Archive for Bay Area Drug News

There is a bigger Drug Problem In Marin than anyone wants to believe -1st Step Interventions

Marin Drug Dealer Robbed at Gunpoint

The following article describes the worsenning drug problem in Marin and the answer is not more punishment – it is treating the addicts with the disease of addiction approriately so not just treatment but at least a yeat continuin care plan with Addition Care Management buitl in. If you kill the need then the supply goes away.

 By Bay City News Service

Suspects armed with handguns robbed a drug dealer from the East Bay of 3 pounds of marijuana on Friday evening in Marin County, deputies said.

At 7:23 p.m. on Friday, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call from a resident in the unincorporated community of Marin City reporting that someone was at the door of his residence claiming to have just been robbed at gunpoint and was asking for help.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the residence on Terners Drive near Donahue Street in less than a minute and spoke with a male victim. Sheriff’s deputies said the victim admitted to traveling to Marin County from the East Bay for the sole purpose of selling at least 3 pounds of marijuana to a pre-arranged buyer.

The victim told deputies that four people approached him and three of them were armed with semi-automatic handguns. The suspects robbed the victim of the marijuana, a cellphone, car keys, and a wallet.

Deputies said the victim was not physically injured during the robbery. All four suspects were last seen running from the scene on Terners Drive towards Drake Avenue, according to sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies searched the area, but did not find any suspects. The victim told sheriff’s deputies that he normally only sells marijuana to cannabis clubs and people in possession of a medical marijuana card.

He said this was the first time he had ever been robbed at gunpoint while conducting his business. According to deputies, the victim said that it seemed obvious to him in retrospect that this pre-arranged marijuana sale was a pre-planned armed robbery conducted by people he believed to be customers.

The incident remains under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Marin County Sheriff’s Investigations Unit at (415) 473-7265 or Bay Area Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Marin County Ranks Poorly Amongst Teen Drug use, Alcohol Binge Drinking and Smoking – 1st Step Interventions

In the 2012 county health rankings just published by the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation comparing state by state and county by county, Marin County did poorly amongst factors that look at Drug Use, Alcohol Binge Drinking and Smoking – these are statistics for underage users.

marin county map

One of the factors that came out of this report, which included education, teen birth rates and proxi­mity to fast-food restaurants, was how poorly Marin County did on three basic issues: alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse, including the problem of high school teens’ binge drinking.

To examine the three major issues mentioned above we need to look no further than the study done by the American Lung Association printed in our newspapers about how poorly Marin County has done in smo­king issues in four cities: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Mill Valley and Sausalito got an F from the American Lung Association in overall tobacco issues, including smoke-free outdoor air, smoke-free housing and reducing sales of tobacco products. San Anselmo got a D in these. In fact, six CVS pharmacies have been reported in stings for selling tobacco pro­ducts to un­der­age kids. It has been shown in prior studies that there is a linkage between Teen Smoking and Drug and Alcohol abuse issues. Not that the smoking cause the issues, just that it is an indicator of potential problems in the future. Alcoholism is s Disease and one that is not brought on by underage smoking – just wanted to make that point clear.

In the field of alcohol and binge drink­ing our teen­agers were also caught in Marin County sheriff’s stings, purchasing and stealing alcohol by having those over 21 buy and sell it to the underage. Binge drinking by teens is on the increase, according to the Marin County Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Coalition.

Prescription drug abuse is also on the increase, with legitimate prescription drug use being abused and teens stealing these medi­ca­tions from parents or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. Who has not read or heard about the recent rave parties causing teen deaths?

What can be done – If you just focus on the above facts things seem bleak. But there is an answer and it does require Parents to step up and be Parents and not be so afraid to confront your Child – even if you smoked a little Marijuana growing up. The Drugs are changing – they are stronger and more addictive. Take a risk and call an Addiction Services Company like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management. We are set up to help in these exact situations. We have decades of experience and have helped over 1000+ Addicts and their Families navigate their way out of these issues, without guild, shame or blaming. Call Today the assessment is free 707-559-5146

 

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Kids selling prescription pillls on Craigs List in Walnut Creek, Danville, Mill Valley, San Rafel, San Francisco and othe Bay Area Cities – 1st Step Interventions.

pills with cash

                               CASH FOR YOUR PRESCRIPTION?

