Archive for the ‘parents’ Category

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Alarming Facts

March 10, 2008

By Steve Hayes
Director, Novus Medical, Detox Center of Pasco County LLC

TEEN PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE

Accordingto the Partnership for a Drug-Free America:
–1 in 5 teens has abused aprescription pain medication

–1 in 5 teens report abusingprescription stimulants and tranquilizers

–1 in 10 teens have abused coughmedication

According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:

Though overall teen drug use isdown nationwide, more teens abuse prescription drugs than any otherillicit drug except marijuana – more than cocaine, heroin, andmethamphetamine combined.

Every day, 2,500 kids aged12-17 abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time and more peopleare getting addicted to prescription drugs.

Drug treatment admissions forprescription painkillers increased more than 300 percent from 1995 to2005.

Teens are abusing prescriptiondrugs because many believe the myth that these drugs provide a”safe” high.

Especially troubling is thatthe majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs say they are easy toget and are often free.

PHARM PARTIES

At Novus; some of our patients are young people who tell us about parties that kidsas young as 11 attend. Instead of bringing a present, each child is tobring some prescription drugs that they got from their parents’ medicinecabinet.

When they arrive at the party, they go into a room and pour the drugs into a punch bowl. Then the kids will take turns reaching into thebowl and taking a handful of pills. Sometimes the kids combine this with alcohol–an often lethal combination.

When confronted by astounded parents, their children often remark that it is O.K. because these are not illegal drugs– they were purchased at a pharmacy and,after all, they were in their parents’ medicine cabinet. A 15-year-oldwas quoted as saying that she saw the drug advertised on television and if itwere dangerous it wouldn’t be on television.

SOME DON’T GET A SECOND CHANCE

Itis not pleasant, but if you spend a few minutes on the internet you will seenot statistics but real stories of prescription drug overdoses and deaths ofteens. In many of these instances, the fatal drug overdose did notcome after long periods of prescription drug use. The fatal overdoses came the first time they took the prescription drugs. Maybe itwas their individual DNA. Maybe it was the way that the drug was metabolized. Maybe it was another substance that they had taken, like alcohol or another prescription drug. The only thing for sure is that some young people have overdosed and died after their first use.

One18 year old died after taking 40 milligrams of Oxycontin while drinking a beer. A 16 year old died after taking 80 milligrams of OxyContin that she was given by a “friend.” Some of the other deceased children’s parents said that they didn’t believe in taking any type of drugs, but that didn’t stop their children from yielding to peer pressure and “trying” the drug.

MOST ABUSED DRUGS

Painkillers(OxyContin and its generic form oxycodone, Lortab, Vicodin, Percodan,Percocet and the Fentanyl Patch) are the most common pharmaceuticals abused byteens, especially by younger teens. Stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall) abuse ismore common among older teens and college students than youngerteens. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin) are abused byteens of all ages.

Oxies,OC, hillbilly heroin, oxycotton, 80s, percs, vikes, and vikings are commonlyused terms to refer to painkillers. Ritz, rippers, dexies, and benniesare commonly used terms to refer to stimulants. Benzos, xanies,xani-bars, xani-bombs, and roofies are commonly used terms to refer tobenzodiazepines.

Everyoneunderstands that heroin is a dangerous drug and many people die from heroinoverdoses. What parent would not be horrified if their children tookheroin? However, if your children are taking these narcotic painkillers,they are taking drugs that mimic the effects of heroin in the body.

Everyoneunderstands that cocaine is a dangerous drug. What parent wants theirchildren to use cocaine? However, many parents watch their children takeRitalin and Adderall, two heavy stimulants that are Schedule II drugs-just likecocaine. In 2006, it is estimated that three out of 10 high schoolseniors abuse prescription stimulants.

Stimulantside effects include dilated pupils, increased heart and respiratory rates,elevated blood pressure, feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and delusions,hostility and aggression, and panic, suicidal, or homicidal tendencies. Overdose or death is preceded by high fever, convulsions, and heart failurewhich may be hastened by physical activity.

Benzodiazepinescan cause dilated pupils and slurred speech, feelings of intoxication, loss ofmotor coordination, respiratory depression, sensory alteration, depression andlowered blood pressure. In younger children these side effects aremultiplied and can lead to seizures and, if not immediately addressed, death.

Sinceantidepressants (Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro) are prescribed now foreverything from weight loss to muscle pain, they are in many medicine cabinetsand are left lying on bedside tables. As we discussed last week, there isnow evidence that these drugs are no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill)and that they are linked to 52% of the suicides by women in Sweden in2006. The FDA has ordered suicide and violence warnings placed on theantidepressant boxes if these dangerous drugs are taken by teenagers becausethese violent side effects are even more prevalent in younger people.

