Thursday, February 28, 2013

Affordable Care Act to Provide Substance Abuse Treatment to Millions of New Patients                  By Celia Vimont | February 26, 2013 | 1 Comment | Filed in Addiction, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Prevention & Treatment

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will revolutionize the field of substance abuse treatment, according to A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute.

“It will have more far-reaching positive consequences for substance abuse treatment than anything in my lifetime, including the discovery of methadone,” he said at the recent annual meeting of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine. “It will integrate substance abuse treatment into the rest of health care.”

Currently, just 2.3 million Americans receive any type of substance abuse treatment, which is less than one percent of the total population of people who are affected by the most serious of the substance use disorders—addiction, said Dr. McLellan, who is a former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Most who receive treatment are severely affected, he said.

“If diabetes were treated like substance abuse, only people in the most advanced stages of illness would be covered, such as those who had already lost their vision or had severe kidney damage,” he said.

A. Thomas McLellan, PhD

Dr. McLellan reported that 23 million American adults suffer from substance abuse or dependence—about the same number of adults who have diabetes. An additional 60 million people engage in “medically harmful” substance use, such as a woman whose two daily glasses of wine fuels growth of her breast cancer. The new law will allow millions more people to receive treatment, including those whose substance abuse is just emerging.

Under the ACA, substance abuse treatment will also become part of primary care, and will be focused more on prevention. Substance abuse treatment will also be considered an “essential service,” meaning health plans are required to provide it. They must treat the full spectrum of the disorder, including people who are in the early stages of substance abuse. “There will be more prevention, early intervention and treatment options,” he said. “The result will be better, and less expensive, outcomes.”

By the end of 2014, under the ACA, coverage of substance use disorders is likely to be comparable to that of other chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, asthma and diabetes. Government insurers (Medicare and Medicaid) will cover physician visits (including screening, brief intervention, assessment, evaluation and medication), clinic visits, home health visits, family counseling, alcohol and drug testing, four maintenance and anti-craving medications, monitoring tests and smoking cessation.

Currently, federal benefits, such as Medicaid and Medicare, focus on inpatient services, like detox programs, but do not cover office visits for substance abuse treatments. In contrast, Medicaid covers 100 percent of diabetes-related physician visits, clinic visits and home health visits, as well as glucose tests, monitors and supplies, insulin and four other diabetes medications, foot and eye exams, and smoking cessation for diabetics. “These are all primary care prevention and management services, which are the most effective and cheapest way of managing illness,” he said.

The impact of these new rules will be quite substantial, since an estimated 65 percent of insured Americans are covered by Medicaid or Medicare, and the rest are covered by insurance companies that base their benefits structure on federal benefits, said Dr. McLellan.

As addiction becomes treated as a chronic illness, pharmaceutical companies will be much more interested in developing new medications, he added. “Immense markets are being created,” he said. “Until now, there have been about 13,000 treatment providers for substance use disorders, and less than half of those are doctors. Now, 550,000 primary care doctors, in addition to nurses who can prescribe medications, will be caring for these patients.”- See more at:

Study Links Substance Abuse, Chaotic Family Life to Violence Among Teens in Denver
By Join Together Staff | February 27, 2013 | Leave a comment | Filed in Community Related, Drugs, Prevention & Youth

A new study links substance abuse, early exposure to violence and chaotic family life, to teenage violence in one Denver neighborhood. The study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is part of a five-year effort to classify risk factors that promote teen violence. The new results come from the first year of the project.

The study involves more than 800 door-to-door surveys and interviews with more than 2,000 students, The Denver Post reports. The researchers from the University of Colorado’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence found 23 percent of youths said they were involved in a violent act when they were 10 or 11, and 6 percent said they used drugs at that age. Participation in religious activities was found to be the greatest deterrent to teen violence, the study found.

Community leaders in the Montebello neighborhood of Denver plan to use the information from the surveys to create a community action plan that will target the risk factors, the article notes. Their goal is to reduce teen violence and problematic behaviors by 10 percent among children ages 10 to 17 in the neighborhood by 2016.

