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. 


After Purdue Pharma settles its bankruptcy cases, the company will be disbanded and reformed, according to settlement plans. Rather than selling its drugs for profit, the new spin-off company will sell drugs to benefit cities and states devastated by the opioid crisis.Purdue will be no more, and a “public beneficiary company” will take its place. Writing for The New Republic, Dana Brown and Isaiah J. Poole of The Democracy Collaborative, argue that this should be a first step in transforming the pharmaceutical industry from public to private. “A United States public option for pharmaceutical production would address a range of problems in an industry rife with market failure,” Brown and Poole write.  The Case For Public PharmaUnscrupulous tactics like those undertaken by Purdue, the company behind OxyContin, and other opioid manufacturers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the industry’s problems, they write. There’s the fact that some medications are too expensive for the people who need them the most (including insulin, which has been in the news for high prices). Or, the fact that companies only research drugs that they believe can generate profit. “The case for a public option is simple,” the authors write. “First, publicly owned pharmaceuticals are free of the structural need to appease profit-hungry shareholders and are thus able to focus on public health priorities.”Other Countries Have Public OptionsSweden, Brazil, China and India all have some sort of public pharmaceutical industry and those countries have contributed to global drug development. “These examples expose the emptiness of industry arguments that public involvement in the drug industry will stifle innovation,” Poole and Brown write. In fact, with no need to spend on advertising or to direct profits to investors, a public pharmaceutical company would be better able to invest in research and thus make new innovations, they write. The authors point out that controlling diabetes currently costs about $6,000 per person annually, a cost that has tripled in the past 10 years. A public pharmaceutical company could cut that cost to about $70, according to some analysis. “Coupled with reforms such as a national pharmaceutical institute—which would ensure public investments in medical research can be harnessed for public benefit instead of co-opted exclusively for private profit—these public enterprises would produce both new medications and generics, and could offer them at or even below cost,” Poole and Brown write. Learning From the Big Tobacco SettlementThe authors point out that little lasting change came from the massive settlement with Big Tobacco in 1998. However, the opioid settlement could be different, if it sparked interest in public pharmaceuticals. Poole and Brown conclude, “The U.S. could once and for all move beyond having to tolerate an industry that subordinates public health to shareholder greed."
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is speaking out about his tough childhood, his substance abuse and his own issues as a father as part of a documentary about his life. Speaking ahead of the release of his 30 for 30 ESPN documentary, Dennis Rodman: For Better or Worse, Rodman told ESPN that he was trying to be a better dad to his three kids, who were born in 1988, 2000 and 2001. "I want to," he said. "But it isn't so easy.”Living With AlcoholismRodman has struggled with alcohol abuse for years and has been in and out of rehab. Last December, Rodman relapsed, but said that he realized drinking was a mistake. He vowed to get back to 12-step meetings. Speaking with ESPN, Rodman didn’t explicitly say whether he was sober or not at the moment. However, he did say that drinking isn’t his biggest challenge right now. "We all have demons. I've had plenty,” Rodman said. “Alcohol being one of them—everyone knows that. But I think the only major demon I have right now is trying to convince myself that I am a good dad. That's the worst one for me. And it's so hard for me for some reason. It's very hard for me to break out of that cycle, you know. You feel like it's too late. It's one of those things where I never had anyone ever want [to love me]."Navigating FatherhoodHe lives only a few miles from his youngest two children—who are now in their late teens—but he doesn't have much of a relationship with them, he says. That’s partly because Rodman lacked a father figure in his life who could teach him how to be a dad. His own father didn’t have any contact with him until he flagged down Rodman one day while the star was on his way to NBA practice in 1997. “This black guy runs up to my truck and says, 'I need to talk to you. I need to talk to you.' I said, 'Dude, I'm late for practice.' And he said, 'I just want to let you know that I'm your father,’” Rodman recalled. “Out the blue, just like that. And I'm like, 'Oh, come on, I gotta deal with this stuff today?’"Later, during a game, Rodman’s father was signing autographs, and Rodman learned from a reporter that the man had written a book about him. “I think it's still a big joke, because this guy came out of the blue and I've never seen him before,” Rodman said. “I was so used to not having a father after 37 years, I'm thinking, 'You know, it's a little late. It's a little late.’"Rodman was unable to break the cycle of being an absent absent to his children, he said. "I lie to myself a lot about shit,” Rodman said. “‘I’m a great dad. I love my kids.' And then I have to go home and sit there and beat myself up because I'm just telling myself all these lies.”
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.

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