Drive By Truckers 2.0

Total drug violations reported into the clearinghouse in 2022, including positive tests and refusals to take a drug test, increased 18% to 69,668 compared with last year’s 59,011, according to the most recent statistics released this week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That rate almost doubled the 9.2% annual increase in drug violations reported in 2021. Much of the increase can be attributed to violations related to marijuana, the substance identified most in positive tests. Marijuana violations increased 31.6% in 2022 compared with 2021, to 40,916. That compares to a 5.3% increase between 2020 and 2021.

Truckers’ positive drug tests up 18% in 2022 — https://www.freightwaves.com/news/truckers-positive-drug-tests-up-18-in-2022

At least binge drinking prevalence is just 19%

Truck drivers have been reported as a highly vulnerable working population due to different risk factors [16,17,18] including hypertension, fatigue [19], obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and sleep deprivation [20,21], and insufficient physical activity [22]. Other risk factors are exposure to diesel exhaust and risk of developing lung cancer [23], poor diet, obesity, dyslipidemia, and other metabolic disorders [24]. Furthermore, they are prone to risky behaviors and lifestyles such as smoking, drinking, using psychoactive substances, and having casual sexual contacts [25].

Patterns of Harmful Alcohol Consumption among Truck Drivers: Implications for Occupational Health and Work Safety from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis — Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jun; 15(6): 1121.
Published online 2018 May 30. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061121

I ask them why the industry has a 90 percent attrition rate within the first year. All instantly respond: “No money.” They describe a predatory apprenticeship system that conspires against new drivers seeking to enter the profession. The industry is made up of thousands of mostly small-fleet owners—95 percent of them with 20 trucks or fewer—but dominated by about two dozen giant companies that serve as its gatekeepers. These megacarriers often house schools where some 400,000 new truckers receive commercial driver’s licenses annually. The companies entice people with promises of financial plenty, even as they ensnare them in “training contracts”—binding agreements that require them to drive for the company at below-market wages for a year in exchange for training or else be hit with an exorbitant fee for that training, to be paid off at high interest. Many drivers stick around for the full year to avoid those fees, enduring what amounts to debt peonage. 

“I have panic attacks,” he says. “That’s why I drink.”


Life as a 21st-Century Trucker — https://www.wired.com/story/life-as-a-21st-century-trucker/

For the first post in this series see Drive By Truckers.

Sharp Rise in Drug Overdose Deaths in Seniors

The researchers used data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to calculate annual overdose deaths from 2002 to 2021 among people aged 65 and older.

Overall, they found that fatal overdoses quadrupled from 1060 in 2002 (three per 100,000) to 6702 (12 per 100,000) in 2021, with the highest rates in Blacks (30.9 per 100,000).

In 2021, about 13% of overdoses were intentional, 83% were unintentional, 4% were undetermined, and less than 1% were homicide. Older women accounted for 57% of intentional overdoses and 29% of accidental overdoses.

Sharp Rise in Drug Overdose Deaths in Seniors – Medscape – Mar 30, 2023 — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/990297?src=rss

FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Naloxone Nasal Spray (Scary News or What?)

Drug overdose persists as a major public health issue in the United States, with more than 101,750 reported fatal overdoses occurring in the 12-month period ending in October 2022, primarily driven by synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl.

FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Naloxone Nasal Spray — https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-over-counter-naloxone-nasal-spray

Reefer Madness

ADVERTISEMENT

Violence associated with psychosis has also been well-documented. Marijuana use may be associated with increased impulsivity on the same day and the following day relative to days when marijuana was not used. It is also associated with increased hostile behaviors and perceptions of hostility in others on the same day compared to days when marijuana was not used. Cannabis use disorder appears to increase the risk of aggression towards others, particularly among youths. There is also evidence of a moderate association between cannabis use and physical violence.

Psychosis can be caused by various conditions, including licit and illicit substances, particularly cannabis. Cannabis has a higher conversion rate to psychosis than other substances. 32 percent of patients with substance-induced psychosis convert to either bipolar or schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, with the highest conversion rate found with cannabis-induced psychosis (47 percent). There is debate about the causal relationship between cannabis and psychosis. However, this can be demonstrated using Bradford-Hill criteria. Despite this, psychosis is often multifactorial in many instances. Cannabis exposure increases the risk of psychosis, from transient psychotic states to chronic recurrent psychosis. In individuals with established psychosis, cannabis has a negative impact on the course and expression of the illness.

