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Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 10.20.03 PMCNN.com summarizes the current state of celebrity substance abuse.  It seems each generation of stars struggles with addiction.  These are people that America worships in movies and sitcoms.  These battling stars mirror many of the problems that families struggle with everyday not the least drug addiction.  They do it often in a bigger way punctuated by frequent tragedy.  You can view CNN’s slide show in Jeremy Miller from ‘Growing Pains’ talks addiction

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 5.56.24 PMAddiction: The disease that lies – CNN.com

Another young actor taken needlessly by addiction.  Deaths caused by addiction have risen astronomically and  drug overdose is now the No.1 cause of accidental death in the United States; more common than death by car accidents.

kidsRecently, California Activist Mom, Denise Cullen was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly on FOX TV.   O’Rielly said in certain terms that we aren’t really locking up  many young people for drug use and petty sales.  The ones in jail are evil.  Cullen made an opposite point.  Since the start of get tough on crime in the 70’s  jails are overflowing with drug offenders that are not evil and comprise members of our families.   Ask yourself if many FOX News listeners support the path to expanding privatization of jails in America.  That’s a dangerous path, so here is more information for the fair and balanced.  Consider, California’s 3 Strikes law in a piece by Elizabeth Stewart on her 25 year son.  He got 25 to life for petty drug offense.   America’s jails still fill a valuable purpose, but have become such meat grinders for the young and drug afflicted that now we find prisons maybe be fed by what some call a  school to  jail conveyor belt.

Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System.   Kids for Cash is another reason for reform People want to open doors for the treatment of drug addiction.  Can it be done without decriminalization of drug use itself?  I think too many Americans are caught up in a dilemma.  The kids for cash scandal is especially bad because it shows a pattern of locking up kids before they are old enough for adult detention for reasons other than necessity.  It shows that incarceration has become pork barrel for state job preservation.   America must find ways to spend  money needed for judicial and penal jobs more wisely.  The need for synergistic legislation that preserves jobs and deals with drug addiction is an American problem not a political problem.

Ron G. wrote the “7 Truths About My Addict That Took Five Years To Learn” as a resonating piece for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America in their blog, INTERVENE.  These  truths should hit home with every parent of an addict.

Screen shot 2013-02-20 at 11.15.41 PMTeenagers abusing drugs is often the beginning of a dangerous road.  Kids with conflicts often become teenagers with drug problems, consequently becoming adults with serious addictions.  Many of the conflicts that plague young people and lead to substance abuse are hard to handle at home.   According to Mathew Kyle,  home may not be enough to avert bigger problems in a teens immediate future if not dealt with in a timely manner.  Mathew  works with the Family Compass, a website committed to early conflicts in teen life.  Mathew touches on this topic in the article below:

When Home Is Not EnoughBoarding School Help For Teenage Substance Abusers.  Many of us have the idea that all you have to do is just quit drugs and/or alcohol.  Adults find it very difficult.  How much more difficult is it for a teenager?  To coin a phrase from Nike, “just do it,” is much easier said than done. In order for most teens to quit, they need help. Most parents want to do the best thing possible for their children. Some parents believe a teenager can get all the support they need at home to kick those ugly and destructive habits.  These habits sometimes combine both drugs and alcohol.  There are options when home is not enough.  When home is not enough to help your teenager, look into the boarding school choices that will help see your family through this time of crisis.  In addition, crisis is exactly the term needed to describe this downward spiral to self-destruction. Boarding school fills the following needs…Read the rest of Mathew’s article  by clicking here

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.

Mother’s Day was a big event for Moms United and the millions they represent.  These Rock Star Moms gathered outside of the Los Angeles Superior Court House to speak out against the war on drugs.  They are concerned about Americas’ endless drug war that is tearing apart families with little mercy.   Spokesperson, Gretchen Burns Bergman along with activist moms, formed the group  Moms United to End the War on Drugs.  They  are doing the work many do not have the courage to do.   Mom’s United is dealing with the scourge of drug addiction through positive solutions, drug policy reform and compassionate harm reducing strategies.  Gretchen is well spoken on the subject and has written for journals and newspapers.   Her latest piece, published the day before Mother’s Day is called Mother’s Day: Tears & Triumphs  You can view other publications by Gretchen in the Huffington Post.

It is easy to have high expectations for a teen coming home from some kind of treatment for their addiction, but what they need to know, is how important they are to their recovery — that failure is not the end and success is up to them.  Substance use disorder creates stress for a family and there is no guarantee of the outcome of recovery without diligence. You know who your teen is.  What comes after treatment is more work.  Finding ways to deal with it are critical.  There are resources everywhere and the web is a good place to start, even to find a meeting.  There are also, ways for the whole family to just “be” that enhances the success of a teen’s recovery.  To see a 9 point list of what I recommend for a family welcoming home an addicted loved one,   CLICK HERE.

OxyContin and the Opium Epidemic of the 21st Century.  Larry G. of Prescription Addiction Radio wrote this piece early in 2009 to bring attention to the epidemic sweeping America; quite frequently culminating in street heroin addiction.  Its not about responsible use of pain medication.  Its about kids dying.  A dozen young people died just in the NW part of Tucson this year!  Evan Cueto was the 3rd overdose death at Canada Del Oro High School in just 3 months into 2009.  Many Blessings to his family.  This is an epidemic.  If it were a terrorist incident, it would be all over the news.  The death toll of opiate overdose barely gets print.  Why  is America silent?  The carnage won’t end without communities demanding it stop.  Opiate Addiction is a serious illness and is treatable if addicts want it and have an accessible support network behind them.   Current estimates of opiate addiction in America is roughly 2 million and growing.  100,000 may die.  The writing is on the wall.  Parents can start by educating themselves.  Time to Act.

