Dr. Mohammad Fox News / Dr. Akikur Mohammad Heroin in the suburbs: An American epidemic August 22, 2014

Heroin needle_Reuters.jpg

A bag of heroin and drug paraphernalia are seen at an abandoned house.REUTERS/Bor Slana

“Here, want a blue?”

How could one little pill, legally prescribed to millions of people, be a dangerous way to have a good time?

Mike Duggan remembers those words. He said yes to a “blue,” a 30 milligram oxycodone. It sent him down a slippery slope that gave way to a bruising tumble. Less than three years later, he was shooting heroin into his veins on a daily basis.

“The idea of heroin terrifies you, but a blue oxycodone doesn’t scare you,” said Duggan, who founded an addiction recovery service called Wicked Sober.

Duggan told Healthline that his addiction began with a prescription for Percocet after a hockey injury in high school. A popular athlete in Arlington, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb, he liked to drink and have a good time on the weekends.

But the Percocet enticed him with a fierceness he did not at first understand. Soon, he was in college, and it seemed like everyone was popping that blue pill for fun. Before he knew it, he could not get enough oxycodone, the drug of choice for painkiller addicts according to research published in the journal Pain.

Heroin was cheaper and easier to get. The other addicts all “sold it to their friends to keep their own habits going, who sold it to their friends, and so on, and so on,” Duggan told Healthline.

‘Unacceptably High’ Rates of Heroin Use

Heroin use among young adults ages 18 to 25 has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2012, 156,000 people tried heroin for the first time, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The agency has called that statistic “unacceptably high.” It has almost doubled since 2006.

Heroin is no longer a drug used primarily by the poor in inner cities. Now it is a cheap high for young, white suburbanites. Many of them became addicted while raiding their parents’ medicine cabinets in high school and selling the pills at school.

Jody* is the mother of a San Fernando Valley, California man named Alex, who has been sober for almost three months. Jody belongs to a group called BILY, or Because I Love You. The network of parents offer support to one another as their children wrestle with heroin addiction and other problems.

Many parents don’t know their children are abusing heroin. They often start by snorting or smoking it, so there are no needle marks.

“For a long time my head was buried in the sand, and I know it was,” Jody told Healthline. She said high school administrators in the Los Angeles suburbs themselves are in denial about the problem of opiate abuse in their schools. It’s brushed under the rug, she said. Nobody wants to talk about it.

Naloxone Brings Users Back from the Dead

Dr. Leonard Paulozzi, a medical epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Healthline that more and younger people are dying of heroin overdoses.

He said most of the CDC’s efforts have been focused on the issue of prescription painkiller addiction. “Heroin is a child of that original epidemic,” he said.

Between 2006 and 2010, heroin-related poisoning deaths increased by 45 percent. Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, armed with that statistic, urged law enforcement agencies nationwide to train and equip their forces to use the overdose reversal drug naloxone. During an acute overdose, naloxone rapidly blocks opioid receptors in the brain, throwing the user into instant withdrawal.

Naloxone is usually administered intravenously in emergency rooms, but nasal spray versions of the overdose antidote have also been given to community groups working with addicts nationwide. Paulozzi would like to see such a spray become available to the public and for insurers to cover it. Research published in the medical journal BMJ showed that naloxone spray coupled with overdose education significantly reduced overdose death rates.

An auto-injector version of naloxone called Evzio recently came on the market, but it is expensive, Paulozzi said. There is also a shortage of naloxone in the U.S.

Getting Help and, Maybe, a Way Out

Jody’s son Alex* found help at Inspire Malibu Treatment Center. After several previous failed attempts at getting sober, he has almost reached 90 days without using any drugs or alcohol.

Alex has been helped along by another type of drug, Suboxone, a controversial medication used to treat heroin addicts. Dr. A.R. Mohammad was among the first doctors in California to prescribe the drug, a combination of buprenorphine, a partial opioid antagonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist.

Between 2002 and 2011, the number of doctors prescribing buprenorphine in Utah increased 67-fold, to 1,088. The number of patients filling those prescriptions increased 444-fold, from 22 in 2002 to 9,763 in 2011, according to the CDC.

The medication treats addiction by acting on the same pleasure receptors in the brain that are stimulated by oxycodone or heroin. However, the medications are safer and generally do not induce the type of behaviors that disrupt a person’s life and render them unable to work.

Buprenorphine, brand name Subutex, can fulfill cravings that occur when a patient stops abusing illegal drugs. But it has the potential to be abused itself. Patients chop it up, snort it, and inject it. It now comes in a film that can be placed under the tongue, however, reducing the potential for abuse, Mohammad said.

If Suboxone is injected, it will cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that do not occur when it is taken in oral form.

The new oral drugs are preferable to older treatments, such as methadone, Mohammad said, which is less effective and has a high potential for abuse. Another preferred treatment option is Vivitrol, an injectable form of naltrexone, another opioid antagonist.

Suboxone: A Better Drug to Depend On?

Critics of Suboxone contend that a person who takes it is not really sober. But Mohammad, his patients, and their loved ones say it saves lives.

Depending on the duration of opioid abuse, brain damage can be permanent. Mohammad makes no secret of the fact that he has patients who have been on Suboxone for 11 years, but he says there is no other way for them to stay clean.

“There is a deep misconception in society about using drugs,” Mohammad told Healthline. “Addiction is a chronic mental illness. It is a deadly disease and you can die from it.”

Patients do become dependent on Suboxone, he said. “But the difference between heroin and Suboxone is that on heroin, your life is completely screwed,” he said. “With Suboxone, you can have quality of life. What counts is good quality of life.”

Mohammad said patients return to work, become involved with their families again, and no longer meet the criteria for addiction as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

It is physically impossible for an addict to get high on Suboxone because of its chemical formulation, Mohammad said. And studies like this one that appeared in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment in 2010 show that people rarely abuse it.

Paulozzi called Suboxone “an intervention that’s proven to work. The hard part is making it available to everybody and convincing people to get into a program,” he said. “Most people who have a problem don’t think they need to get help.”

Efforts are under way at the federal and state levels to improve access to Suboxone. Doctor prescribing regulations and insurance coverage of the drug differ state by state.

Suboxone has plenty of opponents, mostly advocates of Alcoholics Anonymous-style 12-step abstinence programs, Mohammad said.

Duggan said Suboxone did not work for him, although he admits that it helps some people. He said Wicked Sober does not turn away those who are on it.

A lasting solution to addiction is “developing fellowship and getting out of one’s self,” Duggan said. “The best way is by helping other people.”

He said Suboxone has definite street value, and some sell it to get the drug of their choice.

Heightened Risk of HIV and Hepatitis C

Overdose isn’t the only danger young heroin addicts face. The issue of young, suburban white adults injecting heroin has been thrust into the spotlight because many of them are now contracting hepatitis C.

Massive outbreaks have occurred in suburban Boston, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York. A report produced last year by the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy confirmed “Rising rates of hepatitis C infection among young injectors, both male and female, primarily white, found in suburban and rural settings, who started opioid use before transitioning to heroin injection.”