The dark side of cannabis: increased risk of psychosis — https://www.kevinmd.com/2023/01/the-dark-side-of-cannabis-increased-risk-of-psychosis.html

But really, Does Marijuana Have Any Bad Side Effects?

You must be joking about Cannabis and Psychosis, right?

Marijuana and hallucinogen use among young adults reached all-time high in 2021

Marijuana Tied to Ongoing, Subclinical Psychosis in Teens

Marijuana and hallucinogen use among young adults reached all-time high in 2021

Alcohol remains the most used substance among adults in the study, though past-year, past-month, and daily drinking have been decreasing over the past decade. Binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) rebounded in 2021 from a historic low in 2020, during the early stages of COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, high-intensity drinking (having 10 or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) has been steadily increasing over the past decade and in 2021 reached its highest level ever recorded since first measured in 2005.

Marijuana and hallucinogen use among young adults reached all-time high in 2021 — https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/marijuana-hallucinogen-use-among-young-adults-reached-all-time-high-2021

Yikes!

Cannabis and Psychosis

Californians voted to legalize recreational pot in 2016. Three years later, emergency room visits for cannabis-induced psychosis went up 54% across the state, from 682 to 1,053, according to state hospital data. For people who already have a psychotic disorder, cannabis makes things worse — leading to more ER visits, more hospitalizations, and more legal troubles, said Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza, a psychiatry professor at Yale University School of Medicine who also serves on the physicians’ advisory board for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program.

California May Require Labels on Pot Products to Warn of Mental Health Risks — https://khn.org/news/article/california-marijuana-warning-labels/

Listen to the article above here: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/06/17/1105494283/california-pot-warning-labels

Recreational cannabis use is linked to a heightened risk of emergency care and hospital admission for any cause, finds research published in the open access journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.

Cannabis use linked to heightened emergency care and hospital admission risks — https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06-cannabis-linked-heightened-emergency-hospital.html

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

It’s not entirely clear how cannabis hyperemesis syndrome occurs though there are several theories. One is that since cannabinoids have long-half lives and are lipid soluble, they accumulate in the brain and over time cause symptoms, particularly in young people who may have genetic variations in enzymes which lead to further accumulation. Another theory is that there is a thermoregulatory and autonomic imbalance in the limbic system caused by chronic use. Other suggestions are that with long-term consumption cannabis becomes a receptor antagonist, or that they become down-regulated or de-sensitised over time. This reverses the antiemetic effect of cannabis. It seems that chronic over-stimulation of receptors leads to dysregulation of the body’s control of nausea and vomiting, leading to CHS.

Owen Hibberd . What you need to know about Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, Don’t Forget the Bubbles, 2022. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31440/DFTB.48627

I am so glad I never inhaled.

More Amphetamines Please

Prescription medications have become easier to obtain online during the pandemic, when regulatory officials waived requirements for in-person examination before certain types of drugs are prescribed. Truepill is still fulfilling Schedule III and V drug prescriptions from licensed clinicians. But the company is suspending delivery for Schedule II drugs like Adderall, which the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies as having a high level of potential abuse. In the case of stimulants, misuse has been linked to adverse effects, like heart failure or paranoia…

In behavioral health, particularly, there are concerns that providers examining patients for the first time in short, video-based appointments may not be able to detect important diagnostic cues like body language, given the range of symptoms certain conditions can present with. Some experts have also said they’re worried about whether such quick appointments let providers get in-depth enough to decide on the best course of treatment, including non-drug options.

A clash over online Adderall prescriptions is raising new questions about telehealth – https://www.statnews.com/2022/05/04/cerebral-truepill-adhd-prescriptions/ – accessed 5/4/22

Lets put on the Wiggles & pop a couple Ritalin
Papa don’t blame mama or tell her how lazy shes been
Its been prescribed by a doctor and the doctor said it ain’t no sin
So lets put on the Wiggles & pop a couple Ritalin

Wiggles & Ritalin by Reckless Kelly

Amphetamine Dependence Overview – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/amphetamine-dependence

Some days I just love my job.

Long Term Cannabis Use and Lung Damage

The findings come from the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has documented cannabis use and measured lung function throughout adult life up to age 45 in more than 1000 individuals born in Dunedin in 1972/73.

University of Otago. “How long-term cannabis use can damage lungs.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220203192317.htm (accessed February 4, 2022).

Inhaling hot smoke into your lungs over a long period of time. What could possibly go wrong?