Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Police: Chiropractor may have been using drugs before shooting

A South Florida chiropractor and pain clinic operator may have been paranoid or delusional from using drugs or alcohol when he opened fire at police outside the Lighthouse Point station, police said Monday.

"It Cannot Happen to My Child" by Howard Spector

It would seem most all of us are related to, or know someone whose life has been adversely affected by the Disease of Drug or Alcohol Addiction. This known in the professional circles as Chemical Dependency. How many of us, unless it has affected a true loved one in our life has paid much attention to the damage this has done to our society? What really happens to those who become addicted?
What causes young people to start to use drugs? Is it peer pressure, is it a desire to experiment, is it a place for them to hide from the pressures of adolescence or perceived self inadequacies, or is it a combination of all of these issues?
The problem is that we as parents and they as children do not fully understand. Once the usage crosses over from using to feel good, to using to prevent the awful pain of withdrawal, you are then an Addict (Chemically Dependent).Your life then becomes a living hell. Every waking hour is dictated by your drug. It is as though your brain is a prisoner to the drug. It is the only thing that occupies your mind and physical being.
My source of insight to this disease is my life experience with and the loss of my son David to a drug overdose at the age of Thirty Three.
I wrote a previous article of David’s accomplishments during an almost seven your period that he did not use and how he improved his life and advocated for others living with the disease. In the end, he lost the battle. I will never forget one of my last conversations with him after he relapsed the last time. His exact words were “my addiction has reared its ugly head”.
I tell this story, not for sympathy, but to try to make parents understand how compelling addiction is with a child that starts using at an early age and uses over a long period of time. These urges became so deeply ingrained that I truly believe they are even more susceptible to relapse.
I write this because I hope to make parents and children understand that this can and does happen to thousands of others and this can happen to you. You and your child need to understand the consequences. I do not have the opportunity to change things I wish I would have done differently as a parent during my son’s formative years, but you can.
If you have well founded suspicions, such as drop in grades, isolation, (a big indicator), change in attitude towards you and avoidance of other family members, do not allow your child’s denials and justification deter you, as you need to know lying and justifying are by products of using drugs. Their quest for drugs is only equaled by their effort to prevent being detained in their pursuit to get high. If they tell you they are only a “social user” as a method to minimize your concerns, I will tell you that every addict was once a “social user”. If this pattern of behavior does not change, do not expect their proposed compromises. If they then remain unwilling to be drug tested and if necessary, seek help in the form of one and one, group therapy, and if need be, inpatient care. Intervention should be used if all else fails. The bottom line is unless they realize and acknowledge that they need help, the chances of success are not good, however, you must try.

The important things to do before all of these measures are needed, is to stay involved in their lives during these formative years, which means finding time to do so in an appropriate way. Try to create an atmosphere in which they enjoy interacting with you in shared activates such as ballgames, movies, etc. Talk to your local school board about including a drug education course to the school curriculum. Most importantly, make a point to tell your child you love them every day.

Stay Well
Howard Spector

I want to thank my good friend Ray Ferrero III for his great help in organizing the David Spector Memorial Award at Nova Southeastern University. The University acknowledges a Medical Student each year that stands out in the interest and participation in the area of addiction medicine.

Another Celebrity Overdose - Brittany Murphy

(CBS/AP) Authorities said Monday it appeared actress Brittany Murphy died of natural causes after becoming ill with flulike symptoms in the days before she collapsed in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.

But at least one leading pathologist tells "The Early Show" he'd bet a lethal combination of prescription drugs was involved.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Research Shows Parenting Can Prevent Drug Use, Aid Brain Development, NIDA Chief Says

From the founding of National Families in Action during the height of the War on Drugs to Joseph A. Califano's book, How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid, parents and communities have been touted as the keys to preventing alcohol and other drug problems among youth, and research now shows that environmental and genetic risk factors can be trumped by parental engagement during the critical adolescent years, according to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

ARLS Response to Anonymous

The following post was left on the Blog from "Anonymous" re: my December 3, 2009 post "This Has Gone Too Far: Some Calif. Doctors Prescribe Medical Marijuana to Kids."

Anonymous writes:

Let me respond by thanking "Anonymous" for the post. I will start out by agreeing with him re: one very important point in his post. The U.S. needs to re-examine and restructure its current drug policy. The Florida State Prison System, as an example, is busting at the seams with NON-VIOLENT DRUG OFFENDERS. It is estimated that over 70% of its prison population are incarcerated for the use, possession or sale of some illegal drug; including, marijuana. Furthermore, a great deal of that population suffer from addiction and/or a combination of a drug addiction and a mental health issue, without being provided any treatment whatsoever for these problems; and, despite the fact that Florida legislators are aware that every dollar spent on treatment saves fifteen dollars for our state. Yet, nothing is done. So, "Anonymous, on this point we agree.

