Friday, July 30, 2010



Marchman Act Blog FLASHBACK 2007: Painkillers, Other Prescription Drugs Causing More Deaths, Injuries

A "substantially growing number of patients" are being injured or killed by the prescription drugs they are taking under doctors' orders, according to a new report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Reuters reported Sept. 10 that researcher Thomas Moore and colleagues said that reports of such deaths and injuries have more than doubled between 1998 and 2005, largely due to problems with painkillers and immune-system boosters.

Drug-related deaths increased from 5,519 in 1998 to 15,107 in 2005. Overall reports rose from 34,966 to 89,842 during the same period -- a rate four times greater than the growth in outpatient prescriptions.

"This growing toll of serious injury shows that the existing system is not adequately protecting patients and underscores the importance of recent reports urging far-reaching legislative, policy and institutional changes," they wrote.

The researchers based their conclusions on data reported by drug makers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Congress is currently considering legislation that would increase such surveillance.

The findings appear in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Marchman Act Blog: Washington Imposes New Rules on Prescribing Powerful Painkillers

The state of Washington plans to impose tough new rules on doctors who want to prescribe opiate painkillers to patients, including mandatory third-party evaluation of patients who request higher doses of the drug but don't show signs of improvement, the New York Times reported July 28.

Other states are closely watching the regulatory efforts in Washington, designed to crack down on prescription-drug abuse and overdose deaths that some attribute to physician ignorance or laxness in prescribing such powerful medications.

"This is not just about addicts but little old ladies with arthritis starting to die because of this kind of medical practice," said pain specialist Alex Cahana, who is helping to draft the Washington regulations.

Advocates for pain sufferers say the new rules will result in legitimate patients being denied needed medication.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Marchman Act Blog: A Complex Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia

Since the days of Reefer Madness, scientists have sought to understand the complex connection between marijuana and psychosis. Cannabis can cause short-term psychotic experiences, such as hallucinations and paranoia, even in healthy people, but researchers have also long noted a link between marijuana use and the chronic psychotic disorder, schizophrenia. Read Full Story...

Marchman Act Blog: 8 suspects killed in clash with Mexican soldiers

Reuters – Workers bury a coffin at the San Rafael cemetery on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez July 21, 2010.

MEXICO CITY – Eight suspected drug gang gunmen died in a battle with Mexican soldiers in the remote mountains of northern Chihuahua state, the federal Public Safety Department said Thursday.
The department cited an internal army report saying the clash occurred near the rural town of Madera, about 145 miles (230 kilometers) south of the U.S. border.
The gunmen apparently opened fire on an army patrol, but the Defense Department did not offer any information on the attack or the identity of the attackers. The area is frequently used by gangs to produce and traffic drugs. Read Full Story...

Marchman Act Blog: Mother charged in sleeping pill overdose death of toddler son

Police arrested Raisa Bernabe, 44, of Parkland, on Thursday.
The Broward Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Bernabe's son, Nicholas Odze, died from an overdose of eszopiclone, a prescription sleep aid sold under the brand name Lunesta.

Toxicology tests conducted as part of the todder's autopsy also found the child shortly before his death had ingested ibuprofen and the prescription pain substances oxycodone and oxymorphone, according to a medical examiner report.

Police worked closely with Sepracor, the company that manufactures Lunesta, to determine precisely that it was the eszopiclone that killed the child, said Coral Springs Police Sgt. Joe McHugh.
Officials at Sepracor could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. Bernabe had told detectives she gave the toddler a Lunesta pill the night of Sept. 9 because he had not been able to stay asleep the previous two nights, police said.  The child's father, Allan Odze, found the toddler unresponsive in his bed the next morning, police said. "The family is devastated. This is a tragedy that just doesn't end," said attorney Spencer Aronfeld. Soon after the death of their son, Bernabe, who at the time worked as an assistant to the Coconut Creek city manager, and Odze, a retired police officer from New York, stopped living together, Aronfeld said. Bernabe has also struggled with severe emotional issues and was recently hospitalized, he said. "No matter how the criminal accusations shake out, they don't want to lose sight of the fact that an innocent child died," Aronfeld said about the boy's relatives.

