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“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” 
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Articles, Videos & Breaking News   |  Powered by Writers In Treatment
March 14, 2017                   Treatment Industry & Recovery Community News                   Vol. 4., No. 32
In a New York Seconal
As Drug Deaths Soar, New York Mayor Offers Plan to Cut Toll 

Mar. 13, 2017 – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday vowed to reverse the tide and reduce the number of deaths by 35 percent over five years through a combination of outreach, treatment and law enforcement … The plan, alluded to in Mr. de Blasio’s state of the city address last month, would see the city spend as much as $38 million a year on a broad array of services, including expanded methadone and buprenorphine treatment for addicts; a focus at city hospitals on dealing with addiction and overdoses; aggressive prosecution of illicit opioid distributors and heroin dealers; and the distribution of medication to reverse heroin overdoses to all 23,000 city patrol officers.

Don’t call it a DRUGGY BUGGY
We Need to Destroy the Concept of What a Drug User Looks Like  

Mar 7, 2017 – Sunken-in eyes with bags underneath, a scab-covered face, disheveled hair, track marks, underweight, skin covered in dirt. This is what the general public has been taught to think someone who is addicted to drugs looks like. And even now in the midst of the biggest drug safety crisis in our history, largely caused by overprescribing of opioids by doctors and the proliferation of bootleg fentanyl, we have yet to fully depart from this … Though the source of this stereotype is elusive and certainly not singular, the Faces of Meth campaign, which began in a county in Oregon in 2004, is one piece that majorly pushed this narrative forward.


Hypocritical Oaf
Doctor in Chatman case caught working at treatment center, again 

Mar. 10, 2017 – Dr. Donald Willems, one of two doctors charged with insurance fraud at notorious drug treatment programs operated by Kenneth Chatman, was re-arrested on Friday and accused of violating the conditions of his bond. According to court records unsealed Friday, Willems continued working for a drug treatment facility, wrote prescriptions without a license and had contact with witnesses – all in violation of the terms of his $100,000 bond.

Sober and Slaying It  VIDEO
Actress Eliza Dushku reveals past drug, alcohol abuse to crowd at Youth Summit VIDEO

The “Bring it On” actress said she has been clean and sober for eight years. Her sobriety was a topic of news articles in 2008 and 2009. “When I did drugs and I drank, I didn’t make good decisions,” she told the crowd. “And all it takes is one bad decision.” Dushku said her family did not want her to see her niece, who is now 13, because of her drug use.

Kosher Kush  VIDEO
Israel makes it official: Cannabis is not a crime VIDEO  

In Israel’s divisive political climate, a common cause between right and left has emerged: cannabis. Israel’s Cabinet decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis, or marijuana, at its weekly meeting on Sunday in a move hailed by politicians from across the spectrum. Under the new policy, first-time offenders caught using marijuana in public will be subject to a fine of approximately $250, but will not face any criminal charges. The money will be used for drug rehabilitation and education. 

One Day At A Time
Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson Says He Is ‘Sober’  

March 7, 2017 – Pete Davidson revealed on Monday that he hasn’t been appearing much on the show lately or on social media because he’s been sobering up. In an Instagram posted to his account, the 23-year-old comedian talked about his decision to quit drugs after using them for eight years in the caption of the photo, while thanking his fans and followers for their love and support. “Just wanted to let you guys know I’m okay. . I quit drugs and am happy and sober for the first time in 8 years. It wasn’t easy, but I got a great girl, great friends and I consider myself a lucky man.”

She’s Shore to be a Hit
Mackenzie Phillips to Jersey Shore: We’re in a drug crisis  

March 6, 2017 – Mackenzie Phillips, star of TV’s “One Day at a Time,” was sober for 10 years after a lifetime of addiction. Then, she underwent surgery and was prescribed pain medication. It was a race to the bottom from there that  ended with an arrest for heroin  possession 2008. These days, Phillips is a drug counselor and advocate in the fight against heroin and opioid abuse. She’s going to deliver the keynote address at the “A Jersey Matters Town Hall: The Heroin Crisis” forum, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at the Pollak Theater on the campus of Monmouth University in West Long Branch. (MORE MACK NEWS BELOW) 

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare the Time?
Longer addiction treatment is better…  

March 4, 2017 – The only significant factor in treatment success was the length of treatment. After one year, the treatment success rate was about 55 percent for those who underwent a standard 30-day treatment program. But the success rate was about 84 percent for those in treatment programs that lasted more than 30 days, the investigators found. The findings are important because most government and private health insurance programs only reimburse patients for 30 days of addiction treatment, said study leader Dr. Akikur Mohammad, of the University of Southern California, and colleagues. 

