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Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 10.50.04 AMWhat I find exceptional about David Sheff’s message, is that it is expressed in what he learned about his son’s addiction to methamphetamine and what that means to the bigger message of dealing with the scale of addiction in America.   I am impressed that important people are listening.  Addiction impacts almost every family in some way.  David Sheff supports legalization but picks no bones about the risks of drug use.  His message, in no way is intended to allude that any drug is safe.  Listen to this interview: David Sheff, Author Of ‘Clean’ speaks to NPR.  It’s not complicated.  Addiction needs to be classified as a medical condition.  To do that best, requires the decriminalization of those afflicted with this disease including their habitual use.   In regards to legality, we can treat drug abuse much the same way we would with alcohol abuse.  We all know drinking can be deadly. 

David has the attention of important ears.  Read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s poignant CNN transcripts in a conversation with David entitled,  Addiction:  Life on the Edge .  Listen to David discuss addiction on this short video clip in the TIME 100 most influential thinkers of 2009.  “We treat the medical consequences of the problem (overdoses, car accidents, cancer, HIV, mental illnesses) but not the disease itself.  Our investments in research and services for addiction treatment are a fraction of the costs associated with drug-related incarceration and lost productivity.  Yet punishment and stigmatization do nothing to ameliorate the problem.”  link by Marcia.

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

Things We Lost in the Fire! If you know someone close who’s been there; you know the meaning of the title.  This is a not so old 2007 film with academy award winning Benicio Del Toro as a heroin addict.  “The walking dead”.  Check it out here in this you-tube video. You may have to look in the older video stacks to find this; but its worth your time.  Link by Drew.

Romancing Opiates,  a controversial book on opiate addiction was written by social critic, retired doctor and highly acclaimed author Theodore Dalrymple, many call the Orwell of our time.  He has written extensively for the City Journal, Manhattan Institute; a social journal worth viewing.  His 2006 book, Romancing Opiates treats addiction and treatment much in line with his social commentary on failed states and systems.  Most of his writing follows an Orwellian ideology.  Curiously,  in his book about opiate use, he compliments Mao Tse Tung’s methods of eradicating  opium and heroin use in China with extreme coercion or death.  You can read the rest of this review right HERE

THE ALCOHOLISM AND ADDICTION CURE: a book with a claim to cure addiction.  Most have seen the ad’s.  It sparked my curiosity.    Heroin addiction is the genesis of Chris Prentiss’s book and his claim to cure addiction.  His son, Pax Prentiss was a 10 year heroin user among other drugs, including alcohol.  Pax conquered a larger than life complex about his dad by co-founding Passages Treatment Center with him. is not sold on a simplistic cure.  I do like the four points.   Here are some links for your own review:    Hollywood Rehab •   Breakthrough Addiction Recovery •   Addiction Tomorrow. “Curing addiction” at Passages is reduced to four  problems  in an addict’s life:  1) Chemical imbalance,   2)  Events of the past,  3) Current conditions and  4) Things we believe that are false; biggest being that addiction is a disease and “I” have it. (Of course this flies in the face of AA and NA.)

If you believe that addiction is not a disease; but it is “something” that is curable, read this book.  Addressing the four points will take a lot of cash.  Passage’s, Malibu,  is $78,560 per month.  A scaled down Passages, Ventura is $32,500 per month.  That includes daily work of nine therapists and doctors  a plethora of phlebotomy according to Judith @ Passages Admissions (805) 283-4737.  Those costs are based on Jan. 2010 pricing.

“The cure” is a commodity.  Life energy, you might say.   But, isn’t that personal effort no different that what has been known for the last 54 years since alcoholism and  drug addiction to follow, were defined as disease by the AMA.   It takes work whether done in 30 years or 30 days.  As far as “a cure”, I wouldn’t bet much money on a “cured” addiction left un-checked after a single month of treatment.     Addiction recovery, however one minces words, be it a  cure or recovery,  takes living in vigilance for an addict.  Most can’t afford luxury treatment, but probably wouldn’t argue the impact  of personal and public cost of  addiction.  It is  a financial burden to all of us and big dollar treatment doesn’t  pick bones about this reality.  A “cured addict” is another story.

Stanton Peele is a rogue in the treatment industry.  Controversial is his middle name.  Check out his blog.  While your at it, look through his videos.   He doesn’t see addiction as a disease; but moreover a personal behavioral problem and more related to social ills.  His latest book Addiction Proof Your Child explores addiction in his own view which you can judge for yourself in Amazon’s expanded preview of the book.  It is actually a fairly big chunk of the book which is anything but traditional in what people believe about addiction and young people…and people in general.   It’s worth a look.

