Archive for June, 2012


By now, you’ve heard of the Causeway Cannibal case out of Miami.

That’s the homeless man Rudy Eugene, who attacked Ronald Poppo, chewing off 75% of his face.

Miami police originally attributed Eugene’s rabid behavior as the behavior as someone under the influence of bath salts.

Earlier this week, authorities revealed the results of the toxicology tests.

The only drug present in Eugene’s system was marijuana.

My colleague, Scott, joked that this must be Reefer Madness, a salute to the 1936 film that essentially detailed that pot smokers would become rapists, murderers, and a general threat to society.

I waited for a few days to write up this story, because authorities cannot let synthetic drugs off the hook in this one.

Dr. Bruce Goldberger, Professor and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida, breaks down the difficulty in detecting synthetic drugs in tests.

He told CBS News, “There are many of these synthetic drugs that we currently don’t have the methodology to test on, and that is not the fault of the toxicology lab. The challenge today for the toxicology lab is to stay on top of these new chemicals and develop methodologies for them but it’s very difficult and very expensive.” Goldberger said. “There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there.”

Ask anyone in addiction treatment or law enforcement and they will tell you that their best guess would be that Eugene had something else, undetectable, in his system.

And while, CBS News also attributed another professor who offered the plausibility that a Satitva strain of marijuana could have increased Eugene’s dopamine levels and sent him into this maniacal rage, it seems highly unlikely.

This is the problem with trying to make these substance illegal, and detecting them. The chemical compositions change routinely. There are hundreds if not thousands of different chemicals out there. They have been characterized as spice, incense, or bath salts, but they go by numerous names, and varying chemical compounds.

According to two very handy guides from ABC2 News, these are just a few of the popular names for synthetic marijuana: K2, Spice, Pep Spice, Black Mamba, Ocean Breeze, Dragon, Bombay Blue

You can see their guide on synthetic marijuana HERE.

Bath Salts also are selling under a different names. Here’s a brief list of some of the products: Bath salts, Plant food, Ivory Wave, Blow, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky, Aura, Zeus 2, Zoom, Bliss, Blue Silk, White Lightning, Ocean, Charge, Cosmic Blast, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Cloud 9, Energy 1, White Dove,

ABC2 News’ list on those drugs can be found HERE.

And there are countless other products.

A quick Google of the words “not for human consumption” under the images tab reveals all types of packages and canisters with synthetic products.

The bottom line is, we may never know what caused Eugene to go on the attack that day. But his symptoms and behaviors certainly could be pinpointed to being under the influence of a synthetic drug.

Detecting them is very difficult. This is why the FDA has been partly reluctant to offer an approval on a drug test. It’s hard to find one with great accuracy.

But parents should be alerting their teens and young adult children to the fact that these substances are dangerous.

Eating the powder of recently took the life of an East Grand Forks, MN boy, and put his best friend behind bars to face murder, manslaughter, and selling to minor felony charges.

Understanding the information about these products is key. The government is trying to ban them, but the chemists creating them keep skirting the bans by altering the composition of the drugs.

 

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U.S. Attorney David Hickton held a prescription drug abuse summit on Wednesday outside of Pittsburgh, and the speakers were very passionate about stopping this pill problem.

FIND YOUR FAMILY SOLUTION TO THE TEEN PILL PROBLEM BY CLICKING HERE.

One of the more compelling speakers was Phil Bauer of York, PA.

Teensavers Home Drug Test Kits were available to parents at the event.

You can read the details in today’s Post Gazette by clicking HERE.

When it comes to back to school shopping supplies, we know that long list of  items can pile up in the shopping cart.

Most TV segments, magazine lists, and internet compilations show the same thing. The new trendy backpack, the hip cool super-duper whiz-bang lunch bag, and the must have stationary items that the kids love like shaky pens and the newest mechanical pencils.

But there is one thing commonly overlooked when it comes to planning for the next school year; teen and preteen drug abuse.

The Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit is the one item to help protect your teens.

Why is it such a valuable weapon for parents?

More kids are admitting to using drugs by the age of 18 (37%), and more kids are admitting that they have a hard time saying no to drugs because of peer pressure (40%.)

And it’s not just pot.

These kids are using painkillers and transitioning to heroin, once they are addicted to opiates.

The Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit isn’t just a drug test. It is a comprehensive kit that acts as an empowering agent for teens. They can tell their friends that they cannot do drugs because their parents test them.

Believe it or not, many parents do not talk to their kids about drugs. They also don’t know which drugs are in their community. Most importantly, many of them don’t even realize that they are their teen’s first drug dealer.

4,000 kids try drugs for the first time every day. 2,500 of them are using prescriptions. And they are getting them straight out of the family medicine cabinet at home, or at their grandparents homes.