This might sound like an article against Craigs List, but that would be missing the point – If your High School or College aged Child is prescribed Pain, Anxiety or ADHD Prescription Drugs – you might just want to make sure they are not ending up on Craigs List so you Child can buy harder Street Drugs.

This blog post is meant to provide those Parent’s out there whose Child fits into the 10% of our Population who suffer from the Disease of Addiction and are prescribed a Mood Altering drug by their Dr another tool to make sure they are safe. Many times if the Child is an adult they are smart enough to not sign Consents Between their Dr and their Parents – making it impossible for their parent to get from the Dr any information. All across The Bay Area in every area from Sacramento to Monterrey and over to Stockton, Orinda, Lafayette and across the Richmond Bridge into Napa, Marin and Sonoma Counties one can find these prescriptions showing up on Craigs list.

Parents you now have been warned!!

These Pills fetch a hefty sum from $6 for a 2mg Xanax up to $20 for a 30mg Oxycodone and higher.  You can imagine how much money a person could make on their prescription and then go out and buy stronger and even more dangerous street drugs like Heroin, which has been on the rise ever since Oxycontin’s formula changed, and Methamphetamine. You might thing why would my kid trade their ADHD pills for street Methamphetamine, well with 90% pure Methamphetamine showing up on the streets from Super Labs south of the Border, the street version is much more powerful as the Milligrams you can get are more than your pills. And there are plenty of speed addicted housewives out there willing to purchase your Child’s ADHD pills, fooling themselves that Adderall is ok because it is a prescription and man can they get their days work done, the kids where they need to be and stay thin for their Husbands with a few a day.

San FranciscoSo everyday people search Craigs list under Anxiety, Pain, ADHD help etc.. and text each other on their cell phones – somehow this makes each person feel the other isn’t a member of the local Police Force. They arrange meetings and drive across our Bridges from San Francisco to Novato or Palo Alto to Walnut Creek and meet in Target parking lots exchanging their cash for you Child’s Prescription Pills. Your Child then calls up their dealer and tomorrow the same thing happens – day in and day out.

So what are you to do – it is actually quite simple:

  • Count your Child’s prescriptions every once and a while to make sure the right amount is in the bottle.
  • Notice if you Kid says they are just running up to the store real quickly too many times.
  • Go on Craigs List and search terms like Pain, Anxiety, ADHD, Need help and search your City and Area and see if your Kid’s Cell Phone number is in any of the posts offering these pills for sale.
  • If you do then it is time to call a Professional and get some advice – because at this stage your Child is past a simple talk and in need of real help. They have crossed some serious boundaries and only an Addict would do this.
  • It might be time to talk about doing an Intervention to get them the help they need or looking into an Addiction Care Management Service if they have been to Rehab already once or more times. These Services can provide some Real help without the need for Rehab again – though Detox may be needed. The bad news is you are here again, the good news is a reputable local company like 1st Step Interventions will be Ethical and discuss only what is needed and give you an appropriate Assessment.
  • You can get a free Assessment from 1st Step Interventions by calling 707-559-5146 or emailing bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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What to do if your High School aged Child is smoking Pot in San Francisco or any City or County within 100 miles – 1st Step Interventions

“Panic sets in – uncertainty abounds and fear fills your head – you have just found Marijuana or pot hidden in your High School child’s room. Is it time for military school or do you say nothing and just watch”

The answer is neither and you don’t have to panic either. There are a few more stages to go through before that.

bag of pot

This can be every parents night mare – a bag of Marijuana, Pot, “The Kind”, Kush, what ever the word is in your child’s High School has just turned up hidden in their bedroom – and they are only in High School. Even if you as a Parent smoked a little growing up, you panic, we know so much more about Addiction and it is on TV everywhere. What do you do?

