Tag Archives: deaths

Toxic chemical sold illegally online as slimming pill kills five men in six months, ITV News finds

Losing a child is unimaginable. Losing a child to a toxic chemical, sold as a slimming pill, is even more so. But that’s what five families this year are having to come to terms with.

ITV News can reveal that 2,4-Dinitrophenol, or DNP, has killed five men in the last six months.

It’s sold on the internet for body building and weight reduction, yet it is illegal for human consumption because of its highly poisonous components.

In 2016 one person died from it, two in 2017 and already in 2018 five fatalities have been recorded. The figures could be higher because data for this little known drug is so sparse.

Andrius Gerbutavicius’s son, Vaidotas, bought DNP on the internet. He’d been using it on and off for three years.

In March this year, Andrius got a panicked phone call from his 21-year-old son.

He’d taken around 20 capsules of DNP and was feeling very unwell. Four hours later, after being put into an induced coma, he died.

“It was a normal Saturday morning, 10th of March, we wake up to a call from our son. I pick up the phone, he told me, ‘dad I’ve overdosed on DNP,'” Andrius told ITV News.

He went on: “He said ‘I’ve overdosed, I will be dead in probably one hour, no one can help me.”

Andrius had no idea what DNP was, let alone how toxic it was. He’s angry it is readily available to buy and marketed as a weight loss drug.

He said: “I want to warn anyone who considers taking it as a slimming pill, don’t do that because now we know that any quantity could be deadly and at the moment there is no antidote.

“I will do everything that I can to prevent other families going through the same thing.”

DNP basically heats the body from the inside out. It prevents energy being stored as fat and can damage the cells of organs such as muscle, kidney and brain.

The increase in temperature can result in seizures, coma or kidney failure.

Professor Simon Thomas, from the National Poisons Information Service, has studied the drug.

“Specifically what DNP does to the body is it blocks the ability of the body’s cells to store energy, for example as fat and instead of being stored, that energy is then released as heat,” he said.

The National Poisons Information Service receives enquiries from health professionals all over the UK about patient’s they’re concerned about with poisoning.

Professor Thomas said: “At the last count 17% of all the patients that we were contacted about (regarding DNP) ended up dying from DNP poisoning.”

“There is a myth that taken in small does this drug is perfectly safe to use. That couldn’t be more wrong. Even in small, recommended doses, DNP can be fatal. Few people realise it’s harmful at all.”

Doug Shipsey lost his daughter to the drug. He’s now campaigning to have it banned and wants everyone to know how dangerous it is.

“Ultimately step one is to make sure that DNP is regulated and in the long term, that it’s banned. My aim is to get this substance banned, it is so lethal.”

He added: “This isn’t a diet pill, they’re swallowing a bomb, an explosive, it is in the same category as TNT.”

Doug and Andrius just want to get the message out. Despite the police trying restrict the illegal sale of it, they believe more needs to be done, urgently.

The Government acknowledges the negative health impacts of DNP but efforts to have it regulated as a drug are unlikely to succeed.

A Government spokesperson said:“DNP is an extremely dangerous poison which if consumed can lead to coma or death. Supplying DNP products for human consumption is illegal.

“As DNP is a poison and not a drug, it cannot be considered for control by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.”

Full article: http://www.itv.com/news/2018-08-23/dnp-death-slimming-pills-diet/

Scots drug deaths hit new record high

Drug deaths in Scotland hit a new record high in 2017, having more than doubled in a decade.

New figures from the National Records of Scotland showed that 934 drug-related deaths were recorded in 2017.

This is the largest number since the figures started being collated in 1996, and more than double the 2007 total.

The Scottish government is drawing up a new drugs strategy, saying that “each of these untimely deaths is a tragedy”.

The newly released figures show a steady rise in deaths since 2013, with the rate of deaths now “very roughly two and a half times that of the UK as a whole” and “higher than those reported for all the EU countries”.

‘Drugs landscape’

The 2017 figure is up by 8% on that for the previous year, and more than double the 2007 total of 455.

Males accounted for 70% of the deaths, while 39% were of people aged 35 to 44 – compared to 29% being in the 45 to 54 age group and 20% in the 25 to 34 cohort.

Broken down by area, 30% of the deaths occurred in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, while 15% were in Lothian, 11% in Lanarkshire and 10% in Tayside.

Opiods such as heroin, morphine and methadone were linked to 87% of the deaths, while benzodiazepines like diazepam were linked to 59% – reflecting that multiple substances were implicated in many cases.

The Top Pharmaceutical Drugs Causing Cognitive-Related Damage

Pharmaceutical drugs pushed by the mainstream medical establishment are notorious for causing countless side-effects leading to even more problems. In fact, the average drug label contains 70 negative side-effects on average, with many drugs reaching the 100’s. Helping to make up the outrageous amount of side-effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs are brain-related side-effects, known to be causing serious damage to many prescription drug users.

