All Articles Tagged "drugs"

FDA Approves OxyContin Use For Children As Young As 11

August 19th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Sick child at doctor's office

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved the narcotic painkiller OxyContin for pediatric use. The regulatory agency reported the drug is safe for children as young as 11 who are experiencing chronic pain that cannot be treated successfully with other medications. OxyContin is an extended-release version of oxycodone.

Physicians have been prescribing OxyContin to children for some time but without the safety and efficacy data. The FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, which means drugs such of OxyContin may be prescribed for off-label use to children once a caregiver has provided consent. An FDA representative stressed that the drug’s approval is not intended to expand or change the way it is used for pediatric patients.

The approval is for children 11 and older who are already tolerating a minimum daily dose of at least 20 milligrams per day. The agency says that with extended-release OxyContin, a child may require two doses a day, versus four to six of the immediate-release version of the drug. The approval comes after Purdue Pharma, the drug’s manufacturer, submitted data to the agency that indicates the drug is safe for children if used correctly.

But the very fact that pediatricians are prescribing the drug to children is troubling to some experts, since rates of opioid addiction are on the rise, especially in young people. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 2.1 million Americans are struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers. Abusing this class of drugs is often a precursor to heroin addiction.

Pediatric specialists primarily prescribe opioids to children to manage chronic headaches and migraines, as well as for the treatment of musculoskeletal and abdominal pain. However, some experts argue that the specialists are too quick to prescribe these drugs to kids.

Would you allow your child OxyContin if they were suffering chronic pain?

The Death Of Cliff Huxtable: Bill Cosby Failed Us

July 8th, 2015 - By Rich
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It may seem silly, but I am in mourning.

I have finally come to the conclusion that Cliff Huxtable, “America’s Dad,” is dead. See, I grew up with Cliff and like many African American kids (and non-Black) I looked to him as the shining ideal for fatherhood. He was funny, but Cliff also knew when to put his kids in check. “I brought you in this world…I’ll take you out,” he famously told Theo (played by Malcolm Jamal Warner). To some, Cliff was a fictional character. For others, he showed us how a father and husband should act. He also showed the world how to raise kids and how we could strive for a quality of life beyond our own reality.

Bill Cosby is not Cliff Huxtable.

Bill Cosby, the comedian and television mogul, is under heavy fire AGAIN. A decade-old testimony recently unsealed had the 77-year-old revealing that he bought Quaaludes to have sex with women. For those that don’t know (I sure had to google), Quaaludes is a drug they used back in the day that acts like an anti-depressant, putting a person in a hypnotic, sedative state. The former activist did not answer when asked if he gave the women drugs without their consent. He previously denied rape allegations.

Now, Bill faces another mountain of controversy that has already killed what little reputation he had left. Through the years, more than 25 women have accused him of sexual assault, rape and other deplorable acts. Some say and allege that he is a serial rapist. The new revelations have convicted him in the court of public opinion.

But, does Cliff Huxtable have to die along with Bill Cosby’s reputation?

Far too many of us felt like Cliff and Bill were one and the same. We could not believe that Cliff Huxtable, father of Denise, Rudy, Vanessa and Theo, could do these horrid acts against women. Sadly, Cliff died for other reasons. The Black community is a huge reason for the death of Cliff Huxtable. We took on a damn fictional character as the real life father that we lacked in our homes. Cliff couldn’t be permitted to live any more than Bill Cosby would be allowed to have another television show.

I mentally held on to Bill Cosby, which was really Cliff Huxtable now that I think about it. I never even met Bill Cosby to speak to his real-life character. Neither have his defenders. Neither have his detractors. “The Cosby Show” was a narrative we wanted to be reality and we want[ed] to share that with our children. Why wouldn’t we? They were imperfectly perfect. I suspect White America feels duped. I don’t know how your average white person feels, but I imagine them saying, “We let you into our homes for years Cliff and then you did this? You dated and raped our women? You betrayed our trust! Even Woody Allen didn’t hurt us like you, Cliff…Bill…”

Cliff Huxtable is dead for now. I still believe in him, because there’s no other show that even comes close to representing the African American experience in this manner. Sure we’ve had James Evans, Carl Winslow, Uncle Bernie, George Jefferson…and that dude that Anthony Anderson plays in “Black-ish.” None of them compare to Cliff and the Huxtables. The duality is even more important when you consider other cases where actors act outside of their characters’ best interest.

