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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients


Contrary to popular belief, not as many people on welfare are abusing drugs as you might think. Despite that fact, almost two dozen states are considering measures that would require drug testing for welfare recipients, the Associated Press reports.

It is fair to say that there is a stigma surrounding people who collect welfare, a number of people believe that welfare recipients are milking a broken system and are more likely to use illegal drugs as well as abuse prescription drugs. However, statistics have shown that most welfare recipients do not use their state funding to buy drugs, according to the AP.

In the past, bills that have been put forward have been shut down on the grounds that such testing is unconstitutional. Yet, republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he supports drug testing of welfare recipients and Newt Gingrich has said he considers testing as a way to curb drug use and lower related costs to public programs.

An estimated 22.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—8.9 percent of the population—were current illicit drug users, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Michigan conducted a random drug testing program that showed a similar percentage of its public assistance applicants tested positive.

Florida has been labeled the epicenter of prescription drug abuse in America, but, the state found its welfare applicants were less likely than Americans in general to use drugs. In October, a federal judge halted the Florida law that would require welfare recipients to be tested, ruling it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Breathalyzers for Marines


Drug and alcohol abuse is a major problem amongst members of the armed forces. Post traumatic stress often plays a part in soldiers using substances to cope with their problems The Marine Corps Times reports a new program, called the “21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative,” will address issues related to:
  • behavioral health
  • substance abuse
  • suicide and sexual assault prevention
  • issues related to combat readiness
Navy submarine commanders were given the authority to use breathalyzers in an attempt to crackdown on alcohol abuse in 2009, the newspaper reports. Now, surface commanders use the breathalyzers to conduct random tests, as a result drunk-driving rates have decreased.

There were 1,245 DUIs among enlisted Marines last year, of those, 702 led to screenings and 489 were sent to treatment, the article notes. Of the 25 DUI cases among officers, 14 were screened and 11 entered treatment. It is up to the unit commander to determine whether to order a screening after a Marine is interviewed by a substance abuse control officer, the newspaper reports.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Harry Potter Was Drunk


It is fair to say that anyone who gets propelled into the celebrity spotlight at a young age is at risk of developing some bad habits. As was the case for world superstar Wizard Harry Potter played by 22 year old Daniel Radcliffe. Daniel Radcliffe admitted he was drunk while filming some scenes for the "Harry Potter" movies. He claims that at that time in his life he was drinking "nightly," he said in an interview.

"I have a very addictive personality. It was a problem. People with problems like that are very adept at hiding it. It was bad. I don't want to go into details, but I drank a lot and it was daily -- I mean nightly," Radcliffe said to British celebrity news magazine Heat.

"I can honestly say I never drank at work on 'Harry Potter.' I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work. I can point to many scenes where I'm just gone. Dead behind the eyes," the 22-year-old actor said.

Radcliffe came into the spotlight at the young age of 11, now 11 years later he is known by millions across the world. Daniel, like many other child stars, clearly turned to alcohol to help cope with the load of pressure he must constantly endure. Hopefully, the actor will be able to adopt some healthier practices for coping in the future before there is a serious problem.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Doctor Receives Four Life Sentences


As officials work hard to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse in America they are now prosecuting doctors whose methods have lead to the deaths of their patients. This new method to discourage doctors from operating pill mills and providing medication to people who clearly have an addiction problem may be a result of the controversial death of Michael Jackson. Last Tuesday, a federal judge in Ohio sentenced Illinois doctor Paul H. Volkman to four life terms in prison for the drug overdose deaths of four of his patients.

Federal prosecutors say Volkman dispensed more of the painkiller oxycodone from 2003 to 2005 than any other physician in the country. Volkman made weekly trips from Chicago to three different locations in Ohio to dispense prescription narcotics before federal investigators stopped the operation in 2006.

"Volkman was the physician at the center of a criminal scheme to distribute millions of controlled substances to hundreds of individuals in exchange for cash - a scheme that brought addiction, diversion and death to southeastern Ohio and beyond," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Oakley and Adam Wright wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

The US Attorney's Office in southern Ohio said in a news release that, "Evidence presented during the trial showed that Volkman prescribed and dispensed millions of dosages of various drugs including diazepam, hydrocodone, oxycodone, alprazolam and carisoprodol."

U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Beckwith made a big step in the fight against prescription drug abuse and this will hopefully discourage the countless other doctors conducting the same type of illegal practices.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Synthetic Drugs Third Degree Felony


Synthetic drugs like Spice and K2 have become a major concern over the last year. In response to the growing problem a number of states banned a number of different forms of synthetic drugs, but just as before chemists have come up with similar formulas that evade the law, The Miami Herald reports. Legislators in Florida have proposed making crimes related to the manufacture, delivery or sale of synthetic drugs a third-degree felony.

“We will not allow chemists who are altering the components of these dangerous synthetic drugs to circumvent state law,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a news release. “Prompt action by the legislature will help protect our communities from the growing threat of synthetic drug abuse.” The new measure “allows us as law enforcement to be one step ahead of the chemists for a short period of time,” said Assistant Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Jim Madden.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that the number of calls to centers regarding exposure to bath salts rose from 304 in 2010, to 6,138 in 2011. In January 2012, centers received 228 calls related to bath salts. Clearly all forms of synthetic drugs and the use of them is a ever growing problem that can lead to serious health risks. The chemical formulas have hardly been tested, let alone human testing so no one has any idea about the long term side effects these drugs can cause.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Zeinah's INTERVENTION On A & E Network

 An intervention can be that first “hopeful” step on the road to recovery...


Tonight February 13, 2012, A & E’s  INTERVENTION™ will premiere  
Zeinah’s intervention at 10/9C.


