- With a steady stream of intense drinking and drug-using movies being released before school vacations, Narconon offers parents a helping hand to keep teen and young adults safe from harm.
Just in time for the summer and the National Prevention Week sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Narconon has released the Safe Summer Guide for parents. This guide is being released as schools let out for the summer which traditionally means higher numbers of young people starting to abuse drugs or alcohol, as reported by SAMHSA.
The last few years, the number and intensity of movies featuring young people getting smashed and destroying property have escalated in intensity. Ironically, major drinking and drug use movies are often released just before Spring Break or summer vacation. Parents have their hands full trying to offset these and other media influences that portray drinking, drug use and destructive behavior as “fun.” But if they don’t do their best, they may be facing the injury, arrest or even death of their teenaged or young adult children.
In March 2012, the extreme-teen-party movie Project X hit theaters, and by April, copycat parties had sprung up in Texas, Missouri, California, Utah, Florida, and other states. In each case, there was extensive property damage, plenty of underage drinking, injuries and even one death.
“Parents may not know how to approach their teens on the subject of staying safe and sober,” stated Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. “The first thing they should know is to start early, before children reach their teens. By downloading our free Safe Summer Guide, they will have specific steps they can take to help protect their children from harm. The most important things they can do are to talk to their kids and to set their own good example.”
The Safe Summer Guide offers a step-by-step approach parents can use to make it very clear that they expect their teen to avoid drug or alcohol abuse. There are specific suggestions on how to prevent opportunities for substance abuse and harm and also how to show youth that fun does not have to include substance abuse. This free downloadable guide incorporates the advice of the Surgeon General and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
“Young people can be influenced to drink, use drugs or take part in destruction because of peer pressure, movies, television shows and other media,” said Carr. “By countering these outside influences with love, concern and vigilance, parents save their children’s lives.”
Narconon is an international network of drug rehabilitation and prevention centers. For more information on Narconon, call 1-800-775-8750 or visit www.narconon.org.
After thirteen years of providing drug education services to Southern California youth, Narconon Drug Prevention and Education was singled out as the only civilian group to receive a commendation from the Mission Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.
At the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills on May 2, 2103, officers, sergeants, detectives and clerks from the Mission Division were awarded for their dedication, leadership and contributions to community safety. At the end of these awards, Commander Sharon Papa called up Sigal Adini and Tony Bylsma from this Narconon organization and thanked them for presenting drug education lectures to more than 400,000 youth over the years.
Commander Papa told the audience, “Substance abuse brings harm to every individual in every community whether they use drugs or not. Narconon staff have been effective and persistent in raising public awareness, understanding, and commitment to dealing with this serious problem”
In addition to offering drug education classes, Narconon Drug Prevention and Education has worked hard to show youth that they can have fun without using drugs or alcohol. In December 2012, the organization sponsored more than 100 runners in the Say No to Drugs race that took place on the back lot of Universal Studios.
Then in March 2013, eight runners were recruited, sponsored and trained for the LA Marathon. “These young people learned valuable lessons about setting a goal, practicing skills so they can achieve that goal and then seeing how good it feels when they win,” Adini said. “All our young marathon runners finished this 26 mile race – a huge accomplishment for them!”
A seventeen-year-old runner sponsored in this event described her achievement: “I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to run the marathon. I was nervous, but also excited. Having been given the privilege of running, thanks to Narconon, I trained to the best of my ability. A little more than halfway through, I began to feel soreness in my legs and experienced painful aches. However, since I was selected for this event, I reminded myself that not everyone has the same opportunity. I never thought of giving up. Not only did the marathon help me realize that I have self-discipline, but made me see that no matter the distance or obstacles, I can overcome any situation and accomplish my goal.” said Susana, seventeen years old.
After receiving the LAPD award, Adini stated Narconon Southern California Drug Prevention’s commitment to continue freeing children from the threat of substance abuse: “Over the years, we have seen clearly that when youth understand the dangers of substance abuse and also see that they can enjoy life without drugs or alcohol, they make the right choices. We will continue this work to help young people in our communities grow up strong, drug-free and successful.”
