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Overdose Antidote Narcan Now Available In Vending Machines In Las Vegas

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Update: A previous version of this article stated that Narcan nasal spray was carried in these machines, but a representative with Trac-B Exchange in Las Vegas has informed us that it’s actually the injectable/intramuscular version of the medicine.

To help prevent overdoses in Las Vegas, The Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) in Nevada has begun installing vending machines stocked with Narcan throughout the city. In effect, the medicine brings people back to life when they are in the midst of a potentially deadly overdose.

In addition to providing Narcan, the machines hold clean syringes and a container to dispose of dirty needles. The machines also provide other useful items like hygiene kits, safe sex kits as well as pregnancy tests.

Vending machines in Las Vegas now provide the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan for free. Image via Facebook

“There are numerous kits inside those machines. Narcan is becoming more readily available in Nevada, it’s being used more often, and we see a lot of reversals of overdoses,” Krista Hales of the CBH said.

The kits are free, but only available to people who have registered with the CBH’s needle exchange program. After signing up for the program, participants receive a card giving them access to the vending machines.

Only three vending machines have been set up in the area so far, but CBH hopes the program will soon expand.

Narcan now available in Las Vegas vending machines

New vending machines in the Las Vegas valley are intended to help fight the opioid addiction in Southern Nevada. More >> https://bit.ly/2JLvOIY

Posted by KTNV Channel 13 Action News on Thursday, March 28, 2019

Heroin is currently one of the most damaging drugs on the face of the planet. Many Americans have lost friends, loved ones and family members to heroin addiction, leading people to repeat “something must be done” to stop it.

Sadly, that something usually comes in the form of fines, arrests, prison time and other police state tactics. However, these commonly used tactics have yet to show significant results. Drugs have become dirtier and more dangerous, the black market has become more violent, and prison time associated with drug offenses has continued to climb.

Heroin addiction is a serious problem, but as counter-intuitive as it sounds, many believe the best way to prevent heroin overdoses is to legalize it. Countries, like Portugal, that have decriminalized all drugs, experience fewer overdoses than countries continuing to cling to prohibition. The Washington Post reported that drug overdoses are extremely rare in Portugal, a country with some of the lowest rates of addiction in the world.

Critics of legalization and decriminalization fear that drugs would be out of control and rates of addiction would skyrocket, but modern examples show this is simply untrue.

Currently, under the state of prohibition that most of the world experiences, the treatment and assistance that addicts receive is severely limited and used mostly to punish via highly regulated inpatient and outpatient programs. In an environment of prohibition, the strategy is punishment instead of harm reduction, which is more humane, realistic and effective way of handling serious social problems like heroin addiction.

Examples of harm reduction tactics include needle exchange programs, easy access to drug testing kits at events like raves, and supervised safe injection sites. Teaching condom use for sexual education, instead of abstinence is another example of how harm prevention can be successfully applied to important social issues.

While ideas like safe injection sites and easy access to Narcan are controversial to some, the fact remains that some people will continue to use these drugs regardless of their legal status and potential consequences and it is far better for them, and society as a whole, if it is done safely.

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Health

Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People

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The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.

Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.

Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.

Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.

Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.

“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”

However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.

In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”

“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”

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Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say

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With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.

According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.

The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.

The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.

While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.

Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.

“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.

“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.

Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced

However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.

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Health

Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact

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Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.

And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.

Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.

Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.

Death Toll, by Percent of Population

In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.

Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.

The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.

Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.

History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning

While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.

In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.

What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?

Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics

Republished from ZH with permission.

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