However, I totally disagree with "Anonymous" concerning the remainder of the argument put forth. He/She writes:

"Doctors give far more dangerous meds to young kids all the time! If the doctor doesn't think it will help they won't recommend it.".

First of all that statement is simply overly broad, vague and naive. Florida, for example, is in a state of emergency due to disreputable doctors flooding our streets with "legal" opiates with no legitimate medical condition present from patients. Sadly, some doctors do prescribe medication without any concern for the safety of the patient; their only concern - making a profit. Furthermore, marijuana has been proven to have an ill effect upon the developing adolescent brain. It is an intoxicant, a hallucinogen and far more powerful a drug than it ever has been in history due to advances in horticulture. Children simply do not need to be introduced to intoxicants before their brains fully develop (actually, estimated to conclude at the age of 20-21). Children do not need to be introduced to intoxicants before they are of a legal age to make such decisions for themselves re: the pros and cons of drug use. Or, before their personalities have a chance to develop. I find the prescription of such substances to kids to be criminal having seen first hand in my law practice what marijuana can do to children; specifically, when that child has an underlying mental health issue. Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley put it best when he said:

“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?”

Hinshaw, cited studies showing that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, disrupts attention, memory and concentration — functions already compromised in people with the attention-deficit disorder. I would urge Anynomous to read these studies and not confuse and mix his anger with drug laws with the realities of the effect of drugs upon the minds of children and adults.

Finally, "Anonymous" wrote:


Again, vague and an overly broad statement. However, for argument sake, let's take this statement as true. Can "Anonymous" deny that a staggering number of lives are lost annually as a direct result of adolescents and adults operating automobiles, or, being involved in accidents, while "someone" was under the influence of drugs and alcohol; including marijuana...I think not. Thanks again for posting. Your thoughts?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Some MRI centers help addicts, dealers get pain pills

It's a midnight scene detectives have watched many times in the past year:

Patrons of a Palm Beach County strip club walk outside and climb into a semi trailer parked in back. Cars pull into the lot beside the trailer, where the drivers take their turn inside and then drive away.

Each gets an MRI.

Most of the truck's customers were pain-pill dealers or abusers who needed magnetic resonance imaging scans to get a supply of narcotic drugs from one of South Florida's pill mills, detectives said.

Good Parenting Creates Drug-Free Kids, Conference Experts Say

Of all the answers offered at a recent conference on "How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope," perhaps the one from Joseph A. Califano, Chairman and Founder of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University, best summed up the advice to parents.

Boca police, DEA, announce arrests after undercover operation

Boca Raton - Police arrested a dozen people suspected of participating in a drug-trafficking enterprise that mostly dealt in crack cocaine and was entrenched in the Pearl City neighborhood, authorities said on Thursday (SEE VIDEO COVERAGE)

The arrests came after a yearlong undercover operation by
Boca Raton police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which included 40 crack cocaine buys.

Arrested Wednesday and Thursday were: Courtney Hughes, 27, of Delray Beach; Tobias Seays, 30, Iman Albury, 22 and Patrick Johnson, 22, all of Boca Raton; Detavious Wring, 20, of Deerfield Beach; and Jay Eaford, 38, of Pompano Beach...(READ ARTICLE)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oddity of the Day: Obama Ecstasy

There is now a line of Ecstasy pills made in the image of the 44th president of the United States, according to Texas police who have snatched a batch off the streets.

Oddity of the Day: New Video - Marilyn Monroe Smoking Pot?

Newly uncovered home video creates buzz

This newly released video of Marilyn Monroe is causing quite a stir. Believed to have been filmed almost 50 years ago, this silent film was allegedly recorded in a New Jersey apartment belonging to Monroe's friend. A collector purchased the film for $275,000 and plans to auction it off on eBay later this week.

This Has Gone Too Far: Some Calif. Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana for Kids

Some teenagers with psychiatric conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have become medical-marijuana users in California, the

New York Times reported Nov. 22.

Some Bay Area physicians have recommended marijuana to their adolescent patients, and the operator of Oakland's MediCann clinic network estimates that staffers have provided medical marijuana to around 50 users ages 14 to 18. Another patients collective, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, has 24 minors among its clients.

“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?’ ” asked Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley. He cited studies showing that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, disrupts attention, memory and concentration — functions already compromised in people with the attention-deficit disorder.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009