Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves ,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

STEP 12 :Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Does anymore need to be said ! Myself personally it is our duty not only as Americans to defend the weak ,it is our duty to help others receive the gift that God has given us.I am talking about our sanity and sobriety.There is not a drug or drink in the world that can match the joy of freedom from addiction. The Proverb clearly describes a lot of our brothers and sisters who are still out there. Under the guidance of Gods divine nature I cruise the social media highway in search of those who cannot speak for themselves ,those who are destitute and spiritually bankrupt. For those of you who are reading this and are still trying to find your way take heed to my words.Surrender ,cry out to God He hears you never quit trying to quit , it took my mom and many sixteen years of prayer to get me free from the chains. know you are not alone and there is hope.

Look Out: Amanda Bynes Is Now a Free Woman | The Fix

Look Out: Amanda Bynes Is Now a Free Woman | The Fix

Bite Me | The Fix

Bite Me | The Fix

December 30, 2013


As I write this letter and look back on this amazing year, it becomes clear that, with your help, Lighthouse Network is playing a significant role in one of the most important battles of our time: helping the hurting all over the country, who are suffering from addiction, to overcome the pain, grief and despair they live with-every single day.

As we come to the end of 2013, I am pleased to report that our Care Guides have received over 5,400 calls this year from young men and women, fathers and mothers, and even grandparents, who have come to the end of their ability to deal with addiction themselves. At Lighthouse Network, we guide people through life's storms, but we know that every action in life is similar to a raindrop in the ocean that creates ripples ... one action causes a reaction and the circle grows. These ripples go as far and wide as the ocean will allow, and the ripple effect has begun. We want to share some "ripple effect" stories with you, and illustrate how you are already part of this story...

Click here to read the rest of the December
2013 Lighthouse Network Newsletter

If you have a heart for hurting people and you would like to help those struggling with addiction and mental health challenges to get the Christian treatment they so desperately need, please click on the donate button below. This will take you to the donation page of the LN website. Your gift will change lives and impact families and help people find freedom from addiction through Christ.

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About Lighthouse Network:

Lighthouse Network is a Christian-based non-profit organization that offers a mental health and addiction referral program and Helpline that strives to equip people and organizations with the skills necessary to shine God's glory to the world, stand strong on a solid foundation in the storms of their own lives, and provide guidance and safety to others experiencing stormy times, thus impacting their lives, their families and the world.

Lighthouse Network offers help through two main service choices:
  • Lighthouse Addiction Helpline, a 24-hour free, national crisis call center, where specialists (Care Guides) help callers understand and access customized treatment options.

  • Life Growth and self-help training resources for daily life, including online and DVD series and training events to help individuals achieve their potential.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him
STEP 2 :Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

So what are you waiting for ! I knew my life was a train wreck but I was also very skeptical about God . Like many I believed if God was there why would he let me suffer so much . It was simple i chose to live the life I wanted to live , far away from God . God is patiently waiting for you to come to Him admit your life is a mess and ask Him for help , like I said I was skeptical but also very desperate .In my life stuff was so bad , I had nothing too lose and everything to gain . I tried everything else might as well give God and the steps a try. Wow ,God is real the steps helped me find him ,He loves me and He missed me. No I can't explain it but thirteen years clean was something I dreamed of but under my own strength could not pull it off. He will do the same for you ,I double dog dare you to believe and ask Him for help.

Exposure to Alcohol Before Birth Linked to Social Skills Problems in Childhood

By Join Together Staff | December 12, 2013 | Leave a comment | Filed inAlcohol, Mental Health, Parenting, Research & Youth

Children whose mothers drank during pregnancy are more likely to have problems with social skills, compared with their peers whose mothers did not drink while pregnant, according to a new study.

A mother’s drinking during pregnancy was also found to be associated with significant emotional and behavioral issues in their children, according to HealthDay.

The study, published in Child Neuropsychology, included 153 children ages 6 to 12. Of these children, 97 had a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The researchers evaluated the children’s thinking, as well as their emotional, social and behavioral development. They found children whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy had more social problems, even after their IQ was taken into account. They were less able to connect past experience with present actions, or understand why people do what they do. They received lower scores on tests of planning and organizational skills, attention and working memory.

Parents of children with prenatal alcohol exposure said the children showed more inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. These children were more likely to have symptoms of depression.

The researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, said their findings indicate a great need for early detection and treatment of social problems in children that result from prenatal alcohol exposure. Intervening early is important, they said, because children’s developing brains have an ability to change and adapt as they learn.
Ohio Legislator Proposes Requiring Hospitals to Report Opioid-Dependent Newborns

By Join Together Staff | December 19, 2013 | 1 Comment | Filed in Community Related, Legislation, Parenting, Prescription Drugs, Prevention & Youth

A bill proposed by an Ohio legislator would require hospitals to report the number of opioid-dependent babies born each year, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

“It’s one of the few measurements we will have ongoing for future legislators to see if we’re impacting these addiction issues in a positive, negative or neutral way,” bill sponsor Representative Lynn Wachtmann told the newspaper. “That’s one of the frustrations I’ve heard time and time again — it’s hard to get good measurements in place so we know how we’re doing.”

The measure specifies that information reported by hospitals could not be passed on to law enforcement agencies. Other bills under consideration by the Ohio legislature include requiring hospices to track medications and dispose of them when they are no longer needed; banning doctors from prescribing certain drugs to treat opioid addiction unless the patient is also receiving behavioral counseling; and requiring counties to offer a full spectrum of drug-addiction and mental health services.