Seeing the obvious in the world of “insidious” addiction is like trying to see a forest through its trees.  Those who have felt the impact of an addict in their family knows how elusive the answers can be, let alone, the right questions.  Simple answers to basic questions makes a big difference.   Joe Herzanek has the answers to the 10 Toughest Questions Families and Friends Ask About Addiction and Recovery. His 22 minute video lays it out in plain language.  Joe speaks from his own experience.  After  three decades of sobriety, he still spends his personal and professional life helping others take that first step.  In 2007 he wrote a widely received book that tackled the biggest nagging question;  Why Don’t They Just Quit.  Now he offers the rest of the answers to the ten toughest questions in the video you shouldn’t miss.  Check out some excerpts. Joe and his wife, Judy Herzanek founded The Changing Lives Foundation and its blog; Why Don’t They Just Quit.  They both share a common bond in striving to make a difference by spreading the message that people do recover.

Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis is not just another parent who lost a child to drugs

She collected accounts of 39 other parents who experienced  similar loss and published, I am Your Disease: The Many Faces of Addiction.  Two years later Sheryl published, Slaying the Addiction Monster which illustrates her own all-inclusive look at the world of drugs and addiction and its personal impact.  Knowing how insidious the disease of addiction is; often luring our children, she wrote the book, The Addiction Monster and the Square Cat, geared to tweens from age 10 and up.  Drug addiction touches many people.  It is a bigger problem that most care to admit.  People like Sheryl are waking up America.

An Archetypal Understanding of Criminalized Drug Addicts An interesting and socially-important psychological review of the criminal archetype, that views the phenomenon of criminalized drug addiction both from the inside, as well as from the academic perspective. Dr John Smethers takes us on a deeply personal journey, looking at the root causes and effects of a sub-culture populated by society’s social outcasts. Sample from the 2008 book

Gwendolyn Noles…The Straight Story.  Gwen was interviewed on Prescription Addiction Radio.  Check out the last hour of the show.  Gwen talks about her  Season in Hell as she battled through an addiction on benzodiazepines Benzos, as they are sometimes known can have a cruel withdrawal.  Gwen went on to write a short memoir about her experience called A Season in Hell.

Tales of Addiction resonates a message to all impacted by addiction and moving into recovery. Barbara Sinor  weaves her life and  wisdom in and out of the book’s logical succession and  acumen of the disease of addiction. Read a review of this great book.    Available at Amazon. See also Barbara’s website: “INSPIRATION FOR RECOVERY”

Richie Farrell on Prescription Addiction Radio This Sunday 9PM EST.   You can also just go online o and listen.   Also check out Richie’s recent book;   What’s Left of Us by Richard Farrell.  He is a recovery advocate from Lowell, Mass; original source city for heroin.  His book; a portal into an addict’s life…emerging to take his life back…  What’s left of “me”

Book Review:  When Painkillers Become Dangerous. What Everone Needs to Know About Oxycontin and Other Prescription Drugs, Drew Pinkskey

“When Painkillers Become Dangerous” was written in 2004 and published by Hazelden.  This book is worth a fresh look.  It is an exceptional resource on drugs, addiction and recovery.   Drew Pinskey (Doctor Drew), the lead author provides one of the clearest explanations of how addiction develops that I have read.  He partners with five other very noteworthy authors.  Marvin Seppala dissects treatment and recovery.  Robert Meyers and John Gardin explain intervention, the prolific William White presents a historical overview of all drugs and their particular addictive characteristics while Stephanie Brown relates the insidiousness of addiction as a family problem.  Anyone looking for a resource written by top experts in clear language will benefit from reading this.

Tales of Addiction

“Once in a blue moon, I read a book that culminates in a poignancy by sharing a powerful experience. Tales of Addiction is one such book:  Here is a story and message amidst all of our stories; here is hope set against great challenges in the world of addiction and recovery; here is a legacy of understanding. Tales of Addiction is not just a collection of deep insight and personal accounts of tearful relapse and recovery, it is craftsmanship. Author, Barbara Sinor is a well read specialist in a world coming to grips with the disease of addiction. She offers her own valuable background of relatedness and heartened familiarity.  Artfully sharing all of this is the book’s strength.  Like a tapestry, it works by holding the reader’s interest with unique tales smoothly interwoven with both a spiritual and intellectual thought process. Sinor progressively weaves the details of her life and practical wisdom in-and-out of the book’s logical succession and its acumen of the disease of addiction. The reader feels her deep and intelligent reflection accompanying each precious contribution of struggle and uncertain recovery. Some make it; others may not, you begin to know this. You feel your own relatedness and in the last chapters, the reader enters the author’s space hearing the breaking news of a sudden culmination of one very special story and a legacy that lives on in her. Sinor’s book pushes forward with exigency and hope.

