December 23, 2014                                                    Volume 2., No. 18

One Bad Apple…


Federal Agents Raid South Florida Recovery Home    


Three months after a raid by federal and state authorities on a West Palm Beach, Fla., recovery residence operator that subsequently went out of business, federal investigators were back in Palm Beach County this week. According to local recovery community leaders and local media reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Dec. 17 visited two Delray Beach locations of Real Life Recovery, which operates outpatient treatment and sober living sites. CONTINUED @


Imagination and Guts


The Greatest Creative Tools
of All


One example of Mr. Buschel’s enthusiasm is the Addiction/ Recovery eBulletin. What started out a year and a half ago as his own personal selection of good reading material now goes out to 14,000 people every week. By gathering as many new and unique stories from around the web on the topic of addiction and recovery, Leonard hopes to bring either “something you want to talk to your husband about at dinner or something a drug counselor can print out as a reference at their treatment center.”



Ruminate NOT Incarcerate  VIDEO
A Cry for Compassion In Treating Addiction VIDEO


In his award-winning book, “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction,” Dr. Gabor Maté explains the origins of addiction as being rooted in trauma and calls for a more compassionate approach toward the addict. Maté spoke with CBS News. He says, “All addiction is an escape from pain. All addictions come from emotional loss, and exist to soothe the pain resulting from that loss.” ALSO: Vicky Dulai personally witnessed the failure of the criminal justice system to rehabilitate drug offenders… CONTINUED @


New Insights with Dr. Gabor Maté  VIDEO
Conversation About Addiction with Gabor Maté and Arold Langeveld  VIDEO   


The story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms, according to one theory. “Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.

CONTINUED @ scienceandnonduality



Christmas Satire   AUDIO

STAN FREBERG – Green Christmas (1958) – A Classic! AUDIO 




Well worth the listen, it never gets old.



Christmas Can Be Slippery
Recovering Alcoholics Learn to be Merry
While Sober


“Alcohol, if you’re an alcoholic like I am, always has a bad ending. I need to learn to remember the bad stuff and not glorify the fun I had,” he said. “It was more rain than sunshine. I was heading down a path that would end up in darkness-or a return to jail.” She often recommends that people attend extra sessions of support groups during the holiday season.











More Will Be Revealed
Using the AA Slogans to Deal with
Holiday Stress


But somewhere along the way, I surrendered. My attitude and outlook on life in recovery changed completely, and I began to embrace all the things I so fiercely resisted in the beginning–meetings, fellowship, sponsorship, and the truth about my condition.  Over time, I even began to embrace those annoying AA slogans. Today, I find that these simple words of wisdom can help me through any situation in life, much less the holidays. Here’s how:


Dear Johnny…Walker
A Christmas Letter to My Old Lover – Alcohol


At the party I fell over on the dance floor, ripping my tights. I bruised my elbow and my ego. I cried in the toilets because the room was spinning and I felt sick. On Christmas eve I argued with my brother as he talked politics and I was too drunk to remember where I had hidden the presents. I will never forget the way you ruined Christmas day. My children’s joy as they discovered their gifts was eclipsed by my thudding brain consuming my existence, begging me not to lift it from the pillow.
CONTINUED @ The Guardian







Facing the Facts
The Future of Treatment in Drug Policy: Stigma Remains a Serious Problem by James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy


Most Americans do not view the behavior of people who use substances as a purely medical problem. A 2013 survey of public attitudes about people with drug addiction found respondents were significantly more likely to endorse discriminatory policies (such as unequal access to employment and housing), social exclusion and limited support (for government spending on treatment, housing and other services) for people with drug addiction than for people with other mental illnesses. A significant majority of respondents (60 percent) believed treatment for addiction to be ineffective, compared to a minority (40 percent) who held that view for mental illness.


And It’s Not AA          VIDEO
A New Prescription to End Drinking VIDEO


New understanding of how alcohol affects the brain is prompting addiction experts to make a push for using medications to help people quit or cut down on excessive drinking. For years, treatment has meant 28 days of rehab or a 12-step program. Success meant total abstinence. Only 1 in 10 of 17 million Americans with a drinking problem tried. There is also growing recognition that alcohol problems come in wide varieties, driven by a mix of genetics and life experiences in how the brain handles stress and seeks rewards. CONTINUED @ Wall Street Journal







Treatment Work$
American Addiction
To Buy Recovery First


American Addiction Centers Inc, a subsidiary of AAC Holdings Inc (AAC), on Monday agreed to buy Recovery First Inc, a Florida-based provider of substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services, for $13 million in cash. Recovery First operates a 56-bed in-network, inpatient substance abuse treatment facility in the greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida area which includes 20 licensed detoxification beds. Recovery First generates revenue of about $7.3 million.



