EppsNet Archive: Drugs

Terrifying Xanax Resurgence!

You know what’s good when you’re terrified? Xanax! Read more →

Oh by the Way, Doc . . .

I walked by a TV playing a pharmaceutical advertisement . . . Before taking [drug name], be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve had a liver transplant. Shouldn’t your doctor know if you’ve had a liver transplant? Read more →

A Keyword Search = Advanced Machine Learning?

A team of researchers at UC San Diego has used “advanced machine learning” to develop technology that mines Twitter to identify entities illegally selling prescription opioids online. Apologies to everyone involved if I’m misunderstanding the media release, but the advanced machine learning seems to consist of looking for tweets that contain any of the keywords codeine, Percocet, fentanyl, Vicodin, Oxycontin, oxycodone or hydrocodone and include a hyperlink. Read more →

Cocaine, Heroin, Ecsatsy

In case you hadn’t noticed, being alive is difficult and probably overrated. Why not take all the drugs you can? Just playing devil’s advocate here . . . Read more →

What Would You Charge for an EpiPen?

I don’t mean hypothetically, I mean I literally want to buy an EpiPen from you right now. My kid got stung by a bee, his face is swelling up like a balloon and his lungs are about to shut down. I see a lot of people are mad at Mylan for charging $600 for EpiPens but they don’t seem to be mad at everyone else in the world who won’t sell them an EpiPen at all. Not to mention, $600 for a life-saving treatment seems like a pretty good bargain to me. Hillary Clinton has called for reducing the price of EpiPens. Hillary Clinton has never lifted a finger in a productive enterprise in her life. She will not sell you an EpiPen no matter how much you want or need one. If the amoral profiteers at Mylan have an obligation to sell cheap EpiPens, why doesn’t Hillary Clinton? Why… Read more →

Programmer or Parolee?

Our office building is next door to a probation field office . . . I have a game I play in the parking lot each morning: Programmer or Parolee. I spot someone, guess if he’s here for a programming challenge or a meeting with his parole officer, then wait to see if he shows up in our office. If a methed-out skinhead comes in for a programming challenge, I lose today’s game. Read more →

Free Advice on Free Advice

Today a colleague offered to fix the pain in my shoulder. “Sounds like a problem with the connective tissue,” he said. “I can push it back into place.” “No,” I said. “No no no no no no no.” “Why not? Are you homophobic?” “Not wanting you to touch my shoulder is not homophobic.” Also this guy is not gay. “You don’t trust me?” “I was trying to think of a nice way to say that.” “I have a gift for this. I’ve helped a lot of people.” “You might be able to fix it. Probably you could. On the other hand, you might, just perhaps, push on it the wrong way and I lose the use of my left arm. Not worth the risk.” He then recommended that I go to a health food store and buy some red something-or-other algae to use as an anti-inflammatory. Which I’m not going… Read more →

A Couple of Random Thoughts on Gun Control

Laws don’t turn crazy people into good citizens. What reasons are there to think that gun laws would make it difficult for anyone to obtain a gun? We’ve had a War on Drugs for decades. How difficult is it to obtain illegal drugs? Read more →

25 Concepts to Facilitate Judicious Use of Psychiatric Drugs

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night . . . I also took a Colgate University class on medicating for mental health and judicious use of psychiatric drugs. A psychiatric medication is only one useful tool among a collection of useful tools. Remember to also consider non-drug options for therapy. The benefits of psychiatric medications are always accompanied by risk. Become familiar with the potential risk of your medication. Be alert to potential risks that might be intolerable to you. Establishing a diagnosis is a difficult and imperfect task, but it establishes the starting point for determining which treatments are appropriate. Engage your physician or a psychologist in a dialogue regarding the structure of your treatment program. Be an active participant in establishing the structure of that program. Having confidence that your treatment program will… Read more →

Lose the Pastels and the Mopey Attitude

Americans love gay people. Since this photo has been posted, it has 60,000 shares, 60,000 comments (including presidential candidates) and 640,000 (that’s six hundred and forty thousand) likes. In the short time since the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling there’s been a national competition to see who can demonstrate the most elation about it. (OK, if you’re gay, a few bad apples will dislike you based on that alone but that’s true if you’re identifiable as a member of any group, which we all are.) I’m afraid about the future. I’m afraid people won’t like me. Leave out the part about being homosexual and you could post a picture of anyone. The percentage of Americans who can’t get through the day without medication — I’m including self-medication via alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, food, etc. — is a lot closer to 100 than it is to zero. Nobody’s life is a fairy… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Collected Thoughts

If you recognize the person on this next slide, please raise your hand. Don’t yell out the name, just raise your hand. About two-thirds of you recognize Derek Jeter. I thought everyone would recognize him, but still a clear majority. I’m not a Yankees fan or a Derek Jeter fan particularly but the Captain and I are on the same page on this topic. I have to admit I was pretty competitive as a student. I didn’t want anyone to do better than me and I especially didn’t want anyone to do better than me because they worked harder than me. This Jeter quote reminded me of a quote from another notable sports figure . . . This is Bob Knight, college basketball coach, most notably at the University of Indiana. He won 902 games, three NCAA championships, and he coached the 1984 Olympic basketball team to a gold medal.… Read more →

Can You See the Real Me, Doctor?

