Hooked and hustling heroin: A couple’s life in Kensington, Philadelphia
July 28, 2017 – “I’m king,” he says, in a pair of red-mirrored sunglasses. “I make the most money. I got the most clients. And I give the best runs.” That’s what Ray is — a runner. Every day, from early morning to late night, he sells “works” — clean syringes — at the foot of the El station in Kensington … It’s a good day. They have get-well money — enough to buy their first fix in the morning, the one that staves off the early symptoms of withdrawal, the nausea, and the aches and pain. Together, they inject up to 30 bags of heroin a day.
Kevin Michael Key, advocate who found hope and sobriety on skid row, dies at 67
July 28, 2017 – A onetime criminal defense attorney who lost his career to a crack addiction, Kevin Michael Key found both ruin and redemption on skid row, a neighborhood he came to embody as one of its loudest and most persistent activists … in 2002, Key got sober and found new life in activism. He joined the United Coalition East Prevention Project, worked as a liaison for the diabetes program at the JWCH Community Clinic, marched with the prison reform group Critical Resistance and served two terms on the Downtown Neighborhood Council. He prodded civic leaders to give skid row the same attention and amenities that other neighborhoods received. He preached the gospel of sobriety.
July 28, 2017 – The problem is multi-faceted and includes “body brokering,” a practice in which people are paid to bring in new clients. Kickbacks involve providers receiving money to send patients to a particular facility, or excessive and unnecessary drug testing in order for labs to gain insurance payouts. Some “sober houses” are really just unlicensed and unregulated drug dens because there’s often a payout when patients cycle through rehab and these flophouses. All of this means people suffering from addiction are treated like commodities and aren’t getting the help they need. – BUT THE RAY OF LIGHT HERE IS THAT WE CAN CHANGE THIS!
July 18, 2017 – The study found that not only were artificial sweeteners dodgy when it came to weight management, but people who drank them routinely had an increased body mass index and risk of developing cardiovascular disease … Once heralded as sweet substitutes for sugar without as many belt-busting calories, people once couldn’t get enough sucralose and aspartame. But recently, people have started looking at the molecules with increasing suspicion, amid studies that linked them to increased belly fat…
RAGS to riches to rags: How a booming addiction treatment biz goes bankrupt
July 21, 2017 – By 2015, Solid Landings employed 1,200 and the number of addicts seeking its help quadrupled to 3,000 a year … Fennelly was named one of O.C.’s most influential people, Solid Landings was voted one of O.C.’s top workplaces, and his pay exceeded $82,000 a month. He bought a luxury condo in the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas – complete with white-gloved doormen, valet parking, 24-hour concierge service and spectacular views – for $1.77 million in 2015 … In October, Solid Landings was hit with an investigative subpoena from the California Department of Insurance. It was exhaustive, demanding that the company hand over an enormous trove of documents on everything from the nonprofit, Solid Landings Foundation, to records of money used to buy insurance for clients, to protocols used for urine testing, according to the subpoena.
Delray will sue Big Pharma for ‘scourge of opioid addiction’
July 19, 2017 – The opioid epidemic has caused financial and emotional strain on the people of Delray Beach, and its leaders want accountability and restitution. That’s why the Delray Beach commission Tuesday decided to sue drug makers for the part they played in the heroin crisis. It is the first city in Florida to take such action. “With virtually no help from our federal government and little from our state … cities like ours are now frantically searching for answers for our own population,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said.
An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean
July 17, 2017 -During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them,..Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances captured their exploits in photos and videos…Three weeks earlier, a 21-year-old woman had overdosed in his presence in a Pasadena hotel room. The woman was rushed to a hospital, where she recovered. Police found methamphetamine…Puliafito resigned his $1.1-million-a-year post…she said the drug left her “completely incapacitated.”
After she awoke in the hospital six hours later, Puliafito picked her up, and “we went back to the hotel and got another room and continued the party,” she said.
Lawyer, Addict, Body
July 15, 2017 – …his voice mail messages and texts had become meandering soliloquies that didn’t make sense, veering from his work travails, to car repairs, to his pet mouse, Snowball … In my shock, I didn’t see the half-filled syringes on the bathroom sink, or the spoon, lighter and crushed pills … One of the most comprehensive studies of lawyers and substance abuse was released just seven months after Peter died. That 2016 report, from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association, analyzed the responses of 12,825 licensed, practicing attorneys across 19 states … Brian Cuban, a lawyer in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction and the author of the memoir “The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow and Redemption,” would regularly show up for work drunk and do a few lines of cocaine to be able to perform.
Feds: Delray rehab owner billed $58 million for urine tests
Eric Snyder was arrested on Tuesday and released on $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 1. Bond was set at $200,000 for Fuller. Snyder is one of the many drug treatment operators exposed in a two-year Palm Beach Post investigation.
