Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Personal Experience With Bath Salts by Eliza Player


Written by Eliza Player on Tuesday, 03 April 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery

When I started this focus on bath salts, almost all the information I had came directly from news stories, or other second hand sources. I began asking around for personal stories. I did not talk to anyone who had actually done the drug, but I did get a lot of personal experience from a friend whose son had taken the drug several times.

My friend’s son was no newcomer to the drug life, and he would take whatever he could get his hands on. His drug of choice was heroin, and he often mixed the opiate with cocaine or meth. My friend has seen her son under the influence of various substances, and she has witnessed his erratic behavior for years. But, she hates bath salts worse than any of them.

When her son first discovered bath salts, he decided to give them a try. (As many of us would have also done while still immersed in active addiction.) Almost immediately he was twitching and sweating, while he became increasingly paranoid. He became fixated on finding something in his bedroom to the point he was unable to control himself and the fixation. He tore his room apart, removing all the dresser drawers and searching all the drawers over and over again. He ended up splitting open the mattress and box spring, digging around inside looking for this item. His room was completely destroyed. He did not sleep for the next three nights.

Another time, her son became obsessed with electrical cords of all types: extension cords, USB cords, phonecords, phone chargers, and even the cords plugging the television into the wall. He went frantically around the house, pulling out all the cords he could find. They were on a big pile in the living room floor when my friend asked her son what he was doing. He told her he did not know.

On another incident, she recalls him crawling out of his skin. He paced around the house, peeking out the windows every five minutes, convinced the cops were looking for him. He picked his face until it was one big scab. The paranoia of the cops got more and more intense, so my friend decided to take him to a hotel, thinking he would be more comfortable there. The entire ride, he looked out the window, convinced the cops were following them. When they got to the hotel, the paranoia just got worse. He stayed up all night, searching the room for the “bugs” the cops had planted. When my friend woke in the morning, all the appliances had been pulled away from the walls; all the items in the kitchenette were pulled out and laid on the floor. There was not a piece of the room that had been left untouched.

The most severe incident her son had with bath salts occurred while he was living on the streets. He had very little money, so he bought bath salts. She thinks that he had become so susceptible to the drugs effects, and he immediately went into a psychotic episode. He stood out as the only white person in a gang-infested Latino area, eyes wide and crazed. He remembers mothers pulling their kids into the house when they saw him. He thought the cops had him surrounded, trying to Taser him, so he called 911. When help arrived, they took him to the hospital. It took a week to get him stabilized. The nurse told my friend her son was one of the lucky ones. The nurse had seen patients permanently damaged by bath salts; to the point they would never be able to live on their own again.

My friend asked her son why he would do it again when he had already suffered so much each time he took them. He told her he did not want to take them, and he had sworn he would never do them again. But something always changed to make him think it would be okay…just one more time. I have heard this story over and over again.

He is in treatment right now. We are all praying for him.

My friend also wanted to reiterate that bath salts and spice are not the same thing. I will actually delve into Spice a little tomorrow, explaining the difference in these synthetic drugs. These drugs are often lumped together in news stories, and even in some legislation. It is important for people to understand that these drugs are not the same. Spice is synthetic marijuana. Bath salts are more like synthetic meth, and they can easily cause hallucinations and psychosis. The danger of thinking the two are the same comes when one kid sees a friend on Spice, and then purchase bath salts, thinking it is the same. It is very, very different.

Amazing Race Co-Producer Believes She Was "Spared to Warn Youth About Drugs"


on Wednesday, 18 April 2012. Posted in Breaking News

Kathryne Fuller was left partially paralyzed after taking cocaine in her hotel room with co-worker Jeff Rice, while the two were working in Uganda, making arrangements for the television series, "The Amazing Race." The cocaine they ingested is believed to have been contaminated.

According to IOL News, Kathryne believes that God spared her life for a purpose- to teach young people about the dangers of drugs. She will be speaking from her hotel bed, for the first time since the incident seven weeks ago. She claims she is not an addict, and tried a line with her co-worker. She said this was only the second time she tried cocaine, and it left her paralyzed on her right side and confined to a wheelchair.

She was taken to the hospital after she was found unconscious, along with Jeff Rice. Jeff did not survive, and Kathryne was held in a Ugandan hospital for two weeks until she appeared in court and plead guilty to cocaine possession. Her father helped her get home to South Africa as quickly as possible, and he has been at her bedside since the incident.

She hopes she can help young people realize that even dabbling with drugs can be dangerous. Kathryne said, "All I know is God has got a plan for my life- whether it is to go and speak to young people about drugs or something like that. We took cocaine. It was my second time. Don't do drugs because as exciting as it may seem, it is really not worth it. I already know people who have stopped using drugs because of what happened."

Kathryne describes Jeff Rice as a recovered cocaine addict, who had not habitually used in the weeks up to the incident. She claims to have blacked out that night and has no memory of the incident. She was heavily sedated at the hospital, which she believes helped her deal with the trauma.

Kathryne Fuller claims she is feeling better, but she could remain in the hospital for months. There was a lot of nerve damage, and she had blood clots in her arms and legs, which caused the paralysis. She is now out of danger, regarding the threat of an aneurysm.

Kathryne hopes to eventually complete her masters degree in health promotion, and she plans to get back to work on her dissertation as soon as she can. She also plans to get back into her local church, from which she strayed in recent years. Kathryne Fuller now feels like her life serves a higher purpose.
Item Tag: cocaine, Jeff Rice, Kathryne Fuller, The Amazing Race

Free Family Seminar Presented by Livingrin "Was my child schmacked?"

Was my child schmacked?"

Free Family Seminar address the challenges of keeping adolescents from addiction

Did you see those "schmacked" Internet videos of teens from our area - seemingly celebrating drinking and drugs? Plenty of parents have wondered if their offspring were in those videos, or in any way tempting addiction and a host of bad choices.

For parents asking how to understand & help their teen, a free seminar offer information and reassurance.

Counselors and researchers will talk with parents, clinicians and educators in an informal, confidential setting.

10AM-Noon, Saturday April 28. Refreshments provided, with free parking and a private entrance.

Haverford Counseling Center

355-A W. Lancaster Ave. 19020.

