How some Southern California drug rehab centers exploit addiction
May 21, 2017 – For five patients treated at one center, Grajeda paid a total of $1,193 in upfront insurance costs. Those patients went on to generate claims of more than $4 million to Blue Shield, state records show...Though many legitimate centers remain, critics and long-time insiders say a darker version of the industry is emerging, built around an illicit world of patient recruiters, fraud-driven clinics and drug-testing mills … Everything from the opioid epidemic and Obamacare to prison realignment and legal loopholes has created conditions in which unethical operators can flourish, using addicts to bilk insurance companies and the public out of hundreds of millions of dollars … State records show that Rueben “Benji” Grajeda, a one-time methamphetamine dealer with a half-dozen felony convictions in Orange and Los Angeles counties, took on a side job in 2014 – connecting addicts to rehab centers…
Sobriety for Sale: Clinic inspectors say state agency foiled their investigations VIDEO
May 17, 2017 – Two state workers charged with reviewing the operations of state-licensed drug and alcohol treatment centers say KING 5’s ongoing investigation into corrupt clinics correctly revealed failures in oversight by the agency charged with policing the treatment industry. One of those workers, Tammy Wright, cited as an example an investigation she worked on that turned up forged documents at a licensed drug and alcohol treatment center in Spanaway called “Abracadabra.”
Travis Barker, Blink-182 drummer, opens up about drug addiction… VIDEO
May 17, 2017 – Travis Barker opened up about how he turned to drugs after surviving a plane crash and overcoming his addiction. The Blink-182 drummer’s plane from South Carolina to California crashed during takeoff in 2008 and two of his friends died. Barker survived and was left with second- and third-degree burns; he spent 11 weeks in the hospital and underwent 27 surgeries, as well as blood transfusions and skin grafts.
…Pharmaceutical heroin a potential lifesaver in opioid epidemic
May 20, 2017 – Giving people with severe addictions prescription heroin could save lives as Canada continues to struggle with an opioid overdose epidemic, says Health Minister Jane Philpott. “I know this is a challenging concept for some people to think about, but the reality is that when people go out on the streets they often commit crimes to be able to get the drugs they need. They’re buying dirty drugs and they’re dying,”…
TED is one of the world’s premier cultural events, providing not just a chance for the thousand or so attendees to hear from some of the smartest people around, but also opening up this knowledge to millions of learners around the world through the event’s wildly popular online videos. But those aren’t the only ways the much-buzzed-about conference promises to expand intellects and spur fresh thinking. The event’s world-class speakers also regularly recommend books for further reading from the stage…
Driver Plows Into Times Square Crowds, Killing Teenager – Reports driver tested positive for synthetic drug VIDEO
May 18, 2017 – A man police say may have been high on synthetic marijuana plowed a car through crowded Times Square on Thursday, careening into pedestrians and killing an 18-year-old tourist before crashing into security bollards. The House is moving to regulate powered alcohol on the same basis as the regular kind. Two House bills would amend Texas law to include powdered alcohol as a regulated substance. Richard Rojas, 26, was taken into custody after the crash that injured 22 people in addition to the teenager who was killed. Rojas, a U.S. Navy veteran and Bronx native who had several prior DUI arrests, tested positive for the banned synthetic drug K2, according to local reports.
Sobering Truth About Addiction Treatment in America
May 8, 2017 – Currently most people who enter treatment are subjected to archaic care, some of which does more harm than good. Only about 10 percent of people who need treatment for drug-use disorders get any whatsoever. Of those who do, a majority enter programs with practices that would be considered barbaric if they were common in treatment systems for other diseases … Many programs reject science and employ one-size-fits-all-addicts treatment. Patients are often subjected to a slipshod patchwork of unproven therapies.
Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl NPR AUDIO
May 16, 20117 – In the day room at St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction, which runs a needle exchange program in the Bronx, a group of guys are playing dominoes and listening to salsa music while they wait for lunch. And Van Asher, one of the staffers in charge of “transactions” – that means he gives out needles – is talking up his latest idea for how to keep the users here safe. He wants to tell them what’s really in their stash.