I’m happy to say that I’m Chuck Creekmur, the father. No wife. One kid. There is no character. I grew up with a father and mother, both of which were great. And while my daughter has a myriad of positive role models, I still would like for her to know The Huxtables.

At the end of the day, The Huxtables were a part of my life that I cherish. The show doesn’t eradicate Bill’s alleged penchant for questionable behavior with women – and vice versa.

Blah. The alleged rape. The alleged drugging. The death of Cliff Huxtable. Everybody loses.

Damn it, Bill.

PS: Check out what a seemingly hurt Jill Scott had to say on Twitter.

Yep, Jill. It hurts.
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“The Huxtable Family” via ebony.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Dr. Renee: Do You Know How To Prevent Cancer?

June 18th, 2015 - By Dr. Renee Matthews
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These days we here about people younger and younger being diagnosed with different types of cancer. Unfortunately, we also have been hearing about lots of deaths from cancer as well. I recently watched the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary and several of the African-American female cast members that were in the memorial died of different cancers. It’s important for us to remember that some of these diseases can be prevented. Science is evolving daily on what exactly causes and prevents cancer.  So here are some tips that will hopefully keep you, your friends and your family cancer-free.

 

Quit smoking

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you and can cause lung cancer. According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 deaths from lung cancer.  You have to be mindful of the activity of others around you. If you are a smoker, the sooner you can stop the better. That way the lungs can repair themselves and once again function properly. This hits home for me because someone very close to me who is not a smoker was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple years ago.

Exercise regularly

It is very important to exercise to not only manage your weight, but to prevent cancer as well. Studies have found that there are substantial health benefits to regular exercise. Strive to get at least 150 minutes a week in of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. If you can do more, even better. I am a huge fan of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) because many of us are busy with our careers and family and this type of training allows you to burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time. You do not have to go to a gym for this. You can do these exercises at home.

Use sunscreen

This tip may surprise many, but there are plenty of Black people that have been diagnosed with skin cancer and, unfortunately, have died as a result. To avoid skin cancer, the American Cancer Society suggests avoiding the sun in the middle of the day, staying in the shade whenever possible, covering exposed areas of your skin, using generous amounts of sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds and sunlamps.

Keep your immunizations up to date

This is a hot topic in the news right now, although the conversation is centered around kids. It is important to get immunized to prevent certain types of cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is imperative that you have your Hepatitis B vaccination because it is often linked to liver cancer.  The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine is available for both men and women age 26 or younger who did not receive the vaccine as an adolescent. HPV is known to cause cervical cancer, but can also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.

Related article: Ask Dr. Renee: Should Virgins Get Pap Smears?

Do not share needles because there is a high incidence of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV, which can increase the risk of liver cancer.  If you have a drug problem, seek help to stop. Practice safe sex by limiting the number of sexual partners. The more sexual partners in a lifetime increases your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection such as HIV or HPV. These infections can lead to higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung cancer.

Doctor visits

Regular doctor visits will allow you to receive screenings for various types of cancer. If you do self-exams and get your health screenings, then you increase your chances of finding cancer early leading to a favorable outcome.

Eat Healthy

Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans will help you reduce your cancer risk. Fiber is especially important when preventing colon cancer.  Try not to eat too many high-fat foods because they are higher in calories and might lead to obesity, which can be linked to an increased risk of cancer. Cancer cells like to feed off of fat tissue. Alcohol consumption is fine in moderation.  But large amounts of alcohol consumption increase the risk of breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver cancer.

 

Hopefully, you are already doing these things to live your best life now. If not, try and make some small changes so that you can live long enough to make all your dreams come true. If you would like to learn more about health, wellness and how to live your best life, please visit me at http://www.AskDrRenee.info.

Weed Legalization: Bad Parents And Good 2Chainz!

January 15th, 2015 - By Rich
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Everything ain’t for everybody and everybody ain’t ready for everything.

These are not your parents’ parents running the streets these days. You have grandparents in their 30’s. Furthermore, you have a culture that rewards and thrives off of foolishness. Don’t agree? Just look at your favorite reality TV star. However, after watching Nancy Grace and 2Chainz debate over the legalization of marijuana, it is apparent that there are foolish thoughts on both sides of the fence. Grace is a seasoned TV personality, but has devolved into a shock jock of sorts. Meanwhile, 2Chainz is much more intelligent than he is perceived publicly.

