Author: Justin Mckibben
Boynton Beach is beautiful area in South Florida, just north of Delray Beach and south of West Palm in Palm Beach County. The area has been described as “America’s gateway to the Gulf Stream.” Boynton Beach has also been hit by the affected opiate epidemic. Roughly 250 overdoses have occurred this year in Boynton, which is the third largest city in Palm Beach County. While some cities have seen similar spikes in overdoses and drug-related deaths for some time, Boynton Beach experienced a record breaking jump in overdoses overnight this past Tuesday.
The reports of drug overdoses started before sunset. By Wednesday morning police and paramedics had been called to the scene for five separate overdose incidents. For one night, this is the most the city of Boynton Beach has ever seen. As if that weren’t intense enough, all the overdoses occurred in a 12-hour span.
Out of the five, two died and three survived thanks to the life-saving efforts of first responders. This is just another example of how hard the opiate epidemic has hit some cities now more than ever. It is also an indication some of the efforts being made in Palm Beach County are for good reason.
Tracking the Problem
The only available details on the five victims so far include:
- 5:19 p.m. report of a man found in a parked car near Seacrest Boulevard
- 9:44 p.m. a man was found in a car at the 7-11 convenience store
- 10:31 p.m. a 40-year-old man was found dead in his bathroom at the Las Ventanas apartment complex on Federal Highway
- 30 minutes later, a man was found near the Rosemary Scrub Park
- 2 a.m. a man identified as Thomas Varner was found unresponsive at the Homing Inn on Federal Highway — a place police know well for its number of overdoses
Varner, who was the final overdose of the five, received CPR from police officers at the scene. After an attempt to revive Varner by paramedics using life-saving medication Narcan, used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose, he was rushed to Bethesda Hospital East. where doctors tried to save him. Unfortunately, Varner did not survive his overdose. Police Captain Mike Johnson, the shift’s commander during the evening in question, expressed his own concerns with the news, saying:
“We’re in the business of saving lives and when you can’t do that, especially when you have two last night that were fatal, that’s frustrating. But we also recognize that we’re just one prong of this public health crisis.”
Boynton Beach is Not Alone
Boynton Beach is definitely not the only city dealing with increasing drug overdoses. The outbreak of overdose rates and overdose deaths is nationwide. For Palm Beach County, the ‘recovery capitol’ also faces its obstacles with addiction.
- In Lake Worth alone there were 220 overdoses from January to August of this year
- Palm Beach County firefighters responded to 1,246 opioid-related overdoses in that same period
- Delray Beach already had about 394 by late September
Thankfully, Narcan and Naloxone are readily available for first responders, and expansion programs continue to progress across the country. In this 12-hour period four of the victims were taken to Bethesda and were given Narcan.
The fifth man he had already died at the scene.
Not Just Heroin?
Another question is concerning recent reports from several spots in the country where other dangerous drugs are being mixed in with heroin. According to Police Captain Mike Johnson this is- “more likely than not a new batch of heroin hit the city in the last couple of days.” So the question becomes, is there a new batch mixed with something even more toxic set to hit Boynton Beach.
At Las Ventanas, where one victim was found dead, police believe they found the painkiller Fentanyl in the apartment. Fentanyl is an opiate said to be more than 50 times as powerful as heroin. This is not the first time Fentanyl has caused some problems for Palm Beach County. Medical examiner records indicate Fentanyl also played a role in more than 100 overdose deaths in Palm Beach County in 2015. Captain Johnson said,
“It’s an obvious public health crisis. Law enforcement is only one component of addressing that health crisis. The amount of heroin that’s being sold on the street and the amount that’s being cut with Carfentanil or Fentanyl is increasing.”
Due to the rising risks present in some communities Palm Beach County is already organizing events and seminars to properly educate and arm the public with resources for overdose prevention.
One of the most prominent aspects of attacking the addiction issue is the existence of effective, supportive and compassionate drug addiction treatment. One powerful way we can prevent overdose is to make sure those suffering get the quality of care they deserve. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Talk about a power-move… these might just be the kind of game-changers we need to see more of in America.
Even though it is an amazing place for living in recovery, also considered the recovery capitol of the country, South Florida has seen its fair share of trouble in paradise. With an opiate epidemic that has gripped every part of America, even this beautiful community has a population of drug dealers and users, but Florida police are cracking down hard.
As someone who lives here in South Florida as a transplant from the Midwest and an active member of the recovery community it brings a great deal of satisfaction to see the area I now consider my home-away-from-home become a better place.
The last couple months there has been reason to celebrate some of the efforts put forth by law enforcement to make these cities safer. With stories in the news about how bad it gets out there, I figured it would be good to highlight two very recent stories of how police have made massive strides in the right direction when it comes to cutting off influence of the drug dealers in their neighborhoods.
