Over-prescribing combined with lack of awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse results in millions of people who need help with prescription drug addiction before they add to overdose deaths.
There’s almost a perfect storm of factors creating soaring numbers of prescription drug overdose deaths. First, the number of prescriptions for prescription pain relievers, the largest group of prescription drugs sending people to treatment and emergency rooms, more than tripled between 1999 and 2009. In 1999, the distribution of opiate pain relievers was less than 2 kilograms per 10,000 people, but by 2009, that number had grown to 7.1 kilograms.
These figures are according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as published in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for November 4, 2011.
Then, as the report states, when the doses of pain relievers in circulation began to increase, so did the number of admissions to treatment. Between 1999 and 2009, treatment admissions grew nearly six-fold. But worst of all was the growth in overdose deaths resulting from prescription drug abuse. Out of 36,450 drug overdose deaths in 2008, the CDC found that 20,044 resulted from prescription drugs and that 74% of these prescription drug deaths resulted from abuse of opiate pain relievers. This class of drug includes the popular Vicodin, Lortab and OxyContin as well as Percocet, Percodan, morphine, methadone and many others.
This rate of death in 2008 was nearly four times the rate in 1999.
Those individuals who lost their lives to prescription drug overdoses don’t get a second chance. Those who make it into treatment at a Narconon center do. After all, seven out of ten graduates from a Narconon program stay clean and sober after graduation. That means those seeking help for alcoholism, addiction to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy or any of the addictive prescription drugs find sobriety 70% of the time.
But the young are easily misled by the presence of so many prescription drugs in the home or circulating around their communities. When their parents take them or their doctors prescribe them for menstrual cramps, headaches or sports injuries, how bad can they be to experiment with? And so it is that nearly a third of a million 12 and 13 year olds in the US reported in 2009 that they had misused a prescription pain reliever, and nearly a million of 14 and 15 years olds had abused a prescription drug of some time, at some point in their young lives.
In all, more than 51 million Americans have abused a prescription drug at one time or another, the majority being pain relievers that were being abused.
“To save these young people from adding to the ranks of the addicted who will need treatment in a few more years, we need to educate them on the life-threatening dangers of prescription pain reliever abuse,” stated Bobby Wiggins, the Director of Drug Education for Narconon International. Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse through effective drug education and prevention. “When these drugs are abused, normally the dose consumed is far beyond what a doctor would prescribe. And the way they are abused, the drugs hit the body much faster than normal. This can lower respiration levels to dangerous levels and even cause them to stop entirely.”
Mr. Wiggins pointed out that drug education and community interaction activities are common to nearly all the 120 Narconon centers that are located around the world. Even in locations as diverse as Johannesburg, South Africa and Moscow, Russia have education and rehabilitation activities offered by Narconon centers.
“Education helps people who are not yet addicted and rehabilitation is needed for those who are,” Mr. Wiggins added. “As Narconon offers both services, we intend to be part of the solution that results in a drug-free future for this world.”
Every schoolchild goes home with a report of their grades for the classes in school. But who’s grading our kids on their involvement in alcohol and drug abuse? And if we got grades for their substance abuse, would our drug education efforts get an “A” or an “F”?
By examining reports and surveys on our children’s behavior, a report card of sorts can be compiled. From the report America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-being just published in July 2011, we find statistics on drinking and drug use among our eighth grade, tenth grade and twelfth grade students. (Heavy drinking is defined as five or more alcoholic beverages in a row or during a single occasion in the previous 2 weeks.)
Eighth grade: Seven percent of students engaged in heavy drinking in the previous two weeks.
Ten percent used an illicit drug in the previous 30 days.
Tenth grade: Sixteen percent engaged in heavy drinking.
Nineteen percent used an illicit drug in the previous 30 days.
Twelfth grade: Twenty-three percent engaged in heavy drinking.
Twenty-four percent used an illicit drug in the previous 30 days.
Some of these children who were old enough to drive also reported that they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 2009, a survey of 16 and 17-year-olds showed that 6.3 percent of them had done so. But in the Monitoring the Future Survey done in 2007, more than twelve percent of high school seniors reported that they have driven while under the influence of marijuana in the prior two weeks. This statistic was supported by a State of Maryland survey of adolescent drivers in which 11.1 percent of them said that they had driven after smoking marijuana three or more times.
Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged 16 to 19 years.
