Opiate addiction.

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Family says life-saving option not available in Rhode Island to heroin users
by KATIE DAVIS, WJARMonday, May 22nd 2017
 
A Rhode Island family is speaking out, just days after losing their 29-year-old son to an opiate overdose. The family believes there’s an option that may have saved his life, but Rhode Island law wouldn’t allow it.
They asked not to be identified to protect their privacy following their son’s death.
He died inside their home the night before Mother’s Day.
“I think there’s too many loopholes that people are falling through. Too many cracks. People are dying. Kids are dying,” said the young man’s father.
The young man’s father reached out to WJAR-TV just over a month ago, feeling helpless as his adult son battled heroin addiction. Two days before the family’s scheduled interview, their son died inside their home. Despite their grief, the family asked to go to forward with the story, hoping to help save other lives.
The 29-year-old had overdosed at least five times in the months before his death, but was relived with the opiate antidote Naloxone each time. Sometimes his parents gave it to him, while other times Richmond Police Officers or EMTs helped save him. He was also hospitalized for overdoses on multiple occasions, but released immediately after he was in stable condition, his parents said.
But once the immediate emergency was over, the family felt helpless.
“Because he is over 18, no one can make him do anything,” his father said. “He had to have wanted to save himself. The problem is, the addiction is so strong mentally, they’re not able to make that decision for themselves.”
Thirty-seven states allow some form of what’s known as involuntary commitmentforcing a loved one into rehab for a limited time period. In Massachusetts, parents can appear in court and ask a judge to commit an adult child to treatment, if there’s a “likelihood of serious harm,” according to state law.
The Richmond family felt they could prove that. But in Rhode Island, involuntary commitment is only legal for alcoholism, not for substance abuse.
Just days before his death, the young man talked with his father about a desire to get help.
“He was very positive, twice this past week, about getting a new job, about moving on, about not using anymore,” his father said. “We gave each other a great big hug, and I thought it was over. Saturday, I found him unresponsive in the basement, and it was too late.”
Too late, because three doses of Naloxone administered by his parents and Richmond Police couldn’t bring him back.
“We begged the doctors. We begged the hospital,” his father said of the family’s efforts to force their son into treatment.
A family doctor explained that while involuntary commitment was allowed in Rhode Island for alcoholics or for people suffering from other mental health conditions, it wasn’t allowed for those battling substance abuse.
“I strongly believe we would have saved my son if we had that option,” his father said.
About eight thousand people were involuntarily committed in Massachusetts last year, sent to state rehab facilities or sometimes held in jail until a bed becomes available. Governor Charlie Baker introduced a bill to expand the practice so that families could request a 72-hour hold without first going to court, which could be helpful when an overdose happens overnight or on weekends. That bill is now making its way through the Massachusetts legislature. New Hampshire is also considering legislation that would make involuntary commitment legal in that state.
But the practice has some advocates raising red flags.
“It’s a very controversial issue right now,” said Jonathan Goyer of Anchor Recovery Center in Pawtucket.
Goyer is in recovery from opiate addiction and lost both his father and brother to the disease. He now works fulltime to help other people battling addiction.
“Having lost a father and brother to this disease, I fully do understand what it’s like to want somebody to get help,” he said.
But despite that, he doesn’t feel involuntary commitments are the answer.
“I think people have their own process. People are ready when they’re ready,” Goyer said of addiction recovery. “That’s not a process that can be pushed upon them by friends or by family.”
Even if involuntary commitment for substance abuse became legal in Rhode Island, there simply aren’t enough treatment bed available, Goyer said.
“Where would we put them? Where would we involuntarily commit them to?” he asked. “The waiting list for residential treatment right now…is about a three-week waiting list.”
Even those who want to get help often find themselves facing a shortage of beds and have nowhere to go.
“I think we have a lot of other work to do in the State of Rhode Island before we look at [involuntary commitments],” he said. “Oftentimes people that want help have to go the extra mile to get it.”
But after losing his son, the father believes Rhode Island families should be able to step in to try to save a loved one’s life.
“We could have saved my son, if that was the case,” he said.
 
So forcing a person who wants no help,(of course the family says at the 23rd hour that he wanted help), into therapy is the answer when MOST OF THE TIME this approach fails! Yes, you can ask,”what if it was YOUR child?” I say that it is fucking hard to go thru this, but I sure as fuck wouldn’t have a 29 year old child living at home turning my life upside down with his fucking heroin addiction! This is just absolute co-dependence! Tragic as it is, this is no one’s fault but the addict. Great fucking advice? DON’T DO HEROIN!! These Liberals need to realize that some of this is just a culling of the overpopulated herd! Stop wasting time on this folly and save foster children, abused animals and goddammed whales!
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Aside

Chinese farms cause more pollution than factories, says official survey

Groundbreaking government survey pinpoints fertilisers and pesticides as greater source of water contamination

Pollution from toxin in Chinese farmland, Guangzhou, China

Overuse of fertilisers and pesticides has sent agricultural pollution through the roof. Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA

Farmers’ fields are a bigger source of water contamination in China than factory effluent, the Chinese government revealed today in its first census on pollution.

