Author: Shernide Delva
The fentanyl crisis just became deadlier. Now, there is another fentanyl combination known as Acryl fentanyl hitting the streets since the beginning of the year. Through April 8th, the drug has already killed 44 people in the suburbs of Chicago, according to recent reports from the Cook County Medical Examiner.
Acryl fentanyl is a deadly designer drug typically laced with heroin or cocaine. Furthermore, the number of deaths could be higher than 44 since toxicology results in some fatal overdose deaths have yet to be completed.
What makes this drug even deadlier is that overdoses from acryl fentanyl are more resistant to the overdose antidote naloxone, better known by the trade name Narcan. This makes it harder for authorities to revive overdose victims and increases the chance of fatality.
“We are seeing people in our emergency department who need increased doses of naloxone — in some cases as many as four doses — for the patient to be stabilized,” Dr. Steve Aks of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System’s Stroger Hospital said in the statement.
And it gets worse: this particular version of fentanyl has not been declared a controlled substance by the federal drug enforcement agency. Therefore, buying online is not illegal, DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson told NBC News.
In fact, when an NBC reported searched online for Acryl fentanyl, a site offering 100 grams of the powder for $797 and 1000 grams from $3,497 popped up within seconds. Essentially, anyone could have access to the drug simply through ordering it online.
Acryl Fentanyl comes in a powder and to the naked eye looks very similar to heroin or regular fentanyl. It does not have a street name, however “it can be more potent than regular fentanyl,” says Patterson.
More potent is an understatement. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin increasing the susceptibility to an overdose. The fact that acryl fentanyl is even stronger than fentanyl is incredibly alarming when it comes to potential lives at stake.
“Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogues are very powerful drugs that are likely to be lethal,” said Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar. “Just one dose can easily stop a person from breathing, causing immediate death.”
The opioid epidemic is already rampant in areas in the northeast. Medical examiners reported that in 2016, a “total of 1,091 people in Cook County died, at least in part, because of an opiate-related overdose.”
Fentanyl— or a variation of fentanyl— figured in 562 of those deaths, the ME’s office reported.
Cook County has a population of about 5,238,216, more than half of whom who live in the city of Chicago. This year, 30 fatal overdoses involving Acryl fentanyl were city residents, and the remaining 14 were from the suburbs, according to stats provided by the ME’s office.
Acryl fentanyl is likely manufactured in in Mexico or China and then smuggled into the U.S.
There are a variety of fentanyl variations spreading across the city. The type of fentanyl most commonly seen in Chicago is Furanylfentanyl, which the DEA labeled a controlled substance last year. Another older variant is known as Despropionyl fentanyl.
The office is warning the general public and emergency responders. These drug variations are resistant to naloxone, the overdose antidote, and it can be difficult to revive victims.
Sadly, these drugs are around, and addicts are taking them in a desperate attempt to get high. Right now, it is more important than ever to seek help for your addiction. The next time you use could be your last. Please do not wait. Recovery is possible. Call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
We’ve talked about it all. Whether it is safe needle injection facilities, or prescription heroin, the various harm reduction strategies to reduce the effects of substance abuse continue to raise controversy.
Now, Las Vegas plans to reduce the risk of sharing contaminated needles by installing vending machines throughout the city.
That’s right, vending machines.
Those things you buy snacks and water bottles from will soon be carrying clean hypodermic needles. Those needles are there to prevent the spread of disease among heroin users. The ultimate goal is to save lives and help users stay healthy.
Before you argue the pros and cons, let me remind you that this idea is far from a stretch. New York has seen massive success in the use of safe needle exchange programs. The safe needle exchange programs in New York City have been credited with virtually eradicating the transmission of AiDS through contaminated needles. Furthermore, there are already areas in Canada that carry clean needle vending machines, and so far, the results have been favorable.
Las Vegas wants to crack down on disease transmission via shared needles by becoming the first city in the United States to install clean needle vending machines.
But why not create another safe needle exchange program, you ask?
Good question. It all comes down to time and money. Traditional safe needle exchange programs require a tremendous amount of resources — time, money and volunteers willing to hang out in neighborhoods that have high drug use rates. Vending machines, on the other hand, are inexpensive and more accessible.