What I thought I would do is break it down into 2 segments for you – What we know about Marijuana today and how to handle the situation.What we know about Pot Today:

  • It is much stronger than the pot being smoked in the ’70′s and even through the 80′s. The average THC content (the active ingredient that gets you high) was about 6% then. Today it can be as high ( no pun intended) as 30% – 5 times stronger. And if you process it into Hash Oil – as high as 80% THC.
  • This is not the same drug you might have been smoking or they were smoking back then – but it is called the same drug so it is confusing. It’s like taking Beer and making it as strong as Whiskey but still calling it Beer.
  • The Brain of a Human Being does not stop “growing” or “Developing” until we are about 25.
  • Marijuana is not water soluble – in simplicity what this means is that the Body has a hard time getting rid of it. The Kidneys and Liver cannot dispose of it as well. This is how we normally dispose of drugs so they are gone in 3-5 day fully. Pot can last up to a month or longer and is stored in fatty cells, even in the Brain.
  • Introducing a drug like THC at such high concentrations to a young Brain can have profound negative results. In Treatment we often see 19 year old’s who have been smoking Pot regularly since they were 13 and they are not the same as other 19 years old’s and never will be. They are slower and have a flat affect. The definition of a Flat Affect is – Flat affect: A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect.
  • We used to think that smoking Pot if you were predisposed to have Schizophrenia that it would bring it on – we now know you do not have to be predisposed for Schizophrenia to develop it from smoking pot – the strength and potency today is enough in the “right person” for it to develop, and we do not know how to tell who that is beforehand.

How to handle the situation:

  • The first thing you want to do is bring it out into the open. It doesn’t matter if Marijuana is legal in your State – it is illegal for High School aged Children. Therefore you are condoning illegal behavior if you say nothing. Not a healthy way to raise your child.
  • Explain the differences from above. Kids need to know even though the drug has the same name it is not the same “Mother Nature” “Harmless” drug of the Sixties Counter Culture.
  • Just because it is Organic and grown from the earth and natural doesn’t change the above – it is being grown as hybrids constantly to increase it’s potency – so imagine that being done with an Opium Poppy and getting Opium that is now the strength of Heroin and saying it’s OK it’s from the earth !. Somehow when you see it that way you can see my point and the ridiculousness of the argument.
  • Create a simple consequence and don’t yell and scream – this will shut your child down and they will not hear you nor take head of the consequence. Something like being grounded for a month worth of weekends.
  • Normal Humans will respond to consequence and change their behaviors. The simplistic definition for Addiction is ” Continued use despite consequences”. If your child does not respond then up the consequences. If you find the addition of harder and harder consequences is not changing their behavior around the drug then you have and issue.
  • Call an Interventionist or Addiction Services Company like 1st Step Interventions and begin to get an assessment of whether or not you need to look into Addiction Services. You do not have to just send you Child to Rehab (Treatment), there are lower levels of Care that can break the Addiction and give the Child tools for keeping it in remission and resisting peer pressure. If you call a Treatment Program they will probably say send them in, but in many cases this can do more harm than good as the problem may not be there yet and the consequence of sending them away may create other issues.
  • A good Intervention or Addiction Services Company will have other options that are less expensive and can provide the necessary help without creating the stigma of going to Rehab at 16. These will include Recovery Activities and good Drug Testing. Drug Screening can help as it is a yes or no and doesn’t lie. You do need to know what you are doing with Pot and Drug Testing because it does stay in the body so long.
  • A good reputable Intervention company like 1st Step Interventions will recommend the appropriate level of Care – if it is Treatment we will let you know, but we will probably start elsewhere and see if we can create the necessary change before that.
  • New models like Addiction Care Management are starting to appear. These Services can provide accountability for the necessary changes your child will have to make if your consequences are not working. They are also less expensive than Rehab.
  • You as Parents will be included in the Process and Educated as it goes along so you get the help you need to be supportive yet firm in what’s right and wrong or good and bad.
  • Call us today for a free assessment if you are in San Francisco, The Bay Area or anywhere near. 707-559-5146 or email: bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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Novato Checkpoint catches DUI Offender – 1st Step Interventions

Check Point takes a Man driving drunk  off Marin County Streets

Novato DUI

I read this article and then tried to remember how many DUI deaths have happened over the last 10 years that I can remember being reported in Marin County and Cities Like Novato, the sad thing is I can remember quite a few.

The National Highway Patrol Association reports that somewhere aroung 70% of all drivers on the highway after midnight on any given night are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and a large percentage are above the legal limit. Each one of these drivers is a potential killer.

