Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
"Further, the key appears to be that a family intervention, no matter how brief, can improve the chances that new runaways will go home and stay home," Milburn said.
WebMD reported Dec. 18 that a study of identical and fraternal twins ages 24-36 concluded that more than half of the variance in alcohol and marijuana use and dependence could be traced to genetic factors.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A South Florida chiropractor and pain clinic operator may have been paranoid or delusional from using drugs or alcohol when he opened fire at police outside the Lighthouse Point station, police said Monday.
What causes young people to start to use drugs? Is it peer pressure, is it a desire to experiment, is it a place for them to hide from the pressures of adolescence or perceived self inadequacies, or is it a combination of all of these issues?
The problem is that we as parents and they as children do not fully understand. Once the usage crosses over from using to feel good, to using to prevent the awful pain of withdrawal, you are then an Addict (Chemically Dependent).Your life then becomes a living hell. Every waking hour is dictated by your drug. It is as though your brain is a prisoner to the drug. It is the only thing that occupies your mind and physical being.
My source of insight to this disease is my life experience with and the loss of my son David to a drug overdose at the age of Thirty Three.
I wrote a previous article of David’s accomplishments during an almost seven your period that he did not use and how he improved his life and advocated for others living with the disease. In the end, he lost the battle. I will never forget one of my last conversations with him after he relapsed the last time. His exact words were “my addiction has reared its ugly head”.
I tell this story, not for sympathy, but to try to make parents understand how compelling addiction is with a child that starts using at an early age and uses over a long period of time. These urges became so deeply ingrained that I truly believe they are even more susceptible to relapse.
I write this because I hope to make parents and children understand that this can and does happen to thousands of others and this can happen to you. You and your child need to understand the consequences. I do not have the opportunity to change things I wish I would have done differently as a parent during my son’s formative years, but you can.
If you have well founded suspicions, such as drop in grades, isolation, (a big indicator), change in attitude towards you and avoidance of other family members, do not allow your child’s denials and justification deter you, as you need to know lying and justifying are by products of using drugs. Their quest for drugs is only equaled by their effort to prevent being detained in their pursuit to get high. If they tell you they are only a “social user” as a method to minimize your concerns, I will tell you that every addict was once a “social user”. If this pattern of behavior does not change, do not expect their proposed compromises. If they then remain unwilling to be drug tested and if necessary, seek help in the form of one and one, group therapy, and if need be, inpatient care. Intervention should be used if all else fails. The bottom line is unless they realize and acknowledge that they need help, the chances of success are not good, however, you must try.
The important things to do before all of these measures are needed, is to stay involved in their lives during these formative years, which means finding time to do so in an appropriate way. Try to create an atmosphere in which they enjoy interacting with you in shared activates such as ballgames, movies, etc. Talk to your local school board about including a drug education course to the school curriculum. Most importantly, make a point to tell your child you love them every day.
I want to thank my good friend Ray Ferrero III for his great help in organizing the David Spector Memorial Award at Nova Southeastern University. The University acknowledges a Medical Student each year that stands out in the interest and participation in the area of addiction medicine.
(CBS/AP) Authorities said Monday it appeared actress Brittany Murphy died of natural causes after becoming ill with flulike symptoms in the days before she collapsed in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.
But at least one leading pathologist tells "The Early Show" he'd bet a lethal combination of prescription drugs was involved.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Aggravated assault suspect Brian Noval learned an important lesson Wednesday: Never talk back to a judge.
Noval's bond court hearing Wednesday in front of Judge John Hurley in Broward Circuit Court began like most hearings do - Noval's name was called, the charges read and a bond set. SEE VIDEO
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is increasing its use of unmanned aerial drones to help track drug smugglers along the Mexican and Canadian borders, as well as in the Caribbean and other regions, the New York Times reported Dec. 8.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
"Operation Medicine Cabinet" will be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in Oakland Park and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in Cooper City.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Reuters reported Nov. 30 that researchers Marta di Forti and colleagues from King's College London compared users of potent "skunk" marijuana to users who smoked cannabis resin ("hash") and found that the incidence of psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia was almost seven times higher among the skunk users.
