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. 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. 51

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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. 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.”

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Vol. 4, No. 43

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Tiger Woods, arrested on suspicion of DUI, blames prescriptions

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Monday, May, 29, 2017 – Last week on his web site, he updated everyone on his latest back surgery, in April, a fusion that he said would keep him away from competition for the rest of this year at least, but said made him pain free..

“I haven’t felt this good in years,” Woods said.

It is not yet announced by the police in Jupiter whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Woods says that alcohol was not involved, that this is all about prescription drugs..

Psychiatric drugs killing more users than heroin

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May 17, 2016 –  Health professionals are sounding the alarm over the heightened risk of death linked to the use of psychiatric drugs, which was highlighted in a pair of Vancouver-based studies published this month.  Benzodiazepine (BZD) is a class of psychiatric medications known as “tranquillizers” which can reduce the body’s drive to breathe and are used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, seizures, and other conditions.

University of California San Francisco doctor accused of fraudulently prescribing Ritalin VIDEO

UCSF Mathy allegedly issued 86 fraudulent prescriptions for Ritalin, a stimulant commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, over a period of three years under three different aliases..

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. 37

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Sheriff’s Warning to Heroin Dealers is Tone Deaf say Experts Video

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April 10, 2017 – “Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight’s the night our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges,” he says to the underlay of battle-ready music.” A viral video from a Florida sheriff flanked by four masked officers in tactical gear while warning that he will “come after” heroin dealers is a misguided way to address the opioid epidemic, say drug policy experts. Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell put out the ominous clip on Friday, warning drug dealers who happened to be viewing his agency’s Facebook page that he’s “coming for” them.

DR. GABOR MATE FULL 4 min. ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TUCKER CARLSON VIDEODr.

“Drugged”: Capitalism, Opioids and the history of heroin.

New White House drug czar has ideas for where to put nonviolent drug users: “hospital-slash-prison.” VIDEO

CzarApril 12, 2017 – Forced inpatient treatment in a hospital-slash-prison would presumably include drug users who are not necessarily drug abusers. Only about 21 percent of current marijuana users meet diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence, for instance. The other 79 percent do not need treatment for their drug use. Marino acknowledged that implementing such a policy nationwide would “take a lot of money.” Whether he’ll push for such a strategy as drug czar remains an open question. Beyond that, the office’s track record on meeting its drug policy goals is not the greatest. In 2010, they set a series of ambitious goals to reduce drug use, overdoses and drugged-driving incidents.