Not Nice!
Milk spiked with meth sickens six at treatment center  

March 7, 2017 – “In more than 50 years of North County Serenity House’s service, this incident is unprecedented,” Eisen said in a statement. “This act appears to be of malicious intent toward people in their most vulnerable state.” … Some of them later took drug tests that tested positive for amphetamine, but they denied willingly ingesting the drug, said police Lt. Justin Murphy. It’s unclear whether drug tests are routinely administered, or if those affected chose to take one after getting sick. Officials at the center likely chose to test the milk after the women who were ill all said they drank either coffee or milk from a community room, Murphy said. The beverage remaining in the container also tested positive for the drug.

Dr. Phil, At It Again?  VIDEO
Could Woman’s Impulse To Shoplift Be Related To Past Drug Addiction? VIDEO

On Wednesday’s episode, Claire also admits she was once addicted to drugs. “Even though I’ve only been arrested four times, I’ve probably shoplifted over 500 times,” admits Claire, a stay-at-home mom of four. Claire is currently on probation for a fourth-degree felony shoplifting charge, and says if she gets caught again, she faces prison time. Claire claims she can’t control the impulse to shoplift. “She would steal things that are very small,” says Claire’s husband, Chris. “I would rationalize that these are big corporations – are they going to miss a five-dollar shirt or two-dollar cream? I enable Claire by rationalizing simple things like that.” Claire admits Chris  paid over $20k just to keep her out of jail. In addition to taking her children with her when she shoplifts, she says she’s also taken them with her to meet her probation officer, which she says is “really pretty shameful.”  

Keeping Them Honest
Ethics Survey: Behavioral health leaders examine industry conduct

March 1, 2017 – “The industry is not corrupt,” says Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). “There are unethical players but to paint the entire addiction treatment industry with that brush is unfair. And we have to be absolutely clear to the public about that.” … Federal raids on sober homes and addiction treatment centers in Florida in the past six months have resulted in 19 arrests and helped bring to light the prevalence of fraudulent and illegal activities within the state’s profitable treatment industry. In most cases, investigators alleged patient brokering schemes, illegal kickbacks and identity theft. And what’s happening in Florida is happening in other markets around the country. It’s exceedingly difficult to quantify the scope of such unethical practices, but…

But Don’t Stop Reading This
Warning: Your New Digital World Is Highly Addictive  

Technology now is designed to make it “irresistible,” argues psychology and marketing professor Adam Alter. The implications are huge. For example, behavioral addiction has the capacity to damage relationships between friends and romantic partners (by replacing face-to-face interactions with impoverished online interactions), to make people less healthy by encouraging them to exercise too seldom (by making screens more attractive) and sometimes too often (by inducing them to overexercise with the aid of fitness watches that encourage activity escalation), and by encouraging them to overspend on experiences like in-app game purchases and online shopping. 

Sad Picture
Benefit honors local photographer lost to opioid addiction   

Mar. 8, 2017 – “I was inundated with painkillers when I was 16 years old by my doctors,” Nick said. “So it was in our house really early. My dad was on methadone treatment as far [back] as I can remember.” Eventually, their father died at 56 years old, and both brothers developed an opioid addiction. Nick went to rehab in his late 20s and recovered; Rick succumbed to a heroin overdose at 33 years old on Dec. 15, 2016.

Wall Street Celebrates  VIDEO
Scott Gottlieb, a physician with deep drug-industry ties, to run the FDA VIDEO   

His selection is a victory for the mainstream pharmaceutical industry … President Trump announced late Friday that he will nominate Scott Gottlieb, a conservative physician and businessman with deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry, to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. If confirmed, Gottlieb would bring a strong pro-industry, deregulatory approach to an agency that Trump has criticized as being overly restrictive. But he is also likely to support one of the agency’s basic functions: to ensure that drugs are proven safe and effective before they are sold.

