Archive for November, 2011


A student found unresponsive at Colorado State University appears to have overdosed on heroin. According to the Rocky Mountain Collegian, authorities found black tar heroin near the body of Sean McGowan.

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McGowan’s body was found in his Summit Hall residence after the holiday weekend. Authorities do not know how long he may have been dead before being discovered. Preliminary information released by authorities indicated that McGowan’s death may have been drug related. Now the Rocky Mountain Collegian is releasing additional details to support that claim.

Larimer Deputy Coroner Greg Fairman not only announced the discovery of black tar heroin, but Fairman also indicated that track marks were found on McGowan’s arms. Toxicology reports will take several weeks to confirm the early suspicions.

Kids on campus were in shock yesterday. But this is the second young death on a college campus in a matter of weeks that appears drug or alcohol related. Just a few weeks ago, a Southern California boy, Glen Parrish, 18, was found dead at UCLA. Parrish’s family members reported that the young man died after a lengthy night of alcohol and drug use.

Parents need to continue the anti-drug dialogue with their children, even after they turn 18, and head off to college. No parents want to send their child off to college, only to have them return in a coffin.

If you need to get help for a loved one, or if you want to know if your child has been using drugs, Walgreens.com, the leader in home health care, sells the complete line of Teensavers Home Drug Test Kits for families.

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The Teensavers Team reminds parents that this holiday season is a popular time for kids to experiment with alcohol and drugs. Walgreens.com is a trusted source for home health care products and you can find Teensavers entire line of products on Walgreens.com.

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Great Britain’s Daily Mail reports that 2 clubgoers have died, and numerous others are sick after ingesting ecstasy at a popular dance club.

It happened at Alexandra Palace in North London.   Scotland Yard believes all of the victims may have taken the same bath of ecstasy, or MDMA.     Now authorities are reaching out to the 20,000 attendees to find more potential victims.

The newspaper reported that there is a new surge abroad and here in the United States in which users ingest the drug in a powder form, instead of the traditional tablet.    Users have reported falling ill to heat stroke, dehydration, and heart failure.

After the two men, ages 20 and 21, died, a third victim was put in intensive care.   His condition is reported as serious but stable.

Final toxicology reports have not been released, but all signs are pointing officers to a mass ecstasy overdose.   If the test reveal MDMA, it is quite possible that the batch that was sold or distributed amongst those concert-goers was tainted or contaminated.

 

 

 

 

People are buzzing with excitement now that we’ve reached the holiday season, especially about those big Black Friday sales.    But if you are a parent, make sure you concentrate on the important things this week.

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There’s no doubt that these last 6 weeks of the year will be filled with cheer as we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah, and New Years.

And while these are great times between family and friends, we also have to remember this can be a time of excess and abuse, especially for adolescents.

Most parents are aware that New Year’s Eve is a night to keep a closer eye on their teen, but are they aware that the night before Thanksgiving is a big night for partying? And while kids may be out drinking and drugs, it all is overlooked because mom and dad are very busy planning travel, shopping, or cooking plans. The turkey takes plenty of preparation and we know the multitude of stops at the store to tackle all of the trimmings.

But somewhere during all of this running around, we need to stop and talk to our kids. The night before Thanksgiving is a popular night for unchaperoned parties, bars, and DUIs. Parents should stop and talk to their kids, not only about the plans for Thanksgiving, but what their child is doing the night before. They may need to ask more questions than a typical Friday or Saturday night. Teens know who goes out of town for the holidays. And with the right amount of cajoling, they could even get the keys to those vacant homes from their friends.

So if your son or daughter tells you that they are going to “______” home, makes sure that family is in town. Your child could be telling your the truth, or half of it. When they say they are going to the Jones’ home, they may not be lying, but they may not be telling you that the Jones family is half way across the country. Teens use these homes for partying all of the time. This isn’t being invasive either. It’s being a responsible parent.

As students have more vacation and off days around the holidays, they will be more inclined to attend parties, use alcohol, or try drugs. Kids may even buy more drugs than normal to stock up for the holidays.

Positive parenting, and active involvement are key in helping keep your child off of drugs. Parents need to be vigilant that alcohol and drugs are absolutely off-limits for minors. It’s not only wrong, it’s illegal.

Black Friday may be the big highlight of this upcoming week, but make sure that Black Friday is all about shopping, and not the mourning of a loved one, or someone in your community, who wasn’t properly supervised over the holiday.

 

Drugs are scary for everyone. Whether you are a user, or the loved one of someone who is hooked on drugs, the topic is downright frightening.

But the one fear that always seems to amaze some treatment professionals is the fear of calling police on a child using or selling drugs. Many parents simply can’t do it. Yes, they might get arrested on a minor crime. But the act could teach them a life-saving lesson.

