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Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs & Alcohol

No matter where you live or how much you try and avoid it, drugs and alcohol are all around us and sometimes just “Saying NO” isn’t enough.  With so many new drugs hitting the market, increased access, peer pressure and general curiosity, the potential for substance abuse has skyrocketed.   In this section you will learn avoidance techniques, dangers and risks attached to drug/alcohol use, resources if you or someone you know needs addiction support and more.

Drugs & Alcohol

Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them

Household Products: How Your Teen Might Be Abusing Them

Marijuana

Marijuana

Designer Drugs Do Not Discriminate in SCV

Designer Drugs Do Not Discriminate in SCV

Parents:  Are you too cool?

Parents: Are you too cool?

Heroin Kills: The High Is A Lie!

Heroin Kills: The High Is A Lie!

Free Webinar Slated to Help Parents Become More Drug Aware

Free Webinar Slated to Help Parents Become More Drug Aware

Teen Drug Use Number One Health Problem

Teen Drug Use Number One Health Problem

Power Talk21 Day

Power Talk21 Day

Alert:  Designer Drug Targeting Teens

Alert: Designer Drug Targeting Teens

Fake Bath Salts; The Newest Narcotic

Fake Bath Salts; The Newest Narcotic

  • Message from Captain Paul Becker, SCV Sheriff

    MESSAGE FROM THE CAPTAIN
    PAUL BECKER
    SANTA CLARITA VALLEY SHERIFF’S STATION

    NOVEMBER 2010

    Greetings,

    It’s been a few months since my last message and substantial changes in our policing strategy have been implemented. After a measured assessment of the state of the station and the community we serve, I have outlined key components of a law enforcement strategy that is critical to maintaining the quality of life and relatively low crime rate we enjoy here in Santa Clarita – even during these challenging times.

    I have identified several areas of concern that will require a great deal of our focus. Those areas are drugs, gangs, juvenile crime, property crimes, illegal secondhand dealers, troubled rental properties, traffic safety, and unlawful neighborhood parties. I will be seeking your continued input and involvement in every aspect of our new policing strategy, especially as it pertains to our youth.

    We must work to keep heroin and other drugs out of our community and away from our schools and youth. Working with you we intend to do everything possible to accomplish this. With more than 60 schools, 50,000 youth in our community, and a challenging economy, it won’t be an easy task.

    Our work has already begun! My staff and I have partnered with the city of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles to implement the Santa Clarita Valley Station’s Juvenile Intervention Team, or “J-Team.”  This program was launched under my direction in July. It consists of a sergeant, two deputy team members, a lead investigator, a data analyst investigator, and the direct involvement of our School Resource Deputies.

    This new team has implemented a comprehensive plan to address those crimes that are having the greatest impact on our community, and directly affecting our youth. An element of the program also includes a unique crime tip reporting and tracking system that will ensure continuity, anonymity and thoroughness for those who provide us with information they expect will result in immediate action being taken.

    Research has shown that many of the long time drug users and abusers start at an early age with simple drug experimentation and low level drug use, only to progress to more serious and highly addictive and dangerous substances such as heroin or methamphetamine. With that in mind the focus of the J-Team involves immediate notification to the team each time youth in our community are arrested for drug related crimes. J-Team members will follow up with intelligence gathering, immediate warrant service at the offending parties known location(s) in many cases and the tracking of the drug source to its supplier.

    Since its inception just three months ago, the J-Team has processed 90 crime tips, investigated and closed 50 cases, and is currently working another 40 active cases. They have made 62 arrests and served five search warrants, including one where they tracked a drug dealer to Los Angeles and recovered nearly 200 balloons of heroin earmarked for our community and its youth. The J-Team has consistently followed leads outside the community to stop major suppliers for the Santa Clarita Valley. They have also been very busy with operations locally, including a Castaic case where nearly 30 balloons of heroin and a handgun were recovered, and a Valencia case involving the seizure of more than 40 balloons of heroin. Each of these cases resulted in the arrest of major drug suppliers.

