March 8, 2014 |
At Cooper B. Hatch Family School on Thursday, a 17-year-old boy described how his mother introduced him to getting high when he was in the sixth grade. An 18-year-old told the middle-school audience of seeing her boyfriend being stabbed, and of how he died in her lap on the way to the hospital. Another boy admitted selling drugs and robbing even before he got to high school. Yet another described being well on the road to addiction by his teens. All four - all residents in the state's youth correctional and rehabilitation system - are working to reclaim their lives.
February 19, 2014
I AM a 28-year-old recovering heroin addict. Having said that, Ms. Flowers, I now need to address your perceptions of addiction and specifically Philip Seymour Hoffman's death. Being educated in this field, both academically and personally, I am blessed with a unique insight into the disease of addiction. And, make no mistake about it, it is a disease. However, it is not a disease like cancer or diabetes, as some like to compare it to. It is a disease not like any other. It is threefold in nature: a mental obsession, like obsessive-compulsive disorder; a physical allergy, like one would have to peanut butter; and a spiritual malady, which I have no words to explain.
February 14, 2014
NOTHING touches the psychological third rail as saying that "addicts are selfish. " Since early last Friday morning, when my column on Philip Seymour Hoffman first appeared online, I've been receiving emails from all over the country with various levels of outrage, self-righteousness and, most surprisingly, gratitude. I expected the comments like "I want to bitch slap you" from the woman in Florida who said that her son had just died of a heroin overdose. The supercilious tsk- tsking from those in what I call the industrial-addiction complex was hardly surprising, either.
February 7, 2014 |
Dennis Chambers was introduced to heroin on spring break in 2013. "Dude, it's cool," a buddy told him. "Why don't you just try it?" He was a freshman at Seton Hall University, 18, and had been battling prescription painkiller addiction for two years. Home for the summer, Chambers commuted daily from Mantua, Gloucester County, to Camden to feed what quickly became a heroin habit. "It made all my troubles go away, but it brought me to the lowest point imaginable," he says. "I had everything going for me. And I lost it. " Unlike less fortunate heroin addicts - the gifted actor Philip Seymour Hoffman comes to mind - Chambers didn't lose his life.
January 21, 2014 |
GET READY for another reality TV show featuring Dennis Rodman. The former NBA star checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center somewhere in New Jersey last week after returning from a visit with his good friend Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea. Rodman's agent Darren Prince released a statement yesterday that read, "Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination 'super human' political figure and 'fixer' got the better of him. He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused.
September 18, 2013 |
Henry T. Wells, 83, of North Philadelphia, a onetime drug addict and dealer who after getting sober devoted his life to helping other addicts, died Wednesday, Sept. 11, of Parkinson's disease at his home. Mr. Wells, who also was known as "Rev. Wells" even though he was not a clergyman, started One Day at a Time Recovery Inc. in 1983 and dedicated himself to his work until Parkinson's forced him to retire seven years ago. The center is now run by one of his sons, Melchezdeck. "My father taught me everything.
September 1, 2013 |
The addicts are coming! The addicts are coming! More than 17,000. In fact, they're already here! Narcotics Anonymous celebrates its 60th anniversary this weekend in Philadelphia. As prescription drug abuse reaches epidemic levels, especially among young people, the recovering addicts began arriving Thursday to celebrate their sobriety and show the public that drug habits can be kicked and former users can go on to lead productive and happy lives. "I've talked to a lot of people in convention services over the years who are a little nervous about all the drug addicts coming to town," said Rebecca Meyer, assistant executive director of Narcotics Anonymous.
August 21, 2013 |
"I somewhere inside knew, and kind of wanted, to go to jail. " So declared Lindsay Lohan poetically in a hyper-hyped sitdown Sunday with Oprah , cynically scheduled to promote O's movie, The Butler , and LiLo's reality show on O's OWN. Jail gave LiLo, 27, a chance "to find some peace," she said. Having recently completed her sixth rehab stint, she made a most momentous admission: She's an addict. Alcohol is her primary passion, and a "gateway to other things. . . . I tried cocaine with alcohol.
July 25, 2013 |
NEAR THE end of her life, Diamond Woods searched desperately for help. She had spent 14 years on the streets battling drug addiction and making money the only way she believed she could as a transgender woman sidelined from mainstream society: by selling her body, and she was tired. Two weeks before authorities say Woods was slain and dismembered by a man who picked her up earlier this month on a desolate stretch of Old York Road in Hunting Park, she reached out to Rachel Rose, 30, and Cassie Hart, 35, who refer to Woods as their sister.
July 13, 2013 |
In the heart of Camden's Bergen Square section, a medical facility on Broadway was open for business Thursday morning as a steady stream of patients arrived. The tattered brick building with second-story boarded windows appeared unassuming. On Wednesday, however, a state report had ignited a controversy over whether an office at the medical facility had been used as a "drug emporium" to feed addicts, or was a legitimate practice unfairly singled out. "It illustrates a problem," said Lee Seglem, assistant director of the state's Commission of Investigation, which released a 74-page report, "Scenes From an Epidemic," detailing a growing number of addictions and overdoses from opiates and heroin across New Jersey.