BALTIMORE — After a month of painful withdrawal that bunched her body into a tight ball, after tremors and diarrhea and sleeplessness and difficulty eating, Makenzee Kennedy went home to her bed in a drug rehab facility to celebrate a milestone:... She lives there for now with her mother, 31-year-old Ashley Kennedy, who is 11 years into her on-again, off-again struggle with heroin addiction. If all goes well, Makenzee will never again see the inside of Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, where she was weaned off drugs through intensive, round-the-clock care. “It’s not my first time trying to stop,” Ashley Kennedy acknowledged as she bottle-fed Makenzee. “It’s my last time now. I don’t want to touch another drug after putting my baby through this. In communities across the nation, the collateral damage of the heroin epidemic is rippling through the health-care system. The rate of hepatitis C is skyrocketing, fueled by needle sharing among addicts. Experts worry that an upturn in HIV rates may not be far behind. And the rate of fatal heroin overdoses has quadrupled over the past 10 years. In Baltimore, nearly two-thirds of the 302 overdose deaths last year were caused by heroin. [ Heroin deaths have nearly tripled in just three years, quadrupled in the past decade ]. “We have a very serious issue in the U. S. right now in terms of the use of heroin and other opiate agents,” said Alan Spitzer, senior vice president at... Among the most heartbreaking developments: a sharp rise in the number of drug-exposed newborns like Makenzee. The incidence of “neonatal abstinence syndrome” has quadrupled over nine years, to 2. 7 percent of all neonatal intensive care (NICU) admissions, according to a study published in May by Spitzer and others. The cost to care for each child has also soared, to an average of $53,000 in 2009, according to other research. With a bag of heroin now cheaper than a pack cigarettes, people once addicted to costly prescription opioids are turning to the cheaper street drug in alarming numbers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, heroin has invaded suburban and rural America, places such as Elkton, a small town of 15,000 in northern Maryland where Ashley Kennedy grew up. [ Suburban addict describes his brush with death. Source: www.washingtonpost.com
Sarah Lee Circle Bear died of a methamphetamine overdose while in Brown County Jail, some 52 or so hours after being taken into custody. The 24-year-old Claremont woman died the afternoon of July 5. An autopsy released Thursday by the attorney general’s office explains the death was due to acute methamphetamine/amphetamine toxicity. As the state’s investigation now turns to the source of the meth, a timeline is becoming clear that limits when Circle Bear could have been in possession of the drug. Circle Bear was initially taken into custody July 3 by the South Dakota Highway Patrol after being involved in a traffic accident in Roberts County around 7 or 8 a. m. , said Sara Rabern, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office. Wayne Pahl was also in the vehicle with Circle Bear during the accident, Rabern said. Both taken to the Roberts County Jail. At the Roberts County Jail, it was discovered that Circle Bear was wanted in Brown County for a bond violation. She spent most of July 3, a Friday, in the jail until she was taken to the Brown County Jail, Rabern said. Circle Bear arrived at the Brown County Jail just before midnight on July 3, Rabern said. Generally, when an inmate goes through the intake process at the Brown County Jail, he or she is required to undergo a health screening. Staffers ask the inmate a series of medical questions, including about the use or ingestion of any drugs or alcohol. Authorities have not said if Circle Bear was intoxicated or on drugs when she was booked into Brown County Jail. On July 5, Circle Bear was found in a holding cell unconscious and unresponsive and taken to Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, where she was declared dead by a doctor. Brown County coroner Michael Carlsen said Circle Bear was declared dead at 1:22 p. m. July 5 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital. However, a Marshall County court document seeking court-appointed attorney fees concerning a case in which Circle Bear faced minor drug charges includes a clerk’s note that Circle Bear died in the Brown County Jail. From the time Circle Bear was arrested in Roberts County until the time of her death, she was in custody. It is unknown as to how the toxic and deadly levels of methamphetamine found a way into Circle Bear’s bloodstream, and her father, Terrence Circle Bear, has his doubts about the cause of death. “How did she get that much meth. Source: www.correctionsone.com
“These are special days. ” It was almost two decades ago, but I vividly remember my friend’s words as she wrapped the receiving blanket around her newborn. She looked like any new mother sitting on a hospital bed lovingly stroking back non-existent hair from her infant’s face. There was a big difference though, between this mom and other new moms. There was no proud father standing at her side or family to support her. In three days she would sign papers that would make her child part of another couple’s life forever. She was a birth mother on a three-day hiatus from reality. How could she call these special days. Her words haunted me in a bittersweet sort of way. I understood that she was doing what she needed to do. She couldn’t take care of herself, let alone a little one. Experiencing a crisis pregnancy, she said she had prayed and asked God to guide her. A short time later, she met a couple desperate for a baby and everything fell into place. Watching her try to cram a lifetime into three days made me think back to the beginning of my own child’s life. I was more blessed than my friend. Even though I was a young single mom, I had support. My late ex-husband took our son for visits, and my grandmother insisted that I finish college. I was in my mid-twenties and had less than two years to complete a Bachelors degree. Gram firmly pointed out that if I made minimum wage for the rest of my life, it would be difficult to support a child alone, and being a professional would make our lives economically better. She even let us move in with her, until I could find an affordable apartment near the university. I went to school, worked, and took care of my tiny charge. Often I studied into the wee hours of the night, while my baby slept. Stressed by my taxing schedule, I couldn’t enjoy my son. Things weren’t easy, but we got by. The truth is that every bag of groceries and every month the rent was paid became a victory of divine provision. There are struggles that only a single parent knows about, but there are also miracles that belong to us alone. Then one day as I put a spoonful of food into eight-month-old Zachary’s mouth, it was as if time stood still. A warning voice deep inside told me to take a mental snapshot as these were special days. It was an eerie feeling realizing in that instant how fleeting his childhood would be. Knowing too, that despite my hectic schedule and the daunting task of. Source: tdn-net.com
The customers accused Repine of not putting straws in their bag and she responded by telling ... the attackers to stop because Repine was pregnant, however, the assault continued. Repine was taken to a local hospital with two black eyes and scratches ...