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April 2014 Alcohol Awareness Month

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"Help for Today. Hope For Tomorrow"

Alcohol Awareness – The Key to Community Change, Personal and Family Recovery - 28 Years of Improving and Saving Lives Through Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc sponsors an Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. This April the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences are highlighted!

Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous—both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors. Annually, over 6,500 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol-related accidents and thousands more are injured.

Additional Statistics:

  • Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for America's young people, and is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—about 4.65 a day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • 25% of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

Reducing underage drinking is critical to securing a healthy future for America's youth and requires a cooperative effort from parents, schools, community organizations, business leaders, government agencies.

 

Lake County moving to ban synthetic marijuana

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Synthtic Marijuana

Synthtic Marijuana

This photo shows a package of K2, a concoction of
dried herbs sprayed with chemicals.

 
 
Kelley McCall / ap

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 6:00 am

Livi Stanford | Staff Writer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lake County commissioners are moving forward with plans to ban the sale of synthetic marijuana countywide.

Commissioners this week agreed to advertise an ordinance banning the drug, which health experts and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office say has an adverse effect on children.

Commonly marketed as potpourri, incense or bath salts, and packaged in colorful cellophane wrappers with brand names like Mr. Happy, synthetic marijuana is frequently sold in convenience stores and smoke shops. Health experts say the substances can cause psychotic episodes in those that smoke them.

Bath salts, meanwhile, are often sold as over-the-counter products used for bathing, but can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected to obtain a euphoric effect.

Commissioner Sean Parks pushed for the ordinance after hearing about a child who went into cardiac arrest from taking the drug.

“The chemicals we are discussing today pose a big danger to our residents,” he said. “They are poisons that are being marketed to our kids. As the father of three young kids, it scares me. I think this will give the sheriff’s department a tool to help tackle this issue.”

The drugs are sold as “incense,” with exotic names like K2, Black Mamba and Spice. Other brands names appear to target children, like Scooby Snacks, Mad Hatter and Joker.

The products are made from crushed leaves or garden trash and then sprayed with power ful concentrated laboratory-synthesized chemicals that resemble THC, the active mind-altering ingredient in marijuana, according to Dr. Morton Levitt, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of clinical biomedical science at Florida Atlantic University.

In 2013, Florida outlawed more than 140 chemicals used in synthetic marijuana. Levitt said manufacturers have found ways around the ban by altering the chemical formulations minimally.

“The problem is they keep continuously changing the nomenclature of the chemical,” said Cpl. Tom Willis with the narcotics unit of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “Once the Florida Department of Law Enforcement gets it on the list for illegal substances, the chemists change the chemical.”

Willis said there is a six-month gap between when law enforcement identifies the new s ubstance and when it is put on the list of banned substances.

Children are using the drug more than adults, Willis said.

“The majority of our complaints are in reference to parents calling about the stuff,” he said.

Sheriff Gary Borders also appeared before the commission in support of the ordinance.

Clinicians treating adolescents at Lifestream, a behavioral health and social services organization that provides inpatient and outpatient treatment, reported they had 123 clients over the past year who used synthetic marijuana.

The problem is “enormous” among adolescents, the clinicians — who could not be identified because of confidentiality issues — wrote in an email to the Daily Commercial .

“Society is not as harsh as it used to be,” said Lori Shallcross, child clinical services director at Lifestream, referring to attitudes toward marijuana use in general. “Therefore, youth view it as not too bad or no worse than alcohol.”

Clinicians reported to Shallcross that the drug could have an effect on the brain.

“It is well documented to be ‘risky’ in that is hard to judge how much is too much, and what gets a teen high on one day might lead that child to the brink of death on the next day,” the clinician wrote.

Debi MacIntyre, executive director of the Safe Climate Coalition of Lake County, a community coalition that focuses on youth substance abuse and violence prevention, said the use of synthetic marijuana causes psychological and physical side effects.

“With K2 or Spice you have everything from extreme nervousness to hallucinations and seizures,” she told commissioners. “Bath salts are more extreme, causing paranoia, psychosis and violent behavior.”

Adolescents’ interest in drugs is starting at a young age with reports of children in an elementary school crushing up Smarties candies and trying to snort them to replicate drug behavior, MacIntyre said.

“People are having psychotic breaks and going into a deep psychosis they are not coming out of,” she said.

A recent 2012 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey of ninth to 12th graders in Lake and Sumter counties found that 5.8 percent of Lake and 4.2 percent of Sumter students reported synthetic marijuana use in the past 30 days.

In the first six months of 2012 there were 375 calls per month of people becoming ill on Spice, according to the Florida Poison Information Center.

Those calls are trending upward, according to county officials.

