Tuesday, July 8, 2014


A life in balance is similar to our challenging Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We always include accurate, evidence based articles with a firm foundation in verified scientific research.  These are the stories that people usually ignore if the evidence conflicts with their preconceived ideas. Then we have the all-important fear mongering stories such as "Reading and Thinking Addictions: Can they cost you your ignorance?"  We toss these in much as a "movies about movies" film festival might double bill Woody Allen's "Purple Rose of Cairo" with Lamberto Bava's  "Demons" because it is what's on the screen that counts.
In the first category this week, we offer scientific evidence that gambling addiction has psychiatric origins. Of course, we know it is really because of demons (not the movie). SIDE BAR FACT: More people believe in demons than believe in germs despite plenty of evidence of germs, and very few verifiable snapshots of demons.  Oh, we also have plenty of celebrity stories because it is fun to mock them as if they were not real people, but sacrificial cartoon characters who carry the weight of our negative expectations as if they were SMITH or Side Two of Abbey Road. Before Dennis Miller takes time out of his busy schedule pandering to his Koch addiction, I'll stop sub-referencing and get on to news you can use, and opinions that won't drive you to drink

(Burl Barer is on the Advisory Board of Writers in Treatment and is irresponsible for his own commentary)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014  *  THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS  *  Vol. 1, No. 45

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The Sadness Remains The Same

Bob Geldof on Death of Peaches: 'It's Intolerable' 
"I'm walking down the road, and suddenly, out of the blue, there's an awareness of her ... and I buckle," he says. "I have to duck off into a lane or something and blub for a while, and then get on with it. And that's it. So, I'd imagine it will be there for a long time. I mean, what else?"

Before They Get Started

Who Will Binge-Drink  
at Age 16?  
An international collaboration of scientists leading the world's largest longitudinal adolescent brain imaging study to date has learned that it is possible to predict teenage binge-drinking. The research, published in Nature, found that aspects of life experience, personality and brain structure are strong determinants of future alcohol misuse.  


Nip It In The Bud, Before Bud Takes Over

Nature's Way to Fight Substance Abuse 
The regional school board is getting back to nature with a new program to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among at-risk youth in the region. It means things like taking a walk in the woods or a canoe trip with family as kids aged eight to 18 build better relationships with their families and more respect for themselves.  

First the Ukraine, Now This!

Russian Flesh-Eating 'Cannibal' Drug Krokodil is in the U.S.
Amber said: 'My boyfriend actually had maggots coming out of his leg. I know people don't want to hear stuff like that, but it is really happening out here.' These sisters are proof that the flesh-eating drug Krokodil is sweeping America and taking a terrible toll on addicts around the country, Amber and Angie Neitzel, from Joliet, Illinois, say they have been abusing the toxic cocktail - which originated in Russia - for around a year and a half, which means it has been on the streets of the U.S. for much longer than originally feared.  


I'll Bet No One Saw This Coming VIDEO

Addiction Medicine Suboxone Now Being Abused VIDEO
Kenny Stearns III first took Suboxone to help him kick OxyContin after an overdose. But it wasn't long before he began dissolving Suboxone strips in water and shooting the mixture into his veins. "The first few times I used it, I could get really high from it. Then I just felt normal ... I wasn't high, but I wasn't sick either," said the 25-year-old from New Castle, Ind. "To me, it's just trading one addiction for another."

"Mommy, why do those farmers look so happy?"

The World's First  'Marijuana Farmers' Market Opens in LA
Move over, kale. There's a new green making a name for itself on the farmers' market circuit. "What we're doing is giving patients in L.A. access to better, more affordable medicine," says Paizley Bradbury, executive director of the West Coast Collective. "With dispensaries, the medicine can get pretty pricey. By removing the middle man, patients will be getting medicine direct from vendors for a wholesale price."  

