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April 6, 2017 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in drugs, drug use, genesee county, news.

There has been a sharp increase locally in overdose-related deaths, usually involving a combination of drugs including opiates, over the past four years, according to a report prepared by the Genesee County Health Department.

The rise is alarming, said Director Paul Pettit, and emphasizes the need for the work of a three-county task force that has come together to find ways to address the drug-use epidemic that has hit the region.

It's not just the number of deaths that have increased, Pettit said. There are more drug-related arrests, more drug-related visits to emergency rooms, and first responders are using the drug Narcan more frequently to help revive opiate overdose victims.

In 2013, there were five deaths in Genesee County that the Monroe County Medical Examiner attributed to the overuse of opiate-related drugs. 

There were 18 in 2015. 

In 2016, 17 deaths with toxicology completed were attributed to drug mixtures that included opiates, with four toxicology reports for last year still pending.

To date in 2017, there are seven deaths where toxicology is still pending.

"That's a pretty significant increase over the past four years," Pettit said. "It's indicative of a problem going on out there."

Of the 17 known OD-related deaths in 2016, only five were attributed to heroin mixed with other drugs, whether prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter medications. (Note: the ME for 2016 was Erie County.)

There were nine deaths caused by a combination of prescription opiates mixed with other drugs.

There was one death caused by "acute and chronic substance abuse."

It's possible that some of the heroin deaths linked to other substances might mean the heroin was laced with fentanyl or another drug.

Fentanyl is frequently linked to overdoses because users never know how much fentanyl has been added to their heroin and fentanyl is more powerful than heroin. 

A 30-gram dose of heroin will kill an average size male, but only three milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal.

Of the 18 overdose deaths in 2015, 14 involved prescription opiates used in combination with other drugs and two were caused by heroin used in combination with other drugs.

In 2014, there were 12 drug-induced deaths. Nine of the 12 involved prescription opiates combined with other drugs. Heroin, used singularly or in combination with other drugs, contributed to three deaths. 

There were no heroin-related deaths in 2013, but there were five opiate-related deaths involving prescription medications.

The stats do not include Genesee County residents who died in other jurisdictions, but it does include non-county residents who died here. 

The Health Department is still in the process of compiling statistics prior to 2013.

Pettit said officials would like to get much closer to real-time statistics for drug-related deaths. When seven people in Erie County died within a 24-hour period last week, officials there were able to know almost immediately the cause of death was heroin laced with another substance. 

For Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties, officials sometimes wait months for toxicology reports from Monroe County.

One goal, Pettit said, is for the counties to come together and work with the medical examiner offices to get more timely reports, at least within a month of the deaths.

Of the some 500 deaths in the county annually, only about 50 resulted in a request for a toxicology report.

"We want to hone our data collection, look at trends on how things play out in the community," Pettit said. 

The stats will help inform community-wide responses.

The Genesee, Orleans & Wyoming Opioid Task Force has held one meeting and will be meeting again from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday April 19, at Genesee Community College, Room T102.

The task force is comprised of health officials, addiction specialists, law enforcement personnel, church leaders, other service providers, former drug addicts and the family members of addicts. About 75 people are participating from the three counties. 

"It's great to see the community coming together on this issue and show a desire to have a positive impact to help those folks in our community who are struggling," Pettit said.

May 23, 2014 - 9:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, drugs, Mike Ranzenhofer, drug abuse.

Daniel Placek seemed to have everything going for him. After graduating from Niagara Falls High School, he joined the Navy, served in Japan and came home, taking a job as a plumber five days after his discharge. By age 23, he owned his own home.

As the only child of Dan and Cheryl Placek, he was given every middle-class advantage in life. He was involved in sports, made lots of friends, worked hard, and he could always count on his parents when he needed help.

What they couldn't help him with, though, despite their best efforts, was drug addiction.

Five years into his career as a plumber, Daniel hurt his back. His doctor prescribed opiate-based pain medication.

"We could see a change in him over the last year of his life," Cheryl said. "We didn't know what it was. He was anxious. We couldn't figure it out. His friends were concerned. His employer called me a few months before he died and said what's up with Dan and we didn't know either."

