Monthly Archives: August 2007
The decreased use of cocaine in the United States over the last 20 years mostly occurred among the highly educated, while cocaine use among non-high school graduates remained constant. Continue reading
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Public health officials may soon be able to flush out more accurate estimates on illegal drug use in communities across the country thanks to a new screening test. The test doesn’t screen people directly, but instead seeks out evidence of illicit drug abuse in drug residues and metabolites excreted in urine and flushed toward municipal sewage treatment plants. Continue reading
Researchers have discovered a treatment that counteracts the effects of cocaine on the human cardiovascular system, including lowering the elevated heart rate and blood pressure often found in cocaine users. Continue reading
All righty then. I found research out of UT Southwestern Medical Center that is a bit taboo. They have found a drug that can counteract the symptoms associated with a cocaine overdose. That handy little drug is most often seen in the operating room or ICU’s and is used as a anesthetic. And it’s name… dexmedetomidine.
They found that the drug was effective in reversing the actions of cocaine on heart rate, blood pressure and vascular resistance in the skin by interfering with the ability of cocaine to increase nerve activity. “Typically, patients with cocaine overdoses in the emergency room are treated with nitroglycerin, sedatives such as Valium, and some blood-pressure medications such as calcium channel blockers and some beta blockers,” Dr. Vongpatanasin said. “However, the standard treatments don’t alleviate all of the adverse effects of cocaine on the heart, blood pressure and central nervous system.”
What do you think about this kind of research? Do you think it is warranted or do you see it as a “waste” of money and time? Being a cardiac nurse, I see the ramifications of cocaine use and the long term effects that it has on patients. And since I have always been taught to treat all my patients the same, I do indeed. But I sometimes get perplexed over the amount of research and trial studies there are out there that are geared towards drug abusers and overdose patients.
But supply and demand, right? If there wasn’t a need, the research wouldn’t be done. I guess it says a little something about the “signs of the times”!
via Science Daily
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