Author: Justin Mckibben
Summertime is good for a lot of things, not just the sunshine and lighter clothes (although here in Florida we get that all the time, just saying). Of course with the amazing weather comes more of the great outdoors and every activity under the sun, and for a lot of Americans drinking is involved.
So one company decided to take some tallies and see which states drink the most during the summer, and some of these results may be a little surprising to a few residents.
BACtrack is a company from sunny California specializing in breathalyzers, specially the portable kind. The company collects and shares consumer Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) data for review and analysis that is used in these reports, and this is the 4th report so far they have made using their data.
The data provides insight into alcohol consumption patterns around the nation, and is regularly updated and analyzed.
In this report the company examines average BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels during the summer months of 2014 including:
The data was collected anonymously from over 71K unique BAC tests from users of BACtrack Mobile, BACtrack’s award-winning smartphone breathalyzer, and BaCtrack Vio, which sync with their app. The report was collected from users in the United States with data storage activated, location services turned on, and does not represent data from all users.
States with highest BAC levels
- West Virginia- 0.103
- Nevada- 0.095
- Pennsylvania- 0.088
- Connecticut- 0.088
- Nebraska- 0.082
States with lowest BAC levels
- New Mexico- 0.055
- Missouri- 0.048
- Washington D.C.- 0.043
- Delaware- 0.042
- Kentucky- 0.039
When Do Americans Drink the Most?
According to BACtrack data, the summer drinking rates start and finish on a high note, only experiencing a slight decline towards the end of July. The summer is obviously a prominent drinking season, with over 47% of days throughout the 3 summer months (June, July and August) generating an average BAC above 0.060%, which is actually the national average throughout the entire year!
When are America’s peak drinking days from the summer?
The first place spot for ‘Most Drunk Day of Summer’ is actually a tie for last year. The average BAC was 0.082% and the 2 days were:
- Summer Solstice, the official start of summer
- 4th of July
The week leading up to July 4th is also the booziest week of the summer, with an average BAC of 0.075%. No other week has an average BAC over 0.070%.
Another tie goes to the average BAC per month, with July and August both hitting about 0.063%, but according to this data Americans drink the most in June, with an average BAC of 0.066%.
8 of the 13 biggest drinking days of the summer are Saturdays, with average BACs between 0.075% and 0.082%.
Most SOBER Days
One fun fact that probably wouldn’t come as much of a shock is Mondays and Tuesdays are the days with the least drinking.
- Tuesday, August 5th registered the lowest average BAC of 0.034%
- Monday, July 21st was second place with 0.039% average BAC
- Monday, June 9 and Monday Aug 4 tied for third with both of them showing a 0.040% average BAC
It’s probably safe to say that summer is a big drinking season, and it can be a tempting time for an alcoholic. Between taking vacations and attending holiday functions, some people recovering from alcoholism might find it a little hard avoiding a drink.
Sobriety isn’t a seasonal thing. Lasting sobriety doesn’t really depend on the weather or the holidays, just on the action an individual is willing to put in to stay sober. This summer relax and enjoy all that sunshine, but also stay true to the things in life that keep you happy and fulfilled.
Take part in some new summer activities, go on an adventure, spend time with your sober supports or whatever it is you do to stay active and involved.
For the alcoholic who still suffers, the summertime can be a hard time to give up the life, but making the decision to stop drinking may be what ensures you another summer. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Take a moment of silence and consider the facts. It’s not unlikely that right now somewhere someone is dying from a drug overdose.
In all reality, several people just like you and me will die today overdosing.
Drug overdose deaths have continued to scar our country at increasingly distressing rates. According to the most recent reports drug overdose death rates have increased in 26 states and Washington, D.C. as overdoses continue to outpace car crashes as the leading cause of injury-related deaths.
6 states have improved:
- North Dakota
But not everyone has been so fortunate, and the greater half has gotten worse as these state have been subjected to an epidemic that has claimed more lives in a tragic trend that is crippling families and communities all over.
So where does your state fall?
State Ranked Overdose Deaths
The following information was provided by a statistics and studies site claiming to pull all data from over 18,000 sources.
