Archive for September, 2011

Wyoming Holds Public Forum on Adolescent Drinking

As a means to address the growing problem of teenage drinking, the Wyoming Youth Services Bureau is encouraging the public to participate in the public forum to be held on October 10 at the Wyoming Middle School Fay Auditorium in 17 Wyoming Avenue.

teen drinkingThe Wyoming Youth Services Bureau is working hand-in-hand with the Wyoming Police Department, the Wyoming City Schools, and the Wyoming Parent School Association to continue their advocacy against teenage drinking.

In 2010, a teen died in the city due to drunk driving, and at least 30 minors are being charged for underage drinking after two parties held in the current year.

Kimberly Hauser, executive director of the Wyoming Youth Services Bureau says that city residents should take part in efforts that help keep kids from alcohol abuse which leads to fatal accidents and serious offenses against the law.

“We hope to create a lasting solution so that any child who grows up in Wyoming will have safe and alcohol-free social and recreational opportunities, supported by parents, schools, the city and all residents.”

The public forum aims to solicit suggestions and ideas as to how the city can better educate both parents and students about teen drinking, develop activities that will help focus kids on worthwhile activities, and how to help city officials in strictly implementing the law against adolescent drinking. Prescription drug abuse will also be one of the highlights of the discussions.

Police Chief Gary Badauf is calling upon the whole community to do their share in keeping kids safe. “This seminar is an opportunity for parents, school officials, police officers and others to come and be a part of the ongoing discussion about underage drinking issues,” he said, “and educating teens and parents about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse as well as the consequences, legal or otherwise.”

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Notorious Drug Lord’s Wife Delivers Twins at LA Hospital

The young wife of one of Mexico’s drug cartel leaders came to the US to deliver her twins at a Los Angeles facility.

Emma Coronel, the wife of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, gave birth to twins at the Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster last August 15. While LA County birth certificates of the twins show their mother’s name, the space for their father’s name was left “blank.”

Joaquin “El Chapo” GuzmanHer husband might be considered a fugitive but Coronel, who is just 22 years old, can travel freely in the United States as she is a US citizen; she was born with an American mother in California, and now her twins are also entitled to US citizenships.

The U.S federal agents have long kept an eye on Coronel even before she gave birth in Los Angeles. Up until she left the country after giving birth to return to Mexico, officials were not able to arrest her as there were no specific charges filed against her, despite the fact that she could have easily provided information as to the location of her wanted husband.

Coronel’s presence in Southern California and in Los Angeles where she gave birth did not attract too much attention. The Antelope Valley Hospital also declined to give any statement, as they could be held liable if they dishonor their code of privacy.

The twin girls were delivered last August 15 at the Lancaster hospital; the first girl came out at 3:50 pm followed by the second girl at 3:51 pm.

In the U.S., $5 million has been set as bounty for the head of Guzman. Intelligence reports have alleged that his cartel is now responsible for most of the cocaine and marijuana being trafficked from Mexico and Colombia into the United States.

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New York Teen Athletes Join Cause Against Substance Abuse

It may sound easy to others, but when a school athlete tries to share his views against drugs and substance abuse to his team, it can be one of the most challenging situations he’ll ever be in.

no to alcoholSuch is the case when Gabe Keding, a junior at the Onondaga Junior-Senior High School tried to get his teammates to sign a no-alcohol pact. Hefelt resistance from some members of the team just because he was doing his part in promoting a new substance abuse prevention program.

The program dubbed as Honor the Code aims to educate and prevent alcohol and substance abuse among the youth, targeting student athlete leaders. Four schools have already taken part in the program, namely the LaFayette, Marcellus, Onondaga, and Skaneateles who all sent two athlete leaders from their institutions who will help promote Honor the Code program.

The program was started by a non-profit organization, Prevention Network, focused on educating students on drugs and substance use and addiction. They are hoping that the student athlete leaders will be able to get as many students to sign and abide by the athletic code in their schools, which is mainly about not using drugs and alcohol especially among those involved in sports activities.

Prevention Network coordinator for Underage Drinking Prevention Philip Rose says the program has been well received by both athlete and non-athlete students, parents, and school officials over the past year.

“The culture of young people is to say, ‘This is just what we do.’ It’s accepted, like smoking used to be,” he said. “We want these athletes to want to honor their bodies and their brains, and not hurt their competitive edge.”

