Being Adept

Category Archives: Being Adept

Marijuana Legalization Opponents Worry States Can’t Keep Drug Away from Children | The Partnership at

Opponents of marijuana legalization say they don’t believe states where recreational use of the drug is legal will be able to keep it out of the hands of children, according to the Miami Herald.

“Kids are going to be bombarded with this – they’re already getting the message that it’s acceptable,” said Kevin Sabet, Director of the University of Florida Drug Policy Institute, who served as an adviser on drug issues to President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

via Marijuana Legalization Opponents Worry States Can’t Keep Drug Away from Children | The Partnership at

The Truth About “Molly”

A staple in the clubbing scene, “Molly” has become synonymous with rave culture and has become a hall mark party drug. But how exactly does it work?

The active ingredient in ecstasy is methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). MDMA was originally synthesized as a means for psychotherapy, because of the euphoric and disarming effect it had on patients. It wasn’t long before the drug filtered into recreational use in dance clubs across the world. (The Week)

MDMA acts on the brain by flooding brain synapses with the neurotransmitter serotonin, which leads to euphoria. It can also lead to a crash afterwards, as serotonin stores are depleted. Another danger is the ambiguity of the other substances mixed with the drug. Molly is essentially the same as ecstasy, but “Molly” is often toted as a more pure form of MDMA, while ecstasy is often laced with other drugs. (CNN) However, the New York Times reports that this is a misconception, and molly is often cut with other unknown, or even harmful, substances.  Because “Molly” is sold in powder form, it is easily mixed with other substances, including methamphetamine and bath salts.

Laced “Molly” is thought to be behind the deaths of two concert-goers at New York’s Electric Zoo, which has led to a statewide crackdown on the distribution of “Molly”. Senator Charles Schumer was recently quoted saying he wants to increase regulation of the chemicals used to create molly. (The New York Times)

Being Adept advises parents to talk to their children about the risks involved with “Molly, especially the danger posed by laced samples.

Being Adept is a nonprofit in the Bay Area working to implement drug and alcohol curriculums in schools.

Emergency Rooms Reported 23,000 Bath Salts-Related Visits in 2011 | The Partnership at

U.S. emergency rooms reported almost 23,000 visits for synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” in 2011. The findings come from the first national study to look at bath salts-related emergency room visits, according to HealthDay. It was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

via Emergency Rooms Reported 23,000 Bath Salts-Related Visits in 2011 | The Partnership at

Expert Explains Dangers of “Molly,” Drug Suspected in Two Deaths at Music Festival | The Partnership at

“Molly,” the club drug suspected of causing two deaths this weekend at a New York City music festival, can be dangerous for casual users, experts say. They note it is hard for a person using the drug to detect when they are about to overdose.

via Expert Explains Dangers of “Molly,” Drug Suspected in Two Deaths at Music Festival | The Partnership at

Being Adept Gearing Up for 2013-2014 School Year

Members of the Being Adept staff present lessons from the 2013-2015 Being Adept Curriculum

On August 8th and 12th, Being Adept ran its instructors through staff development exercises and rigorous training sessions. The goal of the sessions was to provide an opportunity for instructors to familiarize themselves with the 2013-2015 workbook, while also allowing opportunities for assessment and improvement of teaching capabilities. The training sessions, held at the Kentfield District Office, provided staff with the tools they will need to inform and engage students in the coming year.

Stay tuned to Being Adept’s articles and information section in order to learn more about the incoming staff in the coming weeks.

Much of the training was discussion based, as all teachers offered each other feedback to improve each other's delivery of the lessons.

Excessive Alcohol Use Costs $223.5 Billion Annually, CDC Reports

Check out this article to read about how much excessive alcohol use is really costing us:

Right and Left Praise Eric Holder’s Drug-Sentencing Plan, Up to a Point |

Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement on Monday that the Justice Department would try to ease America’s overcrowded federal prisons, in part by reducing mandatory drug sentences, was cheered by both liberals and conservatives who think the U.S. imprisons too many people for too long. But Holder was also criticized for arriving late to an issue that the states have pioneered for years.

via Right and Left Praise Eric Holder’s Drug-Sentencing Plan, Up to a Point |

Myostatin Inhibitors: The Next PED on the Horizon?