A teen with a joint at home seems harmless to some parents. They rationalize it with sayings like, “I had one when I was a teen,” or “it’s a rite of passage.” But that one marijuana cigarette could spiral into a 4 pound drug deal. The charges quickly escalate from possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor in most states, and typically wiped off the record of a minor with the attendance of drug class, to felony drug possession with intent to distribute.

Beyond the legal ramifications, you may be able to thwart the experimentation of an adolescent, before it becomes an addiction. But most parents are too scared, hoping the problem will go away, correct itself, or resolve. These things typically don’t happen. A teen who starts using drugs, and hangs out with a crowd who routinely uses, will likely to continue to use. This problem doesn’t go away.

Why do parents have such a hard time? Is it that they can never envision their “baby” lead away by police in handcuffs? They do not want to face the shame withing the community or the family for having a drug user in the home? It is far easier to get help for someone experimenting than to try to help someone who has a habit.

An 11-year-old hated the smell of pot so much, he took matters into his own hands. No, the crowd he hangs out with a school were not smoking. He was sick of his parents incessant pot smoking. The boy simply had had enough. He had to parent his parents. So he grabbed his digital camera, and started snapping photos of his mother and step-father’s supply. And then he sent it to police.

The boy photographed 8 pounds of marijuana. The couple quickly claimed that the pot was medicinal for the step-father’s health issues. Problem is, Minnesota doesn’t have a medicinal marijuana law, like many other states.

The boy told police that he couldn’t escape the smell of marijuana inside the home. The mother, in a television interview, claimed that she doesn’t ever smell it in the house, and that the slightest whiff of it makes her ill.

To make matters worse, the mother is a probation officer. Here is a woman sworn to help monitor people who have turned to crime and help them rehabilitate, and she has two young children in the home with 8 pounds of marijuana.

The step-father had scales, weapons, and instruments consistent with supplies used by drug dealing criminals. Both the mother and step-father now face drug charges.

This child stood up for himself and knew drugs were bad. Not many kids would do that. The sad thing is, not many parents would do it either.

Don’t be afraid to deal with a drug problem in your home. Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about drugs, drug use, and the affects that drugs have on people. Encourage your kids to have an open dialogue with you regarding drugs and alcohol.

Home drug test your children to make sure they aren’t experimenting with narcotics.

 

Utah typically has a squeaky clean image when it comes to alcohol and drug usage. Sure, no community is immune, but certainly other areas have far greater drug problems. Unfortunately, one Utah high school is making headlines today because of a rash of drug deals made by students to undercover officers.

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The important thing to note here is that this type of activity occurs on school campuses across America. No community is immune from drug dealing on campus. But kids are dealing with big bad thugs on the street corners. They are getting ecstasy, mushrooms, or prescriptions from familiar faces. These may be long time classmates going back to kindergarten. Kids typically get high for the first time with someone they trust and know well. Kids are getting pot from buddies with medical marijuana cards. It’s an epidemic.

This latest arrest was reported in the Deseret News. Thirteen students from three high schools in Weber County this morning. It was part of a months-long investigation by the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force.

A majority of the arrests, eleven of them were at Bonneville High School. The amount of arrests surprised officers, as they anticipated only a handful of arrests. One person was arrested at Roy High School and another at Three Rivers High School.

All of the drug deals originated at the school. The two parties would then arrange to meet later to complete the deal. Some deals were completed off school property while others were made in the school itself or the parking lot. It’s clear these kids had no fear of dealing drugs right on campus.

This is a reminder that parents need to be more active in their children’s lives. They should be asking questions, following up with where their kids are headed, and home drug testing their kids regularly.

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There are several myths when it comes to teens and drugs.

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Myth #1: NOT MY KID!

You don’t have to be in the treatment and recovery field to have heard this phrase uttered a few dozen times by parents.    It’s pretty common knowledge that parents simply do not believe that their child could ever do drugs.     Truth is, nobody’s child is 100% safe.    It takes not only strong values from the child, but it also takes repeated reinforcement from parents.

Myth #2: I COULD TELL IF MY SON OR DAUGHTER WAS USING DRUGS!

We all have some sort of visual of what a junkie looks like.   And despite never wanting to see any of our children in that state, we pretty much have a picture of what a ragged junked-out version of our kids would resemble.    Of course if your once healthy teen now appears thin, pale, and weak, a parent might speculate that there is something more than diet that is the issue.    But drug detection is mostly invisible to the naked eye.  Sure, there are some signs to look for.   But a parent is typically not a treatment professional.   And the occasional user may not reveal any long-term signs of abuse.    Typically, a parent will only notice drug use, when it has become habitual, or abusive.    They have a much better chance of finding their child’s stash of substances, than detecting that their child may be abusing something.

Myth #2: I KNOW WHAT DRUGGIES LOOK LIKE: DISHEVELED LOSERS!

