A Women’s Fight For VBAC

I read this article while surfing through my Facebook page, which is what I find myself doing a lot because of my battle with Chronic Pain.  I am at home a lot, mostly stuck in bed on a heating pad after 10 years of trying to get a proper diagnosis and proper treatment and battling with doctors and discrimination and mistreatment.

The subject of this story is not related to Chronic Pain but I find the struggle the same: doctors do not always have YOUR best interest at heart.

I also related to the story of Gina Crosley-Corcoran and the birth of her son Jules because I am a new mother with a 3 month old baby and I made a decision to let my doctor induce labor for the ridiculous reasoning that the baby was getting too big.

The idea is the same.  Knowledge is power when it comes to your own medical care, whether that be the desire to experience a vaginal birth after having a C-Section or advocating for the best care for chronic pain in spite of being a recovering addict.

Here is the story of Gina and her husband John and what they had to go through to fight for the most natural thing a woman’s body can do on its own if you allow it to happen.

Jules Micheal Birth Story on The Feminist Breeder

The following is a video narrated by John (the husband) about his side of the story.

Related Articles:

Fighting For A VBAC 

Julie Deardorff at the Chicago Tribune

Women Struggle to Avoid Serial C-Sections

Chelsea R. Robbins and Allison Stevens of Medill News Service

 

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NO MORE PYRAMID!!!

Most of the information gathered for this article came from ChooseMyPlate.gov

Some of the 2010 changes include:

Balancing Calories
  • Enjoy your food but eat less
  • Avoid oversized proportions
Foods To Increase
  • Make half your plates fruits and vegetables
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk
Foods To Reduce
  • Compare sodium levels in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks

Food Groups

Grains

Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.

Whole Grains –

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel the bran, germ, and endosperm.

Refined Grains –

Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.  Most refined grains are enriched. This means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains. Check the ingredient list on refined grain products to make sure that the word “enriched” is included in the grain name. Some food products are made from mixtures of whole grains and refined grains.

SECRET!!!:

Don’t be fooled by the”wheat” breads that do not say 100% whole grains somewhere on the package.  Caramel coloring is added to the bread to give it the wheat coloring.  They are technically allowed to call it “wheat bread” because…even white bread is wheat.

Vegetables

Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.

Dark Green Vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables provide many essential vitamins and minerals your body needs, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.  In addition, they are also a wonderful way to get the fiber your body needs. The darker the leaves, the more nutrients the vegetable usually has.

bok choy
broccoli
collard greens
dark green leafy lettuce
kale
mesclun
mustard greens
romaine lettuce
spinach
turnip greens
watercress

Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vegetables are healthy, but they are higher in carbohydrate than other vegetables and they have more calories.

cassava
corn
fresh cowpeas, field peas, or black-eyed peas (not dry)
green bananas
green peas
green lima beans
plantains
potatoes
taro
water chestnuts

Red and Orange Vegetables

Red– Contains nutrients like lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin.  These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.

Orange (and Yellow)– Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.

acorn squash
butternut squash
carrots
hubbard squash
pumpkin
red peppers
sweet potatoes
tomatoes
tomato juice

Beans and Peas

Legumes which are high in protein value, although their proteins are not regarded as having sufficient amounts of the amino acids required by the human body, and should, therefore, not be used as the sole source of protein foods. They are of high caloric value and they make some contributions to the mineral and vitamin content of the dietary. Peas are relatively high in vitamin A content, which is associated with many physiological functions, notably growth and dark adaptation. Both beans and peas, particularly soy beans, are good sources of vitamin B1, which is the anti-neuritic vitamin enjoying such wide attention at the present time.

black beans
black-eyed peas (mature, dry)
garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
kidney beans
lentils
navy beans
pinto beans
soy beans
split peas
white beans

Other Vegetables

Here is a link for the nutritional value of specific vegetables.

Fruits

Here is a link for the nutritonal value of specific fruits.

Dairy

All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Most Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group. Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.

