April 16, 2012
By Heather Callaghan
“The video is graphic and should make you angry. How could anyone think this was a good treatment option? When you give people power, this is what they often do.” –KTRN
“I never signed up for him to be tortured, terrorized and abused,” Cheryl McCollins told a jury on Tuesday. “I had no idea, no idea, that they tortured the children in the school.”
In February, we reported Ms. McCollins’ plight and her calling for the public viewing of startling footage of her then 18 year-old son, Andre, receiving 31 electroshocks at Judge Rotenburg Center for the disabled (JRC) for not removing his jacket.
In 2002, Andre, now 27, had been zapped, restrained, sprawled out face down with a helmet, and shocked another 30 times anytime he flinched or screamed out in pain. The aversive shock “treatment” continued all day with no food, water, or bathroom breaks.
When Cheryl visited her son, he was unresponsive and later rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with acute stress response.
McCollins is suing Canton, MA-based JRC and calling the treatment torture. Cheryl wanted the public to see this “therapy” as an unacceptable act of torture.
Of course, JRC fought vigorously to block the video release. A new Superior Court Judge on the case, Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara, refused JRC’s repeated request allowing public-court viewing for the first time.
Cheryl also testified that the staff members were laughing as Andre was shocked.
April 16, 2012
“If anyone needs more evidence of how the cops are out of control, here you go.” –KTRN
February 22, 2012
By: Mike Adams
The vaccine-pushing, disease scare-mongering agency known as the CDC has put out a stunning piece of propaganda attacking fresh milk (raw dairy), claiming it is “150 times more dangerous” than pasteurized milk. This is all part of their anti-American agenda to crush food freedom and criminalize fundamental farming practices upon which this very nation was founded. (Yes, George Washington and the founding fathers drank raw milk, grew hemp and even smoked a little weed as medicine.)
But what the CDC won’t dare reveal to the public is the far more horrifying truth: Pasteurized dairy is produced in the dirtiest milk factories imaginable, where blood, pus, e.coli and other truly dangerous pathogens are routinely bottled into milk containers and fed to consumers.
That’s the whole point of pasteurization, you see: To kill everything that might be alive in their ultra-dirty milk. The real purpose of pasteurization is not to simply “make milk safe” as is claimed by the CDC, but rather to allow the dairy industry to operate DIRTY. It’s so much easier to just cook the crap out of the milk (yes, there’s fecal matter in it) than to clean up their operations, get it?
Thanks to pasteurization, conventional (non-organic, non-raw) dairy operators have no need to thoroughly wash their milking machines, no need to sterilize any milk containers, no need to wash their hands, and no need to maintain a clean milking environment whatsoever. It’s just total filth with festering diseased animals dying on the floor and being physically abused by the corporate dairy operators (see video links, below).
Dairy cows are routinely abused and left to suffer in total filth
Want to know how conventional (pasteurized) dairy cows are really treated? Here’s something the CDC won’t show you.
Watch this highly disturbing video of dairy cows being kicked, tortured, abused and injured by conventional dairy workers. This was filmed with an undercover spy cam (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGERY):
When you buy pasteurized milk at the grocery store, you are supporting an industry that tortures cows and produces a dirty, filthy product!
Of course, the dairy industry would much rather force everybody to pasteurize their milk and outlaw clean raw dairy than to clean up their own act. That’s the whole point of the CDC going after raw dairy: To destroy the raw dairy industry and force everyone to drink dirty, contaminated pasteurized milk that’s extracted from tortured cows.
Here are some other short videos you may want to view (WARNING):
Dairy Cow Abuse – “Mercy For Animals” hidden camera in New York:
The disgusting treatment of (conventional) dairy cows:
Dairy cows with injuries and infections:
ABC Nightline – Dairy farm abuse:
So get it through your heads, folks: If you buy pasteurized, homogenized milk, you are supporting an industry of filth, torture, infected animals and dirty, dirty milk.
Blood, pus, bacteria and fecal matter – drink up, kiddies!
