Open ‘Safe Places’ in Seattle, King County for Heroin Use, Task Force Says

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A task force is recommending the creation of sites in King County to provide medical supervision for people using illegal drugs like heroin, which would be the first in the U.S.

Vernal Coleman reports: The task force formed to help fight a heroin epidemic in the Seattle area has recommended the opening of public, supervised sites where addicts can use heroin.

The sites, supported by both King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, would be the first of their kind in the country.

“If it’s a strategy that saves lives … then regardless of the political discomfort I think it is something we have to move forward,” Constantine said during a Thursday news conference.

Murray said he would support establishing the sites if it can be done “in a way that reduces the negative impacts” on neighborhoods.

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The recommendations released Thursday call for a pilot program to establish two “community health-engagement locations” in targeted areas where users can inject heroin under medical supervision as an alternative to public restrooms, alleys and homeless encampments like The Jungle.

[Read the full story here, at The Seattle Times]

The committee called for putting one site in Seattle, and another outside of the city in an area where a high number of heroin overdoses have been recorded.

“One of the driving ideas behind this is creating a safe space where we can get people the medical, prevention and treatment services already provided elsewhere,” said Brad Finegood, committee co-chairman and assistant director of the King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] The Siren of Silicon Valley: Prostitute Pin-Up Perp Alix Tichelman Gallery

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UPDATE: Alix Tichelman DEPORTED! Prostitute Who Gave Fatal Heroin Shot to Google Executive Gets Her Skanky Ass Deported Back to Canada

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The family of the prostitute sentenced to six years in prison for her role in the death of a Google executive have continued to show their support both in person and on social media during her trial.54_Alex_Tichelman

“Alix Tichelman, 27, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs to married father-of-five Forrest Timothy Hayes who died of a heroin overdose aboard his yacht in November 2013.”

Tichelman’s parents Bart and Leslieann were present in a Santa Cruz County Superior Court offering support for their daughter’s Tuesday sentencing.

“Since leaving her parents’ home, her life appears to have been a complete rejection of her privileged upbringing.”

The couple – and their other daughter Monica who is three years Alix’s junior – haven’t spoken publicly since their daughter’s arrest. But, as well as supporting her in court, they’ve also used Facebook to show that in spite of her crimes and troubled, past they still stand by her.

“Alix has been a heroin addict and turned to high-class prostitution to support herself.”

Sister Monica, 24, posted a photo on Facebook on May 10 of the family to which her mom wrote, ‘missing my girls today’ and ‘love you more’.

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[Read more here: How Alix Tichelman injected Google’s Forrest Timothy Hayes with heroin – Daily Mail]

Alix Tichelman grew up in a wealthy, upper-class family, first in Atlanta, Georgia, and then California.

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Since leaving her parents’ home, her life appears to have been a complete rejection of her privileged upbringing. Alix has been a heroin addict and turned to high-class prostitution to support herself.

Yet despite her failings, the family has maintained a united front.

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In court on Tuesday, Jerry Christensen, one of Tichelman’s public defenders, said that Alix didn’t want to stand trial because she did not want to put her family through it…(read more)

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fotonoticia_20140711162921_800 Ex_Ybor_City_club_owner_s_death_surfaces_1790620000_6775115_ver1.0_640_480 article-0-1F94A4F300000578-396_634x654 Read the rest of this entry »


‘Sugar Baby’ Escort Alix Tichelman Sentenced to 6 Years in Google Executive’s Heroin Death

(CNN) Dana Ford reports: An alleged prostitute accused in the death of a Google executive pleaded guilty on Tuesday, and was sentenced to six years in prison.Alix-T

[Also see – The Black Widow of Silicon Valley: Alix Tichelman’s Trail of Dead and Damaged Men]

Alix Tichelman faced a series of charges in the death of Forrest Timothy Hayes, 51. The married father of five was found dead in November 2013 aboard his 50-foot yacht in California’s Santa Cruz harbor.

