Main Billy Mays Discussion

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03:53:40 PM Jul 14th 2010
edited by
Paragraph about Cocaine "This is literally not possible, sadly: no legal drug (and certainly no painkiller, as it has the exact opposite effect) can possibly be mistaken for cocaine or one of its metabolites."

I removed this, because it is at best misleading, and at worst, horribly misinformed (as a pharmacy student, this has been driving me crazy).

First part, there is one legal drug at the very least, which can be identified as cocaine. Cocaine is, in fact legal in the U.S., it is a Schedule II drug, and thus is strictly controlled, but can be legally prescribed (and several people I've asked in the medical field insist there are drugs which can be mistaken for cocaine). This is the same level of legality as Morphine, Ritalin, Codeine, and Oxycodone. The reason for the confusion, I assume, is that the vast majority of cocaine usage is not of the legal variety.

Second,"exact opposite effect [of a painkiller]" doesn't make much sense. Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant, and vasoconstrictor. It is not an analgesic, which I assume is what was meant. However, "central nervous system stimulant" doesn't equal "opposite of painkiller." The currently accepted medical uses of cocaine are as a local anesthetic (analgesics relieve pain; anesthetics induce a loss of sensation, or numbness), in things such as nasal surgery. It's rare, but possible.

Anyway, this is mostly irrelevant in Mays' case, however, the wrong information bugged me.
04:14:32 PM Jul 14th 2010
Short version Cocaine is a legal, schedule II drug which is more commonly used illegaly. It is a stimulant, vasoconstrictor, and local anesthetic. Not the opposite of painkiller

04:19:25 PM Jul 14th 2010
Cocaine is Schedule II? Really? I thought there was a big fuss over the fact that the government was being stubborn about it, the same as with diamorphine (aka "Heeeeer-ooo-iiiin...") and THC.
01:56:03 PM Jul 16th 2010
Yes. It is schedule II (in America, at least; UK and Canada it's Schedule I; Australia, it's "S8"). Heroin is Schedule I. Difference is that Schedule I is never allowed, whereas with Schedule II you can get a non-refillable 30 day prescription.

Also, I seem to have left out information about the primary function of cocaine (i.e., what it is illegally used for). It is similar to (if not a part of) drugs in the group SNDRI (serotonin–norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor). Specifically, it blocks the reabsorption of dopamine, causing it to accumulate. This triggers the brain's "reward" mechanism.

The only fuss I can think of with regards to cocaine is that because of a poorly thought out law (actually intended to lessen cocaine's impact on poorer communities), crack cocaine is punished more harshly than powder cocaine.

Completely off-topic: I passed my certification exam.
01:56:39 PM Jul 16th 2010
Hmm... I realise that for some reason, it didn't count me as signed in for those first two posts... That was me.
01:21:26 PM Aug 8th 2010
Okay, just a little bit confused here. They said a second toxicology report indicated that cocaine was not a factor in his death...but does that mean it was still confirmed to be found in his system? I'm really hoping it's been mistaken for something else.
09:27:41 AM May 17th 2010
Can we get this into the TV Tropes store? Too good an opportunity to miss, really.
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