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Archive for Statistics

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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Sobering Addiction Facts

AddictionWE have, I believe as a Society become so numbed to Addiction the growing number of drunks and addicts on the street or another article in a Celebrity Magazine about the latest Celebrity Alcohol or Related Death that I get scared that it is causing us as this Society to stop realizing that from year to year, Decade to Decade since just when the War On Drugs was started by President Nixon the problems is growing and progressing and affecting our Children at an alarming rate. I thought I would share what is Addiction and then some facts to get us thinking again about this problem. The Addiction Industry is in shambles with horrifying relapse rates and essentially no lobbying help up in Washington and no forward thinking individuals willing to challenge the Treatment Industry to get out of Treating this Chronic illness with and Acute illness model and to stop putting profits ahead of taking a real hard look at what is broken.



  •  “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.”

ASAM, April 11, 2011

  • Chronic relapsing disorder characterized by drug-seeking and drug-taking behaviors despite negative consequences.


PillsAddiction Facts:

  • Lifetime prevalence: 12%
  • Causes 20% of all deaths per year
  • Costs in excess of $600 Billion per year
  • 1/3 of all hospital in-patient costs are addiction related

(SAMHSA, 2011 NSDUH; Ries, et al., 2009)

  • Addiction makes up 25% of primary care patient visits.

(Jones et al., Am. Fam. Physician, 2003)

  • 2 million of the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans have histories of alcohol or substance abuse

(U.S. Department of Justice, 2006)

  • $28 Billion to treat 40 million Americans with

substance use disorders

(CASA at Columbia University, 2011

  • There are over 28 million people suffering from addiction

and less than 12% receive treatment.


  • 40-60% of people relapse after drug and alcohol treatment.


  • 80% relapse rate with opioid dependence.



What I believe is happening as the problem of the Disease of Addiction gets worse, to cope, Families and Spouses fall into the unspoken result of Addiction at an alarming rate:



Changing your own behavior to adapt, ignore, struggle or otherwise cope with another person’s substance abuse problem. Some of the behaviors that families, friends and co-workers adopt are called “enabling”. Enabling is action that you take to protect the person with the problem from the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, enabling actually helps him or her to not deal with the problem.


Final Thoughts:

It is time for a real Organization to rise up in the Addiction’s field and help solve several problems that are not being addressed.

  1. Treatment in it’s current format does not work. An Organization needs to be first honest enough to say it and secondly capable of looking forward for solutions that work and might make it so all of these Private Pay Centers need to put some of their profit back into the Center towards solutions that work.
  2. Long Term Addiction Care Management™ needs to be built into the Continuum of Addiction Care. Much like Diabetics are seen regularly after their initial diagnosis and treatment experience.
  3. While 12 step Programs are great, and this writer is an active member, having them as the only real Continuing Care solution handed out to Patients leaving Treatment Programs is and old archaic way of treating this Disease.
  4. Someone needs to keep watch over the Pharmacology Industry as it tries to sells us more drugs to get us of off drugs – does this seem weird and scary to only me? Read my Blog on Detox meds becoming the norm in abstinence instead of staying on the Detox unit. At rapids amounts they are showing up in our High Schools.
  5. Intervention needs to be regulated, taken off TV where it is made to seem like a joke or Meeting that is fun to watch like a car wreck. Intervention is a serious Model for getting an Addicted Brain full of Denial into Help. Many reputable Intervention Companies, like 1st Step Interventions act with Integrity and have all of the required licenses, Certifications and Insurance to ensure the process is Professional, Ethical and has high success rates.
  6. Insurance companies need to be made to have Parity towards sick patients with the disease of addiction just like any other.