According to the university, the project aims to reduce rates of serious violent crime and gang-related violence, in addition to rates of drug and alcohol abuse, gang participation, fighting, and bullying or being bullied in schools.- See more at:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


“Expanding Your Recovery Toolkit” Workshop March 19 in Doylestown

Free monthly workshop series for individuals and families with a current or pastdrug/alcohol addiction issue. Next session meets Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., 252 W. Swamp Rd., Unit 12, Doylestown, Pa. Topics include prescription drug abuse, “Kyle: Rehabs, Jail and Sobriety” and a group discussion period. Refreshments. To register, call 215-345-6644 or email

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


We are an informally structured grassroots organization concerned about drug dependence and related deaths in our Westmoreland County Communities.
DescriptionWe are the voices of families, loved ones and former addicts who have lost our children, siblings and friends to this rampant disease. We have found each other because no one else was listening and our voices together are louder than our individual pleas for help. We are not often the known ‘experts’ in the field of addictions, but we have a deeper intimate understanding of the effects of addiction than anyone should ever have to know. We have cried in the dark and screamed in the daylight and those we thought should listen and help have not seemed to hear. But now, with a stronger voice, a coalition is forming of those who hear and intend to act.

Created February 11, 2013
Awards Each day that an addict celebrates the freedsom from substance abuse!
Products A life in recovery!

Contact Info
Phone 724-570-2111

FDA Approves Two Generic Versions of Suboxone

By Join Together Staff | February 25, 2013 | 1 Comment | Filed in Government,Legal, Prescription Drugs & Treatment

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed the maker of the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone that it has approved two generic versions of the drug, according to Reuters. The company, Reckitt Benckiser, had asked the agency to block the generic products because of concerns over pediatric poisonings.

Reckitt asked the FDA to refuse applications from generic drug makers unless they adopted stricter packaging standards. The FDA decided there was not enough evidence to support the need for stricter packaging, Reuters notes.

The agency said it received comments that Reckitt’s request was an anti-competitive practice, and will refer the company to the Federal Trade Commission.

The company voluntarily withdrew the sale of Suboxone tablets in the United States, and instead is selling individually sealed film strips, which melt under the tongue. Reckitt said tablets posed a risk of poisoning for children who accidentally got hold of them.

In a statement, Reckitt noted it “is disappointed with the decision but will continue to work with the FDA on safety enhancements.” The company said it will carry on with the decision to discontinue the sale of tablets of Suboxone in the United States.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Commentary: New Skills to Prevent Drug Abuse Presented at 2013 CADCA Forum