For more information on Narconon Drug Education and Prevention, call 888-800-8331.
Just when it seems like marijuana use and abuse will sweep America from one end to the other, Narconon International has released a free booklet providing hard facts about the dangers involved in the abuse of this drug. Families are hearing plenty about the “benefits” of medical marijuana from groups lobbying for law changes. Youth are being deluged with drug references in movies and on television. And every community has its drug dealers spreading lies about how “harmless” the drug is.
But in fact, marijuana is addictive and results in many kinds of harm. Parents may not have any idea of the real dangers involved because the marijuana they may have smoked when they were young was a vastly different substance from today’s weed. There’s a whole new set of dangers waiting for the youth of today who start smoking pot.
“It’s essential that parents have an easy way to get the truth about the harm their children could experience if they begin smoking pot at an early age,” stated Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. “We compiled the most vital facts into one place in the 10 Things Parents May Not Know about Marijuana booklet. We are making this available for free download to enable parents to educate their children and save them from harm. We want it to be easy for parents to take immediate action to prevent marijuana abuse.”
The Narconon booklet lists the top ten facts about marijuana abuse that parents need to know, like these:
- On average, one in six youth will become addicted to marijuana when they start abuse the drug when they are young
- Marijuana abuse lowers the ability to think clearly, retain what is learned or solve problems
- Marijuana is sending for than 40,000 young people to emergency rooms annually for medical interventions due to panic attacks, unmanageable anxiety or paranoia or violent bouts of vomiting, nausea and pain (according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
“Who says marijuana is harmless?” said Carr. “If parents know these facts, they can take them up one at a time with their children and educate them thoroughly. Otherwise, their children are learning everything they know about marijuana from other kids and drug dealers.”
Carr recommended that after parents read the booklet themselves, they bring the subject up at the dinner table, one fact at a time and then let children ask questions or comment about people they might know who are abusing the drug. Studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse have proven that when parents openly take a stand again drug abuse and are consistent in their message, youth more often decide not to abuse drugs.
“Parents may not realize their power to prevent drug abuse,” said Carr. “Whether they think their children are listening or not, they have a positive effect just by bringing the subject up, answering questions and being open about the problems that can and do result. We invite every parent to download this booklet and start using it right away. Teachers, counselors and health professionals can benefit from this booklet as well.”
Contact Clark Carr, Narconon International, email@example.com or call 323-962-2404.
Say No to Drugs Race Los Angeles Holiday Classic Sets a Good Example for Hundreds of California Youth
For the first time, Narconon Drug Prevention & Education created a running team of more than 160 runners composed of local high school students, teachers, parents, LAPD officers and cadets, to participate in this annual race that sends an unmistakable drug-free message.
It was a good morning for the drug-free message in Southern California of the twelfth annual Say No to Drugs Race Los Angeles. Holiday Classic with more than three thousand runners, joggers and walkers participated in the event. In stages between 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM on a cool, sunny morning, members of families, clubs, businesses and charitable organizations lined up along the starting line in the back lot of Universal Studios Hollywood. The races started and runners were treated to a walk or run through European cities, American small towns, old Wild West settings and even a plane crash — all features of the studio’s back lot.
Noticeable among the groups of runners was a team of 163 bright-faced people wearing the red t-shirt that designated them as members of the Team Narconon. This team, new to the race this year, was recruited by Sigal Adini, the executive director of this Los Angeles-based drug prevention activity.
“When I meet teachers, club leaders and members of the communities in Southern California, they tell me they want more healthy, drug-free activities for their youth,” Sigal reported. “So I decided that getting more kids involved with this race would be a great idea.” Sigal enlisted the support of local business to cover the cost of registration for youth, parents and their teachers along with some officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and their cadets.
Each year, this race serves as a reminder to participants and the community at large that a drug-free life is productive and enjoyable. As in every year, the race also provided support for groups that further this message, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth, Foundation for a Drug-Free World, Friends of Narconon and the Burbank Community YMCA.
