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January 17
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]


[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.”

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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 Reply


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019
Upper Bouquet Canyon Remains Closed
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works released the list of road closures due to mud and rock slides from the current storm.
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019
COC Valencia Campus Deemed Safe after Wednesday Evening Scare
College of the Canyons' Valencia Campus is on lockdown, according to a notice from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station posted about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019
Heavy Rain Expected Thursday, Sunshine to Return Friday
A powerful Pacific storm will continue to hammer the West Coast into Friday with strong winds, heavy rain and heavy mountain snow, followed by a weekend of sunshine, the National Weather Service reported Wednesday afternoon.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.
Beach Water Advisory Extended Until Monday
Amgen Tour of California organizer and operator AEG announced the technically-innovative cycling apparel brand ASSOS of Switzerland has renewed a multi-year partnership to provide official race jerseys, VIP and staff apparel, and licensed merchandise for America’s premier cycling stage race.
Jerseys for 2019 Amgen Tour of California Revealed
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works released the list of road closures due to mud and rock slides from the current storm.
Upper Bouquet Canyon Remains Closed
CBRE announced that Santa Clarita Studios, an independent studio operator, leased a 109,379 square-foot industrial building in Valencia.
Santa Clarita Studios to Lease Former Bertelsmann Building in Valencia
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]
College of the Canyons' Valencia Campus is on lockdown, according to a notice from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station posted about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.
COC Valencia Campus Deemed Safe after Wednesday Evening Scare
Santa Clarita Studios, an independent studio operator, has leased a 109,379 square-foot industrial building in Valencia, CBRE announced Wednesday.
Santa Clarita Studios Leases 109K-Square Foot Industrial Building
"Black Monday," a new comedy series starring CalArts alum Don Cheadle (Theater BFA 86) along with Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall, will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20, on Showtime.
Jan. 20: CalArts Alum Don Cheadle Stars in Showtime’s ‘Black Monday’
CalArts’ 2019 MA Aesthetics and Politics Theorist in Residence N. Katherine Hayles will present her lecture "Human as Alien: From Frankenstein to Ex Machina and Annihilation" at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 8:30 p.m.
Jan. 23: ‘Human as Alien’ Lecture by CalArts Theorist in Residence
The Second Annual Golden Valley High School Golf Tournament to benefit GHVS sports is set for the Sand Canyon Country Club in Canyon Country on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Jan. 26: Golf Tourney to Benefit Golden Valley Sports Programs
The Lancaster JetHawks have named former Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian a Special Advisor for the Minor League ball club.
JetHawks Name Lancaster Ex-City Manager to Team Advisor Post
Lancaster - The Lancaster JetHawks, in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies, have announced the JetHawks' coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 California League Minor League Baseball season.
JetHawks Name New Manager, Coaches for 2019 Season
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has launched a test version of its new mobile app, and is seeking user feedback about possible improvements.
County Animal Care Launches Beta App, Seeks User Feedback
A powerful Pacific storm will continue to hammer the West Coast into Friday with strong winds, heavy rain and heavy mountain snow, followed by a weekend of sunshine, the National Weather Service reported Wednesday afternoon.
Heavy Rain Expected Thursday, Sunshine to Return Friday
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn on Tuesday to create a countywide plan for the provision of school-based mental health services through the county's Department of Mental Health.
Supes Call for School-Based Mental Health Sevices Countywide
Amid a continuing teacher strike, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis that would identify millions in county funds that could be directed to the Los Angeles Unified School District to enhance healthcare for students.
County OK’s Millions in Aid to LAUSD for Student Healthcare
City of Santa Clarita officials have postponed the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening Project ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony scheduled for Friday morning, Jan. 18, due to work delay caused by the recent rainstorm impacting the region.
Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Open; City Postpones Dedication
Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Santa Clarita) will serve on House Armed Services Committee, per this week’s announcement from the Speaker’s Office.
Hill to Serve on House Armed Services Committee
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger directing county agencies to develop a regulatory framework for the safe commercial operation of e-scooters in the unincorporated communities of the county.
LA County Green-Lights e-Scooter Regulation Pilot Program
A Justice Department attorney said in opening statements of a federal grand jury trial Tuesday that a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy intentionally covered for his fellow officers when he lied to federal investigators about a 2011 beating in LA’s central jail.
Feds Open Trial in Deputy Coverup of 2011 LA Jail Beating
In his first budget proposal last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed an unprecedented series of carrots and sticks that would attempt to both induce and force local governments to plan for – and produce – more housing.
Newsom Proposes Sweeping Changes on RHNA, Housing Elements
On day two of the Los Angeles teacher strike, educators in red rallied outside a charter school’s headquarters on Tuesday to highlight their frustration over what they call the privatization of public schools.
First Day of LA Teacher Strike Cost District $15M
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An oil painting demo by Lynne Fearman will be held on Monday, Feb. 18, at the meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA).
Feb. 18: Oil Painting Demo by Lynne Fearman
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $500,000 in funding to repair the 1.8-mile-long Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center, which sustained major damage following the Sand Canyon Fire in 2016.
Placerita Nature Center to Undergo Repairs from Sand Fire Damage
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Jan. 16: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
SCV Water's Public Outreach and Legislation Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 17: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) will hold its first meeting of 2019 on Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Jan. 16: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Board of Trustees will hold its next business meeting at College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus on Wednesday.
Jan. 16: COC Board of Trustees Business Meeting
A flash flood watch is in effect in the Santa Clarita Valley until Tuesday evening. The following is from the social media account of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station:
Flash Flood Watch in Effect, Upper Bouquet Canyon Road Closed
Forty-five amateur chefs are sweating it out in the kitchen, preparing to compete in the 7th Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-off. People’s Choice and Judges Choice prizes will be awarded to the top three chili’s in each category.
March 21: Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-Off
MESA, Ariz. – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (6-11; 4-1 Cal Pac) earned their fourth conference win on Saturday afternoon, handily defeating the Redhawks of Benedictine University at Mesa (13-7; 2-3 Cal Pac), 92-75, in intercollegiate California Pacific Conference men’s basketball action inside Heap Gymnasium.
Pioneers Cruise to 4th Conference Win
MESA, Ariz. – After a late rally, the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (14-4; 4-1 Cal Pac) would go on to win in overtime on Saturday, defeating the Redhawks of Benedictine University at Mesa (5-9; 1-4 Cal Pac), 77-74, in intercollegiate California Pacific Conference women’s basketball action inside Heap Gymnasium.
Lady Pioneers Rally Past Benedictine University
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. Bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around these outlets after a rainfall.
Beach Water Advisory Extended Until Thursday