Community and youth leaders from across the country learned new strategies to prevent substance abuse at CADCA's Forum.
As a longtime Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) team member, it was my 15th year of 6:30 am staff meetings and grueling conference schedules. And yet, the amazing people that attended CADCA’s 23rd National Leadership Forum renewed my spirit and gave me even greater energy to help coalitions transform their communities and improve public health and safety.
From 43 states and as far away as Moscow and the island of Palau, 2,600 community and state leaders converged at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center just outside of Washington, D.C. for four days in February for the Forum. Participants formed new partnerships and learned new strategies in the art and science of effective coalition building.
The CADCA Forum – the premier training conference for community prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers – kicked off Monday, February 4 with longtime federal partner the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 9th Prevention Day.
The Forum featured more than 90 workshops aimed at helping CADCA’s network of 5,000 coalitions develop comprehensive evidence-based strategies to prevent the use of illicit drugs like marijuana, as well as underage and binge drinking, youth tobacco use, and the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines in order to achieve community-level change.
Participants also had the opportunity to participate in “power sessions” with key leaders from federal agencies, such as SAMHSA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), where they heard the latest research and policy updates.
“By preventing drug use, abuse and addiction, we are saving lives. The fact that we help young people live up to their potential and make communities safer and healthier is powerful,” CADCA’s Chairman and CEO, Gen. Arthur Dean told the packed ballroom at the opening plenary.
The Forum traditionally welcomes the ONDCP Director as a keynote and this year was no different. Director Gil Kerlikowske told participants that, “We need you—and prevention professionals across the country—to continue your work to prevent drug use and its related consequences. At the end of the day, prevention is the most powerful alternative to legalization or a ‘war on drugs’ in America.”
As critical as it is that we hear from our federal leaders, the event strives to bring in speakers that can give attendees inspiration and new tools. Keynote speaker Dorie Clark (@DorieClark), a branding expert and regular contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review, gave us all a tutorial on messaging through social media.
The Forum is always in the Washington, D.C. area, providing an opportunity to coalesce as a national movement and connect with key policymakers all at one time. The audience heard directly from a record number of Members of Congress, including Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-37th/CA); Elijah Cummings (D-7th/MD); Michael Fitzpatrick (R-8th/PA); William Keating (D-10th/MA); Bill Johnson (R-6th/OH); Harold Rogers (R-5th/KY); and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40th/CA).
Attendees also heard from former Congresswoman and new CADCA Board Member Mary Bono Mack, who received our 2013 National Leadership Award. “I am very honored to receive this award from CADCA. Their good work does a lot to raise the awareness of the epidemic of drug use and ultimately to save lives of countless people around our country. I look forward to our continued work together,” Bono Mack said.
During “Capitol Hill Day,” over a thousand participants took to the Hill to educate their U.S. Representatives and Senators about the effectiveness of community coalitions and the importance of substance abuse prevention. CADCA’s Public Policy Consultant Sue Thau, who has been with the organization since its inception 20 years ago, rallied the crowd noting “Funding for prevention is down 47.3 percent over the past seven years, and if we are to avoid a train wreck of drug use and underage drinking, we cannot afford to cut anymore.”
Asking the attendees to engage in some old-fashioned “pounding the pavement” for prevention, Thau reminded the audience, “You have very powerful stories of how you have kept kids and communities on track with your work.”
Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), who met with 20 people from three coalitions in Michigan, noted on his Facebook page: “This week marked the 2013 National Leadership Forum of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). A number of Michigan-based coalitions came down to DC to share ideas on how to best reduce youth drug and alcohol use in their communities. The most impressive thing about this forum? Meeting the enthusiastic youth leaders who are creating positive change among their peers across Michigan.”
There was not a moment to rest at the event. Besides the traditional workshops, it featured numerous tobacco-free living strategy training sessions, early-morning first-timers’ and members’ breakfasts, a Monday night reception and Ideas Fair, special offerings in the Exhibit Hall throughout the week, and CADCA set aside time for state and territory meetings to help states strategize for Hill visits and state-level challenges. Ninety coalitions formally graduate from their year-long National Coalition Academy, a training initiative of CADCA’s national Coalition Institute. A special session hosted by CADCA offered more insights on the new Smart Approaches to Marijuana organization, being spearheaded by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy.
Bringing additional energy to the conference were over 250 youth who were part of CADCA’s National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI).
Lauren Foisy, from the Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities in Bucks County, PA, first attended the CADCA Forum when she was a fifth-grader. This time around the 18-year-old NYLI participant said it equipped her with helpful skills and ideas that she plans on putting into practice when she returns to her community.
“With the training I have received at CADCA, I feel like I have the tools to take back home and build something effective,” Foisy said.
Forum attendees will be able to view video recordings and training session PowerPoints on the Forum website in the coming weeks. Photos are available on CADCA’s Facebook page. CADCA now turns its attention to “Big Ideas for Social Change” in the Lone Star State, as Austin, TX is the site for the 11th annual CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute on July 22-25.
Mary Elizabeth Elliott
VP of Communications, Membership and IT

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Contact - Intervention 911

Contact - Intervention 911

Southampton Man Faces Involuntary Manslaughter Charge in Teen Drug Overdose Death

Luke Edward Bonhage, 22, is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with the death of a teen.