Monday, December 7, 2009
"Doctors give far more dangerous meds to young kids all the time! If the doctor doesn't think it will help they won't recommend it. NO ONE, OF ANY AGE, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, IN ALL OF RECORDED HISTORY, HAS EVER DIED FROM THE INGREDIENTS IN MARIJUANA! LEARN THE FACTS ABOUT DRUGS AND DRUG LAWS! BE SURE TO READ "WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL" and "MARIJUANA FACTS THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW" END THE MADNESS, CHANGE THE DRUG LAWS!"
Let me respond by thanking "Anonymous" for the post. I will start out by agreeing with him re: one very important point in his post. The U.S. needs to re-examine and restructure its current drug policy. The Florida State Prison System, as an example, is busting at the seams with NON-VIOLENT DRUG OFFENDERS. It is estimated that over 70% of its prison population are incarcerated for the use, possession or sale of some illegal drug; including, marijuana. Furthermore, a great deal of that population suffer from addiction and/or a combination of a drug addiction and a mental health issue, without being provided any treatment whatsoever for these problems; and, despite the fact that Florida legislators are aware that every dollar spent on treatment saves fifteen dollars for our state. Yet, nothing is done. So, "Anonymous, on this point we agree.
However, I totally disagree with "Anonymous" concerning the remainder of the argument put forth. He/She writes:
"Doctors give far more dangerous meds to young kids all the time! If the doctor doesn't think it will help they won't recommend it.".
First of all that statement is simply overly broad, vague and naive. Florida, for example, is in a state of emergency due to disreputable doctors flooding our streets with "legal" opiates with no legitimate medical condition present from patients. Sadly, some doctors do prescribe medication without any concern for the safety of the patient; their only concern - making a profit. Furthermore, marijuana has been proven to have an ill effect upon the developing adolescent brain. It is an intoxicant, a hallucinogen and far more powerful a drug than it ever has been in history due to advances in horticulture. Children simply do not need to be introduced to intoxicants before their brains fully develop (actually, estimated to conclude at the age of 20-21). Children do not need to be introduced to intoxicants before they are of a legal age to make such decisions for themselves re: the pros and cons of drug use. Or, before their personalities have a chance to develop. I find the prescription of such substances to kids to be criminal having seen first hand in my law practice what marijuana can do to children; specifically, when that child has an underlying mental health issue. Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley put it best when he said:
“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?”
Hinshaw, cited studies showing that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, disrupts attention, memory and concentration — functions already compromised in people with the attention-deficit disorder. I would urge Anynomous to read these studies and not confuse and mix his anger with drug laws with the realities of the effect of drugs upon the minds of children and adults.
Finally, "Anonymous" wrote:
"NO ONE, OF ANY AGE, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, IN ALL OF RECORDED HISTORY, HAS EVER DIED FROM THE INGREDIENTS IN MARIJUANA!"
Again, vague and an overly broad statement. However, for argument sake, let's take this statement as true. Can "Anonymous" deny that a staggering number of lives are lost annually as a direct result of adolescents and adults operating automobiles, or, being involved in accidents, while "someone" was under the influence of drugs and alcohol; including marijuana...I think not. Thanks again for posting. Your thoughts?
Friday, December 4, 2009
Patrons of a Palm Beach County strip club walk outside and climb into a semi trailer parked in back. Cars pull into the lot beside the trailer, where the drivers take their turn inside and then drive away.
The arrests came after a yearlong undercover operation by Boca Raton police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which included 40 crack cocaine buys.
Arrested Wednesday and Thursday were: Courtney Hughes, 27, of Delray Beach; Tobias Seays, 30, Iman Albury, 22 and Patrick Johnson, 22, all of Boca Raton; Detavious Wring, 20, of Deerfield Beach; and Jay Eaford, 38, of Pompano Beach...(READ ARTICLE)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Newly uncovered home video creates buzz
Some teenagers with psychiatric conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have become medical-marijuana users in California, theNew York Times reported Nov. 22.
Some Bay Area physicians have recommended marijuana to their adolescent patients, and the operator of Oakland's MediCann clinic network estimates that staffers have provided medical marijuana to around 50 users ages 14 to 18. Another patients collective, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, has 24 minors among its clients.“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?’ ” asked Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley. He cited studies showing that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, disrupts attention, memory and concentration — functions already compromised in people with the attention-deficit disorder.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
BOSTON (AP) - It's Sam Adams with quite a punch -- and a price to match.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Heroin baggies, featuring a cartoon Robert Pattinson, were recently seized in West Hempstead, Long Island, yet the Twilight brand drugs have been gaining popularity all over the east coast.