No charge, but you can RSVP or get more information:

610-642-4604 x 302.


  We came to believe a power grater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.

        In my addiction came embarrassment and shame ,and this usually happens when your caught in addiction.We do our best to cover stuff up with lies and half truths in a useless attempt to preserve our relationships.But in the end , our intimacy with others is destroyed.We need to be honest with our self and with others and work at reestablishing our relationship.Some of the devastation we leave behind can only be repaired once we have surrendered to GOD and start reading the instructions ,on how to to live(BIBLE).We must first realize what we have done this far hasn't worked that's why step 2 is a must for success.

Whip-Its Again Becoming Popular Among Teens, Experts Say

By Join Together Staff | March 28, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Drugs, Young Adults & Youth

Whip-Its—small canisters filled with nitrous oxide—are once again becoming popular among teens and young adults as a recreational drug, ABC News reports.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Whip-Its are the most popular inhalant among young adults.

“What makes them really popular is they’re easily accessible,” William Oswald, founder of the Summit Malibu drug treatment center, told ABC News. “You can get them at a head shop, you can get it out of a whipped cream bottle.”

Inhaling nitrous oxide, either from a whipped cream canister, or a nitrous tank, leads to a high that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Many online retailers sell large quantities of Whip-Its, without asking the purchaser’s age or what they will be using the product for, according to the news report.

Inhalants such as Whip-Its can be deadly. Dr. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at SAMHSA, said inhaling nitrous oxide can cut off oxygen to the brain. This can cause severe consequences for the heart, nervous system and organs, he said.

Heroin Use Increasing Across Ohio

By Join Together Staff | March 28, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inCommunity Related & Drugs

Heroin use has increased so much in Ohio that users say it is “falling out of the sky,” according to a new report by state health officials. Children as young as 13 are starting to use the drug, they said.

Heroin’s popularity is increasing because it is seen as less expensive and easier to obtain than prescription opioids, according to theAssociated Press. Many heroin users responding to a state surveysaid increased demand for the drug was due to the reformulation of OxyContin, which makes it more difficult to abuse.

The report, released by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, said availability of heroin in Cleveland is considered to be at epidemic levels. The survey found an increase in heroin abuse across the state during the previous six months.

The state’s Department of Health reports that heroin-involved deaths increased from 16 percent (233) of all drug overdoses in 2008, to 20 percent (283) in 2009, to a high of 22 percent (338) in 2010.

At the Recovery Center in Lancaster, Ohio, an area considered to be the “hotspot” for heroin use in the state, most of the 360 patients are addicted to painkillers or heroin, according to CEO Trisha Saunders. She told the AP that most patients who are addicted to heroin started with painkillers. “They say, `I never thought I’d switch from taking a pill to putting a needle in my arm,’” Saunders said.

The Department of Justice 2011 National Drug Threat Assessmentfound increased heroin-related overdoses have been reported in cities in at least 30 states.

The report notes, “New users frequently overdose because they are unfamiliar with their tolerance levels; users resuming heroin use after prolonged absences often restart at their prior dosage level, even though their tolerance may have declined in the interim.”

New Technology Aims to Prevent Drunk Driving

New Technology Aims to Prevent Drunk Driving
By Join Together Staff | April 4, 2012 | 3 Comments | Filed in Alcohol &Research

Cars and trucks one day may have built-in blood alcohol detectors,The Wall Street Journal reports. Research on the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is progressing more quickly than expected, and could be available within eight to 10 years, experts say.

The technology could be built into a vehicle’s dashboard or controls. It would check a driver’s blood alcohol level, and would not start if the level were above the legal limit. Researchers developing the system are working with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The next goal would be to develop a commercially produced vehicle that could drive a drunk owner home, the article notes.

About one-third of drivers killed in car crashes have blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Devices called alcohol interlocks are already available to disable a car if the driver is intoxicated. They are primarily used for people who have been caught with blood alcohol levels above the legal limit. About 16 states require people convicted of drunk driving to install these devices in their vehicles. Drivers must blow into a tube to verify they are sober before they can start the car.

The new technology being developed would not require blowing into a tube. It could be embedded in a starter button or shift lever.

A proposed federal transportation bill would give the NHTSA’s alcohol detector program $24 million over two years. The fundingwould allow the agency to equip 100 or more cars with prototypes of the new alcohol detection devices. One device would measure alcohol in the driver’s breath, while the other would take a reading from the driver’s skin.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scam Artists Sell Prescription Drugs Online, Then Use Information for Blackmail

By Join Together Staff | April 13, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Marketing And Media & Prescription Drugs

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials say criminal scam artists are selling prescription drugs online, then using customers’ personal information to blackmail them.

The scam artists pose as federal drug enforcement agents. They use DEA agents’ real names to call customers, telling them they can pay up and their name will be cleared, or else they will be charged as suspects in a criminal investigation and face jail time, according toABC News.

The victims say the calls sound authentic, because the person calling has their personal information. In one case in Fort Worth, Texas, fake DEA agents showed up at a victim’s house.

Thousands of people have called the DEA hotline for help, many of whom have paid the scammers. The DEA believes the operation is being run out of the Dominican Republic. The agency is working with the Dominican government to have 11 suspects extradited to the United States.

The DEA warned Americans to be wary of online pharmacies. “I think that’s one of the takeaways for people to understand, that buying over the Internet for controlled substances is highly suspicious, and they should be very cautious about trying to do that,” DEA agent Gary Boggs told ABC News.

Scientists Work to Make Prescription Painkillers “Unabusable”

By Join Together Staff | April 13, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inPrescription Drugs & Prevention

Scientists are working to make prescription painkillers and other commonly misused drugs “unabusable” by reformulating them, according to Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Pharmaceutical companies have an important role to play in fighting prescription drug abuse, by reformulating commonly abused drugs, she said at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando, Florida.

Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, released a new version of the drug two years ago that is resistant to crushing and cutting, common ways in which the drug was tampered with to enhance its effect. It is now much more difficult to prepare for snorting or injecting, a company spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel.

