October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month?


Why do we recognize National Substance Abuse Prevention Month?

Every day, far too many Americans are hurt by alcohol and drug abuse. From diminished achievement in our schools to greater risks in our roads and in our communities, to the heartache of lives cut tragically short, the consequences of substance abuse are profound. Yet, we also know that they are preventable.

Preventing drug use before it begins-particularly among young people-is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences. The best approach to reducing the tremendous toll substance abuse exacts from individuals, families and communities is to prevent the damage before it occurs.

The President’s Drug Control Strategy promotes the expansion of national and community-based programs that reach young people in schools, on college campuses, and in the workplace with tailored information to help them make healthy decisions about their future.  In fact, recent research has concluded that every dollar invested in school—based substance use prevention programs has the potential to save up to $18 in costs related to substance use disorders.

This month we pay tribute to all those working to prevent substance abuse in our communities and rededicate ourselves to building a safer, drug-free America.

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#14Days on the Wagon


Nearly 23 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports. If you’re not one of these people, chances are you know someone who is.

In response to these staggering numbers, and what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled an “epidemic” in the U.S., CBS News is introducing a series, #14Days on the Wagon, to increase awareness about addiction and generate support for those struggling with this life-threatening disease.

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World Famous Sportscaster and Critically Acclaimed Author Pat O’Brien to Speak at Pasadena Recovery Center


Pasadena, CA (PRWEB) October 02, 2014

Pasadena Recovery Center is pleased to welcome world famous sportscaster and author of the critically acclaimed, “I’ll Be Back Right After This,” Pat O’Brien to their groundbreaking speaker series on Wednesday October 8th at 12pm. O’Brien is best known for his work as a sportscaster with CBS Sports, as well as his work as the lead anchor and host of The insider and Access Hollywood. O’Brien covered six Olympic Games, the World Series, the Superbowl, the NBA Finals, the Final Four and has landed the coveted position as one of the most trusted names in sports news.

O’Brien became the face of CBS Sports, as the familiar and omnipresent voice on the sidelines of nearly every major arena throughout the 80s and 90s. O’Brien was a staple on the red carpet, breaking into the world of entertainment coverage with his impressive and extensive work on a plethora of nightly news shows. Pat O’Brien achieved immense respect and acclamation in multiple fields, which led him to the status of A-List in the worlds of sports and entertainment.

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Drug addiction viewed more negatively than mental illness, Johns Hopkins study shows

While both are treatable health conditions, stigma of addiction much more pronounced, seen as ‘moral failing,’ researchers say

Stephanie Desmon and Susan Morrow / October 1, 2014

Posted in HealthPolitics+Society

People are significantly more likely to have negative attitudes toward those dealing with drug addiction than those with mental illness, a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests, and generally don’t support insurance, housing, and employment policies that benefit those dependent on drugs.

A report on the findings, which appears in the October issue of the journal Psychiatric Services, suggests that society seems not to know whether to regard substance abuse as a treatable medical condition akin to diabetes or heart disease, or as a personal failing to be overcome.

“While drug addiction and mental illness are both chronic, treatable health conditions, the American public is more likely to think of addiction as a moral failing than a medical condition,” says study leader Colleen L. Barry, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health. “In recent years, it has become more socially acceptable to talk publicly about one’s struggles with mental illness. But with addiction, the feeling is that the addict is a bad or weak person, especially because much drug use is illegal.”

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White House Drug Policy Acting Director Announces Designation of 26 Cities and Counties as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas

White House Drug Policy Acting Director Announces Designation of 26 Cities and Counties as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas


Cities and Counties will Receive Additional Support from Federal Program Designed to Disrupt Drug Trafficking through Coordinated Approaches to Enforcement


Washington, D.C. –Today, Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced the designation of 26 additional counties and cities in 11 states as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs). The designations will enable the 26 counties and cities to receive Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials. It also will allow local agencies to benefit from ongoing HIDTA-coordinated initiatives working to reduce drug use and its consequences across the United States.


The newly designated cities and counties were added to the following HIDTAs:

  • ·         Appalachia HIDTA

o   Madison County, Kentucky

o   Nelson County, Kentucky

o   Tazewell County, Virginia

o   Harrison County, West Virginia

  • ·         Central Florida HIDTA

o   Pasco County, Florida

  • ·         Central Valley California HIDTA

o   Siskiyou County, California

o   Trinity County, California

  • ·         Houston HIDTA

o   Brazoria County, Texas

  • ·         New England HIDTA

o   Rockingham County, New Hampshire

  • ·         New York/New Jersey HIDTA

o   Dutchess County, New York

o   Putnam County, New York

o   Rockland County, New York

o   Chautauqua County, New York

  • ·         Oregon HIDTA

o   Ada County, Idaho

o   Canyon County, Idaho

o   Malheur County, Oregon

  • ·         Rocky Mountain HIDTA

o   Gallatin, Montana

  • ·         Texoma HIDTA

o   Potter County, Texas

o   Randall County, Texas

  • ·         Washington/Baltimore HIDTA

o   Berkeley County, West Virginia

o   Chesapeake, Virginia

o   Hampton, Virginia

o   Newport News, Virginia

o   Norfolk, Virginia

o   Portsmouth, Virginia

o   Virginia Beach, Virginia

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US drug czar promotes shift to treatment-driven strategy by telling own story about addiction


  • Article by: DAVE KOLPACK , Associated Press

“We are actually spending more now on domestic public health strategies than we are on incarceration strategies,” Botticelli said. “There’s a large acknowledgement that we can’t arrest and incarcerate our way out of the problem.”


