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Friday, May 31, 2013

New Synthetic Drugs In Europe

FrogE Magic Plant Food
Synthetic drugs continue to be a major concern around the globe. 73 new synthetic drugs were found in Europe last year, 30 were variations of synthetic marijuana, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMDCCA).

“These products, which can be extremely potent, have now been reported in virtually all European countries,” according to the agency’s annual report. In 2011 there were 49 new synthetic drugs, according to the BBC.

The report also found that an estimated 85 million adults, one quarter of Europe’s adult population, use or have used an illicit drug, the report showed.

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a news release, “The new drugs phenomenon is now recognized to be a global issue and a globalized market, which makes it particularly difficult to control. The report shows that organized crime is involved in the production of new drugs, a rapidly developing and expanding market with low risks and high profits.”

Synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous and experts are still unsure of all the potential side-effects associated with such drugs. 
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Urban Outfitters Promotes Prescription Drugs

The prescription drug abuse epidemic is destroying lives on a catastrophic level in America. Sadly, teenagers and young adults are the biggest abusers of prescription opioids like Oxycodone. Officials are hard at work to curb the problem, but unfortunately large companies are exploiting the problem by making prescription drugs seem hip.

One such company is the clothing line Urban Outfitters, which has been selling products that promote prescription drug abuse. In an attempt to stop such activity, 23 attorneys general sent a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO and Chairman Richard A. Hayne, urging him to remove any products that condone prescription drug abuse from their stores.

The company has been asked to stop selling clothes that have designs that look like prescription pill bottles, boxes, pads and syringes, according to The Miami Herald.

 “These products are not in any way fun or humorous but make light of this rampant problem,” the attorneys general wrote. “We invite you to pull these products from your shelves and join with us to fight prescription drug abuse.”

The Partnership at Drugfree.org urged people to write or email Hayne and/or sign a Facebook petition asking Urban Outfitters to pull those products from its stores and website. The Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers, called on Urban Outfitters to stop selling the products.

“Profiting from an ad campaign that is contrary to Florida’s efforts to combat prescription drug overdoses and drinking is unacceptable. We are calling on Urban Outfitters to forgo a few sales and help us save a lot of lives”, said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Documentary: The Anonymous People ~ "To Change The Addiction Conversation From Problems To Solutions"

Sharing The Anonymous People

Just this week we learned about a feature-length documentary film, The Anonymous People. The documentary has not been formally released yet, it is in previews. It is a film about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drugs.

Are you in long-term recovery? Maybe you have a friend or family member who is in long-term recovery. Just the other day a friend of ours celebrated 39 years of sobriety!

The Anonymous People will have a West Coast preview

On May 28, 2013, 7:00PM at the Menlo Atherton High School Theater Center for the Performing Arts (PAC) 555 Middlefield Road Atherton, CA 94027 The Anonymous People will be previewed. You can visit here to register for free tickets.

The preview will be followed by a question and answer period with the filmmaker Greg Williams.

Watch The Anonymous People trailer

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

The film is hopeful and insightful. Celebrating hope and recovery is a fascinating journey.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Treating Addiction Patients With An Integrated Approach

"When you form a team, why do you try to form a team? Because teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed."  Russel Honore

Working with addicted clients takes a team...

Often when clients finally enter treatment for the disease of addiction they have tried to find sobriety on their own or they have sought counsel from their primary care physician or perhaps they have reached a point in their life where they realize for the first time that they can't do it on their own. They need emotional support from their family members, perhaps they have reached out to their Employee Assistance Program via their employer, or maybe they have been ordered by the judicial system to seek treatment or face jail.

Whatever the catalyst when someone enters treatment they soon realize that they are not alone and their treatment course will be guided by a team of professionals. This team may include physicians, psychologists, nurses, dieticians, counselors, social workers, and case managers. The team works together in both one-on-one and group settings, uncovering each participant’s strengths and gifts to help clients flourish in a drug-free life. This teamwork helps to establish a foundation of trust with the client. Recovery is possible.

