Surgeon General Vivek Murthy: Addiction is Chronic Brain Disease
In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry issued a landmark report on tobacco and health that changed the course of American history, spurring the decline of smoking in the United States. More than 50 years later, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy hopes he can do something similar for addiction. Murthy’s new report on alcohol, drugs and health is the first in which a surgeon general addresses substance use disorders as a disease the nation can address. In the more than 400-page report “Facing Addiction in America,” released Thursday, Murthy recommends…
Affluenza Anonymous: Rehab for the Young, Rich, and Addicted
Bloomberg Business Week: It’s easy to sneer, but maybe there’s something to the premise that wealthy kids have a particular set of mental health and addiction problems. Tall, lean, and lantern-jawed, Jamison Monroe Jr. could pass for a third Winklevoss brother. His childhood in Texas, as he recalls it, was a series of misadventures with addiction: pretending to have ADHD in ninth grade to get Adderall; getting booted from his Houston prep school; being arrested five times and cycling through four rehabs, all with no real effect. He was a spoiled rich kid, the namesake of a prominent Houston financier. “I had such low self-esteem and such severe depression that drugs and alcohol worked,” Monroe says. Until, of course, they didn’t.
Researchers found that people who used marijuana were twice as likely to later develop a heart condition called transient ventricular regional ballooning (TVRB) than those who did not use marijuana. TVRB is a form of cardiomyopathy, which is a sudden weakening of the heart muscle that can mimic symptoms of a heart attack. The symptoms can include chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath, but the condition is often temporary … None of the people in the study who had used marijuana died from the heart condition after being admitted to the hospital, so the study does not link marijuana use to deaths … However, people “should be aware that certain cardiovascular abnormalities and complications can occur from marijuana use,”…
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Canadian Quits Drinking – Life Improves
Life after Great Big Sea, Séan McCann on his 5 years of sobriety VIDEO
After decades of performing and drinking heavily with the iconic Canadian band Great Big Sea, Séan McCann has dropped the booze and picked up a new lease on life. “November 9, I will be five years sober,” McCann said. “Just because I quit drinking didn’t mean the band was going to stop, it was a very hard place to be around. I left money behind for sure and certainly some friendships but I am alive and that is what is most important to my family especially.”
Skilled Nursing Facility fined $100,000 after residents overdose on heroin
An Illinois skilled nursing facility is facing more than $100,000 in state and federal penalties after five of its residents overdosed on heroin in February, according to local reports. The five residents of Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation in Chicago were hospitalized and recovered following the overdoses, the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday. Two residents then allegedly used heroin within hours of returning to the facility, with one overdosing again.
Should People in Recovery From Alcohol or Drugs Use Medical Marijuana?
Should people in recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction use medical marijuana? Can medical cannabis provide alcoholics and drug addicts in recovery needed pain relief, or is it a threat to their recovery – and their lives? … Unlike other patients, people in recovery have a history of substance abuse – and using a potentially addictive substance could be disastrous for those who are essentially in remission from their drinking problem and/or drug addiction, several addiction specialists say. Using medical marijuana could wreck an alcoholic’s or addict’s recovery, they explained…
A glass of wine with dinner? Or maybe some marijuana? Denver voters have approved a first-in-the-nation law allowing willing bars and restaurants to give patrons the option to use marijuana alongside a cocktail or meal. The catch: Smoking pot won’t be allowed inside, and the locations would have to first get the approval of neighbors. Denver voters approved Proposition 300 on the same day that the nation’s largest state of California and two others legalized pot for all adults and five more states approved pot for sick people – signs of society’s increasing tolerance for the drug.
“Getting sober just exploded my life. Now I have a much clearer sense of myself and what I can and can’t do. I am more successful than I have ever been. I feel very positive where I never did before, and I think that’s all a direct result of getting sober.” – Jamie Lee Curtis
Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine after taking a break from Loose Women duties to focus on saving her marriage, the ex-page 3 model defiantly stated her belief that her husband’s “trysts,” usually in her stables or in supermarket carparks, were a consequence of sex addiction. “I know people sneer, but if I didn’t believe Kieran had had an addiction, there’s no way I would be with him now,” states Price. Upon discovering the affair, Price tweeted she was immediately filing for divorce. “Sorry to say me and Kieran are divorcing. Him and my best friend jane pountney bee[n] having a full blown sexual affair for 7 months,” she posted. But the London-born model eventually reconsidered and committed to trying to maintain the relationship on the condition that Hayler underwent addiction therapy.