    With the help of patrol deputies, special assignment deputies, Narcotics Headquarters Bureau detectives, and the J-Team, the station has initiated the reporting of more than a thousand drug related incidents and arrests in the Santa Clarita Valley since January.
    We are currently seeking grant funding for another important component of the program that will include monitoring those teens who have been arrested, and providing them with sustainable intervention programs so they avoid relapse.

    Residential and vehicle burglaries and the pawning or resale of stolen property through secondhand dealers, as drug users seek to support their habit, is almost always a by-product of illicit drug use. The J-Team is also focusing on this anticipated repercussion through system database automation, pawn transaction tracking, and aggressive enforcement efforts. In fact, as I write this message, the team is preparing for a search warrant operation on an individual who has been flagged as repeatedly selling stolen property to a local secondhand dealer. As required by law, many local secondhand dealers are working in direct cooperation with our station to combat this problem.

    Three other programs in development are the Santa Clarita Valley Gang Strategic Plan, our Residential Traffic Enforcement Strategy and a partnership with the city of Santa Clarita in providing dedicated funding for a patrol car specifically assigned to address weekend noise and party complaints. The Sheriff’s Department and the city have partnered to put into operation an aggressive and comprehensive gang enforcement strategy. With this new strategy, gang enforcement deputies are better able to identify those individuals who are in the early stages of gang association and are intent on furthering their gang status. With this early identification and intervention, information provided to the District Attorney’s Office will aid them in bringing gang member enhancements to criminal charges and increase sentences. Through this strategy and community partnership programs, deputies hope to educate those heading toward a life in gangs to reconsider their future. Detectives will seek longer jail sentences for those who choose gangs in an effort to keep them off of our streets, out of our schools and away from our community.

    Nearly finished is a newly updated Emergency Operations Center at the station. With the help of our community partners, the SCV Sheriff’s Foundation and our Search and Rescue team, we were able to equip and update our command center with the latest technology to assist deputies in effectively managing substantial incidents, emergencies, or natural disasters in our community.

    Partnership in Crime Prevention – I want to thank each of you for your participation and support of local law enforcement. It is this true partnership in public safety that makes Santa Clarita such a great community.

    Remember, keep those crime tips coming. This can be done anonymously through the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers Web site at www.lacrimestoppers.org, by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or even via text by texting the letters TIPLA plus the crime tip to 274637 or CRIMES.

    You can now receive news, events, information and alerts directly from the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station. Get detailed, up-to-date emails and text messages specific to our community directly from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by registering for “Nixle” alerts at: www.nixle.com. Sign up for “LASD – Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.” The alerts and advisory text messages can also be received by simply texting SCVsheriff to 888777. (Standard text messaging rates may apply).

    Best regards,

    Captain Paul Becker
    Chief of Police for the City of Santa Clarita

    If you prefer to provide information ANONYMOUSLY, you can call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the web site http://lacrimestoppers.org.

    Always verify the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s information and news releases by visiting our Web site at SCVSheriff, the city of Santa Clarita’s Web site at Santa-Clarita, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Web site at http://www.lasd.org/. Six other local news outlets are www.hometownstation.com/, http://www.the-signal.com/, www.scvtv.com/, www.scvtalk.com/, http://westranchbeacon.com/blog/ and www.santaclaritaguide.com/.

    Receive emails and text messages direct from the LASD:
    Get detailed, up-to-date emails and text messages specific to your community from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by registering for “Nixle” alerts at: https://local.nixle.com/register/. Register for LASD – Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. Or, for alerts and advisory text messages only, text SCVsheriff to 888777. (Standard text messaging rates may apply).

    For full details, go to https://local.nixle.com/alert/3901133/?sub_id=320208.

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  • Vicodin

    Among seniors in high school, Vicodin was the second drug with the most reported use, Marijuana being the first. Vicodin (AKA Vikes, Hydro, Lors, Norcs, and Watson-387, the imprint on the generic pill) is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, usually associated with cancer, surgery, or serious injury.

    When this narcotic is used for a long time, your body may get used to them so that larger amounts are needed to relieve pain.  This is called tolerance to the medicine. Also, when narcotics are used for a long time or in large doses, they may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence).  Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the medicine.

    What does it look like?