One’s position on the legalization of weed is one’s position on the legalization of weed. I am not a smoker, but that has little to do with the ability to parent kids and make rational, wise decisions. Here is an exercise for anybody that thinks this discussion has anything to do with weed and everything to do with parenting.

Say the following phrases:

I should give my child marijuana.

I should give my child crack cocaine.

I should give my child organic fruit.

I should give my child fresh vegetables.

If you say the first two of the four sentences and nod in agreement, you are almost assuredly a crappy parent. However, before I conclude, read the next set of phases and see which of them prompts you to nod affirmatively.

I should give my child organic fruit and video record it for social media.

I should give my child fresh vegetables and video record it for social media.

I should give my child marijuana and video record it for social media.

I should give my child crack cocaine and video record it for social media.

If you agree with the the second set of sentences I am going to bet my car you are probably a stupid person as well as a bad parent. See, good parents and people have an infinitely difficult time understanding the way these people move. Its like a rapper rapping about crimes they actually did. Come on, really? The situation deteriorates once children are included. Couple kids and social media with drugs or _____ (fill in the freakin’ blank with anything detrimental) and you have a headline worthy of Nancy Grace’s time.

This is nothing new. A few years ago, I was featured on Fox TV and they were trying to blame Rap music for kids smoking pot. At that time, a couple of teenagers gave children weed while the mother was in the home. I vehemently defended the culture of Hip-Hop from its accuser Fox News and turned the finger on the parents, like 2Chainz did with Nancy Grace. Check out the video below and take a walk down memory lane with me.

Once upon a time, in my early 20’s, I briefly dated this beautiful girl…that also had a penchant for 40oz of malt liquor. Before you laugh, brown water was all the rage and it was marketed to people of color accordingly using everything from rap music to Billy Dee Williams. This continues to this very day. Charlene also had a young son that I never met. For me, a non-drinker, she was interesting and exciting. That notion changed immediately when her son fell off of the third floor fire escape, an accident that resulted in permanent brain damage.

I don’t think Charlene gave her son Old English, but I certainly lost interest based on my perception of her as a mother. If you google liquor and kids, you will find queries like, “Is it OK to give your toddler beer?” For most of us, I think the answer is no, as it is with letting your child puff on a joint. People are not reasonably intelligent in a great many ways unfortunately.

It blows my natural high thinking that parents feel such behavior is acceptable. I am not surprised though. Alcohol was once illegal too at one point in history. Stoner parents aren’t necessarily bad people. Similarly, seemingly wholesome living folk have perpetrated atrocities to their kids but it wasn’t necessarily Headline News-worthy, because there was no hook.

The legalization of marijuana has its pros and cons like everything else in life, but the contradictions are apparent.

Nancy, try to tackle the drug-peddling, insanely – and ridiculously profitable – pharmaceutical giants pushing kids to use mind-numbing drugs next time. I bet ratings plummet.

Kudos to 2Chainz for representing well on this silly issue.

“I Lost Myself” Columbus Short Admits To Using Cocaine

December 10th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Columbus Short Admits To Using Cocaine

Source: Access Hollywood

You would have had to completely avoid any and all news not to have noticed that Columbus Short had been behaving erratically for the past year or so. From the public fights, domestic abuse charges and other weird interactions, it was clear something was going on. And recently, in an interview with “Access Hollywood,” the former “Scandal” actor confirmed that he was actually struggling with a drug addiction. See what he had to say about it in these excerpts and then watch the video below.

“Let me just be– I’ll be candid. I was struggling with drugs. I had a lot on my plate and was using unhealthy ways to kind of self medicate to deal with a lot of heavy stuff in my life.”

What kind of drugs?

The real drugs. I did cocaine. I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot and trying to balance a 16-hour work schedule a day and a family. I lost myself back there.

Did Shonda know? 

She did and if we’re going to be fully transparent they protected me and they held me down. And that was one of the real reasons. They just wanted me to get my stuff together. And sometimes the bottom has to get dropped out for you to really get it. So I moved to Atlanta and I’ve been living there for the last five and a half months and it’s been life changing.

Why drugs?