“When you look at these statistics as percentages, the numbers might seem small,” observed Bobby Wiggins, spokesperson and drug education specialist for Narconon International. Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating substance abuse and addiction through effective drug rehabilitation and drug education. “You get the real impact if you view the numbers of our American children who are getting drunk, getting high or getting blasted on marijuana, cocaine, heroin or prescription drugs on a regular basis.”
Mr. Wiggins translated the percentages into the numbers of children. “We’ve got nearly 600,000 tenth graders drinking until they are drunk every two weeks, and 700,000 tenth graders smoking marijuana, using Ecstasy or LSD, or abusing OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax or another prescription drug.
“Among the seniors, a million are getting drunk regularly, and more than a million are abusing drugs. Now please notice that these numbers are just for two grades – if you added the numbers for all ages, we may have as many as five million of our best and brightest young citizens abusing drugs or alcohol. This is a failing report card for our drug education.”
Mr. Wiggins cited the Narconon drug prevention curriculum that has been shown to reduce actual drug use after the eight-part curriculum is delivered. “Believe it or not, many other drug ed programs judge their success by whether or not the students recall what was taught, not by whether or not drug use statistics drop after the classes,” he commented. “The only statistic that means anything, if you are presenting drug education classes, is whether or not more children refuse to indulge in drug use because they know the damage and the danger.”
Mr. Wiggins has been educating students on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse for more than 30 years. For more information on the Narconon drug education and prevention curriculum, contact a drug prevention specialist.
It’s almost New Year’s Eve. That means parties, family events, toasts to old friends and new beginnings. It also means that far more people are going to be drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, this also means that there are going to be more impaired drivers on the road.
When there are more impaired drivers, there is unfortunately going to be more drug- or alcohol-related accidents than usual. This means that more families are going to face the tragedy of serious injury or death. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA), in the years 2000-2009, accidents occurring from midnight on New Year’s Eve through the following day were 150% higher than an average day’s accidents.
With a little thought ahead of time, you can avoid the outcome of having to face the fact that you were involved in an accident that could have been avoided. Many states have been running campaigns the last year or two that mandate an immediate arrest for anyone driving with blood alcohol over the limit. Which means that you would not only have the accident to deal with but also the arrest and time in jail.
The new “No Refusal” laws also means that in many states, an officer can get a warrant for your arrest in just minutes if you refuse a sobriety test.
How can You be a Responsible and Safe Citizen this New Year’s Eve?
Here are several important guidelines:
- Choose a designated driver for your group or family outing. If you really want a reason not to drink, volunteer to be the designated driver yourself.
- Decide ahead of time to use a taxi or train to get home. (But you will still have to moderate your drinking as you may not be allowed on public transportation if you are roaring drunk.)
- If you are going to drink, give a responsible person your keys so you can’t decide you are fit to drive after several drinks and just take off. Remember, alcohol does not just impair your ability to drive, it also impairs your judgement!
- Consider going to a party in a hotel where you can stay over for the night. This is a very safe option because you won’t even be on the road with impaired drivers. Just pack a bag and make a night of it.
Plan an enjoyable night at your home or a friends. Stock food, movies, games, karaoke equipment, whatever might be needed for everyone to have fun. Plan to stay over until morning or if it’s at a neighbor’s house, you may be able to walk home. But be very watchful for drivers that might be impaired if you are walking at night. Do not walk in the street. Walk in a group and wear light colored or reflective clothing.
If you have children who are going to parties, take the time to find out who is going to be driving them there and home. This is the time to make absolutely sure of two things:
- That your children know that they must not under any circumstances get in a car or on a motorcycle or other conveyance with someone who has been drinking and…
- That your children know they can call you for a ride home if the party gets out of control. (Obviously you will need to stay sober if you have children counting on you.)
This is not the time to assume they know these things. Cover them exactly and explicitly. Make it safe for your child to call you as needed. This one point could save his or her life.
Unfortunately, there is one type of person who may never benefit from this advice: the addicted person. Someone who has lost control of his or her use of drugs or alcohol does not have the needed level of rationality on this subject. He or she does not control his consumption of drugs or alcohol; the addiction controls the choices.
Until such a person gets real help, as from a thorough rehabilitation program, he or she is going to continue to suffer the adverse effects of being addicted to alcohol, marijuana, heroin, prescription drugs, methamphetamine, cocaine or other substances.
