Florida Man Claims He Didn’t Know Cocaine Was Illegal

Guy Lanchester, 46, is in jail for cocaine possession and tampering with evidence. He stated, “I don’t understand… I thought cocaine wasn’t illegal in Florida.”

A security officer working at the Pier House resort reported to the Key West police that Lanchester along with two other men were acting suspiciously around 2 a.m.

When the police came, they found Lanchester behind a flower pot trying to ditch a small plastic baggie containing a white powdery substance.

Guy Lanchester Monroe County Sheriff’s Office 

He’s being held without bond, and is being charged with felony tampering with evidence.

Cocaine is definitely illegal and has many negative side-effects. Some of the short- term effects include anxiety, paranoia, addiction (even after one use) disturbed sleep patterns, panic, psychosis, convulsions, seizures, and even sudden death from high doses.

The long-term effects include permanent damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain, delirium, psychosis, severe tooth decay, severe depression, addiction, liver, kidney, and lung damage, risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

Here at our Florida drug rehab center, we have specialized programs that treat chemical dependency, as well as substance abuse. Our holistic drug rehab program can help guide you on the road to recovery. It’s never too late to change your life and lead a happy, healthy, addiction-free existence.

Al-Anon for Young Adults & Teens

Synergy Group Services Florida rehab for young adults encourages Alanon and Alateen participation. Many of our young adult clients come from social circles and families who have members in active addiction. This can impact their personal recovery – making Alanon and Alateen participation an essential tool for lasting sobriety.

Alateen is a part of Al-Anon created for young people. They hold meetings to share experiences of how a problem drinker has affected their lives. It’s incredibly difficult when a family member or loved one in a person’s life is an alcoholic. It affects how young people see the world and how they are treated. Teens can find support and empathy from people their own age who are facing similar challenges.

Al-Anon was formed in 1951 by Anne B. and Lois W., wife of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) co-founder, Bill W. They started this organization when they realized families members of alcoholics needed help too. Alateen formed in 1957. Alcoholism is a family disease, and the alcoholic as well as his or her family needs support too. The family or loved ones need a place to feel safe, free from judgement, and learn from others’ experiences.

Alateen Logo

Alateen meetings are sponsored by Al-Anon members who help keep the group focused. Alateens share their experiences, strength, and hope with each other. They learn practical ways to deal with problems, and discuss challenges. They learn how to use the Twelve Steps and Alateen’s Twelve Traditions. Members encourage each other and are offered a safe place to share their lives.

In Alateen meetings, everyone has been affected by someone’s drinking. They learn that they are not the cause of anyone’s drinking or behavior. They are allowed to emotionally detach themselves from a drinker’s turmoil, but still love the person. They learn they cannot control or change anyone but themselves. They can still have a rewarding life whether the alcoholic in their lives continues to drink, or not. They learn that no matter what happens at home, they have spiritual and intellectual resources they can develop individually.

Alateens attend weekly meetings usually held in a church, school room, or any other place that can hold meetings. It’s not a religious program, it’s a spiritual one. Each individual chooses a higher power of their understanding. Alateen is a life-changing organization that helps young people successfully deal with difficult challenges.

Alateen is a place for young people to go to deal with other people’s addictions affecting their lives, but unfortunately, sometimes young adults may turn to drugs or alcohol themselves as a way to cope with hardships. Here at our Florida drug rehab center, we have a specialized addiction program for young adults that can help begin the recovery process.

82% of Florida Voters Support Medical Marijuana

A year ago we posted a blog questioning medical marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington, and just recently Quinnipiac University in Florida conducted poll that revealed 82% of Florida voters would support the legalization of medical marijuana. However, when asked if they would approve personal use (not prescribed for medical reasons by a doctor) support dropped to 48%.

This poll was used to inform a ballot measure that medical marijuana proponents hope will be on the ballot in November 2014. Of the supporters for the ballot measure, 70% are Republican with the broadest support coming from young adult voters between the ages of 18 and 29.

