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2 A lasting recovery starts here. Having overcome devastating addiction myself, I ve learned to use my own experiences, struggles, and triumphs to help others find their own key to recovery. - Darryl Strawberry Co-Founder, Former MLB, Ordained Minister The Darryl Strawberry Recovery Center provides effective treatment to all individuals who are suffering from substance abuse, with a center for excellence in addiction treatment and recovery. Our trained clinicians, counselors and specialists provide support for each client s individual needs. Take the first step and ask for help. Call (855) Today. To learn more about the center, visit 81 Beehive Circle Drive, St. Cloud, FL

3 A LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Dear Readers, I welcome you to The Sober World magazine. The Sober World is an informative magazine that s designed to help parents and families who have loved ones struggling with addiction. We are a FREE printed publication in South Florida, as well as an online e-magazine reaching people globally in their search for information about Drug and Alcohol Abuse. We directly mail our printed magazine each month to whoever has been arrested for drugs or alcohol in Palm Beach County as well as distributing locally to the schools, colleges, drug court, coffee houses, meeting halls, doctor offices and more throughout Palm Beach and Broward County. We also directly mail to rehabs throughout the country and have a presence at conferences nationally. Our monthly magazine is available for free on our website at If you would like to receive an E-version monthly of the magazine, please send your address to Drug addiction has reached epidemic proportions throughout the country and is steadily increasing. It is being described as the biggest man-made epidemic in the United States. More people are dying from drug overdoses than from any other cause of injury death, including traffic accidents, falls or guns. Many Petty thefts are drug related, as the addicts need for drugs causes them to take desperate measures in order to have the ability to buy their drugs. The availability of prescription narcotics is overwhelming; as parents our hands are tied. Purdue Pharma, the company that manufactures Oxycontin generated $3.1 BILLION in revenue in 2010? Scary isn t it? Addiction is a disease but there is a terrible stigma attached to it. As family members affected by this disease, we are often too ashamed to speak to anyone about our loved ones addiction, feeling that we will be judged. We try to pass it off as a passing phase in their lives, and some people hide their head in the sand until it becomes very apparent such as through an arrest, getting thrown out of school or even worse an overdose, that we realize the true extent of their addiction. I know that many of you who are reading this now are frantic that their loved one has been arrested. No parent ever wants to see his or her child arrested or put in jail, but this may be your opportunity to save your child or loved one s life. They are more apt to listen to you now than they were before, when whatever you said may have fallen on deaf ears. This is the point where you know your loved one needs help, but you don t know where to begin. I have compiled this informative magazine to try to take that fear and anxiety away from you and let you know there are many options to choose from. There are Psychologists and Psychiatrists that specialize in treating people with addictions. There are Education Consultants that will work with you to figure out what your loved ones needs are and come up with the best plan for them. There are Interventionists who will hold an intervention and try to convince your loved one that they need help. There are detox centers that provide medical supervision to help them through the withdrawal process, There are Transport Services that will scoop up your resistant loved one (under the age of 18 yrs. old) and bring them to the facility you have cho- sen. There are long term Residential Programs (sometimes a year and longer) as well as short term programs (30-90 days), there are Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Wilderness programs, Extended Living and there are Sober Living Housing where they can work, go to meetings and be accountable for staying clean. Many times a Criminal Attorney will try to work out a deal with the court to allow your child or loved one to seek treatment as an alternative to jail. I know how overwhelming this period can be for you and I urge every parent or relative of an addict to get some help for yourself. There are many groups that can help you. There is Al-Anon, Alateen (for teenagers), Families Anonymous, Nar-Anon and more. This is a disease that affects the whole family, not just the parents. These groups allow you to share your thoughts and feelings. As anonymous groups, your anonymity is protected. Anything said within those walls are not shared with anyone outside the room. You share only your first name, not your last name. This is a wonderful way for you to be able to openly convey what has been happening in your life as well as hearing other people share their stories. You will find that the faces are different but the stories are all too similar. You will also be quite surprised to see how many families are affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Addiction knows no race or religion; it affects the wealthy as well as the poor, the highly educated, old, young-it MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. This magazine is dedicated to my son Steven who graduated with top honors from University of Central Florida. He graduated with a degree in Psychology, and was going for his Masters in Applied Behavioral Therapy. He was a highly intelligent, sensitive young man who helped many people get their lives on the right course. He could have accomplished whatever he set his mind out to do. Unfortunately, after graduating from college he tried a drug that was offered to him not realizing how addictive it was and the power it would have over him. My son was 7 months clean when he relapsed and died of a drug overdose. I hope this magazine helps you find the right treatment for your loved one. They have a disease and like all diseases, you try to find the best care suited for their needs. They need help. Deaths from prescription drug overdose have been called the silent epidemic for years. There is approximately one American dying every 17 minutes from an accidental prescription drug overdose. Please don t allow your loved one to become a statistic. I hope you have found this magazine helpful. You may also visit us on the web at We are on Face Book at World/ or Steven Sober-World, Twitter at com/thesoberworld, and LinkedIn at I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. Sincerely, Patricia Publisher To Advertise, Call

