Posts tagged with "addiction"

Sober.House.

Happening right now, drug addiction in the US has reached epidemic proportions. What’s worse, only 11 percent of those people will find the right treatment. It’s time to eliminate the stigma and focus on a tangible solution, rather than the problem.

Mallory Neuberger lived a double life for years, suffering from a soul-crushing addiction to cocaine while hiding behind a successful career and raising two children. After finding sobriety, she has made it her mission to help others by opening and running sober houses for women.  

Anchored in relatable stories and filled with actionable tips for anyone affected by addiction, Sober.House. offers readers:

  • Stop the Stigma: Eliminating the shame to understand the truth about addiction—which is a disease, not a disgraceful condition
  • Recovery is Possible: How anyone who is an addict, or an alcoholic, can find healing and a more fulfilling lifestyle
  • Paying it Forward: Her journey to helping others who are battling addiction, and how it has filled her once empty soul with meaning and purpose
  • Good vs. Evil: How to find authentic, ethical places for treatment and sober living while avoiding the illegitimate ones
  • The Frog Pad: The sober houses she has created for women to help them restore their lives for themselves and their loved ones

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Sober Houses and the Path to Recovery

The Truth About Sober Houses and the Path to Recovery

by Mallory Neuberger

Wendy Williams made headlines last week when she revealed that she’s living in a sober house; but less than one week later she left work, checked out of the facility, and went on to drink alcohol until she was hospitalized. So, what went wrong?

Sobriety is not something that we can pay for. As a recovering cocaine addict, I had to admit that I was an addict and that I was ready for a drug free life. In essence, I had to hit my bottom. Some people die before they find the willingness to get sober. Others need to end up in prison, homeless, or selling their bodies and souls to feed their disease. And many, like myself, don’t lost their homes, cars, jobs or families, but find themselves spiritually void and miserable, with their drug of choice no longer providing the relief that it once had.

Wendy Williams is going through difficulties in her marriage. Her husband is rumored to be cheating on her, and his mistress is pregnant. Despite appearing on television daily, living in a sober house, and paying a sober coach to keep tabs on her 24/7, she still couldn’t handle her heartbreak and to alcohol to numb her pain. The next day she was back on TV. In my opinion, she isn’t ready.

Ethical sober houses keep residents safe by breathalyzing and drug testing them. They have guidelines to provide structure, including curfews, chore checks, and mandatory attendance at 12-step meetings like A.A. or N.A. There are organizations that certify sober houses as good operators, so it’s important to be sure that you are choosing a place that truly has the residents’ best interests at heart.

Sober houses offer a sense of community. They are filled with residents and staff who are all trying to stay sober and meet life head on. There is always someone to talk to, so we are never alone. In my sober houses we emphasize healthy living, encouraging good eating habits and exercise. We practice yoga and we meditate together. We offer fellowship where we eat, laugh, play games, make crafts, listen to music, and sit by the pool. We celebrate together, helping one another get through birthdays, holidays and anniversaries without picking up. We are houses filled with sober women and we are like a big family filled with surrogate mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. We cry together, and more importantly, we laugh.

Putting down drugs and alcohol seemed like the only way I could live, but what kind of a life was it going to be? I feared that I would be socially awkward without my expensive wines or a frozen margarita with salt. I didn’t think I would be able to stay awake without my beloved cocaine. I was losing my best friends – drugs and alcohol – how would I ever have fun again?

The sheer happiness that I have found as a sober woman is greater than any high that I ever experienced. I wake up every morning without a hangover or user’s remorse. I dance whenever and wherever I can, even while trying on clothes in stores, or at parties where nobody else has hit the dance floor. I run by the beach, singing out loud, without worrying that I may die of a stroke due to last night’s excesses. I practice yoga and can actually “be” on the mat for ninety minutes, breathing freely through my once stuffed nostrils.

I have a disease, and that disease is called addiction. I am no longer ashamed and hiding behind it. Addiction is not a weakness or a character defect. It is a debilitating disease without a medicine to cure it. Money cannot buy my recovery, but working a daily program can keep me sober, one day at a time. Every day I go to a 12-step meeting. I remind myself that I’m an addict in recovery and I reset my brain and ask for the strength to remain sober just for today. I am of service to others in recovery, showing them that this simple program works. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. My worst day sober is always better than my best day high, because I am authentic and free and living the very best version of myself. I hope that Wendy Williams hits her bottom soon, and without any terrible consequences. I would love her to live in one of my sober houses.