Marijuana Can Treat Opioid Addiction And Alcoholism?
Researchers over at the University of British Columbia found a new way to treat alcoholism and opioid addiction – and I bet you would’ve never guessed it: it’s marijuana. According to Zach Walsh, a professor of psychology and the lead investigator, using marijuana as an exit drug can reduce the ability to rely on more dangerous substances, like opioids. In the study, researchers also found that medical marijuana can have some mental health benefits but only to certain people. Marijuana is said to be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression, social anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, that’s not to say it’s safe for everyone; mental health professionals discourage the use of marijuana for patients suffering from psychosis and bipolar disorder.
READ MORE @ MentalDaily.com
Follow the Money
Venezuelan president’s relatives found guilty in US cocaine trial
Two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady were found guilty on Friday on US charges that they tried to carry out a multimillion-dollar drug deal to obtain a large amount of cash to help their family stay in power … The case has been an embarrassment for Maduro amid economic and political crises in the South American nation. The case was one of several in which US prosecutors have linked individuals tied to the Venezuelan government to drug trafficking.
Trump’s attorney general: ‘Good people don’t smoke marijuana’ VIDEO
Advocates for legalization are, conversely, sounding the alarm. “Jeff Sessions is a drug war dinosaur, which is the last thing the nation needs now,” Ethan Nadelmann, of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “Those who counted on Donald Trump’s reassurance that marijuana reforms ‘should be a state issue’ will be sorely disappointed.” Sessions’s anti-pot positions have been consistent throughout his career. As far back as 1986, he joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was okay until I found out they smoked pot.”
Antibiotic Could Help Treat Alcohol Use Disorder by Texas Tech University
In research described in four companion papers published by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the teams first reported the screening of several tetracycline drugs to see if all were effective in reducing alcohol use. The results pointed to a specific structural component of the drugs as responsible for positive outcomes and led to the discovery that tigecycline, a minocycline analog, was highly effective in reducing binge and chronic consumption, in both dependent and non-dependent animals.
Grandparents Step in to Raise Children of Addicts VIDEO
The smallest victims of drug addiction – the children of addicts – often go unheard, but in some cases, their grandparents are stepping in to raise them. Baltimore-area residents Mary and Ed Grabenstein have custody of their granddaughter, 6-year-old Lexi, whose mother, Janet, struggled with drug addiction for years: first pills, then heroin. “Drugs totally had taken what love she had for her daughter,” Mary Grabenstein said. When she saw the conditions Lexi was living in with her parents, she was appalled. “Drugs. That’s all Lexi saw was drugs,” she said.
Rodent trials suggest screen-addiction hurts child development
A new study from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute may have taken the first step towards confirming something my parents have been telling me for decades: too much TV rots your brain. Well, at least it does for mice. Scientists found that raising groups of mice in an environment designed to simulate extreme screen exposure developed behaviors similar to those found in children with ADHD – resulting in adult mice with more memory problems and less patience.
This book was written by a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous (37 years) who was approaching the end of his life. He wanted to write his story down so that others might benefit from his experience, strength, and hope. Paul completed “Bottoms Up during the late stages of a terminal illness. He was in a great deal of pain and dependent on oxygen, but he wrote every day, absolutely determined to get his book written and published before it was too late. He had a real commitment to helping others, the way some had reached out to help him.
