tv Beyond the Headlines KOFY June 16, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT
♪ > . welcome to "beyond the headlines." question want to talkbout the deadly rise inrescription use. you will hear from mothers, sisters, a doctor who treats addicts, a young person in treatment and th u.s. attorney who brought law enforcement and medical world together to find was to treatthis problem. you may be surprised to lrn many addicts are from wealthy communities. for example, in contra costa coun more than 20% of the patnts at one clinic come from walnut creek, lafayette, pleant hills, danville, alamo and san ramon. let's get down to business. i want tontroduce you to my guests today. joining me is dr. alex stallcup,
t director of the new leaf reatment center in lafayette. als tina coramatis, whose son is in treatment for addiction, and joe megly, a young person currently in treatment. it's coratis. >> that's right. >> doctor, i've been following your wo for years. we stayed in touch. you don't mince words,ou say kids are abusing drugs so badly they're having seizures at 15 years old. >> a lot of peop talk about rescription drugs, refring to the painkille, opiates, they are killing kids, that's a fact. the field changes. we're seeing a new explosion of the use of th drug called xanax, anld tranquilizer. it produces a form of physical dependence. if there's not careful attention to getting you off, seizures develop. kids as young as 15, 16 ar presenting to emergency rooms with seizures. if we knew before they were
trng to top, we could help them. once theyet seizures, it's late in the game. that's true for aot of other drugs. we seeids coming in probably the most common painller now is vicodin. vicodin contains tylenol. lenol kills liverces. people -- above eightylenol a day you can get in trouble with the liver. our typical patient coming in on 30, 40day. >> these are kids. >> children. these are our kids. it's not poor kids. these are all kids. bout 50% of high school students know someone who sells drugs in their class. >> tina, yoon did not want his name used. i reect that. he's in tratment, but he had a ng road. >> he did. my son was the quintessential kid, you read about them every day.
he went t high school. fell in love with marijuana. >> experimenting with drugs? >> experimenting early on. by theime he was a senior he had progresse to oxycontin. he was shooting it. he then went on to heroin. heroin is cheaper. by the tme he finishedis first year of college, he was rely addicted. the pathetic and scary thing is that my husband and i were totally clueless. we had no idea. in high school, we know kids did beer -- >> not your son, right? >> no. he was nice kid. involved in boy scouts as an eagle scout. so, we just thought, you know a little pot, a little beer, okay. >> you h a moment of trth. you found him. >> did. the summer after he came back from school, he was in the bathroom. and taking a ng time. i wentin there, he was on the floor.
he was passed out. he had a syringe next to him a a bent spoon with brown residue on it. i had no idea what i was looking at. i was completely clueless. we knew then wehad a problem. as a family we went through several yearof, you know, it was devastating emotionally, financially, our relationship really pret much broke p. buthank goodness we found the doctor, he' doing better now. he recovered. he has spent two years clean. life happens. and so whenevastating things happen, like m -- this past year my husband passed away, and he th relapsed. but now he's back o the right road. he's ba at new leaf. 're very happy to see him moving forwd. >> i'm glad that he surviv. joe, you survived as well. you started experimenting with
drugs when you were in high school, right? >> right. around 20 started to pick up prescripti prescription, went and decided to ask my parents for help. it was probably the hardest thing i've done veryhumiliating. humblingt the same time. and that was aear and a half ago. it's take me so time to find the right treaent centers for me, so to spk. >> new leaf was the place. >> right. it fls great to have my life back. you know, i have went through a rotten experience, but the lessens i've learned ha been invaluable. i'm fortunate. i wish more people could get treatment and spread out just becase there's a lot of people out there that are sick. >> the's a lot of help out there, too. thisis controversial medication i want to show folks.
i want the doctor to talk about this. joe is on this. >> this is a medicaon that is -- it should be available to everyone addicted to preription painkillers. this is -- opiates break something in the brain. it takes longer to heal than we ever realized. this medication is like a cast on a broken leg. with the protection of the medication underneath the medication the brain hls. it takes much longer than we eve realized. we're now adving most of the kids we see to stay on this for about a year >> wow. >> before they try to come of during that time they get their lif together, mental health back together. reestablishelationships. it's not a free ride. there's lot work to sta sober. this enabl it to happen. >> this is somethingelse. >> this should prevent this.
this is part of an erdose prevention kit. we likefor all of our familie d all of our users to have this available. within about 90 seconds this will bring them back from death, wake them up and save their lives. we provide this to patients. yo who needs one, we make it avlable to them. we think this is end of the road. weould like someone to be on treatment so they don need a overs dose prevention kit. if they do, this is life-saving. >> thank you very much for all of you sharing your stories. i know it's diffult. thank you for the work you're doing. we have to take a break rht now. still ahead, a mother whose colle-aged son died from an overdose, aisterho lost her brother, and how they bh turned their pain into a call for action. also the u.s. atrney who is bringg law enforcemt and health
prescription drugabuse, a deadly epidemic. plus a shocking increase in hein use and the fact that kids are dyingfrom it. joining me w is april rosaro, a mother who lost her college-ag son due to an overdose. she turned that private pain into a massive effort to help others. i'm glad you're here. i'm so sorry about the loss of your so >> thank you. >> wemet at the drug summit. i'm grateful for the grassroots work you're doing. let's get started by talking about what happened to your so >> joey graduated from high hool in 2006, went off to school in the fall to arizona state university. on december 18, 2009 we got call letting us know he had be found in hispartment off capus and he had passed away. ultimately we learned that he had visited doctor just nine days before his pasing.
