Author: Shernide Delva
You would expect a country like Saudi Arabia to have the lowest rates of drug and alcohol abuse. The country is extremely conservative: Drugs are banned and it is illegal to produce, import or consume alcohol. Saudi Arabia prides itself in following a strict interpretation of the Koran. It also is home to Mecca, the most sacred site within Islam.
Activities such as going to movies, parties, playing music in public and mingling with unrelated people of the opposite sex are illegal and result in arrest. Drug possession is punishable by death. The Saudi government even bans items such as poppy seeds and nutmeg.
Despite all of that, a new report shows that young upper-class Saudis are flouting above the Islamic law by drinking, using drugs and participating in “wild sex parties.” And according to unnamed ex-patriarch, authorities are turning a blind eye to all of it
“Saudi Arabia prides itself with presenting its hard-line and devoutly religious face to the world, but beneath the surface everything is available at the right price and people turn a blind eye in one of the world’s richest countries where money is never an issue,” said the ex-pat.
The report comes after 210,000 people in the UK protested against the public flogging of Karl Andree who was sentenced to 350 lashes after being caught with 12 bottles of homemade wine. The protesters begged Prime Minister David Cameron to prevent the flogging because the 74-year-old father who had battled cancer and has asthma and would be unlikely to survive the lashings. Fortunately, news came out that Andree would be spared the punishment.
Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Consumption: How it Happens
Even with the harsh laws surrounding alcohol consumption, people still find ways around it. Like the old mantra says, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The most common method of consuming alcohol is gathering ingredients to make your own home brew. The main ingredients are yeast and sugar. People who are smart usually do not buy these two items together because it can be seen as suspicious. Consequently, foreigners have been known to receive up to 500 lashes for alcohol trading. Sounds like a painful tradeoff.
Diplomats usually avoid having their bags checked at airports so they are able to take in duty-free spirits. Therefore, special functions at foreign embassies will often have a good selection of alcoholic beverages. Everyone else should not try to take alcohol through a Saudi airport. You will almost certainly be caught.
Those who drink in Saudi Arabia are taking more than just a risk based on legalities. Alcohol consumption in Saudi Arabia is unsafe even when you don’t get caught. Because more alcoholic drinks come from home brews, it makes it impossible to know how strong they are so you will usually be consuming something of unknown strength.
The most popular spirit in Saudi is known as siddiqi or sid. The spirit varies in strength but is definitely stronger than what is available here in the states. Think of it more along the lines of Moonshine in alcohol content. Sid can be as strong as 90% alcohol and it often contains impurities. Therefore, alcohol poisoning is common when people are drinking such strong concoctions.
The Underground Drug Market
Believe it or not, according to the report, citizens in Saudi Arabia apparently are using Tinder to secure booze, prostitutes, marijuana, and abortion pills. The meth epidemic is overwhelming the country and many young Saudis are getting high off Captagon, an amphetamine used by Isis fighters to stay alert during battle and perform dangerous driving stunts.
According to the report, the upper-class is getting away with having parties “crazy even by western standards.” People are in “hot tubs having sex” in them, the article notes. This is in a country where adultery can be punished by beheading. However, because of status of the wealthy participants, often these behaviors are ignored.
On top of that, Saudi Arabia has been called the world’s worst place for addicts.
“There’s a very poor response in the field of treatment. There are some initiatives, but there is nothing at all in the field of prevention. Prevention in the Middle East and North Africa region is a catastrophe.”
Treatment options in Saudi Arabia are very limited and prevention is almost nonexistent. In an article, it was mentioned that censorship is becoming the problem, not the solution. Saudi Arabia won’t be able to ignore it for long.
Until Saudi Arabia acknowledges the drug and substance use that is being swept under the rug, those who need treatment continue to be ignored. Hopefully this report will raise awareness. The only one who can make the choice to change is you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-561-221-1125
Author: Justin Mckibben
Drunk driving is one of the most utterly irresponsible and perilous acts someone can participate in. Not just because it puts the one driving drunk at risk, but it threatens the lives of anyone else on the road, drivers and passengers. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed and approximately 290,000 were injured from accidents involving drunk driving according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), not to mention the thousands of family members who suffered or lost a loved one.