4 IMPORTANT HELPLINE NUMBERS 211 PALM BEACH/TREASURE COAST 211 FOR THE TREASURE COAST FOR TEENAGERS AAHOTLINE-NORTH PALM BEACH AA HOTLINE- SOUTH COUNTY FLORIDA ABUSE HOTLINE AL-ANON- PALM BEACH COUNTY AL-ANON- NORTH PALM BEACH FAMILIES ANONYMOUS (USA) (LOCAL) CENTER FOR GROUP COUNSELING CO-DEPENDENTS ANONYMOUS COCAINE ANONYMOUS COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING CRIMESTOPPERS TIPS (8477) CRIME LINE TIPS (8477) DEPRESSION AND MANIC DEPRESSION FLORIDA DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE FLORIDA HIV/AIDS HOTLINE 800-FLA-AIDS ( ) FLORIDA INJURY HELPLINE GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS and HEPATITUS B HOTLINE JEWISH FAMILY AND CHILD SERVICES LAWYER ASSISTANCE MARIJUANA ANONYMOUS NARC ANON FLORIDA REGION NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS-PALM BEACH NATIONAL RUNAWAY SWITCHBOARD 800-RUNAWAY ( ) NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE SUICIDE ( ) ONLINE MEETING FOR MARIJUANA OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS- BROWARD COUNTY OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS- PALM BEACH COUNTY RUTH RALES JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES WOMEN IN DISTRESS PALM BEACH COUNTY MEETING HALLS CENTRAL HOUSE 2170 W ATLANTIC AVE. SW CORNER OF ATLANTIC & CONGRESS CLUB OASIS CROSSROADS EASY DOES IT LAMBDA NORTH CLUBHOUSE THE MEETING PLACE THE TRIANGLE CLUB BROWARD COUNTY MEETING HALLS 12 STEP HOUSE SW 23RD STREET 101 CLUB 700 SW 10TH DRIVE & DIXIE HWY LAMBDA SOUTH CLUB POMPANO BEACH GROUP SW CORNER OF SE 2ND & FEDERAL HWY PRIDE CENTER WEST BROWARD CLUB Struggling with addiction? CALL US TODAY! Toll Free: Admissions: At the Serenity House Detox we pride ourselves on taking care of our clients like our family. We are a small private medical detox offering a peaceful and compassionate environment. Our clients will have the opportunity to take the first step in the journey to recovery in a safe environment. If you have been arrested - CALL US! ASI specializes in coordinating treatment alternatives to jail time for those facing alcohol or drug related charges in the court system. ASI is affiliated with a network of treatment centers and licensed attorneys who are qualified and experienced in defending alcohol and drug related charges. For those who are not covered by health insurance for Substance Abuse Treatment, we offer rehab alternatives at a rate substantially discounted from what the treatment centers will normally charge you. WE PROVIDE: Interventions Drug Evaluations Drug Charges * DUI s * Expert Testimony Marchman Acts * Criminal Record Expungement Call for a FREE consultation Myles B. Schlam,J.D.,CAP/CCJAP CEO, Advocare Solutions,Inc *All clients with legal cases will be represented by one of ASI s licensed network attorneys

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6 TIS THE SEASON: AVOIDING RELAPSE IN NEW SOBRIETY DURING THE HOLIDAYS By: Sheila Dunnells, Ph.D., CCDP, L-ADC, BC Aspen The familiar envelop showed up every year, right before Thanksgiving. It was from Terence & Alicia Thurgrood III of Colorado. Avery knew what was in it which is why it remained unopened. The Thurgroods were the unofficial hosts for the yearly reunion in Aspen for ten friends who attended Wharton School of Business. Terry and Alicia sent out the invitations, made dinner reservations, contacted the General Manager for wine, liquor and food preferences, secured room reservations, set up spa appointments, and kept everyone informed of which invitees would attend and with whom. The partiers flew in from both coasts, plus Texas, Chicago and Nashville. Everyone anticipated a five star week. Kerry s mind spins a virtual tour of the past six years in Aspen: fabulous skiing, available right outside their door; lunches around the fire place with glasses flowing with Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2011; wedges of Beaufort D ete, a French mountain cheese. Later in the day, all would visit the Martini Bar before dinner. Once seated in a dining room overlooking the slopes, Russian Osetra Caviar will arrive, paired with frozen Stolichnaya Elit shots. This year, Kerry was invited solo. The drinking had gotten out of hand and his marriage fell apart. Kerry s first thought is since the family has already been lost to drinking, why not go out and enjoy all the skiing and food with friends. I am sure if I enjoy one cocktail it won t destroy the sobriety I have attained. Kerry reasoned. This trip was one of the best times in the year. It brings together good friends, elegant food and drink, associations with the A-list. How could anyone live without it? Super Bowl In a suburb outside of Manhattan, on Thanksgiving weekend, Rick receives a SAVE THE DATE card from Sam and Kim. They are the official hosts of the Annual Super Bowl Party. In order to avoid any DUI s, Sam hires a bus to pick up all his friends. He makes his 11 Alarm Chile for the adventurous who can eat it. Kim caters the food that ranges from sushi to Lasagna. Guests usually bring an array of hors d oeuvres, anything from stuffed mushrooms to shrimp cocktail. However, the beer on tap has always been the focal point of the day. Sam sets up several kegs in the garage, which is always cool. At half-time, friends rush to the garage to eat, drink, tell stories and generally poke fun at one another. Clearly, for someone in new recovery, this is a challenge. A challenge if I attend and social death if I miss what used to be the culmination of the football season, considers Rick. If I don t attend, I will miss all the food, laughter, comradery, and general drink-a-fun day. But, Rick has been sober for several months and has promised his wife, who is finished with cleaning up after his escapades, that he will follow his AA program. On the other hand, Rick thinks, how can one day with old friends destroy my sobriety? Surely I have enough Program to enjoy one drink with old friends and not go back into my disease? 6 Rick could not imagine his life without his Super Bowl family. What would he do with himself? Avoiding Relapse Just One Believing that one drink (drug, etc.) can t hurt is a mind game destined to sabotage your sobriety. You know better; your sponsor knows better; your family knows better. No Substitutions Another slippery slope is believing you can substitute your drug of choice with some other substance. Not true! Mind altering does just that! Have an Escape Plan: Unless you want to find yourself with a drink, drug, super bowl bet, or a 48 pack of chocolate in your hand, you must have a staying-sober stratagem. Hoping for sudden will power is a clear path to a relapse. If you decide to attend the family gathering, plan to arrive after the cocktail hour and make your excuses to leave before the drinking, etc. resumes. And, some parties may have to be missed this year. Avoid People, Places and Things The operative word in new sobriety is to avoid- people, places and things familiar to your using life! Avoid places where friends or family from your using days will be in attendance, regardless of whether it is your best friend, older brother or your younger cousin. If you used together, it is a trigger for picking up again. Avoid places that can trigger flashbacks of your previous life. It can exhume overwhelming feelings that you buried alive years ago. Do Attend During the holidays, have the phone numbers of members of your AA support system and your sponsor on speed dial. If you have to make twenty calls to get through the day, make them. If you haven t joined a 12 Step Program, time to consider it. Look around for Sober Activities groups. Many groups host holiday dinners; New Year s parties; and Super Bowl gatherings. There are sober ski trips, cruises and singles clubs. Seek out those who are also trying to stay sober. Special Situations New Relationships Nothing is probably more dangerous to new sobriety than the thrill of a new relationship. However, it is suggested in most 12 step programs that you not make any relationship changes for a year. Do not end old relationships; do not start a new relationship. While not much is more energizing than a pair of black leather pants headed in your direction or a hunk with big shoulders on the checkout line, don t get involved. The high of new love and its attendant unexplored sex is a common occasion of slipping; the messy ending of an unhealthy relationship, formed because of the neediness of new sobriety, will also derail your efforts. Single and Sober If you believe you should be celebrating with the love of your life or getting a fabulous gift from someone other than the cat, Christmas can signal disappointment. Being with a gorgeous mate does not a relationship make, nor do Continued on page 30