The Medical Examiner's Office classified the toddler's death a homicide, based on Bernabe's statement to police that she deliberately gave her son the Lunesta. Detectives searched the family's apartment on Sept. 10, after the boy died, and collected 68 prescription pill bottles, according to court records. Nearly all the medications, including the Lunesta, had been prescribed to Odze. Bernabe had told police that shortly after giving the Lunesta pill to her son, she found him near several opened prescription pill bottles in her bedroom, according to court records. It was unclear from the records what the child's condition was that night or how many pills he may have ingested in addition to the Lunesta. Eszopiclone, a hypnotic used to treat insomnia, can lower breathing and metabolism and be lethal if taken in too high of a dosage, according to Sepracor, which is based in Massachusetts. The drug has not been tested in children and is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pediatric use. In addition to manslaughter, Bernabe also has been charged with delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and knowing sale or transfer of prescription drug to an unauthorized person, authorities said. She was being held Thursday night in the Broward Main Jail on $21,000 bail.  Staff Writer Ariel Barkhurst contributed to this report. Sofia Santana can be reached at or 954-356-4631.

Marchman Act Blog: N.M. Faces Medical Marijuana Shortage

Strict licensing and regulation of New Mexico's medical-marijuana distribution has led to chronic shortages in supply of the drug, the Associated Press reported July 16.

Only 11 growers have been approved in the three years since the state enacted its medical-marijuana law. These must service around 2,000 registered patients, with each grower limited to a maximum of 95 plants and seedlings.

One grower in Santa Fe reported a patient list of 650 -- five times his production capacity.

The program is being expanded slowly and purposefully, according to State Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil, and New Mexico has been held up as a model for strict medical-marijuana implementation. Letting growers expand too quickly would feed the illegal market, Vigil said.

Part of New Mexico's problem is that the distribution program started slowly: no producers were approved until 2009, and all 11 growers have been approved in the last 16 months.

Marchman Act Blog: SAMHSA Document on Confidentiality Regulations Raises Further Questions

With national health reform moving the field toward coordination of all aspects of an individual's medical care via "patient-centered medical homes," longstanding federal requirements that govern information about clients in addiction treatment have come under scrutiny over their potential effect on integrated care.

Information about clients in addiction treatment programs is protected by federal 42 CFR Part 2 regulations, which generally require that a client grant specific written permission for the release of personal information. The regulations also spell out circumstances under which patient information can be released without consent in cases of medical emergency, as well as terms for treatment providers that enter into agreements with billing companies and other service providers that require the sharing of patient-specific information.Read Full Story...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Marchman Act Blog: Parkland hanging: Joseph M. Brown, Nikayla Baldomero shared taste for drugs, friends say

One family is planning a funeral. The other is asking for privacy as it prays for a quick recovery in the traumatic aftermath of a double hanging in which a 22-year-old man died and a 24-year-old woman was left in critical condition.

Joseph M. Brown and Nikayla Baldomero were discovered Monday hanging from a picnic pavilion in Terramar Park in Parkland. Authorities said they both had tried to kill themselves.

Little information came to light Wednesday about the nature of their relationship, other than what friends said was a shared taste for recreational drugs. Read Full Story...

Marchman Act Blog: Jose Figueroa Agosto

(Tania Dumas, AP / July 17, 2010)
Jose Figueroa Agosto is escorted handcuffed by DEA agents after his arrest in San Juan, Saturday July 17, 2010. Federal authorities arrested fugitive alleged drug kingpin Jose Figueroa Agosto Saturday after a decade-long chase through the Caribbean. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Dia, Tania Dumas) PUERTO RICO OUT - NO USAR O PUBLICAR EN PUERTO RICO

Marchman Act Blog: Oddity of the Day - Man Arrested For Breaking Into Bar, Selling Drinks

[PHOTO: Valencia Club showing Travis Kevie holding up some of the money he "earned" illegally selling alcohol before his arrest.] 

 AUBURN, Calif. (CBS13) ― A Placer County man has been arrested after he broke into a shuttered bar, reopened the business and started selling drinks to unwitting customers, according to the Placer County Sheriff's department.

The Placer County Sheriff's department arrested 29-year-old Travis Kevie of Newcastle after his 4-day stint as the barkeep of the historic Valencia Club in Penryn which had been shutdown for more than a year.  