Nelsan Ellis’ Family Shares Circumstances of ‘True Blood’ Actor’s Death
July 10, 2017 – Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.
NAATP to Launch Enhanced Ethics Compliance and Consumer Protection Initiative
July 6, 2017 – The practice of high quality values-based addiction treatment is threatened by unprofessional, unethical, and illegal activity within the field. Abuses range from marketing deception to outright illegal activity. The impact of this conduct is profound. It harms both the consumer and the field of addiction treatment at large. While abusive profiteering is experienced in many fields, and while it is true that our field has experienced periods of inappropriate marketing in the past, never in NAATP’s 40-year history have we seen abuses of this magnitude.
Sober Home Task Force score: One-fourth already pleaded guilty
July 1, 2017 – The strategy appears to be working. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who created the task force, has promised more arrests. “We’re closer to the beginning than the end,” Aronberg said of the investigation by the task force, which includes police, inspectors and agents from a dozen state and federal agencies.
Worst Epidemic in U.S. History? Opioid Crisis Now Leading Cause of Death for Americans Under 50 VIDEO
JUNE 07, 2017 – AMY GOODMAN: And so, what about the role of Big Pharma, of the drug companies?
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: Well, the reason we have this epidemic, as I mentioned, is because doctors have been writing too many prescriptions. And that change in the way we treated pain began in the late ’90s. And as the prescribing took off, it led to parallel increases in addiction and overdose death.
June 10, 2017 – According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, some 38 percent of girls ages 13 through 17, and 26 percent of boys, suffer from an anxiety disorder. Marshall McLuhan famously wrote, a cool medium. Our devices are literally hot, warming our laps and our palms.”In our always-on culture, checking your phone is the last thing you do before you go to sleep, and the first thing you do if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom,” Mr. Harris said. “Just today, I got an alert on my phone about the collapsing Arctic ice shelf. That’s scary as hell.” Push notifications. Apocalyptic headlines. Rancorous tweets. Countless studies have found links between online culture and anxiety. But if social media can lead to anxiety, it also might help relieve it.
A Drugmaker Tries to Cash in on the Opioid Epidemic, One State Law at a Time NPR AUDIO
June 12, 2017 – State lobbying records show that McCaffrey lobbies for Alkermes, the company that makes Vivitrol.
Asked earlier this year whether Indiana lawmakers knew about his lobbying for Alkermes, McCaffrey said, “I imagine some do and some don’t.” But several lawmakers who have worked closely with McCaffrey, including Davisson, say they were not aware.
South Florida Cities to America: ‘Don’t Send Your Drug Users Here’
June 1, 2017 – Delray Beach is at the epicenter of a South Florida overdose epidemic that claimed more than 1,000 lives last year. And many of those victims were from out of state. They come by the thousands to get well. South Florida has long been a destination for world-class addiction treatment … “As soon as they extract all this insurance money from them and they test positive, they kick them out on the street with their wheelie luggage,” said Sidney Goodman, founder of Caron Renaissance, one of the oldest, most respected drug treatment providers in the region.
How a 5-sentence letter helped fuel the opioid addiction crisis
MAY 31, 2017 – Close to 200,000 Americans have died by overdosing on prescription painkillers, and a new report traces some of the blame to five simple sentences written nearly 40 years ago. The sentences, containing just 101 words, appeared in a 1980 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Tiger Woods – Asleep At Wheel – Failed Field Sobriety Test
May 31, 2017 – According to the police report, obtained by TMZ Sports, Tiger Woods was in his 2015 Mercedes Benz asleep at the wheel with the motor running and right blinker flashing. The report says Woods, “had extremely slow and slurred speech.”
Tiger Woods, arrested on suspicion of DUI, blames prescriptions
Monday, May, 29, 2017 – Last week on his web site, he updated everyone on his latest back surgery, in April, a fusion that he said would keep him away from competition for the rest of this year at least, but said made him pain free..
“I haven’t felt this good in years,” Woods said.
It is not yet announced by the police in Jupiter whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Woods says that alcohol was not involved, that this is all about prescription drugs..
May 17, 2016 – Health professionals are sounding the alarm over the heightened risk of death linked to the use of psychiatric drugs, which was highlighted in a pair of Vancouver-based studies published this month. Benzodiazepine (BZD) is a class of psychiatric medications known as “tranquillizers” which can reduce the body’s drive to breathe and are used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, seizures, and other conditions.
University of California San Francisco doctor accused of fraudulently prescribing Ritalin VIDEO
Mathy allegedly issued 86 fraudulent prescriptions for Ritalin, a stimulant commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, over a period of three years under three different aliases..
