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How do you find a treatment center for your child and will insurance cover it? These are two questions that always come up when you are dealing with a child with drug addiction.  When one searches on-line,  you find many private facilities and non-profits  which do not accept most insurance.  Drug addiction is tough enough for parents and adding more stress while trying to find the appropriate care is almost an impossibility.  Brief Metro is a snapshot of substance abuse treatment in various metropolitan areas nationwide with focus and examples in Los Angeles.   Therapy Unlimited provides general information on insurance coverage and is geared to getting one to treatment and therapy.  It’s the kind of information that often comes up in online searches which is somewhat useful.   The recent parity act is explained in the CMS website, however, it illustrate just how many insured people still will not get treatment covered.  Still, yet, Hub Pages attempts to offer answers to people wanting to know how to pay for treatment.  It remains very confusing when you realize that there isn’t a shortage of treatment centers but a shortage of dollars to provide for the care.  This is the issue that needs to be addressed.  What can a parent really do?   Online searches help, but often do not lead to clear answers and people who need treatment mostly don’t get it.  That’s a problem.   Links and text by Mary and Bill

Is Addiction Really a Disease? Dr. Kevin McCauley, founder of the Institute for Addiction Study, offers 7 short videos beginning with the one below.   You can  also download a PDF version of Dr. McCauley’s viewpoints

 

 

 

The legislation, introduced by Senator Jim Webb on March 26, 2009, was voted out of the Judiciary Committee Jan. 19, 2010 and awaits a final vote on the Senate floor. The Goal is comprehensive review of our criminal justice system with an establishment of a national commission with a 18 month time line.  Here are the latest press releases on this bill from Mar. 9, 2010. That same day a photo shoot took place following Webb’s address to the international association of the Chief of Police.  Finally for those who missed the bill’s introduction; here’s Webb’s 2009 address on the senate floor outlining his justification, where he talks about drugs, addiction, mental illness and incarceration.  He points out that starting in 1980 we had 41,000 people in prison for drug offenses and now we have over 500,000 people in prison for drug offenses. He says we have 4 times as many mentally ill patients in prison than we do in mental institutions. We have gangs in 230 cities; not just on our borders!  He talks about finding ways to reduce the population in prison and at the same time protecting our communities.  We all need to stoke the fire under Senator Webb.   Update by Mary S.

America’s politicians and legislators are painfully silent about an epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction that continues to sweep mainstream  USA.  As the political drone continues on the subject of the drug war, crime and immigration we ignore the fundamental demand of drugs flooding into this country.  Jamie lee Curtis discusses her own addiction in  King of Pain.   Ted Koppel finds himself mourning the loss of his son to addiction.  Michael Douglas talks about his son’s drug dealing.   Joseph Califano, an expert on addiction talks of rising demand in We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us.  Demand is up and options for recovery are elusive with out deep financial pockets.  In Florida, oxycodone alone killed almost 1200 persons in 09.   In fact, more than 20,000 persons die from drug overdose each year in America.    The point is that addiction touches too many Americans to remain silent about it.   Politicians need to talk about treatment and recovery options available to all Americans on demand.  Politicians need to see the drug war in real terms with solutions coming from reducing demand and treating addicts; not ostracizing them.

President Obama may not be  all the way on board with a full blown revamping of criminal justice system as it relates to drug related incarceration and treatment, but his administration is moving towards removing some obvious inequities in drug law.  In an article written by the Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, Nadelmann outlines these points in Obama Takes a Crack at Drug Policy Reform.  If you want a detailed look at the subject,  Change.org goes even deeper in its website page that explores many inequities in criminal justice and drug related  sentencing.   Nadelmann’s doesn’t say much about the most critical work underway and that is the larger issue of criminal justice reform  relating to drug addiction and mental illness.  That forces the issue of how to deal with addicts when you stop tossing them in jail for what is often, drug related anyways.  It would truly be in the interest of all American’s if Obama was on fire for this more significant effort of  Senator Jim’s Webb’s Criminal Justice Commission. If that work bears fruit,  American’s will  feel a big difference in moving towards a more compassionate approach to drug and alcohol addiction.  That goes quite a bit beyond just being able to stroll down the street with a legal marijuana cigarette.  Links by Mary.

Tens of thousands of families in America probably want to know just how they can intervene in their  loved one’s addiction.  I would say do it fast and early.  The more time wasted; the harder it becomes.   There are so many factors that can lead to failure; why add rehab itself as one of the reasons?  Should rehab facilities should be held more accountable to a workable recovery path?   A July 2010 piece called Does Teen Drug Rehab Cure Addiction of Create it, puts this question in an useful perspective.  This article can also be viewed in the Media Awareness Project.   Another piece called Stigma Hinders Drug Users Recovery explores yet another factor of failure.   Addiction is a difficult subject that we are always looking for clarity.  Failure to make a transition to sobriety is a often a failure to find a safe context in which to succeed.  The first year is  a tough one for many.  Education is important because the  more we know about addiction, the more we can accept it for what it is, possibly accepting it as a medical condition.  Save from the courage of a willful addict to come to terms with his own addiction, there is no magic bullet cure.  Anything close to a cure, like methadone or suboxone is only a diversion to another dependence with different challenges.   Harm reduction plays a big role in those choices.   The Blog “drug addiction treatment” asks the question”  Can We Cure Addiction, but doesn’t leave the reader with a “cure”  So far we know that addiction is not cured.  The cravings remain a threat to relapse.   A fair amount of addicts eventually will quit (often with help) and just don’t use “one day at a time”.  Success is gauged on vigilance and a safe context or surroundings.   links by Mary.

Judge Gray is a maverick in the world of drug policy and prohibition reform.  Is this what America needs?  Is the cost to fight the flow of drugs into America and eradicate all drug use just too much?  What do you think?  Judge Jim Gray is a man on a mission.  Here are just a few quotes off his website;  JUDGE JIM GRAY“…At one point, I held the record for the largest drug prosecution in the Los Angeles area: 75 kilos of heroin, which was and is a lot of narcotics…”  “…if we really want to deal a major blow to bin Laden and other terrorists around the world, we should repeal drug prohibition..”   “…Without making allowances for any of these distinctions, we have attempted to incarcerate our way out of our drug-use problems…”  “…That reminds me of the old saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything you see looks like a nail….”  “…Forget “zero tolerance” and recognize that for a tiny percentage of the population, drug use will persist…”   “…The United States is now building a new prison every week to cope with the people serving mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession…”   “…Today there are literally thousands of people in our state prisons because they did nothing but smoke marijuana…” You can also see hear some of his latest thoughts on the May 16th show archive from Coast to Coast. Always interested in all of your opinions.  Fire up the debate!  Lets get some work done!

Decriminalization is the main point of this Guardian piece:  War on Drugs:  Bring Out The Peace Pipe.   As the so call drug war wages war on  humanity in industrialized countries it is literally tearing the hearts out of third world nations like Mexico.  In the Mexico Drug War: The New Killing Fields, Rory Carroll puts it to words while you can see a bit of the daily activities of Mexico’s drug war foot troopers in Mexico’s Struggle to Win “War” on Drugs.  The “drug war” means somewhat different things to different people depending on whether its pork for the DEA, political ammo for medical marijuana pharmacies,  survival for those in the cross fire or heroin for an addict.  One thing is certain, we are not winning this war.  The definition of winning is a huge road block that has to be resolved.  We need to talk about what winning is.  Links by Mary.

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