ASAM annual conference held in Chicago

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) held their 44th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference in Chicago April 25-28, 2013. The theme of this year's conference was "New Treatment in Addiction Medicine." According to the conference's website:
"The multi-faceted nature of addiction--its genesis, impact and treatment--demands knowledge and expertise in a variety of disciplines and approaches. One single treatment program can never address every kind of addiction or every person suffering from substance use disorders. Continuous assessment, monitoring and modification of treatment are necessary as the patient journeys from active addiction to life-long recovery. New developments in pharmacology, neuroscience, psychiatry, counseling and other avenues of treatment provide those who diagnose and treat addiction with a promising array of tools to apply to each complex situation."

Integration of primary care and addiction medicine discussed at ASAM

On Sunday, April 28, 2013, the ASAM conference program included a symposium The Addiction Medicine/Primary Care Interface: Models of Integrated Care. The presenters for this symposium were Alexander Walley, MD, MSc; Daniel Alford, MD, MPH, FASAM, FACP; Judith Martin, MD, FASAM.

Medscape News published an interesting article about this particular symposium. The doctors provided examples of their own experience with integrated care. But they also discussed the challenges to integrated care. These include:
  • Lack of funding
  • More research will be needed to prove the cost effectiveness of integrated care
  • Integrated care should not neglect one-on-one relationships of team members

Enjoying a medical practice that includes various specialties

Perhaps you have had the opportunity to have a primary care physician whose practice is part of a group of physicians who are credentialed in various specialties. For example, there might be physicians who specialize in internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, sports medicine, primary care and pediatrics. This type of group practice makes it easier for a patient or an entire family, for that matter, to receive referrals and consults from each specialist.

The addition of an addiction medicine specialist would be ideal so that if one of the doctors recognizes that a patient is struggling with alcohol abuse, prescription drug abuse or other co-occurring disorders a referral can be made immediately and the treatment course can be designed.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Physicians Advised To Attend Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Do you really listen to the advice offered by your doctor? 

This is a serious question. How often do you visit your primary care physician (PCP) and listen carefully to the advice that he/she offers? Do you ever question whether or not your physician has actually experienced the health condition for which you are being treated? For example, if you are a woman and your gynecologist is a man, does it occur to you that your doctor has actually never personally experienced pregnancy or childbirth?  This is just one example of how we as patients accept care and advice from a medical professional, even though the advice being offered is not from personal experience but from their educational background.

If you suffer from the disease of addiction, particularly alcoholism, has your PCP ever advised you to attend Alcoholic Anonymous?

Often when a person sees their primary care physician the doctor may determine that the patient or someone in the patient's family might benefit from attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The doctor may feel that the patient's dependence on alcohol (or a family member's dependence on alcohol) has reached a point where continued use is life threatening. If you or your loved one has been counseled by your family physician to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), did you ever wonder how much your physician knows about AA?

Expert advises doctors to attend a few AA meetings...

This week The Partnership at DrugFree.org published a news article outlining an observation made by Marc Galanter, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at NYU Langone Medical Center. According to Dr. Galanter:
“Any doctor treating addicted people should go to at least a few AA meetings, so they can discuss it with patients in a knowledgeable way. It’s very experiential, and doctors should have a sense of it. They should also learn the steps of AA.”

How to find an "open" AA Meeting...

Dr. Galanter's advice is really powerful, not only for physicians and other medical professionals that come in contact with alcoholics and family members who live with an alcoholic, it could be helpful for Social Workers, court employees, probation and parole officers to learn more about AA and actually attend some "open" meetings glean a better understanding of what their patient or client will encounter by going to AA.

You can find local meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, or Adult Children of Alcoholics by visiting their websites. Once you find a listing for a local meeting, look for meetings that are classified as "open." An open meeting is one that:
'Open meetings are for anyone who is interested in AA, Al-Anon or ACOA. If a meeting is "open" it will be so designated on the published schedule. Open meetings can be attended by students, professionals, and other non-members interested in learning more about the recovery programs. The designation of a meeting as "open" does not change the meetings primary purpose of the group.'

Celebrate Hope utilizes the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous

Our dedicated staff has a combined 75 years of experience in addiction recovery, behavioral health, and treatment of co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis. This expertise affords us intimate knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of those undergoing treatment. Our Christian counselors utilize proven therapy techniques that adhere to the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs. Drawing from personal success stories of staff members who have dealt with their own addictions, our Christian rehabilitation team infuses renewed hope for the fulfilling life that God intended.
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