Project GHB Newsletter Sept 2011


Hot NEW Item!!!

NEW POWER POINT PRESENTATION ON GHB ADDICTION —YOU NEED THIS!

Just finished!!!  A Power Point presentation entitled “INVISIBLE ADDICTION.”  It is a public awareness presentation regarding GHB addiction and the difficult and prolonged withdrawal syndrome involved.  So many addicts struggle to find informed medical detox help.  It’s a very troubling and frustrating situation since so few treatment centers or ERs know about GHB addiction. 

This presentation was initiated when a GHB addict said he wanted to tell his story to promote awareness but needed a place to start.  
This 50+ slide presentation covers some basic info about GHB, solid info about recognizing GHB addiction, how it starts and what is needed to escape from it.  This is perfect for any addict to present in a recovery group or for counselors, nurses or doctors or whomever to present to medical/counseling staff, substance abuse community groups, etc.  It does NOT go into detail about medical detox treatment (specific drugs, doses, etc.) as that would be inappropriate.  It is detailed enough however to get across the essence of what is needed, that GHB withdrawal involves 10-14 days (not the usual 3-5 days), and that there are two basic protocols that work with GHB.  

Protocol information and contact info for facilities or doctors experienced re GHB withdrawal are available from Project GHB.  For just $12 (postage included) you can use this in presentations OR you can donate it to a local facility and meanwhile help us spread the word.  We need your support!  Donations are tough to come by in these tight economic times, so this is a great way to help us AND do something good.  Just $12 will help us a lot.  Basic handout material is also on the CD.  Consider buying both “INVISIBLE ADDICTION” and our book, “G’d Up 24/7: The GHB Addiction Guide,” for just $33 more ($45 total), and donating the combo to a local medical library, treatment center, etc.   

Order Invisible Addiction

Order G'd Up 24/7

Order Both

 


Another $12 Good Thing:

POWER POINT CD ON DRUG-FACILITATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

We also have a new Power Point presentation that anyone can utilize to bring about community awareness regarding drug-facilitated sexual assault.  A number of drug rape victims/survivors have asked how they can go public and help warn others.  I put this together to give them something to work from, covering the basics about DFSA, prevention tips, what to do if it happens, etc.    There is a slide “I’d like to tell you a story” that can be used to tell the incident they have experienced or for any counselor, cop, nurse, doctor, etc., to use to tell about cases they’ve handled, or that slide can be skipped.  It’s just $12, postage included.  

The presentation has the same title and follows along the theme of our handout “I Just Can’t Remember…..” That handout and a few other things are included on the PP CD for use as handouts or background material.

You can pay via PayPal through our website or contact me (480-219-1180 or Trinka@projectghb.org) to pay directly with credit card, or mail a check to Project GHB, Ste 101 – PMB 434, 2753 E. Broadway, Mesa, AZ 85204.  Don’t forget---we have brochures, other Power Point CDs, mugs, T-shirts and polo shirts and books for sale through the website as well.


What $33 Can Do:

G’d Up 24/7:  The GHB Addiction Guide-- Help Spread The Word

GHB addicts continue to face a wall of lack of knowledge about GHB addiction and its severe withdrawal syndrome and a sad reluctance to even listen in all too many cases.  But we are making some headway!
In Canada a young lady addicted to GHB sought help at numerous facilities in her community.  None of them had a clue or were willing to listen or read our documents.  She ended up going to Vancouver to be with relatives and seek help there.  She approached Burnaby Hospital in the Vancouver area with our documents in hand; ironically they already had the info from us on their computer!!!  We had given the info to numerous GHB addicts in the area but had no idea where they had gone for treatment, as we often don’t hear further from them.  Fortunately someone had gone there and someone had listened!!!  
Sadly we recently learned that someone we tried to help last summer in the Midwest didn’t make it.  We have had a number of tragic suicides in the aftermath of GHB addiction.  The resulting depression can be overwhelming, especially without adequate medical supervision to manage depression and anxiety and the problem of restoring a good sleep pattern.  This is such a destructive drug.

We need to get more of the books out there.  We need your support to accomplish this!  You could buy a book and donate it to a treatment facility or medical library of your choice.  Or, donate $33 and we’ll get a copy out there.


ADDICTION REDEFINED BY RESEARCHERS

Researchers have recently redefined addiction as a chronic brain disease, saying it isn’t just about willpower (though willpower is needed!).  According to an article by Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press, “Addiction generally is described by its behavioral symptoms – the highs, the cravings, and the things people will do to achieve one and avoid the others.  The new definition doesn’t disagree with the standard guide for diagnosis based on those symptoms.”

