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.”
After a Norwegian study shows that brains of test animals appeared to be damaged by methadone, Narconon spokesperson explains that lasting sobriety can be achieved after heroin or opiate addiction.
In the US and Europe, one of the prevailing principles of treating heroin or other opiate addiction is the supplying of methadone, a substitute opiate. The primary idea for doing so is to reduce the harm done by abusing heroin, morphine, opium, Oxycontin or other drugs. There may be less harm to health and a reduced tendency to resort to criminal activities to support the habit when the addictive substances needed can be obtained by prescription. But a new study shows one downside of relying on these pharmaceutical substitutes rather than finding a way to achieve true sobriety.
According to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, nerve cells in the brain may suffer lasting damage as a result of methadone treatment. This is their conclusion after studying the effect of methadone on lab rats. The rats were given methadone for just three short weeks and then their brains were examined for neurological changes. Damage was found in the part of the brain associated with learning and memory.
Because the direct effect of methadone should have worn off by the time the brains were examined, it was determined that this damage outlasted the effect of the drug itself. The results of this study supported the results of a 2011 study that determined that rats given methadone had impaired control over their attention, even after the methadone had worn off.
At Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, it has been shown that there is a better way of dealing with opiate addicts.
“The reason for harm reduction programs is that so many opiate addicts go through rehab and then relapse,” stated Bobby Wiggins, Narconon spokesperson and longtime drug prevention specialist. “If an addict is part of a methadone program, he is considered to be in compliance with his treatment if he continues to take his medication. He will not be fully sober and he may not feel well, but he is considered to be successful in his treatment.”
The Narconon program offers another alternative: a drug rehab program that results in lasting sobriety for seven out of ten addicts who graduate from the program. This is one of the highest success rates in the field.
“At Narconon centers, we count our successes only by the number of people who stay sober after they go home,” added Mr. Wiggins. An eight-phase addiction treatment protocol that includes a deep-cleansing detoxification are what brings about this success. “When it’s possible to bring about sobriety for the majority of those who go through our program, then families have a choice of what to offer their loved one,” Mr. Wiggins concluded.
For more information on the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, call 1-800-775-8750.
A new report reveals that young people risk lowered intelligence if they start smoking marijuana early in their teens.
Now there’s concrete evidence that young people risk lasting damage if they are frequent abusers of marijuana. A long-term study that followed 1000 New Zealanders from birth through age 38 found that those who started smoking marijuana in their teens lost an average of eight IQ points later in life.
The study was executed by researchers at King’s College London and Duke University in the US. Those being tracked were tested for their IQ at ages 13 and 38, and their marijuana use was noted. The ones who lost the IQ were those who smoked weed at least four days a week for parts of these early years. Those who never smoked marijuana until after they turned 20 were not affected by this loss.
What makes this result even more serious is that if the marijuana smokers stopped smoking the drug well before the second IQ test, their intelligence score did not recover.
“Many parents may instinctively feel that it is wrong for their children to use drugs or drink but may not know how to explain the dangers,” said Bobby Wiggins, longtime Drug Prevention Specialist for Narconon International. Narconon is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction. “This gives them a definite result they can talk about.”
The report notes that a lower IQ score is a strong determinant of a person’s access to higher education, lifetime income, good job opportunities and the development of certain illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease or heart disease.
Mr. Wiggins encouraged parents to use this study to explain to children that marijuana or other drug abuse can have lasting adverse effects. “In my thirty years of drug education experience, I have found that many parents don’t really know how to approach the subject of substance abuse with their kids,” he observed. “It is far better to make it clear that you are opposed to substance abuse of any kind and provide the best evidence you can of the danger than to be silent. It does make a difference.”
Narconon has created educational videos featuring Bobby Wiggins that help parents understand more about this drug so they have a greater understanding when talking to their children. These videos are available at YouTube: www.narconon.org/drug-education/videos/.
Basic marijuana information is available on the Narconon International website at: www.narconon.org/drug-information/marijuana-pot.html
“My goal is that all our youth grow up drug-free and successful.” Mr. Wiggins concluded. “My wish is that parents use this information to protect their own children and others in their communities.”