This summer, Ohio Governor John Kasich announced a $4.2 million pilot program to treat pregnant women addicted to heroin and prescription drugs.

24th Annual Leadership forum

Saturday, December 28, 2013


He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

STEP 10 :  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Well there you have it ! The truth and nothing but the truth will do. Telling people what they want to hear cannot and will not help them in the long run. True recovery starts with you  being honest with yourself and especially others. Long gone are the days of making excuses and lieing to get what you want. Being honest with yourself will effect all of your relationships.My mom used to say your not fooling anyone but yourself ,looking back she was right. The Proverb mentions rebuking a man by telling him the cold hard truth. Speaking the truth admitting your mistakes will earn you humility, respect , trust  ,and favor. Thirteen years of soberity and I am still discovering defects in my character that my wife loves too point out. It is stuff I never gave any thought too until she brought it too light.She is not trying too harm me ,back in the day that is what I thought ,but now I get it.Truth hurts especially if there is an area in your life that needs change. Using the Proverb and step ten will keep you sober !

You Probably Have ADHD

Deceptive marketing and celebrity endorsements have created an ADHD culture, much to the delight of the pharmaceutical companies.

photo: Shutterstock
I recently took a six question quiz on the website Everyday Health to determine if I have adult ADHD. The quiz was written by “Psychcentral Staff” and included questions such as “When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?” And “How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?” I answered honestly, and got this result: “ADHD may be likely.” I have never been diagnosed with ADHD, I am generally focused and calm and no one would ever describe me as hyper. After reading my results, however, I had my doubts. Or maybe I wanted to have my doubts; wouldn’t it be nice to have a condition which would allow me, after receiving the right diagnosis and medication, to miraculously make new friends, get better grades, finish projects, and have among my similarly-diagnosed peers people like Adam Levine, lead singer for Maroon 5?
According to the CDC, childhood diagnoses of ADHD have risen from 600,000 in 1990 to 3.5 million today and 15 percent of high school age kids are diagnosed with ADHD. These numbers represent “a national disaster of dangerous proportions,” according to Dr. Keith Conners, a long time proponent of recognizing and destigmatizing ADHD. Despite the numbers, Dr. Conners says that there is no ADHD epidemic. Instead, “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.” 
Every single major ADHD medication has been in trouble with the FDA for misleading advertising, some more than once.
Pharmaceutical companies have spent the past two decades engaging in aggressive and sneaky marketing that has included diagnosis- and drug-pushing doctors, playing on parents’ fears, and involving schools in the effort to attract, diagnose, and treat kids who suffer (or who appear to suffer) from ADHD. Ads for ADHD medication targeting parents feature headlines such as “Reveal his potential,” and “Thanks for taking out the garbage.” One ad has a hand-drawn picture of a kid and in large, childish writing, states: “Today I got a good mark. And made a new friend. What a great day!” In one particularly manipulative ad, a cheerful mom appears under the headline “I am not a bad mom;” the mom explains that her son’s school was ready to throw him out if his behavior continued. After taking the ADHD medication, however, her son “has become a thousand times better" and she has presumably been exonerated from bad motherhood.
Every single major ADHD medication has been in trouble with the FDA for misleading advertising, some more than once.
ADHD medications are marketed to doctors by psychopharmacology experts such as Dr. Joseph Biederman, a Harvard University child psychiatrist who is a huge proponent of stimulant medication to treat ADHD. Dr. Biederman also believes that the disorder is significantly underdiagnosed, and that failure to medicate will almost certainly cause risks as serious as drug dependence and problems with the law. As an example of Dr. Biederman’s enthusiastic support of stimulant medication for ADHD, in 2006 he told Reuters Health, “If a child is brilliant but is doing just OK in school, that child may need treatment, which would result in their performing brilliantly at school.” According to the marketing efforts aimed at doctors, much of which has been based on findings from Biederman’s research, ADHD drugs will “allow your patients to experience life’s successes every day.” One brochure for Adderall XR contains the remarkable statement that “Amphetamines have been used medically for nearly 70 years. That’s a legacy of safety you can count on.”
A Senate investigation in 2008 found that Dr. Biederman’s research was largely funded by drug companies, including Shire, the manufacturer of many of the leading ADHD medications. He was also paid $1.6 million for speaking and consulting. Dr. Biederman denies that the money had any effect on his research.
The more insidious marketing efforts are the ones that are not obvious. The main advocacy group for people with ADHD is CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). CHADD was started in 1987 with the goal of bringing more attention to ADHD and its treatment. According to the group’s website, CHADD was founded “in response to the frustration and sense of isolation experienced by parents and their children with ADHD. At that time, one could turn to very few places for support or information. Many people seriously misunderstood ADHD. Many clinicians and educators knew little about the disability, and individuals with ADHD were often mistakenly labeled ‘a behavior problem,’ ‘unmotivated,’ or ‘not intelligent enough.’” CHADD offers advocacy, support, and a CDC-funded clearinghouse for “evidence-based information about ADHD.” They put out a magazine called Attention with articles such as “What’s in a Parent’s ADHD Tool Box?”
Pharmaceutical companies know what they’re doing: in 2012, sales of stimulants reached almost $9 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2002.
I checked the website's funding, and found no mention of the fact that the group was started with seed money from Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, the primary manufacturer of ADHD drug Ritalin. Furthermore, the drug company provided funds to create “fact sheets” about treatment, one of which claimed: “Psychostimulant drugs are not addictive.”
CHADD has also lobbied the DEA to loosen government restrictions on stimulants and has worked on an educational video about ADHD with the Department of Education. The 11 main sponsors for CHADD’s 12th annual conference in 2000 were all drug companies. Shire led the pack, and was also revealed to have paid $3 million so that CHADD’s magazine, “Attention” would be delivered to doctors’ offices across the country.
Perhaps the most deceptive—and saddest—marketing efforts are the ones aimed at children.  “What’s Up with Astra?” is a comic book about a girl who has trouble with school and friends because of her inability to focus or stay still. Fortunately, a group of superhero medical experts called “the Medikidz” show up to tell Astra that she has ADHD. They explain how the disorder works in her brain, and introduce her to “Nora and Dopey,” who teach her how she can treat her ADHD.
The Medikidz were created by two pediatricians who were frustrated by the lack of child-friendly resources available to explain medical conditions. In addition to ADHD, the comic books deal with diseases and disorders including brain tumors, cancer, and allergies. According to their website, “Credibility is the cornerstone to the Medikidz offering - professional medical writers and doctors write all the content, which is subsequently peer-reviewed by leading consultants in each respective field. Medikidz also gains the endorsement of established and well-regarded medical institutions, foundations and spokespeople.” 
According to the New York Times investigation, however, credibility may not be such a strong cornerstone for Medikidz, at least in the case of the ADHD comics. Shire paid to have them produced. From the comic: “Medicines may make it easier to pay attention and control your behavior!”
Drug makers also enlist schools to help with their recruitment. Diagnoses are almost too easy when resources such as the American Psychiatric Association include criteria for ADHD such as “makes careless mistakes” or “often has difficulty waiting his or her turn.” The New York Times article describes the case of Andy Perry, a rambunctious child from Mercer Island. Andy’s public school teachers recommended to Andy’s parents that he be evaluated for ADHD and medicated with Ritalin. The school psychologist gave Andy’s mother a pamphlet which included the statement: “Parents should be aware that these medicines do not ‘drug’ or ‘alter’ the brain of the child. They make the child ‘normal.’” Later, Andy’s parents noticed the Ciba-Geigy logo on the back of the pamphlet. The school acknowledged that the pamphlets had been provided to them by representatives from the drug company.
Andy Parry was on Ritalin for three years even though, according to his father, he never had ADHD.“Somebody came up with this idea, which was genius. I definitely felt seduced and enticed. I’d say baited,” Andy’s father told The Times.
Pharmaceutical companies know what they’re doing: in 2012, sales of stimulants reached almost $9 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2002.

