Author: Shernide Delva
If you think the addiction epidemic is getting any better, think again. The total number of overdoses in Delray Beach, FL topped off at a record-breaking 88 for the month of October. That number includes the five additional heroin overdoses documented over Halloween weekend. Out of those 88 overdoses, 11 died, police say.
“Eleven fatalities in a month, that’s a lot of people,” said Kevin Saxton, Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokesman. “We just really want people paying attention. If you see something, say something.”
The city-wide heroin epidemic had no seasonal pattern, but for some reason, October saw a record-breaking number of overdoses and fatalities from apparent heroin use. The numbers from October tops the previous record high by 22 overdoses.
Putting it in Perspective
To recap, over the Haloween weekend, there were five overdoses. Fortunately, none were fatal. The weekend prior, 11 overdoses were reported. These numbers seem unusually high. City police and fire rescue have suggested the spike might be because of a new, more potent heroin mixture on the market. Patients have been known to mix heroin with painkillers and other drugs.
“It’s just related to what’s out on the streets right now … (Users) think they’re buying heroin, but it’s anybody’s guess what they’re actually getting,” Sgt. Paul Weber told The Palm Beach Post in mid-October. “Your next dose of heroin could be your last.”
Out of the 88 overdoses reported in the month of October, 11 resulted in fatalities. The previous record high was in July with 66 overdoses, seven of which were fatal. With the surge of overdoses in the city, the use of naloxone is more critical than ever.
“We’re having to give higher and higher doses of Narcan,” said Kevin Saxton, spokesman for Delray Beach Fire Rescue. “Sometimes we give all of the doses we’re allowed to in our protocols and still see no results.”
History of Drug Deaths in Delray Beach, Florida
This is not the first time Delray Beach has received attention for substance abuse cases. Over the course of January 2014 to October of 2015, the Delray Beach Fire Rescue services alone administered naloxone in 341 cases. The majority of these overdoses were from heroin.
Of course, the problem is not just in Delray Beach. Plenty of areas in Palm Beach County are getting hit hard by the opioid epidemic. In more northern regions of Florida like West Palm Beach, officials have also seen a spike in heroin overdose deaths. Furthermore, cities around the United States, specifically areas of Ohio are seeing insane numbers on a routine basis.
Combating Overdoses With Naloxone
Back in March 2016, there was a report stating Delray Beach police were armed with Naloxone. Delray Beach firefighters are also keeping naloxone handy. Overdose calls are being reported both in private and public locations.
Opioids like heroin, oxycodone, and morphine work by blocking pain receptors. Naloxone quickly turns those pain receptors back on. The problem with this is the normalcy only lasts about 30-90 minutes. Therefore, many are rushed to the emergency room after they are administered the naloxone.
Furthermore, naloxone, branded as Narcan, is not always effective. In some cases, it will not revive a person from an overdose. In the worst case scenario, naloxone will do nothing, but in the best case scenario, it will save a life. Because of the potential to save lives, there has been an increased effort to widen access to the drug. Recently, Palm Beach County hosted training to teach the public on how to administer naloxone.
With the increase in overdoses across the country, it is more important than ever to raise awareness and ensure more people have access to naloxone. More importantly, anyone struggling with addiction should seek help before they get to the point of an overdose. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free. We want to help. You are not alone.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Whether you remember him from Even Stevens, or from Transformers, Shia LaBeouf has had a long career so far in Hollywood. In his twenties, he scored a role with Steven Spielberg on the fourth Indiana Jones and soon was the face of the Transformers film franchise.
At the beginning, things seemed to be going great. Then, all began to change. A slew of arrests garnered LaBeouf some negative media attention. He was ordered to six months of court-ordered outpatient alcohol rehab. Suddenly, LaBeouf was becoming more known for his erratic behavior than his acting skills.
The old’ “troubled” actor narrative is all too familiar . Nevertheless, Shia LeBeouf is confident that he is on the right track. He has reinvented himself on his terms. In a recent interview, the 30-year-old revealed the circumstances that led to his downward spiral and how he is recovering from that turbulent period in his life.
