Archive for November, 2012


What started out as a night of drug fun with friends, ended with an 18-year-old’s death.

Now one of the friends who secured the drugs for the kids to experiment will spend the next 12 1/2 years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced Wesley Sweeney for providing a synthetic compound that resulted in death of one buddy and the hospitalization of another in Grand Forks.

We first told you about this story back in June.

Prosecutors charged 11 people in the wake of the Grand Forks synthetic drug conspiracy, Sweeney is the first to be sentenced for causing death and bodily injury.

Sweeney admitted buying two hallucinogens on June 10 from Adam Budge, and then providing the drugs to Bjerk and the 15-year-old. The friends pooled their money together to use drugs, and Sweeney was the one who purchased them.

About 5:45 a.m., June 11, Bjerk was found dead on a nearby lawn. C.J. and Sweeney, who also took the drugs, were found nearby, disoriented and incoherent, and were hospitalized.

A plea deal spared Sweeney from the 20-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Myers has identified Andrew Spofford, 22, as the “hobby chemist,” who bought chemicals from Europe, Asia and Houston to make the hallucinogens.

In less than a week, the drugs killed two and led to serious health issues for a handful of others, including juveniles.

Elijah Stai was the other person who died. He was 17-years-old.

The courtroom was emotional, as families of Sweeney and Bjerk, once close friends, were now were torn apart by the tragedy.

Keith and Debbie Bjerk said they warned their son to stay away from Sweeney last spring because they saw him as a bad influence with a criminal record. But their warning wasn’t enough.

Christian questioned why he had to stay away from Sweeney. Bjerk said during his statement. “I think we all know why now.”

But this was a night out of drug fun for all involved. Sweeney’s family maintains that their son was not a criminal but a drug addict, and he was merely the guy who was able to get his hands on the drugs.

They also maintained that their son was lied to, regarding the exact substance.

Sweeney’s attorney, David Dusek, told Erickson that Sweeney did not sell any drugs to Bjerk or C.J., but took the drugs himself, too, in a tragic “nightmare,” that started with three friends partying.

Sweeney put the powdered hallucinogen in “lines” on a table and offered it to anyone, ingesting some himself. “He didn’t encourage anyone else to take it,” Dusek said.

This is a reminder to parents and kids the nature of the responsibility regarding obtaining drugs and alcohol.

The kid who merely makes the run, could be the kid that pays a steep price.

In this case, nobody lost more than the Bjerk family. They lost a son.

But now the Sweeney family will to spend the next several years waiting for their son to be released from prison.

Whether it is with alcohol or drugs, teens need to realize the severity of their actions.

Teens often do not think of the health consequences when buying or using drugs. They may fear the legal consequences, but they are thinking possession busts only.

There’s no way Wesley Sweeney envisioned that he’d be facing 20 years in prison when he made that drug run.

Our thoughts are with all of the families involved in this terrible tragedy.

There’s no doubt parents will have a ton on their plates this week before they pack on the pounds form their Thanksgiving feasts this holiday weekend.

Help your kid say no! A drug test on the counter can influence them to make the right decision this weekend. That’s something to be thankful for!

Millions are preparing to travel today. Many millions more are prepping a Thanksgiving feast. Then there’s the countless people gearing up to wait in line over night and cash in on bargain sales Thursday and Friday.

Millions of teens are preparing too.

They’ve been spending days and weeks stocking up on liquor, marijuana, pills, and other illicit drugs for what is now known by some as “Black Wednesday.”

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights for teen drinking and drug use.

It’s a 5 day weekend, or in some cases a mini vacation that lasts 7 days, as some school districts take the entire Thanksgiving week off.

In many states, agencies like the California Highway Patrol will beef up its’ presence on the roads for “maximum enforcement” against drinking and drugged driving.

There are increased sobriety checkpoints, and more officers are on the streets and highways looking for impaired drivers.

Bars will be packed tonight, and many under aged high school and college students will party with alcohol and/or drugs.

Teens who are subject to random drug tests at school know that they can use on a Wednesday night, and will likely test clean come Monday morning at school.