Counselors in the Trenches Get to Share


Oregon Addiction Counselors Say What Is Needed  


More than 3,000 counselors work in addiction treatment across Oregon and see up close how the system is working. Last fall, they were invited to share their thoughts with The Oregonian, distributed by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon. They responded with insights, recommendations and hope that Oregonians would support improved addiction treatment. A months-long investigation by The Oregonian discovered troubling failures in Oregon’s addiction treatment system. CONTINUED @









Woman’s Conf. in Palm Springs, 1/24/2015
Erasing the Stigma of the Addictive Female


Enjoying a few martinis with the guys at lunch and taking clients to dinner and drinks had become routine. She traveled quite a bit for work, but sometimes when she woke up in the morning she couldn’t remember what city she was in. At one point, Sally made a promise to herself that she would never drink alone, but she soon found herself throwing a few back at the hotel bar and picking up men just to pass the time. Until the late former First Lady Betty Ford was brave enough to share the truth of her drinking problem with the American people, there was no true face of recovery. Mrs. Ford gave us that face, and today there are many who follow in her brave footsteps. More at: ‘The Beautiful Face of Recovery: A Conference for Women,’ on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at the Desert Princess Palm Springs Golf Resort.


Left To Our Own Devices
Internet Addiction a Growing Problem


Though not classified as a clinical disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, more and more people are starting to recognize Internet addiction. Though many think it is not real, research has shown that people with Internet addiction experience significant changes in their brains. In most cases, the connections in the brain that control attention, executive control and emotion processing are altered. These are the same changes that occur in those addicted to cocaine, heroin and other substances. CONTINUED @



Auditing to Going Clear…
Narconon: The Church of Scientology’s Secret Answer to Drug Rehabilitation


The treatment is based on the Hubbard’s writings, which state that drugs and their metabolites are stored in the fatty tissue of the human body – and can be flushed out of the system through a regimen known as the “purification rundown”. This detoxification involves intense exercise, spending long periods of time in saunas and ingesting large doses of vitamins. Despite frequent criticism from drug experts over a lack of medical evidence, Narconon and its members stand firm in their belief that purification works.
CONTINUED @ IntlBusinessTimes


Take One Step, Twice a Day     VIDEO
A Prescription to End Drinking  VIDEO


Acamprosate, known by the brand name Campral, works to stabilize glutamate and other brain chemicals disrupted by long-term exposure to alcohol. That can reduce the irritability, anxiety and cravings that accompany withdrawal and can help people in recovery avoid relapsing, says the NIAAA’s Dr. Koob, a leading researcher in the neurobiology of emotion.



Young At Heart = Young Heart
Study Confirms: You Really Are Only As Old As You Feel  


With all of these things taken into consideration, they still found that the risk of death during the course of the study was 41 percent higher for the people who felt older than for the people who felt younger. (The mortality rate was slightly higher for those who felt close to their actual age, but the difference wasn’t big enough to be statistically significant.)


Germans On Speed Again? Oy Vey
Breaking Bad Blamed For Shocking Rise In Crystal Meth Usage in the Fatherland


The shocking rise in crystal meth usage across the UK and Europe could be down to the influence of hit TV show Breaking Bad, a leading academic has warned. Germany in particular has seen the highest surge in usage of the Class-A drug reporting a worrying rise of 51 per cent. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has revealed how parts of the EU are now being flooded with methamphetamine. In Britain alone border patrols have seen a surge in attempts to smuggle crystal meth into the country rise by 400 per cent in the past year.



Double Down on Dopamine


Addicted to Games: What is a Gambling Addiction?



Psychologist Susan Edgar knows firsthand how difficult it is to recognize the signs and symptoms of a gambling addiction. Though a person may not be physically ingesting an addictive substance, he or she is still getting high, Edgar said. “When the gambler is in action it doesn’t matter if they are winning or losing. It’s the doing that causes the dopamine rush,” she said. Answer the SIX Questions here…


Into The Light                     VIDEO
Resiliency & Recovery by Jennifer Storm VIDEO


This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Jennifer Storm, Pennsylvania’s Victim Advocate, shares her personal story of healing from sexual abuse, followed by self-destructive drug and alcohol addiction, in “Resiliency & Recovery.” Her journey of recovery has resulted in a career dedicated to helping other victims through public service.



Family Affair  VIDEO
Brooke Shields: Hollywood Wasn’t My Undoing, Loving My Alcoholic Mother Was  VIDEO


Brooke Shields is an old hand in showbiz. She started out as a child actor managed by her mother, Teri Shields. And while the pair loved one another deeply, as Shields recalled in both her memoir “There Was A Little Girl” and on TODAY Wednesday, the biggest challenges for her as a kid were wrapped up in her mother’s addiction issues. “Hollywood didn’t undo me,” she explained. “Being famous at a young age didn’t really undo me. Loving an alcoholic was sort of my emotional undoing to a certain extent.” CONTINUED @



Should Be An Interesting 5th Step
Alcoholics Anonymous Fights Lawsuit by Murder Victim’s Parents 


Lawyers representing Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc. are fighting a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the organization by the parents of murder victim Karla Brada, claiming there is no basis for the lawsuit. On Dec. 1, lawyers with the firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & From LLP, representing AA, filed two court motions to stop the lawsuit before it goes any further.


