The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: November 8, 2011
Dragonfly: The Deadly New Legal Drug
- What is dragonfly?
- Dragonfly: What parents and relatives should know
- Supplements to slow aging of the heart
- Heart-healthy fast-food alternatives
- Food sources of Vitamin K
Dr. Oz wants to send America an urgent wake-up call about a new designer drug that is completely legal and deadly. It is easily accessible and inexpensive. Earlier this year Dr. Oz talked about bath salts being used as designer drugs with deadly effects. The new designer drug on the loose is called bromo-dragonfly.
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Bromo-dragonfly, or dragonfly is similar to LSD and potentially more lethal. It's psychedelic high can last 2 – 3 days. It is a potent hallucinogenic that is quickly turning a party into a death scene.
Dr. Oz asked Joseph Lee, MD Medical Director of Hazelden’s Youth Continuum [an alcohol, drug and substance abuse treatment and rehab program] how can these drugs be legal when they are so harmful?
Dr. Lee explained that we have to understand how the government works and how they look at these drugs. Dragonfly doesn't fit into a definition of a regulated drug. The government is struggling to catch up on these new drugs, more seem to come out every year. Unfortunately, any action by the government to regulate or ban these drugs can be a few years behind.
It's up to the American public to get educated and to do something about it.
Why are these drugs so lethal?
Dr. Oz provided an animation showing what happens to the internal organs when dragonfly is ingested. At first, a euphoric feeling is experienced – often the reason why kids are taking the drug. The brain cells quickly become over stimulated, the neurons convulse. Soon the arteries spasm, then the intestines become dilated, the lungs will flood with water and stop functioning. From there, the heart, now starved of oxygen will seize in cardiac arrest most often resulting in death.
Stacey was in her second year at University and doing well. She call her mom to share the news of great grades and said she was going to celebrate. Her mom said to be careful and Stacey assured that she would. At the party, Stacey took a small amount of dragonfly along with her friends. She went into a seizure. Her body quickly and painfully shut down and she died. Her boyfriend was also at the party and he took the drug as well. His death was prolonged, he died a week later.
Stacey's mother and brother were devastated and shocked. Stacey was against drugs, she was an advocate at the University. If she did this on her own, said her mother, it's because the computer said it was safe and legal. How is this safe or legal? She continues to question.
Wendy's nephew Trevor also took the drug at a party and died. He had trouble with drugs previously but was working on getting his life back on track. The frustrating piece, shared his aunt, is that he was gone so quickly by a poison shared among these kids. She wonders how many deaths will it take to get regulation?
Shocked by how easy he heard it was to get this drug online, Dr. Oz wanted to see just how accessible these designer drugs can be. He was able to order it himself quickly with just his computer and a credit card. A few minutes, and $195, later he purchased 1 oz.
What parents and relatives can do?
Dr. Lee wanted to clarify that the problem is not as simple as getting addicts into treatment. A lot of the kids who are dying from this aren't addicts, they are experimenting. Too many times families are frustrated because the signs of addiction are not there and suddenly their child has died. Don't blame yourself, don't go over the could have, would have, should have. Dr. Lee says to create a non-judgmental atmosphere in the home and recognize that this is a health problem.
On top of that, dragonfly has no smell and doesn't show up on a blood test, it's undetectable unless acutely intoxicated and showing physical signs. Dr. Lee says prevention is the key.
Educate parents and support the right culture and communication within the house so that kids know the risks and have a safe place to talk. Open the communication with letting kids know if they are around friends who are using this, they can let their parents know because they care.
Keep track of your kids online. Parents often mistake intellectual capacity for emotional maturity. Track text messages, and internet usage. Look at internet usage history unannounced and frequently.
Check credit cards for suspicious transactions. Look out for unusual packages from foreign countries labeled with products available in the US coming from another country. Dr. Oz gave the example that some companies use: fake eye lashes being shipped from a foreign country.
Dr. Lee clearly stated that if your kids are in trouble then your house is not a democracy and you're in charge in your house.
Be a detective.
Keep Your Heart From Aging Too Fast
Damage from less than healthy food choices and medications can bring about accelerated aging.