Thedanger to teens from all of these prescription drugs is greatly increased whenthey are combined with each other or with alcohol.

Nocaring parent would leave heroin, cocaine or other dangerous street drugs ontheir nightstand or in the medicine cabinet or just dump it in thegarbage. However, many parents do exactly this with legal heroin, legalcocaine: antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

BANKRUPTCY AND POSSIBLE PRISON FOR NEGLIGENT PARENTS

Inour society where it seems that every bad thing must be blamed on someone elseand that someone else should pay, there is real financial and legal liabilityif these dangerous drugs are taken by teens.

Mostof us are aware that if a child obtains a loaded gun from our house and someoneis harmed, we can have both civil and criminal liability for not havingproperly locked up the weapon. We have read of people being suedand losing their homes and most of their assets because of the use of the unsecured weapon. We have also seen people who have actually been prosecuted fortheir negligence of leaving a loaded gun around and were sent to prison.

Prescriptiondrugs are highly regulated. They can only be obtained if a doctor writesa prescription. They carry many serious warnings. Every day thereare more stories about prescription drug abuse, the dangers of prescription drugs and the deaths caused by prescription drugs.

Ifyour son or daughter were to give another child these prescription drugs andthey were to overdose and die, it is highly likely that a civil suit againstyou for negligence will result in your having to pay damages.

Thereis also a chance that you could face criminal prosecution for your leavingdangerous drugs around that could lead to the death of another.

CREATING CRIMINALS

Maybeyour child is an entrepreneur and does not take the prescription drugs that heor she gets from your medicine cabinet or bed side table but instead sells them to others. Possession of controlled substances with intent to sell is acrime. The painkillers are mostly Schedule II drugs. Ritalin andAdderall are Schedule II drugs. Most benzodiazepines areSchedule IV drugs.

Accordingto the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report “Crime in the United States”, there were 143,639 juveniles arrested by state and local law enforcement agencies for drug abuse violations during 2006, representing 10.4% of the drugarrests in which the offender’s age was reported.

Ifyour child is caught in possession of any amount of painkillers or stimulantshere are the federal guidelines:

First Offense: Not more than 20 years. If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, or more than life. Fine $1 million.

Second Offense: Not more than 30 years. Ifdeath or serious injury, not less than life. Fine $2 million.

If your child is caught with benzodiazepines, here are the federal guidelines:

First Offense: Not more than 3 years. Fine not more than $250,000.

Second Offense: Not more than6 years. Fine not more than $500,000.

Obviously,if your child is treated as a minor the guidelines can be different, but it isstill drug trafficking. By leaving prescription drugs around and bynot educating our kids about the dangers of prescription drugs, they risk notonly serious injury or death but also prison.

CONCLUSION

Art Linkletter hosted a television show for a number of years entitled, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” He would tape kids responding to various things and it was quite humorous. Well, kids still say the darndest things but sometimes what they say is not so humorous.

Forexample, “But Mommy you take them.” Or, “But Daddy itisn’t like I am taking heroin or something.” Or, “But we onlytook two.” Or, “But they are legal aren’t they.” Or,”But a doctor wouldn’t give something dangerous.” Or,”But I saw all the good things it can do on television. If it were bad
they wouldn’t let it be advertised.”

However, some parents have heard this: “I’m sorry. We couldn’t save her.” Or, “The different prescription drugs he took caused him to have a seizure and we couldn’t revive him.” Or, “I know that she only took one OxyContin. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Please help educate our children to the dangers of these prescription drugs. Please help us keep more parents from hearing that their child could not berevived.

Representatives of Novus Medical Detox Center are speaking at churches, schools, service groups and other venues to educate children andtheir parents. Larry Golbom at prescription addiction radio.com is educating his listeners. But compared to the tens of billions of dollars spent by the drug companies, making prescription drugs seem the answer to any problems, it is going to take a real grass roots movement to make peopleaware of the problem and solutions to it.

Please pass this article on to your friends and neighbors. The life you save maybe your child’s.

Related:
High Prescription Drug Use and Abuse in Colleges

Study finds 1 in 4 US teens has a STD

Leadership, Accountability and the Media

September 5, 2007

By John E. Carey
September 5, 2007

I became a believer in the “freedom of the press” and the great importance the media plays in good government and accountability during the last eleven years. It was eleven years ago this summer that I retired from the U.S. Navy, an organization with a sometimes jaundiced eye on the media. Just eleven years ago this summer I decided to become a journalist myself.