Media: Children’s Book for the Holidays
Baymo by Dr. Seth Kadish  


“Baymo” is the story of a young dog who longs for the freedom and excitement of human life without comprehending the responsibility and worries that go along with such a life. Through a bit of magic from Father Moon, Baymo’s wish comes true – he becomes a man – but his subsequent misadventures teach him that being a man has its price.
Excerpt: But he was a man, a man, a man! Baymo was in a state of bliss, filled with joy and radiant. He stood, he fell, he pushed himself back up again. Tottered, veered, spun, teetering, toppling, a spinning top, out of control, overcome with pleasure.
“Its clever story line weaves easily with its lovable characters. ” – Lauren Wolff|



Just For Fun – Murray Christmas
Nine Christmas Movies That
Are Kosher For Jewish Addicts


But what about Christmas movies? They play a huge role in the pop culture firmament, and some are very good. Should Jews avoid them like an Old Testament plague, or is okay to get excited by some each year? Does embracing holiday movies alleviate part of our seasonal displacement, or reflect back on it? And what about the identity confusion of growing up on specials like Rudolph and the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas, fully aware that it’s not your holiday being stolen? What is an appropriate relationship between American Jews and the Christmas movies so unavoidable this time of year?


Indica in Indiana
Study To Look at Marijuana’s Impact on Brain   


Though marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the country, little is definitively known about its impact on the brain. A study taking place at Indiana University is designed to help change that. O’Donnell noted that people who smoke a lot of marijuana in adolescence are at increased risk later in life of developing schizophrenia. But “we don’t know whether marijuana smoking causes that. It might be that people who are becoming mentally ill tend to smoke marijuana,” he said.



Higher Learning – No Booze Needed
Staying Sober: School Helps Students with                                                   Addictions


All across the country, many schools are out for winter break and that includes Hope Academy on the north side of Indianapolis. But the student body of nearly 30 students share a unique and common bond: struggles with sobriety. At the beginning and end of each week, the student body meets in a circle to talk about living their live sober and the week’s challenges. “I learned it’s better to completely remove yourself from a toxic relationship than try to fix it,” one student said while talking about what he learned that week.


Pills and Pilsner Don’t Mix       VIDEO
The Sobriety: Episode Looks at Alcohol’s Dangerous Interaction with Meds  VIDEO  


By: Scott Stevens – Pharmacists routinely warn of huge dangers associated with combining alcohol with medication. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) publication, Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines, notes even moderate drinking has the potential to interfere with hundreds of commonly used meds, including over the counter and herbal remedies. Many popular pain medications – and cough, cold, and allergy medications – contain more than one ingredient that can adversely interact with alcohol. CONTINUED @



Non-Alcoholic Egg Nog?
How Does an Alcoholic Navigate their First Sober Christmas?  


Most of us want to spend time with family over Christmas and usually that’s fine. But Christmas can put us under a lot of pressure and for people who are just out of rehab, who are in early recovery, it can be daunting. They tend to feel raw and vulnerable and if the family is not supportive their recovery can be threatened. There could be a risk of relapse. CONTINUED @


60 Minutes Report: U.S. Medical System


When insurance companies deny the mentally ill the treatment their doctors prescribe, seriously ill people are often discharged, and can be a danger to themselves or others. Scott Pelley reports.



Look What Santa Brought
American Addiction Centers Buys
Recovery First


Just two months after becoming a public company, American Addiction Centers (AAC) has entered into an agreement to acquire Recovery First, a Florida-based provider of substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services, for $13 million in cash. Chairman and CEO Michael Cartwright had indicated during the company’s third-quarter investors’ report that AAC was looking for strategic acquisitions. Recovery First accepts commercial insurance coverage from several major carriers, which fits with AAC’s current model.


Twas the Night Before Christmas and…
Shamanic Origins of Christmas  


The story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms, according to one theory. “Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.




6th Annual Experience, Strength & Hope Award  


Honoring Joe Pantoliano Feb.26 Los Angeles



With more than 100 film, television and stage credits to his name, Joey joined the cast of The Sopranos, and won an Emmy Award. He’s also the author of Asylum, his deeply moving and inspiring memoir. This Award is given in recognition of an individual’s honest addiction to recovery memoir. Also appearing: Ed Begley Jr. Comedian Mark Lundholm – Mackenzie Phillips &






Writers In Treatment
501 (c)(3) nonprofit




REEL RECOVERY FILM FESTIVAL 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 and the general public.



Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Publisher & Editor:  
Leonard Buschel 






Addiction Recovery eBulletin Dec 23