High School Seniors more likely to smoke pot than cigarettes

19 Jan


According to a recent survey by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, High School age seniors are now more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes. This is a concerning trend to us in the drug and alcohol treatment field as we see the overall perception of marijuana use change due to the now legal status in certain states as well as the reported medical uses of the drug. We at Cornerstone of Southern California believe that marijuana is detrimental to one’s health and cognitive function and over the past 31 years treating addicts we strongly believe it to be the precursor to further experimentation leading to addiction.

Read more here.

Opiod overdose death statistics 2015

12 Jan


Legal drug causing more deaths than Heroin

Tragically, there have been more and more deaths attributed to legal pain medications in the last year than ever before in this country. Pain meds like Vicodin and Oxycontin, prescribed by doctors to patients for everything from a toothache to a broken bone, have been shown to increase the likelihood of future Heroin use and abuse in those who have taken them. Recent studies have shown that Heroin users have increased by close to 300,000 people in the last year while legal pain medication users are up even higher. To learn more read HERE.

Recovery as a New Year’s Resolution?

11 Jan


We are now almost two months into the New Year and Cornerstone would like to commend all those in recovery for making it through the holidays without taking a drink or using. We know from our 31 years of experience treating clients with addictions that the holidays are a particularly difficult time for some due to family interactions, parties and for others they can trigger depression and loneliness.

The temptation to drink or use can be very strong and can lead some to relapse. We must remember that our recovery must come first and we must work each day to connect with others in the program and continue to attend our meetings and call our sponsors. Recovery works if you work it!

If you or someone you love has had a difficult holiday season and has had a relapse event we encourage you to get help NOW. Whether you call us here at Cornerstone of Southern California or another treatment facility we hope that you will make that call as soon as possible.

Relapses happen. You should not feel ashamed. Reach out to us or others in the treatment community and we will help.

Alcohol is still the #1 choice for college students

4 Jan

Alcohol is still the #1 choice for college students

According to the National Institutes of Health, 4 out of 5 college students admitted to drinking alcohol in some form occasionally.It was also found that 40% of college students admitted to ‘binge drinking’ at least once time within two weeks before taking their survey. For male students binge drinking consists of, on average, 5 alcoholic beverages consecutively and for females, 4 or more in a row. Students between the ages of 18 – 25 have been found to have the greatest prevalence of excessive drinking while the average peak for this behavior is 21.

Why Do College Students Drink?

The legal drinking age in the US is 21 years but that doesn’t seem to deter many of our American underage youth from experiencing their first taste of some alcoholic beverage. Many students see drinking to intoxication as some sort of ‘rite of passage’ or as a way to ‘fit in’ while many in the treatment community see alcohol as a ‘gateway drug’.

Every year, just before the holiday and new year’s break, college students are put through the stress of final exams and then released from their educational obligations for a few weeks to decompress and relax. During this break the incidents of excessive or ‘binge’ drinking rises significantly. Holiday and New Years parties as well as sorority and fraternity celebrations are the perfect venues for over-consumption of alcohol and other substances but studies show that alcohol remains the #1 choice for college students.

College students who attempt to become members of fraternities, sororities and athletic organizations or clubs can also encounter ‘Hazing’ during pledging. It has been reported that more than 50% of students who pledge these organizations become victims of hazing.

Alcohol Can Have Serious Risks

The National Institute of Health has reported, 25% of college students who drink suffer in their academic performance by missing classes, poor exam outcomes, failing to complete assignments, falling behind, and ultimately receiving lower grades. The National Institute of Health found  that 1,825 college students between the age of 18-24 die each year due to alcohol related injuries.

Even More Serious Risks

  • Unprotected Sex: 13% of college students have unprotected sex after a night of drinking.
  • Assault: Every year, 690,000 students between the age of 18-24 are assaulted by another college student who was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the assault.
  • Drunk Driving: Every year, more than 3.3 million college students between the age of 18-24 operate a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • Other Injuries: Every year, about 599,000 college students sustain injuries related to alcohol use and abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse: 97,000 college students each year become victims of alcohol-related sexual abuse or ‘date rape’.

VICE: Cannabis Grow Kits for Kids

22 Dec

blog-cannabisAt first glance the article (link below) was quite concerning to us given the name that was chosen for this service. After reading the article we could understand the actual message that this company’s creator was trying to convey; although we feel that they could and should have branded themselves more accurately as a tool for learning about Cannabis and its myriad uses besides being an abused drug. Click here to read Vice’s Article

Unethical Drug Testing

25 Nov

blog-drug-testingOver the past few years we at Cornerstone of Southern California have been approached by many different drug testing laboratories requesting to do our drug testing lab work. We have turned down many different propositions from these companies due to our belief that the agreements proposed to us would be an unethical way to make more money as a company by, in effect, cheating the system.

Unfortunately many of our local competitors were involved in some of these unethical and probably illegal activities.Today we use Quest Diagnostics for all of our urine drug testing needs and we remain loyal to them due to their ethical practices which align with our own.

We have been helping addicts recover from their addictions for 31 years and we still firmly believe that the client comes first.

Take a look at this article to learn more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/millennium-health-agrees-pay-256-million-resolve-allegations-unnecessary-drug-and-genetic

1st woman to run major drug cartel, ‘La Jefa’ Arellano Félix, named to U.S. Kingpin list

8 Jul



Over the last hundred years, women have made huge strides in gaining rights across the globe, in almost every field and contributing to some of the most important developments of the times. They’ve become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Supreme Court justices, astronauts and heads of state.

