Obama Administration Releases National Drug Policy Strategy Emphasizing Public Health Approaches to Nation’s Drug Problem

Obama Administration Releases National Drug Policy Strategy Emphasizing Public Health Approaches to Nation’s Drug Problem

National Plan Outlines Support for Expanding Prevention, Treatment, Recovery and Smart on Crime Reforms; Highlights Actions Underway to Reduce Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse
(Roanoke, VA) -  Today, Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, released the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, the Obama Administration’s primary blueprint for drug policy in the United States. The Strategy builds on the Administration’s record of drug policy reform by outlining a series of actions that will continue to expand health interventions and “smart on crime” alternatives proven to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. The Strategy also notes significant increases in heroin and prescription drug abuse as key challenges and highlights a series of actions currently underway to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic in the United States.
The science-based Strategy is founded on the latest research regarding the nature of substance use in America. Specifically, the Strategy is based on the scientific consensus that addiction is a disease of the brain that can be prevented, treated and from which people can recover, not a moral failure on the part of the individual. As a result, the 2014 Strategy directs Federal agencies to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empower healthcare workers to intervene early at the first signs of a substance use disorder, expand access to drug treatment for those who need it, and implement criminal justice reforms designed to break the cycle of drug use, crime, and incarceration while protecting public safety.  The release of the Administration’s Strategy comes at a time of growing public support for more balanced approaches to drug policy. According to a Pew Research Poll released in April, 67 percent of Americans support providing treatment for individual drug users compared to 26 percent who favored prosecution. 
“Public opinion on drug policy is finally catching up to what the science has demonstrated for quite some time,” said Acting Director Botticelli. “We cannot incarcerate addiction out of people. While law enforcement should always play a vital role in protecting communities from violent drug-related crime, at the end of the day we must acknowledge that public health and criminal justice initiatives must to work together to address this complex challenge in a smarter way. This issue touches every family and every community in one way or another. There are millions of Americans – including myself – who are in successful long-term recovery from a substance use disorder. This policy supports each and every one of us and demonstrates a real commitment to a smarter, more humane approach to drug policy in the 21st century.”
In addition to outlining actions to expand public health and safety programs, the Strategy also specifically addresses the threat of opioids, which include heroin and prescription painkillers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths, driven by prescription painkillers, now surpass homicides and traffic crashes in the number of injury deaths in America. In 2010, approximately 100 Americans died from overdose every day. To address this challenge, the Strategy calls for an enhanced focus on overdose prevention and intervention to include increasing access to the emergency overdose reversal drug naloxone; expanded efforts to educate communities on how to intervene, prevent loss of life, and direct those in need to treatment; and strengthened efforts with interagency and international partners to dismantle criminal organizations involved in heroin trafficking. The Strategy also calls for improved data collection to improve the ability of Federal, state, and local officials to identify and respond to emerging threats.
In support of this Strategy, the President has requested $25.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015.  Federal funding for public health programs that address substance use has increased every year, and the portion of the Nation’s drug budget spent on drug treatment and prevention efforts (43%) has grown to its highest level in over 12 years. Moreover, the $10.9 billion request for treatment and prevention is now nearly 20% higher than the $9.2 billion requested for Federally-funded domestic drug law enforcement and incarceration. The FY 2015 Budget request also includes $3.9 billion for interdiction, and $1.4 billion for international programs.
To read the Strategy and learn more about the Administration plan, visit:www.wh.gov/drugpolicyreform
For a fact sheet on U.S. Drug Policy, click here.
To learn about the Administration’s record in achieving drug policy reform, click here.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences.
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The myths of smoking pot

Ruth MarcusRuth Marcus, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post
June 24 at 8:37 PM

From her perch as head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Nora Volkow watches anxiously as the country embarks on what she sees as a risky social experiment in legalizing marijuana.

For those who argue that marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, Volkow has two main answers: We don’t entirely know , and, simultaneously, that is precisely the point .