    Most common: white, scored, oblong tablets, imprinted with “Vicodin,” “Vicodin ES,” or “Vicodin HP,” depending on dose. Other forms include capsules and a liquid sold under such trade names as Hycodan®, Lorcet®, Lortab®, Tussionex®, and Tylox®.

    What side effects can this medication cause?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated.  If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Vicodin.

    Less Common:

    • Allergic reactions
    • Anxiety
    • Blood disorders
    • Constipation
    • Decreased mental and physical capability
    • Difficulty urinating
    • Drowsiness
    • Fear
    • Hearing loss
    • Itching
    • Mental clouding
    • Mood changes
    • Restlessness
    • Skin rash
    • Slowed breathing
    • Sluggishness

    More Common:

    • Dizziness
    • Light-headedness
    • Nausea
    • Sedation
    • Vomiting

    Symptoms of Overdose:

    • Blood disorders
    • Bluish tinge to skin
    • Cold and clammy skin
    • Extreme sleepiness progressing to a state of unresponsiveness or coma
    • General feeling of bodily discomfort
    • Heart problems
    • Heavy perspiration
    • Kidney problems
    • Limp muscles
    • Liver failure
    • Low blood pressure
    • Nausea
    • Slow heartbeat
    • Troubled or slowed breathing
    • Vomiting

    Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

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  • Soma

    Soma is the brand name for a drug called Carisoprodol.  This drug is also known as DAN’s, D’s, Dance, and DAN5513. It is a muscle relaxant and is used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries.

    What does it look like?
    Soma comes as a tablet to take by mouth.

    What side effects can this medication cause?

    • drowsiness
    • dizziness
    • clumsiness
    • headache
    • fast heart rate
    • upset stomach
    • vomiting
    • skin rash

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

    • difficulty breathing
    • fever
    • weakness
    • burning in the eyes

    Symptoms of Soma overdose may include:

    • breathing difficulty
    • coma
    • shock
    • stupor
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  • Ritalin

    Ritalin (AKA Kibles and bits, Pineapple), the trade name for methylphenidate, is a medication prescribed for children with an abnormally high level of activity or with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is also occasionally prescribed for treating narcolepsy.   It stimulates the central nervous system, with effects similar to but less potent than amphetamines and more potent than caffeine.   Ritalin has a notably calming effect on hyperactive children and a “focusing” effect on those with ADHD.

    When taken as prescribed, Ritalin is a valuable medicine. Further, research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that people with ADHD do not get addicted to their stimulant medications at treatment dosages. Because of its stimulant properties, however, in recent years there have been reports of its abuse by people for whom it is not a medication. These prescription tablets can create powerful stimulant effects and serious health risks when crushed and then snorted like cocaine, or injected like heroin.

    What does it look like?
    Ritalin is in pill or tablet form.

    What are its short-term effects?

    Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamines in the nature and duration of its effects. It is believed that it works by activating the brain stem arousal system and cortex.   Pharmacologically, it works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, and in that respect resembles the stimulant characteristics of cocaine. Short-term effects can include nervousness and insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, changes in heart rate and blood pressure (usually elevation of both, but occasionally depression), skin rashes and itching, abdominal pain, weight loss, and digestive problems, toxic psychosis, psychotic episodes, drug dependence syndrome, and severe depression upon withdrawal.

    What are its long-term effects?

    High doses of stimulants produce a predictable set of symptoms that include loss of appetite (may cause serious malnutrition), tremors and muscle twitching, fevers, convulsions, and headaches (may be severe), irregular heartbeat and respirations (may be profound and life threatening), anxiety, restlessness, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, and formicaton (sensation of bugs or worms crawling under the skin).

    Source: Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

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  • Percocet

    Percocet (AKA Percs), a narcotic analgesic, is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.   It contains two drugs–acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is used to reduce both pain and fever.

    What does it look like? Percocet is commonly found in tablet form.

    What side effects can this medication cause?

