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July 21, 2015              Treatment Industry & Recovery Community News                Vol. 2., No. 48
Does It Have to be One or the Other ?
   Is Addiction A Habit Or A Disease?     

On the one hand, there’s the medical establishment’s view, led by Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Volkow argues that addiction is “a brain disease because drugs change the brain…These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors.” Neuroscientists like Dr. Marc Lewis see things differently.

Opposite of Addiction is Connection? VIDEO
Response to Johann Hari’s TED talk by Jean Campbell VIDEO     

In his provocative new TED talk, Johann Hari tells us about his extensive quest to understand the root cause of addiction and posits that connection is the opposite of addiction, and if addicts can just feel connected, they won’t need to use/drink.  Some of that supposition is true and some of it is dead wrong.  While I agree with his belief that isolation is dangerous when it comes to addiction, connection is not “the” solution.


Not Your Daddy’s Tetris   VIDEO
Parents Fear Son’s Video Game ‘Addiction’ Will Kill Him VIDEO    

Sarah says her 23-year-old son, Justin, is so consumed with playing video games that he dropped out of college, can’t hold a job, and is emaciated after losing more than 50 pounds. “I absolutely believe Justin’s video game addiction is killing him,” she says about her son, who can spend 30 hours straight in front of a computer screen playing video games. Justin’s stepfather, Graham, agrees that the situation is “dire.”

Not Afraid To Work Hard
The Dukes of Oxy: How a Band of Teen Wrestlers Built a Smuggling Empire    

“What the fuck are you doing?” Dodd shouted, pointing at one of their high school friends sitting at the table. “What’s he doing here?” Lance Barabas looked up in surprise from counting the money, clearly stoned out of his mind. This was bad, Dodd knew – very, very bad. It was the summer of 2008, and for the past year, every month Dodd and Barabas were illegally moving an average of 20,000 OxyContin and Roxicodone pills to a network of dealers spread across the country – The two kids and their crew were making millions of dollars, but the business was overwhelming them…

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Meth, coke addiction may affect brains of women more than men    

In a new study, brain scans reveal that women formerly addicted to stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, have a smaller amount of a type of brain tissue known as “gray matter.” This was true even though the women hadn’t used the drugs for about a year before undergoing the brain scan.


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Therein Lies the Rub
Alcoholic cries in court as judge sentences him for masturbating on church grounds 

An alcoholic grandad who was caught masturbating in the grounds of a church in Lincoln broke down in court as he was sentenced. Stephen Bourke, 51, committed the act on Monday, June 15, in an area close to where school children walk to and from school. Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday, July 14, how Bourke, of Monks Road, was very drunk at the time of the incident.



Parents Not Pixels   VIDEO
Screen addiction is dooming children  VIDEO     

Children age 2 and younger should not be exposed to ANY electronic media because ‘a child`s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.’ Older children and teenagers should spend no more than one or two hours a day with entertainment media, preferably with high-quality content, and spend more free time playing outdoors, reading, doing hobbies and ‘using their imaginations in free play.’ Violent video games and television can desensitize a young mind to violence.

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Beyond the Virgin Mary
The Mocktail Revolution is Growing, More Restaurants Adopt Booze-Free Libations 

The mocktail- a word born from smashing together “mock” plus “cocktail”-has come a long way from sweet grenadine Shirley Temples and frozen piña coladas (hold the booze please). Ordering soda at a restaurant no longer means a choice between Sprite and Coke-bartenders now offer vinegary shrubs, housemade concoctions like cucumber lemonade, and more. While eateries like Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York has offered non-alcoholic beverage pairings for over a decade, now the rest of the country is catching on.

Coming Soon to Houston…

Better Than Booze?
Temptations of alcohol being replaced by lure of social media for many young    

The temptations of drink are being replaced by the lure of social media for many young Britons, some of whom worry that their reputations would suffer from drunken antics posted online, according to new research. Nineteen per cent of 16-24-year-olds don’t drink, and 66 per cent claim that alcohol is not important to their social lives, states the report from the Demos think tank.