[More – Alix Tichelman Pleads Not Guilty in Google Exec’s Heroin Death]

[VIDEO] Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive’s Fatal Heroin Overdose]

[Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley]

Authorities say Tichelman gave Hayes an injection of heroin and then, as he began to die, she sipped her wine, gathered her belongings, and calmly walked away.

She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, administering a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, destroying or concealing evidence, and engaging and agreeing to engage in prostitution, according to the Santa Cruz Superior Court. Read the rest of this entry »


Turn on, Tune In, Get Old: Aging Baby Boomers Bring Drug Habits into Middle Age

BOOMER-WSJ

Older adults are abusing drugs, getting arrested for drug offenses and dying from drug overdoses at increasingly higher rates. These surges have come as the 76 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reach late middle age. 

UPLAND, Calif.— Zusha Elinson reports: From the time he was a young man coming of age in the 1970s, Mike Massey could have served as a poster child for his generation, the baby boomers. He grew his hair long to the dismay of his father, surfed, played in rock bands and says he regularly got high on marijuana and cocaine.

“I thought, no big deal—my knee hurts and they’re prescription drugs. The fact of the matter was I was abusing them the second day I had them.”

— Mike Massey

The wild times receded as he grew older. In his 30s, he stopped using drugs altogether, rose into executive positions with the plumbers and pipe fitters union, bought a house in this Los Angeles suburb and started a family. But at age 50, Mr. Massey injured his knee running. He took Vicodin for the pain but soon started using pills heavily, mixing the opioids with alcohol, he said.

“After surgeries to repair his knee and an arm he also injured, prescriptions brought him a steady supply of pain pills. He would down about 40 every day while drinking heavily. By that time, he had become executive director of the trust fund and several associated businesses.”

“It reminded me of getting high and getting loaded,” said Mr. Massey, now 58 years old, who went into recovery and stopped using drugs and alcohol in 2013. “Your mind never forgets that.”

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Today, the story of this balding, middle-aged executive continues to reflect that of his generation.

Older adults are abusing drugs, getting arrested for drug offenses and dying from drug overdoses at increasingly higher rates. These surges have come as the 76 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, reach late middle age. Facing the pains and losses connected to aging, boomers, who as youths used drugs at the highest rates of any generation, are once again—or still—turning to drugs.

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The trend has U.S. health officials worried. The sharp increase in overdose deaths among older adults in particular is “very concerning,” said Wilson Compton,deputy director for the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The rate of death by accidental drug overdose for people aged 45 through 64 increased 11-fold between 1990, when no baby boomers were in the age group, and 2010, when the age group was filled with baby boomers, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mortality data. That multiple of increase was greater than for any other age group in that time span.

“He is a very valued employee and does a lot for the organization. He was worth the effort of saving.”

— Sid Stolper, Mr. Massey’s boss for 21 years

The surge has pushed the accidental overdose rate for these late middle age adults higher than that of 25- to 44-year-olds for the first time. More than 12,000 boomers died of accidental drug overdoses in 2013, the most recent data available. That is more than the number that died that year from either car accidents or influenza and pneumonia, according to the CDC.

“Generally, we thought of older individuals of not having a risk for drug abuse and drug addiction,” Dr. Compton said. “As the baby boomers have aged and brought their habits with them into middle age, and now into older adult groups, we are seeing marked increases in overdose deaths.”Still Turning On

Baby Boomers are developing drug problems at increasingly higher rates. What is the profile of a Boomer at risk? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer. Illustration: Arielle Ray

“Rehab centers that were designed for younger people are adjusting to the new clientele. Getting rid of bunk beds, hiring more experienced addiction counselors and providing medical care on-site are some measures being taken.”

Experts say the drug problem among the elderly has been caused by the confluence of two key factors: a generation with a predilection for mind-altering substances growing older in an era of widespread opioid painkiller abuse. Pain pills follow marijuana as the most popular ways for aging boomers to get high, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which conducts an annual national survey on drug use. Opioid painkillers also are the drug most often involved in overdoses, followed by antianxiety drugs, cocaine and heroin.

