Tuesday, October 28, 2014  *  THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS  *  Vol. 2, No. 10
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AA Distortions by Gabrielle Glaser

Elizabeth Peña: The Real Truth About Alcoholic Women  

Unsupervised group therapy. Anonymity rules help obscure people with criminal records, and many new members, especially women, report being the targets of unwanted sexual advances. A.A. members euphemistically call this “the 13thStep.” Dozens of women wrote to tell me what one study already showed, that a majority are harassed. Many are groped and some are raped. Some are even murdered.  In 2011, Karla Brada Mendez was strangled to death by Eric Allen Earle, a man she met at a 12-step meeting. 


Ballad of a Sad Cafe

Elizabeth Peña’s Cause  

of Death Blamed on  

Alcohol Abuse

Complications related to alcohol abuse were listed as the causes of death for actress Elizabeth Peña, who died Oct. 14 at the age of 55. The Los Angeles County Coroner cited cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol, as well as cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiogenic shock and acute gastrointestinal bleeding.



 43 Films  
7 Days

Laemmle NoHo Cinema    
5240 Lankershim Blvd.  
North Hollywood, CA  
Oct. 24-30, 2014


Experience, Strength and a Great Voice

Former ‘American Top 40’ Host Shadoe Stevens is Celebrating 30 Years Of Sobriety on Oprah! VIDEO

Before he landed that dream job, Shadoe says he was an addict who had been abusing drugs since the late 1960s. Now 30 years sober, “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” caught up with Shadoe at his home in Los Angeles. Every year, he celebrates his sobriety with his wife, former model Beverly Cunningham and two daughters, Amber and China Rose.


Including Bill Gates and Bill Clinton?

No, Marijuana Use Don’t Lower Your IQ  

A 2012 Duke University study made international headlines when it purported to find a link between heavy marijuana use and IQ decline among teenagers. Other researchers questioned the findings almost immediately: Columbia University’s Carl Hart noted the very small sample of heavy users (38) in the study, leading him to question how generalizable the results were. Then, a follow-up study published 6 months later in the same journal found that the Duke paper failed to account for a number of confounding factors. 


Honest and Proud 

Elizabeth Vargas Returning to Work After Rehab 

After seeking treatment foralcohol dependency in August,Elizabeth Vargas is returning to her job at ABC. “So many thx to everyone for your support! It means so much. I am back to work next week, so happy to come back!” she Tweeted on Monday. ABC News confirms to PEOPLE that the mom of two will return as20/20 co-anchor. “Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction,” she told PEOPLE in 2013. “I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming.”


Tell That To Your Doctor

For Most Chronic Pain, Neurologists Say Opioids  

A Bad Choice  

Patients taking opioid painkillers for chronic pain not associated with cancer – conditions such as headaches, fibromyalgia and low-back pain – are more likely to risk overdose, addiction and a range of debilitating side effects than they are to improve their ability to function, a leading physicians group said recently. The long-term use of opioids may not, in the net, be beneficial. 


Watch 2013 REEL Recovery Highlight Reel
REEL Recovery Film Festival HIGHLIGHT
Reel 2013
See clips from last year’s Award Winning REEL Recovery Film Festivalwith Paul Williams, Russell Brand, Robert Blake, Barbara Eden and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. SEE VIDEO

Can Second-Hand Pot Smoke Make  

You Fail a  

Marijuana Test? 

Many people assume that simply being around pot-smokers and marijuana smoke isn’t likely to result in trouble during a drug test, and that has been thegeneral scientific consensus. But as weed has gotten more potent, scientists decided to investigate if secondhand smoke from strong strains of cannabis could lead to positive drug test results. 


Like It Wasn’t Available Already?

Impact of Availability on Marijuana Use  

A new study conducted in California examined whether the presence and density of medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services affected patterns of marijuana use in 50 mid-sized cities in that state. Analyzing data from telephone surveys of nearly 9,000 people, the study authors found that… 


Save The Children   VIDEO

Powerful Ad That Deals With Parental Alcohol Abuse   VIDEO  

This Finnish ad is trending online. It has a very powerful message about ‘Parental Alcohol Abuse’. The caption to this commercial reads:What if children could choose their parents? Orphanage. A place where hopeful parents could visit and offer a loving home to orphan children. What if the whole situation would be turned upside down? Welcome to The Orphanage of adults.We all know that children can’t choose their parents. But what if they could? Would that change the way we as parents behave?  


Only 5?

Are You a Love Addict? 5 Signs You Simply Can’t Ignore! 

Do you have a pattern of instantly falling for a person without getting to know them? Does your relationship history include a pattern of becoming instantly attached to emotionally unavailable people? Do you jump from one caustic relationship to another, searching for “the one?” Do you abandon your physical, emotional and financial needs in pursuit of love? Love addicts can become obsessed with the object of their affection and cycle through the stages of Obsessive Relational Progression as outlined in the Obsessive Love Wheel. 