Acura Pharmaceuticals has developed two methods to prevent tampering with pills, according to CEO Bob Jones. The company has incorporated a substance in pills that turns them into a gel when someone tries to dissolve the drug to inject, so that it will not go through a needle.

The company also has formulated pills so that they create intense nasal irritation when they are crushed and snorted. This formulation is incorporated into the drug Oxecta, an immediate-release oxycodone product, the article notes. Acura plans to use the formulation in other painkillers, Jones said.

Acura has developed technology that limits how much of the key ingredient in methamphetamine a person can extract from the nasal decongestant pseudoephedrine. The technology, which is not yet commercially available, cuts the yield in half.

Drug companies also are creating pills with the consistency of gummy bears, which are too soft to crush. Some drugs in development won’t work unless they come into contact with the stomach’s digestive enzymes, making them useless if they are snorted or injected.

Friday, April 13, 2012

'Tweaking memories' could help addicts avoid relapsing

'Tweaking memories' could help addicts avoid relapsingBy James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News
Can memories of drug use be rewritten?
Continue reading the main story
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Manipulating memories of drug use may help reformed addicts avoid a return to a life of drug abuse, according to scientists in China.

They said memories linking "cues" - such as needles or cigarettes - and the pleasurable effects of drugs caused cravings and relapsing.

Authors of the study, published in the journal Science, "rewrote" those memories to reduce cravings.

Experts said targeting memories could become a new avenue for treatment.

Repeatedly showing people drug cues without actually giving patients the drug is a part of some therapies for addicts. It can break the link between cue and craving in the clinic. But this does not always translate to real life.

The researchers at Peking University tried to rewrite the original memory so that it would be as if the link between cue and the craving never existed.Flexible memories

The work relies on the idea that a memory can become malleable after it is accessed, creating a brief window during which the memory can be "rewritten".
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

I'm quite excited by this research... It could be really important for treatment of addiction”Dr Amy MiltonUniversity of Cambridge

Twenty-two heroin addicts who had not taken the drug for - on average - 11 years, took part in the study.

They were initially shown a brief video to remind them of taking drugs - opening the memory window. Ten minutes later they watched more videos and looked at pictures of heroin drug use.

Other addicts were shown an initial video of the countryside, which would not open the window.

Tests 180 days later showed that levels of cravings were lower in those treated during the 'memory window' than in the other groups. These experiments were backed up by further tests on "addicted" rats.

The authors wrote: "The [memory] procedure decreased cue-induced drug craving and perhaps could reduce the likelihood of cue-induced relapse during prolonged abstinence periods."

Dr Amy Milton, who researches memory and addiction at the University of Cambridge, said: "I'm quite excited by this research."

She said it was "such a minor" difference from current therapies which "tapped into an entirely different memory process" and the reconstruction of the original memory.

"Full clinical studies are needed, but it could be really important for treatment of addiction," she said.

Dr Milton added: "There is no theoretical reason it couldn't apply to other addictions such as alcohol. That's obviously very exciting."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Submit your question to Chris Herren now.

Dear Joseph,

Inspirational, motivational, educational.

These are just a few words that could describe the amazing work by former professional basketball player and father Chris Herren, celebrating three and a half years in recovery from a drug and alcohol addiction.

The Partnership at Drugfree.org is honored that Chris will host the next "Meet The Parents Hour" -- a live Facebook Q&A chat -- to talk about substance abuse recovery on Monday, April 16 at 12 p.m. EDT/9 a.m. PDT.

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

Submit your question to Chris Herren now.

Chris struggled with drug addiction for much of his basketball career and ultimately realized his dreams by playing for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, only to lose it all to substance abuse.

But since losing one dream, he has been able to rise again with a new one; a life of sobriety.

Drug- and alcohol-free since 2008, Chris now travels the country sharing his story and the experiences that led him to recovery with the hopes of reaching one person or assisting a family who may be facing a loved one's addiction. He also runs The Herren Project, a nonprofit foundation established in 2011 that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.

Don't miss out on this special opportunity to chat live with Chris Herren and hear his story. Submit your questions now and then visit our Facebook timeline on April 16 to take part in the live chat:


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

Thank you,

Tom Hedrick
Parent Support Leader
The Partnership at Drugfree.org

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


Dear RIR Friends,

"RIR Band members Ricky Byrd, Liberty DeVitto, and Christine Ohlman are off to Cleveland to prepare for the April 13 Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame Pre-Induction Gala.

Ricky and Christine will also join Paul Shaffer and Carole King in inducting Don Kirshner at the April 14 induction ceremony, filmed for May 5 premier on HBO.

Watch for more information on the May 5 premier on HBO:


Ricky Byrd, Liberty DeVitto, and Christine Ohlman along with the rest of the RIR Band looks forward to seeing everyone May 26, 2012 for the RIR 2nd Annual Concert and Picnic. Venue 1St Step Sober House of Pompano Beach. This concert and picnic is sponsored by Treatment Solutions Network and Miami Subs and Grill.

Meet The RIR Band: http://www.rirconcerts.com/rir-all-star-band/

Love & Peace,

John Hollis


If your interested in becoming a sponsor for the May 26 concert, please call John Hollis at 954-826-4920 or Email john@rockersinrecovery.com no later then May 1,2012.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Millions of people are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction every day. Finding the appropriate addiction rehab has always been a challenge. We understand how important it is for you to find a treatment facility that is most equipped to treat your disease. A licensed facility with doctors, nurses , therapists and recovery coaches on staff with experience in substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment.

A Center For Addiction Recovery is a rehab facility that for over 10 years has been helping to provide a safe, comfortable and effective rehab center and treatment facility offering the emotional, physical and spiritual healing required for the treatment for compulsive and addictive behaviors.
Our substance abuse treatment programs are individualized for each client according to her or his lifestyle and addiction behaviors. We want all our clients to not only stop the addiction and the destructive behavior they are involved in, but learn to live the productive and sober life they once knew or are searching for now. Realizing that a major setback for all drug or alcohol addiction is the relapse, we work with all our clients to understand the triggers for relapse such as people, locations and situations, thus minimizing the chances of relapse.

