Saturday, June 30, 2012


The Hansen Foundation's objective is to help recovering addicts by assisting those in need to access treatment. The Hansen Foundation owns and operates three Serenity Houses, supportive sober-living houses in South Jersey. The Serenity Houses treat each resident as an individual with her or his own unique circumstances in order to help them sustain a life in recovery.

The Hansen Family
Through their own family struggles during Jennifer's 10-year battle with drug addiction, Roger, Edwina, Jennifer and Erika Hansen recognized the need to address the lack of affordable, long-term residential treatment facilities in their community for people seeking to change their lives through recovery.

The Hansen Foundation was formed to support Jennifer's dream to open such a facility, hence, the Hansen House in Galloway Township, New Jersey was born. Hansen House for Men opened its doors in 2004. Hansen House for Women opened in 2006. Hansen House is currently owned and operated by Hendricks House of Vineland, NJ. For more information about Hansen House, click HERE.

Erika, Roger, Edwina & Jennifer Hansen

In 2007, the foundation established its first Serenity House, a restorative sober-living residence for women in Absecon, New Jersey, and in 2011, Serenity House Meadows in Pleasantville, New Jersey opened, as well as The Randy Scarborough House for Men in Somers Point, NJ (a division of Serenity House).

For more information about Serenity House and The Randy Scarborough House,
visit website HERE.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Supreme Court Decision “Extremely Uplifting” for Substance Abuse Field, Expert Says

By Join Together Staff | June 29, 2012 | 4 Comments | Filed in Addiction,Drugs, Government, Healthcare, Legal & Treatment

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is extremely uplifting for the substance abuse field, according to A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, CEO of the Treatment Research Institute and former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Dr. McLellan, who served on President Obama’s healthcare reform task force, notes the debates and research around the ACA produced two startling facts. “First, unaddressed substance use now costs mainstream healthcare upwards of $100 billion annually, particularly in areas such as ER and trauma care, but also in the treatment of virtually every chronic illness,” he said.

Dr. McLellan added that because of the severity and complexity of their conditions, the 23 million ‘addicted’ Americans are disproportionately costly – but it is the 40-45 million Americans with lower severity but still significant ‘harmful substance use disorders’ who comprise the largest burden of illness and cost to healthcare.

“The second realization produced in the ACA debates is that while there is provision to treat ‘addiction’ in specialty care programs(though clearly more coverage is needed) there had never been healthcare benefits or reimbursement options for those with ‘harmful substance use,’” he noted. “Thus, one of the historic aspects of ACA is the requirement that care services for the full range of substance use disorders be part of the ‘essential benefit design’ in all health plans.”

Dr. McLellan called this “the beginning of a new era in prevention, early intervention and office based care for patients who are not addicted – but whose drinking, smoking, and use of other substances is harming their health and compromising the effectiveness of the care they are receiving for other illnesses and conditions.”

The Supreme Court on Thursday largely upheld the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s health care law. The mandate was upheld as a tax.


Thanks for your invite to join your group with such a key mission! We'd love to pair with you to do some outreach if that's something you might be interested in. We are a structured sober living program that is unique in our mission (to genuinely help addicts to regain a MEANINGFUL life through activism, responsibility, and compassion), our long-term emphasis (absolute minimum stay with us is 6 months but most clients stay 1 year and our program is designed to last up to 3years), and our dedication to healing the whole person rather than solely treating the disease. We require clients to secure part-time and then full-time employment while with us (once they are medically and psychologically ready) and we also emphasize strong sober social competence. We do cater exclusively toward professionals (or former professionals) and students. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance to you as (with a goal as broad as ours), we can use all the teamwork we can get : )
I will absolutely post information on our program onto your page! I will also keep you posted on events- we host an annual International Treatment Center Cooperative Conference (ITCC) and would be glad to keep you informed of impending dates and programs. We are located in two states with 3 properties around Vero Beach, FL and one in Alexandria, VA (outskirts of DC). Thank you again and I look forward to continued correspondence

Lauren Ashley
GRR Intern

The Simple Truth of Mary Kennedy's Suicide

Another tragedy befell the Kennedy family with the suicide last week of RFK Jr.'s wife. The media may be dwelling on the "Kennedy Curse," but the curse in this case is all too common.

Robert, Jr., and children at Mary's casket photo via

By Susan Cheever

At first, the Mary Richardson Kennedy story seemed like the same old tragic same old. Yes, she had it all: the handsome husband whose family was American royalty; the four beautiful children the house surrounded by woods and lawns in Westchester’s horse country. But in the kind of reverse Cinderella, riches-to-rags story the media loves, it turned out that even all those wonderful things were not enough to make the 52-year-old Mary Kennedy want to stay alive. Let’s pray that her soul rests in peace while her story continues to whirl through the tabloids and gossip magazines like a dervish of confusion and obfuscation even after her star-studded funeral on Saturday. (The Richardson family holds its own separate services today.)

Every suicide has its own specific causes, the chain of events that leads up to a moment when life becomes unbearable, but Kennedy’s is less a mystery than many. Alcoholism, especially coupled with chronicdepression, is a fatal disease that requires treatment. Why is that so difficult to understand?

There had been plenty of unhappy moments in Kennedy’s recent years. She had twice been arrested for driving under the influence—once for alcohol and once for prescription drugs. Her husband, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., had separated from her and was suing her for custody of their children, a particularly frightening and shameful attack for any mother, let alone one who lived in the public eye. Her husband was also being photographed dating perky blond television star Cheryl Hines. American Express was after her for unpaid bills. Her lovely house had been the setting of terrible scenes; her husband had called the police to intervene in an argument he said was started by her crazy behavior. Once, when he was driving her to Northern Westchester Hospital for psychiatric observation, he reported, she had tried to jump out of the moving car. Her husband’s sister Kerry, who had been her best friend since childhood, said she was sometimes paralyzed with depression. There had reportedly been other suicide attempts. Mary Kennedy was so desperate that she even tried going to Alcoholics Anonymous.

When an alcoholic is a "dual diagnosis" and famous, we skip over the real cause—alcoholism—and revel in the delicious circumstances of their downfall.

By focusing on these and other painful details of Kennedy’s life that the media has so voraciously hunted down, we can distract ourselves from the simple truth: Most suicides are drug and alcohol related. Mary Kennedy was an alcoholic and probably a drug addict, with the common complication of depression. (Counselors call this a dual diagnosis.) She had a disease; she needed treatment. Like a majority of people who have a dual diagnosis, she apparently didn’t get treatment for any of her problems.

When someone has a disease like diabetes that is not socially stigmatized, we focus on their lifestyle choices and we send them to a doctor. When someone has cancer—which was once so frightening as to be almost unmentionable—we immediately talk about where they should be treated and choosing among the medical options. The diagnosis is discussed with sympathy. But when someone has alcoholism, suffers from depression and is suicidal, especially when that person is privileged or famous, we skip over the real cause of their actions—the disease of alcoholism—and revel in the delicious circumstances of their downfall. This is even more true if they actually take their life—in Mary Kennedy’s case, by hanging herself in the barn on her estate. And of course our endless fascination with the Kennedys and their so-called curse—alcoholism runs in families—only further stokes the fire.

Kennedy seems to have followed the heartbreakingly predictable path of millions of alcoholics. At first alcohol works beautifully. Bill Wilson, the cofounder of AA, wrote that when he had his first drink, he thought he had found the elixir of life. With a drink, depression seems to lift; the anxious become relaxed, the shy become social, the uptight become expansive and funny. My father handed me my first real drink, a cool gin and tonic on a hot summer day. Within a few swallows, my perspective did a wonderful somersault: I went from being an unpopular loser to being a glamorous literary princess leading an adventurous life. Needless to say, I had another drink.

But inevitably alcohol turns on you. “Alcohol gave me wings to fly/and then it took away the sky,” they say. Slowly but progressively, drinking stops being the magnificent solution and becomes the deadly problem. (As a depressant, it is especially dangerous for someone who is depressed.) For an alcoholic this is a frightening and confusing process. The drinks that used to make everything possible stop working. As with all addictions, seem necessary for even normal functioning. After 30 years of using alcohol to solve my problems, I was so depressed that I did not see how I could continue living. I had a glamorous husband and beautiful children, but alcohol had turned on me. Through a series of miraculous accidents, I got treatment for my disease. Mary Kennedy was not so lucky.

Mary Kennedy reportedly went to AA and got sober for a while. But somehow the 12 Steps and the meetings didn’t take.

I am still amazed at how many people misunderstand alcoholism. The press often reports it as a loss of self-control, and many people I talk to agree. If the alcoholic isn’t drunk, they seem to think, there is no problem. But an alcoholic is impaired all the time. It takes days for alcohol to clear the system; the damage to the brain can take months to heal and the psychological wounds much longer.

Mary Kennedy reportedly went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and got sober for a while—ironically she lived in Bedford, New York, just a few miles from Stepping Stones in nearby Bedford Hills, where Bill Wilson spent his last 30 years. But somehow the 12 Steps and the meetings didn’t take. Perhaps like many alcoholics, she needed to spend a few months in rehab. Sometimes, especially with a dual diagnosis, a second course of treatment is required. (At the funeral on Saturday, Kerry Kennedy told to the New York Daily News: that Mary Kennedy had gone to AA, had been sober for the past five months and had been seeing doctors who were trying to get her on a psychiatric medication combination that worked. These new details made Mary Kennedy's problems appear better managed by all concerned, thereby only deepening the confusion and obfuscation surrounding her suicide.)

What remains the real mystery is the fact that someone with the brains, money and resources to have the best treatment available somehow missed getting it. Certainly living in a culture where alcoholism is still thought to be a shameful loss of control didn’t help. When are we going to take this disease seriously?

In the past few decades we have made dramatic strides in the way our culture treats once-stigmatized issues. For example, we know now that smoking is unhealthy and we have banned it in many places. We know now that sexual orientations are as natural and various as eye color, and this recognition has resulted in a huge increase in tolerance. But we don’t seem to get it when it comes to alcoholism and addiction. Why not?

Susan Cheever, a regular columnist for The Fix, is the author of many books, including the memoirs Home Before Dark and Note Found in a Bottle, and the biography My Name Is Bill: Bill Wilson—His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Consumer Healthcare Assoc.

Hello Joseph,

I wanted to thank you for calling attention to the issue of medicine abuse in your recent blog post on the Mitch Winehouse “Meet the Parents Hour.” In addition to prescription medicine abuse, more and more young people are now using cough medicine to get high – approximately 5% of teens reported abusing OTC medicines in 2011.

You can visit to learn more about these issues, read parent and child testimonials, and find ways to prevent abuse or steps to take if you believe your child is abusing cough medicine. It would be great if you could share this information with your readers on the blog. If you or your readers have any questions about cough medicine abuse, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Jenni Terry
Manager, Communications
Consumer Healthcare Products Association
900 19th Street, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone  (202) 429-3534

Drug Abuse Kills 200,000 People Each Year: UN Report

By Join Together Staff | June 27, 2012 | 4 Comments | Filed in Drugs

Drug abuse kills about 200,000 people worldwide each year, according to a new United Nations (UN) report. Global treatment for drug abuse would cost $250 billion per year if everyone who needed help received proper care, according to the UN.

Fewer than one in five people who need treatment actually receive it, according to the Associated Press. Crimes committed by people who need money to finance their drug habit, as well as loss of productivity, add tremendous costs for many countries, the report notes.

The UN estimates that about 230 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population, used illegal drugs at least once in 2010. In the United States, female drug use was two-thirds the male rate, while in India and Indonesia, females constituted only one-tenth of those using illegal drugs.

The 2012 World Drug Report cited an increase in synthetic drug production worldwide, “including significant increases in the production and consumptions of psychoactive substances that are not under international control.” Overall, use of illegal drugs remained stable during the past five years, at between 3.4 and 6.6 percent of the world’s adult population. Marijuana was the most widely used drug.

Coca bush cultivation has decreased 33 percent over the past 12 years. Seizures of methamphetamine more than doubled in 2010 compared with 2008. In Europe, seizures of Ecstasy pills more than doubled.

“Heroin, cocaine and other drugs continue to kill around 200,000 people a year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people, insecurity and the spread of HIV,” the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, said in a news release. He added that as developing countries emulate industrialized nations’ lifestyles, it is likely that drug consumption will increase.

CA Doctor Ordered to Stand Trial for Prescription Drug Overdose Deaths

By Join Together Staff | June 27, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related, Legal & Prescription Drugs

A physician accused of prescribing drugs to three young men who died of overdoses was ordered to stand trial for second-degree murder, the Associated Press reports.

Dr. Hsui-Ying “Lisa” Tseng is one of only a few physicians nationwide to be charged with murder related to prescription drugs, the article notes.

The decision to order Tseng to stand trial came after a three-week preliminary hearing. Young men testified they saw Tseng after using up prescriptions written by other doctors. While there was testimony about 12 of her patients who died of drug overdoses, prosecutors charged her with three of the deaths, which they said were caused solely by her prescriptions.

Some patients who testified said they used illegal drugs, such as heroin, that they did not obtain from Tseng. She was accused of prescribing drugs including oxycodone, methadone, Xanax and Soma, according to the AP.

Tseng and her husband operated a storefront medical clinic in suburban Los Angeles. Authorities allege she wrote more than 27,000 prescriptions in a three-year period. Tseng pleaded not guilty to 24 felony counts. She could face 45 years to life in prison if she is convicted on all charges. Her bail was set at $3 million. The judge denied a defense request to have bail lowered to $1 million.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prescription Drug Monitoring Pilot Program Launched in Two States

By Join Together Staff | June 22, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related, Government, Prescription Drugs & Prevention

A pilot program to expand and improve access to prescription drug records for physicians, pharmacists and emergency departments is being launched in Ohio and Indiana, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced. The program aims to reduce prescription drug abuse.

The program, launched by the HHS Health IT Division, is designed to make it easier for physicians to use prescription drug monitoring databases, Reuters reports. While 49 states have authorized theprograms, many doctors avoid using them because they are difficult to navigate, the article notes. Doctors also say the data is often old by the time it becomes available in the system, making it less useful when they are deciding whether to write a prescription. The new system will provide real-time information.

Government data will be merged with the electronic health recordssystems used in doctors’ offices and pharmacies, according to Marty Allain, a senior director at the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, who worked with HHS to design the pilot program.

In Indiana, emergency department staff will be encouraged to access patients’ prescription histories through a database already used in hospitals in the state. The Ohio project will test a new drug risk indicator in the electronic health record, and will determine how that affects doctors’ decisionmaking.

“Technology plays a critical role in our comprehensive efforts to address our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a news release. “Together with education, proper disposal practices, and enforcement, improving existing prescription monitoring programs is a priority for this administration.”

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chronic Cocaine Use May Hasten Aging of the Brain

By Join Together Staff | April 25, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Drugs &Research

Chronic cocaine use may accelerate aging of the brain, a new studysuggests. The study found people with cocaine dependence have greater levels of age-related loss of nerve tissue in the brain called gray matter.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge compared brain scans of 60 people with cocaine dependence with those of 60 people with no history of substance abuse. People who used cocaine lost about 3.08 milliliters of brain volume a year, nearly double the rate of healthy people, HealthDay reports.

The decline in brain volume in cocaine users was most pronounced in the areas of the brain associated with attention, decision-making, memory and self-regulation, the researchers noted.

“As we age, we all lose gray matter. However, what we have seen is that chronic cocaine users lose gray matter at a significantly faster rate, which could be a sign of premature aging. Our findings therefore provide new insight into why the [mental] deficits typically seen in old age have frequently been observed in middle-aged chronic users of cocaine,” researcher Dr. Karen Ersche said in anews release.

She noted the findings highlight the importance of educating young people, who take cocaine, about the long-term risk of aging prematurely. She added the study also shows that accelerated aging from cocaine use also affects older adults. “Our findings shed light on the largely neglected problem of the growing number of older drug users, whose needs are not so well catered for in drug treatment services. It is timely for health care providers to understand and recognize the needs of older drug users in order to design and administer age-appropriate treatments,” she said.

The study appears in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Simonsen Road Farm Recovery Center Oregon!

Simonsen Road Farm is a picture perfect 25 acre bed and breakfast, equestrian inn, and horse retirement farm near Eugene, Oregon wine country.

Holistic, Alternative Addiction Recovery

"Simonsen Road Farm Recovery Center was a life saver for me. After literally being locked away in detox for 5 days to come to a beautiful home in a pastoral setting where I felt welcome and able to relax with absolutely no triggers to make me want to use again was exactly what I needed." Debbie (April 2012)

Simonsen Road Farm Recovery Center is a 25 acre private country sanctuary for persons overcoming the crippling effects of alcohol and or drug addiction. Located 20 minutes S.W. of Eugene, Oregon in the beautiful Lorane Valley of the Pacific Northwest, Simonsen Road Farm offers the safety and sanity of a drug and alcohol free environment and the structure of a holistic 12 Step - based program of recovery.

Our program is 30 days residential treatment. We attend daily AA/NA meetings in town and residents are encouraged to share. Additional meetings with certified treatment specialists and persons in recovery take place throughout the week at the farm.

We have our own Equine Based Therapy Program in which residents are encouraged to bond with our horses. In our small private facility residents are able to discover for themselves that a fulfilling life without the use of drugs/alcohol is possible and attainable on a daily basis.

Personal growth is promoted through a self-help whole recovery approach with emphasis on healing of the body, mind and spirit. This is a non-judgemental environment. Everyone is equally important here. At Simonsen Road Farm we speak the language of Recovery.

Special Thanks to Caleb Garvin at:

Address: 82912 Simonsen Road, Eugene, Oregon
Phone: 541 344 1735 or 323 404 6981

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to set boundaries with an alcoholic or addict! BY:Addition Blog .ORG

How to set boundaries with an alcoholic or addict
June 3, 2012
By Lisa Espich

What Happens When You Don’t Have Boundaries

Throughout the first sixteen years of my marriage my husband, Dean, struggled with his addiction to alcohol, prescription pain pills, and crack cocaine. As his addiction continued to get worse, my ability to set healthy boundaries failed. This didn’t happen overnight – it was a gradual process that eventually left me feeling powerless. And I had a hard time trying to stop being codependent.

In the beginning of our relationship, I was a confident young woman. Unfortunately, I had failed to recognize the signs of Dean’s addiction until we were married and I was pregnant with our son. As Dean began to take on addictive behaviors, I attempted to ‘lay down the law’. I would make threats to leave if he didn’t change his ways – and he would make empty promises that helped me feel better in the moment.

Each time I allowed Dean to pass a boundary – rather than standing my ground – I would allow my boundary to get pushed further. I was stuck in a cycle of making threats even when I knew I didn’t have the courage to follow through. Dean quickly learned that my boundaries didn’t really exist, and, as a result, my self-esteem was slowly chipped away. But codependency addiction recovery is possible when you learn to set healthy boundaries. But what are boundaries?
What Is A Boundary?

A boundary is your own limit – an invisible line that you will not allow others to cross. If it is crossed, you take action in order to protect your boundary. For example: you may have a boundary that you will not allow others to put you down. If somebody crosses that boundary, you respond by letting them know you will not tolerate being put down, and then you get up and leave the room.

In my own experience, I attempted to set many boundaries, but my failure came at taking action when those boundaries were crossed. Until I could find the courage needed to stand by my words, I would continue to have others take advantage and disrespect my boundaries.
What Do You Do When People Do Not Respect Your Boundaries?

1. Respect you own boundaries. If people are not respecting your boundaries, it is because you are allowing it. In my relationship I told my husband over and over again what actions I would take if he crossed my boundaries. But over and over again, I failed to follow through. I was teaching him to disrespect my boundaries, because I did not respect them myself.

2. Don’t make threats you aren’t prepared to follow through on. Many times I threatened divorce, threatened to leave, threatened to call the police, but I never made good on those threats. I knew in my gut, even when making those statements, that I wasn’t really going to follow though — I just wanted to scare my husband into believing it. It didn’t take him long to figure out my game. I had to learn to stop making those threats unless I was prepared to keep my word.

3. Work on building up your self-esteem. The courage needed to protect your own boundaries comes from a healthy self-esteem. So how do you build up your self-esteem? This was my biggest challenge. My plan included exercise, journaling, meditation and visualization. As I began to turn my focus inward, I grew more and more confident. Eventually, I was able to stand by my boundaries, and Dean slowly learned that he could no longer disrespect the boundaries I set.

4. Reach out for help. Turn to the people who care about you. Remember that you don’t have to do this on your own. When you’re lacking strength you can borrow it. Pick up the phone and reach out to a friend. Join a family recovery group such as Al-Anon. There you can find a sponsor to help give you the courage needed to stand by your boundaries.

By learning to set healthy boundaries – and stand by them – positive changes began to happen in my marriage. My husband noticed the changes, and I sensed a new found respect from him. He grew receptive to accepting help, and eventually admitted himself into treatment. He became open to honesty in drug recovery, a parallel path to my own recovery from codependency. He has now been clean for over six years, and we are enjoying a healthy marriage. Learning to stand by my boundaries was the first step toward healing in our marriage.

You Dont Want To Miss This One!

Dear Joseph,

Last July, fans, friends and family mourned the loss of the talented singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse after years of her very public battle with drugs and alcohol.

This summer, Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, offers his personal view of his daughter’s life and takes readers on an emotional journey into her music, family and her addiction in his new book, Amy, My Daughter.

From his account of Amy singing Frank Sinatra songs as a little girl to the details of how she created her iconic and unforgettable look, Amy’s father tells the tale of the real woman behind the headlines in his compelling collection of memories and stories.

The Partnership at is honored that Mitch Winehouse will host the next "Meet The Parents Hour" – a live Facebook Q&A chat – to talk about substance abuse and how it affected Amy’s life on Wednesday, June 27 at 3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT.

To make sure everyone has the chance to ask his or her question, submit yours in advance and Mitch will do his best to get to it during the session.

Submit your question to Mitch Winehouse now.

An extremely gifted singer, songwriter and five-time Grammy award winner, Amy Winehouse's tragic death was followed by a public tabloid frenzy. Today, Mitch aims to not only tell his daughter’s story, but to help educate and influence the conversation around addiction with his new book.

Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to chat live with Mitch Winehouse.

Submit your question now and then visit our Facebook timeline on June 27 to take part in the real-time conversation.

We look forward to seeing you at our next "Meet The Parents Hour."

Thank you,

Tom Hedrick
Parent Support Leader
The Partnership at

P.S. If you haven't Liked us yet on Facebook, do it now so you can participate in the live chat session.

P.S.S. Text DRUGFREE to 50555 and reply YES to make a $10 donation to The Partnership at Your gift will help to continue important programs like "Meet The Parents Hour".

Message & data rates may apply. Full Terms at

Use of ADHD Drugs Grew By 46 Percent in Children From 2002 to 2010

By Join Together Staff | June 19, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Mental Health, Prescription Drugs, Research & Youth

Use of drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children jumped 46 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to a new report in the journal Pediatrics. Ritalin was the top drug prescribed for teenagers, with more than four million prescriptions filled in 2010.

“What the article is suggesting is that the number of children that we are treating for attention deficit disorder has gone up,” said Dr. Scott Benson, a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association, told Reuters. “For the most part I think the overall increase reflects a reduction in the stigma. It used to be, ‘You’re a bad parent if you can’t get your child to behave, and you’re a doubly bad parent if you put them on medicine.’”

Overall, the number of drugs prescribed to children in the United States dropped slightly from 2002 to 2010. Antibiotic use and prescription painkiller use both decreased 14 percent. Prescriptions for allergy medications, cough and cold medicines and antidepressants also dropped.

The report found 263 million prescriptions for minors were filled in 2010, down 7 percent from 2002. When population changes are taken into account, that corresponds to a 9 percent drop, the article notes. Adult prescriptions rose 11 percent during the same time period.

A recent article in The New York Times noted a growing number of high school students are using ADHD drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, to help them get better grades. Teens get them from friends, buy them from student dealers, or pretend to have ADHD in order to get prescriptions.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NY Bill Prohibits Welfare Recipients From Spending Benefits on Alcohol, Cigarettes

By Join Together Staff | June 20, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Alcohol,Community Related, Legislation, Prevention & Tobacco

A bill passed by the New York Senate would prohibit welfare recipients from spending their benefits on alcohol and cigarettes. The bill, which passed 56-3, also bans spending of benefits on gambling and strip clubs.

In February, President Obama signed a law that requires states to restrict how the cash portion of social services is spent, or else they will lose 5 percent of funding for the welfare program known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. In 2013, New York will risk losing $125 million, The Wall Street Journal reports. Republican Senator Thomas Libous, sponsor of the bill, said the state must restrict spending by welfare recipients whose benefits are linked to debit cards, in order to conform with the new federal law.

The “Public Assistance Integrity Act” also would ban the withdrawal of cash from Electronic Benefits Transfer cards at automatic teller machines (ATMs) in casinos, liquor stores and adult entertainment clubs and bars. The article notes that prohibiting the purchase of tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets would be difficult to enforce. The ban on cash withdrawals would be easier to enforce because of its paper trail.

Senator Bill Perkins, one of the few senators to vote against the measure, said it unfairly targets the poor. “It’s a prejudice, I think, about poor people that we are seeing represented more than any statistical or study of behavior,” he said. “If they have evidence that there’s a rash of that, I’d like to see it.” He said the bill wouldn’t allow a poor mother to withdraw money to buy milk if she used an ATM in a banned establishment.

Other states have banned welfare recipients’ spending on certain items, including alcohol, tobacco, guns, gambling, lottery tickets and adult entertainment.

The bill now goes to the state Assembly.


James Russell

The Bridge Group of Narcotics Anonymous provides a teleconference meeting seven days a week, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year, to carry the message of hope and the promise of freedom to addicts who are, for whatever reason, isolated from the message of recovery.

Members of our home group have included addicts who are hospitalized, home-bound due to ill-health or the failing health of a family member, new or expectant mothers, addicts who are prevented from regularly attending face-to-face Narcotics Anonymous meetings due to geographical distance, lack of transportation, or suspended driving privileges, shift workers and truckers who cannot make regular meeting times, addicts in hospice, and others who simply wish to participate in this lifesaving venture and benefit from our meetings as a supplement to their own personal recoveries.

It is not our intention or belief that The Bridge should or could replace face-to-face meetings (since nothing can replace the magic of the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship on such a personal level) but rather simply to reach those who would otherwise be unable to attend meetings. We are working, in our own small way, to ensure that no addict need ever be isolated from the message of Narcotics Anonymous and consequently die from the horrors of active addiction.

You are being contacted – in the hope that you will share this information, and keep it handy, in case you hear of someone in Narcotics Anonymous who is isolated from NA meetings for any reason. We are truly committed. We want to know about their problem and how we can help!

We are an autonomous home group of Narcotics Anonymous, registered with Narcotics Anonymous World Services, currently in our fourth year of successfully carrying the message through this new venue. Members and attendees have called in from all over the world to participate and benefit from our meetings.
In order to attend our meetings, an addict only needs a phone and the ability to dial long distance.

Our meeting schedule is available on our website – . Please feel free to share our website address,, or meeting schedule in whatever Narcotics Anonymous gathering that seems appropriate to you, or to include this information on any area or regional website or meeting schedule.

We also maintain a presence on Facebook, and Twitter. For more information about accessing our information there, or any other questions you may have, please don’t hesitated to contact us

218 339-2626 (acess #387870)Our schedule all times eastern
Sun 8pm
Mon 9pm
Tues 3pm
Wed 9pm
Thur 10pm
Fri 11 pm
Sat 11 pm

The Bridge

Opium Study Raises Questions About Opium-Derived Painkillers

By Join Together Staff | April 19, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Drugs,Prescription Drugs & Research

A new study that links opium use with serious health problems, including cancer, circulatory diseases and respiratory problems, has implications for opium-derived painkillers such as morphine and codeine, CNN reports.

The study of more than 50,000 people in Iran found an 86 percent increased likelihood of death from major causes among those who used opium, even at modest levels. The researchers took into account factors such as poverty and cigarette smoking, which could affect the outcome. The article notes the study does not prove opium causes the increased risk of death, since it did not randomly assign participants to use opium or not.

Most opium users in the study did not begin taking the drug because of a pre-existing illness, the researchers reported in the British Medical Journal.

In an accompanying editorial, Irfan Dhalla, of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, noted other research has supported the conclusion that there is an increased risk of death from opioids apart from the chance of an accidental overdose. “For the management of chronic non-cancer pain, a better prescription may be caution,” Dhalla wrote.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some Doctors Object to Prescription Drug Monitoring Databases

By Join Together Staff | May 31, 2012 | 8 Comments | Filed in Healthcare,Legislation, Prescription Drugs & Prevention

As a growing number of states implement prescription drug monitoring databases to curb “doctor shopping” for painkillers, some physicians say they object to aspects of the programs.

The databases are designed to alert prescribers that a patient may be abusing drugs, or diverting them for illegal sale, according toReuters. Currently, 43 states have the databases, and another five states have passed laws to create them.

Pharmacists enter prescriptions for controlled substances, so doctors can see if a patient is attempting to obtain drugs from more than one location.

Sherry Green, CEO of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, told Reuters that some doctors are concerned that the database programs could breach patient confidentiality, and interfere with needed pain treatment. They also worry that the databases could be used against doctors who need to prescribe high amounts of painkillers.

Some doctors object to being required to consult the database every time they prescribe potentially addictive medication, and say it should be left to their discretion, according to Green. They also say using the database is time-consuming. States are trying to increase the speed of the database so that doctors can access information while patients are still in the office. Some states allow doctors to authorize another staff member to use the database on their behalf.

The article notes some doctors see laws requiring mandatory use of the databases as putting law enforcement above health care. The Kentucky Medical Association was able to fight a provision that would have moved the state’s database to the Attorney General’s office.

Many prescription monitoring databases allow doctors and pharmacists to access information from neighboring states, which helps cut down on people driving across state lines to find more prescriptions.

Do you think prescription drug monitoring databases will curb abuse?

Parents Find Talking With Kids About Drugs Complicated by Legalization Measures

Parents are finding it more difficult to have discussions with their children about why they shouldn’t use drugs, as a growing number of states are allowing medical marijuana, or considering legalizing recreational use of the drug, the Associated Press reports.
Colorado and Washington state will vote on legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults on November 6. Currently, 17 states have legalized medical marijuana. More than a dozen states, and many cities, no longer have criminal penalties for small-scale possession of marijuana, or have made it a low-priority crime for law enforcement.
Parent-child conversations about marijuana “have become extraordinarily complicated,” said Stephen Pasierb, President of The Partnership at, a national non-profit organization helping parents and families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. Legalization and medical use of marijuana have “created a perception among kids that this is no big deal,” Pasierb said. “You need a calm, rational conversation, not yelling and screaming, and you need the discipline to listen to your child.”
Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which promotes marijuana legalization, said that since today’s parents are more likely than in the past to have tried the drug themselves, they are finding conversations with their children “are becoming a lot more real.” He told the AP, “Parents know a lot more about what they’re talking about, and kids probably suspect that their parents did this when they were younger and didn’t get in trouble with drugs. There’s still hypocrisy, but the level of honesty and frankness in the parent-child dialogue about marijuana is increasing every year.”
survey released last month by The Partnership at suggests teen marijuana use has become a normalized behavior. Only 26 percent agree with the statement, “In my school, most teens don’t smoke marijuana,” down from 37 percent in 2008.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Judge Sides with DEA in Case Involving Oxycodone Sales at Two CVS Stores

By Join Together Staff | March 14, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related, Legal & Prescription Drugs

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) acted appropriately in suspending the controlled-substances licenses of two CVS stores in Florida. The DEA charged the stores had failed to closely monitor sales of oxycodone.

Judge Reggie Walton delayed his ruling until Wednesday morning, in order to give CVS time to appeal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In February, the DEA moved to suspend the licenses of the stores because of what the agency called suspiciously high volumes of oxycodone sales. Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., then granted CVS a temporary restraining order, to allow the company to continue to sell controlled prescription drugs at the two pharmacies.

The DEA said the two pharmacies were “filling prescriptions far in excess of the legitimate needs of its customers.” While the averagepharmacy in the United States in 2011 ordered approximately 69,000 oxycodone dosage units, these two pharmacies, located about 5.5 miles apart, together ordered more than three million dosage units during the same year, according to the DEA.

CVS said it would suffer irreparable harm if it were forced to stop filling prescriptions at the pharmacies. The company has already agreed to stop selling oxycodone and other Schedule II drugs at these pharmacies while the case is under review. The DEA suspension would prevent the pharmacies from filling prescriptions for any controlled substance, including painkillers, stimulants and tranquilizers.

A CVS spokesperson said the company had taken steps, with the DEA’s knowledge, to stop filling prescriptions from physicians thought to be prescribing controlled narcotics improperly.

Earlier this month, Judge Walton ruled that drug distribution companies must “self-police” to track unusually big drug shipments that might be used improperly. The ruling allows the DEA to halt shipments of oxycodone and other controlled medications from a Cardinal Health distribution facility in Florida. Cardinal said it will appeal the decision.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Team Captain Meeting Kickoff!

PRO-ACT Recovery Walks! 2012

Penns Landing, Philadelphia

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Team Captain Kick-Off Meetings

Get personal direction on forming or leading a team!

        PRO-ACT has scheduled several Team Captain Meetings in various locations so that you can find one convenient to you. Register now to attend a meeting listed below and you will learn how to sign up your team online, raise funds effectively, receive tips on how to organize your team, order team t-shirts if you want to, and how to identify a meeting place for your team on September 22. We will have handouts of many tools we developed and refined over the years and will be available to answer your questions.

        In the meantime, continue to ask your associates, family members, and friends to join your team and to learn more about why we walk. Spread the word that recovery is real and alive! Do your part to fight the stigma! Recovery Walks! 2012 is the Pennsylvania area's largest National Recovery Month event with lots of support from New Jersey and other nearby areas. Show up and be counted because, as SAMHSA says,

It's Worth It!

Kick-Off Meetings

Philadelphia Recovery Training Center (PRTC)

Location: 444 N. 3rd Street, Suite 307, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Dates: June 19 from 12:00-1:30 pm or June 27 from 5:30-7:00 pm

To register: Call Kim Doughty (215-923-1661) or e-mail

Philadelphia Recovery Community Center (PRCC)

Location: 1701 W. Lehigh Avenue, #6, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Dates: July 21 from 10:00-11:30 am or July 24 from 6:00-8:00pm

To register: Call Sean Brinda (215-223-7700, x105) or e-mail OR

Cheryl Poccia (215-223-7700, x106) or e-mail

Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center (SBRCC)

Location: 1286 New Rogers Road (Veterans Highway), Unit D-6, Bristol, PA 19007

Dates: June 28 from 5:00-6:00 pm or July 24 from 12:00-1:00 pm

To register: Call Martin Woodward (215-788-3738, x110) or e-mail

Central Bucks Recovery Resource Center (CBRRC)

Location: 252 W. Swamp Road, Bailiwick Unit 12, Doylestown, PA 18901

Date: June 26 from 12:00-1:30 pm

To register: Call Jessica Schwartz (215-345-6644, x3122) or e-mail

Women's Recovery Community Center (WRCC)

Location: 25 Beulah Road, New Britain, PA 18901

Date: July 12 from 7:00-8:30 pm

To register: Call Jessica Schwartz (215-345-6644, x3122) or e-mail

Thanks to our Sponsors and Partners for their support!

We couldn't do it without you


2012 New England School of Addiction Studies and Prevention Studies

2012 New England School of Addiction Studies and Prevention Studies
June 18 – 21, 2012, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
About the Event

DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED FROM original May 7, 2012 deadline!
However, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to ensure course choices and lodging availablilty.

The 43rd Annual New England School of Addiction Studies will take place from June 18 -21, 2012 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The Summer School is a four-day intensive experience for participants to further their knowledge, skills, and experience in the field of addiction services through in-depth coursework.

The Summer School is appropriate for anyone who recognizes the impact of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs on individuals, families, and communities. Each year, participants from many disciplines come together to form a unique and diverse community. The School’s comprehensive curriculum offers a wide variety of best practice courses in the field of addiction services. The School’s nationally and regionally recognized faculty includes instructors who are respected for their accomplishments in the behavioral health field, and also recognized for their training expertise.

The School of Addiction Studies originated 43 years ago by the six New England state substance abuse agencies, the New England Institute continues to work with the six state agencies to provide trainingopportunities needed to support substance abuse service system development and workforce development in our region.

The 12th Annual School of Prevention Studies is designed for prevention professionals from various settings to combine intensive study in an area of special interest with the opportunity to network. The School features keynote addresses and a variety of workshops to choose from delivered by nationally and regionally recognized speakers. The workshops incorporate a variety of current and emerging research based prevention programming, from core through more advanced skills. This event is a collaborative effort of the New England and New York state substance abuse agencies and several other organizations. We invite you to join us for intensive and stimulating studies and networking.

Over the years, New England Institute summer programs have been developed to respond to specific needs in our regional workforce. The 12th Annual New England School of Prevention Studies will again be co-located with this year’s program. Participants have the opportunity to attend offerings from both programs, and co-locating the schools offers wonderful networking and combined learning opportunities for participants working in different areas of the behavioral health services continuum.

We welcome you to be part of our community. If you work in treatment, prevention, recovery services, other social services, or a related field, please join us for new knowledge, skills, and networking in June! WELCOME!

Program Goals

The four-day addiction program provides attendees with an opportunity to:
Participate in intensive training delivered by leaders, researchers, and practitioners from across the continuum of substance abuse services;
Acquire knowledge and specific skills in best practices to apply to their work; and
Network with colleagues from across New England and beyond.

The prevention school goals are to provide participants with an opportunity to:
Learn from leaders, researchers, and practitioners in the field of prevention;
Acquire knowledge and specific skills in evidence based prevention to apply to their prevention programs; and
Network with other prevention professionals and state agency representatives from across New England.

The four-day program is a combination of major presentations, courses, and facilitated forums. Courses provide intensive, skill based training in research-based programming for all students.

Target Audience

The School’s target audience includes persons from all disciplines who are concerned with alcohol, tobacco and other drug related issues, persons new to the field, and persons in behavioral health and allied human services whose activities require a general knowledge of substance abuse.

Some of the many professions represented include:
Substance abuse counselors;
Clinicians from a variety of treatment modalities
Prevention specialists;
Mental health professionals;
Other counselors;
Drug court professionals;
EAP professionals;
Student assistance professionals;
Social workers;
Community organizers;
Recovery support staff;
Recovery coaches;
Recovery community support organization staff and volunteers;
Access to Recovery (ATR) staff;
Family service professionals;
Corrections professionals;
Opioid addiction treatment professionals;
Law enforcement professionals;
Housing managers;
And professionals and volunteers from many other disciplines who are interested in continuing to learn about addiction treatment and recovery.