Detective Jim Hudson became suspicious after reading about the Valencia Club's re-opening in an Auburn Journal newspaper article that featured a picture of Kevie and identified him as the club's new "owner/operator". Not only had Detective Hudson had previous run-ins with Kevie, he knew the Valencia Club's liquor license had been surrendered.

When Detective Hudson went to the bar to investigate, he found it open for business and customers at the bar.  Kevie quickly went from behind the bar to behind bars.

Deputies describe Kevie as a transient. They say he broke into the Valencia Club and put an open sign in the window on July 16th.  Kevie kicked off his business with a six-pack of beer he bought and resold at the club.  He used his profits to buy more alcohol keeping the club open throughout the weekend serving about 30 customers a day, deputies say.

Kevie is being held in the Placer County Jail for burglary and selling alcohol without a license.

Marchman Act Blog: Orange mobile meth lab: Orange deputies bust mobile meth lab - South Florida

Orange County deputies busted a meth lab operating out of a car in Apopka overnight.

Deputies said they found methamphetamine, other drugs and equipment used to produce meth inside a vehicle in the 1500 block of Abigail Drive.

Charles Pope, 47, faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of ephedrine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Reports show Pope was not at home when deputies discovered the meth lab. He was arrested a short distance from his house.  He is being held at the Orange County Jail on a $5,300 bond, jail records show.

Marchman Act Blog: The Anti-Bars: Token Clubs

[PHOTO - Charles McGinnis is the manager of the West End Token Club. For four years the club on south 16th Street has provided a place where those who are suffering from the disease of addiction can get help. (Photo by Pam Spaulding, the Courier-Journal) July 2, 2010].

People in recovery often face a social dilemma: where to hang out when bars and clubs must remain off-limits. For many, so-called Token Clubs provide an answer -- and a safe haven -- the Louisiville Courier-Journal reported July 12. Lousiville, Ky.'s West End Token Club, for example, serves coffee and soda instead of alcohol, and patrons meet for sober dates, not pickups. The former bar, open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and featuring a big-screen TV and space for 12-step meetings, is owned by recovering alcoholics and addicts.

"We can't go around old people and places," said co-owner Charles McGinnis. "So that's the purpose of this place: to keep us -- to keep me -- from straying."

Marchman Act Blog: Treatment Programs Report Surge in Prescription Drug Admissions

About one in 10 people admitted to addiction treatment programs in 2008 misused prescription drugs, quadruple the rate reported in 1998, ABC News reported July 16.

"People are getting treatment, which is good news. But the bad news is the problem just keeps growing," said Peter Delaney, director of the Office of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Researchers found that admissions for prescription-drug problems cut across age, gender, education, and employment status. The findings are drawn from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).

Experts said that prescription drugs are widely available and that many people don't perceive their use as risky. "This has been a trend coming for 10 years," added Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. "It should be no surprise that now it is showing up in ER visits and people checking into treatment centers."

Marchman Act Blog: Group Drug Therapy Can Be Counterproductive for Teens

Group addiction treatment can actually lead to more drug use by teens if they are casual users placed in sessions with more experienced addicts, Time magazine reported July 16.

"Just putting kids in group therapy actually promotes greater drug use," said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

"I've known kids who have gone into inpatient treatment and met other users. After treatment, they meet up with them and explore new drugs and become more seriously involved in drug use," added Tom Dishion, director of research at the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon.

Some treatment programs also may weaken the bonds between adolescents and their families, which also can increase the risk of drug use. Plus, teens may view 12-step programs' emphasis on being powerless over drugs as defeatist rather than a call for abstinence and mutual support.

On the other hand, research has shown that more troubled youth can benefit by associating with better-adjusted teens.

Individual and family therapy have been shown to be effective with teens, but group therapy is more common because it is less expensive. NIDA is currently working to ensure that more teens receive such evidence-based treatment.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marchman Act Blog: Drug, Sex, Homophobia Allegations on 'House' Set

Cocaine ... guns ... sex ... and knife play -- all part of life behind the scenes on the show "House M.D." ... this according to a new lawsuit filed by a bitter ex-employee.

In a lawsuit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, a former assistant prop master named Carl Jones claims he was fired from the show in March ... because he didn't go along with the "degenerate conduct" of his superiors.

In the suit, Jones claims he was harassed by two of his supervisors for refusing to engage in "visits to strip bars, participation in getting drunk, stoned or intoxicated on cocaine, to participate in sexual conduct at the trailer, and other dangerous conduct."

