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Wednesday, August 18, 2010 @ 07:08 AM Karen Hood

Prevent ion
Law & Justice
Meth in
Working Together Toward
Safe Communities
Free From Substance Abuse
Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council’s (GSSAC)
Prevention Center
(509) 922-8383 *
Meth Watch Member e-Letter
Publisher: Lacey Jones July 2010
Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council’s (GSSAC)
Prevention Center
Spokane County Meth Action Team (MAT)
Opiate Addiction Reaches Epidemic Proportions in Afghanistan
At least 2.7 percent of Afghanistan’s adult population is addicted to heroin or opium,
according to a study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
Reuters Health reported June 21.
The world’s largest exporter of raw opium for heroin joins Iran and Russia as the
world’s biggest consumers of the drug per capita. Addiction in Iran ranges from 1.5
percent to 3.2 percent of the population, while Russia averages 1.64 percent of its
population. The global average is 0.3 percent.
Opium use has risen 53 percent since the UNODC’s last study of the country in 2004,
while heroin use has skyrocketed, up 140 percent. Many children are also addicted, as
the study noted a troubling phenomenon of adults intentionally getting their kids
hooked on the drug.
The country, which grows the poppy that supplies over 90 percent of the world’s
illegal opium and heroin, has only 40 rehabilitation clinics —
far too few for the 700,000 Afghans who said they wanted to quit.
(Join Together)
Prescription drug abuse is nothing new, but it’s a problem that is growing and now babies
are paying the price.
Hospitals are delivering more newborns addicted to the powerful opiates than ever before.
At any given moment, hospitals like Harborview Medical Center in Seattle are delivering
babies that are addicted and more and more of them are withdrawing from prescription
Barbara Drennen is co founder of the non-profit Kent Pediatric Interim Care Center. She
takes care of addicted newborns.
Drennen says the medical community is well aware of the growing problem of prescription
pill addiction and pregnant women.
They’re using opiates like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet, which can be highly addictive
and very powerful.
One the biggest problems is that many times these types addictions can start out with
legitimate prescription use but then quickly spin out of control..
It takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days for newborns to wean off of the drugs.
“So we need to move rather quickly because the minute that baby is born he’s going to go
cold turkey now that he’s not receiving these drugs any longer,” says Drennen.
As for the babies’ long term recovery, the Pediatric Interim Care
Center says other than being hypersensitive to overstimulation
like noise and light, the babies should be fine.
Of course this is relatively new and the long term effects won’t
be known for some time.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says some of the best
ways to try and stop this growing problem are better training
for doctors to spot the addictions, better training for
pharmacists who interact with patients and can give them clear
directions and for the patients themselves to follow the
prescribed directions.
Hospitals Seeing More Prescription Drug Addicted Babies
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that a known drug dealer
admitted to them that he was shocked with thousands of volts
when he climbed a telephone pole with the intention of
stealing the wire for drug money. Which had us wondering –
is this common?
People desperate to make some quick cash see dollar signs
when they look at power lines because copper wire sells for
$2 a pound. When Jeremy Embler tried to cut though a live
power line, 7500 volts of electricity likely shot through his
body. “It’s possible,” Embler said. “I don’t recollect nothing.”
That’s Embler’s story and he’s sticking to it. Embler claims he doesn’t remember how
he ended up so injured doctors had to amputate his arm. But the Sheriff’s Department
does remember and told KXLY4 that Embler and a friend admitted he was trying to cut
a power line when he was shocked.
Jeremy said it’s something he’s never done before to make a quick buck for meth.
“When you have an addiction you do what it takes to feed that addiction,” Embler
said. Law enforcement and recycling companies would agree because it’s becoming a
common occurrence.
“The theft of copper and other recyclable materials from power lines has become
more and more common,” Sergeant Dave Reagan said.
Avista says it happens at least once a month and that they are aware of it. Inland
Power has similar problems. “Over the past several years there has been an increase in
theft,” George Brown with Inland Power said.
Hap Ahlborn, who owns Action Recycling, is also being impacted by the risky attempt
to make a quick buck. “They don’t call drugs “dope” for nothing,” Ahlborn said.
“We’re always on the lookout for any type of stolen material.” Jeremy says he’s lucky
to be alive after everything he’s been through.
A law was passed a couple of years ago to try to discourage people from trying to sell
copper wire. The law requires recycling companies to take ID and an address and then
mail a check if someone is trying to sell more than $30 in copper wire.
Ahlborn says he’s seen three or four guys all get out of the same car and sell just under
$30 worth of wire to get around the law.
Drug Addicts See Dollar Signs in Telephone Poles

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