Narconon Vista Bay’s 19 drug rehab program graduates lead the way — all completing in the same week.
Narconon centers hold graduation ceremonies weekly. This last week Narconon Vista Bay’s with three centers in Northern California was especially long as they had nineteen graduates. Along with high production in other centers, this lead the Western U.S. Narconon sector to record their highest-ever weekly number of “Drug Free Lives,” the term used for full program graduates.
The Narconon drug rehabilitation program is a social education model which takes three to six months to complete, depending on each student’s needs and capabilities. After withdrawing physically from drugs, the Narconon student studies a course on communication and confronting skills and then spends a few weeks cleaning drug and other toxic residuals from the body in an exercise, nutrition, and sauna sweat-out program. The rest — and majority — of the Narconon program is intensive study, development, and practice of life skills. Before graduating, the student’s whole program is reviewed and compared to what he or she has to address upon returning to family, work, school, or the community. With that “Battle Plan” in hand, a new drug-free life begins.
One of the 19 Vista Bay graduates this last week was A.D. During her daughter’s emotional graduation ceremony, A.D.’s mother spoke to the assembled students and staff: “There was no joy when my daughter was on drugs. I had been a happy person all my life until this happened. Now the joy is back. And all of you are responsible. Not only for yourselves, but for all the people who care about you and love you, so you can make your mamas happy. I thank my daughter. I have always believed in her. I never doubted her for one second. She is going to go out and change the world, with her singing and joy. It’s her time now.”
Another Narconon Vista Bay graduate, J.B., wrote, “There was a time when I was depressed all the time. All I could think of was my next drink or pill to help me stop thinking at all. I completely stopped caring about my husband, my children, and my parents. I am now a completely different person. My whole life has been transformed! I laugh. I sing and I LOVE life again!! Most importantly, I love myself. The staff and the Narconon program has given me back my family and my dreams. I truly have never felt so good. Once again I am positive and outgoing. I now have a new goal in life — to help others and make a difference in this world!!! Watch out world, here I come!!”
Dr. Alfonso Paredes, Professor Emeritus of UCLA in Psychiatry and an addictionologist, is also a member of the Narconon International Science Advisory Board. He describes how Narconon produces its felicitous results: “…The Narconon program consists of a series of educational courses designed to help gain the skills needed to interact constructively along a range of life situations. These require processing of information and learning as well as coping with social situations of varying complexity and ethical or moral significance. Throughout, the student is also helped to gain a sense of self-worth and dignity that he might have lost during his addicted career.”
For more information on the Narconon program please call 1-800-775-8750 | 1-323-962-2404.
You may also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Nations observed the 2012 International Youth Day with recommendations that adults and youth join together to protect young people from substance abuse.
Caring parents around the world work hard to protect their children from problems associated with substance abuse but perhaps never realize the true extent of the problem. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 210 million people are affected by drug use and 200,000 die from this cause each year.
On August 10, 2012, UNODC Chief Yuri Fedotov observed the 2012 International Youth Day by commenting, “On the day we celebrate young people, their energy, and their passion, I call on every young person to add their voices to those who reject drug use. But I ask older generations to work harder at understanding the challenges faced by young people when growing up.”
Youth Are Targeted for Sales of Synthetics, Painkillers and Marijuana
Young people in particular are targeted by the traffickers of certain drugs, such as party drugs, marijuana and prescription painkillers. The most recent Monitoring the Future report, that surveys 8th, 10th and 12th graders on substance abuse and attitudes toward drugs, reveals that while drinking and cigarette smoking are on the decline, use of marijuana, “synthetic marijuana” referred to as Spice or K2, and Ecstasy are on the rise. Abuse of prescription drugs remains high.
Synthetic drugs have been hard to outlaw as chemists can change formulas slightly, give the drug a different name and call it a “legal high.” Federal laws may ban these drugs but until state or municipal laws catch up, it can be hard to put these drug dealers out of business. Meanwhile, some teens and young adults have been losing their lives. British Columbia and Alberta alone have seen 27 Ecstasy-related deaths in the past year. About half of those deaths resulted from the use of the alternate chemical PMMA, not the usual chemical MDMA, that was being sold as Ecstasy.
