The Drug Report

Facts about what can go wrong when people use drugs

  • The Best Drug Info Ever?

    A big part of my inspiration for The Drug Report was Beth Pearce's amazing film, VOICE OF THE VICTIMS: TRUE STORIES OF ECSTASY AND KETAMINE. The film simply lets the victims of drug tragedies tell their stories. It's real life, it's undeniable, and it's incredibly powerful. I'm sure Beth has saved many, many lives, and it is my hope that this blog will do so as well. To learn more about her film, go to Voice Of The Victims.

    FACTS ARE FACTS

    A friend of mine likes to say, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

    When it comes to drugs, there are lots of opinions out there: Some think drugs are safe and fun, some think they're dangerous and frightening, and many think everything in between.

    But facts are facts, and when someone dies from drugs, or someone is murdered by a person who is on drugs, or is raped by someone who has given them drugs, that's just a fact. Drug users who actively promote drug use rail against these facts, and I expect they'll be commenting regularly on The Drug Report. But they can't change the facts.

Archive for August, 2006

Sorry …

Posted by Childress on August 29, 2006

… I’ve been very busy and very out-of-town and very far from high-speed Internet hook-ups, so I’m about five days behind on posting.

There’s a lot to catch up on.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Agitated on E, Boy Falls to Death

Posted by Childress on August 29, 2006

Graham Bousfield was 19 and on a camping trip near Lancaster, England with his friends.  A little beer, a little Ecstasy, a little accident … and Bousfield was dead.

The coroner’s report found significant amounts of Ecstasy and alcohol in his system, and a head injury that mercifully killed him quickly.

Was this just a stumbling alcohol death?  I don’t think so, and here’s why:

They had all been drinking but Graham’s friend, 17-year-old Cassandra Bemford, told the inquest he had seemed uncomfortable and agitated. She said: “He was talking about anything random and anything that popped into his head. He was also twitching. He said he wanted to go rock climbing and we all said no.”

That sounds like Ecstasy and alcohol getting together in a particularly bad way.

Posted in Alcohol, Ecstasy | Leave a Comment »

Drug Cocktail Kills Young Dad

Posted by Childress on August 29, 2006

In the northern England town of Teesside, “Magic” Mark Fisher is dead, leaving behind his eight year old son Bradley.

The culprit:  A cocktail of drugs including ecstasy, cocaine and effedrine — all washed down with alcohol.  All evidence points to this being an accidental death, but accidental deaths happen when multiple drugs are mixed.

Says the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette:

After his death his mum Davina Fisher, of Gedney Avenue, paid tribute to her “lovely” and “beautiful” son. She said then: “He lived life to the full. He was a lovely person. Bradley idolised him. Mark was his God.”

How sad.

Posted in Alcohol, Cocaine, Ecstasy | Leave a Comment »

Rave Revival?

Posted by Childress on August 29, 2006

The numbers are smaller — just a few thousand instead of the 10,000 to 20,000 who showed up at raves in the 1980s — but police in England are worried that raves are back.

Here’s the story, from the Aug. 29 issue of the Belfast Telegraph:

Police forces in the south of England have been logging growing evidence of the re-emergence of the rave.

The most recent detected was on Saturday night in a cornfield next to the village of Ickleton, near Saffron Walden in Essex. Two hundred riot police from five counties used CS gas, dogs and batons to disperse the 1,000 party goers. During the clashes a police car was set on fire and nine officers were wounded, with injuries to police including a suspected broken collarbone and a severed finger. At least two revellers were also injured. Thirty people were arrested and released on bail.

Elsewhere, in Gloucestershire, two officers were injured and several people were arrested when police broke up an illegal party at a business park early on Saturday.Police also sealed off a farm near Heston, Cornwall, on Sunday after receiving information that the site was to be used for a rave.

Forces admit there has been a surge in similar illegal raves, including one party in north Cornwall that was attended by more than 5,000 revellers over the May bank holiday this year.

