More than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year – the most ever. The disastrous tally has been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, a class of drugs known as opioids. Heroin deaths rose 23 percent in one year, to 12,989, slightly higher than the number of gun homicides, according to government data released Thursday … “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this. Certainly not in modern times,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees death statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Psychiatric Chain Locks People Up For Insurance Money
“Your job is to get patients. And you get them however you get them.” A yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation – based on interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents – raises grave questions about the extent to which those profits were achieved at the expense of patients. Current and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method – which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal – and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out.
Inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, our photojournalist documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days … I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere imaginable – on the sidewalk, on train tracks, in front of a girls’ school, outside 7-Eleven stores and a McDonald’s restaurant, across bedroom mattresses and living-room sofas. I watched as a woman in red peeked at one of those grisly sites through fingers held over her eyes, at once trying to protect herself and permit herself one last glance at a man killed in the middle of a busy road. Not far from where Tigas was killed, I found Michael Araja, shown in the first photo below, dead in front of a “sari sari,” what locals call the kiosks that sell basics in the slums.
Pharmaceutical Executives are Charged in Fentanyl Based Racketeering Scheme
BOSTON – Several pharmaceutical executives and managers, formerly employed by Insys Therapeutics, Inc., were arrested today on charges that they led a nationwide conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners to unnecessarily prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication and defraud healthcare insurers…” Patient safety is paramount and prescriptions for these highly addictive drugs, especially Fentanyl, which is among the most potent and addictive opioids, should be prescribed without the influence of corporate money,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “I hope that today’s charges send a clear message that we will continue to attack the opioid epidemic from all angles, whether it is corporate greed or street level dealing.”
An Ancient African Remedy Helped Me Kick My Opioid Addiction Overnight
When I started doing heroin and other opioids in 2004, I never imagined that it would take thousands of dollars and a trip to Guatemala to finally break free from drugs seven years later. By that point, I had tried 12-step programs and quit cold turkey countless times, only to start again a short time later. My parents had spent a lot of money sending me to rehab after rehab. Nothing worked. Most rehab programs take a one-size-fits-all approach. Either you submit to the system or you’re guaranteed to end up in jail or dead. There’s no middle ground or room for personal exploration. That philosophy never resonated with me, so I could not connect with the 12-step program. I would relapse every time.
Man with ‘heart of gold’ among 9 dead from apparent drug ODs in 36 hours
Victor Colon didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner with his family in Kensington, so his sister traveled from central Pennsylvania last weekend to drive the gritty streets of the Philly neighborhood hoping to see her big brother. Instead, she saw an ambulance carry his body away. “We were trying to reach out to him,” said Edna Villafane. “But I guess the drug beat us.” Colon, 42, was one of nine people who died from apparent drug overdoses in and around Kensington over the weekend, authorities said Monday.
Something remarkable took place recently in the Village of Goshen. A panel of elected officials, law enforcement representatives and health care providers sat quietly in the Senior Center and listened as another panel – people in recovery from addiction, relatives of addicts and people who deal daily with those suffering from addiction – spoke publicly about the pain of living with addiction, the roadblocks society places in the way of those seeking to find recovery and the rewards for those who find it. No anonymity …That was the central purpose of the Community Listening Forum on Addiction and Recovery, sponsored by Friends of Recovery-Orange – to change the conversation and struggle against addiction “from the problem to the solution,” as Robert J. Lindsey, CEO of Friends of Recovery-NY explained in his opening remarks. “For too long, we’ve been silent,” he said. “That ends tonight.” Lindsey told the assembled panels and 50 members of the public who attended, that 11 members of his family are in recovery.
Gov. Christie visits infants facing drug addiction, pledges help
Republican Gov. Chris Christie says a tour of a New Jersey neonatal unit for infants born to mothers on drugs makes him want to do more to help them. Christie toured the neonatal intensive care unit on Tuesday at Jersey Shore University Medical Center as part of an annual “Season of Service” effort. Christie visited five infants with perinatal addiction and said seeing them strengthens his resolve to do all he can. He says it’s important not to forget these “innocent victims of drug addiction.
READ MORE @ SFGate.com
Come for Treatment – Stay for Probation
Sober Home Task Force Raids Delray Treatment Center
Chapters Recovery is the second treatment provider targeted by the task force. In October, the task force charged the owner of Whole Life Recovery in Boynton Beach with multiple counts of patient brokering. Christopher Hutson, a marketing consultant, was also charged with patient brokering. The legislature gave $275,000 to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg to investigate corruption in the drug treatment industry and propose changes to existing laws and regulations pertaining to sober homes. The addiction treatment industry in Palm Beach County is our fourth largest – generating, conservatively, about $1 billion a year. The Post, in its 18-month investigation, has uncovered corruption based on urine testing; now authorities have turned to patient brokering.
