February 28, 2011
You won’t find these “bath salts” in with Calgon or Epsom Salts. For that matter, you won’t find them in any grocery store. As you can see from the picture above, $27.99 worth wouldn’t be enough to soak your big toe if it were legitimate.
That’s because they are actually designer drugs, sold as “not for human consumption” and ingested by smoking, snorting, injecting or rectal insertion.
The drug is MDPV and is referred to as “Synthetic Speed”. It’s packaged with names like Ivory Wave, Blue Wave and others.
It’s just now starting to appear on our radar here in the northwest, but it has the potential to bloom quickly.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were 251 calls related to “bath salts” to poison control centers in the first month of 2011. This number already exceeds the 236 calls received by poison control centers for all of 2010. Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting “bath salts,” containing synthetic stimulants, can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart
rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions.
Other than Louisiana the stimulant uncontrolled in US -It is already banned in UK, Finland, Denmark & Sweden.
This past October the Oregon Pharmacy Board listened to prompting from Oregon Partnership and other concerned groups and banned the sale or possession of so-called “synthetic marijuana”. They need to quickly enact the same ban on “synthetic speed” or “bath salts”.
Quick action is that “ounce of prevention” you’ve always heard of – “worth a pound of cure”.
December 9, 2010
That’s a headline that would certainly get your attention. If it were mass murder it would get wall-to-wall press coverage. But it doesn’t.
Sadly, it happens every year and goes largely unnoticed. And it’s preventable.
500 is the number of Oregonians who kill themselves each year.
At Oregon Partnership we get 18,000 calls a year to our Lifeline at 800-273-TALK. Many are people who feel the pain in their lives exceeds their coping resources. Our dedicated volunteer staff listen compassionately and connect callers with resources that can exceed their pain.
Suicide is preventable.
November 29, 2010
Recently my father-in-law passed away after a long illness, and one of the tasks associated with taking care of family business was to get rid of all his prescription medicine. As he had been in poor health for several years, we packed up a cardboard box full of pills, inhalers and other prescriptions, and set about finding how to get rid of them safely.
As a start, I called the Los Angeles County Public Health Department; they referred me to the LA County Sheriff’s Office. I called the number on their website. They referred me to a local Sheriff’s Station in East Los Angeles. I called this office, and after a couple of transfers I was speaking with one of the deputies. She told me that they had a safe disposal box in front of their station.
A few minutes later, I drove to the station and sure enough, there were two bins: one marked for “illegal drugs” and one for prescription drugs. I disposed of my father-in-law’s vast collection (including some morphine) in the prescription bin, wondering as I did so who would come to dispose of illegal drugs in the other bin.
Even though it took me a few phone calls to get the right information, this was a simple process. I was informed that many, but not all, of the Sheriff’s Substations in Southern California have these disposal bins conveniently placed near their entrances.
This seems like a good idea! Perhaps we could start a campaign to make this happen in Oregon. What do you think?
November 23, 2010
President Obama has proclaimed November Military Family Month, noting that military family members “serve,” too, and also require community support.
“I call on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in support of our service members and our nation,” the President said in his proclamation.
Experts in both the military and civilian sectors found that the U.S. will be facing increasing addiction and mental-health problems among returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghan war. All returning veterans face adjustments, but for some, dealing with traumatic experiences can lead to diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, substance abuse and addiction. These problems not only affect the individual, but can have a profound impact on families and communities.
The Military Helpline is here for military families to use as a free, confidential resource. Not only for dire needs, such as suicide or PTSD, but for assistance in navigating the system so that families can get the benefits and support they’re entitled to.
We are so thankful for the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices of every person who has served – either as a member of the military or of the family that serves as well. Make sure they know assistance is available by spreading the word about this 24/7 service. 888-HLP-4-VET (888) 457-4838 – or on the web at http://www.militaryhelpline.org.
November 3, 2010
I was heartened to see the outcome of several ballot measures that could have had a serious negative impact on teen substance abuse.
In Oregon, voters rejected Ballot Measure 74, which would have created a system of unlimited dispensaries for medical marijuana. Proponents said it would help patients get their marijuana. Opponents said it would raise the prices for patients significantly, exempt dispensary operators and their staff from any prosecution, create major money generating operations, all the while it would increase the availability to vulnerable youth.
California voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would have made it the first state to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana.
In Washington state, the voters look to have turned down two initiatives that would privatize liquor sales and overhaul beer- and wine-distribution rules. Had they passed, the number of alcohol outlets in the state would have increased ten-fold. Again, the issue is ready availability to youth as well as problem drinkers.
A defeat for those measures is a win for our youth and a win for prevention.
October 12, 2010
(Editor’s note: 23 years ago Nick’s father chose to kill himself. That decision has left permanent heartache and trouble for all those left behind. Here is Nick’s story)
When I was almost 3, my father killed himself. Although I have come a long way since then, his loss has been a constant uphill battle that unfortunately will always be part of my life.
When I was younger, I was never really able to deal with my emotions of anger, sadness, and loneliness in a healthy way. I grew up an angry kid; I would get into fights and punch holes in walls and although my mom constantly tried to get me help, I was never able to really deal with the true pain I felt inside. Even to this day I could never truly understand how a father could leave behind three boys, my two half- brothers and me, all of whom were talented, funny, and bright. Besides relying on one another, we all turned to sports as a way of coping and to this day it infuriates me that my dad never once saw me play ball.