Jones claims the supervisors would often refer to him -- and other employees -- as "fags, pussies, bitches, slaves, dummies, retards and idiots."

Jones also claims one of his supervisors brought a gun to the set "several times" ... but it gets even crazier.

In the docs, Jones claims he watched his supervisors get drunk on tequila and engage in "throwing a knife at a target on set."

Jones claims he tried to report the alleged misconduct to one of the co-executive producers on the show -- but his cries for help were ignored ... and claims he was ultimately "blackballed" from future work on the show.

Jones claims he's become severely depressed and somehow suffered a physical injury as a result of the alleged incidents.

He's suing for more than $1,000,000 in damages. Universal -- which produces 'House M.D.' -- had no comment.

Marchman Act Blog: Female guard arrested, fired

FRUITLAND PARK – A prison guard at the Lake Correctional Institution was fired after she was arrested on charges of cultivating marijuana at her home, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections said.

Kristie Slisz, 26, a state corrections officer since 2006, was dismissed Tuesday from her job at the Clermont prison from which she had been on extended personal leave, DOC spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff said.

Slisz and her boyfriend, Sylvester Jenkins, 34, were arrested Monday afternoon by Lake County deputy sheriffs who were investigating a neighbor's complaint that the couple was growing marijuana behind a fence.

The neighbor provided deputies with pictures of the plants.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Marchman Act Blog: Cigarette Vending Machines, Nearly Extinct, Set to Evolve

Old-school cigarette vending machines have nearly disappeared from New York City bars, but a new generation of modern machines may soon take their place, the New York Times reported July 12.

A reporter could only find three of the once-familiar rod-operated cigarette machines in the city, which have been disappearing during the seven years since a ban on indoor smoking took effect. Taxes have driven prices up to $11 per pack, so the surviving machines must take paper money, not just quarters as in the old days.

However, some bars are installing modern, electronic cigarette vending machines. Statewide, 1,238 licensing stickers for cigarette vending machines were issued in 2008, New York officials said.

Marchman Act Blog: Kombucha Disappears Amid Regulation Worries

Retailers and distributors have pulled back on the production and sale of kombucha, a popular tea, as the government tests the drink to see if it meets alcohol regulation standards, the Associated Press July 15.

Some bottles of the drink, which contains live bacteria and yeast, could have as much as 2 to 3 percent alcohol, experts say -- well above the federal limit of 0.5 percent to be classified as a non-alcoholic drink.

The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said it would treat each kombucha brand on a case-by-case basis in its review.

Kombucha has become something of a craze, with sales doubling every year for the last four years. According to Beverage Business Insights, the drink now pulls in $150 million a year in retail sales.

Marchman Act Blog: 'MicroRNA' Could Someday Be Used to Battle Cocaine Addiction

A new animal study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finds that small molecules called microRNA seem to play a role in regulating cocaine use, a discovery that eventually could lead to the development of novel new addiction treatments.

HealthDay News reported July 9 that researcher Paul J. Kenny of Scripps Research Institute and colleagues found that certain microRNA - which play a role in communicating genetic information -- became more active when lab rats were given cocaine. The scientists found that the rats enjoyed cocaine less when microRNA levels rose, but liked the drug more when levels of the genetic molecules declined.

The research could provide clues about why some people are more vulnerable to cocaine addiction than others, researchers said. MicroRNA could play a role in the body switching from cocaine use to addiction, experts added.

The findings were published in the July 8, 2010 issue of the journal Nature.

Marchman Act Blog: Violent Drinkers May Benefit from Mix of Counseling and Antidepressants

A small research study suggests that violent men with drinking problems can be treated successfully with a combination of addiction counseling, behavioral therapy, and antidepressants, Reuters reported July 9.

The study of treatments for domestic abusers found that adding Prozac to the treatment regimen worked better than treating the men with alcohol counseling and behavioral therapy alone. Researchers said that domestic-violence perpetrators may have a heightened sensitivity to environmental stressors that can affect their mood.