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With Time
How being jealous can turn you into an alcoholic    

The study shows people who rely on their partner to boost their self-esteem often turn to drinking if they believe their partner is cheating. ‘Given how common experiencing jealousy and being in romantic relationships are, this work helps to explain difference associations that may negatively impact an individual’s drinking,’ Dr DiBello said. ‘I think it is important to understand the role romantic jealousy plays in the larger context of problem behaviours.

A Better Needle
Acupuncture helps those with addiction, mental illness     

“There’s a lot of different ways for people to get clean and you want to offer all the options so that people can see what works best for them,” McKay said. “It’s our intention to use all means that are available, that are evidence-based and proven to work.” While acupuncture can be done on any part of the body, acu-detox is a treatment specifically concentrated in the ears. Therapy is typically done with a group, but it can be useful in a one-on-one situation.


One Foot in Front of the Other: Daily Affirmations for Recovery by Tian Dayton    

365 days of inspiration for the recovery journey, filled with wisdom to ground, guide, and renew the spirit Recovery – whether from addictive or compulsive behaviors, codependency, childhood trauma, dysfunction or loss – is not an event to be conquered, but an ongoing process of healing and self-discovery. It requires patience, perseverance, and self-awareness.

Starts Young
Childhood trauma & addiction:
the 4600% risk factor

“If you’ve suffered childhood trauma, you’re 4600% more likely to become an injecting drug user than if you haven’t.” Dr. Gabor Maté – after years of treating patients who became addicts after hellish abuse – has outlined an alternative. Imagine if we had taken the $1 trillion that has been spent so far on the failed drug war, and had spent it on the collapsing services designed to protect abused children instead.

No More Overdoses

Gov. Kasich Makes Naloxone Available Without Prescription 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Thursday took a dramatic step toward addressing the devastating toll the opioid epidemic has had on his state. He signed emergency legislation that will essentially make Naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, available without a prescription. The policy change means that pharmacies can now offer Naloxone over the counter to individuals cleared by a doctor or health official.

A Winner’s Story
11 years sober, former addict now helps others recover     

The 48-year-old is sitting in his office in the Muskingum Behavioral Health building on Underwood Street. He’s dressed in camouflage pants, a black T-shirt and an Atlanta Braves baseball hat (the Bronx, New York, native isn’t a fan – he said it’s just to match his outfit.) Mounted on the walls are two state certifications and his associate degree in social work, which he earned in May from Zane State College.


Sept. 25-26, 2015

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

Sept. 27, 2015 

Sundance Cinemas – Finale
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

Call for more information:


Is It Contagious?
Anti-drug crusader to talk to families, addicts, on overcoming heroin ‘epidemic’  

Featured speaker is Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straight, a Cumberland County-based organization that offers drug intervention and education services. DeLeon and other Steered Straight speakers visit schools to share their message of making responsible, informed choices. In addition to working with addicts and trying to steer young people away from drugs, DeLeon advocates for legislative measures to address drug addiction. He has even taken his mission to the national level.

Adverse Childhood Experiences
What Is Your Ace Score? Take The Test!     

As he continued to explore the idea in the 1990s, Felitti got together with an epidemiologist named Dr. Rob Anda, who at the time was on staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They came up with a set of questions to trace, in a larger group, how tough childhood experiences might affect adult health. They called their work the study of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE.

Looking For Investors   VIDEO
A tattoo to test for alcohol  VIDEO    

The small tattoo is designed for young people to apply when they enter a club. It contains a microchip that uses the body’s sweat to detect the amount of alcohol in the body, signalling if the person is over the legal limit for driving. In this is the case, the tattoo will turn blue. The project is now waiting for the right backer.


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Small Detail
Antidepressants And Painkillers Together May Raise The Risk Of Brain Bleeds    

A new study in the journal The BMJ finds that the risk of intracranial hemorrhage – bleeding that occurs in or around the brain – is increased when one combines antidepressants with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen or naproxen…The big caveat is that the team only looked at bleeding that occurred within 30 days of the NSAID prescription: The risk might be different – possibly higher – over the long-term.

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Virginia Slim
“Very light” smoking a dangerous trend among women     

“Even light smoking can triple the lifetime risk of heart disease,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “More efforts need to be directed at this cohort of emerging young women who smokelightly,” he added. Another anti-smoking expert said very light smokers might not even consider themselves smokers at all.