Time to Clean Up California?
CCAPP Legislative ALERT-CA 

CCAPP is sponsoring Senate Bill 636 (Bradford). This bill would reform the private payment market for addiction treatment by prohibiting treatment centers from diverting money from patient care to pay “kickbacks” to referring agents, regulating addiction treatment call centers, and reducing relapse and fraud by prohibiting dangerous direct “pay to patient” policies that result in large cash payments being made to addicts in early recovery.  The bill is set for hearing on March 29… 

The War Within VIDEO

Brutal ending to mom’s descent into heroin addiction VIDEO

March 11, 2017 – Jordan King’s parents knew heroin addiction might kill her, but they never thought her life would end in such a brutal way. Jordan died a week after she was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on an Indianapolis street on a cold January night. Marks left along gravel and salt indicate the 25-year-old woman had been dragged from a car for 75 feet..

Father Knows Best
Can a recovering alcoholic be a great dad? The answer is ‘Yes’  

He calls himself Michael Graubart, which is not his real name. He uses that name because he is a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous and does not want to break his anonymity. He’s just published a book titled “Sober Dad: The Manual for Perfectly Imperfect Parenting,” with Hazelden, a leading publisher of recovery books. The book is already #1 on Amazon’s New Releases list for books on Alcoholism and Recovery, and is #2 on the New Releases list for parenting. 

The American Way … of Death
 Woman’s Overdose at 22 Puts Best Friend On Mission

March 10, 2017 – “You never ever would have expected her to turn to drugs,” Conroy said of Kylie Gnehm, of Ringwood, who died at just 22 … Conroy, of the Haskell section of Wanaque, said Gnehm was one of the first few people she knew around her age to die of a heroin overdose, but sadly, that count has now reached about 12. “It was literally every couple months,” she said. “Like we couldn’t mourn one friend, and we were at another funeral already,” she said. Conroy decided she had to do something to help prevent more deaths… 

Halfway House to Nowhere
Number of recovery homes down from 200 to 80 in Prescott 

March 10, 2017 – Prescott’s sober-living-home committee wants to see results from recently imposed city regulation: Officials say progress is being made; committee members question that … That was the sometimes-heated debate that played out during a meeting of the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Committee on Structured Sober Living Homes Wednesday evening.
Throughout much of 2016, the Prescott City Council discussed how best to handle the reported proliferation of group recovery homes in the community.

Addictator  NPR AUDIO

“Hitler Was ‘Blitzed’ On Cocaine And Opiates During The War NPR AUDIO

March 7, 2017 Author Norman Ohler tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross that Hitler did have a secret, but it wasn’t a weapon. Instead, it was a mix of cocaine and opioids that he had become increasingly dependent upon … Ohler’s new book, Blitzed, which is based in part on the papers of Hitler’s private physician, describes the role of drugs within the Third Reich. He cites three different phases of the Fuhrer’s drug use. “The first one are the vitamins given in high doses intravenously. The second phase starts in the fall of 1941 with the first opiate…

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Welcome to 2017
To our Readers and Advertisers:
An Open Letter from Leonard Buschel Publisher/Editor of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin

Gratitude is always in season, and as we begin 2017, I want to thank our readers and astute progressive advertisers for your loyalty and confidence. The Addiction/ Recovery eBulletin is approaching four and a half years of continued growth and influence. This would not have been possible without the support of “The Good Guys” – our sponsors who continually stand on the side of truth, integrity and Best Practices. It is an honor to serve our readers and a responsibility I do not take lightly.

Go Make a Movie
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Addiction/Recovery eBulletin Publisher & Editor:
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 Tom Hayden comes out, posthumously
“Goodbye friend” by Gary S.    

I read every obituary I could find about the passing of my friend Tom Hayden. Heaps of praise were lavished upon this true hero and warrior of my generation. I admired him for all his deeply felt beliefs and envied the courage he displayed standing up for what he believed in. While his life was observed in great detail, not a single mention was made of an arena I knew Tom engaged in during the last years of his life; that being the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. (printed with the permission of the Hayden family) 

Let’s THC if it Works
Can Joe Schrank successfully treat opioid addiction with cannabis? 

March 9, 2017 – When Joe Schrank got the call six years ago that his friend Greg Giraldo had been found unconscious after an overdose in a New Jersey hotel room, he was not surprised. Giraldo, a comedian, had cycled through the addiction loop for years, and Schrank had tried in vain to save him. “Greg’s death really rattled me to the core,” says Schrank, a trained social worker who works with addicts. “He tried the abstinence route and it never really took root. I felt like rehab had failed him, and his family. It failed me. I kept thinking he could be smoking pot instead of dead. That’s a big difference.”

