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The War on Drugs - and the results of it A war against drugs, or against families?

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Old 03-11-2004, 11:23 PM
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From: Drug Policy Alliance

Link: http://www.drugpolicy.org/homepage.cfm





Club Drugs http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/clubdrugs/

The term "club drugs" usually refers to those substances that are sometimes associated with the dance club and rave culture of the last decade. During the late 1980s, a number of promoters and DJs in England threw "raves" or large dance gatherings centered on the growing popularity of electronic music. Raves became popular in America in the early 1990s and took place in dance clubs, warehouses, and outdoor gatherings. Some participants of the club/rave culture used illicit substances to enhance the musical experience. The most notable of these club drugs is Ecstasy; however GHB, Ketamine, Methamphetamine, LSD and Rohypnol are also commonly termed club drugs. Recently, raves have been targeted in the war on drugs as the Federal Government attempts to use the 1986 ‘Crack House’ Law to prosecute business owners that hold events in which some people use drugs - on the anti-Rave act.
Ecstasy
Ecstasy, or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a pill or powder that creates a 4 - 6 hour mildly euphoric experience. Users of MDMA state they experience a common acceptance for and by others, diminished fear, and the increased ability to communicate. Potential risks include increased body temperature that can be exacerbated by excessive dancing and poor ventilation. High body temperatures can result in heatstroke and, in rare cases, death. Ways to prevent heatstroke are proper hydration, access to water, access to a "chill out" room and proper ventilation. Some studies suggest that Ecstasy may cause memory and serotonin damage however, these claims have been disputed by some scientists and longer term studies are needed. Ecstasy has not been found to cause physical dependence. It is a Schedule I drug.
Ketamine
Ketamine is normally used as an animal tranquilizer. The drug creates a sense of separation between body and mind and distorts sensory perceptions for approximately an hour. Ketamine, sometimes referred to as "Special K," is taken in pill or powder form, snorted or injected. Some users experience dizziness or nausea. If taken in excess, users experience a "k-hole" meaning they have difficulty moving, experience complete detachment of mind and body, and in some cases enter an extreme dream like state. Other risk factors and potentially negative effects are respiratory problems, racing heart, paranoia and egocentrism. Ketamine can be both physically and psychologically addictive. It is a Schedule III drug.
Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine, also known as speed, crystal, or crank, is a synthetic stimulant and a legal schedule II drug prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder under the brand name Desoxyn. Most recreational methamphetamine is produced in "backyard" laboratories. The drug is an odorless, white or off-white bitter tasting powder. It is found in pill or crystal form and can be dissolved in liquid, ingested orally, snorted or injected. Users feel alert, confident, and energetic and lose their appetite and ability to sleep. When taken too frequently or in excess, methamphetamine can cause paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, violent or erratic behavior and self-absorption. In extreme cases, the lack of appetite can result in malnutrition. Methamphetamine can cause psychological dependence, high levels of tolerance, and an intense craving for more of the drug to produce the same effect. Individuals with heart conditions should be extremely careful when using methamphetamine since the drug increases heart rate and blood pressure.
Rohypnol
Rohypnol (chemical name Flunitrazepam) is a pharmaceutical sleeping pill prescribed for insomnia in Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia. The drug belongs to the family of medications called benzodiazepines which includes Valium, Librium and Xanax. It is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia and as a sedative hypnotic and preanesthetic medication. It can be addictive. Although it has gained a name in America as the "date rape" drug, known cases of drugging are relatively rare and the drug is mostly used recreationally. Rohypnol or "roofies" appears to be used most frequently in conjunction with alcohol, with which it has a synergistic effect, producing amnesia and diminishing inhibitions. Rohypnol is not approved for use in the U.S. and it is a Schedule IV drug. The drug is illegally imported from Latin America and Europe.
GHB
GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a naturally occurring component of human cells. It was first synthesized by a French researcher exploring the effects of nutrients on the brain. The drug is used in Europe as a general anesthetic, a treatment for insomnia and narcolepsy, an aid to childbirth, a treatment for alcoholism, and for many other uses. In the past few years it has been gaining popularity as a recreational drug taken for its effects quite similar to those of alcohol. While GHB is most notorious for a few cases where it has been given to unsuspecting individuals, it is more commonly used recreationally and medicinally. One of the major concerns with GHB is that the recreational dosage range is narrow and even small overdoses can cause temporary unconsciousness (a type of coma) and large overdoses (poisonings) can be life-threatening. GHB is declared both a Schedule I drug (no medical use, high potential for abuse) and a Schedule III drug (accepted medical use, lower potential for abuse) in the US. This law makes an exception for use of the drug in treating certain types of narcolepsy and sleep disorders.
LSD
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogen. Manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains, LSD is a potent mood-changing chemical. Commonly referred to as "acid", the drug is sold illegally in paper tablet, capsule, and, occasionally, liquid form. The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user's personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Physical effects can include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. If taken in a large enough dose, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. These changes can be pleasant or they can be frightening and can cause panic. Some evidence suggests long-term effects of LSD including flash-backs or long-lasting psychoses for heavy users. LSD is a classed as a Schedule I drug in the US.