How I Learned to Love the Holidays

Addiction is a three fold disease—Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Here's my way out of that obstacle course.

naughty or nice photo: Shutterstock
I first tried to get sober during the months of autumn, with the holidays looming, Round about late November, digging my bitten fingernails into the bottom of a chair at yet another meeting, some old timer croaked, "Alcoholism is a three-fold disease." Smoke curled above his unshaven lip. Indeed, I reminded my newly-sober self, physical, mental, and spiritual. The guy then delivered his raspy punch line: "Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's." My feelings were mortally wounded.
The holidays had always been special to me, and I now felt a flush of shame over enjoying what these occasions signified: tradition, a sense of togetherness, of belonging to a family, of being loved. What a hopeless square. Worse still, a slight scratch at the surface with those same bitten fingernails revealed a degree of denial that I denied I was denying.
Let me roll it back. I grew up in a family that was as Catholic as any other Catholic family, meaning Mass most Sundays, First Communion, Confirmation, weddings and funerals in church. I didn’t hate it and I wasn’t scarred by it, but neither was I particularly awed. This was just what we did. But Christmas was a big deal.
My favorite aunt resided with my grandparents a few streets away from where I lived. By the time I was five, I was walking those blocks by myself, and I’d kick off Christmas Eve by toddling to their house for lunch. I would also harangue my aunt into giving up my Christmas present. I knew she had exactly what I wanted, whatever the hot toy was that season, or later, record albums we spun on her stereo console. The dining room table was decorated with Christmas cookies and breads, and I was denied nothing. At that northern latitude, darkness set in around 4 o’clock. These were the days of Christmas trees fashioned from aluminum branches that came out of a box, and the two of us would lie on the floor, admiring the tinted light and shadows a color wheel projected onto the ceiling. Does it sound like I was spoiled? I was.
New Year’s Eves were spent overnight at the home of that same grandma and grandpa, ringing out the old to the strains of Guy Lombardo and his Orchestra (that’s right, Guy Lombardo) while my parents, having by then capitulated to the suburbs, sneaked off to get wasted at somebody’s house party. The last one awake, I smuggled my transistor radio under the covers so I could get a dose of Lombardo antidote, a countdown of the Top 100 songs of the past twelve months. One year, Marvin Gaye finished on top of the pile with ‘What’s Going On?” I’m old.
By my teen years the scene shifted to the house of an aunt and uncle, beautiful, generous people who drew the family into themselves and spent days laboring over Thanksgiving and Christmas. They loved cooking, and this particular aunt was never afraid to fail with a recipe; she often did, to her own bemusement. A blaze roared from the fireplace, and their house was so full of guests that two tables couldn’t contain them, a couple of stragglers consigned to a couch, plates in their laps. My uncle owned a festive polka dot shirt he mothballed until November, when out it came to flatter him and insinuate itself into our holiday tradition. At some inevitable pause between pies and nuts, he revisited the shoe box containing snapshots from his army days and the stories that went along with the buddies in the pictures, a Norman Rockwell kind of experience, Italian-American subgenre.
Alas, the shift in our holiday gatherings wasn’t merely one of venue. I was undergoing an internal realignment into delinquency and alcoholism. I remember draining a bottle of my uncle’s cognac, getting into somebody’s car to bring back another one, crushing that, and then passing out. Feeling sheepish, I brought a fresh bottle to the next occasion, intended as a gift. I drank it all. I once showed up so drunk my holiday ended at the door, and I spent the evening out cold in an upstairs bed. By the time I came to, the party was over. On one of our last Christmases together, I arrived with not one girlfriend in tow, but two. What a classy guy. It wasn’t as if I didn’t love and respect these people; I absolutely did, I just didn’t know how to show it. That aunt and uncle died young, two grievous losses within the space of a year, and I can still feel their sting.
True desperation and darkness lived among the Ghosts of Christmases Yet to Come, when as an adult man beset by childish whims, I was surviving in New York City, awash on a sea of booze and drugs. I’d make it back to my diminished family if travel didn’t too terribly inconvenience my busy life, but that was so I could pick up some cash, from that favorite aunt for example. In the place of toys or record albums, it was now her opportunity to bankroll one of my holiday benders.
If I remained in town, it was with the best of holiday wishes. I muscled through a hungover and dopesick Christmas Eve to spend the day shopping and cooking, and then rendered the dish barely edible with some maniacal seasoning. The drunks I was cooking for were still picking at it politely when I slumped off to bed. Merry Christmas, boys.
