95 patient-brokering charges against treatment center CEO
Already arrested on a handful of patient brokering charges in October, addiction treatment center executive James Kigar is now facing a total of 95 separate criminal counts linked to cashing in on recovering addicts.The spate of extra patient-brokering allegations were filed Dec. 20, according to court records, less than a week after a ninth arrest was made in connection with what prosecutors describe as a cash-for-patients scheme. Kigar has pleaded not guilty, “and will continue to do so,” said his attorney, David Frankel. Prosecutors say Kigar’s Whole Life Recovery center in Boynton Beach ginned up business by paying sober home operators to send him their residents for outpatient treatment. The payments were labeled as “case-management fees.
Alcohol abuse tied to the world’s biggest killer – heart disease
Alcohol increases the risk of people suffering from heart disease as much as any other well-established risk factors such as diabetes, obesity or smoking. Thousands of heart attacks and heart failure could be avoided each year if alcohol abuse was completely eradicated. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the No 1 killer of both men and women around the world. World Health Organisation data suggests that in 2012, 31% of all global deaths were due to CVDs. Thousands suffer heart attacks, congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation each year.
To our Readers and Advertisers: An Open Letter from Leonard BuschelPublisher/Editor of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin
Gratitude is always in season, and as we begin 2017, I want to thank our readers and astute progressive advertisers for your loyalty and confidence. The Addiction/ Recovery eBulletin is approaching four and a half years of continued growth and influence. This would not have been possible without the support of “The Good Guys” – our sponsors who continually stand on the side of truth, integrity and Best Practices. It is an honor to serve our readers and a responsibility I do not take lightly.
Carrie Fisher Changed the Way People Talk About Addiction by Anna David
In Carrie Fisher’s iconic, hilarious autobiographical novel Postcards From The Edge, the lead character Suzanne struggles, while in rehab, to understand how someone who’s had to suffer could believe in God. A woman visiting from AA tells her that God only gives people … Born to actor parents who came with their own share of drama (Eddie Fisher allegedly fainted when Carrie was being delivered, guaranteeing, as she wrote in Wishful Drinking, that when she was born, she was “virtually unattended”), Fisher launched to stardom first with the release of 1975’s Shampoo and then solidified her permanent place in popular culture with 1977’s Star Wars. While she seemed to enjoy her glamorous life – reportedly having an affair with Harrison Ford, partying with the Stones, hosting Saturday Night Live and marrying Paul Simon – mental illness and addiction flourished away from the gleam of the spotlight.
In 1914, Tom Liddecoat – a Pentecostal minister and businessman – opened a small shelter on the intersection of Fourth and Los Angeles streets in downtown Los Angeles. With the promise of a hot meal, he’d invite anyone on Skid Row in to listen to his sermon. Dinner was served at midnight. One hundred years later, the Midnight Mission is still going strong. The meals are served earlier now, and there’s lots more of them: The Mission served 3,000 breakfasts, lunches and dinners a day last year. The headquarters are on Seventh and San Pedro now – near the heart of Skid Row. Clancy Imislund is the Mission’s managing director. He’s worked in that position for 40 years. Before that, he was using their services. Off-Ramp producer Kevin Ferguson talked with Clancy about his job and how he got there.
How to Stop Smoking with the Cigarette Whisperer by Amy Dresner
Dec. 16, 2016 “I was in the midst of one of my smoking binges when I was contacted out of the blue on Facebook by one “Rocky Rosen,” the self-proclaimed “Cigarette Whisperer.” It was a copy-and-paste job, reaching out to program people, explaining his services. However, I chose to take it as a sign from the “universe” that I was supposed to quit for good … because the bleeding gums, bad breath, pounding headaches and self-hatred weren’t enough.” Rocky claims to have helped all sorts of celebrities, Emmy-award winners, Forbes 500 businessmen, etc. He even had a recent appearance on The Doctors. Rocky’s program is no joke. It’s a four-day intensive. Even though we are in the same city, due to scheduling issues, we chose to work together on the phone (which he does with people all over the world).
Tony Stark: Sobering Up for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe
Tony’s alcoholism humanized him and brought him back down to earth. Marvel presented us with Tony Stark, a character that is difficult to relate to. He’s a genius, a billionaire, and a playboy. He flies around in a suit he built, saving the world. On paper, there’s nothing about Tony that we as an audience can personally relate to … But this persona comes crashing down when we see him drunk, depressed, and belligerent. We watch Tony, a man with everything going for him, acknowledging his own character flaws, and struggle to accept who he is. A man that can build a solution to every problem, suddenly finds himself powerless.
