HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » Diazepam boom threatens m...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 11:02 PM

Diazepam boom threatens more drug deaths, say experts

Addiction experts are warning that a ballooning illicit trade in a tranquilliser popularly known as "mother's little helper" is now a significant factor behind many drug-related deaths. They say diazepam, once prescribed to anxious housewives in the 1970s and better known by its former brand name of Valium, is being used recreationally by a younger generation unaware of its potentially lethal side-effects.

Police suspect that a plethora of amateur laboratories are manufacturing the controlled class C drug in response to growing demand from users who often combine it with other substances. The drug and alcohol treatment charity Addaction fears that the scale of the problem is becoming a major problem for health services and has called for doctors and pharmacists to be better informed about the dangers of the drug.

Addaction said people once misused diazepam that had been diverted from prescriptions or stolen from pharmacies, but in the last five years there had been an increase in the amount of diazepam bought from online pharmacies outside the EU, mainly in India or Pakistan. With diazepam tablets selling for as little as 50p, the drug – a form of benzodiazepine known by users as "benzos" – offers a cheap alternative to most other drugs. In addition, a counterfeit trade appears to be emanating from Scotland, where police have unearthed a number of amateur laboratories creating illegal versions of the drug. "It's a relatively new phenomenon, but we suspect that there are ongoing diazepam production operations going on up and down the country," said Kenny Simpson of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.

The rise in popularity of diazepam may be part of a wider trend in drug abuse, according to experts. Some drug counsellors suspect that the falling numbers of heroin users is partly down to addicts switching to diazepam, which is prescribed to alleviate stress and tension. Many abusers like to mix diazepam with alcohol, with users reporting online that it helps "sedate" them for whole days.

full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/01/diazepam-boom-threatens-more-drug-deaths

15 replies, 3224 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 11:31 PM

1. Valium instead of heroin is a bad thing?

I really hate it when the young discover anything I use.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:10 AM

2. Sure this applies in the US?

Over here the big thing seems to be pain pills. Doctors dole 'em out, addictions are created and profits soar.

Not so with cheap stuff like diazepam.

Julie

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:38 AM

3. Absolutely. Take it from me.

A similar drug, clonezapam, brand name Klonipin, is the most abused prescription drug in the U.S. right now. It's responsible for more OD deaths than heroin.

I had a drug-seeker in clinic the other day; Tried to shake me down for clonazepam. Our clinic doesn't prescribe benzos. Then he went across the hall to the mental health provider and tried to get a scrip out of her. No dice. Then he dropped the shaky, nervous anxiety-guy act, swore like a sailor with Tourette's, and stormed out of the clinic.

At least we didn't perpetuate the OD stats...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:21 PM

7. In rural areas of Arkansas,

the drug du jour is oxycontin. Young people here can visit most doctors, complaining of chronic or severe back pain, and receive a script for dozens of pills. They will then sell these pills for an obscene amount of money. Worse yet, they have learned to crush and snort these pills, or inject them, to get an instantaneous high. I have heard the street jargon, but forget what they call these methods of abusing oxycontin. They tend to call oxycontin 'hillbilly heroin.'

The repercussions of oxycontin abuse are often devastating. Kids lose their moral compasses, and decide to do dangerous and illegal things--like breaking into a small local pharmacy to get more pills. The son of a friend is currently in prison for making this bad decision, and he doesn't even remember what actually transpired.

Some years ago, I did substance abuse prevention in this little neck of the woods. Those days, the kids were abusing alcohol and cigarettes. We were starting to see an increase in huffing.

Many of these kids grew up in homes where marijuana use was frequent and 'normalized' by their parents or other significant adults. Their use of marijuana was benign compared to the other drugs they have learned to abuse.

In the 80s, Newton County (where I spent my formative years) was the source of 10% of the domestic crop of marijuana. Reagan's AG, Ed Meese, actually flew into the closest air field to 'inspect' two truck loads of plants, 'confiscated' by over 2,000 federal agents. The locals laughed about this fiasco for months.

The 'War on Drugs' is a thin veneer over a highly profitable means of criminalizing or marginalizing the poorest of the poor. These days, resourceful addicts are using a 'shake and bake' method of manufacturing meth--cheap and fast. That's the REAL outcome of the 'War on Drugs'--cheap, fast, and easy ways to obtain substances that provide an illicit high.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 08:12 AM

4. Police suspect that a plethora of amateur laboratories are manufacturing the controlled class C drug

in response to growing demand from users who often combine it with other substances.

Should have read: Police suspect their budgets need a bump and are going to manufacture yet another drug scare that will end up making the drug harder to get for the people that actually need it.

