Santa Clarita takes action against addiction (Part 2)

by Gloria Locke, Staff Writer 664 views0

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A candlelight memorial service was held at Central Park in Saugus for Adam on Good Friday. He would have been 23 years old in June.

During the first few weeks of 2012, five deaths from drug overdose have broken hearts of many in Santa Clarita. In 2011, eleven deaths were attributed to drug overdose. According to Cary Quashen, CEO and Founder of Action Family Counseling, Santa Clarita is the most pro-active community against the issue, which seems to plague upper-middle class families with higher than average income. Communities also reeling from addiction and abuse include Westlake Village, Simi Valley and Santa Clarita. In 2011, Simi Valley had a total of 14 deaths due to drug overdose, according to Quashen.

“I envy ‘normal’ people,” shares Justin, 21. Justin began taking drugs in high school. He was arrested for heroin possession while smoking in his car outside a friend’s home.

Justin and his mom now attend Action Family Counseling meetings on Tuesdays at Canyon High School.

“It’s an addiction of the family,” explains Justin, “because it affects everyone in the family.”

Cary Quashen, has taken”action” mentoring young adults for 30 years in the rehab and recovery process. According to Quashen, he has walked the talk, having now been clean for 31 years to date. Heading the weekly meetings for recovering addicts and their families at Canyon High School, Quashen also travels across the state personally overseeing and interacting with staff and clients. There are currently 14 AFC centers, having opened a new facility in Piru on March 5th. Santa Clarita residents can find the AFC headquarters on Soledad Canyon Road in the former Water Company facility.

Take action now. Heroin will kill you.

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