A Center for Addiction Recovery is a comprehensive addiction treatment center offering interventions, detox, drug rehab, alcohol rehab as well as treatment for a wide range of mental health issues (dual-diagnosis treatment). Our rehab center offers treatment for the following addictions and mental health issues, including but not limited to:

Alcohol Rehab
Bath Salts Rehab
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Heroin Rehab
Marijuana Rehab
Meth Rehab
Prescription Drug Rehab
ADD, ADHD Treatment
Eating Disorders Treatment
Gambling Addiction Treatment
Sex Addiction Treatment
Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Depression, Anxiety Treatment
Mood Disorders Treatment
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
We at A Center for Addiction Recovery take pride in the success rate of recovery in our drug rehab programs. Our treatment programs incorporate traditional and holistic addiction treatment programs. Call now to get a FREE comprehensive assessment with one of our addiction treatment specialists. Whether you are just curious about the addiction treatment programs we offer, have questions about cost and insurance or seeking help for a loved one, rest assured that your inquiry will be kept confidential and our staff will guide you to the right solution. Our Addiction treatment staff is experienced in dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues, as many are former sufferers themselves who have dedicated their lives to treat others struggling with addiction.

When you call and talk to one of our licensed counselors at A Center for Addiction Recovery, you will be treated with the dignity you deserve and get the help you are looking for. You will get an understanding of the processes of addiction and its vicious cycle. Discussing your addiction with one of our counselors will give you the knowledge you need to have to choose the most appropriate treatment you need. From Intervention, Detox to Rehabilitation and Recovery, we offer you the tools you need to stop the cycle of addiction and struggle.

Drug Detox / Alcohol DetoxA Center for Addiction Recovery offers a safe, medically supervised Detox to those whose recovery requires detoxification, as part of the comprehensive addiction treatment program.
Our Drug and Alcohol Detox Program recognizes the importance of comfort and constant support through the hardest part of addiction recovery. We believe our clients benefit when they know the way their body is reacting to the withdrawal of substances from their system, and are better placed to cope with the whole process when they receive this supportive and sympathetic feedback.

Detox as part of addiction treatment and rehab programs is available for alcohol, cocaine, heroin, meth, marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), prescription drugs, and other addictive drugs.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders. For more information on drug detox, opiates detox and alcohol detox, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or e-mail us.

Cocaine Rehab / Cocaine Addiction TreatmentCocaine Rehab may involve medications to help with the different aspects of the cocaine addiction treatment process. Our Cocaine addiction treatment is tailored to the individual patient's needs that often involve a combination of traditional addiction treatment therapies, alternative therapies, social support groups, and other therapeutic treatments. Through individualized treatment, recovery from cocaine addiction is achieved and the chances of relapse are minimized.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on cocaine rehab and cocaine addiction treatment, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or e-mail us.

Heroin Rehab / Heroin Addiction TreatmentHeroin Rehab usually begins with medically assisted detoxification to help patients withdraw from the drug safely. Medications such as clonidine and, buprenorphine can be used to help minimize symptoms of withdrawal. Our Heroin addiction treatment is tailored to the individual patient's needs and it often involves a combination of traditionaladdiction treatment therapies, alternative therapies, social support groups, and other therapies. Recovery from heroin addiction is almost only possible through the medical and psycological treatment. Heroin addiction is one of the hardest addiction to beat and one that requires intensive treatment.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on heroin rehab, heroin addiction treatment, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or send us an e-mail.

Meth Rehab / Meth Addiction TreatmentMeth Rehab usually begins with medically assisted detoxification to help patients withdraw from the drug safely. Our meth addiction treatment is tailored to the individual patient's needs and it often involves a combination of traditional addiction treatment therapies, alternative therapies, social support groups, and other therapies. Meth addiction is another devastating addiction that recovery from it requires intensive therapy.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on meth rehab, meth addiction treatment, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or e-mail us.

Prescription Drug Rehab / Prescription Drug Addiction TreatmentPrescription Drug Rehab treatment is required for addiction to pain killer opiods and is similar to the treatment approaches to addiction to heroin. Prescription drug addiction treatment may include medications such as naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine, combined with behavioral counseling and psychological therapy.

Treatment of addiction to prescription stimulants, such as Ritalin, is often based on behavioral therapies that have proven effective in treating addiction to cocaine and methamphetamine. Systematic treatment programs make recovery from prescription drug addiction achievable.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on prescription drug rehab, prescription drug addiction treatment, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or e-mail us.

Gambling Addiction Treatment / Gambling RehabGambling Addiction Treatment incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy approach - how we think (cognitive) and how we act (behavior). This recognizes the powerful relationship between thoughts, feelings and behavior and the impact it has on addiction and therefore, recovery. Our gambling addiction treatment program is designed to help clients explore feelings and behaviors which trigger the need for gambling. Through therapy like behavior modifications and support from family and friends, recovery from gambling addiction is achieved.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on gambling rehab, gambling addiction treatment, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or e-mail us.

Eating Disorders TreatmentEating Disorders Treatment (Anorexia, Bulimia, and Overeating) offered to those struggling with weight issues are delivered through a stepped approach. We first restore the health of our clients and stabilize the medical crisis (in case of anorexia) and then engage the client in multidisciplinary restorative cognitive behavioral therapies which also include relearning healthy lifestyle choices with supported eating plans. Eating disorder is common problem with many struggling with substance abuse and other forms of addiction.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on eating disorders treatment, call us toll free at 800-570-4562 or e-mail us.

Sex Addiction TreatmentSex addiction, not unlike drug addiction, is a disorder that is highly destructive and can destroy families and marriages. As drug and alcohol treatment professionals, we understand that sexual addiction is more common among substance abusers than other members of the society and we approach sex addiction treatment with the same focus and intensity as chemical dependency cases and like any compulsive behavior disorder treatment.

Unlike drug addiction treatment or alcohol addiction treatment, the sexual addiction treatment does not follow the goal of lifelong abstinence. The sexual addiction therapy focuses on the goal of ending the compulsive and unhealthy sexual behavior.

