Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ARLS Day in the Life: March 31, 2010

Mount Vernon pastor faces 16 drug charges
By David Ferrara
March 31, 2010, 6:01AM
VERNON, Ala. -- An assistant pastor at a Mount Vernon church faces a series of drug charges after authorities said she tried to forge drug prescriptions and was found with hundreds of pills that did not belong to her.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 31, 2010

FBI heroin bust leads to 11 arrests on Oahu, one in California
Posted: Mar 31, 2010 12:07 AM

By Mari-Ela David

MOILIILI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A big win for the FBI - federal agents say they've broken up a heroin distribution ring.

This, after a 16-month investigation ended with a dozen indictments.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 31, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY --Misspelling of OxyContin Leads to Okla. Drug Arrest

An Oklahoma City pharmacist knew something wasn't quite right when a prescription for OxyContin came in misspelled.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 31, 2010

Adelaide police say a drug haul at suburban Salisbury Plains is the largest made in South Australia.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the seizure.

Police allege chemicals they found could have manufactured drugs worth about $100 million.

MS Patient in N.J. Gets 5 Years in Prison for Growing Marijuana

A New Jersey man who said he was growing marijuana in his home to treat his multiple-sclerosis symptoms has been sentenced to five years in prison on drug charges, the Newark Star-Ledger reported March 20.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ARLS Library: Getting Sober - A Practical Guide to Making It Through the First 30 Days

5.0 out of 5 stars If you're ready to stop drinking...
"This is an awesome book. Well written in a non-judgemental, compassionate manner I found real-life help to stop drinking. It's fairly small and easy to tuck-away in a bag or desk. Even if you're just thinking about quitting alcohol, pick-up this book. I love the "banned from my hand" technique to resist temptation -- it really works. Lot's of other great information about AA (what meetings are like, etc.), ways to curb cravings (drink a couple glasses of water -- you might be thirsty!), and other real-life ways to make the internal committment a reality from a professional with years of experience with alcoholics. Would also pick-up The Big Book from Alcoholics Anonymous as well, even if AA is not for you. If you're serious about addressing your drinking problem, this book is the way to help you get through the first 30 days. Highly recommended."

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
"Getting Sober is one of the best, down to the nitty gritty books, I have read on alcoholism. Finding sobriety is scary and baffling for many and reading a book such as Getting Sober will make the understanding of the process easier. What I liked most about this book is that it does NOT talk down to anyone.

Rather, it takes an honest look at what sobriety really is and then helps guide the reader towards the first 30 days of sobriety. It takes a detailed look at AA and manages to remove some of the "mystery" and "stigma" that sometimes can be associated with the program. It also gives some wonderful tips on how to deal with emotions, fears and judgment that may come.

Getting Sober is a compassionate and inspiring road map for all those on the road to sobriety, especially those who might feel extremely shaky or scared.

By the way, Getting Sober is also excellent for those who are already in recovery - it always helps to remember what those first 30 days were like!

Buy this book."

Heavy Drinkers Engage in Array of Unhealthy Behaviors

Researchers who surveyed 7,884 hospital patients in Oregon and Washington found that risky drinkers -- those who had an average of three or more alcoholic drinks daily -- were more likely to have poor eating habits and not wear seatbelts, and were less likely to see their doctors regularly. They also were less likely to think that they could change their own health behaviors.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Slideshow: How Marijuana Is Sent Through the U.S. Mail

More marijuana is now being shipped through the U.S. Mail than in recent years, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, whose seizures of marijuana parcels have increased by more than 400 percent since 2007. Traffickers use everyday objects to conceal the drugs. Here, marijuana is packaged inside "Teasdale" cans of corn. The amount of marijuana matched the weight on the label, and the traffickers used a can sealer. (Courtesy U.S. Postal Inspection Service)

Slideshow: Secret Tunnels from Mexico to the U.S. for Smuggling Drugs, Guns, and People

Since 1990, law enforcement has found at least 115 tunnels underneath the U.S.-Mexico border. The tunnels are used for smuggling drugs, money, weapons and human beings. Only 11 of the tunnels were discovered before 9/11. Most have been discovered since 2001, after the U.S. stepped up border security. The most recent tunnel to be discovered, shown here, was found on March 12 in Tijuana southeast of the Otay Mesa border checkpoint. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement )

DEA - Florida

Drug Situation: The State of Florida is a primary area for international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, as well as a principal thoroughfare for cocaine and heroin transiting to the northeastern United States and Canada. Florida’s over 8,000 miles of coastline provides virtually unlimited access and opportunities for drug trafficking organizations to use maritime conveyances to smuggle drugs. The short distance between Florida and the Bahamas also serves as a smuggling corridor along the southeast coastline. Additionally, Florida’s numerous international airports and maritime ports provide traffickers with a means to smuggle drugs through the use of couriers and cargo facilities. South Florida, with its unique mix of nationalities and ties to Central and South America, is a primary domestic command and control center for Colombian narcotics traffickers and money laundering organizations. Recently, Mexican organizations have also made tremendous inroads, and are responsible for the smuggling and distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine (i.e. crystal methamphetamine) and marijuana throughout large portions of the state – from the Panhandle to as far south as Palm Beach County. Smuggling into Florida occurs via various types of maritime conveyances and cargo freighters, as well as via commercial aircraft. Additionally, the shift to ground transportation (e.g. passenger vehicle, bus and rail) as a means of transporting narcotics throughout the state continues to increase.

Study Sees Link Between Lost Sleep, Marijuana Use Among Teens

Researchers who studied teenagers' social networks concluded that those who were sleep-deprived were more likely to use marijuana, and that the pattern tended to be repeated among clusters of their friends, the CanWest News Service reported March 19.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ARLS Oddity of the day: Actual Cary Grant Interview

5 arrested on charges of smuggling drugs from Mexico to Boynton Beach

Smugglers routed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine between Mexico and Palm Beach County, secreting the drugs in hidden vehicle compartments and storing them in a closely guarded stash house in Boynton Beach, federal authorities said.

ARLS Photo of the Day

Cartagena, Colombia (Pedro Mendoza, AP / March 22, 2010)
An officer of Colombia's Attorney General Office inspects packages containing seized marijuana during a presentation to the press in Cartagena, Colombia, March 22, 2010. According to Colombia's Attorney General Office, about 2 tons of marijuana and 1.5 tons of cocaine were seized during recent raids.

New Report Highlights Alcohol Abstainers, Quitters as Well as Current Drinkers

A new federal report may not show how many Americans are in recovery from alcoholism, but it does provide interesting insights into the number of adults who have quit drinking or abstain for health and other reasons.

Study Cites Maternal Influences on Youth Drinking

Mothers who enforce discipline over their young teens can prevent their kids from drinking, according to a new Australian study.

U.S. and Mexico Expand Antidrug Cooperation

A new $331-million antidrug strategy unveiled this week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would build on the Bush administration's so-called Merida Initiative and improve cooperation between intelligence communities, border screening, community law enforcement, and joint socioeconomic programs intended to reduce youth involvement in drug crime.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ARLS Visitor Question.

FROM: "A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act - LINK - On Tuesday, March 23, 2010:

Chuck asked: "As the petitioner of a Marchman Act on my son who is now in treatment, what is the procedure to lift the Act should I decide to move my son to a different county or state for treatment in a different facility."

ARLS Answer: Understand, due to ethical considerations, I cannot give you specific legal advice due to the fact that I do not know the details of your son's case, you are not my client, and, I do not know if any extra conditions currently exist that a Judge may have imposed in your matter.

However, that being said, let me speak about a case I handled that was quite similar to your GENERAL scenario. In that matter, a "Treatment Petition" was filed by a Petitioner (a father) and granted by a Circuit Court Judge. An Order was put into place for the Respondent (his daughter) to complete 60 days of treatment. After about 30 days in the Petitioner wanted to take his daughter out of state to place her in another program. He asked me: What should I do? My advice to him was to simply take the girl to the other state for treatment and allow the 60 day period to lapse naturally without advising the court of anything. Clearly, the Petitioner had brought the case. There were no other court hearings scheduled following the 60 day Order being put into place. The only reason a court hearing would be necessary would be if his daughter violated the court Order by refusing to go to treatment. The girl would be attending another program (which, her father, the Petitioner, was happy with). So, my advice, let the Order lapse naturally and end following the passing of 60 days. Also, by doing this (keeping the Order in place), if the girl goes out of state and then changes her mind and refuses to comply with treatment, the Order still exists. This left the father with a legal remedy. He could ask the court to enforce treatment and the Order, as long as the child could be returned to the Jurisdiction where the Petition was filed.

NOTE: I did advise this father, however, to ask the current treatment facility to RECOMMEND in their ongoing assessment that they were aware of the father's intentions to go out of state...and, they agreed (or, did not object) to his decision to do so.

Excellent question.

ARLS Visitor Question.