More than half of the 17,000 new hepatitis C infections in the U.S. in 2010 were injection drug users, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

But the risk of contracting an STI occurs apart from injection use, too. Research published last month in the Journal of Substance Abuse and Treatment showed that young adults (more likely to be white and middle class) were putting themselves at risk for HIV as well via unprotected sex with casual partners, often in exchange for drugs.

Alex said he indeed lowered his standards sexually while taking heroin. “It was pretty bad,” he said. “My standard in women went right out the window.”

As for sharing needles, he said he only did it once, during a failed attempt in rehab. “It was a last resort type of deal,” he said.

Getting Treatment Where It’s Needed — Fast

Addicts cannot get clean without significant help.

“To expect someone with a brain illness to manage their own life and do it on their own is an unrealistic expectation,” Duggan said.

Duggan’s work at Wicked Sober involves hooking addicts or their loved ones up with resources as quickly as possible. He does not operate a treatment center. Instead, he networks with a vast directory of resources to fast-track a person into treatment.

“The hard part is making [medications] available to everybody and convincing people to get into a program.”Most people who have a problem don’t think they need to get help.” — Dr. Leonard Paulozzi

You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot, he said, and you’ve got to make sure there is an iron-clad support system when the person is released.

Another problem arises when a parent or friend tries to get help for an addict and reaches out. Usually, a treatment professional says they have to speak directly with the patient if they are an adult.

“If someone says, ‘I do need help and I’m ready right now,’ to a loved one, it can take a day or two to find help,” Duggan said.

He recalled calling several times for help when he was an addict, but being told there was a waiting list or to call the next day. “My solution was to get high,” he said.

*Last names withheld to protect source privacy

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Signature MD The Boston Globe / Signature MD ‘Concierge medicine’ service says rival has monopoly August 22, 2014

Two companies are battling in court over the Greater Boston market for premium health care services known as “concierge medicine,” a lucrative business that is growing nationally even as the broader industry comes under pressure to control costs. (more…)

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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Celebzter / Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Inspire Malibu ROBIN WILLIAMS HANGED HIMSELF WITH A BELT, HAD CUTS ON HIS WRIST, AUTHORITIES REVEAL August 19, 2014

In the days leading up to his death, Robin Williams was said to be “very drawn and thin” and appeared just a “shell” of his usually bright bubbly self, a neighbor of the late actor told the MailOnline. (more…)

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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Healthline / Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Heroin in the Suburbs: An American Epidemic August 18, 2014

Young, white suburbanites are transitioning from popping prescription painkillers to shooting and smoking heroin by the thousands.

“Here, want a blue?” (more…)

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Dr. Mendieta Monsters & Critics / Dr. Constantino Mendieta Jennifer Lopez Is Booty-ful At Age 45 August 14, 2014

Aging does not mean you give up and hand in your sexy card. Raquel Welch is 73 and still gives men the full salute.


Jennifer Lopez’s famous backside was ground zero -according to premiere Butt doctor to the stars Dr. Constantino Mendieta of Miami – for shifting the focus of desirability from boobs to bottom. It was that darn Versace dress she wore in 2000 that shifted the eternal battle in the war between a man’s gaze between tits and ass. Ass is currently in the lead. (more…)

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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Monsters & Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Synthetic Marijuana Spice A Lethal Gamble, One Family’s Story VIDEO August 12, 2014

Frightening news out of California today as the grieving parents of one young man are warning other families about “Spice,” a synthetic form of marijuana that can potentially kill.


Local affiliate KTLA’s Lu Parker exclusively reported that the parents of a 19-year-old California teen who recently died after smoking synthetic marijuana claim their son had one hit off of the dried herbs that ultimately swelled his brain and caused his death. (more…)

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Signature MD Los Angeles Business Journal / Signature MD Health Care: Concierge Firm Sees Doctored Deals August 11, 2014

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SignatureMD LABJ 2

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Dr. Akikur Mohammad Newsday / Dr. Akikur Mohammad Alcohol, Drug Abuse a Problem Among Seniors Too August 6, 2014

Heavy drinking is defined as 15 or more

Heavy drinking is defined as 15 or more drinks a week for men and eight or more drinks a week for women. (Credit: iStock)

Earlier this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a stunning finding that made front-page news: One in 10 deaths among working-age adults is related to alcohol. (more…)

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Dr. Constantino Mendieta International Business Times / Dr. Constantino Mendieta Dangerous Curves: Popularity Of Butt Enhancement Leads To Illegal, Sometimes Fatal Black Market August 6, 2014
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Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy at the 2000 Grammy Awards. Reuters

Dr. Constantino Mendieta, a Miami plastic surgeon, can tell you when and where the problem was born: At the 2000 Grammys when Jennifer Lopez wore a green Versace dress that accentuated her curvaceous derriere, prompting legions of women to search for ways to replicate the look. (more…)

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Renee Raudman Monsters & Critics / Renee Raudman Disney’s ‘Tangled’ Audiobook Brought To Life By Renee Raudman’s Narration July 23, 2014


Tangled, Disney’s 2010 blockbuster based on the Rapunzel story, is finally available in audiobook form recorded by award winning narrator, Renée Raudman. (more…)

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Dr. Constantino Mendieta Celebzter / Dr. Constantino Mendieta Forget Selfies, the hottest new trend is Belfies… and you can thank Kim Kardashian for that July 22, 2014

Kim showed off her famous booty this week

Kim showed off her famous booty this week

On Thursday, July 17, Kim Kardashian showed off her famous asset — again!

The 33-year-old reality star posted a photo of herself on Instagram, showing her tanning her famous derriere in Mexico with the caption: “#OurLovelyLadyLumps” (more…)

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Renee Raudman The Author Biz / Renee Raudman Ever Wonder How Audiobooks are Produced? Renee Raudman Takes us Behind the Curtain July 22, 2014


Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed

Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of the publishing business right now, with 2013 sales of over $2 billion dollars.  It’s easier now than ever before for authors to have audiobooks produced, and those audiobooks can create significant revenue streams.

But how are audiobooks made?  What’s the process? (more…)

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The Khalili Center Monsters & Critics / The Khalili Center Seattle Seahawks Running Back Derrick Coleman, Jr. Supports Children Born With Microtia July 22, 2014

derrick use

Seattle Seahawks Running Back Derrick Coleman, Jr. Supports Children Born With Microtia

Seattle Seahawks running back, Derrick Coleman, Jr. enjoyed a fun afternoon tossing the football and signing T-shirts with children having Microtia (born without one or both ears) and their families at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California on Saturday, July 12th. (more…)

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Dr. Mohammad Fifty is the New Fifty / Dr. Akikur Mohammad Aging Into Addiction After 50 July 17, 2014

Aging Into Addiction After 50


It had always been “just beer” for Danny Smith*, who began imbibing at age 13. He never graduated to hard liquor or other drugs, nor considered his drinking a problem. Then, two years ago, while tinkering with an old jeep for fun, Danny moved a fender and felt sudden searing pain in his shoulder. Complications with surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff left the heavy equipment mechanic unable to return to work, and forced his wife to take a job in another state. “I was alone, depressed and basically felt worthless,” Danny, 57, recalls. “That’s when drinking took over.” As Danny describes it, he’d wake up, feed his dogs and crack his first beer–ultimately finishing forty a day at his lowest point.

