Author: Justin Mckibben
According to some statistics, opioids killed nearly 30,000 Americans in 2014. This includes illicit narcotics and prescription painkillers. In the last two years there have been reports from all over the country of surges in overdoses and deaths, leading one to believe that number has been magnified with the growing epidemic. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in our country.
1 in 4 families are directly impacted by drug overdose. Whether that is you or not, you can see the impact it has on our communities. Now Palm Beach County is continuing to advocate for more resources to help the people most at risk fight back.
There will be Narcan Training events for local communities of Palm Beach County starting this month. The first seminar will be in Boca Raton, Florida at the St. Jude Reception Hall. This is about saving lives, and with so many lives be lost and others suffering, the time is now to learn how you may save a life.
The Problem in Palm Beach County
In 2014 there were an estimated 2,062 deaths due to prescription drugs. Many of these were opioid-related deaths, and heroin accounts for thousands more. In Florida, the total drug-related death toll increased by 14% in the first half of 2015 compared to 2014.
Palm Beach County saw an overdose rate increase of 425% so far in 2016 compared to 2015. There were 13 overdoses alone in Delray Beach last weekend. Hundreds more overdoses happened throughout Palm Beach County last month. The opiate epidemic has not spared any corner of the county, and many government officials and community organizations are pulling their resources in an effort to create strategies to prevent drug overdoses and save lives.
More about Narcan
Narcan, or the generic form Naloxone, is a life-saving opiate antidote. Some examples of opioids include:
An opioid overdose can cause breathing to slow down or stop completely, putting someone’s life in immediate danger. Narcan works by blocking the effects of opioids and can actually reverse an overdose in order to get medical attention to someone who is in need.
One major plus is that Narcan has no euphoric effects and cannot get someone “high” so abuse is not an issue. The overdose antidote is essentially harmless if there are no opiods present in someone’s system. If given to a person who has not taken opioids, there will be no effect. Narcan can still be effective when alcohol or other drugs are present with opiates.
Administration to opioid-dependent individuals may cause symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including:
- Fast heart rate
There are other measures that can be taken to help ease these symptoms as well.
Narcan and Naloxone expansion programs have become a huge part of states everywhere trying to solve the overdose death outbreak. Many communities have equipped their first responders with Narcan kits and given training on how to administer the antidote. Some police departments in Palm Beach County now carry Narcan or Naloxone kits. Now these programs are trying to empower more people in Palm Beach County.
The first free seminar on Narcan Training is October 24th at 6 o’clock PM. The training takes place in the St. Jude Reception Hall in Boca Raton, Florida. For more information and events, visit the website here.
The seminar is open to the public and will be teaching participants more about the dangers of drug overdose, as well as about Narcan.
Palm Beach County has seen what an opioid overdose can do. It has also seen how effective Narcan and Naloxone can be to helping prevent an overdose from turning into a death. Not only are there expansion programs out there making the medication more available, but the community in Palm Beach County is actively working to help the people understand how to utilize their resources. Putting this life saving medication in reach and teaching people how to use it can help us from having to helplessly watch our friends, family members or neighbors die.
Palm Beach County also has a strong recovery community, and many people got there through effective and innovative holistic drug and alcohol treatment. It is incredibly important to preserve life, and beyond that to improve the lives that are saved. Drug and alcohol treatment can be the first step to a new life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Music is always better when it means something, and sometimes that music needs to be heard so you have to play it really loud to get the message across. At least that’s what comes to mind when I think of a gang of rock bands and musicians getting together to jam out for a serious cause that could help make a real difference. Now in order to raise heroin awareness, a popular club in downtown Lake Worth, Florida called PROPAGANDA will be hosting a concert to raise money and awareness to fight heroin addiction and overdose deaths in their neighborhoods.
Florida Fighting Heroin and Fentanyl
It’s troubling to acknowledge that the heroin problem has become such a commonality, yet the truth is right there. Americans in every corner, from every walk of life are impacted every single day by this lethally illicit substance. Then the intense sedative Fentanyl only magnified the issue, while prescription painkillers lured more and more people into the grips of addiction.
Florida is no exception, and South Florida has seen its share. According to a recent report, from January to June of last year:
- Orlando was the Florida city with the most Fentanyl deaths- 50
- Miami was the second most heroin deaths- 40
- West Palm Beach had the most heroin deaths- 63
- Fort Lauderdale had third most heroin deaths- 34
So with heroin and opiate addiction being such a huge problem, more and more people are fighting to make a difference in their communities. With South Florida having such a prominent recovery community, and Delray Beach being referred to as the “Recovery Capital” there are more than enough people in South Florida willing to make a difference. Why not put together a lineup of local artists and ask them to tear up a stage to raise awareness?
