I have gone on a bit in the past about web sites that I don’t like.  My primary beef is with the sites where people post medical questions, and anyone with an opinion will tell the person what he should do… but if a person who happens to be a physician posts a reply based on clinical practice or science, the reply is blocked because the site ‘doesn’t allow medical advice’.  Don’t worry– I’m not going to get all fired up again!
I haven’t said much about the sites I like, and so I thought I would mention a couple places every now and then.  This first group of sites are useful or interesting places to read about medications.  I try to stay away from the sites that promote or encourage illegal activity, no matter how otherwise interesting they are…. but erowid.com is just too darn big to ignore.  The site contains everything from drug law to subjective drug experiences.  I don’t like the implied condoning– and almost encouraging– of drug use that comes through pretty clearly on the site.  But the section on psychoactive plants contains information that is hard to find anywhere else, and the artwork contributions are interesting to browse through.
Pharmer.org is a collection of forums about medications and pain treatment.  The pain forums contain the usual, somewhat misleading information– people often seem to write about a fantasy world rather than the world we are forced to live in.  For example, one will read comments like ‘a person with true pain does not have to worry about addiction’, or ‘just reduce the pain pills by one per day, and you’ll be fine’, or ‘stopping oxy is just a matter of will power– you can do it!’  But the site has information not found elsewhere including a collection of pill imprints to identify pills (what is that pill that was in your son’s pocket?), discussions about new medications, and a discussion about medication from online pharmacies, such as whether the Xanax that you purchased from India is really alprazolam.
For medication information, I subscribe to epocrates.  I don’t really recommend it to people who don’t prescribe, as it is expensive and is mainly useful for determining the available dosages, recommended starting doses, insurance formularies, etc.
Bluelight is a very interesting site.  What started out as a site about ecstasy has become a site filled with information and intelligent discussion about psychoactive medication.  The conversations certainly reflect a fascination for psychoactive compounds, but there is zero tolerance for illegal activity, and there is an emphasis on health and safety.  The site also has a unique ‘international’ air about it, and contains separate forums for concerns related to specific countries.
I will mention opiophile.org, but only reluctantly.  The site has some interesting information… but it is buried amid discussions about online pharmacies and illegal (and unsafe) practices.  Please do NOT take information there as healthcare advice.  As an example, I recently read a discussion there about sleeping medication, and there was a strong recommendation for the use of barbiturates– a class of medications that was rightfully tossed out of use by physicians in the 1950’s.  We are not missing anything by not prescribing nembutal anymore!
That’s what I have for now– I’m sure I am leaving sites out, because I somehow lose hours to the internet whenever I go off looking for something there.  I will repeat my caution against ‘pseudo-medical’ sites– sites where you are encouraged to ask questions, but where none of the replies come from actual physicians.  I will put in another plug for MedHelp.org, where there are the community forums, and then there are the ‘expert forums’, where questions are answered by physicians or other healthcare workers with actual experience treating the conditions you are asking about.

1 Comment

philliesphan · August 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm

You should add http://www.heroinhelper.com to your list of informative “drug themed” websites. Although the site does sometimes take a pro-drug approach to some topics, the author tries his best to present information as unbiased and strictly “informational.” As the website name implies, the topics mainly refer to those who prefer heroin as their drug of choice. However, there is much to be gained in using this website from anyone who uses opiate-type drugs as the information on the site ranges from managing withdrawal, to harm reduction, and even political philosophy regarding psychoactive substances. In addition, I see many similarities in herionhelper.com and this site. In both instances the authors present information in a rather interesting manner. I have never been bored reading any post on Suboxone Talkzone and the same goes for heroin helper. Moreover, the author of heroinhelper.com, Dr. Francis Moraes, is not only knowledgeable but also experienced in the subject matter. As many have mentioned before, they enjoy reading the Suboxone Talkzone posts because “Suboxdoc” has been in their shoes before and has experienced the joys and horrors of opiates firsthand. The same goes for the latter website. Check it out sometime and you won’t be disappointed.

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