The syringe vending machine program is a collaboration between the Las Vegas harm reduction center Trac-B Exchange and the state. The goal is to make clean needles more accessible in order to reduce the spread of diseases like hep C and HIV. Three machines will debut at outreach centers around Las Vegas next month.
With every purchase, users receive a package that includes alcohol wipes, a disposal container, and condoms in addition to clean needles. The packages will be free but users must register a swipe card with their birthday and their first and last name to monitor the number of kits distributed per user. There will also be a kiosk nearby to dispose of dirty needles.
Improving Overall Health?
These types of programs do not just reduce diseases like HIV and hep C, they also prevent abscesses, infections, and damage to veins, helping users’ overall health. There is little evidence to suggest that these programs encourage drug use. Instead, plenty of studies confirms that programs like these reduce the spread of diseases transmitted by the blood.
Overall, of course seeking treatment is the ideal answer to those struggling with addiction. However, the reality is we are in the middle of an addiction epidemic, and many are continuing to use. Therefore, programs like these are intended to help improve overall health. We want to know your opinion. What are your thoughts on these types of programs?
Harm reduction programs remain a complex strategy to a devastating epidemic. The best option is always sobriety, but sadly, it takes time for many to commit to that choice. That’s why if you are struggling with substance use disorder, reach out to us. We have professionals waiting to give you the help you desperately need. You are not alone. Call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Dug and Heidi McGuirk Answer “How Do I Set Boundaries?”
A few weeks ago, we covered the dangers of enabling discussed in the Revolutionary Growth video, “How do I know I’m Enabling?” Dug and Heidi McGuirk explained enabling and how to stop doing it. The best way to stop enabling is through setting boundaries with your addicted loved one.
Furthermore, in the next video, Dug and Heidi McGuirk, who run the Revolutionary Family program for Palm Healthcare, answer:
How Do I Set A Boundary?
After you have made the decision NOT to enable your addicted loved one, the next step is to set clear boundaries. At this point, you have decided to no longer support their addiction. Instead, you are determined to support their recovery and beyond.
To do this, you must set healthy boundaries, but how exactly does one set healthy boundaries?
First, it is important to remember you are setting boundaries, not ultimatums.
“It’s all about you. You can’t set a boundary to manipulate another person. That’s called an ultimatum. We aren’t doing an ultimatum. Those don’t work,” Heidi McGuirk says.
“We are doing a boundary which is people are going to do what they’re going to do, and you need to decide how you are going to experience what they’re going to do, and that’s it.”
It is crucial to take steps to ensure your addicted loved one knows where you stand. Do not become upset and argue with them if they do not abide. Do not tell them to simply stop their behavior. Instead, commit to your boundaries.
Dug and Heidi McGuirk’s steps to creating clear boundaries:
- Be Clear:
Let your addicted loved one know what it is that you won’t tolerate and what your plan is if they do not abide.
- Use Direct Assertive Language:
No “wishy-washy” behavior. Use very few words and let them know the consequences.
- Make Consequences You Will Follow Through On:
Try not to make consequences that are unmanageable. Make consequences that you can commit and follow through on consistently.
- Check for Understanding:
Make sure that they have heard you. If needed, have a cheat sheet to communicate more effectively.
How to Create a Boundary “Cheat Sheet”
If you struggle with communicating boundaries and consequences, Heidi and Dug McGuirk recommend carrying a cheat sheet that will help guide you through the process.
Cheat Sheet Example:
“When you ___, I feel ___; I want___ If you___, I will___.”
Here is how the cheat sheet can be applied when communicating boundaries:
Cheat Sheet Applied for Drunken Behavior:
- “When you come home drunk, I feel nervous, scared and violated. I want to have a sober, healthy and safe home to live in. If you come home drunk again, I will leave for the night; lock the doors, ask you to get treatment, etc…”
Cheat Sheet Applied for Verbal Aggression:
- “When you speak to me that way, I feel assaulted, attacked, upset, frustrated, scared, and violated. I want to be able to have a rational discussion with you. I want to feel safe in our conversations together. I want to not be around that anymore. If you continue to speak to me that way, I will walk away, leave, hang up the phone, etc…”
The key is to follow through with the boundaries you set:
“You might have to leave, walk away, hang up the phone 25 times, but the key to this is to follow through because that’s really how you teach people how to treat you so make sure you’re prepared to do what you say you are going to do,” Heidi McGuirk says.
