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DA: Bath salts suspected in Hawley head-gnawing attack

By Denis J. O’Malley The Times-Tribune, Scranton September 14, 2012 Authorities suspect the Doylestown man who allegedly gnawed on a woman’s head in Hawley after stripping his clothes and jumping from a second-story window on Friday may have been under the influence of bath salts. Richard Cimino Jr., 20, of Doylestown, had “allegedly” taken bath salts before the early morning incident Friday, said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards, though that has not yet been confirmed by medical testing. Cimino remains in Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton recovering from injuries suffered when he jumped from the second-floor window of a vacant home on Hudson Street in Hawley on Friday, after he stripped down to his underwear and unsuccessfully tried to break into another nearby home. By the time he entered the vacant home at 521 Hudson St., Cimino had also taken off his underpants, state police said. After the jump,...
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Tempe Naked Man on Bath Salts No. 3: Noah McQueen Fought Imaginary Bugs in Coffee Shop

By Matthew Hendley Seriously, Tempe: put down the bath salts, and put on your clothes.For the third time this week, Tempe police have arrested a naked person doing really weird things, and in each case, the person in question told police they had ingested the chemicals known as "bath salts."The latest naked bath salts adventure occurred in the bathroom of Tempe's Xtreme Bean Coffee Company, where police say 18-year-old Noah McQueen was fighting imaginary bugs. Tempe Police Sergeant Jeffrey Glover tells New Times that store employees noticed McQueen seemed jittery and nervous yesterday when he walked into the store, and he headed straight for the bathroom.McQueen then barricaded himself inside the bathroom, causing enough of a stir for the cops to be called.Glover says police noticed McQueen was acting delusional, and he was "convinced that he was being eaten alive by bugs."After police broke down the door, not only was McQueen...
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Tempe Naked Man on Bath Salts No. 2: Police Say Michael Hurtado Was Making Out With a U-Haul Steering Wheel and a Cop Car

By Matthew Hendley The Tempe Police Department was probably not messing around Wendesday when it issued a public warning about the chemicals known as "bath salts."After finding 23-year-old Sean-Paul Branscome slamming himself against walls and jogging around a Tempe neighborhood in the nude on Sunday after admittedly ingesting bath salts, the cops responded to another naked-man-on-bath-salts incident just two days later.This time, police say it was Michael Hurtado admitting to using bath salts. Naturally, that admission only came after police say he crashed his truck, then got "fully naked," hopped in someone else's U-Haul truck, and started making out with the steering wheel. According to court documents obtained by New Times, Hurtado, 21, crashed his Chevy truck into a parking garage gate at the Vue in Tempe, an apartment building that's mostly filled with students from the nearby Arizona State University.Police heard from a witness that Hurtado got out of his...
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Tempe Joins the Naked-Man-on-Bath-Salts Train Thanks to Sean-Paul Branscome

By Matthew Hendley If you haven't heard a story recently about a naked person high on the chemicals known as "bath salts," you have not been paying attention. Thanks to 23-year-old Sean-Paul Branscome, the Tempe Police Department is holding a press conference right now to warn the public about the dangers of bath salts. That's because police say Brascome, 23, was slamming himself against walls while pacing on a sidewalk, before he got naked and went jogging through a neighborhood. He would eventually tell police that he had ingested bath salts. According to Tempe PD, the call came in Sunday morning about a man "walking up and down the sidewalk and throwing himself against walls" near Country Club Way and Guadalupe Road. While police were still on the phone with whoever called, Brascome got rid of his clothes and started running around. The cops set up a perimeter to catch him,...
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13 Sobering Facts About Teen Substance Abuse

13 Sobering Facts About Teen Substance Abuse A new report finds that 76 percent of high school students have used tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, and one-fifth of them may be addicted. These alarming figures highlight the urgent need for parents and communities to help troubled teens. Teen substance use is an epidemic of greater proportions than depression, bullying, and obesity, according to a new report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University in New York City. CASA interviewed more than 2,500 high school students, parents, and school personnel, analyzed thousands of studies, and interviewed 50 leading experts in a broad range of fields to produce the comprehensive report, which unearthed some shocking statistics. Among the findings: While the percentage of teens who smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs has declined since 1999, the number of youths who still do so is dangerously high....
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One In Eight U.S. Teens Misuses Pain Drugs

One in eight older U.S. teenagers has used powerful painkiller drugs without prescriptions, and many of them start misusing the pills at age 16 or 17, earlier than was previously assumed, according to new research released on Monday. The findings published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine are based on two national surveys that asked teenagers about their recent or lifetime use of prescription painkillers, which include highly addictive drugs such as oxycontin and codeine. For the full study, see: http://bit.ly/pD1ZHL Both medical and recreational use of such opioid drugs has increased across the United States over the last two decades, as have deaths due to painkiller overdoses. The new findings suggest that educational programs on the dangers of misusing painkillers should start earlier in high school, researchers said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 14,800 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2008 - three...
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National Survey Results On Teen Drug Abuse For 2012

article by Janel Spencer The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia) released their findings this month from the 17th annual 2012 National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse (XVII: Teens). According to the findings, 2012 is the sixth year in a row that 60 percent or more of high school teens reported that their schools are drug-infected. “This year teens in our focus groups talked freely about the extent of drinking and drug use among their high school classmates, not only after school, but during the school day, smoking marijuana in the school cafeteria and attending classes while high on alcohol and drugs,” Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CASAColumbia said in a statement. Nearly nine out of 10 high school students answered that they knew classmates who were drugging, drinking or smoking during the school day. Fifty-two percent reported a known...
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Up to 20,000 marijuana plants found in Cherokee County

