuse and depression is bi-directional, meaning that suffering from one increases the risk of the other. Opioid abuse is defined as using a prescription opioid for non-medical reasons or using it longer or in greater amounts than what was prescribed by a doctor, and opioid abuse has been linked to higher rates of depressionanxiety, and bipolar disorders.  more

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Suicide: One of Addiction’s Hidden Risks

Individuals with addiction are at higher risk for suicide.

Anyone who cares about an addict has a long list of concerns, not the least of which is that addiction may take their loved one’s life. Mostly we feargetting word of a serious accident or injury or perhaps a drug overdose. What few think about, or actively work to prevent, is suicide. And while suicide is a well-known risk for those suffering with mental health problems, it also requires attention in the assessment and treatment of addiction.  more

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