Wall Street Journal interviews with dozens of older drug users and recovering addicts revealed an array of personal stories behind the trend. Some had used drugs their entire lives and never slowed down. Others had used drugs when they were younger, then returned to them later in life after a divorce, death in the family or job loss.

“Amid prescription painkiller abuse, old-age aches and pains are treated with acupuncture and nonaddictive painkillers. Another change is therapy sessions that are designed for older adults.”

“If you have a trigger, and your youth is caught up in that Woodstock mentality, you’re going to revert back,” said Jamie Huysman, 60, clinical adviser to the senior program at Caron Treatment Centers, a residential drug treatment organization that plans to break ground this summer on a $10 million medical center in Pennsylvania catering to older adults. “We were pretty conditioned that we could be rebellious, that we could take drugs, and so this is how we respond today.”

Drug-rehabilitation programs are grappling with how to handle the boom in older patients. More than 5.7 million people over the age of 50 will need substance-abuse treatment by the year 2020, according to estimates from government researchers. Meanwhile, hospitals have seen a sharp increase in the number of older adults admitted for drug-related health problems, government statistics show.

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“Over the past decade, illicit drug use among people over 50 has increased at the same time that the rate for teens—the group that draws the most public concern when it comes to substance abuse—has declined, according to the federal government’s annual survey on drug use.”

“We’re still in the process of figuring out: How do we ensure we have a strong workforce that can address this, and the appropriate settings to address this?” said Peter Delany, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Over the past decade, illicit drug use among people over 50 has increased at the same time that the rate for teens—the group that draws the most public concern when it comes to substance abuse—has declined, according to the federal government’s annual survey on drug use. A similar pattern exists for drug arrests: rates fell in nearly every younger age group in the country between 1997 and 2012, but not for those between the ages of 45 and 64.

“The rate of drug use among boomers has fallen significantly as the cohort has aged, but it is about triple the percentage of people in the previous generation who reported drug use in their older years.”

Boomers have always ranked high on the charts that measure drug use. In 1979, high school seniors, born in 1961, set the record for self-reported illicit drug use in the past year, according to an annual national survey called Monitoring the Future. The rate of drug use among boomers has fallen significantly as the cohort has aged, but it is about triple the percentage of people in the previous generation who reported drug use in their older years. Read the rest of this entry »


The Black Widow of Silicon Valley: Alix Tichelman’s Trail of Dead and Damaged Men

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Police hunted down the prostitute accused of watching a Google exec overdose—and found a trail of dead and damaged men in her past

For The Daily BeastMichael Daly reports: The detectives from the Santa Cruz police department could see an unmistakable injection mark in the arm of the deceased Google executive.Alix-cuffed
But the detectives could see no drugs and no syringe on the yacht where 51-year-old Forrest Timothy Hayes had been found dead from a heroin overdose. What the detectives did see was a pair of wine glasses on a table. They also noted that somebody appeared to have straightened up the cabin.

“We’re like, ‘Holy smoke, this isn’t her first rodeo.'”

The body had been discovered on the floor of the main cabin by the captain, who had been retained by Hayes after he purchased the 50-foot powerboat. Hayes had started out as an automotive executive in his native Michigan, which was in keeping with his decision to eschew eco-friendly sails such as were favored by other Silicon Valley types and buy a craft powered by big fuel guzzlers.

[Also see – Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive’s Fatal Heroin Overdose  [Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley]

But he had come West to take increasingly senior positions with Sun Microsystems and then Apple and finally with Google X, the research and development division whose projects included the perfect one for a one-time car guy: the self-driving auto. Hayes had become enough of a techie that he had installed a wireless surveillance camera system on his yacht. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: 100+ Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana in Texas in 5 Days

pt_1543_1964_oK2 is a synthetic marijuana that is often sold as herbal incense or potpourri. It contains man-made chemicals that claim to mimic the primary active ingredient in cannabis.

DALLAS — In a span of just five days, almost 120 people in Dallas and Austin overdosed on K2, a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

Police sources confirmed to News 8 that the overdoses in both cities are likely related, and the drug originated with a Dallas supplier.

Stacey Davis, director of prevention programs for the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse in Dallas, said while K2 use is not the rise, users jump on new trends for suppliers or new batches.

