checking out sponsors and the advertisements on the page is greatly appreciated

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Doctor, I Have A Cold, Would You Prescribe Me Hydrocodone?

We all realize how annoying and inconvenient the rhinovirus can be, but the insanity and irrationality of medical prescriptions and the reasons they are given has no limits. Consider this: a patient goes into a hospital with a broken arm, broken in a way that it's causing severe pain. The patient is on the way to being discharged, and the pain is still present. Prescriptions normally given for moderate to severe pain are hydrocodone and oxycodone, two semi-synthetic opiates which reduce pain and allow us to more readily accept it's presence. The patient is given a prescription to obtain a quantity of 30 OxyCodone, and is told to take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours, and he must come back if he is still affected by the pain. The patient waits about a week and comes back in requesting another prescription. The pharmacist; the doctor both give him hell because 50 OxyCodone should therapeutically last about 3 weeks. But we all know what I just said is complete bullshit. OxyCodone goes fast because tolerance gains faster. Regardless, after looking at this, let us look at a different situation:
A patient comes in with an inconvenient cough, telling his doctor that Over the Counter (of course I prefer under) cough syrup hasn't helped him at all. The doctor looks at the patients file and without hesitation writes a prescription for a hefty sized bottle of Hydrocodone cough syrup. Typically, a teaspoon usually contains around 5-15 milligrams of Hydrocodone. The quantity listed on the bottle is the result of calculating the amount of doses in the bottle. The quantity

is 240.

But we don't want the guy in the cast to get addicted. Prescription cough syrup is most commonly pain medication. People are usually ignorant of this fact or oblivious to it entirely, and continue to up the dosage bit by bit until theyre downing syzzurp by the bottle.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Addicts: Every Organism Has some addiction.

Countless times I have encountered people who believe and pass down the many misconceptions about drug use; in particular, addiction.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines addiction as follows:

ad·dic·tion - noun

  1. Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming
    a drug used in the treatment of heroin

  2. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or
    involved in something.

Before you go calling me on typos, I did notice there is a double 'or' in there and it's not from my end, check my bibl. Even psychologists, the people we come to with serious issues and trust not to fry our brains like an egg on a car (this is your brain on drugs... blah blah blah), do not all properly understand addiction. It is rarely considered that addiction varies in severity, type; the personality of the so-called 'addict'. Thinking of addiction, there is almost always some type of withdrawal involved, be it psychological or physiological or both. But we must understand what withdrawal is; why it occurs. Our body is built on a heirarchy, and at the lowest level we find cells, an encyclopedically large array of different cells with different functions. Many people fail to realize how many different things go on in the human body in response to tiny variables. Despite the fact that the 'blowing up' of American citizens over the years has made dieting an attractive concept. Television watchers lazily ogle the diet scam-- er- ahem- diet plan infomercials that scroll up the screen on TV Guide during the late hours of the night bearing new ways to chemically annihilate fat cells in the body in only minutes. Whilst your fat cells are dying your body is probably being severely deprived of nutrition and probably permanently damaged. Toys that come from China contain lead, and I'll bet diet pills made in China are hardly any different. Maybe if the actual workings of the situation were looked at, as opposed to having a tiny pill do it automagically, we would better make our own, much simpler and healthier decisions about our body. Whatever you eat, breathe, absorb, or in general take into your body will have some impact on your health. You don't notice this, and some of you out there may not even believe it- why would one be unable to explicitly notice the effects of these consumed factors? The answer is homeostasis. Your body is configured to maintain an equilibrium. The food that you take in triggers other options in your body, which you usually fail to even notice because they're typically out of our realm of realization. When you eat jelly donuts, your body makes decisions to keep you healthy and limit the glucose or store it in the liver, or release more in a different situation. Such is why you crash from sugar. I may seem to be going off-topic, but I only use this as an example to aid in the simplicity of my point.

Addiction is the result of homeostasis

Consider this: John wakes up consumes 2 caffeine pills, after two days of dosing 2 tablets every few hours. At this point, John's body has begun adapting to caffeine's presence, and tolerance begins to occur. This is the result of the body utilizing more adenosine receptors in response to caffeine's antagonistic effect on them. This means that the body is attempting to go back to equilibrium: receptors chemically 'blocked' by caffeine are replaced by new ones. The body is brilliant, but it is not self-aware. Well it kind of is, but my point is this: the body sees the changes that this chemical makes and, upon continuous reuse, the body sees the changes from the drug as permanent, in a way it is unaware of the drug, only 'tricked' by it, and the body makes physical changes to maintain homeostasis. This is a problem: changes have been made. Now, more caffeine is required to efficiently antagonize the new adenosine receptors, and tolerance continues to increase. Not only that, but if the drug is discontinued, the body is left with hyper-agonized adenosine receptors as the caffeine is suddenly gone as well as it's 'numbing' effect on the receptors. Hence, withdrawal symptoms occur while the body must re-situate itself and undo the changes made to compensate for the drug's action. It's relatively similar, regardless of the drug. Drugs have effects on certain cells, and the body physically creates or destroys those cells to compensate and attempt to return to normal functionality.