According to New York Special Agent in Charge John Gilbride, a dime bag of heroin in New York is cheaper than a six pack of beer.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Among the grand jury's recommendations:
* Curbing doctor shopping by reducing the 15-day reporting requirement
* Requiring doctors at pain clinics to access and view patients' databases prior to prescribing and dispensing medication to patients
* Prohibiting prescription drugs from being dispensed at clinics, unless there is no pharmacy within 10 miles of the pain clinic. Or, as an alternative, allowing only a 3-day supply of prescription drugs rather than a 30-day supply
* Barring people with criminal records from owning pain clinics
To view a Miami-Herald story about the recommendations, visit http://www.miamiherald.com/news/florida/story/1342972.html
Despite an on-going criminal investigation and a cloud of suspicion over him, Michael Jackson’s former personal physician is returning to work at his Houston clinic for the first time since the pop singer’s death.
Murray last worked at the clinic in April, before suspending his regular practices in Las Vegas and Houston to take a lucrative $150,000-per-month job as Jackson’s personal physician.
The physician continues to be the focus of a homicide investigation since telling investigators he administered propofol, a powerful operating room anesthetic, to Jackson. Los Angeles police say they will not decide whether to prosecute Murray, until next year.
Lillo Brancato made a name for himself playing mob characters on the small and big screen. With his Italian New York upbringing, and an uncanny ability to imitate the tough dialect of local crime families, he was recruited to play opposite Robert De Niro and appeared in six episodes of the TV series the Sopranos as a wannabe mobster who was killed before he could achieve his dreams.
Now Brancato's own ambitions face extinction as he goes on trial for the second degree murder of a police officer in 2005. Brancato is alleged to have been involved in a bungled robbery in search of prescription drugs, in which his accomplice, Steven Armento, shot the officer at close range.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Read article: Drunk Drivers with Kids in Car Could Face Felonies in N.Y.
Some members of the Baby Boomer generation not only remain tolerant of marijuana use but also continue to smoke the drug themselves, theWashington Post reported Nov. 16.
"I know literally hundreds of people my age who smoke," said Joe Lee, 62, a vintage-records dealer in Rockville, Md. "They are upright citizens, good parents who are holding down jobs. You take two or three puffs, and you're good to go. I'm not a Rastafarian; I don't treat this as some holy sacrament. But pot is fun."Tolerance of Marijuana Reflected in Seniors' Use
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer: What You Can Do to Help Prevent Teen Prescription Drug Abuse" was recently launched by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and 15 other groups.
Some of the staggering facts about teen drug use are:
* More than 1 in 10 teens (or 2.8 million) have abused prescription drugs in their lifetimes according to SAMHSA
* 1 in 3 teens surveyed said there is "nothing wrong" when using prescription drugs "every once in a while," according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's 2007 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study
To read full story, click here.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
In response to the increasingly complex issue of alcohol abuse among college students, the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created the Task Force on College Drinking in 1998. Visit the task force site with facts on college drinking here.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The story reports, "The deaths result from overdoses, car wrecks, and violent acts committed by the drug abusers. The addicts are costing state, city and county governments an estimate 43 billion dollars a year in emergency room visits, crime scene investigations, and prison costs. Florida TaxWatch spokesman Harvey Bennett says drugs and alcohol also keep people from paying taxes and using their skills for the greater good."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
You will be able to search for drug or alcohol treatment centers by city, state, zip code, or street address. For example, a search of Fort Lauderdale, Florida results in almost 150 treatment centers offering a wide range of services.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
As part of this initiative, the Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office is holding “Operation Medicine Cabinet” events. This is an opportunity for citizens to properly dispose of their unused medications in a safe and secure manner. Last spring the first "Operation Medicine Cabinet" collected over one ton of medications from Bay Area citizens.
Read the full story about the Narcotics Strategic Diversion Unit.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Trafficking of prescription drugs is the basis for 13 Coral Springs arrests since June 2009, reports Police Chief Duncan Foster, with 1,936 dosage units of 30-milligram oxycodone and 90 units of 15-milligram oxycodone seized in the actions.
According to a November 8 Sun Sentinel story titled Coral Springs puts tight lid on prescription drug abuse, Coral Springs Police Department efforts include working with local pharmacies to insure compliance with laws aimed at preventing abuse of prescription narcotics.
A resident tip line, partnerships with the FBI, and "drug destruction day" events are several other police initiatives meant to bring heightened community awareness to the subject.
