Monday, June 30, 2008

Opiate Addiction

You've never touched drugs in your life and you go to the Doctor one morning only to be told that that your urine sample shows you've been smoking heroin or possibly injecting a little too much morphine. How'd that happen? As you talk to the Doctor about your food intake over the last two days: banana, bagel, strawberry...wait, wait what type of bagel did you have? A poppy seed bagel. That explains it! But, how? To answer this question, one would have to know that there are two types of poppy seeds. Those derived from opium poppy plants which can imitate heroin. There are also other poppies that have nothing to do with opiates. Piece of advice: if you’re going in for a drug screen for that job you’ve always wanted, avoid having a morning bagel. Perhaps the next question one would have is:

What is an opiate?

An opiate is a drug derived from the opium plant. The main opiates are morphine, codeine, heroin, thebaine, and papaverine. Morphine and heroin have the same chemical structure which is why morphine use can show up in a urine screen as heroin, especially when small amounts have been used. Having said this, out of the two drugs, heroin is more potent because it can enter the brain faster than morphine. Both drugs act as analgesics and sedatives producing a relaxing effect.


Morphine is the most important and prevalent form of opium. It is responsible for side effects such as coma, respiratory difficulties, or cardiac problems. A lethal dose is considered 120- 125 mg which is approximately two grams of opium. Even though morphine is the most prevalent form of opium, codeine, which is made from morphine, is utilized most frequently.


Codeine works the same way as morphine, in that depending on the way it is extracted and from what plant, one gets a stronger or lesser effect.

Thebaine and Papaverine

Studies have been done to try to determine how much thebaine and papaverine are in opium plants. As of now, Iranian samples have the highest percentage. Thebaine is the most potent, poisonous and dangerous opium alkaloid and isn’t used often. However, it has been converted into other narcotics that are used medically such as: oxycodone, oxymorphone and hydrocodone. Papaverine is used often for anything from erectile dysfunction to heart spasms. It is used so often in fact, that supplies often run short.

How do you get these drugs from a poppy plant?

How potent morphine, heroin or codeine is depends not only on the type of opium poppy utilized but also on the moisture content of the plant. How much morphine is expressed from a plant depends on how wet the plant is and on how much opium is produced by that plant. It also depends on what country the plant has been obtained. For instance in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, each capsule is bled one time, making the plant more potent. In countries like India and Afghanistan the capsules are bled four or five times on different days until they give no more juice. The less juice there is the less potent the drug. After the plants are bled they are then mixed together. This is why usually Indian opium is not as potent as Turkish and Greek opiums.

Most legal morphine is used to manufacture codeine. Morphine can also be utilized to make drugs such as apomorphine (used as an emetic—to stop people from vomiting), dihydromorphine (analgesic- to stop pain), hydromorphone (to relieve pain, commercial form is Dilaudid).

Are opiates dangerous?

If one looks back historically, derivatives of the opium poppy have been used for centuries as it is a very effective analgesic. This is not to imply however, that use of the opium is safe or advisable in excess. Some of the side effects of opiates include:

• psychological and physical dependence
• Body as a whole- muscle spasticity
• Respiratory- difficulty breathing, slow, shallow and labored breathing, stopped breathing (sometimes fatal within 2-4 hours)
• Eyes, ears, nose and throat- pinpoint pupils
• Gastrointestinal- constipation, spasms of the stomach and intestinal tract.
• Heart and blood vessels- low blood pressure
• Nervous system- drowsiness, disorientation, coma

Isn’t Methadone an Opiate as well?

Yes, methadone is a liquid form of opiates usually used to help stop heroin use. When de-toxing from heroin use, it is imperative that one be careful and be monitored. Otherwise, use of methadone can also be addictive.

What Is so Addictive About Heroin?

Heroin imitates endorphins, causing a feeling of euphoria. For this reason it is used as both a pain killer and as a recreational drug. However, frequent administration of the drug leads to a high potential for causing addiction. Withdrawal is also highly likely. If one uses heroin continuously for three days and then stops abruptly it is possible to have symptoms of withdrawal. This occurs much faster than with other pain killers like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

What should I do if I know someone who is addicted to an opiate?
Opiate addiction warrants immediate attention by individuals that are familiar with how to cope with the addiction. As mentioned prior, opiate addiction does cause serious adverse effects which can be life threatening and should be taken seriously.

