Stories about: drugs

Emergency Department visits related to Molly narcotic skyrocket

Molly can be in pill or powder form, and can be diluted in a drink

Emergency Department (ED) visits related to the drug MDMA have exploded recently, fueled by the popularity of Molly—a powdered form of the drug often celebrated in popular culture. A recent report from U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that among young people, ED trips for MDMA have increased 128 percent between 2005 and 2011.

Molly, which doubles as both a stimulant and hallucinogen, gives the user a euphoric high but can also dangerously increase the heartbeat, spike blood pressure, constrict blood vessels and disrupt the body’s ability to regulate and recognize temperature.

But despite all its dangers, Molly maintains a soft public image.

Read Full Story

The dangers of drug sharing

How accessible are the medications in your house?

A new survey shows that as many as one in seven Massachusetts parents have given their kids prescription painkillers that weren’t prescribed to them. Considering how dangerous a practice this is, those numbers are pretty shocking. Remember waiting in line for coffee this morning? If this survey is accurate then at least one of the people in front of you may have risked their child’s life to alleviate discomfort.

“There’s no question that in some cases this type of behavior could be fatal,” says Lois Lee, MD, MPH, an emergency medicine physician at Children’s Hospital Boston. “Any time you give adult strength medication to a child you increase the chance of an unintentional overdose.”

Taking prescription medication without a doctor’s approval is dangerous for anyone, but the risks are far greater for children. The dosage of most painkillers are based on the size of the patient, so what’s considered a mild painkiller for a full grown adult can have a much more pronounced effect on a child.

Read Full Story

How learning about the FDA drug shortage could help your child’s care

Having a sick child is hard enough, but a current drug shortage is threatening to complicate matters even more for many families with chronically ill children.

“There is a supply problem with many drugs in this country right now, and it’s getting worse,” says Kathleen Gura, PharmD, BCNSP of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Department of Pharmacy. “Last year we had about 200 drugs in short supply, we’re already up to 211 this year, and that number may grow.”

Drug shortages are nothing new; in the past few decades several medications have dipped to very low supply levels, complicating care for many patients. But the problem with the current shortage is the fact that many different medications are becoming scarce at the same time, creating several shortages simultaneously.

Read Full Story

Health headlines: Binge drinking, Wii workout games and CPR

young girl playing WiiOther stories we’ve been reading:

Read one father’s story on how he became an advocate for safer teen driving. Check out these safe driving tips for your teen. [Read about the dangers of drowsy driving.]

Advertising guilt doesn’t curb binge drinking. Teen alcohol and marijuana use is on the rise. [A recent teen drug survey predicted this.] Young people who smoke marijuana for long periods of time are more likely to risk psychosis.

Read Full Story