The statistics used for these rankings are for drug overdose death rates in the United States in 2014, sorted by U.S. states with number of deaths from drug overdose per 100,000 inhabitants. So the number doesn’t represent the total number of deaths, but the average per populous. The following list shows all 50 states from lowest to highest overdose death rate in the United States:
(Remember- # of deaths per every 100,000 people)
- North Dakatoa- 3 deaths
- South Dakota- 6.1 deaths
- Nebraska- 7.3 deaths
- Virginia- 8.4 deaths
- Iowa- 8.5 deaths
- Minnesota- 8.6 deaths
- New York- 9 deaths
- Texas- 9.9 deaths
- Kansas- 10.4 deaths
- Georgia- 10.8 deaths
- Mississippi- 10.9 deaths
- California- 11 deaths
- Connecticut- 11 deaths
- Maine- 11 deaths
- Illinois- 11.1 deaths
- Vermont- 11.3 deaths
- New Jersey- 11.6 deaths
- Alabama- 11.7 deaths
- Hawaii- 11.7 deaths
- Wisconsin- 11.8 deaths
- Massachusetts- 12.1 deaths
- Maryland- 12.2 deaths
- Idaho- 12.3 deaths
- Arkansas- 12.6 deaths
- North Carolina- 12.6 deaths
- Montana- 12.8 deaths
- Louisiana- 12.9 deaths
- Oregon-13.1 deaths
- New Hampshire- 13.4 deaths
- South Carolina- 13.5 deaths
- Michigan- 13.9 deaths
- Washington- 14 deaths
- Alaska- 14.4 deaths
- Colorado- 14.8 deaths
- Indiana- 15.1 deaths
- Florida- 15.2 deaths
- Wyoming- 15.7 deaths
- Missouri- 16.3 deaths
- Delaware- 16.6 deaths
- Tennessee- 17.2 deaths
- Rhode Island- 17.3 deaths
- Pennsylvania- 17.4 deaths
- Ohio- 17.5 deaths
- Arizona- 17.7 deaths
- Oklahoma- 19.8 deaths
- Utah- 20.1 deaths
- Nevada- 22.2 deaths
- Kentucky- 24 deaths
- New Mexico- 24.8 deaths
- West Virginia- 31.3 deaths
Surprised where your state is? I know I was!
Of course it is essential that you consider several elements that can contribute to these numbers. Some areas have a much smaller population, so state wide they will typically have more addicts and therefore more overdoses.
Still, looking at these averages and wondering how we can hope to curb such a depressing trend makes the mission seem of paramount importance.
Thankfully the numbers of states that have “rescue drug” laws that allow prescription access to overdose antidotes like naloxone have doubled since 2013, and new initiatives are consistently being developed and applied to try and educate citizens about drug abuse, overdose and their treatment options.
Not all overdoses are due to drug abuse either. While in a lot of cases it’s probably safe to assume the individual was a hard drug user or drug addict, it is not the only explanation. Some individuals don’t understand the dangers of mixing certain drugs with each other or with alcohol and the devastating effect it can have on the body.
Out of all this we can definitely determine one fundamental and undeniable truth- the epidemic is real. The problem is right here, and it’s across the nation on the west coast. It is back in my home town of Ohio (8) reaping havoc on the Midwest, and it is killing thousands everywhere in between. This isn’t just heroin, or opiates, but all drugs.
New initiatives aim to change all this. Support for treatment, harm reduction and education should render our current practices in the war on drugs obsolete, because these numbers show us America stands at this critical crossroads.
I personally challenge more people to get involved in raising awareness and speaking up, in memory of those we will lose today.
There is a way out. We each can do our part to change that statistic, and for the addict or alcoholic who still suffers there are thousands of people just like you who have recovered and who want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
I want to talk about an announcement truly significant as a deviation from the United States’ decades long War on Drugs, which has time and time again been referred to as a failed endeavor of epic proportions.
The president himself has questioned the efficiency of several policies, the nation seems divided at times, and now may have taken a drastic shift in general opinion on how to best handle the mounting drug issue in America.
So when House lawmakers voted Tuesday to strip $23 million from the budget of a besieged Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in favor of committing those funds toward a new agenda focused on awareness and intervention rather than aggressive pursuit and prosecution, it was an enormous alteration. Let me clarify, the House of Representatives chose to take money from the DEA and put that money toward other programs, so how is this changing the game?
Moving the Moneys
The money which once coursed through the veins of a forceful and antagonistic DEA strategy will now be transfused into the heart of the nation’s community initiatives. Some of the outlets the cash-flow will now be diverted to include:
- Community outreach programs
- Fighting police abuse
- Ending the DEA’s controversial bulk data collection programs
Lawmakers took to a simplistic voice-voting system, and the ‘I’’s had it! A tally of 4 amendments were approved for the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill that would cut into the DEA’s deep pockets.
The outcome isn’t as surprising to some, as the DEA has been catching a lot of heat lately for a number of scandals, including:
- AllegedDEA-linked killings in Honduras in 2012
- Allegations of using National Security Agency resources to spy on U.S. citizens and thencovering it up
- Secretly trackingbillions of Americans’ international phone calls without warrants for decades and the using confidential informants
Not to mention the huge “sex-party” scandal that was gaining a lot of media attention, this was also said to be organized and funded using federal tax-payer dollars to purchase prostitutes.