Sadly, Danny’s story isn’t unique. According to the University of Pennsylvania Health System, older adults are hospitalized for alcohol-related problems as much as for heart attacks. And while alcohol remains the leading substance abuse cause of hospital admissions for people 50-plus, boomers are increasingly turning to illicit drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s most recent national survey found illicit drug use among adults aged 50 to 64 rose from a rate of 3.4 percent to 7.2 percent over the last ten years.

Our Addiction Is Different

“Baby boomers struggles with addiction are different than those of younger people because their problems are very different,” explains Akikur Mohammad, M.D., associate professor of addiction medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and director of LA-based treatment center Inspire Malibu. “Some are battling physical pain due to aging-related illness and diminished abilities. Others have emotional pain from a range of traumatic experiences, are burdened by caring for elderly parents, or face financial challenges due to life on a fixed, limited income.”

What’s more, we boomers came of age when recreational drug use was widespread–indeed, we coined the use of “party” as a verb. Plus, unlike our youngers, our generation is fiercely independent, so we can be more prone to the practice of self-medication. So even those not facing the physical, emotional or economic hardships of aging–folks who simply have too much time and disposable income on their hands–can descend into addiction. If you wonder if your partying may be a problem, take the self-test devised by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence here: http://ncadd.org/index.php/learn-about-alcohol/alcohol-abuse-self-test.

Our Treatment Is Tailored

If your self-test results concern you, know that help is available–and will be tailored to more than your age. “Treatment must be individualized to each person’s unique problems and needs,” says Dr. Mohammad. “No two people are alike in their struggles, so it’s important to perform a proper assessment to isolate the root cause and determine the best therapies, which may include medication along with proven evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapies.” Recovery is a lifelong process–one day at a time, as they say–but Dr. Mohammad points out that the first step gets you halfway there: “Seeking help if you really want to change is 50 percent of the treatment.”

Danny, four weeks sober when he spoke to Fifty Is the New Fifty, is thankful that he took that step–and so are his wife, kids and grandchildren. “It requires a bigger person to admit you have a problem than to hide it and deny it,” he says. “Look yourself in the mirror, consider all the medical issues you’re creating for yourself and get the help you need.”

* Name has been changed.

An all-around wordsmith, Nina Malkin is a journalist, novelist, copywriter and memoirist. She’s also an avid collector of lovely things from eras past–read her musings athttp://www.vintagevirna.blogspot.com/

Original Article

Dr. A R Mohammad


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Dr. Constantino Mendieta Monsters & Critics / Dr. Constantino Mendieta Booty Pioneer Paves Way For Social Media Belfie Queen July 15, 2014

The hottest new trend in pop culture is the “Belfie,” also known as the butt-selfie.

According to AOL.com, “Plenty of celebs have jumped on the belfie train- obviously Kim Kardashian, Rihanna- with her more subtle belfies…And Heidi Klum, just to name a few. And we’d be crazy not to reference the glutes queen, Jen Selter! She basically became famous for her derriere. It even landed her a spread in Vogue.”

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Jen Selter Instagram

But to celebrity plastic surgeon and butt specialist, Dr. Constantino Mendieta, getting a good belfie is nothing new.

He has worked on some of the most photographed derrieres around the world to make them the most coveted bottoms for decades now, and he has appeared on CNN, the TODAY show, EXTRA, Good Morning America, The Doctors and many other shows to discuss his groundbreaking technique of fat transfer to balance the natural shape.

photo with Anderson Cooper

Dr. Mendieta (R) with Anderson Cooper

For the past 25 years, Dr. Mendieta has made a name for himself as the go-to doctor for women and men who want a little more backside contouring done correctly, without health risks or grotesque outcomes. His talented work, combined with the fashion influences of actresses and artists like Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz and even the Kardashians has taken the focus away from the chest and put it squarely on the rear end.

He literally wrote the book on this procedure that is used by plastic surgeons around the world (The Art of Gluteal Sculpting) and he is completely without equal when it comes to talking about the trends of style, shape, size and options of implants versus fat grafting, which is his preference.

Dr. Mendieta spoke to Monsters and Critics and said, “I have noticed a recent trend, with more patients coming in with Belfies from their friends, pictures from the internet of celebrities instead of the retouched magazine photos they used to bring in. People want healthy and sexy and attainable curves, not ridiculous side-show Jerry Springer bottoms!”

VICE interviewed Dr. Mendieta for their online magazine and for the HBO series about the tragic outcomes and dangerous lengths some women will go through to get a bigger butt and how he has saved lives and restores the bodies of men and women from botched back-alley procedures. Dr. Mendieta’s restorative work has given people back their lives and their health.

Dr. Mendieta even referenced Internet Belfie queen and fitness model Jen Selter as an ideal example of proportions many patients are seeking when they come to him. Selter was interviewed by Huffington Post on how she gets her “selter butt.”

Anyone can acquire anything they set their hearts and minds to! It takes dedication, perseverance, hard work and consistency. There is no secret pill, no special diet. What it comes down to is how hard you push yourself and how you overcome the mental challenge of getting yourself to the gym even when you really don’t want to. Consistency leads to results. Diet is also important. I eat every few hours to keep my metabolism running and I try to stay away from overly processed foods. Lots of lean meat, vegetables and fresh fruit. Fitness is a lifestyle. You must be mentally prepared to commit to it and be consistent with your health and fitness lifestyle in order to see results and as we know results don’t happen overnight.

Original Article

Dr. Constantino Mendieta

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Signature MD Main St. / Signature MD Hospitals Acquire Medical Practices and Hike Prices Study Shows July 3, 2014

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When Doug Pitman, M.D., sold his private practice to a hospital group 16 years ago, he had to see more patients, which meant less time with them. Eventually, he moved on and became a concierge doctor.

“There is no substitute for time spent with patients,” Pitman says. But this time squeeze is all part of a larger trend.

“Hospitals continue to acquire primary care practices at an increasing rate,” says Chip Harvey, a sales and service consultantat Corporate Benefits Service, a third-party administrator of employer sponsored health benefit plans.

The number of hospital-owned physician practices in the U.S. more than doubled from 2002 to 2008. While in theory hospital-owned physician practices may enhance communication, reduce repetitive tests, ease coordination of care and contain costs, a recent study shows prices for patients in these practices, and their private insurers, have actually increased.

Acquiring practices increases the clout of hospital-owned physician practices “and their negotiating power withinsurance companies,” Harvey says. However, as a consequence, these primary care doctors “lose their independence because they are required to refer patients who need specialist treatment or diagnostic services … only to specialists and diagnostic centers that are also owned by the hospital,” he says.

That close tie appears to affect how much patients are billed.

Researchers at Stanford University examined about 2.1 million claims from non-elderly privately insured individuals from 2001 through 2007. They found that hospitals that owned physician practices had higher prices. The study was published in the journal Health Affairs.

The researchers note that “hospitals may still be sharing profits with physicians who opt to treat patients at more costly facilities or with more costly procedures than is medically appropriate.”

The study didn’t look at the effect of hospital-owned physician practices on patient health outcomes.

The researchers noted that Affordable Care Act creates incentives that will likely increase the number of medical practices legally tied to hospitals, whether by ownership or contract. The ACA “rewards doctors and hospitals that join together in an accountable care organization (ACO) by making them eligible for cash bonuses from Medicare,” the researchers wrote.

