Beautiful Word About Farid Dallal, Founder of Forgotten Mom

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Beautiful words from Sal about our Founder, Farid Dallal. Thank you for your beautiful soul and your dedication to helping others.
In case you can’t read this here is the text:
Sal Cuttrelli: I remember when Farid Dallal was thinking of this way back in the day. We hit it off right away & shortly thereafter I broke my anonymity to him about my recovery. He seemed impressed with my years of being clean & would always ask me about it. He would sit me down, pour coffee & say “let’s talk”. Myself in Construction & Farid a businessman, why the connection? Our conversations would vary from cars to sports but always back to addiction. In that time he actually helped myself & my Wife get a nice deal on a new car. He made a few calls & knew a few people & was more then happy to help. Time goes by & one day I asked him a few home mortgage questions & he jumped in & helped again. A few calls here & there then some research on his end & he helped us again. I remember trying to pay him for his time & he laughed at me. He said my Friendship was more than enough for payment. Wow here he was the guy you hear about in life but you never meet. It wasn’t long after this that we became very close. Once all the other life stuff was over his thinking went into overdrive & he wanted to know all that I knew about addiction. I told him my entire story beginning to end sitting on his Patio. Farid saw the epidemic coming & used to ask me ” what can I do, how do I help”. I recall it like it was yesterday going back & forth on the role he could play & to what degree. It was hard for me just a street kind of guy to think like him. I knew he would do something as he was the HELP YOU OUT KINDA GUY. His dreams were big but the problem to me seemed so much bigger, well I was wrong & he did it. What amazed me most about Farid is that he was going through so much in his own life at the time but still forged forward. To see his dreams for himself & for others unfold has been amazing to say the least. I wish we had more time to spend together but miles & life always seem to get in the way. Reading this write up comes as no surprise to me as you would need to know him to understand.

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Successful treatment requires having

the right partners for long term care.

Forgotten Mom has been continuously aligning itself with different leaders in the addiction community and opiate awareness initiative. Reawakening’s Wellness Center of Miramar, Florida has been among those in the front line in efforts to collaborate with any and all ethical facilities willing to continue to make a difference and save lives in what everyone including our president considers a national epidemic.

RWC, one of  several sponsors has taken the first leap by continuing to offer much needed detox treatment beds to help those patients in need, no matter what their personal financial circumstances are.

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Gambling addiction triggers the same brain areas as drug and alcohol cravings

Gambling addiction activates the same brain pathways as drug and alcohol cravings, suggests new research.

The study, by international scientists including researchers from Imperial College London, suggests targeting these brain pathways may lead to future treatments for the condition.

The findings, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, also suggest connections between the parts of the brain that control our impulses may be weakened in people with gambling addiction.

This work provides vital clues into the biology of gambling addiction, which is still largely unknown, explained Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, co-author from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, and director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

“Gambling addiction can have a devastating effect not just on patients, but also their families. It can result in people losing their job, and leave families and children homeless.

“We know the condition may have a genetic component — and that the children of gambling addicts are at higher risk of gambling addiction themselves — but we still don’t know the exact parts of the brain involved. This research identifies key brain areas, and opens avenues for targeted treatments that prevent cravings and relapse.”

The study, funded by the UK Medical Research Council, found that two brain areas, called the insula and nucleus accumbens, are highly active when people with gambling addiction experience cravings.

Activity in these areas, which are found deep in the centre of the brain and involved in decision-making, reward and impulse control, has been previously linked to drug and alcohol cravings.

Problem gambling may affect up to 593,000 people in the UK. The condition can be treated by talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, or medications that combat cravings.

In the research, which was conducted between Imperial and the National Problem Gambling Clinic, scientists studied 19 patients with gambling addiction, and 19 healthy volunteers.

The most commonly reported problematic forms of gambling among the patients were electronic roulette and sports gambling.

Each volunteer went into a magnetic resonance imaging scanner — which uses a powerful electromagnet to monitor brain activity — and were shown various images. These included pictures of gambling scenes, such as a roulette wheel or a betting shop.

All participants were asked to rate their level of craving when they saw the images.

The team, which included scientists from the University of British Columbia and the University of Cambridge, then assessed which brain areas were activated when the volunteers experienced cravings.

They found that, in problem gamblers, the insula and nucleus accumbens were highly active when they were shown an image associated with gambling, and experienced a craving.

Interestingly, the team also found that weaker connections between the nucleus accumbens and an area called the frontal lobe in problem gamblers were associated with greater craving.

The frontal lobe, which is involved in decision-making, may help keep the insula in-check by controlling impulses, explained Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes, co-author from the Department of Medicine at Imperial.

