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Drug Addiction

December 6, 1988 | JOHN PEKKANEN
I went into an anesthesiology residency and began my love affair with Fentanyl, a narcotic-anesthetic that we use all the time. I saw how great it made patients feel. I tried it intravenously. With Fentanyl, if you use it once, you are hooked. It removed every trace of anxiety and tension I had felt. But I never became so high that I felt detached; I felt efficient and in control. My mistake was in thinking I would always feel this way. Getting Fentanyl was ridiculously easy.
April 18, 2014 | By Paige St. John
This post has been updated. See the note below for details. SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced pardons of 63 criminals on Friday, tying the clemency decisions to Good Friday. They follow 314 pardons released at Christmas and Easter since Brown resumed office in 2011. The list includes Clark Guest, who was 38 when convicted of stealing from his landlord in the 1990s to support a drug addiction. Guest now supervises drug addiction clinics for the San Luis Obispo courts, the very same program he went through as an offender and that he credits for saving his life then.
On his knees, his head aching, his body shaking, his stomach churning, Golden Richards, in a cold sweat, would hover in his bathroom over the toilet in desperate search. He had to do something. There were no more painkillers--no more Percodan pills--in the medicine cabinet or under the bed or in whatever hole he had chosen as the latest hiding place for his drugs. His demons demanded immediate satisfaction. He had consumed the last of his stash.
February 18, 2014 | By Elaine Woo
When Lewis Yablonsky was growing up in New Jersey in the 1930s, he was beaten by poor whites for being Jewish and by black gangs for being white. He committed petty thefts, ran crooked card games and carried a switchblade for protection. Some of his closest friends wound up behind bars. "I wasn't sure where I belonged," he told The Times years later. "But when my best friend went to prison for hijacking a fur truck … I realized I had to get on one side of the law or the other. " Yablonsky chose the straight path, using his rough-and-tumble youth as a springboard to a distinguished career: He became the "Sociologist With Street Smarts," as one headline described him, an authority on youth gangs, hippies and drug addicts whose personal experiences gave him insights other scholars lacked.
For seven years, Scott Stokes conducted his own reckless inquiries into the physiological effects of pot. "I woke up to get high, and I got high to go to bed," recalled the 19-year-old from El Toro, who broke his marijuana habit only after he was arrested two years ago for burglarizing a head shop. "If I didn't have it, I would . . . start sweating, and when I'd breathe deep I'd get into these weird breathing patterns. "People say that marijuana is not addictive, but it's extremely addictive."
March 28, 2013 | By Ingy Hassieb
CAIRO -- The Egyptian government says it is taking steps to battle drug addiction, especially among young people, which has escalated amid deepening social and economic problems since the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. The young are “more easily influenced,” said Amr Othman, the director of the organization for treatment of addiction and abuse. “They easily get into drugs and are sometimes pressed into drug trafficking.” A report by the National Council for Battling Addiction attributes increased substance abuse to the availability and affordability of street drugs, especially in “light of the security vacuum society is witnessing.” Officials said a lack of police presence has allowed dealers to push new drugs onto the market.
June 11, 2012 | By Morgan Little
This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details. Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the National Drug Control Policy, has announced a new focus on treating drug addiction as a disease, not a moral failing, and emphasizes removing the stigma placed on drug abusers. Speaking at the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs on Monday, Kerlikowske declared that “this country hasn't looked at recovery in a way that makes sense,” and that he intended to “use the bully pulpit of the White House in a way that brings it out into the open.” Previous federal drug policies were a three-legged stool, Kerlikowske said, with criminalization, prevention and treatment serving as the foundation for national policies.
March 1, 1990 | MICHAEL SCHRAGE
Pundits and politicos seldom miss an opportunity to decry "the drug epidemic" as a "plague" cruelly infecting the hearts and minds of today's youth. They talk tough about pushers and then ladle on the compassion for the victims of this "dread disease." But if drug addiction really is an illness, then we better start treating it like one.
October 4, 1988 | JOHN SPANO, Times Staff Writer
For these newborns, the first embrace of life includes the tight grip of the recent past. Many are extremely jittery. Most have difficulty eating and sleeping. Some, overcome by listlessness, don't cry at all. The only sound others make is an occasional eerie, high-pitched shriek. These are babies who were exposed to drugs while in their mothers' wombs. They are the youngest victims of America's drug epidemic.
December 4, 1997
Barbara Harris, the Orange County woman who paid two drug-abusing women $200 in exchange for their agreement to undergo sterilization, held a news conference Wednesday to introduce a third woman willing to make the same type of deal. Outside the El Monte Planned Parenthood Center, the 29-year-old drug user described herself as a homeless mother of two living in a van in La Puente. She said she has used speed, has been pregnant eight times and given birth to seven children.
