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prescription drugs

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In Santa Barbara County, there were 111 drug- and alcohol-related deaths in 2009, the most recent year of complete data, and county Coroner’s Office records show the presence of prescription medications in many of those cases.

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One of Dr. Joe Blum’s patients was an Army colonel in the Vietnam War who suffered multiple wounds and endured dozens of surgeries. From then on, Blum decided he would do whatever is reasonable in the best interest of his patients.

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Pain is by no means a simple issue. As such, addressing and properly diagnosing pain can be a highly intricate and complex process involving the specialties of several trained professionals.

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For someone who has been addicted to prescription drugs for years, a way out may seem impossible. That’s what Lisa W. thought before entering treatment at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s Bethel House.

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Despite the walls put up by regulators to limit prescription drug abuse, those barriers are often just porous enough for a steady supply of opiates to end up on the street.

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After being addicted to heroin and alcohol for 26 years, Kevin Smith has spent the last 19 years of his life sober, and helping those in Santa Barbara County battle the same demons he faced two decades before.

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Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown sees substance abuse as a growing problem among the citizens he’s sworn to protect as well as those he’s put away.

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Santa Barbara County law-enforcement officers have seen firsthand what prescription drug misuse and abuse can do to a person — physically, mentally and legally — since they not only investigate drug-related crimes but are often the first responders to the many medical emergencies involving overdoses.

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As a Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney who works with young offenders, Von Nguyen knows what the community’s children are up to.

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Shereen Khatapoush chose her career path when she was 15 years old, after a friend died in a drunk driving-related car accident.

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