The city of Camden, New Jersey was shaken recently by the shocking 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 the 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.
Lighthouse Network a national leader in providing Christian addiction programs and services, 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.
Comments From Lighthouse Network Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Karl Benzio
“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 causes and perpetuates drug use in the first place,” said Karl Benzio, M.D., who is the Founder and Executive Director of Lighthouse Network, the country’s premier Christian addiction and mental health referral service. “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.”
“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,” said Benzio. “At Lighthouse, we advocate for treatment options and programs that couple traditional therapies with Biblical principles and 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 what we’ve seen twice in Camden, occurs.”