Finally, Daniel confessed to his parents. He couldn't stop taking the pain medication he was prescribed.

Cheryl went with him to see his doctor. The doctor's solution: prescribe suboxone.

Suboxone is an opiate-based narcotic. It's often used to treat heroin addicts and others addicted to opiate-based pain medications, but suboxone is itself habit forming.

"Within days of withdrawing, Daniel became paranoid," Cheryl said. "He was talking about not wanting to live. We took him to ECMC, but we couldn't get a bed. We were there for 17 hours on Christmas Day in 2011."

Finally, they were referred to Lakeshore Hospital and Lakeshore agreed to admit him for seven days. On the fifth day, he was released to an outpatient clinic.

"They said he wasn't talking about taking his life so he was OK," Cheryl said. "It's like they were only listening to what he was saying and not what we were telling them, and here's my son who wasn't thinking straight."

They family tried getting Daniel into another program and hit roadblock after roadblock.

"He said, 'mom, don't you see, people don't want to help me anyway.' " 

Sheriff Gary Maha

Against their original doctor's advice, Cheryl finally called the VA and begged the VA to take Daniel as a drug-treatment patient. It took two weeks, but the VA finally admitted Daniel to an inpatient program.

"He went in with full family support," Cheryl said. "We were there, his best friend was there, his girlfriend was there. That night at 1:15, the nurse called me and said, 'your son's passed away.' I asked her what happened. She was reluctant to tell me, but finally she told me. He took is own life."

The story of Daniel Placek is not very different from a half-dozen other stories that came out this morning during a two-hour State Senate Hearing at Batavia City Hall on the state's growing opiate-based drug problems.

When Cheryl Placek spoke, she held the picture of her son, pointed to him, and said, "This is the face of addiction."

She wasn't the first mother Friday to use that phrase during the hearing, and the faces being pointed to weren't burned-out crank heads living in the squalor of urban blight, but healthy, well-scrubbed faces of young men and women who grew up in rural communities, went to good schools, got good grades, came from strong nuclear families.

"In 2001, the Sisters Hospital wanted to open a methadone clinic here so we took a look at our opiate addictions and we had three active patients," said John Bennett, director of GCASA. "Roll the clock ahead, we now have 175 active admissions at any given time. We've treated 483 people since 2008 for opiate addiction. None of them look like, for lack of a better term, the traditional junkie.

"It used to be nobody wanted to be a junkie, that was leper of the addicts," Bennett added. "You roll the clock ahead and it's young kids using opiates and heroin."

The hearing was led by State Senator Phil Boyle, chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, who arranged for the hearing in Batavia. On the panel where members of the local criminal justice community as well as leaders in drug-treatment programs. In the audience were those who deal with drug addicts, their parents and a few recovering addicts themselves.

The themes heard in Placek's story were repeated by both the professionals, those who have been through treatment, and the parents of addicts.

  • It's too hard to get into treatment;
  • Treatment is often over too soon;
  • There's little or no follow up, and if you're off drugs, you can't get treatment even if you still feel you need it;
  • Opiate-based drugs are easier than ever to get and more widespread in the community than ever before.

It was the same story for Mary Flippi, a mother of five. Two of her sons are addicts.

For one son, his first experience with drugs was at age 11. A friend introduced him to marijuana. She said by the time he was 15, he was addicted to heroin. By the time he was 22, he had overdosed three times.

To get him into rehab one time, she called every facility in Western New York she could find. Then she drove around Pennsylvania trying to find a facility to admit him. Finally, he found treatment for her boy in Louisiana.

"He was there for seven months, but within the first hour of him leaving, he relapsed," Flippi said. "He was at the airport waiting for his plane and the anxiety got to him. He went to the bar and spent the $10 they had given him for the trip home."

Flippi observed, "drugs are not the problem for the addict. Reality is the problem for the addict."

As he continued down the path of renewed drug use, Flippi again tried to find a treatment facility that would take him.

John Bennett, director of GCASA

Eventually, she became so desperate that after he stole a dirt bike from his own family, she had him arrested just so he could go to jail while she continued to work on getting him into treatment.