If you care for a person who has lost control of his or her substance abuse, help him or her make this the year that he gets help. Discover the Narconon drug and alcohol recovery program that helps seven out of ten graduates stay sober after they go home.
The Narconon drug rehab program is a long-term, residential program which addresses the causes of substance abuse and which repairs the damage done by addiction. In three to five months, most people recover a fresh viewpoint on life and know how to create a bright future for themselves without using drugs or alcohol.
Find out about the Narconon program by calling 1-800-775-8750.
Make this year the best for someone that needs help with drug addiction.
Acknowledgment for Decades of Help to Italy’s Addict Population Is Focus of L. Ron Hubbard Piazza in Torre Dell’Orso, Italy
L. Ron Hubbard Piazza is a lush green park space in the beautiful seaside town of Torre dell’Orso on the southeastern coast of Italy. It was dedicated recently in recognition of thirty years of help extended to the Italian people through Narconon Drug Rehabilitation. The Narconon program based entirely on the research breakthroughs of Mr. Hubbard and offers a completely drug-free solution to ending addiction. Because of these breakthroughs, thousands of substance dependent Italians have been able to fully recover and go on to enjoy productive lives free of the cravings that were destroying them.
The story of how the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation and Prevention Program came to Italy and what it has meant for the Italian people was presented at the dedication to an enthusiastic audience by Ugo Ferrando, president of Narconon Southern Europe.
Ferrando came to Italy in 1974 at a time when the already successful Narconon program was incorporating new breakthroughs by Mr. Hubbard on the role that nutrition plays in reducing the pain of drug and alcohol withdrawal. With each new breakthrough that was made, word of its success spread and the program gained more and more recognition for its effectiveness. Ultimately ten rehabilitation facilities were opened throughout Italy.
The Narconon program was providing something that had not been available to Italian families – real hope that their son, or daughter, or husband, wife, father or mother could be returned to them, renewed and ready to move on with their lives. “This beautiful plot of land that is so full of life is a perfect way to express the renewed life enjoyed by addicts as a result of successfully completing the program here at Narconon Gabbiano. May the next thirty years bring about the salvage of many more lives,” said Ferrando.
The Narconon program from the beginning has been based on key principles developed by L. Ron Hubbard. In the early 1960′s, Mr. Hubbard was one of the first to see the long-term consequences of the accelerating drug culture. He responded warmly to Narconon founder William Benitez‘s request for help with his fledgling self-help program in Arizona State Prison in the United States. Benitez was using Mr. Hubbard’s work to help other incarcerated addicts break away from years of addiction after freeing himself from years of heroin and other addiction through the principles he had learned. From its prison roots, Narconon today has expanded to 40 countries on six continents.
Honored guests at the dedication of the Piazza included the Mayor of Torre dell-Orso, Mauro Russo, and the Assessor for Social Services, Ginnetto Serino. They expressed their thanks and appreciation to Executive Director of Narconon Gabbiano, Daniela Prattella and Mr. Ferranda before officially cutting the ribbon to officially open the L. Ron Hubbard Piazza. Also participating was Gaetano Prisco from Narconon Europe. Narconon Gabbiano in Torre Dell’Orso is not only the largest Narconon center in Italy but in all of Europe.
Narconon Rehab Facilities and Education Centers joined with millions in the longest running anti-drug effort of parents and youth in the US
The Partnership at Drug Free Org reports that 85 million people in the United States are impacted by drug abuse. Knowing that far too many young people are poised to push those numbers higher, drug addiction specialists at Narconon Vista Bay are all too aware that cutting the demand for drugs is crucial. They have risen to the occasion by running an aggressive drug prevention program that reaches deep into their surrounding community.
At a special ceremony during the annual observance of Red Ribbon Week 2011, their work was recognized by a mayoral proclamation presented by Daniel Dodge, Mayor of the City of Watsonville. The proclamation described their continued contribution and efforts to educate Santa Cruz County youth in the dangers of using drugs and alcohol through a program reported to be reducing drug use by adolescents by 30% to 50%. The proclamation was received by the President of Narconon Vista Bay, Daniel Manson, on behalf of staff and executives.
