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The WordPress.com 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 – www.kmir6.com.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) theory and skill building  for treatment professionals.   MI seminar information link  Contact Kathleen Sciacca via email @ ksciacca@pobox.com   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 Live.com.    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 – CNN.com.

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.

Recovery Month 2011 – Get Involved.   SAMHSA has been sponsoring National Recovery Month, every September.  The intention is to promote the societal benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible.  It is a worthwhile investment, since addictions is such an intertwined affliction to the American People.  An practicing addict will drag down many others.  Alcohol, methamphetamine, and many pill addictions that lead to heroin, etc.. are all drugs that suck in so much of Americas resources.    Link by Mary S.

Robbie Gennet: End the Drug War by Rescheduling All Drugs
The $320 billion annual global drug industry now accounts for 1 percent of all commerce on the planet. The war on drugs is a failure. All that taxpayer money spent with no real impact on lowering taxpayer consumption. Yet simply adjusting the methodology and basis of our drug scheduling could change it all, using a new set of standards based on empirical data and facts, not misleading rhetoric propping up the status quo.  link by Mary

World Drug Report 2011

Many illicit drug markets have reached global dimensions and require control strategies on a comparable scale. In that context, there is a need to better understand these transnational markets and the manner in which they operate. The yearly World Drug Report is a contribution towards that objective.

Moms United to End the War on Drugs & Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Rally & Vigil   Join us to call attention to the devastation of the war on drugs and prohibition @ Chuco’s Justice Center, 1137 E. Rodondo Blvd., Inglewoood, CA,  June 18, 2011 – all day – starting  @  1 pm

A New PATH /Los Angeles is co-sponsoring with SSDP an all day festival SATURDAY JUNE 18TH; collaborating with 27 other drug war activist and advocacy groups to present 2 panels of speakers, poetry readings, candlelight vigil – ending the evening with live music till midnight! For more information

PLEASE VISIT THIS WEBSITE LINK

St. Francis Mission Recovery Programs…Can you imagine driving more than 90 miles to get to your weekly meeting?  What if you wanted to go to more than one a week but couldn’t because it was either too far away or you didn’t have adequate transportation? What would you do, and more importantly, who would you turn to?  These issues, sadly, are run of the mill problems for those recovering from alcoholism and addiction on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  The reservation is home to the Lakota (Sioux Indian) people, many of whom suffer from the problems mentioned above.  Two recovery centers – the Icimani Ya Waste Recovery Center and White River Recovery Center – are working to help those who suffer from addiction on the Rosebud Reservation.  The centers are run by members of the Lakota tribe / the St. Francis Mission (link: http://www.sfmission.org/programs/recovery/).  They help coordinate 12 step meetings for those in need, provide space for those meetings to take place, give referrals to treatment centers and support for the families of those suffering from addiction.  In talking to the coordinators to the two recovery centers, it is clear that the need for recover is strong on the reservation.  Jim Stands, director of the White River Recovery Center, states, the people on the Reservation are affected by the disease of addiction.  Whole families – from great grandchildren to great grandparents – are affected, and in turn, addiction affected the community and the whole Lakota nation (called the oyate).  When an individual wants to overcome their addiction, they face challenges that are above and beyond what someone who lives off a Reservation might face.  One of the open AA groups that meets on Wednesdays at the White River Recovery Center is called the “Out of Towners” meeting for a reason.  Many of the individuals who attend this group live far away from where the meeting is held, but make the long drive every week to support each other in sobriety.  The St. Francis Mission and the Recovery Centers have partnered with the Betty Ford Institute to provide educational programing to address the effects addiction has on the family.  Participants of the Betty Ford Family Program learn to set boundaries, control codependency issues, and communication skills so they can express emotions and feelings in a healthy constructive way.  The recovery programs combine Lakota traditions with more traditional recovery content.   by Corrie Oberdin  corrie@corrieoberdin.net   http://www.sfmission.org

Portugal’s Drug Policies pay off, US eyes lessons.   12/26/2010

Drugs in Portugal are still illegal. But here’s what Portugal did: It changed the law so that users are sent to counseling and sometimes treatment instead of criminal courts and prison. The switch from drugs as a criminal issue to a public health one was aimed at preventing users from going underground.  Portugal with an estimated 100,000 people — an astonishing 1 percent of its population — were addicted to illegal drugs. So, like anyone with little to lose, the Portuguese took a risky leap: They decriminalized the use of all drugs in a groundbreaking law in 2000.  Now, the United States, which has waged a 40-year, $1 trillion war on drugs, is looking for answers in tiny Portugal, which is reaping the benefits of what once looked like a dangerous gamble. White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske visited Portugal in September to learn about its drug reforms, and other countries — including Norway, Denmark, Australia and Peru — have taken interest, too.  Post by Mary.

Attention to all mothers of loved ones afflicted with addiction to prescription pain killers or heroin.   Tom at Recovery Helpdesk is asking you to answer 5 questions.  PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Florida’s treasure coast is a stretch of pacific beach from Sebastian to Palm Beach.  Tragic drug overdoses there, are not uncommon.  With little help from the state,  The St. Lucie Sheriff’s Department took  action following the loss of Jaclyn Kinkade, a local beauty, who found herself hooked on prescription  pain killers.   2010 treasure coast overdoses were recorded at 91.  In fact, all of Florida recorded  1270 overdose deaths in the fist half of 2010.   That’s 7 deaths per day.  What makes this alarming, is that, this is prescription drugs we are talking about.  In 2009, prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) was passed in Florida and it is on the chopping block.  The Florida Pain Clinic Society supports monitoring, however,  the  “less government is more” crowd led by Governor Scott’s opposition want to get rid of it.    42 other states have PDMP and States in the Southeast U.S. are frustrated with Florida’s position as the America’s biggest illegal prescription drug source.  links by JJ

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