Later, Boyle would recall this statement and remark, "It's a story we've heard repeatedly around the state. A parent is put in a position where she must have her child arrested to get him into treatment. That is a system that truly needs reform and that's what we're doing here."

After jail, Flippi's son was placed in a 28-day treatment program, but within a week of his release, he was drinking again. Four days ago, he tested positive for heroin and cocaine.

"I'm at my wit's end," Flippi said. "I don't know where to go from here, because there is no place. There are placed to go, but they are no help. Twenty-eight days doesn't work, and just to get to 28 days, you have to fail in outpatient first before you even get 28 days."

Sheriff Gary Maha said heroin and opiate use is a significant and growing problem in Genesee County.

Most of the drugs sold here come out of Rochester.

Heroin is a growing problem because it's cheaper than pain pills. He said he's heard of people selling their pills for $25 and more per pill so they could buy heroin at $10 to $20 a bag.

"A few years ago, heroin was unheard of in Genesee County," Maha said. "Now it's very prevalent and very available. Half the buys by our Local Drug Task Force now involve heroin."

After the meeting, Maha said he thought it was an important discussion.

"What I heard today was very enlightening, even for me as somebody who has been in the business a long time," Maha said. "When you hear from the families of the addicted persons, even the recovering addicts, it kind of opens your eyes. We look sometimes strictly from a law enforcement perspective, not even thinking about the treatment and the education parts, but it's going to take a concerted effort by everybody to fight this thing. It's a difficult and complex issue."

Where heroin used to the drug of last resort for the most addicted junkies, said Bennett, it's now part of the potential mix for first time and novice drug users.

Teens use heroin, but more commonly, they raid grandma's medicine cabinet and swipe her pain pills.

"They're getting together on Friday nights and they think they're just having fun, but what we know about opiates is, if you use them for two or three weeks -- and some of these kids are popping them every day thinking that's just what grandma is taking -- that when they try to stop, they find they are getting sick, so they start taking pills before going to school just so they don't get sick."

Augusta Welsh, director of community services, Genesee County Mental Health Services, said she's a big fan of drug take-back days hosted by local police agencies.

"One thing we see kids doing is they will take anything and everything just to try it," Welsh said. "They call it fishing They will put all of the pills they got from their grandmothers' and put them in a bowl and say, 'look at all the pretty colors,' then they'll pull something out. If they take it with alcohol, then it delivers the effect much quicker."

With the rise of heroin and opiate-based drugs in Genesee County, UMMC's emergency room has been much busier, said Mary Beth Bowen, chief nursing officer.

She said in 2013, ER admitted 62 overdose patients. There have been 130 so far this year. Now that number includes all brands of ODs, including alcohol, but the underlying root cause is heroin and pain medications, she said.

What UMMC is also starting to see is more use of e-cigarettes as a drug delivery method, and several panelists and audience members expressed concern about e-cigs as a kind of gateway into drug use or tobacco cigarettes.

Audience member Nicholas Burk, a resource officer at Batavia High School, said he one time he witnessed a BHS student beg her mother for an e-cigarette. This was a girl, he said, who was a athlete-scholar, a straight-A student who never received a referral in her life.

All of her friends had e-cigs, she said, so she wanted to be part of the crowd.

"She thinks it's OK," he said.

There was a lot of back and forth about whether marijuana is a gateway drug. Some in the audience are convinced it is.

Rose Mary Christian expressed shock and dismay that the Legislature would even consider medical marijuana. Ranzenhofer said it's a complex issue. It's hard to turn down a parent who says marijuana is the only drug that will stop her child's seizures and prevent almost certain death.

Boyle said there's a lot of discussion in Albany about medical marijuana, but he promised that recreational marijuana will never be legal in New York.

Dr. Bruce Baker, medical director for GCASA, said the data doesn't support the notion of marijuana as a gateway drug, but it does lower inhibitions and many young people have been introduced to harder drugs just because marijuana brought them into closer contact with people already using harder drugs.

Two recovering addicts also spoke. One was a woman currently living in Batavia who said she got into prostitution to support her drug habit and has seen other young women fall into the same trap. She wants to warn young women away from drugs for that reason. She was among the speakers who complained about how difficult it is to get into drug treatment.