Red Ribbon week with its powerful message urging youth to stay drug free has captured the imagination and dedication of the entire United States. With its roots in the state of California, it is not surprising that a long-established California drug prevention organization based in Los Angeles County has been a powerful force in carrying it forward. Tony Bylsma, lead drug prevention instructor at Narconon Drug Prevention and Education (NNDPE), was honored by San Fernando Valley Los Angeles Councilmember Tony Alarcon in recognition of “dedication and outstanding contribution.” Bylsma has personally helped over ten thousand Los Angeles area students to decide to keep drugs out of their lives.
Another place where Red Ribbon Week took on special meaning was at the Narconon facility in South Texas. Here Red Ribbon Week extended throughout the entire month of October. 4,411 students and 400 parents received drug prevention training by center staff reaching parents and youth in Harlingen, San Benito, Brownsville, La Feria, and Los Fresnos, including the Amador Rodriquez Juvenile Boot Camp, the Harlingen Boys & Girls Club, Cameron County Juvenile Justice Intense Supervision Probation, as well as several elementary and middle schools, a total of 18 locations.
For more than two and a half decades the last week in October has been set aside for American youth and adults coast to coast to renew their resolve to keep drugs out of their lives. To show their commitment they display red satin ribbons on clothing, buildings, vehicles and more to forward a tradition of acknowledging those who have sacrificed their lives to keep drugs from flowing into the country and compromising neighborhoods. It is a tradition that dates back to 1985 when “Kiki Clubs” were first formed in Calexico by current Director of Teen Challenge in Los Angeles County, Henry Lozano, after the brutal torture and execution of his high school friend, Agent Enriqué “Kik” Camarena (Drug Enforcement Administration). Camarena was on the verge of busting a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline when he was kidnapped outside his office by Cartel thugs in Guadalajara Mexico.
Bobby Wiggins, senior Drug Prevention Specialist at Narconon International says, “Camarena’s tragic death and the campaign launched in his memory by Mr. Lozano has been a key strategy to cut the impact of drugs on neighborhoods for more than 25 years. “We can’t stop ruthless cartels. That is the domain of law enforcement, but we charge all of our centers in every state to take effective actions to cut off the demand for drugs effective actions to cut off thedemand for drugs. By reaching out to youth before they are introduced to drugs we work to build their resolve to keep drugs out of their lives and the lives of their friends.”
For more information on the Narconon Drug Prevention and Education Programs visit:
Narconon® staff regularly encounter teenage enrollees whose lives have gone awry due to addiction. Enrollments include a steady flow of young people who have fallen into unhealthy patterns of using and abusing drugs and alcohol according to Bobby Wiggins, director of Drug Prevention at Narconon International.
When looking for causes, a significant contributor to increased addiction amongst adolescents turns out to be parents who are not paying enough attention. “Assuming that sons and daughters are not at risk of succumbing to the drug culture when they are actively engaged in social media is not a safe assumption,” says Wiggins.
The latest CASA (National Center on Addiction and Drug Abuse) at Columbia University study concludes that parents bear the burden of “preventing drug and alcohol abuse among their children and teens” – including staying on top of social media activity of their teen age children.
The 16th annual National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse: Teens and Parents reports on yet another source of peer pressure that pushes young people toward drug and alcohol use. Findings state, “American teenagers who spend time on social networking sites are more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs. Compared to teens that spend no time on social networking sites in a typical day, those who do are five times more likely to use tobacco; three times more likely to use alcohol; and twice as likely to use marijuana.”
The CASA report further reveals, “Seventy percent of teens report spending time on social networking sites in a typical day compared to 30 percent of teens who say they do not.” The study of 12 to 17 year olds shows that by far the largest majority are engaging in a freewheeling exchange of opinions, ideas and trends. “40 percent of all teens surveyed have seen pictures on social networking sites of their peers “getting drunk, passed out, or using drugs.” Half of teens who have seen these images on social networking sites first saw such pictures when they were 13 years of age or younger; more than 90 percent first saw such pictures when they were 15 or younger.
The CASA survey underscores the importance for any parents or caregivers of children to not only be alert to what is transpiring on the computer screen or hand held devices, but also that they must be on the same page about the messages they send to teens. One of the findings states: “Teens whose parents don’t agree completely with each other on what to say to their teen about drug use are more than three times likelier to use marijuana, and three-and-a-half times likelier to expect to try drugs in the future, than teens whose parents agree completely on what to say about drug use. Teens whose parents do not agree completely with each other on what to say to their teen about drinking alcohol are twice as likely to use alcohol as teens whose parents agree completely on what to say about drinking.”