Posted in Ecstasy | 2 Comments »

Tejano Star’s Drug Rape Trial Starts

Posted by Childress on August 29, 2006

Joe Lopez is a superstar, one of the most popular stars of the Tejano music that’s so popular along the Texas/Mexico border.

He’s also an alleged child rapist.

Lopez is charged with three counts of aggrevated sexual assault, one count of indency with a minor, and one count of providing GHB, Ketamine or rohypnal to her.

On the first day of his trial, Lopoez fired his attorneys — a classic delay tactic — and the trial was suspended until new attorneys can be found.  He’s in jail for now, but with jail set at a low $25,000, this is one singer who may be somewhere over the rainbow soon.

Posted in Charges & Trials, GHB, Ketamine | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Pain-Killer Deaths Soaring

Posted by Childress on August 22, 2006

Consider this news in the context of pharm parties, when kids mix various prescription drugs in a bowl, grab a bunch, and wash them down with liquor.  It is from new research conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and was recently is published in the journal, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

Trends analysis of drug poisoning deaths has helped explain a national epidemic of overdose deaths in the U.S. that began in the 1990s and points to the contribution of prescription pain killers to the epidemic.

Drugs called “opioids” are frequently prescribed to relieve pain, but if abused they can kill. Over the past 15 years, sales of opioid pain killers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and fentanyl, have increased, and deaths from these drugs have increased in parallel.

In 2002, over 16,000 people died in the U.S. as a result of drug overdoses, with most deaths related to opioids, heroin, and cocaine. Opioids surpassed both cocaine and heroin in extent of involvement in these drug overdoses between 1999 and 2002.

The situation appears to be accelerating. Between 1979 and 1990 the rate of deaths attributed to unintentional drug poisoning increased by an average of 5.3% each year. Between 1990 and 2002, the rate increased by 18.1% per year. The contribution played by opioids is also increasing. Between 1999 and 2002 the number of overdose death certificates that mention poisoning by opioid pain killers went up by 91.2%. While the pain killer category showed the greatest increase, death certificates pointing a finger of blame at heroin and cocaine also increased by 12.4% and 22.8% respectively.

Posted in Prescription drugs | Leave a Comment »

Guilty Plea in Fentanyl-Methadone Deaths

Posted by Childress on August 22, 2006

Earlier this summer, hundreds died in the Midwest from a lethal mixture of the pain-killer fentanyl and either heroin or methadone.  Now that a guilty plea has solved three of the deaths, questions remain about the other 90+.

The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Justice:

United States Attorney Margaret M. Chiara announced the guilty plea of Robert Lee King to a federal charge of distribution of fentanyl causing death. Mr. King, age 40, of Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties, Michigan, was facing three separate charges in a trial set to begin on August 21, 2006 in the Federal District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The first charge alleged the distribution on January 8, 2005 of methadone and fentanyl, Schedule II controlled substances, resulting in the serious bodily injury and death of Emily Waskiewicz in Charlevoix County from the use of the methadone and fentanyl ….

The second charge involved a distribution of fentanyl on October 1, 2005 resulting in the serious bodily injury and death of Garry Sneller in Cheboygan County from the use of the fentanyl which King had originally obtained from a pharmacy in Boyne City, Michigan.

Fentanyl is a highly potent pain medication which typically is administered through patches worn on the skin.

The third charge alleged a conspiracy to distribute OxyContin in Charlevoix County and elsewhere from 1999-2004. A fourth charge was previously dismissed by the court. …

The charge of distribution of a controlled substance causing death carries a penalty of not less than 20 years and up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.

Posted in Charges & Trials, Heroin, Methadone, Prescription drugs | 1 Comment »

12-year-old Rushed to Hospital; Took Ecstasy

Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006

Would a 40 year old woman give a 12 year old girl Ecstasy in order to build a market for her drug dealing business? Apparently so, according to the Cornish Guardian:

Children in Torpoint are being supplied with Class A drugs, a police investigation has revealed.