Cocaine/Crack/Coca http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/cocainecrack/

Cocaine is a stimulant. This means it gets you up and keeps you going. Unlike speed, cocaine is a natural stimulant extracted from the leaf of the coca bush. Historically, in the U.S., pure cocaine was used as a mild anesthetic, primarily by dentists and ear-nose-throat specialists. Cocaine is also what the "Coca" originally stood for in Coca-Cola but the cocaine was eventually replaced by caffeine. On the street today, you don’t get pure cocaine. Instead, to increase profits, a variety of cuts are added. These can include lactose (which makes you go to the bathroom), local anesthetics such as procaine (which makes you lose feeling), and heroin (rarely) or other drugs. People use cocaine in various ways. It is sniffed, snorted through a straw or rolled up dollar bill, injected into a vein (mainlining) and smoked (freebasing). Crack cocaine has become a more common form of freebasing.

When cocaine enters the body, it moves rapidly from the bloodstream to the central nervous system where it affects the various reward/pleasure centers of your brain- including an important pleasure chemical, dopamine. Dopamine and these parts of your brain aid with thought organization, concentration, fine motor control, sex drive and energy. Cocaine initially increases all these functions. Eventually though, as cocaine use increases, the brain’s natural receptor sites reduce or lose their ability to produce dopamine and other chemicals. This can cause feelings of depression or a “crash”. These sites are not permanently damaged and will begin functioning again after you stop using cocaine, although it may take awhile depending on how long you used for.

Your body responds to cocaine use in other ways such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Cocaine also increases alertness, stamina and feelings of euphoria while reducing fatigue, a desire to sleep and hunger. This allows some people to work, dance or take care of business with little to no sleep. Also, the more you use cocaine, the greater your tolerance will be. Tolerance means your body needs an increasing amount of cocaine in order to get high. Regular, heavy use of cocaine can result in anxiety, depression, nausea, agitation, insomnia, weight loss, loss of sex drive and compulsive behavior. Some users may become psychologically dependent on the effects of the drug and form a habit.
Ecstasy http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/ecstasy/
One of the most talked about drugs today, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), popularly known as Ecstasy, has made national headlines and attracted the attention of scientists, law enforcement, politicians and parents. Originally patented by Merck Pharmaceutical Company in 1914, MDMA was rediscovered in the early 1970s by chemist Alexander Shulgin. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the drug spread to some members of the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic communities, which hailed MDMA's benefits in treating patients with terminal illness, trauma, phobias, drug addiction, and other disorders. Originally dubbed a "penicillin for the soul", users of MDMA report enhanced sensations, heightened feelings of empathy, self-acceptance and a general feeling of relaxed euphoria.
By 1986 the drug was classified as a Schedule I drug, defined by the DEA as having high abuse potential and no medical value. Its use was effectively prohibited.

Recently, Ecstasy use has increased significantly, despite its illegal status. Over the last five years, MDMA use has doubled among teens. In 2001, 12% of high school seniors reported they had tried the drug.

Commonly associated with rave culture and all night dance parties, MDMA use may have short-term risks including overheating and dehydration due to elevated body temperatures combined with physical exertion. Counterfeit substances passed off as Ecstasy also increase risks for users. "Fake" Ecstasy pills sometimes include dangerous drugs such as DXM (dextromethorphan) and PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine), which are believed responsible for a number of "Ecstasy" overdoses. Recently, many media reports have focused on the long-term affects of Ecstasy. Though some results and studies do suggest heavy Ecstasy use can cause long-term damage, research is preliminary and much more is needed to determine clinical significance.

In the past few years, the government has launched major media campaigns and legislative measures targeting MDMA. In 2001, harsher federal penalties for MDMA offenses went into effect, treating MDMA more seriously than cocaine and almost as seriously as heroin. Some states also imposed harsh penalties for Ecstasy, including Illinois' draconian law in which an individual possessing fifteen doses of MDMA must serve four years in state prison.

