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. 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…

 

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. 3, No. 24

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Ray CharlesRay Charles’ Daughter Leading Drug Awareness Campaign  VIDEO

The daughter of legendary musician Ray Charles has been in the Austin area this week on a mission to help those battling drug addiction. Sheila Raye Charles is leading the Raye of Hope Recovery Crusade across Texas and 15 other states raising awareness and education about drug abuse. Charles visited the Travis County Jail earlier this week…

DVSDick Van Dyke Says His Shyness Led to Alcoholism: A Drink Loosened Me Up  VIDEOS

Dick Van Dyke is getting quite candid on Oprah: Where Are They Now?with how he came to struggle with alcohol abuse. “I was very shy – with strangers – I couldn’t talk to people,” the 90-year-old entertainment legend admits in ET’s exclusive first look at his OWN interview. “And I found if I had a drink, it would loosen me up.

PregnancyHer Mom Drank During Pregnancy. At 43, This is What Her Life is Like Now

Fetal alcohol syndrome was discovered and named for the first time in 1973, the same year Karli was born. Kathy, still struggling with alcoholism and a later addiction to heroin, didn’t realize Karli was disabled until she started showing a severe lack of progress as a teenager in high school. According to the Post, Karli “couldn’t tell time or ride a bicycle, and she couldn’t understand money or abstract math concepts.”

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin, Vol. 3, No. 16

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2016-03-21 17_43_51-December 1 Addiction Recovery eBulletin - Addiction_Recovery Addiction_RecoveryHow Cable News Reporter Laurie Dhue Overcame Alcoholism VIDEO

“But yes I was drunk when I met President George W. Bush, and I think that really highlights the extent to which this disease affects people. You would think that I would be sober to meet the sitting president of the United States and yet it was a very conscious decision, ‘I’m going to have a buzz when I meet this guy.’ And that’s sad, isn’t it?” CONTINUED @ Thirteen.org  

2016-03-21 17_45_08-December 1 Addiction Recovery eBulletin - Addiction_Recovery Addiction_RecoveryEquality: Women Are Closing The Gender Drinking Gap
Women are drinking more alcohol and closing the historic booze gap with men, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Men traditionally drink more than women, says NIAAA, but habits are shifting with men slightly moderating the amount of booze they consume while women are moving starkly in the opposite direction.
2016-03-21 17_45_32-December 1 Addiction Recovery eBulletin - Addiction_Recovery Addiction_RecoveryNearly Half Seeking Treatment for Opioid Addiction are Baby Boomers Over 50  
Focusing on New York City, however, which boasts one of the largest and most publicly accessible methadone systems in the country,  allowed the researchers to obtain a broader picture of who’s obtaining opioid abuse treatment, though they noted that their findings wouldn’t account for people receiving treatment in a more private setting.