Adjusting to Hollywood
LaBeouf admits starring on the Disney Channel series Even Stevens never felt quite right. He did not feel connected to the Disney brand. He and his friends “were outsiders” and “it felt distant” from his reality. Furthermore, LaBeouf talked about his humble beginning in Echo Park, where he was raised by his mother:
“We didn’t have nothing. So I would steal Pokemon video games and Tamagotchis,” he said.
While filming Even Stevens, LaBeouf stayed with his Father in a hotel. He remembers that “there were drugs everywhere—marijuana, cocaine, heroin. [My dad] gave me my first joint when I was probably 11 or 12.”
Labeouf continued to star in films like Tru Confessions and Holes. Then, 2007 happened, and suddenly LaBeouf was making mainstream hits such as Disturbia and the first of the Transformer franchise. The following year, the much anticipated Indiana. Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released, although it had mixed reviews.
Downward Spiral: Giving Up Alcohol
Despite the commercial success of the film, LaBeouf said he felt disillusioned working on the big budget movies and called Spielberg “less a director than he is a fucking company.” His comments about Spielberg were criticized heavilly in the media.
Not too long after, LaBeouf began drinking heavily.
“Part of it was posturing. I never knew how to drink. I never liked to drink, but I knew you had to drink,” he told the magazine. “It was a weird post-modern fascination with the fuck-ups.”
With all the chaos surrounding his drinking, LaBeouf had to accept the effect alcohol had on him.
“I got a Napoleonic complex. I start drinking and I feel smaller than I am, and I get louder than I should. It’s just not for me, dude.”
LaBeouf says he has not had a drink for about a year now. He regularly attends AA meetings but does not consider himself an addict.
“You don’t touch it,” he said. “Alcohol or any of that shit will send you haywire. I can’t fuck with none of it. I’ve got to keep my head low.”
LaBeouf’s commitment to sobriety has allowed the actor to make a turnaround in his career. American Honey, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival in the spring, so far has been well received. LaBeouf is currently shooting Borg vs. McEnroe, a film about the rivalry between tennis stars Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. We applaud LaBeouf’s commitment to sobriety and his story is one many in recovery can relate to.
Remember, the road to recovery is not easy. However, like LaBeouf, once you realize how detrimental your life is abusing substances, you will know it is time to make a change. The good news is you do not have to do it on your own. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
You wake up at 8 a.m. sharp, jump in the shower, eat breakfast, watch the morning news and go to work. You come home from work, spend time with family, kiss your spouse and go to bed at 9 p.m. On the outside; you look like a person who has it all together. However, on the inside, you are battling an addiction and are too afraid to admit you have a problem. Besides, everything seems to be going fine, right?
If the above sounds like you, you are a functioning addict. The functioning addict looks like the average person. They are not homeless, nor are they unemployed. Most people are unaware they even have a problem. They might be excelling at work, and paying their bills on time. However, on the inside, they are constantly thinking about where their next high will come from. This is the addict that lives next door.
Unfortunately, the stigma of drug addiction leaves most with imagery of a homeless, dirty beggar. Many assume a drug addict has to be homeless, incarcerated or in poor physical health. However, as most of us know by now, this is far from the case. The prescription painkiller epidemic has shifted the image of the average drug addict from a person on the streets to the everyday member of society. An addict comes in many faces. It could be your next door neighbor, the stay-at-home mom, or even the doctor or well-regarded priest. Addiction crosses all areas of society.
About the High-Functioning Addict
If you are a functioning addict, you are less likely to get help for your addiction because you believe you have your addiction under control. On top of that, most will not believe your addiction is real. However, the reality is your addiction is very real and very dangerous. While you might be able to keep your addiction secret, in the beginning, things will eventually get worse. Eventually, your addiction will become unmanageable.
