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 the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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 »

“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 »

Robert Downey Jr. on a Drugged Life

Posted by Childress on August 12, 2006

The current issue of Riviera/Orange County Magazine, which is not available on-line, has an interview with Robert Downey Jr. accompanied by some shocking images of him modeling clothes in various states of staged drug-induced oblivion.

Photos aside, the article contains some interesting stuff, including these quotes from the oft-troubled actor:

“I’m reputed to be the poster boy for insaniac, drug-fueled ne’re-do-wellism, and I can’t deny any of that, but past a certain point, it wasn’t much of a choice.  At some point, you just find yourself in the backwoods of Pennsylvania wondering whether your runaway train will crash ….

“Listen.  I’ll talk to people who are f*****g up, who are on the brink, who are where I was.  And I’ll say something to them now.  I’ll call them on things.  I’ll say, ‘I see you on the other side of this.’  Half the time I’ll say it because you’re supposed to say it, but then sometimes, every once in a while, you see the light go back on in homey’s eyes and you’re like, ‘Holy s***, maybe there’s a reason I’ve been put on this EArth.”

There is, Robert, there is.  Prayers to you that you’ll stay sober and make the most of it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Why High-Crime Drugs Must Stay Illegal

Posted by Childress on August 11, 2006

Frequent commenter Dodgy made a strange statement in a comment I am not going to post because of what he’s advocating.  Here’s the statement: 

The vast majority of drug related crime occurs simply because of prohibition i.e addicts having to fund their habit.

Excuse me?  I confess: I have a habit.   It’s expensive, powerful cars.  But I don’t satisfy my habit by stealing.  I work hard and succeed in my work so I can afford them.  I expect no one to subsidize my fondness for big German V-8s.

Others like to buy $100 bottles of wine or hundreds of pairs of designer shoes.  Like me, instead of stealing to support their habits, they go to work every day, save up their money (or use up their credit) then buy their satisfying fix.

The big crime drugs — heroin, meth, crack — debilitate many of their users so profoundly that they become fundamentally unemployable in any legit business.  So they become hookers, dealers or thieves.

And society is to bless this by providing them for free the drug that so debilitated them?  Or legalize the drugs so they can debilitate even more people?

If society’s goal is fewer abortions, you don’t open up free abortion clinics.  If society’s goal is fewer burglaries, you don’t make lock picks legal.

Society’s goal must be to protect as many as possible from the dangers and debilitation of drugs like heroin, meth and crack.  You do not let the few, the addicted, the debilitated set social policy for the many, the healthy and the innocent.

Posted in Cocaine, Heroin, Meth, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Typical Tragedy

Posted by Childress on June 7, 2006

This sad, tragic story is all too typical.  Boy gives drugs to girl.  Girl starts reacting badly.  Boy thinks more about getting in trouble than saving lives.  Girl dies.  Boy goes to court, and probably jail. 

From the Raleigh NC News and Observer:

A Wake County judge ruled Tuesday that the murder trial of a teenager accused of supplying a lethal dose of drugs to his friend will be held in juvenile court.

That means the case will continue to be heard in a closed courtroom and the public will not hear testimony about what led to the Oct. 3 death of 16-year-old Erica Hicks.

A junior at Southeast Raleigh High, Hicks died from a mixture of cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy, according to an autopsy. Police charged the boy, who is now 16, with second-degree murder in January. His name has not been released because he was 15 when charged.

Cary police on Friday released 911 tapes and transcripts that show the boy spoke with emergency dispatchers about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 1 but told operators that his younger sister had placed the call by mistake and there was no emergency. Prosecutors maintain Hicks was in physical distress at the time of the first call.

About 30 minutes after the 911 call, the boy went to a neighbor's home. He told his neighbor that Hicks was having seizures but instructed the neighbor not to call police, according to the tapes. However, the neighbor did call 911 shortly after midnight Oct. 2.

Kids, call the police if someone is suffering ill effects from drugs.  Your choice is to save a life or maybe get in a bit of trouble.  This isn't a tough choice.

