Posted in Health, marijuana, news

Half of Medical Marijuana Users Admit to Driving “High”

A study from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found more than 50% of medical marijuana users admitted to driving within 2 hours of using cannabis and feeling “high.”

Study authors surveyed 790 medical marijuana patients in Michigan who were using the products for chronic pain, and asked about their driving habits over the last 6 months.

 

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Marijuana Medical Benefits are Strain Specific

 

More than half admitted to “feeling high” when behind the wheel, and 21.7% admitted to driving when they were “very high.”

Study author, Dr. Erin Bonar, a licensed psychiatrist and assistant professor, found the results “troubling,” advising against using marijuana when driving. She states, “Research studies show that things like your coordination and reaction time can be slowed by using marijuana, and those functions are important when you are driving.”

Did the Legalization of Marijuana Lead to a Rise in STD’s and Foodborne Illness?

 

Consumerreports.org reports the following:

A recent study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which found motor vehicle crashes were up 6 percent in four states where recreational marijuana is legal—Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington—compared with four neighboring states where marijuana is restricted or illegal. 

Most users of medical marijuana are not using cannabis to get high, as some lack the THC, tetrahydrocannibinol, psychoactive component. However, many preparations may and those using it for medial purposes may be unaware that they could still be committing a DUI.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Health, news, opioids

“Drugged Driving” Causes Nearly HALF of all Fatal Crashes

IMAGE ABOVE FROM GRANDPARENTS.COM

 

We commonly think of DUI’s, or Driving Under the Influence, a result of drinking alcohol and driving while intoxicated.  However what many people fail to realize is drugs, including prescriptions, could decrease your ability to drive safely, hence putting you at risk for a DUI when alcohol wasn’t even ingested.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that more fatal crashes were the result of drug use as opposed to alcohol use.

These findings showed that although alcohol was involved in 38% of fatal crashes, prescriptions and illegal drugs were responsible for 44% of driver- related deaths (similar to last year’s findings of 37% and 43% respectively).

Looking deeper they found 58 % of drug related fatal car crashes were the result of marijuana, opioids or both being on board.

According to their report, entitled, Drug-Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States, “44% of fatally-injured drivers with known results tested positive for drugs, up from 28% just 10 years prior.”

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Opioid overdose is currently responsible for 115 deaths per day.  And as marijuana becomes legalized throughout the country, more people run the risk of being on a combination of the two, which can be deadly if they get behind the wheel.

“Drugged driving” manifests in less reaction time, poor coordination, memory loss, and distortion of one’s reality or surroundings.

Now what about prescription drugs?  California Vehicle Code 23152(e) states, “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”

So what prescription drugs could impair one’s driving?

The obvious ones include the following:

Narcotics such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine…to name a few

Muscle relaxants such as carisprodol, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol……

Sleep aids such as zolpidem, eszopiclone….

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Anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam…..

However surprisingly, these next groups of medications can also cause sedation:

Cholesterol medications such as statins:  lovastatin, atorvastatin, etc. may cause fatigue and recent studies have found them to cause “excessive tiredness”.

Stomach acid suppressants such as proton pump inhibitors:  omeprazole, lansoprazole have been reported to cause vitamin deficiencies such as B12 and magnesium which in turn can cause fatigue.

nexium-prevacid-prilosec2

Antibiotics that treat many common infections:  Amoxicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin have been known to cause fatigue.

Diuretics for blood pressure and water retention:  hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide cause potassium loss in the urine which may contribute to fatigue

Antihistamines:  anti-allergy medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are very sedating, which is why they are used in some over the counter sleep aids.  There are some reports that the younger generation of medications such as Zyrtec can cause drowsiness as well.

Blood pressure medications:  these can include the ACE inhibitors such as captopril, enalapril;  calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine; beta blockers such as metoprolol as well as the diuretic family mentioned previously.

Antidepressants: many antidepressants additionally help with anxiety through their sedating effects such as trazadone, paroxitine, and escitalopram to name a few.

Mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, and antipsychotics can cause fatigue as well.

Despite the rarity of these types of cases, the potential is still there for one to not only receive a DUI but injure himself or others if the prescription makes him less alert, i.e. decreases his “sobriety”.  Discuss with your medical provider if you feel drowsy after you take your medication and if there are less sedating options.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio, KDWN and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news, Sports

Tiger Woods DUI Tox Report Positive for Benzodiazepines, Narcotics and Sleep Meds

Tiger Woods’ toxicology report in regards to his May arrest suggests his DUI was caused by a mixture of pain, sleep, and anxiety medications.

The report released Monday revealed the 41 year old pro-golfer had the following in his system when he was found asleep in his car on the side of the road while the lights were on and turning signal was flashing:  Ambien, Xanax, Dilaudid, Vicodin and Delta-9 carboxy THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Woods had undergone spinal fusion surgery weeks prior.

Vicodin is a narcotic made of hydrocodone and acetaminophen.  It is used for pain and most commonly prescribed post-operatively.

Dilaudid is hydromorphone, a stronger narcotic.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine used for sedation, relaxation and to lower anxiety.

Ambien is a hypnotic type of sedative used for sleep and works within 15 minutes of ingestion.

Delta-9 carboxy THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

None of these medications are to be used while driving.  Additionally none should ever be used in combination.  The respiratory depression of one narcotic combined with the sedative effect of the benzodiazepine or hypnotic could cause death.

