LESLIE AGANS WAS desperate. Her teenage son, Michael, had once been a good student and terrific ice hockey player in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. But he’d become a deceitful, unmotivated, unpredictable and sometimes violent adolescent whose life was imploding thanks to his daily marijuana use. (U.S. News is identifying Agans by her maiden name and her son by his middle name to protect the family’s privacy.)
Drinking has a firm foot in our culture, and it seems to fit any occasion.
Having a birthday and turning 21, 30, or 50? Have a round on the house!
Getting married? Crank up Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That)” and throw one (or five) back while grooving on the dance floor into the wee hours of the morning.
Going on a first date? Why not meet at the bar for a classy cocktail or glass of wine?
Had a hard day at work, bad week, or even a rough month when you just can’t seem to shake that sinking feeling? Nothing a drink to lift the spirits can’t solve…
In the latest sign that the nation’s opioid epidemic is accelerating, the rate of drug overdoses and the death rate for young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 rose sharply in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2016, nearly 35 out of every 100,000 people between the ages of 25 and 34 died of a drug overdose, according to the CDC.
Like tens of millions of Americans, rock star Tom Petty took prescription medications, including opioids, to alleviate pain. The recent announcement by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner that Petty’s death on Oct. 2 was caused by an accidental drug overdose as a result of mixing medications that included opioids underscores the risks associated with taking prescription pain medications, particularly for patients who use multiple prescription drugs, doctors say.
If we’re being honest, many of us are probably guilty of ignoring warning labels at one time or another, buying into the belief that we’re smart enough and capable enough to assess a truly risky situation. Then, too, there’s the assumption that warning labels might be overly cautious.
Oriana Murphy wanted to enjoy a memorable bachelorette outing with her girlfriends – literally memorable. “I didn’t want people to be wasted on my trip and not remember what we did,” says Murphy, who is in recovery from alcohol and drug misuse.
Reports about the current opioid epidemic have saturated the news over the last several months, leaving parents baffled as to why smart, well-adjusted kids are turning to heroin to get high. Even though we’ve had programs and policies at both the federal and local level, illicit drug use among our youth continues to be a grave problem. (pg 36-37)
Could referring to a person as a substance “abuser” hurt his or her chances of getting treatment and becoming sober? Does saying someone abuses alcohol or drugs unnecessarily stigmatize that person and affect the way some medical professionals view him or her? (more…)
You’ve heard of coke, crack, LSD and ecstasy, but there are many other drugs out there — which are readily available, and not only from the “street.” “Designer drugs like spice and other ‘legal’ compounds are showing up for sale in gas stations and online faster than the law can keep up,” warns recovering addict Ed Hamill. (more…)
How should parents talk to their kids about the lethal dangers of opioid addicton? What age is appropriate for such a discussion? How can mothers and fathers connect with their kids without having them tune out? (more…)
Through revealing his personal and private struggles, Ben Affleck may be able to make a difference in others’ lives, an addiction specialist tells PEOPLE. (more…)
Howard C. Samuels, 64, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father, Howard J. Samuels, founded Kordite Co., which produced the Hefty bag; he sold the company for $43 million in 1958. The sale catapulted him into New York’s high society and prompted a political career that included a stint as undersecretary of commerce and director of the Small Business Administration during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson. (more…)
How would you feel if your whole life was literally torn apart within the space of week? The two people you loved the most, taken away from you?
Terrified that her heroin addict son’s escalating drug use would soon kill him, one Maryland mother took a painful and drastic step to get him off the street: She set him up with the police. (more…)
The year 2017 is already looking better than last year. (more…)
As the world mourns the death of actress Carrie Fisher, more light has been shed on the final weeks of her life. (more…)
Recreational Pot Could Burn Employers
By HOWARD C. SAMUELS
EMPLOYERS, get ready. (more…)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Hispanic men seeking help in unlicensed alcohol rehabilitation facilities may face mistreatment and death, researchers report. (more…)
Californians’ decision to legalize marijuana may well help businesses. It will create a bigger marijuana industry and boost all the usual service businesses, from accountants and security guards to real estate brokers and lawyers. (more…)
Sober for more than 30 years, Howard Samuels knows firsthand the tragic reality of addiction. He hit rock bottom during his own battle with heroin and alcohol — before finally reclaiming his life. (more…)
Lindsay Lohan seemed to have turned a corner from her wild child days, leading a quiet life in London while trying her hand as a stage actress.
Then the last three months happened. (more…)
Business owners are replacing idealists in the pot-legalization movement as the nascent marijuana industry creates a broad base of new donors, many of them entrepreneurs willing to spend to change drug policy. (more…)
Some reports have speculated that it was marijuana and alcohol, and not any third party, that caused Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to split.
“Our Angelina sources claim Brad heavily indulges in weed and alcohol and that, combined with what she claims is an anger problem, poses a danger to their kids,” TMZ reported. But the site also says Pitt is “furious” over the allegations.
The choking game is back — but it’s as far from a game as you can imagine. Kids are dying from it.
Dying of drug addiction or any addiction issues in your early forties is a tragic thing. The news of “Can’t Buy Me Love” star Amanda Peterson’s premature death due to a cocktail of prescription and other drugs is a learning moment for anyone reading this who dabbles and combines opiates and alcohol, or various pills to manage stress or simply for recreation.
Peterson died July 5. She was 43 years old, married and living in Greeley, Colorado, where she grew up. Peterson reportedly died of an accidental morphine overdose, according to anautopsy report from the Weld County, Colorado, Coroner’s Office. But morphine was one of several drugs she had ingested. According to the Weld County Coroner in Colorado, Peterson had a variety of prescription drugs in her system, including benzodizepines (anti-anxiety meds), opiates and phenothiazines (an anti-psychotic medication). She also had marijuana in her system.
Peterson was prescribed multiple medications at the time of her death, including the pain medication gabapentin for a hysterectomy. (more…)
USC’s handling of Coach Steve Sarkisian’s situation drew criticism Thursday from a doctor who treats patients with addiction problems.
Dr. Howard Samuels, founder of the The Hills treatment center in Hollywood, said based on Sarkisian’s behavior Saturday night and public comments this week, it was unwise to have Sarkisian seek treatment and coach football at the same time. (more…)
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