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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

The 10 Best Palm Partners Blogs of 2013

The 10 Best Palm Partners Blogs of 2013

As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look at 2013 in blogs. Here, we count down to the best blog of the year in this list of the 10 best Palm Partners blogs of 2013 as chosen by you, our dedicated readers!

#10: Natasha Lyonne Channels Her Inner Junkie on ‘Orange is the New Black’

Lyonne stars in the Netflix’s smash hit “Orange is the New Black,” which premiered in July. The critically acclaimed show is already garnering a very large following.

“I certainly think that my personal experience gave me a lot of access to my character’s internal world,” Lyonne tells The Post. “She’s not too different from me. She comes from a pretty good home, not a ton of financial difficulty, but still with its own dysfunction.”

(interesting side note:  at one point in the “Orange is the New Black”, we see a huge scar on Lyonne’s chest from a heart surgery her character received related to her drug abuse. In reality, she actually had that exact surgery and that scar is real.)

Read more here:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/natasha-lyonne-channels-her-inner-junkie-on-orange-is-the-new-black/

#9: History of Drug Abuse: The 80’s

The ‘80s might as well have been called the “cocaine ‘80s.”

Faced with dropping prices for their illegal product, drug dealers made a decision to convert the powder to “crack,” a solid smoke able form of cocaine that could be sold in smaller quantities, to more people. It was cheap, simple to produce, ready to use, and highly profitable for dealers to develop.

Crack first began to be used on a large scale in Los Angeles in 1984. The distribution and use of the drug exploded that same year. By the end of 1986, it was available in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

Read more about cocaine and the crack epidemic here:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/history-of-drug-abuse-the-80s/

#8: 5 Ways to Stop Being Codependent

Ask yourself:

Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments? Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you? Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem? Are the opinions of others more important than your own? Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?

You may be codependent if you answered “yes” to any of these. One of the 5 ways to stop being codependent is to set and maintain healthy boundaries.

Here’s how: http://blog.palmpartners.com/5-ways-to-stop-being-codependent/

#7: Drug Myths Debunked: Heroin

What many people know about heroin is from what they see portrayed on television. Heroin and heroin users are surrounded by a cloud of hysteria, horrific media, and quick judgment. We are here to set the record straight. Because while heroin, yes, is very dangerous and addictive, some of what you may or may not know about this drug and its users are myth not fact.

For instance, many people think that heroin is more dangerous than alcohol.

This, in fact, is false. Heroin is not more dangerous than alcohol. In reality, alcohol is just as dangerous as heroin. The truth is alcohol in a lot of ways is even more dangerous than heroin. Alcohol just happens to be more socially accepted.

Don’t believe us? Read more here: http://blog.palmpartners.com/drug-myths-debunked-heroin/

#6: Can my employer fire me for going to rehab?

Many addicts and alcoholics are ignorant about their own rights. The truth is that while addicts will have plenty to worry about if they quality of their work declines due to drug and alcohol use, those who are willing to get help are protected under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave act.

Learn more about your rights here:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/can-my-employer-fire-me-for-going-to-rehab/

#5: Substance Showdown: Bath Salts vs. Meth

Most of us are familiar with The Meth Project which has brought us the train-wreck images that exemplify “meth mouth.” So, what about bath salts? Well, bath salts gained notoriety pretty quick due to the little incident of one man eating another man’s face that gave every zombie fan everywhere something to worry about. Luckily, last year’s cannibalism was a false alarm on the zombie apocalypse even though all the warnings about bath salts weren’t and well meth is still going steady as it always has.

Find out which drug ranks as the worst here:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/substance-showdown-bath-salts-vs-meth/

#4: Parent’s Guide to Drug Abuse: Drug Paraphernalia

Most parents are uneducated in what’s going on in the “streets” and the terms being used to refer to drugs and drug paraphernalia.

So what is drug paraphernalia? And, where can your kids get drug paraphernalia?

Find out more here: http://blog.palmpartners.com/parents-guide-to-drug-abuse-drug-paraphernalia/

#3: 13 Worst Sobriety Tattoos Ever

I would recommend waiting until you have a little bit of sober time under your belt before you go out and get permanent ink on your body, or don’t. It is entirely up to you, just remember that getting tattoos removed is SUPER expensive!

Here are some serious sobriety tattoo fails:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/13-worst-sobriety-tattoos-ever/

#2: Everyday Things that Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

Anyone who has ever had a false positive on a drug test knows the frustration and stress it can cause. You find yourself in defense mode knowing you did nothing wrong and yet the test clearly shows you failed for THC, PCP, meth, whatever it is. How do you combat with scientific proof?