The sad thing is that most of these DUI cases or deaths or accidents could have been averted if Families has just called an Intervention Company that specializes in Addiction Services like 1st Step Interventions. Most Families get caught up in the whirlwind of the Addiction and don’t know what to do. And to give some of them credit they have tried to talk to the member of the family who is struggling with substance abuse or obvious Addiction, but their pleas go no where and their codependency keeps them stuck.

Intervention can be the most loving thing you can do for a family member. It is an act of kindness shown to a person who is suffering from a Mental Illness, Addiction, which is a Brain Disease, and who on their own cannot stop until some consequence like a DUI or killing someone while driving drunk causes the crisis the then makes the family call for help. If the family where just to call before hand and  become educated on their options and how caring and compassionate a Intervention can be, then a great deal of these drivers could get help first.

At 1st Step Interventions we are glad the police are out there doing checkpoints, but I have to admit I get sad knowing that many of these drivers could have avoided the trouble they are in or the potential harm they could have caused, if the people that love them would just take a risk and call a Rehab or Addiction Intervention Company beforehand here in Marin County, The Greater Bay Area or Cities like Novato.

If you have a love one suffering from addiction or who you know drives under the influence in San Francisco, Novato, Napa, Walnut Creek, Sacramento – any Northern California area please take a risk and help someone not get killed and your loved one get help by calling 1st Step Interventions for a free assessment today.

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1st Step Interventions wins 2013 Best of Petaluma Award in the Alcoholism Treatment Program category

bestof2013award

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1st Step Interventions Receives 2013 Best of Petaluma Award

Petaluma Award Program Honors the Achievement

PETALUMA December 5, 2013 — 1st Step Interventions has been selected for the 2013 Best of Petaluma Award in the Alcoholism Treatment Program category by the Petaluma Award Program.

Each year, the Petaluma Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Petaluma area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Petaluma Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Petaluma Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Petaluma Award Program

The Petaluma Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Petaluma area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Petaluma Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Petaluma Award Program

Heroin Overdoses soar in New England, Heroin more abundant and deadly

I called this when they changed the formulation of Oxycontin – it was not going to stop users just make them switch to Heroin – Now they don’t know the dose of the drug when they use and are far more likely to overdoses. So now more Heroin is in the Suburbs. An 80mg Oxycontin was 80mg every time. I am not condoning Oxycontin use. But our thought process to fix problems don’t think past today’s headlines

*“The purity of the heroin varies widely, which law enforcement officers say is partly responsible for the increase in deaths, and bad batches have been reported throughout the region. Even an experienced user might not be prepared for the strength of a particular bag. And because heroin reaches the brain so quickly — and witnesses hesitate to call for help immediately — overdoses are often fatal”

We need to think our “War on Drugs “ through very carefully – it isn’t working and costing us a bundle.

First is to take some of that money and make it available to users who want but cannot afford good Treatment – unlike the rich who pay 70k a month just to feel better about themselves.

We are seeing the same problem in The Bay Area and San Francisco

 

 

* New York Tmes 7/19/2013

Glee Star Dies of Heroin and Alcohol Overdose

“Glee” star Cory Monteith, 31, died as a result of “a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol,” the British Columbia Coroners Service said Tuesday.

It frustrates me that people are already taking his inventory, blaming him for his Disease, his death and out right being mean.

Its disgusting 80% of Patients relapse in the first 12 months, the majority in the first 6 and it cannot be their entire fault. If Treatment Centers sold tires with those figures they would be out of business in a heart beat. In fact here are the numbers

Fact: In 2002, 22 million Americans had substance dependence or abuse (SAMHSA, 2002).

Fact: Approximately 3,500,000 of them received some kind of treatment (SAMHSA, 2002).

Fact: At least 2,800 relapsed.Most will keep relapsing !! (SAMHSA,2002).

Fact: Of those admitted to addiction treatment, 60% already have one or more prior treatment admissions; 24% have three or more prior admissions. (SAMHSA, 2001).

Fact: The majority of people completing addiction treatment will relapse in the year following treatment (Wilbourne & Miller, 2003), 80% of whom relapse within 90 days of discharge (Hubbard, Flynn, Craddock, & Fletcher, 2001).