I decided to get off meds for a while . . . Things That Are the Same I start every morning thinking about how great it would be to just stay in bed the rest of the day. Repeatedly hitting the snooze alarm — does life get any better than that? I live in fear of negative judgment. I dread being around other people. (May be just a restatement of #2). Things That Are Different I don’t feel like I’m in as much of a fog all the time. I feel sadder, angrier, happier, more scared, more alive for better or worse. Read more →

People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . . What the 1% Don’t Want Us to Know Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About 20 Terrifying Facts Food Companies Don’t Want You to Know 11 things the Koch brothers don’t want you to know What hospitals don’t want you to know about C-sections 5 Things Hackers Don’t Want You to Know The Sad Secret Successful People Don’t Want You To Know 7 Rip-Offs Corporations and the Wealthy Don’t Want You to Know About Something Most Christians Don’t Want You to Know 11 Secrets Supermarkets Don’t Want You to Know Conspiracies: Five things they don’t want you to know The 25 Shadiest Things Drug Companies Don’t Want You To Know 11 Secrets Pilots Don’t Want You To Know Bottled Water: 10 Shockers “They” Don’t Want You… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

The worst thing you can do to people, aside from physical injury, is give them the idea to blame their failures on vague impersonal forces or the actions of anybody but themselves. It doesn’t promote success or happiness. I don’t know any happy people who think like that. For example, I read this in a New York Times article about an impoverished area of West Virginia: John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County. That is just awful. I live in Southern California, not too far from the ocean . . . I’m familiar with undertows (although I’ve never heard of a “dark” undertow). First of all, sorry to be pedantic but undertows aren’t dangerous . . . they’re just after-effects of individual waves. What’s dangerous is a riptide . . . a concentrated flow of water that… Read more →

The War on Poverty is 50 Years Old

The New York Times has an update from McDowell County, West Virginia, on how the War on Poverty is going after 50 years . . . Of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the lowest median household income, $22,000; the worst childhood obesity rate; and the highest teenage birthrate. It is also reeling from prescription drug abuse. The death rate from overdoses is more than eight times the national average. Of the 115 babies born in 2011 at Welch Community Hospital, over 40 had been exposed to drugs. . . . Many in McDowell County acknowledge that depending on government benefits has become a way of life, passed from generation to generation. Nearly 47 percent of personal income in the county is from Social Security, disability insurance, food stamps and other federal programs. . . . The poverty rate, 50 percent in 1960, declined – partly as a result of… Read more →

A Saddening Trip to the Vet

Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. — Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”   I’m picking up Lightning’s prescription at the vet . . . the new girl, Lauren, is at the desk. I can hear a woman weeping loudly from back in the hospital area. “That doesn’t sound good,” I say. “A husky attacked her dog at the dog park,” Lauren says. “A little Yorkie. Broke its neck.” “That’s awful.” I don’t even have the heart to ask her if she cut the pills on the lines. Read more →

Don’t Try to Be Funny at the Vet

I’m picking up a prescription for Lightning at the vet . . . the new girl, Lauren, is at the desk. “It’s a little different this time,” Lauren says. “We didn’t have the Prednisone 5mg, so we’re giving you Prednisone 10mg, and instead of giving him half a tablet, you’ll give him a quarter of a tablet. I already cut them.” “Oh gosh, thanks! Did you cut them on the lines?” Lauren is new so she hasn’t heard this one yet. “To the best of my ability.” “That’s good. Lightning doesn’t like it when they’re not cut on the lines.” She’s not getting the joke but that’s okay. I’ll help her out by taking it completely into the realm of the absurd. “He feels like it doesn’t show attention to detail,” I say. “I’ll make a note of that for next time.” “Yes, you should do that. Go ahead and… Read more →

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday of an apparent drug overdose at his Manhattan apartment. Police responded to the 46-year-old’s apartment in the West Village shortly after 11 a.m., police sources told FoxNews.com. A friend found his body in the apartment and phoned police. Hoffman was alone in his bathroom when he was discovered with a heroin-filled needle in his arm, law enforcement sources said. — Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment from apparent drug overdose I am really shocked to hear that. People are shooting up heroin first thing in the morning?! To me, a shot of heroin — like a nice, warm bath — is best enjoyed in the evening, to unwind after the travails of the day. This is yet another blow to a theory that most Americans believe, which is that wealth is synonymous with happiness. Philip Seymour Hoffman, he’s in… Read more →

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