On top of that drugged driving, tired driving or driving while texting are all also very dangerous and possibly lethal, and there are some very dedicated organizations focused on raising awareness and spreading the statistics to the general public in hopes of curbing these trends and evading more suffering victims and grieving families. Some of these organizations are very bold with their message and go to great lengths to be graphic with their delivery, which can sometimes cause a controversy.
So how much is too much? Or is there a such thing when trying to wake up the world and save lives?
2 for 1 Coffins
Recently there has been some buzz about a controversial ad put out for Easter by the Buen Camino funeral parlor in the Paraguay capital, Asuncion. The ad started catching some serious attention for the nature of the original image which showed 2 coffins with a caption that offered 2 for the price of 1. One thing that may have stirred up a lot of debate about this depiction was that one coffin appears much smaller than the other, which one would assume indicates it is a child’s coffin.
The ad campaign was versatile with its vendetta. It also offered 50% off gravestones with an image of three different headstones as if to highlight them like new heels in a fashion magazine. Another picture displayed decorative funeral wreath arrangements with the same 2 for 1 tag.
The ad’s message reads:
“You’re bothered by seeing this image, but it would be worse if you needed to use this service. Avoid drink-driving. Avoid accidents. Avoid the need for discount funeral services.”
While this was a very clever and direct tactic, it seems that initially the internet was flooded with horrified social media users who began to share the campaign images on Facebook and Twitter.
This ad was eventually discovered to be an anti-drunk driving campaign that was created in conjunction with the Association for Road Security and petrol distribution company Copetrol. A while after the initial uproar about what some people saw as ‘distasteful’ marketing, the ads continue to spark online debates and discussion on whether this has gone too far.
While some argue that this is advertising done in very bad taste, others insist it is good to have such a strong message. Sometimes people need to get grabbed by what shocks them. Creating and emotional response is a powerful tool to anchor in an idea, and an ad like this can do that very well.
Other Shocking Ads
This is definitely not the first time that an organization has gotten together and developed a way to draw the eye into the distressing and troubling truths behind driving under the influence, or driving while tired or texting. Scare tactics can make an impression that sometimes people don’t always understand, but more times than not a well placed metaphor can really strive a nerve that can stick with you.
One ad created for the Dutch Association of Traffic Victims is an image of a cell phone with a picture on the screen that makes it look as though the phone is her coffin. The caption says:
“Every year 40 people die using a mobile phone while driving.”
This ad is probably the cleverest on the list, and probably surrounded with a lot of controversy especially from the company it was imitating. In 2007 there was an image made to emulate the famous advertising campaign done by the Absolut Vodka Company where they made various objects and images appear to form the shape of their signature vodka bottle. Typically these images come with a caption that will say ‘Absolut (BLANK)’ in a reference to whatever the pictures subject is.
This Blue Cross anti-drinking and driving ad took the mangled and destroyed remains of a wrecked vehicle and shaped the vodka bottle, and the caption said:
That is a very ingenious and powerful approach given the house-hold name and their branding that was manipulated to get a more serious picture across.
In another intensely graphic campaign the Bangalore Traffic Police have been running an outdoor ad using disturbing photography to shock people out of talking to their friends and families on the phone while they are driving.
In these images there is someone on a phone, with blood splashing out of the receiver all over the shocked friend or family member, with a caption that reads:
“Don’t talk while he/she drives.”
Are these ads taking it too far? Or are they just what we need to show people the severity of the situation?
Advertisers do have a moral and social responsibility, and some expect them to carry it out in a respectable decorum while still spiking some interests. Of course in this case it would seem that the ends definitely justify the means, because while the ads are a bit dark and unsettling to some, they catch the eye and prove a point. It may not be as “fun” as some of those ‘drink responsibly’ alcohol ads with bikinis and sports cars, but they make an impact that is honest and powerful.