Somewhere in existence there is a Polaroid shot of me in front of the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, dead drunk in the middle of the day, one eye pointed toward heaven, the other pin-wheeling the photographer into focus. I’m wearing somebody else’s coat, and thoughtfully sent the snapshot to that aunt, yes, that one, who remains to this day, perhaps not improbably, my staunchest ally.
The end of anything is hard, especially another lost year in which nothing happened, and so naturally, some of my grandest debacles occurred on New Year’s Eve. There are too many to recount here, but I can recall the utter numbness I experienced during the smallest hours of one brand new year, stupefied but not drunk, in a horrid dive off the Bowery. That precise moment is what I think of when I hear the jokey cliché about the Three-Fold Disease. I’m sorry to report that I was still years away from getting sober.
After that paralyzing New Year’s when I couldn’t get better and I couldn’t get worse, there were a handful of desultory Thanksgivings and depressing Christmases—the Rockefeller Center photo and the over-spiced dinner date from this era—and even after coming to a tenuous and brittle sobriety, the season when I first heard about The Three-Fold Disease, I was traveling back “home” for Thanksgiving to confront memories where there were once relatives. The fragmented family had its own issues and objectives, so I sat with four or five people at a table, carving up a supermarket turkey roll. Luckily, there were local AA meetings to dip into, where I could hear about Thanksgivings that were even bleaker.
I eventually made the decision—holiday travel becoming increasingly awful anyway-- to stay put and grind out the season in New York. I was graciously invited to a Christmas Eve open house that started early and ended late in an Upper West Side apartment that, New York being New York, was peppered with actresses and musicians and comedians. I wore a green shirt two sizes too big and a red tie that cost five dollars. The spirit of the thing, you know. Somebody read “A Visit from St Nicholas” while doing a Kirk Douglas impression. It was a big hit. A piano sat in the living room, and guests crowded round it to sing carols. It was like "Hannah and her Sisters" without Maureen O’Sullivan, and although I can’t be positive, she might’ve been there, too. This was traditional all right, but it was somebody else’s tradition. I didn’t belong to it, and it didn’t belong to me. In the middle of all this generosity and gaiety, there was something missing and I didn’t know what it was. I went home to my drafty studio and I cried.
And then one year soon after, while flipping TV channels, I stumbled across “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Bittersweet, quiet and unquiet down to the bluesy-jazz soundtrack, the tone of the program had always struck me, even in childhood, as pitch perfect. The season finds Charlie Brown in his usual, and given the circumstances, understandably downcast funk when Linus takes the spotlight and quoting from the gospel of Luke tells his pal, quietly again, what Christmas is all about.
And then I got lucky. At the last possible minute, I married a lovely woman, and with mere seconds left on the clock (for me, anyway) we were blessed with a baby girl. These two facts have everything to do with what I’m about to write. The hopeless square is back, and he’s not apologizing. While I feel compassion for those moody souls who dread the holiday season, it’s my favorite time of year.
I’ve left the Three-Fold Disease behind not by evading it, but by embracing it, like Charlie Brown getting straightened out by Linus. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, and I’ve returned to the deepest roots of my own tradition through his essential message. To wit, and in the contemporary argot: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was cold and you gave me your coat, I was sick and you took care of me, I was locked up and you came to see me. I was lonely and you took me out for a cup of coffee. I was broke and you hit me off with a few bucks. I made up those last two. They didn’t have coffee shops in the time of Christ. They didn’t have coffee either.
You don’t have to be a Christian to reach out for those ideals. You don’t even have to believe in God. What the Teacher was talking about was the measure of our humanity, which does seem to emerge in sharper relief around the end of the year, when it’s only natural to be taking stock. I’m sure he wasn’t saying charity should be held off until December.
I’m no self-flagellating penitent. Neither do I float above the New York streets in a state of religious ecstasy. I get high on the commercial buzz of the holiday season, too. I gape at the store windows along Madison Avenue, lusting for possessions I will most likely never have. I ramp up my credit card balances on Christmas presents, then spend the next quarter of the year paying them down.
I invited so many people to Thanksgiving dinner that I had to borrow a table and some chairs in order to seat them. In front of the oven, and channeling my uncle in a festive polka dot shirt of my own, I wiped a bead of sweat from my temple and surveyed the hungry looks on the expectant faces of my guests, believers, non-believers, apostates, heretics. This, I thought, is exactly what’s it supposed to be. A Three-Fold Disease? Not around my house. Not any more.

