June 9 Addiction Recovery eBulletin

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June 9, 2015                 Treatment Industry & Recovery Community News                   Vol. 2., No. 42
Say It Loud, Say It Proud
Sorry, that AA “study” is bullshit    

I don’t care who published it. It’s wrong. And it could be the reason someone doesn’t try to get help. I’ll start by saying this: Alcoholics Anonymous is the sole reason I am not dead. So I’m biased as hell. It seems every few years a new study comes out saying how Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t effective, or is a cult, or that something else has come along that is better.

ABROAD: Easy Does It
Why hardly anyone dies from a drug overdose in Portugal    

Perhaps more significantly, the report notes that the use of “legal highs” – like so-called “synthetic” marijuana, “bath salts” and the like – is lower in Portugal than in any of the other countries for which reliable data exists. This makes a lot of intuitive sense : why bother with fake weed or dangerous designer drugs when you can get the real stuff? This is arguably a positive development for public health in the sense that many of the designer drugs that people develop to skirt existing drug laws have terrible and often deadly side effects.

Can’t Go Home Now
Heroin problem & OD’s rise in Delray Bch. 

Delray Beach Police are searching for answers as to why there has been a “very large uptick” of heroin overdoses in the past month and what they can do to stop it, Chief Jeffrey Goldman said.  Of the 26 heroin overdoses in 2015, 17 happened in May, and of the four deaths this year, three were in that same month. While police are not yet equipped with Narcan, a medicine that can reverse a heroin overdose, Delray Beach Fire Rescue uses it regularlyWhy is heroin use growing? Where are those users going for treatment? Those are the questions they still have to answer, she said.

Live and Let Live
14 Years After Decriminalizing Heroin, Here’s What Portugal Looks Like    

In 2001, critics worried that drug addiction rates would skyrocket, but not only have they come down, heroin addiction rates have been cut in half. Under the decriminalization law, users are allowed to possess a 10-day supply of illicit drugs – anything from marijuana to heroin – and those who have more are sent before a three-person drug commission. The panel decides on a fine or treatment, but opts for treatment in four out of every five cases.

Get well at New Method Wellness

Essay by Liz Russo
What does an alcoholic look like?     

An upper-middle class, white, college-educated girl with a loving family background  becomes an alcoholic in her adulthood. It surprises many. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to addicts hinders those who suffer from addiction to get help. I was guilty of this, too. I said, “That’s not me. I don’t have a problem. I don’t need help.” Until I realized it was me, I do have a problem, and I definitely needed help. With support and treatment, I was able to stop drinking and reclaim my life. This is my journey:   I was a goody-goody and…

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Cool interview and book recommendation!
Sex, Screenwriting, and Sobriety    

Author Diana Gould shares her inspirations for Coldwater, a story about a detective show writer struggling with alcoholism who gets wrapped up in her own real-life mystery. You may not be familiar with the name Diana Gould, but you probably know her work. She has written pilots, movies, and mini-series for network and cable. In the 1980’s she was the writer and producer of Dynasty, the executive story consultant on Knots Landing.

 Benchmark Transitions

Espresso?
Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD    

In the United States, at least 9 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5 percent. How has the epidemic of ADHD-firmly established in the U.S.-almost completely passed over children in France?

In 2 days, Peter Coyote, Mackenzie Phillips

Budweiser Nation   VIDEO
Problem drinking an issue for large percentage of Americans VIDEO  

33 million adults in the U.S. have issues with alcohol, according to a government study published this week.
 The study defines problem drinkers as those who’s drinking harms performance at work, school or home, frequent hangovers and failed attempts to limit drinking. Addicts Victorious Board Chairmen Jeff Steinkamp says 60 percent of the people they work with are actually addicted to alcohol. He says stress and the state of the economy could be why alcohol use is so high but adds there is hope for people dealing with alcoholism.