Drunk driving kills. So does driving while tired, and driving while texting. When we get behind the wheel, we need to be ready to be responsible for the safe of ourselves and those with us, and if people need to be showed something that makes their pulse race to remind them of that, I’d say that’s better than no pulse at all.
Fatal accidents across the country claim thousands of innocent lives, and all because of those who get drunk, and get behind the wheel. If you have a habit of drunk (drugged) driving, driving tired or even driving while texting, perhaps it is time to consider how many lives, how many families you put in harm’s way. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Hey there kids! Who’s excited about this weeks crazy news stories?! OK, so maybe it’s just me. But hey, I love reading about the ridiculousness that goes on around the world, especially being reminded that at one point I was a leading contributor to a lot of shenanigans myself. Now that I no longer feed too much into the tom-foolery of today, I appreciate the little things in life, like a laugh at the expense of some very crazy people, or some people just victims of crazy situations. Here you go, served on a black bun with a extra large side of stupid, here are the crazy news stories of the week!
D.A.R.E. Doll Drug Smuggler
The acronym D.A.R.E. has been famous since it was originally conceived in 1983 by Chief Daryl Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department and developed by Dr. Ruth Rich of the Los Angeles Unified School District as a substance abuse prevention program for grades K-12. D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, a program that aims to educate young people about staying away from drugs, gangs and violence by making presentations at schools and in communities.
The irony here is that Gregory Bolognese, a 22-year-old New York man, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana by state police. It couldn’t be determined if he has a lawyer. State police say Bolognese was found with marijuana, cocaine and LSD hidden inside a stuffed animal dressed in a D.A.R.E. anti-drug T-shirt. Apparently Mr. Bolognese missed the point.
Troopers say Bolongnese was arrested Monday at his hometown bus station near the Canadian border, after it was stated officers had discovered two grams of marijuana, about a half-gram of cocaine, and some LSD inside a stuffed lion doll wearing the D.A.R.E. shirt. The stuffed D.A.R.E. lion was also taken in for questioning, although it is currently unclear as to whether or not either has obtained a lawyer.
Bad Cop Butt-Dial
Next time you want to buy and sell drugs, make sure you don’t butt-dial your local police department. A Middle Tennessee man has been arrested this week after dispatchers heard him discussing drugs on an accidental 911 call. Apparently the police dispatchers traced the call when they wear able to hear the suspect talking about getting high and going to a drug dealer’s house on an open line. That’s one smooth operator.
The police report explained that an officer was able to spot the suspect, Grant O’Connor in a vehicle leaving a restaurant parking lot. Upon searching the car the officer found a bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia underneath O’Connor’s seat.
The local news reports claim that Grant O’Connor was charged with simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia after his arrest in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee this part Friday. O’Connor was later released on $3,500 bond the following day.
Breaking and Entering… and Napping
William Duffy, a 35-year-old Bradford, Pennsylvania resident faces a preliminary hearing Thursday on criminal trespass and public drunkenness charges, for sleeping at the wrong place at the wrong time. According to Pennsylvania State Police the man broke into a northwestern Pennsylvania bar, where he was found sleeping it off… on a table.
Duffy was arraigned Sunday morning, about four hours after he was found black-out drunk inside the Mountain Inn Bar in Mount Jewett, about 110 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Police say the bar owner called to report someone loitering near the business. By the time police arrived shortly after 4 a.m., they found that Duffy had actually broken into the bar through a window and was napping on a table in the kitchen. Apparently he didn’t get around to cooking breakfast, but I guess that was close enough.
Burgers are the New Black?
Is burger the new black? Once burgers go black will they ever go back? Are we trying to market to a more ‘metal’ crowd here? Or is it just a weird new Japanese thing?
Since 2012 apparently Burger King Japan has made a reputation for unleashing its “Kuro” black burgers on the masses. This strange and gothic burger with all the ‘emo-ish’ trimmings is brought to the dark-side by way of squid ink and bamboo charcoal, according to company press release. Thankfully the actually burger-meat is broiled, and not really all that black. So I guess the question is, does it just look the most morbid burger ever, or does it taste equally as depressing?