The reason all that milk has to be pasteurized is because it’s strongly contaminated with:
• fecal matter
In addition, conventional dairy cows are:
• Pumped full of bovine growth hormones
• Fed masses of antibiotics
• Fed tons of GMOs such as corn and soy
• Heavily contaminated with chemical pesticides
That’s what you get when you buy “Pasteurized” milk. Plus the feces in the milk, of course.
So the next time somebody gets mad at you in bumper-to-bumper traffic and they scream out the window: “EAT SH*T!” just hand them a glass of pasteurized milk. Let them drink it, huh?
The cleanest milk in the world? RAW, fresh milk!
You want to see a super clean dairy operation? Go to a raw dairy farm and check out their operation. It’s the cleanest, most pristine dairy operation you’ll ever find. And why? Because it has to be. If you want to produce clean, fresh dairy without pasteurization, you have to run a super clean facility with healthy cows, stringent cleanliness practices and a commitment to producing wholesome food.
Only raw milk dairies have this kind of commitment to cleanliness.
View this powerful comparison between pasteurized milk and raw milk:
In fact, if you took a gallon of unpasteurized milk from a conventional dairy and you compared it to a gallon of unpasteurized milk from a quality-certified raw milk dairy, I have no doubt you would find that the conventional dairy has at least 150 times the level of blood, pus, feces and dangerous bacteria (if not more).
January 26, 2012
By Philip Pullella
“Thou Shalt Not …” –KTRN
The Vatican was shaken by a corruption scandal Thursday after an Italian television investigation said a former top official had been transferred against his will after complaining about irregularities in awarding contracts.
The show “The Untouchables” on the respected private television network La 7 Wednesday night showed what it said were several letters that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was then deputy-governor of Vatican City, sent to superiors, including Pope Benedict, in 2011 about the corruption.
The Vatican issued a statement Thursday criticizing the “methods” used in the journalistic investigation. But it confirmed that the letters were authentic by expressing “sadness over the publication of reserved documents.”
As deputy governor of the Vatican City for two years from 2009 to 2011, Vigano was the number two official in a department responsible for maintaining the tiny city-state’s gardens, buildings, streets, museums and other infrastructure.
Vigano, currently the Vatican’s ambassador in Washington, said in the letters that when he took the job in 2009 he discovered a web of corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to outside companies at inflated prices.
In one letter, Vigano tells the pope of a smear campaign against him (Vigano) by other Vatican officials who wanted him transferred because they were upset that he had taken drastic steps to save the Vatican money by cleaning up its procedures.
“Holy Father, my transfer right now would provoke much disorientation and discouragement in those who have believed it was possible to clean up so many situations of corruption and abuse of power that have been rooted in the management of so many departments,” Vigano wrote to the pope on March 27, 2011.
In another letter to the pope on April 4, 2011, Vigano says he discovered the management of some Vatican City investments was entrusted to two funds managed by a committee of Italian bankers “who looked after their own interests more than ours.”
October 20, 2011
By BRYAN FITZGERALD
A scathing report by the New York Civil Liberties Union on the use of Tasers by law enforcement agencies slammed police departments across the state, including Albany, for what the NYCLU said is unwarranted, improper and poorly documented deployment of the electroshock weapons.
The report, of which the Times Union received a copy before its release Wednesday, said police departments inadequately train officers on how and when to properly fire hand-held Tasers. Using data taken from 851 incident reports of eight police departments since 2005, it singled out Albany police for failure to deter officers from using repeated and prolonged Taser shocks. The report also said Albany police disproportionately deployed Tasers on blacks compared to whites, more so than any other department in the study. In the Albany incidents analyzed, 68 percent involved a Taser being used on a black person, the report said, while 28 percent of the city’s population is black.
Albany police Chief Steve Krokoff said Tuesday he would not comment on the report until he had a chance to review it.
Incident reports from Glens Falls, Guilderland and Saratoga Springs police were also analyzed in the study, along with those from Greece, Nassau, Rochester and Syracuse.
The report suggested that, as a whole, Taser policies across the state are in dire need of sweeping reforms.
Inappropriate Taser use is a systemic problem in police departments, the NYCLU reported, saying that begins when officers are insufficiently trained on using the weapons. The issue is compounded by inconsistent and incomplete Taser policies and a lack of both departmental and state oversight. Officers’ reports of their use of the weapon did not provide enough information, and follow-up was at times lacking, the report said.
The NYCLU said the majority of departments rely too heavily on Taser manufacturer guidelines rather than expert-recommended protocol from the Department of Justice or the Police Executive Research Forum. The report said 60 percent of Taser incidents analyzed did not meet the NYCLU’s recommended criteria, defined as an incident where a police officer can document “active aggression or risk of physical injury.”
“We had to obtain (reports on) all these incidents to get this picture,” said Corey Stoughton, an attorney for the Manhattan-based NYCLU and co-author of the report. “Departments need to make good decisions and see if how they are using Tasers is really making their communities safer.”
Tasers were first used by police in New York in 1999 as a safe alternative to firearms and physical confrontation against violent or threatening subjects. Tasers are currently used by more than 350 law enforcement agencies in the state and 16,000 nationwide. One shock from a Taser can contain up to 50,000 volts of electricity. The NYCLU said multiple or extended shocks can significantly increase risk of injury, and, in rare cases, death.
Besides upholding constitutional protections against excessive force, each arm of law enforcement is left to draw up its own policies on Taser use.
Fifteen percent of incidents analyzed in the study involved a subject who was passively or verbally noncompliant with a police order or where a suspect was already handcuffed or restrained, the report said.
In 75 percent of the incidents, the subjects were not verbally warned by the officer before they were shocked, the study said.
According to the report, one third of the incidents involved either multiple Taser shocks or a shock lasting longer than the manufacturer’s standard discharge of five seconds.
October 4 2011
To the dismay of consumer groups and the discomfort of Democrats, President Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cellphones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the federal government.
The change “is expected to provide substantial increases in collections, particularly as an increasing share of households no longer have landlines and rely instead on cellphones,” the administration wrote recently. The little-noticed recommendation would apply only to cases in which money is owed the government, and is tucked into the mammoth $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan the president submitted to Congress.
Despite the claim, the administration has not yet developed an estimate of how much the government would collect, and critics reject the logic behind the recommendation.
“Enabling robo-calls (to cellphones) is just going to lead to more harassment and abuse, and it’s not going to help the government collect more money,” said Lauren Saunders of the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center. “People aren’t paying their student loans because they can’t find a job.”
Whatever the impact on the budget deficit, the proposal has aligned the White House with the private debt collection industry — frequently the subject of consumer complaints — at a time when the economy is weak, unemployment is high and Obama is embarking on his campaign for re-election.
Democrats in Congress who frequently support the president, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, declined through aides to say whether they favor or oppose the plan.
Nor was there any reaction from two other members of the party’s leadership in the Senate, Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Chuck Schumer of New York. Both men frequently take the side of consumers in legislative struggles.
Several aides, speaking on condition of anonymity so they could talk freely, said Democrats do not want to oppose the president but are unable to support the request.
Mark Schiffman, a spokesman for ACA International, an industry trade association, said the administration “basically has come to the same solution we have” at a time when an increasing number of Americans have no landline phone to receive calls.
The change “is something we have been advocating for,” he said, although he added his organization did not have direct discussions with administration officials in advance.
Schiffman noted that debt collectors have long been allowed to make robo-calls to landline phones. He said automatic dialing is a more efficient way to contact consumers who are overdue in their payments, and the industry wants it allowed in all cases, not solely those involving debts owed to the government, as Obama has proposed. Legislation along those lines was introduced in the House last week.
Federal law currently permits private debt collectors to use automatic dialing in trying to contact consumers on their landline phones. They also are permitted to make individually-dialed calls to some cellphones.
The request comes at a time when the government is looking for ways to collect tens of billions of dollars.
According to a report by the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service, the Education and the Health and Human Services departments as well as FMS itself referred debts totaling $35.9 billion to private debt collectors in the 2010 fiscal year.
The Education Department accounted for the largest share by far — $28.8 billion referred to 22 private debt collection companies. The firms collected $685 million outright, and another $1.7 billion was recast into agreements that are designed to be paid monthly, according to the report.
Education Department officials did not respond to several requests to speak on the record about the proposal.
