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NEWS
June 27, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, STAFF WRITER
Two insights over the last half-century have transformed scientific understanding of the nature of addiction: It changes how the brain remembers and responds to temptations. You can see the difference on scans. That's why "just say no" just isn't effective. It is a chronic disease, like diabetes. Both need to be managed for a lifetime. That's partly what is meant by being "in recovery. " Nearly 130 Americans die of drug overdoses every day, 60 percent of them - the fastest-rising category of fatalities - due to opioids.
NEWS
September 30, 2004
I commend Gov. Rendell's declaration making Sept. 27 "Family Day," and his encouragement that parents talk to their children about drug and alcohol abuse. I'd like to offer a suggestion. Given the direction he is taking Pennsylvania, he might want to encourage parents to speak to their children about gambling addiction, too. As the fastest growing addiction among teens, and one not as easily detected as substance abuse (no slurred speech or dilated pupils), parent will need to speak clearly and firmly about the dangers posed from slot machines and other gambling.
NEWS
May 26, 2006
RE THE MAY 18 letter from Karen (Majewski) Waldsmit: I am a certified addiction counselor and about to complete a graduate-studies program. I have worked on inpatient psychiatric, detox and residential units and am currently working in an outpatient methadone program. I take issue with the statement in the letter that "there is an addictive gene"! Several studies since Blum and Noble's identification of the "common thread" have failed to replicate their findings. This misconception of an identified gene to explain this behavior fosters a perspective that exaggerates the significance of genetic research in addiction and ignores caveats and qualifications.
NEWS
April 30, 1997 | By Gerald K. McOscar
I had my first cigarette when I was about 10. My mother smoked Kents and my father smoked Camels, so it had to have been one of those. My parents knew, of course. They didn't approve, but they knew. But smoking was no big deal in the '50s. Besides, they had other things on their minds, such as feeding four hungry boys, making sure our homework was done and dragging us kicking and screaming out of bed and off to school each morning (always with a breakfast of hot oatmeal whether we wanted the stuff or not)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 2003 | By Amy Phillips FOR THE INQUIRER
On the surface, Lisa Germano's Lullaby for Liquid Pig (Ineffable/Artist Direct), appears to be a concept album about alcoholism. Lyrics about wine, buzzes and "liquid pigs" float in and out of a woozy melodic haze, and songs such as "Dream Glasses Off" and "From a Shell" feel like the sonic equivalent of a lonely, drunken saunter home in the early-morning fog. But the 45-year-old Germano, who gained fame as a violinist in John Mellencamp's band in...
NEWS
April 19, 1990 | BY MATTHEW WEISS
I am an addict. Though I have heard or read thousands of confessions, sordid histories and tales of redemption over the years, I never expected to hear myself say those four words: I am an addict. One thing I can say for my addiction - it's not a lonely one. It is among the most pervasive, insidious, destructive habits in the world, and chances are that if you're reading this article, you are close to someone with this problem. I became a user at 16. This is when most Americans pick up the habit, although it can strike a person at anytime in his or her adult life.
NEWS
October 29, 2006 | By Valerie Reed INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
In Rick Pine's third-story office are inspirational messages painted by his mother on slate fragments. The familiar Serenity Prayer, which asks God for "courage to change the things I can," is propped near his desk in the Bensalem manor that for 40 years has served as headquarters of the Livengrin Foundation, a substance-abuse treatment center. For Pine, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit center, inspiration comes from reaching out each day to those whose lives are controlled by alcohol or drugs.
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Matthew Jonathon Bennett, 25, of Villanova, an aspiring entrepreneur who struggled with addiction for the last 11 years, died Sunday, June 12, of a drug overdose in Baltimore. Known as Matt, Mr. Bennett was found unresponsive in his car outside a Wawa after leaving a rehab program two days shy of completion. He could not be revived, his family said. The Maryland Medical Examiner's Office said the case was under investigation. Starting in his early teens, Mr. Bennett's life was a roller-coaster ride, with joyful, creative, and productive times interrupted by steep slides into depression and self-recrimination.
NEWS
July 1, 1990 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don Newcombe, former star pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, hasn't pitched a game in 28 years. The only reason he picks up baseballs anymore is to sign them. The 8-by-10 glossy black-and-white photograph of him, looking as if he had just thrown a strike, was taken in 1958. He carries copies in his briefcase to autograph for his fans. Newcombe was in Norristown last week, signing baseballs, autographing photos and talking about alcoholism, which he said forced him to give up the career that earned him Rookie of the Year honors in 1949 and the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Awards in 1956.
NEWS
October 22, 1997
If addicts weren't weak or bad, they wouldn't use drugs, right? And some drugs are addictive psychologically, but not physically, right? Both wrong. But these are true: Addiction is a brain disease. Almost all drugs that get abused - heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, PCP, LSD - have much the same effect on the same pathway in the brain. Scientists see this as the common factor in why addicts keep seeking and using drugs regardless of the consequences - including prison or death.
