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VAN DREW BESTOWS CONGRESSIONAL ACT OF APPRECIATION TO RECOVERY FORCE

As an unexpected honorable gesture, Congressman Van Drew presented the Recovery Force 501c3 organization with a formal proclamation from the House of Representatives for it's "exceptional efforts to promote and improve our community". The proclamation further recognized Recovery Force as "an inspiration to all and whose energy and achievements help us glimpse a future of hope and promise", and concluded by referring to the organization as one which has "brought honor and pride to the community and to the citizens of this state, New Jersey and the United States of America".  Recovery Force spokeswoman Katherine Landberg accepted the award for the group along with several of its members. For its part, Recovery Force was humbled by this incredible act of appreciation and is simply honored.


To end overdose deaths in South Jersey and to enable a full and purposeful life after addiction, South Jersey must finally create a recovery oriented system of care and end the acute care model. Recovery Force is a CCAR Recovery Coach Academy (c) and a staff-supported volunteer recovery force with a focus on providing long-term recovery coach support upon attainment of recovery.  Our work is aided substantially through our partnerships with national organizations like the Addiction Policy Forum, Connecticut Center for Addiction Recovery and Faces and Voices of Recovery. What Recovery Force provides to the residents of South Jersey is always informed and influenced by the leading experts that are ending the substance use epidemic. 

IN THE NEWS.....