If you’re looking for a reason to waste some stamps, and would like to grab up a record for some serious junk mail, take a crack at getting a real piece of trash shipped through the post office and glory awaits at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not annual Strange Mail Contest!
Participants in this prestigious contest have sent all types of strange and puzzling things in, like tree trunks, a traffic cone, or even a prosthetic arm to the Orlando, Florida headquarters of Ripley’s. There was a catch for the contest: The items could not be packaged in a box, envelope or any wrapping of any kind, and the postage and address must be placed directly on the item. This made for several interesting entries indeed.
And the winner is… drum roll please… Pat Moser of King, North Carolina! Judges weren’t stumped when it came to picking the winning entry. It was an actual tree trunk with a horseshoe embedded in it. I don’t even think ‘random’ is enough to describe such an idea.
Surprisingly there was an equally intriguing story to the item. At some point a wind storm had uprooted the 75-year-old tree. When Pat Moser started cutting it up the trunk, he discovered the horse shoe inside. At 19 pounds, the trunk was the heaviest item in the contest. It cost all of $30.45 to ship, according to Edward Meyer, Ripley’s vice president of exhibits and archives.
As his reward for submitting the strangest item, Moser is being sent the last 10 years of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! books. Although truthfully the weirdest thing about the contest may be the fact the odd objects made it to their destination in the first place.
“We want to give a lot of credit to the U.S. Postal Service. They delivered some very strange and sometimes very fragile items a long way with a 99 percent success rate, “ said one of the head Ripley’s officials after the contest was all said and done.
Between bad butt-dialing, black burgers, and one of the worlds worst drug smugglers this has been a pretty interesting week for crazy news stories. The best part is, a lot of us addicts and alcoholics can remember similar situations, and those of us in recovery are definitely glad we didn’t have to make this weeks head-lines. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 and try and get some good news out of it.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Meth for Ministry
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Walter White of the hit series Breaking Bad was a preacher instead of a teacher? OK, me neither, but this is pretty close anyway. Judith Hemken, 53, and Tiffany Burton, 26, were accused of cooking meth inside a southern Illinois church and arrested near Hillsboro. A member of the Waveland Hillsboro Presbyterian Church apparently ‘noticed activity’ in the building on a Tuesday night when it was supposed to be empty and reported it to the authorities.
According to Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins the church member reportedly spotted one woman outside the church and another in its basement, with what appeared to be parts of a meth lab. The women fled, but were pulled over by police. After which a clandestine meth lab in the church basement was discovered and officers had to extinguish a small fire that started due to the lithium and moisture from a sink drain.
Neither woman was affiliated with Waveland, Robbins said. Since the alleged lab was inside a church, the women could face enhanced sentences of up to 40 years in prison. May God have mercy on these two, because with this being such a strange case and the criminal activity in question being done on holy ground there is no telling if the judge will.
Mikey Mouse Ain’t Nothing to Mess with
Now this has yet to be revealed as a hoax, but a recent road rage video clip caught on camera in Russia over the weekend shows a disgruntled motorist stopping a vehicle with which he’s had some kind of problem. The video shows him walk toward the vehicle and be quickly over-run and assaulted, as people dressed as Mickey Mouse, Spongebob Squarepants, Scrat from “Ice Age” and some kind of spotted furry creature jump out and start beating him. Kicking and punching the man.
Some might say that he was being viciously attacked after exhibiting some road rage, others might say he was an adoring fan or cartoons who was greeted by his favorite giant stuffed animals with a fury of ‘fist cuddles’.
Hallucinated Hostage Situation
In a Florida home of Jackson County there apparently was a hostage situation that turned out to be more- or less- than it appeared. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded last Sunday after several reports came in that there were three people screaming out of a home, claiming to have been taken hostage.