–Written by S.Z. Berg for MainStreet

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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Monsters & Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Robert Downey Jr’s Son’s Arrest Underscores The Genetics Of Addiction VIDEO July 1, 2014


Actor Robert Downey Jr. has enjoyed a four-decades-plus career with two Academy Award nominations, three Golden Globe wins, numerous other award nominations and wins, notably starring as Tony Stark in Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes, and he is currently married to Susan Downey and has two sons (one from a previous marriage).

Downey Jr. has had a troubled history of his own with addiction issues. Early on in 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School to pursue acting full time. His father, Robert Downey Sr., himself a drug addict, exposed his son to drugs at a very early age, and Downey Jr. would go on to struggle with drug abuse for decades.  The actor’s drug-related problems escalated from 1996 to 2001, leading to numerous arrests, rehab visits and incarcerations, and he was eventually fired from the TV series “Ally McBeal.”

From the 2013 Daily Mail article:

” To a large extent, his [Robert Downey Jr.] myriad problems were the legacy of a recklessly liberal upbringing by his parents, underground film-maker Robert Downey[Sr.]  and Elsie, his actress mother, in bohemian Greenwich Village, New York…His father cast his son in his first film, the avant-garde comedy Pound, at the age of five…But Downey Sr was a notorious drug addict and one day, as he watched the eight-year-old Robert drinking the white wine he had given him, he offered to let him try a cannabis joint.”

Emerging clean and sober in 2003, Downey Jr. climbed out of that big hole and built up his career with Gothika, Good Night, and Good Luck. A Scanner Darkly, Tropic Thunder and the films of the Iron Man, Avengers and Sherlock Holmes franchises.

In 2005, Downey Jr. married Susan Downey, who gave birth to their son, Exton Elias Downey, on February 7, 2012. Downey also has another son, Indio Falconer Downey, born September 7, 1993, from his first marriage to Deborah Falconer, from whom he was officially divorced in 2004.

Sadly, TMZ reports that the oldest child of Robert Downey Jr., Indio, has been arrested. Downey Jr. released the following statement to TMZ:

“Unfortunately there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. Also, there is a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he’s capable of being.  We’re grateful to the Sheriff’s department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale.”

Robert Downey Jr.’s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon, law enforcement sources tell TMZ.  Indio was observed smoking something out of a pipe according to the website.

An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over, did a search and allegedly found cocaine in Indio’s possession. He was arrested and taken to jail for possession of cocaine.

Indio, 20, posted the $10K bail and was released just after midnight Sunday.

Frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics in the area of addiction is expert Akikur Mohammad, M.D., the CEO and founder of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center.  Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist with a second board certification in addiction medicine. In addition to his role as Inspire Malibu’s CEO, Dr. Mohammad is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC where he is active in teaching medical students and residents the subject of addiction medicine and psychiatry.

Dr. Mohammad tells Monsters and Critics: “Robert Downey’s Jr.’s son drug possession arrest underscores that drug addiction is a chronic disease. Numerous scientific research studies support the fact that drug, and alcohol, addiction is a chronic disease with a strong genetic component, just like every other chronic disease including asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

“It’s disheartening that the young man’s disease is being sensationally publicized. After all, would we be throwing him into the limelight if it were discovered he had diabetes?

“The bottom line is that alcohol and drug addiction are chronic diseases. The debate on whether they or not is over. All the leading health and medical organization in the U.S. and worldwide support this contention, including the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization. But like every chronic disease, substance abuse addiction can be successfully managed with evidence-based treatment that includes medication, counseling and lifestyle modification. Robert Downey, Jr., is the greatest testament that a sufferer of alcohol-drug addiction can lead a successful, productive life.”

Original Article

Dr. A R Mohammad

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Mesoblast Los Angeles Business Journal / Mesoblast New Method Fights Back Against Pain June 30, 2014

Bae Whole Doc

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Mesoblast Monsters and Critics / Mesoblast The Stem Cell Era: Science Fiction Becomes Medical Fact June 25, 2014


Imagine a world with a medical landscape unlike anything we recognize now – where today’s medicines could be obsolete and surgical intervention a rarity. Where breakthroughs mean people will be living into their 100′s in good health and in sound mind.

If that sounds like fantasy, it’s safe to say that science fiction is rapidly evolving into medical fact, and the shift is going to be dramatic. A key component in this evolving future are viable, regenerative adult cell replacement therapies  — applied to treating a span of diseases and ailments, including heart disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, spine degeneration, diabetes, Parkinson’s, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, damaged bones and many other issues.

Silviu Portrait 1

Dr. Silviu Itescu, the CEO and founder of Mesoblast, Ltd., now

Leading this charge is modern day medical pioneer Dr. Silviu Itescu, the CEO and founder of Mesoblast, Ltd., now the largest regenerative medicine company worldwide.  Think American pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk in the early days of his research in fighting the dread polio.  Dr. Salk became a revered medical figure upon the announcement in 1955 that his polio vaccine was safe and effective. It was a turning point in the fight against a disease that condemned some victims to live the rest of their lives in tank-like breathing machines called iron lungs and made playing outside off-limits to children as parents feared contagion. The Salk Polio vaccine changed medical history and saved countless lives, ending the yearly toll of epidemics,  paralysis and death.

The extraordinary story of  Dr. Itescu is not far off from Dr. Jonas Salk.  In the 21st century, Dr. Itescu’s work through Mesoblast is on the brink of revolutionizing medicine as we know it.  His pioneering efforts showing that certain adult stem cells, extracted from healthy adults’ bone marrow, could be used to repair damaged hearts has formed the basis of many clinical trials in patients with ischemic heart disease.

Dr. Itescu has focused Mesoblast’s stem cell therapies in four major and distinct areas – systemic diseases with an underlying inflammatory and immunologic etiology; cardiac and vascular diseases; orthopedic diseases of the spine; and improving outcomes of bone marrow transplantation associated with oncology or genetic conditions.  Mesoblast currently has multiple products in various stages of clinical trials in anticipation of making them available to the public.

Mesoblast’s researchers take healthy donor adult stem cells and refine the targeted cells needed, multiplying the specific MPCs (rare cells found around blood vessels in various tissues), and multiplies them, and injects them directly in the diseased areas.

With a successful career highlighted by medicine and academia, Dr. Itescu is both a medical doctor and a professor of immunology, as well as a former Columbia University faculty member. He has advised both the United States President’s Council on Bioethics and the United States Food & Drug Administration’s Biological Response Modifiers Advisory Committee on cell therapy. Professor Itescu was named BioSpectrum Asia Person of the Year in 2011.

Silviu with Vatican Official

Dr. Silviu Itescu with Vatican Official

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture honored Dr. Itescu in 2013 with the inaugural Key Innovator Award for his leadership and ingenuity in translational science and clinical medicine in relation to adult stem cell therapy. His continued work is part of a group of forward thinking scientists and researchers who have bet on adult stem cell therapy and refined this science to create real efficacy in repairing damaged tissue.

Dr. Itescu tells Monsters and Critics that his company Mesoblast “…is significantly ahead of everyone else in the space,”  and that the Company’s pioneering strategies have many top American doctors working with them in clinical trials “extremely excited about the early results as we move through these phases.”