About Mallory Neuberger

Mallory Neuberger, MS, CRRA, author of Sober.House (My Story), is the executive director of The Frog Pad, a safe and structured holistic healing house for women in recovery from drugs and alcohol. After struggling with her own addiction, Neuberger has dedicated her life to helping others find sobriety, volunteering at drug recovery centers including Hazelden IOP, The Addiction Institute in NYC, Gods Love We Deliver, and soup kitchens. She was also employed at Behavior Health of the Palm Beaches before opening her first sober house.

HOW CAN YOU GET ADDICTION TREATMENT WITHOUT INSURANCE?

One of the most critical situations in modern society is being alone in a difficult situation. What do we have to do if you found out that you are alcohol or drug addicted? Surely, the first thing to do if you cannot control yourself is to ask for help. However, sometimes it happens that you have nobody to ask for help or people, who wish to help have no possibilities.

How much does rehab cost without insurance?

Actually, there is no correct answer to this question, because different recovery programs use different techniques, different specialists work with you, they use different medicines, and there are many other different conditions, which determine the price. First, look through the types of rehab facilities to choose the one you need. They may be medical detox centers, intensive outpatient programs, holistic rehab center, partial hospitalization programs, standard outpatient treatment, etc.

To talk generally, inpatient treatment usually costs more than participation in outpatient rehabilitation programmes in Bellevue. It is evident as the inpatient treatment foresees that you live in the facility and use all the conveniences, receive food, get medical supervision. The price also depends on how long you stay in the rehab facility and what other services and amenities you require (private rooms, swimming pool, gym, massage, etc.).

One is tempted to ask the question of what to do if you have no opportunities to pay for your addiction treatment? Is that possible to get help for addiction without insurance?

Different social programs may cover your expenses for the rehabilitation programme partially or fully. First, if there are some life-threatening risks of consuming some substance, you would receive emergency treatment and regardless of whether you can pay or not. Hopefully, you will not get into such a situation.

There also exist some options for flexible payment. They may be scholarship, grant, financing, etc. It is important to note here is that cutting corners on recovery programme may turn into future problems. It is of utter importance to reclaim your health and life. The fact is that you would spend more money on drugs or alcohol if you continue succumbing to the addiction than on any rehab for people with no insurance (find more here).

Do not be too lazy to call several recovery centers and find out what conditions of payment they have. First, many treatment facilities may offer reduced treatment costs or a sliding fee scale because of the pieces of evidence that you do not make high enough income.

Secondly, there exist some non-profit organizations or foundations, which may offer you some scholarships. Usually, one of the conditions of getting a scholarship is the absence of insurance. Application for such programs may give you the way to rehab for people with no insurance.

Thirdly, depending on your credit score, you may ask some lending institutions for providing drug or alcohol treatment without insurance. The specifications of such cooperation differ in each personal case.

Fourthly, do not be too shy to ask your friends and relatives. Sometimes they do not even know that you need this sort of help. Doctors say that involving family members into the process of recovery may make you closer and you would definitely feel more support. This may also change the views of your family on the attitude before and make it more integrated. A friend at court is better than a penny in purse.

To sum up, do not be afraid of sharing your problems. In the modern world, many people feel sympathy for those, who cannot afford treatment, so the only thing you have to do is to ask.

Author:

Jeffrey Buckley is a blogger who investigates human health issues and behaviorist anthropology. He researches substance abuse problems and the ways to overcome addictions.

 

“Two Reasons Why I Won’t Report My Child Abuse”

Excerpt from The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook By Steve Simpson

“The first reason is I know that I could be better in school. I know I mess up at home. The clothes I wear. The way I have my hair. The attitude I have. The trouble that I get in. I bring it on myself. If I were a better person these things probably wouldn’t happen to me. Ever since I can remember, I have been told by my parents that all the problems at home are my fault. People have it worse than I do.” These are the thoughts of many who are being abused and the first reasons why they won’t report it.

What I discovered was that even children who do fantastic in school, never get in any trouble, and do everything “right” still get abused by their parents or abusive adults in their home. Their parents even called them the same names as me and they were model children. I’ve found it has nothing to do with the way I act at all. It has nothing to do with who I was. It has nothing to do with the children. It has to do with the adults. Child abuse and discipline have nothing to do with each other. People who abuse children do it because of their own sickness, be it alcoholism, drug abuse or other problems they have.