Earlier this month a 12-year-old girl was rushed to hospital after taking ecstasy in the town, prompting police to arrest a teenager and a woman in her 40s on suspicion of drug dealing.

The girl was taken ill on parkland at The Lawns on August 5 and was transferred by ambulance to Derriford Hospital where she received treatment and was later released.

Police have now appealed to children to tell their parents – who should then report it to the police – if they are approached by anyone offering them pills or other substances.

Officers say children can sometimes be offered drugs at no cost with the intention of getting them hooked. …

Local residents have been stunned someone so young could have taken the drug.

Helen Dunn, 40, saw the girl being helped into the ambulance.

She said: “I’m really shocked she’s only 12, she looked a lot older than that. I saw the police and ambulance arrive and I saw two boys supporting a girl, walking her towards the ambulance, She couldn’t stand on her own.”

Lucky the girl got to the hospital right away. This goes right along with the story below. Parents need to get a clue.

Posted in Ecstasy | Leave a Comment »

Survey Finds Parents Clueless on Kids’ Drugs

Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006

A recent survey by – finds that parents’ perception of parties their teens go to vary a great deal from what the teens reports goes on at their get-togethers. From the Chicago (IL) Tribune:

[A] survey released Thursday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University… [finds]: One-third of teens and nearly half of 17-year-olds attend house parties where alcohol, marijuana and illegal drugs are plentiful–even when parents are actually in the home. The survey also found:

– Eighty percent of parents believe that neither alcohol nor marijuana is usually available at teen gatherings, but 50 percent of their kids say they attend parties where alcohol, drugs or both are available.

– Ninety-eight percent of parents say they are normally present during parties in their homes, while a third of teens report that parents are rarely around.

– Only 12 percent of parents see illegal substances as their teen’s greatest concern. But twice as many teens (27 percent) say drugs are a major worry.

– Thirty-eight percent of teens say they can buy marijuana within a day; 19 percent can complete the transaction in an hour or less.

Commenting on the survey, Joseph A. Califano, secretary of health, education and welfare during the Carter administration, said:

Where are [the parents]? Why aren’t they walking in and out of the party? Don’t they smell the pot or the booze? There’s just a tremendous disconnect.”

“Parents are living in a fool’s paradise. They’ve got to take the blinders off and pay attention. If asbestos were in the ceiling, they’d raise hell. But their schools are riddled with drugs. If they’d say, `Get the drugs out’ with the same energy, we’d get somewhere. This is a wake-up call.”

Parents need to pay attention and not expect schools to handle this for them. THEY need to talk to their kids about drugs. The best tool I know of to accomplish this is the Voice of the Victims films. The parent edition gives parents the information they need to know, and the motivation and will to talk to their kids.

The teen/young adult edition tells the stories of four drug tragedies in the reality-TV format kids appreciate: No narrators, no endless statistics, no phony scare tactics: Just the friends and families of the victims, telling their stories through tears.

Here’s a direct link to the order page. My friend Beth Pearce, the producer, has it on sale now (both films, more than two hours of good stuff, for $25 and she’ll pay the U.S. shipping — this is a mission for her, not a business), so do buy the set and MORE IMPORTANT, do talk to your kids.

Posted in Alcohol, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Marijuana, Prescription drugs | Leave a Comment »

Ecstasy’s Birth: Not an Appetite Suppressant

Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006

Popular Web-mythology about Ecstasy is that its was created by the drug giant Merck in 1912 as an appetite suppressant that might make the German Army more efficient when battling hunger and Germany’s enemies, but the drug was set aside when experiments on lab animals revealed bizarre reactions.

The story is bogus, according to Merck, which spent a couple years poring over dusty old records to see if the company really was involved in so strange a program. According to The Guardian (UK), Ecstasy had a much more noble beginning:

The company did develop the drug in 1912, but the appetite suppressant story is an urban myth, passed on from source to source through “uncritical copy-paste procedures”. Instead, documents from the time show that ecstasy emerged during the company’s efforts to develop a potentially life-saving medicine that would help blood to clot.