It was numbing stuff. I was going through a lot. Going through a lot in my marriage. I had a lot of tragic loss. Last year, one of my best friends died, he killed himself. Lee Thompson Young. And that kind of started a spiral. I found out while I was on set. It really just took my legs out from under me.

How he’s getting better

First of all I think when anybody is dealing with drugs or alcohol, you have to change your environment period. So I had to move. And my therapy really was working on my album. Music changes things, period.

The impact

You got to think at the end it didn’t just affect me or my home. It’s affected Shonda, Kerry, my kids, my grandmother, my family, my church family. People care when people are going through things. And people forget that we’re human.

A judge demanded the Columbus stay in California because of all the legal trouble. Will he be able to live and work in L.A. without succumbing to his old problems?

I used to come back in to L.A. for these court dates and I would drive through the city and I’d see these triggers, real triggers. Just memories, places. It had to take a good five months, a good five or six months for me to get strong enough so I could come back to L.A. and really do what I have to do.

Admission can be cathartic. It also helps others to hold you accountable, so props to Columbus for being honest enough and brave enough to admit this. We’re hoping and praying that he’s gotten the help he needs to stay on the right track. You can watch the whole interview, including the part where he runs off stage at the end in the video, in celebration, below.

 

Later in that same interview, Columbus talked about repairing his image in the public eye. You can watch that interview too.

Should Mona Scott-Young Make Joseline Go To Rehab?

August 25th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Joseline reportedly bit a LHHATL security guard and ripped off a piece of his flesh at the reunion show taping.

Source: IG

Months ago, we learned that the cast of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” threw down at the reunion taping. It was a full out brawl with Joseline attacking Tammy, Althea and Mimi.

A source close to the show, who wanted to remain anonymous, told our sister site Bossip that the reason Joseline was so hell bent on attacking her cast members was because she was under the influence at the time.

This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard claims or seen evidence suggesting that Joseline is using. Her “husband” Stevie J, even tested positive for cocaine when he was arrested for back child support.

But at this point people are starting to worry about Joseline’s safety as well as the safety of those around her.

The source told Bossip bluntly, “They need to send her a$$ to rehab! Having her film anything else says to Tammy, Althea and Mimi that it’s okay for her to put hands on them. She doesn’t get to act up just because she’s been tootin'”

The source said she’s watched Joseline get high on several occasions but doesn’t know whether or not she’s done so on the set of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she called her connect to get high right before shooting scenes, but that set is closed once the cameras start rolling and no one can come on set.”

The source said that Joseline is not only a threat to herself but to Stevie as well.

“I’m definitely concerned she might take it too far and kill him. Not necessarily on purpose, but Joseline is uncontrollable when she’s high. Who knows what might trigger her to pick up a weapon and use it.”

The source partially blames “Love and Hip Hop” creator Mona Scott Young, who reportedly knows about Joseline’s habit.

In fact, the source claims that Mona has created a monster.

“She needs help and if Mona wanted to do the decent thing she would require her to go to rehab before doing any more filming. Mona created that monster.”

This isn’t an unusual suggestion. Tammy suggested that she wouldn’t be taking part in this show until they started requiring drug tests.

Mona always says their show doesn’t promote violence but that certainly hasn’t been the case in the past. And if the reunion is going to be as bad as the rumors suggest it’s still not true.

But the question is, should Mona require or ask Joseline to take a drug test? Does Mona allowing her to keep working on the show pose a danger to the cast members or somehow suggest that Mona condones the crazy behavior because it increases ratings?

At this point, I can’t think of a reason why she shouldn’t.

Just Say No To Drugs: Celebrities Arrested For Possession

June 11th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Celebrities Arrested For Possession

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Over the years we have seen tons of our favorite celebrities arrested for some of the silliest reasons. Ranging from reckless behavior to nudity, celebrities just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. However, there’s one particular recreation stars just cant seem to leave alone, smoking trees! Check out this list of celebrities arrested for possession of the green stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chiara de Blasio, First Daughter of NYC, Gets ‘Teen Vogue’ Spread

December 31st, 2013 - By Rich
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Her brother Dante made headlines this year, but Chiara de Blasio, daughter of New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, will definitely become a star in her own right. She’s already landed herself a feature in the latest issue of Teen Vogue.

