The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


May 28, 2010

America's Most Popular Prescription Drugs

Rebecca's Side:

I don't think it's a secret that I don't trust the pharmaceutical companies or immediately accept a doctors prescription as the best medicine. As I've aged I've discovered that these drugs are not always for my best interest and have experienced first hand the effects of narcotics on a family, while the physician continued to prescribe, with no accountability. I am often surprised to find much of the general public do not question or investigate drugs released for the market and pushed, especially for our children -(i.e. H1N1 vaccine w/mercury, pushed very hard to the public with fear advertising tactics & much of the vaccine given here in WA proved to be impotent anyway so mercury was injected into children in the chaos of the public "crisis" to "protect" ourselves). Don't get me started.

If you spend even an hour or so researching addiction, you will find we are living in a period of time where addiction is rampant and prescription pain medication deaths have superseded motor vehicle deaths. If you should see tin foil on the floor of a teenagers car, it could be the remnants of the new way to smoke Oxycontin. Look for Sharpie appearing black lines across the tin foil. They suck the coating off the drugs & then heat the drug up with a match under the tin foil and inhale the fumes with a straw. As the pill pushes across the tin foil, it creates a thick black "snail trail". This is only one of the new drug uses the street drug market have developed for us and our children. Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet.. etc all have a great street value. Meth - creates a feeling of orgasm in the stomach. The study of the effects of sexual contact on a brain shows that it creates a pattern between the neurotransmitters in the brain. The brain feeds off those connections. Craves more. Meth produces this feeling, which is why it's highly addictive. Combined with being incredibly cheap to produce, it's become a new drug of choice. Marijuana - 20 years ago, 10 years ago, it used to take an entire joint to get high. Today's Marijuana, 2 puffs and the user has the desired effect. It's not the 60's our parents parents worried about. It's not just the cars & planes & life that has sped up. The drug industry - legal & illegal - is trying to keep up as well, with faster ways to hook us and our children at younger ages. And, yes, at times, drugs are given to the public with a little bit of testing and the consequences are not realized for a decade afterwards. This is common sense people. And we are sheep for the herding.

Doctors receive these medications from companies that are driven by sales. Not by our health, but by their billion dollar industry. Since this is an area of interest for us, I have made an effort to educate myself to protect our children and ourselves. I recently took McKenna to urgent care for a migraine. We were hearded in & out like a cattle drive. The doctor readily handed us a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine. Now many of you are going to think so what? but this is a 14 year old girl who, the last thing she needs, is the introduction of an opiate drug. Later her pediatrician commended me for my decision and gave me a plan to treat her migraines with non addictive meds. This should be the first step for anyone, especially for a child. Especially for a teenager who's brain is in the most important part of developing! Drugs wreak havoc with the developing adolescent brain, of which if it is stunted, there is not a recovery of the lost development.

I am not saying pain medications don't have their uses. They do and I've used them after having a C-Section, oral surgery. I am saying that they are highly addictive. An alcoholic doesn't become an alcoholic with the first drink. It takes time, repeated exposure that creates a need physically, mentally for the substance. Unfortunately, I think we can all realize the age alot of substance abuse starts. Adolescence. The hook sets in early on during that formative part of development. And it is highly effective. Some of these drugs like Meth & Heroine are addictive from the first use (Meth has surpassed Heroine use due to it's availability, ease to make & affordability). One try and the user, the KID, is hooked. One doesn't think about the tens of thousands of dollars rehab can cost. Or the actual % of people that actually rehabilitate. The last statistic I heard was 5%. Staggeringly low. Creates a feeling of hopelessness, should one become addicted or have a loved one hooked.

This is not a game we are playing with ourselves or our kids. Yet media and the industries profiting off of our use would have us believe it's no big deal. So I encourage you to arm yourselves with knowledge & protect yourself, protect the next generation from being manipulated to addiction. From allowing someone else or some substance to control their developing minds. (this includes the internet, media, entertainment, all things that effect our brain connectivity, but that's another blog...).

So here's MSN's article today on the top 5 prescribed drugs today. # 1 - Vicodin.

A narcotic painkiller tops Forbes' list of the most prescribed medicines.
By Matthew Herper, Forbes

The most popular medicine in the U.S. was prescribed 128 million times last year, even as a panel of experts called together by the Food and Drug Administration recommended that regulators ban it.

The drug is Vicodin, a 40-year-old addictive medicine that combines the narcotic hydrocodone with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol; the prescription tally also includes numerous generic versions. It is emblematic of the trend that emerges from our look at the most popular prescription pills: the death of the blockbuster drug.