*Selection Tips

Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you choose milk or yogurt that is not fat-free, or cheese that is not low-fat, the fat in the product counts against your maximum limit for “empty calories” (calories from solid fats and added sugars).
divider
If sweetened milk products are chosen (flavored milk, yogurt, drinkable yogurt, desserts), the added sugars also count against your maximum limit for “empty calories” (calories from solid fats and added sugars).
divider
For those who are lactose intolerant, smaller portions (such as 4 fluid ounces of milk) may be well tolerated. Lactose-free and lower-lactose products are available. These include lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, yogurt, and cheese, and calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage). Also, enzyme preparations can be added to milk to lower the lactose content. Calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as cereals, orange juice, rice milk, or almond milk may provide calcium, but may not provide the other nutrients found in dairy products.

Protein Foods

All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group.  Select a variety of protein foods to improve nutrient intake and health benefits, including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Young children need less, depending on their age and calories needs. The advice to consume seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat.

*Selection Tips

Choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry. If higher fat choices are made, such as regular ground beef (75 to 80% lean) or chicken with skin, the fat counts against your maximum limit for empty calories (calories from solid fats or added sugars). divider
If solid fat is added in cooking, such as frying chicken in shortening or frying eggs in butter or stick margarine, this also counts against your maximum limit for empty calories (calories from solid fats and added sugars). divider
Select some seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies, herring, Pacific oysters, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel.divider
Processed meats such as ham, sausage, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake. Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __”, which mean that a sodium-containing solution has been added to the product. divider
Choose unsalted nuts and seeds to keep sodium intake low.

 

Possbile Cancer Cure: With Links to Primary Literature on Dichloroacetate

Dichloroacetate

via Scientists cure cancer, but no one takes notice — Health & Wellness — Sott.net.

Full article at above link.

This was something that I did not want to blog about at face value.  I typed the drug name into Google Scholar to see what primary literature I could find on the subject.  Here is some real information I have found:

British Journal of Cancer

http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v99/n7/full/6604554a.html

Dichloroacetate (DCA) as a potential metabolic-targeting therapy for cancer

E D Michelakis1, L Webster1 and J R Mackey2

  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  2. 2Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Correspondence: Dr ED Michelakis, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta Hospital, 8440-112 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2B7; E-mail: evangelos.michelakis@capitalhealth.ca

Received 18 December 2007; Revised 28 April 2008; Accepted 4 July 2008; Published online 2 September 2008.

————————————————————————————

“The unique metabolism of most solid tumours (aerobic glycolysis, i.e., Warburg effect) is not only the basis of diagnosing cancer with metabolic imaging but might also be associated with the resistance to apoptosis that characterises cancer. The glycolytic phenotype in cancer appears to be the common denominator of diverse molecular abnormalities in cancer and may be associated with a (potentially reversible) suppression of mitochondrial function.

The generic drug dichloroacetate is an orally available small molecule that… increases the flux of pyruvate into the mitochondria, promoting glucose oxidation over glycolysis.”

Free Patents Online

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2009/0118370.html

Method of Treating Cancer using Dichloroacetate

Kind Code: A1
Abstract: “The invention relates to the use of dichloroacetate and chemical equivalents thereof for the treatment of cancer by inducing apoptosis or reversing apoptosis-resistance in a cell Preferably, the dosage is 10-100 mg/kg Preferably, sodium dichloroacetate is used. The dichloroacetate may optionally be given in combination with a pro-apoptotic agent and/or a chemotherapeutic agent Preferably, the cancers treated are non-small cell lung cancer, glioblastoma and breast carcinoma.”
Inventors: Michelakis, Evangelos (Edmonton, CA)
Archer, Stephen (La Grange, IL, US)
Application Number: 11/911299
Publication Date: 05/07/2009
Filing Date: 04/11/2006
Primary Class: 514/557
Other Classes: 600/300
International Classes: A61K31/19; A61B5/00; A61P35/00; A61K31/185; A61B5/00; A61P35/00

Description:

This patent application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/669,884 filed Apr. 11, 2005, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to the use of dichloroacetate and obvious chemical equivalents thereof in the treatment of cancer. Related uses and diagnostic and screening methods are also included in one aspect of the present invention.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Most cancers are characterized by a resistance to apoptosis that makes them prone to proliferation and resistant to most cancer therapies. Most of the available cancer treatments aim to induce apoptosis but are highly toxic. There are two main categories of apoptosis: the receptor-mediated and the mitochondria-dependent apoptosis. Mitochondria-dependent apoptosis is not very well studied and only recently have the mitochondria been viewed as anything more than an organelle that produces energy. As such there is a need for a cancer therapy that can overcome apoptosis resistance in cancer cells.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A cell can become resistant to apoptosis in a variety of ways one of which is altering its metabolism and having hyperpolarized mitochondria. Since apoptosis is initiated by depolarization of mitochondria, the more hyperpolarized a mitochondrion is, the further it is from the depolarization threshold and the more resistant it is to the initiation of apoptosis.

