Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You're invited...

Example is hosting a special assembly this Thursday, April 24 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.  Recovering addicts involved with Families Against Narcotics (FAN) will speak to Lutheran North’s student body on the dangerous and often fatal consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. 

During a three-year span, Macomb County has had the highest fatal heroin overdoses in the state of Michigan.  Parents are invited to attend the assembly to learn more about the dangers of this epidemic.

The assembly begins at 10:00 a.m. in the main gym and concludes at 11:00. 
Contact John Brandt JBrandt@lhsa.com if you have any questions.

Monday, April 21, 2014

“Most parents think it won’t happen to their child.”

Here are three reasons why you need to read the second part of Jameson Cook's article on heroin use in Macomb County.
  • Henry Ford said in a press release last fall that many young people are prescribed “more pills than necessary to treat short-term pain.The youngsters liked how the drugs make them feel and naively thought since they were prescribed by a physician, they were safer and less addictive than alcohol or street drugs,” Henry Ford said. “For some, it would eventually lead to dependence on ... highly addictive heroin.” Click here to read the entire article.
  • Parents can’t turn a blind eye toward their children, FAN president, Judge Linda Davis said. “The hardest part is getting the parents to come to events,” Davis said. “Most parents think it won’t happen to their child.”  Click here to read the entire article.
  • “The Warren Police Department has not seized any heroin in our schools,” stated Louis Galasso, Deputy Commissioner of the Warren Police Department. “But that doesn’t mean school-age kids aren’t using. I’m not putting my head in the sand and saying it doesn’t exist.”  Click here to read the entire article.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Macomb County leads state in fatal heroin overdoses

Here are three reasons why you need to read this Macomb Daily article by Jameson Cook.

  • Heroin and opiate prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed in the county in recent years, giving Macomb the dubious distinction of leading the state in fatal heroin overdoses over a three-year period...“It’s something that happening in every community,” said Judge Linda Davis, president of the statewide organization, Fraser-based Families Against Narcotics (FAN), formed in 2007. “We’ve been screaming about it for the past seven years and nobody listened. Now kids are dropping like flies. They’re not just addicted now, they’re dying. We are getting so many calls from people wanting to get involved with us.”  Read the entire article.
  • Randy O’Brien, who treats addicts as director of the Macomb County Office of Substance Abuse (MCOSA), described a common scenario: A youth or young adult gains access to pill swiped from his or her parents or grandparents’ medicine cabinet, or is prescribed pain pills for a sports injury or a procedure such as wisdom-teeth removal.“They’ll use that for a while go get their buzz,” O’Brien said. ”But that source will dry up and that start looking out the streets. … They’ll graduate to heroin. They start snorting it and before too long that start using needles for the better effect. It (injection) gives them an immediate high.”Data supports the rise in opiate abuse. Admissions to county-sponsored treatment programs for heroin and other opiates has more than doubled in 10 years, climbing from 1,126 in 2004, to 2,045 in 2008 to 2,497 in 2013, according to MCOSA. Read the entire article.
  • Andrew Fortunato of Fraser, was an athlete and well-spoken high schooler who became an alcoholic and advanced to opiate prescription addiction following a prescription for an injury suffered in a bicycle accident. But he stopped short of heroin. He has become a speaker for FAN, ran a “recovery house” for a year and is a mental health technician at a hospital.“(Opiate addiction) is usually a very gradual process,” Fortunato said. “Nobody wakes up and says, ‘I think I want to become a heroin addict today.’ It’s a slow and steady slide to the gateway of hell.” Read the entire article.
However, if you read the article and still think this will never happen to your family or in your school, please watch this video.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Team Stuef Triumphs at Tour de 'Stang

Example's March event was the Tour de 'Stang. The night's guest speaker was Betsy Andreu. Betsy's husband is former professional cyclist Frankie Andreu who was captain of the U.S. Postal Service professional cycling team that won the Tour de France was Lance Armstrong's teammate.

Betsy Andreu spoke about the attacks on her character that came after she learned Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs. She encouraged students to not succumb to the temptation of taking recreational or performance-enhancing drugs. She said the money might be nice but the consequences of rotting your soul and endangering your health are certainly not worth it. She also encouraged students to remain fixed to the truth no matter how insurmountable or formidable the pressure may seem. 

With Betsy Andreu as our speaker it only made sense that we had a cycling-themed activity.  Blind-man cycling required endurance, trusted teammates, the ability to know right from left and a desire to win.  In other words it was exactly like the Tour de France... but different.

Navigting the Alpe d'MusicRoom required superior climbing skills and trustworthy teammates.