Forbes' list of the 15 most popular drugs comes from IMS Health, a company that tracks sales at the pharmacy level for drug companies. The list shows how medicine makers are rapidly losing their grip on the average consumer. Only one drug in the top 15, Pfizer's Lipitor, is a big-selling brand-name medication. The rest are cheap generic versions of one-time big sellers that have lost their patent protection and become commodities. Generic copies of Vicodin go for 30 cents a pill, compared to $4 per pill for Lipitor.

Vicodin is a drug that is crying out to be replaced. Vicodin has a supporting role on the television show House, M.D. because the protagonist, a Sherlock Holmes-like doctor, is hooked on it. It is particularly dangerous because when patients develop a tolerance for the narcotic they start taking too much. This can lead to liver failure from overdoses of the acetaminophen component of the combo. Most of the 400 deaths due to acetaminophen poisoning each year result from misuse of the Vicodin or similar drugs. Last June an FDA advisory panel recommended banning Vicodin. The FDA is still deciding whether to take this advice.

"People are taking this as if they're taking a strong Tylenol," says Michel Dubois, director of pain medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center. There's nothing wrong with Vicodin after a surgery or tooth extraction, he says, but it's being used too often by primary care physicians with "minimal training" in dealing with chronic pain. "It has been trivialized, and it's wrong to trivialize this strong a pain medication," he says.

The failure to replace Vicodin is not for lack of trying. Pfizer once hoped its painkiller Bextra could be an alternative. But in 2005 Bextra, a chemical cousin of Merck's Vioxx pill, was pulled from the market because it increased the risk of heart attacks and allergic skin reactions. Pfizer paid a $1.2 billion criminal fine last year for marketing Bextra for unapproved uses like dental pain. Other efforts to replace Vicodin have come up short. Vicodin-maker Abbott Laboratories worked for years on a delayed release formulation but has not been able to get it through the FDA.

The second most popular drug in the U.S. is generic Zocor, or simvastatin. The cholesterol-lowering drug was once Merck's biggest seller, but Merck lost its patent protection in 2006. Doctors prescribed it 83 million times last year. One reason: It is proven to save lives, and it costs only $1 a pill, far less than Lipitor.

Zocor used to play second fiddle to Lipitor but became more popular after it went generic and health insurers pushed it as a cheaper option. Merck, Pfizer and others tried to develop new types of cholesterol drugs with little success; the cholesterol drug market is now dominated by generics.

Lipitor still wracks up $7.5 billion in annual sales, more than any other drug but only ranks seventh by popularity, with 51.1 million prescriptions last year, down from 75 million in 2005. The second-biggest seller by dollar sales is the heartburn drug Nexium from AstraZeneca. But it is a lackluster No. 19 in popularity. Overall, only eight of the 50 most popular drugs are still branded, compared to 20 in 2003, IMS says; 75 percent of all prescriptions are for generic drugs.

The third most popular drug, with 81.3 million prescriptions, is the blood-pressure-lowering medicine lisinopril, which used to be sold under the brand names Zestril and Prinivil. Overall, six of the top 15 most prescribed meds are blood-pressure-lowering drugs. There are so many good generic blood pressure drugs that it is difficult for brand-name drugmakers to improve upon them.

The No. 5 drug, azithromycin, is the generic version of Pfizer's popular antibiotic Zithromax. It tallied 53 million prescriptions last year. Like Vicodin, it's a much maligned medicine whose popularity was once blamed on overmarketing. It's not being advertised to doctors or consumers anymore, but it's still overused.

Brand name drug companies are inventing fewer drugs—a third as many were approved in 2009 as in 1999—and the ones they are inventing aren't selling. The last good year for new medicines was in 2006. Drugs launched that year generated $1.2 billion in first-year sales, says IMS. In none of the years since have drugmakers come close to this figure.

Companies are responding by trying to focus on medicines they can sell to small numbers of people at a higher price for rarer diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and ultra-rare genetic diseases. Ironically, that may include the next big painkiller: an injected protein drug that blocks nerve growth. It is being developed by Pfizer and could hit the market in a couple years.

The Top 5:

Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (painkiller)

Simvastatin (high cholesterol)
Lisinopril (high blood pressure)
Levothyroxine (thyroid disorders)
Azithromycin (antibiotic)

May 26, 2010

What's Irritating You Today?

Yesterday I went on a run. I had been listening to various podcasts for the past few weeks during my runs. I was ticked yesterday. Ticked as only a wife and mother can be ticked. My podcasts on my iPod are in a different menu from my music. I have 4000 songs on my iPod (yes I need therapy). And probably half are not christian songs. So when my iPod suddenly "shuffled", even though it was not in shuffle mode, to this song, I knew God was telling me to let go of my human irritations and appreciate & KNOW what I have to be thankful for. I spent the remaining 45 minutes of my run, absolutely soaked from the downpour, thankful for the spray from the trucks as they roared by and smiling at my beautiful amazing daughter that ran along with me.