Perhaps most meaningfully, parents who have lost a child due to the illegal use of prescription drugs will speak in local high schools on the dangers of drug abuse.
Coral Springs is based in Broward County, Florida.
Friday, November 6, 2009
The physical symptoms of cocaine abuse include short-lived euphoria, changing to depression; nervousness or irritability; and tightening of muscles.
If you suspect cocaine abuse, look for glassine envelopes (they look like waxed paper), razor blades, small spoons, and odorless bitter white crystalline powder.
Physical dangers of cocaine abuse can be life-threatening, and include shallow breathing, fever, anxiety, tremors, and possible death from convulsions or respiratory arrest.
Seek immediate medical attention, based on the circumstances of your case.
Read more about alcohol and substance abuse symptoms here.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
1. change in school or work attendance or performance
2. alteration of personal appearance
3. sudden mood or attitude changes
4. withdrawal from family contacts
5. withdrawal from responsibility
6. unusual patterns of behavior
7. unresponsive to environmental stimuli
If you suspect drug or other substance abuse, it is best to address the situation quickly.
Click here to read more about the street names and physical symptoms for different kinds of drugs, including heroine, cocaine, hallucinogens, and amphetamines.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Offices of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) are in the process of developing a three-year Master Plan which will report on activities to the Florida Legislature. The Master Plan must be finalized by January 1, 2010, and will cover the time frame of Fiscal Years 2011 through 2013.
Further information about the survey is available form Sheila Barbee at (850) 487-2920 or Jimmers Micallef at (850) 413-6159. Visit the DCF Substance Abuse website for more details.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Statistics are taken from the 2008 Florida Substance Abuse survey, conducted by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Lee County tops the state in prescription drug abuse, according to the survey.
Parents who are concerned about whether their school-aged child is using or experimenting with drugs can read more here about substance abuse signs in teens and children. Early detection and treatment is recommended to avoid longer term substance abuse issues.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thoughts for the day....Intervention 911...Ken Seely's team...The Florida Marchman Act...A wonderful team...
I also want to thank Ken Seely and his intervention 911 team who took the afternoon to fly in from all around the country to meet and gain a better understanding about the Florida Marchman Act. I flew to Tampa with our Director of Outreach, Mellisa Morgan, and spent an afternoon that I can only describe as electric! Speaking to their team of interventionists made me feel as if I were speaking to a room full of old friends and kindred souls. Their work is so very important and I admire each and everyone of them for what they do - save lives every day. I am also excited because it was painfully clear of the synergy that existed between our teams; how we may assist them with families across the nation and how they may assist us with the very important work we are doing within the civil court system. Special thanks to Jerry and Evan who worked with our offices so closely last week, and the wonderful success on each case.
Finally, please keep coming back to this blog for updates. I am getting married in less than 8 days to my beautiful fiance, and then sailing her off to Istanbul for two weeks...but, I will keep checking in, posting when I can and feeling confident that no matter how difficult it may seem for those living with substance abuse and addiction, there are truly dedicated individuals committed to saving lives - one at a time.
Raymond G. Ferrero III, Esq.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1. No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals. Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to each patient’s problems and needs is critical.
2. Treatment needs to be readily available. Treatment applicants can be lost if treatment is not immediately available or readily accessible.
3. Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug use. Treatment must address the individual’s drug use and associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.
4. At different times during treatment, a patient may develop a need for medical services, family therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and social and legal services.
5. Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness. The time depends on an individual’s needs. For most patients, the threshold of significant improvement is reached at about 3 months in treatment. Additional treatment can produce further progress. Programs should include strategies to prevent patients from leaving treatment prematurely.
6. Individual and/or group counseling and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction. In therapy, patients address motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding nondrug-using activities, and improve problem-solving abilities. Behavioral therapy also facilitates interpersonal relationships.
7. Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies. Buprenorphine, can help persons addicted to opiates stabilize their lives and reduce their drug use. Naltrexone is effective for some opiate addicts and some patients with co-occurring alcohol dependence. Nicotine patches or gum, or an oral medication, such as buproprion, can help persons addicted to nicotine.
8. Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with coexisting mental disorders should have both disorders treated in an integrated way.
9. Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Medical detoxification manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal. For some individuals it is a precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.
10. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements in the family, employment setting, "CIVIL" or criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention, and success.