In treatment of this compulsive disorder trained sexual addiction counselor will interview the affected individual as well as other member(s) of his/her family who in some way are affected by this disorder.
We realize how crucial it is to understand the vulnerability of those suffering from this disorder, therefore extra-ordinary steps will be taken to make parties involved understand our commitment to the total confidentiality of the subject matter. We also know that the success of the program is absolutely dependent on the clients' full trust in us as well as their trust in the program. We are confident that with time, trust and the hard work on the part of the addicted individuals with focused therapy by skilled therapist the compulsive behavior will be treated and the affected individual will be able to gain his or her life back.

A Center for Addiction Recovery specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions and co-occurring disorders, for more information on sexual addiction treatment, call us toll free or send us an e-mail.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Treatment centers close to Potter County!

Name/Address/Phone Type of
Ownership Last
Inspection Activity (Added On) -
Client capacity -
License Status
7095 ROUTE 287

Additional Services Non-Profit 08/25/2011 Outpatient Drug-Free (05/08/1992)
Client Capacity: 80
License Status: Full

Partial Hospitalization Drug-Free (09/28/1994)
Client Capacity: 30
License Status: Full


Additional Services Non-Profit 03/24/2011 Inpatient Non-Hospital Drug-Free Transitional Living Facility (12/20/2007)
Client Capacity: 28
License Status: Full

(Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital)

Additional Services Non-Profit 08/01/2011 Inpatient Hospital Detoxification (02/07/1985)
Client Capacity: 4
License Status: Full

(Tioga County Commissioners)
St. James and Third Streets, Building A, Suite 109

Additional Services Non-Profit 01/26/2011 Outpatient Drug-Free (09/02/1997)
Client Capacity: 107
License Status: Full

Recovery Connections: Pennsylvania Department of Health D&A Facility Lo...

Recovery Connections: Pennsylvania Department of Health D&A Facility Lo...:  Click on the map to select county! Awesome resource ! Search Instructions     Overview     Definitions     Non-DA Facilities Map     N...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

“Bath Salts” Abuse: What You Need to Know Part I

By Sullivan Smith, MD | April 3, 2012 | 3 Comments | Filed in Addiction, Drugs &Treatment

In the first half of a two-part column, Sullivan Smith, MD, Medical Director of the Cookeville (Tennessee) Regional Medical Center, discusses the basics of “bath salts” and “plant food,” and whatsubstance abuse professionals need to know about these popular synthetic drugs. Today, he talks about the history of bath salts, what they do to people who take them and why they are probably significantly underreported.

Bath salts and plant food, while they have been in the news lately, are nothing new. They were originally explored in attempt to find new and better antidepressants by universities and pharmaceuticalcompanies as long ago as the 1920’s. For whatever reason, they were not re-discovered until recently.

The little that we know about these drugs comes mostly from European literature, where they have been a problem for several years before they made their way to the United States. After becoming illegal in the European Union, clandestine labs began to surface in order to supply them. While the manufacture of these drugs is quite different than methamphetamine, the same precursor is used to produce these drugs—pseudoephedrine.

The first important point is that they are not any sort of bath salt nor plant food. Both of these terms come from some of the trade names when they were originally being marketed. These drugs are various derivatives of methcathinone, also known as khat. As a derivative of a Schedule I drug, the federal Controlled Substances Act would then designate these drugs as schedule I “to the extent that they are intended for human consumption.”

These synthetic drugs are sold with the labeling “Not intended for human consumption,” clearly circumventing the Controlled Substances Act. With this labeling, drug dealers can and do call their products whatever they choose. Marketing websites report that these drugs are legal in all 50 states. The craze to use them was in part fueled by the fact that they were legally sold over the counter in places like convenience stores and head shops.

Because they were sold legally, many people thought that these drugs had to be safe. There are literally dozens and dozens of names used to market them, and the list continues to grow. Some of the common names you may have heard are: Molly’s Plant Food, Super Molly’s, Ivory Snow, Scarface, Jamaican Me Crazy, Charlie Sheen, Sprinkles, Sprinklezz, Lucky, Purple Monkey and a whole host of others.

The second important point is what happens when people take these drugs. They represent a class of chemicals with common chemical central structures, and they work at the serotonin receptors in the brain. While there are nuances in the effects of these drugs when compared to one another, the effects are similar and comparable to those of Ecstasy early after consumption.

Internet sites report the drugs produce a very euphoric feeling which is much better than Ecstasy, and legal. As time goes by, the effects look more and more like methamphetamine. Common effects are euphoria, a sense of well being, a sense of empathy, teeth grinding, jerking eye movements, profuse sweating, high blood pressure, high body temperature, fast heart rate, anorexia, diminished thirst, paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, significant violent outbursts, self injurious behaviors and suicidal thoughts and acts. Deaths have been reported as the direct result of the abuse of these drugs. The European literature and the early experience in the United States demonstrates a clear potential for addiction.

The third important point is that this problem is probably significantly underreported. Most likely, it is because these drugs do not show up on standard toxicology tests. As such, many cases are suspected to be related to these drugs, yet are never scientifically proven. In my Center, it was once unusual to see patients who had taken bath salts; it is now an easily recognized and regular event.

Sullivan Smith, MD, FACEP, is Medical Director of the Cookeville (Tennessee) Regional Medical Center; the Medical Director of Putnam County EMS and Clay County EMS; Chairman of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board and Lieutenant of the Cookeville Police Department SWAT.

“Bath Salts” Abuse: What You Need to Know Part II

By Sullivan Smith, MD | April 6, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Drugs &Healthcare

In the second half of a two-part column, Sullivan Smith, MD, Medical Director of the Cookeville (Tennessee) Regional Medical Center, talks to health care professionals about how to treat “bath salts” patients, and what you can do to help address the growing problem of abuse.

Because bath salts are relatively new in the United States, many health care professionals are grappling with how to treat these acutely intoxicated patients.

There are a few basic principles. First, provide for your own safety. These patients can become explosively violent, phenomenally strong and do not feel pain. The potential for serious bodily injury to you or your staff is very real. Always deal with these patients in groups and in the calmest and quietest environment possible.

Treatment consists of intravenous fluids and sedation. It will often take very large amounts of both in order to stabilize these patients. IV fluid volumes on the order of those used to treat sepsis are a good idea. That’s a lot of fluid, but these patients are usually significantly volume depleted.