“We were overjoyed to get so much support from the community,” added Sigal. “Not only from my team’s sponsors but also from individuals who took a personal interest in our message. Like the student who started a running club at her school, specifically to train runners for this race. Across the region, teachers and students prepared for the race then made an excellent showing.”
The runners were treated to a private run through some of the best-known and best-loved movie sets, such as the ones from Jaws, Spartacus, Psycho and War of the Worlds. At the finish line, exhibitors continued the drug-free theme, with booths and displays from the Walt Disney Group, the Los Angeles Kings, the LA Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.
For more information on the Narconon Drug Prevention and Education Program contact the international offices of Narconon at 1-800-775-8750.
In several parts of the US, students of all ages gained a new understanding of the dangers of drug abuse so they can make their own smart decisions.
Since 1988, the tragic death of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been the catalyst for a week-long celebration of freedom from drugs. Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena lost his life fighting drug trafficking along the Mexican border so it is fitting that drug prevention activities go into high gear in October of each year to prevent more lives from being lost.
Every year at this time, Narconon® drug prevention specialists fan out into schools within reach of the many US Narconon drug rehab facilities. In Southern California, the Narconon Fresh Start rehab centers sent out trained educators to many schools in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernadino counties. More than 6,500 young people were reached with accurate information about drugs and their dangers.
In Michigan, the Narconon Freedom Center also sent out educators and in Northern California, Narconon Vista Bay gave presentations to students in Oakland, Campbell, Saratoga and Sacramento, reaching several hundred students in all.
In Oklahoma, drug educators from Narconon Arrowhead criss-crossed the state, reaching students in nearby Canadian, Fort Towson in the east, Cushing in the middle of the state, Elmore City in the south, and tiny Alex outside of Oklahoma City. In all, more than 1,700 Oklahoma students learned why life is better and safer when it is drug-free.
“When we ask students what they think of drugs, we often find out that no one has ever really explained to these kids what drugs are, what damage they can do and why they should be avoided,” stated Bobby Wiggins, longtime drug prevention specialist with Narconon International.” So we focus on these points in our drug education classes and work hard to reach as many students as we can each school year.”
He referred to statements from two recipients of this year’s Red Ribbon Week school presentations. In one, a thirteen-year-old student said: “I thought it was inspirational because he experienced drug addiction himself and he actually knows what people go through. Now if someone were ever to ask me if I want drugs, I would definitely say no.”
In another after-presentation survey, a seventh-grader said: “I thought it was very detailed, the way you told us why drugs are bad and how they affect our bodies. I never knew much about drugs till now. The talk changed my thoughts. I never knew there were this many drugs.”
Mr. Wiggins added, “Because of comments like these, we realize that we can reduce drug use simply by educating these children well enough that they can make the smart decision to stay drug-free.”
A health teacher in Riverside, California also observed the positive effect these classes had on her students. She said, “Your presenter was knowledgable about every type of drug you could imagine. My students learned the dangers of drugs and the long-term effects. They were intrigued by all the information given to them and many didn’t realize how much damage drugs caused to their bodies. The following day, we had a great conversation about what they learned and many say they will never try drugs or alcohol. Thank you for all you do, spreading the word about the dangers of drug and alcohol. It does make an impact on our youth and I know your program has reached me.”
“Our work is not done at the end of Red Ribbon Week,” concluded Mr. Wiggins. “Each year, we reach hundreds of thousands of students internationally with our drug prevention classes. We continue to fight drug abuse and addiction with prevention and our rehabilitation program all year round.”
For more information or to schedule a Drug Education Presentation, please call 323-962-2404.
Narconon explains the importance of parents including synthetics in the conversation when educating children about the dangers of drug abuse.
As bad as drug abuse and addiction is, used to be fairly easy to keep track the substances that were being abused. Marijuana, alcohol, cocaine and heroin have long been the main drugs of abuse, joined by inhalants, methamphetamine and prescription drugs. But in the last few years, parents would be hard-pressed to keep track of the burgeoning list of synthetic drugs that are addicting young people and even stealing some of their lives.