Senior officials said the disclosure, after a two-year study involving 570,000 people, would require a partial realignment of environmental policy from smoke stacks to chicken coops, cow sheds and fruit orchards.

Despite the sharp upward revision of figures on rural contamination, the government suggested the country’s pollution problem may be close to – or even past – a peak. That claim is likely to prompt scepticism among environmental groups.

 

• Anti-pollution riots break out in China
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The release of the groundbreaking report was reportedly delayed by resistance from the agriculture ministry, which had previously insisted that farms contributed only a tiny fraction of pollution in China.

The census disproves these claims completely. According to the study, agriculture is responsible for 43.7% of the nation’s chemical oxygen demand (the main measure of organic compounds in water), 67% of phosphorus and 57% of nitrogen discharges.

At the launch of the paper, Wang Yangliang of the ministry of agriculture recognised the fall-out from intensive farming methods.

“Fertilisers and pesticides have played an important role in enhancing productivity but in certain areas improper use has had a grave impact on the environment,” he said. “The fast development of livestock breeding and aquaculture has produced a lot of food but they are also major sources of pollution in our lives.”

He said the ministry would introduce measures to improve the efficiency of pesticide and fertiliser use, to expand biogas generation from animal waste, and to change agricultural lifestyles to protect the environment.

While the high figure for rural pollution is partly explained by the immense size of China’s agricultural sector, it also reflects the country’s massive dependency on artificial farm inputs such as fertilisers.

The government says this is necessary because China uses only 7% of the world’s land to feed 22% of the global population. An industrial lobby is pushing for even greater use of chemicals. It includes the huge power company CNOOC, which runs the country’s largest nitrogen fertiliser factory in Hainan’s Dongfang City.

But the returns on this chemical investment are poor. According to a recent Greenpeace report, the country consumes 35% of the world’s nitrogen fertiliser, which wastes energy and other resources, while adding to water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Agricultural pollution has become one of China’s gravest environmental crises,” said Greenpeace campaign director Sze Pangcheung. “China needs to step up the fight against the overuse of fertilisers and pesticides and promote ecological agriculture which has obvious advantages for human heath, the environment, and sustainable development of agriculture.”

Wen Tiejun, dean of the school of agriculture and rural development at Renmin university, said the survey should be used as a turning point. His research suggested that Chinese farmers used almost twice as much fertiliser as they needed.

“For almost all of China’s 5,000-year history, agriculture had given our country a carbon-absorbing economy but in the past 40 years, agriculture has become one of the top pollution sources,” he said. “Experience shows that we don’t have to rely on chemical farming to resolve the food security issue. The government needs to foster low-pollution agriculture.”

But in what appears to be a statistical sleight of hand, the government said the new agricultural data and other figures from the census would not be used to evaluate the success of its five-year plan to reduce pollution by 10%.

Zhang Lijun, the environmental protection vice-minister, claimed China was cleaning up its pollution problem far faster than other countries during their dirty stage of development.

“Because China follows a different pattern of development, it is very likely that pollution will peak when per capita income reaches US$3,000,” he said, comparing this with the $8,000 he said was the norm in other nations.

If true, it would suggest the worst of China’s pollution problems may already be over. According to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, per capita incomes in China have already passed this point. If exchange rates and a low cost of living are factored in, Chinese incomes may be equivalent to more than $6,000.

But Zhang’s claim is contestable. As countless pollution scandals have revealed, many industries and local governments routinely under-report emissions and waste.

Many harmful or controversial forms of pollution are either not measured – as is the case for carbon dioxide and small particle emissions – or the data is not made public, as is the case for ozone.

Zheng said the government would expand its monitoring system in the next five-year plan.

Extracts from China’s first pollution report (for 2007):

• Sulphur dioxide emissions 23.2 million tonnes (91.3% from industry)

• Nitrogen oxide emissions: 18 million tonnes (30% from vehicles)

• Chemical oxygen demand discharges: 30.3 billion tonnes (44% from agriculture)

• Soot: 11.7 million tonnes.

• Solid waste: 3.8 billion tonnes (of which 45.7m tonnes is hazardous)

• Heavy metal discharges: 900 tonnes

• Livestock faeces: 243 million tonnes.

• Livestock urine: 163 million tonnes

• Plastic film on cropfields: 121,000 tonnes (80.3% recycled)