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With a Ph.D., Victim Of Drug Abuse Didn’t Fit Sterotype

October 27, 2009 2 comments

Drug addiction can happen to ANYONE!!

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-md.overdose01oct01,0,6643662.story

By Peter Hermann

October 1, 2009 – Marianne Woessner is a North Carolina  nurse and midwife who sees drug addicts with good jobs and from families every day. They occupy a hidden world that belies the stereotype of rail-thin junkies stumbling from one street corner to the next in search of a fix.

Woessner was the mother of one such drug addict. She made the discovery Sunday night, when a Baltimore police officer called to tell her that her daughter, Carrie Elizabeth John, died that evening after apparently injecting herself with buprenorphine while trying to get high with her boyfriend. Clinton Blaine McCracken, in their rented rowhouse near downtown.

The couple was postdoctoral fellows at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, working in labs on the same floor, studying the effects of drug addiction even as, police said, they grew marijuana inside their home and used narcotics purchased over the Internet from a Philippine pharmacy that shipped pills hidden in stuffed animals.

“These are two brilliant people who made a stupid error in judgment,” Woessner said in a telephone interview Wednesday, as she prepared to bury her 29-year-old daughter in the town where she grew up. Woessner said she doesn’t think McCracken either injected her daughter or forced her to do drugs.

“He loved her and she loved him,” she said. “I know this. They’re humans, just like all of us. We all have our faults. Just because drugs is what they studied doesn’t mean anything. Addiction is addiction, no matter what we do, what race we are, what occupation we have.”

Baltimore police have charged McCracken, 32, with several drug violations, and a department spokesman said federal authorities have expressed interest in pursuing the case. McCracken is free on bail and declined to comment when reached at his home on Wednesday.

McCracken told police, according to court documents, that he and John “thought they could control the morphine and buprenorphine” and that he thought marijuana should be legalized.

Dr. Donald Jasinski, chief of the center for chemical dependency at John Hopkins Bayview Center, said it should come as no shock to see doctors or other medical professionals addicted to drugs, especially those who study narcotics and are around the chemicals daily.

“Anybody who handles drugs think they know how to control it,” he said. “Perhaps the risk group for opiate dependency is doctors.”

Buprenorphine is commonly used to ease heroin addicts off the drug, and is prevalent in Baltimore and other cities as an alternative to methadone. A 2007 Baltimore Sun series described the growing use of “bupe” but noted that it too can be addictive and, while helping some addicts, could create another group of drug dependents.

Jasinski said doctors “who you think would know better” sometimes like to experiment like everyone else . “How many people try to quit smoking and know that it’s bad for them and want to quit but can’t”? he said.

Woessner drove from High Point, N.C., to Baltimore early Monday and spent Tuesday talking to her daughter’s friends and co-workers. She toured the place where John worked and gathered her personal belongings.

She said she was angry to discover that lab workers for the medical school, said drug tests are administered to “certain employees as required by law,” but she confirmed that workers in the lab where John and McCracken worked were not monitored regularly.

Woessner described her daughter as a “superstar” and said “everything she did, she did well.” She started playing softball at age 7 and continued on a team in Baltimore. She played the clarinet in her high school band and embraced the Native American heritage of her father’s family. She graduated from high school early and enrolled in Cornell University at the age of 17, majoring in biology.

She met McCracken at Wake Forest University as they worked toward doctorates in their shared field of interest, drug addiction. She earned a doctorate in physiology and pharmacology.

She moved to Baltimore in 2006. McCracken left the university at Pittsburgh three months ago to join her. John worked on projects involving schizophrenia and drug use, and last year led a neuroscience discussion on “This is your brain on drugs.”

Woessner said she met McCracken several times and that she regarded him as “polite, intelligent, articulate” and someone “who loved my daughter.” They planned to live together for a year before marriage, and, she said, McCracken would have made a “perfect son-in-law.”

He wasn’t passionate or romantic, she said, but worked hard and seemed happy to be in the same profession as his girlfriend. Their red-brick Dover Street rowhouse was just a few blocks from the university.

It is there that police said John and McCracken led a life that the young woman’s mother never saw. McCracken told authorities that he and John injected themselves with buprenorphine and morphine. Police said they had turned their unkempt house into an indoor marijuana farm, with grow lights and fans vented with aluminum dryer hoses. Police said they found pills in bags, at least 20 bongs, 30 marijuana plants growing up to two feet high and more packed and stored in Mason jars.

According to court documents, McCracken gave police a detailed account of what happened Sunday, saying he and John soaked two buprenorphine pills in water before filtering and filling two syringes each with 1 mg doses of the drug. He said John, who has asthma, injected first and immediately had trouble breathing. He helped her use her inhaler, and then dialed 911.

She got to the hospital at 6 p.m. and dies 49 minutes later. McCracken said he didn’t get a chance to shoot up because John had already gone into distress. Police found her syringe in the living room of the house.

McCracken told police that he didn’t think John overdosed, but instead injected a bad batch of drugs. Police said results of toxicology tests to determine how John died are pending.

