Currently viewing the tag: "over-the-counter medications"


The new drug cultureI’m usually of the opinion, “Live and let live.” I mean, as long as people are given all the current and relevant information, then it’s up to them as to how they wish to live their lives (for the most part anyway). Let’s take drugs for instance: You want to shoot heroin? As long as you do it in the privacy of your own home, with no children exposed to the lifestyle, and you are not harming anyone other than yourself, AND I don’t have to pay for you, or it, through welfare programs, then go ahead—live it up!

Funny but I am certain that many of you reading this, or “still reading,” as the case may be, are shaking your heads in disapproval right now. “Live it up!? On heroin?…How irresponsible.” Yet far too many people still have no problem with doctors doling out dangerous medications like they are candy. Heck many of you are probably on your own fair share, because THAT’S the modern “health care” climate today. And the faction that’s actually aware of—and in firm opposition to—this cultural dysfunction is tiny; growing perhaps, but minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

But you are live and let live, Campos!

prescription drug overdosesRight! If people can make an informed choice… so that means they get ALL the relevant information, not just the selective sh** that were suppositorily fed by the pharmaceutical pushers and manufacturers. And before you think I’m of the Big This or Big That conspiracy club, think again: I look to the consumer as having the most responsibility because IT’S YOUR HEALTH! You better care enough, or put your life willingly in the hands of your cultural health authorities.

Face it: Most junkies know quite clearly in what ways they are f**king themselves up, and they make the choice regardless; however, they make informed choices—do you? Here’s what makes me convinced the bulk of Americans (westerners in general really) do not:

  • Deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States
  • Drug overdose deaths from prescription drugs (53% in 2012) have surpassed those from recreational drugs (47%)
  • Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes
  • In 2012, 79.9% of the 41,502 drug overdose deaths in the United States were unintentional
  • In 2012, 53%  of the 41,502 drug overdose deaths in the United States were related to pharmaceuticals
  • Most common prescription drugs leading to overdose death:
    • 70% involved opioid analgesics (aka prescription pain killers) – OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, etc
    • 30% involved benzodiazepines (sedatives) – Xanax, Valium, etc
  • People who died of drug overdoses often had a combination of benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics in their bodies

prescriptiondrugdeaths (Copy)And you know what the number one most dangerous activity one can do when it comes to prescription drugs, and that includes over-the-counter medications (like cold medicines)? Drinking alcohol while on them! Duh!

You still want those pain killers, junkie? Live it up! But understand something that every heroin addict must: each day on your (doctor prescribed) fix could just be your last. Okay now you are informed.

Does your child drink caffeine?  How young is too young to drink “the fuel?”  As an ingredient to many children’s favorites from sodas to candy to ice cream, as well as many over-the-counter pain and cold medications, it behooves parents to know just how caffeine may affect your child.

According to the Nemours Foundation–a pediatric health system and research group–here are some of the ways caffeine affects a child’s body:  Can cause

  • nervous and jittery feelings
  • an upset stomach.
  • headaches.
  • trouble concentrating and sleeping.
  • a spike in heart rateand blood pressure

Madness, to me, is the thought of parents giving their children full-on coffee drinks as beverages.  But hey, who am I to judge?  If it’s no problem for you to handle a screaming, caffeine-amped maniac, then more power to ya.

Even worse, though, is the number of parents feeding their children liquid sugar.  If that isn’t enough caffeine and sugar to whack them out physically and mentally, then throw in some Cap’n Crunch.  Be my guest…it’s your kid.  My girls won’t get caffeine before high school if we can help it, and maybe even college if it’s entirely up to me.

But it’s a tough one with caffeine and sugar permeating most popular kids’ drinks.  In any case, if you are allowing your child to drink soda and coffee beverages to their juvenile hearts’ content, then don’t be surprised when they’re put on the Ritalin at school–it’s a natural progression.

Well surprise, surprise–pills in the medicine cabinet pose a greater threat to children than household cleaners.  This from a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report stating that two out of every three children showing up at emergency rooms for poisoning were due to ingesting prescription drugs.  And you thought those orange canisters were child proof.

Poisonings being the number one health hazard for children makes it prudent to know which household items are causing the greatest harm.  Medications by far lead the pack–they are twice as likely to cause pediatric poisoning as cleaning substances, pesticides, personal care products and other toxic household substances.

Says Jay L. Schauben, a pharmacist and director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Jacksonville, Florida,

“Normally what occurs when someone is taking medicine on a chronic basis, they’ll leave it out.  Any pills left out are within the grasp and reach of a child. Some of the medicine can look like candy. Some of the cough syrupsare flavored and taste good. You can sort of see how that would be a disaster waiting to happen.

The drugs children most often overdose on are over-the-counter (OTC) medications, with 10% of all poisonings in children under five coming from common analgesics like Tylenol or Motrin.  Don’t forget that very young children put things in their mouths all the time–they are sampling their environment.  When common OTC meds are left out, children will likely want to try them.  Further, when hosting guests, always remember that they might be on medications, too, so keep an eye out for meds left out in guest bathroom.

Fortunately, not all kids that swallow pills overdose: only 26 deaths from 1.3 million poisonings in children 5 or younger were reported in 2008.

The best thing parents can do if they suspect medication poisoning, experts say, is to first call the Poison Help hotline: 800-222-1222. That number will connect them to the Poison Control Center nearest them.

“The only time you want to call 911 first is if the child is unarousable, the child is having difficulty breathingor the child is having convulsions or seizures,” Schauben said.

According to another expert, “More than 95 percent of the time, a child will be able to stay at home.  I don’t think just because a child got into something, the parents should automatically pack them into the car and take them to the emergency room. We can determine who needs to go to an ER or not.”

Once again,

Poison Help hotline: 800-222-1222.

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