During this eleven year journey, I have seen the power of the free press “up close and personal,” as they say, here in the U.S.A. I have also witnessed the terrible and disgusting disregard for truth and free media in places like China and Vietnam. In those two countries and others, the lack of a free and open media allows government human rights abuses and downright malfeasance to thrive.

Here in the U.S. I am proud to say that I supported The Washington Post in its campaign to right the many wrongs of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and its lack of appropriate follow-up for soldiers under their care. We have also applauded many papers who stimulated the Congress to pay more attention to the equipment sent to support our soldiers during the current war.

Every now and again a journalist, even a fledgling like me, gets to see some small product of his or her work reflected in one of the great bastions of journalistic excellence.

Today I was reminded of something I wrote in 2003, which echoed across the pages of the Washington Post and New York Times just recently.

In the Washington Times on October 26, 2003 I was proud to see published my essay “District Leadership is a National Disgrace.” The piece pointed toward numerous leadership and management lapses on the part of the elected and appointed caretakers of the government of the District of Columbia.  A part of that essay dealing with the D.C. schools read, “As the school year started in 2003, School superintendent Vance was shocked to learn that the entire school system’s budget would only pay his system’s staff until Sept. 30. The superintendent is also a ‘fat cat’ with an enormous salary. Meanwhile, the schools are in a decrepit state of repair. Last winter, several school days were lost at more than one school because the furnaces wouldn’t start. Cost of educating the elementary school students in the District? Among the highest in the nation. Grades and measures of effectiveness? Among the lowest.”

Fast forward to 2007. In Fact, take a peak at the New York Times editorial of September 4, 2007, under the headline “National Disgrace.” That editorial reads in part, “remaking the schools [of the District of Columbia] will inevitably mean dismantling a central bureaucracy that has shown a disturbing talent for subverting reform while failing the city and its children in every conceivable way.”

Bravo New York Times. And Bravo also to the Washington Post, which earlier this summer ran a multiple part series exposing the many problems of the D.C. school system. And Bravo finally to the Washington Times, which has been exposing the malfeasance foisted upon the people of the District of Columbia by elected and appointed highly paid “public servants” for years.

In today’s Washington Times, a page one headline reads, “D.C. textbook chief appealed firing.” You see, one Donald Winstead, the lone manager of the school system’s often-troubled textbook department, was fired by former schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman in 1998 after books were not delivered in a timely manner. The Times’ Gary Emerling wrote that, “Mr. Winstead was reinstated in his position Dec. 19, 2000, following a settlement reached a day earlier between Mr. Winstead and the school system through the D.C. Office of Employee Appeals.”

Needless to say, the textbook situation in D.C. schools is still a disaster. In an August 7, 2007 Washington Times article Mr. Gary Emerling wrote, “The new [D.C. school system] chancellor has faced several difficulties that have plagued the system for years, including news that at least half of the city’s 146 schools may not have textbooks by the time school starts and that others will not have air conditioning.”

So, to those who doubt that a free and open media is a good thing for our nation, our society and, in fact, all nations everywhere; we ask them to look no further than the capital of the United States of America. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Washington Times may just help bring change to a very troubled and corrupt school system.

We are proud of these newspapers and the journalists who serve the people.

This brings us to the case of Virginia Tech.  Parents, in good faith, entrusted the University and the Commonwealth of Virginia leadership with the safety, care and education of their children.  Last April, many of those children died unnecessarily.

Last April 16, at Virginia Tech, two students were found dead in a campus dorm room.  This had never before occurred.  Not on this campus.  Not at Virginia Tech.

The police “assumed” a domestic dispute was the cause.  The campus remained un-alerted.

During the last academic year, at Virginia Tech, an English teacher had a student exhibiting such unusual, some said evil, writing and actions that other students would not come to class if he attended.  The teacher alerted the university and nothing happened.

The school sent the student for medical care — a mental evaluation in fact — and then never checked to verify his status or condition.  He may have been diagnosed as a threat to the university population yet the school didn’t follow up.

The Virginia Tech study panel that reported to Virginia Governor Tim Kaine recommended no accountability from anybody following scores of deaths on the campus.

Kaine said the school’s officials had “suffered enough” without losing their jobs.

The parents of the dead have questions.

USA Today asked, in a September 4, 2007 editorial, “Why did so many keep Cho’s [the Virginia Tech killer] problems to themselves? Certainly they underestimated the threat. But more important, many incorrectly believed that privacy laws prevented sharing the information. Interpreting the law narrowly is the ‘least risky’ path for a university to take, the report concludes.”

