Here’s a fascinating story about how hypothermia treatments are being used for newborn babies when there is a possibility that brain damage has occurred, like in instances where the umbilical cord was wrapped around the newborn’s neck. We’ve seen similar treatments used with great success for spinal cord injuries, as the cold slows down the death of brain and nerve cells after an injury.
Something which sounds as harmless as “bath salts” is actually a synthetic drug and the results can be deadly.
Bath salts contain amphetamine-like chemicals such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and pyrovalerone. They’re referred to as a “designer drug of the phenethylamine class” by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Other drugs in this class include amphetamines, mescaline, and ephedrine. MDPV comes in a powdered form that is inhaled, swallowed or shot into a vein. Bath Salts are sold as “cocaine substitutes” or “synthetic LSD”.
When MDPV gets to the brain, the effects include producing feelings of empathy, stimulation, alertness, euphoria, sensory awareness and hallucinations. Other reported effects include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and sweating. According to the DEA, MDPV has been reported to cause intense panic attacks, psychosis, and a strong desire to use the drug again.
Public awareness is growing as popularity of the drug has made it’s way into schools causing parents and teachers to be on the lookout for changes in behavior.
This highly addictive substance has resulted in a rise of emergency room visits and calls to poison control.
The resulting psychosis which can occur has led to devastating violence such as that seen in the video above.
Christopher Hitchens was recently diagnosed with cancer, and he discusses his “battle” in a way that one he could.
It’s quite something, this chemo-poison. It has caused me to lose about 14 pounds, though without making me feel any lighter. It has cleared up a vicious rash on my shins that no doctor could ever name, let alone cure. (Some venom, to get rid of those furious red dots without a struggle.) Let it please be this mean and ruthless with the alien and its spreading dead-zone colonies. But as against that, the death-dealing stuff and life-preserving stuff have also made me strangely neuter. I was fairly reconciled to the loss of my hair, which began to come out in the shower in the first two weeks of treatment, and which I saved in a plastic bag so that it could help fill a floating dam in the Gulf of Mexico. But I wasn’t quite prepared for the way that my razorblade would suddenly go slipping pointlessly down my face, meeting no stubble. Or for the way that my newly smooth upper lip would begin to look as if it had undergone electrolysis, causing me to look a bit too much like somebody’s maiden auntie. (The chest hair that was once the toast of two continents hasn’t yet wilted, but so much of it was shaved off for various hospital incisions that it’s a rather patchy affair.) I feel upsettingly de-natured. If Penélope Cruz were one of my nurses, I wouldn’t even notice. In the war against Thanatos, if we must term it a war, the immediate loss of Eros is a huge initial sacrifice.
Read the whole article. Hitchens is brutally honest as he always is. In his own way he offers an inspiring piece, as he’s able to accept the situation he faces.
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