7 SoberWay Program Medical Detox Chemical Dependency and Co-Occurring Disorders Long Term Care through our Customized Program Opiate Specific Treatment for Young Adults Gambling Specific Treatment The Brain Center: Neurofeedback Program Somatic Experiencing Experiential Therapies Intensive Family Program Christian Based Track Featuring Celebrate Recovery Web-based Aftercare and Monitoring The Mission at SoberWay We provide our clients with a safe, effective, comprehensive and life-changing therapeutic program in a family-style residential setting using both time tested and cutting edge educational and therapeutic tools to prepare clients to live a clean and sober, 12-Step based, life. Opiate addiction is at an all time high. We can help you on the road to recovery, the SoberWay. or contact Other services we offer include: & To Advertise, Call

8 THE SILENT ASSAULT ON AMERICANS WITH ADDICTIONS A NEW YEAR WITH OLD CHALLENGES By: John Giordano DHL, MAC It s a New Year and time to turn the page, or so I thought. It only took a headline before I was brought back to reality and reminded of the challenges we face. Late last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved yet another dangerous pure hydrocodone painkiller. Purdue Pharma L.P., makers of Oxycontin, was granted a Priority Review in July and final approval in November 2014 of Hysingla ER, a once a day extended-release hydrocodone bitartrate tablet. Hysingla ER will be available in 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 60mg, 80mg, and 120mg dosages in January Hysingla ER is expected to pose a direct commercial challenge to Zohydro ER made by California drug maker Zogenix, which is banned in most modern countries. Neither Hysingla ER nor Zohydro ER contains acetaminophen, a chemical that improves efficacy and also serves as an abuse deterrent. In March 2014 the FDA was highly criticized by elected officials, law enforcement and anti-addiction groups for its approval of Zohydro ER because of the product s potency 10 times stronger than Vicodin and susceptibility to abuse. The FDA s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee, made up of opioid experts, voted 11 to 2 with one abstention to not approve the drug application. In their view Zohydro ER had only met narrow targets for safety and efficacy. In addition they felt the painkiller could be used by people addicted to other opioids, including oxycodone and voiced concern for the resulting potential impact on public health. Yet with all of the caveats, FDA officials decided to over rule the committee s recommendation and approved the drug. This is a dangerous trajectory that the FDA has put us in considering we re in the world s largest opium addiction epidemic since the opium wars of the 1800s. Eight out of ten opioid painkillers are consumed in the U.S. That equates to 80% of the worlds production of opioids are consumed in a country with less than 5% of the global population. Last year an estimated 16,000 people died from prescription drug overdoses, more than heroin and cocaine combined. Emergency room visits related to prescription painkillers has sky rocked. More than two-thirds of emergency department visits for opioid overdoses involve prescription drugs 348,000 emergency room visits for prescription drug overdoses in 2011 alone. How many more people have to be harmed or die before the FDA recognizes their historic duty as the protector of the American people and exercise their authority to prevent these dangerous drugs from killing our own? So just when did the FDA morph from fierce watchdog and protector to the proud lapdog on the end of Big Pharma s tight leash? In the mid to late 80 s the AIDs virus caused a national panic resulting in a public outcry for a quicker turn-around by FDA in approving lifesaving drugs. At the time, the U.S. lagged behind other modern countries in drug approval by a year or more. The FDA, who is financed by the treasury, claimed that due to budget restrictions they were short staffed and were reviewing new applications as fast as humanly possible. As a way to fund the expansion for the FDA to meet the new challenge and avert additional treasury funding, the 102nd congress passed the The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) and was signed into law in The PDUFA granted the FDA authority to charge user fees to pay for a newly expanded regulatory review. The new revenue source was intended to supplement but not replace direct appropriations from Congress. The PDUFA had the desired effect and a few unforeseen. In a review of the program, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in 2002 that PDUFA funds allowed the FDA to increase the number of new drug reviewers by 77 percent in the first eight years of the act. In addition they found the median approval time for non-priority new drugs dropped from 27 months to 14 months over the same period. On the surface, everything about the PDUFA seemed fine. It has been reauthorized by congress five times since its inception surely a sign of success. In 2010, a grand total of $529,276,543 in PDUFA 8 fees was collected. According to the FDA, this total almost covered all of the expenses associated with New Drug Application (NDA) reviews. Keep in mind that PDUFA was intended to supplement the FDA (NDA) review budget, not replace it. So what could possibly go wrong with a government institution tasked with the protection and safety of the American public being nearly 100% funded by the very corporations seeking their approval for toxic drugs? Has the integrity of FDA been compromised by Big Pharma payments of over half a billion dollars per annum and growing? One person seems to think so. Donald W. Light, a Residential Fellow ( ), Edmond J. Safra, Center for Ethics, Harvard University, wrote a scathing review of this unholy union. The article is entitled Risky Drugs: Why the FDA Cannot Be Trusted (a summary of a more in-depth article entitled Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs ) was published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (JLME) in July It s available online and truly an unapologetic eye-opening read; I strongly recommend you check it out. Among the many highlights of Light s article is this: The forthcoming article in JLME also presents systematic, quantitative evidence that since the (Pharmaceutical) industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, as it makes large contributions to Congressmen who have promoted this substitution for publicly funded regulation, the FDA has sped up the review process with the result that drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths. New FDA policies are likely to increase the epidemic of harms. This will increase costs for insurers but increase revenues for providers. Light also points out: One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm, while one in ten provide substantial benefit compared to existing, established drugs. Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death. This evidence indicates why we can no longer trust the FDA to carry out its historic mission to protect the public from harmful and ineffective drugs. Dr. Bob Rappaport is the director of the FDA s division of anesthesia, analgesia and addiction products. One of his many duties is to over-see all of the FDA s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee s panel discussions. During the Zohydro ER application panel review, Rappaport repeatedly attempted to steer the distinguished panel to approve Zohydro s application through narrow regulatory framework. He zeroed in on fairness to applicants while completely ignoring the basic premise and obligation of the FDA Protecting and Promoting Your Health as their slogan states. Dr. Rappaport cited narrow objectives such as: the FDA s obligations to operate within the regulatory framework that includes providing a level playing field for industry as reasoning to approve Zohydro s application. He clearly staked out his genuinely frightening position when he was quoted telling the panel: you re punishing this company and this drug because of the sins of the previous developers and their products. And from a regulatory standpoint, that s not really something we can do. Apparently the FDA is not allowed to learn from their mistakes. Observers of the discussion said the conversation got a little spicy. It seemed like Bob Rappaport was getting frustrated with the panel, says Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer of Phoenix House Foundation, He actually started to scold the committee at one point. The panel wasn t buying what Rappaport was selling. They returned a lopsided 11-2 vote recommending that Zohydro ER application not Continued on page 30

