The antidote to save the life of an opioid addict exist! Naloxone experts speak out.

September 3, 2013
Hosted by Bradley DeHaven

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Episode Description

Sharon Stancliff, M.D. & Whitney Englander share the simple facts behind a drug that reverses the effect of Opioid overdose. If you live with an addict in your family and even if you don’t this simple injectable single dose application will bring a dyeing drug user back to life in many circumstances. You owe it to yourself to find out how you can get this antidote in your hands so you can save the life of another. These two experts will open your eyes to a miracle drug!

Afflicted By Addiction

Afflicted By Addiction

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Our guests include parent activists and treatment professionals from all across the US and politicians who are active with RX reform. These people have almost all lost a child to addiction and have huge lists of followers who share the same fate. I am a father who has been on the front lines of addiction as opposed to a doctor with a degree in addiction and a 2 year old. Parents in the throes of addiction need to know they are not alone and parents of younger children need to understand that addiction can happen to anyone. Not one of the parents who lost a child to addiction every thought their child would become an addict. Not one addict ever thought they would become addicted. The road to addiction is clear when you look back and I will share the wisdom of those who have traveled this road to help other avoid the Hell of addiction.

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Bradley DeHaven

Bradley DeHaven

A passion to help others with understanding addiction has brewed inside Bradley DeHaven for years. Having been surrounding by addiction his entire life from father, step-father, brother and then his own son caused Brad to dig deep inside to discover what defined himself as a man, a husband and a father. Brad wrote his first book "Defining Moments" from an odd perspective while he relived the thoughts that rushed through his head as he was undercover, wired and setting up a dangerous drug dealer in a parking lot less than a mile from his home. The deal was made to get Brad’s addicted son out of a prison stint and into rehab where Brad believed his son belonged.

Brad’s second book; "The Addict Among Us" is an 18 month journey. Brad interviewed over 400 parents and addicts and discovered many teachable moments. He believes these dramatic interviews will open the eyes of the "not my child" club and educate them so they do not join the club of so many of us who never saw addiction coming. Brad was honored that Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack who is a true champion of this cause, read this manuscript and graciously offered to write the "Forward" to The Addict Among Us.

Brad’s other specialties are as Author, Public Speaker, and raising awareness and education regarding prescription drug abuse. He also is no stranger to radio, having once hosted a financial radio program.

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Episode Directory

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

Margaret Alexander

Margaret Alexander is a mother who lost her son Glen in July 2010. This mother of 6 never saw addiction coming at her youngest child. Margaret honor’s the fallen children as she works with grieving parents to keep the memory and the real story of how wonderful their children were, alive. Besides the Facebook postings under “Angleversaries” on the birthdays of these children, Margaret helps to produce an annual poster titled “Gone but Not Forgotten”. This chilling poster puts a face on the epidemic of drug abuse and overdose. The poster serves up a warning as these beautiful children are never to be hugged by their parents again on this earth. Addiction can happen to anyone and grief is forever and needs the TLC of other parents who understand the loss of a child themselves. LINK to Margaret Alexander’s story: Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon (In 4 parts) By StopOxy Glen Tyson Alexander February 17, 1987 ~ July 2, 2010 Glen always said, He didn’t have a purpose in life. He did. He does. Link to STOP OXY STORY: STOP OXY STORY Glen Alexander – A Sad Story of OxyContin Dependence and Overdose :: Stop Oxy www.stopoxy.com View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Monika Anderson

Monika Anderson is the founder the group; “They Did not Die In Vain and will Never Be Forgotten”. Monika became a student of this epidemic after burying one of her twin son’s. Monika lost Mathew on 11-24-11 and will forever have a hole in her heart but she has stepped forward to help others. Monika is a Moderator www.stopmethadonedeaths.com and has educated herself about the many abuses of Big Pharma. Monika’s group is formed as a support group for parents who have buried a child to addiction or overdose and to encourage education. Monika sheds light on RX drug abuse and Methadone’s overuse and abuse and the deadly results. Monika is a Graphic Designer by profession and screams from the rooftops for education and reform of the drug abuse epidemic as her passion. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Nicholas Baldrige