Narconon Has Been Participating in Prevention for Decades
Bobby Wiggins has been a drug prevention specialist and educator at Narconon International for more than two decades. “In my years of educating young people on the dangers of drug abuse, I have experienced firsthand how little they know about the drugs they are taking or being offered,” he stated. “When I offer them the chance to ask questions, they are eager to understand what those dangers are. If parents were to gain the knowledge needed to answer the questions in their own homes, more children would be saved from drug abuse and eventual addiction.”
Mr. Wiggins listed some of the educational products he has helped create to fill this void of knowledge: booklets like 10 Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs, Talking to Kids About Drugs, Drug Facts and Their Harmful Effects; videos like Drug Information: The Truth About Drugs, Marijuana the Myth, and Ecstasy, The Real Story. “Parents can use materials like ours or simply research different drugs on the internet,” Mr. Wiggins recommended. “They should then open the floor for questions from their children after assuring them that the purpose is simply to educate them, not to accuse them of drug use. If parents don’t know the answer to a question, they should be honest and say so, then find out the answer and provide it.”
Around the world, Mr. Wiggins and many other Narconon staff and volunteers educate hundreds of thousands of students each year, using the Narconon drug education curriculum. “When we work hand in hand with parents, school, youth clubs and civic groups, we can improve our chances to save these young lives from destruction,” he concluded.
For more information on Narconon, its educational products or services, call Narconon International at 1-800-775-8750 or send an email to email@example.com.
Letter to NBC Rock Center – 15 August 2012
The show on Narconon you are promoting comes with a price—the happiness and success of the addicts who decide against Narconon because of it, but for whom Narconon is the last chance and the route out of the slavery of their drug addiction.
For more than 25 years I have watched people turn around their lives through Narconon. I ran a Narconon rehab center for ten years before becoming president of Narconon International in 1995. My commitment to Narconon is based on one thing: the tens of thousands of lives it has saved.
Young men and young women walk into our centers crippled by addiction, many of them having gone through three, four or more rehab programs before coming to Narconon. By the time they get to us, most of them have little or no hope of kicking their habit. To then see these same young men and young women come out the other end of the Narconon program happy, self-confident, and drug-free is the most gratifying experience you can imagine—well worth any work it takes to help bring this about.
I don’t believe NBC has an inkling of what it takes to rehabilitate addicts and I think you have bought into the vested interests in this field that influence public policy and news trends in an attempt to discredit programs not based on the medical model. There are effective non-medical programs. Narconon is a leader in the field of alternative drug free drug rehabilitation. We are proud of our results.
Narconon is an alternative social education model. We do not use drugs to get people off drugs. It is not a medical model. Do you have any idea how much hard work and courage it takes to work with addicts and turn them around? Many of our most passionate and caring staff have come through the program and decided to stay on to help others.
Some of the staff have records. Would you prevent them from helping others after they paid their dues and turned their lives around? Would you stigmatize them forever? Their work is based on compassion and an understanding of what these young people are experiencing.
To criticize our program because former addicts are working to give back to those who need their help is not only reprehensible, it is bigoted.
Narconon Arrowhead requires all staff to complete mandatory training as established by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) and CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) before they can provide treatment services to public. Their initial training is updated annually and Narconon Arrowhead withdrawal personnel are trained in the physical signs of withdrawal, the taking of vital signs, the implication of those vital signs and the handling of emergency procedures. Further, some of the Narconon Arrowhead staff take additional training offered by ODMHSAS that includes training for certification as a Behavioral Health Case Managers and training and recognition as a Peer Recovery Support Specialists.
You have a serious responsibility here to present the truth about Narconon. If you continue to misrepresent our program, you run the risk of turning addicts away from the very thing that will save their lives, of preventing addicts from availing themselves of their last chance for a decent, honest, drug-free life.
Parents come to me in tears to thank me for saving the lives of their children. Please think twice about what you are doing to them and their children, and do a balanced and truthful job of presenting the Narconon program and its results.
Narconon International celebrates the grand opening of Narconon Tijuana – its newest residential drug rehabilitation center
Narconon Tijuana Casa del Reencuentro formally opened its spacious and beautiful 40-bed drug treatment center.
