From: email@example.com (James J. Lippard) Date: 19 Jan 92 20:05:00 GMT Newsgroups: alt.drugs,talk.politics.drugs,misc.legal Subject: Re: Drug Forfeiture: What It Is! The latest issue of _Fortean Times_ (#60, Dec. 1991) lists five cases of "DANGEROUS DRINKING" in which people were overcome by water intoxication. The first of these cases is most relevant in this newsgroup: A flight attendant from San Mateo County in California had to take a urine test at her job in San Francisco International Airport. She clammed up, or, as the doctors would say, she experienced a condition known as paruresis, "an inability to void in a crowded or noisy location" (apparently about 30% of men and 25% of women suffer from this). She was encouraged to drink as much water as she needed and guzzled three litres in three hours. Still she couldn't pee. Hours later, the 40-year-old woman staggered into Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame, her speech slurred, her thinking fuzzy, unable to perform simple multiplication. At first it was thought she was having a stroke; but a battery of tests revealed water intoxication as the cause. She was placed in a quiet, dark room where she voided three litres. Her brain functions returned to normal in 24 hours. She was the first drug-test taker known to suffer from this, according to Burlingame doctors David Klonoff and Andrew H. Jurow reporting in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2 Jan 1991). There have been only seven other reported cases of healthy people with the dangerous condition, which causes water-logged brain cells and a dilution of body minerals. One person died. The doctors suggested restricting drug-test takers to one litre of water. San Jose Mercury News via Omaha World-Herald, 4 Jan 1991. ============================================================================= Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 16:00:00 LCL From: "TOWNSEND, RICHARD E."
Subject: water intoxication Sender: Drug Abuse Education Information and Research Message-id: <01H7K2RRADC28WWBDH@YMIR.Claremont.Edu> GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING WATER INTOXICATION --Richard Townsend-- Water intoxication is a state of altered neurological functioning produced by a hypotonicity in the central nervous system. It results from the excessive intake of water over a short time period. The body is unable to remove water from the system as fast as it is taken in. There are several symptoms related to water intoxication syndrome (WIS). Water intoxication is manifested by "restlessness, asthenia, polyuria, frequency of urination, diarrhea, salivation, nausea, retching, vomiting, muscle tremor, ataxia, convulsions, frothing, stupor, and coma" (1). WIS seems to be age independent. WIS has been reported in people as young as three months old and in those 50 and older. WIS appears to be particularly prevalent in schizophrenic disorders (SD). It has been found that people suffering from SD drink on the average of roughly twice the amount of water as the average population(1). The prevalence of high water intake in mental facilities is 6.6%-17.5% higher than the norm. Over 70% of these people suffer from SD. There seems to be a direct link between water intake and an increase in the activity of the dopaminergic system. Thus in these patients, drinking excessive amounts of water would result in the reward of endogenous opioids being released in the brain(2). It basically puts them on a high. There has been a study by Tadashi Nishikawa that shows promising results of reducing WIS by incorporation of the drug Naloxone(2). WIS has also been found to be linked with alcoholism. During periods of prolonged high blood alcohol levels, the body begins to retain its water. Over time the body adapts this state semi- permanently(3). Thus an alcoholic has a consistently low water output. Patients who were characterized with "beer potomania" had both a history of high chronic alcohol ingestion as well as signs, symptoms, and lab results that are consistent with WIS(4). REFERENCES 1. Vieweg WVR, David JJ, Rowe WT, et al. Death from self-induced water intoxication among patients with schizophrenic disorders. J Nerv Mental Disease 1985;173(3):161-5. 2. Nishikawa T, Tsuda A, Tanaka M, Nishikawa M, Koga I, Uchida Y. Naloxone attenuates drinking behavior in a schizophrenic patient displaying self-induced water intoxication. Clinical Neuropharmacology 1992 Aug;15(4):310-4. 3. Ragland G. Electrolyte abnormalities in the alcoholic patient. Emerg Med Clin North Am 1990;8(4):761-73. 4. Harrow AS. Beer potomania syndrome in an alcoholic. Va Med 1989;116(6):270-1.