Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Never Fear, the New D.S.M. Won’t “Create More Addicts”

Last week’s New York Times article, “Addiction Diagnoses May Rise Under Guideline Changes,” offers a sadly pejorative take on the proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M.—the go-to manual for mental health (including substance use disorder) diagnoses. The reporter writes that the rewritten D.S.M. “could result in millions more people being diagnosed as addicts.”

There are a couple of problems with this speculation. First, people are not diagnosed “as addicts.” This is because there is no diagnosis of “addiction”—not in the current DSM or the revised version. To characterize the diagnosis of substance use disorders this way simply shows the extent to which stigma and depreciatory attitudes about this illness remain.

Second, the new D.S.M. would do one important and enormously beneficial thing: it would allow problematic and/or harmful drug use to be identified and diagnosed earlier. This is the first time Medicaid/Medicare have reimbursed effective services for people who misuse substances—not just for folks who qualify as chemically dependent. This is where programs like Phoenix House’s SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) come in. These programs, along with the new D.S.M., will help us catch and treat substance use problems before they become life-threatening—and before they require the expensive treatments that the Times article references. The fact that SBIRT is now available and funded is no small feat; to quote Dr. Keith Humphreys, former drug control policy adviser to the White House, this is in fact “the single biggest expansion in the quality and quantity of addiction treatment this country has seen in 40 years.”

Third, the article paints a ridiculous picture of the guys who wrote the new D.S.M. They aren’t money-grubbing evil scientists who take money from pharmaceutical companies to support an elaborate research ruse. I know many of these researchers—they’re passionate about the cause, and the D.S.M. is their labor of love. They put in a great deal of work with their efforts to better characterize the DSM categories, which will allow more people to get help. Why would The New York Times be so one-sided in criticizing these efforts? In reality, these researchers are the ones who want to help people the most.

So never fear, the new D.S.M. will not cause more people to be diagnosed with addiction. Instead, more people who may not yet be addicted (but whose drug use is nonetheless problematic and unhealthy) will be able to access very inexpensive but proven effective treatment earlier and easier. Treating these folks is no different from treating those in the early stages ofdiabetes—it requires minimal professional help, some education, and simple lifestyle changes. We wouldn’t wait until a pre-diabetic started experiencing the symptoms of full-blown diabetes before we offered him or her help. Instead, we would intervene early in hopes of preventing such a difficult future. The same should apply for those with early substance misuse.

Deni Carise, Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer
Phoenix House

Recovery Advocates to Be Recognized at National Event

By Join Together Staff | May 17, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Addiction& Recovery

Four activists and a grassroots community organization will be recognized for their work as recovery advocates by Faces & Voices of Recovery. The addiction recovery advocacy organization will present the awards Wednesday, June 27 in Washington, D.C.

The awards honor the recipients’ contributions to advocating for the rights of people and their families in or seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Recipients of the award are Rev. Dr. Robert Gilmore, Sr., of Real Urban Ministry in Houston; Walter Ginter of the National Alliance for Medication-Assisted Recovery in New York; Rosemary Tisch of Celebrating Families in Saratoga, California, Jeff Blodget of St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery in Boston.

To read more about the awardees and the event, visit the Faces & Voices of Recovery website.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Commentary: 6 Tips to Protect Your Child From Online Drug Threats

By David Festinger, PhD | April 17, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Alcohol, Drugs,Parenting, Young Adults & Youth

Many people in Philadelphia were stunned by a recent report thatstudents in one community had been depicted on YouTube drinking and taking other drugs.

It’s not entirely clear what people were most shocked by – the realization that kids abuse drugs and alcohol, that videos glorifying the use of drugs and alcohol appear on the Internet or simply the fact that this was done by local students.

The fact that kids abuse dangerous substances is definitely not new. Findings from the Monitoring the Future Study (2010) indicated that in the prior year alone, 1.8 million kids under the age of 18 reported using drugs for the first time – that’s almost 5,000 kids each day. In addition, 48 percent used illicit drugs. What’s more staggering is that these estimates do not include alcohol.

The existence of online media that promote drug and alcohol use is also not a recent phenomenon. Research conducted by our team at the Treatment Research Institute has catalogued hundreds of YouTube videos, chat rooms, social networking venues and other online sites that extol the virtues of drugs, provide information about how to use drugs “safely” and even teach kids how to manufacture and sell drugs.

Although most of us are aware of the influence that friends, peers, television and movies may have on our children’s perceptions of drug and alcohol use, many people are not aware of the incredible prevalence of pro-drug use propaganda and misinformation available on the Internet.

The fact that this happened in someone’s backyard may have been the thing that caught local attention, but the prevalence of these online drug threats are the issues – at the local level and nationally – that we should be most concerned about. Similar to strategies taken to safeguard our children against online predation, there are many ways to protect them from these pro-drug and alcohol use influences.

The Treatment Research Institute has developed a training program for parents that provides practical recommendations to help them defend their children from these online drug threats. Some of the most basic recommendations include:

• Setting limits on Internet use and availability depending on the age and maturity of the child. (These limits need to be discussed with the child – see below.)
• Monitoring your child’s Internet use and making use of commercially available parent controls. Placing the computer in a central area of your home can make this easier.
• Having a formal or informal contract with children about the proper use of the Internet and making clear the consequences for misuse. (Be sure to follow through with those consequences when misuse occurs.)
• Having children walk parents through the places they go online, and who they communicate with (their contacts).
• Discussing your house rules related to Internet use with the parents of the friends your child visits. Make sure that your child is not able to engage in unmonitored or inappropriate Internet use while at their friends’ homes.
• Remaining calm and having a plan as to what to do if you discover inappropriate use. (Keep in mind that children are naturally curious and there can be many reasons why they happen upon a particular website. Don’t overreact!)

Technology has made many things possible. While the Internet serves as an amazing tool that can greatly benefit our children, we must also be conscious of its potential dangers.