Soon Enough
Is your kid a web junkie? Advice for parents about tech addiction    

Treatment centers for youths with video game addictions are already available in countries including China, South Korea and Taiwan. One such treatment center in Beijing, where Internet addiction is deemed a national crisis, is the focus of the documentary film “Web Junkie,” which recently aired on PBS. The documentary follows three Chinese teenagers as they go through a three-month military-style rehab program to overcome their obsessions with games.



Win Some, Lose Some
Marijuana may be helping to overcome painkiller abuse in America     

In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (paywall), researchers observed that in US states with medical marijuana dispensaries, the number of admissions to rehabilitation facilities for pain medication and opioid overdoses has decreased by 15% and 16% respectively.

New Yorkers Get Free Tickets


One Size Does Not Fit All
Scientists Say There Are 4 Kinds of Drunks – Which Are You?     

If you can “drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk,” you’re an Ernest Hemingway drunk-and you’re in the majority. That’s the finding of University of Missouri researchers who broke down the types of drunks into four distinct categories in a study published in the Addiction Research & Theory journal. Scientists surveyed 187 pairs of undergraduate “drinking buddies” from a Midwestern university about their sober and intoxicated states. The findings:

Doctor linked to 16 drug deaths allowed to practice on probation     

Van H. Vu, who owns a busy pain clinic in Huntington Beach, agreed not to contest the board’s accusation, to take classes in prescribing and record keeping and to submit to an outside practice monitor for five years. In exchange, the board allowed Vu to keep his license and continue prescribing potent painkillers. Legal drugs, deadly outcomes. A 2012 Times investigation revealed 16 patients’ overdose deaths associated with Vu’s practice and raised questions about the medical board’s oversight of doctors.

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Piss Pass Fail
Bill allows drug screening of students     

The screening consists of a short questionnaire to assess the patient’s risk of using drugs or alcohol in an unhealthy way, the intervention portion consists of “non-judgemental” conversations about substance use and options for change, and the referral typically involves providing information about services like Alcoholics Anonymous, according to the Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.

9 Things I Don’t Miss About Alcohol Addiction     

The other week someone asked me if I missed alcohol. It’s been five and a half years now since I last had a drink, after somewhere in the region of a decade spent trying to drink the world’s supply of red wine, unfancy lager, and occasionally – although Christ knows why, given how little I liked it – vodka.

Addiction/Recovery eBulletin

New York Times           OP-ED
Psychiatry’s Identity Crisis    

As a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist who loves neuroscience, I find this trend very disturbing. First, psychotherapy has been shown in scores of well-controlled clinical trials to be as effective as psychotropic medication for very common psychiatric illnesses like major depression and anxiety disorders; second, a majority of Americans clearly prefer psychotherapy to taking medication.

“Web Junkies” – when does screen overuse become an addiction?     

A documentary on the subject, “Web Junkies,” observes how the virtual world can become more real than the actual world to kids who spend their lives online. They forget to eat or sleep, get irritable when forced to step away from the Internet. The film, recently on PBS and available online, focuses on a rehab center in China, where screen addiction is now a classified clinical disorder.

A Leader is Gone
Addiction-recovery advocate Jim Gillen dies at 61     

PROVIDENCE – Jim Gillen, a founder of Rhode Island’s first recovery center who led a movement to bring compassion and services to people coping with addiction, died Saturday morning. He was 61. He died after a long battle with cancer, said his daughter, Eileen Gillen Dalton, of New York. At The Providence Center, where he was director of recovery services, Gillen led efforts…

About Time   VIDEO
Lethal ‘Fake Heroin’ No Longer Enjoys a Legal Loophole VIDEO 

The Drug Enforcement Administration declared on Friday that it would temporarily reassign acetyl fentanyl – commonly known as “fake heroin” – as a Schedule I drug, a designation reserved for the most dangerous substances. In a statement, the DEA said the move was “necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.” The drug, which is up to 15 times stronger than heroin, has been blamed for at least 39 overdose deaths since it was first identified by a government laboratory two years ago.


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