Sunday, August 30, 2009

U of Florida Recognized for Drug Abuse Prevention

The University of Florida was one of five schools to be named a 2009 Model of Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse Prevention Program on College Campuses by the U.S. Department of Education. This distinction comes with a $100,000 grant for the College of Health and Human Performance to continue its campuswide alcohol abuse prevention program. Read the full story.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Help for Prescription Drug Abuse

Five people in Florida die every day as a direct result of prescription drug overdoses, including from hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g. Oxycontin), according to the Florida Medical Examiners.

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.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Broward County Leaders in Substance Abuse Recognized

The United Way of Broward County's Commission on Substance Abuse last week honored 14 local activists and politicians for their work in getting the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program bill passed.

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.

Female DUI Arrests Rise 30 Percent in Decade

Men are still more likely to drive drunk than women, but a disturbing new report finds that 28.8 percent more women were arrested for driving under the influence in 2007 than a decade earlier, CNN reported Aug. 18.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Palm Beach County Sheriff May Cut Drug Treatment Program

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's "Substance Abuse Awareness Program" may be shut down as early as October 1st due to pending budget cuts. It all hinges on the outcome of Palm Beach County Commission budget and tax rate determinations.

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.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miami Rally for Recovery, 9/12

The South Florida Rally For Recovery will be held on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 on beautiful Biscayne Bay in Downtown Miami, FL. Sponsored by InTheRooms, the day-long event is part of National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

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!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Binge Drinking: Not for Kids Only

More than one in five men ages 50-64 report consuming five or more alcoholic beverages at a single sitting within the past month, shattering the myth that binge drinking is strictly a problem for college students. Read the full story.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Advocates Urge Feds to Draft Strong Parity Regulations

"Advocates who cheered the historic passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 have shifted their focus to ensuring that federal agencies implement the measure in the full spirit of the legislation, noting that insurers and managed-care firms have been able to successfully thwart similar state laws."

Read the full story about the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 by Bob Curley from

Friday, August 14, 2009

Obituary - Hal S. Marchman

Hal S. Marchman died in March 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.

Screening and Brief Intervention: Making a Public Health Difference

As part of their Osteopathic medical school training at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Attorney Raymond G. Ferrero III, Esq., Dr. Richard Seely M.D. and Dr. Daniel Shaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. have developed a Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine curriculum for all second year medical students that includes and stresses the importance of the recognition, integration and screening for alcohol and drug use with other routine preventive screenings for their patients. Students are educated as to both clinical and legal approaches for dealing with patients who engage in substance abuse. The student physician's recognition and screening of a patient's substance abuse concerns, or, a more involved legal intervention via the Florida Marchman Act have provided these young physicians with yet one more resource to save and improve the quality of their patient's lives.

S. Florida Cigarette Sales Down as Prices Rise

The tax has bumped the price of a pack of cigarettes in Florida to more than $6.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Drug addicts journey to vomit and vow at Thai temple

Drug addicts journey to vomit and vow at Thai temple

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

Critics: Juvenile Prisons Becoming New Asylums

So often a component of substance abuse and addiction includes an undiagnosed, underlying mental heath concern, or, what is referred to as a "co-occurring disorder". When depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder or any number of related mental health concerns happens to be present, this can compound an existing genetic predisposition toward addiction as an individual seeks relief through self-medication with alcohol, prescription or illicit drugs. If you suspect your child may suffer from a mental health concern, do not hesitate to intercede immediately with QUALIFIED psychiatric, medical professionals. Medicating a child is an issue that should only be done after careful consideration and full knowledge of potential harmful side effects and consequences.