The writer is a Senior Scientist at the Treatment Research Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to science-driven transformation of treatment, other practice and policy in substance use and abuse.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Steps Pediatricians Can Take to Reduce Teen Substance Use

By Celia Vimont | May 18, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Alcohol, Drugs,Healthcare, Prevention, Young Adults & Youth

Teens who complete a five-minute computer screening program that includes six questions about alcohol and drug use, and who talk with their pediatrician briefly about the results, reduce their risk of drinking up to one year later, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital studied more than 2,000 teens from New England and the Czech Republic. The teens completed the screening program, which asks six questions about alcohol and drug use, and then presents a score and risk level. The teens read through 10 pages with facts and stories that illustrate the serious health effects of substance use.

The teens’ doctors receive a report with the results, and a list of talking points for a two- to three- minute conversation about the risks involved in alcohol and drug use. They tell the teens it would be best for their health not to use alcohol or drugs at all.

The study found that after using the program, teens’ risk of drinking dropped almost in half for three months, and by about one-quarter one year after the doctor’s visit, the researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.

Screening and brief intervention has been shown to be effective in emergency departments and college campuses, but this is the first study published in an English language journal to demonstrate it is effective in adolescent primary care settings, according to senior author Dr. John R. Knight, Director of the Center for AdolescentSubstance Abuse Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s important to get pediatricians involved, because we know 70 percent of high school seniors have started to drink, and almost 60 percent have started to use drugs, but there are few specialists available to deal with early intervention with teens,” he said.
Dr. Knight noted that teens generally see their primary care physician for a yearly physical. “Kids know they can tell the truth to their doctor, and it won’t get back to their parents. They really listen to their doctors’ advice,” he said. “Since substance abuse kills more teenagers than infectious disease, parents should view this screening as another important vaccination.”

Two key factors may prevent a teen’s doctor from asking about drug and alcohol use, and this program addresses both, Dr. Knight says. One is time constraints. “Doctors are pressed for time, and they have a lot of things they need to screen patients for,” he says. By having patients complete the screening before the visit, doctors have more time to interpret the results and discuss them.

The second factor is that doctors who do screen teens for substance use don’t always know what to say to those who admit to using drugs or alcohol.

The screening program is based on the CRAFFT test, a behavioral health screening tool for use with children under the age of 21 that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Substance Abuse for use with adolescents.

Last fall, the AAP and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism unveiled a new tool designed to help pediatricians talk to teenagers about alcohol use. The “Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide” provides doctors with basic questions about whether and how much a patient drinks, and how much their friends drink.

“Our program takes a similar approach, but by using a computer, we are saving the doctor time,” observes Dr. Knight.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

As Summer Approaches, Experts Warn Alcohol is a Key Factor in Boating Accidents

By Join Together Staff | May 18, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Alcohol &Community Related

Intoxication is a key factor in many boating accidents, experts say, as boating season gets underway. In Texas, almost 100 people died in boating accidents over the last three years, and alcohol use was the leading contributor, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Not wearing a life jacket also plays a role in many boating-related deaths, the article notes.

“It’s unfortunate that there’s probably a boating culture out there … a little bit different from driving your car. When you get into the boat, you’re going to have fun,” Game Warden Capt. Ron VanderRoest told the newspaper. “Not being able to drink or having to wear life jackets are not the most fun thing to do, but it’s a whole lot better than someone losing their lives.” The article notes 820 Texans were citing for boating while intoxicated from 2009 to 2011.

The Coast Guard announced the start of National Safe Boating Week, May 19 to 25, reminding the public that boating under the influence (BUI) or boating while intoxicated (BWI) is just as deadly as drinking and driving.

In a news release, the Coast Guard states, “It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties for violating BUI and BWI laws can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms.”

Friday, May 18, 2012


The original Stand Down for homeless veterans was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being.

That is the purpose of the Stand Down for homeless veterans, and achieving those objectives requires a wide range of support services and time. The program is successful because it brings these services to one location, making them more accessible to homeless veterans.

In July 2002, the founders of Stand Down – Robert Van Keuren, Dr. Jon Nachison and Vietnam Veterans of San Diego – asked the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) to become the “keeper of the flame” and provide national leadership for the movement. Since the first Stand Down in San Diego in 1988, the program has become recognized as the most valuable outreach tool to help homeless veterans in the nation today.

Stand Down Guide
Information about the history of Stand Down, essential program components, event classifications, and how to organize and develop a Stand Down program for your community.

2012 Stand Downs
The National Registry of scheduled Stand Down programs and contact information for event coordinators.

Stand Down Information FormTo include your Stand Down event in the national registry and NCHV’s newsletter and website, please complete the Stand Down Information form and return it via fax or mail to NCHV, attn: Samira Denardo.

2012 After Action ReportOnce your event has concluded please fill out the after action report.The information on this form is used by NCHV and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to compile an annual report on Stand Down programs that provide outreach and supportive services to homeless veterans. If you have questions or need assistance with this report, contact Samira Denardo at 202-546-1969 or by email at


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eminem's Addictions: I Was Taking Up To 90 Pills A Day

In Celebs by Jeffery


"The Bigger The Crowd, The Bigger My Habit Got"

Eminem does not want another Encore. The rapper reveals in a new interview the drugged-up lows he went to while producing the critically-panned album, as well as the extreme measures he took to get back on top.

Read: Eminem Shoots Himself In The Head In Music Video

Talking to GQ, Eminem says he began developing an addiction to prescription painkillers and sleep medication during the recording of 2004's Encore. The rapper says at one point he was taking up to 90 pills a day, including Valium, Vicodin, Ambien, and the anti-schizophrenia drug Seroquel.