“What ends up happening is the media or the community doesn’t catch wind of it until, unfortunately, when something bad happens,” Davis said.

Users smoke K2, and while it’s supposed to mimic marijuana, it can have wide-ranging effects on the body. The patients in Dallas were so sick they had to be sedated.

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Toxicology tests will tell for sure if all the overdoses came from the same batch. Police are also investigating whether the K2 was laced with another drug.

K2 is difficult to regulate because manufacturers switch up the ingredients frequently. Read the rest of this entry »


Death of Peaches Geldof: Heroin

Vogue's Fashion's Night Out - London

(AFP) Heroin use played a role in the death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of Live Aid founder Bob Geldof, an inquest in Britain heard on Thursday.

[See also: Peaches Geldof: Recent heroin use played role in her death, inquest hears – metro.co.uk]

The 25-year-old model and journalist, who had two young children, was found dead at her home on April 7. Her mother Paula Yates died of a heroin overdose in 2000. Read the rest of this entry »


A Closer Look at Legalizing Heroin

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Addicts need medical support like heroin maintenance, which is illegal in the U.S. thanks to the war on drugs.

Valerie Vande Panne  writes;  A great entertainer overdosed on heroin two weeks ago. He was found dead, a needle hanging from his arm. Dozens of empty drug baggies were found strewn around his apartment.He was considered a fantastic actor. Influential. Powerful. Insightful. Potent. Everyone, by this time, knows this man’s name. It’s been plastered across the media landscape not just in the United States, but worldwide: Philip Seymour Hoffman.In the days since, there’s been all kinds of chatter about the evils of heroin or the need for better drug education. But there hasn’t been much talk about the painful, obvious, cold, hard truth: Heroin should be regulated—and not only because science says so, but because, (and again, let’s be honest) look around.

Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Creepy Drug Scene from Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007)

The film’s title is taken from an Irish blessing:

“…May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead…”

Short version, 2 ms 24s. This is the Philip Seymour Hoffman heroin scene from Sidney Lumet‘s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007) It featues Andy Hansen, an accountant, played by Hoffman, making a drug buy in clandestine apartment in a Manhattan high rise. Then being injected, by the dealer, in a quiet bedroom. It’s an erie depiction of a troubled, defeated character, retreating to an exclusive, private, white-collar drug den, high above the city, in the middle of the afternoon…

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Film story summary from Internet Movie Database:

When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents’ jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother’s wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.

The longer version — 6 ms 55 s —  is here.

Pundit Planet Media – YouTube

Read the rest of this entry »


The Culture of Heroin Addiction

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Over at NRO, reflecting on Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s deadly overdose, Kevin D. Williamson explores the shallow romanticism of opiate culture:

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… Every few years I read about how heroin is making a comeback or about how there’s a new surge of heroin addiction, but I am skeptical. Heroin never makes a comeback, because heroin never goes away…

“The belief that there exists some kind of deep and invisible connection between artistic creativity and addiction (or mental illness) is one of the most destructive and most stupid of our contemporary myths.”

hoff-narrow-drker...taking heroin is, at least in part, an act of cultural affiliation. Connoisseurs of the poppy will go on and on about Great Junkies in History — William S. Burroughs, Sid and Nancy, Billie Holiday — though all in all I’d say that heroin addicts are less tedious on the subject of heroin than potheads are on the subject of pot. They do seem to have a particular fascination with the jargon of heroin, as though every conversation is taking place in 1970…

[See also: 50 Bags of Heroin: More Details Emerge on Drug Death of Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman]

I always have a sneaking suspicioun that I could talk people out of deciding to become junkies if only I could get them to read a couple of good books composed with such literary skill as to illuminate the fact that Burroughs was a poseur and a hack. The belief that there exists some kind of deep and invisible connection between artistic creativity and addiction (or mental illness) is one of the most destructive and most stupid of our contemporary myths. I’d blame Thomas De Quincey, author of the 19th-century tell-all Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, if I thought anybody still read him.

Read the rest of this entry »