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Heaven, Hell, Heroin:  Lessons Learned From One Young Man’s Death. Before reading; know that this is a sad real life story by Steve Damish, October 2009.  Happens more than you know.  Post by Mary S.

Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 12.19.09 AMCOMPASS HEALTH CARE INC – Arizona Gives From midnight on March 20 and continuing until 11:59 p.m., you can go online to  to show  support for Compass Health Care Inc., an Arizona addiction recovery organization making progress one recovery at a time.  You can make a  contribution to help.  All online donations during this effort will go directly to support Compass Behaviorial Healthcare’s  Vida Nueva, a non-profit recovery home for woman.  Thank you   CLICK TO DONATE


As U.S drug policy continues to rely on a counterproductive drug war, resistance to moving towards decriminalizing addiction, persists.  Of course, the losers are young addicts that can and should be rehabilitated.  many are on the road to become criminalized addicts, if not already there.  Some have a hustle; others fill our jails.  Make no mistake, many are our children and relatives.

Public and private treatment institutions remain effectively,  insignificant in dealing with the populations that need their services.  The realty is that it takes money to recover and isolation from the outside world for a typical addict.  Treatment professionals agree that a long period of abstinence is necessary for the restoration of  naturally occurring dopamine and receptor functioning.  Without this transformation and internment,  an addict exists in an emotional black hole.   The loss of 7 million Americans to addiction each year is very significant.   An alcohol and drug dependent America is dragging us down.   With exception to the Veterans Administration and  federally funded programs, our insurance and healthcare policies are ineffective.  They do not deal with co-existing mental disorders or proper treatment.  Typical insurance and health care policies consistently demonstrate rejection of proper substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.  Except for sparse and difficult public funding, insurance companies rarely pay for basic replacement drug therapy which is relatively cheap.

We live in a world that hates addictive behavior, yet silently condones the biggest drug dependent and alcoholic population on earth.  People like Governor Scott of Florida ditch prescription databases over privacy and business rights.  How does that even fit?   Our government claims to want to eradicate demand and source, yet have at least enabled or created a situation in which more pharmaceutical opiates are available than ever and our budget to fight the drug war in Mexico is as counterproductive as our U.S. job eating trade deficit.  Instead we jail addicts.   Addicts who are not violent, should be screened and sequestered in an environment geared to treatment.  Dollars spent to accomplish this can come from otherwise, redundant incarceration.  Addicts are human beings that need to be rehabilitated.  Jails and prisons are good at warehousing and worsening criminal behavior.  With an exception to federal prisons, what is missing,  is the willful intent to screen and rehabilitate.

If you  watched the 2010 world series, you may have noticed Texas Rangers Phenom Josh Hamilton who led his team to the big October showdown in the baseball world.  He has a batting average of .352 and hit 32 home-runs in 2010.  What makes this a bigger story is Josh’s journey from drug addiction to baseball stardom.  The blog “Man of Depravity” published Josh Hamilton’s story in a short bio and video you should view called Heroin to Home Runs; The Story of Josh Hamilton. Hamilton pulled no punches in laying it down to a higher power the same way he pulls no punches when he crushes a baseball.  He puts out a message to all other addicts; recovery is a possibility.  Every day is an another opportunity to stay sober.  One day at a time.  Josh has been sober since 2005 and knows intimately that successful sobriety requires daily vigilance as he follows his path of freedom from  addiction.    Link by Big Rod

Meth is a dangerous and destructive drug

Meth destroys those it comes in contact with. Meth is the number one drug related issue for law enforcement officials in Alabama. Meth is addictive and creates mental and physical effects that changes your life forever. Meth is death.

ZEROMETH is an awareness and educational campaign sponsored by the ALABAMA DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION, with the goal of stopping this drug and it’s life threatening consequences  –  LINKS BY DONNA

Incarceration and opioid withdrawal: The experiences of methadone patients and out-of-treatment heroin users.

Here’s a trip worth taking into ABC’s 20/20 investigative journey into dangerous drug use in the suburban streets of America!  For 40 minutes,  20/20 exposes a growing travesty of heroin use and the kids that have shared their horrific stories.   Watch the show for your self in Teens Hooked on Heroin What makes this latest effort in social journalism worth seeing is the sheer reality of addiction to dangerous drugs that perfectly normal looking teens like Ashly and other young adults have fallen victim to right under our noses.  Every parent should see this. link courtesy of Angie.

A Thief in the Family: My Daughters Addiction, Hardwired for Heroin Feb. 2009 “Death by overdose is an absolute epidemic in our society.  Thousands of young adults are dying from this horrible affliction, and it needs to be brought to the forefront of public attention. We need sweeping policy changes towards addiction.”  Marie Minnich.   Marie is shouting out for America to wake up in this poignant  book about the struggle with addiction and its toll.  Excerpt from the book

Three decades of growth in America’s prison population has nudged the nation across a sobering threshold:  more than one in every 100 adults is now confined in an American jail or prison. “Drugs are among the biggest culprit.” Read the PEW Charitable Trust Report:  One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008

A few weeks ago this website posted a some alarming news of black tar moving into the heart of America in a piece called.  A Deadly Market:  Black Tar in Middle America As the Associate Press reported a similar warning in Deadly, ultra-pure heroin arrives in US, we are reminded that heroin epidemic hasn’t  gone away.   As the cost of pills rises and new laws limit illegal prescriptions, the use of street heroin is growing.  It is claiming the lives of over 3,000 users each year.  Websites, such as Drug Action Network seek to reduce the carnage.   Individual’s like Jim Gray seek to reform our laws making easier to treat addicts through our legal system.   Law-makers like Senator Jim Webb seeks to  overhaul the entire criminal justice system in the same vain.  We can do this.  We have to run drug cartels out of business and seize opportunities to treat addiction in a big way.  Links by Mary S.

Methadone maintenance can also be an addiction and poses a long term problem for addicts seeking end their addiction if used incorrectly and abused.   Here is a look into the lives of a couple of stubborn hardcore Philadelphia junkies, abusing methadone.  Jeff Deeney, a Philadelphia social worker writes about two drug addicts in the context of considering heroin maintenance in a piece call Get Me My Legal Heroin.  Regarding the abuse or proper use of methadone, another link to an article called, Do Methadone Prescriptions Do More Harm Than Help sheds some light on the complexity of addicts and methadone maintenance.  You be the judge.  Heroin addiction is not the only drug issue out there, but it has managed to trap many of out family members in life of torment.  Methadone hasn’t always helped much either.   How do we stop this madness? What does our government need to do to really help get under drug addiction in America?  links by Mary S.

If our celebrities are any indication, look out.  Most don’t know that the opiate drugs,  heroin and oxycontin are virtually identical and that opiates are being abused in the form of more than two dozen other prescription opiate  in America.  Rush Limbaugh Michael Jackson ♦  DJ AM ♦   Heath Ledger are just the lastest recent heavy hitting opiate addicts that have fallen victim.  Limbaugh is still with us showing that addiction  can hit every corner of society.

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January 2013