[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 15
1939 - Second, larger OLPH Catholic Church dedicated on site of first (10th & Walnut, Newhall) [story]


[KTHS] The number of deaths caused by accidental drug overdoses in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2014, according to recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.drugs

Last year alone, a total of 47,055 people died from drug overdoses– almost twice the number of people killed in car crashes. Deaths from prescription drug and heroin overdoses remained the leading cause of accidental death in 2014, increasing 14 percent from 2013.

“These are brand new statistics,” said Cary Quashen, founder of the Santa Clarita drug and alcohol rehab center Action Family Counseling. “Statistics usually are up to five years old, but it’s such an epidemic and it’s so deadly right now that statistics are coming out right now.”

The CDC reported an 80 percent jump in overdose deaths from synthetic opioids– the largest increase among the latest data — and a 26 percent increase in deaths from heroin.

“Heroin overdoses only account for a very small amount of (those) 50,000 deaths,” Quashen said. “The rest of it are pills, and who dies from pills? Your neighbors, your sons, your daughters, your husbands, your wives, your parents, your grandparents. That’s the people we’re losing right now to opioids.”

Many of these people have no history of substance abuse and are what’s called “accidental addicts,” meaning they became addicted to opiates like heroin and pills after they were legitimately prescribed painkillers for an injury or surgery.

“What happens with these pills is, they’re really good at taking pain away. The problem is they’re really good at taking pain away for a short period of time,” Quashen said. “After a short period of time, we get physically dependent on these pills.”

He continued, “We think, ‘Well maybe I can stop taking them now, I’m feeling better.’ As soon as we stop taking them, our bodies start hurting… So what does our head do? It tricks us to believe we’re still in pain, so we need to take more. Before you know it, we’ve got a dependency.”

Because the prescribed amount is typically not going to be enough anymore, people will continue to increase their dosage from this point on, usually resorting to “pill shopping” from dealers after their doctors stop approving their refills, or even turning to the less expensive form of the same opiate high: heroin.
“I’m treating more accidental addicts than I’ve ever treated in my life,” Quashen said.

If fighting to overcome the emotional and physical addiction to opiates wasn’t hard enough, it has also become increasingly more difficult to seek treatment before it’s too late, according to Quashen.

“I get calls every day from people that want to get treatment that have no money, they have no insurance,” he said. “If they have insurance, I’m fighting with the insurance to get any (treatment) days at all because they don’t want to treat them.”

For an addict to even start outpatient therapy– not residential treatment –Quashen said he typically has to contact the insurance company to obtain permission from someone who has never even met the addict.

If the addict “fails” outpatient therapy, Quashen said he then usually contacts the insurance company again in order to get approval for just one or two weeks of residential treatment.

“People need 30, 60, 90 days or longer for treatment, so the access for treatment today is almost impossible,” he said.

Further, county treatment programs often have lengthy waiting lists that require an addict to call every morning for as long as three or four months to see if a spot has opened up, and if they forget, they lose their place on the list, according to Quashen.

“There’s more and more addicts out there, it’s harder and harder to get treatment, the drugs are more addictive than ever, so it’s a perfect storm,” he said. “All signs are showing it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

In order for any major changes to take place in this growing epidemic, Quashen believes it will likely take the involvement of government leaders to monitor insurance companies, increase the accessibility of treatment and provide more county funding.

But even with the obstacles addicts are currently facing in getting treatment, Quashen has a message for anyone who needs help but doesn’t know how to get it:

“Don’t ever give up hope,” he said. “There’s always a way to get treatment if you fight hard enough. You can always call our number and we will help you through it.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. Gee Hawd Gee Hawd says:

    free will………..