At Luke Edward Bonhage’s preliminary hearing Thursday in Richboro, Assistant District Attorney Chris Rees withdrew felony charges of drug delivery resulting in death, criminal trespassing and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance.
However, the 22-year-old Upper Southampton man waived his right to a full preliminary hearing and is now set to face a new misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter when his case is heard at county court in Doylestown.
Before the drug delivery resulting in death charge was withdrawn, Bonhage was the first person in Bucks County be charged with that offense, according to the prosecution.
Bonhage is charged in connection to the death of a 19-year-old woman who was found unresponsive on the couch in his parent’s home on Dennis Road in December 2011. It is believed by authorities that she suffered an adverse reaction to prescription drugs Bonhage gave her, according to a report from
The PhillyBurbs report detailed the  following chain of events in regards to the day of the incident:
Text messages between Bonhage and the 19-year-old victim show the duo went to a lot on Jaymor Road, where Bonhage’s car was impounded, due to a DUI arrest earlier in the day, and jumped a fence. Once in the lot, the 22-year-old retrieved prescription drugs from his car.
The victim and Bonhage spent a portion of the night of December 4, 2011 smoking marijuana and snorting crushed prescription pills. The victim began to have a bad reaction and was carried to the couch where she was found dead the next morning.
 An autopsy conducted by the Bucks County coroner ruled the woman’s death was caused by a drug overdose.
The drug delivery resulting in death legislation was introduced by State Representative Bernie O’Neill, whose district covers parts of Buckingham, New Hope, Upper Southampton, Warminster, Warwick, and signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett in July of last year.
Prior to the new law, prosecutors had to prove malice when charging a drug dealer in connection with the death of a victim who expired after taking a substance they were given or sold.
With the new law, all prosecutors have to do is prove that the drug dealer provided the substance that killed the victim.
After the hearing let out, Robert Mancini, Bonhage's hired defense attorney, and ADA Rees would not comment on the amendments to the charges.
It is unclear whether the change in charges was due to a plea deal.
Bonhage is currently out of prison on $20,000 unsecured bail for the charges connected with the woman’s death, and $5,000 related to his DUI charges.
Related Topics: Luke Edward Bonhage, Police, Upper Southampton Police Department, and bernie o'neill

Prescription drug abuse destroys lives with death and crime - News - The Times-Tribune

Prescription drug abuse destroys lives with death and crime - News - The Times-Tribune

Falcon Jess Testimonial

Children More Likely to Accept Drug Use if Parents Admit Past Substance Use

Middle school students are less likely to think using drugs is bad if their parents told them about their own past substance use, a new study finds. Children whose parents warned them not to use drugs were more likely to avoid them, ABC News reports.
The study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign included 561 middle school students. They were less likely to accept drug use if their parents set rules against drugs, and told them about people who have gotten into trouble because of drugs.
“Parents should really hit on what are the bad things that can happen, health-wise, from using drugs,” researcher Jennifer Kam told ABC News. ”They should really clearly tell kids that they disapprove of them using drugs. Also, give them strategies to avoid use or decline use in a way that makes them look cool.”
She advised parents against lying. “I wouldn’t volunteer the information, but if a child asks, and a parent lies, it could impact the relationship later on,” she noted.
The study appears in the journal Human Communication Research.

Can the Lizard King Come Back Clean? | The Fix

Can the Lizard King Come Back Clean? | The Fix

Friday, February 22, 2013

Essential Health Benefits” Rule Covers Drug Addiction and Alcohol Abuse Treatment

The federal government on Wednesday issued a final rule on “essential health benefits” that most health insurance plans must offer next year, including treatment of drug addiction and alcohol abuse.
The New York Times reports the Obama administration says 32 million people will gain access to coverage of mental health care as a result of the new benefits. An additional 30 million people who already have some mental health coverage will see an improvement in their benefits, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said. She noted the new ruling will make it easier for consumers to compare health plans.
In the past, nearly 20 percent of individuals purchasing insurance didn’t have access to mental health services, and nearly one-third had no coverage for substance use disorder services, according to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) news release. The new rule provides more Americans with access to quality health care that includes coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services, HHS states.
Each state will set its own benchmark insurance plan that reflects coverage typically offered by employers, the article notes. More than 30 states are using a plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield as their benchmark.

Heroin Addiction on the Rise in New York State

A growing number of people are becoming addicted to heroin in New York state, according to drug treatment counselors and police. They say many people have switched to heroin from prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, the Associated Press reports.
Police report the people they arrest for heroin often started on painkillers prescribed by a doctor, then started purchasing them on the street. They turned to heroin because it is less expensive.
Many areas around the country are seeing a surge in heroin addiction that stems from prescription drug abuse. A study published in July 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine found OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin.
The study included more than 2,500 people who were dependent on opioids, who were followed between July 2009 and March 2012. During that time, there was a 17 percent decrease in OxyContin abuse. In 2010, the company that makes OxyContin introduced a new version of the drug that is more difficult to inhale or inject. During the same period, heroin abuse doubled.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Drug-Sniffing Dog

