New Drug Test for Cocaine Uses Fingerprint Technology

Drug testing for cocaine use in the future may replace hair, blood and urine sampling with fingerprint analysis. In the past similar tests have been used by law enforcement, but officials could only determine if a suspect handled cocaine, not if they ingested it. European scientists, however, have now developed a way to instantly tell if someone has consumed the drug. This test will be useful for officials who investigate pushers of the drug and rehab patients who are unable to kick this dangerous addiction.

Why Old Testing Methods Don’t Work
Testing a suspect’s urine is not always practical, as it does not always produce definitive results. Researchers of the drug and rehab officials have suggested that cocaine affects each individual differently without generating clear conclusions while taxpayers end up paying for this expense. May times it requires expert analysts at high costs to make accurate determinations. In terms of urine testing, biological hazards can occur when researchers handle bodily fluids.

As drug testing started to become widespread, particularly among employers in the 1990s, drug users found ways to beat these tests. They would first give themselves preliminary tests after using a detoxification product. While there were four main tests that became common (urine, hair, saliva, blood), urine tests were the most popular due to being the cheapest. Yet, urine tests were the easiest to beat. Users simply would abstain for 48 hours.

Factors that affected cocaine detection included frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, physical activity, age and health. Hair tests were the hardest to beat because traces of the drug could be identified in the hair over a 90 day time frame. Drug and rehab experts sometimes were misled with false positive cocaine tests if the subject had ingested certain substances such as coca leaves, coca oil, coca tea or tonic water.

Invasive Issues
Many people, even those who never use illegal narcotics, feel that traditional drug testing methods are invasive and violate a person’s right to privacy. Asking for hair, urine and saliva samples can be embarrassing for certain people, especially those wrongly accused of drug abuse. The concept of fingerprint testing is not as invasive as only a minimal area of the fingers are used for testing.

New Technology
A team of scientists from five institutions recently discovered more reliable methods to test for cocaine use. Those institutions include:

  • University of Surrey
  • Netherlands Forensic Institute
  • National Physical Laboratory in the UK
  • King’s College London
  • Sheffield Hallam University

According to study leader Dr. Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey, scientists are only bound by the size of this technology. She expects researchers to miniaturize the technology to make it portable. She believes it will help protect the public while providing a safer test for subjects, eliminating the need for blood tests.

Mass Spectrometry
Law enforcement officers can now test individuals for cocaine use in a non-evasive way through a process called mass spectrometry. This new drug testing method involves an analysis of chemical compounds in the suspect’s fingertips. Officials look for two unique compounds found in fingertips when someone has consumed cocaine: benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine. The former is a compound that results from the body metabolizing cocaine while the latter is a cocoa plant byproduct.

Electrospray Ionization
The technique of determining whether benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine are present in a suspect’s fingertips is called electrospray ionization. It involves spraying a special solvent on a slide consisting of the person’s fingerprints. This technique has been used in the past for forensic investigations, but only recently has it become used by law enforcement for drug testing.

Why Fingerprint Method is Useful

  • safer than handling bodily fluids
  • cheaper than traditional drug testing
  • electrospray eliminates storage and disposal costs
  • the test cannot be faked
  • results immediately reveal if a suspect has used cocaine
  • at the same it verifies an individual’s identity

Future Availability
Fingerprint drug testing is not yet available for organizations to use to test individuals for drug abuse. Researchers believe, however, this new drug testing technology may be unleashed to the public within the next ten years. Some drug and rehab experts are already preparing for this new technology by researching how to develop cost effective portable kits.

Kim Richards Back in Rehab Post Daughter’s Wedlock

Kim Richard’s recent arrest and re-entry into an alcohol and drug rehab center is proof of how easy it is to relapse if you put yourself in an environment where alcohol and drugs are readily available. While you are in a facility, your environment is controlled and your exposure to unhealthy elements is limited. Once you leave, you are left to your own devices. Choosing to expose yourself to situations where the access to drugs and alcohol is unlimited dramatically increases your chances of a relapse.