“I knew my father or my mother’s boyfriend had no right to abuse me but I always felt that my mother would get in trouble for it.” This is the thought of many abuse victims and the second reason why they don’t report it. Even though they are getting abused they still try to protect the non-abusing/co-dependent parent. What I offer to those children is you would not so much be getting your parent in trouble, but you would be getting them help. Most authorities get them to go to therapy, which would stop that parent from allowing abuse to themselves and others in the future, therefore making their life better. So by protecting yourself you’re actually not getting anyone in trouble but protecting them and getting them help as well. Even the abusive adult could end up getting help as a result of you reporting it. Nobody should abuse you, period!

If you are being abused in any way, sometimes the abuse looks like it’s becoming less frequent. Don’t be fooled by this. It could suddenly pick up again and get worse. It will not stop unless you do something to stop it. Speak to a teacher, guidance counselor, school social worker or psychologist. Counselors from community centers and sometimes even people from local churches will know what to do and how to get you help. You can call Child Protective Services for your local area. Nobody should be abused in any way. You are no exception. You are worth getting help.

Approximately 5 children die a day as a result of child abuse. For those who suspect child abuse whether it be a relative or neighbor, it always amazes me how people will call 911 simply because someone parked in the wrong spot or put the garbage out on the wrong night, yet they won’t get “involved” in possibly saving a child’s life or at a minimum their childhood (not to mention the problems they will have as an adult as a result of their abuse). As responsible people we are already “involved”.

If you suspect child abuse it probably does exist. Don’t make excuses or protect and enable the abuser. Protect who you are supposed to protect, the children.

 

About Steve Simpson
Steve Simpson is a child advocate, child abuse survivor and media commentator who just released The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook — a small guide that is modestly tucked inside in all four of his YA adventure novels which covers most of the topics plaguing young people today—suicide, bullying, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, self-worth, being the child of an addict, living in a dysfunctional home, surviving school and more. Simpson was even recognized by President Barack Obama, former New York governor David Paterson and the County Executive of Nassau County for his efforts on behalf of abused children.

 

Opioid Epidemic

The painful and prevalent problem of opioid addiction plaguing families across our country has sparked national attention as the overdose death rates of these individuals has skyrocketed the past few years. The pervasiveness of the opioid epidemic is due in large part to the over-prescription of opioid pain medication and the highly addictive nature of these medications. Pharmaceutical companies and morally-corrupt doctors threw caution to the wind as “pill-mills” popped up all over the US. Although opioid use often begins with a legitimate injury and prescription for pain medication, those unfamiliar with the dangers of addiction are naïve to the depths of depravity it can take even the most innocent of souls.

As tolerance to the drug builds, the individual takes more than prescribed to alleviate the pain. Eventually, the suggestion is made to crush the pill and snort it for a better, more immediate high. The treatment morphs into a habit, then an obsession. Most opioid addictions escalate to intravenous use. Though the person previously swore never to pick up a needle, the temptation outweighs the willpower, and life becomes consumed with chasing the euphoria of that first shot. At this point, the sheer financial burden of the habit is insurmountable. Lying, cheating, stealing, anything becomes justifiable in the name of the next fix.

Inevitably, the solution becomes substituting the FDA regulated pills for the significantly cheaper heroin, which promises a more intense high. The recent inclusion of fentanyl in heroin increases the potency and the likelihood of overdose and death. Suffering with addiction is painful, exhausting, and frightening. Attempting sobriety means enduring withdraws, reality, feelings, and memories. Negative experiences with shady recovery businesses leaves clients feeling jaded and mistrustful. Unfortunately, many treatment centers view clients as numbers or worse, dollar signs.

They treat clients according to insurance benefits rather than clients’ needs. Once insurance quits paying, clients are dropped off at bus stations to fend for themselves with no resources. Luckily, the substance abuse field is starting to shift, and task forces in South Florida are shutting down illegitimate “treatment centers” whose sole focus is greed. Cleaning up the reputation of the recovery realm paves the way for companies genuinely vested in the best interest of the clients and the communities, like Delphi Behavioral Health Group. With fifteen treatment facilities in various locations across the United States offering the spectrum of care, Delphi understands every client is unique and so too is the specific treatment needed. Willing to step outside the norm, Delphi launched New Perspectives in Boynton Beach, Florida, a medication-assisted treatment facility.

