Naloxone prices lower, Silk Road Website gone, and Social Media and Addiction
Cost of Naloxone Drops in NY
A bit of good news for February is that the pharmaceutical company that manufactures naloxone has agreed to drop the high price of the drug—at least in New York state—although it’s tempered by the fact that the price reduction is good for only one year for now. Understandably, the drug is the “preferred response” from professionals trying to prevent overdose deaths because it has no side effects, even if those who administer it give it to someone by mistake who has taken a different drug or if the person hasn’t overdosed at all but is suffering from another condition.
Amphastar agreed to give a $6 rebate on purchases, and one advocacy group voiced the hope that there would be other price deals as well. Perhaps other states are also taking action against the company, although I haven’t seen any news to that effect. Attorneys General and advocacy groups, please get going if you haven’t already.
Social media and addiction
Here’s something you might not have thought of: An article on Huffpost says that people addicted to social media like Facebook, itself potentially addictive, may also be at risk for substance abuse because both are associated with a lack of impulse control. Researchers at the University of Albany surveyed over 200 undergrads and found that those who struggled with social media addiction also drank too much.
The lead researcher said that the “findings suggest that disordered online social networking may arise as part of a cluster of risk factors that increase susceptibility to both substance and non-substance addictions.” Whether or not using social media to an extreme extent qualifies as a true addiction has not been established, the article said, but more researchers seem to be studying this area. Social media has a dark side and receives its share of criticism, that’s for sure, and now it may be that it doesn’t bode well for people with poor impulse control.
Good Riddance Silk Road
Finally, if you’ve been following the news about the California man who has been selling drugs online on the website Silk Road, here’s the latest. He’s been convicted on all counts. Ross Ulbricht set up the site on a hidden part of the Internet (wherever that is), where people can traffic in cocaine, heroin, LSD, and other drugs anonymously and out of sight from law enforcement (well, until now).
He could never have met these people on the street, the article said, and from 2011 to 2013, he made more than $213 million. The drug dealer faces life sentences, potentially. He even tried to have people whom he saw as threats to the business bumped off.
His father said his son doesn’t belong in prison, and the defense tried to show that he was the fall guy and had handed off the site, but there was a mountain of evidence that he “stayed with it enthusiastically for three years.” We’ve been aware of Silk Road, part of the underbelly of the drug trade, for quite some time. It’s about time he was convicted.