“Weak connections between these regions have also been identified in drug addiction. The frontal lobe can help control impulsivity, therefore a weak link may contribute to people being unable to stop gambling, and ignoring the negative consequences of their actions. The connections may also be affected by mood — and be further weakened by stress, which may be why gambling addicts relapse during difficult periods in their life.”

Professor Lingford-Hughes added that monitoring activity and connections in the insula and nucleus accumbens in gambling addicts may not only help medics assess effectiveness of a treatment, but may also help prevent relapse — a common problem in addiction.

The group are now investigating which treatments may reduce activity in these areas, in an attempt to reduce cravings.

They would also like to compare the brain activity of problem gamblers with people who gamble but do not have an addiction, to investigate why the addiction escalates in some but not others.
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Addiction has reached crisis proportions

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With more than 20 million Americans in the grip of substance abuse, the U.S. Surgeon General has called on the public and government to take substantive steps in tackling this monster in our midst.

That call came in the form of a first-of-its-kind report — the Surgeon General’s “Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health” — that relies on current research to give clarity to how America can solve its addiction problem.

And a problem it is.

Some 8 percent of Americans — adults and adolescents — engage in an addiction that significantly impacts their lives.

The most common is alcohol addiction, which affects 16.6 million Americans.

In the area of illegal drugs, heroin dependence is at an all-time high. Since 2000, the number of overdose deaths in the United States attributed to opioids has increased by 200 percent.

Some 78 people die each day in the United States from an opioid overdose.

In fact, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has said this country is facing a “crisis of addiction,” noting that the addicted population equals the number of Americans battling diabetes. Yet only one in 10 addicted Americans will ever receive treatment.

He placed part of the blame squarely on a false understanding of addiction that has persisted for generations — that people become addicted because of some sort of moral failing, character flaw or sin.

That kind of thinking about alcohol and drug addiction has created barriers for people who, due to the shame attached to the stigma, may refuse to either acknowledge their addiction or to seek treatment.

Addiction can be treated

But there is hope.

The surgeon general’s report noted many advances have been made in the treatment of addiction over the past decades.

For example, there is plenty of scientific evidence to support treatment of addictions using medications such as methadone and buprenorphine. Evidence-based behavioral interventions can be effective as well.

And there is also evidence to support recovery programs such as Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous that help patients after treatment, although the report emphasized that they “are not the same as treatment.”

be wary of unreliable solutions

On the other hand, the report noted that unscientific approaches to drug and alcohol addiction are still being relied upon.

In particular, the surgeon general questioned the effectiveness of abstinence-only treatments for substance abuse as well as TV-style interventions that focus on aggressively confronting people with their addictions. Neither are evidence-based.

Now the challenge for the country is to make sure those evidence-based treatments are readily accessible and affordable. For the well-being of the country, addiction costs must be covered by health insurance, the surgeon general stressed.

However in the new presidential era, that’s far from guaranteed. The Affordable Care Act, which extended health coverage to millions and established addiction treatment as an essential benefit, may not survive the transition.

Treatment must be available

The bottom line is that it is unacceptable today that only one out of every 10 people addicted to alcohol or drugs gets treatment.

If only one out of every 10 cancer patients received treatment, there would be a huge outcry.

If only one out of every 10 people living with diabetes were treated, we would be outraged.

Yet we stay silent when nine out of every 10 people addicted to alcohol or drugs are left untreated despite the fact that scientifically supported treatments are available.

Why? Ironically, perhaps it’s because the scientific advances that have been made in treating addictions have outpaced the public’s acceptance of the biological causes of addiction.

Consider, for example, a 2006 study that showed 65 percent of people responded that alcoholism was due to “bad character” while only 47 percent said it was due to brain chemistry or genetics.

That belief regarding bad character is untrue and it is unhealthy, the surgeon general informs us.

Addiction services can’t be separated from health services. They are the same.

Addiction is a disease.

It can be treated.

Dear Mr. President

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Dear Future President,

Addiction is not a choice. Help isn’t always an option. Support might not be there, and we need a solution. America has reached a point in time where the number of drug addictions is at its peak. What a lot of people need to understand is that getting help isn’t always an option as it requires money, insurance and waiting time. Thanks to the previous laws put in place, insurance isn’t so much of a problem anymore. But that’s where you come in. We need reliable resources for addicts that are not just cheap and has no wait, but has a fair amount of enforcement, and the only person who can resolve this issue is you. America needs a reliable, cheap, and enforcing source for drug addicts to get help.

The people who do get help, don’t usually totally become clean. This is because once you become addicted, you’re automatically hooked on the drug and it is very difficult to get off it. According to one article from “Everyday Health”, it may take as many as 3-4 tries. So I write to you Mr./Ms. President to help find a solution to drug addictions.