Operation Street Sweeper- Delray City Arrests 28
At the end of April the story broke that police in the city of Delray Beach, Florida had arrested 28 suspected drug dealers in only 10 days as part of an undercover operation. One of the most recent arrests made was that of a man who carried a gun that reports said was called the “cop-killer.” This weapon carried condensed rifle bullets powerful enough to pierce bullet-proof vests, and police are happy to have this dangerous handgun off the streets.
The weapon was traced back to 32 year-old Gerald Petion, who was arrested Sunday evening on charges of:
- Possession and sale of heroin
- Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon
Apparently authorities state that Petion had actually left behind his gun during a police chase two weeks ago.
Delray Beach police began “Operation Street Sweeper” in February with the intention of getting drug dealers in this beautiful South Florida area out of the community. Controlled sales with known drug dealers were repeatedly staged by undercover police officers over the course of months in order to conduct a thorough investigation that lead to these arrests. Police obtained the warrants for these arrests in early April and tracked down many of the dealers, but some are still at-large.
Having arrested over 2 dozen alleged drug dealers in less than 2 weeks time is an impressive move sure to make a heavy impact on the drug traffic in the area. Most of the men and women busted by police were selling heroin, although some sold cocaine and prescription pills.
Operation Dope Death- Boynton Beach Busts 13
Boynton Beach police say an operation they labeled “Operation Dope Death” has helped them dole out a major victory over drug dealers in their community, claiming that this operation lead to:
- Arresting 13 suspected drug dealers
- Confiscated 62 grams of heroin
- 5 grams of cocaine
- 4 grams of marijuana
- $4,300 cash
- 8 cars
- 1 gun
Police say the month-long investigation came after the rising number of calls in response to drug overdoses in the city so far this year, with more than 2/3 cases involving heroin and 5 ending in tragic deaths.
Out of the list of suspected drug dealers involved in the arrest, several were given multiple charges and suspected of dealing in multiple substances that are all controlled and dangerous.
10 have been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail since Monday, and there was even a 17-year-old suspect arrested and charged with the sale of heroin.
With these two substantial operations the police departments in South Florida are working towards dissolving a huge segment of the drug trafficking in the area, and hopefully as the community sees this more resources will come together to make moves toward even more change. It will take time, but it appears possible to level the playing field in more ways than one.
Paradise is nowhere near lost, but it will take work. The same is true for the lives of those impacted by addiction. Even in the darkest times having a willingness to move forward can save lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Addiction and substance abuse are very real issues facing Americans today, and as a matter of fact these issues impact the entire world in many aspects. We constantly hear more and more about synthetic drugs made from chemical compounds coming from overseas, the opiate epidemic hitting households in every corner of the country, and the failed War on Drugs that has included both victims and cartels from all over. Addiction is very real and very present in our world, so for those who want to find help, Palm Partners offers a solution, but some might ask- why detox in Delray Beach, Florida?
We want to take a detailed look at that question and explain as best we can why detox in Delray Beach, Florida is such a great way to get started on a path to lasting and successful sobriety.
What is Detox?
The safest and often most efficient way to get through the physical aspect of drug addiction is to attend a safe medical detox. Detox is the first level of care for a proper drug or alcohol treatment program, and with a detox in Delray Beach, Florida there is a serene and comfortable atmosphere created for this initial part of the process.
Many people who choose to get help arrive painfully addicted to alcohol and other drugs and cannot safely or successfully stop drinking or using on their own. Frequently the withdrawals from substance abuse are far too discomforting and after a while a lot of people give up the fight. This is where a detox in Delray Beach can help.
Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Effective and Professional
When talking about detox in Delray Beach, Palm Partners consistently provides the highest level of professional patient care, and we take pride in how we treat people.
Upon arriving at detox in Delray Beach, Florida an individual is given an evaluation to assess the most effective and healthy treatment program for them. Using a drug screening the staff will see what drug(s) are in your body and how much, then a licensed physician will prescribe you certain medication in order to safely and comfortably taper you off. The purpose of these medications is to help you safely and effectively transition from active use to abstinence without suffering through the extent of their debilitating side effects.
The medical staff for Palm Partners will monitor your condition as well as be responsible for administering your medication, and during the evaluation you will meet with a staff of professionals who will take your social and medical history- asking you to tell them about your drug use and about any other physical or mental health conditions, if any, to be sure they are providing the best care pertaining to your needs.
Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Mental Health
Not only with the doctor and medical staff help determine the details of your taper to wean off the drugs, but you will also meet with a psychiatrist to be evaluated and prescribed any psych meds that you may need.