Addict, Enabler, Hero, Scapegoat, Mascot, Lost Child
Six Roles in a Dysfunctional or Alcoholic Family
I want to preface this article by saying that I know that labeling people doesn’t usually feel good and often it isn’t accurate. However, it can be useful in getting a general picture of the common dynamics in families dealing with addiction. Like anything else, please take the aspects of these family roles that apply to you and your family and leave the rest. Individuals and family systems are complex. In reality, people don’t fall neatly into categories. You may have played more than one role at different times in your life or you may identify with a combination of these traits and coping strategies.
May 16, 2017 – It’s the first non-alcoholic beer with a Heineken Label … Though non-alcoholic beers are still a bit of an afterthought in the American market, zero alcohol beers have seen growing sales in the Europe…Meanwhile, Heineken points out that in Spain, for example, zero strength beer already has about a 10 percent market share. “You could expect 10 to 15 years down the road this would be more or less the global trend,” senior Heineken brand director Gianluca Di Tondo told Reuters. “We want to make Heineken the leading global beer brand in 0.0.”
With No Oversight, How Sober is ‘Sober Living’ in New Hampshire? NPR AUDIO
May 18, 2017 – When recovering from an opioid addiction, one important step is finding safe, drug-free housing. There are a lot of places in New Hampshire that call themselves ‘sober living.’ But with no state oversight there’s no real way to check how sober these houses actually are … If you ask those in the recovery community about sober living in Manchester, most will describe it like this: “Anybody and everybody can say they’re a recovery house and nobody knows who is really and who isn’t a recovery house – it’s a crap shoot.
SPECIAL REPORT: Is addiction a choice or a disease? VIDEO
May 16, 2017 – Part of battling the growing drug epidemic is understanding what it is: It’s an addiction. While many argue that addiction is a personal choice, most experts say it’s anything but. The general consensus among psychiatrists and counselors is that addiction is a brain disease. Melissa Greer died. Her heart stopped beating when she overdosed. “I think when I overdosed and my son found me dead, that is something they can never come back from…
Is America’s Drug Problem Fueling a Binge Drinking Epidemic?
May 17 2017 – Drinking too much can sneak up on you. In women, four drinks in a span of two hours, for example, is considered binge drinking (that’s two sake bombs). And as it turns out, for every year since 2013, 32 million Americans reported drinking at increasingly dangerous levels. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine today calculated an increase in drinking over the past decade, escalating from 31 percent to 39.6 percent of adults drinking five or more drinks in two hours. The problem is especially rampant among college-age Americans, with 49 percent of men and 30 percent of women consuming two or three times over the binge threshold.
‘The pill mill of America’: where drugs mean there are no good choices, only less awful ones
May 17, 2017 – Portsmouth, Ohio, once known for making things (steel, shoes, bricks), is now known for drugs, and labeled by some as the “pill mill of America”. The city peaked at 40,000 people in 1940, and as it emptied of factories and jobs – some made obsolete, some moved away – it also emptied of people and hope. Now it is a town half the size, filled with despair and filling with drugs. On my first night in town, a beat-up car parks next to me, positioned in the darkness cast by my van. The passenger, a middle-aged woman, injects the driver in the neck. He stays still, head tilted to expose a vein, as she works the needle in, while two young boys play in the back seat.
Philippine President Attacks Neuroscientist Carl Hart for Speaking Against Drug War: ‘That Black Guy … Son of a Bitch Has Gone Crazy’
May 17, 2017 – Carl Hart, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and chair of the psychology department at Columbia University, was forced to cut a trip to the Philippines short earlier this month because of death threats sparked, in part, by propaganda disguised as media. Hart, the author of High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, was in the Philippines participating in a policy forum on the drug war at the University of the Philippines.
Teen who skipped school for video games goes through treatment in wilderness VIDEO
May 19, 2017 – By the time Al and Christine’s son Josh was 14 years old, he was so consumed with playing video games that he stopped going to school. “He just said, ‘Hey, I’m dropping out,'” his father Al told ABC News “20/20.” Josh would stay up late to play well into the night and sleep in late the next day. His mother said he would often play for as many as 12 hours straight, for as much as 60 hours in a week. They tried to talk to him, Al said, but made little progress. “It’s like, ‘You’ve got to stop … you’ve got to close it down,'” Al said. But he said his son replied, “I can’t.” Their son’s obsession with online gaming began in 8th grade, Al and Christine said. The turning point was when Josh built himself a gaming computer and installed it in his room, Christine added.
