Dr. Cataldie's Corner

Herman vs. Antabuse (Disulfiram)

Herman is a 44 year old male who presents to the emergency room with a chief complaint of: “I think I’m having a heart attack”. Upon initial examination it is noted that his face is very flushed. He is very anxious and sweating profusely. He complains that he cannot catch his breath. His pulse rate is 120 beats per minute. He vomits into the trash can during the initial assessment. His history is positive for alcoholism. He tells me he had been on Antabuse but stopped it two days ago so he could drink. He goes on to say;…

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Vivitrol – my views

Vivitrol is an injectable form of naltrexone which is an opiate blocker. Naltrexone is also available in oral form. What exactly does “opiate blocker” mean? It means that if you are getting a Vivitrol injection once a month and you eat, snort, or shoot any opiate, you will not get high. There will be no euphoria. If there is no euphoria, you are less likely to put opiates into your body/brain. And, it might even numb some of the positive effects of alcohol so you might not enjoy drinking as much and therefore drink less or none. That’s the…

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Christmas and New Years Eve Holidays are associated with more suicides: Fact or Myth?

Myth! But that myth offers a segue (segway) into a topic especially germane to addicts. By the way, suicide rates are actually the lowest in December. They are highest in the spring and fall. But, no matter what day of the year, suicide is still just as fatal. One out of every five deaths in persons in the 15-24 year old group is due to suicide! That’s 20%! Suicide is the second cause of death among persons aged 25-34 years, the fourth among person aged 35-54 years, and the eighth among person 55-64 years. Suicide is often preventable. Suicide…

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High Risk Occupations

A young lady who recently completed treatment was sharing with me at an alumni function that she was “lucky enough to get a job at restaurant”. Well, maybe she wasn’t so lucky. The “hospitality/ food service industry” ranks very high as an addiction prone career. In fact, it’s ranks highest for illicit drug use among its employees. It’s an addiction rich environment for several reasons but for right now, let’s look at the top ten high risk occupational categories and see what percentage of those employees use illicit drugs:

1. Food preparation and serving (17.4%)
2. Construction (15.1%)
3. Arts, design, entertainment,…

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The younger the person, the greater the risk.

We know without doubt that one of the strongest predictors of addiction developing in a person is the age at first use. It’s common sense: “The younger the person, the greater the risk.” It’s also scientific fact. Knowing this makes the results of the national report of underage drinking (released November 2012) on a state by state basis very disconcerting. Right at 30% (29.48%) of persons age 12 years old to 20 years old reported drinking alcohol within the past month. In other terms, 30% of people ages 12 years old to 20 years old, in the State of…

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How can you tell if your 12 year old has a higher risk for developing an addiction?

How can you tell if your 12 year old has a higher risk for developing an addiction? Offer him/her seven or ten bucks. Huh?  Yes that’s the test and that’s exactly what some researchers did at Washington University School of Medicine. Let’s take a look. The scientists found 342 pairs of 12 year old twins who were willing to be in the study. They offered the kids $7 now for taking a test battery or $10 to be sent in the mail a week later. Children who took the $7 were found to be on the road to more…

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The Dangers of 25-I

“25-I” or 25I-NOBMe is a derivative of C-2 (which we have already discussed). Tragically, recent events surrounding “25-I” mandates its “special mention”. One drop of 25-I into the nose of a 21 year old male resulted in his death at the New Orleans Voodoo Fest this year. Immediately after getting the drug, he started talking incoherently, had a seizure, and died at Tulane Hospital shortly thereafter despite being on life support. Tulane reported two other emergencies related to the drug at that time. Shortly after this fatality, Louisiana made it illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute “25-I”. This stuff…

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The facts about Synthetic Marijuana

Let’s chat about synthetic marijuana. There once was a chemist by the name of John W. Huffman (JWH) who was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. His research centered on the development of cannabinoid compounds to assist research in multiple sclerosis, AIDS, chemotherapy, pain, and inflammation. His creations became the first “synthetic marijuana” products (not that any of the illegal products are pure). His take on using it as such is that you have to be “an idiot” to do so. Evidently, there are plenty of people who would fit Dr. Huffman’s definition of “idiots”. These synthetic…

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What’s with the “Alphabet Soup”?

Several parents, therapists, healthcare providers and others have asked me about what some of these “letters and numbers” mean. They are referring to C2-I and BZP and DMT and a plethora of others.

This “alphabet soup” refers to groups of drugs that are similar to Ecstasy and/or LSD. There is a lot of misinformation being propagated by various self proclaimed “street chemists” out there (and I do mean “out there”) so it seems prudent to blog a bit about these drugs.

Let’s start with C2-I bunch. There is a whole “family” of C2-like drugs. They are phenethylamines. The effects vary on…

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Street Survival Note

I am going to deviate somewhat from our ongoing topic in the interest of a health warning of sorts; actually it’s more of a survival tip. There have been several deaths recently in the Baton Rouge area from accidental heroin overdose. This is suspected to stem from either contaminated heroin or heroin that is “too potent”. Whatever the cause, it behooves us to be sure any of our less fortunate addicts who are not in recovery know about this lest they inadvertently kill themselves. While we are on the topic of opiate addiction and survival, a fact to note…

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