What about those poppy seeds?

Back to the original question, if someone tests positive for an opiate, and they know they’ve never taken such drugs, what do they do? A study was conducted in 1998 where a subject was tested for urine morphine concentrations after eating two poppy seed rolls.

When the urine was tested, the concentration was almost three times the cut off set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

So, how do I prove I never used an opiate?

Don’t worry, there are secondary tests. Thebaine is a natural part of opiates and doesn’t show up in products processed from opium poppy plants. So, if a urine sample that tests positive for opiates also tests positive for thebaine, the urine opiates were from eating poppy seeds, not drug use. Having said this, your best bet is to avoid bagels for a few days before that new employment drug screen.

Is cereal safe for my children to eat?

My children are avid eaters of breakfast cereal. I avoid the sugar-coated and chocolate varieties they clamour for in the supermarket, but their staple breakfast is made up of Rice Krispies, Special K, Cheerios and Oatibix. I read recently that breakfast cereals are nutritionally questionable, and may even contain a type of carcinogen. Should I banish these boxes from the breakfast table? Emma, 43, Brighton

I suspect the cancer-causing substance to which you are referring may be molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs for short. These are formed when foods are heated at a high temperature and have been linked to triggering inflammation in the body, which in turn may increase the risk of problems such as arthritis, Alzheimer's, heart disease and also cancer. In other words, they appear to play a role in speeding up the ageing process.

The biggest contributors of AGEs to our diet are far and away meat and other protein-rich foods which are cooked at high temperatures such as roasting and grilling. Much lower amounts are formed when carbohydrates are cooked or processed at high temperatures. French fries and crisps are two of the worst, although they still contain nowhere near as many AGEs as, say, a burger.

Breakfast cereals that contain a lot of sugar will contain more AGEs than those with little added sugar. Given that it is a good idea to keep a close eye on the amount of sugar and salt that children eat, swapping to the cereals you mention is a good idea for this reason alone. That you will be slightly lowering their AGE intake is another, smaller, advantage.

Ultimately, the less processed the breakfast cereal, the less sugar, salt and AGEs it will contain and the more naturally present fibre, vitamins and minerals you will get. This means that something such as good old-fashioned porridge is an excellent start to the day for children and adults alike.

The disadvantage of dropping the cereals you currently give your children is that they are fortified and can provide useful top-ups of B vitamins and in some cases vitamin D, which is quite hard to find in foods other than oily fish. Many are also fortified with iron, a mineral which is vital for growth and energy. Since cereals will be eaten with milk, which is great for bone-building calcium, these or porridge are still worth having on your children's breakfast table.

It is generally thought to be good to eat a wide variety of foods, so rather than rely on breakfast cereals every day, it would make good nutritional sense to alternate cereal days with breakfasts of boiled eggs and bread, scrambled eggs with grilled tomatoes (grilled vegetables have hardly any AGEs) and even a really nutritious home-made smoothie made with semi-skimmed milk, yoghurt, a banana and another favourite fruit of your children's choice such as peaches, pineapple or berries (which can be fresh, frozen or canned in natural juice).

Special Thanks to The London Times

Baby to be born free of breast cancer after embryo screening

A woman has conceived Britain’s first baby guaranteed to be free from hereditary breast cancer.

Doctors screened out from the woman’s embryos an inherited gene that would have left the baby with a greater than 50% chance of developing the cancer.

The woman decided to have her embryos screened because her husband had tested positive for the gene and his sister, mother, grandmother and cousin have all had the cancer.

The couple produced 11 embryos, of which five were found to be free from the gene. Two of these were implanted in the woman’s womb and she is now 14 weeks pregnant.

By screening out embryos carrying the gene, called BRCA-1, the couple, from London, will eliminate the hereditary disease from their lineage.

