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Archive for Drugs – Page 2

How to Help somone with Prescription Pill Drug Addiction in San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Have someone you love addicted to Prescription pills and they are no longer taking them for the Medical reason they were prescribed,  but are now taking them for Emotional or Psychological needs?

Pills

Prescription pill addiction and overdoses have now overtaken Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamine’s combined. Let me first say there is nothing wrong with Prescription Pills and that for instance a body will not heal if it is in pain. The problem is when someone with an addiction problem already or  is suspected of possibly having issues with substances gets their hands on “feel good” drugs like Pain killers, Opiates or Opioid’s like (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxymorphone, Hydromorphone – these are generic names for Percodan, Vicoden, Tylenol #3, Dilaudid and Opana) or benzodiazepines (Alprazolam, Diazapam, lorazapam, Clonozopam – generic names for Xanax, Valium, Ativan or Klonopin) the latter are used for anxiety, muscle relaxant, sleep disorders to name a few. The addict becomes either physically addicted or psychologically addicted to the emotional pain they relieve.

The biggest issues related to Prescription Pill abuse and suggestions for avoiding Prescription Pill abuse are below:

  • The person taking them is already an addict and they have full control of the medication. In this case another family member or friend should and in most cases getting a small safe or lock box and only giving a days worth at a time can relieve the addict from even thinking about taking more than they should.
  • A family member not attending all Dr’s visits and allowing the addict to describe symptoms that maybe are not being seen by you or over playing the amount of pain they are actually in.
  • Stepping in when it seems as though the “Patient” has been taking the medication for a long time and asking the Dr during these visits is the medication really necessary or is there a non narcotic replacement medication that could now be prescribed.
  • Pill Counting – every once and a while it is good to count the amount of pills still in the bottle. The bottle will have the amount and frequency of how the medication should be taken. This will tell you how many pills should have been taken and should be left. When you get a prescription these days you also get a piece of paper with your insurance info, personal info and precautions on it. It will also have how many days the prescription is supposed to last for on it.
  • Making sure your loved one or friend isn’t seeing multiple Dr’s for the same ailment and getting more prescriptions than they need.
  • Make sure the medication is being taken as prescribed – this does not usually include, snorting pills, crushing or chewing long acting medication or in severe instances using a needle. No matter what your loved one says these are not OK routes for taking these medications. Your Dr has prescribed an amount to deal with your issue – doing the above cause much more of the medication to get into your system potentially causing overdose or increasing tolerance and now you need more to get the same pain relief for instance and your normal amount doesn’t work when swallowed.
  • If your loved on is Physically addicted to their medication and it is time to get off them, instead of trying to tapper the medication over time – look into your insurance and see if you have coverage for a medical Detox in a Center or Hospital. It is safer, quicker, ensures it gets done and a Dr can provide a letter stating you are taking a week off work for “Medical Reason” only and your work has to accept it and cannot legally ask what your “medical’ issue is.

I’ve done these things and I am still finding problems and it is not getting better even though my husband, wife or child swears they will stop or change. I am even finding they are buying pills from other people, off the internet or the streets or have switched to illegal drugs.