In one embodiment the present inventors have surprisingly found that one can modulate mitochondrial function to treat cancer. In one embodiment, the present invention provides a method for inducing apoptosis in cancer. In another embodiment, the inventors provide a method for inducting apoptosis in cancer but normal cells. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method of reversing apoptosis resistance in cancer cells, such as cancer cells with hyperpolarized mitochondria. In one embodiment, the method comprises administering to cancer cells, in one embodiment cells having or suspected of having hyperpolarized mitochondria, an effective amount of dichloroacetate or salts thereof or obvious chemical equivalents thereof.

In one embodiment, the dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof is administered in combination with another pro-apoptotic agent and/or chemotherapeutic agent, and/or other cancer therapy.

In one embodiment, the invention provides a method for inducing apoptosis and/or reversing apoptosis resistance in a cancer cell, comprising administering to the cell an effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method for inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells, comprising administering to the cells an effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method of decreasing survivin in a cancer cell, comprising administering to the cell an effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method of increasing Kv1.5 protein in a cancer cell comprising administering to the cell an effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method of increasing AIF in a cancer cell comprising administering to the cell an effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method of increasing H 2 O 2 in a cancer cell comprising administering to the cell an effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the methods of the invention cancer cells, but not normal or non-cancerous cells are affected by the treatment with dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof.

In one embodiment, the present invention provides a method for treating a cancer. In another embodiment, the invention provides a method of treating a cancer associated with hyperpolarized mitochondria. In another embodiment the invention provides a method of treating cancer by restoring mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) (essentially depolarizing the hyperpolarized cancer cell mitochondria). This molecular metabolic therapy is accomplished by administering to a patient in need thereof a therapeutically effective amount of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof. In another embodiment, the invention provides a use of dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof in the treatment of cancer.

In one embodiment, the dichloroacetate is a salt of dichloroacetic acid. In another embodiment, the dichloroacetic acid is a sodium salt of dichloroacetic acid.

In one embodiment, the cancer to be treated using the DCA or obvious chemical equivalent thereof is selected from the group consisting of: non-small cell lung cancer, glioblastoma and breast carcinoma.

In another embodiment, the dichloroacetate, or obvious chemical equivalent thereof, is administered in the form of a pharmaceutical composition comprising dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. In yet another embodiment the invention provides a use of dichloroacetic acid or dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof in the preparation of a medicament or pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of cancer, such as a cancer associated with hyperpolarized mitochondria. In yet another embodiment, the dichloroacetate, or obvious chemical equivalent thereof, is administered orally.

In yet another embodiment, the dichloroacetate is administered in a water-based formulation. In one embodiment the water-based formulation of DCA comprises 0.0075 g of DCA/l to 7.5 g of DCA/l). In another embodiment the dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof is administered at a total daily dose of ˜25-50 mg/kg bid of dichloroacetate. In another embodiment the dose is 10-100 mg/kg given twice a day is administered to the patient. In one embodiment the dose is 25-50 mg bid.

In another embodiment, the invention constitutes a method for determining whether a cancer is associated with hyperpolarized mitochondria, which would predict its therapeutic response to dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalents thereof or similar compounds. In one embodiment such method comprises administering an effective amount of dichloroacetate, or chemical equivalent thereof to a cancer tissue sample from a patient and measuring its apoptosis sensitivity and mitochondrial membrane potential using confocal microscopy or flow cytometry. This diagnostic test would determine whether the individual patient could benefit from dichloroacetate or other therapies that cause apoptosis through similar mechanism.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description. It should be understood, however, that the detailed description and the specific examples while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

We Do Recover: Part 2

Part 1

Part 2:

Hope On the Horizon

Alcoholics Anonymous history is relevant to the history of Narcotics Anonymous but we will not re-hash it at length here.  Without AA, there would be no NA.