According to Dr. Itescu, “Highly purified, immunoselected MPCs and the cultured MSCs they give rise to share very important technical characteristics – both populations can be expanded in large numbers in culture, are well tolerated when used allogeneically in unrelated recipients, and can differentiate to greater or lesser degrees into bone, fat and cartilage.”

What this means is these little packages of healthy targeted cells go immediately to the diseased spots of the back, heart, pancreas or wherever and repair the bad cells, regenerating and rebuilding you from the inside out!

Original Article


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Dr. Constantino Mendieta Monsters and Critics / Dr. Constantino Mendieta When Bad Plastic Surgery Happens To Good People, E! ‘Botched’ Goes There VIDEOS June 24, 2014

botched key

In the course of the 11 years writing for Monsters and Critics, I’ve interviewed top board certified plastic surgeons such as Dr. Constantino Mendieta, considered the finest butt man around and the author of the Art of Gluteal Sculpting.  Dr. Nicholas Nikolov of Beverly Hills, whose deft hands gave many Hollywood stars beautiful noses and breasts.

They both told me the same thing, a great deal of their work was revisional surgery from botched procedures by other doctors, often times cosmetic surgeons who were unqualified. They saw heartbreaking things and did their best to restore bodies to a normalcy for their patients. It was their most satisfying work next to fixing a child’s face from congenital deformity or someone battered or scarred in an accident.

Enter a reality TV series that stars two of LA’s top board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Paul Nassif and Dr. Terry Dubrow, who we came to know in “The Swan” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”   These two talented physicians have joined forces for E!’s new series “Botched” which premieres Tuesday, June 24 at 9:00pm.


You will see some retreads from TLC’s Strange Addictions, the Plastic Surgery freakshow Barbie Boy who has money coming from somewhere (he lives in his underwear so you do the math), a poor woman with her frustrated husband tired of her uniboob, and other unfortunates who bet the farm and pulled up weeds.


World renowned doctors Paul Nassif and Terry Dubrow

World renowned doctors Paul Nassif and Terry Dubrow — the best of the best and leaders in their field — will be tasked with some of the most difficult operations of their careers when they try to reverse the effects of horrendous plastic surgeries.

For the first time on television, plastic surgery nightmares become dreams come true when “Botched” premieres Tuesday, June 24 at 9:00pm ET/PT only on E! and moves to its new day/time Sundays beginning June 29 at 10:00pm following plastic surgery fans “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

In the premiere episode airing Tuesday, June 24 at 9pm, both doctors team up to fix some of California’s worst surgical results when they set their sights, and their scalpels, on Alicia, a woman suffering from what’s known as a “uni-boob,” and Michelle, an actress who’s had six surgeries in search of the perfect nose. Plus, the doctors make a house call to one of the Internet’s most talked about plastic surgery addicts, the human doll, Justin Jedlica.

Episode Description: Human Dolls (6/24/14)
Plastic surgeons Terry Dubrow & Paul Nassif treat a woman with a uni-boob, an actress who’s had 6 surgeries in search of the perfect nose, and make a house call for Justin, a self-proclaimed human doll.

Clip 2: Meet the doctors

Clip 3: Alicia “uniboob” meets the doctors for her consultation.

Clip 4: The doctors’ visit Justin “human ken” at his home to go over his possible surgery.


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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Monsters and Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Pope Francis Expresses Opposition On Pot For Recreation June 23, 2014


 Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, was elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, becoming Pope Francis. He is the first pope from the Americas.

Pope Francis has offered an olive branch of acceptance to the atheists. He is also fast tracking and sacking the financial reforms and panels put in place and launched by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, and overhauling the Roman Curia that includes the college of Cardinals andaggressively tackled the lingering clerical sex abuse cases. The Pope works for peace in the Middle East and tries to broker communication with the Israelis and Palestinians.

Now he is speaking out on something that is troubling him, the growing relaxation of marijuana laws in the western world especially in the USA.

“Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise,” he told participants at the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome.

But like the church’s hardline stance on divorce, many Americans are not in agreement with Rome. Public sentiment isn’t with him; most Americans are voting in favor of legalization. In South America, countries like Uruguay have legalized marijuana.

Colorado and Washington state have made marijuana use legal, and in California, Nevada, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Alaska it is legal if you get a doctor’s approval and the laws for pot were reduced. Several other states, cities and countries have decriminalized its use or have announced plans to do so. There are states like Texas and Florida where pot is illegal still.

Akikur Mohammad, M.D., is the CEO and founder of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center. Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist with board certification in addiction medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology.  He tells Monsters and Critics, “Smoking is generally a poor way to deliver medicine. As a doctor, I assure you that it is almost impossible to administer safe, regulated dosages of medicines in smoked form. Morphine, for example, has proven to be a medically valuable drug, but no responsible physician endorses smoking opium or heroin.”

“However,  to address the Pope’s statement regarding recreational marijuana… addiction has been around as long as humankind. It is a typical religious approach that addiction is EVIL, but science had proven that all addiction is a brain disease. However, in some patients, spirituality or religion may help to manage and overcome their addiction. I always advocated decriminalization but not complete legalization of drugs like marijuana.”

Dr. Mohammad adds, “Nicotine is legal around the world and the most common preventable cause of death worldwide, Nicotine kills more people than alcohol and all other drugs combined. Let’s educate the public!”

Original Article

Dr. A R Mohammad

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/ Renee Raudman Famous Narrator Takes Us Inside One of the World’s Coolest Jobs June 23, 2014

You probably don’t know Renee Raudman by name — but there’s a good chance you’ve heard her voice.

Renee Raudman

Raudman is one of the most requested narrators in the multibillion dollar audiobook industry, having recorded well over 300 books since 2006.

In less than a decade, the actress-turned-voice-over star has won several awards, critical acclaim, and changed the landscape of the genre.

“When audiobooks were first being produced for a more mass market, the trend was toward a ‘single-voiced’ read with, at most, subtle changes for each different character,” she says. “However, I didn’t know that when I narrated my first audiobook. I just assumed the approach I took — voicing a distinctive personality for each major character — would be best suited for this medium as well.”

Her goal, she explains, was to make a movie for the mind.

And she has succeeded.

Business Insider spoke with Raudman about how she got into the fascinating world of audiobooks, and the most exciting and surprising aspects of her job. 

Business Insider: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Renee Raudman: I was raised in the small town of Kalkaska, Michigan — a beautiful place to grow up. I graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. (Go Spartans!) Immediately after graduating from Michigan State University, and about five years into the corporate world of advertising and marketing (and loving it) in the suburbs of Detroit, I decided that I didn’t want my life to pass by without finally listening to this little voice deep within me — that, up until that point, I was terribly afraid to even acknowledge — that begged me to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor.

BI: What happened next?

RR: One of the girls that I worked with at the ad agency told me her brother was a pretty big agent in LA. I asked if I could interview him, and she kindly set up the meeting. I flew to Los Angeles and asked him to give me every piece of advice that he could, in addition to what he believes the biggest mistakes other aspiring actors make, that ultimately lead to their leaving the business unfulfilled. He smiled and said nobody had ever asked those questions, because they probably didn’t really want to know the answers, and he proceeded to give me a detailed list. I took copious notes.

