Tag Archives: abuse

Study Indicates Opioids Worsen Pain Over Time

pain pillsA new study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, shows that prescription painkillers do very little in terms of helping with chronic or acute pain. Instead, the temporary masking of the pain that they do provide can actually lengthen or worsen the problem. This breakthrough comes at a very important time for the United States, a country that reportedly consumes 80% of all painkillers in the world.

Researchers administered painkillers to rats and found that after only five days on the medication, the rats suffered from chronic pain that lasted months. Researchers noted that the pain signals were coming from the spinal cord. Normally, the glial cells in the spinal cord are responsible for clearing out infection-causing microorganisms. However, when pain medication is administered, the cells are put on high alert and increase their activity, causing a buildup of glial cells in the spinal cord. This buildup stimulates the nerves and chronic pain is experienced for longer periods of time.

“We are showing for the first time that even a brief exposure to opioids can have long-term negative effects on pain. We found the treatment was contributing to the problem,” explained Peter Grace, researcher and faculty member in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

In order to take the research further, the study would need to be conducted on humans. However, researchers are excited about the progress. And for many, the findings answer the question of why people are reliant on prescription painkillers for so long. Understanding that painkillers are not only just temporarily covering up the problem, but also making it worse, explains why patients have to take such high doses for extended amounts of time to feel relief. Many are also convinced that they will continue to have pain if they stop taking the drugs, whether their original condition is still present or not.

This breakthrough study is likely to lead to further research into the effectiveness of opiate painkillers. The ineffectiveness, paired with the high rate of addiction may finally convince the medical community to stop blanket opiate prescriptions for pain, and instead seek more non-narcotic solutions and treatments.

Deformities Caused By Excessive Cocaine Use

cocaine useMany cocaine users often do so in binges, meaning periods of abstinence and then heavy abuse for a day or so. There are also those who become addicted to the drug and wind up using it daily. Any amount of cocaine use had the potential of serious health risks.

Since cocaine is a stimulant, it most immediately has a negative impact on the heart and vascular system. While heart attacks seem to be more commonly reported side effects of cocaine use, other problems that can occur include deformities caused by vascular constriction.

When users snort the drug, on problem that has been found is called a Nasal Septal Perforation, which means it creates a hole in the person’s nose between nostrils. A lesser-known and more serious problem is a perforated palate.

Palatal perforation can cause major problems with performing the essential functions of life. Eating, speaking and drinking are all impacted by this deformity. The constricting vessels of the palate cause delicate tissue in the roof of the mouth to erode, thus creating the hole, pictures of which can be seen here.

Although cocaine use seems to be declining in America, it is still one of the most abused illicit drugs in the country as well as around the world. If you or someone you love has a problem with cocaine, contact us today to find out more about how we can help.