11. Possible drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously. Monitoring a patient’s drug and alcohol use during treatment, such as through urinalysis, can help the patient withstand urges to use drugs. Such monitoring also can provide early evidence of drug use so that treatment can be adjusted.
12. Treatment programs should provide assessment for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, and counseling to help patients modify or change behaviors that place them or others at risk of infection. Counseling can help patients avoid high-risk behavior and help people who are already infected manage their illness.
13. Recovery from drug addiction can be a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug use can occur during or after successful treatment episodes. Participation in self-help support programs during and following treatment often helps maintain abstinence.
Monday, October 12, 2009
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California will test requiring that drivers convicted of drunken driving install devices that block vehicles from starting if alcohol is detected on the drivers' breath.
The bill by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, a Democrat from Los Angeles, is among those signed into law Sunday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It requires installing an ignition interlock device on every vehicle owned or operated by a first-time DUI offender in four counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare. The law expires in 2016.
Schwarzenegger also signed a bill by Sen. Bob Huff, a Republican from Diamond Bar, that lets repeat drunken drivers apply for restricted licenses if they install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.
"I had a severe drinking problem…I'm allergic to two things. When I was 19 years old, the doctor gave me penicillin and I broke out and swelled up, and he said never to let anyone give you penicillin again...”
“When I was 26 years old, I found out I was allergic to alcohol...”
Friday, October 9, 2009
It is estimated that between 13 and 15% of the U.S. population suffer from actual addiction. Generally, these stats are gathered from hospital admissions of individuals whose addiction has become physically disabling or life threatening. Substance abuse on the other hand is obviously far more prevalent and individuals may abuse substances for a life time, yet be fully functioning without any major dire consequence and invisible to statistical inquiry.
Accordingly, as a collective society - what is it that we are really speaking about?
My personal opinion is that the answer to this question is that we are speaking about “impairment”. The point when substance use and/or abuse leads to actual physical impairment and consequently progresses through the chronic (and, ultimately life-threatening) stages of addiction. Although this may be a minor point, I truly believe as a society, it is imperative to properly define and direct both dialogue and research on the national level. We need to lead in what it is that researchers are actually trying to discover. Is our inquiry looking at the effect that substance use and/or abuse has both physically and mentally upon an individual? Or, are we examining substance use and/or abuse whereby an individual begins to suffer from actual physical and mental impairment and subsequent addiction? I believe it to be both. However, there is an important need to re-examine and re-direct our discussions on substance abuse, impairment and addiction and clarify how our society understands this complex multi-factorial state of being.
Raymond G. Ferrero III, Esq. - Addiction Recovery Legal Services, LLC
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
(PAULA BRONSTEIN, GETTY IMAGES / September 29, 2009)
Drug addicts excercise during the Wadan rehabilitation program at the Kabul Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since the center opened in May 2009 it has rehabilitated over 400 addicts in it's 100 bed facility with temporary funding from International Organization of Migration (IOM) and help from the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). The program lasts for 45 days combining both detox and rehabilitation. The center houses the 2 leading organizations that offer detox programs, Wadan and Nejat. A US Department of State report 2009 states that there are an estimated two million drug users in the country with atleast 50-60,000 drug addicts in Kabul alone.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Posted using ShareThis
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Capoccia says the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health Data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows in 2008, 23.1 million persons ages 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem -- consistent with numbers reported in previous years. The most common reason cited by those who wanted treatment but did not receive any was the inability to pay for it.
"The nation is focused on how best to reform our healthcare system.
Access to effective addiction treatment will save billions of dollars over a decade's time compared with the costs and health complications that come with not treating people at all," Capoccia said in a statement.
"Ignoring any disease -- be it addiction, diabetes or hypertension -- is bad medicine and should not be an option in today's healthcare system. Addiction treatment should be fully covered by all insurance plans."
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sadly, in an all to familiar story, 36 year old, Adam Goldstein, better known as DJ AM, died from what is now being reported as an overdose from the prescription medication Oxycontin. DJ AM, a recovery success story in entertainment circles, is reported to have relapsed on the powerful painkiller following a plan crash which resulted in him recieving serious burns and painful skin grafts.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Read the full story here.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Nationally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says nearly 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, noting that is "more than the number who are abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, ecstasy and inhalants combined." The DEA also reports that "opioid painkillers now cause more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined."