“Look at the evidence,” Volkow said in an interview on the National Institutes of Health campus, pointing to the harms already inflicted by tobacco and alcohol. “It’s not subtle — it’s huge. Legal drugs are the main problem that we have in our country as it relates to morbidity and mortality. By far. Many more people die of tobacco than all of the drugs together. Many more people die of alcohol than all of the illicit drugs together.

“And it’s not because they are more dangerous or addictive. Not at all — they are less dangerous. It’s because they are legal. . . . The legalization process generates a much greater exposure of people and hence of negative consequences that will emerge. And that’s why I always say, ‘Can we as a country afford to have a third legal drug? Can we?’ We know the costs already on health care, we know the costs on accidents, on lost productivity. I let the numbers speak for themselves.”

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Pasadena Recovery Center Review



If Pasadena Recovery Center seems to have drummed up a lot of mixed press, it may be because people show up expecting Celebrity Rehab. Though Dr. Drew’s show was filmed in a special wing of the PRC, it’s actually one of the more affordable rehabs in town.

Real the rest…

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A Look at the Myth of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll


Are rock stars really the drugged-out partiers we think they are, or are they just trying to boost sales with an image?

rock star

Mike Bloom, owner of the Pasadena Recovery Center, agrees. For young musicians, whom he believes are more prone to delving into heavy drug use, it is important to find a model for their careers so that they don’t throw their careers to the wind. KISS, says he, is a perfect archetype for new rock acts on the scene.

“I would look to a guy like Paul Stanley from KISS – real successful, and somebody who never got into heavy drugs. I think that if you’re talking about longevity, that’s what he possesses. Had he gotten into drugs, he wouldn’t be the person that he is. He’s a living legend.”

Bloom has seen rock’s track marks first-hand. He has a contract with the MusiCares Foundation, which aids artists dealing with health crises, and works with the Musicians Assistance Program, set up to help musicians in need of drug rehabilitation treatment. For 15 years, he and his family, founders of the facility that hosts Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, have watched rock stars barrel through the doors, get clean (or not) and leave rejuvenated men and women with new leases on life.

“Addicts, the ones who develop the illness for drugs and alcohol, have a hard time maintaining professionalism,” Bloom says. “What unites them is the suffering that they’ve caused themselves and the suffering they’ve caused other people. We’ve had many rockers come through over the years, and it [addiction] has affected their careers. Drugs do not enhance your music“

The recovered is an extensive and exciting list of some of the many acts that have tried to defy that sentiment. Most had to hit rock bottom en route to the top of the charts.

Read more…


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California counties sue drug makers for sparking painkiller epidemic

 “Because of the deceptive conduct of these drug companies, millions of Americans have become prescription drug addicts and abusers.”


California officials maintain that the prescription painkiller epidemic has taken a heavy toll on their state – and they say that five pharmaceutical companies are to blame.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, there were enough prescription painkillers – also known as opioids – prescribed to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month.  On top of that, overdoses of these prescription painkillers have more than tripled in the past 20 years, killing more than 15,500 people in the United States in 2009.  And, for every one overdose death from prescription painkillers, there are 130 people who abuse them and 825 people who take these drugs for non-medical use, according to data from the CDC.

In response to the epidemic, two of California’s largest counties have filed a civil suit against five of the world’s largest painkiller manufactures, on behalf of the entire state.  On May 23rd, attorneys for Santa Clara and Orange counties filed a complaint, naming Actavis, Endo Health Solutions Inc., Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Cephalon Inc. as defendants.

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This article was written by The Adventures of a Sober Senorita.

Wow, I can’t even believe I’m typing this! If you’re reading this, it’s because I made it. I made it to one full year without alcohol. On May 6, 2013, I took my last drink. I will never forget how it felt. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was tired of being the party girl, I was tired of feeling like sh*t, I was tired of disappointing and embarrassing my friends and loved ones. I decided I needed a big change. Trying to drink in moderation hadn’t proved to be the best option for me. It never worked. Enough was enough. I tried something that I never did before — stopped drinking alcohol completely.

When I started this sober journey, I wasn’t sure how long it would last, and now I can’t imagine going back to how my life was before. The positives have been plentiful and the negatives have been slim to none.