The Supreme Court ruled police do not have to extensively document a drug-sniffing dog’s expertise to justify relying on the canine to search a vehicle, according to The Washington Post.
The unanimous ruling overturned a Florida Supreme Court decision involving Aldo, a German shepherd. After the dog detected drugs in a pickup truck, a police officer searched the truck and found 200 pseudoephedrine pills and 8,000 matches, which are used to make methamphetamine. The Florida Supreme Court ruled police must compile detailed evidence of the dog’s reliability before probable cause to search the vehicle is established.
In Tuesday’s ruling, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan suggested proper training and certification of a dog, instead of how it performs in the field, could be enough. “The question — similar to every inquiry into probable cause — is whether all the facts surrounding a dog’s alert, viewed through the lens of common sense, would make a reasonably prudent person think that a search would reveal contraband or evidence of a crime,” she wrote. “A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test. . . . Aldo’s did.”
The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on a second dog-sniffing case, involving a chocolate Lab named Franky. Florida’s Supreme Court ruled the dog’s ability to detect marijuana growing inside a home in Miami by sniffing outside the house was unconstitutional. The state’s attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the ruling.
Franky, who recently retired after seven years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, is responsible for the seizure of more than 2.5 tons of marijuana and $4.9 million in drug-contaminated money.

Mapping Location of Alcohol Outlets, Drug Activity and Crime Could Aid Prevention

Mapping the location of alcohol outlets, drug activity and violent crimes could help police prevent violence, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of Michigan studied the relationship between violent crimes in Boston drug markets, and the types and densities of alcohol outlets in those areas, MedicalXpress reports. They analyzed data on homicides and aggravated assault incidents, drug arrests and 911 calls, along with 2009 alcohol outlet data from the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. They also examined census data.
They found areas with the highest levels of violent crime were poorer and had greater numbers of alcohol outlets and higher drug arrest rates.
“Identification of such ‘hot spots’ may help in identifying micro-environments: blocks or intersections whose characteristics facilitate violent behavior. Our study helps identify such micro-environments, an emerging area of criminology research, in Boston,” the authors wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.

Number of Deadly Drug Overdoses Rises for 11th Year

The number of deadly drug overdoses in the United States increased for the 11th consecutive year, according to new government data. More than 22,000 people died of overdoses involving prescription drugs in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In total, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses that year. Of the 57 percent whose deaths involved prescription drugs, three-quarters were due to painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. They reported their findings this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
More than 74 percent of deaths due to prescription drugs were accidental, while 17 percent were suicides, the article notes.
Opioids were found in 77 percent of overdoses involving benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax or Ativan. They were also involved in 65 percent of overdoses with antiepileptic or anti-Parkinsonian drugs, 47 percent of overdoses involving antidepressants, and 56 percent of overdoses with fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory medications.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prevention Programs in Middle School May Reduce Later Prescription Drug Use

Substance abuse prevention programs that begin in middle school may help deter prescription drug abuse in later years, new research suggests.
Scientists analyzed findings from three studies of family- and school-based prevention programs designed for rural and small-town middle school students. They found students who went through substance abuse prevention programs were 20 percent to 65 percent less likely to abuse prescription drugs and opioids when they were between 17 and 25 years old, compared with students who did not participate in the programs.
The programs focused on general risk and protective factors of substance abuse. “Brief universal interventions have potential for public health impact by reducing prescription drug misuse among adolescents and young adults,” the researchers wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.
“The intervention effects were comparable or even stronger for participants who had started misusing substances prior to the middle school interventions, suggesting that these programs also can be successful in higher-risk groups,” lead author Richard Spoth, PhD, from the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute at Iowa State University in Ames, said in a news release.
Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, noted that prescription medications can be helpful when they are prescribed to treat pain, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. “However, their abuse can have serious consequences. We are especially concerned about prescription drug abuse among teens, who are developmentally at an increased risk for addiction,” she said.