MAT, while still somewhat controversial, is becoming an optimal treatment option for those suffering from long-term opioid addiction that have tried and failed at traditional, abstinence-based treatment models. New Perspectives offers a contingency-based model with highly monitored and conservative doses of Suboxone films. Suboxone decreases cravings for opioids and initiates withdrawal symptoms if opioids are ingested. Clients must be compliant with the clinical program to receive their prescriptions. Suboxone, in conjunction with intensive therapeutic services, provides a real opportunity for those afflicted with opioid addiction to finally create a life of sobriety. True, there is an opioid epidemic afflicting our nation, but new medications and treatment modalities bring hope that its reign is nearing an end.

Jennifer Behnke, MS, LMFT, LMHC, QS
Jennifer Behnke, Clinical Director at New Perspectives, has worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse for over a decade. Jennifer graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2012 with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. In 2014, Jennifer became a licensed mental health counselor and licensed marriage & family therapist. At that time, she opened her private practice and took a position as a clinical director. Jennifer helped launch the medication-assisted treatment program at New Perspectives and became a qualified supervisor. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in marriage & family therapy with a specialization in couples therapy at Northcentral University.

Written by Jennifer Behnke

TWLOHA Announces Tour Dates

Melbourne, FL – August 6, 2018 – To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is thrilled to announce three dates of “An Evening With To Write Love on Her Arms.” The tour will run from September 18-20, hitting Tampa, FL, Gainesville, FL, and Atlanta, GA, respectively. The evening will consist of TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski speaking, plus performances by two-time National Poetry Slam champion, Sierra DeMulder and musician JP Saxe. For more information, please click here

“After mostly speaking at colleges in recent years, I’m so excited to get back into music venues. These will be small ticketed shows, which represent something new for TWLOHA and for me. If these go well, our goal is to add more dates so that we can bring these nights of hope to folks all over,” shares Tworkowski.

Tickets for all three nights are on sale now. General admission tickets range from $13-$15, and VIP tickets are $40, which includes a pre-show Meet & Greet + Q&A. Further event details are listed below

An Evening with To Write Love on Her Arms:

TAMPA, FL

When: Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Where: The Attic // 1510 E. 8th Ave.

Time: 7:30PM (Doors @ 7PM)

Tickets: https://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms/

GAINESVILLE, FL

When: Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Where: High Dive // 210 SW 2nd Ave.

Time: 9PM (Doors @ 8PM)

Tickets: https://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms-2/

ATLANTA, GA

When: Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Where: The Masquerade (Heaven) // 50 Lower Alabama St. SW, Suite 22

Time: 8PM (Doors @ 7PM)

Tickets: https://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms-3/

To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. It exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $2.1 million directly into treatment and recovery and answered over 200,000 messages from over 100 countries.

This past September, TWLOHA wrapped its 6th annual campaign to honor National Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day. The organization was overwhelmed by the amount of love and support shown during this year’s campaign, titled, “Stay. Find what you are made for,“during which over $103.5K was raised for treatment and counseling. The campaign was shared by supporters all over the world, including NBA player Kyle Korver, US Women’s National Soccer Team stars Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and Ashlyn Harris, actress Shantel VanSanten, Switchfoot‘s Jon Foreman, Dustin Kensrue of Thrice, actress and singer Debby Ryan, The Ready Set‘s Jordan Witzrigreuter, and Jess Bowen of The Summer Set, all of whom were featured in a special video message directed by Dustin Miller, a Florida-based filmmaker and longtime TWLOHA collaborator: https://youtu.be/37cB2CQt_YA.

Illenium’s New Single

ILLENIUM’S NEW SINGLE, TAKE YOU DOWN, IS OUT NOW

Single Marks His First Release On Astralwerks

Summer Festival Performances Include Lollapalooza On Saturday, August 4, Plus Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, Electric Zoo And More

August 29 Headline Show At Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre Is Sold Out

Illenium’s Combined Streams Surpass 1 Billion

Download / Stream Take You Down
View visualizer HERE

Denver-based artist Nick Miller, known professionally as Illenium, has signed to Astralwerks and makes his debut on the renowned dance label with the highly personal single Take You Down. After hearing from many fans about how his music has gotten them through dark periods, he felt compelled to share how music saved his life, too, following a heroin overdose six years ago.