“But two decades of neuroscience have uncovered how addiction hijacks different parts of the brain, to explain what prompts those behaviors and why they can be so hard to overcome.”  The American Society for Addiction Medicine’s new policy statement isn’t a new direction so much as a part of an effort to translate those findings to primary-care doctors and the general public.

This follows in the heels of a series of articles about how little training about addiction doctors in general get in medical school and about what is being done to change that.

Project GHB salutes that effort and hopes it builds momentum fast.  The biggest obstacle to GHB addicts getting help is the sheer lack of knowledge in the medical field about addiction in general but more importantly about GHB addiction specifically and the severe and prolonged withdrawal it causes.  Over and over again, worldwide, GHB addicts are being ignored, undertreated and even humiliated and ridiculed for saying they are addicted to GHB and need MEDICAL help to get off.  They are accused of being drug seekers, just begging for more drugs.  They are told they will just come in and “tough it out” for 3 or 4 days and be done with it.  They are totally wrong (days 4-6 of GHB withdrawal are often the most dangerous and severe) and can cause the addict to walk out, seeking help elsewhere, and ultimately giving up since they hear the same thing over and over and over. 

I’ve worked with so many addicts who have called dozens of treatment centers in their area with zero luck!  Some even tell them, “Well, if it’s all that bad, we wouldn’t want to do it.”  I was once even told that if it could be that bad, the facility didn’t “want to be bothered.”  It was the ONLY medical detox facility in that entire state at that time!!!

Several years ago SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration) issued a document about GHB addiction and withdrawal.  Ironically it was Project GHB’s efforts and the doctors we work with who sparked the interest, but Project GHB was never mentioned.  This is one of the numerous documents that SAMHSA produces and distributes at medical conferences.  But sadly the info has never gotten down to the field treatment level.  Doctors & counselors just don’t know about GHB addiction.  At those conference it is probably something that people don’t pick up (because who ever heard of that) or that simply end up in a drawer or trash can because it means nothing to them at the time.  
In March of 2011 Project GHB wrote a letter and provided documentation and data about the problem of finding true medical help for GHB addicts across this country.  We asked that they update and re-issue that document and work with us in some way to change this situation.  We finally got a response from SAMHSA that they will consider re-issuing their publication on GHB addiction.  Others wrote to them as well with personal stories.  

I sit here at my computer night after night or on the phone for hours, listening to addicts from here to the UK and around the globe begging for help.  It is a terrifying experience.  I follow their horror show of trying to find a medical facility or individual doctor willing to help them.  Time after time I hear the same stories of rejection.  As a last resort some end up walking into the ER with our literature in hand and literally go into withdrawal on site, praying that someone will get on board fast enough to get it right, read the materials, contact the experts and get it right.  For one man it was indeed a terrifying experience.  Only when he collapsed in the lobby and had to be resuscitated did they turn to his wife……….”Where’s that stuff he wanted us to read?”  He survived a more than rocky start, is clean a year later and helping others.     

 We fortunately have found a new resource in the UK.  I ran across an article by Dr. James Bell and an associate about recognition of GHB withdrawal syndrome in the UK, published in 2010.  I contacted him and was happy to know that he has a clinic in London, Marina House.   We have had so many, many GHB addiction help requests from the UK and their state-run facilities are as clueless as anywhere, though (much like SAMHSA here), their Minister of Health’s office proclaims they know all about it.  Once again, knowledge at the top isn’t worth “diddly” unless it gets down to the street level, where it counts.  Ironically a women in the US is at this moment fighting her battle to get free of the G Monster after losing her husband to it while in the UK, just two blocks from that clinic but unaware of it at the time.  


Don't toss your bath stuff!!


BATH SALTS” AREN’T A PROBLEM
—THE DRUG MEPHEDRONE IS!


The news media and politicians go on and on about the dangers of bath salts but that is causing confusion for some folks.  The chemicals that are causing hallucinations and deaths and other horrid experiences worldwide are NOT actual bath salts or bubble bath!  

These drugs (three specific chemicals) are the problem: Mephedrone, Methylone and
Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).  Mephedrone became an epidemic in the UK, sold mostly as plant food, and hit the US in the gut more recently, packaged as “bath salts.”  But no one really goes into a “head shop” or so-called convenience store to spend $20 or so on a little package of “bath salts” and then hop in the tub with them!  This is just a marketing ploy to evade the human consumption issue.  The packets may contain any or all of the three drugs or even other drugs.  No honesty or quality control involved here!  

