Friday, January 25, 2008
The headline reads: “Private Viewing of Heath Ledger’s Body Set for Friday; Mary-Kate Olsen Report Denied” however the article corrects a couple of initial statements thought to be true.
1 – A NYPD spokesman told Foxnews.com the report regarding frantic phone calls Olsen received from the masseuse, Diana Wolozin, is as he stated “The report is unfounded and untrue.” The police did say the masseuse spent 9 minutes making 3 calls to MKO before dialing 911 and again after the paramedics arrived.
2 – The police also stated earlier on Fox News that there were prescription drugs found but they were not strewn around as originally reported.
“As far as I’m concerned the masseuse left her brain, if she even had one, some place else as why in the world would anyone in their right mind not call 911 immediately. First she knocked on his door then tried to call his cell phone and still after no answer she sets up her massage table and tried to wake Ledger and that’s when she realized something was wrong. That’s when she called MKO asking her what to do, HELLO!!, with Olsen in California what did she think she could do so it wasn’t until 9 minutes later that Wolozin dialed 911….flagranny2”
According to what the police can find Wolozin was no registered as a licensed therapist in New York as they are all required to be CPR qualified and the 911 operator had to instruct Wolozin CPR procedure.
For timeline of what took place and information regarding Ledger’s family and funeral continue
For info on his background see Heath Ledger
“Gone much too soon. My thoughts are with his family and friends and especially his little Matilda”…..flagranny2
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Best know for the movie ‘Brokeback Mountain’
NEW YORK — Actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence in what authorities say is a possible drug-related death, the NYPD said. He was 28.
NYPD spokeswoman Stephanie Jaramillo told FOXNews.com that Ledger was discovered by his housekeeper at his apartment on Broome Street in the Soho section of New York City and was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. EST.
Jaramillo declined to comment on the cause of death, saying only that “the investigation is still ongoing.”
But The New York Post reported that Ledger died of a possible drug overdose and his apartment was strewn with pills. They do say he drugs are prescription drugs.
Ledger had an appointment for a massage at his Manhattan apartment, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told The Associated Press. The housekeeper went to let Ledger know the masseuse had arrived and found him dead, according to Browne.
The Australian-born actor was nominated for an Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain,” where he met his wife, actress Michelle Williams, in 2005. Ledger and Williams had lived in Brooklyn and had a daughter, Matilda, until they split up last year.
Ledger’s roles include the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in “Monster’s Ball” and had starring roles in “A Knight’s Tale” and “The Patriot.” He was to appear as the Joker this year in “The Dark Night,” a sequel to 2005’s “Batman Begins.”
5:36pm – According to Fox News TV they just stateed that they are still waiting for the medical examiner to arrive. At this point they don’t expect foul play but are saying that it was possibly an accidental drug overdose Police are currently surrounding the apartment to keep the crowd away…..flagranny2
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
DECATUR, Ga. — Professional wrestler Chris Benoit had an elevated level of testosterone in his system but no other steroids in his body, and his 7-year-old son was sedated at the time of his death, a Georgia medical examiner said Thursday.
“This level of testosterone indicates that he had been using testosterone at least within some reasonably short period of time prior to the time that he died,” said Dr. Kris Sperry, chief medical examiner for the state with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, as he released the results of the toxicology report for the wrestler; his wife, Nancy; and son, Daniel.
“Although testosterone was found in Christopher Benoit’s urine, there is no evidence of any other of the illegal types of steroids, or the whole laundry list of anabolic steroids that are out there to be used,” Sperry said, adding, “the presence of the testosterone alone even could be an indicator that he was being treated for testicular insufficiency.”
Besides steroids, Benoit’s body contained the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI said Benoit tested negative for blood alcohol.
But Sperry said that they found a drug in the child’s system that surprised them: Xanax.
“It is our opinion that Daniel Benoit was sedated by Xanax at the time that he was murdered, so that (means) he was sedated prior to the time that he died,” he said.
The GBI said it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on the son because of a lack of urine.
Benoit’s wife, Nancy, tested positive for Xanax, hydrocodone and the painkiller hydromorphone, but the decomposition process hindered the ability to determine the precise levels of the drugs at the time of her death. An elevated alcohol level found in her system could also be due to the decomposition process, Sperry said.
“The decomposition will affect the ability to interpret these drug levels reliably,” Sperry said. “Before she died, they may have been higher. They could have been lower. We just don’t know and we’ll never know.”
The test results were expected to shed more light on Benoit’s last moments. Authorities said Benoit killed his wife and son in their suburban Atlanta home, placed Bibles next to their bodies and then hanged himself on the cable of a weight machine.
Anabolic steroids were found in the home, leading officials to wonder if the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”
“There is no reliable scientific data that conclusively says that elevated levels of administered testosterone lead to excessive rage or behavioral disorders,” Sperry said. “All the testing that’s been done regarding that has been completely inconclusive.”
Federal authorities have charged Benoit’s personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, with improperly prescribing painkillers and other drugs to two patients other than Benoit. He has pleaded not guilty.