9 OVER 40 YEARS OF HELPING FAMILIES FIND THE COURAGE TO RECOVER Seabrook House has been helping families fi nd the courage to fi nd recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction and substance abuse since Seabrook House s main campus is located in Bridgeton, NJ and is home to our detox and inpatient residential programs, along with various outpatient programs. This location is licensed to accommodate up to 37 detox beds, and 72 residential rehab beds. Changes for Women is our high-end women s extended care program also located in Bridgeton, NJ. Changes is licensed to provide long term rehab opportunity for up to 37 female residents. Our luxurious 90-day transitional living facility for men, Seabrook House West, is located in north central Pennsylvania in the town of Westfield. West offers detox and residential rehabilitation, PHP and IOP. Our location is licensed to provide luxurious transitional living opportunity for up to 36 male residents. Seabrook House has three outpatient offices in Cherry Hill, Northfield, Bridgeton, and Morristown, NJ. Most insurances accepted including ACA plans All Seabrook House facilities are internationally recognized, and CARF-accredited addiction treatment centers To Advertise, Call

10 SKIP THE REPEAT- HOW TO AVOID RELAPSING AFTER REHAB By Nick Mazmanian You have a problem. You know you do, but you hide it. You start burning money, selling items and keeping secrets in order to keep the problem going because you feel like you re in too deep to stop. Then, inevitably, your family and friends confront you on it and call you out. You admit you have a problem and you go into rehab for help. This is the story that every addict knows all too well. It s the one that they start off with when they enter their rehabilitation program and share among one another. As they move through the process of healing, and start to reclaim their lives from the addictions that took it away, another fear begins to crawl up their spine that says, What do I do after this? There are a variety of elements that you should keep in mind when you are in recovery. One of the major factors that can trigger a relapse is the people you have in your life. There s a saying that goes: The people that surround you are a reflection of yourself. When you leave treatment, you are no longer the person you once were, but are instead a brand new version of yourself. If you go back and hang out with the friends or family members that got you into trouble in the first place, you are setting yourself up for failure. Your environment is another factor. Multiple studies, and years of treating patients, have shown that your living space is another contributing factor for relapse. Most former addicts lived in an area that had easy access to their substance of choice. It is highly recommended that you move into a sober living house or transitional living home for a short period of time. These places will not only help you adjust to life outside rehab, but they will give you a support group of like minded individuals who are trying to stay the same course. Another factor that puts you at a higher risk for relapse is the lack of a support structure. When you re in treatment, you are held to a tight schedule, and not many people can deal with life after rehab because their lives lack direction and accountability. There are two ways of going about making your own support structure. The first is getting a counselor that you meet with on a regular basis, the frequency of which is entirely dependent upon your needs. The second path is looking for a support group. This is the more casual route to take since you can have a support group be a group of well grounded friends or a spiritual center like a church, temple or mosque. In fact, many spiritual centers have support groups designed specifically for people like you who are looking for accountability. There are also long standing support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous who have a great track record and a great mentoring program. Being involved with a sponsor or mentor in your first year of sobriety is crucial. Having a support group around you to keep you accountable is one of the most powerful tools for you to use in recovery. Knowing that you have a team that is rooting for you can help in keeping your cravings in check and keep your mind focused. Your mind is a powerful tool in the battle with addiction, but it is an instrument that needs to be maintained. Returning to work can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety over time, and your mind will wear down to the point when it cannot hold back your former cravings anymore. In order to keep yourself sharp, you should participate in some mental exercises. This can include mediation and physical exercise, and while that may seem like an odd pairing, both have been known to release dopamine and 10 serotonin into the brain that allow your mind to relax. These chemicals come naturally, and when combined with the rush of endorphins, can create a potent package that will help heal the damaged portions of your brain. The more you do these two things, the better off you are going to be over time. Keeping yourself busy in work that not only fills the time but the soul is very important while you are in recovery. Volunteering your time can be one of the most rewarding experiences because you are actively helping to improve the lives of others. Going to your former clinics and support groups can help you not only deal with your daily struggles, but help others see what recovery can look like and know that they are not alone. If you want an extra incentive to stay the course, choose to work at a low bottom or indigent recovery center. These places will show you the worst of the worst and remind you about how far you ve come in your journey. Also, check out conventions and events for AA, NA and NAMI to further educate yourself and reach out to other former addicts like yourself. Knowing who you are is the best way to combat addiction. To know how you are doing, whether you are happy or sad means you can tell when you are having trouble keeping yourself on the straight and narrow. Relapse occurs when you allow certain behaviors to slide. You ll fall into habits you shouldn t do anymore and you will soon be hitting the bottle or your drug of choice again. Keeping yourself in check and knowing when you re slipping is important because you can get help before a relapse occurs. Being active in your recovery is vital. Thinking that you are able to maintain a sober lifestyle without any work being put into it can end in relapse. You must be diligent about your new lease on life and protect it from the demons you know all too well. If you are able to work on this, and keep doing it, you ll find that you ll be the experienced one at the group meetings with years of wisdom under your belt. The road to recovery never truly ends, and success is a war without end, but the little victories will add up and pay off every time. Nick Mazmanian is a Content Writer for Sovereign Health Group. When he isn t writing about addiction, mental health and dual diagnosis, he is writing fiction. To learn more about Sovereign s addiction treatment program, read more of Nick s work and to read patient reviews, visit