Doctors in the United Kingdom are recommending prescription greens for people with depression, but not the type you might think.While some people with depression turn to marijuana and other cannabis products, doctors in the UK say that garden-variety house plants can help improve mood and mental health. In fact, one clinic, the Cornbrook Medical Practice, has begun giving out prescriptions for plants. “The plants we [are] giving people are mainly herbs—things like lemon balm and catmint, which all have mindful qualities,” Augusta Ward, a medical secretary at the practice, told Metro UK.Gardening For Mental HealthIn addition to sending plants home with people, the practice has a program where patients can garden with others.“The plant is then a reason to come back to the surgery and get involved in all the other activities in our garden and make new friends,” Ward said. The new initiative to integrate plants into medicine is being done in conjunction with Sow the City, a nonprofit that promotes the health benefits of plants and gardening on an individual and social level. “There’s evidence that people who are socially isolated have worse health outcomes,” Jon Ross, the organization’s director, told Fast Company. “We provide a kind of community project within the [doctor’s office] so that people can get together and do the food growing and the gardening together with other patients.”Dr. Philippa James, who practices at Cornbrook, said that the idea of health benefits from plants isn’t new. “There’s a lot of evidence now about how two hours a week in a green space can lift mood—and then that too has physical, mental and emotional benefits. That’s something we need to harness,” she said. She added that she has seen patients benefitting from the program already. Green Spaces For Better Moods“I’ve seen how our patients relax in the garden—and how they then get involved in wider events like picking litter, which all adds to pride in our area,” she said. Ross said that Sow the City aims to set people up for success in caring for their plants and keeping them alive. He said, “We try and make it as easy as possible, and we set it up so that the plants are healthy to start with, and we train them on how to look after them.” Dr. Ruth Bromley, chair of the Manchester Health & Care Commissioning, which oversees health initiatives in the city where Cornbrook is located, said that she is happy to see a practice taking an unconventional approach to care. “So much of what keeps people happy and well isn’t medical,” she said. “That’s why ideas like this one are so wonderfully effective, building on what is best about our communities and supporting patients close to where they live.”
A recent bust of an illegal THC vape operation has bewildered authorities, also shedding light on what may be causing severe lung damage among vapers across the country.So far, over the last several months, health officials have counted about 400 possible cases of severe lung illness related to vaping, and six deaths. The cause is still being investigated, but state and federal officials suspect that contaminants found in products purchased on the black market are what have caused so many to fall ill.Now, the discovery of a meticulous and extensive illegal THC vape business operating out of Wisconsin has shed light on the lengths that some people will go to profit from this growing industry.Drugs, Guns & CashJacob and Tyler Huffhines, 23 and 20 respectively, ran the business out of a condo in Bristol and their family’s home in Paddock Lake. Authorities seized $59,000 in cash, eight guns, various illicit drugs, 57 mason jars filled with THC oil, and nearly 130,000 cartridges that were either empty or contained the THC oil.“When we walked in there, we were like, ‘Oh boy,’” said Capt. Dan Baumann of the Waukesha Police Department. “This is what we were looking for, but we did not know it was this big.”The Huffhines siblings were arrested on September 5 and remain in custody in Kenosha County Jail. Tyler has been charged with the manufacture, distribution or delivery of marijuana, and Jacob has been charged with cocaine possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm.The massive operation produced close to 3,000 cartridges a day, employing at least 10 people who were paid $20 per hour to fill the cartridges with the THC oil, the New York Times reported. Each cartridge would sell for around $35 to $40.This bust was a major development as vaping-related illness has become something of a public health crisis in the U.S. as of late. Experts detailed to the Times how counterfeit vapes are assembled piece by piece to produce a convincing product resembling real vapes that are sold in legal marijuana states like California and Colorado. Making The CounterfeitsEverything from the empty cartridges to packaging made to resemble the real thing, logos and all, are purchased on the internet. Then the cartridges are injected with THC oil purchased in the U.S. The problem, authorities say, lies in producers wanting to reap the most profit by diluting their product. This is where the suspected contaminants come in.Authorities suspect that black market suppliers are cutting the THC oil with fillers, such as vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent that is one suspected cause of what has been sickening so many people who vape.Investigators are only beginning to understand the scope of the Huffhines' operation, and the likelihood of there being more like it.The Times said, “Wisconsin police say they were stunned by the scope and ambition of the Huffhines operation, and [are] only beginning to understand how far it might have reached.”
A grand jury in Alabama has charged reality television star "Mama" June Shannon with possession of a controlled substance stemming from a March 2019 arrest with her boyfriend, Gene Doak.According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a review of evidence by the Grand Jury of Macon County, levied felony charges against Shannon and Doak for possession of cocaine, as well as a misdemeanor charge of possession for a pipe found by police during a search of their vehicle at a gas station during the aforementioned arrest.As People magazine noted, a conviction on the former charge could carry prison sentences for both Shannon and Doak.Arrested At The Gas StationShannon and Doak were arrested on March 13, 2019 after police were summoned by a report of a domestic incident involving the pair at a gas station in Alabama.Upon arrival, a search of the vehicle and the couple themselves turned up a hypodermic needle, a pill bottle containing a white controlled substance, and a glass pipe containing white residue, which Shannon reportedly told police was crack cocaine. Shannon also claimed at the time of the arrest that everything in the car belonged to her.Both Shannon and Doak had bail set for $11,000, and were ordered to appear in court. A spokesperson for the Macon County District Attorney's office said that the couple was slated to appear at an arraignment on Friday, September 13, 2019, but both failed to appear before the judge. A second court date was not confirmed.A statement issued her WE TV reality series, Mama June: From Not to Hot, said that June had remained in Alabama after the arrest, and was prevented from leaving the state until after the hearing.Family InterventionAs shown on the series' 2019 season finale, Shannon briefly entered an in-treatment patient facility in North Carolina after her family – including daughters Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon – staged an intervention in regard to her alleged drug use. But after 12 hours at the facility, she left with Doak and was arrested at the aforementioned gas station two days later.Possession of cocaine in the state of Alabama is a Class C felony, which can carry a sentence of between one and 10 years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $15,000 if the amount of cocaine in question is less than 28 grams.
Before becoming sober in 2017, Harmony Hobbs was a popular fixture of “wine mom culture.” She was a typical wine-loving mother of three who would kick back at the end of a long day with a glass of wine, or two, or three.At the height of her drinking problem, the Modern Mommy Madness blogger would down a bottle and a half everyday. It didn’t start out that way. But as time went on, Hobbs “needed more and more to feel relaxed,” she told ABC News.Her best friend and fellow blogger Audrey Hayworth said that in retrospect, she realized that Harmony would always drink more than her. The two would post product reviews on the YouTube channel MomCave while sipping from wine glasses.Wine Mom CultureUnlike the seemingly light-hearted drinking associated with wine mom culture, Hobbs’ drinking started to have a negative effect on her family.“I had all this unresolved stuff [and] I didn’t know why, and I drank to make it go away but it never really went away,” Hobbs said. “Alcohol made me more depressed. So I was just miserable.”After being in denial for so long, the Baton Rouge mother announced to her followers in 2017 that she was putting down the bottle.“Instantly, it made me feel better,” she said. “I had rules because I didn’t want to be irresponsible, so I would drink a lot at home… Just a glass or two and I feel better. Then, I [would] get the kids again and I would drink the rest of the bottle and start on another one.”Journaling In RecoveryHer blog became a journal of her recovery journey.“I thought I told Robbie (her husband), ‘I can’t drink. I’m not sure if I can go on,’” she said. “That’s how it is, though. It’s like the only way that I knew how to cope with life was drinking. I honestly didn’t know how to function.”On Monday (Sept. 16), Hobbs published a blog post titled “932 Days Sober.”“So here is the deal: the addict part of my brain doesn’t want me to get better. She wants to keep me sick… She knows that the more I tell on my disease, the harder it will become for her to destroy me,” she wrote.Her experience is akin to that of many others in recovery who still struggle after years of recovery.But the early days of becoming sober proved to be the toughest.“It’s ridiculous that at 37 years old, I’m going to have to re-learn how to cope with the difficulties of life: grief and pain and abandonment and loss and the everyday stress that accompanies motherhood,” Hobbs wrote after just 25 days sober. “Maybe I never knew how to handle those things in the first place, and that’s what landed me in a 12-step program. The ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ don’t matter—I just want to get better.”
Harvard Student's Suicide Prompts Concern About Mental Health Care on College Campuses [Boston Globe]The death of Harvard sophomore Luke Tang has triggered a conversation about the state of mental health care in higher education. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students in the U.S.Opinion: The Danger of Thinking We're All 'Addicted' to Tech [WIRED]This writer argues that instead of falling victim to tech "addiction," we should take control of our relationship to our devices. "It's time we stop relinquishing control and hack back."Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy. Here's What It Means. [USA Today]Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy. The company has yet to reach a settlement that all plaintiffs suing Purdue have agreed to. 16-year-old Went to Rehab for Vaping Addiction: 'I Was Out of Control' [Today]"Whenever I was awake, I was vaping. It was just such a habit that I didn't even understand how much I was doing it." Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard completed a treatment program for vaping after suffering a seizure last year.NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes [CBS]Governor Andrew Cuomo will fast-track legislation targeting the e-cigarette industry by "emergency executive action" amid what's quickly becoming a public health crisis. Flavor Flav Talks Addiction, Once Spending $2.5K Per Day on Crack and Coke [HotNewHipHop]Iconic rapper-turned-reality TV star, Flavor Flav, opened up to VladTV about his history of extravagant drug use at the height of his career. "I thank God that I'm still living today and to be able to talk about it."What 'Hustlers' Ketamine-MDMA Drug Cocktail Would Really Do [Refinery29]Refinery29 examines the reality behind a drug cocktail mixed up in the new film Hustlers. Aaron Carter Cancels Multiple Tour Dates After Sharing Mental Health Diagnosis [ET]Singer Aaron Carter has canceled his remaining tour dates, saying that "I have to put my health first." This came not long after he shared his mental health diagnoses and prescription drug regimen.

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