Monday, August 29, 2011

Pain clinic boss Jeff George pleads to second-degree murder; will cooperate in probe

WEST PALM BEACH—
Pain clinic boss Jeff George pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2009 death of a patient as part of a plea deal with local prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation with state and federal authorities.

In exchange for his cooperation, prosecutors said Monday morning, George will face no more than 20 years in prison in the death of 24-year-old Joseph "Joey" Bartolucci, who was found with half-filled prescriptions for Xanax and Dilaudid prescribed by a doctor at George's East Coast Pain Clinic.
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New York City Survey Shows Jump in ER Visits Due to Prescription Drugs

The number of narcotic-related emergency room visits in New York City jumped 40 percent between 2004 and 2009, according to a survey by the city’s Department of Health. Painkillers are now the second-most commonly used illegal drugs, behind marijuana, The Wall Street Journal reports. Read Full Story...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Teen Substance Abuse Expert Sees Dark Side of Opioid Abuse

From “pharming” to pill parties, teens are abusing prescription drugs in dangerous ways, and can become addicted quickly, warns an adolescent substance abuse specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston.
“I see teens who become addicted to oxycodone by the third time they take it—they get hooked very quickly,” says Patricia Schram, MD.

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Hialeah shoe store loses license — cocaine was being sold, cops say


A Hialeah shoe store lost its license this week for being a public health hazard. But it wasn't because it was selling defective shoes.

The reason, police said, was that it was selling cocaine.

"They were selling more drugs than shoes," Police Chief Mark Overton said Thursday, perhaps jokingly.

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Saturday is Drug Take-Back Day across state



Floridians can safely dispose of unused prescription medications during the state's second annual Drug Take-Back Day. Drug and grocery stores as well as law enforcement offices are among locations where pharmaceuticals can be turned in on Saturday. Read Full Story...

Brothers Made 40 Million in Florida Pill Mill Operations

WATCH VIDEO

Brothers made $40 million with pill mills in 2 years, officials say


Each clinic made up to $50,000 a day. Employees carried the receipts to the bank in garbage bags. Their mother -- who worked in a clinic and got arrested with her sons -- kept about $4.5 million of their spare cash in two safes in the attic of her house in Wellington

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Four States Create Prescription Drug Task Force

Four states—Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia—have created the Interstate Prescription Drug Task Force to fight the region’s prescription drug abuse problem.
The task force consists of about 30 experts from drug agencies and law enforcement, according to The Courier-Journal. They will develop strategies to reduce the sale and abuse of prescription drugs, and will make recommendations to improve cooperation in sharing data, educational campaigns and police investigations.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

George brothers, 30 others arrested in pain clinic chain Doctor charged with murder

WATCH VIDEO:

Law enforcement on Tuesday arrested twin brothers they called kingpins of South Florida's biggest pill mill network, along with 30 of their top lieutenants in a criminal operation that used kidnapping and gunfire to profit.

Jeffrey and Christopher George collected $40 million in two years peddling 20 million pain pills from their string of four clinics in Broward andPalm Beach counties, federal prosecutors and police said. They made millions more by selling illegal steroids over the Internet and phony time-shares from a boiler room, officials said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Florida’s Drug Overdose Epidemic

Prescription drug overdoses claimed the lives of 16,650 Floridians from 2003 to 2009 -- an average of eight deaths a day. It’s been a devastating problem, spread by the silence and misunderstanding over addiction and by the underworld “pill mill” economy, explains Karen H. Perry, Executive Director of NOPE Task Force.

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No Illegal Drugs Found in Body of Amy Winehouse

KTLA/ REUTERS 7:43 a.m. PDT, August 23, 2011

LONDON (KTLA) -- Toxicology tests showed there were no illegal substances in British singer Amy Winehouse's body when she died last month aged 27, her spokesman said on Tuesday. In a statement, he added that alcohol was present, but that it could not be determined what part if any it played in her death.

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No illegal drugs in Winehouse toxicology report

$50,000 bail ordered for Jupiter woman arrested in pill trafficking raid at VA medical center

WEST PALM BEACH —

Terri Guerra went before a judge Monday morning hoping to get some leniency.

But even after listening to the Jupiter woman's attorney try to explain why hundreds of prescription pills and thousands of dollars in cash was found in her home by federal agents, Circuit Judge Joseph Marx ordered Guerra held on $50,000 bond. And if she bonds out, he ordered that she be placed under house arrest.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Authorities Close U.S.-Mexico Drug Tunnel

Five headless bodies found in Acapulco

MEXICO CITY | Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:05pm EDT

(Reuters) - Authorities in Mexico found the decapitated bodies of four men and a woman in Acapulco on Saturday, the latest in a string of slayings in the popular Pacific resort this week.

Federal police said the corpses of two men and a woman were found tied up in the back of a sport utility vehicle near Acapulco beach, in what appeared to be a crime related to drug gangs.