In a letter to fans, posted HERE, Illenium explains, “Take You Down is about my struggles with addiction and what it can do to families and loved ones. It’s more specifically about my mom, and how no matter what, she never gave up on me. To anyone struggling like I did, not just with addiction but anything in life, I hope you guys can find peace in your struggles and know that anything can be overcome. I’ve been clean since that overdose and I owe that to finding my passion and being surrounded by the most loving people I could ever ask for.

Download / stream Take You Down HERE and view the visualizer HERE.

Fresh off a sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand, Illenium will perform at Lollapalooza tomorrow, August 4. In addition to a full slate of festival performances, including Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, Electric Zoo, Lost Lands, Austin City Limits and EDC Orlando, he will play a sold-out headline show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on August 29. See below for itinerary. Tickets are available at http://illenium.com/tour/.

Reviewing Illenium’s Coachella 2018 performance, Your EDM.com noted, “In the hour long set, Illenium played his heart out to tens of thousands of fans, some of whom were probably only at the festival to see him. Bringing out some deeper cuts as well as all of his newest music from Awake and Ashes, Illenium proceeded to take fans on an absolutely wild ride.

Illenium creates immersive emotional experiences, displaying an adeptness for crafting aural arrangements that vary in style, beauty, complexity and depth. With two full-length albums to his credit and sundry singles and remixes, he has surpassed the one billion stream mark across his discography.

His debut album, Ashes, was released to critical acclaim in early 2016. Awake followed in 2017 and hit #1 on in the iTunes Electronic Dance Charts in 12 countries. Named one of the 10 Best Dance/Electronic Albums of 2017 by Billboard, it included such singles as Feel Good (with Gryffin featuring Daya) and Crawl Outta Love. Praising the album as a gorgeous collection of future bass, piercing vocals, and barefaced lyrics, Dancing Astronaut said, While it might seem premature to call an album a masterpiece, no other title would fit Awake so well. Billboard observed, “The phoenix is Illenium ‘s mascot, and Awake is the emergent moment of that story.

Illenium’s Awake Live headline tour captivated audiences across the country, and sold out such renowned venues as The Shrine, Terminal 5, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Aragon Ballroom and Red Rocks. His remix of Flume’s Say It earned him an Electronic Music Award for Best Remix in 2017. Illenium’s recent collaborations include Don’t Give Up On Me with Kill The Noise ft. Mako and Gold (Stupid Love) with Excision ft. Shallows.

Follow Illenium:
Illenium 2018 Tour Dates

8/3 | Las Vegas, NV | Hakkasan Nightclub

8/4 | Chicago, IL | Lollapalooza

8/5 | Chicago, IL | Concord Music Hall (Lollapalooza Aftershow)

8/11 | San Francisco, CA | Outside Lands

8/12 | Baltimore, MD | Moonrise Festival

8/19 | Pointe-calumet, QC | Beach Club

8/29 | Morrison, CO | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | SOLD OUT

8/30 | Bellvue, CO | Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Throwback Set | SOLD OUT

9/1 | Seattle, WA | Bumbershoot

9/2 | New York, NY | Electric Zoo

9/6-9 | La Cygne, KS | Dancefestopia

9/14-16 | Thornville, OH | Lost Lands

9/14-15 | San Bernardino, CA | Nocturnal Wonderland

9/29-30 | Chandler, AZ | Goldrush Festival

10/5-6 | Nashville, TN | Breakaway Music Festival

10/5-7 | Austin, TX | Austin City Limits Music Festival

10/12-14 | Austin, TX | Austin City Limits Music Festival

11/9 | Orlando, FL | EDC Orlando

About Astralwerks:
Established in New York City and now finding its new home in the historic Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, Astralwerks was the brainchild of staffers at Caroline Records who saw an opportunity for a label focused on the emerging electronic and ambient scene. Having reached a milestone of 25 years, Astralwerks has quickly become a modern, artist-first label with a true focus on nurturing talent across the electronic genre and beyond. Acting with a scalable, independent and global thinking mentality with the capability to tap into the resources of a major label, has allowed Astralwerks to retain and sign up-and-coming artists such as I Illenium, Jonas Blue, Alison Wonderland, EDEN, Sigma and Axwell /\ Ingrosso. As a testament to this pioneering approach, Astralwerks has amassed 30 GRAMMY nominations, taken home six GRAMMY Awards and had historic releases from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia, Halsey, Porter Robinson, Phoenix, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim and many more.

