Edward Pinchiff Supports Drug Awareness

Edward Pinchiff Supports Drug Awareness in Huntington Beach

Edward Pinchiff Supports Drug Awareness in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach City Council candidate Edward Pinchiff was pleased to participate in a recent HB Pier walk to raise awareness of drug overdose.

The purpose of the walk was also to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends and remember those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

The United States is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic.  Deaths from drug overdose are up among both men and women, all races, and nearly all ages.

More than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve an opioid (heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl).  Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have nearly quadrupled since 1999.  In the U.S., overdoses involving opioids kill more than 28,000 annually.  Over half of those deaths are from prescription opioids.

“Drug overdose deaths are rising particularly with opioids which are extremely addictive.  The results are tragic both for users as well as the families who must deal with the death of a loved one to drug overdose,” said Edward Pinchiff.  “Heroin in particular is taking our children at ever younger ages.”

Heroin addiction has become much more of a problem because of the connection with illegal prescription drugs.  Users often start with prescription drugs, such as Oxycodone (the actual drug contained in OxyContin brand pills), which they can easily purchase for $20 to $60.  They become addicted to the prescription drugs and then begin looking for cheaper alternatives to maintain the high.

Users then find out that heroin offers a similar type of high that is more intense and cheaper.  They buy a bag of heroin for $3 to $10 and typically start off snorting the drug.  Within a month, they are injecting the drug.

The transition to heroin has also accelerated due to an unintended consequence to a reformulation of OxyContin.  The makers of OxyContin changed the formula in 2010 to make it harder to crush or dissolve the tablet.  The goal was to discourage users from snorting or injecting the drug.  Users found ways around the reformulation, but many simply moved to heroin as the easier drug to use and still get the same sort of high.

What is the likelihood that your child may be abusing prescription drugs?  The current California Student Survey (CSS) sponsored by the California Attorney General’s Office found that 37% of 9th grade students and 50% of 11th grade students reported using illicit / illegal drugs or diverted prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime.  The prescription drugs used most frequently are prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin or Vicodin.  Yes, your child is at risk.

What Should I Look for as a Parent

As a parent, we need to understand what to look for.  Do not presume that your child is immune.  Heroin is easy to get and you must be watchful.

Go through your child’s room and trash.  Heroin is often smoked or snorted, in which case you are looking for tinfoil, empty pen capsules, and rolled up dollar bills.  Heroin can also be injected, so you are also looking for needles.

The heroin itself is typically in a black tar form that looks similar to asphalt or a dried-up raisin.  Heroin is often wrapped in a balloon or a plastic wrapper.

For more about what to look for as a parent, read the article Ten Signs Your Teen May Be Using Drugs courtesy of Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California.

When parents and families are facing a child’s drug addiction, it often seems there is nowhere to turn.  There are resources available but they can be difficult to find.  Here is a list of resources for parents of Orange County teens struggling with drug addiction – Teen Drug Addiction Resources.


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