Addiction Recovery Legal Services LLC said...
From: "A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act - LINK - Post by Ex-Leo on 03/04/2010:asked:

Visitor Question: "...[w]hat is the legal process in Florida when a person is in certain need of the Marchman Act's protection/assistance and is found to be in possession of [illegal materials] by a law enforcement officer who was needed/required to contact and transport an individual who has been identified by those who swore out an Act Information/Complaint?"

ARLS Answer: Here is what I am hearing in your scenario...a law enforcement officer in Florida is called to a scene (most likely - non-criminal) to provide protective custody services under the Florida Marchman Act for someone who is substance abuse impaired (most likely to the point where it has been determined that they are danger to self or others).

In short, under the FL Marchman Act, you may place that person into protective custody for transport to a medical/treatment facility (called a receiving facility) WITHOUT arrest, and, based upon your own determination of need (without a medical opinion).

However, I am hearing, let's discuss your next point. In the process of the Law enforcement officer providing assistance, he/she discovers illegal drugs or paraphernalia on the person (or, in plain sight). Your question: What happens next, right?

The answer: clearly, under FL law this would REQUIRE some form of official report (and/or, subsequent arrest)for the person being in criminal possession of drugs. From my own experience, I have seen officers respond to an overdose and subsequently charge the person because drugs were in their possession. However, I SUSPECT some law enforcement officer may choose to look the other way depending on the quantity and type of drug / paraphernalia found in the persons possession (understanding that they have been called to provide assistance not consequence). Excellent question.

Columbia University: Behind Bars II - Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population

From the report:

"We in the United States, though only five percent of the world’s population, consume two-thirds of the world’s illegal drugs. We in the United States, though only five percent of the world’s population, incarcerate 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. It is no coincidence that of the 2.3 million inmates in U.S. prisons, 65 percent--1.5 million--meet the DSM-IV medical criteria for alcohol or other drug abuse and addiction. Another 20 percent--458,000--even though they don’t meet the DSMIV medical criteria for alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction nevertheless were substance involved; i.e., were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of their offense, stole money to buy drugs, are substance abusers, violated the alcohol or drug laws, or share some combination of these characteristics ...

The tragedy is that we know how to stop spinning this costly and inhumane revolving door. It starts with acknowledging the fact that addiction is a disease for which evidence-based prevention and treatment programs exist and that these programs can be administered effectively through the criminal justice system. Providing treatment and training to inmates and employing treatment based alternatives to incarceration through drug courts or prosecutors both saves taxpayer dollars and reduces crime ..."

Meth Damage to Fetal Brain Worse than Alcohol

A small study has found that babies exposed to methamphetamine and alcohol before birth have smaller caudate nucleus regions in the brain than non-exposed children or children exposed to alcohol only in the womb.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Three charged with smuggling drugs into state

MARS HILL, Maine — Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers have arrested and charged two Mars Hill men and a Florida man with smuggling large amounts of oxycodone into Aroostook County where it then was sold.

Kentucky Police Struggle to Halt Pipeline of Pain Pills From South Florida

Florida has given the rest of America so much over the years: delicious orange juice, great football players, cop dramas, a preposterous quantity of Disney paraphernalia, and more recently, the devastating social destruction of prescription pill addiction.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010

WEARE – What was supposed to be the simple arrest of one suspected drug dealer and search of his home turned into a violent confrontation Saturday, police said.

By the time things calmed down, police had shot one person with a Taser and another person was found hiding on the roof after a 45-minute search with a K-9, police said.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010

Authorities are hailing the arrests of 149 people in one of New Jersey's most dangerous cities, which Conan O'Brien mocked on NBC's "Tonight Show."

Mayor Cory Booker announced the arrests Wednesday outside the notorious Academy Spires apartment complex in Newark, just west of New York City.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010

STREETSBORO, Ohio -- The Portage County Drug Task Force arrested eight people after an undercover investigation at the Palms Hotel at 9686 Ohio 14.

An agent bought heroin and crack cocaine from people inside several rooms there, Sheriff David Doak said in a news release.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010 - Salt Lake City police sting results in 20 drug-related arrests

Video Courtesy of

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010

Pete Doherty has been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs to dead British heiress Robin Whitehead.

The 31-year-old Babyshambles rocker attended a police station voluntarily to face the charges on Friday.

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010

The Broome County Sheriffs Office arrest 3 people on drug charges.

A Sheriffs Deputy smelled marijuana coming from a hotel room at the Motel 6 on Upper Front Street in the Town of Chenango.