Federal authorities are also attempting to prosecute club and rave promoters under the "Crack house" law - arguing that clubs which host electronic music dance acts function as crack houses because patrons may have been selling or using drugs. Though federal authorities have tried to ban pacifiers, glow sticks and masks as "drug paraphernalia" at electronic music shows, the ACLU in February 2002 won a case that determined these objects could not be banned from musical venues.



Heroin http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/heroin/

Heroin is a drug in the opium family (an opioid). Some opioids, like methadone and demerol, are completely man-made. Others, such as morphine and heroin, are made from opium in a lab. All opioids have similar effects. Heroin is about three times stronger than morphine. Sometimes what is sold on the streets as heroin is not heroin at all but some other substance that won't get you high (a dummy or beat bag), or a different drug, like fentanyl, which is much stronger than heroin.

Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste and little odor, but street heroin comes in many different forms, depending on how it was made and what's been added to it. Street heroin can be white, tan, brown, gray, or black. It can be a fine, fluffy powder, course like sand, chunky, or a solid mass that is either gummy or rock hard (Black Tar Heroin). It can smell like vinegar, vitamins, or medicine-or have no smell at all. No matter what color or form, all heroin is either heroin salt or heroin base. Heroin salt dissolves easily in water, so it is easy to inject or sniff. Heroin base (like cocaine base) is easy to smoke but needs to be mixed with an acid like vitamin c in order to dissolve. White powder and black tar heroin are usually heroin salt, and brown heroin is usually heroin base.

If you use heroin regularly and then stop or don’t have enough in your body, you go into withdrawal. This happens because your body depends on the heroin to function. While it is different for everyone, heroin withdrawal tends to start about 8 hours after last use, lasts between 3 days and a week and is most severe on the 2nd and 3rd days. Symptoms can include diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, body aches, sweating, clammy skin, hot and cold flashes, runny nose, inability to sleep, irritability, depression and a serious lack of energy. Despite feeling like you're going to die, withdrawal almost never kills anyone and is rarely harmful to a healthy person. It can be harmful, however, to people with HIV/AIDS. It can also be harmful to the fetus if a woman is pregnant. Anyone with a serious health problem should talk to a health care specialist before starting a detox.



Inhalant Use http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/inhalentuse/

Although parents' concerns around drug abuse tend to focus on illicit drugs such as ecstasy and heroin, some of the most widely abused yet overlooked substances are occupying shelf space in kitchen cupboards, bathrooms, and garages across the country. A wide range of common household products that contain solvents or aerosols such as spray paints, cleaning fluids, gasoline, hair spray, and canned whipped cream are commonly used by grade school students to get high, to the extent that inhalants are the most commonly abused class of chemicals among high school students with the exception of marijuana.(1) The National Inhalant Prevention Coaltion reports that one in five eighth graders have used inhalants.(2) Inhalants vaporize at room temperature and are rapidly absorbed through the lungs. "Inhalant Use" refers to the intentional breathing of these substances to achieve an altered state.

Inhalants are readily available, inexpensive, and *legal* everyday products yet extremely dangerous. They are consumed via "Snorting" directly from the container, "Huffing" via a saturated rag, or "Bagging" from a paper or plastic bag. The potential for abuse is enormous, yet treatment facilities for inhalant users are rare and difficult to find.

The effects of inhalants include euphoria, delirium and hallucinations. Adverse effects include loss of coordination and depression. Long term effects include brain damage, short term memory loss, hearing loss, limb spasms, bone marrow damage, as well as liver and kidney damage. Users are also risk "sudden sniffing death syndrome", which can occur when the heart beats erratically.

According to health officials inhalants do not show up on drug-screening tests, which makes inhalant abuse difficult to detect. Several states have laws against inhaling compounds, teaching minors to use inhalants, or selling inhalants to minors, but these laws are rarely enforced because law enforcement tends to focus its resources on illicit drugs.



Marijuana Overview http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/index.cfm

In 1937, with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, the United States effectively banned recreational and medicinal use of cannabis.(1) Many nations followed suit and in 1961, through the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, fifty-four nations agreed to "[a]dopt such measures as may be necessary to prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in the leaves of the cannabis plant."(2) Despite such restrictive control, cannabis has become the most widely used illicit drug in the western world.

