Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No.10

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Massachusetts Attorney General launches probe of addiction treatment…

massattgen2SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 – Peter SanAngelo, of Malden, Mass., died of a carfentanil overdose last fall in Delray Beach, Fla., where he was allegedly brokered for treatment using a Capital Blue Cross insurance plan purchased with a phony Pennsylvania address … He was 33. Text messages on his phone, obtained by the Globe and STAT through Herring, laid out the scheme that brought him south. A broker signed him up for insurance using the address of a Pennsylvania sober house where he had never been, and then someone else bought him a plane ticket … In a statement, Healey urged anyone victimized in a drug treatment scam to call her office’s Health Care Helpline at 888-830-6277. CONTINUED @ StatNews.com

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

clapton2Sept. 24, 2017 – Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, recalls the career highs but also the shadows in the life of 72-year-old rock god, Eric Clapton … Patti Boyd. Fellow blues legends John Mayall and the late BB King evaluate the genius of their friend and collaborator. “I’ve never met a better man than my friend Eric Clapton, “ says King. CONTINUED @ RTE.ie

Gabor Maté-Opening statement VIDEO

gaborOctSept. 24, 2017 – “Alcohol and Tobacco, more dangerous than any illegal drug.” CONTINUED @ YouTube

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. 44

BannerSouth Florida Cities to America: ‘Don’t Send Your Drug Users Here’

 

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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

 

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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

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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.”

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. 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. 19

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Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than guns

OverdoseMore than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year – the most ever. The disastrous tally has been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, a class of drugs known as opioids. Heroin deaths rose 23 percent in one year, to 12,989, slightly higher than the number of gun homicides, according to government data released Thursday … “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this. Certainly not in modern times,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees death statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Psychiatric Chain Locks People Up For Insurance Money

Chain“Your job is to get patients. And you get them however you get them.” A yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation – based on interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents – raises grave questions about the extent to which those profits were achieved at the expense of patients. Current and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method – which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal – and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out.

‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’

SlaughterInside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, our photojournalist documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days … I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere imaginable – on the sidewalk, on train tracks, in front of a girls’ school, outside 7-Eleven stores and a McDonald’s restaurant, across bedroom mattresses and living-room sofas. I watched as a woman in red peeked at one of those grisly sites through fingers held over her eyes, at once trying to protect herself and permit herself one last glance at a man killed in the middle of a busy road. Not far from where Tigas was killed, I found Michael Araja, shown in the first photo below, dead in front of a “sari sari,” what locals call the kiosks that sell basics in the slums.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 18

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Duterte: On phone call Trump praised my drug war as ‘right way’

DuterePhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to “kill all” the country’s suspected drug users and dealers has many foreign critics, including the United States, the European Parliament and the International Criminal Court. It now has at least one high-profile supporter: President-elect Donald Trump, at least according to Duterte. In a statement Saturday, Duterte shared details of a seven-minute conversation that took place Friday. He said that during the call, Trump endorsed his campaign against drug users and dealers – a campaign that has left at least 4,500 Filipinos dead in about five months. Trump told Duterte that he was doing it the “right way,” according to Duterte’s account.

Porn addiction turns men into Hopeless lovers who can’t please…

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Young chaps’ solo screen time is eroding their virility and eating away at their ability to please a lady. Dr Andrew Smiler, a “masculinity expert”, claimed that up to one in ten young men are now suffering from erectile dysfunction caused by porn addiction. Smiler’s research is nothing to grin about, sketching a portrait of doomed young boys suffering the sort of penis problems normally associated with old men. “The guys I see, most of them are between 13 and 25,” … “The vast majority are, for the most part, the picture of physical health.” These boys spend so many hours in front of porn that they find it difficult to perform in real life. “In porn, sex always happens very easily, everybody has a great time and nobody ever refuses or says ‘i don’t want to do that’,” he added. “But in reality, people aren’t always in the mood.

Duran Duran Duo’s ‘No Rewind,’ Penned by At-Risk Youth AUDIO

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Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor have shared a new track titled “No Rewind,” which the duo created in collaboration with at-risk youth in the Road Recovery program … Over the course of nine months, the Duran Duran members and the young people involved in the New York-based program traded riffs, demos and ideas before finally recording “No Rewind” at New York City’s Threshold Recording Studio during a stop on Duran Duran’s Paper Gods tour. John Taylor said of the project in a statement, “Road Recovery offers a safe, drug and alcohol-free place for young people to learn and work, and with professional guidance, introduces them to all aspects of the music business – from songwriting and performance, to the delivery of their music to fans, either live or via recordings.