Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Medicine Abuse Project
 Joseph --

Are you a drug dealer?

You might be without even knowing it - because of what's in your medicine cabinet.

My name is Ron, and I'm a father from Kansas. Over the past couple of weeks The Partnership at has been highlighting the enormity of the medicine abuse epidemic. I'm here to tell you that this Saturday, I'm going to do something about it - and I hope you'll join me.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has organized a National Prescription Take-Back day for this Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10am to 2pm in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Join me, and thousands of others, in safely disposing of our prescription medicine.

Do you have some unneeded or expired medicine lying around? I know I do, and I also know that it is crucial to make sure my leftover medicine gets disposed of safely, so no one can get their hands on it and abuse it, like my son did.

Participate in your local Take-Back on Saturday and safely dispose of your unneeded medications. Click to RSVP now and then find your local Take-Back location: 

Thank you,

Ron Grover
Parent Partner
The Partnership at

P.S. If you share your Take-Back moments on Facebook and/or Twitter with The Partnership you could win a new iPad! Find out more:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Prescription Drug Overdoses May Contribute to Drop in Life Expectancy in Some Whites

By Join Together Staff  | Leave a comment | Filed in Prescription Drugs & Tobacco

An increase in prescription drug overdoses among young whites, and higher rates of smoking among less educated white women, may be contributing to the decline in life expectancy for white Americans with lower levels of education.

The findings come from a report published in Health Affairs, which concludes that the life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990 for the least-educated whites in the United States.

The study examined data from Americans without a high school diploma, The New York Times reports. In addition to prescription drug abuse and smoking, other possible reasons for the lifespan decrease include obesity, and an increase in the number of the least educated Americans without health insurance.

The article notes that prescription drug overdoses have greatly increased since 1990, and have disproportionately affected whites, especially women. Smoking rates among both white and black women without a high school diploma have increased.

White women without a high school diploma lost five years of life on average between 1990 and 2008. By that year, the life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had exceeded that of white women who had the same level of education.

The study found white men without a high school diploma lost three years of life. In contrast, the life expectancy for both blacks and Hispanics with the same level of education increased. Overall, blacks do not live as long as whites; Hispanics live longer than both whites and blacks.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Critics of State Marijuana Legalization Measures Focus on Mothers

By Join Together Staff | September 26, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Community Related, Drugs, Legislation & Parenting

Critics of ballot initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon, California and Colorado are focusing on mothers, according to Reuters.

Opponents are using grassroots meetings to try to convince parents to vote against the measures. “If people tell you it’s not a gateway drug – it’s baloney,” Colorado state Representative Kathleen Conti said at a recent gathering of parents and other residents.

“Talking about the impact to kids is critical and crucial to our success,” says Roger Sherman, who is leading Colorado’s anti-legalization campaign. “Suburban women are one of our strongest core constituencies for our campaign.”

Anti-legalization groups are talking about the risk to youths, although the measures would not allow marijuana sales to teenagers. The article notes there is conflicting data on whether making marijuana legal for adults would lead to increased use by teens.

Colorado’s teachers union came out against the measure, saying it would hurt students. The main group backing the measure in Colorado, called the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, says that when marijuana is sold underground, it is entirely uncontrolled. Mason Tvert, the group’s co-director, called it the “worst possible policy” for protecting teenagers.

Polls suggest there is substantial voter support for initiatives in Colorado and Washington that would allow recreational use of marijuana. Voters in Oregon are split.

All of the measures would legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for anyone over age 21, and would allow taxable retail sales of the drug. The measures would conflict with federal law, which outlaws marijuana. The governors of all three states are opposed to the measures.

Meet the parents Hour

Dear Joseph,
Did you know that 90 percent of addictions start in the teenage years?
We invite you to join us for The Medicine Abuse Project LIVE: Meet The Parents Hour with Dr. Drew Pinsky, practicing physician, board certified in Internal and Addiction Medicine from VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," and actor and model Amber Smith (“Celebrity Rehab: Season 2”) to discuss medicine abuse and recovery. Amber will share her personal story, discussing how she became addicted to pills in her youth and the journey she has taken to healthier living.
The hour-long chat will take place tomorrow, Thursday, September 27 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PTon The Partnership at’s Facebook timeline.
Joining the LIVE Q&A discussion is easy. It will take place within the comment thread under Dr. Drew and Amber’s photo on The Partnership at’s Facebook Wall. Please make sure to REFRESH YOUR BROWSER THROUGHOUT THE CHAT to view all the latest comments and questions.
To make sure everyone has the chance to ask his or her question, submit yours in advance and Dr. Drew and Amber will do their best to get to it during the session.
Submit your question to Dr. Drew and Amber now.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to chat live with Dr. Drew and Amber and hear from others touched by substance abuse.
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 MPROJECT 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".