Rose has been one of the many volunteers who have been giving talks about alcohol and substance abuse to students at schools he visits. At the end of each school year, parents and students will be surveyed to see if the program made any impact in the community.

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Children’s DUI Risks Increase When Parents Drink at Home

A new research claims that teens that live with parents who drink at home, even with just the occasional red wine, can be more susceptible to drink and drive when they reach adulthood.

underage drinkingResearcher Mildred Maldonado-Molina from the University of Florida’s College of Medicine says that parents should be aware that their drinking behaviors, no matter how simple they may be, can very well have a negative influence on their kids.

The study showed that at least 6% of teens who get to see their parents drink at home get involved in reported cases of driving under the influence or DUI when they turn 21, while only 2% of those whose parents don’t drink at all get into the same situation.

The researchers also looked into the influence of peers on a child’s behavior towards drinking. The peer factor becomes significant for kids whose parents don’t drink at all. Peer pressure increases the risk for DUI on kids with non-drinking parents. Yet peer factor had little impact to those whose parents are drinkers, even occasional ones, in committing the mistake against the law.

The study is published in the latest issue of the Accident Analysis and Prevention journal. The proponents of the research further explained that having both parents and friends who drink can dramatically increase the risks of minors for DUI offenses when they reach their 20’s.

Maldonado-Molina tells parents “It’s important for parents to know that their behavior has an effect not only at that developmental age when their kids are adolescents, but also on their future behavior as young adults.”

Findings from the study suggest that parents should educate their kids as early as 15 years old about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. They should also check themselves with regards to their drinking manners as they can very much influence their children’s habits and decisions later on in life.

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Recreational Use of Incense More Dangerous Than Marijuana

Parents nowadays have an additional source of concern, as an increasing number of teenagers are turning to incense products that contain harmful synthetic chemicals. In addition to the dangers that they pose, these products are more readily accessible to teenagers: these are being conveniently sold at gas stations and convenience stores.

herbal incenseComplicating things further is the fact that most traditional drug tests are unable to detect these substances. A community forum conducted on Wednesday in Howell, Michigan, reveal the disheartening fact that a number of parents have watched their children suffer from debilitating and life-threatening health conditions brought about by using these products, which have been labeled as “not for human consumption.”

Stephanie VanDerKooi, health educator for the Ottawa County Health Department, shared: “This is going to consistently become a problem. We’re always a step behind.”

The community forum was led by Ms. VanDerKooi, and featured a panel consisting of local health, law enforcement, and courts officials. A video that showed personal accounts of teenage use of synthetic marijuana products, outside of Ottawa County, was shown. In addition to the personal accounts, the video also showed the physical ailments associated with using these incense-type products, as well as the products that are currently being sold legally in stores and online.

Substance abuse experts have declared that synthetic marijuana products, which are being marketed as incense, prove to be more dangerous than pot itself, when smoked.

In addition to synthetic marijuana products, the forum also touched on prescription drug abuse among teenagers.

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Propofol: Highlight in Manslaughter Trial of Michael Jackson’s Doctor

After hectic days of rehearsals in preparation for his marathon 50-night comeback tour, Michael Jackson turned to propofol to help him get much needed sleep. On June 25, 2009, he has his last dose.

Michael Jackson and Dr. Conrad Murray

The real reason why Michael Jackson died is still the center of discussions at the Superior Court in Los Angeles. His personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray, who managed his medications, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

The prosecution has questioned how Dr. Murray could administer a powerful drug such as propofol to the singer without stand-by lifesaving equipment. To make things worse, he left his patient in the room. When he returned, he found Jackson not breathing.

His defense team argues that the singer could have used the time when the doctor left to take more propofol as he was determined to go to sleep.

Dr. Gil Tepper from the Miracle Mile Medical Center in Los Angeles says propofol is used for short medical procedures such as colonoscopy or cataract surgery, but it certainly isn’t used to put patients, who are not scheduled for surgery, to sleep.

He added that if a doctor should use propofol on his patient, he would have to have have heart and blood oxygenation monitors as well as surgical equipment to do intubation in case the patient would stop breathing. Unfortunately, witnesses have claimed that no such equipment were with Dr. Murray at that time.

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