Woessner said she met with McCracken on Tuesday and described him as “very upset, because they were playing, they were doing what couples do. This was not an intentional thing.”

Just the same, she does not want him at her daughter’s funeral on Saturday. She said some relatives are angry with hi, and with what happened, and  wants the service to be a place “where I hope to celebrate her life.”

Woessner repeated that she doesn’t blame the boyfriend but said, “I say to God, ‘I hope that Clint can someday find some peace with this.’ ”



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Question #5: An Act To Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/view/columns/7014571.html

Everything wrote in this article is the opinion of the author , NOT me.

Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel

Question #5:  An Act To Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act. “Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?”

We recommend a “no” vote on this measure.

Medical marijuana poses a series of difficult legal and ethical questions. The medical and law enfrocement communities are opposed to its use, while some patients swear that it helps them.

And while Maine and other states have legalized medical marijuana through citizen-initiated referendums, having it and selling it remains a violation of federal law.

The measure before Maine voters would create a system of dispensaries to distribute medical marijuana and extend the number of illnesses it is authorized to treat.

We are concerned about the opportunity for diversion that this would create. What we’ve seen in recent years with prescription drugs and clinic methadone is that any medication distributed for legitimate use can end up in the wrong hands.

While doctors, pharmacies and clinics have made great strides toward cutting down diversions, we are afraid that a seperate medical marijuana distribution system would create a conduit for drugs to reach the rest of the community.

While some patients, parti9cularly those on chemotherapy who have lost their appetite for food, say they benefit from medical marijuana, we are skeptical of supporters’ claims that it is a good medication for a dozens of illnesses.

Ultimately, this is a federal issue and should be resolved in Washington, not Maine. Mainer’s should vote “no” on this measure.

Everything  wrote in this article is the opinion of the author, NOT me.

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Anchorage Methadone Clinic Halts Admissions

October 20, 2009 1 comment

This is a sad story. The saddest part of it is that it’s happening all over the world! Not enough treatment centers, too many “new” people becoming addicted to heroin. It’s all very frustrating.  A friend of mine showed me this article. He thought it would be good to post it here on our Blog.

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/100409/sta_500793495.shtml

Part of overcrowding problem is a surge in heroin in the region.

October 4, 2009  Anchorage – The only methadone clinic in Anchorage has stopped accepting new patients.

The Narcotic Drug Treatment Center told The Anchorage Daily News it has 87 patients but is only funded for 75. 12 people are on a waiting list.

Clinical director Ron Greene says it will continue to add to the waiting list and treat new patients when space becomes available.

Part of the problem is a surge in heroin available in the Southcentral Alaska, Greene said.

“It’s in such abundance and it’s so cheap out there that everything else is secondary,” Greene said. “We don’t even have a close second running drug of choice on this program. Right now, it is heroin and has been for the past three years.”

Sgt. Kathy Lacey, supervisor of the vice unit, agreed it’s a huge problem.

“It used to be that every prostitute that we arrested on the street had a crack pipe, and now they’re all hooked on heroin.”

Many of them also say they want help, “which we would never hear with crack-cocaine,” Lacey said. “Heroin addiction is so dramatic and so compelling that it completely takes over their lives and they want to quit.”

Police have arrested more than 60 heroin dealers in the past year, but Lacey said the drug remains cheap and available.

The Drug Treatment Center gives patients liquid methadone to ease withdrawal symptoms. It’s one of just two methadone programs in the state. The other is the Interior AIDS Association in Fairbanks. Executive director Anna Nelson said it’s at capacity with 32 people and more on the waiting list.

Greene said some counts have estimated there are 16,000 opiate addicts in Alaska.


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Employment Opportunity

March 27, 2009 4 comments

This was printed in one of the local papers where I live. It’s called The Quoddy Times. You won’t believe this! This is real, not a joke!

Employment Opportunity

Position in a small local tech company in Perry dealing in online sales of LCD hardware for industrial applications.

Telephone & Internet-based Customer Support

Daily packaging of High Priority Orders

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS:

NO SMOKING/NO METHADONE

NO MENTAL CASE/NO EXCEPTIONS

RELIABLE VEHICLE W/INSURANCE

VALID DRIVERS LICENSE

NO ABSENTEEISM

40 Hr WORK WEEK

INTERNET EXPERIENECE

Candidates must be able to work with others in ana aggressive sales oriented atmosphere. If reliabaility, work ethic, data entry computer work, or working with numbers, is not for you, please do not apply. This position relies on your ability to pay attention to detail, show up for work every day, learn new concepts, and effectively communicate with coworkers and customers. Weakness in any of these areas will result in poor work performance.

Payroll is biweekly via direct deposit through Bangor Savings Bank Payroll Division. Bangor Savings manages all employees payroll issues relating to federal taxes and state withholding.     207-214-8533

Can you believe this???? Did you notice that the most important requirement, Internet Experience, was at the very bottom of the list?? What I want to know is…. how did this get in the paper in the first place?? I think the editor is a friend of the person placing the ad…. how else could something like this make it past the editor????   SAD….. CAN YOU SAY DISCRIMINATION????!!!