Synthetic drugs consist of new chemicals manufactured by unscrupulous chemists for the illicit trade. They may mimic the action of some of the better-known drugs but in most cases, also have potentially disastrous side effects. Since it’s hard for lawmakers to keep up with these new chemicals hitting the market, law enforcement personnel are hampered in their efforts to seize the substances and arrest those selling them.
Here’s some of the most popular new drugs and their characteristics:
Synthetic cathinones: This is a chemical that simulates the effects of khat, a plant grown in Eastern Africa and abused for its euphoric properties. But because the potency of khat is measured in hours after it is harvested, a market has grown up for the manufacture of a synthetic version of this drug. These drugs are stimulants that are chemically similar to amphetamine or cocaine.
Mephedone and methylone are commonly sold drugs in this class. Effects include euphoria and a sense of well-being. Users become more alert, confident and talkative. On the downside, there can be heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting and changes in circulation causing blueish extremities. These drugs may be sold labeled as plant food or bath salts.
Piperazine: This drug may be sold at party venues in small blister packs with the pills resembling Ecstasy. This drug may be mixed with cocaine, amphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), or ketamine. Most common form is BZP (1-Benzylpiperazine). It’s a strong stimulant that increases heart rate and body temperature and dilates pupils. A person may experience euphoria and a sense of well-being, alertness and sensitivity to taste, color and music. It can also cause anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, confusion and shivering.
Synthetic cannabinoids: This is the drug usually sold as “Spice” or “K2.” The synthetic drug is sprayed onto herbal material that is then packaged and labeled as incense, “not for human consumption.” But if you look like the right kind of person, the salesperson will tell you how to smoke it for the best effect. Packaging can carry the names like Spice Gold, Spice Diamond, Yucatan Fire, Smoke, ChillX, Earth Impact, Gorillaz, Skunk, Genie, Galaxy Gold and many other names. Adverse effects include agitation, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and rigidity. One young man died after he drove his car into a house at 100 miles per hour.
For quite a long time after these synthetic cannabinoids hit the market, drug tests were not updated so their use could not be detected. Therefore, this drug became popular with members of the military or youth who thought they might be drug tested.
These are some of the most popular synthetics. It will never be possible to list all the synthetics, as new drugs hit the market with regularity. All a chemist has to do to create a new drug that cannot be seized is change the molecule slightly and it becomes a different substance. Some countries deal with this by adding new drugs to the lists of banned substances and others, like the US, have “analog laws” that state that if a substance is similar in chemistry or action to an illegal substance, it too is illegal.
“As always, parents are the first line of defense when it comes to dangerous drugs,” stated Bobby Wiggins, longtime drug prevention specialist at Narconon International. “Surveys show that parents talk to their children about alcohol and marijuana but seldom about prescription drugs or synthetics. These days, parents would be wise to use the internet to educate themselves and then be very clear in telling their children that there are no completely safe drugs.” (Click here for more on talking to kids about drugs.)
While there has as yet been no accurate compilation of all the dangerous effects of these drugs, they have been associated with deaths in Iowa, Washington State, Minneapolis and New Orleans, among other locations. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 13,000 poison control calls were received related to bath salts or synthetic marijuana in 2011. The Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that Spice was the second most commonly used drug among twelfth graders in 2011.
In July 2012, new legislation banning these synthetics was signed into law, and the Drug Enforcement Administration followed this law with an extensive campaign to seize the drugs and arrest those selling them.
“Law enforcement alone will never be able to keep up with a problem like this,” added Mr. Wiggins. “Those of us fighting drug use and addiction encourage every parent to discuss these synthetics with their children and let them know the danger. You never know when a simple parent-child conversation could end up saving that child’s life.”
In 5 countries, Narconon drug rehab and prevention centers march and speak out on the UNODC anti-drug day.