Most have done their research, and have discovered that drugs typically stay in a person’s system for up to 72 hours, when the drug use is highly infrequent.

That means if they parents aren’t testing their child Friday or Saturday, the traces of detectable drugs are long gone by Monday morning.

There are numerous sites where kids ask questions about drug detection. And those are just the kids who either face testing at school, or face testing on occasion by their parents at home.

Parents need to have conversations with their kids, and despite turning in early tonight because of all the food preparations tomorrow, make sure they are awake when their teens return home for the night.

It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of recipes and sales that are the focal point of this weekend, but perhaps parents need to remember what they are most thankful for; family. And some awareness and effort can help ensure that they are again thankful this holiday season in 2013.

More information on the busted heroin operation that was serving New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said authorities arrested 15 people and seized three kilograms of bulk heroin worth more than $300,000 wholesale.

Authorities also netted nearly 500 bricks of the drug that were ready for resale and could fetch upward of $1 million.

The network operated out of a series of heroin mills and stash houses in Paterson, Chiesa said.

Police called this a sophisticated operation.

Many parents consider home drug testing, but they have no idea what they are, how to use them, what they detect, or which brand to buy.
Home drug tests are either saliva, urine, or hair based.

You wouldn’t want to use a saliva problem, because one it wouldn’t detect marijuana at all, and two the government doesn’t consider them as a single effective means of testing. In fact the government advises a back up urine sample be taken when someone is using an oral test.

The the most common test on the market is a UA, urine immunoassay test. But not all tests are alike. There are MANY cheap products online and in discount stores. Only buy your drug test from a brick and mortar pharmacy/supermarket like Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreen, Target, Walmart, Albertsons, Savon, or online from one of those retailer’s online pharmacies. Drugstore.com is an excellent choice as are CVS.com and Walgreens.com. Buying online provides you with privacy. There are only four products approved by the FDA for over the counter sales in stores.

Hair testing is good at detecting a history of drug use, but it is very costly, and will miss recent drug use.  You’ll know what happened 6 months ago, but you won’t know what happened six hours ago.

Home Drug Test Kits, like the Teensavers test require about 30 ml of a sample.

The Teensaver test is the only test sold over-the-counter that is made in America.

The results are instant.

You can take a 360 degree tour of the Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit and its contents by clicking HERE.

According to the a new survey from the California Office of Traffic Safety we are seeing a tilt in the balance of DUI cases showing that drugged driving may be more prevalent than drunk driving.

The studied showed that more drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

I am not sure how these samples were analyzed, but at a recent prescription drug abuse conference in Fountain Valley, California, a member of the Orange County Crime Lab spoke about the testing of drunk vs. drugged drivers.

She indicated that drugged driving will always be underrepresented because if a driver is both using alcohol and drugs prior to arrest, the test will only screen for drugs when the driver is under .08. If a driver has an alcohol level of .08 or above, they are considered legally under the influence, and no drug information is sought.

If that level is less, then run a drug screen to see if there are additional factors that may be causing problems for drivers to put them under the influence.

As with medicinal marijuana, more people may be driving under the influence now.

Some people in Colorado and Washington, where the voters just legalized marijuana, have raised concerns of the potential increase in drugged driving.

Those laws will not take effect for a while, and the federal government has not indicated whether it will step in and overrule on those voter approved measures.

 

If you watch the show Rehab with Dr. Drew, you may have just watched the season finale.   If you haven’t, I recommend you buy it on itunes.

And while there were ups and downs and the constant turmoil associated with addiction, the best part of the show was the end.

Detect teen drug use before you need rehab, with Teensavers Home Drug Test Kits HERE.

Dr. Drew revealed that 6 months after the taping, every single one of the patients were still clean and sober.

While some may criticize this type of show of glamorizing drug use and exploiting sick people, we feel that the show really shows the scope of addiction.

People are able to get a better understanding of the disease.

Many of these people were extremely sick when they entered the Pasadena Recovery Center.

