Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 4

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‘Body Brokers’ Get Kickbacks to Lure People with Addictions to Bad Rehab NPR AUDIO

bodysnatchersAug. 15, 2017 – The first step for unscrupulous rehab centers: Recruiting clients who have good health insurance. That’s created a whole new industry — something called patient brokering or “body brokering.” … There are charges for all kinds of things — nutrition counseling, acupuncture and chiropractic care among them. But the big expenses were for testing — urine testing. “When they had charged $9,500 for five urinalyses,”…CONTINUED @ NPR.or

Fentanyl linked to thousands of overdose deathsODdeaths

Aug. 15, 2017 – An empty chair sits near train tracks in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, where opioid abusers have littered the ground with needles and other trash. Fentanyl was responsible for more than 400 overdose deaths in Philadelphia last year … “It’s a new epidemic,” said Gutierrez, 42, who shoots up on the sidewalks here in Kensington by day and ducks into abandoned buildings at night as he copes with crippling addiction. He has watched his friends die and says, “If you catch a pure bag of fentanyl, that Narcan ain’t bringing you back.” CONTINUED @ WashingtonPost.com

‘Dearborn ‘pill mill’ raided VIDEO

pillmill2August 18, 2017 – Dr. Mohammad Derani of West Bloomfield, allegedly prescribed more than 500,000 opioid pills since January. Investigators said roughly half of the pills ended up on the street. The pills were prescribed at the clinic and picked up elsewhere. Alwajed worked as an office assistant at the clinic … authorities found signed prescription pads that weren’t filled out and about $50,000 during the search warrant executed Thursday. CONTINUED @ ClickOnDetroit.co

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 3

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1 in 8 Americans are alcoholics

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 5.36.06 PMAugust 9, 2017 – Experts at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that the rise could constitute a public health crisis that is being overshadowed by the opioid epidemic and marijuana legalization.  During an 11 year gap, the number of people who received a diagnosis of alcoholism shot up by 49 percent, meaning 12.7 percent of the population – or roughly one in eight Americans – are alcoholics … ‘Most important, the findings herein highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and AUD, destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment.’  CONTINUED @ DailyMail.co.uk

Gabor Maté on Trump’s Answer to Opioid Crisis VIDEO

gabormateAug. 11, 2017 – President Trump says he’ll declare opioid overdoses a national emergency, physician and author Dr. Gabor Maté says an effective response would address the emotional pain and adverse conditions at the root of addiction. CONTINUED @ YouTube.com

A ‘Vaccine For Addiction’ Is No Simple Fix NPR AUDIO

AuScreen Shot 2017-08-14 at 4.35.34 PMgust 10, 2017 – Researchers have been working on vaccines against addictive drugs, including nicotine, cocaine and heroin, for almost two decades … These vaccines aren’t like the measles vaccine that you receive once or twice for a lifetime of immunity. Multiple shots per year would likely be required. So the strategy would only work in people who were actively trying to recover from a drug addiction. 

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 2

Addiction/Recovery Vol. 5 headerTo Grow Market Share, a Drugmaker Pitches Vivitrol to Judges NPR AUDIOcashjudge

August 3, 2017 – One reason for this preference is that Alkermes, the drug’s manufacturer, is doing something nearly unheard of for a pharmaceutical company: It is marketing directly to drug court judges and other officials.. — He says he also got a rash — another possible reaction to Vivitrol, according to the product’s warnings. Months after he had the shot, he still had white splotches on his arms, which he attributed to the drug. But even with those symptoms, Kirby says the court urged him to stick with the medication for a couple of more months. “They were way too pushy about it,” he says.

NAATP To Produce Addiction Treatment Provider Guidebook 

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DENVER, August 2, 2017 – The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) announced a new initiative today to address problematic business practices in the addiction treatment field. Illegal, unethical, and unprofessional practices have reached an all-time high, fueled in part by the opioid addiction crisis, creating a need for industry practice standards. While bad practices are committed by a minority of treatment providers, they cause serious public harm and damage the reputation of ethical high quality treatment operators.   

Rehab Arrests Follow NBC News Report with Megyn Kelly VIDEO

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Aug. 1, 2017 – State and Federal charges were filed against rehab industry insiders following a Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly investigation of fraud and overdoses in the drug treatment industry.

CONTINUED @ NBCNews.com

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 1

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Hooked and hustling heroin: A couple’s life in Kensington, Philadelphia

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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

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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.

Life or Death Matter of Ethics

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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!

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 51

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Diet drinks are associated with weight gain VIDEOScreen Shot 2017-07-22 at 1.56.39 PM

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

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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’ 

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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.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 50

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An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean

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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.

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Lawyer, Addict, Body

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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 testsScreen Shot 2017-07-15 at 1.32.25 PM

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.

READ MORE @ MyPalmBeachPost.com 

 

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 35

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Alec Baldwin opens up about past battle with alcoholism, drug addiction VIDEO

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Actor Alec Baldwin opened up about his past battle with alcoholism and drug addiction in an interview with “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos, admitting that it was a “tough time” full of “a lot of pain.” … “I got sober when I was just about to turn 27,” Baldwin said. “And those two years that I lived in that white, hot period, as a daily drug abuser, as a daily drinker … to my misery, boy, that was a tough time.” He added, “there was really, really a lot of pain in there, a lot of pain.”