“The loss to the nation’s bright, young people who get caught up in drugs is one of the biggest tragedies we allow”, says Wiggins. “In our centers, we see that these same teens caught up in adolescent use of marijuana and other drugs once they complete the Narconon Drug Rehab Program exhibit qualities of leadership and high creativity any parent would be proud of. We see that parental pride when their sons or daughters graduate.”
Adolescent drug abuse is a growing problem. It can be handled.
For more information on the Narconon programs, please visit http://www.narconon.org/.
Narconon International Urges U.S. Teens and their Parents to Demand Zero Tolerance of Alcohol as Top Priority for Driver Safety
AS U.S. National Teen Driver Safety Week approaches 16 – 22 October, Narconon International Senior Drug Education Expert, Bobby Wiggins, reminds us that teens are at far greater risk of death in an alcohol-related crash than the overall population. The irony is that allowing teens to purchase or publicly possess alcohol is illegal in all states, making any instance of a teen driving under the influence of alcohol a secondary crime to the original crimeallowing the teen access to alcohol.
“Whatever actions we take to educate new drivers, whatever programs are organized that graduate teen drivers so they become responsible operators of vehicles, if we don’t address the devastating outcome of driving under the influence of alcohol, teens will continue to become traffic fatalities at a rate that outstrips the general society,” says Wiggins.
Part of the problem is parents who consider that alcohol is the acceptable addiction. Beginning in 2008, the National Highway Traffic Administration began focusing their efforts to stop alcohol getting into the hands of teens by launching campaigns to knock out parental attitudes leading to teens having access to alcohol. Some parents in efforts to keep their teens at home, host house parties where parents supply the alcohol. In doing so, they are culpable by law for any consequence of doing so, including vehicular homicide.
“Many parents are still oblivious to the dangers they put their teen children in when they allow them access to alcohol. When they turn a blind eye to parties where alcohol is available, they risk being wakened from sleep to tragic consequences that they will never be able to set right,” added Wiggins.
Case in point as reported in the Douglas County Sentinel is the seventeen year old son of a Georgia couple was sentenced to 15 years in prison for causing the death of a 16 year old passenger in his car. He survived when he flipped the Chevy Blazer several times before it crashed into a U-Haul trailer, but his friend did not. Authorities also charged 10 people with helping to supply alcohol at two parties the teens attended prior to the crash.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA) teens are at far greater risk of death in an alcohol-related crash than the overall population, despite the fact that they are below the minimum drinking age in every State. Among 15- to 20-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2006, 31 percent of the drivers who were killed had been drinking and 77 percent of these drivers were unrestrained.
The California Administrative Office of the Courts reports that car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in the U.S; Teens are four times more likely to die or be injured in a car crash than older people.
During 2006, 7,643, 15 to 20 year-old drivers and motorcycle operators were involved in fatal traffic crashes of which 1,377 (18%) had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that alcohol generally affects the central nervous system and in large enough quantities can create alcohol poisoning.
“Couple the physical effects of alcohol with impaired judgment and sheer lack of driving experience, when a teen that has been drinking gets behind the wheel of a car they are an accident waiting to happen. One of the most important steps any parent can take is to take a stance of zero tolerance when it comes to underage drinking. They will have help. The law is totally on their side,” says Wiggins.
For information on alcohol detox, please visit www.narconon.org.
For immediate assistance call 1-800-775-8750.
Drug Cartels Directly Threaten the Security of Every American Family, According to New Report from Renowned Experts on Military and Drug Trafficking Threats
Narconon® drug abuse prevention spokesperson warns parents of threats to our security at home and provides recommendations for every parent, teacher or community leader.
A new report from the State of Texas provides a new and sobering look at the problems actually being created on our side of the border by drugs coming from Mexico into the US. According to this report from Barry McCaffrey and Dr. Robert Scales, efforts by Mexican organized crime bring increasingly serious levels of drug addiction, crime and death far inside the US. While Texas currently suffers the worst assaults, being the battleground for territory the cartels want to control the most, Mexican drug cartel activity has been documented in 300 American cities.
One of the Texas Rangers on the front lines of this criminal activity stated, “We are in a war. I’m not going to sugarcoat it by any means. We are in a war and that is what it is.’
The two authors are highly respected and internationally-renowned authorities on national security and military strategy. Retired General Barry McCaffrey acted as the US Drug Czar from 1996 to 2001 and has commanded national security operations in Latin America. Retired General (Dr.) Robert Scales was decorated after service at Hamburger Hill in Vietnam and was the Commandant of the US Army War College before retiring and serves as a military analyst.