Bands Take a Stand Against Heroin
According to Google, PROPAGANDA is a “Spartan bar with a hip vibe” showcasing performances from several styles of music including:
According to the PROPAGANDA website the fundraiser is scheduled for August 13th from 6 pm until 2 am. In the details section of the event a statement was issued stating:
“The tragic results that surround heroin abuse are real and can take the life of a friend or family member in the blink of an eye. The true spirit and identity of an individual can be masked when the dependency becomes so strong that decision making no longer reflects the individuals true desire.
Join us August 13th as local musicians, artists & people join together to shine the spotlight on this ongoing and recent spike in the destruction of people’s lives or even death as the result of the use of heroin.”
The project’s post goes on to list off the acts set so far to perform that evening under the title of the event- BANDS TAKE A STAND AGAINST HEROIN: AWARENESS AND BENEFIT CONCERT with a tentative lineup that includes:
The Drip Effect
Space Coast Ghosts
This list features styles ranging from melodic and alternative rock bands to underground hip hop artists. As far as the price of admission the page states there is a minimum entry fee of $5 donations. A specific charity is still to be announced at the time of this article.
One of the comments in the event posting states that a non-profit organization Florida Harm Reduction Initiative will also be offering Narcan trainings and overdose reversal kits for FREE at the show. These kinds of programs work with individuals in the community to teach them about the overdose antidote medication Narcan or Naloxone, and show people how to safely and effectively administer the medication in case of an emergency.
So far it seems the concept has been well received. Additional bands have reached out to get involved with the concert to show support for such an important cause.
Communities Coming Together
The organization of this kind of event and the passion that some people seem to have for the cause should come as no surprise, especially considering that reports in the past year have claimed that at least one out of every four people is somehow impacted by the opiate epidemic. It only makes sense then that people from all walks of life, including local rock stars and rap artists, have experienced some extent of the devastation involved with heroin overdose.
One thing that is awesome when seeing something like this is that when you look closely, events are organized all the time all over the country by concerned individuals, or public officials, both directly and indirectly involved in the recovery community. It goes to show that the stigma is being shed slowly but surely, while people are actively supporting each other with conviction and compassion. Regardless of your musical inclinations, the fact these groups get together to raise money and awareness makes me a fan.
Kudos to everyone involved. I’ll be dropping by to make my donation.
For people in this community and all over America that are looking for help, help is always there. Reach out and find it. Palm Partners prides itself on providing an empowering and effective holistic treatment program. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Runners, walkers and volunteers… take your mark and run to the rescue!
Palm Partners and Palm Healthcare are proudly supporting an event hosted by the Harrigan Foundation on February 6th, 2016 that is dedicated to trying to help find a way to best serve the amazing men and women who bravely serve their communities as First Responders.
What most people don’t know is that after experiencing terrible accidents day after day first responders can actually suffer from very serious trauma or even develop harsh addictions. Some recent shocking stats have shown:
- Firefighters: Up to 29% if firefighters engage in alcohol abuse.
- Police: 25% believe drinking to be part of the norm yet 25% have been affected negatively by the drinking of other coworkers.
- EMTs: EMTs have the highest rate of alcohol and drug abuse. It’s been revealed that 40% engage in high risk alcohol abuse and close to 20% experience PTSD.
Run to the Rescue will be our first annual 5K/1 mile walk here in the incredible beautiful scenery of Delray Beach, Florida. The Harrigan Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to actively pursue new and exciting resources. The foundation plans to volunteer time and make a positive impact in the community. The Harrigan Foundation has previously committed itself to serving the community in other ways such as the Basket Brigade during the Thanksgiving holiday season, and now we are working toward making a difference in more lives than ever.
For the First Responders
The Run to the Rescue event is one organized by the Harrigan Foundation and supported by Palm Healthcare that is determined to sponsor First Responders who suffer from addiction and/or trauma disorders. This includes the amazing and courageous men and women who serve as:
Honoring the great deal of devotion, sacrifice and compassion it takes to become one of these every day heroes the Harrigan Foundation has devoted itself to honoring the valiant individuals who work tirelessly to protect life and liberty.
Sponsor a Hero
The Run to the Rescue 5K/1 mile walk will be a fun and exciting way to help raise money to fund the Palm Healthcare scholarship program in order to sponsor any treatment our First Responders may need. These heroes have already done so much for us, and it is a chance for a call to action in order to give back.