And Proud Of It

At 10 Years Sober  

by Maureen Herman 

Today marks 10 years sober from alcohol and cocaine. It took one year of outpatient treatment and AA while my brain healed and regained its physical make-up before I could feel non-chemical joy again and the desire for chemical relief was at its most severe… It took three years of weekly AA meetings – which I still attend – to actually start changing the way I experience and handle stress (and no, it’s not a cult like I thought, nor did I have to become religious). 


Didn’t Work For Hunter Thompson

How New York City Drug Addicts Inspired a Non-AA Treatment   

It was the 1960s. People were looking for ways to expand their minds, and a group of New York City addicts stumbled across Ibogaine, a drug with roots in West Africa. His path to an addiction treatment spans more than four decades. It culminated recently with news that a potential legal drug loosely inspired by those New York City addicts is progressing through human trials. 


Stunning Reportagé  VIDEO

‘Opioid Wars’ TV Show Highlights Heroin Use & Prescription Drug Abuse  VIDEO  

An investigation airing Saturday night spotlights heroin use and prescription drug addiction in Portland and Bangor. The episode of the television network’s series “Fault Lines” looks at the use of opioid painkillers and links to heroin use. Maine has one of the highest rates of prescription painkiller addiction in the country. The producer of the piece, Sam Black, is from Portland. The half-hour episode, “Opioid Wars,” will air at 7 p.m. Saturday. 


Prevention Starts At Home

Experts: No Quick Fix for Overdose Epidemic   

The first drop in overdose deaths from prescription medications in more than a decade nationally has yet to manifest in Western Pennsylvania, where a prolonged epidemic of heroin-related fatalities plagues morgues. “This whole epidemic has been with us for 10 to 15 years, and it’s going to take many years to straighten it out.”


Progress, It’s Progress

N.J. Senate Committee OKs Measures to  

Boost Addiction Treatment Options

Governor Christie has made addressing drug recovery a cornerstone of his tenure in office. He spent a month focusing on recovery efforts across the state, starting with a summit aimed at combating the stigma associated with addiction late last month. He announced task force, which would also work to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction and advise his administration on recovery efforts in the state.


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Greedy-R-Us Cooks Up Bad Idea

Toys R Us Withdrawals Meth-Toting ‘Breaking Bad’ Action Figures 

So long, Walter White. The “Breaking Bad” character’s stint on Toys R Usshelves is officially over.The retailer, caving to pressure from an angry Florida mom and her supporters, has pulled the meth-themed action figures from its shelves. The dolls, based on the AMC series, featured characters based on White, a meth-cooking high school science teacher, and his sidekick, Jesse Pinkman. Along with the action figures, the toys came with fake bags of meth and sacks of cash.    


It Didn’t Hit the Line!

John McEnroe’s Son Bought Baking Soda Instead of Cocaine  

The 28-year-old Kevin McEnroe was arrested after cops saw the suspected drug deal around 11:30 p.m. on July 15 in East Village, police said. He was also charged with having 20 oxycodone pills and another 10 morphine tablets. Prosecutors want to reduce his charge to a misdemeanor because no cocaine was found in his possession. His case will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble 6 months. 


If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Ousted Hollywood Rehab Leaders Ousted Yet Again   

Their desperate last-minute plea to would-be investors for more money to finance their quixotic comeback plan for a new addiction treatment center in the Hollywood Hills has fallen on deaf ears. The couple’s Wonderland EPA facility, at the former Lookout Mountain Air Force Base in Laurel Canyon had been an attempt to reestablish themselves in the lucrative high-end rehabilitation community. He had frantically been trying to raise cash, even enlisting a notorious new business partner in his search: the one-time film producer Joseph Medawar, recently out of prison after completing a 45-month sentence.


Tijuana Brass

Hispanic Drinking Habits  

Abusing alcohol is one of the most common disorders in the United States and an expensive epidemic, costing the country $6 billion in treatment and prevention a year. A recent Michigan State University study took a peak into alcohol abuse in the Hispanic community and made some interesting findings: the risk of alcoholism varies drastically between the various racial subgroups with the “Hispanic” population. The study used pre-existing national data to monitor the rate of alcohol use disorders over a period of time among Hispanics and various subgroups, including: Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans. 


Chemists Order Another Round

Chemicals Discovered  

That Cause Inability to Control Your Drinking  

About 10 percent of the people in the world have an alcohol abuse problem. Psychological therapies, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, and drug therapies have a poor success record. Dr. Dorit Ron of the Department of Neurology at the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues are the first to identify the chemicals that convert a moderate drinker into a problem drinker.   


Essay by Justin Hernandez

What Sobriety  

Means to Me  

I rarely discuss my sobriety, yet alone, write about it. It’s not because I’m embarrassed by the admission of being a reformed drunk. No, I made the public declarations about the road to recovery when I first gave up drinking last year. I even wrote a blog entry about the first 30 days. However, what I quickly found out is that those who were nearest and dearest to me had a difficult time understanding the latest development in my life. 