Rabbi charged with sex abuse to get 1 year of counseling
“Rabbi Sholom D. Levitansky has agreed to one year of counseling and residential treatment at Beit T’Shuvah an addiction treatment center near Culver City, after pleading no contest to two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor. Levitansky was arrested in the fall of 2015 on felony charges relating to the sexual abuse of two teenage female victims, between 1998 and 2002. Read More at Jewish Journal
Go Make a Movie
REEL Recovery Film Festival
is a social, educational, networking and recovery forum showcasing first-time filmmakers and experienced professionals who make films about addiction and recovery. Our audience is treatment professionals, people in recovery, members of the entertainment industry, media representatives, educated moviegoers & the general public.
Philadelphia Addiction Professionals React to Surgeon General’s Report VIDEO
“People can feel confident that the stigma of substance use may be changing. People can actually get help without feeling concerned that people may know they have a substance use disorder,” Dr. Karen Mechanic of the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital told NBC10. With President-elect Donald Trump taking office, it’s uncertain whether access to addiction treatment will improve or deteriorate. Trump and the Republican-led Congress are pledging to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which made addiction treatment an essential health benefit.
The Addicts Comedy Duo Proves Addiction Can Be Funny
Mark Lundholm and Kurt Matthews, aka The Addicts, have built comedy careers by making their respective recovery processes not only relatable, but funny. No, it wasn’t funny when Matthews got in a drunk-driving accident in 1984 and almost killed himself and the girls in the other car. Losing relationships and being arrested wasn’t necessarily funny, either. But both Lundholm and Matthews recognize the humor in their flaws. “The insanity is funny,” says Lundholm.
Experimental drug at the center of addiction treatment in prisons VIDEO
The evidence for giving Vivitrol to inmates is thin but promising. In the biggest study, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 300 offenders – most of them heroin users on probation or parole – were randomly assigned to receive either Vivitrol or brief counseling and referral to a treatment program. After six months, the Vivitrol group had a lower rate of relapse, 43 percent compared with 64 percent. A year after treatment stopped, there had been no overdoses in the Vivitrol group and seven overdoses, including three deaths, in the other group.
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Treatment Advocacy Organizations Too?
Cancer Patient Advocates Like Pharma Money
The authors reviewed the websites of the various Patient Advocacy Organizations and recorded all reported biopharma sponsors. They found extensive ties, which is compromising, suggested Dr Prasad. “The one issue that patient advocates are most silent about is the crushing cost of cancer drugs,” he told Medscape Medical News. “Advocating for drug approval means nothing if patients cannot afford the medication.” “Money buys silence [about high drug prices],” said Karuna Jaggar, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, a San Francisco-based PAO, about the effect of biopharma funding on PAOs’ attitudes about drug prices. Breast Cancer Action does not accept biopharma funding.
Oxycontin’s 12-hour label may have contributed to widespread addiction VIDEO
In just the first half of 2016 more than 500 people died in Virginia from a prescription painkiller or heroin overdose. 8News is digging into what is causing the epidemic. Oxycontin, a powerful painkiller, hit the market two decades ago with bold promises. One of these was that Oxycontin could provide 12 hours of relief from chronic pain. But 8News has discovered that some of those promises may have been false and deceptive.
Let’s play a game. Let’s play, “What addiction movie are you?” Not necessarily your favorite movie, or the one that should have won an Academy Award, but the one that most accurately reflects your journey – whether it be the struggle, the recovery, or both. The one with that one scene or line of dialogue or character that really hits home. Of course, the first movie I will mention is The Verdict starring Paul Newman as the down-and-out alcoholic trial lawyer, Frank Galvin.
How Big Pharma profits from the pain caused by painkillers. You knew addiction had gone fully mainstream when TV ads suddenly appeared offering remedies for an affliction most people had never heard of: Opioid Induced Constipation. It turns out that along with such dire side effects as abuse, addiction, overdose and death, opioids can leave you really backed up. Physicians wrote 249 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers last year, which has created a big market for stool softeners. OIC remedies aren’t the only way the pharmaceutical industry profits from addiction. Medications for treating addiction and drugs for reversing overdoses are also big money-makers.
