Archive for the ‘Victims’ Category

Michigan Middle School Students Overdose at School

December 16, 2010

prescription medication hospital prescription drugs counseling medicine cabinets dangers Cleared2Drive system Good2Go impaired driving driven impaired accident

Two students from Derby Middle School in affluent Birmingham Michigan are OK after experiencing a bad reaction to some prescription drugs they took during the school day. The drugs were not prescribed to the students and “it wasn’t an accident,” according to Corporal Ron Halcrow, school liaison officer for Birmingham Public Schools and the Birmingham Police Department.

Halcrow said the Dec. 1 incident wasn’t considered an overdose, but a “medical reaction.” – oh really!  Is that now the politically correct term for overdosing on drugs that aren’t even yours? I would venture to say that he wouldn’t be claiming a “medical reaction” had the children died! He said the incident occurred during the lunch hour at Derby, when the two students were found by teachers to be very drowsy. After school officials investigated, they learned the children had taken an undisclosed amount of prescription medication one of them had brought from home.

Halcrow couldn’t say what the medication was or how much was taken, but both students were taken to the hospital as a precaution. The students were turned over to their parents and no police reports were filed, Halcrow said. Because prescription drugs were involved, though, Halcrow said he’ll be hosting counseling sessions with the students and their parents about the dangers of prescription medication.

Derby Principal Debbie Hubbell sent a letter to school parents Friday, warning about the dangers of giving students access to prescription medication. “By using these medications for purposes other than they are intended to help, students are putting their health at risk. We do know this has become an issue in many communities and we want parents to be aware of the implications,” the letter said.

Hubbell asked parents to consider what’s in their medicine cabinets and whether their children have access to it. “This would be a perfect time to talk with your child about the dangers of medications and possible side effects,” Hubbell said in the letter.

This would also be a good time for parents to start thinking about what could have happened if they had  just been a couple years older.  Had these students been just a couple of years older and went undetected, without a Cleared2Drive system installed in their vehicles that detects impairment from drugs or alcohol, they could have driven impaired and harmed themselves or others.  You can’t wait till an accident happens to protect your child.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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Survey Again Raises Alarm About Teen Drug Use

November 26, 2010

Cleared2Drive 2009 PRIDE Survey Monitoring the Future survey 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), released March 2 by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) and MetLife Foundation teenagers substance abuse illicit drugs parents teenage drivers illegal drugs underage drivers drunk driving impaired driving teen drug use

 

Cleared2Drive wants once again to report the findings of another new report this one showing that more kids say they are using alcohol and other drugs, but many parents are unable or unwilling to deal with the issue — a bad combination when declining support for prevention and cultural apathy about the issue leave parents as the last and sometimes only line of defense against adolescent drug use.

The 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), released March 2 by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) and MetLife Foundation, reported rather dramatic year-over-year spikes in past-month alcohol use (up 11 percent) and past-year use of marijuana (up 19 percent) and ecstasy (up 67 percent) among U.S. students in grades 9-12.

PDFA chairman and CEO Steve Pasierb noted that all three are “social drugs,” and the survey of more than 3,200 students, conducted by Roper Public Affairs, found “a growing belief in the benefits and acceptability of drug use and drinking.” For example, the percentage of teens agreeing that “being high feels good” increased from 45 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2009, and those who said “friends usually get high at parties” increased from 69 percent to 75 percent. Thirty percent of students surveyed strongly agreed that they “don’t want to hang around drug users,” down from 35 percent in 2008.

“The resurgence in teen drug and alcohol use comes at a time when pro-drug cues in popular culture – in film, television and online – abound, and when funding for federal prevention programs has been declining for several years,” according to a PDFA press release on the survey.