Demi Lovato’s Overdose

25-year-old American singer, songwriter, and actress, Demi Lovato was found lying unconscious in her home on Tuesday after a suspected overdose. She is currently recovering and receiving treatment at a hospital in LA. Lovato has stated how she has previously had issues dealing with eating disorders, self-harm, addiction, and mental health problems. She had also made a documentary regarding her struggles that affected her daily life along with trying to stay sober, but in June 2018 Lovato released a new song titled Sober in which she sings “I’m not sober anymore.” Her documentary went on explaining how these problems began at a very young age, such as having suicidal thoughts and bulimia when she was only 10 years old, and trying cocaine for the first time when she was 17. Even before starting the hit series on Disney Channel’s “Sonny with a Chance” and “Camp Rock,” she had been a huge target for bullying. There were many struggles and pressures on her as she drove quickly to fame at such a young age. Lovato is currently receiving lots of support from fans and celebrities throughout social media while wishing her a quick recovery.

Facing Addiction

By James W. Hood

I had a horrible feeling that October Friday. I’d been in that situation many times before, but this time felt different.

That Wednesday, Austin left voicemails that sounded confused — from a friend’s phone, because Austin had lost his.

On Thursday, Austin sent texts from that same phone. Something wasn’t right. I called the friend to say I was concerned and to have Austin call me. Several hours later, the friend called to say he went to Austin’s apartment, but no one was home.

A few hours later I received a blocked call but couldn’t answer in time. Three minutes later a call came with a New Orleans area code. It was the coroner saying my beautiful boy was found slumped over his kitchen table, dead from an opioid overdose.

Austin’s journey was over. Mine was just beginning.

Like every child, Austin was a wonderful person — just a kid trying to grow up in a world that throws endless challenges at us. But at age 14, Austin started drinking. We were concerned and sought help. By 15, we found pipes and marijuana in his room. We sought more help. By 16, Austin was using opioids.

The next three years were a blur of therapists, interventions, wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools, and ER visits. At 19, Austin was doing great. He went to college with new-found determination and optimism. Until those 48 hours that I’ll never be able to understand or reconstruct.

Until the phone call came that would bring any parent to his or her knees. Until he lost his battle and I lost my son.

Someone said losing a child is the greatest pain we will ever face.

They were right.

Looking back, I wondered why it was so difficult to help Austin. Why did he have to go to 18 different people or places for help? Why was there no roadmap? Why did I feel we were lurking in shadows the entire time? Wasn’t there anyone who’d figured out what needs to be done?
I came to understand our family’s journey was far from unique. But even in Westport, CT, society wants to pretend addiction is not the horrific problem it is.

Addiction is devastating our country and stealing our youth. With 21 million people currently suffering and 23 million more in long-term recovery, addiction to alcohol and other drugs impacts one in three households. Addiction affects as many people as diabetes; one-and-a-half times as many as all cancers combined.

Someone, usually a young adult, dies from alcohol or other drugs every four minutes — like a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day with no survivors. Addiction and accidental overdose are now the leading killer of people under 50 years of age, and addiction costs our country $1 trillion a year.

Where is the outrage?

Our country has done little to combat the scourge of addiction, and so it continues to get worse, striking an ever-younger audience every year. Why? Because the stigma, shame, and hopelessness surrounding addiction have kept this issue in the shadows.

As a result — astonishingly — there has never been a well-funded equivalent of the American Cancer Society or American Heart Association to battle the addiction crisis.

This is why I left my career and, with others whose lives have also been forever changed by this crisis, created Facing Addiction (now Facing Addiction with NCADD).

We’ve crafted a comprehensive strategy to turn the tide against addiction in America.

To do that, we’re building a national movement — as exists with every other major health issue — to bring a unified voice and sustainable source of funding to this effort.
On October 4, 2015, Facing Addiction made history on the National Mall, when tens of thousands gathered to end the silence surrounding addiction. This was the first time major musicians, politicians, actors, and advocates all joined to create a united voice, supporting Facing Addiction’s pledge to help solve the most urgent health crisis of our time. It was the AIDS-quilt moment for addiction in America.