And unlike other drug test kits, the Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit is the total solution. It comes with a parental guide that covers the emotional aspects of drug use including warning signs and how to discuss drugs with your teens. On top of that it includes a 24/7 free hot line for parents to ask their questions. From the moment you bring it home it starts working, and it helps parents understand the warning signs. I know my kids’ friends won’t be offering my children drugs, because they’ve seen the test at my home. They will be too afraid that I’d tell their parents or give their parents drug tests to use.

It really works well as a deterrent.

These tests are the latest generation of home drug tests and the tests most recently approved by the FDA for OTC sales.

Only one of four tests can make this claim. Our test is laboratory accurate and maintains a 99.9% accuracy rate. We are the #1 recommended brand by addiction specialists, and we were recently named a winning product by the Parent Tested, Parent Approved group.

How else is Teensavers Home Drug Test different from the other tests? Experience and passion. The creator is Steve Stahovich, a former teen addict. Luckily, he survived his addiction and continued on to run the largest treatment centers in the country, here in Southern California. He developed this product after repeatedly hearing the same question from parents of the children he was treating, “How could we have detected this before it became an addiction?”

The Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit is sold in Rite Aid Pharmacies and is sold online at CVS.com, Walgreens.com, Amazon.com, and Drugstore.com. Click here for a direct link to your preferred retailer.

The Teensavers team wanted to alert parents about something that is very common, that had devastating consequences.

What could have been a harmless night of fun between five friends, has torn apart a community.

In a follow up to a story we brought you yesterday from East Grand Forks, Minnesota, Authorities there was investigating the death of a 17-year old.

Turns out he died from ingesting synthetic drugs.

Wednesday, Polk County prosecutors charged Adam Taft Budge, an 18-year-old from East Grand Forks, with murder in the third degree, second degree manslaughter, selling a controlled substance to a juvenile and selling a controlled substance.

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According to the Grand Forks Herald, Budge originally planned to buy marijuana for a night of fun with his friends when he went to visit his dealer recently.

He ended up paying $100 for white powder, he claims he was told was an extract of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Police say the powder took the life of Budge’s friend Elijah Stai.

The paper cites witnesses telling police that Stai was “shaking, growling, foaming at the mouth” and he “started to smash his head against the ground,” acting as if “possessed.”

Budge apparently dismissed the actions as a “bad trip.”

Stai passed out and once hospitalized, never awoke.

These next details are alarming and should be considered by parents thinking that their children would never do drugs.

Budge, Stai and another young man were at Budge’s home where they were mixing the white powder with chocolate. Budge’s father was home. The boys ate the chocolate at the house and went to pick up two girls.

The elder Budge notified Stai’s mother that the five kids were at the Budge home and that the kids were fine.

Shortly after, Stai was in the middle of his illness. The younger Budge called his father to tell him that Stai was on a “bad trip” and needed a place to come down.

Stai’s mother came to pick up the girls and left Stai there to sleep it off. The elder Budge checked on Stai, who found him catatonic and began looking for symptoms of a mushroom overdose. Figuring the sickness wasn’t fatal, the father still wanted to take Stai to the hospital. The son apparently urged the father to let him sleep it off.

Around 1:30AM, Stai was not breathing.

Forensic experts identified the substance as psychedelic substance was indeed “25i-NBMOe,” otherwise known as 2C-I.

It is shocking that it appears that both parents knew of Stai’s drug ingestion and subsequent sickness, but like many teenagers do, hope that time will be the best medicine.

Parents need to talk with their kids about the hypothetical situation where a friend or loved one appears sick and under the influence of drugs.

Who knows if immediately taking Stai to the hospital could have saved his life. He would have been around medical experts who could have stabilized his condition, if not treated it.

And the fact that these boys made this deadly concoction in the kitchen with the family home at the time, like it was no big deal.

We highly doubt that the elder Budge knew what the boys were cooking up, but could more questions have been asked? Possibly.

This tragedy tore apart two families. And despite the fact that the parents of Budge and Stai were both communicating, they still weren’t able to save the younger Stai’s life.

Our hearts go out to both families. These were good friends whose lives were both destroyed by a disgusting substance.

It’s the tale of two stories.

A new study from the University of Colorado has medical marijuana activists, well actually all marijuana activists, jumping for joy.

DON’T TRUST YOUR NOSE. CLICK HERE FOR THE ONE TEST THAT WILL GIVE YOU CLEAR ANSWERS WHEN IT COMES TO WHETHER OR NOT YOUR TEEN HAS SMOKED MARIJUANA.

Researchers there say that states with legalized medicinal marijuana do not a correlation in the number of teen smokers. Essentially, teens are not more likely to smoke pot in states where medicinal marijuana is legal.