The 12 Craziest Celebrity Drug Stories Of 2013 | The Fix

The 12 Craziest Celebrity Drug Stories Of 2013 | The Fix

Friday, December 27, 2013


The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.

STEP 4 : Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Words are weapons !When used correctly they can build and shape someones life.The Proverb is comparing words to the process of refining precious metals by removing the impurities.Growing up as a kid I was always told you will screw it up .Eventually with hearing that all the time ,I became afraid and isolated . I cut myself off from the outside world. Addiction for me was a crutch it helped me deal with the fear and anger that ruled my life. In the process of using that crutch I became a liar ,thief and a monster hated by everyone in my life or at least so I thought. I made a choice to let the words spoken in my life shape me into the monster I had become.To avoid the pain of those words my heart began to harden and I built walls so no one could hurt me anymore .The problem with that way of thinking and living is when someone does come along who truly wants to help you they cant get threw because of the walls you have built , leaving you stuck in that prison facing the death penalty for some else s careless use of hurtful words. Using the steps as a hammer begin to remove the bricks . Give God a hammer and let him help you (Step 1 2 & 3 )! Once your at 4 take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror , and tell yourself I have become what they said I would become but now its my turn to say who I am , and what I will become. God says you are a overcomer and a special treasure .Make a choice who are you going listen to them or GOD.

Deaths From Drug Poisoning Rose by More Than 300% in Last 30 Years

By Join Together Staff | November 14, 2013 | Leave a comment | Filed in Drugs& Prescription Drugs

Deaths due to drug poisoning have tripled in the last three decades, a new study concludes. The study included poisonings from both illegal and prescription drugs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Prescription drugs make up the majority of drug overdose deaths, the study concluded.

The largest increase occurred in the last decade examined in the study. The researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the percentage of counties with drug poisoning death rates of more than 10 in 100,000 rose from 3 percent in 1999, to 54 percent in 2009. This is the first study to look at drug poisoning rates at the county level in the United States, the article notes. Previous studies have examined rates at the state or national level.

“Mapping death rates associated with drug poisoning at the county level may help elucidate geographic patterns, highlight areas where drug-related poisoning deaths are higher than expected, and inform policies and programs designed to address the increase in drug-poisoning mortality and morbidity,” lead researcher Lauren Rossen said in a statement.

Drug poisoning death rates rose by almost 400 percent in rural areas, and by almost 300 percent in large central metropolitan counties, the study found. Higher rates were found in the Pacific, Mountain, and East South Central regions of the nation. Lower rates were concentrated in the West North Central region, the article notes.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org
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Dear Joseph,
It’s a sad but little known fact that schools today do little to teach our kids about the risks of drug abuse. Over the past five years, there have been massive government cuts slashing school-based drug and alcohol prevention programs.
And, at the same time that programs for kids in schools and communities have disappeared, more people in the U.S. now die from prescription drug overdoses than in car crashes.
While there are more demands on parents and teachers than ever, prescription pain medications are responsible for more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.
Families need you to make The Partnership’s work possible. And we need to be here for all families.
Help us reach parents and educators with effective tools to help #endmedicineabuse.
We dedicate ourselves to protecting the health of children. We know that no family should lose a child to addiction. But we can’t do it without you. Make a tax-deductible donation right now. Together, we can and will reverse the epidemic of teen medicine abuse.
Thank you, and Happy Holidays,

Steve Pasierb, President and CEO
The Partnership at Drugfree.org

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Avatar-Based, Online Role-Play Tool Helps U.S. Parents "Start the Talk" With Youth About Underage Drinking
First-time drinking doubles in the month of December and remains high into January

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (PRNewsFoto/SAMHSA)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) introduces Start the Talk, its new videogame-like tool that helps parents practice tough conversations about underage drinking in a risk-free virtual environment. Start the Talk comes at a crucial time as the rate of youth using alcohol for the first time doubles in the month of December and remains high into January.1

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131219/PH36391LOGO)

Start the Talk is the newest component of Talk. They Hear You., SAMHSA's underage drinking prevention campaign that launched last May. The campaign equips parents and caregivers with the information, tools, and confidence they need to start talking to youth early—as early as 9 years old—about the dangers of alcohol.

Start the Talk is an evidence-based behavioral tool that uses life-like avatars to engage in interactive conversations. The simulation is based on research in social cognition, learning theory, and neuroscience. Each virtual role-play conversation is structured as a 10- to 15-minute interactive, videogame-like experience. Users enter a risk-free practice environment, assume a parental role, and engage in a conversation with an intelligent, fully animated, emotionally responsive avatar that models human behavior and adapts its responses and behaviors to the user's conversation decisions.