If you know someone who is struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, speak to your doctor or other healthcare professional. Many people dealing with addiction deny the need for care, causing great emotional stress for their families and friends.
Florida's Marchman Act was created to address this need for substance abuse treatment. Read A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act here.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Honorees included Broward County Circuit Court Judge Marcia Beach and County Judge Gisele Pollack, Florida Representatives Kelly Skidmore, Ari Porth, Kurt Kelly and lobbyist Ron Book.
The PDMP bill, signed by Florida Governor Crist on June 18, will assist physicians in the proper treatment of their patients, especially those who may have a substance abuse problem. The secondary purpose is to assist law enforcement in reducing the illegal diversion of prescription drugs.
Quick statistics from the United Way:
• Florida has been the largest populated state without such a monitoring program
• Nationally, 23 of the top 25 doctors prescribing the most oxycodone are located in Broward County
• Florida physicians prescribe 5 times more oxycodone than the national average
• On average, 9 Floridians die every day from lethal overdoses of illegal prescription drugs
• 12-17 years old abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined
United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse (a drug free coalition) established the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force in 2002 in response to emerging data on the effects of prescription drug abuse impacting the residents of Broward County.
Read the United Way press release here.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
The program treats thousands of inmates each year and long has been recognized as successful step in stemming violent crime. Alton Taylor, executive director of the Drug Abuse Foundation, said initiatives such as the sheriff's drug and alcohol program deter crime.
"We know that the No. 1 driver of crime is drugs. So, we know that we need strong law enforcement, strong prevention and strong treatment to cope with this problem," Taylor said. "The value to the community is if you arrest the drug addict and he gets no treatment, once released he's going to go back doing exactly what he was doing. An addict is always either seeking, using or in recovery. Or he's dead."
Read the full story in the Sun-Sentinel.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Woodstock Generation Still Tuning in and Dropping Out - Illicit Drug Use Rising Among Those in their 50s
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Plan to participate in one or all of three segments:
1) The Walk – Show your support for recovery. Join the walk for only $9. Register in advance here.
2) The Festival – Discover wonderful food, great speakers, recovery music, exhibits, special guests and surprises all day in Bicentennial Park.
3) The Concert – At the end of the day, hear Richie Supa perform his PRISM Award winning song, In The Rooms. There is also a special surprise guest planned!
Addiction Recovery Legal Services, LLC, a Fort Lauderdale based law firm concentrating in the Florida Marchman Act for confidential court ordered assessment and treatment of substance and drug abuse, is pleased to participate in this event. We hope to see you there!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Read the full story about the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 by Bob Curley from JoinTogether.org.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Serving as pastor of Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach for 28 years, Marchman extended his ministry far beyond his congregation. His Sunday School class for recovering alcoholics led to the creation in 1970 of the Leon F. Stewart Treatment Center, now called the Stewart-Marchman Center for Chemical Dependency.
Mr. Marchman also served on the Governor’s Task Force on Narcotics, Dangerous Drugs and Alcohol for Region 4. His work in the state Legislature resulted in Florida’s addiction statutes being named the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Act of 1993.
The Marchman Act provides for the involuntary or voluntary assessment and stabilization of a person allegedly abusing substances like drugs or alcohol, and provides for treatment of substance abuse.
Read Mr. Marchman's obituary here.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Fifteen-year-old Wanchai Nuantasiri is one of more than a dozen drug addicts kneeling in a row, vomiting violently into the gutter.
Monks in dark brown robes stand behind the sick, rubbing their backs encouragingly, while onlookers dance and clap cheerfully to an incessant drum beat.
Shared via AddThis
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Friday, July 31, 2009
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Friday, July 24, 2009
Based on nearly two decades of research at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University, and his experience as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, CASA Founder and Chairman Joseph A. Califano, Jr. has written a comprehensive, straightforward, readable and usable guide to keeping kids drug free during their formative pre-teen, teen, and college years.
In HOW TO RAISE A DRUG-FREE KID, Califano expands on CASA’s two most important findings – the child who stays away from drugs, tobacco, and abusing alcohol until age 21 is virtually certain to steer clear of these substances forever, and teens who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are much less likely to try them. The book also offers advice on many of the most daunting parenting topics, including:
* When and how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.
* How to respond when your kid asks, “Did you ever try drugs?”
* How to know when your child is most at risk.
* How to prepare your teen for the freedoms and perils of college.
