The unregulated sale of controlled drugs through online pharmacies is a growing trend in the United States. In a society heavily influenced by the sultry lure of the prescription medications that are currently used to treat a variety of biological and behavioral problems, it comes as no surprise that eventually many of our medical needs would be met by online pharmaceutical retailers. There are many benefits to this type of drug distribution. The disabled or homebound population can have their medications conveniently delivered to their homes, shoppers enjoy a certain level of discretion and anonymity, and the selection of products is vast. Item information can be easily researched and compared through the use of websites, and computers can quickly catch potentially dangerous prescription errors. However, despite the seeming benefits of this online trade, there are many significant drawbacks also associated with the sale of online prescription drugs.
In a study released last Wednesday July 9th, by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, under the leadership of Joseph Califano, it was found that most websites selling prescription opioids, stimulants, and depressants require no legitimate prescription to do so. This rise in illegitimate drug activity has also been linked to the growing abuse of prescription drugs especially amongst college students. This year alone there are 365 sites devoted to selling controlled medications by mail. Controlled drugs commonly purchased without a prescription included Oxycontin, methadone, Vicodin, Xanax, and Valium.
According to a 2005 study completed by Christopher Littlejohn and his associates, online merchants can be categorized into four basic types–”legitimate,” “subscription,” “lifestyle” and “no-prescription.” Legitimate pharmacies operate similarly to traditional pharmacies. Customers must have a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner, and in general these websites do not offer the types of controlled prescription drugs that are most commonly obtained illegally and abused. Users of subscription pharmacies are granted access to a full range of drugs without a prescription once they sign up for a program and pay a membership fee. These subscription websites are furtively maintained in hard-to-regulate areas of the world like Mexico and Asia. Lifestyle pharmacies ask customers to fill out a medical questionnaire in lieu of a prescription. They commonly provide more elective or luxury drugs that treat conditions such as alopecia, obesity, and impotence. No-Prescription pharmacies are just that. These are sites that are willing to mail controlled drugs to online customers without a prescription. Littlejohn’s study also contended that the people who most commonly ordered drugs illegally from these websites were literate, credit card owning individuals with internet access. These three factors also lead to the inference that the abusers of online pharmacies are of a relatively high socioeconomic status.
There are many distressing consequences associated with the sale of prescription drugs online. Unlike conventional pharmacies, there is little to no consumer protection over the internet. Products can be advertised with false claims and the sale of unapproved trial drugs goes unchecked. The administrators of illegal websites often remain anonymous and can quickly disable and create new sites that make it difficult for any regulatory agency to keep track of their activities. Operations are also commonly run outside of the U.S. making law enforcement officials scramble to put together international cooperation efforts.
This lack of effective online pharmacy regulation can lead to disastrous consequences. Francine Haight of La Mesa, Calif lost her son Ryan to an overdose of the generic form of Vicodin, which he ordered without her permission online with a debit card. “The Internet made it easy for the drug dealers to sneak into your living room,” she said. The sale of online drugs has lead to drug and substance abuse, and death related to drug interactions, incorrect dosage or administration, and impure drugs. Illegal prescriptions can end up in the hands of children or others who are incapable of using them responsibly.
As the sale of controlled drugs without a prescription is a recent phenomenon, means of combating the trend are still in development. The FDA has vowed to increase public outreach and awareness, expand enforcement, and develop tighter bonds of international cooperation. In April the “Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act” was approved by the Senate and is currently being reviewed in House committee meetings. If passed, the legislation would require online pharmacies to be properly certified and for doctors to meet in person with patients before giving out a prescription for a controlled drug. Some state governments have already passed laws that regulate the online drug trade but many advocates are pushing for stricter federal regulation. Some search engine companies have begun to fight back against online sellers by employing a program called, “Pharmacy Checker.” The device filters out unlawful advertisers and forces them to provide verification.
The sale of controlled drugs over the internet is proliferating quickly and as is commonly seen with progress in technology, there is a gap between action and regulation. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, 85% of internet drugs sales are controlled drugs while only 11% of those same drugs are being sold at traditional pharmacies. These statistics display the obvious potential for drug abuse and need for greater online pharmaceutical quality control. In a society where prescription drugs have become the norm rather than psychotherapy, counseling, or cognitive behavioral therapy, this online market flourishes.
Eckholm, Eirk. (2008, July 9). Abuses Found in Online Sales of Medication. New York Times, Retrieved July 10th, 2008, from nytimes.com/2008/07/09/health/09drugs.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Henney, Jane. (2001). Cyberpharmacies and the role of the US Food and Drug Administration. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 3(1), Retrieved July 10, 2008 from the PubMed database.