The reported spike in alcohol and other drug use and attitudinal shifts are startling enough to warrant skepticism about the validity of the findings. However, Pasierb notes that the PATS survey has been conducted using the same methodology for the past 21 years. The most recent Monitoring the Future survey, released in December, also found that use of illicit drugs has leveled off or increased after years of steady declines, and that youth attitudes about drug use appear to be softening. The 2009 PRIDE Survey of 6th- to 9th-graders reported small increases in current drug use, as well.

The PATS survey found that kids are almost as likely to get information on drugs from the Internet and websites like Youtube as from their parents, school, or media ads. “The preponderance of information that kids get online about drugs is pro-use, and to teens it’s more credible,” Pasierb told Join Together.

Perhaps the most surprising survey result is the reported increase in use of ecstasy — a drug that, unlike alcohol and marijuana, has seemed to largely disappear from public consciousness since the mid-2000s. If the survey results are to be believed, more teens are now using ecstasy on a monthly (6 percent) or annual (10 percent) basis than at any point since 2004, and reported lifetime use is higher than ever reported since 1998.

Pasierb said that federal data shows that availability of ecstasy has not declined since 2001-02, and that prices for the drug have fallen. “There was just more news coverage then,” he said.

“I don’t buy the argument that drug use is cyclical,” said Pasierb. “I think it’s generational, and based on what we talk to our kids about.” Drug-use trends among youth are “very malleable,” he added, and what is considered cool or popular can change rapidly from the time a kid enters high school to when they graduate.

Parents Waging a Lonely Battle — Or Not

About 20 percent of the parents surveyed by PATS believed that their children had gone beyond the experimental phase in use of alcohol or other drugs. However, almost half of these parents either did not take any action (25 percent) or waited for between a month and a year to address the perceived problem (22 percent).

Parents of children engaging in non-experimental drug use were less confident in their ability to influence their kids’ drug-use decisions, according to the survey, and were more likely to believe that all teens will experiment with drugs and that occasional use of alcohol or marijuana is tolerable.

“Parents with drug-using kids have never been served by our field,” said Pasierb. “They’re the outliers, and they should be the focus.” PDFA has developed a program called Time to Act that is designed to improve parental knowledge about teen alcohol and other drug use, set rules and boundaries, intervene when necessary, and seek outside help when needed.

“Government prevention programs have all been defunded, and society is not on our side. It’s all on the parents now,” said Pasierb. “Parents are convinced that their kids are getting all this (drug prevention) in school, and it’s just not true. The doctor, school, or football coach is not going to step in.”

One of the things we at Cleared2Drive typically hear the parents that call us say, “We can’t be with them all the time.  I think they are using something but really don’t know.  I just don’t want my kid hurt.”  Which is exactly why we created the Cleared2Drive System.

“Drunkorexia” A Growing Trend Among College Students

November 12, 2010

Cleared2Drive Drug, Alcohol & Tobacco Education Office at the University of Northern Colorado Communication Director at Colorado State University Drunkorexia consuming alcohol binge drinking National Eating Disorders AssociationThe staff here at Cleared2Drive thought we had heard it all but have to admit were left shaking our heads, just like you I am assuming, when we heard the term, “Drunkorexia”?  While it is not considered to be the appropriate medical term, it is the most easily understood term for the practice of swapping food calories for those in alcohol especially among female college students.

Campus counselors are hearing the term in the context of alcohol education and eating disorders. “It’s a sensationalized term, but it’s a tangible idea for students,” acknowledges Emily Hedstrom-Lieser of the Drug, Alcohol & Tobacco Education Office at the University of Northern Colorado.

Pam McCracken, Communication Director at Colorado State University, reports, “They will think, `I’m drinking, therefore I don’t want to eat so much, so I’m going to have a mixed green salad and a Diet Coke. I say, `Look, the day that you’re consuming alcohol is not the day to cut back on your calories.’ ”

A study published in the July 2009 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders found a connection between binge drinking (four or more drinks in one sitting) and eating disorders. The authors suggest that there is a “crucial need for early interventions targeting binge drinking among college-age women regardless of their current drinking status.”