"Five or six songs leaked from the original version of Encore," he says. "So I had to go in and make new songs to replace them. In my head I was pissed off: 'Oh well. Songs leaked. Fu** it. I'm just going to take a bunch of fu**ing pills and go in there and have a party with myself.' I'm sure the more pills I took, the goofier I got."

Eminem would eventually go to rehab. But for a celebrity of his stature, it was not an easyplace to be.

"Look," he says, "every addict in rehab feels like everyone's staring at them. With me? Everyone was staring at me. I could never be comfortable. There were people there that treated me normal. Then there were a bunch of fu**ing idiots who aren't even concentrating on their own sobriety because they're so worried about mine. They're stealing my hats, my books -- it was chaos. Everything was drama in there. And at the time, I didn't really want to get clean. Everybody else wanted me to. And anyone will tell you: If you're not ready, nothing is going to change you. Love, nothing."

Read: Eminem's Daughter Offers Advice on Twitter

While he might not have been ready to get clean, there was one event that forced Eminem to seek out real treatment: in 2005 he almost died of an overdose.

"I came to in the hospital and I didn't know what the fu** happened," he says. "Tubes in me and sh*t, fu**in' needles in my arms. I didn't realize I had [overdosed]. I wanted my drugs -- get me the fu** outta there! I think I was clean for two weeks. I was trying so hard -- I was trying to do it for my kids -- but I just wasn't ready."

Eventually Slim Shady took his health seriously, went back to rehab and kicked his habit. But he still takes his addiction as a lesson into the recording studio.

"The thing sobriety has taught me the most," he says, "is the way I'm wired -- why my thought process is so different."

"I've realized that the way I am helps with the music. Sporadic thoughts will pop into my head and I'll have to go write something down, and the next thing you know I've written a whole song in an hour. But sometimes it sucks, and I wish I was wired like a regular person and could go have a fu**in' drink. But that's the biggest thing about addiction: When you realize that you cannot -- for fu**sake, you can NOT -- fu** around with nothing ever again. I never understood when people would say it's a disease. Like, 'Stop it, . It's not a disease!' But I finally realized, Fu**, man -- it really is."

Read: Eminem is Most Popular Member on Facebook

Read More About EMINEM »

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Christian Life Prison and recovery Ministry Bucks Co. Pa.

From the Director...

Following the Vision

"Where there is no vision, people perish." (Proverbs 29:18)

CLPRM's vision statement says:"Helping those incarcerated and in recovery develop as productive citizens, and giving them a biblical understanding of God's purpose for their lives."
This vision guide all we do as a ministry. As a result, in 2011-2012 the Lord allowed us to go deeper into all three areas of our ministry -- prison, recovery and the coffee house -- in ways we never imagined. And it's because of volunteers and supporters like you that our vision is becoming reality.

In the past year CLPRM:
Added volunteers in all phases of the ministry.
Increased the number of volunteers who regularly preach and sharetestimony at prison church services and Road to Recovery meetings.
Introduced a quarterly recovery worship service and luncheon at Woodside Church.
Designed and launched an all-new CLPRM website.
Guided so many men and women to know Jesus Christ at the Friday night Road to Recovery meetings.
Created an Inmate Release and Recovery Scholarship to assist newly-released inmates find housing and transition into society.
Expanded the inmate Pen Pal Ministry.
Helped place those with addictions in short- and long-term recovery programs, housing, treatment facilities, and provide other support to help them to help them break the bondage of drugs and alcohol.In the coming year we plan to expand our current outreach as the Lord leads. Plus we've set our sights on new projects like:
A Recovery Scholarship Fundraising Concert with Dave Pettigrew on November 17, 2012
The first-ever Conquering Grounds Music Fest -- a full day of music, ministry, food and fun for all ages in fall of 2013.Our long-term vision is to open a facility that provides housing and structured Christ-centered programs for the prison and recovery community. We plan to call it The Sanctuary: A Place of Refuge and Restoration.

Will you pray that The Sanctuary becomes a reality; and that all areas of CLPRM continue to bring hope, healing and the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to the recovery and prison communities?

In all you do remember, "Where there is no vision, people perish."

In His Service,

Bob Sofronski

Chairman and Director, CLPRM

Want to know what makes a great leader?

Read Bob's devotion: Thinking Like a Leader

New Website Launched!

Visit us at our new home

As the ministry has grown, the website needed to keep up! After months of work we proudly unveil our improved and updated website. It's filled with up-to-date information and news about the ministry. Our web address remains the same, but now you'll find things like:

Upcoming performances at Conquering Grounds Cafe
Road to Recovery updates
Addiction, rehab, recovery and inmate resources
Calendar of coming events
Stories and testimonies
Links to the CLPRM's Facebook page and YouTube channel
Online donations (coming soon)
And much more!

Check out the all-new face of

Thanks to Costco in Warminster for their generous donations to Conquering Grounds Cafe!

Costco will attend Conquering Grounds Cafe on May 12. Become a new Costco member and receive up to a $20 Costco Cash Card.

Recovery Ministry Announces Worship Service & Luncheon

Each quarter CLPRM will join with Woodside Church and Addictions Victorious to host a recovery worship service and luncheon. The first service, held in February was such an amazing worship experience for all involved that we can't wait for the next one. Will you join us ... and invite your friends, too? Here's the details:

Road to Recovery is open to men and women, and meets every Friday night at 7pm at Christian Life Center in Bensalem.

Cardinal Health Shipments Suspended Under Agreement with DEA

By Join Together Staff | May 16, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Community Related, Government & Prescription Drugs

Drug wholesale company Cardinal Health said Tuesday it will suspend shipments of controlled substances from a warehouse in Florida for two years, under an agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Reuters reports the company also agreed to work to improve security procedures at its distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, to ensure that opioids are not diverted into the wrong hands. The company is not shutting down the facility, and operations there will continue, according to Cardinal Health.