Outside the heart, the blood vessels that shuttle blood in and out of the heart can become clogged with plaque. [According toWebMD.com, plaque can develop from calcium, fat, and cholesterol.] This plaque sticks to the sides of the vessels slowing down blood flow, and in some cases, completely block the blood flow. This slow down or blockage of blood will scar the heart tissue on the outer heart wall.
Blocked blood flow in the vessels leading into the heart reducing the amount oxygen getting into the heart. The interior heart tissue will develop blood clots where scarring occurs on the outer tissue. Blood clots can snap off from the vessels or tissue and flow out of the heart into the blood stream. Once out of the heart, the clot can travel to the brain causing a heart.
Dr. Oz recommended knowing your blood pressure number. If you don't know, he's concerned that your blood pressure may be high.
What can you do to support your heart? Dr. Oz recommends taking fish oil, baby aspirin, CoQ10 and red yeast rice.
[No recommendation on amounts were provided. One of your best resources is to read labels and discuss with your doctor.
Aspirin. I've stated my opinion on daily aspirin before, read it here. There can be a place for aspirin in heart therapies but, I believe, that's best determined after a health evaluation and talking with your doctor. Taking a daily aspirin comes with serious health risk. Read my previous post for a short overview of the risks and a link to research it further.
Fish oil caps typically contain on average 1,000mg of oil. Most labels will recommend 1 to 3 caps per day. Knowing your general health and specifically your heart health can help determine how much fish oil to supplement. The American Heart Association recommends 1g – 4g determined by previous or current heart disease and levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Talk with your doctor to see how much may be appropriate for specific circumstances.
CoQ10 comes in a wide range of dosages from 30mg to 600mg. The higher end, over 200mg, is most often recommended as a therapeutic dosage. CoQ10 is a form of fat and the body will store it. The threshold and recommended amount of CoQ10 can vary as widely as available amounts. The most commonly sold amounts were I worked were 60mg and 100mg.
Red Yeast Rice has been used for a crazy length of time, since about 800a.d. The product is a fermented rice that has been utilized to support healthy cholesterol levels. There has been a legal battle going on for years between the companies that sell over-the-counter red yeast rice, the FDA and the companies the sell the pharmaceutical version. As with the pharmaceutical version of cholesterol lowering drugs, OTC red yeast rice can be very hard on the liver. The liver metabolizes fat and anything taken to remove fats from the body will be placing stress on the liver. People with existing liver issues or any concerns about the health of their liver should talk to their doctor about using red yeast rice and may want to consider testing the liver periodically while using red yeast rice or pharmaceuticals to lower cholesterol.
Secrets to Add Years to Your Heart
Stop the wear and tear on vital organs. Dr. Oz says, and he says this often, slow aging by choosing healthy foods. She blames him for getting into the habit of fast food. She craves drive-through fries and just talking about them turn on her saliva glands. At 2am the couple can be found in the drive-through getting french fries!
Secret #1: Sweet potato fries – baked not fried.
Swap out those fried drive-through fries for baked sweet potato fries. Full of nutrients, this starchy food won't set you back like fried white potatoes. Found in the freezer at most grocery stores [or buy a sweet potato in the produce aisle, slice and bake. SimplyRecipes.com has an easy recipe here. Three sweet potatoes makes A LOT of fries!]
Instead of drive through cheese burger try a soy burger 2 times per week, get omegas
Secret #2: Soy Burger
Dr. Oz would rather viewer turn to a soy patty for their cheese burger instead of fast-food burgers. Soy burgers contain omega-3 fatty acids that are healthier for your heart then beef patties fried to order.
Win Your Daily Dose of Vitamin K
Game show time!
Three women took the challenge of keeping a food diary, the one with the highest Vitamin K intake got to go first. Each woman got to choose a door to find sources of Vitamin K. [Vitamin K is an important nutrient that supports blood clotting and bone health.
Door #1: Eggs
Egg yolks, in particular, are a good source of Vitamin K and ¼ of daily recommended protein.
Door #2: Greens
One cup of spinach provides double the daily recommended amount of Vitamin K.
Door #3: Cheese
Fermented cheeses are a good source of Vitamin K. The second biggest American producer of fermented cheese, behind Wisconsin, is California. The lucky winner of this door received a trip for two to California – and a cheese-head hat!
In Case You Missed It
Dr. Oz recommends taking 1 teaspoon of psyllium fiber per day to support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.