11 Most Private Insurance Accepted. 24/7 Admissions Helpline Helping People Every Day, The Sovereign Way Serving Adults, Adolescents and Families Sovereign Health Group offers evidenced-based addiction, dual diagnosis, and mental health treatment programs for both adults and adolescents.the Treatment Team targets the underlying condition by utilizing cutting-edge and comprehensive cognitive testing, rehabilitation, and treatment modalities. Adult Treatment Programs Addiction Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Levels of Care : Detoxification Residential Partial Hospitalization Individual & Group Psychotherapy Relapse Prevention 12 Step and Smart Recovery Anger Management Equine Therapy & Art Therapy Family Program Medication Management Individualized Treatment & Trauma Group Discharge Planning Gym and Yoga Aftercare Program & Alumni Network 24/7 Admissions Helpline Adolescent Treatment Programs Substance Abuse Co-Occurring Mental Health Levels of Care : Residential Partial Hospitalization Gender specific programs on 26 acre campus Individualized Treatment Plans Cognitive Behavior Therapy Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Anger Management & Social Skills San Clemente, CA Culver City, CA Palm Springs, CA San Diego, CA Delta, UT Chandler, AZ Fort Myers, FL 12 Step & Smart Recovery Support Groups Intensive Family Therapy MindfulnessTraining Art Therapy & Equine Therapy Integrated Schooling & On-Site Instructor To Advertise, Call

12 THE IMPORTANCE OF TARGETED ADDICTION TREATMENT FOR MEN AND WOMEN AGES 50+ By Brenda J. Iliff, MA Laura C.*, age 64, never thought she had a problem. Social drinking, prescription medications and a Xanax or two were part of the framework of her daily lifestyle. It wasn t until she received her second DUI and faced a jail sentence that she realized the gravity of her situation. This is much more common than we think, and addiction is sometimes a gradual process that it is often not recognized until someone else intervenes. Decades of social drinking can easily cross the line into dependence. And for men and women ages 50 plus, use of pain medications or anxiety or sleep medications can develop into chemical misuse, including dependence, especially when mixed with alcohol consumption. For years addiction treatment programs were not age-specific until experts realized that different age groups, just like different genders, have their own unique needs. Age matters. Addiction issues are different for the baby boomer generation and even more different for people in their late 70s, 80s and 90s. For example, the effects of alcohol on a person change drastically with age. The body metabolizes alcohol and other drugs differently given their decreased body mass and diminished organ function. There are distinct physiological, emotional, spiritual and mental health needs of boomers as well as older adults. Given the strengths of these generations the transformative potential for regaining health, energy and vitality that comes with living in recovery is great. With addiction, what other differences come with age? Men and women ages 50 plus have life experiences that inform their beliefs about addiction. For example, shame is a major block to getting help for men and women who are in their late 70s or 80s. Many of these people aspired to live the American Dream, coming of age during the Eisenhower years. Many led lives of tremendous accomplishment and success. For them, addiction is viewed as a moral failure. Boomers, on the other hand, came of age on the heels of the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and the assassination of President Kennedy. Their image of the typical drug addict is more likely to be the stoned guy at a rock concert, not their 60-year-old sister who becomes dependent on painkillers after hip replacement surgery. Laura C. adds that in her generation, an alcoholic is a bum under the bridge. It s not the successful businessman who falls off his golf cart at the country club. We don t think of ourselves as alcoholics or addicts. We don t use the a-word. Drinking is a wholly accepted part of our culture. What else causes one to cross that fragile line into addiction? A growing number of men and women ages 50 plus use pain medications or anxiety and sleep aids. This use can be dangerous and can develop into dependence. As people age, they have more free time and less responsibility which can mean reduced interaction with others who might notice a progression toward addiction. Every patient is different, and expert clinicians will assess physical and mental health, family history, types of drugs being abused and many other variables before developing a results-oriented treatment plan. Another effect of addiction to alcohol and other drugs is that it can make people age faster. Conversely, recovery helps people regain health, energy and vitality. It s important for the boomer and older generations to get treatment that addresses their body, mind and spirit. It is proven that recovery rates tend to be higher among older adults than younger generations due to the fact that older adults have more positive life experiences to draw upon and tend to be more disciplined about recovery. What to look for in an effective treatment program? Integrated treatment that understands issues for people 50 plus is the key. More often than not, addiction comes with complicating factors. Physical health and mental health issues such as anxiety, trauma or depression often accompany addiction. Grief and loss, shame, and even bewilderment at how one could end up with an addiction are also part of the puzzle. With such complex disorders, the most effective approach is to integrate addiction with physical and mental health treatment so that all issues are addressed at the same time. Each client s care plan should include medical, chemical dependency, mental health and spiritual care professionals who include whatever therapies, mental health services and medications that are appropriate. The good news is that in a supportive recovery setting with a high level of expertise, boomers and older adults have the best chance for a successful recovery. The importance of connecting with others during their program cannot be overstated. The changes made in treatment the way people think, react and take care of themselves are new ways of living that take practice. Regaining and maintaining health means learning to live differently and learning to manage a chronic disease. Continuing care groups, mentors and the availability of vast recovery support services and resources offer more hope than ever for boomers and older adults facing addiction. Laura C. says it best when she concludes, I used to medicate away my anxiety and depression but now I don t want to miss one more second of my life. People of my generation hear about treatment and think, if I can t drink, I ll never have fun again. The truth is, recovery augments life. Your life gets so much bigger, and you won t want to waste a second of it. *Name changed to protect the privacy of individuals Brenda J. Iliff, MA is a Clinician, author and noted expert in addiction treatment for older adults. She serves as executive director of Hazelden in Naples, and is recognized as a national speaker on this topic. More than 20 years experience in the addiction field enhances her leadership and expertise in treating this family disease. Iliff first joined Hazelden in 1994 and served in many different roles, including as executive director of Fellowship Club in St. Paul, Minnesota and clinical director of Hazelden s Women s Recovery Center at the headquarters in Center City, Minnesota. She is the author of A Woman s Guide to Recovery. In response to a growing need for targeted care for men and women ages 50+, Iliff and her staff recently launched new addiction treatment programming in Naples, Florida, designed exclusively for today s vital baby boomer generation 50+ and active, mobile individuals 70 and older. To learn more about Hazelden in Naples, call or visit 12

