Have you ever heard of kids misusing epi?

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 5:49am
Dunpun's picture
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Has anyone heard of a problem with kids/others using epi's for a high? I haven't but a teacher at our school brought it up in a meeting today....the medication being available would leave it available for someone to steal and misuse? I won't go into the rest of the conversation but wondered if anyone knew?

Linda

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 6:12am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Epinephrine is absolutely NOT a recreational "drug of abuse." It's side effects are just too unpleasant for whatever minimal "high" it would give.
In other words, it might be a "stimulant" but only in the same sense as a dozen No-Doz or having a would-be rapist chase you through a park at night... I mean, we use the [i]term[/i] "adrenaline junkie" but I don't think it carries much weight in a [i]literal, physical[/i] context of addiction. It's novelty-seeking behavior or risk-taking behavior (both real psychological modes), not "adrenaline-seeking" behavior. KWIM?
I have NEVER EVER EVER heard of anyone "abusing" adrenaline/epinephrine. The inhalers have been available OTC forever in the form of Primatene mist. If there were a high abuse liability, it would be happening, and it isn't. At least not that I've ever heard of. I spent part of my misspent youth studying stimulant drugs of abuse as a neuroscientist.... so I would think I would have at least [i]heard[/i] of it.... but no.
ETA: The real danger here, as (edited)points out, isn't that someone might really be "after a fix" so much as determined to TRY IT and see what kind of "high" they could get. (Ummmm, they probably won't do it more than once.... but anyway.) SO yes, there [i]may[/i] be a small liability in someone taking an unsecured pen and trying to use it to get high. Human beings will pretty much try ANYTHING for a high-- at least once.
But the danger of death for that person is insignificant [i]when compared to the risk of death for someone in anaphylaxis who experiences a substantial delay in treatment.[/i]
This might be an excellent question for someone at FAAN or at AAAIA-- just how common is it for a pen to be misappropriated for such a reason?
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited January 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 6:46am
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Epinephrine does not give a *high*. It does give quite a muscular work-out. I have heard of athletes using smaller doses so that they get a stronger work out in less time.

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 7:08am
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I would think that if it is abused, it would be for the stimulant effect. Someone working double shifts or something along those lines.
And of course, as someone already mentioned, some people will try anything to see if they can get high (how else would anyone have ever figured out the effects of products such as White-out?).
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[url="http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle"]http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle[/url]

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 11:12am
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Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
[b]Epinephrine does not give a *high*. It does give quite a muscular work-out. I have heard of athletes using smaller doses so that they get a stronger work out in less time.[/b]
AM, I beg to differ. I remember very vividly going to the ER at least once a year growing up (I developed asthma in 5th grade, so it was after that) and getting what we then called "adrenaline" via IV.
It made me feel like I did when I took my upper of an asthma med Marax. I remember having to drink lots of water for some reason after they'd give it to me, and it seemed to me that the more water I drank the more "up" I felt.
Now, when I had to use it on myself last January, I did not feel the same way, so it's probably a dosage thing (whatever is in the EpiPen isn't enough to illicit that high for most people), but in other forms, I've experienced it as an upper.

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 12:00pm
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Joined: 01/26/2004 - 09:00

The teacher did not want the epi's visible and available in case other's stole to use for a high. My ds carries one on his belt....so now I have to worry about someone clubbing him over the head for a high!!! I never heard of anything like this and hoping it's not really happening.
the teacher said "ya, adrelaline high's are a big thing now"
So, I'm not locking my kids epi because some idiot might steal it for a high.
Linda

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 12:22am
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McCobbre, I suspect the reason the two didn't feel anything alike is because one was IV and the epipen injection is IM. Slower delivery.... no "high" to speak of.
Primatene isn't abused for the same reason-- the puffer dose is so small that you can't get enough FAST enough to really get you "high" on it.
But as I said-- the other effects of epinephrine in someone who doesn't "need" it would probably be a pretty big turn off considering that other things that can induce euphoria don't include them.... things like heart palpitations, sweating, flushing, nausea, etc.... the shakes. BIG TIME.
Let me just reiterate that I truly do NOT think that this is some kind of huge problem. Definitely NOT a reason to lock up epipens in a school or work setting.
I suspect that this particular teacher might have been thinking of "adrenaline junkie" when she made the comment.... not actual abuse rates for the synthetic drug.
ETA: aughhh.... never type/spell before second cuppa ~CM.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited January 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2007 - 1:38pm
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After seeing that huge harpoon looking needle, I can't imagine doing that more than once! We moved last summer and my 10 year old /not the one with PA/ decided to check out the epipen and accidentally launched it thru his thumb. It went til it hit the back of his nail and then he pulled it out. I soaked it in warm water and kept checking his pulse. I had learned in a first aid course in June that you can lose fingers if you accidentally inject epinephrine into it because it causes the blood vessels to dialate and the blood flow stops. I would have taken him to the ER but he was doing fine pulse wise and the warm water and massage helped the circulation. am I the only one that knew that you could end up losing your fingers?! Safe to assume he'll never touch one again! Debi

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2007 - 10:14pm
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Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

honestly, I dont think it really matters what the effects feel like. there are some stupid people out there and I can see someone doing it just for the heck of it. There are some kids in schools that steal and take things just cause they are drugs. and I wouldnt put it past some kid to steal one and do it on a dare. That being said I dont think it is something that is highly in demand.
------------------
Lalow
James 5 yrs, NKA
Ben 4 yrs, PA and MA

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