Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 18

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More middle school girls are inflicting self-pain. Experts say it might be smartphones

smartphonepainNovember 21, 2017 – Self-harming behaviors like ingesting poisons, cutting and overdosing on drugs are strong indicators of suicide — the second-leading cause of death among people between 10 and 24 years old in 2015 …Twenge points to smartphones, which crossed the 50 percent threshold of ownership in late 2012, around the same time when teen depression and suicide began to rise… CONTINUED @ WashingtonPost.co

How opioid epidemic is impacting the African American community VIDEO

opioidblacksNovember 21, 2017 – n the first six months of this year, the number of black overdoses upticked to 23 percent. But the vast majority of overdoses remained white. Why? Among the reasons, according to the National Institute of Health, is that doctors are less likely to prescribe opioid painkillers to blacks than whites, for the same ailments.  CONTINUED @ 10TV.com

Saving Lives in the ‘Overdose Capital of America’ VIDEO

heroinenetflixNov. 22, 2017 – Heroin(e) is a powerful film that follows the stories of three women in Huntington, West Virginia, who are battling the opioid crisis on its front lines. Drug addiction is so common in Huntington, the “overdose capital of America,” that it’s weaved into the fabric of everyday life. CONTINUED @ BillMoyers.com

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 17

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Seven Things to be Grateful For

tiandaytonNov. 16, 2017 – by Tian Dayton. A one time grateful thought and act of gratitude or appreciation produces a 10% bump up in happiness and 35% reduction in depressive symptoms. I know it sounds odd but I even feel grateful to the pain that led me to see so much about myself, other people and this thing we call life, that I have learned to live and love a day at a time.”

Is the $35 Billion Rehab Industry Ready For Disruption?

rehabpillNovember 19, 2017 – “The rehab industry needs to be disrupted the same way Uber disrupted the taxi cab industry,” says treatment reform advocate and Hollywood producer, Scott Steindorff, who is working with other leaders in the industry to modernize a field currently engulfed in crisis yet still entrenched in often-irrelevant-to-opioid-addict principles … While 29 states have rehab reform legislation in place (including licensure and prohibition of patient brokering where facilities pay a referral fee to “junkie hunters”)…

You’re Fired! Morgan Stanley Broker, Addiction Memoir Author, Claims Discrimination

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 2.29.22 PMNov. 14, 2017 – A Morgan Stanley broker terminated two weeks ago for publishing a book about his early life as a fast-talking impostor has filed a lawsuit alleging that the firm’s true motive was not reputational damage but discrimination over his status as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Craig Schmell, 55, who spent almost one-third of his 26-year brokerage career at Morgan Stanley, filed a civil suit in Superior Court of New Jersey … Schmell, whose co-written autobiography, “The Uninvited: How I Crashed My Way into Finding Myself,” was published on Tuesday by a Simon and Schuster imprint as an inspirational self-help book, said his branch manager in Red Bank, NJ, and a compliance official twice warned him he would be fired if it went to print.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No. 14

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Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart: People Are Dying in Opioid Crisis Because of Politicians VIDEO

drcarlhartOctober 27, 2017 – OK, so we say, “How do we fix this?” This is really simple. What we can do, we can simply set up free drug purity testing sites. They do this in Spain. They do this in the Netherlands. They do this in Switzerland. It’s really simple … Only about a quarter of the people who use something like heroin will become addicted. CONTINUED @ DemocracyNow.org

 

Trump Foolishly Thinks He Can Solve the Opioid Crisis with Zero Cash and a Dumb Ad Campaign

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Rikers inmate who died of overdose ‘needed’ and ‘wanted’ rehab program — but was never treated

rikersinmateOctober 29, 2017 – During his 218 days behind bars, he was never seen by a medical clinician after his intake screening, according to a clinician who reviewed his case file after his death … Selmin Feratovic, 28, was found dead inside his cell in the Otis Bantum Correctional Center at 3 a.m. on Oct. 19. A Rikers Island inmate … was never put in a drug rehab program or given any counseling, jail insiders say.  CONTINUED @ NYDailyNews.com

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 5, No.11

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Sovereign rehab sues federal agents claiming abuses in June raids

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October 2, 2017 – Workers and clients of Sovereign Health of California rehab centers filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday, Oct. 2 accusing federal agents of overstepping their authority in a series of raids in June looking for evidence of insurance fraud. The suit said six properties were raided by an “aggressive and disorganized mob” of more than 150 agents wearing flak jackets, carrying guns and using “SWAT-like tactics.” … The U.S. Department of Justice declined comment on the suit. The searches focused on Sovereign operations in San Clemente, Culver City and Palm Desert. CONTINUED @ OCRegister.com

How Safe Is America’s Hottest Heroin Addiction Treatment?

vivitrolFrom summer: July 26, 2017 – Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s health secretary, hyped Vivitrol at the expense of more established treatments after visiting the drug manufacturer’s factory … Claire”I didn’t even eat—there was no enjoyment in it,” she added. “I didn’t talk to people; I didn’t enjoy company … I was a zombie: I got up, went to class, came home, and went to sleep.” … More disturbingly, at least one friend who signed a similar contract with their parents fatally overdosed not long after the medication wore off, Claire said.  CONTINUED @ Vice.com

They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants

chickenplantOctober 4, 2017 – By Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter — The worst day of Brad McGahey’s life was the day a judge decided to spare him from prison … But in the rush to spare people from prison, some judges are steering defendants into rehabs that are little more than lucrative work camps for private industry. At CAAIR, about 200 men live on a sprawling, grassy compound in northeastern Oklahoma, and most work full time at Simmons Foods Inc.  CONTINUED @ RevealNews.com

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. 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.

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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. 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.”