January 27, 2014 | By Scott Glover
A Burbank pharmacy that dispensed painkillers and other narcotics to five young patients who later died of overdoses had its license revoked Monday after the state pharmacy board found that its employees failed to properly scrutinize prescriptions that contributed to patient deaths. The pharmacy, Jay Scott Drugs on Glenoaks Boulevard, catered to patients of doctors Bernard Bass and Massoud Bamdad, both of whom were later convicted of crimes in connection with their prescribing. Pharmacists are required by law to scrutinize prescriptions, size up customers and refuse to dispense a drug if they suspect a patient does not have a legitimate medical need for it. Many of Bass' patients were in their 20s and traveled more than 40 miles from their homes in Ventura County to see Bass in North Hollywood, and then another five miles to Jay Scott Drugs where they typically paid cash for a combination of prescription drugs favored by addicts.
January 21, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
That awkward moment when you're asked about rehab on live, national television? Yeah, that's what happened to Zac Efron on Tuesday.  The former Disney star hit the "Today" show with his costars Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller to promote their upcoming raunchy rom-com, "That Awkward Moment. " And host Savannah Guthrie somewhat appeased those who have been keeping up with Efron's escapades, specifically reports that he had been to rehab for a drug addiction. "I know last year was a little bit hard," Guthrie said.
October 31, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Another week, another batch of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom breakup-reconciliation rumors. The latest in the saga is that the reality TV star and her basketball star husband reunited at a Kanye West concert Monday at Staples Center -- the same place where Odom has played for both the L.A. Clippers and Lakers. Odom, 33, was notably absent from the latest headline-making family affair: sister-in-law Kim Kardashian's surprise wedding proposal from rapper West in San Francisco on Oct. 21. PHOTOS: Celebrity splits of 2013 But on Monday, Odom joined several Kardashian clan members -- Khloe, Kim, Kris Jenner, Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Bruce's kids, Brody and Brandon -- at the concert.
October 22, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Nothing feels worse, Micheal Williams said, than having gun-toting officers with battering rams bust down your door at 6 in the morning to arrest you in your underwear in front of your 7-year-old son. Standing behind glass in court with your arms and legs shackled as you await federal prosecution, he added, isn't great, either. "It was, like, I can't believe I got myself into this," the 30-year-old Navy veteran said on a recent Wednesday afternoon in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
October 3, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Ten years ago this November singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, then 34, died in an Echo Park bungalow from two knife stabs to the chest. According to William Todd Schultz's "Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith," a clear-eyed and devastating new biography of the gifted and troubled artist, his death, likely a suicide, was inevitable. The only questions were how and when. Smith is most widely known for the use of his somber, melodic music to soundtrack Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting" and a white-suited performance during the 1998 Academy Awards of the song "Miss Misery.
September 20, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- A Newport Beach ordinance designed to curb or eliminate group homes for recovering addicts may have illegally discriminated against people based on disability, a federal appeals court ruled unanimously Friday. The decision by the U.S. 9thCircuit Court of Appeals revived lawsuits against the city by operators of group homes that lost money or had to shut down as a result of the 2008 ordinance. The three-judge panel's ruling also cleared the way for group home operators to receive financial compensation from Newport Beach and served as a warning to other cities that might want to eliminate such operations in residential neighborhoods.
January 6, 1987 | From Reuters
The number of Soviet drug addicts has risen to about 46,000, an eighteenfold increase in two years, the Kremlin said today as it acknowledged that a problem once considered purely Western is spreading in the Soviet Union. Interior Minister Alexander Vlasov gave the new figure in an interview in the Communist Party daily Pravda. The last official statistics on drug abuse, released in May, 1984, put the number of Soviet addicts at 2,500.
December 18, 1988 | JOHN DIAMOND, Associated Press
This historic fishing port with its trawlers and luxury yachts, fish-processing plants and cliffside mansions has spent the last decade in a frustrating battle against a rising tide of heroin addiction. A modest force of 51 patrolmen covers this city of 28,000 people and 32 square miles with no more than an average share of violent crime, break-ins and drunk driving.
September 9, 2013 | By Steve Lopez
In 1979, a man with a long history of mental illness robbed an Oakland department store and was sentenced to seven-years-to-life in prison. At the time, the average time behind bars on such a conviction was seven years. Thirty-two years later, at age 67, this man is still very sick, and still in prison. I've got in a request to visit the man, and I keep thinking about him as I watch the prison population drama play out in Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate leaders have been squabbling over the best way to deal with a court order to cut the ranks of inmates by another several thousand before the end of the year.
September 5, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Ben Bolch
Lamar Odom is receiving treatment for issues related to his recent arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a source close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. reported that the former Lakers and Clippers star has checked into an undisclosed drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. [12:39 p.m. update : A person close to Odom, who would not speak publicly, said Thursday that he has not checked into a rehab facility.]
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