READ MORE @ MyPalmBeachPost.com
And Then What Happened?
Mayor criticized for giving whisky to Michael Phelps
…Many are wondering if Mayor Drew Dilkens was thinking at all when he gave Olympic superstar Michael Phelps – whose battles with booze are well known – a big bottle of Canadian Club whisky. Dilkens defended the perceived faux pas Monday against a backlash on social media, pointing out Phelps has not publicly said he’s an alcoholic. “Mayor Drew Dilkens presented Michael Phelps with a big bottle of commemorative Canadian Club whisky to mark the time Phelps came to Windsor,” Robert Earl Stewart wrote on Facebook with #GiftsFromDrew. “This also marks the time the mayor gifted someone who publicly struggles with alcoholism with a big bottle of booze.” That post kicked off a cascade of followup comments, which were mostly unkind. “And so, Mayor Dilkens gave Michael Phelps a large bottle of Canadian Club Whisky – in spite of the fact that Michael Phelps acknowledges that he publicly struggles with alcoholism, has had 2 DUI’s, and did a 45-day stint in rehab in an attempt to get sober,” Todd Branch wrote on Facebook. “That, folks, is what’s referred to as being ‘some ground beef short of a taco.’ There are no rules that imply you must be smart to be a politician.”
SRO Stories: “Nothing can jeopardize my sobriety” AUDIO
Today, there are about 19,000 San Franciscans living in SRO’s-that’s single room occupancy buildings or residential hotels, but that number is scarce compared to 50 years ago … “My husband had two mental breakdown, flipped out and robbed five banks. I ended up on drugs. It was like a breakdown for both of us.”
Personalized Cigarette Warnings are the Stocking Filler for the Loved One You Want to Quit
You’re a non-smoker, chances are you’ll have felt concerned about the health of a loved one who is a smoker. So why not pop a personalised health warning for cigarette packets into their stocking? We’re sure that’ll go down a treat. The ‘Smoking Kills’ warnings, which are synonymous with all cigarette packets nowadays, were adapted by creative duo Oli + Josie to allow people to directly confront smokers about their health. “We think it could be the perfect stocking filler for the family member in need of a New Year’s resolution…”
Philippine President Duterte unveils his Trump impression VIDEO
In the short time since the American presidential election, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appear to have formed a bond. Now Duterte has taken the relationship further – with a public impression of the real estate tycoon’s distinctive speaking style. The Obama administration has expressed concern over Duterte’s ongoing campaign against the country’s illegal drug trade that has resulted in the killing of at least 4,500 Filipinos in about five months. Duterte previously said that during their Dec. 2 phone call, Trump praised the controversial anti-drug campaign as the “right way.” “Oh, President Duterte,” Duterte’s Trump impersonation begins. “We should fix our bad relations. It needs a lot of, y’know, you just said something good here. And you’re doing great. I know what’s your worry about these Americans criticizing you. You are doing good. Go ahead. I have this problem on the border of Mexico and America and these goddamn s— guys are [unintelligible].” Duterte later said Trump told him that “no media supported me, and I did it on my own.” The Philippine president said he then told the U.S. president-elect that he was impressed by his win. President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking in Tagalog, saying, “So now the way he speaks makes me feel like a saint,” in reference to Donald Trump.
The “prescription drug epidemic,” as Dr. Lembke calls it, encompasses several trends, the most dramatic being a spike in overdose deaths…Psychiatrist Anna Lembke, chief of addiction medicine at Stanford University’s medical school, has spent her career helping patients battle their addiction to opioid drugs, from Vicodin to heroin. Out of this experience comes “Drug Dealer, MD,” a short and feisty book in which, among much else, she calls out practitioners for overprescribing painkillers and censures a scamming subculture in which patients abet their own addiction and suffering.
Martin Scorsese: Candid About ’70s Drug Addiction and Near- Death Experience: ‘I Became Aware of Not Wanting to Die’
After years of drug use and hard-living, 35-year-old Scorsese found himself facing-down death after collapsing and winding up in the hospital – a move that surprised the filmmaker. What led to him hitting bottom: “A number of things had happened … misuse of normal medications in combinations, my body reacted in strange ways. I was down to about 109-pounds. It wasn’t only drug-induced – asthma had a lot to do with it. I was kept in a hospital for 10 days and nights, and they took care of me, these doctors, and I became aware of not wanting to die and not wasting [my life].”