Carrie Fisher tried to save Corey Feldman from drug addiction
Dec. 31, 2016 Corey Feldman – former child actor, recovered drug addict and Fisher’s co-star in 1989 black comedy ‘The Burbs’ – has spoken of how the sadly missed actress recognised the signs of his future substance abuse problems, and tried to help him. The 45-year old tells People that he had a wonderful experience working with Fisher on the film from director Joe Dante, which starred Tom Hanks in the lead. “She was just very supportive and very positive and sweet. Every minute on the set with her was a pure joy, honestly … We never had an argument; we never had an awkward moment.”
Meth user shares his story of addiction, recovery in prison
James Mott knew people who tweaked when they used methamphetamine, hearing voices and seeing things that weren’t there. But Mott, who started using methamphetamine as a way to wean himself off heroin, said the synthetic stimulant never made him act “weird.” Explaining how the drug made him feel, the 31-year-old Concord man compared it to liquid courage. “For me it was … say you walk into a bar and you talk to that cute chick across the bar, and you’re nervous,” he explained. “You get a few drinks and you can go up and talk. “That’s the way it was for me,” he added. “I could use it and I was invincible. I didn’t fear anything.”
Put your phone away: An addict’s guide to unplugging
Technology addiction is seemingly widespread these days. You may even find yourself wondering if you are addicted. In our modern interconnected world, it can appear impossible to escape the Internet. Why Do We Get Addicted? In general, technology addiction works similarly to other forms of addiction. Receiving a text message or a Facebook notification activates the reward centers in our brains. When someone likes a post we’ve made, we feel good. This is natural. Self-determination theory states that feeling connected to a group is a basic human need and essential to our well-being.
READ MORE @ FoxNews.com
Playing it Safe in SF
Supervised injection site for addicts could save San Francisco money, lives
A new cost-benefit analysis in the Journal of Drug Issues makes the financial case for a supervised injection site. A 13-booth facility in San Francisco could save $3.5 million a year, mostly in reduced medical costs, the report calculates. The estimate assumes San Francisco would open a center exactly like Insite – North America’s first legal supervised drug-injection site built in Vancouver, Canada in 2003. Insite serves an estimated 1,700 people a month. An injection facility in San Francisco would save the life of one drug user who would otherwise die of an overdose every four years and would assist in getting 110 drug addicts medication-assisted treatment each year, the new study suggests.
LA County’s plan to keep Skid Row’s intoxicated out of jail and the ER
Los Angeles County opens its first sobering center Monday, on Skid Row. It will primarily serve homeless, intoxicated people who might otherwise be picked up by police or paramedics and taken to jail or an emergency room. Until now, “first responders were actually stuck having to wait with those individuals at the hospital for hours at a time until they actually were admitted,” said Al Naipo, a spokesman for L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “And of course, they were unable to respond to other calls.” The county built the Dr. David L. Murphy Sobering Center on Skid Row to break this expensive cycle, he said.
is a social, educational, networking and recovery forum showcasing first-time filmmakers and experienced professionals who make films about addiction and recovery. Our audience is treatment professionals, people in recovery, members of the entertainment industry, media representatives, educated moviegoers & the general public.
Deadly synthetic opioids are streaming into the United States amid a flood of mail that arrives unscreened from abroad every day, overwhelming the Postal Service and fueling the drug epidemic gripping much of the country, security experts and Massachusetts lawmakers say. Nearly 1 million packages a day enter the country without any advance electronic information that might flag the presence of dangerous opioids such as fentanyl, much of which is manufactured in China…
Anyone who remembers George Michael solely for his music is missing the real importance of George Michael
I first met George in about 1980, when he was still a teenager and long before he was famous. It was a chance meeting in a small gay disco above a pub by Manor House tube station in north London. He was a great dancer and sang along to all of the songs. He had a good voice and said he was going to be a pop star. There were lots of wannabes in those days. I thought: maybe this one might actually be on to something … George did not publicly come out as gay until relatively late, in 1998, when he was in this mid-thirties, after he was busted in an undercover police sting operation in Los Angeles. But he turned his arrest into a defiant defence of the right to be gay, which won him public plaudits for his candour … As well as being a brilliant composer and singer, George had a social conscience, did message music and raised lots of money for good causes.
TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) – States that legalize recreational marijuana use may be sending a message to teens that pot is harmless, a new study suggests … NORML advisory board member Mitch Earleywine noted that even in states that did not legalize recreational use, teens’ perceptions of marijuana’s harmfulness decreased by 5 percent and 7 percent among 8th and 10th graders, according to results from the new study. NORML advocates for reform of marijuana laws. Marijuana use decreased by about 1 percent for both grades in non-legalization states during the same period, the researchers said. “The changes in use seem to appear small and inconsistent, particularly in light of comparable changes in states where prohibition still reigns,” said Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. “We don’t need to waste law enforcement time or court resources to end teen consumption,” he added.