In the Young Adult edition of the Voice of the Victims films, this story is told forcefully.  You'll see the story of Sara who died because the guy who gave her Ecstasy didn't do call for help for eight hours.  You'll hear cops say it's ok to call, do call, please.

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

Methadone a Killer Prescription Drug

Posted by Childress on June 5, 2006

Deaths from methadone are on the rise — because prescriptions for methadone are on the rise.  Here's the story, from the Charlestown (WV) Gazette:

Lynda Lee was recuperating in her Texas home following back surgery one day in November 2004. The 59-year-old nurse took the pain medicine her doctor had prescribed — methadone — then lay down on the couch in front of the television.

Her son found her there several hours later, dead. She had stopped breathing. The medical examiner said the cause of death was acute methadone intoxication.

"The coroner said there wasn't much in her system. It could have just been two pills," her daughter, Alisha Regan, told the Gazette.

Across the nation, the number of people methadone helped to kill tripled in just four years, from 790 in 1999 to 2,992 in 2003, according to an analysis of death certificates conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics at the Gazette's request.

Regan wonders why so many doctors are prescribing methadone.

"There have been many deaths from methadone, and it's still a top seller," she said.

The reason, doctors and researchers say, is that methadone is cheap and effective in treating pain.

Insurance companies and state health plans are pressuring doctors to consider methadone as an alternative to more expensive painkillers, said several physicians contacted by the Gazette.

Many doctors don't know how to prescribe methadone safely, said Howard Heit, a physician from Fairfax, Va., who specializes in treating pain and addiction.

"Insurance companies are forcing certain doctors to prescribe medications they don't understand," Heit said in a telephone interview. "The companies are looking more to their bottom lines as opposed to being advocates for patients."

Americans are consuming more methadone than ever before — almost 10 times more last year than a decade before, according to data obtained from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The companies that make methadone have seen their revenues rise, also. They have spent some of those millions on Washington, D.C., lobbyists.

One company, Tyco/Mallinckrodt, also provides grants to fund two Web sites edited by Stewart Leavitt, a methadone advocate and researcher who helped write the government's response to methadone overdose deaths (see accompanying story).

A Tyco spokeswoman referred a reporter to Leavitt when asked about methadone's safety.

Leavitt said the responsibility for methadone overdose deaths lies not with the companies that make it or the government that regulates it, but with doctors and patients.

"Ultimately, this is the individual responsibility of the citizen," he said. "At some point, people have to stand up and take responsibility for their actions."

Agreed, doctors and patients are ultimately responsible.  But drug companies seeking the profits that come from new markets are responsible for training those markets of the risks. 

Posted in Prescription drugs, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

50 Meth Deaths in Stockton Area

Posted by Childress on June 5, 2006

California's San Joaquin County, just south of Sacramento, is seeing a big increase in meth use … and meth deaths, according to this AP report:

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) Methamphetamine killed 50 San Joaquin County residents last year, more than any other illegal drug, a county coroner's report said.

Heroin, which killed 15 people in the county between 2004 and 2005, has been second to methamphetamine for four straight years, the coroner said.

County drug treatment programs have seen demand quadruple in the past five years due to meth, officials said.

"Meth is undercover in so many ways," said Gospel Center Rescue Mission drug counselor Joseph Tabangcura. "It's hiding behind violence. It's hiding behind the gangs."

Posted in Meth, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Meth Mom Afraid to Leave Prison

Posted by Childress on June 4, 2006

The emerging picture of the meth addict — scarred face, rotting teeth, twitching, twitching, twitching — is sort of like the old picture of the child molester — creepy, out of place, an obvious lecher. 

Many speed addicts are more like Tammy Howard, who's profiled today in the Columbus (OH) Dispatch.  Here's what they say:

In 15 years of meth use, she never felt the worst of what the drug offers, she said.

She didn’t suffer the infected sores caused by "meth bugs," the itches and twitches under the skin that cannot be satisfied.

She never went days without sleep. She never experienced the dramatic weight loss that is so common because the drug makes food seem unnecessary.