On the southwest corner of Tijuana, in the hills on the way to Ensenada, Padre Jaime Lares, founder and president, inaugurated his new-built Narconon drug rehabilitation center at a recent ceremony, attended by 150 guests, including parents, local dignitaries, Narconon International staff and friends from the United States and elsewhere in Mexico. Previous to this point, Padre Lares had been operating a residential Twelve Step Narcotics Anonymous program in more modest facilities.
One year ago, the Padre and his students were introduced to Narconon methodology when they and 20 other Tijuana Twelve Step drug rehab centers attended a Narconon First Step Workshop. The First Step is training for any interested drug rehab or other social group in how to use vitamins and practical, hands-on exercises to minimize withdrawal discomfort as well as to reduce relapse to drugs. Over the past 3 years Narconon International has delivered this First Step program as a humanitarian service to over 200 drug rehabs throughout Mexico and Guatemala. After receiving his workshop, Padre Lares decided he wished to go further and adopt the full Narconon program model.
“I was interested in Narconon because it is drug-free and has an impressive life skills educational component,” said Padre Lares. “After we applied for a Narconon License, they helped us step by step to train our technical and administrative staff. We feel we have become an important part of an international team.” “And indeed they have!” said Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. “We couldn’t be prouder to help the Padre and his wonderful staff and students to join us. Only arm in arm, can we confront the narcotraffickers that are terrorizing Mexican communities. We in the United States cannot solve this terrible crisis for our neighbors, but we can bring improved program tools and new methodology to help them to do this person by person.”
Monsignor Cisneros, a representative of Tijuana Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz and personal friend of Padre Lares, blessed both the staff and facilities that will house dormitories and program delivery space. Maria Teresa Peña de Gomez, the Governor’s Secretary for Social Development commented, “This is what Tijuana needs to continue to develop a more civil society in Baja California.” Norma Esquivel Director of the Anti-Addictions from the Tijuana Mayor’s office praised Padre Lares for the outstanding work he has done to collaborate with an international institution to save more and more lives in Baja.
Narconon Tijuana Casa del Reencuentro (House for Finding Yourself Again) has started accepting new adult male students and will deliver services in Spanish. Ana Luisa Valdez, the founder of Narconon Navajoa (Sonora), which has been delivering services fully funded by the Mexico DIF (family social support program) also attended. There is one other Narconon residential center in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico and also centers in Colombia and Argentina – 96 Narconon drug rehab and prevention centers worldwide at this time.
A steady stream of stories about animal and human tests with new “cocaine vaccines” may have some positive results there’s a real reason why they will never replace rehab.
The buzz about “cocaine vaccines” keeps increasing as media like Time Magazine and US News & World Report report on recent developments. But despite the buzz, multiple trials involving both humans and animals are finding that most people do not benefit from the vaccine, but even for those that do, the vaccine wears off in four to thirteen weeks.1
The vaccine attempts to help cocaine addicts by blunting the ability of the drug to affect the brain its usual manner. There are different vaccines being tested, some using norococaine, a substance resulting from a breakdown of cocaine, bonded to inactive cholera toxin. The vaccines are then injected between one and five times, the number of times varying depending on the exact formula and the procedure being used by the trial.
Can the Vaccine Spur Cocaine Overdoses?
In one trial, men addicted to cocaine were given crack cocaine to smoke after they had received the vaccine. Some of them still tried to get high by using far more cocaine than usual – up to ten times the amount the researchers had ever seen before. As noted in the Time Magazine article, it is possible for this kind of test to result in people overdosing on cocaine in an attempt to get high despite the presence of the vaccine in their bodies.2
This is not the only time that a medication-assisted drug treatment program put the participants at risk of overdose. One study published by the American Journal of Public Health noted that more than half of those in a trial of methadone for heroin addiction treatment still tested positive for heroin.3 Those taking methadone or Suboxone may inadvertently overdose on heroin or prescription opiates if they try to achieve a high over the effects of the prescribed drugs. The prescribing information for Suboxone notes that a person can die of an overdose if they use other opiates, benzodiazepines, sedatives, tranquilizers or even alcohol.4
The Basic Omission
“The most important omission in the plan to create a cocaine vaccine is that it misses the psychological reasons people use drugs,” explained Bobby Wiggins, longtime drug educator and spokesperson for Narconon International. “They began abusing drugs because there was some apparent relief for them. It could be they escaped from problems they didn’t feel they could face or they thought their lives would be more exciting or maybe they were running with a crowd where everyone else was indulging. To fit in, they used the drug too. This motivation doesn’t go away just because a vaccine blunts the effect of the drug for a few weeks.”