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Newest Synthetic Drug to Cause Concern is Called “Smiles”

By Join Together Staff | September 25, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related & Drugs

The latest synthetic drug to cause concern among law enforcement officials is called “Smiles,” or 2C-I, Fox News reports. The drug has been linked to the deaths of two North Dakota teens.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 2C-I is abused for its hallucinogenic effects. It is taken orally in tablet or capsule form, or snorted in its powder form. “2C-I is used by the same population as those using Ecstasy and other club drugs, high school and college students, and other young adults in dance and nightlife settings,” the DEA reports.

The drug is chemically similar to the drug 2C-B, which is a Schedule I hallucinogen. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, sell or possess the drug. The DEA states 2C-I can be treated on a case-by-case basis as if it were a Schedule I controlled substance, if it is distributed with the intention for human consumption.

A 17-year-old North Dakota teen took 2C-I mixed with melted chocolate, according to the news report. He began hyperventilating, and hit his head on the ground. Several hours later, he stopped breathing and died. The previous evening, an 18-year-old was found dead in the same town, from a similar overdose.

The drug can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as terrifying hallucinations and feelings of panic and fear, the article notes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Drug Tests Become More Common in Middle School

By Join Together Staff | September 24, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Drugs,Prevention & Youth

A growing number of middle schools are requiring that students submit to drug testing, The New York Times reports. Students are being asked to provide a urine sample to participate in sports, or even in extracurricular activities such as choir and drama.

Some parents and civil liberties advocates are objecting to the tests, the article notes.

Middle schools that conduct drug tests are located in states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia. Some school administrators, coaches and teachers said drug testing deters young students from substances of all kinds, including alcohol, marijuana and steroids.

There are no known cases of middle school students testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and only a few positive results have been found for marijuana, the article notes.

“Drug testing is a multibillion-dollar industry,” Dr. Linn Goldberg, head of the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University, told the newspaper. “They go to these schools and say it’s great. But do the schools actually look at the data? Schools don’t know what to do.” He added, “There’s little evidence these programs work. Drug testing has never been shown to have a deterrent effect.”

A 1995 United States Supreme Court ruling states that drug testing for high school athletes is constitutional.

In most cases, outside drug testing companies conduct the tests. Students are given little or no notice about them. Specimens are sent to a lab, and families are notified if the result is positive. In some cases, schools require a second test to confirm the finding. Law enforcement generally is not notified if a test is positive.

School punishments can range from a warning, to removal from a team or activity.

If you are participating in the
16th Annual Hendricks House & Hansen House
Charity Golf Tournament Tomorrow

(Tuesday, September 25, 2012)
at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Don't forget this year's NEW schedule:

8:30am - Breakfast & Registration
10:00am - Shotgun Start
3:30pm (after golf) - Dinner, Silent Auction & Awards

We're looking forward to beautiful weather
and a fantastic tournament.

See you in the morning, and THANK YOU for your support!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prescription Drug Abuse and the Future of America

By R. Gil Kerlikowske | September 21, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inAddiction, Community Related, Prescription Drugs & Young Adults

Last month, I visited a fellow Medicine Abuse Project partner—Project Lazarus—an organization on the forefront of combating the prescription drug abuse problem. Project Lazarus is located in Wilkes County, North Carolina, an area of the country that has borne a disproportionately large part of the burden caused by medicine abuse. While there, I met a group of dedicated people working hard to reduce medicine abuse in the area and across the country—doctors, leaders and law enforcement officers. I have great admiration and respect for all of the people I met at Project Lazarus, but one individual in particular stood out for me.