Oftentimes, people who abuse drugs have what is called dual diagnosis, meaning they have another condition co-existing issue such as:
- Anxiety disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating Disorder
The Palm Partners program believes in a holistic approach that addresses dual diagnosis in all areas of treatment, and Palm Partners detox in Delray Beach, Florida believes this is all about staying healthy and comfortable while your body adjusts to not having the drugs or alcohol it has grown physically dependent on, without it being too much of a shock to the system. Having a strong and experienced medical staff is key to successfully helping the process of detox in Delray Beach, Florida be a relaxing and positive influence on the continued recovery process.
Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Climate Change
To be completely real, the change in climate is definitely an easy way to inspire some. The beautiful atmosphere of sunny South Florida is sure to make an experience that might be viewed as frightening or difficult feel a lot more serene and supportive.
When trying to detox in more comfortable environment there’s nothing like warm weather, sunshine, and beaches to set the mood. But this isn’t the only climate change we’re talking about.
Delray Beach, Florida just happens to be home of an amazing recovery community, with support groups and fellowships all over and a wide variety of ages and personalities. So besides the fact that you can take a shot at changing your life in paradise, it is also pretty solid sobriety in the area with a lot of support groups and active advocates.
Drug and alcohol rehab programs are designed to put you in the best position to succeed with as many resources as possible, and it all starts with a healthy detox, so why not detox in Delray Beach, Florida? If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Justin Mckibben
In a decision that will undoubtedly be debated at innovative or extremely controversial, emergency responders in Florida are going to be taking a pretty drastic measure in their movements to fight back against the growing issue of the infamous “$5 insanity” of Flakka… using doses of Ketamine to subdue violently aggressive patients.
When I came across this story I could not help but be baffled, yet curious as to how exactly this plan of action has been orchestrated and how it will be executed.
So I want to ask… is it a good idea that EMTs in Florida are going to be using Ketamine to fight Flakka?
First- What is Flakka?
For anyone who hasn’t heard, Flakka is one of the newest dangerous drugs to hit the streets that has gained a lot of attention in a short period of time for the dramatic, tragic and appalling stories it has inspired.
The synthetic drug Flakka, also known by other names such as Gravel, is a synthetic version of an exceedingly strong stimulant cathinone, officially dubbed alpha Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (Alpha-PVP). Commonly found in a crystal-like form, Flakka is known to be cheap, addictive, and deadly. When used this can be ingested in various ways, including:
Some of the effects include:
- Body overheating
- Heightened sense of euphoria
- Feeling superhuman strength
- Psychotic episodes
There have been stories of people running naked through the streets, reacting in rage to horrific hallucinations, and even one story of an elderly woman beaten to death by an individual trapped in a Flakka induced violently psychotic episode. These terrible and frightening stories have hit authorities hard, and apparently they are willing to go to great lengths to put a stop to the madness.
So then what is Ketamine?
Ketamine is another synthetic substance that has a history of strange side-effects and street credit for being abused and becoming addictive. It has been used before as an anesthetic and analgesic drug, but earned a bad name for its illicit use as a hallucinogen. It also has a reputation as a “date-rape” drug.
Ketamine is commonly seen as a powder or liquid and was initially used on animals. When used on the streets it is often ingested by:
- Consumed with drinks
Yet more recently we have begun to see more and more people pushing for one reason or another to drop the bad name assigned to Ketamine to promote positive uses for it, such as treating depression.
Synthetic VS Synthetic
Now in a very radical approach some Florida EMS departments are arming their paramedics with Ketamine as a new weapon to fight Flakka. The latest fire and rescue department in the state to start utilizing Ketamine is Indian River County Fire and EMS. Last week the announced that within the next two weeks their paramedics will be trained on how to administer Ketamine and equipped with the substance.
According to officials the thigh injection can sedate a patient within a minute. Battalion Chief Cory Richter in Indian River County told reporters,
“It will knock them out, but it won’t hurt them in any way, shape or form. It will allow us to treat them and get them to the hospital, and it keeps our guys safe.”
Richter went on to explain that patients who are high on Flakka pose a very real threat to paramedics because the drug gives them superhuman strength and also makes them resistant to pain. Indian River County has had several serious incidents involving Flakka in the past few months, so authorities are done taking their chances it seems.
Indian River County is not the first in Florida to use Ketamine for this purpose. The city of Plantation began placing vials of Ketamine on all of rescue trucks, but reported only needing to use them roughly once per month. The officials in these areas insist that Ketamine is more effective than other drugs because it doesn’t affect the patient’s respiratory system or heart rate, making it safer to use as well. Last July Lt. Daniel Tringali of the Plantation Fire Department told reporters,
“If a police officer’s Taser does not stop them, something needs to stop them,”
Again driving home the point that even though many question Ketamine as being a powerful sedative substance it is still a measure many have deemed necessary in contrast to allowing their EMTs, other emergency response teams or law enforcement to be at elevated risk of injury from an aggressive individual in a Flakka induced rage. To fight Flakka it might be necessary to give EMTs an advantage.