“This agreement allows us to put this matter behind us, and just as important, will clear the way for a more productive dialogue about how we and others in the health care and regulatory community can work together to prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs,” George Barrett, Chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health, said in a statement. The company noted the DEA confirmed it is planning no further administrative actions at other Cardinal Health facilities.

Earlier this year, the DEA charged Cardinal and four pharmacies with violating their licenses to sell controlled drugs. The DEA said Cardinal had an unusually high number of shipments of controlled painkillers to four pharmacies. The agency suspended Cardinal’s controlled substance license at its distribution center in Lakeland. The centerserves 2,500 pharmacies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. After the DEA suspended the company’s license, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the DEA’s suspension order.

A federal judge then ruled that drug distribution companies must “self-police” to track unusually big drug shipments that might be used improperly. The ruling allowed the DEA to halt shipments of oxycodone and other controlled medications from the Cardinal Health distribution facility.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Question Fairness of New Jersey Drug Treatment Plan

By Join Together Staff | May 15, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Addiction,Community Related, Drugs, Funding, Government & Treatment

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s plan for mandatory treatment for all low-level drug offenders could reduce treatment slots for people who seek treatment voluntarily, but don’t have the money to pay for it, critics say.

The governor’s plan, which would make New Jersey the first state to require treatment for nonviolent offenders who are addicted to drugs, has been praised by addiction experts, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Some providers point out that the plan would give priority to criminals, some of whom do not want treatment. Providers say that their centers often have waiting lists, and state money to pay for those who cannot afford treatment sometimes runs out before the end of the year, or is frozen.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Governor Christie, disputed the claim that the governor’s plan takes away services from others. “What we’re attempting to do is to address a very serious societal problem,” he said. “In doing that, we are not diminishing the addiction services outside the criminal justice system.”

The system that would require drug treatment for low-level offenders, called drug court, could cost up to $35 million, the article notes. The mandatory program would double the court’s current 4,000 participants. Governor Christie has proposed spending $2.5 million for fiscal 2013 to create the mandatory program.

Binge Drinking Can Complicate Recovery from Burn Injuries, Study Finds

By Join Together Staff | April 30, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Alcohol &Research

Binge drinking may complicate recovery from burn injuries, according to a study presented at the American Burn Association Annual Meeting.

The study compared burn patients who were intoxicated above the legal limit, with burn patients who did not have any alcohol in their blood, according to Medical News Today. The researchers, from Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, found that although binge drinkers’ injuries were much less severe than other burn patients, they experienced similar rates of sepsis, a life-threatening bloodstream infection, as well as pneumonia. Both groups of patients spent similar amounts of time on a ventilator, in the intensive care unit, and in the hospital.

The median hospitalization cost for binge drinkers who were burned was $221,000, almost as high as the cost for non-drinkers who had much worse burns.

“Among binge drinkers, even relatively minor injuries can result in serious complications and prolonged hospital stays,” study author Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, said in a news release.

Study co-author Christopher S. Davis, MD, MPH, said there are several likely reasons why binge drinkers may have difficult recoveries from burns, even though their injuries may be relatively minor. Intoxication weakens the immune system, which slows healing and makes patients more at risk of infection, he said.

Davis also pointed out carbon monoxide poisoning levels in burned binge drinkers were more than four times higher than the levels in burn patients who did not drink, probably because it took binge drinkers a longer time to escape the fire. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause effects including brain damage, which can complicate recovery, he said.

Revised Definition of Addiction Could Lead to Millions More Being Diagnosed

By Join Together Staff | May 14, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Addiction &Mental Health

A proposed revision to the definition of addiction by mental health specialists could lead to millions of additional people receiving an addiction diagnosis, The New York Times reports. The changes could lead to big consequences for both health insurers and taxpayers, according to the newspaper.

The revisions are being proposed for the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), scheduled for release in May 2013. The manual would enlarge the list of recognized symptoms for drug and alcohol addiction, and reduce the number of symptoms needed for a diagnosis.

The new manual would include gambling as an addiction for the first time, and may introduce a category called “behavioral addiction—not otherwise specified,” that some public health experts say might be used too often to diagnose various addictions, including shopping, video games, sex or the Internet.

The DSM is important because it determines whether insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, will pay for treatment, and whether schools will finance specific special-education services. The court system uses the DSM to evaluate whether criminal defendants are mentally impaired. Drug manufacturers rely on the manual when making decisions about research.

Some economists predict the new definition of addiction could add 20 million people, leading to additional costs running into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The chances of getting a diagnosis are going to be much greater, and this will artificially inflate the statistics considerably,” Thomas F. Babor, an editor of the journal Addiction, told the newspaper. He said many people receiving a diagnosis of addiction under the new guidelines would have only a mild problem, siphoning off scarce drug treatment resources in schools, prisons and health care settings.

While the American Psychiatric Association scientific review panel has asked for more evidence to support the revisions on addiction, several researchers involved with the manual noted the panel is unlikely to significantly alter the proposed revisions.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


  We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity!
   Scripture from (BIBLE) to back this up!
   GOD is working in you ,giving you the desire to do what pleases HIM!(Phillipians 2:13 see also
   Romans 4:6-8 , Ephesians 1:6-8 ,Colosians 1:21-22 ; Hebrews 11 :1-10)

   We were given from our creator a 2,000 page plus instruction manual for living. Imagine putting together an entertainment center , you open the box and before you is a pile of parts as you look through the parts you realize there are no instructions for assembly. The smart thing to do is put parts back in the box and return it to the store. Most of us including myself will attempt to piece it together , and after many frustrating hours ,I just give up.Sounds like a life in addiction.We fumble through life and no matter how hard we try to put our lives together we stumble fall and give up.Without the instruction book (BIBLE) , we will wind up like that pile of parts with no idea on how to get it  together . That's  why step 2 is so important! Life without GOD is frustrating painful messy and impossible.My advice , Surrender and ask GODS only son JESUS to come into your heart and life!  JESUS was sent to help all of us , HE lived and died for you!He is waiting for you to ask HIM for help!  
I invited JESUS in and my life is not perfect but I am 8 years clean went from living under a bridge to living in a home with a brand new family!With JESUS there's hope!With JESUS it is , I can , and I will make it!

