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“…There are two drug tests in the NFL. First, there’s the random performance enhancer test. This can occur at any time throughout the season, on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. We have to produce a valid urine sample under the watchful eye of an independent company. What’s a valid sample? It means the urine can’t be too clear or too yellow (they test PH levels before sending samples off to the lab), and the sample has to be given before practice. The cup has to be filled to the correct height. During the offseason, the NFL can also collect random samples anytime, anywhere: With 24 hours notice, they can have someone at your mom’s house in any town or state in the USA.

But street drugs? As long as we’re not repeat offenders in the NFL’s substance abuse program, we get one test and one test only. So every team has a few guys shooting up something: Prescription pills, marijuana, crack, cocaine, meth, pretty much any drug someone can pick up on a street corner is fair game for most players during the football season…” Read more –  Mary S.

There are more than 2,140 drug courts in operation, with another 284 being planned or developed in the United States.  The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) discusses this in their website.  Drug court diverts non-violent, substance abusing offenders from prison and jail into treatment. By increasing direct supervision of offenders, coordinating public resources, and expediting case processing, drug court can help break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and incarceration. A decade of research indicates that drug court reduces crime by lowering rearrest and conviction rates, improv­ing substance abuse treatment outcomes, and reuniting families, and also produces measurable cost benefits.  The attached PDF, entitled Defining Drug Courts:  Key Components, outlines how drugs courts work.  One of the ongoing dilemmas of drug courts is that most addicts are arrested for other crimes to get drugs and do not qualify for drug court.  They consequently are not treated and usually re-offend.  They don’t figure into the statistics of drug court success.  This makes drug courts much less effective in reducing the much larger impact of drug related crime.  Read a report by the Beckley Foundation that discusses why this is right here. Data base and links provided by Mary Slivinski.

Vigil For Loved Ones Lost to Drug Overdose –

The David Lewis story was so important to the treatment and recovery of bay area addicts, inmates and struggling ex-cons, after his death the  California Governor offered a $50,000.00 reward in July to find his killer.  Many mourned his murder.  David Lewis not only showed that prison rehab can work after  20 years of his own incarceration; the center he started helps 4600 bay area addicts each year.    He started the ground breaking drug treatment program, Free At Last in East Palo Alto.  David Lewis was a Hero.   He showed the world the courage needed to take on addiction in and out of prison.  One single person with a brutal past can make an amazing difference.  Imagine what we can all do together.  Links by Marcia.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) theory and skill building  for treatment professionals.   MI seminar information link  Contact Kathleen Sciacca via email @   tel.  212-866-5935.  This announcement is geared to treatment professionals and relates to addiction and dual diagnosis intervention and treatment.  This is a three day seminar that takes place October 29, 30, and 31, 2012  @ the Hotel Beacon in New York City.  Call or email for information.    See link above for fees.

Drug addiction is a tough nut to crack.  When you add co-occuring disorders, namely,  a host of mental illnesses that plague many addicts,  it becomes near impossible for some to recover and stabilize their lives.   To Kathleen Sciacca, trying to understand and deliver a reliable system of dealing with dual diagnosis and drug addiction has become a personal goal.  You can hear Kathleen discuss her work in this you-tube clip:   Motivational Interviewing

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September 2012