Reforma newspaper said messages were left in the vehicle linking the killings to the powerful Sinaloa cartel, headed by Mexico's most wanted capo, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Greenfield man faces fifth drunk driving charge

50-year-old Darryl Paradowski of Greenfield faces a fifth drunk driving charge. But it's how he got caught which will catch your attention.

Paradowski was in downtown Milwaukee meeting with his case manager for a drunk driving incident in which he was charged back in March. The meeting was to make sure he was not drinking. But the criminal complaint says Paradowski showed up for the meeting drunk. He was drunk enough to blow a .12 on a breathalyzer.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

VA hospital employees, patients charged with selling oxycodone

RIVIERA BEACH—
Authorities raided the West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Thursday, arresting more than a dozen employees and patients accused of selling drugs in the hospital's stairwells and parking lots.

Nursing assistants, a pharmaceutical technician and a respiratory therapist were among those arrested on charges of trafficking oxycodone or selling marijuana, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest reports.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Charlie Sheen roast will be a 'comedy intervention'


How do you mock an actor with as many alarming recent issues as Charlie Sheen?

By delivering a dose of tough-love medicine, says Comedy Central’s “roastmaster general” Jeff Ross, who gave some hints as to what viewers can expect when Sheen gets skewered on Sept. 19.

“These roasts are often therapeutic for a person,” Ross says. “These are things he needs to hear. No one deserves to be roasted more than the warlock. I see this as a comedy intervention. This is the first step of what you could call a comeback.”
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The Prescription Drug Epidemic: A Federal Judge’s Perspective


It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this that we have a prescription drug problem in the United States. As I see it, however, we are not devoting our attention to the real root of the problem. Yes, we have prosecuted the drug-dealing doctors, pain clinics and pharmacies. Yes, we have taken on the middle-men (or women) between the doctors and the users. And yes, we have offered help to the addicts. But the real victims are their children, and they have gone overlooked.
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Tobacco Companies File Lawsuit Over Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels


Five tobacco companies are suing the federal government over graphic cigarette warning labels that are scheduled to be on all packages by the fall of 2012. The manufacturers claim the labels violate First Amendment protections for commercial speech, The New York Times reports.
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Miami-Dade judge calls section of drug law flawed, tosses dozens of cases

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch echoed the ruling of a federal judge and tossed drug cases against 39 defendants Wednesday, saying he feels a section of Florida's drug law is illegal.

At issue is a 2002 change in the state law where legislators said authorities no longer had to prove that accused drug dealers had "knowledge" that they carried illegal drugs, but defendants still could use that defense at trial.
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Miramar office used by Miami men who drugged, sexually assaulted women to make porn, feds say


The women were promised fame and fortune if they travelled to South Florida. After reading enticements on the Internet, one victim was told she would be the face of a new Bacardi drink. Another was told she would get a role in a Paramount film.

But it was all a scam, federal prosecutors say, and instead of riches, the women were drugged, sexually assaulted and filmed. The sex tapes were then sold over the Internet by Miami Vibes Enterprises, a Miramar company that produces pornography, prosecutors say.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Medical Group Calls Addiction Brain Disorder, Not Behavior Problem


The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the largest professional society of doctors dedicated to treating and preventing addiction, has released a new definition of addiction, calling it a chronic brain disorder, not just a behavior problem, USA Today reports. The medical group announced the new definition after a four-year process that involved more than 80 experts. Read Full Story...

Oxycodone painkiller deaths in Florida keep climbing


Overdose deaths from the narcotic painkiller oxycodone and other prescription drugs marched higher last year throughout the state, but showed signs of peaking in South Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott, at a news conference on Monday, predicted that law enforcement crackdowns and legislative actions would help dry up Florida's oxycodone supply and prevent deaths this year. Read Full Story...

Michael Jackson: Will the "blame game" figure into Dr. Conrad Murray's defense?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dr. Drew: Tatum O'Neal about her recovery process from heroin and other drugs.

Tatum O'Neal reveals to Dr. Drew that she was a "hope-to-die" alcohol and drug addict.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Engages Parents, Students and Community to Combat Student Drinking


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), which has a long track record of battling high-risk drinking among students, is trying new tactics, including web-based programming and an initiative to engage parents of incoming students

“High-risk drinking among students, including underage drinking, is difficult to combat because it’s part of the college narrative,” says Linda Major, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who has led the university’s anti-high-risk drinking initiatives for many years. “It’s part of the expectation that young adults have, that they absorb in many ways including stories from adults they know, the media and movies. It all adds up to a picture of what they think college is supposed to be like.” Read Full Story...