13 Enter to win our "Pass the Torch", Scholarship Treatment Awards at PROPEL YOUR TESTING EXPERIENCE TO ENTIRELY NEW HEIGHTS Exclusively Dedicated to Addiction Treatment Testing. Two Minutes Could Change One Of Your Patient s Lives FOREVER! Addiction treatment facilities can enter to win a $10,000 scholarship for their patient s recovery. We will be awarding $500,000 in total from June 1, 2014 through June 1, See website for next drawing dates, entry information and rules: or contact us at No obligation is required and you need not be present to win. SKY Toxicology is a market leader focused solely on addiction treatment testing delivering accuracy beyond forensic standards. We provide comprehensive, clinical quantitative urine drug testing and medication monitoring for addiction treatment facilities. SKY offers a more comprehensive test menu, faster turn-around and a higher client retention rate than any of our leading competitors. SKY Toxicology can help advance a treatment facility s business to the next level and raise the level of care and compassion for each and every patient. Call or visit 2014 Sky Toxicology. All rights reserved. The Sky Toxicology logo and Sky Toxicology are trademarks of Sky Toxicology, San Antonio, Texas. To Advertise, Call

14 WAYSIDE HOUSE EXPANDS IOP Wayside House, an addiction recovery program for women, by women in Delray Beach, has expanded Intensive Outpatient Services to include daytime hours. The expanded hours for Intensive Outpatient were added to make it more convenient for women who are juggling jobs or family matters, but are serious about recovery. Wayside House has provided services for 40 years with both residential and outpatient services. If an assessment qualifies a woman for the IOP program, she may now opt for either morning or evening sessions to attend the eightweek program. Hours now are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 6-9 p.m. or Monday, Thursday, and Friday 9 a.m. - noon. Come to orientation on any Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. or call for an appointment for assessment at Most insurance is accepted for the IOP program and staff can help determine if your insurance does cover it at the time of your assessment. For more information, Dear Mom, I wonder if you ever paused to consider the messages you were sending (and the pain you were inflicting) as you shuffled us off to bed in the waning sunlight of beautiful South Florida summer afternoons well into our middle school years and headed out the door to meet up with your neighborhood drinking buddy for your daily afternoon Scotches. Because, intended or not, the messages were as clear to me as the air on those same summer days: The drinks are more important to me than your dad, than your brother, than your sister than you. I d rather spend my time (hours each day) with them, than spend it loving any of you, holding you, listening to you encouraging you. I wonder if you knew how many times I fantasized about you turning around, blasting back through my closed bedroom door and saying NOT TODAY! Today, I want to know how you re doing, about the girl who got away, about your fears. I want to listen to your heart, to your poetry to learn what brings you joy and makes you sad. Today, instead of simply dropping you off at the driving range, I want to stay and watch you hit balls, find out why it is you love the game so much, what it is the teaching pros see that has them insisting that their students pay careful attention to your swing and whether there s something I can do to support your talent. Today, rather than spend another afternoon in a haze, I want to do what YOU want to do. Maybe we could catch a movie, grab a pizza or some ice cream? Maybe we could go bowling (even though I m not very good at it!) or simply talk about whatever s on your mind? I know now, of course, that it was much more complicated than that that what may well have started out as a choice borne of your own heartache became a disease that would require hard work to overcome. But, I also know you had to be the one to take the first step, to decide that there was someone or something in your life more important to you than the next drink. You could ve done the work, mom used the courage and the 14 I (STILL) WONDER By Don Blackwell toughness it took to survive all those wounds to embrace and rise above the scars they left behind to show them who was the boss around here, rather than always trying to show us. You could ve run towards, rather than away from the voids in your soul and filled them with so many things other than Scotch (the pursuit of your dreams, encouraging and inspiring us to reach for ours, real hugs, genuine smiles, service to others) and, in the process, set an example for us taught us that brokenness is only the beginning, the cocoon in which true beauty resides and, if we will allow it, from which it ultimately emerges. I still wonder why you never took that step. Why you never even admitted you had a problem, let alone asked for help and support in battling it help and support I m certain dad would unhesitatingly have provided if given the chance and the prospect of regaining his wife/life? But most of all, I wonder why, long after you could see the debris field left in the wake of it all, you never once said you were sorry. I gave you every chance to at least do that, right up to your last breath and all you did was leave me wondering (still): Why couldn t you see that YOU were important enough? Why weren t WE important enough? Why wasn t I important enough? Your Middle Son P.S. It took me awhile to fill in the gaps and truth be told I still have a ways to go, a few wounds of my own to patch up, lots more to learn where empathy and vulnerability are concerned. But, all things considered, I think you d be (mostly) proud of the man I least I hope so. Don Blackwell is a 56 year-old trial lawyer in Miami, Florida. He also is the author of Dear Ashley... A Father s Reflections and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope ( Don is an advocate on issues relating to dads, daughters and eating disorders, the architect of The Dad Initiative, and an avid blogger ( and com). He also has been a featured presenter at legal and eating disorder conferences around the country.