Donna Reeves is a mother from North Carolina who tragically lost her daughter to a drug overdose in 2006. She spoke of the importance of involving a diverse range of people in the conversation about prescription drug abuse—emphasizing that this problem doesn’t just affect one demographic, but all age groups across the geographic and socio-economic spectrum. Perhaps most importantly, Donna highlighted the urgent need to educate parents on the signs of drug abuse, the tools available to help young people seek treatment and the existence of a life-saving overdose reversal drug, Naloxone. Donna’s message was heartbreaking, but it’s one we must hear: education is one of the most powerful ways to prevent drug abuse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classify prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that approximately one-fourth of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2010 began by using a prescription drug non-medically.

Alarmingly, the majority of new or occasional nonmedical users of pain relievers obtained the drug from family or friends for free or took them without asking. Chronic users were more likely to obtain the drugs from doctors or by buying them. What can we learn from this? We know that securing medicine in the home—and disposing of unneeded pills—can help prevent medicine abuse from ever beginning.

Securing medicines in the home and disposing of medicine properly is an important part of the solution, but it must be accompanied by prescription drug monitoring programs in every state, law enforcement efforts to thwart improper prescribing practices and, of course, education for parents, prescribers and patients.

If you have unneeded medicine in the home, please take advantage of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29th, when the Drug Enforcement Administration will open sites across the country to receive unused prescription drugs—no questions asked. If you’re a parent, please take the time to talk to your children about the harm caused by medicine abuse, and educate yourself on the signs of abuse. Working together, we can build a better future for our country’s young people—free of the pain caused by medicine abuse.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Our peer-developed Code of Ethics is at the heart of our work
MissionThe RECOVER Project is a community open to all concerned with alcohol and drug addiction. We exist to foster recovery and empower individuals, families, and the communities of Franklin County.
DescriptionWe provide peer-to-peer support based on the guiding principles that people can and do recover from alcohol and drug addiction and that competence and wisdom reside in those with lived experience.
General InformationOur Code of Ethics is a set of guidelines that dictates how we interact and relate at the RECOVER Project. It also dictates decisions
about our programs and policies.

68 Federal Street
Greenfield, Massachusetts 01301

Phone (413) 774-5489

New Hope Recovery Ranch Nevada

New Hope Recovery Ranch is one of the only places in the country where the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit come together to ensure that those in the long-term residency program welcome sobriety into their lives.
MissionNew Hope Recovery Ranch is a 6 to 12 month live-in addiction recovery program that gives men practical and spiritual tools for continuing whole and healthy lives.
Company OverviewPastors Rick and Teresa McKinney are the founders and directors of New Hope Recovery Ranch. Both Rick and Teresa were set free from serious personal addictions and through their ministry at New Hope Recovery Ranch in Silver Springs, NV they have been able to help thousands of men over the last ten years.
The desert is an environment of dangerous extremes. Certainly, the choices made in the desert are of life and death.

At New Hope Recovery Ranch, located in Silver Springs, NV, the desert is the perfect setting for recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Rebirth into a God-centered life is the ultimate result.

New Hope Recovery Ranch is a non-denominational, Christ-centered, long-term residency
program for men that allows recovering alcoholics and addicts to set aside much-needed time and effort to focus on what is causing the downward spiral—and teaches them to claw their way back up. Residents focus on asking, considering, and responding to life’s basic questions—and quickly determining God has all of the answers.

According to Pastor Rick McKinney, “Healing at New Hope includes spiritual, mental, and physical healing. You’re feeding your mind, body, and spirit here. When you feed these, you’re going to get well.”

New Hope Recovery Ranch integrates miracles from three sources—The Bible, the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and animal therapy. Residents spend a minimum of six months on campus. Recovering alcoholics and addicts stay in the residency program for up to one year, learning about the all-encompassing love of Jesus Christ and the awesome power of the Holy Spirit.

Location P.O. Box 961, Silver Springs, Nevada 89429

Contact Info
Phone (775) 577-4734

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Study Links Mothers Who Let Kids Sip Alcohol and Children’s Reported Drinking

By Join Together Staff | September 19, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inAlcohol, Parenting, Prevention & Youth

A new study finds a link between mothers’ belief that it is acceptable to let their children sip alcohol, and their children’s reported alcohol use. The study found one-quarter of mothers of young children believed allowing children to sip an alcoholic drink would likely deter them from drinking in the future.

The study of 1,050 pairs of mothers and their third-grade children, who participated in the four-year study, found 33 percent of children reported alcohol use. “A strong, significant association was found between parental ‘prosipping’ beliefs and children’s reported alcohol use,” the researchers report.