MINOT, N.D. — As the nation’s drug czar continues to warn people about the potential death and destruction from substance abuse, he’s also encouraging them to tell their stories about treatment and recovery. Usually he starts with himself.

Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, also embraces another title: “I’m one of 23 million Americans in recovery who have gone on to live productive lives.”

He has been sober for a quarter of a century. He has been drug czar for a quarter of a year.

“We’ve been encouraging, not just with me, but with other people, to tell their stories,” Botticelli said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “Tell me a family that hasn’t been affected by substance abuse. I haven’t met one.”

Botticelli, who was in North Dakota to announce updates to the administration’s northern border control policy and focus on combating drug crimes in the oil patch, said his office has seen a dramatic shift from a justice-driven strategy to a treatment-driven one. Federal funding for prevention, treatment and recovery is at its highest level in 12 years, he said.

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What We Can Do about Depression

blogheader-copyBy Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director

Rest in Peace Robin. We shall all miss you.

6451507269_b5ecde6802_oI am one of many who would say that Robin Williams was among my favorite actors.  His portrayal of a psychiatrist in Good Will Hunting is my all-time favorite. A colleague of mine told me her kids said to her last night, “Mrs. Doubtfire is dead.” They were crushed by this news which seemed so unbelievable based on their experience of the character. He was a figure that transcended generations. It was a very sad day for many, and my heart goes out to his family, who will bear the incredible pain of his death long after the news cycle ends.


I recalled that he had a history of struggles, but I was still shocked to hear that he had died by suicide. He was a genius and had many supports. But of course depressiondoesn’t calculate those things. Severe depression distorts rational thinking and can lead to the fixed idea that hopelessness and pain are to be your experience forever. I have heard this from patients who have lived after suicide attempts. They told me they had lost all perspective and simply wanted to end their pain. They often reported simply losing a sense that they mattered to other people and forgot that they too were loved.

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Robin Williams, Bipolar Sufferer, Dead at 63 Due to Suicide




When a person chooses suicide, it’s hard to accept that choice.

Comedian and award-winning actor Robin Williams apparently made that choice earlier this morning. Robin Williams has long suspected to be a sufferer of either depression or bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness where the person fluctuates between episodes of extreme energy, focus and productivity (mania) and severe depression. Apparently, he was in one of the episodes of depression when he took his own life.

We mourn his loss.

The coroner said that Williams’ death was “a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.”

Williams had long struggled with addiction and mental illness. 1 “Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes,” Williams told Terry Gross on the “Fresh Air” NPR radio show in 2006. “Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”2

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What Exactly Are Designer Drugs?

Designer Drugs?

What are “designer drugs”? No, it’s not a band – it is a term first made popular during the explosion of the rave and club scene in the 1990s. The idea was to create synthetic drugs mimicking the effects of older illegal drugs, but with a slightly different chemical structure, in order to stay inside the law.

Altering or blending the properties of illegal drugs, mixing them with chemicals which can be bought over the counter, a new drug is created! Yes, some illegal drugs can be modified at the molecular level, essentially turning a highly regulated substance into a legal one! These copies of the “real” drugs are unfortunately just as dangerous – and maybe even more, since they were never before tested!

Just one of these designer drugs, known as “Molly”, is responsible for more than ten thousand emergency room admissions – in one year. If a chemical is (for now, at least!) considered legal, that does not mean that it is safe! Many people fail to understand his fact!

Since designer drugs are made from legal components, these can be freely imported into the United States. The vast majority is coming from China. The US Customs authorities can do almost nothing to stop them!

Most of these designer drugs are created in home labs or in concealed locations. They are being sold legally since they are marked for purposes other than human consumption, such as plant food or insect repellant (or like notorious “bath salts”).

“Spice” – which is synthetic marijuana, “N-bomb” – synthetic LSD, and some other synthetic drugs were outlawed a few years ago, but the problem remains. New, slightly altered versions are constantly being created in order to replace the banned ones. Older designer drugs readers may have heard of include amphetamines, LSD, GHB, ketamine, rohypnol and ecstasy.

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The dangers of painkillers


Special report: The dangers of painkillers

Every year, Percocet, Vicodin, and other opioids kill 17,000 Americans and acetaminophen sends 80,000 people to the ER



America is in pain—and being killed by its painkillers.

It starts with drugs such as OxyContinPercocet, and Vicodin—prescription narcotics that can make days bearable if you are recovering from surgery or suffering from cancer. But they can be as addictive as heroin and are rife with deadly side effects.

Use of those and other opioids has skyrocketed in recent years. Prescriptions have climbed 300 percent in the past decade, and Vicodin and other drugs containing the narcotic hydrocodone are now the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. With that increased use have come increased deaths: 46 people per day, or almost 17,000 people per year, die from overdoses of the drugs. That’s up more than 400 percent from 1999. And for every death, more than 30 people are admitted to the emergency room because of opioid complications.

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