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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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.