How some Southern California drug rehab centers exploit addiction
May 21, 2017 – For five patients treated at one center, Grajeda paid a total of $1,193 in upfront insurance costs. Those patients went on to generate claims of more than $4 million to Blue Shield, state records show…Though many legitimate centers remain, critics and long-time insiders say a darker version of the industry is emerging, built around an illicit world of patient recruiters, fraud-driven clinics and drug-testing mills … Everything from the opioid epidemic and Obamacare to prison realignment and legal loopholes has created conditions in which unethical operators can flourish, using addicts to bilk insurance companies and the public out of hundreds of millions of dollars … State records show that Rueben “Benji” Grajeda, a one-time methamphetamine dealer with a half-dozen felony convictions in Orange and Los Angeles counties, took on a side job in 2014 – connecting addicts to rehab centers…
Sobriety for Sale: Clinic inspectors say state agency foiled their investigations VIDEO
May 17, 2017 – Two state workers charged with reviewing the operations of state-licensed drug and alcohol treatment centers say KING 5’s ongoing investigation into corrupt clinics correctly revealed failures in oversight by the agency charged with policing the treatment industry. One of those workers, Tammy Wright, cited as an example an investigation she worked on that turned up forged documents at a licensed drug and alcohol treatment center in Spanaway called “Abracadabra.”
Travis Barker, Blink-182 drummer, opens up about drug addiction… VIDEO
May 17, 2017 – Travis Barker opened up about how he turned to drugs after surviving a plane crash and overcoming his addiction. The Blink-182 drummer’s plane from South Carolina to California crashed during takeoff in 2008 and two of his friends died. Barker survived and was left with second- and third-degree burns; he spent 11 weeks in the hospital and underwent 27 surgeries, as well as blood transfusions and skin grafts.
Sheriff’s Warning to Heroin Dealers is Tone Deaf say Experts Video
April 10, 2017 – “Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight’s the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges,” he says to the underlay of battle-ready music.” A viral video from a Florida sheriff flanked by four masked officers in tactical gear while warning that he will “come after” heroin dealers is a misguided way to address the opioid epidemic, say drug policy experts. Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell put out the ominous clip on Friday, warning drug dealers who happened to be viewing his agency’s Facebook page that he’s “coming for” them.
New White House drug czar has ideas for where to put nonviolent drug users: “hospital-slash-prison.” VIDEO
April 12, 2017 – Forced inpatient treatment in a hospital-slash-prison would presumably include drug users who are not necessarily drug abusers. Only about 21 percent of current marijuana users meet diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence, for instance. The other 79 percent do not need treatment for their drug use. Marino acknowledged that implementing such a policy nationwide would “take a lot of money.” Whether he’ll push for such a strategy as drug czar remains an open question. Beyond that, the office’s track record on meeting its drug policy goals is not the greatest. In 2010, they set a series of ambitious goals to reduce drug use, overdoses and drugged-driving incidents.
3 Brooklyn Clinics, 6.3 Million Oxycodone Pills & 13 Indictments APRIL 7, 2017 –
Noting that the abuse of drugs like the painkiller oxycodone had helped fuel a national opioid epidemic, officials said the case combined a drug conspiracy and Medicaid fraud, in which the clinics also billed the government for expensive but unneeded tests. “I have to say I’ve never really seen anything like it,” Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor … Officials said they learned in the course of the inquiry that two Brooklyn clinics owned by Dr. Feygin – were selling large numbers of prescriptions for oxycodone.
Hazelden/Betty Ford Treats Opioid Addiction With Innovations
APRIL 4, 2017 – The Hazelden Betty Ford foundation conducted a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of its best practices, and realized that more could be done to save the lives of people addicted to opioids by helping them succeed in treatment. The result was the COR-12 program. The program uses medications as well as psychological and psychiatric care and addiction treatment including 12-step counseling in order to best serve people who are addicted. The program is unique in that it uses medication-assisted treatment in conjunction with, but never as a replacement for, 12-step recovery. While the goal will always be abstinence, patients in the COR-12 program stay on their assistive medications through detox and beyond.
APR 2017 ISSUE – Forty years ago, when Julia Negron was married to a rock star and addicted to heroin, ODs were so common in her household that she kept a paramedic on call. When someone nodded out, he would dispense emergency injections of naloxone, a drug with a reputation for bringing seemingly lifeless bodies back from the dead. Today, the back of Negron’s black SUV is loaded with the drug as she pulls into a Sarasota, Florida, parking lot and pops the trunk. A trickle of people approach to grab doses of the drug, which may one day revive a friend, a spouse, or a child … Naloxone, which has been around since 1971, reverses the effects of overdosesfrom opioids like heroin, OxyContin, and fentanyl. It has saved countless thousands of lives…