The Narconon program offered in fifty locations around the world takes a holistic approach to addiction recovery. The program includes methods of repairing the damage done to body, mind and life by addiction, building the life skills that enable one to stay sober, and reducing the cravings that might drive a person back to use drugs. No drugs are ever used as part of the treatment protocol.
“A person who still feels they need that relief or excitement will just find another way to get it unless they truly recover from addiction,” added Mr. Wiggins. “It takes time, one-on-one work with a recovering addict and an effective pattern of treatment to help a person achieve lasting sobriety. You don’t find that in a needle.”
For more information on the holistic method of recovery at a Narconon facility, call 1-800-775-8750.
Good News for Crack Offender’s Family
As addiction rates and overdose deaths remain high, US government officials request reformulations as a solution but this fails to strike at the heart of the problem.
Once again, an addictive painkiller has been reformulated to try to save people from overdoses. Reformulation creates a pill that is harder to abuse because it cannot be crushed or dissolved. But this action failed to save people from addiction or death the last time it was done and it is just as likely to fail this time.
The drug in question this time is Opana, known generically as oxymorophone. Those abusing to the strong painkiller OxyContin turned to Opana in 2011 after OxyContin was reformulated into a pill that turned gummy when it was crushed. Opana is twice as strong as OxyContin and soon began to kill people, particularly in the Midwest. According to a New York Times article, one county in Indiana saw 14 Opana-related deaths in the first six months of 2011.
OxyContin Went Through its Own Reformulation in 2010
OxyContin, on the market since 1996, was reformulated in 2010 in an attempt to deter people from abusing it. As reported in the New York Times article, this change simply drove many people to abuse other substances like heroin. Heroin is cheaper and often easier to get as it does not involve seeing doctors and falsifying symptoms to get a prescription.
But it soon became clear that heroin wasn’t the only alternative people were choosing. When deaths involving the painkiller Opana began to rise, Endo Pharmaceuticals was asked to reformulate their pill in the same way. Endo announced their new formulation in December 2011.
Reformulations Do Not Get to the Cause of Addiction
But will this new solution reduce the number of people addicted to opiates? According to a spokesperson for Narconon International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse, probably not.
“A person who craves opiate as intensely as they crave food or air will never be deterred by reformulations, they will just switch to a new substance to abuse,” explained Bobby Wiggins, longtime spokesperson for Narconon International. “In fact, they will not be deterred by the threat of arrest or the anger of their families. Addiction is overwhelming. To be overcome, it must be addressed comprehensively, helping a person first to lose the cravings, then to repair the damage done by addiction and finally to learn sober living skills.”
Mr. Wiggins pointed out that many rehabilitation programs keep a person on opiate drugs as part of their treatment. “When a person is prescribed methadone or buprenorphine, an ingredient in Suboxone, it is referred to as medication-assisted treatment but in fact it keeps a person addicted to an opiate-type drug, sometimes for years. At Narconon drug rehab centers, we have developed a way that an opiate addict can be tolerably withdrawn from the drug and recover a bright, drug-free outlook on life once again.”
The Narconon program utilizes a sauna-based drug detoxification program to flush out old, stored drug toxins that can contribute to cravings for drugs, resulting in fewer or even no cravings when it is done. This is followed by life skills training that helps people develop sober living patterns to maintain their recovery after they go home.
“Helping a person overcome cravings and recover their interest in their futures eliminates the need for substance abuse,” concluded Mr. Wiggins. “With this kind of help, they can stay sober. Just changing the formula for a pill is not likely to even make a dent in the problem.”
For Narconon drug help, contact Narconon International at 1-800-775-8750.