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Marchman Act Blog: Mexican Drug War - 17 gunned down in fiesta slaughter

[PHOTO - A bloody hand print is seen on a wall at a house where at least 17 people were killed and 11 others injured after a gun-wielding gang opened fire during a party in Torreon, Mexico on July 18, 2010]

To cries of "Kill them all!" gunmen opened fire at a weekend birthday party Sunday, mowing down at least 17 people in an attack that laid bare the brutality of Mexico's long-running drug war. A dozen people were also wounded as the killers sprayed more than 200 bullets indiscriminately at the private celebration outside Torreon, an industrial city in the northern state of Coahuila.
Sunday's attack brought the number of victims across the country, which has been blighted by drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a 2006 crackdown on the cartels, to at least 57 just in the past weekend. Read Full Story...

Marchman Act Blog: The 'Wal-Marting' of weed

"Nobody wants to see the McDonald's-ization of cannabis," Dan Scully, one of the 400 "patient-growers" who supply Oakland's largest retail medical marijuana dispensary, Harborside Health Center, grumbled after a City Council committee gave the blueprint preliminary approval last week. "I would compare it to how a small business feels about shutting down its business and going to work at Wal-Mart. Who would be attracted to that?"

The proposal's supporters, including entrepreneurs more disposed to neckties than tie-dye, counter that unregulated growers working in covert warehouses or houses are tax scofflaws more likely to wreak environmental havoc, be motivated purely by profit and produce inferior products. Read Full Story...

Marchman Act Blog: New Drug for Kids - Strawberry Meth

Menomonie (WQOW) - A Dunn County drug bust raises concern.

Three people were arrested July 13th at a home in Menomonie.  Investigators searched the home and found marijuana, LSD, and strawberry meth. Shaun DeLong, Lisa Olson and Harley Hoyt arrested.  
Strawberry meth is concerning for the sheriff because it could be attractive to kids.  Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith says, "With one case its hard to tell, but I don't like anything that entices young people to try things.  Young people are pretty impressionable and pretty vulnerable."

The sheriff says this is the first time they've seen strawberry meth in the county.

Marchman Act Blog Day in th Life 07/19/2010: SC Highway Patrolman arrested on drug charges

Myrtle Beach -

A South Carolina Highway Patrolman residing in Myrtle Beach was arrested this past Friday, July 19, and charged with numerous counts of manufacturing, distributing and possessing narcotic drugs, according to press reports.

Bobby Lee Spurgeon, 42, of 3913 Carnegie Avenue, Myrtle Beach, was booked into the Horry County detention center Friday night on charges of manufacturing, distributing and possessing LSD and cocaine. He was released the following afternoon on $10,000 bond, according to the detention center’s records.
Press reports say that Spurgeon, a corporal with the highway patrol, has been fired and that the patrol is cooperating in the investigation.

Marchman Act Blog: From Story Below - Yaba Pills

    Street Names

  •      Crazy Medicine

  •      Nazi Speed

  •      Hitler's Drug


  • Description
    Yaba is a methamphetamine-based drug originating from Thailand with
    alarmingly dangerous properties. Thai for "crazy medicine," Yaba pills are very small in size (about the size of a pencil eraser). Yaba tablets are sometimes flavored (grape, orange, and vanilla). They are a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine. Tasting like candy, the tablets are marketed to a young audience, particularly at rave's. Also known as "Nazi speed" because of its creation by German scientists during World War II to increase the endurance of their soldiers.

    The new form is taken orally and comes in the form of a tablet small enough to fit in the end of a drinking straw.

    Dangers and Effects
    Yaba is extremely addictive and can cause elevated blood pressure and body temperature, irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, stroke and death.

    The central nervous system (CNS) actions that result from taking even small amounts include increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, hypothermia, and euphoria. Other CNS effects include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Hypothermia and convulsions can result in death.

  • Marchman Act Blog Day in the Life: 07/19/2010: Thailand Twin sisters from Kamphaeng Phet in drug bust

    Supoj Thaimyoj

    Acting on a tip off, the Pha Muang Task Force set up a road block with the Chai Prakarn police in Ban Pha Hong on Highway 107 where they caught twin sisters from Kamphaeng Phet province who were carrying 1,800 yea baa pills with the intent to sell.

    Patcharaporn in blue and Patcharaphan in white, were charged with possession of yabaa after the passenger bus they were traveling on was stopped and searched at Ban Pha Hong check-point in Chai Prakarn.