Federal Bill Takes Aim at Meth Addiction

A bipartisan group of legislators from around the country has introduced a bill designed to reduce methamphetamine addiction.
The Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to take over the screening and treatment of methamphetamine addiction, and award grants to treatment centers in underserved or rural areas. The bill also calls for the development of treatment programs for pregnant women and mothers, and for prevention programs for youth.
The bill was originally proposed in 2009, but failed to make it through the Senate, The Hill reports.
“Meth abuse is one of the most serious issues in northern California and across the country. It affects families and our community, and needs immediate action,” bill sponsor Jerry McNerney of California said in a news release. “It is imperative that we address crime in our region and increase public safety. This bill will help keep our families healthy, safe and drug-free. When we see crime rates drop, especially usage of drugs like methamphetamine, our entire community benefits.”
The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 banned over-the-counter sale of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make meth.

Commentary: Rx Summit Brings National Leaders Together to Combat Abuse

Underscoring the importance of collaboration in the national fight against prescription drug abuse, the 2013 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit will focus on ways participants can “Make an Impact” not only in their communities, but on the country as a whole.
With accidental prescription overdose deaths occurring at 1 every 15 minutes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), emergency room visits nearly doubling in the past five years, and hospital admissions increasing 400 percent over the past decade, it is imperative we act immediately.
The second National Rx Drug Abuse Summit – to be held April 2-4, 2013, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Florida – will help in this effort.
By bringing together professionals from many disciplines, the Summit provides all stakeholders timely, relevant and evidence-based information. This type of collaboration enables bringing impactful solutions to communities across the United States.
An example of how a holistic approach can succeed can be found in New York City, where their High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) law enforcement team partnered with public health agencies to analyze data and create a game plan to tackle the issues. Collaborations of this type need to be shared and replicated in other communities. By learning from the success of others we can have the greatest impact.
Keynote presentations will include: Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of food and drugs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Frances Harding, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; Joe Rannazzisi, deputy assistant administrator of the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control; Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); and Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, chair of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, among others.
The Summit includes 30 break-out sessions grouped in tracks – Law Enforcement, Education/Advocacy, Clinical, Treatment, Pharmacy and Third-Party Payer – workshops, vision sessions, and a panel discussion featuring members of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.
All breakout sessions, workshops and most general sessions will have multiple Continuing Education credits available. These credits will include medical professionals (physicians, nurses and pharmacists), social workers, attorneys, addiction and prevention specialists, human resources, criminal justice and insurance professionals. The Appalachian Regional Commission is once again our Educational Partner.
Identifying opportunities to strategize and partner in seeking solutions to our prescription drug abuse epidemic is what the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is all about.
Karen Kelly, President/CEO, Operation Unite
Take advantage of discounted rates by registering by February 28. For information about the Summit visit, or follow news about the event at,, or
Breakfast with friends Sunday, April 7
sharing memories of Clyde
Clyde Bertram was colorful, outspoken and most of all, effective. Any counselor of some duration had a Clyde story, usually involving how he surprised young patients with what an old fella could teach them about life and recovery.

Clyde passed in early January. He'd joined Livengrin in 1993, and retired from full-time counseling in 2008 - at the age of 88. But Livengrin remained a part of his life, and he was here every weekend to greet patients and families.
Join us in celebrating this significant life - and the many lives Clyde touched with his wisdom, honesty and unwavering smile.

At this event we'll unveil Clyde's Club - come find out all about it!

Seating for this reasonably-priced, full-course breakfast is limited. Place your order today on our secure Paypal site. (You do not need to have, or obtain, a Paypal account to use it.)  There's also a mail-in option. 

We look forwarding to seeing you there!

During its 46 years of service, more than 120,000 people have come to Livengrin to learn how to be healthy, sober and a part of their families, work and communities again.  You can play a role in a person's success story - make a contribution, volunteer, and tell someone about the help and hope to be found at Livengrin.  There's information, guidance and much more to learn 
throughout our website