Campus health educators see a spectrum of disordered eating and drinking, from dieting and overexercising in order to party on the weekends, to medically definable conditions ( anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder).

Drinking can be a way to alleviate social anxiety. So much of her work deals with helping patients to manage anxiety and connect with their peers, “learning healthier ways of connecting with people that don’t come with significant costs. Many students want to make healthy choices when it comes to alcohol.”

A new survey by the National Eating Disorders Association shows a change in the public perception of eating disorders: 82 percent of respondents believe that eating disorders are a physical or mental illness and should be treated as such, said the association in a recent news release.

Nearly 10 million women and 1 million men have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, says the association. Millions more struggle with binge-eating disorder. Forty percent of new cases of anorexia are girls 15 to 19 years old, and the incidence of bulimia in females ages 10 to 39 tripled between 1988 and 1993. But just 6 percent of people with bulimia get mental-health care, according to the association’s research.

For 25 years, Dr. Kenneth L. Weiner has treated people with eating disorders, and has seen the gradual change in public opinion. “The term `drunkorexia’ is not my favorite, but as it brings awareness to the problem, it’s probably fine,” says Weiner, medical director at Eating Recovery Center in Denver. “Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness. It’s an incredibly serious disorder. When you’re starving yourself, your brain is really starved. You’ve had the experience of drinking on an empty stomach? These folks are drinking on an empty body.”

Bravo to Central Washington University!

November 10, 2010

Cleared2Drive Central Washington UniversityCentral Washington University Bans Alcohol Energy Drinks from Campus

The nine Central Washington University students who were hospitalized last month after an off-campus party had been drinking the caffeinated malt liquor “Four Loko”. According to a press release  from the University, the blood alcohol levels of hospitalized students ranged from .123 to .35. The University has now banned alcohol energy drinks from their campus.

Let’s hope that more universities and colleges follow suit!

College Students Who Use Energy Drinks More Than Twice as Likely to Initiate Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants and Analgesics in Subsequent Year

November 8, 2010

Cleared2Drive college student studyingMore than one-third (36.5%) of third-year college students reported that they consumed energy drinks in 2006, according to data from the College Life Study, an ongoing longitudinal study of a cohort of college students recruited from one large, public, mid-Atlantic university.

Energy drink use was significantly related to higher levels of past and concurrent alcohol and drug use (data not shown). In addition, energy drink users were significantly more likely to subsequently initiate the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and analgesics.

Nearly one-fifth (18.8%) of energy drink users who reported no prescription stimulant use in their second year of college subsequently started using prescription stimulants nonmedically the following year, compared to only 8.2% of energy drink nonusers. Similar results were found for the initiation of the nonmedical use of prescription analgesics (8.5% vs. 4.0%). Additionally, energy drink use predicted subsequent nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and analgesics, even after controlling for demographics, sensation seeking, caffeine consumption, and prior use of the drug of interest. However, no such association was found for subsequent use of other drugs (i.e., tobacco, marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, ecstasy, or prescription tranquilizers).

According to the authors, “one possible explanation is that energy drinks, like prescription drugs, might be regarded by some students as safer, more normative, or more socially acceptable than using illicit ‘street’ drugs…” (p. 79).  Lets hope that “explanation” gets rejected quick, fast and in a hurry!

Is Anyone Surprised?

November 5, 2010

Is anyone surprised by the new research that found that adolescents who abused marijuana and alcohol scored lower on a battery of intellectual aptitude tests than their drug-free peers, HealthDay News reported Oct. 19?

University of New Mexico (UNM) investigators asked 48 teens aged 12 to 18 to undergo a battery of tests to assess the effects of chronic substance abuse on their intellectual function. The tests measured a range of neuropsychological skills, including verbal reasoning, executive function, visuospatial ability, memory, and processing speed. Nineteen of the participants had a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence, 14 were abstinent but had a parent who abused alcohol, and 15 were abstinent controls with no family history of alcohol abuse.

