Here’s where people are getting busted for drugs in your city

Project Know, a drug addiction resource center, recently started playing with this data, releasing the first of a series called Arrests Across America. Eight cities are featured in the first edition…

Another image compiled from the group shows the clusters of drug busts, mapped alongside poverty levels and population density. Notice anything there?

“The map above shows drug violations by ward, per 1,000 residents—in effect, removing population size as a factor. If you squint, it looks almost identical to the poverty level and violation locations maps.” …

The legal status of marijuana appears to be a major factor in where police are putting their efforts. The following graphs show Denver between January 2013 to October 2014—a period in which marijuana became legal.

During that time, only 729 arrests for marijuana were made, compared with 2,775 for cocaine (and crack!) and 1,317 for methamphetamines. The bulk of these arrests were made around the Five Points neighborhood, which is the city’s historically black neighborhood that has been referred to as “the Harlem of the West” for its history, dating back to the jazz age…

Most Prisoners Are Mentally Ill

The numbers are even more stark when parsed by gender: 55 percent of male inmates in state prisons are mentally ill, but 73 percent of female inmates are. Meanwhile, the think-tank writes, “only one in three state prisoners and one in six jail inmates who suffer from mental-health problems report having received mental-health treatment since admission.” …

Military drills in New Mexico and other states

Most Americans remain totally unaware of the fact that a massive military drill spanning 10 U.S. states will soon put military troops, helicopters, armored transports and military weapons directly on the streets of communities across the nation. “Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks,” reports the Daily Mail. “Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them will drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training.”

Invisible Wounds: If mental health help is there, why aren’t soldiers getting it?

“We have an incredible mental health program. It’s not perfect, but there’s no system that’s perfect — we’re continually improving,” Jetly told Global News. “If you portray it as broken and inadequate, what you’re doing is … you’re giving the message to the soldiers and their families that need the care that they shouldn’t bother. That’s doing harm to people.” He thinks soldiers may decide against reaching out for assistance once they hear how inadequate the system is. According to anecdotal reports that Jetly’s heard, it’s already happened.

He also cites “contagion” – the theory that news articles about suicide drive depressed people to kill themselves. In some cases, sensationalized stories with details of suicide method have resulted in more suicides using that method, but not necessarily more suicides overall. The theory, which for years kept journalists quiet and suicide out of the news, has been widely disputed; some mental health professionals argue it makes more sense to get depression, PTSD and suicide out in the open and demystify them in order to reduce the stigma that prevents people from getting help.

Jetly wants soldiers and their families to know that help is readily available and they shouldn’t suffer alone. “Unfortunately the way the world is set up, nobody is going to knock on every house to try to find you. You have to reach out and raise your hand and access the programs,” Jetly said.

He says that depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse issues — the three most common mental health ailments in the military — presents the same among soldiers as civilians.

In an interview with Global News, one soldier said he only received help after saying he was a danger to others…

Each year, about 4,000 suicides occur in Canada…

Relapse and Resurrection: The Fall and Rise of the Addicted and Mentally Ill

“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself.”

2 stories of 2 ride along trips that I took with paramedics that I have done…

In the first ambulance there is a man named “Jake.” “Jake” is a 54 year old man who has just suffered his 3rd heart attack.  We arrive to the house, the family is in tears. The wife is sobbing uncontrollably. The children all have their heads down and they are in pain…

In the 2nd ambulance there is a woman named “Karly.” She is a 46 year old female who has just been found in her parent’s basement. She has overdosed on heroin for the 3rd time. The family is disgusted…

We have to change the narrative about relapse. It is not always a bad thing, sometimes it is a turning point. If we point fingers and roll our eyes and make judgments when people relapse, they will not be open about it. They will have shame. Shame creates secrets, secrets create isolation, and isolation creates depression. Depression can create more use…

And people wonder why the airline pilot that crashed his plane or others do not seek help? The problem is us. This is a system problem, we need to stop blaming the victim or it will never end

Vertigo and Vertigo-Associated Disorders

According to research published in Australian Family Physician, 93 percent of vertigo cases are peripheral vertigo caused by one of the following (Kuo et al., 2008):

-benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): vertigo brought on by specific changes in the position of your head—it is caused by calcium stones floating in the semicircular canals of the ear
-Meniere’s disease: an inner ear disorder that affects balance and hearing acute peripheral vestibulopathy (APV): inflammation of the inner ear causing sudden onset of vertigo…

Vertigo feels similar to motion sickness.