ALCOHOLICS Anonymous South Africa (AASA) celebrated its 70th anniversary recently and throughout its existence has helped and guided thousands of South Africans to recover from alcoholism. AASA, which operates under the umbrella of the worldwide, USA founded, Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, came into existence in Johannesburg, when the first South African recovery group opened its doors on 18 October 1946. The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is governed by the three legacies which include recovery, unity and service. “The key to recovery is the highly acclaimed 12 step recovery programme. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strength and hope with each other to solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism,” …
Drug Addiction To Be Managed By Supervised-Injection Sites In BC VIDEO
Jane Philpott is a strong proponent and advocate of supervised-injection sites. In her statement, she said, “I know that they work. They save lives. They prevent infection. They provide safe access to health care.” … These supervised-injection sites provide a platform for health professional to extend medical help to drug addicts when they need it the most. Health officials speculate that these sites will help in reducing overdose death in drug addicts and preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Rising price of opioid overdose antidote may cost lives
Dec. 7, 2016 – Escalating prices of the drug naloxone may threaten efforts to reduce opioid-related deaths across America, a team from Yale University and the Mayo Clinic warns. Naloxone is a drug given to people who overdose on prescription opioids and heroin. If administered in time, it can reverse the toxic and potentially deadly effects of “opioid intoxication.”
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Teen kills staffer to escape Turn-About Ranch Rehab
The Arizona teen had been at the Turn-About Ranch in Utah less than a week when he secretly shared his plan to escape. He did not, according to authorities, tell anyone about the weapon – or an intention… Students, age 13 to 17, live and work on the farm in Escalante, Utah, a rural town of 800 people located 300 miles south of Salt Lake City. These teens come from all over for a litany of reasons: depression, ADHD, substance abuse, poor grades, “defiance, rebellion, low-self esteem.” … But the facility has also been smacked by complaints of abuse and harsh treatment, recounted by some former residents on Reddit and Facebook and detailed in at least two formal complaints. One, made by a former staffer to management, state regulators and the Garfield County sheriff in 2004, alleged that the sexual assault of a female student by a ranch staffer was covered up…
WINE WARNING: Drinking one glass every day ‘increases risk of heart flutter’
Even drinking a small amount of alcohol on a regular basis could be associated with a higher risk of irregular heart rhythms, scientists have found. Across both sexes the risk is eight per cent, according to the research … Previous studies have shown that a light to moderate intake of alcohol – up to seven standard drinks per week for women and 14 for men – can actually reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease.
But it may be more than a stressful job that pushes some founders over the edge. According to researchers, many entrepreneurs share innate character traits that make them more vulnerable to mood swings. “People who are on the energetic, motivated, and creative side are both more likely to be entrepreneurial and more likely to have strong emotional states,” says Freeman. Those states may include depression, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of motivation, and suicidal thinking.
Medicaid Coverage For Addiction Treatment Varies Dramatically
…But the study also revealed several hurdles in accessing services and life-saving medication. It found many states limited access to substance abuse treatment by requiring preauthorization, imposing annual maximums or asking for patients to pay a share of the costs. Nearly every state required preauthorization and over a third of them required copays for buprenorphine. About half the states imposed preauthorization for intensive inpatient facilities. Nearly 10 states extended the annual maximums to recovery services.
More Evidence Baclofen for Alcohol Dependence Be Reconsidered
Another study of high-dose baclofen (multiple brands), widely used in France to treat alcohol dependence, found that the drug does not appear to bolster abstinence rates, suggesting its use should be reconsidered. “The study was run in different clinics in the Netherlands, where patients received standard treatment, mostly 12-step, but also cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational therapy, all widely available … and baclofen does not seem to add to the efficacy of these other psychosocial treatments,”…
Did ‘junkie’ Hitler’s secret cocaine & meth addiction LOSE Nazi Germany WW2? VIDEO
In the early days of Nazi rule, the Fascist dictator introduced a blanket ban on the use of “seductive poisons”. Drug users were either declared “criminally insane”, killed by lethal injections or sent to concentration camps. Illicit substances, which, according to Nazi propaganda, were associated with morally impure Jewish people, needed to be stamped out. But as Hitler’s Third Reich marched towards World War 2, drugs became a central pillar of the Nazi war machine. Even Hitler, who was initially perceived as a straight-laced teetotaller, caved in to the temptations of toxins to a self-destructive extent.
Shocking video captured man’s overdose. He calls it ‘best thing that happened to me’ VIDEO
The viral video that showed Ronald Hiers bent over a bench, overdosing on a batch of heroin that nearly killed him, has turned him into many things: a parable on the horrors of drug abuse, a recovering addict, a punchline. But as Hiers stared at the TV and watched the low point of his addiction, he said most people missed the most important thing the scene shows. “I am a son. A husband. A brother. A grandfather. A father. I’m a human being,” he told Memphis CBS-affiliate WREG. “That’s what so many people missed about it. Those were two human beings.” Hiers and his wife, Carla, of Memphis had just gotten high in the bathroom of a Walgreens on an afternoon in October. “We went to catch the bus and it caught up with us while we were waiting,” he told a reporter. “You saw the result.”
Kim Richards is doing great after drug addiction struggles
On Friday, during a premiere party at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Richards offered an update to Entertainment Tonight’s Brice Sander. Although Richards, who feuded heavily with co-star Lisa Rinna throughout seasons five and six of the Bravo reality show, didn’t expect to get so entangled in the drama during past seasons, she told Sander she was happy to be back on the show – and back in a good place with her younger sister, Kyle Richards. “I’m in such a good place,” Kim Richardstold Sander. “You know, I’m so happy … I had fun with [Kyle Richards]. We’re in an amazing place this year.”
Tom Carroll Talks Battling Drug Addiction, Recovery and Key to Happiness VIDEO
At one point I remember turning around when I heard a bit of shuffling from behind and noticed a close friend wiping away tears. He was listening in on the conversation with Tom Carroll, and while I don’t remember the exact story Carroll was sharing with me in that moment, I vividly remember the reaction it elicited from this mutual friend. The topic of discussion was the Australian surfer’s history of drug addiction and how the whole experience, from that always talked about “rock bottom” to genuine sobriety, shaped the man that’s now sitting just a few feet away from me in the backyard of a North Shore house.
‘Doctor Shopping’: The growing phenomenon contributing to prescription drug abuse VIDEO
Samantha is part of a growing phenomenon that’s contributing to a nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse. It’s called “Doctor Shopping.” Dr. Julie Worley is a nurse practitioner at Rush University who has conducted research on doctor shopping. She says women tend to be particularly susceptible. “They found it easy, thrilling, fun; they really got a charge out of doing it and were very good at it and they were able to manipulate the doctors,” Worley said. Worley studies doctor shopping to develop interventions for both patients and prescribers. She also counsels women like Samantha at Haymarket Center, a substance abuse treatment facility.
WATCH MORE @ Fox32Chicago.com
Los Angeles Skirball Cultural Center – 2017 – 2017
8th Annual Experience, Strength & Hope Awards – Feb. 23, 2017 in Los Angeles
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. 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
Marijuana: Addiction Treatment for Opioid Dependency
Marijuana as an addiction treatment for opioid dependency is gaining popularity among professionals in the field of medicine … Physicians in the New England region of the U.S. have been prescribing medical marijuana to treat opioid addiction for several years. Dr. Harold Altvater, a doctor in Massachusetts, has used medical marijuana to substitute for other medications frequently and has seen some success. “You are basically taking something that can be very harmful for an individual, and substituting it with another chemical, just like you would any other drug, that has a wider safety margin … So, if the goal is to decrease the body count, the goal would be to get them on to a chemical that was safer,”…
‘Your Kids are Not an Experiment’; Surgeon General Says No Vaping for Young People
“Some studies show that non-smoking youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than non-smoking youth who do not use e-cigarettes,” the report says, and notes that “among high school students and young adults who use tobacco, more use both e-cigarettes and burned tobacco products than use e-cigarettes alone.” … Unlike other tobacco products that have been proved to cause potentially lethal health problems, “scientists are still working to understand more fully the health effects and harmful doses of e-cigarette contents when they are heated and turned into an aerosol,” the report says. “Your kids are not an experiment,” Murthy concludes in an accompanying public service video. “Protect them from e-cigarettes.”
Breaking a habit isn’t easy. So we don’t force smokers to “just quit”, despite the fact that smoking is linked to major diseases that bleed billions of ringgit from the nation’s healthcare budget. We don’t wrench smokers from their families and jobs, shove them against their will into a “rehabilitation” centre, preach to them about morals or make them do manual labour in the hope of curing their addiction to cancer sticks. So why do we do this with drug users? We rob them of everything that might offer some stability or self-esteem when we force them into drug “rehabilitation” centres. Not surprisingly, the vast majority relapse within weeks after leaving these centres…
READ MORE @ Star2.com
Profits for Life
Price of heroin overdose antidote Narcan rises as much as 500 percent
In 2015, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spent $55,000 on naloxone – the generic version of the drug. In the first nine months of 2016, the department had already spent $183,000. These amounts do not include tax dollars spent on the drug in cities with their own police and fire-rescue departments, such as Delray Beach. The drug is available in several formulations: injectable, nasal spray and auto-injectors – a single-dose injector designed for people without medical training. The patented single-dose auto injector sold by Evzi…
READ MORE @ MyPalmBeachPost.com
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