Saturday Night Sobriety  VIDEO
Pete Davidson Pops In On ‘Weekend Update’ To Poke Fun At His Own Sobriety VIDEO

I don’t think there’s any shortage of praise for Pete Davidson around these parts. His SNL appearances are usually worth your attention, especially on Weekend Update, and he’s cut his own mark with his stand-up career. Not only that, but it seems his personal life provides plenty of fascination for people, be it the tragic loss of his father on September 11th or his recent announcement that he is sober for the first time in 8 years. He brought up that last point during his appearance on last night’s SNL, poking fun at himself  

Walking The Walk  VIDEO
Heather Hayes “A Nation Held Hostage” SUD Talk 2017 VIDEO

Mar. 6, 2017 – Heather Hayes was the Visionary Speaker at SUD Talks 2017: SUD is an opportunity for individuals, communities and cities across the country to join together in a national conversation and engage in a united call-to-action. The main event was live from the historic Crest Theater in Delray Beach and live streamed via social media platforms throughout the nation.  On behalf of the Delray Beach Drug Task Force we invite you to Stand Together As One and lead efforts that change the way we think, feel, believe and treat Substance Use Disorder across the United States.

Moving On  VIDEO
SAMHSA CIO, Mr. Donald Cox, Joins Virtual Rehab’s Advisory Board VIDEO  

Virtual Rehab, the leader in reducing the number of repeated offenses and re-incarceration rates through Virtual Reality educational and rehabilitation programs, has announced today the joining of Mr. Donald Cox its Advisory Board. Mr. Cox is the Chief Information Officer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services …

Booze: What is it Good for?
Alcohol can cause hypo- glycaemia: 9 signs YOU could have dangerous low blood sugar 

March 6, 2017 – “People should be careful when drinking alcohol as it can also cause hypoglycaemia, sometimes many hours after drinking.” said: “When we drink alcohol, the alcohol can inhibit the liver’s ability to release glucose into the blood. “This can be particularly significant for people on stronger medication such as insulin because it can mean that the liver is not able to release enough glycogen to keep our blood glucose levels from going too low under the influence of the insulin in our body.

A New Kind of Winning
Ex-gambling addict devotes life to helping others with disease 

3/10/2017 – But it wasn’t until Arnie Wexler made his first trip to a horse race track that he became fully invested. He was 14 years old and won $54…
“I was making 50 cents an hour sweeping floors and delivering packages in the garment district of New York, and when I won that money at the track I felt like a rich man,” he says. “I said to myself, ‘Wow! I could become a millionaire from gambling.’ That was the turning point. I was hooked.”…Gambling soon took precedence over everything. He tells the story how his wife endured 37 hours of labor before delivering their first child and how he left the hospital three times to bet at local tracks.


War On Drug Addicts
Overhaul of US Drug Policy is Long Overdue   

March 9, 2017 – A new report from the Office of the Surgeon General, “Facing Addiction in America,” suggests that an overhaul of U.S. drug policy is long overdue, according to a new issue brief from a drug policy expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The surgeon general’s report is meant to be a call to action against the public health crisis of addiction, according to the brief’s author, Katharine Neill, the Baker Institute’s Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy. It brings an authoritative voice to the current national debate over how to confront addiction in the face of rising rates of opioid-related overdoses and confirms what many observers have claimed-that addiction requires compassion and treatment, not punishment… 

Euphoric Negation
America’s Opioid Epidemic is Worsening  

Mar 6, 2017 –
In 2014 more Americans sought treatment for heroin than for any other drug. In 2015, as total opioid deaths grew by 15%, heroin deaths increased by 23%. To stem the tide of deadly overdoses, states rely increasingly on naloxone, a drug that reverses heroin’s effect on the brain and jump-starts breathing in addicts who have overdosed. First approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1971, naloxone has been used by doctors and paramedics for decades. In recent years, states struggling with a surge in overdose deaths have passed laws making the drug available…  

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National Dispair?
As obesity keeps rising, more Americans are just giving up  

In the first survey period, between 1988 and 1994, about 56% of overweight or obese adults reported they had tried to lose weight in the last year. By the last survey period, between 2009 and 2014, the proportion of overweight or obese respondents reporting recent weight-loss attempts had declined to about 49% … In the first survey, 66% of black women who were overweight or obese said they had tried to lose weight in the last 12 months. By the last period, 55% of overweight or obese black women said they had made weight-loss efforts. 