Symptoms of VAD include:

stumbling while walking

Factors that increase your risk of VAD include

cardiovascular diseases (especially in elderly people)
recent ear infection (causes imbalance in the inner ear)
history of head trauma
medications (antidepressants, antipsychotics, etc.)

A Pained Life: ER Protocols

When I read about people going to the emergency room to be treated for breakthrough pain, it is rare for anyone to say they felt they were well-treated. They tend to say they were disbelieved, looked at as a drug seeker, or the ER doctor did not give them enough meds to last until they could see their pain management doctor.

I have almost always replied, “Ask your doctor to send a protocol letter to the ER. Then if you have to go they will know what you have and how your doctor wants it treated.”

It occurred to me that it would be a good idea for me to query some ER’s and see if this was in fact good advice…

“What if a patient called their doctor’s office and then the doctor called the ER with instructions about what to do for the patient?” I asked.

“That would work. And is probably the best thing for someone to do,” the nurse told me.

I know it is hard to wait when you are in pain. I know the idea of giving the doctor time to call back — say in an hour — would seem like the longest hour in the world, especially when the pain feels insurmountable…

I don’t know about your doctor, but I imagine it would have taken my doctor not just an hour to respond, but many days, especially if it’s after hours or on the weekend.

My advice?  Don’t go to the ER unless you’re dying.  No one at the ER will help a chronic pain patient — the DEA, state governments, and the media have seen to that.  After being mistreated and abused just once at the ER, I have vowed never to return.  I don’t ever want to feel like that again.

Southeast Asia Becomes More Tolerant of Medicinal Opium

Laos was once a major opium producer—and now production is growing again after eradication efforts had dramatically slashed it…

“The opium growers are not bad people,” Cheikh Ousmane Toure, the UNODC Laos country manager, explained. “They are people who are poor, who want to send their kids to school. They are not really doing trafficking. For a large number of them [opium] is used only for themselves.”

Anthropologist David Feingold, who has spent 40 years studying opium in Southeast Asia, emphasized how the poppy is integrated into the culture of the hill tribes.

“It’s the best drug that they have in terms of medicinal uses,” he said. He added that a unit or “joy” of opium—about 1.6 kilograms— often serves as an informal currency.

Meanwhile, a new and unsavory contraband trade appears to be emerging in Laos to fill the economic vacuum…

Singapore’s Straits Times noted a new report by the UK’s Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) finding that Chinese economic interests have established a trafficking network of endangered species in northern Laos. The country’s “Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone,” where the government is giving foreign investors a free hand in a bid to wean the region off the opium economy, has “effectively become a lawless playground” where Chinese companies carry out a “blatant illegal wildlife trade.”

The report specifically named a sprawling resort and casino in the Bokeo province run by the Hong Kong-registered Kings Romans Group, where tigers are kept in cages for display and menu items include tiger bone “wine” and the meats of endangered species. A restaurant in the complex is apparently offering bear paws and various preparations of monitor lizards, pangolins, geckos, snakes and turtles…

Interesting search term in my stats

“how to grow your own opiates opioids for pain management”

Google:  Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are derived. Opium is the source of many drugs, including morphine, thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine.

It appears that pain patients are desperate for access to pain medications.  Sorry, I don’t know how to grow poppies, but here’s a photo of a purple poppy from New Mexico.

(Photo taken 5/22/2014.)