Rehab facilities are designed to provide a safe environment for their clients. Classes and counseling is available that will provide you with the tools you need to face addiction and overcome the temptation of taking that first drink or accepting what someone offers you. It is your willingness to move past the addiction that will allow you to use those tools and remain sober.

When you leave the rehab facility, there are several things you can do to prevent a relapse. They include:

  • Surround yourself with positive influences – Friends and family who are willing to support your efforts to remain sober will be your biggest asset.

  • Avoid environments where you know drugs and alcohol will be present – Limiting your exposure to drugs and alcohol will greatly reduce your risk of a relapse.

  • Make new friends – Many times, it’s your old acquaintances that expose you to the things you are trying to avoid.

Taking the first step towards sobriety means admitting you have a problem. The next step is finding the help you need to succeed. The right rehab facility can help get you back on track. With the right mindset and the willingness to make the appropriate changes, facing addiction and beating it will become a lifestyle instead of a challenge.

The Sober Truth: 5 Reasons Why to Rethink Rehab

A lot of people in the United States suffer from a drug problem at one point in their life, and most need help to get the problem under control. After all, it’s just not something that most people can do on their own.

That’s where drug rehabilitation facilities come into play for most people. However, if you’re running a drug rehabilitation facility, chances are you know you may need to improve it from to time. New research can give you some new options, so use this guide to improve the state of your drug rehabilitation facility so you can do the best for your patients.

Treat Addiction Properly
Addiction to a substance is a chronic illness – not a one-time problem. New research shows that people who learn to think of addiction like a problem that doesn’t go away, even when they’re sober, will do better staying clean over time. Teach your patients to treat addiction that way and you’ll see fewer return visitors over time.

Avoid Stigma
Patients who feel shamed or stigmatized tend to make less progress in rehab. Avoid shaming anyone in your facility, even in a passing way.

Stay Positive
Positive benefits of sobriety and how life will be better are more impactful focusing on the negatives. Stay positive to help patients realize they’ll be better off without alcohol.

Provide Education
Getting people clean is one thing – teaching them about their illness is another. Teach them about addiction and they’ll better understand why and how they can and need to stay sober once they leave your facility.

Stay Up to Date
Research is important, and it’s your job to stay up on it. Read the journals and talk to others in your business. You’ll do right by your patients.

Seeking Treatment: A Complete Checklist You Will Need

Substance abuse is a serious problem in the United States and all over the world. In fact, it is one of the leading problems in many parts of the country, where drug offenses top the list of reasons why people: are in jail, awaiting trial or homeless.

What most people won’t tell you about drug addiction is that wanting to get clean is normal, even when you’re using it’s just hard to get there. There are treatment options available to you though, and it is something you can work through when you’re ready.

However, substance abuse treatment can be difficult for a lot of people and you have to go in knowing certain things and expecting others. Whether you’re an addict seeking substance abuse treatment for yourself or you’re a friend or family member of an addict, use this checklist to prepare yourself or your loved one for the experience that is substance abuse treatment.

It can also help you decide whether or not you need to enter an inpatient program or whether you can get help on your own through other types of programs. Answering yes means you or your loved one is ready for a rehabilitation program.

    • Do you feel ready to stop drinking or using drugs, even if that means dramatically altering your lifestyle? Inpatient programs require a lot of commitment, but they can make sure that you get clean as quickly as possible so you can get back to enjoying your life.

    • Do you only think you need to cut down your drinking or drug use? If so, rehabilitation may not be right for you since most substance abuse treatment programs require sobriety. If you’re not ready for that, you may not be ready to get help.

    • Are you willing to take medication during the drying-out process? Many rehabilitation facilities use medication to ease withdrawal symptoms, especially if you’ve been taking drugs like heroin or drinking for a long time. These medicines are designed to be helpful, and people who are serious about quitting should consider them.