Investigators have also raided Astin’s office several times since the deaths, seizing prescription records and other documents.
Before he was charged, Astin told the AP he prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past. He would not say what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.
“It’s a little unclear to know exactly where this leads us, but you take this piece and you compare it with what a witness said or what was found at the scene and suddenly the picture begins to become more in focus,” said Scott Ballard, district attorney for Fayette County. “And that’s what we’re certainly hoping to do.”
FOXNews.com’s Sara Bonisteel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
State and federal drug agents staged a late night raid Wednesday night at the offices of Chris Benoit’s personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, and took computers and medical records from Astin’s office. Astin was at his office at the time of the raid and said he had prescribed testosterone for Benoit.
The raid came as a result of the investigation into the drugs found at Benoit’s home
Police found anabolic steroids in Benoit’s home, leading some officials to wonder whether the drugs played a role in the slayings. Some experts believe steroids cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”
The WWE was quick to dismiss the idea of this crime being steroid related saying the findings indicated “deliberation, not rage” and Benoit last tested on April 10 tested negative.
No motive has yet been determined just speculation.
Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for the league, said the couple had argued in the days before the slayings over whether he should stay home more to help take care of their mentally retarded son.
McDevitt said the wrestling organization learned from the couple’s friends and relatives that the Benoits were struggling with where to send the boy to school since he had recently finished kindergarten.
He also said Benoit’s wife didn’t want him to quit wrestling, but she “wanted him to be at home more to care for the kid. She’d say she can’t take care of him by herself when he was on the road.”
Benoit’s son suffered from a rare medical condition called Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited form of mental retardation often accompanied by autism.
POSTED: 9:21 p.m. EDT, June 12, 2007
From Tracy Sabo
To me this is a very serious concern when a drug is filtertrating middle schoolers therefore I felt this article was worthy of posting if it ends up only helping one person then it definitely was worth posting.
I hope anyone who happens to read this will spread the word.
DALLAS, Texas (CNN) — A cheap, highly addictive drug known as “cheese heroin” has killed 21 teenagers in the Dallas area over the past two years, and authorities say they are hoping they can stop the fad before it spreads across the nation.
“Cheese heroin” is a blend of so-called black tar Mexican heroin and crushed over-the-counter medications that contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine, found in products such as Tylenol PM, police say. The sedative effects of the heroin and the nighttime sleep aids make for a deadly brew.
“A double whammy — you’re getting two downers at once,” says Dallas police detective Monty Moncibais. “If you take the body and you start slowing everything down, everything inside your body, eventually you’re going to slow down the heart until it stops and, when it stops, you’re dead.” (Audio slide show: A father describes his teen son’s death)
Steve Robertson, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, says authorities are closely monitoring the use of “cheese” in Dallas.
Trying to keep the drug from spreading to other cities, the DEA is working with Dallas officials to raise public awareness about the problem. Authorities also are trying to identify the traffickers, Robertson says.
“We are concerned about any drug trend that is new because we want to stop it,” he says.
Why should a parent outside Dallas care about what’s happening there?
Robertson says it’s simple: The ease of communication via the Internet and cell phones allows a drug trend to spread rapidly across the country.
“A parent in New York should be very concerned about a drug trend in Dallas, a drug trend in Kansas City, a drug trend anywhere throughout the United States,” he says.
Middle schoolers acknowledge ‘cheese’
“Cheese” is not only dangerous. It’s cheap. About $2 for a single hit and as little as $10 per gram. The drug can be snorted with a straw or through a ballpoint pen, authorities say. It causes drowsiness and lethargy, as well as euphoria, excessive thirst and disorientation. That is, if the user survives. (Interactive: What is “cheese”?)
Authorities aren’t exactly sure how the drug got its name “cheese.” It’s most likely because the ground-up, tan substance looks like Parmesan cheese. The other theory is it’s shorthand for the Spanish word “chiva,” which is street slang for heroin.
By using the name “cheese,” drug dealers are marketing the low-grade heroin to a younger crowd — many of them middle schoolers — unaware of its potential dangers, authorities say.
“These are street dealers, dope dealers,” Moncibais recently warned students at Sam Tasby Middle School. “They give you a lethal dose. What do they care?”
Moncibais then asked how many students knew a “cheese” user. Just about everyone in the auditorium raised a hand. At one point, when he mentioned that the United States has the highest rate of drug users in the world, the middle schoolers cheered.
“You know, I know being No. 1 is important, but being the No. 1 dopeheads in the world, I don’t know whether [that] bears applause,” Moncibais shot back.
Authorities say the number of arrests involving possession of “cheese” in the Dallas area this school year was 146, up from about 90 the year before. School is out for the summer, and authorities fear that the students, with more time on their hands, could turn to the drug.
“Cheese” as common a problem as pot
School officials and police have been holding assemblies, professional lectures, PTA meetings and classroom discussions to get the word out about the drug. A public service announcement made by Dallas students is airing on local TV, and a hotline number has been created for those seeking assistance.
Drug treatment centers in Dallas say teen “cheese” addicts are now as common as those seeking help for a marijuana addiction. “It is the first drug to have even come close in my experience here,” says Michelle Hemm, director of Phoenix House in Dallas.