Within 30 days, I moved to Los Angeles and had taken every step of advice he gave me. When I called and gave him this update, there was a stunned silence on his end of the phone. He said, “I never thought I’d hear from you again. And certainly not within a month!”

BI: So how did this lead to your narrating career?

RR: While having success in a variety of daytime and prime time television and film opportunities, my “voice over” star was rising. I had voiced hundreds of TV and radio commercials, including several national campaigns for retail and political ads, as well as cartoons and video games.

In 2005, I met someone who narrated audiobooks — which I personally always loved! Can you guess what I did? I sat him down, asked him dozens of questions, and … I took copious notes.

BI: Did you ever imagine you’d have a successful career in the audiobook industry?

RR: Well, when I was in third grade, my parents had given me a little cassette recorder for Christmas. I used to come home after school and take that tape recorder into the bathroom (no one bothered me in there, and the acoustics were fantastic) and I would act out all the characters from my history class I had learned that day. I would give each notable person from history a different voice, and make up all these stories about Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, the Hopi Indians, etc.. At seven years old I was recording and acting out full stories with different voices.

I still have that tape recorder.

When I tell you I loved listening to audiobooks, I mean I loved it. I would drive to San Diego from Los Angeles, just so I wouldn’t have to stop the tape. And do you know, it never occurred to me to pursue this medium.

BI: When did it finally occur to you?

RR: About nine years ago, I met a fellow who was dating my sister at the time named Scott Brick. He was, and still is, the male voice in audiobooks. And as I mentioned, I was fairly successful in my own right in the commercial VO world.

Given my fascination with audiobooks, I hung on his every word when he told me of his industry. We agreed to trade information about the other’s voice-over world. The rest is history, as they say.

BI: Did he help you break in to the industry?

RR: Yes. He kindly helped me put together a demo reel, I sent it out to seven companies and heard back from four of them within the month — which was unheard of at that time. Very few women back in 2006 had their own home recording studio, so it allowed me to work for several different publishers from home, and it also allowed me to work in every genre of audiobook imaginable.

In a way, it’s a “right time, right place” kind of story. The audiobook world was just beginning to explode with digital downloads and a lower price-point. Amazingly, this series of events led me to be able to make a living at something that I seemed to be destined to do from such an early age.

BI: Have people always complimented your voice?

RR: What an interesting question! I guess they have; yes. But I’ve worked really hard on what my normal speaking voice sounds like. In my early 20s I heard myself on a recording, and I thought, YIKES!

I then began to take note of how other’s spoke. For example: If they had a squeaky, tight, breathy, baby, or whiney voice. (Amazing at how it would match to their personality.) While at the same time, I would feel so attracted to people’s voices that were calm, relaxed, in control, at a lower more natural register, etc.

After a little research, I found that if I strengthened the muscles of my diaphragm and use them from which to speak, that it gave my whole being a sense of ease, control, and confidence. It did away with my shallow breaths, and higher pitch. Honestly, transforming my voice had an incredible impact on shaping who I am as a person today.

BI: Can you tell us more about what it’s like to record an audiobook?

RR: Without a doubt, audiobook narration has been the toughest work I’ve done in the world of entertainment. I’m not complaining, as there are other jobs in our world that are truly backbreaking hard and dangerous!

Narrating is like running a marathon versus a sprint. Unlike a radio commercial, which might take an hour to record, I work full eight-hour days, five days a week, with just two short breaks a day and lunch. I sit for long stretches of time in a dark small studio (usually by myself, unless recording with a partner). It’s fairly exhausting, because during those eight hours, I’m talking the whole time, and there’s never a moment where I can stop and return emails, phone calls, or not be in full performance mode. Let’s just say I’m not the best conversationalist when I get home.

BI: How do you prepare for a narration?

RR: It really depends on the project. While I do prep for every book I narrate, a non-fiction book typically takes a lot less time than a fiction novel. The prep on a non-fiction title is usually limited to pronunciations, and some research, based on either the author or the subject matter. For the most part, as the narrator, I am responsible for coming up with all pronunciations in the book. Whether it’s medical verbiage, names of towns in foreign countries, or another language all together, we are responsible for it being 100% accurate.

However, fiction is another story. Because of the number of books that I record, I’ve found that I can be more productive if I have assistance in the preparation of almost every novel I narrate. I, personally, pre-read the manuscript. Simultaneously, I’ll hire someone else who will go through and prep the physical manuscript. This will include creating character sheets, pronunciation lists, story summary by chapter, as well as “coding” the script.

“Coding” includes putting initials next to each line as to who is speaking, highlighting direction or emotion if it appears after the line of dialogue, and the change of character’s point of view.

As far as warm up goes: Other than a cup of coffee several hours before recording, and then a cup of tea and glass of water in the booth, I’m pretty much ready.

BI: What’s the typical starting salary for a new audiobook narrator? And how high can that number go for an experienced narrator? 

RR: The wages tend to be pretty hush-hush. If the title is 10 hours long, you get paid an hourly rate based on the finished hours. I believe starting salary is approximately $100 per finished hour for newcomers, and can go up to anywhere in the neighborhood of $500 for the cream. This would not include celebrity reads.

BI: How many books do you record a year? 

RR: I used to take every book that was offered to me. However, I’m trying my best to add more balance to my life. My new goal is to narrate no more than one to two books per month. I’m trying to go from approximately 40 books a year to 24 books a year. (Except I sort of blew it this month, because I recorded four titles and a short story in the last two weeks alone.) Exhausted doesn’t begin to describe how I feel!

BI: How long does it typically take to record an audiobook? 

RR: A fairly standard title would take me about 1.5 times the length of the book. The audiobook world is measured by the “PFH” (per finished hour). So if a title is 10 hours, it usually takes me about 15 hours of actual recording time. However, two of the aforementioned titles I recorded in these last couple weeks, took over twice the PFH. One had approximately 130 different characters in it, many of those returning from prior books in the series.

BI: How many narrators work on any given book?

RR: Typically, only one person narrates an entire book. But some titles will beg for a full cast of narrators (for instance, The Bible). Several of the bigger name authors, like Catherine Coulter, can request — and their audiobook sales can support — hiring two narrators; usually a male and a female.

I’ve done several duo narrations for Catherine Coulter, and they are a blast to narrate. To make it more of a movie for the mind, Catherine allows us to take all the “he saids/she saids” out of the book. It’s also a real treat to get to read and play off of another actor.

BI: Do you have a favorite book that you’ve narrated? 

RR: Boy, that’s so tough. Truthfully, I don’t have a favorite. Certain titles move me to tears. Others make me laugh out loud. Some provide me a day’s (much needed) escape. And in others, I fall in love. Who can pick a favorite? I will say, I was just recently chosen by Disney to narrate Tangled and because my 3-year-old niece absolutely loves this movie, this was a very exciting job to get.

While I can’t pick a favorite book, I am so, so, lucky to work with some of the best selling authors in the world. I have to pinch myself some days. Really! Danielle Steel, Catherine Coulter, J.T. Ellison, Suzanne Brockmann, Nora Roberts, Ilona Andrews, Deborah Coonts, and the list goes on and on.

