This Week In Recovery News 11-3

Here’s your don’t want to miss recovery news for the week ending November 3, 2017. Our news stories are often overlooked. Please share to get our voices heard.

Dollar General Heroin Mom Is Back

One year ago, Erika Hurt rose to fame, in a horrific fashion. Cops found Erika in her car, passed out from using heroin. Her 10-month-old baby boy was in the backseat of the car. Erika still had the needle in her hand, and police administered several doses of Narcan to save her. Once revived, she was charged on several counts.

This week, she’s back and better than ever! The photos of her in the Dollar General parking lot went viral, but more importantly, they forced her to see her addiction. Erika writes:

Recovery News 11-3I’ve decided to repost the picture simply because it displays exactly what heroin addiction is.

Also because I do not want to ever forget where the road of addiction has taken me. Little did I know that day, my life was about to change, drastically.

Today, I am able to focus on the good that came from that picture.

Today, I am able to be grateful to actually have solid proof where addiction will only lead you, and today I am able to say that I am ONE YEAR SOBER!

I have thousands of shout outs, too many to list.

Just know that I DO NOT tackle recovery alone, I have a very large group of supporters standing behind me each and every day to help make sobriety possible for me!

A Hot Cocoa Read:

Way to go Erika! Thank you for being brave and bold enough to share how your “Mess became a message.” Hug that sweet baby boy and do everything to fight for your sobriety. So glad to see you back in recovery news as a success!


91 Americans Were Killed Yesterday…

…Is not in any recovery news headlines today. In any other mass killing, CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews would have a scrolling news feed and live coverage. Reporters would interview bystanders. The FBI would launch an exhaustive man hunt. Yet, none of those things are happening, and the death toll is rising. Ninety-one Americans were also killed on Wednesday. And 91 more on Tuesday. So far today, we can safely assume 30 more victims will die before most Americans get to the office. Why is no one reporting about this?

Because we don’t want to be honest about the cause. Unlike most other mass killings, many blame the victims. Extremists say their death is a glorified suicide because they did after all chose to take the first hit of Heroin. No one forced them to take the first pain pill after all. Yet, scientific evidence says addiction is a chronic and relapsing illness. Officials arrested a Big Pharma CEO for bribing doctors and misleading insurance companies.

A One Cup Read:

This is read is smooth, yet bold and flavorful. Authors David Blumenthal and Shanoor Seervai present a clear overview of how we got where we are. Their statistics are refreshingly different from the CDC and NIDA stats.


Recovery Costs More Than Addiction

Word on the street is, heroin is cheep, but getting off of heroin isn’t. Last week, Recovery Guidance’s article, What Is Methadone explained how it is used to help wean people off of heroin and other opioids. Methadone is one example of a Medical Assisted Treatment program, and buprenorphine is another.

More than 2 million Americans are addicted to some type of opioid, yet only 1 out of 10 are likely to find treatment. Only 350,000 Americans are in a Methadone treatment program. Another 75,000 are in buprenorphine treatment. Too many people live in areas without licensed treatment providers, and too many people with access to the treatment can’t afford it.

Elizabeth Brico reports, “Methadone ranged from $350 per month to $200 per week. Buprenorphine patients reported clinic costs between $100 and $300 per month, with medication costs broaching the thousands for those without insurance.”

A Two Cup Read:

This article is a tough recovery news read unless you’ve had enough coffee. First, it’s full of stats. Second, it’s heartbreaking to realize that recovery comes with a price tag.


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This Week In Recovery News 10-27

Here’s what’s happening in recovery news for the week ending October 27, 2017.

President Declares Public Health Emergency

Highlights:

President Trump’s big announcement on Thursday, October 26, 2017, declared an emergency, but it wasn’t the type of emergency some were expecting. He didn’t declare a national disasters like the ones often declared during blizzards, widespread fires, and hurricanes. Those types of emergencies allow for the immediate release of federal FEMA funds.

Instead, he declared a public health emergency. This type of emergency could help us get better results, but it lacks the quick fix many so desperately want. Rafael Lemaitre was the communications director for the White House Drug Policy Office under President Obama’s administration.

He explains “I do think the Public Health Service Act is more appropriate route to take than the Stafford Act designation,” he said. “I worked at FEMA for two years and dealt with multiple disasters. The Stafford Act is not structured to deal with a long term, complicated public health crisis like the opioid crisis.”

Two Important Recovery News Details Fall Through The Cracks

1) Trump’s order relies heavily on the presidential commission he convened earlier this year, yet they urged the President to use either the Public Health Services Act or the Stafford Act to declare a state of emergency. New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie wrote:

“The first and most urgent recommendation of this commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act. With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

2) Way back in August, the reports surrounding this declaration said the national emergency declaration would expanding treatment facilities and supplying police officers with the anti-overdose remedy naloxone. This need wasn’t discussed yesterday.

A One Cup Read:

CNN’s Dan Merica did a great job explaining the difference between the types of emergencies. It’s an easy recovery news read. One cup should do it, just make sure you pick a dark roast.

 


Billionaire CEO Arrested For Fentanyl Connection

Background Info:

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful drug. It was only meant for cancer patients who were fighting severe pain. On the streets, Fentanyl is cut with heroin, and it’s responsible for many of the opioid overdoses.

Highlights:

John Kapoor is the former CEO of Insys Therapeutics. Insys created Subsys, which transmits an extremely powerful dose of narcotic fentanyl in spray form. Patients place the drug under their tongue for fast, potent pain relief.

Kappor and his company are accused of:

  1. Bribing doctors to write “large numbers of prescriptions for the patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer.”
  2. Misleading insurance companies who were reluctant to approve the payments for the drug when it wasn’t prescribed appropriately.

A Two Cup Read:

This recovery news article has a lot of legal jargon. It’s a tough read unless you’ve had enough coffee. First, many speculate that Kappor is only the first of many to be accused. Second, when prosecutors say Kapoor’s charges, which include mail and wire fraud, I can’t help but think of John Grisham’s The Firm.

 


Inventor Creates Addiction Prohibiting Pill Bottle

Highlights:

Joseph Hamilton understands the struggle that drug addicts go through because he spent years with a girlfriend who abused prescription drugs. “I told her one day, I’m gonna come up with something you can’t argue with. The doctors will know exactly how you’ve taken you’re medicine, and you won’t be able to get it until it’s due.” But that day didn’t come soon enough. “Last time she was on life support she didn’t come back,” Hamilton said.

Big Pharma Wants The Bottle Stopped

Hamilton got the patent three months ago and said a pharmaceutical company approached him. They offered him more than one million dollars for the patent to keep the bottles off the market.

He refused, saying this is too important for him to sell out and be silenced now.

“People are dying every day. People are losing their kids, their husbands, wives, parents, their lives to opioids,” he said.

Hamilton already has the plaststics factory, the computer programmers, and the patent; he just needs the money to mass produce the bottles.

A Hot Cocoa Read:

This man’s passion for helping others is heartwarming. Critics claim this bottle would not stop someone who is addicted. Others say people will just turn to the streets. What if his bottle prevents someone who’s taking post-op pain pills from becoming addicted?

 


Guardian Angel In The Bathroom

Highlights:

These days, former security guard, Hector Mata spends most of his time in the bathroom. Officially known as the Corner Project, Hector works for a place where people can exchange used needles for clean ones. Unfortunately, once heroin users get their clean needles, they often head to the bathroom to inject drugs. Not surprisingly, there was an overdose in the bathroom, followed by another and so on.

If a user in the bathroom doesn’t respond on the check-in, Mata, or someone similarly trained, will press a button to unlock the door. Mata rushes in, armed with a syringe full of naloxone. Naloxone is also known as Narcan. Narcan is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. After seven years and at least 25 overdoses, he says he has never failed.

Background Info:

We are in the worst drug crisis in American history. Americans consume more than 80% of the world’s supply of opioid pain pills, even though we are less than 5% of the world’s population. Many of those prescriptions have led to heroin use; three out of four new heroin users started with prescription narcotics.

A Hot Cocoa Read:

This is a heartwarming yet controversial recovery news must read. The idea of harm-reduction in addiction and recovery is polarizing. Hector and other workers at the Corner Project are committed to saving lives. Thank you Dr. Gupta for shining a light on these unsung heroes.