According to written responses the department provided to questions, it hires private collection agencies in part so the government can gain “the benefits of greater collections” through the use of new technology that is developed by private industry.
Collection agencies can receive a fee of as much as 17.5 percent of the amount they recover.
A different federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission, collects extensive records about the private debt collection industry in general.
“The FTC receives more complaints about the debt collection industry than any other specific industry,” according to an annual report to Congress, more than 100,000 in 2010.
The complaints fall into several categories, citing alleged harassment, demands for impermissibly large payments, failure to provide required consumer notice and threatening dire consequences such as jail time.
June 9th, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
When Narces Benoit decided to use his cell phone to film Miami Beach police officers gunning down a man sitting in a parked car early Monday morning, he had no idea the same cops would eventually target him as well. According to video evidence and witness testimony, officers pointed a gun at Narces and his girlfriend, threw them to the ground, destroyed his camera and what they thought was the footage he captured, and handcuffed and arrested the couple, all because Narces happened to capture indicting video evidence of the officers’ heinous actions.
The Miami Herald reports that Narces and his girlfriend were driving on Collins Avenue in South Beach, Fla., when they happened upon the shocking tail-end of a police chase involving Raymond Herisse, the suspect in question who had allegedly fled police following a scuffle. When Herisse’s car later came to a stop, officers surrounded the vehicle and unloaded more than 100 rounds at the car, effectively murdering Herisse and injuring four innocent bystanders.
The Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) has tried to justify their shooting spree by claiming that Herisse attempted to run over officers with his car, but Narces’ video footage, which was salvaged when he discreetly removed his cell phone’s memory card and put it in his mouth before officers destroyed it, shows otherwise. In the video, it is clearly evident that Narces’ vehicle had been stopped both prior to and during the time when the gang of officers murdered him in cold blood.
You can view the video footage for yourself here:
Perhaps even more disturbing than the actual shooting, though, is the way the police aggressively threatened and intimidated those who witnessed the situation, including Narces and his girlfriend. After allegedly putting guns to their heads and throwing them to the ground, Narces says one officer grabbed his cell phone and said “You want to be [expletive] Paparazzi?” upon which he proceeded to smash the phone and stick it back into Narces’ pocket.
Initially, other officers on the scene denied any awareness that this type of activity had taken place, but the department later admitted that officers had, indeed, confiscated Narces’ and several other witnesses’ phones. Filming such incidents, of course, is perfectly legal, and the officers involved had no right to threaten, confiscate, destroy, or otherwise interfere with the activity of bystanders, but they decided to do it anyway.
Following the incident, the MBPD has come out denying that its officers had held Narces at gunpoint, or that they tried to destroy his phone. The department alleges that Narces had appeared to be fleeing the shooting scene, which prompted them to come after him. This claim, however, does not make any logical sense in light of the situation, and the video footage Narces captured shows that officers pursued him only after they realized that he had been filming the incident, upon which he fled for refuge in his vehicle.
The entire event reeks of abuse and coverup. No matter how the MBPD tries to slice and dice it before the public, there really is no justification for firing hundreds of bullets at an unmoving vehicle in the first place, especially one with a man that appears not to even have been armed. Ironically, an MBPD announcement made days after the incident that a gun had been found “somewhere” in Herisse’s vehicle upon processing — which was an attempt at justifying the officers’ actions — does not vindicate them at all. What it actually shows is that Herisse could not have been firing that weapon when police gunned him down, otherwise it would have been right there with his body and not hidden somewhere else in the car.
Further, there is absolutely no justification for officers pointing guns at and arresting innocent bystanders who were merely exercising their rightful freedom to film public events — and no amount of denial or excuse-making on behalf of the MBPD can change this fact. Narces’ video, which is the smoking gun in this case, exposes the grim reality of this encroaching American police state, and how it is quickly devolving into a deadly display of brute force all across the country. Officers of the state apparently now have no qualms about openly gunning people down, threatening to gun down witnesses, and later trying to cover up or justify their abusive actions.
November 3rd, 2010
By: Kim Carollo
A 23-year-old British man died from what the coroner said was a dangerous dose of caffeine, according to British media reports.