BI: What’s the coolest or craziest experience you’ve had as an audiobook narrator? 

RR: Perhaps that I lost an “Audie” (our industry’s Oscar equivalent) to Johnny Depp.

Will you indulge me one more?

BI: Of course.

RR: In addition to narrating audiobooks, my company also has professional recording studio, and we produce audiobook textbooks for online universities in Southern California and Colorado.

So, one day, I needed to buy an office chair, and had heard that a nearby garage sale had a brand new one. My fiancé and I went to take a look. The place was hopping with people, but for some reason the homeowner took a shine to me and began asking a lot of questions about what I did and where would I use the chair.

When I told her that I narrated audiobooks, she said, “You’re kidding! They’ve changed my life! I would never be able to get my college degree without taking courses from an online college. And I wouldn’t be able to get through the classes but for the fact they offer their textbooks in audiobook format. Have you ever heard of such a thing?!”

I said that I had. And then she said, “How cool is this?!” and whipped out her iPhone and pushed play: “Welcome to Anthropology 101. Narrated by Renee Raudman….”

My fiancé, John, started giggling and said, “that’s her” and pointed to me. We all had a good laugh.

But truly, I can’t tell you how proud I feel to be able to contribute something so worthwhile. I’m someone who learns much better by listening than reading. So that was a powerful and really cool moment for me.

BI: Do you listen to you own audiobooks after they’re completed?

RR: Once in a great while I’ll need to listen to characters from a prior series, or if I’m working on a new accent and want to hear how it came out. Though it does pain me. I’m completely hyper-critical. I always want to get back into the studio and fix a line here and there and find myself cringing. However, there are times where I’ll be listening and get caught up in the story and think: Hey, that was OK! 

BI: Has a stranger ever recognized your voice? 

RR: As I mentioned, I am from Michigan. Upon first moving to Southern California, I had a very strong Michigan accent. My very first radio spot was for Security Pacific Bank and had nine words: “College, clothes, my own car, Christmas vacation … spring break!”

My Michigan accent was particularly strong in words like car. I was in the McDonald’s drive through here in So Cal. After placing an order, the girl, through the speaker, asked, “Do you have a bank commercial running right now?!”

BI: What’s the one most surprising things about being an audiobook narrator? 

RR: I guess a few things. One, I didn’t know it would be so labor intensive. Two, until recently, it never occurred to me that I might have fans. And three, that reading a love scene in a book is a whole lot different than acting one out. (I’m not saying it isn’t fun. I just have to be careful with what titles I recommend to mom and dad.)

BI: What’s the best part about being an audiobook narrator?

RR: I get paid to read what I’d read if I were on vacation; I get to be all the characters behind the mic; and I get to fall in love over and over again, every time I step into the booth.

Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/famous-narrator-worlds-coolest-job-2014-6#ixzz35TamCxje

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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Monsters and Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Top Five Dangers That Can Lead To Addiction In Retirement June 19, 2014

Senior organizing pill box

The golden years, a time for easy living and to kick back and enjoy the slower pace deserved after a lifetime of schedules and the 9-to-5 treadmill.

But did you know that for many people, deviating from this routine of work, managing the home and raising children to one with lots of unstructured time on their hands can present some huge problems especially if those people are predisposed to addiction issues and never fully realized it until their senior years?

Addiction specialist Dr. Akikur R. Mohammad, MD sees many patients over the age of 55 who find out the hard way that they cannot handle alcohol or pain medicine and maintain their sobriety.

They turn to him for medically supervised detoxification and learn how to manage time, activities and their social lives so that they do not fall into bad habits and relapse.


Dr. Akikur Mohammad, M.D.,

Dr. Mohammad, founder of Inspire Malibu, considered an elite medically-based addiction rehabilitation center, tells Monsters and Critics’ readers to watch for these five flashpoints and offers some recommendations:


“When someone has no routine, they get lazy and slip into bad habits, letting physical routines slide and sleeping too much. A little structure can go a long way,” says Dr. Mohammad.


“Letting social situations and friendships slide and go by the wayside. This is the time to reconnect and join groups and clubs, reach out and volunteer. Extend yourself, get involved with your church or synagogue or civic center.  Find a cause, whether it is helping tutor children with special needs, fostering abandoned animals, communal gardening or volunteering at the local library or museum, these activities will net new friendships and keep your brain active.” says Dr. Mohammad.


“Not having to work tomorrow lets many retirees drink every day; for those who are prone to addiction it all catches up with them. Don’t look for excuses to minimize alcohol consumption. Daily drinking is an insidious and harmful habit. Drinking alone is another dangerous habit,” says Dr. Mohammad.


“The worry, fear and progression of age, illnesses, and the older you get the more your close relations pass away, leaving you to feel badly about it. It’s not easy, but don’t let yourself succumb to negative news about parents, uncles and aunts, siblings, childhood friends.  Try and keep your network of friends and social outlets up to date and work at keeping in touch with people, even when you don’t feel like it, it does help to talk,”says Dr. Mohammad.


“Living with chronic pain and aches takes a toll. The lack of mobility, the lack of quality sleep and constant pain are a huge issue. Senior ailments such as painful hips, knees, arthritis all offer an opportunity to abuse addictive pain medications. There are gentle exercise treatments like Tai Chi and Yoga that can help eradicate pain and in time strengthen atrophied muscles. Massage and swimming also are excellent options to explore,” says Dr. Mohammad.

Dr. Mohammad suggests that all seniors keep connected through family and community and faith groups, and buddy up in their neighborhoods. There are senior centers in many cities, and he urges adult children to actively help their parents find and connect with these useful resource hubs that are excellent directories for even more information and qualified help:

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Dr. Mendieta Monsters and Critics / Dr. Constantino Mendieta Big Butts Baroque: Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Seattle Jam VIDEO June 10, 2014

Butts and big booty are still the rage, and we can all thank visionaries like board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Constantino Mendieta of Miami, Florida, author of “The Art of Gluteal Sculpting” and go-to medical expert for VICE on the explosion of illegal butt injections, who has been at the forefront of helping American women change the focus of mens’ sexual desire from boobs to bums. (more…)

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Dr. Mendieta Monsters and Critics / Dr. Constantino Mendieta Jennifer Lopez Reunites With ‘The Dress,’ At Least Her Nipples Were Covered, Some Thoughts June 5, 2014
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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Monsters and Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad ‘Godfather of Ecstasy’ Sasha Shulgin’s Death Raises Questions About Medical Applications of Psychoactive Drugs June 5, 2014


 ‘Godfather of Ecstasy’ Sasha Shulgin’s Death Raises Questions About Sound Medical Applications of Psychoactive Drugs


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Dr. Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Monsters and Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad ‘My Entire Career Has Been An Attempt To Commit Suicide’ GWAR Singer Dies of Heroin June 4, 2014

Gwar frontman David Brockie, known by his fans as Oderus Ungerus, died of heroin overdose.


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Dr. Gregg Nishi Monsters and Critics / The Khalili Center Four Cereal Picks For Kids Picked By Top Bariatric Surgeon May 20, 2014

Dr. Kai Nishi of The Khalili Center

The recent news about sugar consumption with children via breakfast cereal is so alarming that it sounded a wake up call with medical professionals, academics, nutritionists and parents last week.