Partner Perspective: Florida's Drug Overdose Epidemic

Karen H. Perry, NOPE Task Force (NOPE Link)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new report that undoubtedly surprised many across our nation: In Florida alone, prescription drug overdoses claimed 16,650 lives from 2003 to 2009 -- an average of eight deaths a day. I’m sure they are wondering: What in the world is going on in the Sunshine State? Read Full Story...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cops: Shop owner sold laughing gas for huffing

By Barbara Hijek August 11, 2011 07:07 AM

After a huffing trio of men got busted, they told authorities the owner of Purple Haze sold them the laughing gas and taught them how to sniff it from balloons, reports The Daytona Beach News-Journal. So two undercover Daytona Beach Shores investigators went into the shop where the owner, Yohan Cohen, sold them nitrous oxide and showed them also on how to inhale the gas, according to the police report.

Busted!

It looks like the last laugh was on the shop owner.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mexican Smugglers Nearly Interrupt California Surf Contest


HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Three Mexican nationals attempted to illegally land their boat on California's Huntington Beach Sunday -- about a mile away from where crowds were forming to watch a professional surfing contest.

Lifeguards spotted the small fishing boat at around 8:30 a.m., but when the men realized they had been spotted, they turned back to sea and were seen throwing a package overboard, The Orange County Register reported.

A number of people were on the beach at the time, for the U.S. Open of Surfing.

It is believed the men in the boat were smuggling drugs across the border from Mexico.

All three were arrested and taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents on suspicion of smuggling and attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

Monday, August 8, 2011

OutKast's Big Boi arrested in Miami on drug charges

MIAMI — OutKast member and hip-hop artist Big Boi was arrested in Miami on Sunday and charged with drug possession, according to the Miami-Dade Corrections website.
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British police announce largest drug bust


Published 03 August 2011 21:30 3341 Views
British police seized 1.2 tonnes of cocaine - worth up to $490m - from a luxury yacht that was smuggling the drugs from Venezuela to the Netherlands. Six gang members were arrested by Dutch police in connection to the crime.

Drugs in the mail a popular way to ship, authorities say

 

South Florida drug smugglers increasingly are using an alternative method of sending their shipments: the mail.

As bloody drug wars rage at the Mexican border and police efforts are stepped up to stop drug trafficking by the trailer load, the mail — both the U.S. Mail and commercial carriers — seems a less- risky way for drug dealers to ship their packages, authorities say. Read Full Story...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Amy Winehouse's home to become drug charity, using profits from new single with Tony Bennett


Amy Winehouse's home where she was found dead is to become a drug foundation run by her father. The property, in Camden Square, North London, was considered 'too precious' to sell, The Sun reported today. A source told the paper: 'Everyone is united in making it a success - the label, her family, friends and management. 'Having the offices in her old house is something they all thought made sense.'
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Canadian Pilot Project Will Distribute Clean, Unused Crack Pipes to Drug Users


Health officials in Vancouver, Canada have announced a pilot project to distribute clean, unused crack pipes to drug users later this year, as part of a “harm reduction” program to reduce spread of disease. The program is also designed to increase interaction between drug users, health care workers and social workers, CBC News reports.

Currently, some crack users make their own pipes from bottles, cans or hollow car antennas, according to the news report. Many share pipes, increasing the risk of spreading disease. Vancouver now gives out clean mouth pieces for crack pipes, but does not distribute the pipes themselves. Read Full Story...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Drugs found in weird places

Smugglers have devised creative ways to slip their contraband across the border, using everything from secret compartments to the stomachs of cattle, according to federal law enforcement officials.
Police in Spain seized cocaine hidden inside plastic bananas on Jan. 13, 2011. They were among a shipment of real fruit. Click for more photos...
 
 

WHO: Don’t Forget Needs of Patients in Pain When Formulating Drug Control Policies


Countries need to be cognizant of the suffering of patients in pain when formulating plans to cut down on prescription drug abuse, according to the new World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines on balanced drug control policies.

The guidelines, “Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances,” aim to strike a balance between preventing substance abuse and dependence, and helping people in pain get needed access to controlled medicines, says Willem Scholten, Team Leader, Access to Controlled Medicines at the WHO. Read Full Story...

Monday, August 1, 2011

 
MIAMI —

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced the capture of a submarine-like vessel off the Honduran coast and the seizure of some 15,000 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $180 million.

According to information released Monday by the Coast Guard district headquartered in Miami, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca interdicted a drug smuggling, self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the western Caribbean Sea on July 13.

The vessel was initially spotted by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol plane, officials said. Read Full Story...

Rx for Danger: Number of Florida babies born addicted to drugs skyrockets

The number of babies treated at Florida hospitals for drug-withdrawal syndrome continued to skyrocket last year, further evidence of the far-reaching impact of the state's prescription-drug epidemic.

In 2010, 1,374 babies were born addicted to drugs because their mothers were users — a 42 percent increase from the year prior, according to new Agency for Health Care Administration records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
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