Monthly Archives: January 2018

White House Opioid Commission Top Recommendations to President Trump

The United States is facing an opioid overdose epidemic. We look to our government to alleviate this crisis. Michael Botticelli was an American public official who served as the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from March 2014 until the end of President Obama's term. Since that time, the Trump administration has had difficulty filling that office. Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss their opinions of this office and public policy recommendations.

Discussion Guide:

What qualifications do you believe a Drug Czar should possess to be effective in that role?

What government policies could have helped your recovery?

What recommendations would you make to President Trump to alleviate the opioid epidemic?

Supplemental Reading:

Robert O'Harrow, Jr, Meet the 24-year-old Trump Campaign Worker Appointed to Help Lead the Government's Drug Policy Office,

Mary Louise Kelly, White House Opioid Commission Presents Final Recommendations to President Trump,

Aly Semigran, New Strategy Protects Police Dogs from Opioid Overdoses,

Don’t Feel Trapped by Your Medication, Get Out There and Travel

I've heard it said that Methadone is like "liquid handcuffs". This stigma prevents many people from the benefits of medication assisted treatment. People who take Methadone, Suboxone or Vivitrol can still be active, travel and have a full life. Listen in to the opiate recovery support group as they discuss their experiences and aspirations while in MMT.  

Discussion Guide:

What's on your travel bucket list?

Do you have a desire to travel to other countries but find your medication prohibitive? Is your medication a barrier to travel?

Have you Guest Dosed at a another location? What was your experience with that?

Are you familiar with other countries guidelines on importation of Methadone/Buprenorphine? What would you like to know?

Supplemental Reading:

Methadone/Buprenorphine International Travel Guide Index,

Counteracting Media Bias and Sensationalism

Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in the media in which events and topics are over-hyped to catch attention. This misrepresentation often happens in the case of addictions in general and with heroin dependent people in particular. Many news features and photographs are designed to shock. Certainly there are unethical addiction treatment centers but the vast majority of facilities are professional and closely follow federal and state regulations. Photos of the opioid crisis feature IV needles and people passed out or dead. So what can be done to reverse this negative perception of this disease and treatment? Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss their experiences and opinions.

Discussion Guide:

Have you read negative portrayals of addiction treatment in the news more often than hopeful and inspiring stories?

Would you agree that the majority of photos pertaining to the opioid crisis perpetuate a negative perception of people dependent upon opioids?

Often heroin addiction is depicted in Hollywood movies in a way that sensationalizes and glamorizes an addiction lifestyle. Why do you think this is?

 Do you believe there is a bias against treatment clinics as disreputable?

What are the costs to the recovery community of this bias?

What can be done to counteract this bias?

Supplemental Reading:

Julie Miller, Behavioral Healthcare Executive,

Couples In Recovery: You Will Either be Clean Together, Use Together, or Not be Together

Couples who enter treatment together are warned "you will either be clean together, use together, or not be together." Listen in to this opiate recovery support group podcast as a married couple discusses their recovery struggles and successes.

Discussion Guide:

Are you in a love relationship with someone who is also in recovery?

If so, would you say that you are a good influence, or bad, to each other?

What are the recovery struggles that you've experienced?

What are your recovery successes as a couple in recovery?

Supplemental Resource:

Recovering Couples Anonymous,

When Children Abuse Prescription Meds

We don't expect children to purposefully abuse prescription medications. The discovery of two middle school students who were found to be under the influence of an opiate took the community by surprise. Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss prevention issues for youth.

Discussion Guide:

How old were you when you started to abuse opiates?

How did you access them?

Are you familiar with pharm parties? Have you attended one?

What do you recommend as prevention against substance abuse for children and adolescents?

Supplemental Reading:

Jacqueline Covey, School District to Address RX Abuse, http://www.clintonherald.c

Jacqueline Covey, Middle School Town Hall Talks Prescription Abuse,

Ask the Opioid Dependent Patient, Not Law Enforcement, About Incidences of Opioid Overdoses

Law enforcement is not in a position to know how many fatal or near fatal overdoses occur within their jurisdiction. We can’t rely on their statistics for an accurate count of how many people have nearly died. So where do we turn for more accurate figures? To the patients who are dependent upon opioids themselves. Listen in to the opiate recovery support group as they discuss attitudes toward Narcan.

Discussion Guide:

Have you suffered an overdose and been revived with Narcan? If so, were the police notified?

It is reported that a Sheriff in Butler County, Ohio refuses to equip his officers with Narcan. What are his concerns that would prevent him from doing so?

Other law enforcement departments are happy to have Narcan at their disposal. Why would they find it beneficial?

Why would law enforcement not be an accurate source of statistics on fatal or near fatal overdoses?

Supplemental Reading:

Gail Gabbert, Ask the Opioid Dependent Patient