Tag Archive: Gil Kerlikowske


 

We are learning just how many youths and young adults are having serious health complications from synthetic marijuana.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network has released its’ first study on synthetic marijuana.

K2, Spice and other synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of marijuana high sent 11,406 people — mostly teens and young adults — to the ER in 2010.

The report, found that children ages 12 to 17 accounted for one-third of the emergency room visits. Young adults ages 18 to 24 accounted for another 35%.

“This report confirms that synthetic drugs cause substantial damage to public health and safety,” Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said.

Spice and K2, marketed as legal, fake pot and labeled as herbal incense, emerged in 2009 as popular drugs among teenagers and college students, who could purchase the substances online, in head shops, and in convenience stores.

Problems quickly emerged. Doctors reported teenagers arriving in the emergency room with high fevers and strange behavior.

The packaging clearly states “not for human consumption” but that almost serves as a beacon for teens that “hey this is the stuff you want to mess around with.”

The DEA instituted an emergency ban on the key chemical components. In July, Congress banned sales of K2, Spice and other synthetic drugs under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

However, amateur chemists continue to make these compounds and hand them out to people, treating them almost as guinea pigs.

It’s important for parents to understand what these compounds are, and for them to have a meaningful dialogue with their kids about the dangers.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), spoke Tuesday in Los Angeles at the California Summit on Opioid Dependence.

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His overall message: Keep fighting the fight, but some people need to wake up!

As the Ventura County Star Reports, Kerlikowske discussed the unwise conventional wisdom surrounding heroin use.

“Young people don’t recognize the addictive powers of heroin,” Kerlikowske said. “They think if they snort it or smoke it, they won’t get addicted.”

Kids think they can handle recreational pill use. They get this from their use of marijuana and their mindset that it is a perfectly controlled high. But the mentality doesn’t change when heroin use sets in as well.

Parents need to stay vigilant, and continue discussing drugs with their teens.

She could just be sitting pretty, while attending some promotion as the reigning Miss Michigan 2012.

But as Wayandotte Patch shows us, Angela Vendetti is using her position as a pageant winner, to keep kids away from drugs.

Vendetti unfortunately has lost people she knows to prescription drug abuse and a heroin overdose.

Read the story about her efforts by clicking HERE.

Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the White House’s ONDCP has written a column for the Huffington Post talking about the fight to reduce a rising trend of drug overdoses.

Four times as many people die from drugs than they did 20 years ago, and the Obama administration has spend $10 billion dollars on programs in an attempt to curb drug abuse.

The problem is painkillers.

People are addicted to them. Kids pop them like candy.

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Kerlikowske also alerts people to the fact that August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day.

If people can start learning about the severity of the problem, we can start solving it.

You can read the Director’s post at the Huffington Post by clicking HERE.

The Government is providing a new tool for parents to learn about synthetic drugs.

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The new information is the result of several conferences with White House Drug Policy Director Kerlikowske and public health and safety officials.

The information kit includes a slidecast about synthetic drugs, a corresponding podcast and video and a printable guide “so parents can present details on what to look for, what the street names are and what the effects of these substances are to others in their community,” officials said in a release.

The kit is available at The Partnership at Drugfree.org.

“Synthetic drugs like Spice, K2, and ‘bath salts’ are a serious threat to the health and safety of young people throughout America,” Kerlikowske said in the statement.

The statement said synthetic drugs are often marketed as legal, and are sometimes labeled “herbal incense” or “bath salts” and sold in small pouches or packets over the Internet, in tobacco and smoke shops, drug paraphernalia shops, gas stations and convenience stores.

In December, the National Institute on Drug Abuse said one in nine high school seniors had used “Spice” or “K2” over the past year. That made synthetic marijuana the second most frequently used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors.

The Senate is taking an aggressive approach to combating the nation’s fastest growing epidemic; Prescription drug abuse.   As Myteensavers has been relaying to parents, more kids are turning to the medicine cabinet than they are the needle.

Yesterday, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on crime and terrorism, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, announced that prescription drug “abuse poses a serious and growing threat to our communities and young people.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH spoke yesterday about the troubles in his state: “Prescription-drug abuse in Ohio — and our nation — needs to be treated like the epidemic it is,” Brown said. “From the policies to the stories, it’s clear prescription-drug abuse is nonpartisan. It’s clear it is an issue of life or death in too many parts of our nation, especially Ohio.”

Brown promoted a bill that he said would prevent prescription-drug abusers from acquiring excess drugs — which they might abuse or illegally-resell.    This legislation already exists in 20 states.

Gov. John Kasich signed a “pill mill” bill on Friday, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has gone after those abusing drug prescriptions.

Brown’s office says Ohio is second only to Florida in the number of oxycodone prescriptions filled, and Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug poisoning skyrockets 350% from 1999 to 2008.

In 2007, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing motor-vehicle crashes and suicide for the first time on record.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the panel that the pills were popular because they were easy to get and there was a “low perception of risk.”

Last month, the White House announced plans to crack down on prescription-drug abuse, including putting a priority.

This serves as a reminder for parents to drug test their kids.   A Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit can be a life-saving device in the home.