The race is set to begin at Anchor Park in Delray Beach, Florida- 340 South Ocean Blvd. Starting whistle will be sounding off at 7:00AM with walkers following shortly after. Event details are as follows:
The Run to the Rescue 5K
- Time: 7:00AM EST- 9:00AM EST
- Price of Admission: $30 (price increases December 31, 2015 at 11:59PM EST)
The Run to the Rescue 1 Mile Walk
- Time: 7:15AM EST- 9:00AM EST
- Price of Admission: $10 (Registration ends February 1, 2016 at 11:59PM EST)
- Time: 6:00AM EST- 9:00AM EST
- Price of Admission: FREE (Registration ends February 1, 2016 at 11:59PM EST)
So for those who are not interested in running, there is still an opportunity to participate in the event and show support. The 5K will be a timed through AccuChip, while all people interested in walking the race are encouraged to bring their children.
There will also be snacks and refreshments before and after for all those who chose to step up and become part of this awesome experience with us. Not to mention an awards ceremony to celebrate those who came to compete with compassion.
For more information or to get registered to participate you can go to https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/DelrayBeach/HFRuntotheRescue5K and take part in this inspiring event to help change the lives of the remarkable and courageous men and women who work every day to save lives.
No first responder should have to stop doing their job because of the disease of addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
#Recovery #StayInformed #DelrayBeachChat… how many hash-tags (#) can we use to change the stigma?
Sunny Southern Florida is such an incredible area for people in recovery, even being often referred to frequently as the recovery capitol of the country with a vast network of treatment facilities in the area, and a thriving culture of young and active clean and sober residents. But there is still a population of the general public in these neighborhoods that don’t understand the depths of addiction, or how recovering addicts and alcoholics take the steps toward becoming new and amazing versions of themselves.
There has even at times been concern from citizens as to if this recovery culture isn’t hazardous to the community, but now there is a social media campaign that city officials in Delray Beach have designed to educate the public about the reality of addiction and what it really means to recover.
Drugs and addiction are not very easy topics of conversation, no matter what part of town in what state you live in. When most people hear those words they tend to think of criminals, degenerates, vagrancy and violence. However, that is not the reality. While it may be true that drug use is against the law, it doesn’t mean that every addict is a criminal.
This past Wednesday The Delray Beach Drug Task Force, along with the Delray Beach Police Department and the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, took action to try and inform the public about the positive impacts of the recovery community and the facts of addiction by hosting a Twitter chat under the hashtag #DelrayBeachChat with the purpose of debunking myths and reducing the stigma. When looking at this, it is actually awesome to see city officials taking a stand to support individuals who have been low long enough, to keep those who don’t understand from kicking them while their down. Executive Director of The Delray Beach Drug Task Force Suzanne Spencer explained,
“I actually think one of the mistaken fears that people have is we seem to lump addiction and recovery into the same category and they’re clearly different,”
Suzanne Spencer speaks up about how addiction is not a choice, and supports the understanding of addiction as a disease. She went on to say,
“You don’t wake up one morning and say hey it’s great day in sunny South Florida I think I’ll become an addict today. People don’t have a choice in whether they become an addict, but they do have a choice on whether or not they can recover,”
Spencer attested that there are 20 million American people living in long term recovery, and “that’s definitely signs of success.” Sadly, people are more used to seeing the negatives of addiction being projected through the media and exacerbated in news headlines and celebrity scandals.
Not only does the Delray Beach Drug Task Force support their recovery community, but the whole of the Delray Beach Police Department actually cooperated with the chat. Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman said he understands the community’s concern, but still supports the recovery industry in the area stating:
“It’s an individual that has an addictive personality that might have been here trying to get treatment, but fell off the wagon as we say. We really didn’t have many programs in place. We are starting to work on some new programs, some cutting edge programs in my opinion, working with The Delray Beach Drug Task Force community. So we’re trying to find a way to solve that.”
Now in regards to the treatment industry itself, Chief Goldman also recognizes there’s some work to be done in Delray Beach. Given the area consists of such a large number of rehabs and sober living homes, there are always going to be a few shady businesses who also reinforce the stigma and give the industry a bad name in the eyes of the public. Goldman stated:
“just like any other profession ninety-nine percent of the people in that business are doing a great job. There is that one percent that is the unscrupulous people. That’s the ones we’re trying to go after.”