    Common Side Effects

    • Dizziness
    • Light-headedness
    • Nausea
    • Sedation
    • Vomiting

    Less Common Side Effects

    • Constipation
    • Depressed feelings
    • Exaggerated feeling of well-being
    • Itchy skin
    • Skin rash
    • Slowed breathing

    Symptoms of Overdose

    Symptoms of Percocet overdose may include:

    • Bluish skin, eyes or skin with yellow tone
    • Cold and clammy skin
    • Decreased or irregular breathing (ceasing in severe overdose)
    • Extreme sleepiness progressing to stupor or coma
    • Heart attack
    • Low blood pressure
    • Muscle weakness
    • Nausea
    • Slow heartbeat
    • Sweating
    • Vague bodily discomfort
    • Vomiting

    A severe overdose of Percocet can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately.

    Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

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  • Prozac

    Fluoxetine (Prozac, AKA Distas, Limes, Green & White, Pros, Greens, Zacs), an antidepressant (mood elevator), is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and some eating disorders.  Fluoxetine (Sarafem) is used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

    This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    What does it look like?

    Percocet is commonly found in tablet form.

    What side effects can this medication cause?

    Side effects from fluoxetine are common:

    • upset stomach
    • drowsiness
    • weakness or tiredness
    • excitement or anxiety
    • insomnia
    • nightmares
    • dry mouth
    • skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual
    • changes in appetite or weight

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

    • jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
    • slow or difficult speech
    • shuffling walk
    • persistent, fine tremor or inability to sit still
    • fever, chills, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • severe skin rash or hives
    • yellowing of the skin or eyes
    • irregular heartbeat

    Source: NIDA, U.S. National Library of Medicine

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  • Dex

    Dextromethorphan (AKA Dex, Skittles, Syrup, DXM, Robo, Tussin) is a legal, over-the-counter, semisynthetic narcotic available in many cough suppressants in the United States and most countries.  Any drug name with DM or Tuss in it contains the drug.

    What does it look like?

    DXM comes in many different forms. The most common are various over-the-counter cough suppressants (including Robitussin, Delsym, Pertussin, Drixoral, Vicks formula 44, and several generic brands). Each brand contains different quantities of dextromethorphan, generally in the 20-30 mg per capsule range.

    How is it used?

    Swallowed.

    What are its short-term effects?

    Symptoms of an overdose include flushing, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, seizures, confusion, high blood pressure (headache, redness of face, blurred vision), an irregular heartbeat, numbness of fingers or toes, hyperactivity, and hallucinations.

    Yes, teens are abusing over the counter drugs

    In 2008, 1.9 million youth (or 7.7 percent) age 12 to 17 abused prescription drugs, with 1.6 million (6.5 percent) abusing a prescription pain medication. That makes painkillers among the most commonly abused drugs by teens after tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. In fact, each day an average of 2,000 teenagers age 12 to 17 used a prescription drug without a doctor’s guidance for the first time.

    Click here for more information

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  • Nitrous Oxide

    Nitrous Oxide (AKA: Whippets, Laughing Gas, Nitrous, Hippy Crack, N2O) is a gas that is commonly used as an anesthetic and is commonly found in dental offices. It is classified as an inhalant. It was first created in 1772 by Joseph Priestly, an English Scientist. N2O is used in whipped cream as both a foaming agent and a bacterial fighter.

    What does it look like?Nitrous is most frequently used in the form of whipped cream chargers, small metal cartridges which are “cracked” either into a whipped cream canister or with a special cracker* into a balloon for inhalation..

    It is also found in large metal tanks (often sold at clubs by the dose).

    *A cracker is a device that is used to extract N2O from whippet cartridges. The device (often homemade) punctures the whippet and fills a balloon with N2O gas, which is then inhaled.

    What are the effects?

    • Slurred speech
    • Difficulty maintaining balance
    • Unconsciousness
    • Deficiency of vitamin B-12
    • Long term numbing sensations at nerve endings
    • Permanent loss of balance
    • Disorientation
    • Fixated vision
    • Throbbing or pulsating auditory hallucinations
    • Pulsating visual hallucinations
    • Increased pain threshold
    • Addiction
    • Death (Approximately 100 deaths each year are attributed to the illegal use of N2O)

    Because the intoxication, or “high,” lasts only a few minutes, abusers often try to make the feeling last longer by inhaling repeatedly over several hours.

    Yes, teens are using Nitrous Oxide.