But all the activists who helped bring about those changes probably never pushed for greater opportunity in the world of violent drug cartels.

Even so, United States and Mexican government officials believe that Enedina Arellano Félix, the sister to some of the most infamous and ruthless drug kingpins Mexico has ever seen, is now running the Tijuana Cartel following the arrests and/or deaths of seven of her relatives, including her son and a brother who was shot to death by an assassin dressed as a clown.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials told Fox News Latino that they are working with their Mexican counterparts to monitor the activities of Arellano Félix and that the Treasury Department has put her on its Kingpin list, which among other things freezes any assets she has in the U.S.

“If she is found to be conducting any drug trafficking activities in the U.S., we will go after her with a full court press,” Eduardo Chávez, a staff coordinator with the DEA told FNL.

Arellano Félix attended a private university in Guadalajara and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Besides her accounting background and her family ties, very little is known about the alleged cartel “queenpin.”

There are very few photos of her beside some family portraits from the 1980s, and it is known that she has been married and divorced at least twice.

In place of any hard facts are the myths and legends that have sprouted up about “La Jefa.”

She has been immortalized in drug ballads like “La Jefa de Tijuana” – which describes her as a very powerful female, brave and decisive – and in a low-budget drug film that portrays her as a gorgeous woman who doesn’t blink when it comes firing a gun.

In a business dominated by horrific violence and acts of vengeance, Arellano Félix is known as a smooth operator who uses her accounting background to run the cartel – the only one to ever allegedly be run by a female – in a more business-like fashion than her hard-partying, sadistic relatives.

“She is not into the wars of her brothers. She is into making alliances and making money,” Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration,told Time magazine. “Her beauty may also have helped her make alliances with powerful traffickers such as [incarcerated Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín] ‘Chapo’ Gúzman.”

“The broader world of business in Mexico in still dominated by men, and the world of drug trafficking in Mexico is even more chauvinistic,” Chris Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center told Fox News Latino. “This definitely crosses a lot of barriers and is an achievement, but at the end of the day this is still not something that should be glorified because she is the head of a drug cartel and is destroying people’s lives.”

Given the dearth of female drug cartel leaders, observers point to Arellano Félix’s family name and connections within the Tijuana Cartel as the reason for her purported rise to the top of one of the few remaining major drug trafficking organizations in Mexico while other cartels have splintered and gone through brutal infighting after the death or capture of their leaders.

The DEA’s Chávez says that her last name still commands a great deal of respect and influence in the drug underworld.

“The hereditary nature of Mexican drug trafficking certainly plays a role,” Chávez added. “There is still a lot of respect for the family and who she is related to and who she has to answer to.”

While Arellano Félix may be the first alleged female boss of a major drug cartel, there have been reports trickling out of Mexico for years of women who control smaller criminal gangs.

Earlier this year, a Kim Kardashian lookalike created buzz on social media after being labelled as one of the most dangerous women in Mexico.

Claudia Ochoa Félix is reportedly the new leader of “Los Antrax,” an elite killing squad used by the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel.

The 27-year-old mother of three, nicknamed the “Empress of Antrax,” uses her social media accounts to brag about her lifestyle, posting pictures dressing and posing like Kardashian, all the while wielding a pink personalized AK-47.

Ochoa Félix has since deleted the photos and denied involvement in the gang.


Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/07/08/1st-woman-to-run-major-drug-cartel-la-jefa-arellano-felix-named-to-us-kingpin/

Teen dies, woman held in drug-ingestion incident

29 Dec

WEST CARTHAGE — State police are investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy at a friend’s residence at 4001 Deer River Road.

According to a news release, troopers arrested Brenda Roth, 47, of 4001 Deer River Road, on one count of second-degree manslaughter, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of tampering with evidence.

Ms. Roth is accused of failing to provide life-saving measures to the teenager when he became unresponsive after ingesting prescription and over-the-counter medicine at her residence, the release stated.

Ms. Roth was also charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly allowing the drug to be used by five teenagers at the residence and one count of tampering with physical evidence items at her residence.

She was arraigned and remanded to the Lewis County jail, Lowville, on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

The dead boy was a student at Carthage Central School. District Superintendent Peter J. Turner said Monday morning that, “school counselors will be available to provide support to students when they return” from the holiday break next Monday.

According to several Facebook pages, Carthage students were mourning the sudden loss of a freshman, Derek Holton.

State police were assisted in their investigation by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Lewis County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Times’s records, Ms. Roth was charged in February 2009 with 24 counts of unlawfully dealing with a child and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Police charged her in connection with a gathering of young people in her home the night of Oct. 27, 2008, when she allegedly provided beer and marijuana to the visitors and allowed them to use the drugs. Included in the counts were allegations that she allowed a child to sell prescription drugs and permitted one of her children to miss more than 35 days of school, police said at the time of her arrest.

Disposition of those charges in Carthage Village Court was not immediately available.

Cornerstone Alumni and Family BBQ & Potluck!

28 Nov

Parking fee is $5.00

Follow signs once you are in the gate to locate us!

Hot dogs, burgers and water will be provided, please bring a side dish to share! Bring chairs, fun and smiles!

Please RSVP to Tonia S. at songbyrd01@yahoo.com or (714) 561-1978 so we can provide enough food and waters!