    The military personnel and police intercepted and searched a passenger bus from the Transport 999 Co. where they found the two young women with 1,800 yabaa pills hidden in the suspects’ handbags.

    The suspects were identified as Miss Patcharaporn Youngtabtae and Miss Patcharaphan Youngtabtae, both 17 of Kamphaeng Phet. They were detained by the Chai Prakarn police for further questioning and legal action.

    Marchman Act Blog: Paris Hilton in France Drug Bust

    [PHOTO: This June 4, 2007 file photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office shows Paris Hilton after the heiress turned herself in to begin her stay at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif.. Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. Hilton appeared in a South African courtroom, Friday, July 2, 2010 after being arrested on suspicion possession of marijuana.]

    American party girl Paris Hilton was briefly held by police on the French island of Corsica after being caught with cannabis in her handbag, according to police sources cited Saturday by AFP.
    Hilton was detained Friday after arriving at the airport in Figari on a private jet from Paris.
    Police found less than a gram of cannabis in her handbag and quickly released her without charge.
    According to the Corse-Matin newspaper, she was traveling on the private jet with "people close to power in Malaysia" and was due to travel by yacht to the luxury resort of Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Italy.
    The incident was the American heiress' second brush with the law this month.
    The 29-year-old was arrested during the World Cup in South Africa after a friend she was with took a joint to the Brazil-Netherlands quarter-final match in Port Elizabeth.
    Tabloid darling Hilton, the great-granddaughter of the Hilton hotel chain's founder, shot to fame in 2003 when her boyfriend leaked a video of their sexual escapades on the internet.

    Marchman Act Blog: Hospitals Vie to Become Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries in N.J.

    Teaching hospitals in New Jersey say they should hold a monopoly over marijuana distribution as the state plans to implement its medical-marijuana law, reported July 12.

    The New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals argues that secure buildings, patient connections, and solid reputation make its members ideal candidates to facilitate medical-marijuana distribution. "The program not only will make New Jersey a model for the nation in how to implement a safe and sane medical marijuana program, it could bring significant new dollars to the teaching hospitals to fund graduate medical education therein addressing New Jersey's physician manpower shortage," the council said.

    Under the plan, medical marijuana would be grown at Rutgers University's School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and allocated to 16 large teaching hospitals statewide. Patients would order the drug online and pick them up at hospital pharmacies.

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    Marchman Act Blog: Treasure Coast had lowest percent of alcohol sales to minors in last year

    INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Treasure Coast teens aren’t having much luck buying booze at local bars, package and convenience stores.
    According to data released by the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, 94 percent of Treasure Coast retailers did not sell alcohol to minors during sting operations conducted in the last 12 months.
    That’s the best record in Florida, which had an average of 88 percent of retailers who adhered to the state law against selling alcohol to underage youth.
    Read Full Story...

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Marchman Act Blog: New study shows dramatic rise in prescription painkiller abuse

    A new US government study shows a dramatic increase in painkiller abuse that cuts across all age, race and ethnic groups as well as in every region of the country.
    The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducted a 10-year study (1998-2008) on the non-medical abuse of prescription painkillers that shows an increase of more than 400 percent on those aged 12 and older, from 2.2 percent to 9.8 percent. The dramatic rise in the proportion of admissions linked with the painkiller abuse occurred in almost all population segments regardless of age, education level, gender and employment status. Read Full Story...

    Marchman Act Blog: Prescription pain reliever abuse soars

    WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Treatment facility admissions for prescription pain reliever abuse soared more than 400 percent from 1998-2008 for those 12 and over, U.S. officials say.
    A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveals the increase in treatment admissions due to pain reliever abuse occurred among nearly all segments of the population regardless of age, gender, educational level and employment. Read Full Story...

    Marchman Act Blog: Youth, Drugs and Suicide are Related in Emergency Visits

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new set of studies on the relationship between adolescents, drug abuse and suicide attempts resulting in emergency department (ED) visits. “Nearly `1 in 10 drug-related hospital emergency department visits made by adolescents involved suicide attempts.” With prescription drug abuse rising 400% (according to a White House study release ) people should be concerned about how children may be using drugs. Read Full Story...

