Category Archives: News

Opioid Addiction: A Crisis Deferred

Dan Baker was introduced to opioids at the age of 21, to treat an old back injury he had obtained while playing sports. Despite being aware of the addictive nature of the drug he decided to push through with the treatment. A few months later he was being committed to a clinic for opioid addiction. Dan’s father would later admit: “We weren’t sure he was as committed to treatment as we thought he should be. We let him know: You can choose this life. We can’t make you do this the way we want you to. That was the last time we saw our son alive.” Dan was subsequently kicked out of this treatment center for sharing drugs with his roommate. His roommate’s father picked his son and Dan up and, at their request, allowed them to attend one last party in Minneapolis. Dan was found dead the next morning, having passed away at the age of 25 (Magan).

OxyContin hit the market in 1996 and, thus, began the circulation of what was seen at the time as the new standard in pain medication. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturers of OxyContin, aggressively promoted the product to the medical community. Between its initial release in 1996 to 2001, Purdue held more than 40 “national pain-management and speaker-training” conferences in resorts across the country. Professionals across the medical field from physicians to pharmacists were invited to these seminars, at no personal expense, to hear about the practical applications of this new drug. Art Van Zee, reports, “It is well documented that this type of pharmaceutical company symposium influences physicians’ prescribing. . .” (Zee).

This proved to be true, as in the early 1990s, the number of painkiller prescriptions issued had been steadily increasing by 2 to 3 million a year, however; the number of prescriptions inexplicably jumped by 8 million in 1996 after OxyContin’s release. This number would jump to 11 million in 1999, a year after Purdue released a promotional video to be used in “physician waiting rooms as a ‘check out’ item for an office’s patient education library”  (Moghe). In this same span of time, Purdue saw their sales rise from $48 million in 1996 to $1.1 billion in 2000 (Zee).

It wouldn’t be until 2007 that Purdue and three of its executives would be charged for downplaying the addictive nature of the drug, culminating in $635 million settlement with the U.S Government. By this time OxyContin was already a leading drug of abuse in the United States. Purdue re-marketed their drug in 2010 with new “abuse deterrents” put into place, making the pills more difficult to crush to discourage abuse through snorting or injecting. According to a study conducted by the staff of the New England Journal of Medicine, while this move did help decrease the number of opioid abusers, OxyContin’s nature as a gateway drug had already spiraled the situation out of control. As one opioid user interviewed in the study asserted, “Most people that I know don’t use OxyContin to get high anymore. They have moved on to heroin [because] it is easier to use, much cheaper and easily available” (Moghe).

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Tiny House Living: Redefining the American Dream

When imagining the American Dream, a white-picket fence, large house, and nice cars come to mind. That dream has taken a new direction. A fresh phenomenon is sweeping the country: going tiny. Tiny houses have become ever-increasingly popular. This new take on the American Dream enables a debt-free, nomadic and environmentally conscious lifestyle. Whether it be on a trailer, foundation, floating, or up in a tree, tiny houses are redefining the ‘American Dream.’


Now to put ‘tiny living’ into perspective. On average, the American home is 2,600 square feet, whereas the average tiny house ranges between 100 and 400 square feet. Being a fraction of the average American home, tiny houses seem to be a radical change, but there are many upsides. Americans spend an alarming portion of their paychecks on housing alone–an unnecessarily large portion. The rule of thumb is to spend no more than 25% of your income on housing, but many Americans spend double that. According to CBS News, an increasing amount of working-class families have to spend over 50% of their paycheck on rent. Even more alarming, according to CNN, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Americans need to make a change somewhere in their lifestyles. So, what’s the alternative?

Tiny houses. According to The Tiny Life, to build a tiny house by yourself would cost approximately $23,000. Of course the total cost depends on: size, builders, features, and the finishes of the tiny house (like all other houses). A tiny house can fit anyone’s lifestyle and budget, the average cost ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 (Forbes). Compare those figures to the figures below in the average cost of an American house, see which one you would prefer.

Although owning a house may seem to be far off in the future, after college, housing will be your responsibility. With the burden of student loan debt, the last thing that you will want on your plate is a mortgage or rent payment. Stay tuned for more tiny house articles! Check out the link below for images of tiny houses!


BRHS Considers New Schedule for 2017-2018 School Year

Administration at the high school is considering a new schedule for the 2017-2018 school year.  This schedule is designed to better incorporate band and chorus into the students’ schedules.  To do this there will be designated classes which run on a semester schedule (periods 1 and 4 classes) and there will be classes which run throughout the entire school year (periods 2 and 3).  Periods 1 and 4 classes will meet everyday through the semester, while periods 2 and 3 classes will alternate everyday (blue and gold days) for the year.  This schedule makes classes such as band and chorus more accessible for students who cannot sacrifice CORE time.  Mr. Welch feels that this will be beneficial because “the arts need to be better represented in our school.”  This newly developed schedule will not affect AP classes which will still meet everyday throughout the entire school year.

BRHS Hires New Guidance Department Secretary

      Hannah Johnson was hired on January 23rd as the new Guidance Department Secretary to replace Heather Lorrain who accepted a new job as the church administrator at the Congregational Church. Ms. Johnson is originally from Waterville, Maine, but spent summers in the Boothbay region. She attended college at Wheelock in Boston and majored in hospital based social work.  Ms. Johnson previously worked at the Goddard School, a new private school in Massachusetts, where she was the assistant director.  Ms. Johnson says she “loves BRHS so far and her favorite part of her new job is meeting all of the lovely students.”  She enjoys spending time and hiking around her new home with her fiancé and son. Ms. Johnson is a great addition to the BRHS family.


Yuda Bands

The Boothbay Interact Club is participating in an international project, selling yuda bands. Yuda bands are $7 bracelets handmade in Guatemala and sold in US schools to fund education in Guatemala and Zimbabwe.  We were supposed to sell 234 bands to help fund the little girls we chose to sponsor, Karla. However, we fell short of our mark, only selling 208 bands, but the funds we received from those that are sold will still go towards this girls education. Other schools that sold over the goals can then compensate for the ones that we didn’t sell. This project took a lot of effort and was a great learning experience for this club and a great international project for us to take on.


Taylor Tip-Off Recap

Last month, sophomore, Faith Blethen, organized a “purple day” to encourage the students of BRHS to wear purple to show their support for victims of domestic violence. The foundation started eight years ago when the Taylor sisters lost their parents to domestic violence. There are basketball tournaments all over Maine, called the Taylor Tip-Off, to raise money for this foundation. This is a statement made by Faith, a member of the Maine Firecrackers who participated in the tournament this year.

“Congratulations BRHS on rallying to raise $375.00! I am very proud of and thankful for everyone’s generous donations towards such an important cause. Once again, 100% of the money we raised will go to young victims of domestic violence, and their families. The money you raised was donated in my name and the basketball team that I played on in this great tournament. The Firecracker-Briggs’ team that our school’s money was donated through raised a record team amount of $4,063! All of you contributed to me raising $1,164 individually, which is a new tournament record as well. The tournament all together raised over $32,000 for children who have had their lives rocked like nothing many of us can imagine. Thank you Boothbay Region High School again for your remarkable efforts and participation on purple day. This speaks highly to the community and character of our student-body for stepping up to this challenge and making such a huge impact.”

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