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Tom @ Recovery Help Desk talks about suboxone (subs) dos and don’ts and its controversy and a Mom agonized about finally supporting it for her son, presumably an opiate addict. Her blog is called “A Mom’s Serious Blunder”Check out the links and discussion.  Suboxone like any treatment is a tool.  It takes a commitment.  There are many stubborn young knucklehead addicts that use it as a crutch, take sub vacations and use other opiates intermittently.  They are the toughest to deal with and fuel the controversy.

From Bangor to West Palm Beach and now to Orange County,  drug addiction continues to sweep through America killing one person every 19 minutes.   Now Orange County is yet another major force on fire to call for end to the madness.  The Orange County Register chronicles the epidemic in the  4 part series on RX addiction epidemic  One impacted California Dad eloquently speaks out in his blog,  ♠  Check out the real story in Orange County.

Addicts prescribed opiate replacement drugs can ask about generics rather than relying on proprietary Subutex/Suboxone marketed by Reckitt Benckiser.  Suboxone is buprenorphine with added naloxone to block opioid receptors and helping to avoid abuse.  Subutex is just  buprenorphine.  It is sold generically, since Reckitt Benckiser’s patent expired. focuses on proper use.  Recovery Helpdesk is also good website.  Generics are available for $3.00 per 8mg pill or less.  View therapeutic drug replacement for heroin addiction.  Buprenorphine, used in replacement drug therapy and is still addictive but the best option for some.  Treatment professionals call  this replacement drug therapy,  harm reduction.  It stabilizes addicts and gets them off illegal street opiates.  Buprenorphine is safe  for those who can  follow medical directions.   The downside is that tapering  off the drug  is not easy, but the next step.  The blog: suboxone talk zone is a “in the trenches” source of information.

Gupta: Let’s end the prescription drug death epidemic –

Screen shot 2013-04-10 at 10.41.03 PMWhen I think of out spoken anti drug war activist,  Charmie Gholson, I think of a group of Mom’s from Southern California, a fountainhead of activists who have reintroduced a vintage term very few of us remember, prohibition.  Moms United is bringing to light the impact of today’s prohibition on drug use and why the war on drugs has to end.  To make it clear, today’s prohibition is the drug war.  What President Nixon signed into law in 1971 turned out to be a war on our own people.   Charmie is a Michigan activist.  She founded Michigan Moms United to End the War of Drugs.  Mother’s Day is a big day for Moms United and last mother’s day Charmie wrote this:   What I want for Mother’s Day: Stop Stealing our Sex Toys and go get Rapists.

Some mental health professionals are realizing that profound changes have to occur health care before we can effectively deal with the mushrooming problem of drug addiction in America.  Barry Lessin is one therapist, stepping out on this issue.  He makes a point in his recent article that  America spends  fifty billion dollars per year to wage a war on drugs that has done nothing to slow the problem.  He goes on to say that failed policies focus primarily on the reduction of the supply of drugs by carrying out paramilitary operations in other countries as well as on drug users here in the United States, combined with amplified law enforcement approaches involving tens of millions arrested, and many millions incarcerated for nonviolent acts since the drug war began in the 70’s.   Barry Lessin brings up a few key points that legislators need to acknowledge if Americans want their tax dollars to count for something positive, that can deal with drug addiction and lessen demand without killing or ruining lives.  Please view his article by clicking on this link:   An Addiction Counselor’s War on Drugs | Barry Lessin.

Members of our military returning from combat operations have high rates of substance abuse.  They  often exhibit a co-occurring triad of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and pain, which complicates the problems with substance abuse and leading ultimately, to addiction.   Read more in Returning-Veterans-With-Addictions (PDF)   For related links, see also  Prescription Drugs and Our Military  and  Veterans Bear Brunt of Weak Treatment Options.

Drug Abuse eventually turns  to drug addiction if not checked early enough.  Drug use in teens is growing faster than the we can stop it.  Why kids even start is a tough question.  We do know that opiate based prescription drugs are a big issue and are often abused by kids.  OxyContin, Oxycodone, Hyrdocodone, Lorcet, Lortab, Percodan, Typlox, Precocet, Vicodin, Darvocet, and on and on….all have the potential to be the perfect storm for heroin addiction.   Almost every middle class heroin addict under 21 started out of someone’smedicine cabinet. Read about a mothers crusade after losing her son in “Mom Pushes For Reform” A piece by Dale Wetzel talks about  kids and prescription drugs in “Youth prescription drug abuse on the rise”. The website PARENTS, The Anti Drug understanding the  signs explains what to do about it; and basic good information. See drug test links in the sidebar.  Links courtesy of Mary.

The Partnership at hosts Facebook Chat with New York Times Best-Selling Author of Clean and Beautiful Boy, David Sheff.

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 12.03.11 AMDenise Cullen has lived through one of the worst tragedies a mother can experience She lost her  child. But if there is anything worse than losing a child, it is losing a child to a drug overdose, because grief is accompanied by stigma and blame.  Read her account by the NC Harm Reduction Coalition in  Daily Kos: The Stigma of Drug Overdose: A Mother’s Story.

NoraNora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains why addicts should be treated the same as anyone with a debilitating disease. View her interview in  Why Addicts Shouldn’t be Criminalized by Nora Volkow   Fareed Zakria, a CNN journalist talks about the over-incarceration of addicts in Incarceration Nation   Ten years ago, Portugal moved a national policy forward to decriminalize drugs.  Studies now shows a large decrease in drug addiction in Portugal.  Read 10 years afterFor a very studied case on why we move to the decriminalization and classifying addiction as an addiction read the compelling  Global Commission Report

Dr. Kevin McCauley is a treatment professional who is dedicating his life to helping addicts and their families, and he makes a compelling argument for Addiction as Disease.  He is a researcher with The Institute For Addiction Studies. Mr. McCauley recently contributed a comment that is worth sharing.  He discusses his ongoing inquiry into the question of addiction as a Disease Model.   Many who ponder the causes of drug addiction are split in their thinking with the other opinion being a morality model of choice. Take a look at his comments in the Disease Model.

One thing for certain, drug addiction is tearing up this country.  From a demand of drugs adversly affecting near 30 million users when you include alcohol to as many as two-thirds of American families negatively impacted in some way or another by someones abuse of drugs and alcohol; this problem is costing us more than enough to look closely at a  model of disease.   As long as the argument favors a Darwinian – all for themselves – choice model of drug addiction, expect more of the destruction that Americans already witness.

The House I Live in  updates a 40-year-old unsolved problem.

The drug war is a problem that tears apart Americans.  The victims are millions of family members who care about someone trapped in addiction.  What it does to an addict is a torment words can’t adequately describe.  This is really a war, not on drugs, but on all of us.  It is a parasitical phenomena that relies on public silence while demanding massive cash flow; the taxpayer its host.   Dealing with addiction and ending drug demand  is antithetical to its existence.   See the film, The House I live in link by Monica

Rewiring the brain against addiction is an idea that holds the key to the answer.  Having known suffering drug addicts, its safe to say that “just quitting” is not an answer.  The Depression that goes along with addiction, often predicating the need for drugs to begin with is a key area of study.   Dual Demons! as it called,  continually feeds into the reality of repeated relapse.    Addiction is a disease that requires the equivalent focus in dollars and effort of the drug war itself.  Once we get big Insurance and big Pharma to play the game of real recovery we can start poking holes in the sails of drug trade.  De-criminalizing addiction would cripple illegal drug trade.  Imagine a world of compassion, recovery and freedom from addiction.   Links by M. Slivinski.

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April 2013