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September 2010

Recovery Month 2010

Recovery month was very exciting this year. Every day in recovery is exciting to me, however it is a special time of the year when the President, Governor and the major of the city I live in all give proclamations in support of Recovery month. The myth of addiction is truly becoming known that people do recover from addictions and move forward with life. So to all in recovery i wish you all the best ending of 2010 as you trudge the road to happy destiny.

 

Scott Kelley  


Summer Sky Run and Walk for Recovery

It was a real neat experience being involved in such a worth while cause this weekend. Addiction and recovery are not usually viewed by the local community in a positive light. Today the stigma of addiction, treatment, and  recovery were breaking down in the town of Stephenville, Texas. The local mayor Nancy Hunter presented a proclamation that September 2010 is official Recovery Month. This was so exciting and the fight for allowing the stigma of having a substance use disorder is slowly melting away by events like the Summer Sky Run/Walk events.A  National provider of Addiction Treatment named Summer Sky Recovery Center in Stephenville held a Run for Recovery event. The proceeds from the event went to helping a local provider of Substance Use Disorder Treatment called Star Council. The most important aspect of this event was bringing the community together to fight the Substance Use Disorder Stigma.            

Scott Kelley


FDA Mulls Removing Weight-Loss Drug From U.S. Market

WASHINGTON—A federal advisory panel is being asked to help decide whether Abbott Laboratories' weight-loss drug Meridia should stay on the market.

Meridia has been the subject of an ongoing safety review. Earlier this year, the European Medicines Agency ordered Abbott to remove Meridia from the European market and the FDA toughened warnings on the drugs' label saying it shouldn't be used in patients with a history of heart problems. At the time, the FDA also said the product should be discontinued in patients who don't lose at least 5% of their baseline body weight within the first three to six months of treatment.

Now the FDA is considering whether to remove the product from the U.S. market. Meridia will be discussed Wednesday by the agency's endocrinologic and metabolic drugs advisory committee, which is made up of non-FDA medical experts.

The panel is being asked to vote on what additional regulatory action it thinks the FDA should take, including whether the product should be withdrawn from the U.S. market. The FDA usually follows the advice of its advisory committee but isn't required to do so. The FDA posted background materials for Wednesday's meeting on its website Monday.

The panel will primarily discuss a clinical study known as Scout, which was conducted in patients with a history of heart disease or diabetes. It showed patients in the study had a higher rate of cardiovascular events compared to patients on a placebo medication.

An FDA clinical review of the study said, "in a population of middle-age and older overweight and obese subjects, treatment with [Meridia] for an average of 3.5 years increased the relative risk for major adverse cardiac events by 16%." However, the FDA said the data from the study haven't been fully analyzed.

According to another FDA memo, agency staff said there was evidence that while Meridia improved some cardiac-risk factors, it "may have a detrimental effect on others," such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Still, the memo said, given the modest decrease in body weight seen with most patients taking Meridia, "even a small increase in cardiovascular risk seems unwarranted."

In a document also posted on the FDA's website, Abbott said use of Meridia in the target population currently described on the product's label is associated with a low rate of cardiovascular events.

The company said it supports placing a boxed warning on the product giving doctors "advice on monitoring and discontinuation of therapy based on blood pressure, pulse, and weight loss parameters." A boxed warning is FDA's toughest warning on a drug label.

Write to Jennifer Corbett Dooren at jennifer.corbett-dooren@dowjones.com


New drug-resistant superbugs found in 3 states

BOSTON — An infectious-disease nightmare is unfolding: Bacteria that have been made resistant to nearly all antibiotics by an alarming new gene have sickened people in three states and are popping up all over the world, health officials reported Monday.

The U.S. cases and two others in Canada all involve people who had recently received medical care in India, where the problem is widespread. A British medical journal revealed the risk last month in an article describing dozens of cases in Britain in people who had gone to India for medical procedures.

How many deaths the gene may have caused is unknown; there is no central tracking of such cases. So far, the gene has mostly been found in bacteria that cause gut or urinary infections.

Scientists have long feared this — a very adaptable gene that hitches onto many types of common germs and confers broad drug resistance, creating dangerous "superbugs."

"It's a great concern," because drug resistance has been rising and few new antibiotics are in development, said Dr. M. Lindsay Grayson, director of infectious diseases at the University of Melbourne in Australia. "It's just a matter of time" until the gene spreads more widely person-to-person, he said.

Grayson heads an American Society for Microbiology conference in Boston, which was buzzing with reports of the gene, called NDM-1 and named for New Delhi.

The U.S. cases occurred this year in people from California, Massachusetts and Illinois, said Brandi Limbago, a lab chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three types of bacteria were involved, and three different mechanisms let the gene become part of them.

"We want physicians to look for it," especially in patients who have traveled recently to India or Pakistan, she said.

What can people do?