One speaker challenged the panel to look at the people in the room talking about addiction and how it affected their lives personally. It was largely a white, rural and middle-class audience.

"This is the face of addiction," She said. "We are very typical people and I hope we can give it a voice and get more help in our community because it's here and it's big."

Boyle said the message was heard loud and clear, and with modern technology being what it is today, changes are already in the works.

"As we've been talking, I've been texting with my staff in Albany about what some of you have been saying," Boyle said. "They've already done the research and sent back some draft legislation that we could introduce as soon as next week to address some of the concerns raised here."

September 27, 2012 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in drugs.

Unused and unneeded prescription pills left laying around the house or stored in a medicine cabinet are a potential stepping stone to drug addiction, area law enforcement officials warned in a press conference at the Sheriff's Office on Wednesday.

Drugs -- prescription or not -- need to be properly disposed of, which is why officials are once again conducting a region-wide drug takeback event this Saturday.

"We want (parents and grandparents) to know that saving your prescription drugs is dangerous," said Dale M. Kasprzyk, resident agent in charge for the DEA. "Treat those drugs like a loaded gun. Be careful with them. Bring them to us. Let us dispose of them in a really safe fashion and let's reduce the risk to young people."

Led by U.S. Attorney for Western New York William Hochul, local authorities all shared the same message: Not only are opiate-based prescription drugs, such as hydrocodone and oxycontin -- highly addictive and potential killers, the drugs are a gateway to illicit drugs such as heroin.

"Some teenagers think because it comes in a pill bottle that mom or dad had and it was made by a pharmaceutical company and prescribed by a doctor, maybe it isn’t quite as dangerous as it really is, in effect," Hochul said. "Maybe children know, heroine or cocaine, stay away from that, and they do, until they get hooked on what they began (using) by thinking it was a legitimate product."

Le Roy Detective John Condidorio said a local mother recently died following an overdose on prescription pills. It was a devastating event for her family, he said.

"As a person who works the streets regularly, these are the things we do see," Condidorio said. "When we talk about the dangers of these narcotics, these prescription pills, not only do we see people being harmed, because people want to rob them of them, we also see family members suffering the loss of other family members."

Officials warned that such drugs become available when parents and grandparents leave unused and unneeded drugs around the house. The supply is increased by doctors who over-prescribe painkillers and insurance-required mail-order prescriptions, which often require, say, a three-month supply of pills even when only a supply for a week or two is needed.

Sometimes a family winds up with bags full of pills when a loved one dies after a long battle with a terminal disease.

All of these pills -- they need not be in their original container -- can be dropped off at one of four locations on Saturday -- or any day of the week -- no questions asked.

  • Batavia PD, 10 W. Main St., Batavia
  • Le Roy PD, 3 W. Main St., Le Roy
  • Pembroke Town Highway Barns, Route 5 and Route 77
  • Batavia Barracks, State Police, West Saile Drive, Batavia

The State Police location is a permanent, no-questions-asked drop box inside the foyer of the barracks, and Batavia PD Chief Shawn Heubusch noted that his department, along with all of the other agencies in the county will accept unused and unneeded medications any day of the week and ensure the pills are disposed of properly.

Another reason to properly dispose of medications is simply flushing them down the toilet can be an environmental hazard and Hochul and Kasprzyk encouraged residents to bring all types of medications -- including over the counter medications -- to the drop-off points for proper disposal.

The drugs will be safely incinerated, Hochul said, minimizing the environmental danger.

Hochul praised local residents, particularly in Genesee County, for working with local officials to address drug issues.

He cited in particular the crackdown on illegal meth labs in 2009 and 2010 and the effort to stem the flow of so-called "bath salts" in the county.

"Whatever the issue, if people see something and they say something, these officers do something," Hochul said.

Meth production locally has been greatly reduced since a series of raids a couple of years ago, Sheriff Gary Maha said, and the reports of incidents involved suspected "bath salt" use have dropped to nearly nothing since July, when a local retail outlet suspected of selling the drugs was raided by the DEA.