The effects from ingesting these chemicals are potentially deadly and long-term use effects are unknown at this point.  Taking mephedrone can result in euphoria, general stimulation, enhanced music appreciation, improved mental function, elevated mood, decreased hostility, mild sexual stimulation.  Effects last 15-45 minutes but overall 2-3 hours.  Some stimulation may last up to 6-8 hours.   But it can also cause sweating (67 % of users report it), headaches (51%), palpitations (43%), nausea (27%), cold or blue fingers (15%), head rushes, inability to concentrate, inability to visually focus, memory problems, altered level of consciousness, erratic behavior, hallucinations & delusions.  Some report numbness, lack of tactile sensitivity, loss of appetite, insomnia, bruxism, elevated heart rate & blood pressue, chest pain, nasal drip w/blood, dizziness, tremors, dysphoria, depression (even suicide), paranoia, etc.

Recently a teenager from Iowa, visiting her grandmother in Illinois, was stabbed severely, requiring over 1,000 stitches.  She had been attacked during the night by her 30-year-old step-uncle after he had consumed a package of the infamous “bath salts.”  He stabbed her until the knife blade broke off in her back, threw the handle on the floor and went back for a bigger knife and continued stabbing her.  Her body and face are covered with scars as she tries to resume her life.  She is only 15.

On September 7 the Drug Enforcement Administration issues a temporary ban of the three synthetic chemicals of “bath salts.”  DEA has to do additional work to make the ban permanent.  Meanwhile each state must also deal with legislative actions to control these emerging drug problems.  There have been deaths in various countries and reportedly at least 15 suspected in the US, according to a Join Together article.  


Limited Time Offer!!!

DOES YOUR GYM HAVE THE NERVE TO POST THE PROJECT GHB POSTER???


If your gym or police or fire locker room, etc., has enough nerve to hang up our poster about the dangers of GHB, Project GHB will send you up to three free posters.  This is a limited time offer!!!      

They belong in the workout area but……….Many, many gyms don’t have the nerve to exhibit them because too many of their own employees and their clients use or sell GHB.  Thus they find it easier to ignore the dangers.  And, in some places where they have been posted, they have been torn down by GHB abusers.  That’s one way to find out if there’s a GHB abuse problem at a given location.  A major gym chain refused to post them saying that they are too depressing.  Too depressing?!?!?  Preventable death by drug overdose-- now THAT is depressing.  That same chain had actually lost an employee to GHB overdose at the hands of another former employee.   I even offered to work with the CEO and change the wording to something he would agree to if he’d put them in all his gyms, but he didn’t find it important.

The poster has a dramatic photo of a young athlete, head down on the table, with a bottle of GHB nearby.  The man in the photo was an athlete who proudly posed for the poster because he knew someone who had died from a GHB overdose.  

Poster wording: “You’re looking at the last five minutes of a bright future……………They told him at the gym it worked as a muscle enhancer and sleep aid.  Safe and natural, they said.  So he took GHB.  One time.  A little less than a capful.  In 15 minutes he slipped out of consciousness and into a coma.  Five minutes later, he drew his last breath.  And all he wanted was to sleep a little better…and look a little better.”

If you are interested, email Trinka@projectghb.org and tell me how many you want (up to three—or more if you want to buy them!) and where to send them.  



JUSTIN RYS ARRESTED

UNFORTUNATE NEWS-- FORMER MR. NEW ZEALAND HAS BEEN RE-ARRESTEDFormer Mr. New Zealand Justin Rys has been arrested again for possession of “Fantasy” (GHB analogue GBL).  Justin was arrested in the past for trafficking and was deeply addicted to GHB/GBL at the time.  He survived a “cold turkey” detox in jail initially and Project GHB helped him through the tough aftermath of detox (depression, anxiety, etc.) while he was out awaiting trial.  He spent a few years in prison and seemed to be doing well when he first got out but found it difficult to avoid relapse.    

According to The Dominion Post:  Former champion bodybuilder Justin Rys has been remanded in custody on two charges of importing fantasy.  Rys, 34, of Wellington, has not pleaded to the two charges, which arose after he was arrested at Wellington airport allegedly with 1.2 litres of gamma-butyrolactone - usually called Fantasy in NZ - in nail polish bottles. Rys is a former Mr New Zealand and Mr Oceania.


DISTURBING TREND AS RAVE PARTY DEATHS INCREASE


Now there has been a rave party death in Dallas.  Just before that it was in Phoenix.  There have been others of late in Los Angeles (where a 15 year old died during a 3-day event involves over 180,000 attendees!) and San Francisco.  These deaths have been from drugs like MDMA (known as Ecstasy), ketamine and nitrous oxide.  But public and private facilities just keep on signing those contracts.  In these tough economic times, they seem to find it hard to turn down income, even if it means signing off on the risk of deaths and the future mental health of American youth.  Fairgrounds, exhibition halls, convention centers are struggling financially and they think these massive parties are a great way to grab some income but not without a huge risk!  Raves are indeed drug fests and law enforcement can’t truly do proper enforcement so many agencies don’t even try, and just let the parties roll on.  
More on that in the next newsletter!!!