The School of Prevention Studies is designed for the following adult professionals:
Community Task Force & Coalition Coordinators
Prevention Practitioners
Student Assistance Professionals
Safe and Drug Free Schools Personnel
Program Managers & Administrators
State Agency Prevention Staff
Volunteers and Task Force Members
Others who deliver prevention services, work in related fields, or are interested in learning more about prevention


New England Institute of Addiction Studies, Inc.

The State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Agencies of
New Hampshire,
Rhode Island &
AdCare Educational Institute, Inc.
The New Hampshire Training Institute on Addictive Disorders
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association of Rhode Island
The Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England at Brown University, and its funder, The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) for their support of selected courses.
The Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies,Northeast Region Expert Team, and its funder, The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
School Location

Bowdoin College is a vibrant residential college nestled in a small, active New England town, but that is just the beginning. The location places a wealth of landscapes and environments at your fingertips: To the south we have easy access to city life in Portland and Boston; to the north is the rich tradition of communities who have lived off the land for generations; to the west is the playground of lakes, rivers, and mountains; and to the east is the coastline representing so much that is central to the world’s issues today, from global warming and the health of our oceans to honoring and preserving the world’s beautiful landscapes.

Contrary to popular notion, you CAN get there from here. Brunswick has plenty to offer for a quick diversion — great restaurants, record and CD stores, two movie theaters, art galleries, golf courses, bowling alleys and more. Midcoast Maine offers outlet shopping in Freeport and great seacoast beaches. Portland, a vibrant city with a small-town feel, has museums to explore, Old Port shops to browse, and concerts, clubs and pubs to check out. And a couple of hours in a car will put you in Boston, Acadia National Park, or some of Maine’s best recreational areas.
Housing on Campus

Housing is in single bedrooms, charged at the single room rate. Double rooms are available. NEIAS will NOT match participants in double bedrooms unless they have requested each other. You and your roommate must indicate mutual roommate preference and roommate name on each of your registration forms.

You, the participant, will be responsible to pay the difference between the amount of a scholarship that is based on the double room rate and the cost of a single room in the event you do not have a roommate.

Housing on campus will be in traditional basic dormitory rooms. Shared restrooms with multiple bathroom and shower stalls will be located on each hallway. Due to the nature of the dorms, and in an effort to be respectful to ALL participants, males and females will NOT be assigned to the same dorm room, even if requested. There are a limited number of rooms available on campus, which will be assigned by processed application date. Participants may reside on campus, or commute from a local hotel or from home. If you would be more comfortable with the kind of privacy or amenities a hotel room provides, we encourage you to make alternate arrangements. Click here to to download a local hotel list.

Special Accommodations for Participants with Disabilities

The New England Institute of Addiction Studies is committed to providing accommodations so students with disabilities can participate in the NESAS Program. Sign Language Interpreters and Assistive Listening Devices or other accommodations are available on request. The program site has wheelchair accessible space available, including a limited number of ADA accessible residence hall rooms. Please note your accommodation requests, such as ASL interpreter, accessible rooms, etc. on the online registration form or on the second page of the hard copy registration form.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you require a Sign Language Interpreter or CART service, your application must be received at the NEIAS office by April 23, 2012 so the appropriate arrangements can be made.
Continuing Education Units

All students completing the full program will receive a certificate of completion from the New England Institute of Addiction Studies. 2.5 Continuing Education Units (25 contact hours) will be awarded by the New England Institute. Those attending part of the program will receive contact hours for those hours attended.


The New England Institute of Addiction Studies, Inc. is an Approved NAADACEducation Provider. Through the NH Training Institute on Addictive Disorders, a co-sponsor, this program is pre-approved by the NH Board of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Professional Practice for CEU Performance Domains and Categories of Competence. This program has been approved for 25.0 Continuing Education contact hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. The New England Institute is a recognized Sponsor of Continuing Education Activities by the Maine State Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Attendance at NESAS will help toward counselor and other professional certification in most states, depending on your state’s requirements. Application has been made to several professional organizations to accept New England Institute CEUs, including those certifying social workers.

AdCare Educational Institute, Inc., a co-sponsor, will provide contact hours for Nurses (LPN/RNs) through the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. Nurses from outside Massachusetts should check with their state and professional associations to verify reciprocity or acceptance. For Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs), AdCare Educational Institute, Inc. is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors to offer continuing education for National Certified Counselors (NCCs). AdCare adheres to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. To ensure state credentialing, contact your local board of certification.

New York participants: The New England Institute of Addiction Studies, Inc. is a New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Education and Training Provider, Provider Number 0456. Application is being made to NYS OASAS for this school to meet all or part of the CASAC/CPP/CPS education and training requirements.

Academic Credit

In a collaborative effort with NESAS, Johnson State College offers undergraduate and graduate level academic credit at the Summer School for some courses for an additional fee of $250 per credit hour. Click here for a fact sheet for further information about this program.

In addition, some colleges and universities have approved the NESAS program for undergraduate credit as an independent study for students enrolled in their institutions. Check with your faculty advisor.
Other New England Institute Programs

20th Anniversary New England School of Best Practices in Addiction Treatment
September 10 – 13, 2012 at the Waterville Valley Conference Center and Resort in Waterville Valley, NH. Course tracks will be offered in: advanced clinical practices, clinical supervision, advanced prevention, and addiction medicine. Catalogs and a website will be available in the later spring.

Email us to join our email list to receive information about upcoming events!

You are cordially invited to exhibit at the New England School of Addiction Studies & New England School of Prevention Studies. Contact the New England Institute for further information about exhibiting.