READ MORE @ USNews.com
Damned if They Do, Damned if They Don’t
Heroin surpasses painkillers as leading cause of overdose deaths
December 29, 2016: Heroin has surpassed prescription painkillers as the leading cause of death from drug overdose, according to the Centers of Diseases Control and Prevention. That shift is largely the result of addicts buying heroin which became cheaper as more of it was imported into the U.S. At the same time, clinicians began writing fewer prescriptions and more closely monitoring those who might have problems, making it harder for addicted patients to get controlled substances.
Journey from bottom of the bottle to health and happiness
At the tender age of 16, a schoolmate introduced Naresh to alcohol, and there was no going back. He started drinking day and night, somehow hiding the habit from his parents, and soon he was a raging alcoholic. When money became an issue, he stole and sold off household goods such as fan, chair, remote, pressure cooker, and gas stove … AA is a global fellowship of men and women who once had a drinking problem. It is non-professional, self-supporting, non-denominational, apolitical, and services are available almost everywhere. There are no age or educational requirements to become a volunteer. Membership is open to anyone who wants to get rid of the habit. There are more than 20 AA centers In India itself, where meetings for the alcoholics are organized.
Jan 1, 2017 CAMBRIDGE CITY – A new tool in the fight against drug addiction is ready to open, a year later than expected. Pinnacle Treatment Centers’ Recovery Works will open Tuesday, Jan. 31 with an open house at the facility, located at Indiana 1 and Interstate 70 north of Cambridge City. Ground was broken in July 2015 with a hope, at that time, the center would open early in 2016. According to the company, the inpatient rehabilitation and residential program is designed to offer a medically-monitored, clinically-driven therapeutic process for clients who require an intensive, structured setting with 24-hour care.
READ MORE @ NewsExaminer.com
Cops Can Save Lives Too
Police-Led Addiction Program Proves Successful
About 95 percent of individuals who came to the Gloucester Police Department in Massachusetts for help getting addiction treatment were placed in detoxification or substance-use treatment programs during the first year of a widely publicized initiative aimed at combating the opioid epidemic, according to a new report by Boston University researchers. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the report notes that the “high direct-referral rate” by Gloucester police exceeds that of hospital-based initiatives designed to provide immediate access to detoxification and treatment.
Cold Feet’s John Thompson celebrates 10 years of sobriety after beating alcoholism
He tweeted: “Today is a special day, a landmark in my life. “I’m 10 years sober today. My sincere thanks to all who’ve helped…” John’s co-star Fay Ripley replied to his tweet saying: “I’ve known you for over 20 years. I’m defo into the sober version, Thommo.” His show Cold Feet returned to TV this year after a 13 year gap but it was the success of the award-winning program that originally pushed him to drink. John admitted this year: “I’d got lost.
8th Annual Experience, Strength & Hope Awards – Feb. 23 in LA
Broadcast giant and Recovery advocate PAT O’BRIEN is set to receive the Experience, Strength and Hope Award presented on Thursday, February 23, 2017 Guest Host, Ed Begley, Jr. Guest Singer, Sherri Lewis Spoken word performance by author Dejuan DJ Verrett Actress Joanna Cassidy will be Thanking our VIP Sponsors from the stage. SPECIAL COMEDY performance, from South Florida to you, SARGE (He’s half Jewish and half Black. What could possibly go wrong?) PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS TBA Previous Honorees: Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Lou Gossett, Jr., Buzz Aldrin, Duran Duran’s John Taylor, Carrie White, Joe Pantoliano, Mackenzie Phillips Previous Participants: Danny Trejo, Tony Denison, Robert Downey, Jr., Ione Skye, Bobcat Goldthwait, Joanna Cassidy, Alonzo Bodden, Mark Lundholm, Dan Fante, Bob Forrest, Sharon Lawrence, Barry Diamond, Jack McGee Event Will Sell Out – Book now to avoid disappointment
In Kentucky: 60%-70% of Drug Abuse Starts with Legal Prescription VIDEO
So now, they are starting with the non-narcotics, and working up from there if a patient needs more relief. “What we’re introducing to physicians is, lets not think of narcotics as a mainstay, lets think of everything else as the mainstay. That’s not to say no narcotics, it is effective for the right patients.” Dr. Chang said 60% to 70% of those that become addicted get hooked from legal doctor prescriptions. “What I’m saying is we ought to pressure ourselves. I think this is a good first step. Our group, we look at ourselves in the mirror and think, OK, we are probably prescribing too much.”
American author, journalist, comedian, and founder of the magazine The Realist. Krassner became a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s as a member of Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters.
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