The researchers found that teens reporting the highest substance use had lower test scores across the board. In particular, teens who abused alcohol scored substantially lower on the test measuring executive function, while teens who abused pot scored lower on measures of memory performance.

Interestingly, teens who were abstinent but had a parent who abused alcohol were also affected, scoring lower on the test for visuospatial ability.

This is one of the reasons the results should be interpreted with caution, noted Ramani Durvasula, PhD, associate professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles. According to Durvasula, the authors failed to take into account socioeconomic and educational factors that influence intellectual development or to assess for problems at home. “Kids who abuse drugs and alcohol are different from those who don’t,” she said. “Let’s face it, when kids are drinking 13 drinks a day (the study average), there’s not a lot of parental supervision going on.”

Robert Thoma, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at UNM and lead author of the study, agrees the results raise a “chicken and egg problem.”

“Which came first,” said Thoma. “The low executive function, which could lead to drinking more, or the heavy drinking, which leads to poor executive function?” Large longitudinal studies are needed to definitively answer to that question, he concluded.

The study was published online Oct. 19 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Another School Bus Driver Charged with Drunken Driving

November 4, 2010

Dinah Lynn Patterson McGlothlin drunk school bus driver

By my calculation,  63-year-old Knox County school bus driver, Dinah Lynn Patterson McGlothlin, charged Tuesday morning with drunken driving is the latest in a long string of school bus drivers charged with impaired driving already for this school year.  We have documented at least nine (9) incidents already and we are only in the third month of the school year!

Dinah Lynn Patterson McGlothlin was charged after a crash at a traffic light where a box truck was stopped, said Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

Officers charged McGlothlin with drunken driving and reckless driving. DeBusk said McGlothlin submitted to a field sobriety test and then was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for a blood test.

McGlothlin was driving bus 360 at the time of the 6:26 a.m. crash. She was en route to begin picking up preschool children for Cedar Bluff Elementary School. She also transports special education children for Hardin Valley Academy, DeBusk said.

Witnesses told police the bus, which has a capacity of about 20 students, had driven up on the curb of the road and nearly struck another vehicle at least twice before the impact.

The bus slammed into a food-delivery box truck stopped at the end of the ramp from Interstate 40 East to Cedar Bluff Road, authorities said. No one was injured in the crash, DeBusk said. Both vehicles were driven from the scene. The box truck was driven by Steven Hodges, 40, of Sevierville, DeBusk said. Hodges was driving for Five Star Foods in Alcoa.

DeBusk said there was no evidence of alcohol on the bus. “She had some items in her pockets, but we’re not sure if that’s what led to her condition,” he said.  DeBusk said it appears the driver was impaired by pills and alcohol.

Are you as scared for our kids as I am?

Not Again. . .

November 2, 2010

Yesterday, when I got into the office and opened my email box, I discovered that once again it was flooded with Google alerts containing stories about people who should know better about the dangers of impaired driving, getting arrested for doing just that, and quite frankly I am appalled by the number of incidents lately. These are all smart, educated people charged with either protecting or treating us.  If talking, education, and literally seeing firsthand the destruction impaired driving causes hasn’t stopped them, do we really believe that more talk and more education will work for the general public?

Okay, I know I have been on this soap box before, but I have never before documented what constantly makes me so sick to my stomach, so, for the next 30 days I am going to keep a record of all the incidents, write about some of the most outrageous ones, and report back here in 30 days on what I discovered.   Honestly, I am terrified that for the next 30 days I am going to be really sick to my stomach.

Just in case you want a preview . . .

. . .  Dr. Raymond Dwight Cook accused of driving drunk at a high rate of speed and causing a collision that killed an aspiring ballerina is scheduled to be in Wake County Superior Court today for his trial.