Another situation that used to bother me was spending time at my friends’ homes and watching their interactions with their fathers and realizing that this would never be me. One situation that has stayed with me was a time when I was interviewing for application to a private school; during the interview I totally disengaged. On the way home my mother asked what happened and I told her that every kid there had their mother and father to support them and I didn’t feel like I fit in.
I truly never understood how a person could take his own life until I was 15 and all my feelings of anger, frustration, and abandonment resulted in my own attempt at suicide. Fortunately, my mom got me the help I needed and I was able to move on in a positive manner.
Growing up without a father was never easy and there were times in my life that I felt so much pain I couldn’t bear it. This situation has forced me to become an extremely strong person. I’m independent and have worked hard to accomplish goals in my life.
Although I have a great relationship with my mother and brothers, it will never compensate for the pain I have experienced growing up without a dad.
September 27, 2010
In the field of drug abuse prevention we’re always playing “catch-up” – tackling seemingly unstoppable juggernauts that have years of momentum. We almost never have a chance to get ahead of an emerging drug of abuse.
We have that opportunity now.
“Synthetic marijuana,” sold under various names, like “K2″ and “Spice,” is quickly establishing a foothold among our Nation’s youth. At Oregon Partnership we recently received a call from a mother whose son woke her up in the middle of the night, screaming, convulsing and hallucinating from smoking synthetic marijuana. At the emergency room his heart was racing, his breathing was labored and he was begging his mother “Please don’t let me die!”
Synthetic Marijuana is cheap. It’s undetectable by traditional marijuana (THC) screening methods. And, in most states, it’s legal. In fact, youth refer to it as “legal marijuana” and word is spreading quickly that it defies the usual detection screenings.
It is sold in head shops and hookah stores as incense with a broad wink and a note that it’s “not for human consumption.” But people, seeking a high, are smoking it, and some have been showing up in emergency rooms with agitation, hallucinations, vomiting, high blood pressure and elevated heart rates. One of the chemical compounds sprayed on synthetic marijuana – JWH-018 – binds with the brain’s receptors that bind THC, but at four to five times the impact of THC.
Several countries, including Britain, France and Germany have banned K2 and similar products. Additionally, nine states have also banned these products and several others have legislation in development to ban them.
We need to seize the opportunity to get ahead of this problem by taking similar action across the United States.
September 23, 2010
OP President Judy Cushing, Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden, OP Special Events Director Barbara Caplan
How cool is this?
Taco Bell and The Portland Trailblazers teamed up with 179 golfers to raise money for Oregon Partnership’s mission to end substance abuse and suicide. The 9th Annual “Bell-Blazers Classic” was blessed with good weather and nearly-perfect course conditions at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club on Tuesday, September 21. A full complement of celebrities joined in to make it a very enjoyable day.
What really stood out for me was the sincerity of the participants.
After most tournaments the golfers scatter, but at the Bell-Blazers Classic they stayed to hear about the drug prevention work of Oregon Partnership. Tom Cook, the head of the Taco Bell Franchise holders association , made an emotional personal endorsement about the importance of what we do to combat the ravages of drugs and alcohol. He challenged the participants to step up and join in that work with their personal donations. Mr. Cook also made a point to emphasize the Military Helpline (www.militaryhelpline.org) and the fact that 20% of our nation’s suicides are veterans.
It was moving to see so many people embrace these efforts with their hearts, minds and wallets.
September 9, 2010
Such a loaded word…laden with a sense of stigma. One of the main goals when speaking with suicidal individuals and their loved ones is to decrease the feeling of shame that surrounds this act. As crisis line specialists, we believe that suicide can be prevented.
If you suspect that someone you know may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, it’s okay to ask, “How are you doing?” or “Are you alright…you seem kind of down.”
These are invitations that enable the suicidal person to discuss what he is experiencing. This may be the first time that another person may have been so direct with him. The opportunity for the individual to discuss possible suicidal thoughts may serve as a catharsis and offer true relief.
Listen to what the person at risk is saying. Pay attention to the emotions which are swirling under the words. Don’t try to fix her. It’s fine to say “I care.”
Familiarize yourself with some of the warning signs of suicidal behavior: Ongoing depression, a sense of hopelessness, financial and/or relationship issues and a family history of suicide. Other risk factors may include substance abuse and/or gambling.
Encourage your loved one to ask for help; you may find that you also need some emotional support. Asking for assistance may be the first step down the path of breaking the isolation that so frequently is associated with suicidal thoughts and behavior.
At Oregon Partnership our Crisis Line Specialists are trained to offer specific assistance for those folks who are struggling with the act of killing themselves. One goal is to develop rapport as well as an emotional connection. We are willing to walk down that path of darkness and despair…listening to all the pain and hopelessness that the individual is experiencing. Understanding the person’s current situation is essential to being able to offer meaningful assistance.
Hopefully, a safe plan will be developed and appropriate resources will be offered. The person will be offered a follow-up call, most likely scheduled for the same day, in order to ensure that the caller is still safe. This follow up call is significant…it continues to carry the message that we care.
A myth exists that if you talk about suicide to a depressed person you may be “planting the idea in the person’s mind.” In my experience this is completely untrue. If an individual is feeling hopeless and is struggling, chances are good that she has considered this ominous option. So, please don’t be afraid to address the situation.
You could be saving a life.
Oregon Partnership Lifeline: (800) 923-HELP or (800) SUICIDE