And she kept her teeth. Often, the chemicals in the drug strip the enamel and cause rot and infection in the gums.

She counts herself among the lucky.

But her meth use was not without consequences. Her 21 year old son, with whom she smoked the meth she brewed at home from cough medicines, is in jail and her six year old daughter is being raised by others.

She's lost her home, her car and her job. And she's gained an addiction that worries her as her one-year prison sentence for meth-making wraps up.  She's not at all sure she'll be able to stay clean:

Howard said that given the chance for early release she’ll likely pass it up. "I’m gonna wait until I can get it together," she said. "Somehow." She sits in silence. "Yeah," she says finally, "I’ll go home. Somehow."

All this tragedy for the pick-me-up meth offered her. 

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

Jessica’s GHB Story

Posted by Childress on June 3, 2006

I received this powerful comment today on an old post.  It justifies the purpose of this blog; the author says that as a recovering addict she now understands how wrong some of her opinions and informtion were, and that she is now a great believer in open information about drugs — definitely including the risk factors and down sides.

Hello

I came across your site through a technorati tag search for GHB. I am a recovering addict. I had been addicted to GHB for over two years. I’ve been clean for just over nine months )

This post is all the more real to me than you may realize. Once you are in the culture – you are IN the culture. And evening out your brain with the use of various drugs to bring you up or down is all too real and way undereported in the mainstream media. It is all people know when they are using. To combat fatigue take an upper – if it’s too much supress it with a downer.

What many people fail to recognize is the fear that the user feels if their friend G-holes or blacks out etc… The urge to call the police or an ambulance always considered however because of the stigma attached to addiction and the possibility of getting caught and worse detoxing, causes many to not call 911. In the rave world “you take care of eachother”, “you do it on your own” and “deal with it”.

For many users, the rave scene and the use of E, G or K may have been the first time they could relax and actually feel something other than angst, depression, anxiety and maybe revisit a child hood that was cut short. I realized sadly, that all of a sudden I could focus and work. My attention span was heightened and many of my fears disapeared.

I’m sorry to hear that this person dyed. It very well could have been myself and I sometimes wonder how I managed to live, attend college full-time (21 classes for upgrading of my skills), and after graduating work 50 plus hours a week as an art director. I used drugs 24/7 to cope. I thought GHB was safe from all the research I did. I now know differently and am very blatant about it. I have posted on ProjectGHB.org’s forums during my recovery.

If life doesn’t slow down somewhat, sometime soon, many others unkowingly will succumb to addiction just to keep up with the Jones’. I would also like to say I’m not for or against the use of drugs. What I do beleive in, is education. If you do this… this could happen.

Saying “Don’t Trust Your Drug Dealer”… as someone who has used a lot of drugs, I must say that it has nothing to do with trust… it has to do with need to survive in this sped up world.

I am still coming to terms with what happened to me and have some residual anger towards many people, places and things. Most of all though it’s myself that I’m angry at. If you wouldn’t mind I will be creating a page on my website to refer people to sites with information on drug use and addiction. I would like to add your site if possible. I read your sidebar about the facts… that is all I’m trying to understand and I beleive in freedom of information. Feel free to read and browse my site – the notewaorthy, addiction and anxiety categories may be of interest to you and leave a comment behind if you like )

Kind regards,
Jessica Doyle

Thank you, Jessica, and God bless you and strengthen you in your recovery!  Your Web site is quite beautiful and thought-provoking.

As a business owner, father, husband and all-around active person (board memberships, church, chores, etc.), I understand so well the pressures and the temptation to "manage" ups and downs.  I used to use alcohol for that purpose.

Now I use conversations with my family, exercise, reading the Bible, and time in prayer.  For non-Christians, I'd still recommend the latter two.  Maybe you need something other than a Bible, although it is a wonderful book, full of thousands of years of wisdom.  But the fact is, taking time to read a book of great wisdom, and to pray (meditate) on it, and to pray for others and yourself, gives you a great gift:  A time of peace and quiet, a time of larger perspective, and most of all, a time plugged in with the creator, the lifeforce of the universe.