Hochul said he hopes that if residents suspect illicit drug activity of any kind, they will continue to report it to local authorities, and if it's the kind of issue federal law enforcement needs to get involved with, his office and the DEA are ready to help.

January 11, 2012 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, drugs, synthetic drugs, synthetic marijuana.

Christopher Dailey, then the principal of Batavia High School, remembers the first time school officials came across a student with a lip balm-like container of K2.

"He handed it over to me and said, 'It's OK, it's legal,' " Daily recalled. "I turned it over and read the back label. I said, 'Did you read this?'  He said he hadn't. He didn't know what it said. It read, 'NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.' "

While synthetic marijuana is a fairly recent issue for school officials to deal with in Batavia, Dailey emphasized it has not become a widespread problem. He characterized it as a "fad," but he also called it, "scary."

Scary is the same word used by local law enforcement and others familiar with a variety of chemicals and compounds being marketed most often as "incense" with clear instructions saying "not for human consumption."

Some of the compounds are available in Batavia retail stores, though Dailey said students interviewed by school officials indicate the chemicals are being purchased most often on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The compounds fall under the general description of synthetic marijuana, synthetic cocaine and synthetic meth. Commercially, the chemical agents are known as Spice and K2 for synthetic marijuana and Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss for synthetic cocaine and meth.

All of the compounds are currently legal and unregulated in New York. You must be 18 years old to buy a pack of cigarettes, but there is no age restriction on Spice or K2.

Synthetic cocaine and meth are more commonly referred to as "bath salts."

While the chemicals are meant to simulate the highs of marijuana or cocaine, they have been known to cause sever reactions, from seizures, rapid heart rates, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidal tendencies and psychosis.

There's some speculation locally that synthetic marijuana or "bath salts" are related to the outbreak of tics among teenage girls in Le Roy. When The Batavian asked Dr. Jonathan Mink about a possible connection Tuesday, he immediately shifted to a discussion of stimulants such as cocaine and said the dosage of cocaine needed to cause tics would be significant and manifest other symptoms.

Wednesday, we asked Dr. Mink to clarify whether synthetic drugs could cause tics and he said it's not a subject he has studied and lacked sufficient expertise to offer an opinion on it.

Jeremy Almeter, owner of Glass Roots on Center Street, said he gets people coming into his shop two or three times a day asking for Spice or K2. They leave disappointed.

"I won't sell it," Almeter said.

Walk into Glass Roots and it's like stepping into a time machine, back into 1960's Haight-Ashbury counterculture, but Almeter said he's seen too many problems caused by fake drugs and doesn't want his business associated with the chemicals at all.

"It just blows my mind that people would use that stuff," Almeter said. "It says right on the label, 'not for human consumption.' A lot of kids seem to think, 'it's legal so it's OK,' but actually the things that are legal are more harmful that what's illegal, specifically marijuana."

Almeter believes the spread of synthetic drugs bolsters the case for legalizing marijuana, a natural substance with effects that are known and generally not harmful. Marijuana could also more easily be controlled, whereas with synthetic drugs, they get re-engineered every time a substance gets outlawed.

In Rochester, a couple of hookah shops have opened where anybody can go in and smoke K2 or bath salts, but Almeter said he wants to offer an alternative.

Recently, he opened his own hookah room, but only offers tobacco-free, all-natural aromatics. Nothing he offers will get a person high. The idea is to sit around and enjoy some pleasant aromas and pleasant conversation.

The Laughing Buddha on Ellicott Street in Batavia advertises on its Facebook page that it sells "incense."

Premium Blend Spice & Incense, We wholesale it as well, Guaranteed best prices around on your favorite kinds such as Hammer Head, White Rhino & Grim Reefer.

Displayed in the store today were dozens of packages of White Rhino behind a glass counter.

The owner of the shop is Jay Lang, who also owns Batavia Cab Co., and at one time, Lang mentioned on Facebook that customers could have products from Laughing Buddha delivered right to their door by a cab driver. 

Today, Lang said he discontinued the practice after considering the legal implications.

"What we carry is legal and we sell it as incense," Lang said. "It's lab tested and DEA compliant. Every package comes with a warning label."