Fact: Between 25% and 30% of clients who complete addiction treatment will be re-admitted to treatment within one year, 50% within 2 – 5 years (Hubbard,Marsden, Rachal, Harwood, Flynn,Craddock, & Fletcher, 2001).

Yet More and more expensive Center promising views, Chefs, 1200 thread count sheets – like that ever got anyone sober, are opening everyday taking advantage of the sick. This has got to stop and the Industry needs to take a good hard honest look at itself. Unfortunately the only organization they have is NAATP and its lacks any power, not even one Lobbyist in Washington to help get better Insurance coverage for Patients – where do all the dues go – they throw a pretty expensive and fancy shindig every year. Huh !

I’m not saying the Industry as a whole is flawed, but a good chunk is and it is time someone stands up and speaks their mind and holds the Industry accountable. We say we are out to help people, but the all mighty dollar comes first most of the time.

It’s a shame because we really could be helping people without having to change much or many people. But it seems like no one cares – just look at the awful comments that have been said already about this poor (not in the sense of the actual word) you man that openly spoke about his Disease. Yes his Brain Disease – this is not a pull your socks up thing and I am sorry AA, and I am an active member, is so watered down that it is not enough on it’s own for Treatment Centers to rely on after they have taken all your money. There are good Treatment Programs out there and Places like 1st Step Interventions can help you find them. Be careful where you send your love one.

Bay Area Rehabs

Some are Excellent, some are Good and some are Newer and seem to be riding the wave of Private pay “Riches” or “Robbery”.

How is a person to tell the difference and make the right choice?

How can one justify 40=50k for a Month in Treatment just to be told to go to AA. After all I can tell you that for free. The Treatment Industry has painted itself into an ugly corner in my experience and I am not sure all are interested in getting out.– after all is will eat into their bottom line. Though if you are in this to get rich, you are in the wrong industry and you are going to end up hurting Patients. Now I am not saying this about every Center – there are some legit, ethical well run Centers in Northern California who put the welfare of the Patient first in every decision – That is the type of Center I will refer to in my Intervention Business and the kind of Center you will receive the best Health Care for you or your loved one.

I am going to be starting blogging on the current state of Treatment Services of all types in the Bay Area and at the same time my website www.addictionrehabexpert.com will be focusing primarily on the topic of Treatment options in the Bay Area, as this site 1st Step Interventions is for Intervention Primarily, and issues relative to it. However, the state of Treatment is an appropriate topic.

Treatment ranges from Residential, to Outpatient.  Payment wise they go from Private pay, to Insurance being accepted and finally free or County funded. Lengths of stay also are between 5 days for Detox to 90 days or even longer. Obviously the Money portion is easy worked out depending on the individuals or families finances, but how do you know what is the appropriate length of time and is the Center just trying to keep the Patient longer for financial reasons – yes that happens.

There are literally hundreds of Treatment Beds from Sacramento to Carmel, some are excellent, some good and some are staffed poorly and therefore there level of treatment is reflected by it.

As I continue this Series and once www.addictionrehabexpert.com is up and running I will go more in depth. One issue or question you might have that I want to address up front and that is why am I not writing about Centers outside Northern California.  The reason is that I have been in this business for almost 15 years now and have seen no evidence that supports the cost of sending someone far away for Treatment. If you think you are sending them away from bad influences, they are there in whatever Center you choose. If you think it will keep them in Treatment and they will not leave, wrong, I have seen plenty of Patients leave Treatment and make it home. They usually go around and borrow money form other Patients for all kinds of reasons and then once they have cab money and a plane ticket or bus ticket they are gone. Or they find a friends or old girlfriend or boyfriend to help them. Or they will just get themselves kicked out so you are forced to bring them home.

I have come to believe through my Private Practice and my work as an Executive Director in a Center, that having a Patient in their home area where they are going to set up their Recovery Network and where they can meet Therapists or others like myself and my Addiction Care Management www.addictioncaremanagement.com to help them post treatment. And like any other Chronic illness have regular Professional contact with them to make sure their Disease is getting better, remaining in remission and they are making progress in their lives.

For more information feel free to call 707-559-5146 or email bryan@1ststepinterventions.com.