The investigation led to the arrest of the 2 men and 1 woman, facing a total of 13 charges

ARLS Day in the Life: March 22, 2010

NEWARK -- A botched attempt to steal a teenager's shoes sparked an investigation that led to the arrest of three alleged gang members and the recovery of more than $20,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana, authorities said.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do I have a problem?

Do you use drugs or drink alcohol? Are these substances harming your health or increasing your risk for other problems?

This website can help you find out. Start by answering a few short questions about your past and present use of various drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, tobacco, inhalants or alcohol. You'll get feedback about the likely risks of your drug use, and advice about when and where to seek more information, evaluation, and help.

Your responses are completely confidential and anonymous.

Woman killed in drug raid feared return of burglar


A Pompano Beach woman killed by deputies in a drug raid kept a pistol by her bed because she feared the man charged with burglarizing her home two months earlier.

"I am sleeping with a gun next to my pillow every night," Brenda Van Zwieten said during a court hearing less than 24 hours before Broward Sheriff's Office SWAT team members burst into her home early Saturday morning and shot her when she pointed a .357-caliber revolver at them.

Georgia Launches Youth Meth Campaign

The new Georgia Meth Project will use graphic ads and images to warn teens about the dangers of methamphetamine use, the Augusta Chronicle reported March 8.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ARLS Oddity of the day: Boynton Beach police arrest man who called 911 to complain about bartender

Two men were arrested Wednesday in Boynton Beach after one called 911 to complain about a bartender and the other called multiple times to yell at a dispatcher, police said.

According to police, Gauvin Kanhai, 47, of Wellington, called 911 three times early Wednesday about a bartender at Benny's Ice House, west of Boynton Beach.

Celebratory shot -- of morphine -- kills man

Michael Edwin Berg, 23, passed his court-ordered drug test, deputies say, and it was time to party. The blood and urine tests had been ordered because Berg was a known drug user and was under a court order to stop using drugs, reports the St. Petersburg Times. So when he got the good news, he and his friends partied the night of Sept. 4 away, into the next morning. They drank vodka and beer at various homes and at the Twilight Zone club, a Plant City bar, according to official reports and witnesses.

But that wasn't enough....

Police: Missing Fort Lauderdale mom left home to buy drugs, leaving child behind

The woman who allegedly left her 8-year-old daughter home alone and vanished for five days was out looking for crack cocaine and assumed neighbors would unite the child with her father, according to an arrest report released Wednesday.

Melanie Parada, 36, was reported missing Sunday and was found safe about 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 1100 block of Northeast 16th Avenue, Police Sgt. Frank Sousa said. Parada was initially released after talking to detectives, but authorities later took her into custody.

GlaxoSmithKline to Market Smoking Vaccine

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has closed a deal to license and market the NicVAx antismoking vaccine developed by Nabi Pharmaceuticals, the Associated Press reported March 9.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Doctor arrested for using dead patients’ names to order oxycodone

A Highland Beach doctor who fraudulently used the names of dead people, including his late mother-in-law, to obtain oxycodone prescriptions from pharmacies in Delray Beach was arrested Friday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.

Florida Department of Health Announcement

DATES AND TIMES: March 31, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

PLACE: The Betty Easley Conference Center, Conference Room 152, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: This meeting is a Rule Development Workshop to hear public comments on possible rules regarding the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

For additional information, or if you require special accommodations, call Diane Orcutt at 850-245-4123.

Cocaine users 'making global warming worse'

Cocaine users were last night accused of helping to make global warming worse.

MPs on the home affairs select committee said the drug was devastating Colombian rainforests because trees are knocked down to grow coca plants.

Drug Czar Warns on Drugged Driving

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske told an international conference that driving under the influence of prescription and illicit drugs is a growing problem, the New York Daily News reported March 10.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fla. doctor charged with murder in overdose deaths

AP-FL--Doctor Arrested

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A West Palm Beach doctor has been indicted on three counts of first-degree murder in the overdose deaths of three patients.

Dr. Sergio Rodriguez was accused of illegally distributing prescription drugs and arrested in 2008. Palm Beach County sheriff's officials said it was the culmination of an 8-month undercover investigation.

Authorities say Rodriguez had a West Palm Beach pediatric office but also saw adult patients and prescribed the drugs without examining them.

He was indicted on Friday and remains held in the Palm Beach County jail.

Prosecutors say he also faces multiple charges of trafficking and illegal sales of painkillers and anxiety medications.

Rodriguez's attorney did not immediately return a telephone message on Friday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

A Lake Worth pediatrician has been formally charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the overdose deaths of three men to whom he prescribed prescription pain medication, prosecutors said Friday.

ARLS - Welcomes 5000th Visitor!!!!