Confession
Designer John Galliano: ‘I’m an alcoholic, I’m an addict and I’m sorry’    

A tearful John Galliano spoke candidly of his struggles with addiction, his faith and his public rehabilitation in an appearance at a Jewish educational event last week, and said he was now “able to reach out and forgive and ask for forgiveness” after the period of disgrace which followed his now infamous anti-semitic rant in a Paris bar…Despite Galliano’s reputation for flamboyant catwalk appearances and outspokenness, he revealed that he was a “shy person” who struggled with the party lifestyle of the fashion industry.

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Mommy Dearest
Daughter of Queen of Versailles found dead of overdose at $65m mansion     

Victoria Siegel, 18, was found unresponsive at her parent’s Seagull Island mansion on Green Island Cove on Saturday afternoon. She was the second eldest of the couple’s eight children and is reported to have died of a drug overdose. Her parents recently appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap and admitted they don’t spend much time with their kids and leave that to their large staff. The family and their extravagant lifestyle gained international attention after the release of the 2012 documentary The Queen Of Versailles.

Opinion Essay, From Down Under
Is sex addiction really an excuse to cheat?   

Other “self-confessed” celebrity sex addicts have included: Russell Brand, David Duchovny, Charlie Sheen, Nicole Narain, Amber Smith, Kanye West. Dr Gomathi Sitharthan, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sydney says the jury is still out on whether sex addiction is real. “Simply substituting certain behaviours that are commonly observed among substance users and applying them to excessive sexual behaviours cannot justify it as a syndrome.”

National Conversation
Presidential candidates are talking about black tar heroin    

When aspiring presidential candidates step into the mayor’s office here, he doesn’t let them leave without telling them about what he calls one of the most pressing, dire issues his city faces: heroin. “Every candidate that comes in here, what I say to them is, ‘It’s not only an issue here in New Hampshire. It’s a national issue,’ ” said Gatsas (R). “If we don’t get our arms around it, it’s going to take over our country.” The nation is in the throes of an epidemic of prescription-drug and heroin abuse – a wave that’s leaving its mark on the 2016 presidential campaign, too. Hillary Rodham Clinton has told supporters that drug abuse and mental health will be key issues in her Democratic presidential campaign … New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently participated in a round-table discussion

Do No Harm Indeed
Amherst doctor indicted as prescription drug dealer     

Doctor Albert R. Cowie, a 37-year-old Amherst radiologist, was arrested in April on suspicion of illegally writing prescriptions for addictive drugs. Police say he wrote 280 illegal prescriptions over about four years. The people he is accused of writing prescriptions for, including a prostitute, each gave Cowie some of the pills back to help his alleged drug addiction. Cowie is accused of writing prescriptions for oxycodone, percocet, hydrocodone and xanax.

UK: Kids and Drinking
Girl aged just 13 destroys liver through binge drinking     

A girl aged only 13 knocked back so much alcohol she gave herself liver ­disease, a Sunday People investigation reveals. The troubled teen suffered cirrhosis of the liver after drinking the equivalent of nearly a bottle of vodka a day. Cirrhosis is so serious that a patient may need a transplant to stay alive. Staggeringly, the girl, treated at London’s King’s College Hospital in 2011, was not an isolated case. She was just one of at least 13 child alcoholics treated in Britain’s hospitals for liver disease due to heavy drinking in the past five years.

You Can Smell It From Here   VIDEO
‘Whiskey on My Breath’ Video    

Love and Theft’s latest single “Whiskey on My Breath” is the antidote for today’s glut of drinking songs. Instead of celebrating booze, it takes the approach of old-school country music and casts a harsh light on what it’s like to be in the grip of alcoholism. And the video for the song is just as stark.

Reduction of Harm AUDIO
Giving Alcoholics A Home Helps Them Manage Their Addiction AUDIO    

Alan Surratt is a bearded, balding man of average height with a large middle. On this warm spring day he’s showing me his studio apartment at 1811 Eastlake in Seattle.  He wears a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. He’s an alcoholic and he’s drunk. His life and career in academia began to unravel decades ago…Surratt is one of the 74 people who live at 1811 Eastlake. The blue-grey four story building is tucked into the concrete armpit of I-5 and the Denny overpass. To get a place here you have to be homeless and you must be addicted to alcohol. Most chronic alcoholics are middle age men and the population at 1811 reflects that. Surratt is 55 years old and he’s a binge drinker.