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Drug-using Women Should Breastfeed

http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/netherlands/science/drug-using-women-should-breastfeed-babies-$1274452.htm

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 – New mothers receiving methadone to treat opiate addictions should breastfeed their babies to lessen the newborns’ withdrawal symptoms, a report has shown.

Research published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology showed children  born to 205 out of 450 women receiving methadone required phtamacological treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), or baby withdrawals.

Study authors found that when women breastfeed their babies for more than 72 hours there was a significantly reduced odds of the infants receivig treatment for NAS.

Apart from the benefits of breast milk and the way breastfeeding soothes agitated babies, researchers note that small traces of the drugs taken by the mother find their way into the breats milk, thus lessening the baby’s withdrawal symptoms.

Based on their findings, researchers recommend that drug-misusing mothers should be encoureged to breastfeed their babies.

Dr. Helen Mactier, a consultant neonatologist who headed the study, said: “Drug misuse in pregnancy is an emotive issue – prescription of substitute methadone stabilies lifestyle and reduces the incidence of preterm birth but it does not prevent ongoing drug misuse and is commonly associated with neonatal abstinence syndrome.”  (I DO NOT agree!!)

“Infants born to misusing mothers tend to be born a bit early, and to be small, with correspondingly low intrauterine head growth.”

“Our research has shown that breastfeeding seems to protect against the risk of developing neonatal abstinence syndrome, with the likelihood of receiving treatment halved in those infants who breastfed for more than three days.”

“Our advice is for pregnan drug misusing women to be maintained on the lowest dose of methadone compatible with stability and for them to be encouraged and supported to breastfeed.”

The research also shows that women taking methadone are more likely to have children prone to NAS.

“This will help inform futire policy on the treatment of pregnant women blighted by substance misuse,” commented Professor Philip Steer, BJOG editor-in-chief.

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New Hampshire Methadone Clinic Challenges Police Order

February 28, 2009 2 comments

http://www.fox44.net/Global/story.asp?S=9909182

Associated Press – February 26, 2009

Laconia, N.H. – The company that hopes to open a methadone clinic in Laconia, N.H., doesn’t believe it should have to have a police officer there watching over it’s clients.

Colonial Management Group has won approval to open an outpatient clinic in the city, but one condition of the Planning Board approval is that the clinic hire an off-duty officer to be there when it serves clients.

Police Chief Michael Moyer said he worries clients may become impaired by their methadone treatments and unstable to drive safely. He says a clinic requests to hire a uniformed secrurity guard instead is not good enough.

The clinic is appealing the police requirement to the Planning Board.

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Porte_Starke Spreads Word About Its Methadone Clinic

January 29, 2009 2 comments

This is about a methadone clinic in Gary, Indiana. I think it’s a great idea! More positive things need to be heard about methadone. 🙂

http://www.post-trib.com/news/1400162,vmethadone.article

By Teresa Auch Schultz

January 28, 2009 – Porter-Starke Services is ready to start spreading the word about its methadone clinic and is doing so in one of the busiest areas of the region.A new billboard in Interstate 94 announces the clinic, which has been open for almost a year, and is the  first foray into openly advertising the clinic that the group has taken.

Camen Arlt, director of addiction services, said Porter-Starke has decided to go ahead finally with advertising, after relying mostly on word-of-mouth, because the clinic was running smoothly and everyone was comfortable with the process.

“We are ready to rock and roll,” she said.

The group chose to do a billboard on the interstate because of its high traffic, Bob Franko, vice president of marketing and development for Porter-Starke, said, although Porter-Starke has stayed away from advertising so far, he said, officials knew from the beginning they would have to eventually start building community awareness about it.

The billboard, which can be seen about a mile before the Lake Station exit when headed east on the  interstate, has a red and white background with a headline that says “Addicted to opiates?” Underneath , it lists Porter-Starke Services Methadone Treatment Center and contact information.

“We were very, very conservative about how we were getting the information out,” Franko said. “We didn’t want to raise a big stink about it.”The billboard, which was put up Jan. 19, is already showing results. Arlt said six or seven people have come to the clinic, saying they didn’t know about it until they saw the billboard. The clinic has 67 patients but can handle up to about 300.

For now, this is the only formal advertising Porter-Starke is doing for the clinic and the billboard is contracted to last fr three months, with each month costing about $1,000, Franko said. It’s likely although, that Porter-Starke will try to do another billboard in a second location later on this year, he said.

The clinic also is doing some word-of-mouth advertising, going to local doctors, emergency rooms and even street hangouts to start letting people know about the clinic, Arlt sai.

“Wherever we know there’s a lot of drug traffic, we;ll go down physically and hand out pamphlets,” she said.

Although the advertising could also attract drug dealers who see the clinic as a concentrated base of clients, Arlt said she wasn’t worried because of the clinic’s numerous indoor and outdoor cameras.

For more information contact Teresa Auch Schultz at 477-6015 or tauch@post-trib.com.

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