From September 2005 to September 2006, Phoenix House received 69 “cheese” referral calls from parents. Hemm says that in the last eight months alone, that number has nearly doubled to 136. The message from the parents is always, “My kid is using ‘cheese,’ ” she says.
Phoenix House refers them to detoxification units first, but Hemm says at least 62 teens have received additional treatment at her facility since last September.
Fernando Cortez Sr. knows all too well how devastating cheese heroin can be. A reformed drug user who has spent time in prison, Cortez had spoken to his children about the pitfalls of drug use. He thought his 15-year-old son was on the right track.
But on March 31, his boy, Fernando “Nando” Cortez Jr., was found dead after using cheese heroin.
“I should have had a better talk with him,” he says. “All it takes is once. You get high once and you die, and that’s what happened to my son.”
He knows it’s too late for his son. Now, he is using his son’s story to help others.
“All I can do is try to help people now. Help the kids, help the parents.”
CNN.com senior producer Wayne Drash contributed to this report.
If you know of anyone who is in a clinical drug program this is something they should be made aware of. I know I would be very cautious in choosing one after reading this article.
I think we all are aware that doctors get payback from the drug companies for recommending their product but this goes above and beyond those standards of paybacks and can be more harmful than good. End results can be fatal. An important note to remember is that a lot of the doctors conducting these trial are doctors who have received disciplinary action for one reason or another.
Medical ethicists have long argued that doctors who give experimental medicines should be chosen with care. Indeed, the drug industry’s own guidelines for clinical trials state, “Investigators are selected based on qualifications, training, research or clinical expertise in relevant fields.” Yet Dr. Abuzzahab is far from the only doctor to have been disciplined or criticized by a medical board but later paid by drug makers.
An analysis of state records by The New York Times found more than 100 such doctors in Minnesota, at least two with criminal fraud convictions. While Minnesota is the only state to make its records publicly available, the problem, experts say, is national.
One of Dr. Abuzzahab’s patients was David Olson, whom the psychiatrist tried repeatedly to recruit for clinical trials. Drug makers paid Dr. Abuzzahab thousands of dollars for every patient he recruited. In July 1997, when Mr. Olson again refused to be a test subject, Dr. Abuzzahab discharged him from the hospital even though he was suicidal, records show. Mr. Olson committed suicide two weeks later.
In its disciplinary action against Dr. Abuzzahab, the state medical board referred to Mr. Olson as Patient No. 46.
“Dr. Abuzzahab failed to appreciate the risks of taking Patient No. 46 off Clozaril, failed to respond appropriately to the patient’s rapid deterioration and virtually ignored this patient’s suicidality,” the board found.
In an interview, Dr. Abuzzahab dismissed the findings as “without heft” and said drug makers were aware of his record. He said he had helped study many of the most popular drugs in psychiatry, including Paxil, Prozac, Risperdal, Seroquel, Zoloft and Zyprexa.
The Times’s examination of Minnesota’s trove of records on drug company payments to doctors found that from 1997 to 2005, at least 103 doctors who had been disciplined or criticized by the state medical board received a total of $1.7 million from drug makers. The median payment over that period was $1,250; the largest was $479,000.
The sanctions by the board ranged from reprimands to demands for retraining to suspension of licenses. Of those 103 doctors, 39 had been penalized for inappropriate prescribing practices, 21 for substance abuse, 12 for substandard care and 3 for mismanagement of drug studies. A few cases received national news media coverage, but drug makers hired the doctors anyway.
The Times included in its analysis any doctor who received drug company payments within 10 years of being under medical board sanction. At least 38 doctors received a combined $140,000 while they were still under sanction. Dr. Abuzzahab received more than $55,000 from 1997 to 2005.
Drug makers refused to comment, said they relied on doctors to report disciplinary or criminal cases, or said they were considering changing their hiring systems.
Asked about the Minnesota analysis, the deputy commissioner and chief medical officer of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said the federal government needed to overhaul regulations governing clinical trials and the doctors who oversaw them.
“We recognize that we need to modernize the F.D.A. approach in keeping people safe in clinical trials,” Dr. Woodcock said.
Drug makers are not required to inform the agency when they discover that investigators are falsifying data, and indeed some have failed to do so in the past. The F.D.A. plans to require such disclosures, Dr. Woodcock said. The agency inspects at most 1 percent of all clinical trials, she said.
Karl Uhlendorf, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said the trade group would not comment on The Times’s findings.
The records most likely understate the extent of the problem because they are incomplete. And the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice disciplines a smaller share of the state’s doctors than almost any other medical board in the country, according to rankings by Public Citizen, an advocacy group based in Washington.
Dr. David Rothman, president of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University, said the Times analysis revealed a national problem. “There’s no reason to think Minnesota is unique,” Dr. Rothman said.
“Clinical trial investigators must be culled from only the finest physicians in the country,” he said, “since they work on the frontiers of new knowledge. That drug makers are scraping the bottom of the medical barrel is an outrage.”