he had been prescribed medications she have never had. that doctor has sinc been arrested and charged with his death so she's been charged second degree murdern his death as well as two other patients. the pharmacy that filled the prescriptions that was about 35 miles away from her office has en close down. so the pharmac owner/operator of it lost their license. >> this mustave been a terrible loss to your family. >> this impacts not just the family but all my friends who knew my son andthe community at large. it an interesting cascade of events packedn sorrow and grief and dealing and coping with this issue. nojust then. it lasts. >> it continues. >> you have taken that into a national movement. you found an organization and we are putting banners u on the screen as resources for people. wanthem too to your
website and see these resources and referrals for treatment. one of the things i saw on your weite is a lot of signs parents and friends can look for. >> yes. i think it's important that parents understa what those signs are. typicallyit will be things like are they changing friends. you know, is there a dfent group of friends that they're hanng out with. is there a pareppearance changi? eating hits changing? noticeable changes, beyond typically what you would think is happeni in the teen world. rents sometimes make the miake of i think, thinking that these symptoms that they're seeing or the sis of abuse are attributed to teenage behav they're not. typically it would be taking it to the next level. >> tell me about your coalition. >> our coalition was found in june. we're four years ol june 2010, just shory after joey passed ay. it was our way of putting his life to goodpurpose. we are focused on educating
communiti locally, on a countywide basis, statewide and nationally. i'm pernally involved in coalitions, work groups and task forces at all those levels. education and political advocacy. >> want to remind people this is so important of some of the signs that u just talked about. we'll put those on the screen as we coinue to talk. your organizatio you accomplished a lot of things already. you have gotten a tional month decred. >> it's a state month. through the state of california, march escription drug abuse awareness month. >> and then also you got national rallie >> mm-hmm. >> wead a rally that's happenng in thefall. th is oursecond year, we plan to contue the rally. we will be in our next one this year andbeyond. >> so, can anybody join? can anybodyo to the rally? if they want to get involved and have a chpter? >> certainly the rally, we are hoping for 3,000 people.
wevery muchwould like to see californians attend this rall i'll be there personally and a number of people i know here. so, it's something that we encourage anyone who has an interest this topic to be a part of. >> we have about ten seconds left. final thoughts for parents and friends? >> think it's so important for paf parents to educate themselves, educate, teach kids whaty need to know to keep them safe and healthy. >> thank you for what you'r doing. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we'll continue this fight. >> okay. all right. we have to take a break. coming up nex you'll meet a young author who lo her brother to prescription drugs. and you wl look at the actions she took to save others from the same fate. we'll be bac with more
welcome back to "beyond the headlines." o show today is called prescripon drug abuse, a deadly epidemic. how do families mve on after they lose somebody to a deadly a dicti addiction? many of us including my own fami have hato face this tragic situation. joining us now to talk about this is aaron marie daley. thank you very much for being here. she has developed a book called "generation rx." did i sa that right?
>> yes. >> this book literally just came out. it's a story of doe, death and america's opte crisis. you lost your youngest brother, pat, five years ago. i'm soorry about that. >> thank you. >> inow it was a hard journey for your famil telpat. >> re. he was eactly the person tha you would not think that this would happen to. which is why when became addicted to painkillers in high school, l of us were completely taken aback. he was that kid just fun-loving. was well loved. he was so funny. full of joy, light. he fell into painkiller addiction when he was in high school. that very quickly progressed into heroin abuse. many users often go down that path as the pills become too expensive, and they make the switch to heroin, which is cheaperut provides the same
high. >> you say he was secretive about this? >> very secretive out this. he was able to maintain his appearan for a lge time. eventually we did findut about his addiction to pills, but it wasn until aft he passed away tt we learned heroin was involved. >> how did yolearn that? >> i began wring the book because i was a journalist, it was my natural instinct to dig into his story andearn at happened to him and how head fallen so far so fast. thugh the process of writing the book, i orred his autopsy. that's how i learned it was heroin. >> my goodness. that must have been such ahock to your mily. >> it was earth shtering. it was the kind of thing we thouht wou never happen to us. a lot of filies feel that way. this is something tt just wouldever touch their family. it's very stigmatized and something so unimanable that could happeno somebody that
you love, it's shocking when it happens. >> you wrote the book to help learn more about yo brother but also deal with your grief. >> y, writing the bookas very difficult because i started writing it very shortly after he passed away. so, ias very much in the throes of grief. much of the book is very raw because of that. but i also, as i started to write morebout m brother, i became interested the fact ts is happening to so many other families. so i started talking to other peoe. hearing eir stories as well. it was very bizarre becaus every time i interviewed somebody i felt like i was hearing my broth's story all over again. so, hearing their stories, which ar also included in the book, was very difficult and depressing and sad. but it was alsocomforting in a weird way to know that this wasn't just something th happened to brother. it was something happeni to many people. but it just wasn't being talked about. >> you not only have written the book but also found -- you took a lotof action.