Rockers In Recovery 2nd Annual Memorial Day Concert and Picnic

RIR Band Live - 2nd Annu

al Memorial Day Free Concert and Picnic

Ricky Byrd and The Recovery Rockers- CC Rider

Rockers In Recovery All Star Band Featuring: Ricky Byrd ,Richie Supa ,Kasim Sulton , Liberty DeVitto ,Mark Stein and Christine Ohlman

Tell the Truth - NYC Hit Squad with Richie Supa and Woody

little Queenie- Ricky Byrd, Kasim Sulton and Richie Supa

Rockers In Recovery Band (RIR Band)

Rockers In Recovery

2nd Annual Memorial Day Concert and Picnic

May 26, 1PM-6PM EST

Need To Go Bigger:

New Venue

Pavilion 10 at Quiet Waters Park:

401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442- Call 954-826-4920

RIR would like to welcome our special guest Broward County Drug Court.

Event Sponsor- Treatment Solutions Network

Food Sponsor- Miami Subs and Grill

Venue Sponsor- 1ST Step Sober House

No Alcohol or Drugs Allowed Violators Will Be Asked To Leave..

RIR Band Featuring:

Musical Director: Ricky Byrd ( 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominee with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts)

Richie Supa (Aerosmith and Richie Sambora)

Muddy Shews (Southside Johnny)

Liberty DeVitto ( Billy Joel Band)

Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge)

Christine Ohlman (SNL Band)

Meet The Event Sponsor

Click Banner

Meet The Food Sponsor
Click Banner

Meet The Venue Sponsor
Click Banner
1St Step Sober House

Since 2008, the mission of Rockers In Recovery has been to lend support to musicians and music lovers who are in recovery, or support recovery If you would like more information go to
or call 954-826-4920 .

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Type of “Bath Salts” Reported in Virginia

By Join Together Staff | May 8, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Community Related & Drugs

A new type of “bath salts” called “Amped” is being used in Virginia, poison control officials there report. The drug, sold as a ladybug attractant, is likely also being used in other parts of the country, according to ABC News.

Dr. Rutherford Rose, Director of the Virginia Poison Center, said at least six cases of people ingesting Amped have been reported in the state.

Amped and other bath salts have amphetamine-like qualities. Common effects are 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.

“Despite laws that have outlawed certain chemicals within these drugs, chemists easily change a chemical or molecule within the compound to give it a similar or more potent property, and, because it is a different chemical entity, it is no longer illegal,” Dr. Rose said. “These drugs are a time bomb. It’s like playing Russian Roulette.”

The drugs carry labels warning against human consumption. TheAmerican Association of Poison Control Centers reports that in 2011, there were 6,138 calls regarding bath salts, up from 304 in 2010. As of March 31, poison control centers received 722 calls about bath salts so far this year.

Facebook Can Negatively Affect Teens’ Substance Use Treatment, Study Suggests

By Join Together Staff | May 9, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Advocacy,Drugs, Marketing And Media, Treatment & Youth

Using Facebook and other social networking sites can negatively affect teenagers’ treatment for substance use disorders, a new study suggests.

Researchers administered a 20-question survey to 37 teens who were receiving substance abuse treatment at a behavioral health center in Los Angeles. Most reported marijuana as their drug of choice, followed by Ecstasy and methamphetamine, Psychiatric Times reports.

Almost all of the teens engaged in online social networking, with the majority using Facebook. While 44 percent of the teens said they posted drug-related content on the sites, 94 percent said their friends did, and 97 percent said their social networking friends used drugs.

Lead researcher David Tran at University of California, Los Angeles said 66 percent reported that drug-related content on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace made them want to use drugs. “While these are preliminary data, they indicate that online social network sites may negatively influence treatment outcomes for adolescents,” he said at a news briefing at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, where he presented the findings.

Only 22 percent of the teens posted or accessed recovery-related content through social networking sites, the study found. “Our next step is to implement an intervention at the substance abuse treatment center to use along with their treatment plan,” Tran said. “We are planning to establish a Facebook group as an intervention. In this way, we can engage youth and enable them to access educational information anytime and anywhere.”

He said he does not recommend blocking teens’ access to social networking sites, since they will most likely find a way to use them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The purpose of America's Keswick is to model and teach Biblical victorious living in Christ Jesus, to provide an environment in which Biblical life transformation takes place and to foster active personal involvement in the local church.
MissionAmerica's Keswick is multi-generational, cross-cultural ministry where biblical teaching leads to deeper personal relationships with Jesus Christ and transforms lives. We serve people with excellence through addiction recovery, conferences, retreats and outreach.
General InformationAmerica's Keswick is a ministry that teaches and models the Victorious Christian Life message through Addiction Recovery for men and their loved ones, through Christian Conferences, Concerts, and Events, through Training and Resources, and by providing rental facilities and service to other like-minded organizations.

The Colony of Mercy is a 120-day residential addiction recovery program for men

Men in the Colony of Mercy program participate in group and individual counseling, Bible studies, work therapy, church-type services, and Scripture memory.

There is a $240 application fee, and the rest of the program is FREE!

Programs for the wives and children of the men in the Colony program are available as well.

Addiction Recovery/Colony of Mercy/Pre-App Screening

Pre-Application Screening Form   When you're finished filling out this form please mail too:   America's Keswick 601 Route 530 Whiting New Jersey, 08759-3599   Click here to...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Marijuana Cultivators Buy or Rent Foreclosed Homes to Use as “Grow Houses”

By Join Together Staff | May 7, 2012 | 2 Comments | Filed in Community Related & Drugs

Marijuana cultivators are taking advantage of depressed real estate markets to buy or rent homes, and turn them into “grow houses.” The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says an increasing number of these houses are in high-end neighborhoods.