The Grapevine

The Big Book

In 1939 AA published its Big Book and years later Bill W. (co-founder Bill Wilson) published a series of articles in a periodical called The Grapevine (which still exists today).  These writings brought about the Twelve Traditions:

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

The formation of AA and the development of the steps and traditions were necessary for the miracle of the formation of NA.

“In a 1954 article in The Saturday Evening Post there is mention of a recovering alcoholic named Houston S who received a job transfer to Kentucky in 1947.  Houston had sobered up in Montgomery, Alabama, AA in 1944.  One of the drunks he tried to help, a man called Harry,was using morphine as well as alcohol.  Although Harry had stopped drinking, he was unable to stop using morphine.  He was eventually arrested and committed to Lexington for mandatory treatment.

When Houston was transferred to a town near Lexington, he was reminded of his friend Harry and his drug problem, and felt that the principles which worked so well for alcoholics in AA could help the addicts.  Houston met with the medical director, Dr. Victor Vogel, and suggested that the AA model may work for addicts as well, offering to help start a group.  On February 16, 1947, the Narco Group, a group of inmates and patients, met for the first time at the Federal Narcotics Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.  One of the addicts who attended these first meetings was an addict named Danny Carlsen” (p. 18).

Obituary for Daniel L. Carlsen

At the same time in 1946 in New York, Dorothy Berry, a brigadier in The  Salvation Army, started working with addicts.  Danny Carlsen, who had been attending meetings of the Narco Group in Lexington was discharged and returned to New York.

In 1948 Danny Carlsen, Dorothy Berry, and Rae Lopez started a group in the NYC Prison System called Narcotics Anonymous.  Danny Carlsen eventually wrote a book called The Addict.

The first meeting outside of a prison took place in 1950 at a YMCA in New York City.  The group developed 13 Steps of their own and never adopted the Traditions:

1. Admit the use of narcotics made my life seem more tolerable but the drug had become an undesirable power over my life.

2. Came to realize that to face life without drugs I must develop an inner strength.

3. Made a decision to face the suffering of withdrawal.

4. Learn to accept my fears without drugs.

5. Find someone who had progressed thus far and who is able to assist me.

6. Admit to the nature and depth of my addiction.

7. Realized the seriousness of my shortcomings as I know them and accept the responsibility of facing them.

8. Admit before a group of NA members these same shortcomings and explain why I am trying to overcome them.

9. List for my own understanding all the persons I have hurt.

10. Take a daily inventory of my actions and admit to myself those that are contrary to good conscience.

11. Realize that to maintain freedom from drugs, I must share with others the experience in which I have benefited.

12. Determine a purpose in life and try with all the spiritual and physical power within me to move toward its fulfillment.

13. God help me.

The book The Junkie Priest was based on Father Daniel Egan, a NYC priest, who served as chaplain for these NA meetings

The group’s structure was similar to that of the Salvation Army.  There was a captain, director, and a chaplain (p. 19).  Besides detoxifying addicts they also worked to find addicts jbs and housing.  This version of NA survived until 1960 in locales where it could be sponsored by the Salvation Army.

The Early Years

Most people in the 1950s were enjoying the postwar boom years, listening to Elvis, watching the tv (a new invention), and living the American Dream.

The “Beat Generation” was a growing group of underground radicals who were anti-authoritarian and were characterized by their use of marijuana and methamphetamines.  They set the stage for the revolution of the youth in the 60s.

“Writers like Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg, reacting against the growing surge of consumer capitalism in the U.S., would set the tone for a later generation’s call to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” (p.21).

In 1951 the Boggs Act and in 1956 the Narcotics Control Act imposed harsher penalties on addicts.

A mass migration of African-Americans from the Southern U.S. and Hispanics from Puerto Rico, the Carribbean Islands, and Central and S. America to northern and western cities occured after WW2. As European immigrants were moving out of the cities, Hispanics and African-Americans were moving in.  They moved into areas with preexisting problems with narcotics addiction and trafficking.  I emphasize preexisting so that no one will misunderstand the true nature of how African-Americans and Hispanics began to get such a bad rap and how wrong it is to assume that they are the problem.  They began replacing the European addict statistically (p. 21).  “Thus, the continuing stigmatization of addicts and their drugs of abuse now even further reflected class and ethnic biases within the community” (p. 21).

