Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state of Michigan and the largest city in West Michigan with a population of 188 thousand people and a metropolitan population of over 1 million.
At the start of the 19th century, missionaries and fur trades first settled in the Grand Rapids area. They got along in peace with the Ottawa people who lived in that area and traded European metal and textile good to them for fur pelts. One prominent fur trader was Madeline La Framboise who established the first Indian / European trading post there. In 1806 she expanded her trading posts out to other areas of Michigan.
In 1826 Louis Campau, who is credited as the founder of Grand Rapids, built his cabin, trading post and blacksmith shop on the bank of the Grand River. He left back to Detroit, where he was from, and came back a year later with $5,000 worth of goods to trade with the native tribes.
Pioneer geologist Douglass Houghton found an outcropping of gypsum where Plaster Creek enters the Grand River and began mining it in 1841. The gypsum was ground up and used as a soil additive known as land plaster. Later on nearby mines were also created as more was found and gypsum would be used in the manufacture of stucco and wall coverings.
In the second half of the 19th century the city would become a major lumbering center and was established as the premier furniture manufacturer in the entire US.
Police on the Look Out for Marijuana Wax:
A new form of potent marijuana has started showing up in Grand Rapids and West Michigan; this new entry to the illegal pot trade is marijuana wax. Police are concerned, not only because of the dangers to the users, but because of the possibility of explosions while it is being made.
Users are drawn to this new form of marijuana due to its high level of THC content. The drug is smoked either through a water pipe or through a vaporizer pen. Because of this high level of THC, police are concerned over its hallucinogenic effects, acting less like pot and more like a heavy hallucinogen.
The levels of THC in this wax range in the 70 to 90 percent range. As a comparison, marijuana in the 70's contained about 1 percent THC, today it ranges in the 3.5 - 5 percent area. With levels as high as 90 percent, this drug is anything but pot.
Further, the process of making it is dangerous, the THC is extracted using a butane solvent that removes it from the plant material. The butane is evaporated and an explosion can occur. Elk Rapids Police Chief Tom Emerson said he is aware of explosions that have already occurred, including one in Elk Rapids.
There are also reports of house fires that police believe are related to the wax being made, although there is danger in this, the explosions are much more concerning. The potential for explosion is also more concerning to Grand Rapids Lt. William Nowicki than the drugs extreme potency, as it can put innocent lives at risk as well.
Preventing Overdose from Heroin and Painkillers:
As heroin and prescription painkiller abuse rises throughout the state, way of preventing the rise in associated overdose are being addressed by communities, police and politicians.
There are many approaches to this problem that people are taking. Some tried and true, others off the normal way of thinking, some even controversial.
There are the straight forward attempts that seek to lower the number of users of these drugs. This is done in several ways, drug education groups in schools work to teach people the truth about drugs early on to help decrease the rate of people who turn to drugs later on in life. Prescription drug drop boxes take unneeded pills out of homes where they could fall into the hands of kids looking to experiment with them. Controversial programs like needle exchange programs give the people who run the programs a chance to talk to the addicts one-on-one and get them to seek help.
There are also medical approaches that use new drug compounds to stop an overdose while it’s still under way. These too are met with controversy though, as addicts are being found to take the recent easy access to these drugs for police and ambulance personnel as a "second chance" of sorts. They are able to take even more drugs than they normally would risk, for an even larger high, with the reassurance that if they do overdose an EMT will be able to pull them out of it with a better chance of success.
Treatment Options in Grand Rapids:
Of the 466 drug rehab centers listed in Michigan, 24 of them are located in Grand Rapids. This is a fairly large number compared to some cities, so people who are looking for a treatment center for an addict in their life should not have much trouble locating one.
Many centers also have specialty programs for DUI, DWI or criminal justice clients. If you are looking for a center for yourself or a loved one, you should check with them as to what type of financing is available there as different centers accept different types of insurance and not all are able to accept certain types of insurance such as Medicaid or military insurance.