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This Week In Recovery News 10-19

Here’s what’s happening in recovery news for the week ending October 19, 2017.

Addiction Recovery Needs A Cure

Highlights:

Substance use alters your brain function, and those with altered brain function cannot control their use. If you’re under the influence, you’re not the same person you were before you began experimenting. Addiction doesn’t go away on its own; and promises, yelling, or behavior contracts won’t lead to recovery. Instead, addiction has to be assessed, diagnosed, and treated like any chronic life-threatening disease.

Furthermore, these problems impede  a nation-wide solution:

  1. Inmates don’t receive any treatment in prison.
  2. Many of the drugs prescribed by doctors are actually designed to be addictive but marketed as safe.
  3. Pills sold on the street and Internet are laced with poison so lethal even first responders are at risk.
  4. Alcohol is made stronger and stronger, and marketed like juice.

Recovery does work, but not the way we are funding it now. People who have Substance Use Disorder need two or three year programs to fully restore brain function (where possible), and they need a lifetime of follow up.

A One Cup Read:

This is a hard hitting piece that’s easy to process, and you can enjoy it with little or no coffee.

 


A Drug Czar Was Not Appointed

Background Info:

First of all, Drug Czar is an informal title. Back in 1982, then Sentator Joe Bidden coined this flippant term.  Each Presidential Administration appoints someone to direct the nation’s drug control policies, and we are still awaiting President Trump’s.

Highlights:

President Trump nominated Republican Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino for the position. On Sunday, October 15, CBS’s 60 Minutes revealed Marino’s role in pushing through the drug industry-backed Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act. As a result, Marino declined the appointment.

Buried In This Recovery News Article:

Additionally, Trump told reporters he will sign his Aug. 10 National Emergency Declaration, and he will send it to Congress this week. Most noteworthy, the Declaration will fund new drug treatment facilities and Naloxone for cops.

A Three Cup Read:

This recovery news article includes past policy actions and two tweets, it’s best tackled after three or more cups of java.

 


200,000 Overdoses Are Blamed On Congress

Highlights:

Joe Rannazzisi is a tough, blunt former DEA deputy assistant administrator. This week, he told CBS’s Sixty Minutes how Congress, lobbyists, and the industry fueled the epidemic. Rannazzisi says,

“This is an industry that’s out of control. This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors’ offices.  That distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs. That’s just it, and people die.”

In 2001, a Purdue Executive told congress, “Addiction is not common, addiction is rare in the pain patient who is properly managed.” Therefore, doctors believed the drugs posed few risks; so prescriptions skyrocketed, and so did addiction.

Unfortunately, these “non-addictive” painkillers are addictive. Once addicted, people turned to shady pill mills. Rogue doctors in these pain clinics wrote bad prescriptions, and complicit pharmacists filled them. Therefore, these shady pill mills became one-stop shopping for controlled narcotics.

Buried In This Recovery News Article:

In 2013, members of Congress and the drug industry quietly paved the way for a crippling legislation. Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee introduced the bill. It was supposed to give patients access to the pain meds they needed.

While the drug distributors celebrated, then DEA chief administrative law judge, John J. Mulrooney spoke out. In a soon-to-be-published Marquette Law Review article, he said the new law “would make it all but…impossible” to prosecute unethical distributors.

A One Pot Read:

This article is a cornerstone news piece for our industry, but it is long. Hence, it’s a tough read and best understood with a pot of coffee.


Revolving Door Rehab Treatment Must End

Highlights:

Julie Oziah-Gideon wants insurers to change the way they cover in-patient therapy and addiction treatment. Julie’s 20-year-old daughter, Samantha Huntley, battled a heroin addiction for two years. This summer, Samantha went to Florida for inpatient rehab. After only 30 days, the insurance quit paying for treatment, and the center sent Samantha home on August 31. Consequently, she died on September 3 from an overdose.

Most importantly, Oziah-Gideon says, “This generation needs more than a 30-day treatment.  They need a least 90 to 100 days, inpatient. I did everything in my power and beyond to help her, to try to get her treatment.”

A Hot Cocoa Read:

Never underestimate a Mom’s power, and look for more to stories like this to come. Similarly, Megan Kelly did a piece exposing this same phenomenon over the summer. More will be revealed.


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