Littlejohn,C., Baldacchino, A., Schifano, F., & Deluca, P. (2005). Internet Pharmacies And Online Prescription Drug Sales: a cross-sectional study. Drugs: education prevention and policy, 12, 75-80. Retrieved July 10th 2008, from the Academic Search Premier database.
Think business doesn’t mix with family? A handful of the world’s most powerful mom CEOs might beg to differ. Author Douglas Branson reported to The Wall Street Journal that in 2010, all but two female CEOs at the helm of a Fortune 500 company had children. Take a look at these businesswomen moms and find out more about these inspiring women.
Top Moms in the Business World
1. Patricia Woertz: The mother of three earned a tidy $15.5 million in 2010 as chairman, CEO, and president of agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland. Ranking at #27 on the Fortune 500, this top executive balanced family as she rose up the ranks.
2. Angela Braly: Another mother of three, Braly has made her fame as the chairman, CEO, and president of health plan giant WellPoint. She caught some heat in 2009 for raising health care rates in California by about 40 percent but of course understands first hand the importance of providing quality health care for a family.
3. Indra Nooyi: As the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, this top businesswoman earns $15.8 million a year. But perhaps it’s her two children that have helped convince her to pair with Michelle Obama in combating child obesity by pulling soda from schools.
4. Irene Rosenfield: At the helm of another kid-friendly brand, Rosenfeld earns $26.3 million yearly as the chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods. The food giant’s recent hostile takeover of Cadbury is the CEO mom’s latest move.
5. Ellen Kullman: In her first year as the chairman and CEO of DuPont, Kullman made the difficult decision to lay off 14.500 of her employees. The mother of three takes home $10 million a year and puts a heavy focus on innovation at her company.
6. Mary Sammons: This mother of two works hard as chairman and CEO of Rite Aid, a retail pharmacy battling flagging sales and a disheartening 11 quarters in the red. Sammons takes home $2.5 million yearly to do her job well.
7. Ursula Burns: This working mother took the helm of Xerox with a 17-year-old daughter and 21-year-old stepson in tow, becoming the first African-American woman to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Inspiring Businesswomen Moms
The CEO moms above have each done their part to change the face of business. Thanks in part to their education, they were able to scale the career ladder and provide for their families. Join their ranks with a business degree that gives you knowledge to match your ambition.
The reason so many of us are suffering from disease is because we are eating unconsciously, disconnected from the foods that we are putting into our bodies. Many people eat to numb their emotions, to relieve anxiety or depression, out of boredom, or many other factors, none of which involve a conscious connection to mind, body, spirit, and emotion.
Before you put a handful of chips into your mouth, it’s important to connect spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically, and ask yourself a few questions:
· Is this really what my body needs?
· Am I actually thirsty, instead of hungry?
· Am I eating this to satisfy an underlying emotion that I haven’t resolved or faced?
· Am I eating out of boredom and/or lack of direction?
· Am I eating consciously or unconsciously?
When we eat unconsciously, we tend to grab the convenient, processed foods that are already prepared and within easy reach. Most likely, the foods that you are unconsciously grabbing to fulfill an unresolved issue are acidic-forming foods. Cooked foods and processed foods tend to make the body more acidic. And when the body is acidic, then disease develops.
Disease cannot take hold in an alkaline body. When your body Ph level is alkaline, you enjoy better health and well-being. When your body is acidic (due to unconscious eating of processed and cooked foods), then you open the gateway for disease within the body (ranging from cancer to diabetes to obesity to heart disease).
You can reverse disease within the body by lowering your Ph level. You can check your Ph level easily by purchasing Ph strips and testing your saliva. You can purchase Ph strips at most health food stores and pharmacies. So, what can you do to alkalize your body, if your Ph levels are acidic?
The rule of thumb is to simply start eating consciously. Eating consciously naturally leads to an alkaline state. Your Spirit already knows what’s best for you, and when you eat consciously, you are connecting with your Higher Self, which knows the truth. So how do you start eating consciously?
Conscious eating is all about slowing down and connecting with your food, your mind, your body, your emotions, and your spirit, in order to make healthy decisions that are just perfect for you and your well-being.
Connect with the origin and the “spirit” of the food. Where did your food come from? Really connect…If it’s an animal product, was the animal treated humanely? Is the food organic (or is it processed, loaded with pesticides, fillers, sugar, genetically modified)? In general, you can increase the amount of raw, unprocessed foods in your diet to help alkalize your body. When you connect with living foods (uncooked), you are receiving all the enzymes you need to break down food and digest it properly. When food is cooked, it is considered a “dead” food, usually absent of many of the important nutrients and enzymes your body needs. It’s best to connect with the pure essence of food in its most natural state. Once food is broken down and processed (in many cases, multiple times), the nutritional value of the food diminishes. The more raw and unprocessed foods you can eat, the better!