To our Readers and Advertisers: An Open Letter from Leonard Buschel Publisher/Editor of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin
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Frenemies Demi Lovato & Miley Cyrus Join Together on Sobriety
MAY 17, 2017 – The alleged feud between Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato may really be over (despite a brief run-in at the L.A. Women’s March). When queried about Cyrus’ recovery, Lovato, a new face of Kate Hudson’s Fabletics, delivered nothing but love. (Cyrus toldBillboard that she’s “completely clean” after giving up alcohol, weed and other drugs.) “I am really proud of Miley,” Lovato, who recently celebrated a five-year sobriety milestone, tells THR. “I think that it helps people to know there are people in the spotlight that have challenges, that are faced with very stressful lives. I think it helps to know that recovery is possible and it’s something that is so important to certain people like myself.”
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Nearly 1.2 million teens die every year from mostly preventable causes
May 16, 2017 – Across the globe, nearly 1.2 million adolescents die each year – more than 3,000 per day – largely from preventable causes, according to new research from the World Health Organization (WHO). The most common causes of death among adolescents are road traffic injuries, lower respiratory infections, and suicide, the report found … The majority of these deaths could be prevented with access to good health services, education, and social support, researchers say. However, in many cases, teens who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, or poor nutrition cannot get these critical prevention and care services – either because the services do not exist where they live or because they do not know about them.
Johnny Mathis Owes His Sobriety to Nancy Reagan VIDEO
May 15, 2017 – Legendary singer Johnny Mathis is forever grateful to Nancy Reagan. The 81-year-old singer credits the former first lady with helping him overcome a drinking problem. In an interview with “Sunday Morning” on CBS, Mathis remembers that Reagan saw him overindulging at a wedding reception.”We were sitting around, you know. I was drinking, and she suggested I might have a problem,” the “Misty” singer said.
May 17, 2017 – It can be made according to a recipe published a couple of years ago in Popular Science. The powder is mixed with a drink, such as water or fruit juice, to make an alcoholic cocktail. According to Wired, a number of states have banned the substance out of safety concerns, and an effort exists to have the FDA ban it nationwide. Home-brewed powdered alcohol is, by all accounts, pretty foul stuff and can lose its potency quickly unless stored in a Ziploc bag. If the product is ever manufactured commercially in Texas, it may be more appetizing. According to the Texas Tribune, the Texas House is moving to regulate powered alcohol on the same basis as the regular kind. Two House bills would amend Texas law to include powdered alcohol as a regulated substance.
May 15, 2017 – Former NFL player Jeff Hatch hit rock bottom while watching the 2006 Super Bowl from his hospital bed while he was recovering from a prescription opioid overdose. When he was forced to retire from pro football after a spinal fusion operation, his big house, souped-up car and million-dollar pro football contract could not mitigate the fact that he was not happy after all his hard work to become a pro athlete. He was left broken and alone. “I pursued all these material things and I (was) miserable.”
Bariatric Surgery Puts Patients at Risk for Alcohol Problems
MAY 16, 2017 – “We knew there was an increase in the number of people experiencing problems with alcohol within the first two years of surgery, but we didn’t expect the number of affected patients to continue to grow throughout seven years of follow-up,” said lead author Wendy C. King, Ph.D … “Because alcohol problems may not appear for several years, it is important that doctors routinely ask patients with a history of bariatric surgery about their alcohol consumption and whether they are experiencing symptoms of alcohol use disorder, and are prepared to refer them to treatment,” said King.
After 6 clinic visits for treatment, woman says communities need to take alcoholism, mental illness seriously
May 18, 2017 – For Angie Payden, recovery is like a game of Jenga, strengthened by individual pieces such as Alcoholics Anonymous, religion, family, friends and more. If she loses one piece, the whole structure could come crashing down. The fragility of sobriety is something Payden knows well…In August, she’ll be four years sober. “This is my last recovery,” she said.
Health warning over dramatic surge in young people’s use of social media
RISING use of social media is having an adverse effect on the health of young people, say researchers from a Scottish university, and the challenges need to be addressed now. Dr. Jo Inchley, from the University of St Andrews, is the lead author of a report for the World Health Organization (WHO) that says the dramatic rise in the use of computers and social media is wreaking havoc on young people’s health. Data for Scotland, England and Wales show that children as young as 11 are spending increasing amounts of time on tablets, computers and smartphones and, as a result…
Addiction in America: Changing Perceptions on Treatment
Watching the news or catching up on Netflix’s most popular series, you’ll notice a trend in what Americans are watching on television: Addiction, both glamorized and raw, is more prevalent than ever in the media. And, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are an estimated 91 overdose deaths a day, it makes sense that addiction is an epidemic dominating the news cycle. Yet, the CDC says the research could still be underestimating the actual number of opioid-related deaths year over year. Opioid-related overdoses have nearly quadrupled from 2012 to 2017, and experts say the epidemic only continues to grow.