For the fifth year in a row, Narconon centers across the U.S., in Mexico, Nepal, Kenya, Ghana, and other countries took part in public drug prevention events celebrating the UNODC International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking.
Clark Carr, president of Narconon International in Los Angeles said, “We are proud of this humanitarian outreach our creative staffs organize for and with kids around the world. Whether in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, a rarely visited part of Uganda, or somewhere in the U.S., we can count on Narconon staff to reach out and involve schools and local government to forward drug-free messages.”
As one example of a Narconon UN Day event, in Mazatlan, which has been a violent hotspot in the drug cartel war throughout this last year, Francisco Lozano and other local drug rehab directors, members of the national Narconon First Step network, organized a Say No to Drugs march along the long beachfront avenue. Sporting colorful t-shirts and banners were 200 children and adults from Nexahautacoyotl Primary School, firemen, teachers and criminology students from the Politecnica Nacional University, and even the Forensic Chemist from the Attorney Generals Office. The strong turnout and pro-peace message brought out media. Speaking to local press, TV, and radio, Francisco “Pancho” Lozano commented, “We all love our children, but all year they get nasty images of murder and mayhem. It is important we provide them also with strong messages about ethics and living drug-free.” As part of this message, the children in the march were given thousands of The Way to Happiness booklets to hand out to public. The Way to Happiness is a common sense guide to better life choices and is used by the nearly 200 Narconon First Step groups now throughout Mexico.
Across the world, in the Apac District of Uganda, Nelson Nuwahereza of Narconon Uganda Drug Education organized his own children’s march, also delivering drug prevention talks to the youth. District Health Inspector Mr. Faluku Sebastian attended and praised Narconon and Nelson for helping youth in a part of Uganda which receives not enough such social support.
There were also UN Day Narconon events in Nepal and Ghana and across Europe.
Back in the United States, Narconon South Texas down in Harlingen on the border with Matamoros, Mexico held a large educational event on 26 June, attended by 73 youth and 33 adults. The youth were from juvenile detention and rehab and half way houses. The adults included, besides Joseph Sauceda from Narconon, speakers from the Harlingen Police Dept, the Border Patrol, the Texas Joint Counter Task Force and United Narcotics Intelligence Task Force (Sergeant Rodriguez speaking), and the Harlingen Outreach Center.
“The majority of youth around the world want to stay away from drugs and stay out of crime,” said Carr. “Those are the ones we reach out to along with so many others around the world on this anti-drug, anti-drug crime day sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.”
‘Say no to drugs, say yes to life’ is a simple phrase, but a profound concept. We could all benefit by finding time to tell our children this — over and over and over.
For more information on Narconon International’s drug education and prevention work worldwide visit www.narconon.org.
Perhaps piggybacking on the widespread use of medical marijuana, use by teens has been increasing for the last few years, along with use of “synthetic marijuana,” prompting a greater need for parents to get involved.
The latest Monitoring the Future survey on drug abuse and attitudes among our schoolchildren shows that current rates of daily marijuana use are now at a thirty-year peak. For the past four years straight, statistics on marijuana abuse have been growing, after a decline for the decade before that.
Does this mean that parents have become resigned to the presence of marijuana in the lives of their children? Is it possible that parents now dismiss marijuana use as a harmless practice?
“Parents need to know that their children are likely to be less able to study successfully, less competent athletically, and at greater risk behind the wheel when they smoke marijuana,” warned Bobby Wiggins, longtime drug educator for Narconon International. Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction. “The simple truth is that marijuana robs a person of their motivation and this means more of our youth will drop out of school or decide not to pursue college educations as a result of marijuana use.”
Mr. Wiggins cited a research project that showed that the active ingredient from marijuana is stored in the fatty tissues of the body where stress or fasting can release it back into the body. “The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program includes an innovative sauna detoxification program that uses nutrition and exercise to flush out these toxins and restore clarity of thought. But by talking to their children openly about the problems that can result from using marijuana, parents can protect their children’s ability to think, learn, excel and their very safety.”