Lang said that if a customer indicates they are using the substances for anything other than incense, they are "cut off." He said he won't knowingly sell the substances to anybody he believes is consuming it.

The synthetic drugs have also been displayed on the counters of other Batavia retailers in recent months.

The use of synthetic weed in area high schools is more prevalent than school officials believe, Almeter suggested.

Dailey, who is now assistant superintendent for the Batavia City School District, said there have been times when kids came to school under the influence of fake marijuana. When it happens, he said, parents are contacted and generally the parents take the student straight to a doctor.

Because it's legal, "there's a limit on how much we can do," Dailey said. "We're as proactive as we possibly can be and we work closely with police on monitoring it and we discuss the dangers in our health classes."

For local law enforcement, the main time synthetic drugs become a legal issue is when people drive under the influence of the drugs, which is a crime.

A volunteer firefighter was recently arrested. He originally offered himself as an interview subject for this story, but later didn't show up for his interview appointment. In a pre-interview conversation, he said the arrest didn't go over well with his superiors and it opened his eyes to the dangers of fake marijuana.

While sources in law enforcement said they haven't seen a lot of those kinds of arrests, driving under the influence of anything is dangerous.

"People have to understand that while legal, much like alcohol if you’re over 21, it can still be abused and misused and effect your ability to make decisions and operate a vehicle," said Sgt. Steve Mullen, head of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Mullen said that he and his agents are focused on investigating the sale of controlled substances such as crack cocaine and heroin, so it's hard for him to confirm that the use of synthetic drugs locally is on the rise.

But he also doesn't get why people use these substances.

"It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me," Mullen said. "It says right on the packages, 'not for human consumption,' so not from a law enforcement perspective, just personally, from a commonsense perspective, if it says 'don't consume,' then why would you consume it?"

UPDATE 10:57 p.m.: On Facebook, Jay Lang is complaining the article makes it sound like his shop sells bath salts. The article states what he's advertised as products in his store and the one product I observed in his store. Those products are not known as bath salts. While law enforcement officials have told me bath salts have been known to show up in the community, there is no specific retail outlet mentioned in this article that is believed to sell bath salts.

October 1, 2009 - 7:32am

Children’s cavity rates are similar whether water is fluoridated or not, according to data published in the July 2009 Journal of the American Dental Association by dentist J.V. Kumar of the NY State Health Department (1).

 

In 2008, New York City spent approximately $24 million on water fluoridation ($5 million on fluoride chemicals)(1a).  In 2010, NYC’s fluoride chemicals will cost $9 million (1b).

 

Fluoride in water at “optimal” levels (0.7 – 1.2 mg/L) is supposed to reduce tooth decay without creating excessive fluorosis (fluoride-discolored and/or damaged teeth).  Yet cavities are rampant in NY’s fluoridated populations (1c).

 

Attempting to prove that fluorosed teeth have fewer cavities, Kumar uses 1986-1987 National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) data which, upon analysis, shows that 7- to 17-year-olds have similar cavity rates in their permanent teeth whether their water supply is fluoridated or not (Table 1).

 

In 1990, using the same NIDR data, Dr. John Yiamouyiannis published equally surprising results in a peer-reviewed journal. He concluded, “No statistically significant differences were found in the decay rates of permanent teeth or the percentages of decay-free children in the F [fluoridated], NF [non-fluoridated], and PF [partially fluoridated] areas.” (2).

 

Kumar divided children into four groups based on their community’s water fluoride levels:

 

Less than 0.3 mg/L where 55.5% had cavities

From 0.3 to 0.7 mg/L where 54.6% had cavities

Optimal 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L where 54.4% had cavities

Over 1.2 mg/L where 56.4% had cavities

 

“Dr. Kumar’s published data exposes more evidence that fluoridation doesn’t reduce tooth decay,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.

 

“It’s criminal to waste taxpayers’ money on fluoridation, while exposing entire populations unnecessarily to fluoride’s health risks, especially when local and state governments are attempting to balance budgets by cutting essential services,” says Beeber.