Here Comes The Judge NPR   AUDIO

Chicago Bring Lawsuit Against OxyContin Makers AUDIO 
Two California counties and the city of Chicago, hard hit by OxyContin addiction, are suing the drug's manufacturers. Reporter Emily Green says they're charging that the drug-makers have contributed to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

Great Recovery Books Reviewed

Addicted to Drug Addiction Memoirs
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
Catastrophe: Oy Vey My Child is Gay (and an Addict) by Anne Lapedus Brest
Dystopia by James Siddall
I Want My Life Back by Steve Hamilton
Lit by Mary Karr
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain
Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl
Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
Smacked by Melinda Ferguson
The Night of the Gun by David Carr  

The Can Do Anything

Can A Sober Escort Help Get Rob Ford Re-Elected 
Celebrities such as Matthew Perry and Owen Wilson have employed sober coaches in the past,reportedly at the request of Hollywood studios they are working with. Athletes such as Theo Fleury and Josh Hamilton have also received assistance in the past to maintain their sobriety while returning to work.  

Why Not For Longer? VIDEO

10 Benefits to Being Sober for a Month  VIDEO


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Writers In Treatment

Let Them Eat Coke   VIDEO

Cheers for Kate VIDEO
Kate was at the Blessed Sacrament School in Islington, North London, to see the work of a project she launched to help families affected by addiction - a cause royal aides said is very important to her. Funded by The Royal Foundation and Comic Relief, and delivered by charities Place2Be and Action on Addiction (the Duchess is a patron), aims to provide support for schoolchildren affected by a parent's drug or alcohol misuse.

Hello Tiny Addicts   VIDEO

10,000 Toddlers On Drugs for A.D.H.D. VIDEO
More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines. Perhaps the fact that 10,000 American toddlers are being treated for A.D.H.D. is not surprising, considering that according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 5.9 million children 17 or under receive a diagnosis at some point in their lives. Journalist Thom Hartmann dispels the myths about A.D.H.D. and explains why it might be an evolutionary trait and not a disorder.

Break On Through to the Other Side

A Different Path  
to Fighting Addiction
When their son had to take a medical leave from college, Jack and Wendy knew they - and he - needed help with his binge drinking. Their son's psychiatrist, along with a few friends, suggested Alcoholics Anonymous.  

12 states had a pain pill rate of AT LEAST 100 for every 100 people AUDIO

California Doctors Prescribing Fewer Painkillers AUDIO
California doctors prescribe fewer opioid painkillers than any state except Hawaii, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says that in 2012, doctors in California wrote 57 prescriptions for drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin for every 100 people. Twelve states had a prescription rate of at least 100 for every 100 people.  

We'll Call Him Zigzag

Marijuana May Influence Sperm Quality
"Marijuana is certainly a potential worrisome risk factor for hurting sperm quality," he said. "I'd tell my patients to stop smoking marijuana. I wouldn't say to my patient to go out and do whatever you want because it won't make a difference. To me, that would be overstating those results."

Who Needs a Lawyer? Call My Doctor.

Calling Alcoholism a 'Disease' Lets Rob Ford Off The Hook
What Ford says now indicates that he's trying to explain his troubles in a way that will do him the least possible political damage. First, he wants everyone to know he's not to blame for all those things that happened, those many occasions when he made an international fool of himself - even though he's kind of sorry about them. The point is, he has a disease.

One Step Beyond

Psychonauts Explore World of Legal Highs with Themselves as  
Lab Rats 
Daniel, until recently, was a researcher, using his bedroom as a laboratory. His apparatus was his own brain. He bought chemical compounds labelled "not for human use" on the internet, ingested them and waited to see whether he was headed for heaven or hell. He wondered if he was going to die.

How Many Devices Do You Have?

Social Media Addicts to Detox on Scottish Island 
PEOPLE with a serious addiction to technology are to be given the chance to apply for a Castaway-style retreat on a remote Scottish island where they will be banned from communicating with the outside world through technological devices. Six technology addicts will be selected for the three-day experiment, without any access to smartphones, tablets or any form of wi-fi connection.


Nothing To Be Shy About

Portia De Rossi Secretly Went  
to Rehab 
It's been revealed that Portia De Rossi secretly checked into a rehab centre specialising in substance abuse for a month stay in May. The Australian actress and wife of Ellen DeGeneres spent 30 days at the Passages Malibu rehab facility, claims InTouch magazine.  


My Dad Bet My Uncle A $100 I'd Be A Boy

Compulsive Gambling Linked to Several Psychiatric Disorders  
From February 2005 to June 2010, Donald Black and his co-contributors at the University of Iowa conducted interviews to determine gambling levels in 95 compulsive gamblers and 91 control subjects, as well as in 537 first-degree relatives of compulsive gamblers and 538 first-degree relatives of controls. "Maybe this situation provides a better chance of finding genes that are linked to the gambling disorder."  