But it may not matter. When you look at the CDC’s 2011 Risky Behaviors study, you will see that the numbers of teen marijuana smokers is already much higher than it should be.

Let’s take a look at some of the graphs from the study and the information breakdown by ethnicity and by state.

Roughly 40% of all teens have smoked marijuana at least once in their life. About 8% of them either tried or started their pot smoking before the age of 13.

There isn’t much disparity between the ethnicities, 38% of white teens, 42% of Hispanic teens, and 43% of black teens admitted to smoking marijuana at least once.

Many people think marijuana is more popular in bigger states with more metropolitan areas. But these stats show, pot smoking is not just tied to the big apple and Los Angeles.

CDC 2011 Risky Behavior Study

How about big cities vs. little cities?

51% of Milwaukee high schoolers have tried marijuana. San Francisco holds one of the lowest percentages of cities selected for the survey.

And kids aren’t hiding somewhere smoking their grass. Nearly one fourth of them are getting high on campus.

There is no denying that there is major problem in this country with adolescent drug use, which has been soaring since 2008. Before 2008, drug use was on a lengthy decline.

These numbers tell the story.

You don’t need to go down to a scary dark alley or search for a homeless junkie sticking a needle in his arm to find heroin.

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Heroin isn’t like mold. It doesn’t grow in dark and dingy places.

Heroin is down Main street of Anytown, USA.

The drug that has been portrayed as being a bused by the lowest common denominator or by the wealthy rock legends and movie stars is now being abused by your average teenager and adult in your hometown.

National data from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) shows that the number of teens dying from heroin abuse has skyrocketed. In 1999, 198 people between the ages of 15 and 24 died of a heroin overdose, compared to 510 deaths in 2009. Statistics for 2010 should be expected later this year.

The treatment centers and rehabs are full of heroin addicts. From 4,414 teens in 1999 to more than 21,000 (about 80 percent) in 2009.

As NBC pointed out, the data shows that 90% of teen heroin addicts are white.

NBC spoke with a former Chicago Police Captain, John Roberts, who lost his son to heroin.

CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY.

This story is really worth a read.

Ryan Leaf says spending the last few weeks in jail has been the best time of his life in the last 15 years.

Despite being a brief NFL star, his comments are not that surprising.

He has been battling prescription drug abuse for years.

The former NFL quarterback could spend the next 15 months locked down in Montana.

He first would go to a locked down treatment center, then on to a pre-release living center.

Leaf has had a running battle with painkiller addiction for the last several years.

Hopefully this next year and a half help clean him up for good.

North Dakota and Minnesota are not among those states exploding with drug problems like many other states, but authorities one the border there are dealing with the deaths of two teenagers, and police are convinced bath salts are the culprit.

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The first death involved a 17-year-old in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. A teen overdosed on synthetic drugs. He was hospitalized for a short time, but passed over the weekend.

The other case is downright frightening.

An 18-year-old to the west in Grand Forks, North Dakota died from synthetic drugs. But authorities say that the young man had been asking for acid or LSD, when a supplier may have been passing off the bath salts as such.

That’s the problem right there,” told East Grand Forks Police Lt. Hajicek to Inforum.com. “You don’t have any idea what you are taking.”

The peculiar danger of these new drugs is that they are so new, little is known about their effect or potency, Hajicek said. “Not that any illegal drugs are safe, but these synthetic drugs we are seeing seem to be even more dangerous,” he said.

Parents need to be having talks with their kids about the dangers of these substances.

Today’s drug related arrest of the day goes to an Irvine, California Couple.

Kent and Jill Easter pose in photo used on online wedding site

The Orange County District Attorney’s office charged the couple with planting drugs in a school worker’s car and filing a false police report.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the couple were displeased with the way the school worker was treating their child. That’s when investigators say that the couple hatched a plan to get the school worker fire.

They allege that Kent Easter stashed prescription drugs and marijuana in the worker’s unlocked car late last April.

They say that Easter then made his way to a Newport Beach hotel where he called Irvine Police under a fake name. Detectives say that hotel surveillance video caught Easter making the call.

Detectives also looked the couple’s text messages to each other.

Read the full story in the LA Times by clicking HERE.

Pharmacists and pharmacies are often the link to families for health information and reliable products. Consumers may read about products or hear about them from friends and loved ones, but it’s the pharmacists that can verify, educate, and ease the minds of shoppers.

Teensaver Diagnostics Inc, the creators of the latest generation of home drug test kits, is proud to offer The Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit to individual pharmacies through McKesson Connect. We will be at booth #216 and can talk about the complete line of Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit, as well as anything else interesting. We’d love to get to know you.