Since the 1970s pressure has been building to move away from the total prohibition of cannabis. Over the past century, numerous reports from independent, government-sponsored commissions have documented the drug's relative harmlessness and recommended the elimination of criminal sanctions for consumption-related offenses.(3) Opinion polls show growing support for cannabis reform and scientific, medical and patient communities consistently provide evidence of the drug's therapeutic potential. As the public increasingly demands legal access to cannabis for both medicinal and other responsible uses, policy makers are being forced to consider how to regulate the drug.

Holland has led the way in cannabis reform since it amended its Opium Act in 1976 to distinguish among drugs according to levels of risk. Identifying cannabis as a "soft drug," the Dutch government decided to treat possession and cultivation of up to 30 grams as activities "not for prosecution, detection or arrest." This policy of tolerance paved the way for the "coffee shop system" of publicly distributing both marijuana and hashish.

More recently, in 1996 the voters of California passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, so that sick and dying patients could legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Cannabis buyers' clubs, not unlike the Dutch hash coffee shops, have emerged to provide marijuana to those with legitimate medical need. Despite the federal government's ongoing efforts to stymie Prop. 215 by shutting down the clubs, states continue to consider similar ballot initiatives.

Cracks in prohibitionist cannabis control systems constantly form. These cracks take different shapes in different countries, reflecting the diversity of political, social and cultural conditions. As clinical trials get started in the United Kingdom, as more Australian states lower penalties for personal possession and use, and as more continental European countries choose not to enforce criminal sanctions for personal possession, alternative ways of regulating cannabis will continue to develop. Whether individual governments choose to play a role in the drug's responsible regulation remains to be seen.



Methamphetamine http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/methamphetam/

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as speed, crank, crystal, tweek or Meth, is a synthetic stimulant. Synthetic means it’s made in a lab, stimulant means it gets you up and keeps you going. Speed affects your central nervous system in the same way that adrenaline (your body’s natural stimulant) works. It speeds up your body’s functioning by increasing your heart rate and pulse and increasing your wakefulness, which, in turn, intensifies your concentration and thought processes. While there are different kinds of speed, each kind basically affects you in the same way. Meth, however, is generally stronger than pills like benzedrine or dexadrine (bennies, beans, black beauties, pep pills, truckers). When you take speed, it stimulates the parts of your brain and the chemicals responsible for thought organization, focused concentration, pleasure and reward, fine motor control, sex drive, and increased energy levels. Dopamine is the “pleasure” chemical in the brain most affected by speed. Speed initially increases the functioning of these systems and the production of dopamine. Eventually, though, the brain’s natural receptor sites stop producing dopamine and you need the speed in order to feel good again.

Speed has the ability to make you feel good. You can have intense feelings of pleasure and well-being and be able to function at top speed, getting lots of work or studying done or dancing all night. Of course, with the up, comes the down. There are not-so-pleasurable effects of using speed also. Like other drugs, the more you use speed, the more your body needs. This is called tolerance. Tolerance occurs more rapidly when speed is injected or smoked. Speed tells your body that you don't need food or sleep, so you are extremely tired and depleted when you take a break. Depression, nightmares and insomnia are also side effects of using speed. Then there’s the crash. To avoid crashing, people often take more speed which intensifies the negative effects of the crash when it does come, and the crash always comes.

Depending upon the dose (how much you take) and the purity of the speed, physical effects may include some or all of the following:
  • Increase in breathing and heart rate
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Decreased circulation in arms, legs, hands and feet
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
  • Acute mood swings
  • Malnutrition
Amphetamine psychosis is a condition that is characterized by excessive mood swings, agitation, irritability and confusion. It can occur in low doses, but with regular use in high doses, it can become serious. The condition goes away when you stop using and the speed has left your body, usually in a few days. Although, with heavy use it has been known to last for up to a year.



Psychedelics http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/psychedelics/

The word “psychedelic” was coined in 1956 by psychiatric researcher Dr. Humphry Osmond, who combined the Greek word psyche (mind) with delein (to make manifest) to create a new word meaning “mind manifesting.” Dr. Osmond created the word “psychedelic” to describe a class of substances that catalyze the emergence into conscious awareness of previously unconscious, subconscious, repressed or filtered cognitions, perceptions and emotions, in a manner somewhat similar to dream states. Dr. Stanislav Grof, the world’s foremost psychedelic researcher, described LSD as a non-specific amplifier of the unconscious. The effects of psychedelic drugs are distinct pharmacologically and psychologically from stimulants, sedatives, analgesics, inebriants (alcohol), anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Other terms that have been used to describe this class of drugs include hallucinogens, delirients, fantasticants, psychotomimetics, and entheogens.

