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1/1862. A case of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid withdrawal syndrome during alcohol addiction treatment: utility of diazepam administration.

    Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is an emerging drug for alcoholism therapy. We present a case of GHB withdrawal syndrome secondary to GHB addiction during alcoholism treatment. A complete disappearance of drug withdrawal syndrome was achieved with oral diazepam and the symptoms resolved without sequelae. GHB has been used for alcoholism therapy for only a few years now, but the trend is increasing, and other cases similar to this one are foreseeable. This risk could be higher in some countries in which GHB use is increasing not for alcoholism therapy, but for its euphoric and anabolic effects. The present experience indicates that administration of benzodiazepines would seem to be sufficient to achieve total regression of the withdrawal syndrome in a short time, at least if recognized early. ( info)

2/1862. Severe panarteritis associated with drug abuse.

    A case of panarteritis with purpura fulminans, mononeuritis multiplex, gastrointestinal manifestation and presumably cardiac involvement in a previously healthy 22-year-old man with a history of drug abuse including cocaine, cannabinoids and methamphetamines is described. Histopathological examination of the gut led to the diagnosis of panarteritis without immune deposits. Antineutrophil antibodies were negative. Besides the drugs, no other possible cause of vasculitis was found. The patient recovered completely after 1 year. Drug abuse is a thus possible cause of severe extracerebral disabling vasculitis. ( info)

3/1862. Pseudo-subarachnoid hemorrhage: a rare neuroimaging pitfall.

    OBJECTIVE: We report an unusual case of the CT appearance of diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage in a patient with anoxic encephalopathy, a situation which neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neuroradiologists should be aware of. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A young man collapsed unconscious in jail after abusing an unknown quantity and variety of drugs. CT scan showed a picture compatible with diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage. INTERVENTION: As the patient had a Glasgow coma Score of 3 no heroic intervention was undertaken. An autopsy performed 40 hours after the initial ictus and 24 hours after death revealed no evidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage but gross and microscopic evidence of anoxic encephalopathy. CONCLUSION: Anoxic encephalopathy can mimic diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage on CT. ( info)

4/1862. Ecstasy (MDMA) dependence.

    Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is generally described as non-addictive. However, this report describes three cases in which criteria for dependence were met. A wider understanding that MDMA can be addictive in rare cases is important as very heavy use may cause lasting neuronal changes. This risk could be reduced with effective identification and treatment of dependent persons. In one case dependence was linked with self-medication of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ( info)

5/1862. Bleeding from self-administration of phenindione: a detailed case study.

    A young woman presented with a 2 year history of a severe bleeding disorder and marked deficiencies in all four vitamin-K-dependent factors. Metabolic studies with tracer doses of tritium-labelled vitamin K1 suggested that the patient might be taking an oral anticoagulant; and subsequently her plasma was found to contain a substance identical to phenindione in its spectrophotometric and chromatographic properties. The half-disappearance times of factors II, IX, X were measured after the administration of a concentrate of these factors and were found to conform with published figures. The concentrate controlled the patient's excessive bruising and prolonged skin and gingival bleeding. It would therefore seem that factor vii may not be essential in reversal of the bleeding disorder induced by anticoagulant overdose. ( info)

6/1862. The triple diagnosed.

    The triple diagnosed are AIDS patients who are also substance abusers and mentally ill. Such a combination raises roadblocks to care that any of the conditions alone would not cause. A team approach throughout the home care community, however, seems to overcome the obstacles. ( info)

7/1862. abscess formation as a complication of parenteral methylphenidate abuse.

    case reports of five patients suffering from either skin abscesses or cellulitis following parenteral methylphenidate abuse are presented. Four patients had similar lesions consisting of abscesses or cellulitis which demonstrated typical signs and symptoms of an infective process and were treated with local symptomatic therapy, incision and drainage if indicated, and systemic antibiotics. The fifth patient suffered from a circular, necrotic, nonpurulent ulcer on the dorsum of the right foot which produced no local or systemic toxic effects. Attempts to culture a responsible organism yielded streptococcus viridans, an organism which is normal flora of the skin and, although opportunistic, is generally considered nonpathogenic. These cases further substantiate the belief that local vasospasm, chemical irritation, or both, produced by the methylphenidate solution may primarily cause a necrotic ulcer susceptibble to secondary bacterial infection. ( info)

8/1862. tuberculosis treatment through directly observed therapy in a large multisite methadone maintenance treatment program: addressing the public health needs of a high-risk population.

    The rate of tuberculosis in patients receiving methadone treatment is significantly greater than the general population. The stabilization of former injection drug users occurs within methadone maintenance treatment programs, indicating the suitability of these sites for directly observed therapy (DOT). There are formidable barriers to the success of DOT, some are institutional, others patient-related. Strategies to address these obstacles need to be implemented. The integration of DOT into existing programs required support from the new york State Department of Health, institutional commitment, as well as continued staff and patient education and training. ( info)

9/1862. Reflections on volatile substance dependency treatment. negotiating the boundary between inner and outer reality.

    A brief review of the causal and treatment literature relating to volatile substance dependency suggests the interaction between individual and system requires careful attention and understanding. A model is tentatively and provisionally adumbrated to help clarify the main factors involved from a dynamic biopsychosocial perspective. Ego boundary disturbances emerge from and reciprocally influence behaviour and social interactions. These disturbances can be avoided temporarily, although inevitably deepened in the long-term, by substance dependence. Two case examples, selected because they differ in many respects, including relative treatment effectiveness, illustrate this integrative perspective. The discussion focuses on explaining the differing outcomes in terms of the extent to which the inner-outer boundary is open to modification and how far it can be successfully negotiated and clarified. A major factor in differentiating between inside and outside is thought to be causal perceptions or "attributions." Successful differentiation tends to facilitate change, as opposed to reinforcing maladaptive homeostasis. Key issues for therapists overlap with addictions treatment in general, including emotional blocks or barriers in patients, difficulty engaging systems in a strategic manner, and countertransference problems. It is argued that these difficulties in therapy might respond to integrative psychotherapeutic responses, provided the differences in perspective are sufficiently understood. ( info)

10/1862. Cardiovascular toxicity after ingestion of "herbal ecstacy".

    "Herbal Ecstacy" (sic) is an alternative drug of abuse usually containing both ephedrine and caffeine. Our literature search did not reveal any other reported cases of cardiovascular toxicity related to herbal "drugs of abuse." A case of cardiovascular toxicity following the ingestion of herbal ecstacy is presented. A 21-year-old male presented to the emergency department with an initial blood pressure of 220/110 mmHg and ventricular dysrhythmias after ingesting four capsules of herbal ecstacy. He was treated with lidocaine and sodium nitroprusside, and his symptoms resolved in 9 h. The pathophysiology and clinical course of ephedrine toxicity are discussed. Emergency physicians should consider ephedrine preparations in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with a sympathomimetic toxidrome. Drugs of abuse containing "herbal" products can produce serious morbidity and mortality. ( info)
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