What is irritating you today? Is it truly going to matter should you find yourself or that loved one at the end of life suddenly? An hour of uplifting, praise music, removing ourselves from ourselves and out of the pit of pity, can change your perspective, put a smile of true joy on your face & in your heart and help you achieve something so deep & worthwhile today. I hope this encourages you. I love you all.

.33 Miles, Thank you

What if in morning when I wake up, Even before I fill my coffee cup
I said thank You.

What if I look at the day and the hours ahead, And before I move forward I bowed my head - And said thank You
Oh I said thank You

What if I looked at my life in a different way, Took a little more time to stop and pray. I know it would change all the moments in between
So here I go

Thank You for everything
Thank You for loving me
It don't even matter what tomorrow brings
Well I will sing my

Thank You for sun and rain
For what You give and take away
For all Your goodness I will always say
Thank You

What if I lost everything that I had, I could smile and somehow still be glad
And say thank You. Thank you

'Cause life is joy, life is pain, But the prayer on my heart will never change
I say thank You. Oh I'll say thank You.

May 18, 2010

Multiple Sarcasms:A review of a review

Today while standing in Tully's, waiting for my much needed caffeine fix, I glanced over at the TV, which was promoting a new movie "Multiple Sarcasms". The quick synopsis talks about a man, married to beautiful wife, with a beautiful daughter but finds himself - unhappy. He quits his job and starts to write about his sad life. The review says in the end, he loses his marriage to divorce but ultimately he's happier.

That set off a hail storm of thoughts within my head about the complete idiocy of this quick review. I imagine some tired guy standing there, working long hours each day, feeling mid life and "heck, I'm not happy either but this guy, he got a divorce and was happier in the end". Hmmm.

This particular morning, I stood there worn out. The 2nd day in a row that started with constant hasseling w/my son, who just cannot be reasoned with or disciplined enough out of his behavior when he's deep in the trench. Yet, I fight the good parenting fight, get a card out to the my step daughter, a card out to my husband for our anniversary, post a video, photo's to his FB site, kiss my children good bye, get myself presentable for the office, wear the appropriate heels to go with the appropriate pants, to go with the appropriate business attire. To get to work, to make a paycheck, to pay for the appropriate living expenses, to meet the daily obligations of just existing, let alone raising your children, other's children, figuring out our way too full calendar, fitting in the Women's meeting, bible study, prayer time to keep it all moving, still managing daily responsibility for others who have wandered down the path of self fulfillment. The past 2 weeks have been a bear of complications in our home, highly emotionally charged situations, that have caused sleepless nights and hours of conversation to work through. It's LIFE. That's how it goes sometimes. I am not bitter. And sometimes I'm weary. Like a great many of us.

And maybe a little grumpy. And maybe at times, when the rain is coming down in wet Seattle and the Evergreens are green, feeling a little "unhappy".

But this movie has the answer! A divorce! Because ultimately, your happiness is most important. Of course, the movie isn't based off of a woman, the mother, realizing how unhappy she is with her unhappy husband, quitting her job, writing about it & leaving her life. No. Because unfortunately, we live in a society where that's expected and TOLERATED from the fathers & husbands. It's okay for our kids to grow up without their fathers who have a mid life crisis. And the media promotes it.

I haven't seen the movie. I probably will. So maybe it's better than what I'm reading but the danger lies in this quick snippet review that leads one to believe - and plants a subliminal message that if your life makes you unhappy, walk away from it. Regardless of the devastation that occurs to those around you. Obviously the review doesn't mention the reality of a daughter, wounded beyond comprehension at finding out her father disliked their family & their life and chose his own satisfaction over the road he had already committed to. Maybe the wife was actually happier. Hmmm, that's some consideration. Now I'll have to watch it and find out.

It's just a review about a silly movie. I mean no one takes them seriously, right?

May 17, 2010

Love, Marriage & Stinking Thinking

Apologies & Boundaries

I often wondered WHY is it so hard for me to forgive? I mean, okay, I've been to the boundaries classes. I've been educating myself for years with church, media, self help stuff and even when I've processed, dealt, grieved, let go.... it rears it's ugly head and I'm left shaking my mind, saying "What the heck?! WHERE did that come from?!".

I mean, you all know, Matt & I have NEVER offended each other.... (Lying is a sin...) so we don't have any experience w/this "get over it already" mentality men carry -or the "20 years ago...." female mentality. (We did know each other 20 years ago, ha!)