 Each team selected a cyclist and promptly wrapped paper towels around around his/her head.  The domestiques took turns yelling out directions to the blind cyclist over the meandering course through the school's hallways. 

Superior navigational skills allowed Team Stuef to stand atop the podium.
Tour de 'Stang Champs!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Some party

I just read this mother's story about how her daughter nearly died because of some terribly bad decisions.  Example encourages you to read the story and realize consequences like these can be avoided.

Attention Parents:

This is what 2 beers, 2 shots of Captain Morgan, 2 shots of apple pie moonshine, 2 shots of whiskey, and a handful of liquor soaked blueberries looks like on a 16 year old.

My daughter and her cousin decided to throw themselves a party last night while they were home alone for 2 hours at their dads' house. They raided the liquor cabinet and when my ex husband got home he found the girls drunk and our daughter unresponsive. He rushed her to the hospital in Wyoming, and Court and I met him there.

When I arrived I was rushed into the ER and there was my child, lying on a gurney. She was covered in heated blankets to combat hyperthermia - her body temperature was 95 degrees. She was being pumped full of iv fluids. One of the tubes in her throat was running into her stomach continously draining the fluid therein.

It took the ER team 3 attempts to intubate Taylor, they tore her throat up in the process. It was necessary - so she could be attached to the ventilator which spent the next 13 hours breathing for her, because she wasn't able to breathe on her own.

She was rushed by ambulance to U of M Amplatz Children's Hospital around midnight.
My daughter's symptoms were caused by her blood alcohol level reaching it's plateau at .43.
More than 5 times the legal limit.
High enough to kill a grown man.

The Doctors at Amplatz made it very clear to us that had her father had not found our child when he did, she would have undoubtedly died in that house last night.
We, by the Grace Of God alone, will not be burying our child this week. But only because we are extremely blessed. And extremely lucky.

Some party.

I hope my daughter and my niece understand how fortunate they both are. I hope they learned a valuable lesson in this. And I hope this experience shared can help prevent another child losing her life to alcohol.

Parents: 2 hours. They were only alone for 2 hours.
Kids: 2 beers and 6 shots is all it took to almost kill this girl.
Please share this. Help raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol poisoning and teenage binge drinking.  

I never thought I could find us in a situation like this.
Neither did Taylor.
Maybe we should have.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Example Olympics: A Gold Medal Night

Saturday's Example Olympics began with a presentation from Dave Winowiecki of Families Against Narcotics. Dave explained his son's descent into drug use, his near death from an overdose of heroin and the danger and confusion of legalizing marijuana.  Example is thankful Dave and F.A.N. possess such a passion to inform and explain the dangerous consequences of drug use.

The fierce competition took the chill out of the arctic air once the events began.

The first Example Olympic event took place under the stadium lights.  Olympic athletes battled the deep snow and each other as they raced from one end of the field to the other.

Next up was the Human Luge.

The Biathlon required Example Olympians to combine brute force... 

...with impeccable accuracy.
The last event of the 2014 Example Olympics was hockey.
Each goalie donned impaired-vision safety goggles while opponents fired shots like it was their job. Which it was.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Harming Our Communities and Children

Recently, on his radio show, Morning in America, Dr. Bill Bennett interviewed  Dr. Bob DuPont. They discussed the dangers of marijuana and why legalizing it will result in more harm to our children and our communities.

If you disagree with Dr. DuPont you need to listen to the interview.
If you agree with Dr. DuPont you need to listen to the interview.
If you have children you need to listen to the interview.
If you are in high school you need to listen to the interview.

Truly, you need to listen to the interview.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What do you think you know about heroin?