Slaying His Addiction
Nicholas Brendon Enters Rehab for Depression, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse   

The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star entered a treatment facility in California on Monday “to treat his depression, alcoholism and substance abuse problems.” The actor split from his wife Moonda Tee in February after five months of marriage, and he said in an interview in March that his substance abuse issues were caused by his ongoing battle with depression and difficulty dealing with memories of being molested as a child.

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Playing Ruff in New York
Trained dog serves multiple purposes at sober residence    

An 8-year-old English Labrador Retriever named Mik resides at the Williamsburg House sober home in Brooklyn and has become something of a beloved neighborhood celebrity. But make no mistake-Mik works for his status. Besides serving as a companion for the men and women staying at the New York City recovery residence, Mik applies his training as a narcotic detection dog to reinforce a drug-free environment at the home.

What’s That Smell?
Drugs Over Dinner    

Some of the guests at that initial dinner, held in New York City, included addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Matè, author Daniel Pinchbeck, outspoken drug war critic Dr. Carl Hart, and Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann. Also on the board is Leonard Buschel. Buschel, who has written for The Fix in the past, is the founder of Writers in Treatment, the non-profit organization responsible for the REEL Recovery Film Festival.  An energetic and quotable man in his 50’s, Buschel seems like just the sort of person to have over to dinner.

Feeling No Pain NPR AUDIO
Las Vegas Doctor Touts Treating Chronic Pain Without Drugs AUDIO    

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46 people die from an overdose of prescription opioid painkillers each day in the U.S. The CDC reports doctors in Nevada write an average of 94 painkiller prescriptions per every 100 residents, which is about the national average. Dr. Mel Pohl, local doctor and addiction specialist, told KNPR’s State of Nevada he has a different approach to tackling pain. “There is no pill to really treat chronic pain,” Pohl said.

Sacred Chocolate

Know Thy Neighbor
Woman overdosed on heroin while babysitting; nephew, 6, tried CPR     

A 36-year-old woman faces drug and child endangerment charges after police say she overdosed on heroin while babysitting two young children, one of whom tried to revive her with techniques he told police he had seen on TV…It’s frustrating to watch the trend during the past few years, Capt. Rector said. “Last week alone, our department responded to five overdoses, likely all related to heroin.

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Making a Difference
Addiction recovery advocates call for improved services    

The message for southeastern Minnesota leaders who attended a listening forum Thursday was simple: Recovery programs for people fighting drug addition work, and more programs are needed. “Recovery has given me back the respect of my kids,” said Ric Staloch, who said he has been in recovery now for 25 years. “I never lost their love, but I did lose their respect.”

It Works If You Work It! AUDIO
From Drug Addiction To College Graduation  AUDIO    

A 27-year-old man recovering from drug addiction will graduate from the Community College of Vermont on Saturday. Wayne Miller originally entered college for all the wrong reasons, but made a dramatic turnaround. By the time he was an 11-year-old in Hartford Middle School, Miller was grieving the loss of his family. His father, who had addiction problems, had fled. His younger sisters were placed in foster care, but he stayed behind and cared for his depressed mother.

Wall, Timeline, Oblivion
Facebook addiction linked to depression    

“A large body of research . . . shows that Internet addiction often co-occurs with other disorders, such as depression, loneliness, sexual dysfunction, or other addictions,” the study team writes. “The main aim of our study was to answer the question of whether depression and daily Internet use time was related to Facebook intrusion.” They define Facebook intrusion as “excessive involvement in Facebook, disrupting day-today activities and interpersonal relationships.”

No Brainer
How To Make The Transition From Smoking To Non Smoking 

Smoking Kills is not only a warning stated on the packets of cigarettes but it really kills a person gradually. Around five million people die each year because of smoking-related diseases. That’s just not it. This figure is going to get double by 2030. Out of one billion smokers, around five million are dying each year. Smoking related diseases commonly include cancer, heart, lung and neurological disorders.

