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It is often said that addiction or alcoholism will end in jails, mental institutions or death.     State of mental health funding in 2011. 

30,000 drug overdose deaths a year,

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.

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

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

Rethinking the War on Drugs – The Wall Street Journal, Mark Kleiman, Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken.    Link by Tom M.  The U.S. has reached a dead end in trying to fight drug use by treating every offender as a serious criminal. Blanket drug legalization has some superficial charm—it fits nicely into a sound-bite or tweet—but it can’t stand up to serious analysis.    Mark Kleiman has ideas that provide an answer which history shows always falls somewhere in a middle ground.  It is a realty based proposition;  facts!  View  Frontline’s BUSTED, America’s War on Marijuana.  and view Huffington Post’s online archive of Mark’s publications

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.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Bill and Sandy are the authors of the book “Dig Deep in One Place: A Couple’s Journey to a Spiritual Life.”   They have both over-come addiction and are now passionate writers, speakers and artists.  Like many that write about recovery and personal experience, Bill and Sandy lay out their journey for the benefit of the reader.   Their blog is also a place where you can view their online blog full of their thoughts and reflections like the piece; Why is Recovery The Answer?

Bon Jovi is a gifted musician with a big heart.  He and Iranian superstar Andy Madadian recorded a stunning re-master of the hit song “Stand by Me”.  It must be exactly what he is saying to his 19 year only daughter who survived a heroin overdose.   He has certainly felt an immensity of fear that only the near loss of a child can create.   My heart goes out to him and his family.   Read how the world of drugs and addiction has now touched his world in a significant way as reported by the Atlanta Black Star, Wed., 11/14/12.  Bon Jovi’s Daughter Arrested on Drug Charges after Overdose.  This event shows one more time how painfully we are all impacted by scourge of drug use and addiction however we walk our lives.   Stephanie Bongiovi is alive and well to face the consequences of a near death experience.  Many of our children have not been so fortunate and my heart goes out even farther for this continuing tragedy.  The issues of drug addiction are wide spread.  Events like this serve as a call to action, highlighting the pervasiveness of drug addiction in America.

Vigil For Loved Ones Lost to Drug Overdose –

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.

The Way    Pastor and Musician,  John Kilzer calls  his recovery worship service The Way — because in the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “I am the way” and because the 12 Steps are known as a way to recovery.  Music is John’s venue to success.   The music is for the broken, and those who don’t know they’re broken.  It’s for the recovering, and those who don’t believe they’re recovering. It’s got a message for those who need to hear one, and it’s plainly stunning…and for those who’d rather not….and not least, John Kilzer is simply an amazing artist.

Here is one way your tax dollars are fighting drug abuse in America. Above the Influence is an advertising campaign in the U.S. by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign that includes broad messaging to focus on substances most abused by teens, and delivers both broad prevention messaging at the national level and more targeted efforts at the local community level.  Here is an example of some of their ads.  Think they help?    It is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy(ONDCP) In early 2011, The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign will launch a monthly webinar series: Implementing Above the Influence (ATI) in Your Local Community.

National Conference on Addiction Disorders 2012  The National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NSAD) will present in-depth education and innovativation on the prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery management of addictions. This conference is produced by the publisher of Addiction Professional and Behavioral Healthcare magazines.   The 4-day program will consist of:  

  • A Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Summit
  • Over 60 educational sessions, workshops, movie presentations and poster sessions conducted by the experts in the study and treatment of addiction.
  • An exhibition hall  geared for networking with over 200 solution providers.
  • A technology theater showcasing the latest solutions.
  • An awards ceremony

Deaths by heroin overdoses in Minnesota counties  tripled in 2011.  To complicate matters, heroin tested in the Twin Cities showed 93.5 % pure.  See  Heroin Roars Back, with Lethal Results  Link from Bayon Testing.

Writers in Treatment

Many writers’ lives are threatened by the inability to quit alcoholic drinking, serious substance abuse, and process addictions. Too often writers and poets working alone at home, in a publisher’s cubicle, or in cabin retreat succumb to the deadly combination of isolation and addiction.   Writers In Treatment helps men and women in the writing industry suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, and other self-destructive behaviors get treatment for their disease.  We produce free educational and cultural events that celebrate sobriety while reducing the stigma of addiction.