Even more startling is the amount of sedation required to control these patients. A benzodiazepine such as midazolam (Versed) is an excellent choice. Very large amounts are often required, to the point that many practitioners are very uncomfortable with the doses required.

On several occasions in our Center, doses of more than 100 mg of intravenous midazolam have been required in order to resuscitate and control these patients. This high-dose benzodiazepine and intravenous fluid therapy not only controls the delirium, it also corrects the high body temperatures, high blood pressures, fast heart rates and seizures. Some patients will require chemical paralysis and mechanical ventilation because of persistent violence or in order to protect their airway because of very high-dose sedation. All of these patients will require admission to an intensive care unit, sometimes for several days.

This is clearly a national problem. It is growing rapidly. It is costing our health care system significant dollars. It is killing people. These designer drugs we call bath salts and plant food are truly a health care crisis.

Currently, there are a couple of plans to address the bath salts problem. First, there is legislation in Congress to address the rapidly growing abuse of these drugs. The House bill, HR 1254 (the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011, sponsored by Representative Dent of Pennsylvania), passed out of the House last month and has now moved into the Senate, where the companion bill is currently stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

There are also three Senate bills that have passed and are now winding their way through the House: SB 409 (the Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011, sponsored by Senator Schumer of New York), SB 605 (the Dangerous Synthetic Drug Act of 2011, sponsored by Senator Grassley of Iowa) and SB 839 (the Combating Designer Drugs Act of 2011, sponsored by Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota).

I encourage you to contact your representative and senators and tell them to support this very important legislation.

Sullivan Smith, MD, FACEP, is Medical Director of the Cookeville (Tennessee) Regional Medical Center; the Medical Director of Putnam County EMS and Clay County EMS; Chairman of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board and Lieutenant of the Cookeville Police Department SWAT.


Recovery conncections would like to wish you all a happy and safe Easter.HE HAS RISEN FOLKS!

Friday, April 6, 2012


.STEP-1 Powerless / Unmanageable!

STEP-2 We have come to believe that a power greater than our selves can restore us sanity.

It took me thirty two years to get to step one and once there I realized wow I made a mess.My mother spent thirty two years praying I would find my way and start living life right well I am glad she did.Now lets look at the power greater than ourselves.That power is GOD your heavenly father the creator of you and the universe.There are alot of groups out there who are not specific at all in regards to a higher power and that just leaves people lost and looking for answers.God is the one and only true higher power in the universe and he misses you HIS creation.Your life is a mess because you lived apart from him and have tried to live life on your own terms didn't work did it.GOD loves us so much that HE wrote a two thousand page instruction manual for us to read and live by.Try putting together a bicycle with out the directions your going to mess it up aren't you.Well the same thing goes for our lives ,if your not reading the instructions(BIBLE) your gonna screw it up. Thats why your life is unmanageable and you are powerless we were not meant to live this life alone and away from GOD.Start living life according to the book and he will restore you to sanity.

Romans 10:9

New International Version (NIV)
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sales of Prescription Painkillers Increasing Across the United States, Analysis Shows

By Join Together Staff | April 5, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Prescription Drugs

Sales of oxycodone and hydrocodone are sharply rising in areas of the United States where these prescription painkillers were not as popular in the past, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. The rise in sales is driven by an aging population with pain issues, as well as an increase in addiction, experts say.

The AP found a dramatic increase in the distribution of oxycodone between 2000 and 2010 in areas including New York’s Staten Island and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hydrocodone use is rising in Appalachia and in the Midwest, the AP found, after analyzing data from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Painkiller sales are spreading rapidly in areas where there are few resources to treat people who become addicted.

The increase in prescription painkiller use coincides with a rise in overdose deaths and pharmacy robberies, the article notes.

The number of Americans who died from overdoses of prescription painkillers more than tripled in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More people now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. An estimated 14,800 people died in the United States from painkiller overdoses in 2008, a more than threefold jump from the 4,000 deaths recorded in 1999, the CDC said in a report released last November.

While 40 states have prescription drug monitoring programs, many are not linked together, according to the AP. That means patients can go from one state to another shopping for pills. Currently there is no federal monitoring of prescription drugs at the patient level.


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    Free Tool Kit To Help Parents save their teens!

    Shocked by what you saw last week, Joseph? You can do something about it.

    There was a disturbing number in the infographic we shared with you last week: 90%. That's the percentage of addictions that start in the teen years. The infographic got a ton of shares on Facebook, but it left people wondering how to tackle the problem.

    We have an answer. Actually, a lot of answers. They're all in our Parent Toolkit -- and you can make a huge impact on the teens in your life by spreading the word about it.

    Share our Parent Toolkit and take on substance abuse now.

    The Partnership at Drugfree.org has put a lot of work into this toolkit, and it gets real results.

    It has expert tips on spotting alcohol and drug use. It guides you on how to make those tough conversations with teens a lot easier. It even has advice divided up by age group. And that's just the beginning.

    Knowledge is power -- and we're more powerful when we share our knowledge.

    Tell your friends and family about the Parent Toolkit:



    Kim Manlove
    Parent Advisory Board
    The Partnership at Drugfree.org


    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    10:00am until 9:00pm

    Snipes Farm & Golf 890 west bridge st. morisville PA 19067


    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    May 2012 Adolescents Webinar

    May 2012 Adolescents WebinarPDFPrintE-mail

    Access Granted: Building a Therapeutic Alliance with Adolescents

    Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Time: 3pm - 4pm EST (12pm - 1pm PST)

    Click here to register (Problems with your registration? Contact us for help )

    Questions/problems? Take a look at our FAQs

    Description: Adolescents with substance use disorders are a special population with special needs. Building a therapeutic alliance with them can be difficult and challenging. This webinar provides a skill- and metaphor-based method for conceptualizing the therapeutic alliance with adolescents. It will provide clinicians with the tools that are necessary for creating a therapeutic bond with an often untrusting, resistant population.