    Marchman Act Blog: Gov't says abuse of prescription meds skyrocketing

    WASHINGTON — A new government study finds a 400 percent increase in the number of people admitted to treatment for abusing prescription pain medication.
    The increase in substance abuse among people ages 12 and older was recorded during the 10-year-period from 1998 to 2008. It spans every gender, race, ethnicity, education and employment level, and all regions of the country.
    The study was released Thursday by Gil Kerlikowske (kur-lih-KOW'-skee), director of the White House office of drug control policy. Kerlikowske says prescription drug abuse is now the second-most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the country, and the nation's fastest-growing drug problem.

    Marchman Act Blog: Broward jail inmate dies after hanging himself with bedsheet

    Crisante was a barber who loved Cadillacs and car shows, and drove a Caddy of his own. He was "not the kind of person to hang himself," said his mom, who described Crisante as "just a normal fun-loving guy."

    She said she thinks he may have been going through withdrawal from pain medication, which he took for a hernia and other health problems. He entered a detox program to prepare for his jail stint, but she said he may still have had withdrawal symptoms when he turned himself in."

    Read Full Story....

    Marchman Act Blog: Mixed Results for H.S. Drug Testing

    High-school students who face mandatory drug testing may be less likely to use drugs in the short term, but the protective effect doesn't last, according to a new U.S. Department of Education study.
    USA Today reported July 18 that a survey of students at 36 schools found that 16.5 percent of students who attended schools that received federal grants for drug testing used illicit drugs, compared to 21.9 percent of students at other schools. Students also said that drug-testing requirements didn't discourage them from participating in extracurricular activities.
    However, drug-use rates were identical among students at testing- and non-testing schools who did not take part in extracurricular activities, suggesting that drug testing of student athletes and leaders did not have any influence on the behavior of other students.
    Also, students at both types of schools were equally likely to say they planned to use drugs in the future.

    Marchman Act Blog: Tech and Drugs and Rock and Roll

    Websites are marketing music that developers claim can produce a drug-like high, Psychology Today reported July 14.
    The so-called iDozer (or i-doser) tunes are based on the 19th-century discovery of "binaural beats" -- paired tones played at different frequency that have long been used to research hearing and sleep and treat anxiety. Some claim that the sounds also can increase dopamine and beta-endorphins, like drugs.
    "With all the truly dangerous drugs out there accessible by your kids, I'd place Idozer on the low priority list for now," writers blogger Ron S. Doyle. "But if you happen to notice that your teenager has stopped listening to Tokyo Hotel or Timbaland and started listening to mind-numbing pink noise, perhaps it's time for a mature dialogue about the source of their motivations."

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Marchman Act Blog: Lindsay Lohan Hires 'Dream Team' Attorney Robert Shapiro, report

    LOS ANGELES -- Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan has reportedly hired a new lawyer, former O.J. attorney Robert Shapiro.

    The celebrity website TMZ is reporting that Shapiro will try to convince Judge Marsha Revel to put Lohan in a rehab facility and either eliminate or minimize jail.

    Shapiro, who was part of Simpson's so called "Dream Team," is familiar with substance abuse.

    His son Brent died of a drug overdose in 2005.

    The attorney will reportedly suggest that Lohan does her time at The Brent Shapiro Foundation, according to TMZ..

    Shapiro created the live-in rehab facility to help people deal with drug and alcohol problems.

    Lohan is set to turn herself in on Tuesday, July 20th.

    Revel sentenced Lohan to 90 days in jail for violating her probation in her DUI case, followed by a 90-day inpatient rehab program.

    Marchman Act Blog: Anais Fernandez, 16, dies after alleged drinking binge

    The teenage girl who died after drinking in a Brooklyn park was remembered Monday as a straight-A student who adored animals. Anais Fernandez, 16, aspired to become a veterinarian, heartbroken relatives said. The student at Queens' Grover Cleveland High School passed out Sunday in Highland Park in East New York and later died at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

    "Ay, Dios mio!" her distraught dad, Jose Fernandez, cried outside the family's Queens home.
    Anais was hanging out and drinking with her unidentified boyfriend in the reservoir area of the park when she "just started throwing up," said a friend named Jose, who didn't want to give his last name.
    Cops don't suspect foul play. The medical examiner plans to conduct an autopsy Tuesday.
    Anais was preparing to go to college, her father said. "She was all A's," he said in Spanish through an interpreter. "A lot of offers from a lot of universities." Relatives and friends insisted that Anais didn't drink. "She never, ever drinks," said family friend Ana Rodriguez. In her Ridgewood neighborhood, friends remembered Anais as a sweetheart who'd try to rescue birds and cats. 

