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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 08, 2016
A booming business in Colorado is connecting military veterans with jobs protecting legal marijuana businesses, Julie Turkewitz reports for The New York Times. More than 200 young veterans have taken jobs as security for Colorado's cannabis industry—legal in the state since 2014, but not under federal law.
"They spend their days and nights in urban marijuana shops and suburban warehouses and on rural farms, warding off the burglars who have become hallmarks of this cash-heavy, high-value business."
"For some, a cannabis security job is a way station toward the police department or law school," Turkewitz writes. "For others, though, it is a vocation with purpose, a union of two outsider groups leaning on each other in a nation uncertain about how to accept them."
The cannabis handles lots of cash "because the federal government considers marijuana illegal" and many banks won’t work with producers and buyers, Turkewitz writes. With 978 marijuana-shop licenses and 1,393 growing licenses in Colorado. that's a lot of untraceable cash floating around. Making all that cash more enticing to criminals is that "a pound of marijuana worth $2,000 in Colorado can be sold for $4,000 or $6,000 across state lines."
Another problem is that some businesses fail to report break-ins, for fear that it will make them easy targets for criminals and attract the attention of inspectors looking for violations, Turkewitz writes. While pay the isn't the draw—jobs typically starts at $12 an hour, with an average yearly salary of $38,000—it's the camaraderie, the feeling that the former soldiers are back working in a unit to offer protection. Veteran Chris Bowyer told Turkewitz, "This is my therapy. This is what we did in the military.” (Read more)
Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 9/08/2016 12:01:00 PM
With a baby on the way, it’s twice as important to get the support you need to quit smoking.
The Kentucky Tobacco Quit Line is a FREE phone counseling service, and has specially-trained female coaches to help expectant moms to become non-smokers. This program offers at least 5 calls during pregnancy and at least 4 calls after the baby arrives. Text messaging is also an available option. The FREE program is available in either English or Spanish during normal operating hours of 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. (EDT) at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).
To be eligible, one must be a resident of Kentucky and currently pregnant. (If you are postpartum, you can enroll in the regular program and receive standard services.) The program is open to those 15 years of age or older with no parental consent required.
As an added bonus, the Kentucky Quit Line will provide cash incentives for pregnant participants. Call today for to enroll or to receive more information. The number again is 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).
(From Lawrence Co. Health Dept. director Debbie Miller)
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sep. 1, 2016) – Kentucky’s top health officials are warning state medical providers and community leaders of a pending public health crisis involving dangerous drugs.
Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Hiram Polk said officials wanted to issue the warning before the holiday weekend, when they expect a rise in recreational drug use.
“Recent law enforcement reports cite a new supply of heroin laced with the drug Fentanyl coming into the state – especially Louisville,” said Dr. Polk. “These drugs are much more toxic and can cause respiratory failure and death.
Over the coming days, DPH is asking hospitals and facilities to prepare for increases in drug overdoses so that individuals can be properly treated, deaths prevented and we are better informed about the prevalence and nature of these occurrences.
Hospitals are being asked to:
Expand emergency room (ER) and intensive care unit (ICU) staff appropriately
Have pharmacies stock up on Naloxone immediately, ideally by noon Friday
Have special counselor’s available to assist patients who may need long term drug treatment
“There is a public health crisis brewing – much like a tornado forming – with a new supply of heroin and other drugs coming into this area,” continued Dr. Polk. “This is a serious public health threat tied to a number of overdoses, hospitalizations and deaths across the county and needs public attention now.”
Dr. Polk said based on what they have learned from law enforcement about the drug influx this week, he and his staff are worried that local emergency rooms will be overrun this weekend. And he is warning hospitals that they need to be ready to stand up and have the ability to expand their emergency room staffing.
Secondly, he said, they need to stock up on Naloxone, the “antidote” to heroin and other drug overdoses.
“It can take as much as three times the amount of Naloxone to reverse a given overdose with these mixed drugs as it would normally,” he said.
Hospitals should also be ready to offer resources like consultations with social workers and behavioral health staff and referrals to treatment and other providers.
The state DPH also has several hotlines and resources in place to assist local providers. Assistance is available by calling the Department for Public Health at 1-888-9REPORT (973-7678) or Kentucky Emergency Management System at (502) 607-1638 or toll free (800) 255-2587.
“Many of these services are available 24 hours a day,” Dr. Polk said.
New inpatient rehabilitation center set to open in Pike
Those fighting the battle against substance abuse will have a new ally when Brookside inpatient rehabilitation facility opens in Pikeville.
Aaron Frye is a therapist at Brookside, which is located on Venters Lane. The clinic will open Sept. 1, and provide addiction treatment. Brookside is located in the same building as ASAP Consulting.
“Brookside will be a fully-functional residential treatment center,” Frye said. “We offer substance abuse and mental health counseling. If a person comes in with a substance abuse problem, and possibly has a diagnosis for depression or another mental health issue, I will see them for either of those, or both at the same time.”
Brookside will have room for 20 patients, 10 female and 10 male. The clinic hosts areas for outside activities, kitchen access and family visits, dorms and recreational areas.
One service that will be offered by Brookside is non-medical detox.
A non-medical detox, Frye said, is when a patient stops taking drugs such as pain killers or stimulants such as cocaine or meth.
“We will provide a place where patients can be monitored by a nurse, and have a private place, which is safer than coming off a substance on one’s own,” Frye said.
The clinic will have a medical staff that includes nurses and three doctors.
Frye said Brookside is a voluntary facility. Patients can come in and leave at any time. If they want to stay a week or six months, it’s their decision, he said.
Another service provided by Brookside will be a program to help patients stop taking Suboxone, a drug prescribed to help people with opioid addiction.
“What sets us apart from any other place I have heard of is that we are going to use part of our facility for a Suboxone step-down program,” Frye said. “Every person I have worked with that takes Suboxone says that they don’t want to be on it the rest of their life. So, we are giving them an opportunity to get off it. You are monitored as you are coming off it, you will be in a place without any kind of temptations. There will be individual and group therapy. It’s a better environment for someone to try to do that than doing it by themselves.”
Patients can walk in, or be referred to Brookside. Medicaid and private insurance is accepted. For more information, call (606) 437-0097.
By Julia Roberts