The New York Times reports that grow houses are equipped with high-intensity lighting, and air filtration and watering systems, all of which are needed to produce potent, high-quality marijuana.

These houses often do not attract attention until there is a fire, usually caused by unsafe electrical wiring. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told the newspaper, “They’re buying them in places like Northern California, where the real estate market’s really taken a turn for the worse.”

Grow houses have been found in suburban, residential streets in Northern California, the article notes. More than 70 percent of all marijuana plants confiscated nationwide in 2010 were found in California.

Local police forces, which have been downsized due to financial problems, do not have resources to go after grow houses. Law enforcement officials say California laws have created an environment that is tolerant of marijuana growing.

“Ten years ago if there was a grow house, we’d seize all their equipment and lamps, and they would be prosecuted,” Sergeant Jeff Bassett of the Vallejo, California, Police Department, told the newspaper. “Now the chances of being caught, or of being prosecuted if you are, are substantially less than they were 10 years ago.”

Americans Turn in 276 Tons of Unwanted or Expired Drugs During Take-Back Event

By Join Together Staff | May 4, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inGovernment, Prescription Drugs & Prevention

Americans turned in 276 tons of unwanted or expired medications during the fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced. Drugs were collected at 5,659 sites around the country on April 28.

The agency has removed more than 1.5 million pounds, or 774 tons, of medication from circulation since the first take-back event in 2010, according to the Associated Press.

The DEA has been sponsoring Prescription Drug Take-Back days since September 2010, and has removed over 1.5 million pounds or 774 tons of medication from circulation. Last week’s event collected a record-breaking amount of medication, the DEA announced in anews release.

The agency is preparing the final rules and procedures for the rollout of the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act. This will allow people to dispose of their drugs in a safe manner every day, not only during Take-Back events. The DEA hopes to have these regulations in place by the end of the year.

“While a uniform system for prescription drug disposal is being finalized, we will continue to sponsor these important take-back opportunities as a service to our communities,” said DEAAdministrator Michele M. Leonhart.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Dear Recovery Connections,

We just opened our third sober living in Riverside county Ca. all 3 are for women and children and my house in Hemet Ca. Is not going to good :( I have only had 3 women for the last month and a 1/2 getting ready to close the doors over there. Please help get the word out. Thanks

Sylvia Hernandez

Sylvia's Serenity Sober Living Homes Inc.


Saturday, September 1, 2012
10:00am until 9:00pm
Snipes Farm & Golf 890 west bridge st. morisville PA 19067


National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery:

APRIL 14, 2012

Each May, National Drug Court Month commemorates the tremendous local and national impact of Drug Courts and other treatment courts. This year, NADCP is honored to present the inaugural All Rise America! National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery: a first of its kind cross-country motorcycle relay celebrating the inspiring stories of transformation brought to bear every day in America’s Drug Courts.

Drug Courts refer more people to treatment than any other system in America; treating over 120,000 individuals each year and leading the vast majority of them into life-long recovery. Each of them is a reminder that every American deserves a shot at freedom from addiction.

Retired DWI Court Judge Michael Kavanaugh

What: All Rise America! will consist of Drug Court graduates, Drug Court professionals, veterans, and other concerned citizens carrying the All Rise Gavel over 3,000 miles, stopping at National Drug Court Month events to honor individuals who have overcome their addictions and the people that make it possible. At each stop, the gavel will be passed to a new group of riders as a symbol of the collective impact of Drug Courts and a reminder that when one person rises out of addiction and finds recovery, we All Rise.

When: The Relay kicks off in Santa Ana, CA on May 1, 2012 and will end in Washington, DC on May 24, 2012.

Where: All Rise America! will stop at 24 Adult Drug Court, DWI Court, Family Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Tribal Healing to Wellness Court and Veterans Treatment Court events.

All Rise America! is Underway

MAY 1, 2012

All Rise America! It’s National Drug Court Month and NADCP’s All Rise America! National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery is officially underway. Over the next 24 days, Drug Court graduates, Drug Court professionals, veterans, and other concerned citizens will carry the All Rise Gavel over 3,000 miles coast-to-coast, stopping at 25 Adult Drug Court, DWI Court, Family Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Tribal Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court events to honor individuals who have overcome their addictions and the dedicated justice and treatment professionals who help make it possible. At each stop, riders will pass the gavel to a new group of riders as a symbol of the collective impact of Drug Courts and a reminder that when one person rises out of addiction and finds recovery, we All Rise.

The All Rise America! Support Vehicle makes a stop by the Pacific Ocean before beginning the 3,000 mile journey across the country.

NADCP CEO West Huddleston and Judge Wendy Lindley pass the All Rise Gavel to Mike Jones, a combat veteran who served nine tours in Iraq and is now participating in Veterans Treatment Court.

All Rise America! began this morning with a graduation at the Orange County Combat Veterans Treatment Court. The success of Drug Courts has led to the establishment of special court dockets for veterans suffering from substance abuse and/ or mental illness. Judge Wendy Lindley’s Combat Veterans Treatment Court was one of the first in the nation and is designed specifically for veterans who have served in combat and whose troubles with the law can be linked to their war experiences. There are 97 Veterans Treatment Courts in the United States and hundreds more are being planned.

“It is an honor to be in a courtroom with people committed to keeping veterans out of prison and connected to the benefits and services they have earned,” said NADCP CEO West Huddleston before handing the official All Rise Gavel to Judge Lindley, officially commencing All Rise America! Judge Lindley then passed the gavel to Mike Jones, the relay’s first official gavel bearer. Mike is a combat veteran who served nine tours in Iraq. On his final tour he lost his leg but it has not kept him from his passion for riding motorcycles. When Judge Lindley asked for volunteers to be the official All Rise America! Gavel Bearer Mike was the first to volunteer. He is a father, a student, and a proud participant in the Orange County Combat Veterans Treatment Court.