Authorities arrived at the residence and were told that the three supposed victims were 18-year-old Madison Douglas, 21-year-old Damian Hines, and 30-year-old Matthew McDaniel. The officers answering the distress call were informed that the 3 had been taken hostage for several hours. Bullet holes were found in the windows and walls, and the victims completely removed a large rear window from the house on the second floor and threw the bathroom sink at the attackers. Chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts, and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside including the toilet, which was ripped from the floor. In the end the damage done to the home was over $10,000.
Police soon after investigating discovered that the 3 distressed individuals had in fact hallucinated the entire situation while on meth. The young woman Madison Douglas even claimed she had been stabbed by a suspect, but authorities said she had only a light scratch on her abdomen which was, the rest of this ridiculous and disturbing hallucinated hostage situation, self-inflicted.
Park Ranger Placed on Leave: Drunk on the Job
A California State Parks ranger was allegedly found drunk with an open beer container between his legs and asleep in his patrol car. The officer has apparently been placed on leave and his peace officer status has been revoked pending a full scale investigation as reported by the California Highway Patrol.
A passerby spotted Tyson Young, the Park Ranger in question in Humboldt Redwoods State Park on August 15th and first tried to wake ranger Young. The observer, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Lost Coast Outpost that he shook Young trying to wake him, but to no avail. The anonymous observer then took a photo of the ranger, which California State Parks later confirmed to be officer Young after the Lost Coast Outlet had posted the photo on twitter.
Apparently nobody told this guy it’s tough to preserve wildlife and prevent forest fires while in a black-out. Thankfully he does… oh wait, yes he does carry a firearm on the job.
Cat-burglar Caught by Adorable Distractions
So if you are going to commit a crime, then get high and run for police, whatever you do DO NOT pet the cats. Cats obviously cannot be trusted! 21-year-old Daniel Pinedo Velapatino had just talked his way into a woman’s home in Boca Raton, Florida after leading police on a chase that had jumped to a start in Delray Beach. He knocked on her door last Tuesday to ask for a drink from the home-owner who assumed he was a landscaper.
Candace Noonan, who lived at the Boca Raton residence, obliged the suspect with a drink of water he requested unaware that Velapatino had allegedly consumed drugs the night before, stole thousands of dollars from a buddy, and then smashed into a bunch of cars as he ran from police. When she returned with the water, Velapatino was lying on her floor, playing with her fuzzy and adorable detectives, the cats.
“It was odd, very odd,” she said. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.”
When Noonan’s husband began questioning Velpatino, he fled out the back door. The Noonans led police to him, and he allegedly attempted to jump in a nearby canal but was apprehended by a police boat. I can’t decide whether those cats are just too adorable to ignore even in the midst of a high tensions police chase, or if they are clever and cunning undercover agents of the animal kingdom, coughing up fur balls… of JUSTICE!
Some of these stories seem crazier than usual, but then again to the addict or alcoholic these could seem like a Friday night or resemble stories we have been told about ourselves. Luckily, things do not have to get this bad, and even if they do there is always help out there. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Guess what time it is… NO, but close… It’s Crazy News Stories of the Week time! So sit back, relax, and prepared to be glad you’re not one of these people!
Flaming Lambo’ Fiasco
The Flaming Lamborghini is a novelty drink made popular for its unique style of delivery and consumption. It consists of the alcoholic beverages Sambuca and Kahlua, which gets set on fire and is meant to drink through a straw, and is then doused with Baileys and blue curacao and finished off by the customer.
A bartender in Lithuania was performing the intricate task of setting up a flaming Lamborghini and accidentally set a customer’s face on fire while making a drink, and the gruesome moment was captured on the bars surveillance video. Several English-language outlets have since picked up the video, though none has offered an update on the man’s condition.
The incident took place at Naktinis Tbilisis club in Panevezys on July 11th. In the video, the bartender can be seen preparing the infamous and apparently dangerous Flaming Lamborghini when a flame shoots out at the man during the lighting, who suddenly catches fire. Other patrons appear to put out the fire out by smothering the man’s head with their hands.