Sobriety: Before and after. On the left, a peak drinking time. On the right, a few weeks ago, almost one year sober.
Click here to read what I’ve learned in my one year sans alcohol:
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Early interventions can decrease drug use in young women


A NIDA-funded study shows that adolescent girls who were involved in the juvenile justice system and participated in Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) showed decreased drug use over a two-year period in young adulthood. MTFC is a family-focused prevention program to encourage healthy behaviors in at-risk teens within the foster care system.


Click here for more on this and other great information from NIDA


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Pasadena Recovery Center Alumni Group

PRC Alumni Group is once again gaining momentum, raising money, growing in recovery!

Our PRC Alumni Group was formed in order to provide support and encouragement for current residents of Pasadena Recovery Center. Past PRC clients realize the importance of staying close to the program and each other to help them stay clean and sober while also enjoying the fun and benefits of sobriety. We remember the often terrifying experience of being in rehab, along with the uncertainty of the future.

At PRC, we’re moving forward with fundraising efforts and plans for future events benefiting current residents, such as a Memorial Day BBQ, 4th of July and other holiday celebrations and movie outings. As a group, we want others to be comfortable sharing their experiences, strengths and hopes with residents and families, and more.


The Alumni Group is open to all former residents who have successfully completed the program at PRC and are currently clean and sober. We realize relapse is often part of the disease. If relapse is a part of your story you as still welcome – as long as you are back on the road to recovery.

If you are a former client and are interested in joining The PRC Alumni Group or if you would like to support the Alumni Group, please send an email with your contact information to: marshall@pasadenarecoverycenter.com.

Alumni Groups recent fundraiser car wash was held at PRC April 5th. More fundraising opportunities coming.

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Prescription Drug Guide

download (4)< Click this photo for the Drug Guide

Teen medicine abuse is an epidemic – one that is not poised to get better. But there are steps we can all take, starting with getting educated about the types of medicine that teens frequently abuse, you can take the first step in helping to end medicine abuse.


Here, you can learn about the prescription and over-the-counter drugs that teens are most commonly abusing, including what they look like, their street or slang names, how they’re taken and what the potential side effects are.

drugfree_site_logo< Click this Logo for more info from Drug Free.

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PRC Speaker Series Presents – Dr. Harry L. Haroutunian, M.D.

Join us for this spectacular event.

Dr. Harry L. Haroutunian, M.D.

Physician Director of the Betty Ford Foundation!

Wednesday May 14th at noon.

dr harryHarry L.  Haroutunian MD, known by all his patients as “Dr. Harry,” is an internationally known speaker on the topics of Addictive Disease and its treatment.  Dr. Harry has developed the “Recovery 101” lecture series on topics of Addiction Medicine, Recovery Issues, Communication Skills and Relapse Prevention.  Dr. Haroutunian is a physician, educator and internationally known lecturer and entrepreneur.   He is the author of “BEING SOBER” and co-author of “HIJACKING THE BRAIN”.


Dr. Haroutunian serves as Physician Director at the Betty Ford Foundation where he has contributed to the development of programs that include: Extended Care Program; Family Program; Licensed Professional Program and Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation Program; Residential Day Treatment and Business Development.  He participated with the merger of Betty Ford Center and Hazelden: “Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation” with the transition team and continues to be a valued member of the team.


He practiced medicine in Vermont for more than thirty years and is Board Certified in

Addiction Medicine and Board Certified in Family Medicine.   He is a regular contributor to WebMD, answering many questions from families and individuals with inquires about addiction.


He serves on many committees devoted to Physician Health and Recovery, including the Pharmacy and Therapeutic and Medical Education Committees.  Dr. Haroutunian is also on several advisory boards: (ABA) Substance Use Advisory Board for Attorney’s; (SAB) North Venture Partner Scientific Advisory Board; California Nurses Educational Institute Advisory Board; (CPPH) California Public Protection & Physician Health, Inc. and (SAAC) Substance Abuse Advisory Committee.

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