Since then, Facing Addiction with NCADD has become the leading voice in the effort to end addiction in our country, and has accomplished many important things. Still, because of the stigma, shame, and misunderstanding surrounding addiction, many ask if we can truly reverse this problem.
The answer is, unconditionally, yes.

First, we must educate people that addiction is an illness, not a moral failing. It happens to good people who no more want to become addicted than others want to get cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

Addiction is not inherently fatal. It is treatable, and recovery is real. But people must understand the risks. One in every seven Americans will experience a substance use disorder.

Second, we must make accurate information readily accessible, in a trusted place, so people who need help know where to turn. Facing Addiction with NCADD, with Transforming Youth Recovery, created the Addiction Resource Hub that lists some 40,000 assets, to help people with prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, and advocacy. This is the most comprehensive addiction resource ever assembled, and is already helping countless people.

Third, we must remove impediments that have been holding back progress for decades. Prevention programs that don’t work. Pediatricians untrained in addiction. Shady, under-regulated addiction treatment centers. And our wrong-minded response to addiction as a crime, instead of an illness.
America has faced other health crises throughout history and, each time, found ways to dramatically lessen their impact.

Thirty-five years ago, people thought HIV/AIDS, another highly stigmatized illness, was insurmountable. But since the AIDS quilt moment in 1983, great strides have been made to reduce its devastation — with $3 billion raised toward that end.

But we must act…now. More than 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of “the fierce urgency of now” when discussing a very different crisis in America. We must focus today’s “fierce urgency of now” on the addiction crisis in America, before we lose an entire generation of our youth.

JAMES W. HOOD
Co-CEO of Facing Addiction with NCADD

Jim has had a distinguished career, with an emphasis on helping companies identify and implement strategies for significant growth. He has more than three decades of experience in general management, business strategy, marketing, finance, consulting, private investing and as an entrepreneur.

Since the death of his son, Austin, from drug-related causes in October 2012, Jim has devoted all his time helping to forge a national organization, Facing Addiction, to serve as “the American Cancer Society of the addiction space.”

Facing Addiction launched with a history-making event on the National Mall on October 4, 2015. In January 2018 Facing Addiction merged with NCADD. The resulting organization, Facing Addiction with NCADD, is now recognized as the leading voice in the effort to end addiction in our country. Jim serves as Co-CEO of Facing Addiction with NCADD.

During his years in advertising, Jim managed some of Young & Rubicam’s largest accounts, headed the agency’s strategy review board, served as Director of Global Business Development, and was CEO of the joint venture between Y&R and Dentsu, the largest advertising agency in the world.

During his years on Wall Street, Jim was Chief Marketing Officer of Lehman Brothers and CS First Boston (now Credit Suisse).

Jim also had a successful strategic consulting practice for more than a decade, working with clients in the financial services, telecom, defense, technology and restaurant industries. While a consultant, Jim co-founded and became CEO of HipCricket, a groundbreaking mobile marketing firm that went public in 2006. He was also a director of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and served as a member of their executive committee when the company went public.

Jim is an investor in several private equity and hedge funds and invests in and advises early stage companies. He also serves as a mentor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.

Jim holds a BA in Psychology and Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard University. He has served on many community boards in his hometown of Westport, CT.

Trump Revealed on Opioid Epidemic 

With more than 100 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, Trump declared it was time to take action and officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The announcement was short on details. Declaring a national state of emergency involves more than just a brief statement from the president to the press — there’s a formal process that requires documents to be signed and legal steps to be followed.

On ViceNews.com, Keegan Hamilton details Trump’s informal state of emergency declaration and how a White House spokesman confirmed that the paperwork still remains incomplete.

The informal state of emergency declaration follows a pattern for the Trump administration. Much like his recent tweets about banning transgender people from the military or his early executive orders about cracking down on crime, Trump’s opioid gambit has been — at least so far — all flash and no substance, attracting attention without making any major policy changes.

Read “State of no emergency” by VICE News’ Keegan Hamilton here: https://news.vice.com/story/trump-officially-declared-an-opioid-emergency-and-then-officially-did-nothing. Follow @vicenews and @keegan_hamilton for more updates.