  • Never just take their medication away – severe withdrawals could happen and in some cases potential death.
  • If you are allowed to still talk to their Dr, make sure their Dr knows. One thing to know is if they are suffering from Chronic Pain you may want to consult with an Addiction Services Expert or an Interventionist, like 1st Step Interventions & Addiction Recovery Services, INC. for advice.  This can potentially lead to unwanted consequences and a Professional can help you come up with solutions that don’t negatively impact the addict, but get them off the medication and back living normally without needing the medication.
  • If you have found that no matter how many promises you loved one has made, it doesn’t matter they are always broken. Intervention is a potential solution as a good Professional, Compassionate and Confidential Interventionist, who knows your local area well and is local to your Region, such as The Bay Area – will have a high success rate at getting your loved one into Treatment or an Addiction Care Management Service Company that can monitor their progress and accountability. This removes the stress and anxiety from you and allows a Professional in to help and in appropriate cases assess the situation and decide that Rehab ( a Drug Treatment Program) is really needed.
  • You may find that you have developed Co-dependency during this time and have enabled the situation just to relieve your own feelings or to get the Addict out of your hair or to stop acting our, yelling, screaming, being mean etc.. In these cases talking to an Interventionist or Addiction Care Management Service Company helps, but you may need more like Al Anon or CoDA (Co-dependents Anonymous) first let me say as an active AA member myself, the support found in these groups can be found no where else and is really important if you are dealing with a loved one who has an active addiction or who is going through early Recovery (by this I mean the first 2-3 years).
  • If you are trying to help your loved one accept that they need help and your conversation is going in circles – STOP – and then call a Professional like me. You probably have had essentially no impact on their Addiction to this point and you don’t want to further drive them underground and isolated.
  • Lastly this is nothing to be embarrassed about, it doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. Addiction is a Brain Disease and if you have it you were born with it. The introduction of the substances has activated it and now Professional help is needed.

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19 People arrested in Sacramento in 20-home drug bust – 1st Step Interventions

Sacramento

Search warrants served at 20 homes across Elk Grove and Sacramento County led to the arrests of 19 people after law enforcement found thousands of marijuana plants at the residences Wednesday.

Elk Grove Police Officer Chris Trim said the department’s street crimes unit has been investigating suspects for the past several months. He said they are responsible for a large scale indoor pot grow and cultivation operation.

During the search of the homes, law enforcement found about 6,000 marijuana plants, more than 180 pounds of processed marijuana and more than $70,000 in cash.

“It ranks up there with some of the larger ones we had several years ago that ended up going federal, as far as the DEA involvement,” Trim said.

Trim said nine children, between the ages of one and 15, were living at some of the homes that were converted into marijuana grows; they were taken into custody by Child Protective Services because they were being raised in a hazardous environment.

Elk Grove police worked with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Yolo Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, YubaSutter Narcotic Enforcement Team and Department of Justice during the investigation, home searches and arrests.

“Seems part for the course for Elk Grove,” Hutchison said. “We watch it on the news every six months.”

Example of seriosness of Drug Problem and Drug Abuse in Sacramento

This story taken from News10/KXTV Sacramento, illiterates the need for more Rehabs and Drug Intervention and Counseling Services in Sacramento. Even though the amounts seems high, they are not even enough to supply the Marijuana needs of Sacramento. At 1st Step Interventions we recognize that if 20% of the United States population have Addiction then 50,000 people alone suffer from Addiction. There are not enough services to support this need. We at 1st Step Intervention try to do our part by speaking for free to Parents at High Schools and Community colleges, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. The amount of homes converted for Pot growing in Sacramento just couldn’t put the problem out there any louder.

Also, all of these homes have probably been destroyed by mold created inside the walls from the constant high humidity needed to grow Marijuana indoors. These homes also have to be tagged as having been used to manufacture drugs which hurts their resale and leaves hundreds of homes abandoned in our neighborhoods left unattended.

Be aware of what is going on in your neighborhoods and should you need help for anyone you know with an Addiction Proglem we at 1st Step Interventions offer a free assessment. Just call us at 7077-559-5146 or email bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

News10/KXTV

 

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Northern California’s Illegal Marijuana Trade Takes Deadly Toll

Sophisticated Humboldt County outside Pot Grow operaraion

Sophisticated Humboldt County outside Pot Grow operation

Northern California’s Illegal Marijuana Trade Takes Deadly Toll

 

northern california marijuana

A youthful adventurer raised in Sonoma County. A Colorado entrepreneur. A former stockbroker from New York.

The three men, who were killed in February during a suspected pot robbery in Forestville, are among at least 18 people who have died since 2006 in Sonoma and Mendocino counties under circumstances involving the sale and cultivation of marijuana.

Last week, three men accused of killing the trio were ordered to stand trial in Sonoma County Superior Court. The preliminary hearing cast a spotlight on the outsized role that marijuana plays in violence on the North Coast.