Researchers have found that especially athletes are becoming addicts at young ages. According to a survey conducted by Narconon, “12% of the boys and 8% of the girls admitted to abusing painkillers including codeine and morphine, figures which represent an increase over previous years. Unlike many other drugs, the students who are using painkillers are not typically getting their pills from a drug dealer. Instead many of them are getting the drugs after being prescribed by a doctor. A sports injury will often see the student being given a prescription for Vicodin, Oxycontin or another common pioid painkiller.” This proves, that teens are becoming easily addicted to drugs as well, while getting hooked on addiction at a young age can massively impact your life span. We don’t just need a solution for adults with addictions, but teens as well.

I beg you future president to create an environment where when an addict is ready to get help, the help is there. Typically, when a person of color struggles with an addiction it as looked upon to be a crime, while if a white person is diagnosed with addiction it is an ‘illness’. All I’m asking is that you CONSIDER making changes to laws around drug addictions in our country, cause to be completely honest with you setting down laws to ban Pokémon Go isn’t priority, when 18,900 people are dying a year from drug over dose.

You may ask why a fourteen-year-old freshman feels so strongly about this topic, and I understand what you’re probably thinking ‘What does she know?’, but let me tell you Seattle is a wild place to live. As you may or may not know there is a specific location in Seattle called ‘The Jungle’, officially the East Duwamish Greenbelt. In ‘The Jungle’ at least 750 incidents have been reported to Seattle Police Department while drug dealing and drug use is also very common in ‘The Jungle’ (Bob Young). In addition to living in Seattle, as of December 6,2016 Washington State Initiative 501 was passed in Washington state (aka marijuana became legal). This law just makes it easier for teens especially, to smoke weed, even though it is not legal until age 21. To reflect on this, in my home town Seattle Washington, it has become incredibly easy to get your hand on drugs, and this goes for all over American as well. So I ask you again President of 2017 to please make a change in the lives of American drug addicts and don’t make them just have a reason to live, but help them change their lives to who they were before, before they had their first dose.

Regards,

Ellie V.

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The Vicious Attack Against Suboxone Continues

Buprenorphine, the generic name for Suboxone, is a medication used to treat opiate dependence – it helps minimize withdrawal symptoms. It’s often an essential part of a person’s recovery plan, mainly due to its accessibility. Users can attain it through a prescription from a certified doctor, rather than having to hoof it to a medication-assisted treatment program multiple times per month, like methadone requires.

Although it does have the potential to be abused, Suboxone is considered safe by most clinicians when used as prescribed. However, despite its many benefits, an increasing number of pharmacies are now refusing to fill these valid prescriptions. It begs the question: How is this happening – especially in light of a full-blown opioid epidemic sweeping the country?

Round and Round

The Suboxone uproar seemed to have started once the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cracked down on both Walgreens and CVS, fining them millions after violating federal rules for dispensing controlled substances. As a result, both pharmacy giants established stricter dispensing rules, which led to thousands of complaints by Suboxone users.

And now we can add Wal-Mart to the list, with a North Wilkesboro, NC, store location recently refusing to fill buprenorphine prescriptions altogether. Reportedly, DEA agents visited the Walmart pharmacy and told them if they continued filling Suboxone prescriptions, they would be accused of collusion. In response, the Wal-Mart allegedly axed sales of all buprenorphine products. A subsequent phone call to the Wal-Mart pharmacy, placed by Dr. Jana Burson, seems to back up the claims. In her blog, Dr. Burson writes:

“I asked him if it was true that Wal-Mart no longer fills buprenorphine prescriptions, and he said yes, that’s true. I asked was that for all forms of buprenorphine, including the films, Zubsolv, generics, etc., and he said yes, all of them… Starting to feel a little riled, I asked him if he thought that decision would interfere with appropriate treatment of a potentially fatal illness; he just repeated Wal-Mart had decided not to stock buprenorphine at all.”
Interestingly enough, DEA spokesman Rusty Payne says the agency is not the one to blame with limiting access to opioid painkillers. “If something is prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose, we’re certainly not going to get in the way,” Payne told the National Pain Report. Instead, he points the finger at the doctors and pharmacists.

Bottomline: Is This Legal?

The laws that govern whether pharmacists are obligated to fill legitimate prescriptions are murky. There doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut answer, other than some saying the final decision lies within an individual pharmacist’s “professional discretion.” For instance, Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations states that:

“The responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner, but a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription.”
However, others look towards company policies for direction. Walgreens now utilizes their “Good Faith Dispensing Checklist,” which mandates staff pharmacists ask every patient a number of questions before filling a new controlled substance prescription. If the patient and the prescription don’t meet all the “good faith” criteria, the Walgreens pharmacist cannot – by company policy – fill the prescription.

