Heroin Overdose is Just the Tip of Southern California’s Drug Problem

This past Wednesday, Carlie Coulter, age 22, died of a heroin overdose. She had been struggling with addiction since the age of 18. Her family is now joining with other parents out there to try to help end this surge of drug related deaths in younger people in Southern California. Heroin is becoming an epidemic in the area, not just on the streets, but among middle and upper class youngsters too. While many kids start out with prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Xanax or Klonopin, heroin offers a much cheaper high.Smokeable heroin allows users to get high without having to deal with needles. The LA County Sheriff’s office reports that there have been at least six heroin overdose deaths since August 2011. There is no word as to whether these were injectable or smokeable heroin though, or any other information on the victims. According to Cary Quashen, founder of Action Family Counseling and Action a Parent and Teen Support Program, “we've lost more than a dozen Santa Clarita kids…

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An Inside Look at Prescription Drug Abuse

The economic conditions over the past few years have caused a high level of financial and emotional stress for millions of people. In order to cope with this increased level of stress, many people have self medicated with alcohol and prescription drugs. Although adult alcohol abuse has been a common problem in this country for a long time, the number of people abusing prescription drugs really started increasing in the last several years. In the state of California for example, prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels. The fallout has included police raids involving hundreds of large illegal prescription drug operations. One particular raid that involved a medical clinic in west Los Angeles, resulted in the recovery of thousands of prescription pills and evidence of over twenty three million dollars of fraudulent sales. Prevention (of the Addiction) is the Best Medicine In order to deal with this epidemic, there needs to be continued police efforts in shutting down illegal drug operations, but there also needs to be strong efforts…

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Fentanyl and Suboxone – The Evolution of Drug Abuse and Addiction

A new and controversial detox drug utilized in major rehab centers today is buprenorphine which is better known as Suboxone. Touted as the "new methadone," this powerful, synthetic opiate is prescribed to patients with chronic pain and drug addiction problems. Ironically, both Suboxone and methadone are also addictive, just as heroin and other medications like Vicodin and Oxycotin are. Suboxone is expensive and extremely difficult to obtain from a physician. A person usually has to be a patient of a substance abuse specialist or a pain management doctor to get a prescription. The average cost for a month's prescription of Suboxone is approximately $200-$700. When used for detox purposes, gradual withdrawal of the drug is necessary to prevent negative side effects such as seizures, cramps, diarrhea, fever and chills, vomiting, and nausea. This sublingual narcotic was approved by the FDA in 2002. Rehab for Suboxone Addiction Because of the physically and psychological addictive properties of Suboxone, there are now detox and rehab clinics especially for opiate dependent patients who…

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Pills to Heroin: An Increasingly Common but Deadly Path

Small towns across the U.S. are seeing an increase in heroin use. The cause is dwindling supplies of the prescription narcotic oxycodone. Oxycodone, which is sold under brand names like Oxycontin, Oxyneo, Percocet, and Percodan, is a powerful synthetic opioid derived from the papaver somniferum, or opium poppy plant. While oxycodone is legitimately prescribed for moderate to severe pain, it is also sold on the black market as a recreational drug. Powerful and addictive, regular users of oxycodone can quickly become addicted. An opiate addict becomes physically ill within hours after their last dose, prompting them to seek out more drugs to avoid withdrawal. With the rising costs of prescription drugs, users of oxycodone are turning to heroin to find a cheaper way to maintain their habits. Any drug of the opiate class can be substituted for one another to stave off withdrawal symptoms. For many, switching to heroin is simple economics. In some parts of the country, a single Oxycontin pill containing 80 milligrams of oxycodone can cost…

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