We wonder why more news media members and commentators have not spoken out about the lack of accountability at Virginia Tech?  Where is the uproar similar to the one that engulfed Senator Larry Craig and maybe will cost him his job?  More than thirty innocent students and teachers are dead and nobody is accountable.  Yet because of the media a Senator has offered his resignation.

The relatives of the Victims in the Virginia Tech massacre deserve to be heard.  And they deserve more appropriate action from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
********************
District Leadership is a National Disgrace

By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
October 26, 2003

Just after hurricane Isabel passed, there was some talk that the leadership of the District of Columbia had been less than cordial in its dealings with the federal government throughout the crisis. Metro, some said with city blessing, shut down on Thursday at 11 a.m. without very much consultation with the federal government. Consequently, the feds were compelled to cancel the workday entirely.

After the hurricane, city officials cited city ordinances in an effort to get more of the FEMA financial aid pie than their neighbors in Maryland or Virginia. FEMA and its parent, the Department of Homeland Security, rightly rebuffed District officials.

Here are a few tidbits of information we have learned about the District of Columbia during the last few years (much of it from The Washington Times).

–The police chief continues to collect perks and pay raises year after year. He was hired to reduce crime. In fact, crime is up. The crime rate in D.C. is about 50 percent greater than other cities with similar populations. What is down is the police department’s success rate in crime-solving (one of the lowest in the nation). The disgracefully inept execution of the Chandra Levy case reminds us of how badly the police department functions.

–Our fire chief a few years back, one Ronny Few, had apparently “padded” his resume to secure his job. When exposed by the newspaper, he blamed the mayor’s office. Finger-pointing in City Hall ensued but nobody took responsibility for the shoddy way candidates for city jobs are vetted. The chief had also hired several cronies. Their resumes, we discovered, were also inflated, falsified or otherwise inaccurate.Meanwhile, several fire stations were in a decrepit state, a house fire had to be doused by a nearby garden hose because the fire truck had so many problems, and someone actually died due to the inefficiency of the 911 operators.

–Recently, the District’s inspector general resigned. His resume was also inflated. Do we see a trend beginning to emerge? The incumbent mayor’s re-election committee forged many of the required signatures to get the mayor on the ballot. If he is such a great leader, how can he tolerate such conduct? And why was fraud preferred over obtaining legal signatures?

–The president of the University of the District of Columbia lives in a publicly owned mansion. The taxpayers recently paid for a “renovation” of this estate that cost more than $215,000. “Repairs” included the addition of Italian granite and marble countertops worth more than $9,000. The university president also has a handsome salary. Yet the University of the District of Columbia’s Law School is rated dead last among more than 230 law schools rated by the American Bar Association. The percentage of graduates that pass the bar the first time is 22 percent. Only two colleges have rates in the 30th percentile and two schools are in the 40th percentile. All other law schools can boast that at least half the graduates pass the bar on the first try. The cost of educating a law student at UDC? The highest in the nation.

–As the school year started in 2003, School superintendent Vance was shocked to learn that the entire school system’s budget would only pay his system’s staff until Sept. 30. The superintendent is also a “fat cat” with an enormous salary. Meanwhile, the schools are in a decrepit state of repair. Last winter, several school days were lost at more than one school because the furnaces wouldn’t start. Cost of educating the elementary school students in the District? Among the highest in the nation. Grades and measures of effectiveness? Among the lowest.

–The D.C. coroner recently resigned. The morgue is in such disastrous condition that opportunities for forensics resolution to many crimes is seriously doubted. Overall, working for the District of Columbia government provides the best pay, bonus and retirement structure of almost any city in the nation.

Finally, the District of Columbia would like to tax commuters who come to the city to work. This is one way the banana republic preys upon its neighbors. Traffic enforcement cameras, predatory parking enforcement, towing and other practices contribute to the city coffers and to the ill will the city engenders in the neighborhood.

So I ask the voters in the District of Columbia, “Do you have the best government money can buy? Are you satisfied and content? Are you proud of your city and your flag?”

Related:

D.C. Schools: A National Disgrace

Rhee raps D.C. schools ‘bureaucracy’
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070807/
METRO/108070064/1004/metro

D.C. textbook chief appealed firing
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070905/METRO/109050074/
1001&template=nextpage

Virginia Tech: No Accountability

Life After Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech: ‘Least Risky’ Path Raises Risk

China: ‘Trust but verify’ needed

China Saying No to News

Pentagon says it acts as quickly as it can to meet needs
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The article above was written before the full implications of the sex scandal in D.C. fire houses was completely understood.

See:

Sex in The City