Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 9

Addiction/Recovery Vol. 5 headerMargaret Cho Opens Up About Her Addiction, Relapse, Childhood Sexual Abuse & “King of Offensive” Donald Trump

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September 23, 2017 – When her friends finally staged an intervention for her, Cho, thinking she was going to a party, brought along a bottle of wine. She then did what any addict would do — she drank the entire bottle over the course of the intervention … “I went away for a year and a half. It was good but that is not necessarily the path anyone would want to take.

Women and Opioids: Inside the Deadliest Drug Epidemic in American History

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 – Thirty-one women will lose their lives to opioids today. This special report details how the crisis is impacting all of us—and what it will take to end it … “I’m sober and alive and loving life!” she tells me on the phone. “It feels like a dream. I don’t wanna ever not feel like I feel right now.” She talks about getting a job and becoming a drug counselor. Her enthusiasm is so promising and yet, after months of reporting on the drug epidemic…

Addiction and recovery: 30-plus years of meetings and sobriety

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Sept. 19, 2017 – Yes, “rehab” is now part of our vocabulary. Also, “in-patient,” “out-patient,” “day at a time,” “clean and sober.” But they usually refer to the early – difficult, often dramatic – days of recovery. Also today, there is a growing movement within the recovery community for people with long-term sobriety to go public with their stories in an effort to remove the stigma associated with addiction.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 8

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WHY Prescription Drug Misuse Is Becoming A Problem For People Over 50 VIDEO

drphilSeptember 8, 2017 – Karen says she spent 13 years addicted to eight different prescription medications and says no one knew her secret. The former school teacher says it took an overdose, four days in a coma and a family intervention before she finally got help “17 percent of people over 50 will eventually show the signs of addiction,” Dr. Harry Haroutunian of Hazelden/Betty Ford says. “It’s highly unrecognized. By the year 2020 we expect 10 million people in that age group to be addicted. CONTINUED @ DrPhil.com

‘Matter of Fact: State of Addiction’ Special FULL LENGTH PRESENTATION

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Sept. 15, 2017 – Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien” and WMTW News 8 are shining a light on the nation’s opioid crisis. If you missed it, watch our special “Matter of Fact: State of Addiction” in the video above … Below you can watch our Facebook Live discussion on the opioid crisis here in Maine and the treatment and recovery options available.

EXCLUSIVE: Google is cracking down on sketchy rehab ads

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Sept. 16, 2017 – Around the country today, marketers in the $35 billion addiction treatment industry woke up to an unpleasant surprise: Many of their Google search ads were gone. Overnight, the search giant has stopped selling ads against a huge number of rehab-related search terms, including “rehab near me,” “alcohol treatment,” and thousands of others. Search ads on some of those keywords would previously have netted Google hundreds of dollars per click

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. 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.

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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. 49

BannerNelsan Ellis’ Family Shares Circumstances of  ‘True Blood’ Actor’s Death

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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 

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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  

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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.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 42

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How some Southern California drug rehab centers exploit addiction

BehindMay 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 

SobMay 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  

BarkMay 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.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 36

Banner3 Brooklyn Clinics, 6.3 Million Oxycodone Pills & 13 IndictmentsBrookly 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

SassAPRIL 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.

Sass, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

BettyAPR 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…