 

Despite 60+ years of water fluoridation, Americans are spending more than ever on dental care. "between 1998 and 2008 the increase in the cost of dental services exceeded that of medical care and far exceeded the overall rate of inflation," according to Slate Magazine. Americans paid 44.2 percent of dental bills themselves compared to 10.3 percent of physician costs, Slate reports. (3)

 

Dentists' Nominal Net Income for 2000 was $533,000 up from $141,000 in 1982, according to the American Dental Assolciation Survey published in the March 2005 Journal of the American Dental Association. During the same time period, the number of Americans living in fluoridated communites went from 116 million to 172 million. (4)

 

Analysis of Kumar’s data:  http://tinyurl.com/MoneyDownTheDrain 

 

More information about fluoride and tooth decay:

http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/teeth/caries/fluoridation.html#surveys

 

 

References:

 

1) “The Association Between Enamel Fluorosis and Dental Caries in U.S. Schoolchildren,” Kumar & Iida Journal of the American Dental Association, July 2009

(Table 1)

 

1a) http://www.scribd.com/doc/18235930/NYC-Fluoridation-Costs-2008-Feb-2-200...

 

1b) http://www.council.nyc.gov/html/budget/PDFs/fy_10_exec_budget_dept_envir...

 

1c) http://www.freewebs.com/fluoridation/fluoridationfailsnewyork.htm

2) Fluoride: Journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research
April 1990 (Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 55-67)Water Fluoridation & Tooth Decay: Results from the 1986-1987 National Survey of US Schoolchildren,” by John A. Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D.

3) Slata Magazine, "The American Way of Dentistry, The Oral Cost Spiral" by June Thomas (September 29, 2009)

4) Fluoridation Statistics:

 

 

 

July 2, 2009 - 9:37am

 

Water suppliers nationwide, in the US, are required to supply consumers with annual Water Quality Reports or Consumer Confidence Reports at least once a year. 
 
“Consumers should take this yearly opportunity to check their water fluoride levels,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. "If your water department adds fluoride chemicals, tell them and your legislators to stop. They are wasting your money and endangering your health," says Beeber.
 
“If your water is not fluoridated, don’t be complacent.  The American Dental Association has mobilized their army of dentists nationwide to go to your legislators and convince them that you need to swallow more fluoride (a) without any knowledge of how much fluoride you are already ingesting,” says Beeber
 
Dental fluorosis (discolored teeth), the visible sign of fluoride overdose, now afflicts up 48% of school children, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  
Fluoride's purported benefits are topical but its risks are systemic, says the CDC. "This means there is no good reason to swallow fluoride and no logical justification for water fluoridation," says Beeber.
 
A 2006 review of peer-reviewed studies in respected journals by the prestigious National Research Council (NRC) reveals fluoride is a health risk even at low levels added to water supplies. Especially harmed are high-water drinkers, babies, kidney and thyroid patients. The NRC panel found that fluoride’s links to cancer and lowered IQ are plausible.
 
Because of the NRC report, the CDC and the American Dental Association both advise that infant formula should NOT be mixed with fluoridated water.
 
The NRC report also caused the National Kidney Foundation to advise that “Individuals with CKD  [Chronic Kidney Disease] should be notified of the potential risk of fluoride exposure.” Too much fluoride damages bones and malfunctioning kidneys do not excrete fluoride properly allowing a toxic build-up in the bones.
 
Besides, fluoride ingestion is not stopping tooth decay in primary teeth.
 
According to a systematic review of fluoride supplement research published in the November 2008 Journal of the American Dental Association, "There is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries in primary teeth." In fact, the authors could find only one study, from China, showing any fluoride benefit to primary teeth and that study was probably biased with a high withdrawal rate, the authors write.
 
Fluoride supplements never underwent FDA testing.(1)
 
"Fluoridation began with the untested belief that ingested fluoride prevented tooth decay in small children, only. Evidence-based-dentistry now shows that swallowing fluoride poses dental risks without benefits to the very children fluoridation was supposed to help," says Beeber.
 