Actor Ethan Embry Confesses He Battled Heroin & Pill Addiction VIDEO
May 15, 2017 – So sweet. Interestingly, Ethan currently plays an addict in the comedy Grace & Frankie. Later, Ethan clarified that he has been sober for six years, since many mistook his original confession, thinking he was still in the midst of his addiction. In a series of tweets, actor Ethan Embry revealed that he struggled to beat a nasty drug addiction but has been sober for 6 years. His shocking revelation was prompted by the news of Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordering prosecutors to harshly punish drug offenders … Ethan Embry, 38, made the brave decision to reveal his battle with drug addiction on social media in hopes of spreading awareness. The Can’t Hardly Wait actor’s confession came on Friday, May 12…
Advocate for safe-injection sites dies of OD in Philly’s heroin hellscape
May 19, 2017 – Paul Yabor spent Tuesday volunteering with Prevention Point, handing out clean needles to drug users in Kensington, just as he had done many other times in the last 12 years. Yabor, 55, had devoted much of his life to HIV/AIDS and injection drug-user advocacy. Since January, he had been working to bring a safe and supervised injection site to Philadelphia to replace the festering heroin hellscape in Kensington and Fairhill, where users gather to shoot up along a gorge forged by Conrail tracks. At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Yabor was found face down and unresponsive on a slope covered in used needles leading down to those tracks – the same tracks where he often handed out clean needles or offered help to those in the throes of addiction.
Ex-Power Manager Jonathan Schwartz Talks Sobriety and Preparing for Prison
May 19, 2017 – My treatment is a life treatment. I’ve been to an AA and GA meeting every day since the hearing. In prison, I hope to enter a residential drug and alcohol program wherein, it’s a very – from my understanding, and I’m not an expert in this nor do I profess to be – it’s a very challenging and very extensive program there at the prison. One year of sobriety is not enough. I hope I can be a part of that program and learn. When I get out, whenever that time is, I will continue in the program as I am today because I can’t just not go. I never want to relapse. I want to be a good example for people to follow, not a bad one like I’ve been so far.
May 16, 2017 – Anne Elizabeth Lapointe has developed an expertise in Addiction Prevention and Treatment, working in the field for the past 15 years. Over the years, Anne Elizabeth has helped implant two prevention programs, collaborated on a number of researches, articles and publications. A great communicator, she has given hundreds of conferences on addictions. Her long-term goals are to continue to develop her expertise and leadership in the Addiction Prevention and Treatment field. She’s also developed a niche in ethics which is valuable both for professionals & clients… Q. At which of the schools you attended did you learn the most? A.The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre Q. Which film have you watched the most? A. Probably The Sound of Music Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery? A. John Taylor from Duran Duran Q. What prominent fe/male figure would you most like to date? A. Liam Neeson (why? Do you know him?) Q. TV/cable/digital series? A. HBO’s GIRLS Q. Non-fiction book genre? A. Biographies Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? A. Accepting the offer to become the CEO of my father’s rehab center
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Pet Revival VIDEO
Snuggles Survives Harrowing Heroin Overdose. What does her owner do next? VIDEO
05/18/2017 – A pet rat who overdosed on heroin is alive and well, thanks to some quick-thinking volunteers. On Sunday, the rat, named Snuggles, accidentally ingested some heroin that was left on a table by her owner, a woman in Vancouver. The woman brought a very sick Snuggles to an overdose prevention site in hopes of keeping the animal alive … Snuggles managed to make a full recovery by the next day, with a ravenous appetite.
Subscribe now and receive a FREE download of Russell Brand's interview with Dr. Gabor Maté (3/22/20) as they discuss: The Coronavirus, the infodemic, fear, acceptance, addiction, good books, and turning crisis into opportunity. Courtesy of Addiction Recovery eBulletin® with permission from Russell Brand and Dr. Gabor Maté.