Yara Ghazal becomes New Director of Operations for Addiction/Recovery eBulletin & REEL Recovery Film Festivals

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MARCH 30, 2017 – “We are indeed fortunate to have Ms. Ghazal,” said Leonard Buschel, CEO of Writers In Treatment, publisher of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. “We are in a period of extensive growth and increased national and international recognition. “We anticipate great things from Ms. Ghazal and celebrate the talents and expertise she brings to our diverse projects.” Ms. Ghazal earned her BA from San José State University. Her previous experience related to addiction/recovery includes work as a Substance Abuse Counselor and Caseload Manager at an outpatient facility in Modesto, California. Ms. Ghazal is fluent in English, Arabic, and Spanish.

Scott Walker to ask Trump to let him drug test poor people…

ScottApril 3, 2017 – First he sent a letter to  then President-elect Donald Trump asking to let him drug test state residents who apply for food assistance. Now Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is gearing up to persuade the Trump administration to let him drug test those who need help affording health insurance … He’s already pushed hard to drug test the hungry … Walker is proposing to allow Medicaid to cover residential drug abuse treatment for these applicants. His regime would deny coverage to anyone who couldn’t or didn’t want to take a test to get benefits.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 23

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“Enough is Enough: Reform Rehab & Sober Living Industry in 2017”Sober Home

Operators in the treatment industry should not only be open, but completely willing to work with law enforcement, community organizations, and district attorneys in their hometowns. We must get rid of the shady operators who’ve turned this industry into a scheme that’s left so many behind. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the many people in this industry leading the way to save lives. There are countless facilities and legitimate sober homes that are unfortunately lost in the midst of bad headlines and unscrupulous actions of others. They must make their voices heard and join the call to end these unconscionable practices making their way to the front pages of almost every hometown paper. In my opinion, this is the only alternative we have left: reform the system or sit on the sidelines as people continue to die.
Ryan Hampton, Advocate for Change & Outreach Lead for Facing Addiction & Person in Long Term Recovery from Substance Use Disorder (WHATEVER THAT MEANS-WHAT CONSTITUTES LONG TERM?)

Kelly Osbourne details Ozzy’s grisly drink & drugs overdose in new tell-all VIDEO

OzzyKelly Osbourne found herself embroiled in a family medical nightmare when her father Ozzy overdosed shortly after her mother had a seizure. The 32-year-old Project Runway Junior television hostess writes of her parents’ brush with death in her forthcoming book There Is No F**king Secret, noting patriarch Ozzy tried to end his life by drinking and swallowing prescription pills following his wife Sharon’s cancer diagnosis in 2002. “Dad was there in his boxers, and I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and wash it down with vodka”…

What’s the Best Diet for Newly Sober Alcoholics & Addicts?

SushiOne of the first things clinicians at the Addiction Treatment Center at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, do when they meet new patients is ask them to provide a recent history of their consumption – of food … “It’s critical for people in early recovery to develop a foundation of good eating,” Kane-Davidson says. “People who’ve been abusing alcohol and drugs often haven’t been practicing good nutrition … Avoid sugar. People trying to kick their alcoholism and drug addiction often battle another habit detrimental to their health: consuming too much sugar…

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin, Vol. 3, No 48.

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RobertSober College Founder, Robert Pfeifer, Passed Away

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin is saddened to share the news that Robert Pfeifer died Sunday, July 10th, of a heart attack. He was an amazing person. He built and was the director of Sober College. Robert Pfeifer’s dream in life was to leave his mark helping the world and through Covenant House and Sober College he has succeeded in doing that. He will be missed. We extend our prayers and condolences to his family…

RichieRichie Supa Releases ‘Enemy,’ A Collection of Songs About Recovery From Addiction

Richie Supa today released “Enemy,” a record album of songs about recovery from addiction. Supa is an award-winning singer/songwriter who’s written and/or co-written hits for Aerosmith, Richie Sambora, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Alexandra Guzman, Air Supply, Ozzy Osbourne, P!NK, Big Kenny and Willy Nelson, among many others. At 71, he is a recovering addict, clean for 27 years and Director of Creative Recovery at the Recovery Unplugged® Treatment Center…

White HouseWhite House to Take Action on Opioid Abuse Epidemic by Asking for Funding VIDEOS 

Jul 6 2016, 1:14 am ET
The White House is expected to ask Congress for $1.1 billion in new funding to expand access to lifesaving treatment, particularly the drug buprenorphine, as well as to strengthen prescription drug monitoring, enable safe disposal of unneeded drugs, and accelerate research on pain and opioid misuse and overdose…

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin, Vol. 3, No. 46

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Fridge‘Refrigerator’ Perry struggles with alcohol abuse, has ‘traces of CTE’ VIDEO

The former Chicago Bears defensive tackle, who is now 53, has ballooned to well over 400 pounds. He’s ignored the advice of doctors, who have told him to stop drinking and Perry nearly lost his foot in January because of an infection in one of his legs. Perry has lost nearly all of the millions of dollars he earned over his 10-year NFL career and was forced to sell his Super Bowl XX championship ring last summer. He still owes the IRS thousands of dollars in back taxes. READ MORE @ WashingtonPost 

PizzaRx PIZZA: ONE free meal can sway doctor prescribing

As little as one free meal from a drug company can influence which medicines doctors prescribe for Medicare patients, according to a study using Medicare records and recently released data from the health care law’s Open Payments program. The study highlights the subtle ways doctors may feel inclined to prescribe a drug after receiving just a small gift, even if the drug is more costly for patients and their insurance plans…

NoraNora Volkow just smashed a huge misconception about addiction PBS VIDEO

If drug addiction is a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s, how do you explain the seemingly amoral behavior – the lying, cheating, and hiding – that has come to be linked with so many addicts? The answer … as National Institute on Drug Abuse director Dr. Nora Volkow perfectly explains in a recent PBS episode of “The Open Mind,” on addiction.