15 All of our patients are unique and we can offer treatment options that are specifically suitable for them.. We offer the following types of services IOP PHP Detox Aftercare Meditation Art Therapy Psychosocial Family Counseling Anger Management Relapse Prevention Education Seminars Personal Spirituality Big Book Step Study Nutritional Education Individual Counseling Holistic Life Coaching Relaxation and Music Recovery Maintenance Emotional Behavioral Therapy Stress Reduction Workshops Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Developing Support Systems Substance Abuse Group Counseling State of the Art Bio-Feedback Therapy Learn more about the types of services offered WAY-BEYOND ( ) To Advertise, Call

16 January Calendar SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY Mondays - 50% Off Brewed Coffee Happy Tuesdays - 50% Off Lattes New Year! Wednesdays - 50% Off Iced Coffee 7am Thursdays - 50% Off Iced Tea Closed Saturdays - 50% off Coffee & Muffins Combo DaILY DEALS Day of Rest Day of Rest am Women s Open AA Meeting 10:30am Day of Rest Daily Deals 7am 5:30pm Candlelight Meditation 7pm 7am 5:30pm Candlelight Meditation 7pm 7am 5:30pm Candlelight Meditation 7pm 7am Creative Journaling 10am Open NA Meeting 6pm 7am Creative Journaling 10am Open NA Meeting 6pm 7am Creative Journaling 10am Open NA Meeting 6pm 7am 12pm 7am 12pm 7am CODA Meeting 10:30am 12pm 7am Women s Open AA Meeting 10:30am National Codependency Event 6-8 7am Women s Open AA Meeting 10:30am 7am 7am 7am Free Yoga & Meditation Class 9-10:15am 12pm Free Yoga & Meditation Class 9-10:15am 12pm Free Yoga & Meditation Class 9-10:15am 12pm Free Yoga & Meditation Class 9-10:15am 12pm 25 Day of Rest 26 7am 5:30pm Candlelight Meditation 7pm am Creative Journaling 10am Open NA Meeting 6pm 7am CODA Meeting 10:30am 12pm 7am Women s Open AA Meeting 10:30am 7am Free Yoga & Meditation Class 9-10:15am 12pm National Codependency Day Join us January 8th 6-8pm Speaker, author of My Resurrected Heart: A Codependent s Journey to Healing and founder of National Codependency Awareness Month, Diane Vernitsky Jellen, presents on the experiences and struggles of having loved ones in addiction. Snacks and refreshments will be served. Located in The Shoppes of Atlantis 5865 S. Congress Ave. Lake Worth, FL Monday 7:30am-8:00pm Tuesday Tuesday 7:30am-7:00pm Wednesday-Friday 7:30am-5:00pm 7:30am-5:00pm Saturday Saturday 8:30am-5:00pm 8:30am-5:00pm Yoga & Meditation Classes Start January 3rd For free classes, call now to preregister! 16

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18 CO-PARENTING FOR RECOVERY HOW DIVORCED PARENTS CAN BEST SUPPORT THEIR ADDICTED CHILD. Ava Diamond, LCSW There is a reason or two that you are divorced from your child s other parent. More likely than not, you don t see eye-to-eye on a few things. Too often, the Great Divide that occurs between parents through years leading up to and going through divorce serves as the fertile land of manipulation for many adolescent or young adult children. Throw some drug use into the mix and the Great Divide becomes the Great Demise of life as you thought it would be for the child you love. In my work over the past two decades with families facing the detriment of addiction (note: I use the label of addiction to cover ANY self-harming behaviors that interfere with optimal functioning: eating disorders, cutting behaviors, internet obsession, sexual promiscuity, etc.), I have encountered every which way that divorced couples could approach the condition of their child s life. Often, I have held separate mother: child and father: child family therapy sessions in order to enhance each relationship independent of the other. This is actually important regardless of how well the co-parenting system is functioning. The only way that divorced parents actually FAIL their responsibilities as parents is when they cannot separate out their feelings and ideas about the other parent from their relationship work with their child. You have heard it before, yes? They even try to emphasize it in divorce decrees that neither parent shall disparage the other to the child. Truth be told, rare is this agreement upheld after raising the right hand in court. When your child is struggling with addiction however, this commitment to your role as parents must become of primary concern and that means that your experiences with the other parent must be kept at the curb. On the flip side, I have been fortunate to witness the power of co-parenting to heal at least one part of the parent s relationship A sturdy family tree has a thick trunk and deep roots. Parents, whether divorced or not, have a commitment to their children to attend to the tree. Divorce is not an excuse for neglecting it. and allow for the greatest opportunity for recovery for their shared child. Parents are often surprised when I tell them that, in fact, I do not believe they have to be on the same page (a concept that is usually unappealing to a parent who at some level dislikes the other parent) but in the same chapter. I explain that children (especially teens) do well with learning about different styles of parenting as long as the parents are aligned in the following two ways: *Core Values are shared and conveyed uniquely in each home. The child learns how the same values can be exercised in different ways. For example, doing your best may come from Father as your grades are good, but I expect you to do whatever it takes to bring them up this semester and from Mother as, Do you believe you did your best? Are you willing to ask your teacher for extra help? One approach is clearly stated, no discussion while another approach is to question for motivation. Both send the message that improvement is possible and hoped for by the parents. *Basic Assumptions (or the less palatable word: RULES) regarding accountability and sobriety are consistently adhered to in both homes. Honesty, abstinence, adherence to curfew and communication etc. are all rules of accountability and sobriety that serve as the Safety Net between two homes of divorced parents. If nothing else, casting this Safety Net is potentially the only way to create the necessary structure and support that gives your teen and young adult child the best opportunity for recovery. Casting the Safety Net So, how do you join with the person you went through potentially 18 so much to separate from in order to help your child heal and develop his or her best potential? How do you put aside your own insecurities, resentments, and furies in order to put your energy into being the best Mother or Father you can be right now? 1. Cover up your buttons for a while. Did you know it was possible to NOT let your buttons get pushed by the person you divorced? Well, it is. In fact, if you can remain mindful of what you need to attend to in your role as a parent of a struggling child, you will divert your emotional attention and reduce your vulnerability to perceived provocation. Accepting simply that there are reasons I am divorced and that in fact The person you are no longer married to can have no emotional power in your daily life, you will find the freedom to cover up and potentially eliminate your buttons. 3. Validate validate validate. Validate yourself, validate your exspouse, and validate your child for having to deal with this very hard disease. Without judgment or interpretation, just acknowledge the challenge you are all facing (albeit in your own ways). 4. Hire a very, very skilled therapist to support the casting of the net. Find a therapist who understands that same page isn t going to fly, but as long as you are in the same chapter you will have success. The same chapter refers to the stage of life and stage of recovery that your child is in and parenting accordingly with Core Values and Basic Assumptions in place. That Therapist should be able to effectively develop a Family Contract with input from all three parties that is based on compromise. I often explain to my families that compromise does not mean one has to relinquish ideas to the other. Com- Promise is the development of a Common Promise designed to foster trust through increased responsibility, accountability, and communication practices between parents and child and sometimes between parent and parent even when divorced for the sake of the child. One of the most powerful experiences that a teen or young adult child can have is bridging the gap between divorced parents. If their recovery (as opposed to their active addiction) can serve as a vehicle for better communication between you as parents, it seems to reinforce the value of sobriety. You don t have to like each other for this to happen. Ava Diamond, LCSW has developed her expertise in family systems and addiction treatment. She brings her pioneering leadership style to her clinical work as a program development consultant to treatment facilities and educational institutions. Currently, Ms. Diamond is implementing her family program, Family Matters, for Westport House, supportive sober living for young men, in Westport, CT.