What Do You Buy An Addict For Christmas? is the name of an excellent podcast put together by Denise Krochta podcast on WebTalkRadio.net.  Denise has been down the same hellish road that so many  parents of addicts have walked.  Its a very bumpy road that’s not very drivable, but Denise has risen above the traps of her own co-dependence and has written about it.   Her book Sweat as Denise puts it; “cuts to the chase” about what options parents have.   She goes on to say, “Addiction is a disease not only of the addict but of the family.” She adds “The intention of this book is to cut through the volumes and months of time and materials I already researched and to present to you, the reader, a kind of “cut to the chase” approach to arm you with tools to help you to have a good life no matter the choices of your loved ones.” As far as Christmas gifts go, it doesn’t take a  lot of  imagination to figure out  where money and gifts most likely will go, but there are some things you can give an addict.  Check out Denise’s podcast and book. 

It is difficult to recognize what acceptance is in the context of Drug Addiction.  The concept of acceptance as something helpful and positive can be confusing and difficult to realize.  Many people relate the talk of acceptance as condoning the drug or alcohol problem of a family member.  Its definitely not that.  Drugs and Alcohol  to an addict are cunning, baffling and powerful and even as much so to the families that have to witness it.  Accepting what is happening in a family torn apart by substance abuse, as contradictory as it sounds,  is key to one’s mental well-being.    In the Partnership of a Drug Free America’s blog Intervention, the subject of acceptance is explored as a state of mind that can help a parent deal with a family member’s struggle with addiction.  Courtesy of the Partnership For a Drug Free America

Meet The Five Moms, featured on the website;  Stop Medicine Abuse.  These moms have a message for any parent who might be in denial about their kids playing to close the edge of that slippery slope of drug abuse.   Chances are, if your kid is seeking out a high at age 13, 14 or 15; the writing is on the wall and you better get on it quick.  Dr. Drew Pinsky talks about one early warning sign; the use of DXM found in off the counter cough medicine.   Now they want to thank you.   Links by Dave Levy

Sherry McGinnis is a member of the Parent Advisory Board of The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.   The loss of her youngest son prompted her to write three books on drugs and addiction. Online: theaddictionmonster.com This past Father’s Day Sherry wrote a tribute to the dads that have lost a son or a  daughter;  a loss that is all too often to the disease of addiction that haunts thousands of fathers and mothers  across America “…The empty chair at the dinner table is a silent but painful reminder of his loss; the phone that doesn’t ring. Gone is the playful teasing between father and son or the special glow in a dad’s eye as he watches his daughter grow from daddy’s little girl into a young woman…” Read the rest of her tribute at this link:   Father’s Day good time to honor men who have lost their children These links are provided by Sherry McGinnis.

Dadonfire is on  The Partnership for a Drug Free America.  The first piece is now featured on their outreach blog:  INTERVENE.  We may not eliminate drug addiction in America; but we can cut it half, saving billions.  Loved ones of addicts can start taking back their lives while putting their best foot forward by taking a stand.   The  Partnership reaches out to families impacted by the addiction of teens and young adults with prevention, education and treatment programs.  The parents resource center is one of PDFA’s education sites that is rich with information like:  talking to kidsalcoholism in the familythe hows and whys of kids and drugs.   Links courtesy of Mary S.

Dr. Drew Pinsky has earned  somewhat of a reputation to speak out on treatment, enabling, etc.   Back in 2004, in fact, he wrote an excellent book on the subject.  This past week however,  Dr. Drew caught flack in publicly proclaiming that Lindsy Lohan’s parent’s need to go to the wall in:  If I Were Lindsay Lohan’s Father I Would Go to Any Lengths to Get Her Into Treatment. You may recall the recent tragic loss of Casey Johnson and Corey Haim. They were both peer celebrities who had illegal prescriptions at their fingertips and may be alive today, had intervention took place.  In context to the Dr. Drew piece, “any lengths” really implied having your addict jailed, even if one had to illegally plant drugs on them.   Addicts do have rights and a  big decision to make.  Recovered addicts with previous jail experience have sometimes referred to jail as a “rescue”.   It is not always the worst thing that can happen to your addict.  However, a celebrity’s jail experience is not the same as that of a run of the mill addict.  Many jail guards hate addicts not to mention effective treatment in jail is still  rare.  That’s another topic, but Dr. Drew may do all of us more of a favor to go back to the roots of his solid base of knowledge and advocacy for the problem.  There he can really impact America’s issue with drug abuse and addiction in an effective manner, now that he has your attention.   His focus these days is on celebrities and funky radio shows like  Loveline and the content of his input on the subject has to be taken in that context.  What do you think?  Dr. Drew Link by Valerie Allen Public Relations

Social media is a growing phenomena and more than 10 million online messages written by teens in 2007 shows they regularly chat about alcohol, drugs according to Nielson analysts.  This problem was first written about in USA Today in a article called Teens Use Internet to Share Drug Stories.  The website:  Parents, The Anti Drug talks about what parents can do.  Link by Mary S.

“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.

Young people are abusing medications to get high and families don’t know enough.  Young drug abusers do not understand the dangers.  Here is a valuable PDF document by the D.E.A. that provides answers:  Prescription for Disaster, How Teens Abuse Medicine.

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