Fear of marijuana began in the 30s with movies like Reefer Madness.  People were told that

1936 film Reefer Madness, originally called Tell Your Children

marijuana use would certainly lead to heroin use.  Few measures were taken to treat the increasing use of heroin in post-WW2 America.  For example, Riverside Hospital for adolescent addicts was opened in New York.  It quickly closed after a study showing that less than 3% were abstinent.  This 3% were never even addicted in the first place.  They had been arrested on narcotics charges and chose hospitalization (p. 23).

AA was flourishing on the sidelines and alcoholics were finding sobriety and new lives and recovery in the rooms.  “It was through the hope that was at last being found by the suffering alcoholic that similar hope for addicts would begin to appear” (p. 23).

We Do Recover: Part 1

The following is inspired by the book Miracles Happen: The Birth of Narcotics Anonymous in Words and Pictures released by Narcotics Anonymous World Services.  Some of the content has been researched and added by the author.

Jimmy K

Incorporated in Chatsworth, California.  The photos in the book will be hard to reproduce but I will try my best to convey the overall feel of the literature as best I can.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Jimmy K.  “His tireless efforts in the early years of our formulation and growth laid the foundation for our movement (p. 7).”

Old pill bottles

Introduction

There seems to be this alternative: either go on as best we can to the bitter ends – jails, institutions or death – or find a new way to live.  In years gone by, very few addicts ever had this last choice.Little White Book

In 2007, there were over 25,065 groups holding over 43,900 weekly meetings in 127 countries.  The improbability of such a movement makes the existence of this God-given program an absolute miracle in the lives of suffering addicts.  There was a time in history when there were none to very few options for addicts who wanted to get clean.  Addiction itself, was a crime.  There was a time when it was illegal for addicts to meet together.  The “truth” about an addict was this: “Once an addict always an addict”.

Drug Use Before and In the Twentieth Century

Drug use has been around probably as long as humans have been around.  It has been used for medicinal purposes, for religious rites and practices, and for recreational purposes.

Wine was used at least from the time of the early Egyptians; narcotics from 4000 B.C.; and medicinal use of marijuana has been dated to 2737 B.C. in China. But not until the 19th cent. A.D. were the active substances in drugs extracted (FactMonster.com).

Ancient paraphernalia (Drug Kit)

Andean mummy hair has provided the first direct archaeological evidence of the consumption of hallucinogens in pre-Hispanic Andean populations, according to recent gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis.  Indirect evidence for psychoactive drug use in South America’s ancient populations abound, ranging from the discovery of drug equipment to the identification of hallucinogenic herb residuals in snuffing kits.

In Europe, Swiss Alchemist Paracelsus invented laudanum (opium dissolved into liquid form) in 1541.  It became a widespread curative potion.

Hmmmmmm.......

The use of opium became epidemic in 19th century Europe and in America.  It was commonly used in children’s medicine with cute labels such as “Godfrey’s Cordial”, “Munn’s Elixir”, and get this….”Mother Bailey’s Quieting Syrup” (p. 10).

In 1803, a German pharmacist by the name of F. W. Serturner successfully isolated the active ingredient in opium: Morphine.  Morpheus is the Greek God of sleep and dreams.  This is Morphine’s namesake.  The hypodermic was not invented for about another 40 years (p. 10).  The drug was effective and thought to be harmless.  It’s peak use was during the Civil War in which it is estimated that 400,000 morphine addicts were created in the army alone.

Old ad for morphine: apparently accepted for use as a teething aid

We now had patent medicines such as “Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup”, “Darby’s Carminative”, and “Ayer’s Cheery Pectorial” (p. 10).  They were particularly popular with older white women from middle and upper classes.  In 1900 there were an estimated 300,000 opiate-dependent people in the U.S.  At this point the affliction was looked upon with sympathy.  When immigrant’s began to have the same addiction issues these views rapidly changed.  Urban tenements and slums developed, poverty increased and so the poor more often turned to alcohol and narcotics.  Lower-class addicts brought the views on addiction to a new light and addiction was driven into criminality, dereliction, and hopeless despair (p. 10-11).