Those who oppose the bill include Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R), who recently filed a challenge to the bill in the Florida Supreme Court, saying the proposed initiative is “deceptive” and will result in widespread doctor approval for prescriptions. She asserted, “The proposal hides the fact that the amendment would make Florida one of the most lenient medical-marijuana states, allowing use for limitless ‘other conditions’ specified by any physician.”

Given Florida’s history of questionable prescribing practices and leniency on opiates that the state is just gaining control over, this ballot may cause new problems related to new substances. At our Florida addiction treatment center, we treat people of all ages for marijuana dependency – especially the aforementioned young adult age group in our young adult treatment program.  It will be interesting to see how this ballot proceeds and how it will impact marijuana use and dependence in the state.

Mental Health and Addictive Disorders Causing Global Burden

Treatment for mental health and addictive disorders is now more pertinent than ever.

According to the recently published Global Burden of Disease Study, alcoholism, addiction and other mental health and substance abuse disorders are the number one cause of non-fatal illnesses in the world. This means that addiction and mental health cause more illness than even diabetes, cancer or HIV/AIDS.

The study’s co-leader, Louisa Degenhardt asserted that the findings “clearly show that illicit drug use is an important contributor to the global disease burden, and we now have the first global picture of this cause of health loss.” And the study was indeed global, as it looked at 187 countries and 20 mental health and substance abuse disorders and their overall impact on public health. They found that mental health and addictive disorders were responsible for nearly 23 percent of the entire disease burden worldwide – with the worst affected countries being the US and UK.

The study also showed that heroin caused the greatest health burden of all illegal drugs – as more than two-thirds of those who were dependent on drugs were young men aged 20 to 29 with 70 percent  dependent on opioids and cocaine.

Another leader of the study, Harvey Whiteford, gave insight that, “Despite the personal and economic costs, treatment rates for people with mental and substance use disorders are low, and even in developed countries, treatment is typically provided many years after the disorder begins.”

This is very much in line with what we see here at Synergy Group Services. Many of our clients come in for heroin addiction treatment or dual diagnosis treatment after having lived through several years of active addiction. Although we wish interventions had occurred sooner, we are able to successfully treat mental health and substance abuse disorders to help addicts remain clean and sober – no matter how far down the scale they have gone. We hope we are doing our part to reduce the disease burden in our corner of the globe – at our Florida drug rehab and dual diagnosis treatment center.

How to Choose a Drug Treatment Center

If you are a loved one of somebody suffering from the disease of addiction, and you are at the point of searching for a drug treatment center in Florida, or in any other state for that matter, as a family member you should make sure that the program meets certain standards of care.

  • One of the most important things right off is to make sure the facility is licensed in that state to provide the services they are telling you they are going to provide. As a consumer that should not be over looked. 
  • Dealing with choosing a drug treatment center can bring a lot of anxiety and makes it difficult to choose the best drug rehab for your loved one.  Keep searching and get all the questions answered.  
  • Make sure the drug treatment center takes into account that each individual should be treated as such and their treatment plan should be designed and implemented to best suit your loved one individually as no two individuals are the same. 
  • Furthermore there is a lot more information as a consumer you should be looking for in searching for a drug treatment center. 
  • As treatment professionals we are bound by ethics to provide the best care possible when we are dealing with peoples’ lives. Is there a perfect drug treatment?  Is addiction treatment a perfect science?  Absolutely not, but there are different models of treatment, and one of the best models I believe is the holistic model for drug treatment

The holistic model addresses the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of the disease of addiction. Research shows that if we as treatment professionals don’t address all the components of the disease in treatment the chance of success decreases drastically. 

In choosing a drug treatment center be very aware of the potential need to treat a dual diagnosis as part of treatment.  The success rate of treating addictions could have less than impressive outcomes due to the fact all aspects of the disease are not diagnosed and treated properly.  To this point why not consider state of the art addiction treatment dealing with addiction and co-occurring behavior. 

In my experience I have seen individuals go through several drug treatment centers with the same model and have been unsuccessful in achieving long term sobriety. So why not try something different?


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