About 5% of the 44,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Britain each year are estimated to be caused by the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes, both of which can be detected in embryos.

Doctors say thousands of cases of breast cancer could be avoided by screening embryos using the technique called preimplantation diagnosis (PGD).

Many women who test positive for the gene have their breasts surgically removed to avoid the disease. Only one other woman – an Israeli mother-to-be – is thought to have become pregnant after undergoing the embryo screening.

The 27-year-old British mother, who asked not to be named, says that after seeing all her husband’s female relatives suffer from breast cancer, she felt she had to take action to save their children from the same plight. Any daughter born with the gene would have had a 50% to 85% chance of developing breast cancer.

She said: “For the past three generations, every single woman in my husband’s family has had breast cancer, as early as 27 and 29. We felt that, if there was a possibility of eliminating this for our children, then that was a route we had to go down.

“It has been successful for us which means we are eliminating the gene from our line.

“We had been through his sister being ill, so it was something we had seen first hand. I thought this was something I had to try because, if we had a daughter with the gene, and she was ill, I couldn’t look her in the face and say I didn’t try.”

The woman and her 28-year-old husband had to go through IVF (in vitro fertilisation) even though they are fertile, in order to create embryos that could be screened.

Tests on the 11 embryos were conducted by removing just one cell when they were three days old. Six of the embryos carried the breast cancer gene. Two embryos that were free of the gene were then implanted, resulting in a single pregnancy.

The couple have also been able to freeze two healthy embryos for future use.

The woman said she felt a responsibility to put herself through the invasive IVF procedure. “The treatment I had to go through was nothing in comparison to what I have seen members of my husband’s family go through.”

In addition to breast cancer, women carrying the gene also have a higher risk of ovarian cancer and male carriers are at greater risk of developing prostate cancer.

The couple’s doctor, Paul Serhal, medical director of the Assisted Conception Unit at University College London hospital, said the breakthrough gives parents the option of avoiding passing a high risk of breast cancer on to their children.

He said: “Women now have the option of having this treatment to avoid the potential guilty feeling of passing on this genetic abnormality to a child. This gives us the chance to eradicate this problem in families.” Serhal added: “It may be devastating psychologically and emotionally for a young woman to have her breasts removed.”

Serhal has treated other couples to create babies free from less well known cancer genes, including one that causes eye cancer and another that carries a high risk of bowel cancer.

Some critics say it is wrong to destroy embryos because there is only a chance women with the gene may develop breast cancer in adulthood. They argue that, increasingly, breast cancer can also be successfully treated.

Special Thanks to The London Times

Great Science Websites For The Whole Family

The Exploratorium
The Ontario Science Center
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Noodle Caboodle

189.00 g noodles (cooked)
315.45 ml cooked turkey (leftovers)
2/3 (283 1/2 g) can mushroom soup
2/3 (283 1/2 g) can celery soup
2/3 (283 1/2 g) can cream of chicken soup
78.86 ml white wine or apple juice
85.05 g black olives
302.39 g cheddar cheese (shredded)

1 Mix everything but cheese together.
2 Spread in a casserole dish.
3 Spread cheese over and bake 350' 25 minutes.

More Dane Cook 2

One brother, five sisters… dude I’d have to wear a tampon just to fit in.

I don't know if I could kill someone with a frozen turkey because that is a lot of evidence to eat. Unless I found a whole room of people who also wanted that person dead.

I saw a young boy eating an ice cream cone, ... I smashed it in his face. You know that kid is going to remember me when he's 50.

I say fuck shoes! Your shoes do not represent you! Neither here, nor in a court of law!

You never make secret hallways normal height, they always have to be uncomfortable. Like Why the fuck did I build them like this?! Where's my Lab!?!

Wouldn't it be awesome just to come home and know that somewhere in your place there's a monkey you're gonna battle?

I invite her back to my apartment, or as I call it, the "Death Star." I'm still working on it, it's not completely operational.

Nice teeth is a turn on for me. If you open your mouth and it looks like a battle of epic proportions, I don't like it.

I HATE it when somebody turns around in my driveway. You're just sitting comfortably watching T.V., you hear a car pulling up like "Who is this?!" It's so disruptive you look out, strange car, you dont know if it's a government official. You start getting concerned "What I dont know this car," then they turn to leave you're like "You son of a bitch, you wasted moments of my life! Moments i will never get back!"

I'd like to shoot a laser out of my cock. And when I'm empty, my balls glow.

Who doesn't like movies? Who has ever said, "Hey, you wanna go see a movie?" "Fuck that and fuck you, movies! It’s ridiculous, the whole idea of it! It’s just wrong and fake and no!

When you walk into the public restroom, why is everything fucking wet?

Time machine... wouldn't you like to travel through time? I would. I'd go back..mess with people. You know what I would do? I would go back to when my mom and dad were having sex, to have me. Ya'know, come in, spank my dad on the ass, I'M YOUR SON FROM THE FUTURE!! AAAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHA! *smack* IM FROM THE FUTURE!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAH

You're with someone for like 2 weeks in and you're like, "Fuck, no way. I can't stand this person. I'll stay around for 5-6 years and we can end this thing violently, I got time.

I was literally cheated on...I woke up and they were on top of me.

When you swear to God, its true. Right now God is watching and saying, "this is true."

Get a toilet.. when you flush it says "Thanks for shitting me.. I enjoyed your shit"

Start each day out the holy way..with Christ Chex, it's a miracle in a bowl. Just open the box and you hear AHHHHH....and then a lil' angel flies out and says 'good morning, life is beautiful!

I don't know if I could kill someone with a frozen turkey because that is a lot of evidence to eat - unless I found a whole room of people who also wanted that person dead.

I wish I had some superpowers. I was thinking about that the other day. Maybe quit comedy, fight some crime. Everybody wants to fly. That's the number one power. If I could grant you a power, "Dane, I'd love to fly." Yeah? Who the fuck doesn't. Who doesn't want to leave the show tonight and be like, "Alright I'll catch you guys later." *Shwwooosh* and zip up into the skies. "I can show you the world. Shining, shimmering splendor."

"You know what you do at the next party.You shit on the coats.Then u just wait till someone comes out of the area that the coats are and the'll be all like " Someone shit on the coats " or they may say " I think someone has shit on the coats because i smell the stench of shit in the vasinity of the coat area." then to make inconspetious you say " What? I hope they didn't shit on my coat " then bam like a phantom just blend back into the croud."

I'd love to shoot a laser out of my cock. And when I'm empty my balls glow. Low fuel...balls are empty.

You know what I'd like to be able to do more than anything else? I'd love to be able to shoot spaghetti out of my fingertips. *Pppthhh.* 'Cause no one wants to be covered in spaghetti. No. If I'm on a date with a girl and she's very rude I'd be like, you know what? *PPpptthhh* Enjoy your spaghetti, you're very rude. Enjoy your spaghetti, 'cause you're rude. *Pppttthh*... these are all dreams. These are all things we want to have. (To man in audience) If I could grant you a power, any power, what would you want? Anything right now? "Dah, Jesus." You want to be Jesus? God you're such an egotistical prick. He thinks he's Jesus. Ah, Jesus. I'd love to cover him with spaghetti right now. *Ppppttthh* Enjoy your spaghetti, you're very egotistical. Ahhh Christ... Not you.

It would be great when you enter the DMV, someones just hiding there comes out and punchs you in the face..... *argh* well waiting in line ain't so bad after the punch in the face.

nobody talks to that guy...but let me tell you something, every job i ever had in my life, i talk to that guy, i'd talk to him, i'd find him on purpose and i'd have little chit chats with him and i'd be very interested and be like by the way here's a snickers, thats for you, peanuts caramel, put that in your mouth, enjoy that. you know why i talk to that guy? Because when that day finally comes and he *ffffffffffp* snaps, and he comes into work with a sotoff shot gun walkin' through the halls *gunshot noises* and he finally gets to my office he's gonna be like " *GASP* THANKS FOR THE CANDY" *continues shooting" you laugh now but you know Monday morning you're gonna be like "heyy MARCKUS"

More Dane Cook

If you have to be at work at 8, it's always like, 7:54. Just enough time to do nothing. To just lay there and go, "I can't do anything! I can't even have an English muffin!"

It was peace. Peace is when you would shake the hands of the people around you. And you knew peace was coming because the priest would say it five times rapid fire. He'd go, "My peace I leave, my peace I give to you. While we ate Reese's Pieces with the Lord. And I have a piece of lint in my peaceful eye!"

On stage I am the actor, director and the bouncer all at the same time. Fear does not exist in this dojo does it? No Sensi! Sorry... when I get excited I have to toss in some Karate Kid quotes.

When you're not in love, when you don't have love, everybody you know falls in love on like the same day - even Karen the douche bag falls in love! Even retarded people in your neighborhood are getting married on their front lawn as you drive by, "What? The 'tards just got married on their lawn. That's great! I have nobody, and the 'tards just committed to each other for a lifetime of 'tardiness''

Has anyone here ever been fully engulfed in fire? It's gotta be so hot!

A lot of comics are kind of vampire types; we do our shows and disappear into the night. My philosophy was, this is like politics, and if I want people to know about my campaign, I'm going to go out there and shake hands.

Three weeks ago one of my dreams came true. I finally got to see something I always wanted to witness live. I finally saw someone get hit by a car... Nailed!

Dane Cook Quotes

I just want to run up and spank my dad's ass and run off screaming, "I'm your son from the future! Ahhhh!! I'm from the future, I'm your son!"

I don't like that. I don't like it when juice wears tights. It's a horrible combination, a bowl of juice wearing tights.

I always wanted to be a snake. Everytime I saw a snake of TV. I'd always say WHY NOT ME?!?!

We were so poor growing up, that little iron...we had to actually use that little iron. That's not funny. It takes a long time to iron a shirt with that tiny little iron. {Monopoly}

Anonymous Hackers Shoot For Scientologists, Hit Dutch School Kids

Dutch schoolchildren may be the first collateral damage of an online war being waged against the Church of Scientology by a motley crew of internet troublemakers who call themselves Anonymous.

Coordination broke down Friday among the loose affiliate of online troublemakers known as Anonymous as they tried to continue their ongoing attacks against Scientology.

The group has spent the last few days trying to keep down the website via a distributed denial of service attack, posting sensitive Scientology documents around the web, and up-voting anti-Scientology stories on Digg. The attack, dubbed Project Chanology, has a wiki that attempts to tell Anonymous 'members' what to do, though the advice is ever-changing and often contradictory.

But the Church of Scientology hired Prolexic, a company that specializes in protecting websites from DDOS attacks. Prolexic's protection works by publicly substituting a Prolexic server for the attacked server, filtering out the bad traffic and passing the good traffic to the site's real server.

One of the moderators on thought he had learned from a friend what the real server's address was on Friday.

The user, who was using the handle Splongcat, uploaded DDOS software configured with the supposedly secret address and urged others in an internet chat room to download and run the software. The software was intended to flood the specified IP address with rogue traffic in order to bring the server down.

But within minutes, users began complaining the software was crashing and others analyzed the traffic and found that the IP address didn't belong to the Church of Scientology, reporting that that the software was actually targeting a school in the Netherlands.

Immediately the IRC chat room hosted on (currently down) was filled with calls to stop using the program, and the 900 people in the chat room returned to their disorderly conversation about whether they should be flooding Digg with anti-Scientology links or making harassing phone calls to local Scientology branches.

The Etty Hillesum Lyceum's site seemed to quickly recover, and Splongcat apologized to fellow script-kiddies for simply taking his friend at his word and not checking the IP address before unleashing the software.

Anonymous launched the attack on Scientology on January 16 to protest its use of copyright law to take down material critical of the church's bizarre practices and to attempt to force media outlets to run stories about the Church of Scientology. Their stated goal is to destroy the Church of Scientology.

The Church of Scientology has not replied to THREAT LEVEL's request for comment.

Special Thanks to WIRED