Here is a list of everyday things that can make you fail a drug test:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/everyday-things-that-can-make-you-fail-a-drug-test/

And the top Palm Partners blog of 2013 is…

#1: Your Face on Drugs: Cocaine

The infamous coke bloat…the best way to describe this is really just to tell you to google images for “Kate Moss.” Throughout the years, her face has undergone many a transformation – and we’re not talking about the usual celebrity plastic surgery. No, Kate Moss’ face has been dealt a brutal blow from well, blow. Other than the obvious accelerated signs of aging, Moss’ face has taken on the uneven puffiness that is characteristic of faces of cocaine addicts.

Read more details about how cocaine distorts your face here:

http://blog.palmpartners.com/your-face-on-drugs-cocaine/

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

The Horrors of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

The Horrors of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

If you have never heard of mandatory minimum sentencing you may want to find out what it is. Mandatory minimum sentencing is a dark side of the criminal justice system. It has put many underserving people behind bars with ridiculously lengthy sentences. And their crimes? Well, they weren’t murder or rape or even assault.

What are mandatory minimum sentences?

Mandatory minimum sentence is a fixed sentence that a judge is forced to deliver to an individual convicted of a crime, neglecting the culpability and other mitigating factors involved in the crime. For example, people convicted of certain crimes must be punished with at least a minimum number of years in prison. In 1986, Congress enacted mandatory minimum sentencing laws to impose the mandatory minimum sentence.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Why it’s unfair

These laws were enacted as a way to provide consistent, stern sentences for all offenders who commit the same crime. But instead of being helpful they have made the problem much worse. They have shifted the justice system’s attention away from deciding guilt or innocence. And instead have given prosecutors more leverage, these laws often result in different sentences for different offenders who have committed similar crimes. Essentially mandatory minimum sentencing forces judges to send offenders to jail regardless of the type of crime or individual circumstance. This takes the entire court system out of the equation. It takes the neutral judge out of the equation too and leaves the sentencing up to the prosecutor who if they wish can sentence a person to the mandatory minimum sentence. And guess who gets the most mandatory minimum sentences? Non-violent drug offenders. Does this sound fair to you?

If you are still unsure about the fairness of mandatory minimum sentencing why don’t you ask the people who were sentenced to one a few of them.

Ronald Evans, 1993, got life in prison without the possibility of parole. Why? Because he was the supposed leader of a conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. Prosecutors estimated the amount of drugs he was responsible for based on testimony from his co-defendants and gave him the life sentence based on the assumption that he was the organizer of the conspiracy.

His sentence is based on an Anti-Drug Law passed by  Congress in 1988. The change was to apply the mandatory sentences of 1986, intended for high level traffickers, to anyone who was a member of a drug trafficking conspiracy. The effect of this amendment was to make everyone in a conspiracy liable for every act of the conspiracy. If a defendant is simply the doorman at a crack house, he is liable for all the crack ever sold from that crack house — indeed, he is liable for all of the crack ever sold by the organization that runs the crack house.

Telisha Watkin, 2007, got 20 years in prison for setting up a single sale of crack cocaine. Telisha Watkins arranged a cocaine deal for an old neighbor who was actually a police informant. Watkins thought the deal she was doing just involved cocaine but it turned out there was also crack in the package. So she was given the sentence that was three times as severe as it would have been if it had just been cocaine.

Watkins was more severely sentenced for crack due to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, passed in 1986 in response to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 80’s. The law included a provision that created the disparity between federal penalties for crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses penalizing the possession of an amount of crack 100 times smaller than the amount of cocaine that would lead to a penalty for possession of powder cocaine. For three decades, those who were arrested for possessing crack cocaine faced much more severe penalties than those in possession of powder cocaine. In 2010, after many years of advocacy groups trying to overturn the legistlation and faced with overwhelming evidence that crack cocaine is no more addictive than powder cocaine, the Fair Sentancing Act was signed into law by President Obama. The law reduced the disparity between the amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine needed to trigger certain United States federal criminal penalties from a 100:1 weight ratio to an 18:1 weight ratio and eliminated the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine, among other provisions.

Timothy Tyler got a life sentence for distributing LSD when he was 25 after struggling with mental illness and drug addiction. Tyler got hooked on LSD himself when touring with the Grateful Dead after high school. After he was arrested for selling drugs with his father in 1992, a Florida judge was forced to give him the life sentence because he’d already been caught selling LSD twice before. Both of his prior convictions resulted in probation though.

Tyler was also a victim of draconion drug laws enacted in the 80’s. Congress enacted  “three strikes and you’re out” laws, and many states followed suit with similar laws. These laws mandate that people with two prior felony convictions serve a life sentence for a third.

Thankfully someone has recognized the ridiculous and totally unreasonable mandatory minimum sentences, enter in, Eric Holder.

