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. 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. 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. 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. 45

BannerWorst Epidemic in U.S. History? Opioid Crisis Now Leading Cause of Death for Americans Under 50 VIDEO

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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.

Prozac Nation is now the United States of Xanax

ProzacJune 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 

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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.

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. 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…

 

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. 34

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Big Pharma linked to senator benefits from opioid addiction and treatment VIDEO

ABCMar. 21, 2017 – But where did this nightmare begin? “The way we got here frankly is prescription drugs and people getting addicted to opioids,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman. According to the Associated Press, Portman was a top recipient collecting over $200,000 in six years. One of those companies Pfizer Inc. Also contributed to his most recent campaign. “I don’t even know what drugs Pfizer makes I assume they make a lot of drugs including drugs that are very helpful for disease in Ohio.” That is true because besides the opioid painkillers Pfizer is most notable for, it has also recently begun producing Naloxone by acquiring the leading seller of the reversal drug.

WATCH MORE @ NewsNet5.com

‘Dime A Dozen,’ Overdoses Crisis In South Florida
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The man had just risen from the dead. He’s in his mid-20’s. Sitting on a couch in a house in Delray Beach. Pale as a ghost, sweaty, wide-eyed, disoriented. Like he just woke up from a nightmare … The residents of the house are prepared for episodes like this. It’s a sober home. The man is a recovering heroin user from Ohio. And like thousands of others, he came to South Florida to get well … Three things came together to create this South Florida overdose crisis. Listen to the first:

LISTEN @ WLRN.com

Chris Brown Responds: “I Am Not Hurting Out Here” VIDEO

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MARCH,  2017 – “Following the release of an investigative piece by Billboard on Thursday detailing Chris Brown’s battle with a heavy drug addiction, the famed singer has chimed in on the report. Former staff members from the “Loyal” artist’s team stressed that the Virginia native has an addiction to substances like Xanax, lean, Molly and cocaine, which leads to unpredictable behavior. One former associate told Billboard magazine that Brown’s alleged use of a myriad of drugs serves as a healer for his previous mistakes. “He doesn’t know how to deal with the sins of the past,” said the source.

 

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 32

BannerAs Drug Deaths Soar, New York Mayor Offers Plan to Cut Toll

Mar. 13, 2017 – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday vowed to reverse the tide and reduce the number of deaths by 35 percent over five years through a combination of outreach, treatment and law enforcement … The plan, alluded to in Mr. de Blasio’s state of the city address last month, would see the city spend as much as $38 million a year on a broad array of services, including expanded methadone and buprenorphine treatment for addicts; a focus at city hospitals on dealing with addiction and overdoses; aggressive prosecution of illicit opioid distributors and heroin dealers; and the distribution of medication to reverse heroin overdoses to all 23,000 city patrol officers.

We Need to Destroy the Concept of What a Drug User Looks Like

LooksMar 7, 2017 – Sunken-in eyes with bags underneath, a scab-covered face, disheveled hair, track marks, underweight, skin covered in dirt. This is what the general public has been taught to think someone who is addicted to drugs looks like. And even now in the midst of the biggest drug safety crisis in our history, largely caused by overprescribing of opioids by doctors and the proliferation of bootleg fentanyl, we have yet to fully depart from this … Though the source of this stereotype is elusive and certainly not singular, the Faces of Meth campaign, which began in a county in Oregon in 2004, is one piece that majorly pushed this narrative forward.

Doctor in Chatman case caught working at treatment center, again

ChatmanMar. 10, 2017 – Dr. Donald Willems, one of two doctors charged with insurance fraud at notorious drug treatment programs operated by Kenneth Chatman, was re-arrested on Friday and accused of violating the conditions of his bond. According to court records unsealed Friday, Willems continued working for a drug treatment facility, wrote prescriptions without a license and had contact with witnesses – all in violation of the terms of his $100,000 bond.