Whether it’s legal or not, refusing a legitimate prescription is blocking your access to treatment. If you or someone you know are refused Suboxone, contact your prescribing physician or your treatment program case manager immediately to make sure your recovery plan isn’t compromised in any way.

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Schizophrenia risk increased with alcohol, drug abuse

There has been a wealth of research on the impact that alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs might have on the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

However, it is a difficult area to study, and previous research has been controversial and often contradictory.

As one example, many earlier studies could not take into account co-abuse; in other words, people who abuse a number of compounds.

Dr. Stine Mai Nielsen and Prof. Merete Nordentoft, from Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Center in Denmark, recently embarked on one of the largest studies of its type.

Their findings, presented at this year’s International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy, add another piece to the puzzle.

Schizophrenia and drug abuse
To dive into this question, the team of investigators used data from 3,133,968 individuals born between 1955-1999 from nationwide Danish registers. In all, they identified more than 200,000 cases of substance abuse and over 21,000 schizophrenia diagnoses.

Data was analyzed using a range of statistical measures; they also controlled for a number of factors including gender, urbanity, other psychiatric diagnoses, co-abuse, parents’ immigration to Denmark, parents’ economic status, and psychiatric history.

The team found that abuse of any substance increased the risk of developing schizophrenia. The increased risks were as follows:

Cannabis: 5.2 times
Alcohol: 3.4 times
Hallucinogenic drugs: 1.9 times
Sedatives: 1.7 times
Amphetamines: 1.24 times
Other substances: 2.8 times.

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Editorial: Drugs. Addiction. Regret. Excuses.

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When we were in elementary school, a police officer or two stood in the front of our classroom and told us drugs were bad. They did this on a weekly basis as part of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E. program. We wrote our D.A.R.E. essays to complete the program and proudly received our D.A.R.E. graduation certificates, confident we would never do drugs and our friends would never do drugs.

Drugs were bad.

We never thought we or someone we knew would be addicted to drugs. This once naive thought now seems ridiculous given that an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States struggle with a drug addiction. Often this is because these substances are easy to obtain by way of a friend or a prescription.

America as a country is grappling with the heroin epidemic, and more than 3,500 people in Pennsylvania have died from an opioid overdose in the past year. Two of those deaths were the parents of a 7-year-old girl in Pittsburgh, who spent a day trying to “wake up” her parents after they overdosed.

This is just one of the real-world consequences of drugs, but it is extreme. It also seems somewhat irrelevant to us as college students because we aren’t in the “real world” just yet.

When we were in elementary school taking D.A.R.E. classes, drugs were bad. Maybe we still think they are bad. But chances are we know someone who does cocaine at every date party. We’ve seen the empty Adderall pills that litter the cubicles of Farchild-Martindale library during exams.

The national heroin epidemic receives attention because of the large-scale of the issue, the smaller-scale drug issues sometimes go unnoticed or ignored. While it may not be an epidemic, we seem to ignore the everyday drug use in our own school. This may be because we compartmentalize our lives in such a way that we’ve convinced ourselves what we do in college won’t hurt us later on in life.

We rationalize that it’s fine to take some Addy to study for an exam now, but we won’t take one when we have a real job. We only smoke when we’re drunk. We only do coke to have a good time on some weekends.

Heroin use on our campus is not nearly as prevalent as cocaine use or Adderall use, and it may not even be used at all. While heroin is still widely considered to be dangerous, Adderall and coke are less stigmatized than when we took D.A.R.E. in fifth grade. Coke is now a party drug and Adderall is a study drug — both have a particular purpose that play into the work hard, play hard mentality on campus.

Sure, not all of these items are addictive. Not everyone who uses them will become an addict. But these foreign substances are harmful when we become slaves to their effects.

There is a problem if you are putting something into your body and you cannot stop.

Drug addiction is terrifying. Everything else aside, our bodies are not made to be completely dependent on any one foreign substance. The health habits developed in our 20s will set the course for the rest of our lives. It’s not possible to completely overhaul our lifestyles the second we put on a brown cap and gown to graduate.

Anything can be addictive if you let it rule your life. When you can’t relax or have fun or focus without a drug, it becomes an addiction.

The desire to compartmentalize our lives is natural. Grade school was one time of our lives, high school was another and college is a third. While this breakdown of our lives may be important for remembering experiences, it is hazardous to think our actions in college will not affect our health in the future.

Addiction is bad.

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