At least that's the FIFY version if pain killers were anything to go by. I automatically distrust anything coming from the police or any pro-drug war agency on the latest drug scare.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 08:29 AM

5. I some countries Valium doesn't require a prescription

In Peru I got some from a regular pharmacy as a sleeping aid. I wonder how many other places do that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 08:49 AM

6. Oh yeah, cops will help solve this problem.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:24 PM

8. Benzodiazepines are relatively safe.

It's hard to die from them unless they are mixed with other drugs/alcohol.

And Valium, in particular, has a very long half like, making the likelihood of complications from withdrawal less likely.

The article is incorrect. Valium and other benzos do not cause seizures. In fact, they are used to treat seizures. It is the withdrawal from them that causes the seizures.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:48 PM

9. You are incorect..Benzos are not safe..nope..

A friend of mine was hooked on them. Caused him blackouts..(very quick ones) while driving. Benzos are now the leading cause of
drug treatment admissions. Hard to believe ?? Drug companies don't want you to know. Getting off of them is hell. Maybe in a moment I will find a link.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Stuart G (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:52 PM

10. I did not say they were entirely safe, I said they were relatively safe.

The biggest risk is rapid tolerance, addiction and the complications of withdrawal.

What I meant was that it is very difficult to actually kill yourself with benzos alone. You are more likely to die from an overdose of tylenol than of valium.

The reason for high rates of admission is the need to detox as an in-patient. And Valium, with the longest half life, has less risk of withdrawal than some others, like Xanax.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:54 PM

12. They are not relatively safe...You are wrong.. read article below this post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:28 PM

14. I am not missing your point..You wrote this..exact words..

"What I meant was that it is very difficult to actually kill yourself with benzos alone. You are more likely to die from an overdose of tylenol than of valium."..

"What I meant was that it is very difficult to actually kill yourself with benzos alone. You are more likely to die from an overdose of tylenol than of valium."
Think of this senario"


Slight overdose of valium..maybe an extra pill. you know. Nothing else..OK..driving along. Person is more sleepy than usual. kinda dozes off, hits a tree. person dead...Or dozes off, two lane rural road, dozes off, and hits another car..now more than original driver is dead..That is my point..

Many people die from taking benzos alone..No one looks for benzos unless they are famous..or family wants an autopsy..
It is listed as a "heart attack" or falls asleep at wheel...or fell and knocked themselves out...It just isn't looked for. Tylenol, aceteminophin..causes liver cancer, proven, that is how it kills...You didn't know? Now you do..


Your point at its root is.. "Valium is safe."
It is not safe, it is very very dangerous. As are the other benzos..

I've said enuf..end of rant..no more today...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Stuart G (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:46 PM

15. I concede that point.

Benzos basically work on the same receptors as alcohol and, hence, have the same kinds of consequences due to impairment, particularly when used in combination with other drugs/alcohol.

But they don't cause the same kind of respiratory depression that other drugs, like opiates, cause. That is why it is difficult to intentionally kill yourself with them.

My point is not that Valium is safe.

Tylenol does not cause liver cancer when taken in an overdose. It causes necrosis of the liver when taken in overdose. Patients can die within days. Long term overuse of tylenol causes chronic liver damage which can lead to cirrhosis and other liver problems. Benzos do neither of these.

Please. I never meant to say they were safe, just relatively safe. I actually do know a lot about this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Stuart G (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:54 PM

11. good article, "Xanax Relaxing You to Death"

http://ftemagazine.com/health-and-fitness/xanax-relaxing-you-to-death/


Read this article... ...Benzos are very very dangerous..

from that article:

Why So Deadly?
Dr. Salloum noted that as a member of the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which also includes Ativan, Klonopin and Valium, Xanax works its magic against anxiety by enhancing the brain’s production of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), sort of a natural tranquilizer — which explains why the side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, clumsiness, difficulty walking, slurred speech and loss of libido. Xanax is faster-acting than Klonopin and Valium and has a shorter half-life, which means people may need to take multiple doses over the course of the day to maintain their equanimity. A patient may be prescribed, say, two to four pills a day and end up taking even more as his body acclimates to the drug. It takes just a few months for physical dependence to develop, Dr. Salloum said, and with dependence comes a myriad of difficulties when it comes to withdrawal. There’s also a psychological dependence at play, a particular problem with anxious people who end up being anxious about their anxiety, taking more pills — and ending up with a problem that spins out of control. I asked Dr. Salloum about the magnitude of problems in Florida, and he noted that not only is the use of Xanax very widespread in that state — its connection with DUI arrests is easy to explain because taking Xanax and alcohol together intensifies the effects of both. In addition, taking too much Xanax (or taking it in combination with other drugs such as narcotics) can cause severe reactions, including respiratory depression, cessation of breathing — it can even cause the heart to stop beating. Another major problem: In older people, the drug is especially prone to impair balance. “Research has shown that benzodiazepine drugs are to blame for many falls in the elderly,” said Dr. Salloum............

Also... read post 3 above, benzos are ugly killers...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Stuart G (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:10 PM

13. I don't disagree with any of this and fear that you are missing my point.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread