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July 14, 2015              Treatment Industry & Recovery Community News                Vol. 2., No. 47
What About the Thousands More?
Obama Commutes Sentences for 46 Non-Violent Drug Offenders     

President Obama announced Monday that he was commuting the sentences of 46 federal drug offenders, more than doubling the number of nonviolent criminals to whom he has granted clemency since taking office. “These men and women were not violent criminals, but the overwhelming majority had been sentenced to at least 20 years; 14 of them had been sentenced to life for nonviolent drug offenses…

Addiction is not a disease – and we’re treating addicts incorrectly 

Addiction-as-disease is in some ways a thoroughly American idea. It ties together how we approach medicine (with a precisely defined target and a definitive program to fight it) and our proudly tolerant spirit in which being judgmental is seen as a kind of vice. Plus it opens up profit opportunities from sea to shining sea. If addiction is a disease, though, why do most addictions end spontaneously, without treatment? Why did some 75% of heroin-addicted Vietnam vets kick the drug when they returned home?

Correct or Crack Pot?   VIDEO
‘The Opposite of Addiction is Not Sobriety. The Opposite Of Addiction is Connection.’ VIDEO     

Johann Hari, author of the New York Times best-selling book “Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs,” has been exploring the true cause of addiction, something he believes is largely misunderstood. In a Ted Talk filmed last month, Hari challenged the belief that addiction is caused by chemical hooks, saying patients who receive painkillers after medical procedures but have no issue getting off the drugs largely disprove that theory.

Starting Them Young
FDA looks into possible risks of cough medicines     

Codeine poses significant danger to young children – according to the FDA. Presently, the drug is prescribed to some 870,000 children in America…The FDA is now examining the possible risks that are associated with cough medicine and raising awareness that codeine has side effects which could be life threatening for children.


Teach Your Children Well
Education is essential for overcoming addictions and mental illnesses    

If anyone suffered headaches, stomach pains or other physical symptoms for an extended period of time, an appointment would be made with a doctor and that decision would not be judged or questioned.  The same should be true with symptoms of substance use and mental health disorders, but unfortunately, stigma prevents many people from being nonjudgmental. A lack of education is the cause and education is the solution.


Ban Edibles AUDIO
Three Psychiatrists and Their Concerns Regarding Marijuana AUDIO     

Dr. Aldo Morales, Dr. Dean Rotundo, and Dr. Abbey Strauss explain their concerns, especially for younger users. From an April 2015 forum. Opening comments by Donna Hearn, Ph.D. A podcast.

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Doesn’t She Know He Has a Disease?
Kardashian reportedly dumps a hard-partying Scott Disick     

Kourtney Kardashian has reportedly called it quits with Scott Disick – dumped him – after three children and about 10 years together. Disick, 32, hasn’t been at their Calabasas home in a month, “solid” sources told TMZ, and Kardashian, 36, finally had enough. “His partying lately has made her make this tough decision,” one source said. Disick checked into a Costa Rica rehab facility in March but reportedly left after just a week. His partying has split them up before…

Coming Soon to Houston…

Top Shelf
Services for drug addicts and alcoholics could be delivered at libraries    

Services to help Cambridgeshire drug addicts, alcoholics and those with mental health problems could be delivered out of libraries as part of radical plans to turn them into so-called community hubs. County council officers have pledged to use libraries to “support community resilience and encourage self-help” as well as providing a “preventative and early support offer to people likely to enter care”…A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Social prescribing is about linking people to local activities to improve their health and wellbeing and is potentially a good fit for libraries as these are in the heart of our communities.


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It’s All in Your Head
The Title of Article Goes Here    

This link will take you to a psychiatric resident explaining how the brain works when addicted (it also mentions an anxiety disorder but that is extra). He uses the following drawing of the brain to describe how a treatment plan emerges from an understanding of the brain. The video is 15 minutes; the last six minutes focus on a treatment plan for a person with a narcotic addiction.

Never a Good Thing
Smoking May Trigger Schizophrenia 

Although smokers claim that puffing a dose of nicotine can relieve stress, researchers have already put those down to non-causal factors. The study from King’s College London argues that smoking may be a causal factor in itself. “Schizophrenia patients are more likely to smoke because they use cigarettes as a form of self-medication to ease the distress of hearing voices or having hallucinations,” BBC said. If there is a higher rate of tobacco use before schizophrenia is diagnosed, then smoking is not simply a case of self-medication.