"The holiday season is a time of year when families come together," said Frances M. Harding, Director of SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. "Now is the perfect time for parents and caregivers to connect with their children and talk about the dangers of drinking alcohol. Short, frequent discussions can make all the difference. Start the Talk provides a safe place to practice these conversations and build confidence."

"Ongoing, open, and calm conversations between children and their parents and caregivers are important to preventing underage alcohol use," added Harding. "Even when children seem like they aren't listening, they really do hear us."

Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people's decisions about alcohol consumption,2 especially when they create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions.3 This is why talking to children early and often can have a significant impact on how a child thinks about alcohol. Equipping parents with a tool such as Start the Talk can foster these discussions.

Realizing that many parents and caregivers are "on the go," SAMHSA plans to launch a mobile application version of Start the Talk in spring 2014. In addition, SAMHSA will soon redesign Start the Talk in 3D and allow users to choose from a new selection of diverse avatars.

Parents and caregivers are asked to try Start the Talk and share it with friends and family. SAMHSA also urges the prevention community to share Start the Talk and the Talk. They Hear You. campaign resources on their websites, through social media channels, and in newsletters.

Talk. They Hear You. is SAMHSA's national public service announcement campaign that empowers parents to talk to young children as early as 9 years old about the dangers of underage drinking.

Visit www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov to try Start the Talk and for more tips and information.

For more information about SAMHSA, visit www.samhsa.gov.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

James Bond at risk of early death from alcohol, study says

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
updated 9:03 PM EST, Thu December 12, 2013

James Bond may want to reconsider his drinking habits, a new study says.

Study looked at 14 James Bond novels
About 2.5 million deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol use
Researchers project Bond could die at age 56 because of alcohol use

(CNN) -- Alcohol. Bond's alcohol.

The British spy James Bond may routinely get himself out of dangerous situations with skill and charm, but his body may be suffering all the while because of his drinking habits. British researchers predict he could die from alcohol-related causes, such as liver damage, by age 56.

Scientists wanted to examine just how much alcohol the famous fictional secret agent consumes, and what effect that could have on his health. They published a study, led by Graham Johnson of the emergency department of Royal Derby Hospital, in the British Medical Journal's Christmas edition, which features a variety of offbeat research papers.

Researchers found Bond's weekly alcohol consumption totaled 92 units a week, which is more than four times what doctors recommend. A real person would not be able to carry out such complicated tasks and function as well as Bond does while maintaining such habits, they conclude.

A unit of alcohol is defined as 10 milliliters or 8 grams of pure ethanol in the United Kingdom. For some perspective on that, a bottle of wine is nine units, and a pint of beer is three, according to this study.

The finding of 92 units a week could actually be the low end of the truth, as studies have shown that "people generally underestimate their alcohol consumption by about 30%," the study said, noting other research has demonstrated that health surveys don't account for about half of all alcohol sold.

In other words, Bond may be drinking much more than the large quantities portrayed in the books.

"We advise an immediate referral for further assessment and treatment," the study authors wrote, as well as "a reduction in alcohol to safe levels."

10 hotels featured in James Bond movies

Two study authors analyzed all 14 original James Bond books by Ian Fleming, focusing on the number of days on which alcohol-related events were described. But each of them only read half the books, representing a shortcoming of the study, which was conducted in "the study authors' homes, in a comfy chair."

They found that in "From Russia with Love," on the third day of the story, Bond drank about 50 units of alcohol -- the highest daily consumption in the collection of stories.

Photos: Decades of James Bond

It also appears that the spy's alcohol intake dropped around the middle of his career, but then picked back up gradually toward the end.

"This consistent but variable lifetime drinking pattern has been reported in patients with alcoholic liver disease," study authors wrote.

Note that researchers did not analyze the Bond films, only the books, so the precise level of alcoholism that Bond portrays on the big screen is an open question.

James Bond 50th anniversary coverage

About 2.5 million deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol use, the study said. The cause of alcohol-related death is most often injury, liver cirrhosis, poisoning and malignancy.

A real person who drank as much as Bond, more than 60 grams of alcohol per day, would be in the highest risk group for malignancies, depression, hypertension and cirrhosis and could also suffer sexual dysfunction.

Early death would be likely for the spy as a result of such rampant alcohol consumption, researchers said.

Fleming, the author who created the Bond character, and frequently drank and smoked tobacco, died at age 56 of heart disease. "We suspect that Bond's life expectancy would be similar," the researchers wrote.

Alcoholism may even be responsible for Bond's famous catchphrase "vodka martini -- shaken, not stirred." This may have health-related implications, too.

Study authors posit that if Bond's alcohol consumption in the books is so chronic and excessive, he may be suffering from an alcohol-induced tremor. Chronic exposure to alcohol can damage a part of the brain called the cerebellum, which can lead to a tremor.

This suggests -- and of course, this is only speculation -- that perhaps Bond can't actually stir his drinks.

James Bond submarine car sells for $920,000

Is Bond the man with the golden liver?

"In Casino Royale he drinks over 39 units before engaging in a high-speed car chase, losing control, and spending 14 days in hospital," study authors wrote. "We hope that this was a salutatory lesson."

And yet, Bond kept drinking in subsequent novels.