While law enforcement bodies fight back against the cartels, parents need to know how they can keep the efforts of criminal drug traffickers and pushers from invading the safety of their own homes.
“Parents can effectively fight back and protect their children”, said Bobby Wiggins, a drug prevention specialist who has worked with Narconon International for decades. Narconon is an international non-profit dedicated to eliminating substance abuse and addiction through effective prevention and rehabilitation.
Mr. Wiggins has three decades of experience with Narconon Drug Prevention: “Parents must talk openly and frequently to their children about the threat of drugs,” urged Mr. Wiggins. “Don’t assume that the schools will handle this with drug education classes. Children pay more attention to what their parents say than they sometimes let on. It is easy to think that your kids will never use drugs or that you would notice if they started. The staggering number of youth abusing drugs and alcohol shows both that we are not doing enough to prevent drug use and that it can go undetected even by caring, attentive parents.”
Mr. Wiggins drew some samples of youth drug use statistics from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. “That year, more than 2.5 million 16 or 17 year olds abused a street drug or misused a prescription drug. That’s about one in twelve children, across the country. A little over two million of those were using marijuana and nearly a million abused a prescription drug.
“Among 12 and 13 year olds, more than 600,000 abused an illicit drug or misused a prescription drug. Nearly half of this number was misusing prescription drugs, mostly pain medications that are highly addictive.”
Mr. Wiggins’ specific recommendations for parents and caregivers:
* Warn your children that misusing prescription drugs can be deadly. Tell them that all the most popularly-abused prescription drugs are addictive, no matter what their friends say.
* Combining drugs increases the risk of death. For example, pain killers and benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) depress vital functions like heart rate and breathing. Taking them together has killed people.
* If a young person thinks that because they are only “drinking a little” or “smoking a little marijuana” that they are not being harmed, make sure they understand that both of these drugs are addictive. And that there may be a much greater likelihood of going on to use stronger drugs after starting with marijuana or alcohol.
* Break the news to your children that there are thousands of people in the US whose only interest it is to get more customers for their drugs. Substance abuse can start off seeming like fairly harmless fun but there are billions of dollars to be made if young people abusing marijuana and alcohol can be graduated on to harder drugs like powder or crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy or other drugs. Drug dealers intend to make as much money as they can, no matter who gets hurt or dies. Kids do not like to be conned. Let them know that drug dealers have only that intention- to con them in order to profit from their drug use.
* Warn them that many people graduate on to stronger drugs because someone gave them their first sample for free. They should be alert to this phenomenon. The stronger the drug, the more quickly addictive it can be. Some people find after only one or two uses of some drugs, even prescription drugs that they can’t quit when they want to.
“These are very tough messages to give to your children. Just starting the discussions and encouraging them talk or ask questions is a big step toward protecting them from those who only care about profits and controlling their territories. Don’t wait for your child to become one of the statistics in the Mexican drug war. Start educating them now. To help parents, there are booklets for download and educational videos available on the Narconon International website,” added Mr. Wiggins.
For the sites Mr. Wiggins was referring to, visit: http://www.narconon.org/drug-education/videos/
For more information on the Narconon programs, please visit http://www.narconon.org/.
Psychosis-Causing Drug May Stay on the Market Despite New Federal Ban, Warns Narconon Drug Educator
States and federal agencies are starting to catch up to sellers of “Bath Salts” that cause psychosis and hallucinations in some but sellers will probably just go underground.
The innocent-looking beige crystals have been sold in convenience stores and “head shops” around the country, labeled “Bath Salts.” Each label carried a notification that they were “not for consumption” but just to be used for a “refreshing bath” experience. The package might be named something like Cloud Nine, Ivory Wave, Lunar Wave, Pure Ivory, or Red Dove.
But when undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agents made buys of the product, sales clerks would explain in detail how to consume the product to get a good high out of it.
“Families should be warned that teens or young adults in their areas may be abusing Bath Salts,” stated Bobby Wiggins, Drug Education Specialist for Narconon®. Narconon is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction through effective drug education and rehabilitation. “Young people at dance clubs or raves across the US have been taking this drug but many have suffered hallucinations, have become severely disassociated and disoriented and had panic attacks. The Drug Enforcement Administration is taking steps to remove this product from the market but that will probably just drive dealers underground.”
