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March 20
2012 - County supervisors approve 50-year operating agreement for Placerita Canyon State Park [read]
Placerita Canyon


[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
Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019
Cemex Loses Federal Appeal; Soledad Canyon Mega-Mine Effectively Dead
A U.S. Department of the Interior review board has denied Cemex, Inc.'s appeal of a 2015 Bureau of Land Management decision that canceled the company's mining contracts in Soledad Canyon.
Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019
California Bill to Keep Environmental Rules Clears First Hurdle
In the wake of a catastrophic wildfire that ripped through a foothill community during what’s normally the beginning of California’s rainy season, state Senate leader Toni Atkins wanted to be the first lawmaker to act.
Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019
Hill Works on Behalf of Veterans, Military Families
U.S. Rep Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) continues her work on behalf of local veterans and military families through legislation and local events, while the White House threatens military funding cuts in California.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The College of the Canyons Small Business Development Center will present a two-part webinar about making it in the fashion industry on Thursdays, March 21 and March 28, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
March 21 & 28: Webinar on How to Succeed in Fashion Industry
Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean and 38th District Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) attended ribbon-cutting festivities on Saturday to welcome new vendor En Fuego BBQ to the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market.
Old Town Newhall Farmers Market Welcomes New Vendor, En Fuego BBQ
A U.S. Department of the Interior review board has denied Cemex, Inc.'s appeal of a 2015 Bureau of Land Management decision that canceled the company's mining contracts in Soledad Canyon.
Cemex Loses Federal Appeal; Soledad Canyon Mega-Mine Effectively Dead
The inventory of homes and condominiums listed for sale rose for the ninth consecutive month during February as sales fell and prices backed off of recent highs, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.
SCV Housing Inventory Up as Home Sales Slow, Prices Moderate
In the wake of a catastrophic wildfire that ripped through a foothill community during what’s normally the beginning of California’s rainy season, state Senate leader Toni Atkins wanted to be the first lawmaker to act.
California Bill to Keep Environmental Rules Clears First Hurdle
U.S. Rep Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) continues her work on behalf of local veterans and military families through legislation and local events, while the White House threatens military funding cuts in California.
Hill Works on Behalf of Veterans, Military Families
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California collected more than $317 million in criminal, civil and forfeiture actions in Fiscal Year 2018, U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna announced Tuesday.
US Attorney’s Office in LA Collects $317M in Civil, Criminal Actions in 2018
2012 - County supervisors approve 50-year operating agreement for Placerita Canyon State Park [read]
Placerita Canyon
The Lancaster JetHawks announced Monday that they will become “El Viento de Lancaster” for ten Friday night games throughout the 2019 season, as they celebrate local Hispanic and Latin culture in the Antelope Valley.
JetHawks to Celebrate Hispanic, Latin Cultures with ‘El Viento de Lancaster’
The Valencia High School Concert Band was selected to perform at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City on Sunday, March 17.
Vikings Concert Band Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall
The Southern California Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) is honoring Lundgren Management with a Project Achievement Award for its excellent work on the Santa Barbara City College New West Campus Center.
Local Construction Firm Lauded for Santa Barbara City College Project
Dust off your boots, and dance the night away at the city of Santa Clarita’s Line Dance Night, to be held at the Canyon Country Community Center on Saturday, April 6, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
April 6: Santa Clarita Line Dance Night at Canyon Country Community Center
On Friday, Golden Valley High School’s competitive show choir team, Voltage, dominated the intermediate mixed division at the Los Alamitos 2019 Xtravaganza.
Golden Valley’s Choir Dominates Los Alamitos 2019 Xtravaganza
West Ranch High School’s Instrumental Music Program is excited to announce their inaugural Golf Tournament fundraiser to be held on Monday, April 22, at The Oaks Club at Valencia.
April 22: West Ranch Instrumental Music Program’s Golf Fundraiser
A quarantine has been placed on the barnyard at William S. Hart Park in Newhall and birds at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center, due to the threat of Virulent Newcastle Disease.