And it’s not only use of weed that is rising. Teens abusing what is referred to as synthetic marijuana, also called Spice or K2, is also increasing, despite the dangers of this new category of drug. In some states, these substances are still legal so teens may think they have found a legal “high” without considering the risks involved. In 2011, more than 11% of high school seniors tried this drug. But use of Spice has been associated with hallucinations, seizures and hospitalization.
“It is difficult for our teens to make a mature decision about whether or not to use drugs like marijuana or painkillers, given that they are both used medically,” Mr. Wiggins concluded. “Parents need to realize how important they are in preventing substance abuse that will, for some youth, progress to addiction requiring drug rehab.”
At the Parent Center of the Narconon International website, parents can find information and resources to help them talk to their children about the problems that can result from drug abuse. Visit http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/parent-center.html.
For information on the Narconon drug rehabilitation program, call 1-800-775-8750
Trying to keep up with the changing landscape of illicit drug manufacture and use is a daunting task for a drug education professional, much less a parent. But it is something that must be attempted if children and young adults are to be kept educated and safe from dangerous, even life-threatening drugs.
One of the tactics used by unscrupulous drug manufacturers is to make a new formula that shifts the chemical composition of a banned drug just enough to circumvent the law. It takes awhile for law enforcement agencies to catch up and in the meantime, lives are threatened. Young people going to shops, parties or raves may be offered the new drug.
Which brings us to “Bath Salts.” These are off-white crystals sold in small bottles or foil packets at convenience stores and at raves or dance clubs around the country. They may be named something like Red Dove, Purple, Cloud Nine, Lunar Wave or Pure Ivory. The packaging will state that it is “not for consumption” and that it is just for use in a “refreshing” bath. But smoke it, snort it or shoot it and you will get a hallucinogenic, dissociative high that can be dangerous, even fatal.
More than three thousand calls for help have come in to US Poison Control Centers in the first half of 2011 alone. People have been injuring themselves or arriving in emergency rooms in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana and throughout the South, Midwest and New England states. Psychotic episodes mimic those resulting from PCP use a few decades ago.
At its worst, the drugs in Bath Salts have resulted in extremely high fevers that can cause organ breakdown and death, suicide, homicide and a psychotic state that can only be subdued with a general anesthetic or powerful anti-psychotic drugs.
Bobby Wiggins is a drug education specialist for Narconon. He advised, “Parents should sit down with their teens and young adults and give them the straight story on this deadly drug. They could be saving the life of their own child or one of child’s friends.”
The US Drug Enforcement Administration has just used their authority to place a temporary national ban on the chemicals in the drug, giving legislators time to catch up with federal laws. But this action is just likely to drive dealers of the drug underground.
The psychoactive ingredient in Bath Salts may be Mephedrone , 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) or Methylone. In chemical composition and effect, these drugs mimic the action of khat, a plant-based drug grown in East Africa and frequently smuggled into Europe and North America. Bath Salts, which may also be packaged and sold as plant food or “research chemicals” over the internet, are thought to be manufactured in China or India and then smuggled into the US, the UK or Europe.
When talking about Bath Salts, parents can report the following results that have come from emergency room or police reports:
Extremely high fevers that can result in kidney failure and death.
Psychotic episodes in which a person cannot even be subdued even by sedatives or Tasers.|
Homicidal rages or hallucinations that cause a person to leap into traffic, injure someone or commit suicide.
Mental confusion and disorientation lasting months.
“Parents may not learn the name and effects of every new drug that hits the market,” added Mr. Wiggins. “Really, the only safety for our young people is to educate them that they can never know when drug or alcohol abuse will turn deadly. Even if the drug itself is not life-threatening, nearly any drug can result in a fatal accident by altering a person’s perception of speed or distance or slowing their reaction time.” Mr. Wiggins recommended working with youth to develop their goals and then following up to provide assistance in achieving those goals. “When young people look forward to the future and feel they are accomplishing their goals, they are less likely to be sidetracked into drug and alcohol abuse,” he concluded.