    Inhalants are often among the first drugs that young adolescents use. In fact, they are one of the few classes of substances that are abused more by younger adolescents than older ones.  Inhalant abuse can become chronic and continue into adulthood.

    Data from national and state surveys suggest that inhalant abuse is most common among 7th- through 9th-graders. For example, in the Monitoring the Future Study, an annual NIDA-supported survey of the Nation’s secondary school students, 8th-graders regularly report the highest rate of current, past-year, and lifetime inhalant abuse compared to 10th- and 12th-graders. One of the problems is that, according to the 2009 survey, 42 percent of 8th-graders don’t consider the regular use of inhalants to be harmful, and 66 percent don’t think trying inhalants once or twice is risky. It means that young teens may not understand the risks of inhalant use as well as they should.

    Click here for more information

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  • LSD (Acid)

    LSD (AKA Acid, Doses, Hits, Bartman, Gelatin chips, Microdot, Sugar Cubs, Tabs, Trips, Boomers, Yellow Sunshines) is Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It is one of the most potent mood-altering chemicals.

    What does it look like?
    Acid can be found in tablets, capsules and sometimes in liquid form. It is odorless, colorless and has a mild bitter taste. It is usually taken orally. Acid is added to absorbent paper and is then divided into small, decorated squares that look like stamps. Each square represents one dose. Typically, each dose contains 20 to 80 micrograms of LSD. During the 60’s and 70’s, dosages ranged from 100 to 200 micrograms and higher.

    What are the immediate effects?

    The effects of LSD are unpredictable depending on the amount taken, the surroundings in which the drug is used, and on the user’s personality, mood and expectations. Usually the effects of the drug are felt 30 to 90 minutes after the drug is ingested.

    Physical effects include:

    • Visual and auditory hallucinations
    • Dilated pupils
    • Panic and extreme confusion
    • Higher body temperature
    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • Sweating
    • Loss of appetite
    • Sleeplessness
    • Dry mouth
    • Numbness
    • Weakness
    • Trembling
    • A bad trip

    What are the long-term effects?

    • Persistent Psychosis
    • Hallucinogen Perception Disorder (Flashbacks)

    Yes, teens are using LSD.

    In 2008, 802,000 Americans age 12 and older had abused LSD at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Web Site). The NIDA-funded 2008 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 1.3% of 8th graders, 1.8% of 10th graders, and 2.7% of 12th graders had abused LSD at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.

    Click here for more information

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  • GHB

    The long version: Gamma-hydroxbutyrate (AKA: Grievous Bodily Harm, G, Liquid X, Georgia Home Boy, Gamma-Oh, Fantasy, Scoop, Water, Everlear, Great Hormones at Bedtime, GBH, Soap, Easy Lay, Salty Water, G-Riffick, Cherry Meth, Organic Quaalude, Georgy Home Boy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Jib).

    What does it look like?

    GHB can be produced in a clear
    liquid, tablet, white powder and capsule form.

    What are the immediate effects?

    • Intoxication
    • Increased energy
    • Loss of coordination
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Slurred Speech
    • Blacking out
    • Giddiness
    • Desire to sleep
    • Confusion
    • Tremors
    • Respiratory Arrest
    • Unconsciousness
    • Hallucinations

    What are the long-term effects?

    Overdosing on GHB can occur quickly and can result in a coma or death (how’s that for long-term).

    Warning: GHB has been involved in poisonings, overdoses, “date rapes” and death.  Using GHB with alcohol only increases the likelihood of adverse effects.

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Confidentiality

The Youth Project prides itself on creating a safe, non-judgmental and confidential setting in which students speak freely and can be assured that the stories they share remain private. However, all students are informed that we are a mandated reporting agency, meaning: if we have reasonable suspicion that a child (under the age of 18) has been mistreated, we are required to file a report with the necessary agencies.

We will report when a student shares information on:
Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Harm to Themselves, Sexual Abuse, Neglect, Harm to Others

Confidentiality:
All sessions are confidential. However, we are a mandated reporting agency and if a student expresses a desire to harm himself or others or if there is reason to suspect child abuse or neglect, we are obligated to report to the appropriate agency. ALL STUDENTS are reminded of this before every session.***

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