Recovery Is Possible   VIDEO
Pregnant & Hooked     NBC VIDEO    

Shea falls squarely into one of the trends that the CDC found: people who get addicted to heroin after they’ve been prescribed an opioid painkiller for a legitimate medical reason. “I went in for surgery. I actually had a benign tumor on my neck, and it was very painful. I was prescribed, for the first time, Oxycontin,” she said. That was in 2012.

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It Can Happen To Anyone   VIDEO
FBI Agent Who Stole Heroin to Feed Addiction Sentenced to Prison VIDEO     

…The agent, Matthew Lowry, 33, admitted to stealing heroin from evidence bags and replacing the missing drugs with protein powder and laxatives. He told NBC News last week that his addiction began with painkillers prescribed after he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and when he ran out of pills he turned to heroin.

Sad Demise
‘Isolated’ alcoholic took his own life in hospital     

A WINSFORD widower took his own life while in hospital after battling alcoholism and numerous mental health issues, a coroner has ruled. Francis McNally, 66, of 15 Malvern Way, Winsford, died at the Countess of Chester Hospital on 23 December 2014. At Warrington Coroner’s Court, an inquest into Mr McNally’s death heard how he had become ‘isolated’ and ‘depressed’ following an unsuccessful housing placement. The inquest also heard how Mr McNally, who was also in the early stages of prostate cancer, was struggling to cope with the loss of his daughter, who died in 2013.

Bad Road Taken
Journey’s Deen Castronovo, facing rape charge, must get drug treatment     

Castronovo, 50, was arrested June 14 on misdemeanor assault and menacing, then released on bail and ordered not to contact the alleged victim. A grand jury later returned more serious charges, including rape. Castronovo was jailed again after authorities said he called and texted the woman with messages that included suicide threats and apologies. Castronovo has been with Journey since 1998, when he replaced Steve Smith – the drummer on the group’s best-known songs, including “Don’t Stop Believin.'”

Does Sound Like a Big Gamble
More People ‘Microdosing’ on Psychedelic Drugs    

A former poker player and recent graduate in interdisciplinary science in Amsterdam, Schirp has been experimenting with a new way to take psychedelic drugs: Called microdosing, it involves routinely taking a small fraction of a normal dose of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or magic mushrooms (the latter is legal to purchase in coffeeshops in Amsterdam but not the former).



Sept. 25-26, 2015 

The Council on Recovery
303 Jackson Hill St., Houston, TX 77007

Sept. 27, 2015 – Finale 

Sundance Cinemas
510 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002

Call Tracy Abbott for more information:


Oct. 16-22, 2015 

Cinema Village
22 E. 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

Call for more information:


Oct. 23-29, 2015 

Laemmle NoHo Cinema
5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

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Greatness Lost
My night backstage with Amy Winehouse  VIDEO     

A documentary about the life of Amy Winehouse arrives in cinemas this weekend. I’m torn about whether to go. Composed partly of footage shot on friends’ phones, Amy shows, in close-up, her miserable decline into alcoholism, drug addiction and bulimia. Am I sure I want to watch that?  met her once. It was 2006, and I’d gone to Bristol to review a gig she was playing in a pub. Yes, only a pub…

How 12-step programs erect barriers while attempting to relieve suffering     

Defining addiction as a disease is marketing for the rehab industry – and an excuse when treatment doesn’t work. Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007. (1) Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain’s structure and manner in which it functions. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.

Answer to  Johann Hari’s Ted Talk

Seth Mnookin reviews Chasing the Scream and finds its review of the science troubling. The first tip-off that Hari might be in over his head comes when he describes how “a small band of dissident scientists” had uncovered the answers he was looking for after working “almost unnoticed, for several decades.” Hari starts with Gabor Mate, a Hungarian-born Canadian physician whose theories about how the roots of addiction (and lots of other things to boot) can almost always be found in childhood trauma are, in fact, quite well known.

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“As Harmful as Cocaine”
Robert Lustig: the man who believes sugar is poison     

If you have any interest at all in diet, obesity, public health, diabetes, epidemiology, your own health or that of other people, you will probably be aware that sugar, not fat, is now considered the devil’s food. Dr Robert Lustig’s book, Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth About Sugar, Obesity and Disease, for all that it sounds like a Dan Brown novel…

Tap Tap Not On Tap
App helps recovering addicts connect     

In New Orleans a few years ago for a Patriots-Saints game, Jack Kelly found himself surrounded by a group of friends who were all drinking, reawakening memories of a past he would rather have forgotten.  When he was 16, he became hooked on OxyContin, a painkiller he’d been prescribed for a hockey injury. And when the prescription ran out, he went looking for more on the street, only to find he could buy heroin for a fraction of the money.