Connect with your emotions. Is this food fulfilling an unresolved emotion? Or, is there a better way to face your emotions rather than eating to numb your emotions?
Connect with your physical body. Are you really hungry, or are you just thirsty? Would a glass of water suit you better? You can use a pendulum to determine whether your physical body needs certain foods or not. You can also use kinesiology (also known as muscle testing) to connect or “check in” with your physical body to see if what you’re about to eat is actually good for your body.
Connect with your spirit. Does this food make your spirit soar or sink to the floor with heaviness? Is it a heavy food with lots of spiritual baggage (like meat from an abused animal, or heavily processed), or is it light, whole, and pure?
Bless your food! One of the best ways to start making a change is to bless your food. When you honor your food and express deep gratitude for your food, you life shifts to a new way of living, a new way of being in this world!
“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates
Good nutrition is one of the most important factors in determining your health, vitality and longevity. Yet these days we are bombarded with so much information that it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction. The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Nature has already done the work for us and provides us with everything we need to be healthy. We need to learn how to choose the most nutritious foods, eat with the seasons and meet our individual needs.
Of course there are lots of foods in the world and all of them contain some nutrients. But to get the most out of your food you want to focus on the ones that are the most nutrient dense. This means we want to choose foods with a higher number of nutrients versus calories. Think leafy green vegetables, vibrant colors of red, yellow, green and purple fruits and veggies…a colorful assortment of the rainbow will do you just fine.
The nutrients in these foods cannot be manufactured by our bodies, therefore it is best to get them from whole, fresh produce. Fresh food provides us with the nutrients, fiber and enzymes that are essential for energy, proper elimination and the maintenance of our bodies tissues and cells. You know, all the things that make us look and feel better and help prevent disease.
How do you do this you may ask? It’s easy. You can find most of these foods at your local market, natural foods store or farmers market. It is best to look for the organically grown varieties. The produce that goes to large markets are often sprayed with pesticides that contain nitrogen, which causes the fruit or vegetable to absorb water, so it looks nice and plump, but lacks flavor. These foods are also often picked before they’re ripe and shipped a long way, rather than vine- ripened and freshly picked just before they’re sold. So feel and smell them first to assess their freshness or ask someone for assistance. I find the workers at the natural food stores and farmer’s markets extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Secondly, to make the produce that you buy more affordable and better tasting, your best choice is to buy what is in season, particularly at your local farmers market.
Lastly, we are all individuals and our needs vary greatly, especially as it relates to our body type, age, ethnicity and activity level. So what works for one person might not work for another.
Recipe of the month:
Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market
Check out where the closest farmers market is to you. ://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.ht m
Interior Garden’s Prescription
The irony of all this is that you can be a healthy person by eating all the right foods but still be unhealthy if you are not happy. While it is very important to eat well, it is also very important to take inventory of what is working and not working in your personal life. Because everything we participate in and absorb through our senses is food. We metabolize the experience of life through our relationships, careers, exercise, spirituality, finances, creativity, thoughts etc. So a good question to ask yourself is what am I am eating, and what’s eating me?
As a recovered anorexic and bulimic, I have first-hand experience of my personal life being completely out of balance and using food to assuage the pain. Besides having to relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food again, I had to clean up my personal life, what was not working, which created this imbalance. I found my greatest source of healing came from working on myself. As I cleaned up my life, I started to understand myself better. The more I understood myself, the more I accepted myself. And from that place of acceptance came a whole new level of self-love, peace and healing that catapulted me forward and from which all good things come!
1) Visit and stock up at your local farmer’s market with summer’s fresh and local produce
2) Keep hydrated with plenty of water
3) Add to that a healthy dose of exercise in the great outdoors
4) Wear sunscreen
5) Plan and accept times to socialize and connect with others
6) Be honest with yourself about what’s not working. Refuse to practice self-delusion or to hope for the best
7) Visualize how you want things to be and take baby steps
8) Don’t be afraid to get support or ask for help. No man is an island and we can’t always do it ourselves
8) Find time to play and laugh until it hurts
9) Practice good self care: light a candle, get a massage, treat yourself to something nice
10) Open your heart and clear your mind
11) Find someone or something you can give your love to for a day, month, years or a lifetime
Interior Gardens improves both physical and mental health. Call me to experience a complimentary health history.