Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

Drugs through the veins of frogs: What next?

More than 30 horses from 4 states have recently tested positive for a substance known as dermorphine, a powerful opioid substance (found in amphibian or frog skin).  The substance is used in horse-racing competitions  and is as strong (if not stronger) than morphine itself. Dermorphine is basically a heptapeptide ( a peptide or an amino acid compound) originally found in South African frogs. In the scientific world, hepta-peptide has a “nickname” known as snap-7 ( due to its chain being made up of 7 amino acids) and is said to be both an anti-wrinkle and stretch mark agent. There are probably a host of other related uses of the substance that are currently unknown to the wider society. In horses, however, dermorphine acts as a steroid for horses as a result of its performance enhancing properties. Horses injected with dermorphine tend to run much faster than they would otherwise.
Dermorphine is not a naturally occurring substance in humans or mammals. It acts as an agonist in the brain. An agonist is a substance that acts similarly in the brain to another substance. For example, the dermorphine will bind/attach to brain cells (or neurotransmitters) in the same way that morphine does. The drug therefore stimulates an action similar to that of morphine. Agonists are key players in the human body and pharmacology.
In the horse-racing realm, the use of the drug is said to be one of the most serious violations, however, no one has been formally charged as of yet.  Various new drugs have continued to gain media attention over the past few weeks including the controversial bath salts and the crocodile “killer drug.”
As always, I wish you well

*CORONA VIRUS UPDATE1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

As we get closer to the middle of May states across the nation are passing laws, reducing restrictions, and enacting new regulations to help support the transition from stay-at-home orders to the normal flow of life again.

Unfortunately, Gov. Wolf hasn't reduced the mask wearing restrictions in Allegheny County. However, he has announced most of Western PA will be moving to the yellow phase beginning May 15. This means that we can slowly regain some normalcy.

But until the mask wearing restrictions are reduced or eliminated Anchored Child & Family Counseling will remain closed. I will be making small transitions back to the office over the course of summer and seeing some clients in-person based on need.The office will be open starting June 17, 2020 with the goal of remaining open until/if state laws change in response to Corona virus restrictions.

In the meantime, I will be continuing teletherapy sessions until mid-June. My office assistant and I will be monitoring your insurance policy to ensure that you will be covered for teletherapy and that your copayments will be waived. At this time, it appears that all major insurance companies (UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, Optum/United, and Cigna) are continuing to provide coverage for teletherapy.

Please check (the practice website) for updates and my business facebook page at:

Please continue to stay safe!
Thank you


Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Licensed Child & Family Therapist
National Board Certified Counselor
Internationally Certified Trauma Therapist

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