Visit the website at: www.StraightDopeforParents.org
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
• Child has been experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
• Child has been found in possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Child admits using drugs or alcohol.
• Child has been having problems with law enforcement.
• Child has been having problems with school.
• Child has been having problems with authority figures.
• Child has expressed concern or loss of control over their life.
• Child has shown lack of motivation or concern for their future.
• Child has begun to neglect their appearance or hygiene.
• Child has shown unexpected weight loss.
• Child has been stealing/borrowing money.
• Child has developed a poor self-image.
• Child has changed friends.
• Child has changed dress or appearance.
• Child has slipped in grades or job performance.
• Child has been skipping school or classes.
• Child has started to lie or have manipulative or deceptive behavior.
• Child begins to show disrespect or disregard of family values.
• Child has run away from home.
• Child starts ignoring curfews or house rules.
• Child has demonstrated violent outbursts or hostility toward friends/family.
• Child has become depressed or withdrawn.
• Child has injured themselves or others.
• Child begins to possess unexplained valuables.
• Child takes valuable items or money from your purse, wallet or home.
• Child has lost interest in healthy activities.
• Child has become verbally or physically abusive.
• Child had glassy/red eyes.
• Child has slurred speech.
• Child develops reckless or inappropriate behavior.
Any of the above may be indicators of a serious, potential substance abuse problem, which may warrant that a child submit to an involuntary assessment and stabilization under the Florida Marchman Act.
Monday, July 20, 2009
They will no longer use drugs to feel good, they will use drugs to prevent the unbearable feeling of withdrawal. It is very important that you act on those emotions, whether it is direct communication or intervention if that becomes necessary. Shame should never be part of the equation. In the case of a young drug user, I believe shame is only self serving for a parent and counterproductive for the child.
I feel no shame regarding my son David, who lost his battle with addiction after approximately 20 years of using opiates which started at about the age of thirteen. During the periods in David’s life when he used opiates, he exhibited most of the negative behavior I mentioned above. During the periods of his life, almost a seven year period, from the age of twenty five to the age of thirty two that he did not use drugs, he exhibited qualities that were the real David. He consoled others, ran N.A. meetings, and went into a prison in Florida to hold meetings for inmates.
He went back to college at the age of twenty six, made the dean’s list, and was accepted into a masters PHD program in Psychology at Nova Southeastern University. His dream was to get his degree so that he could help others. How can I have shame?
Why he relapsed (and, within a year he was gone), I will never have the answers and will always have sadness – but, never shame.
I know other parents who have lost a child to drug addiction. I have heard some say their child died of a heart attack or some other mysterious illness. They are concerned about how their friends and acquaintances will view them as the parent of an addict. Most people, who do not understand, tend to criminalize addiction. This is and must be treated as a disease. They are worried about this negative stigma being attached to their status in the community, when they need to be forth righteous helping other parents to understand what to look for , how to deal with and possibly avoid this happening to their child.
All of us parents who have had this tragedy happen in their lives can look back at how we raised our children and think about possible mistakes made, what if I would have created a stronger bond during these formative years, spent more quality time, really focused on the relationship, would it have made a difference? This is only natural, and is a subject for another discussion. Shame or cover up does not belong in any discussion.
I spoke at David’s funeral, first by acknowledging that my son died of an overdose after struggling for twenty years with his addiction. I then went on to talk about the many good things he accomplished in his life. I closed by saying David is and always will be my hero.
The only shame a parent should experience is their own, if each day that they speak to their children they neglect to tell them that they love them, as I now do every time I talk to my daughter.
Addiction Recovery Legal Services, LLC (www.arlshelp.com) wishes to thank, Mr. Howard Spector, a good friend, for his submission and future inclusion in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Parent Toolkit to battle prescription medicine abuse. © 2009
CEO / Ironlight Consortium, LLC.
It is my great pleasure to be writing this brief overview of the Florida Marchman Act for your family. Let me begin by saying that this is an often misunderstood law, which is often (unfortunately) mishandled by well meaning family members or treatment providers, as they attempt to advocate within the legal system without license to do so, or ability. For over a decade, I have been actively involved in Florida’s mental health community and Marchman Act Courts. I have witnessed the Florida Marchman Act develop from what was once a little known (and, little understood) law into what is now recognized throughout Florida and nationally as one of a family’s most powerful intervention tools to assist someone in substance use crisis within any family unit. Professionally, I take great pride in my work, and find great satisfaction counseling / advising families about how the Florida Marchman Act is able to assist them to address the trauma associated with having to save a loved one in crisis. Personally, I take even greater pleasure when I witness the often surprised reaction a family experiences when they realize that this law actually empowers them to deal with a problem once considered hopeless - head on and without unnecessary delay.