According to INTERVENTION™...


“Once a successful, outstanding student, Zeinah turned to drugs to deal with the drama-filled divorce between her Christian mother and Muslim father. After her husband overdosed, her drug use increased, and she lost custody of her daughter. Can Zeinah's family forget their grudges and religious differences to come together and save her from her prescription pill death spiral?”

Since 2005 and now in its 11th season, INTERVENTION™ has sought to help addicts, their  family members and friends understand the intervention process and the availability of help to begin recovery. Hope by the Sea is honored to have been an A & E featured treatment center beginning in Season 3 and continuing on over the years to now working with Zeinah.

We invite you to tune in tonight.  Meet Zeinah. Follow her story. 
Zeinah - Photo Courtesy of A & E Intervention

If you need more information about setting up an intervention for your loved one, feel free to call us here at Hope by the Sea (866-930-4673) or contact us on-line.  


We look forward to your comments.






Wednesday, February 8, 2012

College Students Seek Treatment for Alcohol


There are a number of college students who abuse drugs and alcohol to the point where they require help. However, according to a new report almost half of all college students’ admissions for substance abuse treatment are primarily related to alcohol. SAMHSA analyzed data from 2009, about 374,000 people ages 18 to 24 were treated for substance abuse or dependence in the United States, most of which (362,000) were not enrolled in college or post-secondary school.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found the rate of alcohol-related treatment admissions is much higher among college students than for non-college students who are the same age, 46.6 percent versus 30.6 percent.

College students are less likely to abuse drugs than their non-student peers, such as heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, Reuters reports.

The report found:
  • Marijuana accounted for about 30 percent of both student and non-student admissions.
  • 16.1 percent of non-students ages 18 to 24 seeking treatment were abusing heroin, compared with 7.2 percent of the college students.
  • Cocaine admission rates were more than twice as high among non-students (4.2 percent versus 1.9 percent).
  • Methamphetamine admissions were more than four times as high (4.4 percent versus 1 percent).

“This report confirms the pervasive and potentially devastating role that alcohol plays on far too many college campuses,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. “Other SAMHSA studies have shown that one in four full-time college students have experienced past year alcohol abuse or dependence. SAMHSA is working with the academic community and its partners in behavioral health to help students prevent exposure to the dangers of alcohol misuse and encourage those who have a problem to seek treatment.”

Special Notice 

Hope by the Sea is once again honored to be featured on A & E’s INTERVENTION. Tune in to INTERVENTION February 13, 2012, to meet Zeinah. This episode will premiere on Monday, February 13th at 10pm and 2am ET/PT.

Monday, February 6, 2012

DEA Suspends License to Dispense Prescription Narcotics



Florida has been identified as the epicenter of prescription narcotic abuse and the source of the majority of prescriptions written for drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone. As the fight against prescription drug abuse in Florida continues the DEA has now chosen to go after certain pharmacies as well as well as a prescription drug distribution center after suspicious activities were spotted. The Drug Enforcement Administration has charged Cardinal Health and two Florida CVS pharmacies with violating their licenses to sell controlled drugs.

The claim is that Cardinal Health had an unusually high amount of shipments of prescription pain killers to four pharmacies. Cardinal Health’s controlled substance license has been suspended at its distribution center in Lakeland, Florida. Cardinal Health distributes to 2,500 pharmacies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, according to USA Today. This will be the third time in five years that the DEA has suspended Cardinal’s controlled substances license.

A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the DEA’s suspension order until a preliminary hearing is conducted on February 13th, until then Cardinal Health will be allowed to continue distributing.

The DEA also raided two CVS pharmacies in Florida, and suspended their licenses to dispense controlled substances, the article notes. At the end of last year CVS sent letters to some physicians in Florida stating that they will not fill prescriptions they write for oxycodone and other Schedule II narcotic drugs, which has spurred some doctors to take legal action against CVS.

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Special Notice

Hope by the Sea is once again honored to be featured on A & E’s INTERVENTION. Tune in to INTERVENTION February 13, 2012, to meet Zeinah. This episode will premiere on Monday, February 13th at 10pm and 2am ET/PT.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Silk Road


It is fair to say that if someone wants to find something or find out about something the Internet is probably the best place to start. However, some things are illegal and obtaining such things can be dangerous when it comes to the law. Every day countless individuals, usually young adults, manage to acquire illegal drugs online, anything form marijuana to Molly (MDMA) can be found, purchased, and shipped to the buyer with little threat from law enforcement agencies.

We are sure a number of people are asking how this can occur? The answer which may seem simple is actually complex on the underside. In February 2011, the online drug marketplace, known as "The Silk Road," was launched. The site operates through a sophisticated anonymity technology that makes tracking sellers and buyers extremely difficult to say the least. The website is not easy to find and is only accessible through the TOR network, a complicated online system.

The site has a number of Schedule I narcotics for sale, there is hardly anything one could not get their hands on if they so desired. Buyers pay for their drugs with a form of online currency known as Bitcoins, so users cannot be tracked through credit cards, PayPal, or any other traceable source.

Silk Road's customers are generally college-aged students looking for a way to get drugs without having to seek them out through conventional channels. The site is still relatively new but it is fair to say that its effectiveness may be a precursor to other websites operating the same kind of business. More and more people could end up looking towards the Internet to fuel their habits or addictions, free from the watchful eyes lurking in the streets.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2010, the rate of current illicit drug use among full-time college students age 18-22 was 22 percent.

Source:
The Reflector
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Special Notice

Hope by the Sea is once again honored to be featured on A &E’s INTERVENTION. Tune in to INTERVENTION February 13, 2012, to meet Zeinah. This episode will premiere on Monday, February 13th at 10pm and 2am ET/PT.

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