 Substance Abuse Treatment in the federal prison system works for the 210,000 inmates it houses.   Where treatment is missing is in state prisons and local jails.  Those facilities contain roughly 91% of all inmates.  If we look at the Bureau of Federal Prisons we see a model that could be used in all prisons.    Of the estimated 2.3 million inmates currently incarcerated in U.S. prisons, 1.9 million could benefit from alcohol and drug treatment, which could ultimately save taxpayers millions of dollars, according to a new report.  Currently only 11% of inmates who need treatment are receiving it during their incarceration.  Approximately 85% of current inmates could benefit from treatment, according to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.   The CASA report, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population,” shows that 1.5 million of the estimated 2.3 million prison inmates meet the DSM IV medical criteria for substance abuse or addiction.

Pam Bondi on prescription drug monitoring and crackdown on overprescribing physicians – YouTube.  Pam Bondi is the Florida Attorney General working at odds with Republican Governor Rick Scott who thought monitoring was an infringement on doctors rights.  Go figure.

Ex-addicts staying sober through sport –

Phoenix Multisport fosters a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and those who choose to live a sober life. Through such pursuits as climbing, hiking, running, swimming, road and mountain biking, and other activities, we seek to help our members develop and maintain the emotional strength they need to stay sober.

DadOnFire’s 2011 year in blogging.

Alternative to prison for drug offenders.  More later on this.  Hot topic in Arizona that showing a little hope for the future.

NIDA  Drug Facts Week – Shatter the Myth

The first thing I want to say is that when you think about NIDA, think Nora Volkow and click on her name to see who she is.   NIDA ( National Institute on drug Abuse ) is best defined by Wikipedia; Ms Volkow is a phenomenal director doing important work on the scourge of drug addiction in America.  On this day, October 28th, NIDA, is launching a new public outreach called SHOUT OUT!, to publicize and shatter myths about the world of drug addiction and treatment. particularly related to our young people and their parents.  Drug abuse can turn into drug addiction and moms and dads need to know they are often the last ones to know.   Yes, I am on fire.  I have children and  have known many young people who have suffered needlessly.  Here are a few  myths I would like to  shatter during NIDA’s drug fact week:

1.  Addiction is an isolated condition, of mostly meth and heroin dependence that preys on a few depraved souls and we should ignore them and hope they go away.  North America is now nearing a point where 25 million citizens suffer from some identified condition of addiction to a legal or illegal substance.  Addiction to  dangerous  illegal narcotics, meth-amphetamines and cocaine, according to most sources, affects an average of  7 million Americans on any given day.  More than one and a half million addicts are in jail at the time you read this.  This is anything but isolated.  It impacts us all.

2.  An addict  can just quit because god gave us the strength and will power to do so.   A few hearty souls can do it that easy!  I hope your loved one is one of them.  AA and NA recognizes that there are those we can not explain.  Addiction is brain altering  disease, often accompanied by mental illness and depression.  AA and NA  acknowledges; addiction is for life.  Once sober, diligence is key.  The doors of 12 step rooms are revolving, because an addict or alcoholic is always welcome back, unconditionally, with just a desire to stay clean for today.  The ultimate path of addiction is physiological and cognitive impairment, but with good treatment, addicts can be rehabilitated.  The degree of that success  relies on ones basic human will to want their life back.

3.  Addiction is a behavioral problem.  We need to let our jails deal with it and keep it out of the health care system.   For some,  jail may be an answer.  However, more than half of inmates are locked up for drug related crimes or possession.   Locking them up doesn’t solve their problem.  Many of these people are our kids!  Addiction not dealt with by proper treatment, save for sheer will power, will progress to a  medical condition.  Our emergency rooms attest to the heavy impact  from overdoses and other carnage.  The cost to society of untreated addiction is astronomical if you  include this cost of health care;  its incarceration, related mental illness, and the costly drug war.  That costs America  hundreds of billions.  Diverting, criminalized addicts from jail  to compulsory treatment would begin to realize a better cost to success ratio and defuse the drug war focus.