    Price: Education is FREE to all professionals

    Earn Continuing Education Credit: All applicants for CE credit are required to complete and pass this online CE Quiz(coming soon) after viewing the presentation. Members of NAADAC or AccuCare Subscribers receive a Certificate of Completion for 1 CE for free. Non-members of NAADAC or Non-subscribers of AccuCare receive 1 CE for $15 (make payment here). A CE certificate will be emailed to you within 21 days of submission and receiving payment, if applicable. Click here for a complete list of who accepts NAADAC Continuing Education Credit.

    Learning Objectives:

    As a result of participating in this webinar, you will be able to:
    achieve an understanding of the specific skills that assist in forming a therapeutic relationship with a teen and why the use of skills is preferred over a manualized process;
    be able to use the “House Metaphor” as a tool in clinical observation and as a developmental model of therapeutic relationships with adolescents; and
    understand why alliance means relationship.


    Kansas Cafferty has been in the behavioral healthcare field for 15 years. His experience and training have emphasis in the areas of addiction, eating disorders, adolescents, chronic relapse and PTSD. He has served on the NAADAC Adolescent Specialty Leadership Committee since 2007. He is the founder and director of True North Recovery Services in Carlsbad, CA and is the Director of Clinical Services for Orange County Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in Newport Beach, CA. He has been a featured author in multiple industry publications including "Addiction Professional" magazine and is an articulate and adept trainer and presenter.

    Who Should Attend:
    Addiction professionals, employee assistance professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, professional counselors, psychologists andother helping professionals that are interested in learning about addiction-related matters.

    Archived: This webinar will be recorded for later viewing. Complete the registration form to receive after the live broadcast links to the free recording and the online CE Quiz.

    Click Here to Register

    Technology Partner

    This webinar is produced in partnership with Orion Healthcare Technology.

    Questions or comments about NAADAC Education? Email Misti Storie

    This presentation is for individual use only and may not be reproduced without permission from NAADAC.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Living on the Edge!

    Living on the Edge

    Gov. Corbett's budget, if enacted, could push thousands of drug addicts out onto Philly streets.

    CLEAN HOUSE: Anthony Grasso runs Next Step, a Frankford recovery house that serves addicts who don´t qualify for city-funded care.
    Neal Santos
    CLEAN HOUSE: Anthony Grasso runs Next Step, a Frankford recovery house that serves addicts who don't qualify for city-funded care.


    For an estimated 1,000 to 4,500 recovering addicts in the city on any given day, the only option for getting clean in Philadelphia is checking into one of more than 300 informal recovery houses scattered across Kensington, Frankford and North Philly. It's a fragile network, administered mostly by former addicts and funded largely through residents' welfare dollars, in particular the nine-month, one-time General Assistance (GA) payments offered by the Commonwealth.

    In Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, GA is eliminated altogether. Advocates say the impact could be devastating, affecting 34,843 Philadelphians who receive GA money (including people with disabilities and survivors of domestic violence) and pushing thousands of addicts out onto the street.

    "If you cut all this, the bottom line is that the streets are going to overflow with people," says Anthony Grasso, co-owner of the Next Step recovery house in Frankford. "Do you know how many people are going to commit more crimes to get what they need?"

    Recovering addicts are typically awarded medical insurance and food stamps; the rest of their benefits come via GA. It's not much: $205 monthly, unchanged and unadjusted for inflation since 1990.

    "When looking at this year's budget, the state is facing significant challenges," says Corbett spokeswoman Kelli Roberts, who argued that the governor made "tough decisions" to "preserve core services." In this case, Roberts says that eliminating GA — cash assistance she says only 19 states provide — allowed the commonwealth to preserve the Medical Assistance available to the same groups. But Corbett's budget also cuts $170.3 million from that program.

    Media attention has focused on Corbett's proposed 20 percent cut to Philly's social services, disguised by a new "block grant" that rolls seven line items — funding programs for the homeless and those with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities — into one. But while that would amount to a $41 million loss in Philly, cutting GA would drain $87.5 million from the neediest Philadelphians.

    GA also provides cash assistance to people who do not qualify for federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and those with pending applications for Social Security Disability Insurance. The backlogged Social Security Administration can take months to approve applications; appeals can take years. GA covers applicants in the interim, and if they are approved, the state is reimbursed. For these populations, losing GA would be a severe hardship; for recovery houses, it could be fatal.

    Almost 10 years ago, Grasso walked in the door of the recovery house he co-owns today, high on speedballs, oxycontin, heroin — whatever he could get his hands on. "I had never heard about no recovery house," he says. "I know today it was God who sent me here."

    His office walls are lined with treatment certificates. Some of the men have recovered, others are now dead. GA provides between 60 percent and 75 percent of the revenue at Next Step. If houses like this one close, the city cannot fill the gap.

    "A good portion of the population comes through the uninsured door," says Roland Lamb, director of Philadelphia's Office of Addiction Services. "That means you will have a lot of people who will not be able to be sustained in our system."

    The city has 24 recovery houses under contract to provide services, he says. These must meet Department of Licenses & Inspections requirements and have staff complete training programs. The city cannot, however, afford to fund most recovery houses — and so they are, by and large, unregulated.

    That can result in a broad range of issues. Some, says Lamb, are "more flophouses than they are recovery programs." Others have been accused of exploiting addicts for cash, or requiring them to perform questionable "volunteer" labor — including at election time. Neighbors complain that most are concentrated in just a handful of zip codes, taking advantage of the abundant cheap and sometimes vacant row homes. Even good houses, Lamb says, are underfunded and thus pose "some definite problems insofar as safety issues are concerned."

    "It's all of the above, really," says Paul Yabor, who lives in a recovery house in Frankford.

    Most recovery houses follow the 12-step model; others, like the Adonai House on Frankford Avenue, take different, faith-based approaches. Adonai's Bob Beck, like many people who run houses, is a recovering addict you would not have liked to meet when he was using.

    "I rode on the wrong side of the tracks," the tattooed, muscular former bike-gang member tells City Paper. Now Beck goes down to Kensington and Somerset avenues most days to pray with addicts. Other times, men come to his door straight from prison: Admission to a recovery house is frequently a condition of an addict's parole or probation.

    Everyone — service providers, the city — says recovery houses are indispensable.

    "I have no idea how the system would continue if they eliminate General Assistance," says Mimi McNichol, director of social services at the AIDS service organization Philadelphia FIGHT. "These places fill a huge gap not just in terms of recovery, but also homelessness."

