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Hidden Drug Ingredients in Supplements, Paying People to Stay Off Drugs, and Eating Disorders in the Military
Here is a recap of some of the top industry-related news stories of the week:
U.S. FDA warns of hidden drug ingredients in certain supplements products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked people to not buy or use certain dietary supplement products sold with variations of the names 'Artri' or 'Ortiga' as they may contain some potentially harmful ingredients not mentioned on their labels.
The agency said its laboratory analyses revealed some products contain dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac sodium, and methocarbamol, which is a muscle relaxant.
The products are marketed to treat arthritis, muscle pain, and other conditions and are sold online and in some retail stores. The FDA said it found the hidden drug ingredients in Artri Ajo King, Artri King, Ortiga Mas Ajo Rey, and Ortiga Mas Ajo Rey Extra Forte products.
Dexamethasone could cause serious adverse effects, including infections and elevated sugar levels, while diclofenac sodium could lead to heart attack and stroke or gastrointestinal damage. Methocarbamol may cause dizziness and low blood pressure.
Opinion: Paying people to stay off drugs works. So let’s keep doing it.
A welcome addition to the widespread problem of treating addiction is the concept of using a paid incentive to encourage abstention from drug use. The primary tool in that prevention program is frequent drug testing to verify the addict’s cessation of drug use.
This new strategy called “contingency management” is similar to several other successful drug prevention programs that use drug testing to confirm qualification for receiving valued incentives, such as continued employment or continued participation in a favored activity, such as school sports. It’s also used in drug courts to qualify for official expungement of a permanent record of drug-related illegal activities.
Although often opposed by addictive-substance industries, drug testing has been approved by the courts and widely used for decades. The technology has improved to where a simple, inexpensive single oral swab drug test can detect up to a dozen different drugs, from tobacco to opioids, including fentanyl, within about 10 minutes.
Thus, the direct cash payment incentive is a welcome addition to the nation’s drug prevention arsenal to help reverse the current tragic soaring rates of drug addiction, incapacitation, and overdose deaths.
The military might be creating 'a perfect storm' for eating disorders
People who develop harmful eating habits during their service have not received much attention from the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs. But a study among Iraq and Afghanistan war era veterans by the VA in Connecticut shows that they experience bulimia at about three times the civilian rate.
Some develop eating disorders while they're in the military, and others grapple with eating habits after they're out.
"I was seeing a very high rate of binge eating disorder in the veteran population, but I also wanted to know about these other disorders," says Robin Masheb, a research psychologist and the founder of the Veterans Initiative for Eating and Weight.
She says risk factors unique to military service go beyond the strict weight requirements.
“People talked about being in very chaotic eating situations where one had to either go for a long period of time without eating anything, or having to eat very quickly under certain conditions,” Masheb says. “Those types of things also seem to be risk factors for setting people up for problems with their eating later in life.”
Masheb received a Department of Defense grant to test virtual therapy to help veterans with eating disorders. But she says they face other challenges, like busting the myths that eating disorders only occur in young women, or that patients who are overweight can't have an eating disorder.
In March, the department released new guidelines that grant more leeway for the service branches to loosen restrictions on weight and fitness standards.
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