American Psychological Association (APA):
addiction. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved March 05, 2008, from website:
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
addiction. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. (accessed: March 05, 2008).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"addiction." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 05 Mar. 2008.>.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Economy of the Illegal Drug World

Economics is, essentially, a method of analysis that involves incentives; choosing the most beneficial option with the least effective loss. Cost is a factor, as well as consumption, demand, and many other important variables. In a society or, in this case, an underground system, economics is sometimes common sense, and precedents are made as opposed to legislative measures. A product is sent out from a single source, cost grows for the consumer as the product is fractioned and reduced in size. This is where the profit for distributors comes in. For example, a man residing in a neighborhood purchases an ounce of mids, or mid-grade marijuana, for $210. The man then divides the ounce into roughly 27.5 grams, and bags each gram individually. This is then marketed out to buyers, and a profit of $275 is yeilded from ten bag mid sales, assuming individual grams were sold in total to buyers. Typically what happens next is another ounce is purchased for $210 and the dealer gains $65; the cycle repeats. Pills are sold, at this point, based on availability, hence the wide range of prices in a small matrix of dealers. OxyContin can go for $1/mg OxyCodone. Some people want $40 for an OC40, some want $5, it all depends. The dealer asking for $40 may...

  • a) be buying from an even more costly source
  • b) be in an area where he is the 'monopoly'
  • c) be in an area with low demand
  • d) or simply have a very cheap source and very high demand.

'd)' is just 'b)' backwards ;). The system is just like the business world, profit is founded on middle men and manufacturers, interdepending upon each other. Although it is not, and can not be, that simple. The system is not only involved in trafficing, but also service. Dealers will pay to have a taxi to their sales, and that also increases income, so gain is acheived for both as the dealer's radius of availability grows. Yet we need to take in the amount of gas, the taxi won't drive simply for the ride, if there is no profit because all the bank was used on gas then a wise driver would push for more pay. But then the relationship/friendship factor arises, and that's a whole other variable that can make tremendous differences in economic activity. The market changes depending on almost anything. Prices will increase on drugs with harsher penalties as there is a higher risk to hold the product the dealer will only have the incentive to sell if the profit is worth the risk. The market is not gentle by any means, in fact it can eat you alive. It can lock you up, take your money, or ruin your life. It can have you killed. Competition is held above life, especially when it comes to mass quantities. Not some grambag dealer in your neighborhood, but dealers bringing tons across the map every day. In such situations, often your life is a price they're willing to pay for profit. If they're nice enough to bribe you, and you decline, you'll probably end up dead or nearly dead within the week. But such things rarely happen out of the mass quantity market. But some lives depend entirely on this market, and it can be dealt with right; it can be dealt with wrong. Some succeed and some are doomed to fail. It's all economics.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Survive Under the Counter

Beneath all of the daily politics, television news, and affairs of law-abiding citizens there lies a massive unseen network of illicit activists and radicals. With a cell phone and an urban informant one can find just about any drug or weapon that they can think of. Even those without a dime to their name can find a dealer willing to front some sort of substance if they've got the right connections. The network is so active that if you know one person on the inside, you'll know the remaining majority by the end of the week. The network is constantly changing, growing, shrinking, and dividing as arrests are made, and even homicides occur. This network I call the Under-the-Counter network. If you don't know what you're doing, it can be a very dangerous place. There is always someone looking to take advantage of a clueless sap who's new to the concept of illicit dealing. Propaganda, exaggeration, and blatant bullshitting are three of the many ways drug dealers make extra 'bank'. Triple stacks of ecstacy, for example, frequently are no different in composition or make than a regular ecstacy tablet. They are simply a way of boosting a price from 15 to 30. OxyContin is all too often sold illicitly for outrageous prices, sometimes priced by the milligram. If you know your way around, you'll know the worth of your purchase, and can get OC-40s for 5 bucks a pop as opposed to 40. If you end up doing something stupid, like getting a front from a dealer and not paying back, you'll most likely end up jumped in the gutter.
I cannot emphasize enough that there is always someone searching for a sap to take advantage of. A constant recurring phenomenon that easily could be prevented is unauthentic dealing. A dealer takes some look-alike pills that he can get from the store, bags them, and sells them for 5 a pill. This wouldn't happen if one were smart and took the time to look up pill imprint codes and identification characteristics. But, as ignorance is bliss, many people are just as satisfied with the placebo effect they shelled out 5 dollars for.