Information from the coroner’s inquest revealed that Michael Lee Bedford ingested two spoonfuls of pure caffeine powder that he washed down with an energy drink. Coroner Dr. Nigel Chapman said the dose Bedford consumed was equivalent to 70 cans of Red Bull.
“This should serve as a warning that caffeine is so freely available on the Internet but so lethal if the wrong dosage is taken,” Chapman said at the inquest.
A warning label on the product said only one-sixteenth of a teaspoon should be taken, but Bedford far exceeded that amount.
“He wasn’t doing anything wrong, it was just the danger of the dose he took,” said Chapman.
Though toxicologists in the U.S. say they’re not aware of any cases of people overdosing on caffeine powder, they say that caffeine overdoses are on the rise thanks in large part to the wide availability of caffeine-loaded energy drinks. They believe that increased consumption of these drinks can lead to caffeine abuse, which can lead to significant illness, injury and even death.
“It’s already a big problem,” said Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. “we’re a chemical-based society, because so many of us rely on psychotropic drugs to get by every day.”
“We’re seeing a lot more of it, and one of the reasons is, it’s difficult to figure out how much stimulant is in some of these products,” said Dr. Robert Hendrickson, medical toxicologist and emergency physician at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
Hendrickson explained that there may be other ingredients in many energy drinks and supplements, such as taurine and guarana, that also have caffeine in them, but there’s no indication of how much caffeine they contain.
Experts say there’s been a rise in the number of caffeine-related illnesses because more and more people are taking caffeine for a variety of reasons.
“Students are using it for studying, people are using it to try and stay awake and participate in late night social activities,” said Dr. Richard Clark, director of medical toxicology at UCSD Medical Center in San Diego, Calif.
Difficult to Determine How Much is Too Much
Medical experts agree that the amount of caffeine that led to Bedford’s death is clearly fatal, and they can only speculate about why someone would choose to ingest that much caffeine.
“It’s a stimulant, so if you’re looking for a stimulant high, caffeine is perceived to be a lot safer,” said Hendrickson.
They aren’t sure how much caffeine is considered life-threatening, although they say there are ways to tell when you’ve reached the caffeine breaking point.
“Caffeine increases our heart rate and our blood pressure and in some people, their degree of anxiety,” said Goldberger.
“[You can also] develop a tremor and feel restless,” Clark added.
When people start to experience these symptoms, it’s a sure sign they’ve had too much caffeine. With extremely high doses, people may start to experience a rapid and irregular heart beat and may eventually have seizures. Death can occur within hours.
“In a life-threatening situation, it’s not unlike the effects of other well-known stimulants like cocaine and amphetamine,” said Goldberger.
Despite the dangers of very high doses of caffeine, studies have shown that caffeine can offer some benefits in small doses.
“A small amount can increase concentration and boost athletic performance, but a lot of caffeine decreases concentration and performance,” said Hendrickson.
While it varies from person to person, Hendrickson said a safe amount is between 150 and 250 milligrams — roughly equivalent to an average-sized cup of regular coffee.
“More than 250 milligrams is that amount that studies have shown concentration to go down,” he said.
Exercise Caution With Energy Drinks and Supplements
Experts say not much is known about the effects of high doses, such as the amount of caffeine that’s in many energy drinks.
“Studies on low doses show there’s not a very dangerous effect, but these drinks have much higher doses, and we don’t have data yet about what it’s doing to our bodies,” said Clark.
Because so little is known about these caffeine-loaded drinks and because they’re so widely available, medical experts urge caution when consuming them.
“You have to know how your body is going to respond to them, so drink one and see how your body reacts,” said Hendrickson.
Even if a person suffers no ill effects from consuming an energy drink, experts advise they should not be consumed regularly or over a long period of time because of all the unknowns.
They also urge people to consume any caffeinated foods and drinks in moderation.
“There is no recommended amount, so the key is to know your body and how caffeine affects it,” said Goldberger.
Experts also expressed concern over the growing trend of mixing alcohol and caffeine. This combination can be dangerous, as one recent incident showed.
A group of Central Washington University students became extremely ill after drinking Four Loko, a legal beverage that’s a mix of alcohol and caffeine. Another popular drink is a mixture of Red Bull and vodka.