His topic is forgiveness after affair but he comments that the wound doesn't have to be that egregious. It could be "anything" (joke joke, we are talking about women you know).

Mark Gungor:

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

We were blessed this week with tickets to this marriage conference. We will be seeing this guy on Friday and Saturday. Here are some snippets from his message regarding marriage. It had Matt & I rolling last night. Especially the concept of the man's mental "nothing" box.

If your local to Kirkland/Seattle, here's the website for this Friday/Sat conference at The City Church:

Here's the snippet Videos:

Men & Women's Brains:

Men's Sex Drive:

"A man's sex drive peaks at the age of 18. And declines from there" (I thought "What!?" - see the diagram & don't fall off your chair laughing.

To see the following videos, click on the link above for "Men's Sex Drive" and when that video is finished playing, there will be a row of other topic videos you can watch him speak on.

How to Train A Man?:

Men are a long term project. They are not a quick fix. (crud...)

Love Marriage & Stinking Thinking (has Late Night w/Carson feel):

"There isn't a Christian station in the world that will put me on. Because I talk about any adult issue"

Can the effects of Porn be reversed?

"These idiots that are telling our kids that great sex can be had by porn - it is such a lie. It is destroying these young people's lives. It has the potential of ruining their sex lives forever. We need to warn our kids. There's a reason to stay away from this stuff. It is poisonous, destructive, not helpful."

Hope this blesses you today and brings a tear of laughter to your eye ;P

May 11, 2010

Rekindling the Romance, Part 1

This is a great FOTF broadcast. I hope it helps you reconnect to your own spouse today. Enjoy.

"We had 3 little girls, all practically in diapers. They were the focus of our lives. I was building my own practice which took time, Sandy focused on the kids. We really had lost it. We were not "in love", had lost our passion. We didn't get married for this but we loved the girls. We prayed. We put in boundaries, dating, playful things, I ... See Moreheld her hand - that brought back the passion. I opened the door - I hadn't done that in years, there was always some kid to take care of. It was like traveling on caravan, even with one kid. We weren't getting divorce but it wasn't a whole lot of fun by then."

"We were getting bored with each other. Like roommates, business partners, parents. That's not what I signed up for! I married the blond because she was gorgeous and the most wonderful person I'd ever met! As a person, great character, spiritual. She came first. The kids came next."

"We are losing christian marriages at an epidemic rate. 1 out of 2. Men in particular, in pursuit mode is a beautiful thing. She responds. Marriage. Hunt down, her heads on the wall, love dies. When men are pursuing, they are involved, passionate, and the woman is passionate back because she's made to be pursued her whole life. Men workaholic... See More. Focus on career. This is not what we're made for. If you lose your marriage, you're losing your relationship with God. The world says work yourself to death, go through 2 or 3 wives. Women focus on the kids but that has to be the case for awhile but I had lost her. All about the kids. No romance."

"Empty Nest divorces. Nothing left once the kids are gone. The enemy and the worlds lies are you're never gonna get it back. You're still sort of young, move on. I believe that you can get it back if you follow Solomon's example. Hang in there!"

"in the middle of having kids with needs, the home parent often feels like nothing left to give. Homework, activities, special needs. Sometimes it feels like you have to choose between marriage & kids. A challenge. It takes time & energy. You gotta be a team. Each spouse steps up & help with the outside career/kids/house (to give energy for romance). Teamwork."

May 5, 2010

King5: Charlene Sanders Story

Wow. I have to spread this story. I woke up this morning to the radio's news about this family in Pierce county, who posted an ad on Craigslist for a ring they were selling. A group of 4 people showed up at their house to see it and when they got in to the home, they started tying everyone up. As the father (43 years old) turned to protect his son, who was starting to take on the attackers, they shot & killed him. When I went on to King5 this morning, this video was on the front "page". I clicked it, thinking she was going to be talking about the attack and was surprised to hear her talking about her faith. I can feel the emotions that she is keeping in wrap and the need to focus on The Lord, the need to make her husbands ministry count and to not be beat down by these people that took her love. I was impressed that King5 actually posted the interview.

We take so many things for granted - like our time here on earth and we are so wrapped up in really unimportant irritants with each other as humans (I am presently very guilty of this), that a story like this - what would you do if you were facing the end of your life this very second? A sobering question that we ignore too much. Her very end comment about them being a blended family and now her husband's son, who came to live with them as a family, no longer has his parent. What a rendering this boy has in his soul, one the enemy delights in using to destroy another human. Thank God for loving people who surround this family in their need and support them as they process their loss. Thank God for her courage to say what she did to news reporters! :)


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