Walk the Talk with Step 12: Staying Sober Through Service
The culmination of all of the steps, Step 12 calls on each of us to complete our transformation from a self-centered existence fueled by addiction to one of joy and freedom through service to others. In Walk the Talk with Step 12 Gary K. explores the the history of Step 12 and redefines what it means to practice this critical step in modern times. Through inspiring testimonials, including the author’s own dramatic story as a survivor of 9/11, we learn how a life of service extends far beyond helping other alcoholics and addicts, and reveals the power of such practices as honesty, tolerance, and love in stabilizing and supporting long term recovery.
South Florida’s opioid overdose crisis: At least 800 expected to die by end of 2016
In Miami-Dade County, there have been 228 overdose deaths due to fentanyl and carfentanil so far this year, a three-fold increase from 2015. Of those, 107 have involved overdoses from carfentanil since July 1, according to the medical examiner’s office. On the front lines of the epidemic are the firefighter-paramedics of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Station 2, in September named by Firehouse Magazine the busiest firehouse in the nation. Last year units from the station at 528 NW 2nd St. went out on more than 33,000 calls, an average of 90 a day.
READ MORE @ Sun-Sentinel.com
Sober as an Irishman
70 years, AA in Ireland
That meeting was also in fact the first one in Europe and came 11 years after AA started in Akron, Ohio, when two alcoholics – one a struggling businessman, the other a doctor – came together almost by chance and realised that by talking openly with each other about their drinking they could possibly stay sober on a daily basis. The meeting in Dublin grew from a small kernel in the following few years, thanks to the efforts of dedicated members, one of the most able of whom was a retired army officer, Sackville O’C.M. who came to his first meeting in April 1947. He was involved in setting up the first meeting in Cork city in 1949 where after a shaky start it flourished. In the mid-1950s the first meetings were in West Cork, for a short time in Bantry, and then in Dunmanway where it struck deep, permanent roots.
Turning Grief Into Art After Losing A Loved One To Opioid Overdose NPR AUDIO
In the audio recording that accompanies her work, Houston-Bean describes her son as a “brilliant soul” who was derailed by drugs in college. Nick was drug-free for seven months and seemed to be doing well. “Everything was clicking right. And he relapsed once and passed away,” she says. “I love him and I miss him so much, but he knows that because I live every day trying to do something. I do it in his memory so everybody knows about Nick and knows about Nick’s story and that it can happen to that boy next door.”
Growing number of AA groups taking God out of equation
It’s not God or any other “higher power” that keeps Ed from drinking. That’s all “playing games,” says the 74-year-old from Upper Arlington. What keeps the atheist sober are the people in the meetings he attends, and the powerful relationships he has with them. Ed meets with a group called Secular Sobriety, and though it’s based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model, its members don’t use the 12 steps, nor do they pray or discuss religion or the “higher power” that traditional AA refers to. Secular Sobriety, which meets in…
READ MORE @ Dispatch.com
No Lunesta Required
Why dreams are important to healing and health
Can art and imagery heal? “Oh yes, definitely,” said Dr. Joven Cuanang, who, some time ago, hosted a lecture by Todd B. Peyton, a licensed counselor with a master’s degree in Depth Psychology … The Egyptian god Ra was said to travel daily to the underworld using a boat called a barque. In the morning, he would bring daylight to everyone; Ra represented the sun in Egyptian lore, and evening was when he would be at the final stage of his journey. In the underworld, Ra would fight various creatures. This struggle in the darkness by Ra reflects our own journey in the dreamworld, explained Peyton.
READ MORE @ Inquirer.net
Los Angeles Skirball Cultural Center – 2017 – 2017
8th Annual Experience, Strength & Hope Awards – Feb. 23 in LA
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 TBA SPECIAL COMEDY performance, from South Florida to you, SARGE (He’s half Jewish and half Black. What could possibly go wrong?) 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
For Rebecca Weller, 39, from Perth, life used to follow a fairly regular pattern.Having discovered alcohol at around age 15 or 16, she would drink most days.’I wouldn’t want the party to end and so I just kept drinking, even after my friends had stopped,’ she said.However, Ms Weller hasn’t touched alcohol since March 2014, and she is now urging other women to embrace sobriety and give booze a break.She spoke candidly about her former alcohol addiction on Channel 7’s Sunday Night..