There's plenty of opportunity for another installment: "From Rehab With Love."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

STEP 12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Whether you want to believe it or not that is exactly where everybody is headed who is still caught up in active addiction , slaughter and death.My duty as a Christian an avid twelve stepper is do exactly what the proverb tells us to do.We must do everything in our power to assist and spread the message of recovery and hope.Once I started in the rooms I got a sponsor but In my case I would like to call him my Moses.There is a book in the bible called Exodus .The book is about a man named Moses ,when He was a baby his mom put him in a basket and threw him in the river. Lucky for him he did not drown but was found by the Pharaohs wife talk about luck .He was given everything but deep down inside he knew he did not belong with these people. One day he saw one of the Egyptian people beating up on a Israelite so something inside of him snapped and he killed the Egyptian. He became afraid and thought he would be caught so he ran away and was homeless for many years eventually returning to Egypt after a spiritual awakening to lead the real people he belonged to out of slavery and out of Egypt. I share this story with you in hopes you will see the similarities. The man Moses went threw hell as a child grew up to be a murderer ran from himself until his spirit was awakened and He became a mighty man in leading his people out of slavery. Our brothers and sisters are still in slavery (addiction) and we like Moses once spiritually awakened must lead as many out of slavery as we can .Some will stay behind and that is their right and choice.Moses was frustrated with the people because they at first came out easily but once life started getting difficult they wanted to go back,but Moses would not let them give up he pushed and pushed until they found the Promised land. Be a Moses (sponsor) lead someone out !

Monday, December 23, 2013


Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.

STEP  1 : We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctional- behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.

What can I add to that . The proverb just described alcoholism and addiction spot on. The answer Step one , and keep moving forward and don't stop ! With a sincere Step one a lot of hard work and a lot of prayer the self induced symptoms described in the Proverb will go away .

December 21, 2013
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Addiction professionals play a vital role in the lives of those suffering with addictions or substance use disorders. The NAADAC Education and Research Foundation (NERF) continuously strives to strengthen the health and vitality of individuals, families and communities through the advancement of the addiction profession and is funded primarily by contributions from individuals supporting our work. Through contributions from people like you, NAADAC is able to:
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Saturday, December 21, 2013


Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as revealed in the Bible, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

The main reason I chose step eleven to go with the Proverb is the mention of His power to carry it out. My mouth was constantly spewing venomous words aimed to seek and destroy. The proverb mentions trouble for the soul ! My very words were my greatest weapons when I was out running the streets. Manipulation and deceit were my way of surviving and getting what I wanted. My only problem was my life represented everything evil in the world and after many years of living that way death to me what have been a sweet release. Step one taught me that I was powerless until I found the only one who can truly help me and you out of the mess we made. If you are at step eleven than you know very well that some divine help had to of gotten you out of the hell we once lived in. My mouth is still spewing words but they are words that heal and bring love and encouragement and it is only by GODS power and Grace that I can continue step eleven and realize the verse from the Proverb is true. When we speak we must speak as the very oracles of GOD.

Former NFL Player Reggie Rogers Died from Substance Abuse

Courtesy of the FIX
Photo via

Reggie Rogers, a once highly-touted standout who struggled with lifelong dependency on drugs and alcohol, died on October 24, 2013 in Seattle, WA. But just this week, the King County Medical Examiner’s office determined that the cause of death was due to a deadly combination of cocaine and alcohol in his system.

The Seattle native was a standout two-sport athlete at the University of Washington, where he was an All-American defensive lineman from 1984-86. He also shined for three seasons on the men’s basketball team. In 1987, he was picked by the Detroit Lions seventh overall in the draft, but only played six games in his rookie season before stepping away to allegedly undergo treatment for chemical and alcohol dependency. The following year, Rogers struck another vehicle while driving under the influence and killed three teenagers. He was subsequently waved by the Lions and later sentenced to 16 months in prison after a conviction for vehicular homicide.

Rogers attempted a comeback with the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but ultimately left football for good in 1992. He was again involved in a drunk driving incident when he was charged with a hit-and-run in Washington in 2008. It was his fifth DUI in the state, dating back to his college days.

Rogers has long been considered to be one of the NFL’s biggest busts in the sport's history. And apparently, substance abuse ran in the family. His brother, Don Rogers, a safety with the
Cleveland Browns, died in June 1986 from cocaine poisoning.

Commentary: Rapper Macklemore Takes on Prevention

By Theodore Caputi | December 20, 2013 | 1 Comment | Filed in Addiction, Marketing And Media & Prevention

A famous rapper is helping make prevention cool.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared some new songs with me. He explained the songs were written and performed by a rapper named Macklemore. After listening to just one song, I was encouraged.

Macklemore, a 30-year-old male artist with a history of drug and alcohol use, doesn’t brag about getting drunk or high; rather warns young people about the realities behind addiction, and urges his listeners to learn from his mistakes.

I suggest you listen to the song “Otherside” by Macklemore on YouTube. His message is clear: addiction is a real danger, and drug use can ruin or end the user’s life.

The lyrics in “Otherside” narrate the story of a young man who innocently begins using cough syrup in order to emulate a famous rapper. The man in the narrative becomes addicted to the drug and Macklemore vividly describes his pain, hopelessness and eventual death. Macklemore then tells teens that they don’t need to use drugs to live out their dreams or emulate their idols. After all, far more drug users become addicts than famous musicians.