Woods entered a plea of not guilty to DUI, as alcohol was not involved and a mixture of medications was to blame, but its been reported a deal was made among prosecutors including a lesser charge of reckless driving and a stint in a “diversion program”.

Last month Woods stated he completed a private intensive program on his own.

On Monday he stated, “Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance.”

Polypharmacy, or taking multiple medications at the same time, can increase the risk of serious adverse events if the drugs act synergystically or mask side effects of one another.

Many overdoses occuring with pain pills may not always be a quantity issue with the narcotic but rather a mixture of the narcotic with another medication such as those taken by Tiger Woods.  He was lucky to still be alive when found as were those pedestrians or drivers on the street that evening.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Tiger Woods DUI – a Possible Reaction to 4 Medications

Image above from (Left) Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, (right) AP

Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods was arrested Monday am for suspected DUI.  Alcohol was not involved, but the 41 year old pro golfer was allegedly “asleep” at the wheel when he was found by law enforcement near his home in Jupiter, Florida.

He was allegedly taking four medications:  Soloxer, Vicodin, Torix and Vioxx. These medications appear to be a muscle relaxant (may be a medication similar to Skelaxin), opiate, and two types of non steroidal antiinflammatories.

Monday evening he released the following statement, “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.

“I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.

“I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office for their professionalism.”

He had recently recovered from spinal fusion surgery on April 20 after he underwent multiple microdiscetomies for various back injuries throughout his career.  Pain medications, such as opioids, can impair a driver, as well as a mixture of medications that may include muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety medications.  Any of the above could make one appear he is driving drunk.

In response to fans asking if he would play soon, on his website Woods wrote, “I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”

In addition to being plagued with injuries, including an right knee ACL tear in 2008, his personal life left him bruised as well.

Thanksgiving Day, 2009, Tiger Woods crashed his Escalade outside his Florida home when his then wife, model Elin Nordegren , hurled a golf club at the car after learning of her husband’s extra marital affairs.

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At the time Tiger Woods admitted to having a “sex addiction” and admitted himself into rehab.  In an interview in 2010, Woods said, “For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go. But I’ve taken my first steps in the right direction.”  He stated he had “repeated irresponsible behavior” and said, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated.”

More details have yet to be revealed regarding Monday’s DUI arrest, but the New York Post  reported he was driving his 2015 Mercedes-Benz “erratically, all over the road” before stopped by law enforcement.

Unfortunately, “sex addiction” and alcohol use, or impulse behaviors go hand in hand.

What is Impulse Control Disorder?

Impulse Control Disorder occurs when one hurts themselves or others by not resisting their temptations.  These temptations could include sexual escapades, drinking binges, eating disorders, excessive gambling, stealing (kleptomania), setting fires (pyromania), and addictions to drugs.

A feeling of guilt comes after one acts on his/her impulse and will be seen especially after an intermittent explosive disorder which involves rage and anger.

Many who suffer from impulse control disorder suffer from mood disorders, substance abuse and/or addictions.

Treatment includes behavioral therapy, treating the underlying addiction, and at times, medications.

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Your daily medications and DUI’s – are you at risk?

Image above from Grandparents.com

We commonly think of DUI’s, or Driving Under the Influence, a result of drinking alcohol and driving while intoxicated.  However what many people fail to realize is drugs, including prescriptions, could decrease your ability to drive safely, hence putting you at risk for a DUI when alcohol wasn’t even ingested.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that more fatal crashes were the result of drug use as opposed to alcohol use.

These findings showed that although alcohol was involved in 37% of fatal crashes, prescriptions and illegal drugs were responsible for 43% of driver- related deaths.

Looking deeper into data available from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), they found 36.5 % of drug related fatal car crashes were the result of marijuana use.

Now what about prescription drugs?  California Vehicle Code 23152(e) states, “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”

So what prescription drugs could impair one’s driving?

The obvious ones include the following:

Narcotics such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine…to name a few

Muscle relaxants such as carisprodol, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol……

Sleep aids such as zolpidem, eszopiclone….

Anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam…..

However surprisingly, these next groups of medications can also cause sedation:

Cholesterol medications such as statins:  lovastatin, atorvastatin, etc. may cause fatigue and recent studies have found them to cause “excessive tiredness”.

Stomach acid suppressants such as proton pump inhibitors:  omeprazole, lansoprazole have been reported to cause vitamin deficiencies such as B12 and magnesium which in turn can cause fatigue.

Antibiotics that treat many common infections:  Amoxicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin have been known to cause fatigue.

Diuretics for blood pressure and water retention:  hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide cause potassium loss in the urine which may contribute to fatigue

Antihistamines:  anti-allergy medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are very sedating, which is why they are used in some over the counter sleep aids.  There are some reports that the younger generation of medications such as Zyrtec can cause drowsiness as well.

Blood pressure medications:  these can include the ACE inhibitors such as captopril, enalapril;  calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine; beta blockers such as metoprolol as well as the diuretic family mentioned previously.

Antidepressants: many antidepressants additionally help with anxiety through their sedating effects such as trazadone, paroxitine, and escitalopram to name a few.

Mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, and antipsychotics can cause fatigue as well.

Despite the rarity of these types of cases, the potential is still there for one to not only receive a DUI but injure himself or others if the prescription makes him less alert, i.e. decreases his “sobriety”.  Discuss with your medical provider if you feel drowsy after you take your medication and if there are less sedating options.

 

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician