HEALTH

Drug abuse among young people declines in United States

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. U.S. students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades are continuing to show a gradual decline in their use of certain drugs, including methamphetamine, according to the 34th annual national survey in the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future series released last week.

“These certainly are positive developments and the longer term decline in the use of methamphetamine, which continued this year in grade 12, is particularly important,” stated Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal investigator. “The use of this highly addictive drug is now down by about two thirds among teens since 1999, when its use was first measured.”

There was also a decline in the number of teens abusing dextromethorphan, a popular cough suppressant, the survey found. While the annual prevalence rate was the same for 10th graders as in 2006, abuse among 8th and high school seniors had declined. Eighth graders’ prevalence fell by 0.6 percentage points to 3.2 percent and reported abuse among high school seniors’ dropped 1.3 percentage points to 5.7 percent. “It thus appears that attempts to discourage misuse of dextromethorphan have proven somewhat successful,” Johnston said, though there’s more work yet to be done.

Overall, according to the survey, 3.6, 5.3 and 5.5 percent of 8th, 10th and 12th graders, respectively, reported abusing over-the-counter cough medicines to get high.

“We are encouraged by this progress but remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce the number of teens abusing these medicines to get high,” stated Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. CHPA has developed a number of programs in recent years in an effort to address teen abuse of OTC medicines.

“CHPA and the leading makers of OTC cough medicines, along with our partners and experts in the substance abuse field, are engaged in a multi-pronged public health education campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of medicine abuse,” Suydam said. “The association’s initiatives include educational programming for parents, schools, pharmacists and retailers , law enforcement, health professionals, community leaders and online.”

“It’s encouraging to see that fewer 8th and 12th graders are abusing over-the-counter cough medicines since NIDA began tracking this issue in 2006,” said Gen. Arthur Dean, chairman and chief executive officer of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. “Cough medicine abuse is an issue that CADCA has worked diligently on over the past few years in collaboration with [CHPA], which represents the makers of these products, and I have no doubt that these reductions are a sign that our efforts are working.”

The survey is conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

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Mexican product released in U.S. may prevent erectile dysfunction

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO Hispanic men between the ages of 20 and 50 are two and a half times as likely as men of other races and ethnicities to develop erectile dysfunction, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2005.

A product on the market in Mexico since 2004 and recently introduced in the United States might address the problem. CRB Ventures said the product, The Sensual Tea, has a rate of effectiveness of 87.3 percent in treating erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation and has no side effects.

“It is possible to prevent sexual problems from ever occurring,” CRB Ventures president Christian Beasley said in a statement. “The Sensual Tea overcomes low libido and sexual fatigue and enhances the pleasure and intensity of sex.”

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Medical Nutrition USA reports spike in branded product revenue for 3Q 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. Medical Nutrition USA today announced the results for its third quarter 2008, ended Oct. 31.

The company reported that its branded product revenue jumped 11 percent to more than $3 million, up from $2.7 million on a 26 percent unit sales increase, and offset by price reductions, over 2007’s results.

Medical Nutrition USA said its total sales were steady, increasing about 0.01 percent. The company also said that gross margin remained steady at about 53 percent.

The company reported that its incoming net cash from operating activities was $492,200, compared to $598,600, in 2007. And net loss was reportedly $50,900, compared to a net income of $220,000, or $0.01 per share.

For the nine months ended Oct. 31, Medical Nutrition USA said that its branded product revenue increased 13 percent to $9 million, up from around $8 million for the same time the previous year. Total sales rose 5 percent to around $10 million, up from $9 million for the same time period the previous year, the company said. Gross profit totaled $5. million, comprising 53 percent of sales.

“Our results reflect the ongoing successful implementation of our plan to accelerate market penetration through expansion of our sales force and more aggressive pricing. Unit sales of branded products continue to increase handsomely, growing at 26 percent for the quarter and 28 percent for the nine months as a result of sales to both new and existing customers as well as new products. Private label sales are expected to continue to decline modestly over time as part of our long-term strategy to deemphasize private label sales in favor of branded product sales. Overall, we remain very much on track and are pleased with our performance for the quarter,” chairman and chief executive officer Frank Newman said.

Medical Nutrition USA develops and distributes supplement products, such as Pro-Stat bottled liquid protein and UTI-stat liquid antioxidant supplement for cleansing the urinary tract, for “nutritionally at-risk” patients under longterm care and/or medical supervision.

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