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Adderall: NFL's new, trendy performance enhancing drug

From FOX Sports:

Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) has moved from the college campuses into locker rooms, and professional sports are cracking down on its use.

The prescription drug that can sharpen focus and hone impulse control has become popular in NFL circles — at least seven players have received suspensions from the league office this season related to Adderall use.

And it appears some NFL players may be using, and abusing, Adderall just as some high school and college students do: by relying on it as a chemical aid to quickly help them cram and disseminate reams of complex information.

The difference isn’t all that striking, some psychologists say. Pulling an all-nighter to finish a complicated term paper can be equated to a player being forced to quickly recognize and react to the coverage on an NFL playing field.

As far as Adderall being recognized as a focus aid during a game, Bay Area Lab Co-Operative founder Victor Conte told FOXSports.com that drugs like Adderall — despite little literature to back up the effectiveness of such drugs in sports — are indeed considered performance-enhancing.

None of the players would have been suspended if they had a legitimate, clinical need for Adderall, which often is prescribed to children and adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The NFL Players Association is in the midst of alerting its membership about the need to file for a therapeutic use exemption, or a TUE, to avoid the four-game bans that come with a positive test for Adderall without such a waiver.

While players have increasingly turned to Adderall to help sharpen their game focus, Gardner said the drug is no panacea as a study aid. Some players may gain no benefit at all.

Before the recent spate of positives in the NFL, “uppers” were thought to be more of a problem in Major League Baseball. The use of “greenies” — energy-boosting amphetamines — first came to the public’s attention with the release of the 1970 book “Ball Four,” written by former major-league pitcher Jim Bouton.

The National Hockey League and even NASCAR — driver A.J. Allmendinger was suspended this season after he tested positive for a substance he said was Adderall — have experienced issues with their athletes and amphetamines.

When MLB began to crack down on the use of amphetamines before the 2006 season by enforcing a 25-game suspension for a first offense, players in that sport began gravitating toward Adderall. The number of therapeutic-use exemptions in baseball jumped from 28 in 2006 to more than 100 in each season since, according to figures provided by MLB.

Unlike the NFL, experts see Adderall use in baseball attributed more to its effect as stimulant to combat a long, 162-game season. There were 105 MLB exemptions approved in 2011, a usage rate, about 8.75 percent, that is about double than the general adult population, about 4 percent to 5 percent.

The NFL does not disclose how many of its players have exemptions for Adderall, although Birch said the drug’s use in the NFL is lower than the overall male population within the same age group. A player not only has to have a valid diagnosis for ADD or ADHD along with a prescription for Adderall, but the TUE filed by the player needs the approval for football’s independent administrator.

Posted: 11/30/2012 10:30:00 AM

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Ohio AG says new synthetic drugs entering market

From the Dayton Daily News:

Ohio lawmakers outlawed bath salts and other dangerous synthetic drugs last year, but clever chemists are finding ways to circumvent the law by creating new compounds, said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at a press conference on Wednesday.

DeWine is urging lawmakers to pass Ohio Substitute House Bill 334, because he said it contains a provision that could stop designer-drug makers from easily skirting the law. DeWine said authorities are currently unable to prosecute some drug cases, because the substances contain chemical compounds that are not subject to the ban.

Ohio House Bill 64, which became law in October 2011, banned the sale, manufacturing, distribution and possession of bath salts and other synthetic drugs. Lawmakers said the legislation was written in such a way as to prevent synthetic-drug manufacturers from simply “tweaking” their products to get around the ban.

But officials said chemists continue to produce substances that are not prohibited under current law. DeWine said H.B. 334 will change the law to cover the newer chemicals, which are sold at some corner stores, small shops and online.

DeWine also vowed to crack down on the sale, use and distribution of these drugs through civil and criminal measures. He said businesses that sell these drugs may face closure or lawsuits. He said distributors and manufacturers will be prosecuted. He also said law officers will receive training on how to investigate and prosecute these cases.

Posted: 11/15/2012 9:30:00 AM

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2 states legalize recreational marijuana use

From Fox News:

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana Tuesday night, setting up a battle between the states and the federal government, which prohibits use of the drug.

The Colorado measure has sparked a national debate about marijuana policy, with supporters pushing for the federal government to end marijuana prohibition nationwide. The Colorado measure states adults over 21 can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, or six marijuana plants, for personal use. Opponents have said it will make the state a haven for drug tourists.

The measure in Washington State, Initiative 502, will legalize and regulate the production, possession and distribution of marijuana for residents age 21 and older.

The new law will impose a 25 percent tax rate on marijuana when the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer and when the retailer sells it to the customer. The measure could bring in $500 million, a figure analysts dispute.

Voters in Oregon, where the pro-marijuana advocates were less organized and poorly funded, defeated a ballot measure that would have allowed the commercial growth and sale of marijuana to adults. Known as Measure 80, it would have legalized pot through state-licensed stores, allowed unlicensed growth and use of marijuana by adults and prohibit restrictions on pot.

In Arkansas, voters rejected a measure legalizing medical marijuana, while in Massachusetts, voters supported a similar measure.

Posted: 11/7/2012 8:54:00 AM

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Zephrex-D being marketed as the solution to meth use

From KSDK.com:

The makers of a new decongestant, Zephrex-D, say it can't be refined to make meth. The drug still uses pseudoephedrine, which is often the key ingredient in meth production. The drug is produced by Westport Pharmaceuticals.

Jason Grellner is the head of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit. We worked with the drug to try to simulate a meth lab, and says the product is foolproof.

The drug goes on sale next week in the St. Louis area with the slogan "Powerful Congestion Relief, Powerful Crime Prevention." If it does well, Hemings says they'll take it nationwide.

Posted: 11/2/2012 10:49:00 AM

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