Step 1 In the Right Direction
N.J. hires company to provide drug treatment for inmates   

March 9, 2017 – Christie’s office called the contract award to Gateway a “major” step in the transformation of the Burlington County facility from a prison to a resource center, which Christie, in a statement, said “will save lives, break the costly cycle of addiction, avoid recidivism and help countless people return as productive members of their families and our society.” The contract is for 5 years and can be renewed three times, for one year each, Christie’s office said. Gateway will get $29.2 million the next 5 years under the contract.

Cash Rehabs=Cash Funerals? VIDEO
New health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans VIDEO   

March 9 – The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide. Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.

Not The Best Publicity
Hawaii Five-O’ Season 7, Episode 19 

March 8, 2017 – The synopsis for “Puka ‘ana” (Exodus) posted on TV Guide states, “McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Kono (Grace Park) suspect that an abused girl may be the victim of a sex trafficking ring on the island. Meanwhile, Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Grover (Chi McBride) investigate a murder at a sober-living facility.” … Meanwhile, Chin and Grover will do some investigating of their own after being called in after a murder at a sober-living facility, a home for people recovering from substance abuse.

Narcan & Methadone at 7-11?
Health Bill Could Kill Treatment

March 9, 2017 – “If we weaken the Medicaid system at all, it’s going to make it impossible to turn this (epidemic) around. Impossible,” said Dr. Jeremy Engel of St. Elizabeth Family Physicians in Northern Kentucky … Nearly 30% of those who got coverage through the Medicaid expansion suffer from a mental health disease or an addiction to substances, such as opioids or alcohol, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration …. “What they’re proposing impacts people with mental illness and addiction more than any other disease,” said Linda Rosenberg, president/CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. People with mental illness and addiction are driven to poverty because of their illnesses.

No Shit Sherlock
Painkiller limits dramatically reduce drug dependence    

March 8, 2017 Overprescribing of opioids by doctors and other health-care providers is widely blamed for helping to start the epidemic now gripping the nation. Nearly 180,000 people have died of overdoses of prescription narcotics since 2000, and tens of thousands more have succumbed to overdoses of heroin and fentanyl as the crisis has evolved..

Reporting on Sober Success Story
Ex-journalist praised after going public on alcoholism battle

March 6, 2017 – If anyone feels they might be going through something similar, then I’d say when the time is right reach out for help. Ring AA, call a friend, make an appointment with your GP, tell a trusted editor or a union rep. You being on top form is absolutely what you deserve.” … A former regional daily journalist who battled alcoholism while working as a reporter has won praise for speaking out about her experiences. Esther Beadle, left, who was assistant news editor at the Oxford Mail for two years, has gone public on her fight against…


Udderly Possible  VIDEO
The Horse Milk Story The Dalai Lama Told John Oliver VIDEO 

The Dalai Lama says he made a difference. In an interview last Sunday with news comedian John Oliver, the Tibetan spiritual leader said, “I suggested [to the Mongolians] drink much less vodka. Instead of that, drink horse milk.” … “You tried to wean them off vodka by giving them horse milk?” Oliver replied, incredulously. “Oh yes. Then they follow,” the Dalai Lama said. “Since then I think majority of Mongolians no longer any drink.” The Dalai Lama was encouraging people to drink more airag, a fermented brew made from mare’s milk… 

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Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk
Mackenzie Phillips wants to help you recover from addiction too  

March 10, 2017 – Mackenzie Phillips knows all too well the triggers that lead to addiction.
The actress, who shot to stardom while on the 1970s sitcom “One Day at a Time,” had a number of public bouts with addiction since first experimenting with drugs while still a child … While on a lunch break recently, Phillips talked about how people can be “fully realized individuals beneath the addictions.”
Phillips also channeled that insight and clarity into her new book, “Hopeful Healing: Essays on Managing Recovery and Surviving Addiction, a chatty, intimate tome intended to help people equip themselves with the skills to live a happier life – even if they’re not necessarily fighting serious addictions… 

Keeping it REEL … Recovery
Film seeks to rewire thinking on drug abuse   

Mar. 10, 2017 – I grew up in an era of magical thinking, when the solution to poverty lay in the mystical machinations of trickle-down economics, and “Just say no” was the strategy for both drug addiction and abstinence-only sex education. The tendency of wishful policy-making to frustrate its own goals – more poverty, drug use and teenaged pregnancy – has helped drive a shift toward evidence-based policy. But enduring stigma around addiction, long perceived as a character weakness, has meant a slow, upward climb. Years of evidence supports harm-reduction strategies for drug users. Needle exchange programs reduce the spread of HIV and other blood-borne infections.

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