Fearless Journalist - Dangerous Journalist

Journalist Amber Lyon: The War on Drugs is a Human Rights Crisis 
Have you ever found it odd that a side effect of Cymbalta, a leading anti-depressant, is suicide? It seems counterintuitive, but in a country where medicine is dictated by Big Pharma, such a paradox is hardly surprising. That's because, as former CNN correspondent Amber Lyon points out, Western medicine treatments are not intended to get to the root of the sickness.

It's The Same In Any Language

Ozzy Osbourne Baffled by Swedish AA Meeting
Ozzy Osbourne went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting during a tour stop in Stockholm, but struggled to join in as the session was conducted in Swedish. When we were in Stockholm on tour, I went to one. I couldn't understand a word they were saying." However, the rocker insists the session was not a waste of time, adding, "It still helped. It's just the act of going there."


Health Clinics Close and More People Live

Crackdown on Florida Clinics Leads to DECLINE in Deaths 
"The results from Florida show that state action can make a difference, and confirms the tight correlation between prescribing and deaths," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in an email to Michael Botticelli, acting head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.


REEL Recovery Film Festival HIGHLIGHT
Reel 2013
See clips from last year's Award Winning REEL Recovery Film Festivalwith Paul Williams, Russell Brand, Robert Blake, Barbara Eden and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. See VIDEO

Mad About Molly VIDEO

Focus On Molly Madness VIDEO
Ten Minute VIDEO

More Ways to Lose Your Way

European Commission Urges "Health" Warning for Online Gambling 
The European Commission will urge countries to demand that online gambling advertisements display warning messages like cigarette packets, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.  

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What Next Generation ?

Children Are Harming Their Brains With  
Screen Addiction
Children spend nearly a year slumped in front of the TV or staring at computer screens by the time they are seven, a former children's minister has warned. Tim Loughton said this screen addiction in youngsters could cause changes in the brain similar to those seen in cocaine addicts and alcoholics.

"Please Sir, I Want Some More."

'Fed Up' Producer Blames Addiction Industry for Obesity 
Q: Part of the problem you explore in "Fed Up" is that processed foods are being engineered by scientists to make us want more.
A: Food is being purposefully formulated to addict you. Then it is purposefully marketed (and) targeted to young children to addict them at an early age. This is unethical, right? This is immoral, particularly when you see the results of it -- which is this worldwide epidemic of diabetes and obesity.  

You Wanna Play War?

Boot Camps for China's Gamers   
Internet addiction has increasingly become a major problem among young people, and nowhere is this more true than in China, which is trying to tackle the problem by putting youngsters through their paces at boot camps.

The Politics of Incarceration

Cannabis' Medical Benefits Suppressed To Keep Jails Full
"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."

Getting It All Wrong

Addiction Is  
Different in America
by Maia Szalavitz  
We Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the City on the Hill and all that. When it comes to the politics and culture of drugs, we are indeed special-or at least dramatically different from the rest of the Western world. Too often, however, we are special for the wrong reasons.

Finding the Missing ... Dr ink    VIDEO

Drunken Monkeys: What They Tell Us About Our Thirst For Booze VIDEO
Ever since childhood, when he saw his father descend into alcoholism, evolutionary physiologist Robert Dudley has been curious about humans' strong attraction to booze. The notion crystallized one day 18 years ago in the monkey-filled jungles of Panama, when he observed an abundance of rotting fruit littering the forest floor, fragrant with the smell of alcohol. Dudley, who specializes in the biomechanics of flight, spent the ensuing years accumulating evidence for this hypothesis, which he presents in a new book, "The Drunken Monkey, Why we drink and abuse alcohol."

Is The Glass Half Full?

Surprisingly Positive Flip Side' of PTSD
"Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head." Science is now helping to explain the Bard's positive spin on adversity by researching what the New York Times recently called posttraumatic stress disorder's "surprisingly positive flip side": posttraumatic growth, or PTG.  


Attention New Yorkers!  
Invitation to Receive FREE Passes to our 
2014 New York REEL Recovery Film Festival 

Issue of the 
Addiction/Recovery eBulletin