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Holder told the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates in San Francisco. Although he said the United States should not abandon being tough on crime, Holder embraced steps to address “shameful” racial disparities in sentencing, the budgetary strains of overpopulated prisons and policies for incarceration that punish and rehabilitate, “not merely to warehouse and forget.” The idea behind Holder’s plan is to scale back prosecution for certain drug offenders — those with no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels. He said they would no longer be charged with offenses that “impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences.” They now “will be charged with offenses for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins.” Holder also will be lessening the use of mandatory minimums sentences that require a “one-size-fits-all” punishment for those convicted of federal and state crimes.

And with that hopefully sooner rather than later we will see the end of small time drug offenders filling our jails and prisons unfairly. Hopefully the people who need it will be able to get some kind of drug treatment instead of severe prison time. If you or someone you know is in need of drug treatment, we can help! Give us a call at 800-951-6135.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/12/politics/holder-mandatory-minimums/index.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/10-most-outrageous-mandatory-minimum-2013-4?op=1

History of Drug Abuse: The 80’s

History of Drug Abuse 1980s

The 80s might as well have been called the “cocaine 80s”.

Cocaine was the most popular recreational drug in the 80s. It was frequently used by youth because it was cheap, plentiful, and highly addictive and it was also glamorized by Hollywood. Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and rock stars gravitated toward cocaine in the 1980s. The popularity soon trickled down to young professionals and Average Joes who spent small fortunes to snort lines of white powder. The drug made headlines for contributing to the deaths of such notables as comedian John Belushi and college basketball star Len Bias. Belushi died in 1982, five years before most of today’s college students were born.

Cocaine played a part in the lives of every social class especially after it evolved into rock cocaine or “crack,” which became a lower class version of powder cocaine.

You would think that since everything was cheaper in the 80s, cocaine would be too since there was so much of it, but in the 80s, 1 gram of cocaine cost around $100 to $125. The cost obviously has declined since then. Today you could get a half ounce of cocaine for 400 dollars. Cocaine and crack were so rampant in the 80s that in a 1986 poll, crack and cocaine won out over alcohol for most abused drug, which is pretty impressive. But as the numbers of cocaine users rose, so did the people jailed for it.  And with that, there were several anti-drug policies such as “Just Say No” and DARE that lessened cocaine use in following decades.

History of drug abuse: 80s in general

The late 1980s witnessed a drug “panic,” “crisis,” or “scare”. Public concern about drug use, although it had been building throughout the 1980s, fairly exploded late in 1985 and early in 1986. And the drug that was the special target of public concern was cocaine, more specifically, crack, a cocaine derivative. Drug use generally came to be seen as some say, the social problem of the decade. Drug use, abuse, and misuse emerged into the limelight as never before. It is possible that in no other decade has the issue of drugs occupied such a huge and troubling space in the public consciousness. And it is possible that no specific drug has dominated center stage in this concern as crack cocaine did between 1986 and, roughly, late 1989 to early 1990.

Crack use in the 1980s: In the early 1980s, the majority of cocaine being shipped to the United States, landing in Miami, was coming through the Bahamas and Dominican Republic. Soon there was a huge glut of cocaine powder in these islands, which caused the price to drop by as much as 80 percent. Faced with dropping prices for their illegal product, drug dealers made a decision to convert the powder to “crack,” a solid smoke able form of cocaine that could be sold in smaller quantities, to more people. It was cheap, simple to produce, ready to use, and highly profitable for dealers to develop. As early as 1981, reports of crack were appearing in Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Houston, and in the Caribbean.

Crack first began to be used on a large scale in Los Angeles in 1984. The distribution and use of the drug exploded that same year. By the end of 1986, it was available in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

In 1985, cocaine-related hospital emergencies rose by 12 percent, from 23,500 to 26,300. In 1986, it then increased 210 percent, from 26,300 to 55,200. Between 1984 and 1987, cocaine incidents increased to 94,000.

The crack epidemic is related to a sharp increase in crime on an unprecedented scale, especially violent crime. Research by two prominent economists from the University of Chicago, Steven Levitt (co-author of Freakonomics and winner of the 2003 John Bates Clark Medal) and Kevin Murphy (winner of the 1997 John Bates Clark Medal) suggest that crack was the most prominent factor contributing to the rise and fall of social problems in the African American and Latino communities between 1980 and 2000. Between 1984 and 1994, the homicide rate for black males aged 14 to 17 more than doubled, and the homicide rate for black males aged 18 to 24 increased nearly as much. During this period, the black community also experienced an increase in fetal death rates, low birth-weight babies, weapons arrests, and the number of children in foster care leading to the term “crack babies”.

There could be a lot more to say about the 80s when it comes to drugs, but if you really do your homework, cocaine is what defined this decade. While drug abuse was still going on with every substance; cocaine is what defined the 80s.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for Cocaine or Crack Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135.

Sources:

www.gallup.com/poll/6352/decades-drug-use-80s-90s.aspx

 

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/panic.htm

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2590226/

 

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