Archive for June, 2008

20 Years After Kicking the Habit, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler Admits Rehab was for Painkillers

June 30, 2008

Aerosmith performing at the NFL Kickoff in Washington, DC on September 4, 2003

NEW YORK — In a brief interview in New York on Friday, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler tells the Associated Press that his trip to rehab in May was for dependency on narcotic painkillers and sleep medication. Tyler famously kicked “hard drugs” in the mid 80’s—a feat credited for the renewed success of Aerosmith.

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Wiener of the Week

June 26, 2008

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Carbon County

This Week’s Wiener Winner: Carbon County Residents

CARBON COUNTY, PA – NIMBY’s (Not In My Back Yard!)… I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry when it comes to these people. Carbon County “neighbors” flooded the Kidder Township Municipal Building earlier this week, with their attorney Carole Walbert—who incidentally has aspirations for the bench—in tow.

What was all this exercising of civic responsibility about, you ask? The huge turnout was orchestrated to appeal a zoning permit granted to Pinnacle Treatment Centers for a proposed methadone clinic in the area.

“We feel this is just going to bring the city problems out here where we have little crime. We came here because we like it that way.”

-Henry Westendarp (Kidder Township, PA)

Do these people really believe they can isolate themselves from the problems of drug addiction simply by opposing every proposal for methadone clinics, half-way houses, etc. that comes along? This is so typical of the “ignore it and it will go away” mentality that plagues our region.

I suppose these citizens have actually convinced themselves that drug addiction is not a problem in their community. Drug problems are something other people have, right? Certainly not us! We are good people.

Dear readers, treatment and education are the only way we will ever impact the scourge of drug addiction. These Carbon County residents could use a little education on treatment.

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WNEP TV: Residents Resist Drug Clinic

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Pennsylvania: Dauphin County Commissioners Give the Go-Ahead on Drug Court

June 26, 2008

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Dauphin County joins the growing number of court systems in the Commonwealth that have added a Drug Treatment Court Program. Typically Drug Courts provide an alternative to incarceration for select drug and alcohol related non-violent offenders.

“We’ve talked about this for years, and it’s time to get something up and running…

— District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr.

“We will start small and hope to have 50 people in the program within a year”, says District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr. The new Dauphin County Drug Court will hold its first session on July 24th.

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PennLive.com Article:  Drug court to create alternative for non-violent offenders

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Painkiller Epidemic Update: U.S. Exports Painkiller Epidemic to Australia

June 23, 2008

U.S. Exports Painkiller Epidemic to Australia

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Article: ‘Hillbilly heroin’ makes its mark on Australian streets

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Readers of this blog already know my opinion on this ridiculous “Hillbilly Heroin” moniker—so I’ll ignore that for now. The real story here is that the illegal use and sale of painkillers like OxyContin in Australia has exploded from practically non-existent, to representing nearly half of the users at some safe injection sites*—just within the past 2 years.

I really don’t need to elaborate further as the original ABC article is excellent—except to point out that this painkiller epidemic, though already rampant in the U.S., is becoming a truly global problem. As the worldwide “War on Drugs” remains steeped in constant failure, we must find new solutions to combat what is truly a new form of deadly addiction.

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*Safe injection sites or “supervised injecting centers” are clinical facilities where illicit drug use is permitted; often clean needles and other injection equipment is supplied.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

FDA Watch: FDA Sued Over Darvon, Darvocet

June 21, 2008

Darvon and Darvocet

The FDA has been sued over it’s failure to act on a petition to ban the painkiller Dextropropoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet). The narcotic propoxyphene is both highly addictive and notoriously weak—studies have shown ibuprofen is often more effective.

“Propoxyphene (Darvon) Has Hazardous Side Effects And Is No More Effective Than Similar Drugs.”

-Public Citizen Website

A group called Public Citizen petitioned the FDA to ban the drug over two years ago, and even though propoxyphene-based painkillers have been banned in Britain since 2005, the FDA has thus far refused to make a move. In Great Britain propoxyphene has been tied to accidental deaths and suicide, and U.S. doctors have known about the drug’s propensity for chemical dependence for years. So, you ask, why hasn’t the FDA banned it here in the states?

Because in the U.S., propoxyphene—sold under the brand names Darvon and Darvocet—is one of the most widely prescribed painkillers on the market. Americans filled 22 million prescriptions for propoxyphene-based painkillers in 2007 alone. That’s quite a few tacos for drug companies like Mylan*. Can’t get any simpler than that…

*Mylan aquired Darvon and Darvocet from Eli Lilly, the drug’s original creator and manufacturer.

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Read the full text of the Public Citizen v. FDA Complaint.

Public Citizen Press Release: Public Citizen Sues FDA for Failure to Act on Dangerous Drug -06/19/2008

KLEW TV: FDA sued for failure to act on risky painkiller

Image courtesy Wikipedia

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