Tales of Addiction resonates a message to all impacted by the world of drugs and alcohol:  It is a world of possibility and joy; it is a world of shocking sadness; it is a world of conquest. One poignant message from the book is that no matter what, a single addict’s life is still sacred and knowing this captures a moment in time. Sinor invites the reader to share in her well of knowledge, reputation and work in the field of addiction and recovery. She expresses touching wisdom gained from her own life experience while delivering generous individual contributions written by people like you and I. Tales of Addiction instills there is no right or wrong; there is the possibility of helping just one more person; there is the possibility of coming to terms with this single moment, just for today.”     Bill Ford,

Tales of Addiction “…gut-wrenching yet heart-warming narratives by people with long-standing addiction issues. Weaving the unedited stories into a theme of upliftment and hope are Dr. Sinor’s astute commentaries and observations….riveting…”  Your can read the rest of her comments on this book scheduled to be published in 12 weeks from now on Dr. Sinor’s Blog and in this download PDF review

Addiction, Whats really Going On Many know the insanity of the addiction.  This book published in 2009 looks inside a heroin treatment program.  It addresses the important questions.  …”It helps us understand the need for a “wake-up” call regarding drug and alcohol use … It declares a passion for client advocacy and discovering ways to deal with those addicted … It brings the reality of addiction out-of-the-closet….  Read it.

“The pain and suffering of addiction is not limited to the alcoholic or drug addict. Family members share a tremendous burden as well”  – Ed Hughes, MPS   Read his guide list:  10 Ways Family Members Can Help a Loved One With a Drug of Alcohol Problem Book by Ed Hughs and Ronald Turner.

Excerpt from the book Trapped by Lori Stephens and Robert Nahas:

…My spinning head started to slow down.  I felt like I’d just stepped off the Tilt-a-Whirl at the carnival.  No point of reference, nothing around me staying in one place, everything changing shape.  My eyes slowly focused, filtering out the fuzzy, indiscernible shapes in the surrounding environment….  Local sounds still seemed off in the distance, coupled with a cave-like ringing sound in my ears.  My body, numb and lax, felt like it vibrated, so much that it hummed from the inside out.  Though I lay motionless, I could feel every cell in my body vacillating in frantic horror, trying to keep my organs in play and everything going according to the master plan.  It was mass chaos without the coordinated efforts of my brain, which was off-line and useless at the time….

…With the toxic concoction that had flown through my body for the past twenty hours, there was a cellular panic of a different order.  The desperate urge for more was well heard by the incumbent resident.  My insatiable body scorned the exhausted liver and kidneys for robbing the precious poison, while they approached total shutdown.  And like every other time, the voices, in unison, grew louder and louder with each pump of my heart:  “MORE METH!… MORE METH!… MORE METH!… MORE METH!”  Like in the final mile of a marathon, my heart struggled to thrust yet one more time….

Excerpt from the new book What’s Left of Us by Richard Farrell.  The book will be available from Amazon after June 30, 2009.

I am a heroin addict.  My life is limited to three concerns.  The first thing I gotta figure out every morning is how to get a bag of heroin into my arm no more than ten minutes after I wake up.  If I fail, I’m dope sick.  The cramps inside my lower stomach go on a full-scale attack….

… The majority of heroin in Lowell originates from New York City.  Puerto Rican gangs bring it here by the kilo.  The drug dealers on Adam Street who package the heroin from one pound bricks into grams and half-gram are no Einsteins.  They cut the heroin or add fake shit….

… Too much pure heroin in a half-gram package equals a “hot shot.”  You’re history, because five minutes after the rush your heart stops.  Too little or no heroin in a half-gram package gets you dope-sick.

… But my major concern on Adam Street is “cotton fever.”  I’d rather be dope-sick all day than get what the Puerto Rican junkies down here call “cotton shot rush.”  It’s when a dirty piece of cotton fiber used to filter the heroin makes it into your bloodstream….

… “Cotton shot rush” is a perfect example of life as a heroin addict.  You live for the moment.  If it happens, it happens.  But there is no mistaking it when it hits.  Ten to twenty minutes after you pull the trigger it whacks you like you’re in the third day of the flu virus.  The ears give it away:  if they start to ring you’re fucked.  Pressure begins to mount on each side of your temple like a vise squeezing slowly together.  Sweat pours off your brow but at first there is no temperature associated with it.  The shakes progress quickly to trembles.  Chills hit immediately after and the body’s temperature spikes….

… I wasn’t always a homeless, jobless, low-life heroin addict.  Once I was a good kid, an altar boy for Father Muldoon right here at St. Patrick’s.  I went to the YMCA as a young boy and played basketball, baseball, and football… injuries from football got me addicted to drugs, and the night I watched my father die, and everything else that happened, sent me on a path to heroin.

“Yo, yo! Heroin, cocaine. Dimes and nickels.”

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