But through time they made their way through the illness to learn what keeps them sober.

The work of the professionals on the show is exceptional. Bob Forrest really works with Dr. Drew as a 1-2 punch to get control of people and their disease.

If you’ve never seen the show, or you dismissed it because you thought it was just the latest group of celebrity misfits, I suggest you watch this most reason season with regular people.

They represent the face of the young American drug culture.

His story is very similar to others who have died from drug abuse.

But unlike the others who are buried in cemeteries all over America, Jeff  Thompson is alive to tell his story.

And he wants kids to listen.

Don’t gamble on your teen being the one who survives drug abuse. Take action!

He spoke to the Las Vegas Sun about his ignorance regarding the strength of drugs, the place where drugs eventually took his close drug-using friends, and the best advice he can live from now that he’s sober.

He started using marijuana at 12, evolved to pills at 14, and moved on to heroin by 16.

He told the Sun’s Jackie Valley, “Unfortunately, most of my friends passed away or are in jail,” he said. “There’s not really an in-between.”

Kids that get high should read Jeff Thompson’s story. He said he had no idea how addictive pills were.

And explains, something we’ve illustrated many times, that a balloon of heroin becomes much cheaper than the pills.

We have published numerous studies from SAMHSA,  MTF, and additional research as it surfaces here in America.

Parents have a new tool to go hand in hand with intuition. Teensavers.

There are new statistics that have been released in Europe that details the popularity of drug trends.

Here in America, we can learn from those statistics.

They breakdown Cocaine, Marijuana, Ecstasy, Amphetamines, and new legal highs.

Click here to see the numbers published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

Citing the competition between students, more college coeds are turning to drugs to help them study.

Drug use is part of the college experience.

It can’t be stopped, and most make it through the stupidity just fine.

Others develop addictions, being a life-long battle with drugs, or die from the experimentation that they first start between the ages of 18-22.

Benzos, barbiturates, and opiates are popular for teens. Detect them easily in 3-minutes.

But now we are seeing information from a survey from Hillsdale College shows that 15% use study drugs that aren’t prescribed to them.

In a survey conducted by The Collegian, 72 of 477 students admitted to using someone else’s prescription for a drug such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, or Concerta at least once.

If they are using drugs to get through finals week, or a rough period with numerous term papers due, what are they doing when the stress is behind them?

Do they use different drugs to unwind when they weather the storm?

There is no legitimate reasoning for taking drugs prescribed to another person.

If you are a parent of college students, you need to reinforce the message that drugs are bad, regardless of the reason that you are taking them.

Making the grade should require popping a pill.

If intelligent world leaders say that the recent voter-approved marijuana initiatives in Washington and Colorado hampers the war against drugs, what could our kids be thinking?

Simple 3-minute test can detect teen marijuana use, and saliva tests do not work.

Since the two states’ voters approved the laws last week, many countries have spoken out.

Among the most critical are leaders in Latin America. Many of these world leaders have been in a unified fight against drugs, despite the fact that people in their countries are the main producers of these narcotics.

A lot of our marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, is imported through Mexico, either from that country, or countries like Colombia and Ecuador.

Now Mexican President Felipe Calderon is telling America “practice what you preach.”

He is joined by other leaders from Belize, Honduras, and Costa Rica in asking the United Nations’ General Assembly to hold a special session on drugs by 2015.

We will leave the world leaders to debate the issue, but the real concern day to day and from community to community is what do we tell our kids.

Already the Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett is dropping cases against people with marijuana violations after the passage of Amendment 64

Already on Twitter kids are asking about how the laws in Colorado and Washington affect them.

There are thousands of these posts. And while the substances may be legal in those states, parents need to remind their teens that marijuana is still damaging to the developing brain of a teenager.

Studies have shown the harmful effects of teen marijuana use.

Has it killed anyone? No.

However, it can have long-term negative impact on the brain.

And even though marijuana is only legal for people older than 21, we see in every state how easy it is for kids to gain access to to alcohol.

Parents need to be vigilant and have frequent conversations with kids.