Don't add to the drug resistance problem, experts say. Don't pressure your doctors for antibiotics if they say they aren't needed, use the ones you are given properly, and try to avoid infections by washing your hands.

The gene is carried by bacteria that can spread hand-to-mouth, which makes good hygiene very important.

It's also why health officials are so concerned about where the threat is coming from, said Dr. Patrice Nordmann, a microbiology professor at South-Paris Medical School. India is an overpopulated country that overuses antibiotics and has widespread diarrheal disease and many people without clean water.

"The ingredients are there" for widespread transmission, he said. "It's going to spread by plane all over the world."

The U.S. patients were not related. The California woman needed hospital care after being in a car accident in India. The Illinois man had pre-existing medical problems and a urinary catheter, and is thought to have contracted an infection with the gene while traveling in India. The case from Massachusetts involved a woman from India who had surgery and chemotherapy for cancer there and then traveled to the U.S.

Lab tests showed their germs were not killed by the types of drugs normally used to treat drug-resistant infections, including "the last-resort class of antibiotics that physicians go to," Limbago said.

She did not know how the three patients were treated, but all survived.

Doctors have tried treating some of these cases with combinations of antibiotics, hoping that will be more effective than individual ones are. Some have resorted to using polymyxins — antibiotics used in the 1950s and '60s that were unpopular because they can harm the kidneys.

The two Canadian cases were treated with a combination of antibiotics, said Dr. Johann Pitout of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. One case was in Alberta, the other in British Columbia.

Both patients had medical emergencies while traveling in India. They developed urinary infections that were discovered to have the resistance gene once they returned home to Canada, Pitout said.

The CDC advises any hospitals that find such cases to put the patient in medical isolation, check the patient's close contacts for possible infection, and look for more infections in the hospital.

Any case "should raise an alarm," Limbago said.

___

Online:

Conference: http://www.icaac.org


The Associated Press: New drug-resistant superbugs found in 3 states

New drug-resistant superbugs found in 3 states

BOSTON — An infectious-disease nightmare is unfolding: Bacteria that have been made resistant to nearly all antibiotics by an alarming new gene have sickened people in three states and are popping up all over the world, health officials reported Monday.

The U.S. cases and two others in Canada all involve people who had recently received medical care in India, where the problem is widespread. A British medical journal revealed the risk last month in an article describing dozens of cases in Britain in people who had gone to India for medical procedures.

How many deaths the gene may have caused is unknown; there is no central tracking of such cases. So far, the gene has mostly been found in bacteria that cause gut or urinary infections.

Scientists have long feared this — a very adaptable gene that hitches onto many types of common germs and confers broad drug resistance, creating dangerous "superbugs."

"It's a great concern," because drug resistance has been rising and few new antibiotics are in development, said Dr. M. Lindsay Grayson, director of infectious diseases at the University of Melbourne in Australia. "It's just a matter of time" until the gene spreads more widely person-to-person, he said.

Grayson heads an American Society for Microbiology conference in Boston, which was buzzing with reports of the gene, called NDM-1 and named for New Delhi.

The U.S. cases occurred this year in people from California, Massachusetts and Illinois, said Brandi Limbago, a lab chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three types of bacteria were involved, and three different mechanisms let the gene become part of them.

"We want physicians to look for it," especially in patients who have traveled recently to India or Pakistan, she said.

What can people do?

Don't add to the drug resistance problem, experts say. Don't pressure your doctors for antibiotics if they say they aren't needed, use the ones you are given properly, and try to avoid infections by washing your hands.

The gene is carried by bacteria that can spread hand-to-mouth, which makes good hygiene very important.

It's also why health officials are so concerned about where the threat is coming from, said Dr. Patrice Nordmann, a microbiology professor at South-Paris Medical School. India is an overpopulated country that overuses antibiotics and has widespread diarrheal disease and many people without clean water.

"The ingredients are there" for widespread transmission, he said. "It's going to spread by plane all over the world."

The U.S. patients were not related. The California woman needed hospital care after being in a car accident in India. The Illinois man had pre-existing medical problems and a urinary catheter, and is thought to have contracted an infection with the gene while traveling in India. The case from Massachusetts involved a woman from India who had surgery and chemotherapy for cancer there and then traveled to the U.S.

Lab tests showed their germs were not killed by the types of drugs normally used to treat drug-resistant infections, including "the last-resort class of antibiotics that physicians go to," Limbago said.

She did not know how the three patients were treated, but all survived.

Doctors have tried treating some of these cases with combinations of antibiotics, hoping that will be more effective than individual ones are. Some have resorted to using polymyxins — antibiotics used in the 1950s and '60s that were unpopular because they can harm the kidneys.

The two Canadian cases were treated with a combination of antibiotics, said Dr. Johann Pitout of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. One case was in Alberta, the other in British Columbia.