The mothers with prosipping attitudes said they believed allowing their children to try alcohol would make children less likely to drink as adolescents and make them better at resisting peer pressure to drink. Some also said early tasting would discourage future use because of alcohol’s taste, or because drinking would become less enticing when the children realized their parents allowed it, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The study found four in 10 mothers said not allowing a child to taste alcohol would increase their desire to try it. In the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the researchers cite previous studies that conclude that early drinking is a known primary risk factor for problem drinking during the teenage years. They also refer to studies that suggest teens are more likely to imitate their peers’ drinking habits than their parents’.

Mothers who were more highly educated, and those who worked outside the home, were more likely to allow their children to sip alcohol.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Death By Prescription Drugs: How Dare You Say My Son "Deserved" It

Katie Allison Granju

Katie Allison Granju

Blogger, MamaPundit

Our nation is in the midst of a public health emergency the likes of which we have not seen since the first decade of AIDS' spread across America. And much like the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the victims of the current crisis are both vilified and ignored, the families of the victims are shamed into silence, and the public at large doesn't know enough to protect itself.

I am speaking of drug overdose, which is now killing tens of thousands of Americans annually, while leaving many thousands more mentally and physically disabled for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of drug overdose deaths are the result of two types of highly addictive, and highly profitable, prescription drugs: opiates and benzodiazapenes. In 2010, one of the more than 25, 000 Americans who died as the result of drug overdose was someone I adored with all my heart: my 18-year-old firstborn, my son Henry.

Before I learned that Henry was addicted to pills, I simply had no clue that the problem of pill addiction and overdose was quietly yet savagely ripping apart the East Tennessee community in which we make our home. Yes, I'd seen the media coverage of "hillbilly heroin," but the threat of such a thing seemed remote and disconnected from my own family's "normal" life. And really, there was no way I could have known what a very serious threat pills posed to my teenage boy. That's because even though an astounding 150 to 200 people a year die of drug overdose every year in our small, southern city, it's as if these people have simply disappeared.

Individual overdose deaths are not reported in the newspaper. Obituaries do not list overdose as a cause of death. Local law enforcement never arrests the dealers behind the overdoses. The local medical examiner routinely seems to rubberstamp the cause of virtually all overdose deaths as "accidental," thus making it easy for the criminal justice system to pretend that no crime occurred. And in my adopted hometown, which I've come to love over the years, the shame and stigma that still exists around losing a child or spouse to drug overdose leads most families to keep their loved one's actual cause of death a big secret.

Given this perfect storm of invisibility that exists around overdose deaths, how could I have known that a teenager living in our county is more likely to die of a pill overdose than from a car accident or a gunshot wound. Shockingly, on the day my son suffered his deadly overdose, another teenager - a beautiful girl named Amber Blizard - also fell victim to illegally diverted prescription pills. That's right; TWO teenagers suffered fatal drug overdoses on the same day in the same small city, and yet no one seemed to consider this remarkable. Not the law enforcement officials who didn't treat the sites of either teen's overdose as a crime scenes. Not the local media that never noticed the fact that two kids were killed in the same way on the same day.

What if two teens had been shot or stabbed to death on the same day? Or two 18-year-olds from two different local high schools or college freshman classes had died in car wrecks on the same day? Even if both teenagers bore some responsibility for the accidents that took their lives - perhaps by speeding or driving under the influence - their deaths would have been noted by our community. But drug overdose victims are treated like they never existed, or deserved to exist.

I learned after my son died that our state's criminal statutes, as well as federal criminal laws both unequivocally define drug distribution resulting in the death of someone else as homicide. In fact, under federal law, there are more severe penalties for adults over 21 whose drug dealing causes the death of someone under the age of 21, as was the case for my son, and in many other adolescent OD fatalities.

There is a disconnect, though, between what the law says, and how it is applied. The law doesn't care whether the person who died of the overdose was struggling with addiction him or herself. But in practice, victims who are addicts get a lesser form of justice. After my son died, a local assistant DA told me that I needed to understand that my teenager was "an unattractive victim" due to his addiction to pills, as if that were a reasonable excuse for ignoring the fact that the dealers behind the drugs that killed Henry would remain free in our community to provide drugs to some other at-risk kid.

Similarly, the law doesn't have a category for victims who somehow "asked for it." If a teenage boy asked an adult to shoot him in the head, for instance, even offered the adult money to do it, would that absolve the adult who fired the fatal shot from criminal responsibility? Of course not. Yet just as in the early days of the spread of AIDS, the victims of overdose are far too often treated as disposable and invisible, because so many believe that they have only themselves to blame for their own deaths.

As long as we continue acting as if overdose victims are not real people who are worthy of equal interest by the criminal justice system, public health authorities, and the media, the numbers of the dead will continue to rise. It was only after Americans' attitudes toward AIDS victims began to shift from blame to compassion that we were finally able to come together in a unified national effort to fight the monster that had already been allowed to devour an entire generation of young gay men. Similarly, until we stop acting as if the tens of thousands of Americans currently dying each year of overdose are unworthy, invisible and disposable, this new monster - the one that took my beloved child from me before he had even had the chance to cast his first vote as an American citizen - will continue to roam our neighborhoods and snatch our children.

My son did not want to be addicted to pills, and he did not want to die before starting his freshman year of college. He certainly did not want to see any other kids hurt and suffer as he did from opiate addiction. In his memory, I now speak out often and loudly to let other parents know what I did not until it was too late, which is that kids are dying all around us, every single day. Until we stop acting as if it isn't happening, or telling ourselves that it could never happen in our own families, the band will continue to play on.


Substance Abuse Among Military is Public Health Crisis, Report Says

By Join Together Staff | September 18, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Alcohol,Drugs, Military & Treatment

Substance abuse among members of the U.S. military and their families has become a public health crisis, according to a new report. The Defense Department’s approaches to preventing and treating substance abuse are outdated, the report states.

The Institute of Medicine report, which was requested by the Defense Department, found about 20 percent of active duty service members say they engaged in heavy drinking in 2008, the latest year for which data is available. The Associated Press reports binge drinking increased from 35 percent in 1998, to 47 percent a decade later.

The report also found the rate of prescription drug abuse is on the rise. In 2002, an estimated 2 percent of active-duty personnel said they misused prescription drugs, compared with 11 percent in 2008.

“We commend the steps that the Department of Defense and individual service branches have recently taken to improve prevention and care for substance use disorders, but the armed forces face many ongoing challenges,” Charles P. O’Brien of the University of Pennsylvania, who chaired the committee that wrote the report, said in a news release. “Better care for service members and their families is hampered by inadequate prevention strategies, staffing shortages, lack of coverage for services that are proved to work, and stigma associated with these disorders. This report recommends solutions to address each of these concerns.”

O’Brien said military doctors tend to be reluctant to prescribe medications to treat addiction. “Modern treatment of substance abuse does involve medications. There are FDA-approved, effective medications that could be used and should be used much more than they are,” he said.

He added that the military tends to rely too much on hospitalization and in-patient rehabilitation, instead of outpatient treatment. The report also called for updated training for military counselors.

The report recommended integrating prevention and treatment efforts more into primary health care, to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for substance abuse. The military also should do more to preserve the confidentiality of those seeking assistance, the report noted.

Take The Pledge

The Medicine Abuse Project
 Joseph --

Here's something you might not know: Drug overdoses now surpass car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the US.

And what is driving this trend? Prescription painkiller overdoses.

This uncomfortable truth is just one of the reasons why The Partnership at has chosen this moment to launch The Medicine Abuse Project. We're aiming to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine over the next five years. I'm proud to say that our organization is asking people like you to take a stand on this life-or-death issue.

But we can't do it without you. Will you sign our pledge and help kick-start the movement to end medicine abuse?

"I, Joseph, pledge to learn about teen medicine abuse, to safeguard my medicines and to talk to teens I know about the issue."
Take the pledge

The Medicine Abuse Project will launch the week of September 23rd and continue as a multi-year national action campaign. We have teamed up with more than 60 strategic, federal, and corporate partners to break the silence on prescription drug abuse -- and we need your help, too.

You can take the first step right now: sign the pledge on The Medicine Abuse Project's website to add your voice: 

Thank you,

Steve Pasierb
President and CEO
The Partnership at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Synthetic Drug Packages with Cartoon Character Attract Kids, Minister Warns

By Join Together Staff | September 17, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related, Drugs & Youth

Synthetic drug packages featuring Scooby Doo are attracting youth in the Baltimore area, warns a local minister. He is trying to get these “Scooby Snax” out of the hands of the city’s young people.

Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon notes a sticker on the package says the contents have a blueberry flavor, although the packages contains dried herbs, not candy. He is concerned that young people are using the product to get high.

Although President Obama signed legislation this summer that bans synthetic drugs, federal officials say the new law is difficult to enforce, because of limited resources. Maryland does not have a law banning synthetic marijuana.

Synthetic drug packages are found in many gas stations and small neighborhood stores, The Baltimore Sun reports. The newspaper found a series of YouTube videos of teens and young adults smoking Scooby Snax, while talking about the product’s effects.

Maryland Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein said people may think synthetic drugs are safe because they are easily available. “Just because something is sold at a gas station does not mean it is safe for kids,” Sharfstein told the newspaper. “Synthetics have been linked to some very serious side effects: catatonia, seizures, hallucinations.”

He unsuccessfully lobbied the state legislature earlier this year to impose a statewide ban on synthetic marijuana. He praised the federal law, which not only bans chemicals known to mimic marijuana, but also their chemical analogs. This makes it more difficult for drug makers to slightly alter their product to evade the law.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Methamphetamine Makers Develop Sophisticated New Business Model

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

Methamphetamine makers are importing raw powdered meth from Mexico, and refining it at “conversion labs” into the crystal form of the drug, The Wall Street Journal reports. In the past, the drug was produced in small U.S. labs, or shipped in its finished form from Mexico.

Drug groups smuggle large amounts of meth powder or liquid, often disguised as antifreeze or other products.

According to law enforcement officials and academic experts in drug trafficking, Mexican drug groups are adapting to changing markets and legal strategies. Like other businesses, drug traffickers have found it is more efficient to do final processing of their product close to their customers, instead of importing finished products, according to John Donnelly, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in Fresno, California. “Anything that any good businessman does, these guys will do,” he noted.

Conversion labs have been found in California, Georgia and Texas in the past two years. The number of conversion lab busts is growing, as is the size of meth seizures. “We never saw those kinds of seizures before,” Erasmo Carrizosa, the head of anti-meth strategy for the California Department of Justice, told the newspaper. “Before, if you popped a guy for five pounds, it was a lot of meth.”

City of Angels New Jersey

There'll be plenty of food, fun and good cheer. All are welcome. For more details,
 New COA Video
More COA Successes
More COA Successes
If you missed the Volunteer
Appreciation Picnic on Saturday, you can watch the testimonials online! 
These speakers powerfully describe how COA helped get them or their addicted loved one into treatment, and support recovery when they returned home. They show that although addiction is a terrible disease, hope is always possible.

If you would like to volunteer with COA, simply click here to complete our online Volunteer Form.
 COA hosts support group meetings for both addiction sufferers and their families every day of the week at the Dwier Center (392 Church Street, Groveville, NJ). To check out our online calendar, click here.
For directions to the Dwier Center, click here. 
The COA website now offers an Addiction News Feed with the latest studies, reports, new and other info on addiction. It's updated in real time with top 30 articles. To read the feed, click here
New videos are up on the COA YouTube channel. To watch, click here.

Join COA's Pinterest community! To visit the boards, click here.
Yoga is excellent for the body, mind and spirit...and classes at COA are offered weekly at no charge. For the schedule, click here.

Keep current on COA activites - join the COA group on Facebook!  COA news is posted first on Facebook, and this page often has photos not available elsewhere.Click here to visit.

City of Angels NJ, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides many services to addicts and their families including interventions, recovery support, Family Program, counseling services and more. All of our services are provided at no charge.

Friday, September 14, 2012

DEA Revokes Licenses to Dispense Controlled Substances for Two CVS Pharmacies

By Join Together Staff | September 13, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related, Government, Prescription Drugs & Prevention

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has revoked the licenses to dispense controlled substances for two CVS pharmacies in Florida, after accusing them of dispensing excessive amounts of oxycodone.

Earlier this year, the DEA said the two pharmacies were “filling prescriptions far in excess of the legitimate needs of its customers.” While the average pharmacy 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.

USA Today reports that in an administrative hearing in April, CVS Vice President Will Abbott said the company had retrained its pharmacists, and cut 21 physicians who prescribed large amounts of oxycodone. According to the DEA, the company did not take those steps until after the agency served warrants as part of an investigation of the stores.