Imagine putting 10 one-pound bags of sugar in front of your child and then asking them to eat that. They do this annually if you read the average statistics for kids in the USA. (more…)

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Renee Raudman Reading with Style / Renee Raudman Secrets of an Audiobook Narrator May 19, 2014

I am so excited today to share with you all an interview I had with Renee Raudman, who is actually an audiobook narrator! I’ve never really thought about who the people behind the voice narrating audiobooks actually are, so it was fun seeing things from her point of view! So without further ado…

Describe your experience as an audio book narrator in three words.
(TAH is a word! Sorta.  Found it in the medical dictionary.).

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Dr. Akikur Mohammad Mainstreet.com / Dr. Akikur Mohammad One In Ten Small Businesses Found Employees Under The Influence May 16, 2014

Companies can still prohibit employees from the use of medical marijuana since it has not been approved on a federal level, Moretzsohn said.

“It does not make it ok to have it in the workplace since it is being treated different than prescription drugs,” she said. “The law can really change and it depends on the state law. It is not shielded yet because of federal law.”


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Dr. Akikur Mohammad Market Watch / Dr. Akikur Mohammad 10 things rehab centers won’t tell you May 16, 2014

Our success rates may mean little.

The statistics about relapse notwithstanding, rehab centers often tout their effectiveness – and say they have the numbers to back up their claims. Many quote success rates of 70% or higher. But those claims depend on how “success” is defined. In some cases, the figure may only refer to the completion rate – that is, the percentage of people who finish the program. Or it could mean a relatively short period of post-program sobriety — say, a year after completing treatment. And any post-program figure may be questionable since it could be a self-reported one (in other words, it’s a number that’s only as good as an addict’s word). The bottom line, says Dr. Akikur Mohammad, a psychiatrist who teaches addiction medicine at the University of Southern California, is that any success rate that sounds too good to be true probably is. The programs play with numbers to “get some patients, to get some money,” he says.

Still, some programs stand by their figures. Cliffside Malibu, a high-end treatment center in California, reports a 70% success rate – based on one-year of post-program sobriety. And while program founder and Chief Executive Richard Taite allows that “people can make all sorts of outlandish claims” in the industry, he notes that Cliffside does extensive monitoring to make sure its rate is accurate. “I have a full-time research fellow on staff,” he says.

Original Article

Dr. A R Mohammad

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Dr. Constantino Mendieta Celebzter / Dr. Constantino Mendieta The verdict on Nicole Kidman’s strangely puffy face: ‘This is a classic case of when a beautiful woman goes too far’ May 15, 2014

Kidman's appearance at Cannes had people wondering what she did to her face
Kidman’s appearance at Cannes had people wondering what she did to her face

Her new film Grace of Monaco has been savaged by critics as it opened the Cannes Film Festival today (Wednesday) .

But it’s not just the biopic about the movie-star-turned-princess Grace Kelly that is attracting attention — also the film’s star, Nicole Kidman’s oddly puffy face.


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Dr. Akikur Mohammad ABC 7 - The Denver Channel / Dr. Akikur Mohammad Some say heroin rescue drug is a lifesaver, others predict increase in overdoses May 15, 2014

Should naloxone be available to everyone?

Steve Kamenicky, right, waits for Chicago Recovery Alliance volunteer Erin Scott to finish his paper work before he can get Naloxone.

When Jody Waxman heard a loud noise in her home, she thought her cats might be up to something.

“I got upstairs, I saw Alex on the floor, flat on this back with foam coming out of his mouth. I couldn’t budge him,” Waxman said.


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Tisanoreica She Budgets / Tisanoreica Ten Questions with Mary Murphy of So You Think You Can Dance May 14, 2014

Mary Ann Murphy is a ballroom dance champion, accredited dance judge, and a judge and choreographer on the Fox dance competition-reality show So You Think You Can Dance. She has become noted for regularly holding up her hands and screaming enthusiastically as a form of praise, along with giggling constantly during performances she enjoys. Also, Murphy is noted for introducing unique forms of praise, which include calling dancers “Hot Tamales” or issuing them tickets on her “Hot Tamale Train.”


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Mesoblast American Health and Beauty / Mesoblast Beauty and Health, The Precipice of Future Medicine May 14, 2014

Exciting breakthroughs in cell-based immune therapy have opened new avenues to transform patient care.

Beauty springs from wellness and good health, and good health usually reflects a body in tune and working at its optimal levels of cell regeneration. When external and internal forces attack cells, they change, slow down in production and start to cease to rebound from these stimuli, causing what we see in the mirror as the external signs of aging–wrinkles, grey hair and sagging skin.

Stem Cell Research


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Dr. Damon Raskin Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Donald Sterling Dementia Theory Discounted By Top Doctor VIDEO May 13, 2014

“it looks like Donald Sterling isn’t going to sell off the Clippers for a half billion dollars and use that money to get scientists and engineers to build him a time machine so he can back to the 1800s  and live his racist dream by owning a bunch of slaves. (“Take me wit you, Donnie!” – Paula Deen)”   - DListed.com

Video thumbnail for youtube video Cliven Bundy, Meet Donald Sterling VIDEO - Monsters and Critics

The notion that Donald Sterling possibly having dementia is being whipped into the mash of tabloid media thanks in large part to his wife, Shelly Sterling, and her infamous Barbara Walters interview.


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Signature MD Medical Economics / Signature MD Direct-pay medical practices could diminish payer headaches May 8, 2014

Concierge medicine

Concierge medicine practices charge an annual fee that can range from $1,200 to $10,000, depending on the practice.

There are several models that physicians can choose from when transitioning a practice to concierge from traditional fee-for-service.


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Dr. Jamie Hernandez The Doctors TV / Dr. Jamie Hernandez GPS For Knee Surgery May 6, 2014

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Renee Raudman Ventura County Star / Renee Raudman Renee Raudman gives voice to books May 6, 2014

CARLOS CHAVEZ/SPECIAL TO THE STAR<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Renee Raudman of Westlake Village has developed a passion for audiobooks. Raudman is the voice of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanova. She has narrated for authors Danielle Steel, Catherine Coulter and Suzanne Brockmann.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
CARLOS CHAVEZ/SPECIAL TO THE STAR Renee Raudman of Westlake Village has developed a passion for audiobooks. Raudman is the voice of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanova. She has narrated for authors Danielle Steel, Catherine Coulter and Suzanne Brockmann.


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Dr. Joycelyn Speight Black Fitness Today / Dr. Joycelyn Speight Dr. Joycelyn L. Speight, A Voted “Best Doctors in America” Discusses Cancer in the African-American Community May 2, 2014

Dr. Joycelyn L. Speight

Did you know in the African-American community 95,000 men and 82,000 women are predicted to be diagnosed with cancer this year? Statistics also show that African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers.” When compared to Whites, African American women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer and African American men are 2.5 times more likely to die from prostate cancer.


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Dr. Akikur Mohammad Monsters and Critics / Dr. Akikur Mohammad Rob Ford’s Do Or Die Rehab, Top Addiction Expert Glad To See Him Seek Help VIDEOS May 2, 2014


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has faced the music and admitted himself to rehab, after a tearful announcement was made on numerous TV news outlets by his brother Doug Ford. (more…)

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