Psychedelic drugs include LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide), a synthetic drug modified from compounds present in ergot, psilocybin (extracted from certain mushrooms), mescaline (extracted from the peyote cactus), ibogaine (extracted from the iboga root), MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a synthetic drug modified from compounds present in nutmeg and sassafras), ketamine (a synthetic drug), DMT (dimethyltryptamine, extracted from plants, present in certain toad excretions and the only psychedelic substance that is endogenous to the human brain), and other related substances. Extended back into pre-history, psychedelics have been used by humankind primarily as part of religious/healing rituals in which the participants sought and frequently reported obtaining a direct experience of a mystical/spiritual nature, with associated healing benefits both physical and psychological. Modern scientific research has primarily focused on the use of psychedelics within either a psychotherapeutic context or as tools better to understand the contents and processes of the mind.



OxyContin http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugbydrug/oxycontin/

Addiction to OxyContin is rare for those who use the drug as recommended, however, due to pharmacy break-ins, growing levels of recreational use, and increased media reports of Oxycontin abuse, the DEA heavily regulates prescriptions. Some pharmacies now no longer stock the drug and many doctors are afraid to prescribe OxyContin and other legitimate pain medications out of fear of government sanctions. This stigmatizes patients in need of pain medication and makes it more difficult for them to obtain relief.

OxyContin is a medically prescribed pill that contains Oxycodone, a synthetic opioid with analgesic properties similar to opium-derived painkillers like morphine or codeine. OxyContin is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which includes legal drugs that are subject to the maximum amount of government control and regulation. The FDA approved OxyContin in 1995 and Purdue Pharma introduced the drug in 1996.

In 2001, OxyContin was the number one opioid painkiller sold and in 2000 over 6.5 million prescriptions were written. OxyContin is prescribed for patients with moderate or severe pain who need extended relief from treatment of terminal cancer and severe injuries. The time-release, long lasting formula was designed to deter abuse, yet this safety mechanism may be defeated by crushing, snorting, chewing or injecting the drug to obtain a heroin-like high.

OxyContin Abuse

A small fraction of OxyContin users abuse the drug. Nicknamed "hillbilly heroin", the first known reports of OxyContin abuse were in rural areas with common characteristics such as job scarcity and high unemployment, isolation, and a large elderly and disabled population. However, abuse of the drug has since spread.

The states with the highest abuse rates are West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia. According to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 975,000 persons were reported using OxyContin for nonmedical use. Abuse and potential abuse of the drug, especially among young people, has raised great concern. Another national survey reported that 1% of 8th graders, 3% of 10th graders and 4% of 12 graders had used the drug recreationally. The estimated street value of one 40-milligram OxyContin pill is about $40.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials say that the drug may have played a role in 464 overdose deaths from the years 2000 and 2001. Most OxyContin deaths are the result of first-time, large dose illicit use.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:39 PM
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Thank you good post, we really need all of the information on drugs that we can get. Remember Knowledge is POWER. Love Barb
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Old 03-12-2004, 03:09 PM
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Great stuff and I will put up a link to this in the Substance Abuse & Addiction forum also.
Your right BBS knowledge is power, I like to say 'know thy enemy' pretty much the same thing but you are very empowered with knowledge that is for sure.
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:08 AM
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another way that people use meth is also to smoke it.
There is an additive (glutoll-called 'glow' on the streets) that is being put into anhydrous which will make it less potent and turn peoples faces, hands and whatever else comes in contact with it pink.
There are other ways to make it besides the anhydrous but this new chemical will hopefully put a stop to farm theft. According to the local news here the other night, there has been an 80% reduction in ammonia theft because of the additive.

Jenn
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:20 PM
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Oops. It's called glotell, not glutell.....
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:20 AM
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Great Post. Thanks for taking the time to put this info out there for us all to read.
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:29 AM
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i start college on 1-17-2007 for chemical dependence counselingand this is great!!i really could use this.hey -can i send tis to meself through private messages?if you can will you send it to me?THANKS
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:50 PM
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Great info. I can't tell you how many people I have seen go through rehab for pain and benzo type drugs,number 1 by far is oxycontin #2 norco.Unless you want the help to get off them it's allmost to painfull to detox yourself and if your locked up with out the help to understand addiction what's the point?
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:23 AM
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yea p.k. addictions is actually very dangerous when one tries to detox without professional help. If anyone reads this and knows an addict with a desire to quit pain meds, from personal experience, I strongly urge the addict to at least check out professional help with their battle.
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