    • Are you interested in joining AA or NA to help you get over your drug addiction? Most substance abuse treatment programs require you to enroll in AA or NA and talk about your experiences with others to help you from going back to drug abuse once you leave their facility.

    • Are you prepared for therapy to help you with your problem? Therapy greatly benefits most addicts who want to recover and live a clean life.

    • Do you want to learn how to prevent a relapse? Relapse prevention is something that many drug rehabilitation facilities want to teach.

    • Are you ready to find out what your triggers for substance abuse are? Without learning your triggers you likely won’t be able to keep yourself clean and sober for more than a few years, at best. Learning your triggers is essential, even if it’s a painful process for many people.

  • Do you want faith-based rehabilitation options? If so, there are options out there for you, and you can get help in a nurturing environment that uses faith to help you stay clean and sober for a lifetime.

  • Do you need help with other physical problems? You may need to take care of a variety of health problems if you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol for years.

  • Do you need help with dental problems? Many treatment facilities can help you with this.

  • Are you ready to deal with depression that may occur when you get sober? This often requires more therapy and talking to get clean and enjoy your life at the same time.

  • Do you need help with legal problems? Legal issues affect many drug and alcohol abusers and a good rehabilitation program can steer you toward clearing those up so you can lead a happier, law-abiding life.

  • Were you ordered to attend a program as part of a settlement or sentence? You’ll need to do this as soon as possible in order to make sure you don’t end up in jail or having to pay hefty fines for missing deadlines.

  • Are you unable to see a child because of drug or alcohol abuse? Attending a drug treatment program can persuade the courts that you’re ready to be a good parent.

  • Do you need help improving self-esteem and inner happiness? Treatment can help you with that and it is the ultimate goal of getting clean!

OxyContin Addiction: Key Signs and Treatment Options

OxyContin is an opiate based painkiller that physicians prescribe to patients who are suffering from severe pain as a result of illness, injury, or surgery recovery. OxyContin addiction is one of the most rapidly growing drug problems in the United States. Due to its addictive, intense nature, OxyContin causes many people to lose everything in their lives from close relationships to jobs.

Addictive nature
The inherent opiate quality of OxyContin makes it addictive, even when taken in regular doses. However, when people abuse it, such as snorting it, crushing it, or mixing it with a liquid and injecting it, the drugs become extremely dangerous. Taking an entire dosage in a single sitting can lead to a host of serious issues, and under the wrong circumstances, even death.

Signs and symptoms
For many people, OxyContin creates an overwhelming sense of euphoria. Over time, the body adapts to the effects of the drug and develops a tolerance. This means that when someone quits taking it suddenly, there are likely to be severe withdrawal symptoms. OxyContin has a wide range of physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms from behaving secretively to experiencing frequent mood changes to having a lack of concentration with routine tasks at work or at home.

Treatment options
The best tactic for OxyContin rehab is a combination of behavioral, psycho-therapeutic, and pharmaceutical approaches. Most families choose to intervene with an addict in a non-formal, pre-planned intervention meeting. This meeting makes the addict aware of the negative consequences of long term OxyContin abuse and broaches the possibility of OxyContin rehab.

New Horizon Recovery is here to help take you out of OxyContin addiction. We begin the process of OxyContin rehab with physical detoxification, which is safest when done under the presence of an experienced doctor. Reach out to us today at 760.805.4015.

Phil Collins Manages to Recover from Near Fatal Alcohol Dependence

Rock star Phil Collins, famous for his singing and drumming as a solo artist and frontman for Genesis, recently told the British news publication The Daily Mail that alcohol and prescription drug addiction nearly killed him. Collins, who has earned multiple Grammy awards and has sold millions of albums, retired from show business in 2010. After a third divorce and health problems he became depressed and turned to alcohol and various pills.