After some consistency, your loved one will know what you are going to do and when you are going to do it whenever they mess up. Eventually, all you will have to do is give them “the look, ” and they will know exactly where you stand.
If you want to read more about boundaries, download our free E-book “What is the Difference between Helping and Hurting?”
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The Importance of Commitment
Dug McGuirk explains this concept of “the look” using their toddler, Ellie, as an example. Often, toddlers know exactly what you are going to do because the boundaries were followed through with many times in the past.
“There’s sometimes the look or the countdown or the whatever. You do that a few times, and they know what’s going to happen because it’s been implemented,” Dug McGuirk says.
However, this awareness will only happen if you follow through with the consequences consistently. Do not become lax with your boundaries. It is important it is to commit to boundaries even in weaker moments.
Heidi McGuirk describes how their toddler Ellie would receive a time-out every time she smacked her. It was important Ellie knew this behavior was inappropriate. One night, right before bed, Ellie decided to smack her again.
Heidi McGuirk knew she was tired, in bed, and knew giving their daughter a time-out would be a major inconvenience. However, she realized this is exactly why enabling behaviors happens.
Often, the loved ones of addicts do not follow through with their boundaries because they are constantly tested during these inconvenient moments. It is important to follow through when tested during weaker moments so that your addicted loved ones knows you are serious.
“What I’m saying is the more that you practice your chops at holding your line, the less testing they’ll be” Heidi McGuirk states.
“Patience and Discipline are the parents of execution,” Dug McGuirk affirms.
Overall, setting boundaries is a matter of knowing what you need and knowing how you want to experience your loved one’s addiction. The next part is committing to the boundaries you set. We know it is not easy. Therefore, if you have a loved one struggling with addiction, of if you are having trouble dealing with your loved one’s addiction, please reach out to us. We want to help. Do not wait. Call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Author: Shernide Delva
Chris Brown and Lil Wayne are in hot water after both artists were alleged to have incriminating text messages. Both were named in a federal drug investigation of music producer Harrison “Cuban Harry” Garcia, who stands accused of dealing cough syrup and other narcotics.
Garcia allegedly sent incriminating texts that have implicated himself, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne in drug dealing. Authorities presented screenshots from Garcia to one of Lil Wayne’s underlings that reference a marijuana deal:
“I’ll shoot u some trees… It’s for Wayne.”
Garcia also admitted to police that he sold “a lot of narcotics” to Wayne.
Garcia has texts sent to a female friend in which he brags about receiving a bank wire for $15,000 from a “Christopher Brown,” according to U.S Homeland Security.
“Look who put money my account,” Garcia wrote to his friend. When the friend questioned what the money was for, Garcia responded, “Drugs … lean and sh*t.”
Lean, also known as “sizzurp” or “purple drank” is a cocktail of prescription-strength cough syrup mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew and Jolly Rancher Candy. It has been popularized for many decades by rappers like Lil Wayne and R&B singer Chris Brown. It also was mentioned in the song ’Sippin on some Sizzurp” by Three 6 Mafia.
Both Lil Wayne and Chris Brown have a history of trouble with this particular drug cocktail. Lil Wayne suffered seizures, and Chris Brown’s associates claim Brown is sipping his way to rock bottom.
On Garcia’s Instagram, there are photos of stacks of cash funds and drugs; this is what initially attracted federal investigators in the first place. Homeland Security agent Geoffrey Goodwin presented the photos to the jury that featured piles of gold jewelry, a pendant featuring purple liquid in a foam cup (usually what lean is slurped from) and teeth grillz that were “somewhat bejeweled.”
“I had an image to portray, to boost up my followers,” Garcia said in court, explaining the photos. “I guess it’s just the music industry.”