Criminalization of Addiction

Perhaps the earliest recorded example is the prohibition of the use of alcohol under Islamic law (Sharia), which is usually attributed to passages in the Qur’an dating from the 7th century.

Religious intolerance was a motivation for drug prohibition in Christian Europe. In a move interpreted as support for the efforts of the Spanish Inquisition against the Arabs, in a 1484 fiat Pope Innocent VIII banned the use of cannabis. The persecution of heretics in the form of witch hunts also gathered momentum around this time, and frequently targeted users of medicinal and hallucinogenic herbs. The Inquisition proceeded apace in Meso-America and South America, where peyote (péyotl), ololiúqui, toloáche, teonanácatl and other sacred plants of the Mexican culture were prohibited as works of the devil.

The first law outright prohibiting the use of a specific drug in the United States was a San Francisco ordinance which banned the smoking of opium in opium dens in 1875.  Even though the law prohibited the trafficking of opium, laudanum and other tinctures were allowed to persist in medicinal form.  The distinction between its use by white Americans and Chinese immigrants was thus based on the form in which it was ingested: Chinese immigrants tended to smoke it, while it was often included in various kinds of generally liquid medicines often (but not exclusively) used by people of European descent. The laws targeted opium smoking, but not other methods of ingestion.  This was followed by the Harrison Act, passed in 1914, which required sellers of opiates and cocaine to get a license. While originally intended to require paper trails of drug transactions between doctors, drug stores, and patients, it soon became a prohibitive law.  In 1919, the Supreme Court ruled in Doremus that the Harrison Act was constitutional and in Webb that physicians could not prescribe narcotics solely for maintenance.

Then, of course, we had the Prohibition on alcohol.  Most of us know this story so here is a link if you would like to learn more: Prohibition of Alcohol.

In 1936 the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) noticed an increase of reports of people smoking marijuana, which further increased in 1937. The Bureau drafted a legislative plan for Congress, seeking a new law and the head of the FBN, Harry J. Anslinger, ran a smear campaign against marijuana.  During this particular time frame, the media was swarmed with propaganda regarding the effects of marijuana.

Marijuana Propaganda

Marijuana Propaganda

Marijuana Propaganda

In 1972, United States President Richard Nixon announced the commencement of the so-called “War on Drugs.” Later, President Reagan added the position of drug czar to the President’s Executive Office.

In 1973, New York State introduced mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life imprisonment for possession of more than four ounces (113g) of a so-called hard drug, called the Rockefeller drug laws after New York Governor and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Similar laws were introduced across the United States.

California’s broader ‘three strikes and you’re out‘ policy adopted in 1994 was the first mandatory sentencing policy to gain widespread publicity and was subsequently adopted in most United States jurisdictions. This policy mandates life imprisonment for a third criminal conviction of any felony offense.

After the Harrison Act courts refused to define addiction as a disease.  Addicts were driven underground and were subjected to street violence, diseases, arrests, convictions, and incarcerations.  Dispensing clinics were opened.  in 1919 thirteen municipalities had 44 opiate dispensing clinics aimed at detox or opium maintenance.  The government perceived these as a threat and had them all closed by 1924 (p. 12).  There was another increase in crime.  In 1929 Congress adopted The Porter Act.  Treatment facilities were established finally for addicts.  One was in Lexington, Kentucky and the other was in Fort Worth, Texas.  These were operational in the 30’s.

Lexington, Kentucky

Fort Worth

In the early years they primarily served as prison hospitals for convicted addicts.  Those who entered voluntarily were detoxified.  Treatment included “sweating it out” with hard work on the farm in Kentucky.

We now have employee assistance programs, hospital and residential-based treatment, and 12 step fellowships.  In the 30s and 40s doctors were threatened into not only stopping treatment of addicts but also into reporting them to authorities (p. 13).

William Burroughs' Junkie allows a peak into the limited treatment options available to addicts

At one point it was illegal for any two addicts to be seen together.  Addicts went even further underground where drugs were bought on the black market and the street or to complain of the “right symptoms” to doctors in order to satisfy their needs.

After WW2 addicts were put into two general categories: those addicted to pills, sedatives, barbiturates, laudanum, Demerol, etc.; and “dope fiends”.  The second category more often needed to obtain their drugs through illicit means (p. 16).

