Acting White House Drug Czar Michael Botticelli entered the positon of White House Drug Czar in March of this year. Since his appointment, he has been open and candid about his past struggles with alcoholism. In a recent article and online video on Washingtonpost.com, he discusses his journey from addiction to recovery to being the pre-eminent drug control official in the country.
A 50-year-old Medicaid provision could severely impact many low-income patients looking for addiction treatment. Although the Affordable Care Act was forecasted to improve access to addiction and mental health services, a rule established by Medicaid decades ago says that the program will only cover community-based residential programs with 16 beds or fewer.
A recent article on Philly.com reveals the affordable care act has not had the expected impact in boosting use of mental healthcare services. The legislation’s supporters, as well as many in the medical community, expected a prodigious uptick in patient enrollment due to measures within the bill which are said to provide better access to mental health treatment; initial results have been inconsistent with these projections.
Although medication has proven to be an effective and successful tool to prevent alcoholic cravings, only 10% of all patients treated for addiction utilize in their recovery efforts. According to a recent article there are over 120 studies, involving almost 23,000 participants that demonstrate the efficacy of drugs like Naltrexone in inhibiting reward receptors in the brain to block cravings that lead to relapse.
A recent piece on USAtoday.com reveals startling statistics and testimony regarding the use of prescription drugs in the medical community. The article includes recollections from recovering nurses giving who admit to treating patients while they were; a medical technician who infected at least 46 patients with hepatitis after injecting himself with their pain medicine and refilling their syringes with saline and a selection of other hospital horror-stories.
When I was in treatment I had a lot of time to thinking about exactly how I wanted to live my life. At first, I lamented the fact that, at 36, my best years seemed to be way behind me; but then I realized that I couldn’t spend the second part of my life wishing I had the first to live over again. I think living in the past is an incredibly dangerous mistake and the cause of relapse for a lot of people. You can go mad thinking about the damage you caused when you were addicted or you can accept the reality that the person who did those things wasn’t really you and move on.
Last fall, the Food and Drug Administration green-lighted the release of several new time-released prescription painkillers. Among them was an extended-release narcotic hydrocodone derivative called Zohydro. In what is an uncharacteristic move for the organization, the FDA went against an advisory panel of experts in order to release the drug, sparking vigorous debate within the medical and pharmaceutical communities.
I was 17 years old when I tried heroin for the first time and 23 when it almost killed me. You can’t possibly understand the nightmare of heroin until you actually go through it; this was never knowledge that I wanted to experience on my own, but we get what we ask for. For about a year I was able to keep heroin at arm’s length, which is a lot longer than most people. Eventually it got the better of me and made me little more than a servant to my cravings. It was like someone else was in control of my body and doing things that I would have to live with for the rest of my life.
The news media is abuzz today with news that a coalition of health care, consumer advocacy, and addiction treatment groups has banded together under the name FED UP! to protest Zohydro, a new opioid painkiller from pharmaceutical corporation Zogenix.
New York legislators are grappling with how to deal with the plague of heroin that has been devastating suburban and rural youths statewide.
The state, like so many others, has been struggling against heroin for years, but the most recent development seems to be a cruel irony; poorer families, so long the greatest victims of the drug trade, are actually in a better position to get treatment for addicted family members.
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