Posted in Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Ecstasy and Hypothermia

Posted by Childress on June 2, 2006

OK, this is a bit of a tough read, but it's important Ecstasy news from a new study released by the National Institutes of Health.  It starts with this eye-catching, if complex, statement:

"Hyperthermia is a potentially fatal manifestation of severe 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) intoxication," physicians in the United States explained.

"No proven effective drug treatment exists to reverse this potentially life-threatening hyperthermia, likely because mechanisms of peripheral thermogenesis are poorly understood," noted J.E. Sprague and colleagues at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

That's the sad truth, played out in emergency rooms around the world.

On to Sprague's lab rats:

"Four hours after MDMA treatment, blood was drawn … MDMA induced a 35-fold increase in norepinephrine levels, a 20-fold increase in epinephrine, and a 2.4-fold increase in dopamine levels."  

Ecstasy hard at work.  Sprague and his collegues found that giving the rats carvedilol one hour after ecstasy reversed these hypothermic effects. 

Of course, Ecstasy users who are in distress generally don't get anywhere near a hospital within an hour of taking Ecstasy.  Still, if methods can be found to save people who are near death from Ecstasy use, it will be great news.

Posted in Ecstasy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Ohio Coach a GHB Victim?

Posted by Childress on June 2, 2006

The Sporting News reports that Ohio Univeristy football coach Frank Solich, who plead no contest to a drunk driving charge in November, has asked to withdraw his plea and plead not guilty, stating that he has since found out he had been drugged with GHB.

GHB, a.k.a. the date-rape drug, is colorless and odorless, but is effective at placing victims in a coma-like state. (It's also highly addictive and pretty much wrecks the lives of addicts.)

Here's the interesting Solich tale:

More than six months after pleading no contest to drunken driving, Ohio University football coach Frank Solich is fighting his conviction based on new evidence that shows he was drugged the night of his arrest, Sporting News has learned. …

Sporting News obtained a report of the results of a hair test performed by Toxicology Associates, Inc., which revealed the presence of GHB….  Hair analysis allows for detection of drugs over longer periods of time. Solich's sample, which was collected on Jan. 5, 2006, 40 days after his Nov. 26 DUI (OVI) arrest, was 1.30 cm in length. According to the report "drug detection is approximately 1.30 months, covering the date of 11-26-05 exclusively."

The memorandum of [Solich attorney Samuel] Shamansky's motion indicates Solich was "not aware of ingesting GHB (or any other drugs of abuse, for that matter), and he would not have pled no contest to OVI if he had been aware of the information."

GHB is known to cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and visual disturbances in low doses. In larger doses, the drug can cause unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression, and comas, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The police report from the Nov. 26 arrest indicates Solich was slumped over the wheel of his vehicle, which was still in drive facing the wrong way on a one-way street. Solich was unable to tell officers where he came from that evening as well. He also refused a Breathalyzer test, so there is no record of his blood alcohol content level from that evening.

The big question is, if Solich was in fact drugged by someone that night, who did it, and for what motive?  Any aspiring mystery writers out there, I've just given you an excellent plot line, for free.

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

The Most Famous Drug-Related Death?

Posted by Childress on June 2, 2006

So many of the famous have died from drugs — rockers like Hendrix, Morrison and Joplin, actors like Balushi, Candy and Phoenix, not to mention all the common everyday wonderful people.

Who's the most famous of all?

Certainly in recent times, it is Princess Diana. 

Princess Diana?  Of course!   She was killed with Dodi Al Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul on August 31, 1997, and French authorities have blamed the death on Paul, saying he lost control of the car because he had been drinking, using prescription drugs and … as is often the case with that combination .. was driving too fast.

The French news service AFP reports that the investigation, now nearly nine years old, is continuing:

 The probe into the Paris car crash that killed Princess Diana is benefiting from a computer-generated reconstruction and is making "extraordinary" headway, the top investigator said in remarks published Friday.

Sir John Stevens told the Daily Express that revolutionary technology has allowed police to construct a virtual reality film of what happened when Diana left her hotel in Paris in August 1997 until the time the car crashed.