Kaddish for a Gentle Soul

Orthodox Jewish Sex Abuse Survivor and Activist Dies of Accidental Overdose 

Joe Diangello, 34, born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn survived a sexual assault at the age of 7. He then walked away from the Satmar Hasidic community at age 17, and often got hissed at by fellow Jews whenever they would see him. Joe stated to PIX11 investigates in 2009, “I think when that person raped me, he murdered my Jewish soul.” “Joe was a troubled young man, but he struggled with tremendous courage. He was rejected by the Hasidic community because he stood up … because he talked about his sexual abuse.”


12th Step Country Music Call

Keith Urban Carrying the Message to Recovering Alcoholic Brantley Gilbert  

The You Don’t Know Her Like I Do hitmaker was having a hard time giving up alcohol, and he found Urban, who is seven years sober himself, keen to help. Although the two were only acquaintances at the time, Gilbert tells Country Countdown USA that Urban took it upon himself to reach out to the younger singer. Gilbert reveals, “Keith’s actually been a really good dude to me. When I was making changes in my life, I was down and out, I was even in the hospital, and he showed up and spent several hours with me one day out of nowhere, just encouraging me, because I had a lot of worries about doing my job. 


And It Kills The Most People

Case Against Cigarettes In Rehab  

For most who have visited a loved one in rehab, the phrase “don’t forget to bring cigarettes” is likely one they’re familiar with. Many people recovering from alcohol abuse say that smoking makes abstinence easier, but a recent study suggests that nicotine actually has the opposite effect on alcohol-dependent individuals and interferes with their neurocognitive recovery during the first stages of their alcohol cessation. 


One Is The Loneliest Number

Substance Abuse Rise More For Women Who Divorce Or Separate 

Women suffer a greater jump in stress when marriage ends, compared to men. And separated and divorced people – especially women – are also more likely to report they use drugs and alcohol to relax. Women reported more stress than men generally, “but there is a visibly pronounced stress gap by gender when one compares women who are separated to men who are separated,” the report said. 


A Black Sabbath For Real?

Ozzy Osbourne  

Was Terrified of Losing Sharon  

I go to AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings at a place close by every lunchtime. I didn’t want to but I had to if I wanted to keep my family. Ozzy – who is now 19 months sober – added: “Alcoholism is an illness. I don’t like going to the meetings but if I don’t go I know I will drink again. And I worry about losing everything, so I just don’t want to drink anymore. It’s hard. I had a therapist at first but that didn’t work so I agreed to try AA.”


News from Canada

Ottawa Gunman  

Was Drug Addict  

The gunman who killed a soldier and shot up Parliament tried to fight off his drug addiction with constant prayer, according to friends and acquaintances who saw him in his final years in Vancouver and his final days in Ottawa. A fellow resident of The Beacon shelter in East Vancouver said he met Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in 2012 in detox, where he was fighting off an addiction to crack cocaine and heroin. “His problems did not seem to originate from mental-health problems, Mr. Abubakir said, but from drug use.”


England Rehab Taking InvenTory

Priory Sells Sites to Pay Off Some of its £790 Million in Debts 

Priory has £790 million of debt according to its last set of accounts. Chief executive Tom Riall said: “We continue to be a property-backed business and remain fully committed to this. “After this transaction, 75 per cent of group earnings will continue to be generated from freehold sites and we are determined to continue investing in our estate.” It has been speculated that Priory’s private equity owner, Advent International, is gearing up to list the firm. However, it is understood that no advisers have been appointed. 


Pioneer Hits The Road

William B. O’Brien, 90, Is Dead; Helped Start Daytop Village  

Msgr. William B. O’Brien, a co-founder of Daytop Village, one of the first and most successful residential drug and alcohol treatment programs in the United States, died on Oct. 19 in Scarsdale, N.Y. He was 90. Monsignor O’Brien opened the first Daytop treatment residence in 1963 on Staten Island with three partners: Dr. Daniel H. Casriel, a psychiatrist; Joseph Shelly, chief probation officer of the criminal court in Brooklyn; and Alexander Bassin, a social worker and criminologist. 


Who Will Win This Case?

Parents of Murdered Woman Sue AA   

Parents of murder victim Karla Brada are suing the Santa Clarita Valley office of Alcoholics Anonymous and the couple allegedly assigned to serve as AA sponsors to both Brada and her killer, The Signal has learned. A wrongful death civil suit filed by Sylmar residents Hector and Jaroslava Mendez was served on named AA sponsors Patrick and Joanne Fry, on the local AA office in Santa Clarita and on AA World Services Inc., based in New York City, local attorney Tom Noland said.


1 Pill Makes You Smaller, 1 Pill Makes You Dead

Prescription Painkillers Implicated in Most Overdose Admissions  

Roughly two-thirds of emergency department admissions for overdoses involve prescription opioid medications, according to a research letter published online today by JAMA Internal Medicine. “In our opinion, these findings support efforts to increase the use of emergency medical services for overdoses, such as Good Samaritan laws that grant limited immunity for drug-related charges to those who call 911 during an overdose,” the authors wrote.


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