. . . A Morristown police officer,  Jesse Dickerson, was charged with drunken driving after his car rear-ended a tractor-trailer on in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 16.

. . . A week after his arrest for alleged drunken driving, 7th Circuit magistrate judge Mark Marshall’s calendar is being cleared of driving under the influence cases.

. . . A highly decorated United States Marine Col who risked his life thousands of times to protect the citizens of the United States, yet chose to risk the lives of  thousands by driving drunk and it cost him his career as he was removed from his post as Commander of Cherry High at Camp LeJune.

And for some more career busters . . .

. . . South Carolina’s House of Representative Candidate John Randolph Wolfe was arrested twice in less than 24 hours for drunk driving.

. . . The former Colorado State Patrol trooper arrested for being drunk while on duty in his patrol car says he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder following years on the state’s accident reconstruction team and his condition caused him to start drinking heavily.

Stay tuned.

$62.7 Million Settlement in Fatal Truck Accident

October 20, 2010

Hopefully this will serve as a serious wake up call for every company with a fleet of vehicles.  Yes, education is important, but it is only as good as the people hearing it want it to be; yes, a video showing exactly happened is important so we can learn from it; but let’s be completely honest about what is MOST important here . . . Preventing this type of situation from ever happening and Cleared2Drive is the only technology available that can do that!

A $62.7-million settlement was reached in a civil court suit brought by the relatives of eight victims of a horrendous crash in Oklahoma caused by Donald Creed a 76 year old driver for Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG).   In all, 10 persons were killed and five more injured by the accident.

Creed, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of negligent homicide, a misdemeanor in Oklahoma, in a plea deal, was sentenced to a year of probation on each count. He must serve 30 days in a county jail and wear an electronic monitoring device in his first year of probation. He is also barred from obtaining a commercial driver’s license.

AWG is a retailer-owned grocery cooperative based in Kansas City, KS, that serves 1,900 members. AWG’s attorney Jim Secrest said the company was facing an additional claim of independent negligence for allowing Creed on the road. The company was prepared to fight that claim, he said, adding that AWG had “state-of-the-art” equipment in the truck and that witnesses who had seen Creed throughout his shift would have testified that Creed appeared “normal” that day.

“To this moment, we know what happened, but we don’t know why,” Secrest said. “This guy [Creed] had five-million miles without one personal injury accident.” Secrest said that AWG’s fatigue management program was not as strong as it could have been. The company has improved the program since the accident, he said.  “It was not as intense as it should have been and I think AWG acknowledged that,” Secrest said.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the cause of the crash was the result of Creed’s fatigue due to acute sleep loss, mild sleep apnea and circadian disruption associated with his shift schedule.

Creed had just returned from a vacation and was still adjusting to the shift, which began shortly after 3 a.m., NTSB said. The Board said that Creed never reacted to the backup of traffic due to an earlier accident along Interstate 44 near Miami, OK. Creed drove his truck, traveling at 69 mph in a 75-mph zone, into the back of a stopped sport utility vehicle. The truck continued forward and hit three additional vehicles, pushing the third vehicle into the rear of a livestock trailer being towed by a pickup truck. That vehicle then collided with yet another vehicle.

The accident occurred at 1:19 p.m., roughly 10 hours after Creed had started his shift. NTSB said that Creed failed to apply brakes or take any evasive measures before the collision.

“This crash points out the need for three important actions by federal regulators that would go a long way to reducing this type of accident on our roadways: a fatigue management system would have helped the driver get the rest he needed to perform well behind the wheel, event recorders would have provided our investigators with the details about the crash once it occurred, and a collision warning system would have significantly reduced the likelihood that this accident could have ever happened,” said NTSB chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The time to act on all three of these safety fundamentals is now so that this kind of horrific tragedy will not occur again.”

NTSB also has called upon FMCSA to require all heavy commercial vehicles to be equipped with video event recorders, to improve its fatigue educational materials and to require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program.