"We're using the latest technology that the French didn't have obviously seven or eight years ago. Even they're impressed by what we're doing," said Stevens, a former head of London's Metropolitan Police.

"We can use reality television in terms of what the car did, how it performed on that day — the forensic side of this has advanced massively," he was quoted as saying.

The video reconstruction will be part of a preliminary report presented to the royal coroner in August. It is yet to be decided whether it will ever be presented to the public, the newspaper said.

Stevens added that it was "quite extraordinary how things are advancing," according to the newspaper.

"We've got new witnesses and we're going through new techniques and the rest of it and we're just absolutely determined to make sure that this is a thorough job and we're not going to be hurried into it," Stevens said.

No matter what the film finds, it won't take the booze and pills out of Paul's body.

Posted in Alcohol, Charges & Trials, Prescription drugs, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Comment Policy

Posted by Childress on June 2, 2006

I welcome comments of most kinds, but will not post comments that include wrong or dangerous information.

For example, I deleted a comment today that said no one ever dies from Ecstasy alone (not true; I am personally aware of several Ecstasy-only deaths, both from medical reactions and from driving), and that it can be safe to use if people know how to use it (not true; it can be safer, perhaps, but again, there are many people dead who prove that it is not always safe, even if it is used "well").

This blog is not about odds; it is about facts.  I will not allow comments posted that bend the facts and present false information that could lead someone to harm or death.

Posted in Comment Policy, Ecstasy, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

No Mercy for Pot Grower

Posted by Childress on June 1, 2006

Whatever you believe about the legalization of marijuana, the fact remains that people who grow, sell and use it today are people who are willing to break the law for their purposes.  Scofflaws is the old word for it.

Here's the story of one such scofflaw, from the Knoxville News Sentinel:

His attorney asked for mercy.

A federal jury Wednesday showed none, delivering two guilty verdicts for this 70-year-old retired plumber accused of ambushing a group of lawmen.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Phillips ordered William T. Hendricks immediately jailed pending sentencing on the jury's finding that the retiree assaulted with deadly intent a federal officer and knowingly discharged a gun in the process.

He faces a minimum mandatory 10-year prison term. 

After the verdicts were announced, Hendricks' wife called TVA Police Sgt. Robert Klyce a "lying (expletive)" before leaving the courtroom via a walker. Klyce, as the sole federal officer in the group of lawmen fired on by Hendricks in August 2004, was the lead agent in the case.

Her reaction mirrored the mannerisms of her husband during much of the two-day trial.

Despite defense attorney Doug Trant's attempts to quiet Hendricks, he often laughed out loud during officers' testimony. At one point Hendricks took off his eyeglasses and offered them up to TBI Agent Alex Rodriguez when Trant was quizzing the agent on whether he saw a "no trespassing" sign posted on a pole on Hendricks' Roane County property. …
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Cook told jurors that Hendricks already had been shown mercy – by the very lawmen he fired on."Those officers had every reason, every justification to shoot the defendant," he said. "But they didn't. Every day these officers go out in the streets and enforce our laws. They live with the comfort that those same laws will protect them if they are assaulted." …

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

Ecstasy Search Upheld

Posted by Childress on May 31, 2006

The Seventh Circuit has ruled that a police search of a suspicious character — who turned out to be carrying a dealer-sized stash of Ecstasy — was legal.

Police were justified in seizing the ecstasy-filled bags of a train passenger who had a one-way ticket bought with cash just moments before departure and a flimsy story about a lost key to the luggage, the Seventh Circuit held Wednesday in U.S. v. Goodwin (No. 05-1809).

Goodwin
falls in a line of cases that deal with the coercive nature of a police stop in an enclosed space like a bus or a train. In this case, the defendant was detained for a fairly long time, his bags were seized (after he initially refused to let police open then), he was taken off the train (which then left without him), and he was told that a drug-sniffing dog was going to be brought to sniff his luggage — at which point he apparently gave up and handed the cops the key.

Read more about the bust and the case at The Drug Law Blog.

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