19 Trails Carolina is a therapeutic wilderness program located in Western North Carolina. Through expedition, equine assisted counseling, academics, and a team of professionals with more than 100 years combined experience in wilderness therapy, Trails Carolina facilitates a new beginning for not only each child we serve, but their family as well. CLINICALLY DRIVEN FAMILY FOCUSED. CALL (800) TRAILSCAROLINA.COM To Advertise, Call

20 EVERY LIFE IS WORTH SAVING: WHY FLORIDA NEEDS NALOXONE ACCESS LAWS By Pamela Clark, CADC II, ICADC It is so important to know how to identify, prevent, and reverse an opioid overdose because this is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In order to stop this epidemic we need to have access to the antidote, naloxone. Let s set aside beliefs and judgments about drugs and drug users for a moment. Drug users for the sake of this article relates to anyone who uses drugs, whether or not they are prescribed by a physician. The drugs that are relevant to this discussion fall into the category of opioids. Opioids are natural, semi-synthetic or synthetic versions of opium and in many cases lead to drug dependence. You may know opioids by names such as opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, methadone, Demerol, etc. to name some. They are usually prescribed for pain. When opioids are prescribed by a physician there is the possibility that the patient may experience adverse effects such as a stop in breathing. Even when taking pain medication as prescribed, factors may come into play that can increase the chance that someone may stop breathing as a result of taking their pain medication as prescribed. Factors such as having a glass of wine with their medication, being sick, starting a new medication, having asthma or sleep apnea any of these factors could place that person at risk, and yet many at-risk individuals are not offered a solution such as naloxone and do not know they can request it. Naloxone has been around since the 1960 s, has been used in hospital emergency rooms for decades, it is classified as a prescription medication, and it is not a controlled substance. It is legal to prescribe naloxone in every state, although each state controls naloxone access laws. Florida does not currently have naloxone access laws (although there are efforts underway to establish them). Naloxone reverses an opioid overdose when administered in time. There is about a two-hour window when an emergency reversal can be successfully completed. Naloxone restores a person s breathing, usually within one to two minutes. Because naloxone reverses the effects of the opioids, when the person is revived they experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. There are no other adverse effects and there is no abuse potential. Many people believe that having access to naloxone will keep drug users using (opioid) drugs, and would cause users to use more and more frequently because they have access to naloxone to reverse an overdose if they take too much. This is not the case. Researcher and expert in the field of opioid-related overdose prevention and intervention, Peter Davidson, Ph.D., of the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego provided the following statement regarding this widely held belief: We now have over 10 years worth of research showing that not only does having naloxone not increase people s drug use, but that there s evidence that the experience of saving someone s life using naloxone is associated with ceasing heroin use altogether within the next 12 months. In most cases parents and friends are the first to discover the 20 When opioids are prescribed by a physician there is the possibility that the patient may experience adverse effects such as a stop in breathing. Naloxone reverses an opioid overdose when administered in time. person in a nonresponsive state and call for emergency services. These first responders could be trained on how to identify, respond, and reverse an overdose, and could be equipped with and know how to administer naloxone. Whether you or a friend or loved one is currently taking pain medication, or if you have a child that may be at-risk for overdose you need access to naloxone. In addition to the at-risk factors described for people prescribed pain medication, other individuals that are at-risk for overdose include individuals waiting to go into drug treatment, individuals just released from drug treatment, or individuals that have just been released from incarceration. Harm reduction advocate and activist, Julia Negron, Lead Organizer of Suncoast Harm Reduction Project, Board Member of A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing), Board Member of Floridians for Recovery, and a member of the Steering Committee of A New PATH s Moms United To End The War On Drugs campaign made this comment about the need for naloxone access laws in Florida: Every life is worth saving and we need to approach this issue with compassion and dignity. South Florida especially needs advocates willing to get involved. We are not promoting drug use and naloxone is not a free ride to keep using. Everyone deserves second chances and to have access to this lifesaving antidote. Julia is actively involved along with a number of advocacy groups and coalitions that are working together to give Floridians access to naloxone. Florida mothers have mobilized and are joining forces with statewide agencies and local coalitions to increase overdose awareness and naloxone access. They continue to educate the community, legislators and other stakeholders in the hopes of a 2015 Overdose Prevention / Naloxone access bill. To date 27 states in the U.S. have naloxone access laws, with 12 states added in the last two years. To date 27 states in the U.S. have naloxone access laws, with 12 states added in the last two years. Police, EMT s and other emergency first responders, parents and people with drug dependency have been trained to carry and administer naloxone. Florida currently allows paramedics only to carry naloxone. Florida police, EMT s and parents should also be trained and equipped with naloxone because they may be the first ones to arrive on the scene in an emergency situation. Every life is worth saving. I urge you to take action to make Florida one of the next states to have naloxone access laws. For More Information Suncoast Harm Reduction Project The Skeeterhawk Experiment A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing) Moms United to End the War on Drugs Pamela Clark is an internationally and California state licensed drug and alcohol counselor and is a certified Opioid Overdose Prevention and Response Trainer. She works for the nonprofit Transforming Youth Recovery, where she writes articles and develops programs and training workshops that have the power to eliminate stigma and educate the public about prevention, recovery, and educational recovery supports. She lives in San Diego, CA.

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