Searches, harassment, and incarceration were normal parts of everyday life.  Addicts and doctors who attempted to help them were seen as criminals.  These are the truths of an addict from this time.  We may not fully understand the words spoken by Jimmy K, that very few addicts DID have a choice like we have found today in Narcotics Anonymous.

Taking Your Kid to McDonald’s Is Actually A Punishment – Fast Food Advertising is On the Rise: TreeHugger

McDonald's Restaurant with prominent kids' pla...

Image via Wikipedia

Fast Food Advertising is On the Rise — With a Focus on Minority Youth — While Kids Continue to Grow Fatter. What’s Wrong With This Picture? : TreeHugger.

Full article at the above link.

I was watching the Super Bowl last night (I was actually studying but at the bar with my friend).  Anyways, a commercial came on for McDonald’s and there was a bear daddy and a bear kid.  The bear kid got all A’s on their report card!!!!!  His reward?  A fattening, unhealthy, calories-that-make-your-mouth-drop, greasy disgusting meal from McDonald’s.  It is food made without love and purely to have the cheapest ingredients necessary in order to make a profit.

How are parents so unaware of the lessons that we are teaching our kids?  I wish someone would have taken the time to make sure I learned good nutrition while I was young.  My dad did pretty good for being a single dad but there were definitely many nights where we would just grab something to eat.  We ate a lot of spaghetti until he expanded his menu to include sausage with peppers and onions (greasy) and sometimes pot roast, and once in awhile in the beginning – chicken cooked in the microwave…YES CHICKEN COOKED IN THE MICROWAVE!!  IIIIICCCCKKKKKK!!!!!

It also happened at school where we were offered choices between this greasy distungness or that greasy disgustingness.  You would think that at school your kids are getting nutritious meals.  This is not the case.  At my high school you could get all the greasy crap and extras at a snack bar in the cafeteria.  You could totally bypass whatever was being served that day and get fries and 2 half-moon cookies with chocolate milk and soda!!

All’s I am saying is…for the love of God…take the time to love your child enough to start them out with healthy eating habits.  I have been obese since puberty and suffered ridicule for this my whole life until recently.

Parents nowadays don’t want to take the time to finish and win an argument.  They think their children have some sort of democratic say in their own lives.  Basically, you are reasoning with someone who has no life experience and they give in because it is easier than the fight to change it.  Pssst lazy parenting, I think.

Petition Site That Cares: Care2 – largest online community for healthy and green living, human rights and animal welfare.

Care2 – largest online community for healthy and green living, human rights and animal welfare..

Randy Paynter, CEO and President of C2, started this site in 1998.

The idea is simple: Make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.

When he was 13 he was traveling with his father up the Amazon in a thatch-covered boat.  His father was an ornithologist (study of birds).

“What struck me most was the contrast between the remote tribes living in harmony with the rainforest, and the poverty and deforestation in the most “modernized” towns we visited”, said Paynter on the About Us page of the site.  He saw that the world was terribly out of balance and began to believe that we each have the power to make positive changes in our world.

“The answer came in 1998.  The Internet.  Finally, the power to mobilize the world was at hand.  I raised money from some kind and crazy souls, and then really lucked out in finding two extraordinary partners — Matt McGlynn (now our chief technology officer) and Camilla Eriksson (now our vice president of eCards.  In September 1998, we launched Care2 from my tiny apartment” Paynter writes.

The website is driven by those who wish to make changes in this world.  They are a certified B Corporation.

The Butterflies

 

 

 

 

The butterflies on the logo are designed after a Physics concept called “The Butterfly Effect“.  It symbolizes to them that one person can take a small step and make a difference.

You can earn butterfly credits by taking various actions like signing a petition and taking the daily action.  These credits can be redeemed for gifts that make the world a better place.

There is an online community and plenty of fun topics and polls.  you can create groups or join existing ones.

Taking Action

There are so many petitions you can sign on a wide array of topics and issues that you may support.  There is a daily action that you can do and earn credits for.

There is also a whole section on Healthy and Green Living.

I have been signed up for emails through this site for some time now.  Some of my other blogs are based on these emails about petitions available tailored to the issues I am concerned with at the moment.  I have always had a good experience with this Organization.  Enjoy, and help by taking your own little steps…we can make a difference!