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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Stepping Stones Daily Devotional
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Untie from Your Addiction, Be Tied Together to GodUntie from Your Addiction, Be Tied Together to God
February 19, 2013
Transformational Thought
According to the latest statistics, compulsive addictions torment tens of millions of people in the USA. Taking into account caffeine addiction and overeating, 40-50% of the U.S. struggles with compulsive behaviors that are harmful. An addict’s primary relationship is with a drug or a behavior, not with himself or any other person. That drug or behavior is the path to the supposed relief they deeply desire. To a large degree, our society denies the addiction problem. Many of you might even scoff at the numbers. The walking wounded are usually on their own to get help for themselves or their loved ones as treatment centers and state hospitals close, program funds diminish, and insurance reimbursements for treatment decrease.
Physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological disabilities brought on by addictions are rampant. Addictions are the number one killer in the U.S. High blood pressure, heart disease, lung cancer, headaches, sleep problems, liver disease, impaired immunity, infections, irritability, anxiety, depression, impulsivity, poor frustration tolerance, loneliness, poor motivation, disconnected from God, lack of purpose, no passion, and no peace are all common consequences of various addictions (and this was just the start of the list!) Regardless of the type of addiction, an addictive lifestyle causes a person to be only a shadow of what God intended.
There. That’s the bad news. Now here’s the good news. Have you ever noticed what a bad rap the word ”religion” receives? It’s no longer regarded as the original word suggests. The Latin root of the word is “ligio,” meaning to tie or bind together. An example is a woman having her tubes tied, or a tubal ligation. To “re-ligio” means that something that was once tied became untied, and it is now re-tied or bound together again. There is no better example than the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in perfect union with God. Then they disobeyed God, causing the original tie of perfect fellowship with God to become untied. God’s plan of salvation, through Christ’s sacrifice once and for all, re-tied us back together into relationship with God for eternity, by His grace alone. He does all the work. We just need to accept His payment for our debt.
Addiction is synonymous with idolatry. When we strongly desire something as much as or more than we desire God, we have given ourselves to a false god, a weak imitation. We become untied from God because of our addiction. Where we invest our time, money, and energy becomes our god. Then, like the object we worship, we become a cheap imitation of what we were really meant to be. I am always amazed when I consider the things I used to pursue, and sometimes continue to pursue, to soothe my discomfort instead of going to God first. Sadly, I have endured dire spiritual consequences for the sake of momentary thrills or escapes.
Today, God stands ready and willing to forgive and restore those who have been carried away by addictions. If you have an overt addiction, let Him in and trust His ways, not yours. Call the Lighthouse Network Helpline to understand and find Christian treatment options. Becoming untied causes us to disintegrate. But receiving God’s gift of healing allows us to re-integrate, and be restored to what God intended in the first place! If you don’t have an overt addiction, examine what you go to when you are uncomfortable. If it is God’s word and prayer, awesome. If it is anything else, then you have an addiction and need to wrestle with that. Start to look at why you turn to those other items before God. Don’t be embarrassed, just be honest. Your journey closer to God and the Mind of Christ is your decision, so choose well!
Father God, You are our source and our strength, and a very present help in time of trouble. Deliver us out of the claws of addictions and addictive behaviors. We need Your supernatural strength to overcome the self-destructive effects of mood-altering chemicals and mind injuring behaviors. Heal and restore us in body, mind, and spirit to what You intended us to be. We ask this in the powerful, comforting, and re-tying name of Jesus; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
The Truth
“Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of a sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.” Galatians 5:16-17

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What Really Goes on Inside Rehab | The Fix