Angela Haupt, editor with the Health and Wellness section at U.S. News wrote the following article and we wanted to share it with our Example community.
On the day Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent heroin overdose, so did roughly 100 other Americans – 100 lives claimed by heroin or some other drug.
“Everyone’s talking about him, and we want to know whose phone numbers were in his cellphone,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. “All of that’s important, but in Washington, in San Diego, in Chicago and in Vermont, people died. And that’s the nature of this. People say he was a smart guy, that he should have known it was bad. Of course he knew it was bad – the problem is, his brain was constantly telling him that some heroin would be a very good idea."
Hoffman’s death highlights a steep increase in drug overdoses. Consider that in 2010, there were 38,329 such deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than double the 16,849 fatal overdoses recorded in 1999. Overdosing is now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., ahead of traffic fatalities and gun homicides. And health officials warn that we’re in the midst of a new heroin epidemic that will only get worse before it gets better.
“It’s not that Hoffman overdosed on heroin – it’s that he was using heroin in the first place,” Pasierb says. “Like there’s some safe level. Like if only he would have taken less, then somehow this would have been OK.”
Aside from the obvious truth that no amount is safe, here's what you need to know about the drug:
It’s a depressant. Heroin – a white to dark brown powder or tar-like substance – is a highly-addictive opioid drug extracted from poppy plants and synthesized from morphine. It’s a downer, which means it's a depressant that slows messages traveling between the brain and body. When it enters the body, it’s converted back into morphine, and users feel a rush of euphoria. “You have an extraordinary sense of well-being,” says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “It’s bliss. It removes any sense of discomfort.” Once the brain discovers that effect – that powerful high – it begins to crave it again and again. “And if you don’t have that drug onboard, you feel awful,” Volkow says. “Things that in the past would produce pleasure no longer do.”
It’s linked with prescription drug abuse. The No. 1 sign that someone will use heroin, Pasierb says, is that he or she abused prescription painkillers like Vicodin and oxycodone. “Where I am in NYC, I’m looking out at Madison Square Park,” he says. “I can probably go out there and find an oxycodone for about $40. I could go down to Washington Square Park and get five envelopes of heroin for $40.”Those are the “economics of what’s driving the increase in heroin use,” Pasierb says.
There are signs that someone is using. When someone is abusing heroin, he or she may suffer from shortness of breath, dry mouth, a droopy appearance and cycles of hyper alertness followed by sudden drowsiness. Their pupils will likely appear small. Users may also show sudden changes in behavior or actions. “At one moment, they may be extremely friendly and sociable and very happy, and then they may be the opposite – very aggressive,” Volkow says. She adds that as heroin starts to leave the body, a person’s heart rate will spike, he or she will begin to sweat and the user might even experience seizures. “It’s a very severe withdrawal,” she says.
There are multiple ways to use it. Twenty or 30 years ago, heroin was 6 to 10 percent pure, Pasierb says – so if people wanted to get high, the only choice they had was to inject it. These days, heroin is 50 to 60 percent pure, so most users start by snorting it, then gradually progress to smoking and injecting it. “Maybe you’ve taken a couple oxycodones, and you’re now dependent on them, and you say you’re never going to put a needle in your arm,” Pasierb says. “So you grind up some heroin and snort it, and that actually works for a little while.” But then you build up a tolerance, so in pursuit of a better high, you decide to smoke it. That works for a while, too, until you again become tolerant. “And lo and behold, the only way to capture that high is to inject it into your arm,” Pasierb says.
There’s such thing as “bad heroin.” A batch of so-called “bad heroin” has been making headlines across the East Coast, reportedly killing 22 people in western Pennsylvania over the course of a week. It’s mixed with the prescription narcotic Fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Dealers use fentanyl to spike heroin as a “product marketing” tactic, Pasierb says – it provides a more powerful high than standard batches. “The problem is, these guys mixing it into some of the heroin they’re selling aren’t mixing the right amount, and they’re killing their customers.” Fentanyl-laced or not, he cautions: “The key thing about heroin is you don’t know what you’re getting. Buying a bag on the street is Russian roulette – open the chamber and see what you get."
Withdrawal is brutal. Imagine that you haven’t eaten for three or four days, and then food is withheld for another three days. You’ll become psychologically and physically distraught. “You’re in agony,” Pasierb says. “Your body is craving the thing you're refusing to give it. It’s a very tough, hard thing, and your body goes into a full-out revolt.” That’s why, even when people are determined to kick their habit, they often fail to do so without strong professional help.
It makes your body forget to breathe. Every time someone injects heroin, they’re risking an overdose. Most often, “it kills you because you stop breathing,” Volkow says. We typically don't need to think about breathing, because it's an automatic behavior driven by centers in the deep parts of our brain, and regulated by multiple neurotransmitters. But heroin inhibits the brain centers that control breathing, and after making someone feel calm and sleepy, the respiratory drive will simply shut down. Short of death, heroin can cause an array of serious health conditions, including hepatitis and HIV. Chronic users may suffer from collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, liver or kidney disease, and pulmonary complications like pneumonia.
[Read: Cory Monteith's Death Highlights Addiction 'Crisis'.]
No one is immune. Heroin affects all demographics and professions; men and women of all ages in all parts of the world. “It reaches everybody,” Volkow says. “That’s the case for addiction in general – you can have it in very rich people, in very poor people, in people who are 20 and people who are 64. It doesn’t discriminate.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Don't Be That Friend

Two Lutheran North students and members of Example created and submitted this video for the Courageous Persuaders public service announcement contest.  Kristin and Sonnet, thank you for your willingness to make a difference in the people God has placed in your lives.

"My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent... My son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their path." -Proverbs 1:10,15