you found oxi watchdog.com. what doe that do? >> i found the blog when was writing the book. it was a way for me to figure outhatas going on. i was looking through the news every d, picking out the ories about prescription drug abuse and saw that many those stories were ending in heroin addictn. there's a resources section for falies, friends, addicts who want to get help. >> what do people sayhen they read your blogs? >> i've had a lot of people reach o to me and say thank you for doing this. they felt s alone. that's been nice. many of the people that write to me mtion the shame. they feel they can't rlly come forward and admit that this is happening to people thathey llo love, which i understand. >> hopefully pele will come forward and get the help they nee thank you very much. >>hank you. hank you for what you're
welcome back to "beyond the headlines." we are talking about the epidemic of preriion drugs killing our kids. joining me right now is the honorable melinda haag, u.s. attorn for the northern district of california and was nominated by president obama and confmed by the u.s. senate in august of 2010. you and i had the pleasure of working together othe bullying campai in san francco. >> i have. >> you hadverybody at the drug summit from law enforcement to public health decisionmakers to survivs there. this is near and dear to your heart. >> is. the cdc reports that prescription dug abuse is an epidemic in the country. that viewis supported by what we seendear in the northern district of california. i've heard from parents, educators, medical professionals, pharmacists, and we wnted to find a way to bring
them tgether to talk about best praices,alk about data, information that will he us combat this issue together. and combating this incredible epidemicrequires all of these people to come togeer. so we were happy we could invite everybody and that everybody came. it was a product ive meeting. your invvement was helpful. >> thank you. where do you go wit all this informion? something i saw, talking about pharmacies overprescribi doctors orprescribing, that's a big thing to corral. >> it is big thing to corral, but it's receiving a lot of attention both here in nthern california and the state of califoia and nationally. today the director of the wite house office of national drug control policy is in roanoke, virg announcing the 201 national drug control strategy. the very first thing on his st is the epidemic of prescription drug abuse the data is incredibly trubling, what -- the data
we've been looking at recently. we have a 400% increaseinrug overdose deaths. >400% increase? >> 400% increase. 60% prescription drug abu deaths. 500% increase in treatment admissions in this country. we have reportedly more than 2 million prescription drug abuse addicts in this countr one pce of data thas troubling is that 1 out of 20 people in the country over the age of 12 report usg prescription drugs without medical need. >> so you're talking about a lot of kid >> we're talking about kids as well. >> easy access. >> it's true. unfortunately because i's a prescription, because doctors prescribe it and pharmacies dispense it, people -- including kids -- have the sense it's not dangerous. it is incrediblydangerous. need people to understand that. that was one of the big reasons to hve the summit. >> want to talk about we run out ofime about something that the door and our earlier sment talked about this o.d. kit.
>> the attorney general of the united states, eric holder and president obama a the administration is very supportive of naloxone and these ki bng in the hands of first responders. so oftentim when people erdose on prescription drugs, they stop breathing. there's a great drug out there called naloxone, if they stop breathing, they get injected and hey start breathing again. it's quite remarkable. the attorney general said publicly he encourages first responders to make sure everyone is equipd and trained to use nalaxone. >> could this be like a federal mandate to get everybody on board? certainly could. it's something that the administration is interestedin. >> just a few more seconds. i wnt to ask you what can each of us do? >> we nee to educate ourselves. we need to euca friends, children, parent everybody in our lives about this issu we need to secure our
prescriion drugs. >> lock 'em up. >> 70% of people who use escription drugs without a medical reason report getting fr friends and families medicine cabinets. we need to lock it up, take advantage ofrug take-back rograms. the dea and local governmen run drug take back programs. we need to support treatment, refer friends and family who need it ttreatment. and we need to to reuce the stigma. it's a disease. we all need to understand that. there should be no stigma so people can come forward. >> thank you very much. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you for bringing attention to this. ll right. that is going t do it for us. we are out of time. but we have a lot of information about today's program for you on our website, abc7news.com/community. we are al on cebook at abccommunity and follow me on twitter @cherylabc7. i'm cheryl jennings.
>> welcome to beyond the headli headlines. today we're focusing on what's happening in our neighbohoods regarding housing and traffic, otherwise known as urban development. the population of the bay area is projected to balloon by 30% by 2040 from 7.1 million residents today to 9.3 million. that's an increase of more than 2 million people. we' going to talk today to soay area groups who already staed to address the expeing increase.