The truth is, it can happen to anyone. In 2011, Whoopi Goldberg of the television show, The View, confessed:
“I was a functioning drug addict; I showed up for work because I knew a lot of people would be out of work and I wouldn’t get a check that I needed to buy my drugs.”
A statement like this is all too common for the functioning addict. They know they need to keep working to keep their addiction alive. If the paychecks dwindle, the “functioning” part of their addiction will soon fall apart.
Addiction: The Real Definition
Addiction has little to do with your ability to keep your life together. Addiction is addiction whether your families or friends believe you have a problem. Addiction does not depend on your work status or your relationship with your family. While the fall of these things typically results on an addict finally getting treatment, addiction does not depend on these factors falling apart.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease caused by substance use and abuse. This substance use results in changes in the brain that make it very difficult for a person to control their desire to use, and therefore control their substance use.
Just like any addict, a high functioning addict has a compulsive need to use and abuse their d.o.c (drug of choice). Even though you might be able to maintain your relationship, friendship, and occupation, you still have a serious problem. If left unaddressed, you can suffer serious health consequences and your addiction will eventually become too consuming to hide any longer.
Could It Be Me?
If you think you might be a functioning drug addiction, look at the following questions and answer them honestly. If you find you are having more “yes” answers than no’s, the time is now to talk to a professional about your addiction.
- When you start drinking or using, do you find it hard to stop?
- Do you often think about using drugs or drinking?
- Do you schedule your time around drinking or using drugs?
- Have you tried to stop before, but found that you were unable to?
- Do you drink or use drugs at work?
- Do you drink or use drugs first thing in the morning?
- Do you hide your abuse from others?
- Have you done something risky, like driven drunk?
- Are you worried about your abuse?
If you are a high-functioning addict, chances are you worry about seeking treatment because you fear it might cost you your job, family, or both. However, there are various options that can be discussed with your treatment center and job to negotiate a plan that works best for you.
Remember, there is no cookie-cutter type for an addict. Addicts come from all walks of life and income brackets. They vary in race, religion and sexuality. Every addict deserves to live a life free from addiction. Hiding from addiction will never help you beat addiction. Stand up and face your addiction today. The time is now. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Shernide Delva
There are two sides to every story, and when it comes to alcoholism, the same saying holds truth. A new study examined the changes in the brain that makes a person prone to alcoholism. What they discovered is that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone and impulsive.
Anxiety and impulse control issues are common among alcoholics and the difference between the two could lie in changes in the brain tissues. The brain tissue of alcoholics experience changes that are different from the non-alcoholic brain. Over time, the brain tissue changes from consuming alcohol. Researchers have discovered that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone (Type I) and impulsive-depressive (Type II) and brain changes are exclusive to one type or the other.
Type I Alcoholics: Type I alcoholics typically become dependent on alcohol later in life. These types are prone to anxiety and use alcohol increasingly to resolve these issues.
Type II Alcoholics: These types tend to get hooked on alcohol at a younger age and exhibit anti-social impulsive behaviors.
The brain is a complex organ so not every alcoholic fit into these two categories, the researchers noted.
“From the viewpoint of the study setting, this division was made in order to highlight the wide spectrum of people suffering from alcohol dependence,” said lead researcher Olli Kärkkäinen. “The reality, of course, is far more diverse, and not every alcoholic fits into one of these categories.”
Regardless of what “type” of an alcoholic you are, there are similarities in the brain of all alcoholic. All alcoholics have an increase of a steroid hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone that affects the central nervous system. This could explain why many alcoholics become tolerant to the effects of alcohol after chronic, long-term use.
In addition, all alcoholics showed decreased levels of serotonin transporters in brain regions. This means that alcoholics have difficulty with mood regulation. They tend to be seeking this happy chemical and have a decreased level of serotonin transporters in the brain. This could explain why many alcoholics experience social anxiety.
Researchers will be using the results from this study to come up with new treatments for alcoholism that take into account the distinct differences between Type I and Type II brains.