    "This girl, she loved animals," said neighbor Patrick DeFillippino. "She used to take all the cats and feed them."

    Marchman Act Blog (Big Business) - U.S. pockets $20.6 bln in sin taxes

    (Reuters) - Americans armed themselves to the teeth and paid through the nose to have a smoke, according to a U.S. government report released on Wednesday.
    The U.S. federal government collected $20.6 billion in taxes on alcohol, tobacco, firearms and ammunition in fiscal year 2009, up 41 percent from the previous fiscal year, according to the annual report of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
    Part of the U.S. Treasury Department, the TTB credited most of the $6 billion rise in revenues collected to the increased taxes on the tobacco industry as a result of the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act passed in February 2009.
    There was also a spike in tax collection from the sale of guns and ammunition, said the report from the agency that has an annual budget of $99 million. Read Full Story...

    Marchman Act Blog: Photos released of UCF student's alleged meth lab

    Authorities have released photos of the laboratory where a University of Central Florida chemistry student is accused of making methamphetamine in his apartment.

    The student was arrested Wednesday night. About 50 people were evacuated Wednesday from the building at Campus Crossings, off Alayfaya Trail, south of UCF, said sheriff's Lt. Paul Hopkins.

    William Cecil, who turns 22 on Friday, was arrested on charges of attempted manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of chemicals used to make the drug. He told deputies there also was Ecstasy and cocaine inside his apartment on Green Badger Lane, Hopkins said. Read Full Story...

    [PHOTO - Orange County deputies said 21-year-old William Cecil, a UCF chemistry major, ran a meth lab from his Campus Crossings Apartment. He faces drug-related charges. (Orange County Jail, Orange County Jail / July 15, 2010)].

    Marchman Act Blog: Treatment center facing wrongful death lawsuit after drowning

    STUART — More than two years ago, Renee Hill decided that the best way to help her mother fight her battle with severe depression and suicidal tendencies was to move her from her home in Delaware to Florida.
    Though the fight continued, in January 2009 Hill was looking forward to Sharon Bronowicz's release from the New Horizons of the Treasure Coast residential treatment center.
    But less than two weeks before Bronowicz's release, Hill received the news that her mother had drowned at the facility and later learned the death came after Bronowicz had been locked in a bathroom alone for more than 45 minutes.
    "I don't think there are words to describe that kind of pain," said Hill, who visited her mother regularly. "To lose your best friend, your mother ... I'm still at a loss for words." Read Full Story...

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Marchman Act Blog: Legalization Would Cut Marijuana Prices 80 Percent, RAND Estimates

    A study on the expected impact of marijuana legalization in California predicts that the price of the drug would drop steeply, the Sacramento Bee reported July 8.

    The RAND Corp. study estimated that marijuana prices would fall 80 percent if the drug is legalized as proposed in a pending ballot initiative that Californians will vote on this fall. That translates into as little as $1.50 per joint -- a price point that could spark opposition to the measure, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

    The California Board of Equalization has projected $1.4 billion in annual tax revenues from legalization, but study author Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie Mellon University said that figure could be lower if a black market in cheaper, untaxed marijuana develops. On the other hand, tax revenues would be higher if California becomes a drug tourism market or traffickers buy the drug in California for resale in other states.

    RAND also said that the cost of enforcing current marijuana laws is lower than some proponents of Proposition 19 have claimed. The report did not take a position pro or con on legalization but did note that the ballot initiative would put California in direct conflict with federal drug laws.

    Marchman Act Blog: Addiction, Mental Illness Lead to Millions of ER Visits

    Patients with addiction or mental-health related problems accounted for 12.5 percent of all hospital emergency-room visits by adults in 2007, according to a report from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    The Los Angeles Times reported July 9 that 12 million ER visits annually were caused by addictions or mental illness; of these, 66 percent involved mental-health problems, 25 percent involved alcohol or other drug abuse, and 9 percent involved both. The hospitalization rate for these patients were 41 percent, more than 2.5 times the rate for other patients.

    The most common causes of addiction and mental-health admissions to emergency departments were mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol disorders, drug disorders, schizophrenia and other psychoses, and intentional self-harm.