The victim’s sister said in the reports given to local press that the bar owner and the bartender did go out of their way to visit her brother in the hospital. While the man’s specific injuries were not described in detail in the press, it was noted that he was taken into surgery following the incident.
Raging Run-Down Drunk
Gainsville, Florida is home to this drunken road rage driver Joseph H Carl who allegedly confronted a woman motorist, and subsequently was run over by his own truck when she fled. Carl, age 48, drove his pickup into the rear of another vehicle at traffic light, then got out to engage in a heated arguement with the other driver, banging on her car window and yelling at her.
The terrified woman drove off leaving Carl standing in front of his Dodge 1500 truck, and the Dodge began rolling towards him. Joseph H Carl apparently tried to stop the truck but with his arms, but the vehicle was still in gear and ran over him as reported by police officials. He was treated in hospital for fractures to his hand and foot.
Carl was arrested on charges of drunk driving and property damages. The motorist refused to submit to a breath test but a blood-alcohol test carried out later in hospital showed he was nearly three-times over the drink drive limit. Police stated Carl was seen stumbling around and reeking of booze before the incident. Officers found an open can of beer, still cold, and numerous empty beer cans in his truck. Hopefully he realizes that he’s lucky his drunk driving only injured one person, and it’s only ironic that it was himself.
Walgreen’s Alcoholic Shopper
Sometimes the customer isn’t always right, in this case the customer ended up causing a scene that will most likely earn him a extended stay in jail. A 54-year-old Ocala named Joby Sullivan got extremely upset that a Walgreen’s did not sell alcoholic beverages, and ended up to be arrested later after causing a disturbance.
According to an Ocala Police Department report, Sullivan cursed at the Walgreen’s employees threatening to fight them. Employees stated that Sullivan had been digging through the garbage when an employee caught him in the act and told him to leave the property. Apparently Sullivan then walked into the store, telling employees he wanted to buy some alcohol. The employees informed him that the store did not sell alcoholic beverages and the man began throwing his fit.
Police officer Jared Forsyth went to the store at 807 E. Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala after a report of an intoxicated man causing a disturbance and refusing to leave the property. Officer Forsyth found the man upon arriving at the scene standing outside the front of the store on the sidewalk, screaming and swinging his shirt at a Walgreens employee. The officer approached Sullivan from behind and arrested him. Sullivan then threatened the officer and a supervisor who showed up at the scene.
The police report states as Joby Sullivan was being detained and placed in a patrol car, he kicked arresting officer Forsyth in the stomach. He was then taken into custody without any more problems and taken to the Marion County Jail. Sullivan was ultimately charged with disorderly intoxication, battery on a law enforcement official and resisting arrest without violence for his kick to the stomach.
$3.00 Binge Gone Bad
A 49-year-old man in Crestview and his 51-year-old wife have recently been accused of putting miniature bottles of alcoholic beverages in their pockets in front of the store manager before walking out of a local Cash’s Corner Pocket.
The Cash’s Corner Pocket store manager said Craig Van Aken and his wife, Lisa Davis, were in establishment on January 2nd, and she had asked them if she could get them anything. The manager said she saw the two looking at the loose mini bottles of liquor, which are $1.50 each, and then saw Mr. Van Aken slipping two of the bottles into his pocket. The store manager claimed she knew the couple because they frequently visited the location, and that she witnessed Van Aken stealing the bottles and give one to Davis. The two immediately left when the manager started to question them about the bottles.
After the store manager was able to identify both Craig Van Aken and his wife Lisa Davis from photo line-ups the two were arrested on June 25. Their next scheduled court date is July 22. It seems crime truly doesn’t pay for these two, especially if the cost of some jail time is only $3.00.
People dealing with drugs and alcohol issues often end up on the wrong end of some crazy news stories, luckily in sobriety people are able to look back at these kinds of behavior and be grateful that these kinds of stories have been left in the past, and the future looks a lot better without the chaos of actively abusing drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135