The work that has to go into holding these businesses accountable and resolving on how to regulate the industry is the same work that has to go into dissolving the stigma and teaching the community about addiction and recovery, and it all starts with active open discussion. #DelrayBeachChat is one way that these officials utilized the medium of social media to try and make that more possible and make the information more accessible to those who needed it most.
Delray Beach is an amazing place to get sober. For many people it can make a huge difference just because of the size and diversity of the recovery community, and those who actively recover can also help make a positive impact on local businesses and policies. Not everyone will get to experience the recovery life in Delray Beach, Florida because they don’t know it’s there, but for those who do it’s all about improve our own lives and trying to make a positive contribution. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, Palm Partners is an integral piece of the Delray Beach recovery community. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 and get the help that creates change for life.
Author: Justin Mckibben
November 2014 was a big month for the marijuana reform movement with midterm election that set the tone for the reshaping of pot policies in America. A handful of states took the opportunity to push for legislation allowing recreational marijuana use, and others saw their voters getting closer and closer to putting similar laws into action. Now it is starting to look as if 2016 could be a big year for pot policy reform as well, especially since according to recent survey results being released the majority of voters in three crucial swing states support legalizing marijuana, a point that could put the issue on the table in the next presidential election.
So far marijuana reform has taken some pretty big leaps and bounds when it comes to legalization. Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. passed legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana, along with possession for anyone 21 and over, and even allowing individuals to grow marijuana themselves.
Other states such as Indiana are still pushing for medical marijuana reform, and the new U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently gave an interview with a television news program during which he openly expressed his support for the medical marijuana movement.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also suggested reclassifying marijuana to a Schedule II drug so that research on the medicinal benefits of cannabis could be researched. Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug, making it prohibited from being used for medical research. So with all this reform, is it possible that marijuana will soon be rescheduled, and then maybe re-evaluated by more states for its usefulness?
Recent Survey Says
The Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll was released this week by Quinnipiac University, and it shows voters at a 5-1 margin in support of pot policy reform.
- 55% of voters in Florida
- 52% of voters in Ohio
- 51% of voters in Pennsylvania
Those are the voters in favor of allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and that is just on the recreational side of the argument. Support for medical marijuana was even higher. In those same states the support for marijuana to be used for medical purpose is:
- 84% of voters in Florida
- 84% of voters in Ohio
- 88% of voters in Pennsylvania
Strangely enough, while this is a great deal of support for passing laws allowing the use of marijuana, not too many of the citizens polled said they would be using.
- 17% of Florida voters say they “definitely” or “probably” would use it
- 81% of Florida voters say they “probably” or “definitely” would not use it
- 14% of Ohio voters say they “definitely” or “probably would use it
- 84% of Ohio voters say “definitely” or “probably” not use it
- 15% of Pennsylvania voters say they are likely to try
- 83% of Pennsylvania voters say no
Some people are already ahead of the game on this one. Florida and Pennsylvania both already have pending bills to legalize marijuana in the upcoming year, and in Ohio the Ohio Rights Group (ORG) is an organization that is trying to get marijuana legalized in Ohio that has currently gathered over one hundred thousand signatures for a petition to get marijuana legalization on the ballot for next year. However the cause needs 385,000 to get it on the Ohio ballot.
What is so important about these states? Well again we are wondering what weight this topic will have on the next presidential election, and because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.
Drug Climate Change
So far it doesn’t seem like the weed wars are quite yet over, but marijuana reform doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon either. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, recreational marijuana is legal in 3, and both are legal in Washington, D.C.
Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton was previously opposed to marijuana legalization, but has changed her tune in recent years. She has said in the last year,
“I’m a big believer in acquiring evidence. And I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana before we make any far-reaching conclusions.”
Other surveys have shown that more than 58% of Americans want the consumption of the drug legalized and many activists feel, and marijuana activists expect a huge turnout of young people at the polls, and with nearly 70% of 18- to 29-year-old Americans in support of the legalization of marijuana. So while some are worried about Hillary’s conviction and commitment to the marijuana cause, they have faith in the American people showing up in support of legalization.
So with the possibility of big change coming, and the distant hint that some think marijuana will be legal on a national level, what does that mean to the men and women who still suffer from addiction and drug abuse? Does that mean more temptation, or could it possibly mean less stigma for drug users and more access to drug treatment? Only time will tell it seems.
A drug is a drug. Marijuana is a drug, and alcohol is a drug. Legal or not, they have the ability to impact lives in a way that creates unhealthy habits and can ultimately grow into more serious and life-threatening addictions. But no matter what the drug, there is help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135