    Recovery houses also help addicts deal with other medical issues like HIV, which Yabor, an activist with ACT UP, has survived since 1990.

    Philly's recovery-house movement began in the 1980s during the crack-cocaine epidemic. A recovering drug addict named Rev. Henry Wells — everyone just calls him "the Rev" — opened one of the first, inviting people to recover at his home. One Day At a Time — or ODAAT, as people call it — is now a sprawling recovery empire with its main facilities at the corner of 25th Street and Lehigh Avenue in North Philly. Over the years, Wells graduates took over ODAAT houses or simply opened their own. And so it grew. "This is the grandfather of all recovery houses," says Mel Wells, the Rev's son and ODAAT president.

    Though worried about the cuts, Wells won't speak ill of Corbett.

    "We've been trying not to get caught up in the politics," he says.

    Nonetheless, he pledges that ODAAT will "raise some hell" to defend GA. On April 3, they're taking buses of recovering addicts to Harrisburg and mobilizing local political support.

    Sharif Street, son of former Mayor John Street, sits on ODAAT's board. The recovery house was in John Street's City Council district, and the councilman defended them when the Department of Licenses & Inspections came poking around. (In 1999, hundreds of ODAAT volunteers returned the favor, campaigning for Street.) It is unclear whether local connections will provide sufficient leverage in Philly-hostile Harrisburg. Plus, says Street, "this is a population that, for a lot of folks, is easy to dismiss."

    Philadelphia is home to one of the nation's most thriving markets for cocaine and heroin in the nation. People from the suburbs come here to buy drugs, and then move on to places like ODAAT to recover. Indeed, recovery houses are full of people from elsewhere — including from Baltimore, New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Recovery houses, like the Kensington and Frankford neighborhoods where the open-air drug trade flourishes, are extraordinarily diverse.

    PRO-ACT Honors Its Volunteers in April during National Volunteer Week

    PRO-ACT Honors Its Volunteers in April during National Volunteer Week
    PRO-ACT Honors Its Volunteers in April during National Volunteer Week

    PRO-ACT is celebrating the profound impact our volunteers have had on our Recovery Community. April 15 - 21, we are joining the rest of America in recognizing the 63 million volunteers who have given themselves through service. PRO-ACT thanks our many volunteers who dedicate themselves to service every day. To honor them we are holding events in all of our Recovery Community Centers.

    Overdose Prevention and Education

    The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. is spearheading an initiative focused on overdose prevention and education. Nationwide the number of deaths due to prescription and non-prescription drugs out numbers the deaths related to motor vehicle accidents. This number has continually increased over the years and Bucks County is not immune to the nationwide trend.

    According to 2010 information from the Bucks County Coroner’s Office, of all deaths that involved toxicology, 65.8% were directly related to drugs. 37.2% of those deaths were of people under the age of 30. This number reported by the coroner’s office has almost doubled in the past four years. Oxycodone, Xanax, Heroin, Codeine and Morphine were among the highest reported drugs found at the time of death.

    There have been initiatives of varying levels in other states from education and awareness, to passing laws giving immunity to those responding to an overdose by calling 911 and establishing programs that distribute a lifesaving antidote to an opioid overdose. Bucks County needs to take action.

    This site will include information on the progress of the newly formed Overdose Prevention and Education Advisory Board’s presentations, steps taking place in other communities, legislative actions that are initiated, education and information on drugs and overdose, and resources and references.

    If you would like to become involved in this initiative please click on the Advisory Board link and check the calendar or contact Valerie Fahie, Overdose Prevention Coordinator at 215-230-8218 x 3158 orvfahie@councilsepa.org.

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Who Should Treat Addiction?

    By Dr. Stuart Gitlow | March 30, 2012 | 23 Comments | Filed in Addiction &Healthcare

    Think about a patient with addiction. He seeks attention for his illness and would like treatment. Should he go to a counselor, a nurse practitioner or a physician? How would his treatment differ in each case? If you’d like to shake things up further, please add psychologists and social workers to the mixture.

    If our hypothetical patient is seen by a nurse practitioner in an ambulatory setting yet fails to improve with respect to his addiction, has he failed medical treatment? Would the next step be for the patient to see a physician? Or would it be to enter a more intensive treatment setting?

    Our nation is moving quickly toward an environment in which a greater quantity of medical care will be delivered by clinicians who have not attended medical school. Interestingly, we already have that environment in the field of addiction, and have had that scenario for decades. What we do not know, however, is whether this approach is efficacious for the treatment of patients.

    Take a simple research study: 200 patients with newly diagnosed addictive disease are divided into two groups matched by age, sex and socioeconomic background, as well as by drug of choice. One group is seen by addiction specialist physicians, the other by addiction specialists who are not physicians, and both are seen with the same frequency and intensity. At 12 months, determine whether there is a difference between the two groups in terms of recovery rate as defined by abstinence and functional improvement.

    The study has never been performed.

    No one has ever bothered to determine whether social workers are better than physicians at treating addictive illness, or whether physicians are better than psychologists. And though no one has ever bothered to determine if surgical nurses could perform appendectomies successfully, or if counselors can treat life-threatening illnesses like cancer, there has not been a need to answer those questions. So addiction is in an odd place: there is no proof that non-MD/DO care has sufficient quality to be utilized as a replacement for physician-based treatment, yet non-physician treatment already represents the standard in many locations. And of course, there is no proof that non-MD/DO care does not have sufficient quality either.

    In the vast majority of patients coming to my practice, prior misdiagnosis or mistreatment reigns high on the problem list on initial intake. Patients treated incorrectly for depressive illness when they have sedative-induced depression, patients treated with combinations of sedatives and stimulants for alleged anxiety accompanying ADHD, patients with known alcoholism prescribed benzodiazepines for mild insomnia or anxiety: the list goes on and on, with physicians in my community being as much to blame as other clinicians.

    Addiction is a complex lifelong disease which, if unaddressed, commonly results in death of the patient. Shouldn’t we have some research to determine to whom these patients should be referred?

    Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, is Executive Director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease and Associate Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is Acting President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.