Tequila, Tacos and Trouble VIDEO
Taco Bell in U.S. Will Serve Alcohol for the First Time VIDEO    

A new Taco Bell location in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago will serve customers beer, wine, and mixed drinks, according to reports. Boozy drinks will be served only to customers eating inside, and they will come in special cups to distinguish them from regular soft drinks.

U Stands for Ouzo?
Man Faces Fourth DUI Charge While Working as Uber Driver    

Alvaro Gutierrez, 41, was arrested Thursday evening for what could be his fourth DUI offense at the Ridge Port Plaza, according to an arrest report. Officers responded to calls about a possible impaired driver, the report said. The suspect vehicle was reported to be aggressively driving, and tried to “ram” someone’s vehicle. Gutierrez then failed all sobriety tests, leading to his arrest. After arriving at the Naples Jail Center, Gutierrez refusing a breath test.

At the Start
The first Adult Child of Alcoholics, she was there from the beginning    

It was a book title that spawned a movement and gave people a name for who they were and what they were feeling: “Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Jan Woititz was a Montclair therapist who came up with the term after surveying the damage wrought by her own alcoholic marriage. Having failed to find help for her three children, she went out and invented that help herself. Her books occupied the bestseller lists for months at a time, making her popular on the guest lecture and conference circuit. “ACOA” became a shorthand term used in recovery circles.

She Now Has a Clue
Hillary Clinton Focuses on Drug Addiction After Learning Scale of Problem    

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s carefully choreographed round-table discussions with voters don’t lead to many moments of surprise. But Mrs. Clinton has seemed to have had some legitimate jolts when conversations in Iowa and New Hampshire repeatedly drifted back to drug abuse. Mrs. Clinton called heroin and methamphetamine addiction in rural America a “quiet epidemic” and told her policy advisers in Brooklyn to put it on the list of priorities as her campaign inched closer toward presenting a specific policy platform.

Family Affair Unfair
My Mom Was Drug Addict and Alcoholic    

I was driving home from a business trip when my cellphone rang. My eyes darted to the screen. The Bluetooth revealed a number I didn’t know – and no name. Usually I ignore these calls. I picked up. It was my mother’s neighbor, whom I hardly know. She was calling to tell me my mom was in the hospital and my 5-year-old daughter – who had spent the night with her – was with the police.

Madness & Sadness
Meet heroin’s tiniest victims: newborns    

He was five days old and less than five pounds. He wiggled inside the white blanket that hugged him tight. He stopped moving for a moment and opened his eyes. Then, he wiggled again. Morphine raced through the newborn’s tiny body. He had been given a dose earlier that morning to fight off his opiate cravings and would soon receive more…

UK: One Who Didn’t Make It
Liberal Leader Charles Kennedy, a Star who Battled Alcoholism, dies at 55    

LONDON – Charles Kennedy was a rare thing – a genuinely popular British politician – and brought his Liberal Democrat party record success before his leadership was cut short by alcoholism. He was hardly the first British politician with an alcohol problem. Parliament’s long hours and subsidized bars have long indulged a culture of heavy drinking. But Kennedy was among the first publicly to acknowledge alcoholism.

Treatment Works
Former meth, heroin addicts celebrate completion of drug rehab program    

After a grueling 18-month program of tests, court hearings and therapy, 11 former heroin and methamphetamine addicts will graduate from the Humboldt County Adult Drug Court Program on Friday to celebrate their transition back to a life outside the criminal justice system. “The work they put into it is incredible,” county Chief Probation Officer Bill Damiano said. “You think about the condition of these guys’ lives before they ended up in our program.

Ask Amy: What Does She Know?
Family struggling to deal with son’s porn addiction    

We have two sons, ages 14 and 10. Some time ago we discovered that our older son had accessed pornography by creating a false account on our computer. After confessing, he seemed contrite, promised us that he wouldn’t do it again, and we decided to give him another chance. A few months later we gave him a smartphone for his 14th birthday, but we chose one that didn’t have many bells and whistles. We made him sign the contract, and (just for good measure) I asked my younger son to hold on to the locked phone once the boys came home from school.

WRITERS IN TREATMENT

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June 9 Addiction Recovery eBulletin

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