Top Pharma Drugs Linked to Cognitive Damage

Collecting data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System, a company known as AdverseEvents, Inc. conducted a survey of pharmaceutical drugs potentially causing brain-related side-effects. In their quest, the company found more than 50,000 individual adverse event case reports linking to “common brain-related side-effect categories” such as:

  • Memory loss (amnesia)
  • Loss of libido
  • Compulsive behaviors

After analyzing the data collected, the company found which top drug culprits cause the greatest adverse impact on the brain. Used by thousands of individuals to ‘treat’ insomnia, a drug known as Ambien CR was the top drug linked to memory loss-related side-effects. Interestingly enough, it was recently reported that consuming sleep medication not only completely ignores the underlying problem of what is causing sleep issues, but also leads to an increased risk of cancer and premature death.

With about 41 percent of adults diagnosed with insomnia turning to prescription drugs, it is imperative to pass along this information. The top drug shown to lead to the most side-effects, causing inhibition of libido and more, is a hair loss medication known as Propecia. Other drugs making the top 25 count were commonly used antidepressants. Ingested by more than 1 in 10 Americans, antidepressants have also been shown to cause your arteries to thicken 400 percent more than aging.

These pharmaceuticals, as shocking as it may sound, have even been shown to worsen depression and cause suicidal thoughts. As for causing the greatest amount of side-effects related to compulsive behavior, a Parkinson’s medication called Mirapex won the gold trophy. Instead of resorting to this medication, brain exercises have been shown to provide significant relief to Parkinson’s patients. In addition, tai chi can improve balance and lower the risk of fallsin those suffering from mild or moderate Parkinson’s disease……

full article

How do we find and treat the ‘hidden cohort’ of patients dependent on opioid painkillers? 

ORAT – Opioid Risk Assessment Tool (ORAT)
‘People who are addicted to painkillers are a really complex group,’ says Jon Royle, chief executive of the Bridge Project. ‘You’ve got people who are prescribed painkillers and who are also using illicit drugs and have complex addiction issues. And you’ve got other people who were prescribed them to manage pain legitimately, so where the pain relief is required and where it has become an actual addiction problem is no longer clear cut.’ Among the patient group are those with complex emotional, psychological problems, who are taking anything to make themselves better, he explains. ‘So there are a lot of issues to work with when you get into this cohort.’

At the Bridge Project, based in Bradford, staff had experienced success in running a benzodiazepine withdrawal service for the past seven years, targeting patients in primary health care and GP practices.‘Doing that kind of work in primary care, we were also coming across a great deal of patients addicted to prescribed painkillers as well,’ says Royle. As with the benzos, ‘these patients are never going to roll up at an addiction treatment service on the high street – but that doesn’t mean that there’s not tens of thousands of them out there, people who’d say “I’ve never been near an illegal drug in my life”.’

So they decided to develop a model along similar lines to the benzodiazepine scheme, going into GP practices with the highest levels of prescribing and using the Opioid Risk Assessment Tool (ORAT) – which sits alongside the patient record system, Emis – to screen patients. They then worked with GPs to review the patients’ prescribing and liaised with specialist doctors and addiction practitioners to offer treatment, detoxification and support such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The response has been ‘really good, with far better outcomes than with opiate users’, says Royle – success he attributes to planting the service within primary care.

ORAT – Dependency detector

The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs

Two years ago, Dr Chris van Tulleken discovered we are taking more prescription drugs than ever before – a billion prescriptions a year in the UK. He worked with a GP surgery to get patients to try drug-free alternatives – with amazing results.

Now he is on a new mission – to understand why we are giving British kids over three times more medication than we were 40 years ago. As a new dad, Chris has a very personal motivation to explore the reasons behind this explosion in medication. In the series he sets about finding alternatives which might be just as, or even more, effective than drugs. He tackles the shocking rise in teens taking anti-depressants by testing if wilderness therapy can work where the drugs are failing. He investigates why parents are giving out so many over-the-counter meds when they may not be always necessary, and he helps hyperactive kids replace their drugs with mindful meditation.

He also digs deeper into the forces driving the over-medication of UK children and asks whether the drug industry itself could be playing a part in the rise. In 2016 we spent a staggering £64 million on one brand of children’s liquid paracetamol. Chris meets a self-confessed fan who reveals she has bought over 25 bottles in less than two years! As a new dad, Chris doesn’t blame vulnerable parents. His research reveals a pharmaceutical industry that helps create a culture which, he believes, encourages parents to unnecessarily use liquid paracetamol. At a family fair in Bristol, Chris creates a surprising stunt to show Britain’s parents when not to give liquid paracetamol and make sure they don’t waste their hard-earned money giving children drugs they don’t need.

One of the other areas where medication rates have increased the most is treating kids’ behavioural problems – prescription meds for ADHD have increased by 800 per cent since 2000. These drugs do help some symptoms of ADHD in the short-term, but side effects can include loss of hunger, changes in personality and stunted growth. Chris joins a group of hyperactive children as they attempt the impossible – an intense course of stillness and mindful meditation as an alternative to the meds. As the families go on transformative and emotional journeys, they discover, with poignant results, that ADHD remedies do not always have to come in a pill.