The 19-year-old Brooklyn girl got candid with the magazine about wanting to be part of her dad’s plans to change the city and still be her own person. A sophomore at a college in California, she’s inspired both by her dad and mom Chirlane McCray who has also worked in politics. “Seeing my parents be public servants has definitely given me this drive to help fix the planet. I definitely want to be an activist for all the issues I find righteous.”

She started with herself, releasing a really personal video about her struggles with depression and substance abuse. But for tonight, it’s all about dad; she plans to be by her dad’s side when he takes office tonight at 12:01 a.m. I can’t wait to see what else Chiara does. She obviously has a really bright future ahead of her.

These Teen Parents Forced Their Toddler to Smoke Pot

December 17th, 2013 - By Rich
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It’s not uncommon (but definitely not good) that teenagers might smoke that green. But this story about two teen parents and their pot-smoking 2-year-old is just too much. What is wrong with people?

Jessica Kelsey, 17, and George Kelsey, 18, are the parents of the 23-month-old toddler. The parents and Jessica’s father, a 54-year-old man who should really, really know better, are being charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child for , reports the Buffalo News. The alleged incident happened at the family’s house in Buffalo, New York a few weeks ago. These three people “either helped, observed or encouraged the 23-month-old to smoke marijuana from a lighted bowl”. The whole mess may or may not have been videotaped but the sheriff’s office won’t confirm or deny that.

These three fools are being held in lieu of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. The toddler is in the care of Child Protective Services.

Look, it’s one thing for an adult to make the decision to smoke but what about this little person that doesn’t get to choose? It may be fine for you but there’s no question it’s bad for the kid’s development. The only explanation that would make sense is if the parents and the granddaddy were high when they tried to give a baby drugs. They had to be.

“I Held His Pen!s Every Night” Conrad Murray Talks Michael Jackson’s Sexuality, Kids, Plastic Nose & More

November 25th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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WENN

Over the weekend, we reported that Conrad Murray claimed, once again, that he didn’t kill Michael Jackson, that Michael accidentally killed himself. Murray has been saying this for years now. But this particular interview with The Mail,  Murray had faaaaaar more than that to say. In the lengthy interview, Murray attempts to “clear” his name by describing the friendship he and Michael shared. And because the two were so close for the icon’s final years and Michael trusted him, he was privy to some of the most intimate details of Jackson’s life. And I do mean in-tim-ate. This interview answers many of the questions we’ve had about Michael Jackson for decades now, including why he was so adamant about bleaching his skin, the biology of his children, his sexuality and the abuse Jackson had suffered at the hands of his family and others he had once trusted. You can check out some of the highlights below.

Michael’s drug use 

Murray says that when he initially went to work for Michael in 2006, he was already using propofol. When he came to his home to help him prepare for his comeback tour, he realized that Michael had a personal stash of the drug which Murray did not supply.

He told me there were doctors in Germany that gave it to him. I didn’t agree with this at all, but Michael wasn’t the kind of man you can say no to. He would always find a way.

So I acquired propofol and gave it to him over a two-and-a-half month period as I weaned him off it, which I finally achieved three days before he died.

I would never have recommended propofol to Michael. 

But when I  got there he was on it – he called it “milk” – and he needed to get off it. I wanted to help my friend.

How he and Michael were able to develop such a close friendship. 

He liked me because I wasn’t starstruck. The children loved me. We shared similar backgrounds.

He had a very unhappy childhood and was beaten and abused by his father. I came from poverty and didn’t meet my father until I was 25. We were both forgotten little boys.

 Michael had a lot of lingering pain. He would sing the song The Little Boy Who Santa Claus Forgot to me and say, ‘That’s our song.’

 I protected him. I am only  speaking now because I have been unfairly vilified.

He told me he believed he had been sexually assaulted by one  doctor while he had been under sedation. You name it, he had experienced it.

The prediction Michael made that came true in a very tragic way.

You know, for the rest of your life and my life our names will become inseparable.

I asked him, “Michael, what do you mean?” and he smiled and said, I am clairvoyant.

Skin bleaching 

Murray said Michael craved porcelain skin and he helped apply the cream he used. He rubbed it on Jackson’s back.

He transformed himself because he wanted to obscure where he came from. He wanted to look different from his family. He wanted porcelain, flawless skin. Those were his words.

More quotes about Michael’s children, his sexuality and the plastic nose on the following pages.