Garcia has been caught selling drugs to informants twice and has been arrested for his involvement in pharmacy robberies in Florida. The investigation is still open.
As of today, Garcia’s accounts are now on private. In the past, he was known for posting photos with extravagant cars, guns, and sneakers.
Lean contains codeine, an opiate similar to heroin, OxyContin or Vicodin. For several years ‘gangster rap’ artists have glorified ‘purple drank’ in the lyrics of rap/hip-hop music. However, the danger of the drug remains despite the glorification. Big Moe, a DJ Screw protégé, who rapped excessively about this drink died at age 33 in 2007, after suffering a heart attack one week earlier that left him in a coma.
Possible short-term side effects:
- increased heart rate
- slowed breathing
- slumping over
- stiff muscles
Possible long-term side effects:
Codeine is a light narcotic typically used to suppress a cough, but in stronger concentrations, it can suppress breathing or rapidly lower blood pressure. A common sign of narcotic intoxication is small pupils. Codeine is the ingredient that makes lean addiction. Over time, the effects of lean rear off, therefore the quest continues to get high.
How do you feel this case should be handled? Should Chris Brown and Lil Wayne face charges due to these allege incriminating text messages?
One thing for certain is that this “purple drank” is not fun and games. It is a dangerously addictive drug. If you are struggling with any form of substance abuse, please call now. We are waiting for your call.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
As most know by now, the opioid epidemic has reached epic proportions. In the U.S. alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs. The leading cause of accidental death in the United States are opioid overdoses, with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015.
In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin. When these drugs are abused, they present some of the same risks as heroin on the street. Furthermore, as prescription opioids are regulated, more and more people are turning to heroin making the risk of a fatal overdose even greater.
With all that said, how exactly do opioids affect the body? We wanted to explore several areas of the body and understand how opioid abuse specifically affected each area. Whether it is prescription drugs or heroin, opioids affect almost every part of your body. Long-term use can lead to permanent damage to your health. Read on further to learn how the body reacts to abuse of opioids. Treatment can put a stop to the risk and address issues that may have already arisen in the body.
The Effects of Opioid Use on the Body:
Painkillers are known to have side effects such as extreme drowsiness which can result in needing stimulant medication to counteract this effect. For example, heroin can elicit profound drowsiness. Abusers frequently experience bouts of ‘nodding off’ as they slip in and out of consciousness. Over time, the use of painkillers results in an increased risk fo major depression. Patients using painkillers for more than six months has a 50 percent greater chance of developing depressive episodes.
THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Opioid overdoses can lead to a condition known as respiratory depression. It essentially means that breathing slows down significantly. The body goes into respiratory arrest and deprives the brain and body tissues of oxygen.
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Opioids affect the muscles of the digestive system making constipation common. This effect is due to the slowing of the digestive transit. The gastrointestinal motility and chronic constipation associated with opioid abuse can lead to more severe conditions such as small bowel obstruction, perforation, and resultant peritonitis. Nausea is very common among opioid users along with sudden, uncontrollable vomiting.
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
The chronic use of opioid painkillers can lead to a syndrome that can increase your sensitivity to pain resulting in a condition known as hyperalgesia. Furthermore, opioid use may result in psychomotor impairment and an overall slowing of a person’s physical movements and loss of coordination.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Opioid use affects the immune system which means you’re more vulnerable to getting illnesses or feeling under the weather. The opioid receptors regulate immunity so long-term opioid abuse can negatively affect this process.
Most people are unaware of how many opioid painkillers contain acetaminophen, the same ingredient found in Tylenol. Excessive use of these drugs can cause liver damage from toxicity. Damage to the liver is an undeniable risk to taking excessive amounts of prescription painkillers like Vicodin. When you add alcohol to the mix— as many opioid-dependent users do—it makes a risky situation, even more,
Overall, opioids affect every part of the body, and we did not even mention the psychological impacts of drug abuse. Opioid use disorder wreaks havoc on your life and the life of those around you. Do not wait for the potentially life-altering consequences of opioid abuse to take its toll. Please call to speak to a professional treatment support specialist today. Please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135