Belgian Blue bulls look like they are made of muscle because they have a mutation in the gene that codes for the protein myostatin. In humans, as in other types of cattle, myostatin normally limits the number of muscle fibers that form before birth, and then limits the growth of those fibers later on.

As the recent Biogenesis suspensions demonstrate, professional athletes are willing to go to absurd lengths in order to improve their performance on the field. And while sports governing bodies have managed to implement testing for EPO and hGH, there are always new drugs being produced.

Jon Hamilton, of NPR, reports that the next PED may already be on the horizon, and come in the form of myostatin inhibitors. Myostatin is a naturally secreted protein that inhibits muscle growth, in order to prevent muscles from becoming too large. Recently, scientists have created drugs that can block the process, leading to engorged muscles. The effects can clearly be seen in the two mice below.

There is a clear distinction between the normal mouse (left), and the mouse treated with myotasin inhibitors (right)

Hamilton notes that while performance enhancing drugs used to be created by “rogue chemists”, now days, they are simply a byproduct of the pharmaceutical business. EPO was originally created to treat anemia, but has become the world’s most popular biotech drug because of its enhancing properties.

Some worry that new Myostatin inhibiting drugs, which are incredibly valuable to the small portion of the population that suffers from muscular dystrophy, might prove irresistible to cheating athletes.

Being Adept, a Bay Area drug and alcohol curriculum, encourages parents and teens to understand the consequences of the substances that we put in our bodies. Being Adept seeks to inform teens so that they can make healthy decisions.


Source: Hamilton, Jon. “New Muscle Drugs Could Be the Next Big Thing in Sports Doping”. NPR. August 12, 2013. <>.


Dr. Ramo on Being Adept’s Youtube Channel


Dr. Danielle Ramo, a member of the Being Adept Team, is featured in Being Adept’s latest video from the Being Adept Youtube Channel: In the video, Dr. Ramo explores the effects of alcohol on the still developing frontal lobes of the adolescent brain. She explains how alcohol abuse during the teen years can ultimately lead to cognitive deficiencies in “higher order thinking”, the ability to prioritize and make complex decisions.

Being Adept’s video channel is owned and sponsored by Being Adept, a Bay Area drug and and alcohol program designed to inform adolescents before they start being exposed to drugs and alcohol.

Len Bias: A Cautionary Tale

Len Bias was a First Team All-American player for the University of Maryland and the 2nd overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft. Arguably,  Len Bias’ death triggered public shock and outrage that contributed to the declaration of the “War on Drugs”.

Generations have come and gone since 1986, but for those unfamiliar with Len Bias, this passage from the 1995 Boston Phoenix sums it up. “On June 19, a week after blowing Houston off the Garden parquet for the NBA title, the Celtics selected Len Bias from the University of Maryland. Around the NBA, shoulders sagged. An explosive forward with no weaknesses, Bias was actually dubbed ‘a taller Michael Jordan’ by NBA scouts. It seemed almost unfair.”[1]

Hailed as a player who would continue the Boston Celtic’s dominance over the NBA, Len Bias’ story was tragically short. He ended up being a Celtic for only 2 days—at a going away party he overdosed on cocaine.

After the incident, doctors found that Bias died directly from an unusually pure dose of cocaine,  “which interrupted the normal electrical control of his heartbeat, resulting in the sudden onset of seizures and cardiac arrest.”[2] More alarming is the fact that Bias’ autopsy revealed that he was a very healthy individual and did not appear to have used cocaine before. This suggests that Bias died the very first time that he used cocaine.

Being Adept, a Bay Area drug and alcohol curriculum, hopes that parents will use the example of Len Bias in order to inform their children of the dangers of drug use. Because of ambiguity of dosing, cocaine has the potential to be lethal, the very first time it is used.

[1] Simmons, Bill. “The Curse of Len Bias”. The Phoenix. December 1, 1995.


[2] Schmidt, Susan. Kenworthy, Tom. “Cocaine Caused Bias’ Death, Autopsy Reveals : Dose Said to Trigger Heart Failure; Criminal Inquiry to Be Pressed.” Los Angeles Times. June 25, 1986.

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