Come to the Depot from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to hear about warning signs of substance abuse and what to do about it. This “Straight Talk” event is presented by Maggie Young of Liberation Programs and Ingrid Gillespie of Communities 4 Action. Know:
When you should help. Who you should call. How and when to start the conversation.
Eighty percent of crime in and around Darien is related to drug abuse (including crimes committed to get money for drugs), Darien Police Sgt. Jeremiah Marron told an Al Jazeera America cable news reporter on a segment about heroin in the suburbs. Al Jazeera America broadcast the 3-minute-15-second segment on Dec. 21 and posted it to its Facebook account on Dec. 23.
A 22-year-old Darien man overdosed on heroin and received an injection of Narcan, a brand of Naloxone, from first responders after a family member found him, according to Darien police. A Darien EMS-Post 53 ambulance which responded to the Nov. 23 call took the man to Stamford Hospital for treatment. He survived the incident, police said. Darien EMS-Post 53 crews are trained in the use of Naloxone, which can quickly counteract the dangers of a heroin overdose, although the effect is temporary and further treatment at a hospital is soon needed.
Heroin and opioid painkillers are so powerfully addictive that no method of ending the addiction is 100 percent effective, although treatment specialists have ways of increasing the odds of success. According to Dr. John Douglas, clinical director of the Outpatient Addiction Program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, drug therapy doesn’t always work, and counseling by itself doesn’t always work — but taken together, the success rate is pretty high. Highly addictive
Heroin and other opioids “are some of the most addictive drugs in the world,” Douglas said at the Nov. 5 panel discussion“Straight Talk-Lifting the Veil: Facing the Hidden Drug Epidemic in Darien” held at Town Hall. “That term, ‘addiction’ is, I think slippery for people.
Nick deSpoelberch had it all — fine job as dean of students at a prestigious New York City private school, wife, kids and nice house back in Darien — until he didn’t, undone by heroin. Then he recovered. Now the Darien resident is an addiction and mental health counselor in Bridgeport making a third of what he used to make. But he’s free of heroin and happy. deSpoelberch related his story Nov.
With cheap heroin becoming easily available in and near Darien, you can do a number of things to make it less likely that your child will become addicted to it or prescription opioid drugs similar to it, according to experts at a recent panel discussion in Darien. Advice from members of the panel discussion, “Straight Talk-Lifting the Veil: Facing the Hidden Drug Epidemic in Darien” (which Darienite.com is combining with previously reported advice from Police Chief Duane Lovello) at seemed to fall into three categories:
Preventing opioid prescription medications from getting into the child’s hands at home (after a doctor prescribed them either for the child or for a family member);
Countering the influence of your child’s friends who could lead him or her into drug use;
Taking more active steps when your suspicions are aroused. Parents should also recognize that athletes at school also have an incentive to abuse pain medications to keep playing a sport after an injury. __________
This article, the second in a series “Heroin in Darien” based on the “Straight Talk-Lifting the Veil: Facing the Hidden Drug Epidemic in Darien” panel discussion on Nov. 5, looks at what parents, potential addicts and others can do to prevent addiction or begin to deal with it.
A 21-year-old without a pulse. A 19-year-old, eyes rolled back, lying on the side of a road. The same young man had been revived from an overdose two days before. These incidents happened in the past two weeks, police say. In Darien, according to police, heroin and related painkillers are wrecking lives of addicts and traumatizing their families at a faster pace in the past year, shocking veteran detectives, putting Post 53 teenagers into disturbing scenes and contributing to crimes in town.
Heroin is cheap in Darien and the region, is available to youth, and in fighting it the “best tool we can possibly have in this battle is an engaged and active parent who knows what’s going on in their kids’ lives,” Police Chief Duane Lovello says. “We do have investigations going on right now, as we speak, into heroin ‘trafficking,’ so to speak and use here in Darien,” he told the Police Commission on Wednesday. “We are seeing a significant uptick in heroin usage,” he continued. “We are seeing more of it being marketed in Darien, we are seeing more of it being used in Darien. […] That’s not just affecting Darien, but it’s affecting […] the entire Northeast.”