Both patients had

via www.google.com


Brain Mechanism Linked To Relapse After Cocaine Withdrawal

Addictive drugs are known to induce changes in the brain's reward circuits that may underlie drug craving and relapse after long periods of abstinence. Now, new research, published by Cell Press in the September 9 issue of the journal Neuron, uncovers a specific neural mechanism that may be linked to persistent drug-seeking behavior and could help to guide strategies for development of new therapies for cocaine addiction.

Previous research has shown that the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a brain region that is activated when cocaine users experience a craving for cocaine after being exposed to cocaine-associated cues. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which receives input from the VTA via circuits that use the "reward" neurotransmitter dopamine, has also been implicated in drug craving after cocaine withdrawal. Further, increases in the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been observed in the VTA and mPFC in rats after withdrawal from repeated cocaine exposure.

"BDNF plays a key role in modulating the structure and function of synapses, the sites of communication between neurons. Therefore, increased BDNF after cocaine withdrawal may drive synaptic changes that contribute to compulsive drug seeking behavior," explains senior author, Dr. Mu-ming Poo from the University of California, Berkeley. "It has been shown that increased BDNF in the VTA after cocaine withdrawal in rats promotes the drug-dependent motivational state. However, nothing is known about the potential BDNF effect on synaptic function and plasticity in mPFC neurons after cocaine withdrawal."

Dr. Poo and colleagues designed a study to examine how BDNF and the mPFC might contribute to relapse after cocaine addiction. The researchers found that the gradual increase in BDNF expression in the rat mPFC after terminating repeated cocaine exposure significantly enhanced the activity-induced potentiation of specific synapses. Dr. Poo's group went on to uncover the specific cellular mechanism linking increased BDNF with enhanced synaptic plasticity and demonstrated that interference with the key molecule in the BDNF signaling process reduced behavioral sensitivity after cocaine withdrawal in rats.

"In short, our results demonstrate that elevated BDNF expression after cocaine withdrawal sensitizes the excitatory synapses in the mPFC to undergo activity-induced persistent potentiation that may contribute to cue-induced drug cravings and drug-seeking behavior," concludes Dr. Poo. Although a clear correlation between rat and human behaviors of cocaine craving and relapse remains to be established, the cellular mechanism uncovered in this study does appear to have behavioral relevance and may represent a direct brain sensitization that is involved in triggering relapse.

The researchers include Hui Lu, Pei-lin Cheng, Byung Kook Lim, Nina Khoshnevisrad, and Mu-ming Poo, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.

Source:
Cathleen Genova
Cell Press

via www.medicalnewstoday.com


Study Contends Pot Isn't a Major 'Gateway Drug

Researchers say ethnicity, stress, unemployment are stronger predictors of hard drug use.

Researchers say ethnicity, stress, unemployment are stronger predictors of hard drug use

FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new report casts doubt on the argument that marijuana is a "gateway drug" that plays a major role in leading people to try other illegal drugs.

Researchers found that other factors, such as ethnicity and stress levels, are more likely to predict whether young adults will use other illegal drugs.

Even unemployment appears to be more closely linked to harder illicit drug use than marijuana use, the study authors noted.

"Employment in young adulthood can protect people by 'closing' the marijuana gateway, so over-criminalizing youth marijuana use might create more serious problems if it interferes with later employment opportunities," study co-author Karen Van Gundy, an associate professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, said in a university news release.

The researchers based their findings on surveys of 1,286 young adults who attended Miami-area public schools in the 1990s.

Ethnicity was the best predictor of future illegal drug use, the study findings indicated, with whites the most likely to use the drugs, followed by Hispanics and then blacks.

The study findings are published in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

So does early use of marijuana play a role in boosting the likelihood of later drug use? It's unclear.

"This study really doesn't answer the question," said Dr. Richard D. Blondell, director of addictions research at the University at Buffalo (UB), who was not involved in the new study. "As the authors point out, there are a lot of factors at play here. There is no one single answer to why somebody develops addiction."

In a study published recently in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, Blondell and colleagues at UB reported that new research suggests that many people first get addicted to drugs while using prescription painkillers.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has details on drug abuse.

Researchers say ethnicity, stress, unemployment are stronger predictors of hard drug use.


Detox in Texas

I work for a place called Summer Sky Recovery Center in Stephenville, Texas. In the years of working for Summer Sky i begin working with a detox facility called Basin Detox Systems, Inc. I personally know several staff members that work for the Basin Detox facilities and have witnessed first call service with the Basin Staff. They care about helping you get off the chemicals that are hurting those that are addicted. If you are looking for a good place to detox and you are currently have Medicare or other insurance's then give Basin Detox Systems, Inc. a phone call and tell them you read about them on Sober Sky. You can visit the website at Basin Detox and better yet you can call a Representative that will talk to you at 1-254-485-2292 and ask for Jackie Bibby.