Fake Opioid Treatment Distributors Targeted by FDA

One of the unfortunate side effects of a market driven economy is the incentive of money that can motivate some people and their companies to put profits and exploitation above the customer satisfaction and even safety. With the opioid epidemic catching a large portion of the news cycle, morally ambiguous businesses are popping up claiming to have solutions to opioid addiction while completely avoiding the approval process of the FDA, which was established by congress passing the Food and Drug Act in 1906 to protect consumers from negligent business practices. The FDA approval process for drugs involves rigorous testing and proving the effectiveness of the drug, reviewing and documenting possible side effects and general safety when used by the consumer.

Recently, numerous reports to the FDA drew attention to the marketing of tianeptine by at least two specific companies who are being investigated for violating the regulatory laws resulting from marketing the drug under the supplement category. In some countries, the drug is approved for sale as an antidepressant, but has been rejected by the FDA for any use due to the risks of use which include neurological, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems in addition to mimicking opioid withdrawal and toxicity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in August the number of tianeptine exposure calls to U.S. poison control centers rose during 2014 to 2017, suggesting a possible emerging public health risk.

 

Tianeptine as a “Dietary Supplement”

Tianeptine itself, being distributed as a ‘dietary supplement’ in order to avoid FDA approval as a safe consumer-grade drug, was found to be in Tianaa Red, Tianaa Green and Tianaa White distributed by Jack B Goods Outlet Store and Vicaine, distributed by MA Labs. The FDA issued warnings to cease distribution of these products in an effort to ensure consumer safety. With the opioid crisis showing very little signs of slowing down overall, the FDA has it’s work cut out for them in maintaining a safe consumer environment that prevents exploitation of businesses in this way to cash in on the addiction epidemic.

While these two specific companies were the only ones named in the warning letters sent out, which does not demand any monetary compensation related to the customers whose health was adversely affected already, there’s no authoritative information available at this time about how many different ‘supplements’ are currently sold under different names and outlets.

Opioid addiction is serious and requires professional treatment and rehab to be successful within an addict. The biggest risk to an addict is overdose which can lead to death. The longer the addiction goes on, the risk to overdose increases as well. If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, 1st Step Behavioral Health can help. Please call (866) 319-6126 to speak to a qualified counselor about treatment options and residential in the southern Florida area.

Alcohol Deaths On The Rise

While media attention centers on the ‘opioid epidemic’, it’s obscured another addiction that is claiming an increasing number of lives. Alcohol kills more people than overdoses of opioids through both accidents while under the influence and health effects of prolonged alcohol use such as cirrhosis, cancer, pancreatitis and suicide. The increase of alcohol related deaths between 2007 and 2017 has risen 24%, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Among the most affected of this increase are women. The rate of alcohol related deaths in women rose by 87% during this period. While teen deaths dropped 16%, the deaths are increased along with age due to the prolonged use of alcohol leading to chronic illness. State restriction on the substance typically had a negative correlation to the death rate. Alabama, for instance, has very strict laws around alcohol purchasing yet was ranked third in states with the most deaths. In fact, southern states, like Florida, had higher death rates due to alcohol related reasons responsible partially to the level medical care in the region. Southern states rate lower overall in areas related to overall health care. The only difference in consumption between states with stricter alcohol policies was lower overall amounts of binge drinking.

 

Studying Binge Drinking

A study into binge drinking conducted by research reported in the February 2018 journal issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research an increase in women ending up in the emergency room, mostly middle-aged. The complications of prolonged drinking, along with binging, would lead to complications of dealing with multiple issues at once; pumping the stomach, draining trapped fluid from the stomach due to cirrhosis and emptying their lungs of vomit to prevent drowning. Other complications included brain hemorrhaging or internal bleeding due to alcohol’s effects on the blood which prevents clotting while thinning the blood itself. With age and continued drinking, women are falling ill to dementia, heart failure and immune suppression resulting in infections that spread rapidly.

While the opioid epidemic claimed around  70,000 lives in 2017, alcohol claimed 80,000 but still being largely unnoticed as an epidemic itself. One of the causes of this oversight comes with the fact that alcoholism’s propensity to lead to so many other health problems that end up being the final ‘reason’ reported as a death. A person who dies of heart-valve disease isn’t seen in the public eye as an alcoholic or alcohol related death. Combined with the legality of the substance, it makes overlooking its effects on Americans, especially women, at this scale quite easy to miss.

If you or anyone you know could be suffering from alcoholism, call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for more information about South Florida alcohol treatment and to find out more about treatment options in Pompano for you or a loved one.