Medical Prescriptions
Collins had developed tendon problems from many years as a drummer. He also suffered from deafness in one ear and a dislocated vertebrae. As a result, he was given various medical prescription drugs that he said he mixed with alcohol. His overuse of alcohol and drugs led to pancreatitis, which was potentially fatal.

Separation from Family
A major cause of the singer’s depression was when his former third wife Orianne Cevey remarried and took sons Nick and Matt with her, moving from Switzerland to Miami. Collins said that the sudden absence of his sons left a big void in his life. At the height of his addiction to alcohol and drugs he grew worried when his kids became concerned, which is why Collins decided to seek help from a 12 stepalcohol drug rehab program.

Collins Quits Drinking
After attending rehab for a week, Collins found the program to be too restrictive and dropped out, saying that it felt like a boarding school. Instead he found a more effective alcohol drug rehab program in America that inspired positive thinking, which led to his recovery. He says that he has not had adrink for nearly two years and no longer has an alcohol problem. Now that his health has improved, Collins is planning to reunite with former Genesis members for a Miami charity show in December 2014.

Taking a Pledge Against Drug Abuse

With attitudes towards substance abuse varying to greatly even within the drug-taking section of the community, any pledge against drug abuse has to, by necessity, be firm, inclusive and non-judgmental. This would enable non-alienation for those that need the resultant care plans and therapies the most.

Family breakdown, financial issues, and social isolation aside, the bigger picture is overwhelming impact upon healthcare provision services and endemic substance abuse within certain sections of the community as a norm.

Taking a firm pledge against drug abuse requires an equal balance of understanding, and strict zero-tolerance policy. The set of circumstances for an individual to tip even recreational occasional use into abuse and addiction will be as varied as the reasons they may make any number of other life choices, from the trivial to the significant. Commonly, you, the individual, will experience considerable condemnation amongst any commitment to help.

As with breaking any habit, making sure that any triggers, be they stress, peer group pressures, depression or other medical issues are at least reduced and preferably removed is key. On top of that, making sure that you have removed yourself from any source of supply, or other means to obtain drugs is essential. For many, going “cold turkey” can be as dangerous as drug abuse in the first place, so proper medical support, counseling and supervision should be in place.

When breaking a habit, the most effective tool at your disposal is to put another habit in its place; most effective when tackling drug abuse is to invest in the individual. Proper understanding of the reasons why you might fall into this situation in the first place is the key step in taking the pledge to tackle drug abuse.

Top 5 Rehab Myths Debunked

Here are five myths about drug rehab debunked:

“Relapse rates are as high as success rates.”

Research has shown that recovering addicts who take full advantage of the rehabilitation services provided have a 70% success rate. This number is increased if they follow it up with support groups when they leave.

“Drug rehabilitation centers are only successful because they provide a physical safeguard against relapse.”

Drug rehabilitation centers do provide a physical safeguard, which many addicts are afraid to leave, but they also instill the value of sobriety in their patients through programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, providing them with a social safeguard for when they do leave.

“They will make me go through straight withdrawal and give me nothing to overcome it.”

On the contrary, many drug rehabilitation centers mimic a hospital setting and make comfort a priority. Alcohol withdrawal can kill you. Physicians go to every length to make sure you’re safe by providing anti-seizure medication. Heroin addicts are given methadone. All measures are taken to ensure that the patient is comfortable throughout the process. If the opposite was true, many addicts would avoid them.

“I’ll be kicked out for someone more desperate than I am.”

Drug rehabilitation centers follow a strict program. When you arrive, you begin your detox, and you stay there for a set amount of time. No circumstance keeps an addict from receiving the proper care that they need. In fact, many heroin addicts use methadone while they wait for a bed to open up.

“The physicians there look down on me.”

Actually many physicians in such facilities are recovering addicts and alcoholics who want nothing more than to help. In fact, many staff members are affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, programs that support reaching out over pointing fingers.