“Homicides are very uncommon, but homicides involving marijuana are common,” Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas said.

Nine of the 18 people were killed during apparent robberies, including the three Forestville victims: Sonoma County native Raleigh Butler, 24; Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo.; and Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y.

On Oct. 6, 2011, four men planned to buy about 20 pounds of pot from Jose Manuel DeJesus, 33, of Santa Rosa outside a Todd Road market. Instead, the men shot DeJesus dead and took the drugs.

Police said Andre Grant, 31, was shot and killed April 10, 2006, over 25 marijuana plants he tended in his Santa Rosa garage, which at the time were valued at about $21,000. Grant was a medical marijuana patient and police have not publicly identified a suspect in the case.

Celso Madueno, 23, was shot and killed Oct. 19, 2012, when he interrupted intruders who broke into a Redwood Valley home north of Ukiah. Detectives suspect the still-unidentified intruders were drawn to the home by marijuana being grown on the property.

At least three suspected robbers were killed when they allegedly broke into homes to steal marijuana, according to law enforcement accounts.

In 2007, 300 pounds of processed marijuana were at stake when three armed men barged into a Santa Rosa apartment. Maximiliano Izquierdo Martinez, 20, of Windsor was among the robbers who confronted residents at the Beech Avenue apartment. He was shot and killed in the fracas.

Timothy Burger, 21, of Sacramento was after marijuana on Nov. 1, 2010, when he and two accomplices entered a Laytonville home, sheriff’s officials said. The resident shot Burger dead during the confrontation.

Detectives believe Pablo Solorio Nunez, 22, of Mexico sought marijuana on Nov. 17, 2011, when he was shot and killed while breaking into a Covelo home. Detectives seized about 100 pounds of marijuana from the house after the shooting.

Other homicides lay bare a more complex dynamic surrounding marijuana and its trade.

Nine of the 18 killings appear to involve various disputes among people involved in growing or selling marijuana. In many of the cases, precise motives in the killings are unclear.

This summer, for example, a Mexican national was gunned down at a pot garden in Mendocino County. The body of Hugo Olea-Lopez, 23, of Upper Lake was found June 17 outside Laytonville at a camp on private land where he had spent three growing seasons growing marijuana. But about 300 pounds of fully mature plants and recently cut-down plants were left behind.

In another case, authorities still are searching for three men suspected in the Sept. 11, 2009, beating death of Raul De Lara Ruiz, 52. Ruiz and the men were growing marijuana together at a Hopland property and both Ruiz and his wife were assaulted during some kind of disagreement over the operation, sheriff’s officials said.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said the violence is often a result of complex relationships involved in the marijuana trade. But money plays an undeniable role too.

“The violence we see in most marijuana cases deals with the business portion of marijuana cultivation as well as sales. There’s a lot of money there,” Allman said.

The three execution-style killings that took place Feb. 5 in Forestville stand apart not only in the death toll but in what the case has revealed about the marijuana trade, Freitas said.

Butler, Klarkowski and Lewin were shot as they sat on the cabin floor, packing bundles of pot. Suspected shooter Mark Cappello, 46, of Central City, Colo., and his suspected accomplices, Odin Dwyer, 38, of Colorado and Dwyer’s father, Francis Dwyer, 66, of New Mexico left with 69 pounds of pot, although the amount promised could have been as much as 100 pounds, according to court testimony.

One hundred pounds of pot could be worth at least $200,000, according to some estimates that put the street value of black-market marijuana at about $2,000 per pound.

“The amount of marijuana, the amount of money, the fact that three people were killed,” Freitas said. “I had detectives traveling to many, many states over several weeks. The scope of the investigation stands out.”

The dynamics of the case echo what investigators have been tracking for years, said Mike Sena, director of the Northern California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

“We have people coming in from all over the country, from British Columbia and Mexico. You’ve got this huge influx of customers, or brokers, coming in to check quality of the product, folks negotiating prices and pounds, how much they’re going to sell,” Sena said.

