Archive for Intervention Expert

New “Gunpowder Heroin” On San Francisco Streets has higher potency and is more Dangerous – 1st Step Interventions

In the last year and a half a new form of Heroin called “Gunpowder” because of its gunpowder consistency and look is flooding the streets of San Francisco and the Bay Area Suburbs putting our Children and Young Adults at a very high risk. Most Heroin addicts unfortunately will go where the stronger Heroin is being sold and will buy the Heroin that is the strongest, figuring it will go farther for them between fixes and last longer. If you were an addict on the surface it makes sense – the terrible downside is exactly that – it is stronger and this Overdoses are on the rise as a result. That’s right more and more of our Children, could be yours, your Niece or Nephew or the next door neighbor kid who used to drop off your newspaper on his or her route.Gunpowder HeroinGunpowder Heroin

At 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management Services, Inc. we saw back in 2009 when Purdue Pharmaceuticals changed the formulation of Oxycontin (which on face value was good) that the resulting problem was going to be a resurgence in Heroin use and addiction. Since Oxycontin became harder to get and the new formula made it harder to abuse, the tens of thousands of young adults addicted were going to switch to Heroin. Of course then they were going to gravitate to the strongest Heroin they could find. Here in San Francisco and the surrounding areas like, Marin, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Walnut Creek, Danville, Orinda. Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Palo Alto Woodside. Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel to name a few – the new drug of choice became quite rapidly and almost overnight – HEROIN!!!

Heroin has been around for years, accidentally invented while searching for a cure to the common cold if you can believe it, has extremely addictive properties and very profound euphoria for the user – making it the perfect drug for those suffering from the Disease of Addiction who gravitate to Pain Killers. In the Bay Are unlike east coast cities we have Black Tar Heroin or its newer big brother Gunpowder Heroin. East Cost Heroin mostly comes from Columbia or maybe Southeast Asia. Our Heroin here comes from Mexico and is less refined that other more white or beige powder heroin found out east. As a result it is quicker from Poppy (it grows as a sap in the Poppy seed) to market requiring less chemical stages. Additively it is just as addictive in any of its forms.

Users usually start out here in the Bay Area and San Francisco smoking the Black Tar or Gunpowder (as you cannot snort it very well) and eventually move on to using needles when their habit gets larger and it takes less of the drug when you inject it to get high. Users will need to fix at least 2x daily with heroin lasting about 12 hours before withdrawals set in and the addict goes through extremely “flu” like symptoms with diarrhea and throwing up until they get another fix.

Heroin addicts do not usually get honest with those around them about what is going on and friends and family usually find money and other things going missing. This is usually how Families discover that their loved one is using. This or they find bits of Paraphernalia around or the Addict may be behaving oddly – falling asleep at odd times (nodding out), scratching themselves, disappearing at times when family events are going on and usually having a short fuse.

Heroin and different types of Heroin like “Gunpowder” are here to stay and given the billions of dollars the Mexican and other Drug Cartels have to continue their operations coupled with the huge demand in this country and other countries, we as family, friends and loved ones have to be able to help those that we can and that are in our inner circle.

Most Family Members feel helpless and don’t know what to do because a they either do not know what resources are available to them for help or are too afraid to ask their loved one to get help because they lash out and push the help away with anger and acting out. This is particularly prevalent amongst Young Adults 18-27 who have failed to launch and are either living at home or living in an apartment subsidized by their Parents. AS a result the Addiction goes around and around and everyone gets caught up in it until some major catastrophe happens and even this can sometimes not be enough to bring about change.

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management has been providing Drug and Alcohol Interventions in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade and has helped well over 350 addicts find their way into Recovery and at the same time helped1000+ addicts and their families manage the early stages of Recovery through its Addiction Care Management Program.

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management is committed to the Men and Women, Young and old and their families in the Greater Bay Area, from Sacramento down to Carmel and over to Stockton and Fresno , live Clean and Sober Lives and not be all caught up in Illicit Drugs, destroying their lives and the lives of their family members. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management offers Intervention Services and post treatment Care Services that continue to help the Addict settle into a Sober Life with the help of a Professional and continue to educate the Family on how they can better support a newly sober family member. Our Services are affordable and on a sliding scale for those who are in need but are going through tough times.

“Gunpowder” Heroin is just one new drug on our streets, others such as Bath Salts are just as bad. It seems almost several times a year some chemist somewhere comes up with a new substance that falls between the cracks of Federal Guidlines and until the Guidelines catch up the drug continues the reek havoc amongst our Children.    Take a change today and call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management and see if we can help you. The initial assessment call is free so you have nothing to lose and it costs you nothing unless you decide to move forward, Hundreds and thousands have gotten help through 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management, why don’t you be another one and help your loved one or yourself find Recovery and a new way to live happy and Sober.

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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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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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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, Yuba-Sutter 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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Is Intervention necessary or can a family with a sober person do it on their own?

Intervention ExpertGood questions and one that should be asked. Intervention is a Professional Meeting vs a Meeting of Family Members and either one of them or a friend with some Recovery time. Below are bullet points of why Intervention is the only way to go:

1.  A Professional Interventionist will be licensed to work in the Alcohol and Drug Industry, have a Intervention Board Certification and will carry Professional Counseling Insurance.

2.  They will have completed a minimum of 350 hours of additional schooling plus at least 20 hours or CEU’s (Certified Earned units) yearly to keep updated on new Therapies, Models, Pharmacology and other related subjects. Plus Ethics and Confidentiality every 2 years.

3.  A professional Interventionist will have usually visited the Center they are recommending and know the Staff Personally. They are thus able to be objective about the quality and the condition of the Center and the quality of the staff

4.  The Interventionist, before the intervention, trains family members and during the Intervention a level of civility can be obtained by a good Interventionist, allowing for real communication between family members.

5.  An Interventionist knows when to stop and when to keep going. Interventions are fluid and organic. You need some one who can read the signs and allow for the Intervention to reach the right moment.

6.  After your loved one says yes an Interventionist will keep things moving, get your loved on the phone with the Center and help get to what your loved is/has been really taking and what their detox needs will be like and be able to call ahead to the Center to give them the information.

7.  A professional Interventionist will be able to get a good intervention done and the person packed and on their way to Treatment in an hour and a half at most.

8.  All of your plans will he made by and thought of by your Interventionist.

9.  Lastly an Interventionist will keep your Loved One from talking everyone around in circles and debating and trying to change your mind if they do a lesser program or something that is less of a requirement of them and “the easier softer way”