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  1. TitusCrow
    Source: University of Florida
    Date: October 23, 2006

    Like some drug déjà vu, cocaine use is once again on the rise among students and the rich and famous, a trend University of Florida researchers say likely signals a recurring epidemic of abuse.

    Once known as the champagne of drugs, cocaine killed "Saturday Night Live" comedian John Belushi and basketball star Len Bias in the 1980s before use declined in the 1990s.

    Now new data from UF and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show that since 2000 cocaine has increasingly been cited as the cause of death in coroner's reports, and that the number of cocaine deaths per 100,000 people in the state has nearly doubled in the past five years, from 150 in 2000 to nearly 300 in 2005. The steepest per capita rise in death rates was in college towns and wealthy, upper-class seaside communities, such as Melbourne, West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys.

    What's happening in Florida is likely occurring coast to coast, says Mark Gold, M.D., a distinguished professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, anesthesiology and community health and family medicine at UF's College of Medicine. Gold and colleagues analyzed FDLE data gathered in Florida and presented their findings Oct. 15 at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in Atlanta.
    "Our data is closest to real time to any data available in the United States," Gold said. "With death reports, there is no fudge factor. The other states will show the same thing: That we are in the early stages of a new cocaine epidemic that is being led by the rich and famous and students with large amounts of disposable income and that is responsible for more emergency room visits and more cocaine-related deaths than we have seen at any time since the last cocaine epidemic."

    Prescription drugs, often abused for the immediate rush of euphoria they trigger, can cause sudden respiratory or cardiac arrest. In contrast, cocaine's cumulative effects - including blood vessel damage that increases the risk of heart attack or stroke over time - can unexpectedly kill years after abuse begins, Gold said.

    "Cocaine gives them a feeling of incredible mastery, that they are immune to the laws of nature," said Gold, who is affiliated with UF's McKnight Brain Institute. "But it causes consequences. You can't say you are out of the risk window simply by surviving the use event. Death can come some time in the future." Cocaine temporarily induces a high but depletes the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which in turn triggers a craving for more of the drug. It is this "drive for the drug," he said, that makes it more likely for someone who has used cocaine once to use it a second time.

    Gold and his colleagues, including Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine at UF's College of Medicine, said models, artists and other celebrities addicted to cocaine have "advertised" the drug, enticing students and others with disposable income, who are now among the most frequent users.

    Funding for the data analysis came from the UF Foundation's Substance Abuse Research Endowment.

    UF experts said the recent spike in deaths should serve as a wake-up call, prompting more drug education in schools and communities nationwide. Gold said such interventions are necessary to avoid another full-fledged cocaine epidemic.

    "Hopefully, with warning and prevention we can help users realize that this is a chronic problem without a cure and their longevity is at question," he said.

Comments

  1. Nicaine
    Doh, drug trends move in cycles... nothing more or less profound about it than that. Might as well be talking about certain styles of blue jeans getting popular again, it's just that mundane in SWIM's opinion. Except maybe for being a sign that the meth furor is starting to die down.
  2. Benga
    somehow "new data hint at oncoming stonewashed epidemic" doesn't sound as catchy.
    just kidding, i agree. It's also a sign the new markets / trade routes have been opened when it comes to the rising amounts hitting europe asia and africa for instance.

    ----
    i'm in a silly mood today, can't help picking up on that one, sorry

    like some blue jeans déjà vu, stonewashed is once again on the rise among students and the rich and famous, a trend University of Florida researchers say likely signals a recurring epidemic of wearing.

    Once known as the champagne of blue jeans, stonewashed killed "Saturday Night Live" comedian John Belushi and basketball star Len Bias in the 1980s before use declined in the 1990s.

    Now new data from UF and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show that since 2000 stonewashed has increasingly been cited as the cause of death in coroner's reports, and that the number of stonewashed deaths per 100,000 people in the state has nearly doubled in the past five years, from 150 in 2000 to nearly 300 in 2005. The steepest per capita rise in death rates was in college towns and wealthy, upper-class seaside communities, such as Melbourne, West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys.

    What's happening in Florida is likely occurring coast to coast, says Mark Gold, M.D., a distinguished professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, anesthesiology and community health and family medicine at UF's College of Medicine. Gold and colleagues analyzed FDLE data gathered in Florida and presented their findings Oct. 15 at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in Atlanta.
    "Our data is closest to real time to any data available in the United States," Gold said. "With death reports, there is no fudge factor. The other states will show the same thing: That we are in the early stages of a new stonewashed epidemic that is being led by the rich and famous and students with large amounts of disposable income and that is responsible for more emergency room visits and more stonewashed-related deaths than we have seen at any time since the last stonewashed epidemic."

    Prescription blue jeans, often worn for the immediate rush of euphoria they trigger, can cause sudden respiratory or cardiac arrest. In contrast, stonewashed's cumulative effects - including blood vessel damage that increases the risk of heart attack or stroke over time - can unexpectedly kill years after wearing begins, Gold said.

    "stonewashed gives them a feeling of incredible mastery, that they are immune to the laws of nature," said Gold, who is affiliated with UF's McKnight Brain Institute. "But it causes consequences. You can't say you are out of the risk window simply by surviving the use event. Death can come some time in the future." stonewashed temporarily induces a high but depletes the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which in turn triggers a craving for more of the blue jeans. It is this "drive for the blue jeans," he said, that makes it more likely for someone who has used stonewashed once to use it a second time.

    Gold and his colleagues, including Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine at UF's College of Medicine, said models, artists and other celebrities addicted to stonewashed have "advertised" the blue jeans, enticing students and others with disposable income, who are now among the most frequent wearers.

    Funding for the data analysis came from the UF Foundation's Substance wearing Research Endowment.

    UF experts said the recent spike in deaths should serve as a wake-up call, prompting more blue jeans education in schools and communities nationwide. Gold said such interventions are necessary to avoid another full-fledged stonewashed epidemic.

    "Hopefully, with warning and prevention we can help users realize that this is a chronic problem without a cure and their longevity is at question," he said.

    b
  3. Bajeda
    The fact that it says cocaine killed John Belushi rather than speedball (followed by a description of exactly what it is of course) makes me skeptical of this article. Just seeing that near the beginning alone gives me a sense of bias against coke in the article.



    I find it especially funny that the UNODC seems to think cocaine use is on a downtrend in the US. Spikes in coke-related deaths could mean any of a number of things, and to relate it to an upcoming epidemic is quite stupid.

    http://www.unodc.org/pdf/WDR_2006/wdr2006_chap1_cocaine.pdf


    Looks like some people need to get their facts together and procede cautiously before proclaiming the end of the world again.



    BajEdit: [​IMG] @ Benga's post
  4. wednesday
    "What's happening in Florida is likely occurring coast to coast" the first clue
  5. TitusCrow
    The article is quite silly, which is why SWIM thought it'd be interesting to share.

    It's really sad that an actual University is doing research like this, it seems like their wasting time, money and obviously 'education', on conducting studies which simply acknowledge facts that are already quite obvious.

    It's also just a little note for the SWIY's out there who may be considering attending the University of Florida. :)
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