“Some folks think they can drive better by mixing caffeine with alcohol, but no study confirms that,” said Clark. “Believing you can go drive this way has all kinds of problems associated with it.”
The family of Michael Bedford also has a strong message about the dangers of products like the caffeine powder that led to his death.
“I feel like it should be banned,” his grandmother told British media outlets.
“I think there should be a warning on it saying it can kill,” his aunt said.
July, 16 2010
By: Shaun Walker
Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been forced to admit that child workers as young as 10 have been subjected to long hours working on tobacco farms with which it has contracts in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, migrant workers at the farms, mostly from neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, were subjected to conditions that often amounted to forced labour, as employers contracted by tobacco farms that sold their produce to Philip Morris International had their passports confiscated and were often made to do additional work for no pay. The company, which sources tobacco from Kazakhstan for cigarette brands sold in Russia and other former Soviet states, said it was taking “immediate action” to stop the abuses.
In many cases families were expected to pay back unrealistic debts to intermediaries who had arranged for their journeys to Kazakhstan, in schemes that bear all the hallmarks of people trafficking. The report also documented 72 cases of children working on the farms.
Philip Morris produces brands such as Marlboro and Chesterfield in over 150 countries around the world, and purchased 1,500 tonnes of tobacco from Kazakh farms in 2009. The company issued a statement yesterday saying it is “grateful” to Human Rights Watch for raising the issues, and “is firmly opposed to child labour and all other labour abuses”. The company says it is implementing a range of measures to ensure the abuses end, such as working with local government and NGOs to ensure school access for children of migrant workers, and implementing a system of third party monitoring to ensure tobacco farms comply with strict guidelines.
Jane Buchanan, the report’s author, blamed the Kazakh government as well as Philip Morris for the abuses. She said yesterday that progress had been slow with the authorities in discussions over bureaucratic hurdles and the need to provide schooling for migrant workers’ children.
“The commitments from [the government] have been very vague,” she said. “It has been a lot of work to get them to accept the idea that migrant workers, even if they are working illegally, still have fundamental rights.”
According to Ms Buchanan, Human Rights Watch had first approached the tobacco conglomerate with the allegations in October last year, and there has been a “regular and constructive dialogue” since. “However, we have done some more research recently, and it’s clear that not all the things they promised have been fully implemented yet,” she said.
One woman told the report’s authors that young children had developed red rashes on their necks and stomachs after working with the tobacco, and there were also cases of dangerous pesticides being stored in living areas. During a single work day, tobacco harvesters can be exposed to a similar amount of nicotine as would be found in 36 average-strength cigarettes, and workers are at risk of contracting Green Tobacco Sickness, where nicotine is absorbed through the skin from contact with tobacco leaves. The illness causes nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle weakness and dizziness, and children are particularly susceptible due to their small body size.
Migrant workers come to Kazakhstan from impoverished neighbouring countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan where there are few job possibilities. They are allowed to enter for up to 90 days without a visa, and the complications in securing official work permits mean that many end up working illegally, and are thus at their employers’ mercy.
In one of many such stories, Almira, 45, travelled to Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan with her husband and two children last year. They were promised by the intermediary who drove them to a tobacco farm in rural Malybai that they would be paid a minimum of $2,300 (£1,500) for their work over the season. However, when they arrived they were told they would have to work off debts from the journey, and had their passports confiscated by the landowner.
“He treated us really badly,” recalls Almira. “We couldn’t defend ourselves, since we were on his land after all. We worked for 11 to 13 hours a day. The work was really hard.” The family contemplated running away, but this was impossible. “Our passports were with the landowner, and we had no money. If we left, then all of our work would be for nothing. And without money, how would we even get back home from there?”
July, 16 2010
A new government study finds a 400 percent increase in the number of people admitted to treatment for abusing prescription pain medication.
The increase in substance abuse among people ages 12 and older was recorded during the 10-year-period from 1998 to 2008. It spans every gender, race, ethnicity, education and employment level, and all regions of the country.
The study was released Thursday by Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House office of drug control policy. Kerlikowske says prescription drug abuse is now the second-most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the country, and the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.