The best available blood clot medicine at the time, hydrastinin, was patented by Merck’s local rival Bayer. Merck chemists believed that a similar compound called methylhydrastinin would be equally effective and set about trying to make it from scratch in a way not covered by the Bayer patent. Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, was first produced during these experiments, but attracted little attention.

Merck’s recent search found just a passing reference to the drug: in a patent the company filed in 1912 to protect its new blood clot agent, which had been tested on patients in a Berlin hospital. Patent 274350 did not refer to MDMA by name, but described its properties among a list of other new intermediates: “colourless oil, boiling point 155C at 20mm pressure, its salt forms white crystals”.

Tellingly, there were no references to any experiments to test the biological effects of ecstasy, then known as methylsafrylamin. As the official report of Merck’s historical detectives puts it: “In clear contrast to what is usually claimed by the ‘ecstasy’ literature, MDMA was neither studied in animals nor humans at Merck around 1912.”

There it is; presented for your knowledge and edification.

Posted in Ecstasy | 2 Comments »

Pieper, Veluz Case Suffers Setback

Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006

The man wanted for questioning in the deaths of Derek Pieper and Raymond Veluz, whose deaths I’ve written about several times (here, here, here), has been found shot to death in Florida.

The violent death of Jeremy Henry may make it impossible to ever learn what led Pieper and Veluz so far from their homes at 5 a.m. the morning they were killed. Initial reports hinted that Pieper’s use of drugs might have been involved, but many friends and family members have written me saying it wsa just a case of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The comments I’ve received about Raymond have been particularly glowing, so no matter what it was that got these two in the wrong part of town at the crack of dawn, it’s a shame.

Here’s the update, from The St. Petersburg Times:

Jeremy Henry was a mystery in life: a man who could be vicious to enemies yet also bought ice cream for neighborhood children, according to friends.

And the 20-year-old, who was gunned down early Sunday on a Dade City dirt road, left a mystery in his death: What happened to him? And what might Henry – wanted for questioning in the July 28 shooting deaths of two Wesley Chapel teens – have been able to tell authorities?

The county Sheriff’s Office had little to say on the case Monday, aside from listing the items in Henry’s pockets when he died:

The key to a mobile home near where his body was found. Marijuana. Methamphetamine. And a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. …

Friends confirmed Henry stayed in the Dade City area, despite rumors he had fled the state.

But he was paranoid and not sleeping well.

“He was planning to turn himself in,” said his cousin, 24-year-old Bryan Wright. He said Henry was saving money, in anticipation of having to pay a jail bond, and a lawyer.

Henry has an extensive criminal history, dating to age 11. He was arrested most recently in March, charged with aggravated battery in a shooting that injured a Dade City man. The charges were dropped.

The Sheriff’s Office says he was the leader of a gang called Jeremy Henry’s Posse. Family members adamantly deny that.

“I know for a fact that this kid was no head of no gang, he was no part of no gang. He hung by himself,” said Catherine Wright, the aunt who raised him.

The Sheriff’s Office said Henry’s death is a setback in the investigation of who killed Derek Pieper, 17, and Raymond Veluz, 18, the Wesley Chapel teens found slain last month on a remote road in Trilby. Henry was never called a suspect but was wanted for questioning.

Pieper’s brother, Bryan, was unaffected by the news of Henry’s death: “I really don’t care. Sorry.”

Meth, marijuana, a gun, a cloud of suspicion and an early death. Jeremy Henry’s life may not have been a glamorous drug life, but it was a drug life.

Posted in Charges & Trials, Marijuana, Meth | Leave a Comment »

Huffing Follow-Up

Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006

Following up on my earlier post, “A Huffing Death from Butane,” there’s this news item from the Scunthorpe (England) Evening Telegraph:

The mother of a village postmistress sold a potentially lethal canister of butane gas to a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

Malcolm Osborne, prosecuting for North Lincolnshire Council’s trading standards department, said an under-age test purchase was carried out at the South Ferriby post office on December 20.