“These actions are part of the DEA Miami Field Division’s continuing efforts to combat the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and its role as a major source of diverted pharmaceutical drugs to other states,” the DEA said in a news release.


The First Responders Addiction Treatment Program reaching out to police, firefighters, emergency personnel and combat veterans.

Alcoholism or other dependencies complicate the stress and physical and emotional trauma of dealing with life-threatening situations. Addiction is no stranger to "those who go in first."

A dependency might actually destroy a person's health, family life and career. On top of that, an individual also has to bear the unfair stigma that the addicted person "doesn't have enough will power," or "made the wrong choices." But we know (as does all of the medical community) that addiction is a disease with a medical and behavioral basis, requiring care, understanding and professional treatment.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a major challenge for vets and responders. Prescribed pain medication can easily lead to dependency. There are so many factors, influences, and potential negative results. And addiction can also lead to suicide as an "option." (Police officers are found to be twice as likely as the general population to take this desperate course.)

Treatment works.Get help NOW for yourself, loved one, or somebody on the job.Meet the experienced program managers.

FRAT is based at Livengrin Foundation, founded in 1966 as a nonprofit treatment center in Bensalem, PA (outside Philadelphia). Livengrin provides a complete range of services for alcoholism and drug dependency, at a wooded rehab campus and six outpatient locations throughout the region. More than 100,000 people have come through its doors to begin a journey to recovery. Visit Livengrin

Thursday, September 13, 2012

“Rally for Recovery!” to Take Place This Weekend Around U.S. and U.K.

By Join Together Staff | September 12, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inRecovery

Tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in “Rally for Recovery!” on Saturday, September 15, as part of Recovery Month. Events in the United States and the United Kingdom will include rallies, marches, runs and walks.

Events in Detroit, Michigan; Hartford, Connecticut; and Dublin, Ireland will be streamed live. Participants will call for an end to discriminatory policies, and for support for people seeking or in addiction recovery.

“Over 20 million Americans are in long-term recovery from addiction, benefiting themselves, their families and communities,” said Dona Dmitrovic, Chair of the Board of Directors of Faces & Voices of Recovery, which is coordinating the events. “We thank everyone who’s standing up for recovery, offering hope and opportunity for people who still need help to recover.”

Participants in the sixth annual Rally for Recovery! will conduct voter registration and education, contact members of Congress about how recovery saves health care dollars and lives, and share their recovery stories.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Commentary: Medical Marijuana – Time for Parents to Step In

By TRI Ken Winters PhD and Amelia Arria PhD | September 11, 2012 | 3 Comments | Filed in Drugs, Legislation & Parenting

To paraphrase a former First Lady, “What goes on in the White House is never as important as what goes on in your house.”

As the evidence mounts of the negative effects of medical marijuana laws in various states, it’s even more important for parents to recognize that marijuana needs to be on their parenting radar screen.

A Colorado study shows some of these impacts, where nearly 74 percent of a sample of teenagers receiving addiction treatment in that state told researchers they used medical marijuana that was recommended for someone else.

This news should be of no surprise because increased availability of marijuana is highly associated with increased use. Studies have shown that marijuana is not a safe, benign drug. It’s a highly addictive drug. When smoked it contributes to pulmonary damage. It significantly impairs judgment, and is associated with poor performance in school. Its use has also been linked to contributions to impairment on important measures of life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life and career status.

Marijuana is a drug that’s widely used by teens and young adults. Among teens aged 12 to 17, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, after several years of declines, current marijuana use increased in 2009 and again in 2010, to 7.4 percent of the population. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, almost 30 percent used marijuana in the past year, with almost 6.3 million young adult users in the past month.

Marijuana use is now more prevalent among teens than cigarette smoking. Marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Moreover, the typical weed available to adolescents these days is so much more potent compared to the marijuana used by prior generations. This increased potency is particularly concerning in light of recent scientific findings that marijuana use deleteriously affects brain development, particularly in areas related to mood, reward, and learning.

Medical marijuana laws have made parents’ jobs tougher, no doubt about it. Although the provisions of the statutes differ, as of early July medical marijuana statutes had been signed into law in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Parents are a mighty lobbying force – at the local, state and national levels – particularly when they act in groups. We are not suggesting that parents shouldn’t try to influence government at any one of these levels.