Most simply put, the Florida Marchman Act is an “involuntary commitment statute”. However, I believe it should more aptly be called a "crisis intervention statute." Specifically, the Florida Marchman Act is a legal process and procedure that allows the family OR friends (at least three) of someone in crisis to confidentially petition a civil court judge to help them address their loved one's substance use crisis. So, how does the court help? If the evidence exists, a civil court judge can order the individual in crisis to mandatory drug and/or alcohol “assessment & stabilization” (in layman's terms - a detox) and then into subsequent treatment (that the court will then overseen for up to (60) sixty days. An order that can be extended in 90 day increments with credible evidence demonstrating such a need.
Under the Florida Marchman Act, if an individual refuses to comply with treatment once ordered, they subject themselves to contempt of court and possibly jail time for up to (6) six months (per the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure for civil contempt violations). This may seem harsh, but recognize foremost that the intention of the Florida Marchman Act statute is to provide treatment - not punishment. The intent of the court is only to see that their order is followed - again, not punish. Accordingly, any person sentenced to jail under the Florida Marchman Act for contempt will always be given a "purge provision". A purge provision means that they can “purge” their jail sentence for contempt at any time by doing one simple thing: re-entering and re-engaging treatment. At all times the person in crisis holds the keys to the jail. This is why I call it leveraged care versus involuntary commitment. At no time is the individual allowed to be physically held or restrained - the choice is always their own as to how they wish to proceed.
What is the history of the Florida Marchman Act?
The Marchman Act was passed in 1993 by the Florida Legislature and is officially entitled the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Act of Florida. The Marchman Act was named after Hal S. Marchman, a pastor and lifelong advocate for the rights of alcoholics and drug addicts throughout Florida. Ironically, Hal S. Marchman held worldwide recognition, not for his service to addicts, but as the Chaplain of the Daytona International Speedway, who gave the invocation at the beginning of every race for 42 years before retiring at the age of 85. Hal S. Marchman passed in October of 2009 in Daytona, Florida.
Why did Florida enact the Florida Marchman Act?
In many ways, Florida is an extremely progressive state in its recognition of the growing trend of substance use across the nation and the need of the state and community to play a role in addressing the consequences that addiction has upon society as a whole. Especially, when an individual in crisis reaches the progressive stage of addiction whereby their substance use escalates to the point that it poses a danger not only to themselves, but also the public at large. Science has conclusively demonstrated that chronic substance use and abuse of substances can impaired an individual to such a degree that they lose the ability to make rational decisions regarding their own care. More so, that the person in crisis actually loses the ability to even appreciate their own need for care despite the devastatingly negative consequences associated with the substance use. Left unchecked this will progress along the typical stages of clinical addiction toward death. The Florida legislature recognized that an avenue for intervention (without criminal penalty) was necessary for the protection of society and the impaired individual. Thus, the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Act of Florida was adopted and entered into law in 1993.
“Substance abuse is a major health problem and leads to such profoundly disturbing consequences as serious impairment, chronic addiction, criminal behavior, vehicular casualties, spiraling health care costs, AIDS, and business losses, and profoundly affects the learning ability of children within our schools and educational systems. Substance abuse impairment is a disease which affects the whole family and the whole society and requires specialized prevention, intervention, and treatment services that support and strengthen the family unit.”
What are the criteria required to prove a Florida Marchman Act case?
Before I discuss the criteria of the Florida Marchman Act, let me first thank you for taking the time to read this brief overview. I hope that this information was helpful. Everyone knows someone who may be in need of substance abuse services, so feel free to pass this information on to another. This information can save families years of frustration and thousands of dollars in treatment costs.
(a) has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance use;
Raymond G. Ferrero III, Esq., A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act © 2008
Call 1-877-35-ABUSE for a $75.00 detailed consultation by attorney Alan S. Levine, Esq. The above overview has been offered as a general overview of the Florida Marchman Act process. Litigating the Florida Marchman Act statute should be done by an attorney well versed and experienced in Florida Marchman Act law. As in any legal procedure, you should always seek the advice of an experience legal professional to ensure the best possible approach for success.