- Amendment 1
Democratic Representative Joaquin Castro from Texas offered the first amendment moving $10 million from the agency’s salaries and expenses to the Department of Justice’s body camera program. Castro said,
“These additional resources will help increase law enforcement accountability, mend police-community relations, and improve the safety of cities and towns across America,”
In light of all the recent tragedies and controversies surrounding police shootings and accusations of police brutality, many suggest this shows that politics are moving in a direction of trying to acknowledge the issue and address the problem.
- Amendment 2
Tennessee Democratic Representative Steve Cohen moved for $4 million from the DEA budget to be used to increase funding for rape testing kits. On the House floor, Representative Cohen described trauma imposed upon victims of rape as
“compounded when they know that they’re assailants roam free and critical evidence remains untested.”
At face value this is another awesome ideal, promoting the decision to not only acknowledge but to address rape culture in America, and raise awareness while fighting to properly identify and imprison those committing such horrendous crimes.
- Amendment 3
A Democrat from California, Representative Ted Lieu offered an amendment that would allocate a whopping $9 million, taking directly from the DEA’s cannabis reduction and eradication program and assign the money toward initiatives aimed at helping victims of:
- Domestic abuse
- Child abuse
- Sexual assault
Lieu stated in an interview:
“We need to focus our resources where they are actually needed: standing up for children who have been victims of abuse and assault, not spending taxpayer dollars on going after people who grow marijuana plants in states that have legalized marijuana,”
The man does have a very good point. Especially considering thus far the federal government for the most part seems to be taking a hands-off approach with state marijuana laws, and in support of the idea that fighting drug abuse addiction starts at home with proper education and support for traumatized youths who are speculated to be at an elevated risk of using harmful substances.
- Amendment 4
Finally the 4th amendment on the list came from Representative Jared Polis, the Democrat from Colorado. This measure was designed to prevent the DEA and Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal funds to engage in bulk collection of Americans’ communications records.
But wait… there’s MORE! The day after these 4 amendments were approved lawmakers also passed a number of other amendments to the same funding bill aimed at stunting DOJ’s and DEA’s ability to interfere with state-legal medical marijuana and industrial hemp operations. With legal marijuana quickly gaining ground, the amount of money it would cost to keep going with back and forth battles over these arrests would undoubtly drain the bankroll.
What isn’t surprising… the DEA declined to comment on the amendment votes.
So with all this money being taken away from procedures and policies that have been scrutinized as invasive and ineffective to ultimately be handed over to programs fashioned to distribute tax-payer money toward helping address public health and community issues, one can only wonder if this is one of the immense deviations we have been waiting for that would take us off the beaten path of drug wars and spy-games, leading us to a more socially conscious and forward-moving society.
Some may fear taking money from the DEA is taking the muscle out of the fight against the overdose epidemic, and this has yet to be proven true or false. I personally believe that the future of our country begins with our families and our communities, and that no real permanent change to these persistent problems can be obtained without resilience and support in our homes, and without compassion in our hearts, which is what these programs seem to be aimed at accomplishing.
The War on Drugs is changing, and the nation is turning toward more progressive and positive changes, and that includes offering more treatment for drug addiction. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, and this week it may have just got a little brighter for everyone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Let’s face it, we live in the digital age, and to so many people Google.com is our answer to everything! We google our movies, our music, our food and even pages upon pages of cat photos. We even talked once about how so many people use google to self-diagnose their illnesses that Google is creating an option to connect browsers directly to doctors to provide a slightly more accurate approach.
So tracking Google searches is a good way to find out what people are searching, what’s trending, and what to do when your cat gets a cold at a given time. Well apparently, Google search statistics can also be collected and analyzed using ‘Google Trends’ to show us what drugs people in America are doing and where, or what drugs the most people in one area are ‘curious’ about at least.
National Drug Google Data
According to the combined data that began in 2004, cocaine is actually the most searched for drug across the country over the past decade. Interesting enough, the drug crystal meth is steadily rising across the board, and searches for heroin and prescription drugs have become more common in the last five years. That should come as no surprising given that the country has been experiencing what many have dubbed an ‘opiate epidemic’, and prescription painkillers are currently public enemy number one in regard to overdose accidents in emergency rooms.
Meth has already been prevalent in the Midwest since 2004, but it didn’t get any surge of searches in other parts of the country until 2012. Adderall interest surged in recent years across the nation, but especially on the East Coast of the country.
Typically official crime rates and hospital statistics provide some good insight into drug abuse across the United States, but this accumulative data brought together by Google also reveals the extent of an illicit substances popularity on a state-by-state basis.
Mathamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
- During the 2000’s methamphetamine was reported as one of the most commonly abused drugs in the nation, and at one point meth even managed to surpass cocaine as it swept across Middle America.
- There was a spike in meth searches in 2005 and 2006. At the height of the it was the single most searched for drug in dozens of states.
- In the years 2013 and 2014 particularly interest in meth once again soared. These were the years when searches for meth took over the US, especially the west.