I find myself wondering how this would work out. Apparently officials in the areas already using Ketamine to fight Flakka think it is doing a decent enough job of keeping people safe in the most compromising circumstances. Considering last summer 27 people died of Flakka-related overdoses in an 8 month period in Broward County alone, I think maybe it is understandable why people are so desperate to find a new means to fight Flakka. Not sure if substituting Ketamine is the best solution there is, but right now it seems to be a strategy people are willing to try.
Synthetic drug abuse is so dangerous because of the fact the ingredients and the side-effects can be horrifically unpredictable. Chemical cocktails made from mystery compounds in underground labs with lethal potency are a nightmare being sold on the streets, and beyond such a radical idea as pitting one chemical against the other there is real recovery from drug abuse in the Palm Partners addiction treatment program. If you or someone you love is struggling please don’t wait, call 1-800-951-6135. We want to help, you are not alone.
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Justin Mckibben
A little over a year ago we looked at the story of Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who at the time had been described by almost anyone who was an authority on ultimate fighters as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and how Jones had enrolled himself in rehab after a UFC mandated drug screening came up positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.
The professional record behind Jon Jones was beyond impressive leading up to the substance abuse issue that was taken up quickly by the press and had a great deal of consequences for the fighter. At just 23 years old had already become the youngest champion in UFC history, but that didn’t stop him from getting himself into trouble abusing drugs.
Back when the story was breaking out about Jones going to rehab he had just defeated Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision at UFC 182, which marked his eighth successful title defense- actually the most in UFC light heavyweight history! Now Jones talks about being 5 months sober and how he looks forward to getting back in the Octagon with a new state of mind.
It would seem after last week’s UFC “Unstoppable” press conference in Las Vegas that despite his indiscretions the MMA community is ready to forgive the man known as Jon “Bones” Jones. Before his time in treatment and out of the Octagon Jones had often been villainized by fans during his dominant reign in his weight division, however he was greeted with cheers at nearly every turn during Friday’s event at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Following an incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he fled the scene of a hit-and-run accident Jones was suspended indefinitely and stripped of his title. He later entered a plea agreement in the case and after demonstrating that he would fulfill the terms of his probation Jon Jones was reinstated by the UFC.
The former light heavyweight king will return to the Octagon on April 23rd for the first time in more than a year to face off once again against Daniel Cormier at UFC 197.More importantly, Jones says, he has a new outlook on life. Finally Jon Jones is being given an opportunity to get back the belt that was never truly taken from him, but the unstoppable “Bones” is ready for more reasons than one. This is clearly shown when looking at how there no love is lost between Jones and Cormier. Cormier seemed to discernibly displeased at the crowds adoration of Jones, and was booed repeatedly as he questioned the thought process of those in attendance. Jones couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to get in a few jabs at his rival while explaining his intentions to move forward from his troubles of the past year, stating:
“I had no clue what [Cormier] said over all those boos. There’s no secret I’ve had a lot of issues in my career. I think DC he wants me to sit up here with my head held low with a quitter attitude. I’ve went through my depressed moments and now I’m ready to get out of that and hold my head up high, forgive myself for some of the ways I’ve made mistakes and to move forward. He wants me to sit here all mopey; it’s not gonna happen.”
Jon Jones has stated since his recovery from his issues with drugs he is on a personal mission to prove to the world that you can get back on your feet after almost anything if you don’t give up on yourself. During the press conference Jones stated:
“We’re all on different journeys. Sometimes people mature faster than others. Sometimes it takes a few more mistakes to realize what they have and what they’re messing up,” Jones said. “For me I felt as if the last situation really brought me to my knees. I lost my respect nationwide. I lost my endorsements. I lost my job. I lost so much.
“For me this was rock bottom. Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to be alone and work on my character outside of being an athlete. Today I stand here five months sober, feeling amazing and rejuvenated. And I’m excited to get back in here, get on the right track and put on some exciting fights for you fans.”
With Jon Jones himself being to open and adamant about his excitement to be making progress in recovery and about his second chance at being the champion fighter he set out to be in the UFC it does stand to support the idea that even a word renowned fighter can get knocked down hard by drug addiction, but that anyone with a fighting spirit can have an honest shot at bouncing back and changing their life.
Anyone can become a victim to substance abuse, from celebrities and athletes to every-day citizens. We all also have the same chance to fight to survive our illness, but we all need to start training somewhere and there are plenty of people out there who want to help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135