He illustrates messages the prevention community has made an effort to communicate for decades:

Thinking ‘I would never do that, not that drug’
And growing up nobody ever does

Until you’re stuck
Looking in the mirror like I can’t believe what I’ve become

Swore I was going to be someone

And growing up everyone always does

We sell our dreams and our potential

To escape through that buzz

Months later I’m in the same place

No music made, feeling like a failure

And trust me it’s not dope to be twenty-five

And move back to your parent’s basement

What was most surprising to me is that Macklemore isn’t just “some guy.” He is one of the most famous and well-respected rappers of our time. His last album, “The Heist,” went platinum.

That’s right — thanks to Macklemore, my generation is paying to download songs about prevention.

Macklemore’s lyrics continue to surprise me; I suppose the number of rap songs that I was accustomed to glorified alcohol, drugs, sex, and violence, and had left me quite jaded. But now that I’ve taken some time to read about Macklemore, it’s hardly surprising that he would be the rapper to deliver such an important message. In his latest album, Macklemore’s song “Starting Over” includes a more personal narrative about recovery and relapse. If you ask me, that’s a pretty powerful message for a Platinum album.

With role models and visionary leaders like Macklemore, our generation has the potential to tackle “the big issues.” Let’s hope prevention is one of them.

Theodore Caputi is a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. While in high school, he founded and directed a non-profit organization called the Student Leader Union, which fosters student leadership and community engagement. He is currently a policy intern at the Treatment Research Institute, where he also serves as a member of the Institutional Review Board.

PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons; Macklemore- The Heist Tour Toronto Nov 28; The Come Up Show

Eight Federal Inmates Convicted of Crack Cocaine Offenses Have Sentences Commuted

President Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates who had been convicted of crack cocaine offenses, The New York Times reports. Six of the inmates were sentenced to life in prison. All eight inmates will be released in 120 days.
The inmates likely would have received much shorter terms under current drug laws and sentencing rules, the article notes.
While powder and crack cocaine are two forms of the same drug, until recently, a drug dealer who sold crack cocaine was subject to the same sentence as a dealer who sold 100 times as much powder cocaine.
The Fair Sentencing Act, enacted in 2010, reduced the disparity from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1, for people who committed their crimes after the law took effect. As a result, many defendants who are caught with small amounts of crack are no longer subject to mandatory prison sentences of five to 10 years. Those convicted of crack-cocaine crimes tend to be black, while those convicted of powder-cocaine offenses tend to be white.
In a statement, President Obama said, “Commuting the sentences of these eight Americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness. But it must not be the last. In the new year, lawmakers should act on the kinds of bipartisan sentencing reform measures already working their way through Congress. Together, we must ensure that our taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and that our justice system keeps its basic promise of equal treatment for all.”
A bill under consideration by Congress would make changes to crack cocaine mandatory minimum sentences in the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactive. This would allow approximately 8,800 federal prisoners who were sentenced before August 3, 2010, to mandatory minimum terms for crack cocaine crimes to petition the court for a sentence in line with the Fair Sentencing Act, according to the advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Alcohol-Related Car Crashes More Likely on New Year’s Eve Than Christmas

By Join Together Staff | December 20, 2013 | Leave a comment | Filed in Alcohol

Fatal car crashes are more likely to be caused by alcohol on New Year’s Eve, compared with Christmas, according to the National Safety Council.

Bloomberg reports between 2007 and 2011, over the New Year’s holiday period—6 p.m. December 31 through 11:59 p.m. January 1—there were an average of 108 traffic deaths a day, with about 42 percent linked to alcohol. In contrast, there were 93 alcohol-related deaths between 6 p.m. December 24 and 11:59 p.m. December 25, with 35 percent linked to alcohol.

This year, the group estimates that during Christmas, there will be 105 traffic deaths and 11,200 injuries requiring a medical professional, and 156 traffic deaths and 16,700 injuries during New Year’s.

“The difference between the two holidays is that everybody on New Year’s Eve is going out to parties and at their parties, they’re having the alcohol,” Capt. Nancy Rasmussen, Chief of Public Affairs for the Florida Highway Patrol, told Bloomberg. Christmas is more of a “stay-in-the-house, do-the-family thing, so there’s less drinking,” she added.

Traffic deaths are more likely during the July 4, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends than New Year’s, Thanksgiving or Christmas, the article notes. These warmer-month holiday periods average 140 traffic deaths each per day.

The National Safety Council advises drivers not to get behind the wheel even if they think they’re “just a little buzzed.” Designate a non-drinking driver, or take a cab, and refuse to ride with an impaired driver, even if it’s a friend or spouse.

Kentucky Bill Aims to Strengthen Heroin Treatment, Penalties


By Join Together Staff | December 20, 2013 | Leave a comment | Filed in Community Related, Drugs, Legislation & Treatment

Kentucky lawmakers will soon consider a bill that would make the opioid overdose antidote drug naloxone more available, while stiffening penalties for high-level drug dealers. The bill also would expand anti-drug education, the Courier-Journal reports.

Kentucky Medicaid would be required to pay for a broad array of substance abuse treatment options for people seeking opioid addiction treatment. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said he thinks this provision will give an incentive for more organizations to provide treatment for heroin addiction.

The proposed law would increase penalties for high-volume drug traffickers, and allow them to be charged with homicide, according to a news release.

Van Ingram, Director of the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy, said heroin accounted for 36 percent of the 639 overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2013 in Kentucky, compared with 3 percent in 2011.