What Really Goes on Inside Rehab | The Fix

Monday, February 18, 2013

Commentary: Why the Term “Enabling” Does More Harm Than Good

The term “enabling” is commonplace in the field of addiction. It is used within support group settings, in treatment programs and throughout the professional literature about addiction and the family. I consider it one of the most frequently misunderstood terms in our field. In fact, as my research about family caregivers of people with substance use disorders has evolved, I have come to loathe the term “enabling.” Here is why.
There is a great deal of misinterpretation about what qualifies as behavior that is “enabling.”
Webster’s  definition of the term includes: “a) to provide with the means or opportunity; and b) to make possible, practical or easy.” Wikipedia notes that enabling also is used “to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem….” Examples include taking responsibility, blaming others or making accommodations for a person’s harmful conduct, so that the person is shielded from the harm it may do and the pressure to change.
Using these definitions, doing your son’s laundry might be considered enabling, as it makes it easier for him and takes responsibility for the chore away from him. In actuality, it may or may not be enabling –depending on the context. If you do this chore to make things easier for your son because he attended a self-help meeting – you probably are supporting recovery – not enabling self-destructive behaviors. On the other hand, if you are doing your son’s laundry because he was drunk all weekend and will be embarrassed to go to school or work in unlaundered clothes, then you are enabling him to continue engaging in self-destructive behavior. You are helping him avoid the negative consequences of drinking.
I find family members often are confused over the issue of what constitutes enabling. Some have ardently been told that any support offered to a recovering child or spouse can be considered enabling. The philosophy seems to be that the person needs to learn to “fend for themselves” or “live life on life’s terms.” This is difficult to argue. We all need to learn the necessary skills to survive and thrive in our environments. Especially as parents, it is our responsibility to foster this in our children. But it does not mean that we cannot help our loved ones in productive ways.
Recovery, especially early recovery, is hard work. Offering to support the intense effort of this work can be helpful. For example – if a loved one does not have access to a car, it is supportive to offer to drive her to AA meetings, or soccer practice or any other recovery-supporting activity.
Some say that the addicted person must take responsibility for coordinating his or her own travel – and indeed – this can be a good goal. But offering to help at first or occasionally does not enable the person to escape the negative consequences of addiction – and it can help to support recovery.
It is loaded with negative and judgmental connotations that are misplaced.
Worse yet, enabling is sometimes described as “dysfunctional,” which can lead family members to the conclusion they are dysfunctional and have let their loved one down. The important distinction that is sometimes missed is that it is the behavior that is dysfunctional, not the person. The vast majority of parents that I have met have only done what most parents do; that is try their best to help their child. They engage in the same behaviors as other parents. It is just that they find themselves in a strange and difficult situation where behaviors that normally are helpful do not function that way.
I believe that the term enabling causes more harm than good. I would like to get rid of the term altogether.
Rather than labeling a family member’s behavior as “enabling,” focus on the consequences of the addicted person’s behavior. Ask yourself – by doing this, do I allow him or her to avoid a negative consequence of the drinking or drug use? If the answer is yes, resist the urge to intervene. It is important that the person experience the negative consequences that substance abuse renders. Also ask yourself – by doing this, am I encouraging  efforts he or she has made at recovery? If the answer is yes, go for it! It is helpful to recognize and show signs of support and appreciation for the hard work that an addict undertakes to sustain recovery.
We must remember that addiction is a disease and recovery requires ongoing maintenance. This is a lot of work – and supporting the WORK of recovery can be a loving thing to do.
Kimberly Kirby, PhD
Director of the Parent’s Translational Research Center; Senior Scientist

Friday, February 15, 2013

Generic Drug Distributor Sues Suboxone Maker for Monopolizing Treatment Market

The generic drug distributor Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc. has sued the maker of the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone for allegedly monopolizing the opioid treatment market, Bloomberg reports.
The maker of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), Reckitt Benckiser Group, developed a film version of Suboxone that is placed under the tongue, to replace the tablet form of the drug. According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, this prevented competition, because pharmacists cannot substitute the cheaper generic version.
“Reckitt concocted a multifaceted anticompetitive scheme, executed over the course of several years, to maintain and extend its monopoly power,” Rochester Drug stated in its complaint. The article notes Suboxone is used to help control opioid withdrawal symptoms.
In September, 2012, Reckitt notified the Food and Drug Administration it was voluntarily discontinuing the supply of Suboxone tablets in the United States, due to increasing concerns with children’s exposure and risk for accidental poisonings. The U.S. Poison Control Centers found consistently and significantly higher rates of accidental unsupervised pediatric exposure with Suboxone tablets, compared with the film.

ADHD Drugs Not Effective in Many Young Children, Study Concludes

Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) does not appear to help many young children, a new study concludes.
The study followed 186 children, ages 3 to 5, who had moderate to severe ADHD. Six years after their diagnosis, about 90 percent still showed symptoms such as over-activity, impulse control or inattentiveness, according to Bloomberg.
Two-thirds of the children were on medication. These children did not show significant differences in ADHD severity, compared with those who were not taking drugs. Almost two-thirds of treated children had significant hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared with 58 percent of those not taking medication.
“ADHD in preschoolers is a chronic and rather persistent condition, one that requires better long-term behavioral and pharmacological treatments than we currently have,” study author Mark Riddle of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, said in a news release.