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Drug News: March 24, 2016

DRUG ADDICTION – USA
Gateway Foundation Backs Bill to Increase Medicaid-Eligible Drug Addiction Treatment – St. Louis CBC Local

“Helpless” is how Gateway Foundation Executive Director Mike Feeman feels when he has to tell 80 percent of the 15,000 callers they get every year seeking Medicaid admissions that they can’t take them. “We can’t continue to paralyze the addiction community,” Feeman says. “Being able to place these people needs to be paramount in our mind.”

DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT – USA
Study Would Look at Availability of Drug Addiction Treatment – WITF

Democratic Senator Judy Schwank of Berks County is sponsoring a resolution to start a study on the treatment options in the state. “And we’ll look at perhaps how some facilities are offering treatment that perhaps is not as effective. I think our preference would be to higlight those that do offer different treatment options that will serve the most number of people,” says Schwank.

DRUG TREATMENT – USA
Sen. Mitch McConnell pushing bill to fund drug addiction prevention, treatment, enforcement – WDRB

“People are dying because of this epidemic. It comes down to not having treatment, and not enough resources out there for these people who are addicted and don’t have anywhere to go,” said Katie Warren, a former addict. McConnell believes the bill will pass the House, and soon be ready for the President’s signature.

DRUG / ALCOHOL ADDICTION – USA
New York Times Details Story of Cruz’s Half-Sister’s Drug Addiction – The Blaze

Cruz said that solving the “absolute epidemic” of drug and alcohol addiction “has to occur at the state and local level with programs like A.A., and counseling, and churches and charities,” and called for “securing the borders,” because “you have got Mexican cartels that are smuggling vast amounts of heroin into this country.”

ALCOHOL / DRUG ADDICTION – USA
When a successful law career mixes with addiction – Chicago Tribune

The morning before I got sober, my breakfast consisted of nearly a bottle of red wine and a few thick lines of cocaine. I got dressed, checked my teeth for lipstick and my nose for stray coke, put my laptop in its case and picked up the paper on the way out to work at my law firm. I felt sick, afraid and completely alone. I know now that I was wrong about the alone part.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
New Bedford’s St. Luke’s Hospital sees 469 opioid overdoses in 2015 – South Coast Today

Health officials stressed that the lack of treatment beds in the state is an ongoing issue, saying that even when they have patients who want to seek treatment, they have trouble finding them a bed. “I applaud Governor Baker for looking at this as a community problem but there is a lack of detox beds that he has not addressed,” Pope said.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
How Big Pharma Is Cashing in on Addiction to Alcohol and Illicit Drugs – AlterNet

Addiction psychiatry, essentially treating drug addicts with other drugs, has become a hugely profitable industry. “The insurance companies told the rehabs they would no longer pay for inpatient rehab for heroin, cocaine or alcohol unless there was also another psychiatric disorder like bipolar disorder or major depression,” explains psychiatrist Phil Sinaikin, author of Psychiatryland. “I was working in a drug treatment facility when the change happened. Since addicts typically complain of anxiety and depression, a completely understandable emotional response to their toxic lifestyles, it was no problem to add a new label and throw a few psychiatric drugs at their now relabeled ‘dual diagnosis.’”

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