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Street Drugs and Overdose – Do your Kids know more than you?


Introduction/Abstract:
The purpose of this presentation is to provide up to date information on street drugs and discuss treatment options in the management of the patients who use them.  We will also discuss overdoses of both street drugs, prescription medications and over the counter medications and the treatment options in managing the overdose. 

For centuries drugs have been a part of history. Each cultural group found their own way of making and using recreational drugs, and each generation believed they were unique in their drug use. Many great musical accomplishments where created while the artists enjoyed hallucinogenic drugs of the decade. However, if you are practicing currently, you need knowledge of the drugs used today.  For example, the assessment of an unconscious teenager not only involves the ABC’s, but may also include a rectal exam. Why you ask? Because a new method of use for Gamma hydroxybutyrate  (GHB) is to soak tampons in the drug and insert rectally or vaginally, allowing for a longer absorption period. 

This presentation will review the most commonly used street drugs including cocaine, heroine, methamphetamine, opioids, hallucinogenic agents and designer drugs such as ecstasy and GHB. Participants will have the opportunity to examine and handle drug paraphernalia and to see how everyday items can become containers for drug storage.  We will discuss signs and symptoms, assessment and treatment options of suspected drug use, withdrawal or overdose. 

Street drugs affect multiple patient populations and therefore this presentation is a must for all health care professionals including students, nurses, advanced practice nurses and physicians. The only prerequisite for this program is an open mind, as some of the information can be shocking. Knowledge is power. You must be armed with as much information as possible on the multiple drugs available and how they are used, so that you are prepared for all possibilities.

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