"It may...be that fluoridation of drinking water does not have a strong protective effect against early childhood caries (cavities) reports
dentist Howard Pollick, University of California, and colleagues, in  the Winter 2003 Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
 
Beeber advises: Call your water department, ask if fluoride chemicals are added into your water supply.  Then ask them and your local legislators, “Who has the authority to stop fluoridation?”  Organize your neighbors to lobby the appropriate agency or department to have them cease fluoridation. You will be saving your community money and improving overall health with no increased dental risk. In fact, many studies show that when fluoridation ends, tooth decay rates actually go down or stay the same.
 
Fluoride does occur naturally in most water systems. But over 90% of fluoridating communities use silicofluorides, waste products of phosphate fertilizer production, which carry trace amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxins, according to NSF International, the governing body over water additives.(2)
 
Opposition to fluoridation is scientific, respectable and growing in numbers and political popularity.
 
On November 4, 2008, 53 US cities rejected fluoridation joining a growing list of communities saying "No" to fluoridation.
 
Dr. Joey Hensley, a respected practicing physician serving in the Tennessee legislature, urges all Tennessee Water Districts to stop fluoridation. At least 31 Tennessee water districts have already complied.
 
Over 2,550 professionals signed a statement urging the US Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted, citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement: http://www.fluorideaction.org/statement.august.2007.html
 
Also, 11 Environmental Protection Agency unions, representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals, called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country, and have asked EPA management to recognize fluoride as posing a serious risk of causing cancer in people. (3)
 
Fluoridation is now a political issue usually defended and promoted, without valid science, by organized dentistry and their members in federal and state health departments as well as those in private practice.
 
For more information on fluoride's adverse health effects, visit the Fluoride Action Network Health Page at  http://www.FluorideAction.Net/health 
 
Join the 21,000 Americans calling on Congress to stop fluoridation here:  http://congress.FluorideAction.Net
 
 
SOURCE:  New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof
http://www.FluorideAction.Net
 
References:
 
 
1) August 2000 letter from NJ Assemblyman Kelly to Senator Robert Smith http://www.fluoridealert.org/fda.htm
 
 

3)  Press Release August 19, 2005, “EPA Unions Call for Nationwide Moratorium on Fluoridation, Congressional Hearing on Adverse Effects, Youth Cancer Cover Up,” Contact: Dr. William Hirzy, Vice-President NTEU Chapter 280
 
 
 
 

 

March 13, 2009 - 10:01am
posted by Joseph Langen in death, writing, drugs, mystery.

 

(New Orleans Cemetery)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: I've been thinking about death this morning.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: Two people I know recently died under suspicious circumstances.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: Chemical abuse seems to be involved in both deaths.
CALLIOPE: Do you know that for sure?
JOE: No, but I know that both people have struggled for years with substance abuse.
CALLIOPE: What are you thoughts about this?
JOE: I wonder why people would risk their lives to get high.
CALLIOPE: Maybe they are trying to get our of a hole rather than high.
JOE: Entirely possible. I hadn't thought of it that way.
CALLIOPE: I notice you have never written about drugs or alcohol.
JOE: True. I haven't understood it well enough to express any opinions.
CALLIOPE: What about writing about the mystery of drug use?
JOE: It's something to consider. Talk with you tomorrow.
September 22, 2008 - 5:45pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, drugs.

An "Unwanted Pill Collection" will be held on October 4, from 8:00am to noon at the Pavilion Fire Department on Route 19 for area residents to dispose of their old prescription drugs, according to the Daily News. Anyone from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties can come by to make use of the service. You don't even have to get out of your car. Drive up, drop off the pills, and continue on your way.

Health officials hope that by offering folks the opportunity to safely dispose of old medications—they will be burned in an incinerator—we can keep the drugs from tainting the water supply or getting into the hands of people who should not be taking them.

In other news, the county's Building and Grounds department will now be known as Facilities Management.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

July 25, 2008 - 10:34am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, sheriff, drugs.

Genesee County's Local Drug Enforcement Task Force reported the arrest of a Batavia man for drug possession. Thrity-one-year-old Terry E. Smith, of 27 Dellinger Ave, was charged with a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance last night. Smith was stopped on Fisher Park in Batavia and found allegedly in possession of nearly an ounce of cocaine. He was also charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.

Smith was sent to Genesee County Jail without bail.

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