POSTED: Friday, August 31, 2012 - 9:59am Nicole Underwood Assistant News Director/ KETK News   CHEROKEE COUNTY — Marijuana plants up to 8 feet tall have been found within four patches of plants near the Angelina River, in eastern Cherokee County. The plants were found on Thursday, August 30th. Cherokee County investigators, DPS narcotics officers, DEA agents and the Texas National Guard participated in the search for the fields. During the morning and early afternoon, two helicopter crews flew over heavily wooded areas searching for the fields. The investigation is part of the Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program, or DME, which is dedicated to the eradication of domestically grown marijuana. Around 2:45pm on Thursday, helicopter crews spotted a possible marijuana site near the Angelina River, about 1.5 miles south of FM 343, on the eastern border of Cherokee County. Ground crews were alerted to the patch, and investigated the area. They found a very large...
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Are Parents Blind to Rising School Drug Use?

By Salynn Boyles 4 of 5 High School Students Exposed, Survey Shows Drug use in the nation’s schools is increasing and parents are not aware of the extent of the problem, a new survey suggests. Drugs and alcohol have become so common in the nation’s middle and high schools that for many students, “school days have become school daze,” the well-known head of a leading substance abuse research group says. Joseph A. Califano Jr., who served as health secretary during the Carter administration, tells WebMD that parents, school administrators, and government officials need to “wake up to the reality of increasingly drug-infested schools.” Califano’s remarks coincide with the release of a survey designed to track attitudes and behaviors of teens and parents regarding substance abuse in the nation’s schools. Based on survey responses, researchers concluded that 80% of the nation’s high school students and 44% of middle-schoolers have personally seen illegal...
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Parents Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing in Schools

What is drug testing? Some schools, hospitals, or places of employment conduct drug testing. There are a number of ways this can be done, including: pre-employment testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion/cause testing, post-accident testing, return to duty testing, and follow-up testing. This usually involves collecting urine samples to test for drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and opiates. Following models established in the workplace, some schools have initiated random drug testing and/or reasonable suspicion/cause testing. During random testing schools select, using a random process (like flipping a coin), one or more individuals from the student population to undergo drug testing. Currently, random drug testing can only be conducted among students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. Reasonable suspicion/cause testing involves a school requiring a student to provide a urine specimen when there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the student may have used an illicit substance. Typically, this involves...
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Heavy Marijuana Use in Teen Years May Lower IQ Later

Teens who start smoking marijuana regularly experience what appear to be permanent declines in their IQs and other aspects of mental function, new research finds. The study included information on more than 1,000 people born in New Zealand in 1972-1973. Participants took IQ and other mental functioning tests at age 13 -- before any had started smoking marijuana -- and then again at age 38. Every few years, starting at age 18, participants were also asked about their use of marijuana and assessed for marijuana dependence. Marijuana dependence is defined as someone who feels they need to smoke more and more marijuana to get the same effect, who has tried to quit but can't or who keeps using even though the habit is causing them problems, such as with their health, family, work or school. About 5% reported using marijuana more than once a week before age 18 or were considered...
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Growing Number of Teens Drinking, Taking Drugs During School

Ninety percent of American high school students report that some of their classmates are using illicit drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, during the school day, a new survey found. When asked to estimate how many were involved, these teens reported that about 17 percent of students -- roughly 2.8 million -- are abusing drugs during the school day, according to the survey. "The findings are alarming but not surprising," said Bruce Goldman, director of substance abuse services at Zucker Hillside Hospital, in Glen Oaks, N.Y. "We know that teens abuse alcohol, cannabis, prescription medications. It makes sense that they do it at school where they congregate with their peers. Goldman was not involved with the survey, which was released Wednesday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia), in New York City. The survey is a timely one, coming out soon after a U.S. government study...
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Feds bust a drug ring run from Indiana prisons, meth, heroin, and other drugs

Federal authorities have charged 40 people—including two inmates and a corrections officer—for running a drug ring through three Indiana prisons. According to The Associated Press, the indictment unsealed Wednesday in Indianapolis notes the scheme  involved methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs and also alleges prison guards smuggled cellphones and drugs into prisons. The indictment says that inmates Oscar Perez and Justin Addler, who are in different prisons, made repeated calls to drug dealers in California to arrange for illegal deliveries of drugs to a network of distributors in Indiana, the Indianapolis Star reported. The deliveries were made in person or through the U.S. Postal Service or UPS, the newspaper notes. Perez is serving time for murder and Addler is a convicted drug dealer, according to the AP. Correctional officer John Dobbins is accused of delivering a package containing drugs and a cellphone to an inmate at a third prison in July, according...
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Alarming increase seen in West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms Says CDC

ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. health officials reported Wednesday three times the usual number of West Nile cases for this time of year and one expert called it "one of the worst" outbreaks since the virus appeared in this country in 1999. So far, 1,118 illnesses have been reported, about half of them in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported this early. There have also been 41 deaths. "We're in the midst of one of the largest West Nile outbreaks ever seen in the United States," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, a CDC official. Never before have so many illnesses been reported this early, said Petersen, who oversees the CDC's mosquito-borne illness programs. Most infections are usually reported in August and September, so it's too early to say how bad this year will end up, CDC officials said. They...
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Teens Smoking More Pot, Less Tobacco

Cigarette smoking is out but pot use is in among the nation's teenagers, who also report a higher use of prescription painkillers and a waning perception about the risk of illicit drugs, a federal study on students has found.   As more states move to approve medical marijuana, and pot legalization and decriminalization become more mainstream in the national discussion, teens seem more accepting of pot use, according to a study released Monday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.   The national survey, "Monitoring the Future," was conducted by the University of Michigan and queried 47,097 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades.   It found that one-fifth of seniors—20.6 percent—reported using marijuana in the previous month, up from 18.3 percent in 2006. High school sophomores' pot smoking rose from 13.8 percent in 2008 to 15.9 percent this year, statistics that researchers said should capture the nation's attention.  ...
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More Americans Abuse Drugs

The number of Americans who used illegal drugs or abused prescription medications rose last year to reach its highest level since 2002, a survey showed.   Nearly 22 million Americans aged 12 and older used illegal drugs in 2009, a rise of 9 percent from 2008, the survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found.   Some 7 million Americans older than 12 took prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. The bulk of the abuse of prescription medications involved painkillers, which some 5.3 million Americans used off-label last year — a rise of 20 percent from 2002.   Among teens, the rate of nonmedical prescription painkiller use rose 17 percent year on the year, with most youngsters saying they got the meds from friends, family, or an unsecured medicine cabinet.   The rise in the use of illegal drugs was driven in large part by an increase...
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Opiate-based prescriptions declared an epidemic

(NaturalNews) There has been a recent epidemic of opium-addiction that is growing fast as one of America's drug problems. The CDC says this is not coming from foreign cartels, traffickers or drug dealers, but from the pharmacy that so many visit for prescribed medicines. These opiate-based drugs include Vicodin, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and other opioid pain relievers. The CDC says that last year alone, enough of these drugs were prescribed to medicate each and every American adult with "five mg of hydrocodone (Vicodin and others), taken every four hours, for a month, and have led to over 40,000 drug overdose deaths." Currently, there are more overdose deaths from these prescribed drugs than heroin and cocaine combined. Furthermore, the consumption of these drugs are costing health insurers approximately $72.5 billion annually. As many people know, the problem also lies in the fact that the underlying causes are not being managed, but rather just...
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Study Finds 'Diverted' Medical Marijuana Use Common Among Teens

MONDAY Aug. 13, 2012 -- Among teens receiving treatment for substance abuse, many have used medical marijuana that was recommended for someone else, also known as "diverted" medical marijuana, a new study has found. The study authors, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., suggest that policy changes are needed to curb the improper use of medical marijuana by young people. In conducting the study, lead author Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel and colleagues questioned 164 teens aged 14 to 18 at two adolescent substance abuse treatment programs in Denver about their use of medical marijuana. The investigators found that nearly 74 percent of the teens used marijuana that was recommended for someone else an average of 50 times. Compared with teens who did not use medical marijuana, those who did began using the drug regularly at a younger age and were also more dependent on marijuana and showed more...
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Study Finds More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD

MONDAY Aug. 13, 2012 -- Use of powerful antipsychotic medications such as Abilify and Risperdal to control youngsters with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavior problems has skyrocketed in recent years, a new study finds. Antipsychotics are approved to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, other serious mental problems and irritability related to autism. But they don't have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for ADHD or other childhood behavior problems, and their use for this purpose is considered "off label." "Only a small proportion of antipsychotic treatment of children (6 percent) and adolescents (13 percent) is for FDA-approved clinical indications," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "These national trends focus attention on the substantial and growing extent to which children diagnosed with ADHD and other disruptive behavioral disorders are being treated with antipsychotic medications," said Olfson. The researchers...
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Father working to get illegal drugs off the streets after son's death

K2Father working to get illegal drugs off the streets after son's death By Richard Elliot DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. The father of a metro Atlanta teenager who died after using synthetic marijuana is now working to get all illegal drugs off the streets, and he's found a unique way to do it. Dakota Dyer, 14, committed suicide in March after ingesting synthetic marijuana for the first and only time. His father, Lance Dyer, formed a foundation dedicated to ridding the community of illicit drugs. He gets old mailboxes from the U.S. Postal Service, paints them, and offers them to law enforcement agencies free of charge to be used as drug drop-off boxes. "We looked at a way of trying to give back to the community with the foundation we formed in my son's name," said Dyer as he delivered one of the mailboxes to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "They're placed inside...
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