“These findings enhance our understanding of changes in the brain that make people prone to alcoholism and that are caused by long-term use,” said researcher Kärkkäinen. “Such information is useful for developing new drug therapies for alcoholism, and for targeting existing treatments at patients who will benefit the most.”
In Western countries, it has been estimated that around 10-15% of the population qualify as alcohol-dependent. Across the world, alcohol is causing as much damage as all illegal substances combined. It is important to note these differences so medical personnel knows how these cases can differentiate.
Most of all, it is important that those who have struggled with alcoholism to seek help as early as possible. People who drink large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. The damage could be a combination of the alcohol consumptions along with poor general health.
Often, alcoholics have deficiencies in their health. Thiamine deficiency is extremely common in those with alcoholism and is a result of overall poor nutrition. Also, it can be hard for those struggling to make staying healthy a priority. Thiamine is crucial to the brain. It is an essential nutrient required by all tissues, including the brain. Many foods in the United States are fortified with thiamine; therefore, the average healthy person consumes enough of it.
Alcoholism can cause major damage to your brain and overall health if left untreated. This article simply confirms the reason why it is so important that those struggling with alcoholism seek professional help. Trying to fix the problem on your own is not the best solution, especially when you are not aware of how your mind and body is functioning. We are here to help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, don’t wait. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Shernide Delva
More and more states are banning the powdered substance known as “the Kool-Aid for underage drinkers.’ The substance, Palcohol, is essentially a powdered version of alcohol intended to be mixed with beverages like soda or fruit juice. One six ounce packet of Palcohol is equivalent to one standard mixed drink.
Although Palcohol was approved by the Alcohol U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau last year, it became the focus of intense scrutiny. Legislators to child advocates alike were pushing to ban this substance from being sold in stores. One of the biggest concerns is the product getting into the hands of children. Also, since the product is in powdered form, it can be snorted, added to energy drinks, and given to people unknowingly. All of these are real dangerous risks.
Over half the country has already banned the substance. Now, California is joining those states in banning Palcohol, fearing the potential danger it poses to youth looking for a cheap buzz. The maker of the product, Lipsmark LLC, is fighting an uphill battle as more and more states jump on the bandwagon.
On Monday, legislation in California to ban the substance received unanimous support from the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee, which determined that banning the product in California would not impose “any significant state cost to taxpayers,” state Senator Bob Huff, who authored the bill, told the Orange County Breeze.
Palcohol has yet to hit any shelves in the United States, and already the product has been banned and raised controversy from legislators to child advocates. Everyone is bracing for the worse possible outcome:
“This product must not be allowed to reach store shelves,” said Huff. “It presents an array of potential health problems as it can be snorted, added to energy drinks, slipped to unknowing recipients, or even added to beverages already containing alcohol in an attempt to create a dangerously potent concoction.”
Furthermore, a 2013 study conducted by the U.S Centers for Disease Control revealed the “societal cost” of binge drinking was $32 billion for one year. A product like Palcohol could contribute to those costs and result in more problems. Allowing young people to have access to a product like Palcohol does have potentially harmful side effects.
Similar alcohol products exist in other countries, and now Palcohol is determined to be the first in the United States. The website offers no timeline as to when Palcohol will hit the market for now. The powder will come in packets that include flavors such as:
- Powderita – tastes just like a Margarita
- Lemon Drop
All packets will contain the same alcohol content as one shot of alcohol. Currently, the website states there is not a set date for the product’s release. However, this may change shortly. The website promotes the product as product of convenience. The owner, Mark Phillips, created it while hiking. Phillips did not want to carry any other liquor other than water. After a long hike, Phillips craved an adult beverage and thought of how great it would be for him to have packets he could easily carry along with him. The idea eventually led to Palcohol.
Although Phillips’ idea does not seem ill-intended, products like these lend easily to abuse. There are too many people who are struggling with binge drinking. This product should at least be a monitored carefully before its release. What do you think?
Products like Palcohol offer convenience for the moderate drinker, however, can be dangerous to those who suffer from substance abuse. Therefore, caution behind products like this is warranted. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.