Not exactly.   There is no poster child for drug abuse.   Teen drug use is not confined to kids from a certain ethnicity, community, or social upbringing.   There are no social barriers for teen drug use.   They are not always the outcasts at school, suffering from bad grades, and completely unsocial.    We are seeing straight A students, star athletes, social butterflies on campus all falling victim to drug abuse.     Drug abuse is not a problem solely with the lower classes.   And it isn’t a problem solely in high society circles.   Kids abuse drugs for many reason.  They could be enjoying drugs recreationaly, or taking them to cope with stress.   They key isn’t why they are using, it is how to stop them from using.

You can tell when you read online stories from major TV and newspaper media outlets just how disillusioned society is about teen drug use.

Many people will make ignorant comments, not knowing anything about these victims.   That’s exactly what they are, victims.

The latest victim was Glen Berlin Parrish.   He’s the 18-year-old who was found dead at UCLA on Sunday morning.   Parents and the boy’s family speculate that the teen may have mixed alcohol with prescription drugs.   An autopsy will help determine the toxicology results.

The father, Glen Parrish, told the Contra Costa Times that “there were a lot of drugs taken and a lot of drinking” at the party attended by his son.

Heartbreaking words from the elder Parrish, as he told the Times, “he was an amazing child with a huge bright future – 3.9 grade point average. And he’s gone.”

While police investigate what exactly happened at the party, what the boy took, and how he got his hands on potentially lethal narcotics, the family is left planning a funeral for a kid who had just gotten a job, was a stellar student, and a former football player.

There’s no such thing as a good child or a bad child.   There isn’t one “I gotta keep my eye on.”  Parents often single out the one child in the family who may consider doing drugs.    Instead parents should focus on drug testing all of their children, to make sure this doesn’t happen to any of their loved ones.

Arizona State University has issued a statement saying that Parrish was not a student of the school as reported early on by UCLA’s daily Bruin.

A website has also posted updated information on the young man who lost his life to an apparent combination of alcohol and drugs at UCLA this weekend.

Nowpublic.com has links to Parrish’s Facebook page, as well as a link to a memorial site, created to remember Parrish.

You can access the site by clicking HERE.

Many parents can remember the scene. John Belushi’s “Bluto” character comes down the stairs while a beatnik looking guitarist (Stephen Bishop) serenades a couple of lovelies with “I gave my love a cherry…” Bluto rips the guitar from the singer’s hands and smashes it. Then he turns to the singer and says, “sorry.” Fraternity debauchery was depicted well in that movie, and it is well documented that the debauchery off-camera by the cast was just as wild.

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It’s no secret that fraternities for decades have been a mixture of polished excellence, and the lowest common denominators. Fraternities typically are a positive experience for young adults. But two recent episodes may make some think twice about the frat life at our univerisites.

It seems as if the typical kegger party has now been replaced with other substances. Two stories that have surfaced today from the weekend took place across the country from each other.

In New Hampshire, Eleven brothers of the suspended Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at the University of New Hampshire were arrested Sunday in a police raid that allegedly recovered evidence of a significant drug operation at the off-campus frat house.

A 6A.M. raid revealed marijuana and pills that were sent to a lab for ID. 8 Frat brothers were arrested. These young men ranged in age from 19-21.

The university’s police director said that the arrests were “just the tip of the iceberg,” and said police will make more arrests this week to stop activity that is “not conducive” to the educational mission of the school.

“The university is committed to eliminating illegal drug activity on its campus,” Dean said. “It reflects poorly on a great institution, and we will continue to search out those who bring these dangerous and illegal substances into our community.”

TAKE NOTE: This was a fraternity already issued a five-year suspension for numerous incidents. According to university spokeswoman Erika Mantz, the UNH chapter of ATO was found responsible at a judicial board hearing for violating student rights, rules and responsibilities, including underage alcohol possession, excessive alcohol consumption, hosting a gathering where prohibited drinking has occurred and conduct that threatened or endangered the health of a person.

Across the country at UCLA,

An autopsy is planned on an 18-year-old man who was found dead in a bed at a UCLA fraternity house.

Police believe drugs and alcohol were involved in the death of Glen Parrish Jr. of Manhattan Beach, who was found dead at the Theta Chi house.

L.A. County Coroner spokeswoman Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said Parrish was visiting the UCLA campus.

“There’s nothing that suggests a suicide,” she said, declining to elaborate.

The college experience should not include death, substance abuse, sexual assault, or arrests.

Graduating high school and sending your child off to college does not mean that parents no longer need to supervise their sons and daughters. The excuse that “well these kids are adults” is just that, an excuse. When parents are still paying tuition or paying car and insurance bills, or carrying health plans for their children, they should be taking a proactive parenting stance.