4.  Addiction can easily be treated by private treatment practitioners and  public resources for detox and rehab.   Of course, addiction can be effectively treated by a private practitioner at a cost that  only very well-funded addicts can afford.   Less than 5% of all addicts and alcoholics received inpatient rehabilitation in 2010.  OAS.SAMHSA.    If addiction were to be recognized as a medical condition, insurance and public health services would treat it.  Easy right?  Not so!  Legislators are still working hard to punish drug use in jail and keep addiction out of the health care system.   That still costs the same billions and addicts that go untreated will cause damage to themselves, their families and our communities.

5.  Addiction is morally bad.  Judging an addict morally is unproductive and a diversion from positive solutions.  Many moms and dads have a young addict in the family and would give anything for the elusive cure.  Addiction, is an ugly health care problem and  society perpetuates it  by hating it.  Morality, as a positive human attribute, can be just as easily defined by treating addiction, much as we would treat cancer.  Addiction, like a cancer has  destructive symptoms.  For an addict, that is cognitive impairment,  deterioration, social criminality and death.

6.  Addiction will not be an issue when America finally wins the Drug War and drugs are no longer available.   As long the demand is there, drugs will be there.  Society will  demand eradication,  that fills our jails with drug users and the mentally ill.  Changing that is like turning around a ship in a narrow canal.  A system grounded in conquering evil by destroying it, is infinitely expensive.  You don’t change that;  you end it.  A “drug war” can’t be won when we are source of demand.  Once we acknowledge that, we can begin to reduce demand by dealing with the human beings that are defined by a bondage to drug use.    If America, shifts its focus to a “war on addiction”,  funding will come from a transformation of purpose, and new job definitions will emerge that focus on the preservation of human lives freeing addicts from bondage to drugs.

NIDA, SAMSA, ONDCP and other public agencies who fight to show people how to stop using drugs can step to the plate  to be advocates for a sober nation.  Our trusted public organizations have the resources and influence to do so and it will start with legislating to address the issue.  Our young disillusioned teams, will see for themselves, we have a nation that cares and if not from their own sheer will power will to enjoy the clarity of mind only sobriety can provide.

 Former Mexican president: ‘US must legalise drugs to stop violence’.

As insane as it sounds, there is no other promising solution to the damage that America’s drug demand is inflicting on ourselves or Mexico.  Can anyone blame Vincente Fox for his campaign against the drug war’s damage to Mexico?  By January 13, 2011, 34,612 people were reported murdered in Mexico in the past four years.  Look for a minute at America’s demand for the drugs that fuels this carnage.  For every drug related incarceration, there are 20 substance abusers waiting for their turn in jails and hospitals.  It never seems to end.  More than half of our 2.4 million inmates are locked up for drug related charges.  Consider that even half of them need drug rehabilitation and we are talking about 25 billion dollars that could be spent reducing demand by treating drug addiction in stead of punishing it.  Add in the cost of emergency rooms,  lost workplace productivity, related homelessness and mental illness,  judicial costs, and the cost of fighting demand on the streets,  we are into numbers that approach a major federal government program in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  Ending this carnage is not a pipe dream.

The International Drug Policy Reform Conference  The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. It brings together over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries.   Mark your calendar and be there on November 2-5, 2011 at the Westin Bonaventure,  Los Angeles, CA.  REGISTER HERE.

Teenage Addiction Epidemic Documentary to air October 12, 2011 on PBS-KVIE

The primary mission of Pathway to Prevention is the prevention and early intervention of teenage drug and alcohol addiction.  A secondary goal of Pathway to Prevention is to help fund rehabilitation.  View the trailer

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation : Drug Rehabs for Addiction Help.  Rehab Programs Inc. is a community service provider with an objective of finding the right rehab program for those suffering from drug and alcohol addictions. With over 20 years in the substance abuse field, we understand the needs of people and their families.

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