Hillsborough, Broward, Miami-Dade, Hernando and Pasco counties have instituted similar ordinances, and officials claim these laws have been effective in deterring the problem.

In Hillsborough County, the sale of the drug has almost been wiped out, according to Larry McKinnon, detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

If the ordinance is adopted in the county, those who violate it will face a civil fine of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for any repeat violation within five years of a previous offense, according to the ordinance.

 

Unmask The Truth About Marijuana

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We Must Unmask The Truth About Marijuana because we
care about….
 

   unmaskingmarijuana org logo

 

 


 

Florida House, Senate file brief against medical marijuana amendment

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Florida House, Senate file brief against medical marijuana amendment

Florida legislative leaders have formally joined Attorney General Pam Bondi’s attempt to block a medical-marijuana constitutional amendment from reaching the ballot in November 2014.

In a brief filed Friday in the Florida Supreme Court, House General CounselDaniel Nordby and Senate General Counsel George Levesque argued that the ballot title and summary for the proposed amendment are misleading and use inaccurate rhetoric in a number of areas to obscure the “true purpose” of the ballot initiative.

The brief doesn’t contest the policy expressed in the proposed amendment.

The proposal is heavily backed by Orlando trial lawyer and Democratic donor John Morgan, whose firm employs recently announced gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

In the 50-page brief, Nordby and Levesque contend that while the title refers to use of marijuana for “certain medical conditions,” and the summary refers to “debilitating diseases,” the amendment instead provides an “open-ended authorization” for physicians when recommending marijuana use.

Also, they argue that the amendment violates the state constitution’s single-subject requirement by addressing three “logically-separable” subjects:

  • Removal of criminal liability and civil sanctions on individuals, caregivers and physicians.
  • Exemption from civil liability for “others” related to the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
  • Creation of a new regulatory structure to promote the use of medical marijuana.

“This classic example of ‘logrolling’ denies voters the opportunity to vote in favor of a simple decriminalization of medical marijuana use by individuals suffering from serious illnesses without also expanding the regulatory reach of state government or providing immunity from civil liability,” Nordby and Levesque argued.

 

Proposed Florida Medi-Pot Initiative Open to Widespread Abuse Akin to Pill Mills

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August 21, 2013

            For Immediate Release

            For More Information Contact: Lana Beck (727) 828-0211 or (727) 403-7571

Proposed Florida Medi-Pot Initiative Open to Widespread Abuse

Akin to Pill Mills

 

St. Petersburg (August 21, 2013) Recently the New Mexico Medical Board proposed new rules for the state’s medi-pot program due to disciplinary action against two providers believed to have violated standard practice by over-recommending the drug. One physician named in the disciplinary proceedings allegedly is habitually under the influence of marijuana while treating his patients and has approved 98% of his patients who have applied for the medical marijuana program. These proposed new rules will require providers to consult with the patients’ other medical providers before certifying them as eligible to use so-called medical marijuana and require the recommending provider to establish follow-ups to determine continued need.  

 

“This is a perfect example of the abuse we will experience in Florida if pot is legalized under the guise of medicine,” says Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs. “We have seen the widespread abuse with pill mills in our state and those same unscrupulous doctors will jump right on the medi-pot bandwagon. Florida’s proposed initiative has no language that requires providers to consult with the patients’ family doctors, nor does it require follow-up visits to determine continued care. The reality is that this certification to smoke pot will be an excuse for many to use marijuana for any purpose,” continued Fay.

“If this loophole-laden initiative should pass, we will have to continuously revise it due to widespread abuse. Again, similar to our pill mills, this issue would constantly have to be addressed at hearings to pass local measures while waiting for the problem to be addressed at the state level, which surely will be a costly effort,” concluded Fay. 

If you would like to set up an interview about this issue with Calvina Fay, or other drug policy experts, please contact Lana Beck at (727) 828-0211 or (727) 403-7571.

Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a national and international drug policy organization promoting effective sound drug policies, education and prevention. www.dfaf.org.

Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.) takes a comprehensive approach to promote sound drug policy that includes education, prevention, abstinence-based treatment, scientific research, and community awareness. www.saveoursociety.org.

For more information on the impacts of marijuana, please visit www.unmaskingmarijuana.org

 

Debi MacIntyre, M.Ed., Ed.S.| Executive Director

Safe Climate Coalition of Lake County, Inc.

Mailing Address:  POBox 64, Yalaha, FL 34797 |'Phone 352.408.2009| (Cell 352.408.2009

Physical Address: 525 Georgia Avenue |Howey, FL 34737

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. |http://safeclimatecoalition.orgwww.LCCRG.com| www.LCCAT.org 

 
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