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Recovery Needs More Poets
Gary Snyder, ‘Poet Laureate of Our Continent’    

Peter Coyote, probably best known to filmgoers for his role in ET was influenced by Snyder.  He came to Zen meditation through him and overcame an addiction to heroin in part with the discipline of Zen “Today,” Synder siad “the bourgeoisie is sociopathic, overindulged, distracted, spoiled beyond measure, and unable to restrain its gluttony, even in the face of pending planetary destruction. In the face of such a threat, it has, by necessity, become the responsibility of the artist to model health and sanity.”


Taking Chances VIDEO
Filling a void: Battling drug addiction in Sin City  VIDEO     

The Strip lures people in with its lights, exclusive clubs and extravagant shows, but underneath its beauty lies a darker world. It is a world known as Sin City, where addictions can run wild. Narcotics are plentiful in that atmosphere. For many drug users, it starts with innocent curiosity, but in this 24-hour town known for its easy access to the excess, curiosity can lead to a lifetime struggle…”A person in recovery is never recovered,” Frost said. “That doesn’t mean they’re struggling their whole life. It just means they have a healthy respect for the disease they have. It takes sometimes going through the gates of hell to rise up into heaven.”

One State at a Time
State wins $12M grant to expand youth drug prevention efforts    

MONTPELIER, Vt. -The Department of Health has secured a new, five-year federal grant to expand programs designed to prevent drug addiction across the stateSen. Patrick Leahy helped secure the $12 million gran… The state has distributed thousands of emergency Narcan kits to first responders and others. The kits act as an emergency antidote during an opiate overdose. They’re credited with saving nearly 200 lives in Vermont in recent months.



Digest This!
Why we struggle with food addiction     

Addiction is such an interesting state of mind. In most cases, those who are addicted to harmful substances don’t want to admit the damage that the addiction has on their body, family and life… Food addiction is no different. Oftentimes, the focus of a food addiction problem is on the quantity of food eaten… MORE


Larry Kramer Would Not Happy
BBC doc explores chemsex in London gay scene      

The term ‘chemsex’ is part of a growing and worrying trend on the capital’s club scene, where powerful disinhibitors like crystal meth, GHB and mephedrone are used in tangent with sex, leading to ‘sex parties’ that can last for days and often come hand in hand with unprotected sex and STI transmission. “Once you try a powerful drug, and if that’s linked into sex, then that’s the kind of sex you’re going to look for, because sober sex just doesn’t match up to it,” one former user  explains.

It Can Turn On You VIDEO
What Drinking Does to Your Body Over Time VIDEO     

Social drinking is not always benign. The effects of having a few drinks can differ person to person, but often people may not realize just how risky their drinking patterns are, or what that alcohol is doing to them under the hood…Long term drinking can also hurt your heart muscles making them unable to contract properly. It can also harm liver, pancreas and immune system function.

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Rastafarians Overlooked  AUDIO
Marijuana Industry Lacks Diversity  AUDIO    

The marijuana industry is growing fast as the drug is legalized in more states. Sales of pot – legal sales – could reach $3 billion this year. But there may be something missing. From NPR’s Code Switch team, Dan Weissmann reports on the lack of diversity in the business of legal marijuana. CONTINUED @  

Study More Studies
How to Cut Student Drinking     

Can a few minutes on a website or mobile phone encourage college students to drink less?A growing body of research suggests it can. Multiple studies have found that giving students personalized feedback about their drinking habits via the Web or by text can lead them to cut back. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says four out of five college students drink alcohol, and about half of them binge drink.

Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and the Gendering of Martyrdom     

In the same season we’ve been presented with two different comprehensive documentaries of two of our most iconic and tragic, gone-too-soon figures in recent decades. Brett Morgan’s Montage of Heck depicts the slow unraveling of Kurt Cobain in the preamble to his suicide, Asif Kapadia’s Amy depicts a corollary narrative about Amy Winehouse’s life, and in the process sheds light on how unequal the treatment of male and female artists truly is, even in death. The two artists faced radically different cultural realities: Cobain’s death happened in the pre-TMZ era when the world wide web was in its infancy, and Winehouse rose to fame in the age of internet…

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin

Working It   VIDEO
A shot of drugs for heroin addiction helps woman stay clean VIDEO     

A new government report finds heroin abuse skyrocketed in the past decade, rising by 90 percent-and treatment facilities in Kansas City say they’re seeing more heroin addicts in recent months. But a shot of medicine is helping some addicts get and stay clean. The major downside of Vivitrol is cost-$1,000 for the monthly shot. Cullen’s medicine is paid for with state funding as the State of Missouri recently increased funding for it.


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