Holidays, birthday parties and other celebrations that often include use of alcohol can present special dangers to young people who are inexperienced in drinking. They may not have developed good judgment on when to stop drinking and thus may consume such an overdose that they never wake up from that alcohol-induced stupor.
There may be no death in the world that is more preventable than an alcohol poisoning death. But media records show that the alcohol poisoning deaths keep occurring.
Young people, in particular students on college campuses where the local culture seems to demand drinking, kill themselves every year just from overdoses of alcohol. But if you add those killed in alcohol-related accidents or injuries, the numbers get even higher.
Like Jason Wren of the University of Kansas. In March, 2009, Jason went to dinner with friends and consumed several pitchers of margaritas, then went to his fraternity house where he drank as many as 12 beers. His fraternity brothers put him in bed to sleep off the drunk but he never woke up.
And there was Samantha Spady of Colorado State University. She started drinking before a big football game and then continued drinking at a fraternity house. After her death, her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tested at .436 percent. (The legal driving limit is .08 percent.)
As for alcohol-fueled accidents, there’s almost too many to choose from. The accident can be as simple as Jeremy Stoltzfus’s fall after attending the Gator Bowl in 2010. After drinking heavily during the game, his life ended when he hit his head after a fall in the street. And there’s Devon Arnold who went to a Denver Nuggets game in 2010 and apparently decided to hop aboard a train afterwards. He died next to the railroad tracks.
Birthdays and holidays can be prime time for alcohol overdoses. Steve Saucedo lost his life after a drinking contest during Spring Break. And Adam Boncela of Ohio State died on his twenty-first birthday, due to a .37 percent BAC. According to a guide from the State of California, death can occur anywhere between .35 percent and .5 percent.
Young people around the drinker may not know about alcohol poisoning and may just think that the person is drunk. “Sleeping it off” can lead to an alcoholic coma and death, either death from the suppression of breathing or death because the person vomits while unconscious and inhales the material.
The best way to avoid death or injury from alcohol poisoning is to not drink too much. The amount of alcohol the average body can handle of course depends on a number of factors including how much food was eaten and the person’s overall health. But generally, four standard sized drinks will bring a 150-lb. male to the legal driving limit. (A standard sized drink is one shot of liquor, one beer, one glass of wine, etc.)
A person begins to lose driving skills even before the legal limit is reached, especially an underage person who may not have a lot of experience driving. Please note that in many states, the tolerated BAC for an underage driver is NONE.
When alcohol is drunk rapidly, as may happen is a party atmosphere or when pledging a fraternity or on a dare perhaps, a person can drink far more than they can handle without realizing it. It takes a while for the alcohol to hit a person’s bloodstream so a young person could down a few shots and then decide to down a few more because they feel no effects. When all the alcohol makes its way to the bloodstream, that person could get very ill.
Anyone who is going to a place where drinking will occur should know what to look for and what to do when those signs are observed. Watch for these signs:
- Stupor, coma, unresponsiveness.
- Slow (fewer than eight per minute) or irregular breathing.
- Low body temperature, cold or blue skin, lips or nails.
- Person can’t walk or can barely move.
These can be signs of alcohol poisoning.The person must be rushed to the hospital or emergency medical services should be called. Don’t ever leave them alone. This can be a matter of life or death. Simply putting the person to bed or arranging them in some “safe” position is completely inadequate.
A person who drinks to excess and can’t control the habit has crossed the line to alcoholism. The key factor is this: Are they experiencing damage to relationships, goals, health, life or in other areas but they keep on drinking? This defines dependence on alcohol. To break this destructive habit, an effective rehab is needed.
At the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers around the world, people of all ages learn how to enjoy themselves and achieve goals without the use of alcohol. It’s not Narconon offers a complete course of detoxification to assist in healing the body and life skills training to help the person build a new, sober life.
Call a drug rehab counselor today.
When someone you care about needs help recovering from alcohol dependence or addiction, contact the international offices of Narconon at 800-775-8750 to find out how lasting sobriety can be achieved.