But because governments move slowly and not always in everyone’s best interests, parents can (and should) influence what goes on in their households. Science will continue to inform the public and seek solutions. But as the constant in a child’s life – with protective instincts that can be brought out by science but not replaced – it’s the parents who are the first lines of defense for their children.

Ken C. Winters, PhD & Amelia Arria, PhD

Dr. Winters is the Associate Director, Dr. Arria the Scientific Director, of the Parents Translational Research Center (PTRC) of the Philadelphia-based Treatment Research Institute. The PTRC is a NIDA-funded Center dedicated to developing practical, science-based tools for parents and other caregivers faced with challenges related to adolescent substance abuse.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Study Finds Active Participation in AA Aids in Long-Term Recovery

By Join Together Staff | September 10, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Alcohol,Recovery, Research & Treatment

Recovering alcoholics who help others in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have better outcomes themselves, a new study concludes. Helping others increases the amount of time a person stays sober, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The findings come from a 10-year study, reports. The researchers examined the effects of Alcoholics Anonymous-related Helping (AAH). “The AAH findings suggest the importance of getting active in service, which can be in a committed 2-month AA service position or as simple as sharing one’s personal experience in recovery to another fellow sufferer,” lead researcher Maria Pagano said in a news release.

She found that participants engaged in AAH attended more meetings and did more step-work than those who did not help others. Pagano noted that “being interested in others keeps you more connected to your program and pulls you out of the vicious cycle of extreme self-preoccupation that is a posited root of addiction.”

The findings appear in the journal Substance Abuse.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Emergency Rooms Learning to Deal with Teens, Young Adults on Designer Drugs

By Join Together Staff | September 7, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inDrugs, Young Adults & Youth

Emergency room doctors are learning the signs of designer drug use in teens and young adults as the substances continue to grow in popularity, The Miami Herald reports.

Signs that someone has been using “bath salts,” or synthetic marijuana, known as “K2” or “Spice,” include a glassy look, or psychotic behavior, such as acting as if they are seeing things or hearing voices, according to Dr. Peter Antevy, an emergency room doctor at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

“These don’t show up on any drug tests, unfortunately,” Antevy told the newspaper. “And kids don’t like to admit they’ve taken them, especially if they’re in front of their parents. The only way I know is by asking, simply, ‘Are you on K2? Are you taking Spice?’ They’ll look at me and say, ‘Yes.’?”

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 3,821 calls regarding synthetic marijuana and 2,078 calls regarding bath salts as of July 31of this year.

The article notes the long-term effects of these drugs have not been fully studied. This research is especially difficult to conduct, because drug makers are continually changing the chemical makeup of the substances to evade laws banning them. “They’re able to change one molecule on this drug and then you can call it something different, so the regulators can’t disallow them,” Antevy said. “They’re skirting the law.”

In July, President Obama signed legislation that bans synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs are readily available online. The law outlaws sales of synthetic drugs by both retail stores and online retailers.

In December, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released new information indicating that one in nine high school seniors had used Spice or K2 over the past year, making synthetic marijuana the second most frequently used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors.


 Council Masthead

Two-Week Program
October 29--November 2, 2012
November 13--16, 2012

PRO-ACT Recovery Training Center
444 North 3rd Street, Suite 307
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Pre-registration is required 

Registration Help Desk:  215-489-6120, ext 1
Class size is limited
        The purpose of this condensed two-week program is to provide the 54 hours of educational training required for the Pennsylvania Certification Board Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) credential. The CRS provides community-based support to individuals through their life skills and recovery experiences while they serve as a role model, advocate and motivator to recovering individuals. This training also equips people to become Recovery Coaches. 
This Two-Week Training Is Organized into Five Modules 
        Recovery Management -- 18 hours
        Education and Advocacy -- 12 hours
        Professional Ethics and Responsibility -- 12 hours
        Confidentiality -- 6 hours
        Additional Addiction Training -- 6 hours

        In addition, a three-hour segment on Monday, November 19, will be provided for preparation for the CRS exam.

        Please visit The Council Web site to review the course brochure.  
 Daily Program Agenda:
 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
There is a one-hour break for lunch

Staff members of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania with a history of more than
14 years of providing recovery support services.

Program Cost: $540
54 hours may be applied toward the PCB CRS credential 
Program Sponsorship and Accreditation:
The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., is a PCB-approved provider and affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), serving the southeast region of Pennsylvania. PCB Education Provider #031.