Hart Park’s Barnyard, Placerita Nature Center Birds Under Quarantine
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station is honoring a fallen deputy. Forty-one years ago, SCV Sheriff's Deputy Arthur Pelino was shot and killed by a mentally deranged suspect.
SCV Sheriff’s Honoring Fallen Deputy Arthur Pelino
When Lisa Capella stumbled upon thousands of educational books in a school building that was waiting to be demolished, she knew something had to be done.
Nearly 2,000 Educational Books Waiting to be Donated In Bulk
Los Angeles County residents have been receiving phone calls from alleged Los Angeles County Sheriff’s personnel.
Residents Warned of Jury Duty Scam
Mary Jane Hartman, who has been volunteering with the SCV Senior Center since 1994, received the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award on Saturday from Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Zonta Club Celebrates Women in Service
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Katie Hill, (D-Agua Dulce) announced Tuesday that CA-25 will be participating in the Congressional Art Competition, an annual nationwide competition for high schoolers sponsored by the members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
SCV High School Students Urged to Take Part in Congressional Art Competition
In a small library, deep in the basement of the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, Assessor Jeffrey Prang discovered 20 historic journals that will now become part of the collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM).
Discovery of Historic Journals Offers Glimpse into LA County’s Past
1875, 1:35PM - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez hanged in San Jose [story]
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The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce's next Business After Hours mixer is set for L.A. Film Locations in Newhall on Wednesday, March 20, from 5:50 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
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The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of William S. Hart Union High School District will take place Wednesday, March 20, at 7 p.m.
March 20: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
Friday afternoon on a sunny, windy day in Placerita Canyon, the Mustangs rode Robert Winslow's strong right arm to an 11-1 victory over Hope International in the second game of a double-header. The Royals won the opener 7-3.
Winslow Pitches Mustangs to Split with Hope Int’l
March is recognized as Poison Prevention Awareness Month and National Poison Prevention Week is globally observed in the third week of March.
March 18-24: National Pet Poison Prevention Week
Homes 4 Families hosted its third Celebs4Vets Build at the Veteran Enriched Neighborhood off Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita on Saturday.
Celebrities Help Build Homes for Veterans in SCV with Homes 4 Families
Southern California Gas Co. announced Monday that it achieved the highest level of spend with diverse business enterprises in the history of the company, spending more than $673 million dollars with 583 diverse suppliers last year.
SoCalGas Records More Spending with Diverse Suppliers Than Ever
An eight-member jury on Friday found Apple infringed three of Qualcomm’s patents used in iPhones, awarding the San Diego-based company over $31 million in damages in the first U.S. jury trial of a global intellectual property dispute between the two technology giants.
Qualcomm Awarded $31M in Patent Spat With Apple
Rep. Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) has sent a letter to the Interior Board of Land Appeals requesting that immediate action be taken to resolve the dispute between the city of Santa Clarita and Cemex USA.
Hill Picks Up Fight to Stop Cemex Mega-Mine in Soledad Canyon
In a room filled with at least 75 young speechmakers, Santa Clarita students celebrated their city’s first ever World Speech Day on Saturday.
Orators, Speechwriters Gather for First SCV World Speech Day Event
The California Central Coast Area Team of AFS Intercultural Programs is pleased to announce that Justine Tuncan, a Valencia High School junior, has become the team’s newest registered volunteer.
Valencia Junior Joins AFS Intercultural Programs as Registered Volunteer
Positioned in front of a backdrop sprinkled with NAIA logos, and wearing a lapel mic, Stephanie Soares tried to explain the Mustangs' staple defense.
Women’s Hoops: TMU Advances to NAIA Quarterfinals for Second Time
Feature films, reality TV shows and commercials among the productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka "Hollywood North" the week of March 18-24, 2019.
‘Bless This Mess,’ ‘Murder for Hire,’ ‘Good Trouble’ Now Shooting in SCV
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, March 19, starting at 9:30 a.m.
March 19: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
In celebration of its 15 years of educating the students and community of Santa Clarita, Golden Valley High School held a quinceanera celebration Saturday.
Golden Valley High School Celebrates Quinceanera