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NEWS
July 16, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, Staff Writer
Pennsylvania will open 20 centers around the state by fall to coordinate care for people addicted to opioids, the Wolf administration announced Thursday. The centers - six of them in Southeastern Pennsylvania - will not be new locations, but instead are existing organizations that will function as navigational hubs to coordinate a range of services for Medicaid patients. By integrating treatment for substance abuse, mental health, and physical health, their mission is to help ensure patients get all the types of care proven to promote recovery.
NEWS
July 14, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, Staff Writer
Drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania jumped more than 23 percent last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported Tuesday, by far the biggest increase in at least a decade and a sign that the addiction epidemic remains out of control. An analysis of drug-related fatalities by the DEA's Philadelphia Field Division found a 5 percent rise in deaths involving heroin, along with an astonishing increase - up 93 percent in one year - in the presence of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in the bodies of people who died of overdoses.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 6, 2016 | By Carolyn Hax, Advice Columnist
Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Question: After many years of suspected (vehemently denied) psychological issues and drug use, and after burning bridges with an entire extended family, my 32-year-old niece died yesterday. I'm overcome with, I don't know what, sorrow, guilt, relief, anger, ambivalence. I had enough stress in my life that I didn't want anything to do with her in recent years. Her mom, my sister, went in endless cycles of writing her off, eventually sending more money, and then long tearful phone calls to me that were the same over and over.
NEWS
July 1, 2016
ISSUE | DRUG ABUSE Pa. must tackle opioid crisis The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Gov. Wolf agreed last week to call a special session of the General Assembly to work on the opioid addiction crisis. The Pennsylvania Medical Society applauds this bipartisan effort. Special sessions are used only for the most troubling issues. Opioid abuse and addiction is one of the most troubling issues facing our state. Pennsylvania ranks number one in the country for overdose deaths of males ages 12 to 24. Let's turn that around and become the best state in the country in addressing this crisis.
NEWS
June 27, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, STAFF WRITER
Two insights over the last half-century have transformed scientific understanding of the nature of addiction: It changes how the brain remembers and responds to temptations. You can see the difference on scans. That's why "just say no" just isn't effective. It is a chronic disease, like diabetes. Both need to be managed for a lifetime. That's partly what is meant by being "in recovery. " Nearly 130 Americans die of drug overdoses every day, 60 percent of them - the fastest-rising category of fatalities - due to opioids.
NEWS
June 24, 2016 | By Stacey Burling, STAFF WRITER
Psychologist Tracy Steen was surprised to learn this herself, but she discovered that The Brady Bunch - that iconic '70s sitcom about a blended family - was a good example of her presentation topic: ambiguous loss. Steen, whose private practice in Rittenhouse Square focuses on positive psychology and addiction treatment, came to Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services on Wednesday to discuss the kind of grief that leaves many unanswered - and unanswerable - questions.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2016 | By Anndee Hochman, For The Inquirer
Some insomniacs count sheep. Lori Quintavalle used to count treatment centers. Her son Alec, now 24, had cycled through at least 10 alcohol-and-drug rehabs. He'd stay clean while in a program, but once he was out for a week or two, he's relapse. At one point, he slept in his car in a Walmart parking lot in Florida; other times, he'd text Quintavalle, begging for money. More than once, he overdosed; only a shot of Narcan dragged him back from death. Keriann Meyers was a homeroom mom who planned rollicking kindergarten birthday parties and made chocolate chip cookies dipped in crumbled Heath bars.
NEWS
June 20, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Matthew Jonathon Bennett, 25, of Villanova, an aspiring entrepreneur who struggled with addiction for the last 11 years, died Sunday, June 12, of a drug overdose in Baltimore. Known as Matt, Mr. Bennett was found unresponsive in his car outside a Wawa after leaving a rehab program two days shy of completion. He could not be revived, his family said. The Maryland Medical Examiner's Office said the case was under investigation. Starting in his early teens, Mr. Bennett's life was a roller-coaster ride, with joyful, creative, and productive times interrupted by steep slides into depression and self-recrimination.
NEWS
June 8, 2016 | By Stephanie Farr, Staff Writer
It was the summer of 2015, and Philadelphia Police Officer Thomas Vitanovitz was ashamed – and addicted. Two shoulder surgeries from on-the-job injuries had led to a prescription for pain pills, and when it was time to stop taking them, he couldn't. "By the time I needed help, I was scared, extremely scared," he said. "I was embarrassed and ashamed to be a cop that has a pill problem. " In a telephone interview Monday, just hours after the U.S. Attorney's Office charged him with attempted extortion - and a police spokesman confirmed he had been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss - Vitanovitz, 31, shared his story of addiction, recovery, and gratitude.
NEWS
May 28, 2016 | By Don Sapatkin, Staff Writer
With effective therapy for opioid addiction in short supply, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new option that is both groundbreaking and familiar. Probuphine, a six-month implant the size of a matchstick, will be the longest-acting therapy on the market. The medication that it dispenses, buprenorphine, is one of the most common for addiction to pain pills and heroin, currently available only in daily doses. The new formulation, from Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, a small, Princeton-based company, is intended for people in stable, long-term recovery who have been on low amounts of the oral medication for at least six months.
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