It should come as no surprise that drug traffickers are quite creative about distributing their du jour illicit product. Most recently, multiple agencies including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Homeland Security, intercepted an operation using legitimate Disney Donald Ducks and Winnie The Poohs as a cover for their imposter shipments of non-ceramic wax figurines replete with 500 lbs. of meth (estimated to be worth $2 million).
Drugs notoriously have been transferred for distribution using all sorts of vehicles intended to bypass discovery radars. The human body has been among the most dangerous ones. When a person swallows a bag of heroin, fentanyl or cocaine or places them in "other" bodily orifices for protracted periods of time, perforation of the container allows rapid exposure of a massive dose directly into the bloodstream and the carrier dies.
And consider, how trustworthy are drug dealers for quality assurance? Are you really getting what they tell you? There is no regulatory oversight here. Though the drugs themselves are dangerous, the contaminants can cause equal to greater deleterious effects. For instance, cocaine is routinely cut with anything that is powdery and white. This can include bleach, detergents, even talc – none of which are intended for inhalation or ingestion.
We don’t need to look much further than the catastrophic events that began in Illinois surrounding rat poison’s inclusion in “synthetic cannabinoids” –often mistakenly called “fake pot” or “synthetic marijuana” as if they are somehow the same as pot, when, in fact, they are often much, much worse. The misnomer significantly compounds the problems.
The active ingredient of the contaminant is a blood thinner and has caused deaths as well as countless hospitalizations at outbreak levels due to coughing up blood and excessive bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth, urine, and stool. Now, Illinois is not the only state experiencing these frightening consequences as the map has expanded. Review my article here.
These examples reflect a very good argument for why the pharmaceutical industry is regulated. How much it is might be a source for debate, but the underlying goal of patient safety and protection will still guide the tide. So, no matter whether your interest is in experimentation, recreation or stems from addiction, recognize that faith in the purity of the harmful substance on its own as well as the drug dealer providing it is quite the gamble. Are you willing to bet your life?
Dr. Jamie Wells, MD, FAAP, is an award-winning Board-Certified physician with over a decade of experience caring for patients and the Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. She served as a Clinical Instructor/Attending at NYU Langone, Mt. Sinai-Beth Israel and St. Vincent's Medical Centers in Manhattan. Dr. Wells graduated from Yale University with honors, was inducted as a junior and elected President of Jefferson Medical College's Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society and has been named a New York Super Doctor, repeatedly, in the NY Times magazine supplement listing the top 5% of physicians in over 30 medical specialties as chosen by their peers.
A National Merit Scholar, Dr. Wells was identified for her academic excellence early on when she was selected by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) for its prestigious Research Science Institute (RSI) and was featured as one of the top twenty high school students in the nation in USA TODAY as a recipient of their scholarship. At Yale, she was President of the Yale Science and Engineering Association, majored in American Studies and concentrated in media and film, spending her final year researching her senior essay entitled, "Ebola: The Making of an Epidemic"-- exploring the power of the governmental, political, public health and media machines and their desire to work in harmony when there is a common economic concern. In medical school, she maintained various leadership and elected positions (such as Editorials Editor of the school paper and editing guides to passing Board Exams) while creating mentoring and tutoring programs and spearheading countless volunteer activities that served the school and local Philadelphia communities. During this time, she did research for the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus of patients with Essential Tremor and Parkinson's Disease.
She was a grant reviewer for Komen's 2018-2019 Community Grants Program and has judged the local, district and world championships for Dean Kamen’s F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) robotics competition as well as the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen scholarship competition for which she was recently nominated and, subsequently, elected to be a member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Wells is on the Leadership Council of The Wistar Institute (the nation's first independent biomedical research facility and certified cancer center). She has been awarded America's Top Pediatricians, America’s Top Physicians Honors of Distinction and Excellence, Compassionate Doctors Award, Patients Choice Award (honors given by patients to less than 3% of the nation's 720,000 active physicians) and been recognized for her exemplary care of those with Cystic Fibrosis. Dr. Wells was named a Doctor of Excellence which profiles the world’s leading doctors who have demonstrated success and leadership in their profession. For the better part of a decade, she answered all of the medical inquiries on line for the Boomer Esiason Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's website in a section entitled, ASK DR. WELLS.
Whether she is published, for example, in the acclaimed journal Neoreviews for a case involving a near drowning of an infant via water birth, USA Today regarding the mysterious illness of US diplomats in Cuba or the Huffington Post in response to the Dolce & Gabbana controversy or 10 ways to Save Your Life or the Life of a Loved One, it is a longstanding passion of hers to make science and health understanding accessible to all. She champions empowering others to be their own advocate in healthcare and has given talks to various audiences from struggling expectant mothers and parenting groups to undergraduates, spoken on panels as well as emphasized education to patients under her care. Believing she wanted to be a brain surgeon, she began her first residency in neurosurgery, ultimately switching fields to pediatrics. As a result, her knowledge is vast in the medical realm and sought after by innumerable media outlets.
Dr. Wells’ greatest asset is making complicated material palatable for people in a nonthreatening, often humorous way. Her opinion as a medical expert has been showcased on live and taped local, national and international television programs that run the gamut from CNN, Fox National News Channel, ABC News, BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera TV, NY 1, CBS, TLC, Fox Business Network, Fox 5, Parent TV, CUNY-TV, My 9, Arise TV and so on having been featured in an hour length show on Discovery Health and, repeatedly, on Sirius Radio for Martha Stewart Living. She is a huge proponent of the health benefits of animals and was certified with her adorable and gifted English Bulldog, Mollie Joe, as a therapy team.
We asked New York City to guess her profession and no one got it right: