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Two Camden Deaths Linked to Possible New PCP Strain: Lighthouse Networks Urges Families of Addicts to Act Before Use Turns Deadly

Loved Ones of Addicts Must Be Watchful for Signs of PCP Use

Key Facts:

  • Two recent murders in Camden, N.J. have been linked to “Wet” that may include a new and potentially virulent strain of phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP.
  • September is National Recovery Month from any drug or substance use; family members who suspect their loved one is on PCP or any street drug – especially since they are more potent than in the past – should get help as soon as possible.
  • Lighthouse Network can offer guidance and help to family members as well as addicts, carefully referring those in need to treatment facilities that will suit their needs and programs for them to receive help.

This shocking story shook the city of Camden, New Jersey, reporting the murders of two small boys, aged six and two, and a suicide in two separate incidents in a span of only 12 days. The strange link between the incidents? The drug phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP. U.S. Drug Enforcement officials are currently testing drugs seized in both incidents, to determine if there is anything atypical about the drugs’ molecular makeup that could incite such violence from users.

While the entire incident is heart-breaking, it brings to light a critical issue: strength and potency of common street drugs. Because drug use is illegal, it is not regulated by any state or federal agency, therefore ingredients, strength and potency can change from batch to batch, as there are no checks of final product in place. Users or addicts, therefore, have no gauge if what they are ingesting is different – in content or potency – from what they commonly use. And as addicts, having the drug or not having it is the greater concern, versus what’s in the drug or what behavior it might incite. In fact, for an addict, stronger drugs for the same price is welcomed.

With the prevalence and potency of addictive prescription pain meds and tranquilizers, illegal drug manufacturers have to increase the potency of their product to compete and capture market share. Users never stop to think about the Pandora’s Box they open as a result of their drug use. They typically only care about the high and escaping the pain that caused and perpetuates drug use in the first place. It is critical that loved ones who suspect drug use in their family member or close friend, learn ways to confront the behavior, not only for the health of the addict, but also the safety of themselves before the consequences lead to violence, incarceration, or death.

Lighthouse Network strongly urges addicts, family members and others who love them to learn the warning signs of drug use and abuse and take preventive action early – especially if an addict’s behavior becomes far more erratic or violent than is typical. Particularly with PCP, behavior can become extremely violent during drug use.

September, National Recovery Month, is a time when additional focus is placed on those who are struggling with addictions to get the help they need and deserve. National Recovery Month is a national observance that educates Americans about addiction and treatment which can help addicts recover and live a sober, healthy, and rewarding life.

These terrible deaths so close to our own backyard remind us that it’s critical to confront addiction and get help for the person in need. At Lighthouse, we advocate for treatment options and programs that couple traditional therapies with Biblical principles and bring in the power of the Holy Spirit. We guide family members through the complicated process of confronting a loved one in trouble to turn their life around and live the life God calls them to live.  We want to make anyone who struggles with this problem feel safe and empowered to get the help they need to transform their minds, before something drastic, like we’ve seen twice in Camden, occurs.

Those who are concerned about a friend or loved one and their struggles with depression, drugs, alcohol or any life-interfering or -endangering behaviors should reach out for help with a trusted Behavioral Health specialist, a local hospital, or their pastor. Remember, the most effective help will incorporate God into the healing process, because without Him, no amount of rehab, treatment or medication can bring true hope, deep healing and lasting life transformation.

karl-benzio-1Dr. Karl Benzio MD, Christian Psychiatrist, writer, speaker, media guest expert, social issue activist, and the founder and clinical director of Lighthouse Network. Benzio brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s storms. His experiences include teaching pastors, ministry leaders and students about counseling, leadership, parenting, marriage, and conflict resolution skills in traumatized areas like Uganda, Kenya and post-Hussein Iraq. He is currently a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council, the Pennsylvania Director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and serves on many other social policy task forces. His specialties include adolescents, addictions, decision-making and infusing spirituality into treatment. Benzio shares psycho-spiritual insights via his Stepping Stones daily devotional, on his one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” on 425 Christian radio stations and on iDisciple.org.

Email: KBenzio@LighthouseNetwork.org

Twitter: @drkarlb