Marijuana production continues to rise, and with such a glut on the market, pot’s value is fairly low in Northern California, Sena said. But its value rises the farther it’s taken out of state, he said.

Estimates about how much pot flows out and cash flows in to Northern California each year are hard to pin down. One 2010 state report estimated the state’s marijuana market at $14 billion.

Whatever the size, the cash economy has a broad effect, padding law enforcement budgets through asset seizures, boosting local business and, some say, raising land prices.

“It’s to the point right now where during the grow season, it’s difficult for federal agents to rent a hotel room. The prices they’re going for are like a big city,” Sena said.

 

Has Hash Oil Manufacturing in Northern California and the Bay Area by amateurs created and unsafe Fire Hazard and Cause for Concern

 

bay area hash addiction

All across Northern California Amateur Cooks are trying their hand at something new and extremely dangerous. Hash Oil, also known as Honey Oil, is cropping up everywhere putting Cooks and their neighbors in harms way.

As Marijuana smokers continue to try and perfect a stronger Grade of Marijuana, Hash oil is having a renaissance. The Golden Brown chunks or powder can be up to 85% in their drug content versus 25% for strong Marijuana. The drug is much more potent and much more expensive.

Typically cooks get their way of making it off the Internet or YouTube and do not realize the method comes with extreme consequences. Without going into detail for this Blog, cooks use Butane to extract the THC in high content from the leaves and shake of the Marijuana Plant. It is during this process that people have been hurt in explosions and fires. This year alone has seen Sonoma County teens and adults alike along with their homes, burned severely. Enough to cause the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue a warning to first responders about Hash oil explosions. A Petaluma teen was burned on his face trying the process earlier in the year.

Parents and loved one’s should be concerned about hearing anyone they know wanting to or going to try this process. Hash Oil purchased from legal dispensaries has typically been manufactured using an expensive extraction process using Carbon Dioxide, said to be much safer.

** Idea for this Blog taken from a Press Democrat article written on August 12, 2013 **

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

Is Detox becoming a new norm for Long Term Abstinence in Opiate Addicts?

Opiate Addiction*In October 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved buprenorphine monotherapy product, Subutex®, and a buprenorphine/naloxone combination product, Suboxone®, for use in opioid addiction treatment. The combination product is designed to decrease the potential for abuse by injection. Subutex® and Suboxone® are currently the only Schedule III, IV, or V medications to have received FDA approval for this indication. Note that aside from Subutex® and Suboxone®, other forms of buprenorphine (e.g., Buprenex®) are not approved for treatment of opioid addiction.

*The FDA approval of these buprenorphine formulations does not affect the status of other medication-assisted opioid addiction treatments, such as methadone and LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol). As indicated in Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 8 (42 CFR Part 8), these treatments can only be dispensed, and only in the context of an Opioid Treatment Program.

In the late ‘90s we began seeing the use of Suboxone primarily, because of its built in abuse protection. In Treatment programs it worked well for Opiate addicts and was helpful in Detox. However, something different was going on – Doctors were able to have up to 30 patients in their practice on Suboxone in an Outpatient manner, today that has gone up to 90 patients.

Suboxone is a very strong Schedule III Narcotic, yet Dr.s can dispense to up 90 patients, most as cash only, costing as much as $500 per visits and visits usually are monthly. With this Model what is the incentive for Dr’s to detox down and let the patient move on. In Treatment Patients are off of Suboxone within 7-11 days and totally drug free.

Suboxone is being called a mood stabilizer a miracle drug that keeps addicts Opiate free and in year or two they can come off. Problem is we have litteraly tens of thousands of Men and Women in 12 Step Programs, afraid to talk about being on suboxone beceuse long term use is seen as using, and they cannot get off of suboxone. They can get down to 1 or 2 mg’s yet when they try to get off from there they cannot and cannot find the support.

So it seems that a drug that is great for Detox is making its way into mainstream abstinence and by way of this route through the Dr.s Office into our High Schools.