The ceremony in Santa Ana was held to honor Juan, a graduate of the program who know owns his own business. He spoke about the tough lessons learned in a program that can sometimes feel very little like court. “When I first got here I looked around and was amazed this was even a court,” he said. “I had never seen anything like it.” Juan thanked Judge Lindley for her support throughout his time in Veterans Treatment Court and was presented with a special coin by one of the court’s fifteen volunteer veteran mentors.

Following honest, funny and heartfelt remarks from legendary composer Paul Williams, the court adjourned. We profiled Paul in our previous post, check it out to learn how the Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner came to support Drug Courts.

A group of riders including a couple of Sober Riders from San Diego joined veterans and friends of the court for the ride to Los Angeles for a special Gavel Hand-Off ceremony. We are currently cruising down the 405. Stay tuned.

Commentary: NADCP Kicks off a Coast-to-Coast National Drug Court Month Celebration

By West Huddleston | May 1, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Addiction,Community Related, Legal & Recovery

A triumphant graduate completes Drug Court in Pinelles County, Florida.

All Rise America! National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery Gets Underway in California

All Rise America! Today marks the beginning of National Drug Court Month, an annual celebration of the most successful criminal justiceapproach in our nation’s history. By month’s end, thousands of addicted individuals who would otherwise be incarcerated will have completed drug court, ready to embark on a new life of recovery, stability and service. Amid the community events and graduations that will occur in hundreds of towns and cities throughout May, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) is pleased to announce the launch of All Rise America! The National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery: a first-of-its-kind, cross-country motorcycle relay celebrating the inspiring stories of transformation brought to bear every day in America’s drug courts.

During All Rise America!, Drug Court graduates, Drug Court professionals, veterans and other concerned citizens will carry the “All Rise Gavel” for over 3,000 miles coast to coast. They will stop at 25 adult drug court, DWI court, family drug court, juvenile drug court, tribal drug court and veterans treatment court events to honor individuals who have overcome their addictions and the dedicated justice and treatment professionals who help make it possible. At each stop, the gavel will be passed to a new group of riders as a symbol of the collective impact of Drug Courts and a reminder that when one person rises out of addiction and finds recovery, we All Rise.

NADCP CEO West Huddleston holds the "All Rise Gavel" on the Pacific coast.

Drug Courts refer more people to treatment than any other system in America; treating over 120,000 individuals each year and leading the vast majority of them into a life-long recovery. Each of them is a reminder that every American deserves a shot at freedom from addiction. All Rise America! will tell their stories. From small towns to big cities, over mountains and across Midwestern plains, we will expose America to the fact that people can and do recover from addiction. Nationally, over 75 percent of drug court graduates are never arrested again, and drug courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve.

There is no better testament to the success of drug courts than the events held today in California to kick-off All Rise America! In Orange County, California, a young combat Marine who entered the criminal justice system a shell of the soldier who fought in Iraq, graduated the Orange County Combat Veterans Treatment Court to the applause of a community of justice and treatment leaders who fought as hard for him as he did for us.

Following the ceremony, we fired up the motorcycles and cruised up to Los Angeles, another participant in the Orange County Combat Veterans Treatment Court leading the way and carrying the All Rise Gavel. In LA, we were met by a massive crowd of drug court graduates, drug court professionals, bikers, veterans, media and citizen supporters. The event was held to pass the gavel to a new group of riders. During the ceremony we heard from a Mark, who told the crowd that he had attempted treatment over 50 times before finding recovery in the LAX Drug Court.

“My addiction to drugs and alcohol threatened to rob me of everything, including my freedom,” he said. “Drug Court gave me a deeper freedom; freedom from my unrelenting addiction. What better way to honor the profound impact Drug Court had on my life and the lives of my friends and family than to get on our bikes and ride for All Rise America! For me this is more than a cause to raise awareness, this is a cause for celebration!”

Whether you are familiar with Drug Courts or new to the concept,All Rise America! will teach you about the incredible capacity for human beings to change, and give you hope that there is a part of our criminal justice system that not only works to reduce substance abuse and crime, but saves lives. But All Rise America! is also a call to action. It demonstrates that our justice system can compel people to change, but only if we All Rise and demand reform that is more sensible, cost-effective and humane.

As you read this, we are riding through the night to the Arizona border with miles to go before we sleep. You can follow all of our progress over the next 24 days and the inspiring stories we come across on the All Rise America! Blog.

West Huddleston, CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals


Rockers In Recovery Music Festival

Dear RIR Friends,

Venue Location: CB Smith Park - Pembroke Pines,Florida

It's a Recovery Palooza , minus the drugs and alcohol, but add meetings and fellowship! RIR Music Fest is a campout for ALL people in recovery or supporters of recovery.


Early Bird Ticket Sales

Save $10.00 Per Ticket!! Order by July 1, 2012
$60.00 Click To Order 3 Day Ticket- after July 1, 2012 - $70.00

$40.00 Click To Order 2 Day Ticket - after July 1, 2012 - $50.00
No Tickets Will Be Sold At Gate
If You Wish To Campout At The RIR Music Fest
*Separate Camping Reservations are Needed:
Camping at CB Smith Park: This 299-acre site is one of Broward County Parks and Recreation's most diverse parks, as well as one of its most popular. The park offers a large campground, a tennis complex, a family golfing center, and many other amenities.