  2. Myk Halibut Myk Halibut says:

    Easier to get oxi than heroin, doctors are so eager to hand it out.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Oct 12, 2018
Oct. 16: Assembly 38th District Candidates to Face Off at VIA Forum
The Valley Industry Association will present a California State Assembly 38th District Candidate Forum at its monthly business luncheon at Valencia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 16, starting at 11:45 a.m.
Friday, Oct 12, 2018
SCV Detectives Arrest Castaic Robbery Suspect in Oakland
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested a man in Oakland suspected of robbing a business in Castaic on Oct. 5, according to station authorities.
Friday, Oct 12, 2018
Voter Alert: Beware of Robocalls Making False Statements
Los Angeles County election officials are alerting residents about a misleading robocall now circulating that wrongly claims there is an error in one of the ballot titles for the Nov. 6 General Election.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1939 - Second, larger OLPH Catholic Church dedicated on site of first (10th & Walnut, Newhall) [story]
Here is the Week 8 roundup of Santa Clarita Valley football scores.
Santa Clarita Valley Football Roundup
1980 - Phillies beat Royals in Game 1 of World Series; Hart grad Bob Walk is winning pitcher [story]
1876 - Town of Newhall founded at Bouquet Junction (moved 2 years later to present location) [story]
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has introduced a motion to bring forward a public health-centered effort to address the emergence of diseases that have impacted the county, especially among the homeless population.
Barger Urges Effort to Curb Spread of Disease in County Homeless Population
CalArts student Hanna Kim (Film/Video BFA 19) won the gold medal for Animation (Domestic Film Schools) during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 45th Student Academy Awards ceremony Thursday night.
CalArts’ Hanna Kim Wins Gold in 45th Student Academy Awards
Here's a look at how The Master's University's sports teams rank in the latest polls.
TMU Mustangs Sports: A Peek at the Polls
The Valley Industry Association will present a California State Assembly 38th District Candidate Forum at its monthly business luncheon at Valencia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 16, starting at 11:45 a.m.
Oct. 16: Assembly 38th District Candidates to Face Off at VIA Forum
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested a man in Oakland suspected of robbing a business in Castaic on Oct. 5, according to station authorities.
SCV Detectives Arrest Castaic Robbery Suspect in Oakland
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, Oct. 16, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Oct. 16: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Los Angeles County election officials are alerting residents about a misleading robocall now circulating that wrongly claims there is an error in one of the ballot titles for the Nov. 6 General Election.
Voter Alert: Beware of Robocalls Making False Statements
The California Highway Patrol has received a federal grant to develop the Get Educated and Ride Safe, or GEARS, program to promote motorcycle safety and awareness.
CHP Receives Grant to Boost Motorcycle Safety, Awareness
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reminds residents to protect themselves from flea-borne typhus by using flea control products on pets and avoiding wild or stray animals.
Public Health Asks Residents to Help Prevent Flea-Borne Typhus
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested an Antelope Valley man on multiple charges after a traffic stop in Canyon Country.
AV Man Arrested on Multiple Charges in Canyon Country
In this week's #FraudFriday post, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department warns citizens not to fall for scams when renting or leasing a home or apartment.
Fraud Friday: Don’t Fall for Rental Scams
Author Tina Hogan Grant will celebrate the Oct. 4 publication of her debut novel, "Reckless Beginnings," with a personal appearance and book-signing session at the Frazier Park Library on Saturday, Oct. 13 starting at 3 p.m.
Oct. 13: ‘Reckless Beginnings’ Book Signing at Frazier Park Library
The next meeting of Santa Clarita Valley Water's Public Outreach and Legislative Committee is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislative Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its crime information and public safety report for Saugus (Zone 4) for the week of Oct. 1-7, 2018.
Crime Blotter: GTA, Burglary in Saugus
1915 - Name of Surrey post office & town changed (back) to Saugus [story]
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, will hold a free, household hazard and e-waste recycling roundup, Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., for Val Verde area residents.
Oct. 13: Household Hazardous, E-Waste Recycling Roundup in Val Verde
The city of Santa Clarita is proud to announce that Santa Clarita singer-songwriter Karli Webster is scheduled to sing the national anthem prior to the start of the Santa Clarita Marathon, presented by Parkway Motorcars.
Karli Webster, Former ‘Voice’ Contestant, to Sing National Anthem at SC Marathon
Major League Baseball announced Thursday all the start times for the 2018 National League and American League Championship Series.
MLB Announces League Championship Series Start Times
The Friends of Hart Park, in cooperation with the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, is presenting its 7th Annual Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair.
Dec. 8-9: Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair
FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest wellness company with programs exclusively designed for moms, is celebrating Halloween mom-style.
Oct. 31: Fit4Mom’s Halloween ‘Stroller Treat’ Workout
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control will be participating in the Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair.
County to Participate in Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Prevention/Public Safety Report for the week of Sept. 24 - 30, 2018:
Crime Blotter: Robbery, Burglary, Grand Theft in Stevenson Ranch
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will be holding a regular meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m., in City Council Chambers, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd., 1st Floor, Santa Clarita, 91355.
Oct. 11: Santa Clarita Arts Commission Regular Meeting
The Santa Clarita Valley offers many great trails and open spaces for hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding. When using these trails, we all need to take precautions to assure we enjoy them safely.
SCV Deputy Offers Hiking Safety Tips
Eleven proposed state measures qualified to appear on the ballot for California's Nov. 6, 2018 general election.
Nov. 6 General Election: A Propositions Preview
1885 - Birth of Hortense Reynier, future bride of Placerita Canyon pioneer Frank Walker [story]
The Master's University women's volleyball team beat Hope International 3-0 on Tuesday at home, winning for the 12th straight match, remaining perfect in conference play and improving to 22-3 overall.
TMU Women’s Volleyball Nets 12th Straight Win
Santa Clarita-based accountant Patricia Cascione will be formally charged Friday with embezzling more than $93,000 from the Girl Scouts and a local cancer center over a four-year period.
Cascione to be Formally Charged Friday With Embezzling
The city of Santa Clarita invites local photographers to enter its winter 2018 photo contest and vy for cash prizes.
City’s Winter 2018 Photo Contest Now Open for Entries
The city of Santa Clarita and Southern California Edison have completed installing 42 new LED (light-emitting diode) streetlight fixtures along Bouquet Canyon Road between Festividad Drive and Centurion Way in Saugus.
City, SCE Install New LED Streetlights on Bouquet Canyon Road
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to restrict the use of single-use plastic straws and stirrers in unincorporated areas of the county.
Supes Restrict Plastic Straws to Reduce Pollution