He told North Lincolnshire magistrates the department had been carrying out a campaign to stamp out sales of lighter fuel to youngsters. And under-age test purchases had been carried out at a total of 25 premises – a dozen of which resulted in sales.

Mr Osborne said the department had previously written to retailers reminding them of their legal obligations. And, pointing out the lethal consequences of abusing butane, he said solvent sniffing by teenagers resulted in more deaths per year than the drug ecstasy.

The two 14-year-old girls went into the South Ferriby shop at about 11.45am on the day in question.

“They were instructed not to lie about their age but to give their true age if challenged,” said Mr Osborne.

But no challenge was made and one of the girls was able to buy a canister of lighter fuel containing butane gas.

Let’s hope the publicity helps shopkeepers … and kids and parents! … to better understand what a serious risk huffing poses.

Posted in Huffing | Leave a Comment »

“Actress” Uses Ecstasy, Meth to Lure Away Minor

Posted by Childress on August 19, 2006

Here’s an unusual crime involving ecstasy and meth, which occurred in California’s Bay Area near San Francisco, as reported by the Contra Costa Times:

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is filing charges against an adult film actress accused of having sex with a De Anza High School student.

The charges against Genevieve Elise Silva, 21, include one felony count of statutory rape, one felony count of furnishing Ecstasy and methamphetamine, and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, said deputy district attorney Dara Cashman.

“The only thing unusual is the reversal of the sex,” Cashman said. “That’s not a factor for me. … It’s a 20-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old.”

The victim, an El Sobrante teenager, ran away from home in the summer of 2005 to live with Silva, police said. They eventually moved to Oklahoma to stay with Silva’s mother, police said.

Actually, stories like this are getting less unusual. Perhaps it’s the pervasive sex in our society; perhaps it’s the drugs; but we are seeing more cases of women molesting boys.

Posted in Charges & Trials, Ecstasy, Meth, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

More on Erica Hicks Sentence

Posted by Childress on August 17, 2006

The judge sentencing the teen boy who gave Erica Hicks a lethal cocktail of drugs, including ecstasy, meth and cocaine, will walk out of jail soon, following seven months of incarceration.

The judge told Hicks’ parents he had no choice but to let the boy go — but he applied one smart provision and one creative one to the boy’s sentence.

  • Smart:  Judge Craig Croon ordered the boy to undergo substance-abuse treatment and counseling. He will be subject to random drug tests and warrantless searches, and he will have a curfew during the first month of probation.
  • Creative:  According to the Raleigh (NC) News-Observer, Judge Croon ordered, “From September 30 to October 3, he will serve four days [in custody].  September 30 is when all this started, and it came to an end on October 3 when they shut off the life support. In other words, you can use those four days to think. And, sir, I’ll be quite honest with you: If your probation ends up getting extended, the same thing will happen next year.”
  • Posted in Charges & Trials, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Meth | Leave a Comment »

    Methadone Death in Ireland

    Posted by Childress on August 17, 2006

    Neil Wilson Laffin, 23, like many who use drugs, had added methadone to his drug repertoire of ecstasy and marijuana, even though he was not a heroin addict.  The results:

    On the evening of Saturday, December 18, Mr Laffin was found dead by a friend.

    Deborah Taylor said she had gone to see if Mr Laffin wanted some food as he had been in bed all day with a sore mouth.

    She said when she found him: “He was lying face down. His lips were black and he wasn’t breathing.”

    An ambulance was called and despite attempts to revive him, Mr Laffin was pronounced dead at 7.59pm.

    Professor Jack Crane, state pathologist, concluded: “Death was caused by poisoning of methadone.”

    Professor Crane said there had been a “relatively high concentration” of the drug in the young man’s system.

    “There can be no doubt that this was the cause of death in this case,” he said.

    One question remains, according to the Irish Times:  Police are investigating whether Laffin’s housemate, who had a prescription for methadone “forced” (the Times’ word) Laffin to take the drug.

    Posted in Ecstasy, Marijuana, Methadone | Leave a Comment »