- Searches for the anxiety medication Xanax have also risen throughout the Midwest and south.
- Searches for Xanax first appeared in around 2009, and grew in popularity until around 2012, when they dipped.
- Then again Xanax searches made a comeback in 2013. Xanax-related hospital visits have doubled across the country over the past six years.
- In 2010 the prescription stimulant commonly prescribed for ADHD called Adderall became another popular substance of abuse.
- In between 2011 and 2012 Adderall was the only drug that came close to the number of Google searches for cocaine.
- 2013 and 2014 Adderall dominated the eastern states.
- Heroin was steadily searched for from 2004 until 2011.
- 2006 showed a spike searches for heroin in a few states including Maryland and Utah.
- As addictive prescription painkillers have become more tightly regulated, heroin has become an increasingly popular substitute in Pennsylvania and Oregon.
- After prescription opiate regulation started to step up to combat ‘pill mills’ and ‘doctor shopping’ the searches for heroin across the board began to rise, and reached a peak last year in 2014 as the opiate epidemic rages on.
State by State Basis
All the drugs studied have been rising since the end of 2009, except cocaine which has been on a bit of up and down from 2009-2012, and then up again from 2012 until now. When measuring the most popular searches for specific drugs in select states, researchers also came up with some interesting data. The top searches in some states are as follows:
- Los Angeles, California- Meth and LSD
- Pennsylvania- Heroin
- Massachusetts- Suboxone (a replacement opiate drug commonly used to wean off heroin use, but also commonly abused)
- New Orleans- Adderal
- New York- Cociane
- Seattle- OxyContin and ‘Magic Mushrooms’
- Virginia- Painkiller Oxycodone
- Florida- MDMA
With numbers like these, we can determine that while not every drug is becoming popular everywhere, there are some clear indications that a few have made their mark all over the map.
Granted some people who Google these drugs may be looking for treatment, they may be trying to help a loved one, they may even be writing a term paper or doing some other form of academic research, but for the most part you can assume that these drugs are being searched in these areas for a reason. We can only hope that the number of searches for treatment is rising as part of these statistics.
Like it or not, the world is still searching for the answers to the drug problem. The internet is speculated to be both part of the problem and part of the solution, but any way you look at it there is a need in this nation for some change. Each of us has the ability to take some action, we just need to commit to that first step toward a different future. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
When you’re looking for movies or documentaries on Netflix, it would be nice to have a guide on ones that pertain to certain subject. I’ve sat and searched for the 5 best movies/documentaries on Netflix about eating disorders and made a list of what I’ve found.5 Best Movies/Documentaries on Netflix about Eating Disorders
1. America the Beautiful –
Photo Credit: www.imdb.com
Director Darryl Roberts’ stimulating film studies America’s obsession with external appearance and the impractical ideals of beauty verbalized to the public by the media, pop culture and the fashion industry. It features discussions with celebrities (such as Mena Suvari and Aisha Tyler), media personalities and fashion experts, the documentary looks at everything from plastic surgery’s rising reputation to common concerns about eating disorders.
2. America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments –
Photo Credit: www.rottentomatoes.com
Darryl Roberts proceeds with an additional look at the American beauty industry, this time investigating how the nationwide fixation with weight loss has harmfully affected our opinion of what really constitutes a healthy weight.
3. Hungry for Change –
Photo Credit: www.rebootedbody.com
This documentary uncovers secrets with weight loss, diets and food industries that they don’t want customers to know about, such as: deceiving tactics to keep you coming back for more. In this film, you find out what’s keeping people from having the bodies and health they truly want.
4. My 600-LB Life: Melissa’s Story –
Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com
Melissa Morris, who weighs 673 pounds, overcomes her life-threatening obesity with gastric bypass surgery and her recovery is packed with struggles of its own. This mother who lives in Texas must also deal with her condition’s effect on her self-confidence and her marriage.
5. Freaky Eaters –
Photo Credit: www.en.wikipedia.org
“Freaky eaters” is a documentary featured on TLC that shows the difficulties those with a compulsion towards certain foods have. With professional help, they are able to confront the agonizing truth behind their food obsessions and regain control of their diets and lives.
Of course, this is only a small portion of the many, many movies and documentaries that are based on eating disorders but it’s a small start. There is so much more all over television and the internet and I was pleased to find as much as I did when searching because it is good to be informing people about eating disorders. I wasn’t anywhere near as educated about them before I started working at Palm Partners and am glad to say I have more knowledge on them now.
Whether you want to learn about eating disorders because you know someone with one or you are just curious to learn about it, any of these movies/documentaries can be very helpful and beneficial to watch. If you are looking for other ways to find information, there are so many books at the library or bookstores on eating disorders and we even have a lot of blogs on it, too. It’s great to be informed about these things; this is an illness that is becoming bigger and bigger in society today. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.