Bath Salts follow a familiar pattern used in the development and manufacture of designer drugs. A designer drug is the result of slightly altering the structure of a banned drug to come up with a formula that is not itself outlawed. In this case, Bath Salts are an analog of the intoxicating chemicals in khat, a banned East African plant often smuggled into and abused in Europe and North America. The effect of the drug is described by the DEA as being similar to that of cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, khat or amphetamines.
Narconon International has been receiving reports from its centers in Russia, Eastern Europe and Africa about youthful abuse of this toxic new chemical, but it has definitely hit the US, promoted of course on the internet.
According to a New York Times report from July 2011, the effects of this new drug can include:
Fevers as high as 107 degrees F that can cause organ breakdown and death
Homicidal or suicidal actions resulting in deaths
Users so agitated that emergency room staff could only subdue them with antipsychotic drugs or general anesthesia.
Other users so out of control that they did not even respond to Tasers used by police.
Mr. Wiggins observed that the constantly changing drug markets make it difficult to keep young people educated about new and potentially deadly drugs. “We provide our drug education presentations to hundreds of thousands of young people each year and warn them of dangerous drugs to avoid. It is almost impossible to keep up with every new formula drug dealers come up with to circumvent the laws,” he commented. “It’s sad but these drug manufacturers and dealers don’t care who they hurt as long as they make their money. The only safety is teaching young people to go to parties where they can have a good time while staying sober.”
Mr. Wiggins commended the DEA for using their authority to impose emergency controls over this substance, as announced by the DEA on September 7, 2011. “This is the first step in taking the drug and its dealers off the streets,” Mr. Wiggins added.” Families should still alert the young people in the family and their friends that these drugs could result in serious damage or even death and to stay away from them.
For more information on the Narconon programs, please visit http://www.narconon.org/.
When someone in a family is addicted, the entire family suffers. But the irony is that most addicts think that they are only hurting themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Consider for a moment the situation that children find themselves in when a parent is a substance abuser. In 2007, more than eight million children were in this situation. Twenty-eight percent of them were five years old or younger and thus utterly helpless. The incidence of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse of children rise dramatically when addiction is present in the home.
For example, a report from the Tampa Bay Area in Florida stated that a serious increase in prescription drug abuse had resulted in an increase in child welfare court cases involving drug abuse from 318 in 2008 to 663 for eleven months of 2010. These cases involved children wandering the street while their parents crashed, injuries due to lack of supervision in the home, and drug related car accidents in which the child was hurt.
A child doesn’t even have to be born to suffer the effects of a parent’s addiction. As many as three-quarters of a million babies are born each year showing the effects of drugs or alcohol consumed during pregnancy. Many are medically fragile, addicted or suffering from low birth weight or birth defects.
Then consider that substance abuse may completely remove a parent from a home due to incarceration. About a million and a half children have a father in jail or prison; more than 65 percent of fathers in federal prisons and more than 20 percent of those in state prison are there due to drug offenses.
“It can safely be said that substance abuse harms any children associated with the abuser or addict,” stated Clark Carr, President of Narconon International. “No matter what the addict manages to tell himself or herself, this is simply a fact.” Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction through effective drug rehabilitation and prevention.
Mr. Carr pointed out that substance abuse also penalizes the community. “The Department of Justice estimates the cost of illicit drug use in the US at $193 billion in 2007. That means a cost of $626 for every adult, child and infant in the country.” These costs result from the law enforcement and judicial system, health care costs, lost productivity, addiction treatment, thefts and damages due to drug use. “Add to that another $185 billion in costs from alcohol abuse and now you’re billing each American $1227 annually to pay for the collateral effects of someone’s alcohol or drug addiction,” Mr. Carr asked. “How many more parks or schools or hospitals could be built with those funds? How many more scholarships could be given to bright young people and how many more tutoring centers could be built for the underprivileged?”
September has been designated National Recovery Month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This year’s theme is “Recovery is for Everyone.”
“Narconon drug and alcohol recovery and prevention centers all across the US are proud to contribute to a drug-free future by helping addicts learn to live drug-free lives and by successfully educating young people to stay away from drugs,” Mr. Carr concluded. “Every time we return a former addict to his or her home, knowing how to live a productive, drug-free life, to some slight degree, every American wins along with that person’s family.”