View Map

View Prices
Please contact C.B. Smith Park 900 N. Flamingo Rd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33028 Phone: 954-357-5170 or click here.
3 Days of Sober and Clean Fun

Mark Stein, Liberty Devitto ,Christine Ohlman,Ricky Byrd, Kasim Sulton, and Richie Sup
RIR Music Festival Schedule

9am- 10pm Friday November 2, 2012:
Recovery Speaker -
Full Range

Jimmy Stowe & the Stowaways
Johnny B. and The Road Dogs

Sooner or Later
9am- 10pm Saturday November 3, 2012:
Recovery Speaker -
Keep Coming Back
Thrown Alive
Black Finger
The Chillbillies
Selfish Steam

RIR Band - Mark Stein(Vanilla Fudge), Liberty Devitto(Billy Joel) , Christine Ohlman(Saturday Night Live Band), Ricky Byrd(Joan Jett and the Blackhearts), Kasim Sulton(Todd Rundgren and Utopia), Richie Supa
(Aerosmith and Richie Sambora) and special guests.

9am - 12pm- Sunday November 4, 2012:
Recovery Speaker -
Richie Supa
Ricky Byrd
Kasim Sulton
Count Down
Closing Ceremonies

We will be adding more bands to the lineup over the next month.

Rockers In Recovery (RIR) In The News

Sponsors and Vendors: If your interested in becoming a sponsor or a vendor call954-826-4920 or Email no later then July 1st ,2012.


Dear Joseph,

My name is Amy and I direct the Parents Toll-Free Helpline for The Partnership at

When a mom or dad has hit a crisis point with their kid, I'm here with expert ideas and helpful steps. It's a tough job, but I know the parents struggling with their kids' substance abuse have it even tougher. I have a simple rule for myself: answer every single call I can.

But it takes resources to do that. The helpline needs staffing and training -- and that means we need to turn to our community to help keep this lifeline open.

Help me be there for every mother and father in need. Today we're asking 100 people to make a contribution of $5. Joseph, can I count on you to chip in?

A one-on-one conversation can make a huge difference. A little while ago, I got a call from a mom whose son was abusing cocaine and marijuana. I can still remember the desperation in her voice. She'd tried so hard to get through to him -- she'd even taken away his car. Nothing was working.

But I knew there was still plenty of hope. I told her that together we could make a plan to deal with his substance abuse. I sent her some expert advice on how to get her son clean. And a few days later, she got in touch with me.

"I read the info you sent me and boy, has it helped," she said. "Thank you for your help and support. This means a lot to me."

Help me be there for every mother and father in need. Make a contribution today:

I wish you and your family good health. And if you need me, I promise I'll be here for you.


Amy Bloustine
Deputy Director, Community Education Programs and Helpline Director
The Partnership at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Number of US newborns with drug withdrawal triples

April 30, 2012|Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Write

Less than a month old, Savannah Dannelley scrunches her tiny face into a scowl as a nursegently squirts a dose of methadone into her mouth.

The infant is going through drug withdrawal and is being treated with the same narcotic prescribed for her mother to fight addiction to powerful prescription painkillers.

Disturbing new research says the number of U.S. babies born with signs of opiate drug withdrawal has tripled in a decade because of a surge in pregnant women’s use of legal and illegal narcotics, including Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin, researchers say. It is the first national study of the problem

The number of newborns with withdrawal symptoms increased from a little more than 1 per 1,000 babies sent home from the hospital in 2000 to more than 3 per 1,000 in 2009, the study found. More than 13,000 U.S. infants were affected in 2009, the researchers estimated.

The newborns include babies like Savannah, whose mother stopped abusing painkillers and switched to prescription methadone early in pregnancy, and those whose mothers are still abusing legal or illegal drugs.

Weaning infants from these drugs can take weeks or months and often requires a lengthy stay in intensive care units. Hospital charges for treating these newborns soared from $190 million to $720 million between 2000 and 2009, the study found.

The study was released online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Savannah is hooked up to heart and oxygen monitors in an Oak Lawn, Ill., newborn intensive care unit. In a pink crib, she sleeps fitfully, sometimes cries all night, and has had diarrhea and trouble feeding — typical signs of withdrawal. Some affected babies also have breathing problems, low birth weights and seizures.

It nearly breaks her young mother’s heart.

“It’s really hard, every day, emotionally and physically,’’ said Aileen Dannelley, 25. “It’s really hard when your daughter is born addicted.’’

Doctors say newborns aren’t really addicted, but their bodies are dependent on methadone or other opiates because of their mothers’ use during pregnancy. Small methadone doses to wean them off these drugs is safer than cutting them off altogether, which can cause dangerous seizures and even death, said Dr. Mark Brown, chief of pediatrics at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Newborn drug withdrawal is rampant in Maine, Florida, West Virginia, parts of the Midwest and other sections of the country.

Dr. Stephen Patrick, the lead author of the study and a newborn specialist at the University of Michigan health system in Ann Arbor, called the problem a “public health epidemic’’ that demands attention from policymakers, as well as from researchers to clarify what long-term problems these infants may face.

Opioid-Overdose Antidote Being More Widely Distributed to Those Who Use Drugs

By Join Together Staff | April 27, 2012 | 5 Comments | Filed in Drugs &Treatment

The opioid-overdose antidote naloxone is being more widely distributed to people who use drugs, according to the Associated Press. While many public health officials say it saves lives, critics argue that making the antidote easily available could make people less likely to seek treatment.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, safely reverses the potentially fatal side effects of an overdose of oxycodone, heroin and other opioids. It has been routinely used by emergency rooms and ambulance crews for decades, the AP notes. In the past few years, Naloxone has been distributed free to opioid users and their loved ones, in a growing number of sites around the country.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that widely distributing Naloxone, and training people in how to use it, could save many lives. It has successfully reversed more than 10,000 drug overdoses since 1996, according to the CDC report. Naloxone is not effective in treating drug overdoses that do not involve opioids.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have programs to distribute naloxone in the community. The programs train people to identify signs of an overdose and provide naloxone to people who use drugs and their loved ones.