Marin County is near the top of many lists in California: healthiest, wealthiest and one more that doesn’t elicit bragging. We are number one in alcohol and overdose deaths among teens per capita. “For all the wonderful norms that promote health in Marin, we do have our shadow side,” says Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer. “I don’t know if we fully understand the reasons why our rates of substance use are so high,” he adds. “Some say it’s related to the stress of affluence and high education and expectations of performance.” Unfortunately, a recent sequence of events bolsters these claims. A public health advisory was issued in late October discussing the dangers of overdosing and just a few days later five Marin teens landed in the hospital after consuming an excess amount of cough syrup. This alarming trend has been deemed an epidemic; in response, a set of guidelines for prescribing painkillers was developed by the Marin Medical Society, RxSafe Marin Prescribers and Pharmacists Community, and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. marinhhs.org, rxsafemarin.org
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.