Nicholas Baldrige has been a Deputy Sheriff for 8 1/2 years and a canine handler for 6 of those years. He is a court expert in marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and prescription pill possession, sales and transportation. Nicholas Baldrige holds a bachelors degree in Political Science from Santa Clara University and a Masters degree in Criminal Justice with a thesis on crime reduction techniques from the University of Cincinnati. Nicholas also teaches criminal justice at the local high school. Nicholas is a key note speaker at numerous presentations on prescription drug abuse focusing on abuse at the high school level and education of students and parents. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Jodi Barber

Jodi Barber lost her 19 year old son Jarrod to a prescription pills overdose on January 8, 2010. Since then she has become an advocate because these are needless deaths and it's an epidemic. Jodi Produced the documentary Overtaken and walks into every shool she can demanding they show this gripping documentary at schools and thousands of students have now seen the truth behind Rx drug addiction. Copies of Overtaken have been distributed accross the nation, including Oprah's all-girls school in Africa. Overtaken is required in the DUI classes and the judges are requiring those on drug related probation to watch it, then write a report. Jodi has been a guest on several local talk shows, including Dr. Drew twice. Jodi’s son’s tragic story was also one of the catalysts for the award winning documentary Behind The Orange Curtain. View Guest page

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Deborah Bockstahler

Deborah Bockstahler describes herself as “just a mom.” A mom who buried her 28 year old son is now a rising voice in the fight for awareness, education and reform. From a small town near Rockford Illinois she beats on every door to have her voice and others heard so people understand that addiction kills and it is in their backyard. Her living room is now full of posters of hundreds of young adults who have died of an overdose. Deborah feels like these children are family as she organizes events and raises awareness through her Facebook page; Drug Awareness, A Mothers Cry. View Guest page

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Former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack

Former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack was thrust into the political spotlight after the January 1998 death of her husband, Rep. Sonny Bono. With no political experience, she ran for his seat because, she said, "This is what Sonny would want me to do." She served from 1998 until 3013. She changed her name from Mary Bono to Mary Bono Mack after her 2007 marriage to fellow GOP Rep. Connie Mack of Florida. Describing herself as a "mainstream conservative" like her late husband, Bono Mack reached out to moderate voters by softening the traditional pro-business Republican stance with concerns for the environment. She chaired the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and is co-chair of the Congressional Salton Sea Task Force, which is investigating how to clean up and protect the endangered lake. She also chaired the Women's Policy Committee, which was created to give Republican women a stronger voice in the House. Bono Mack co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse to draft policies to tackle prescription drug abuse. She favors repealing the 2010 health care reform bill, increasing American energy production and cutting federal spending. Mary wrote the forward to Bradley DeHaven’s book, The Addict Among Us. View Guest page

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Brian

Brian is just a normal young adult who has a seedy past as a drug dealer. Before you judge him, understand that he could be your child. Brian is 27 years old, in recovery and back to school as he attempts to rebuild his once shattered life and bond with a family who likely gave him up for dead. Brian shares with us how addiction begins, perception of prescription drugs by teens, availability of drugs and the easy abuse of our prescription delivery system. Speaking of abuse, Brian also operated a medical marijuana dispensary and his brutally honest take on this “industry” will shock you. View Guest page

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Brooke

Brooke is America’s daughter; a typical teenager with dreams, aspirations and a loving family who was swept into addiction. Brooke seemly had everything until she was prescribed Hydrocodone for an injury. Brook is 22 years old and went from a privileged lifestyle and strict family values to injecting Heroin striping at bars to feed her and her boyfriend’s habit. Brooke never lost touch with her God as a Christian but her prayers turned to apologies for the horrific acts she committed to feed the demon of addiction. View Guest page

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Natalie Costa

Natalie Costa owns the Performer's Academy, a performing arts school in Laguna Woods, CA that has a faculty of film directors, writers, producers and working actors - all from the LA area who come to OC to teach students the art of performing/acting. In May of 2010 I received a frantic call from my daughter screaming that her friend Mark Melkonian was dead. I couldn't believe what I heard and thought perhaps it was a really bad joke. It wasn't. Mark Melkonian was one of the most gifted, talented, well-like, humorous, friendly person I have ever known. Not an enemy in the world and friends for life. He died of an overdose of Opana. I stood in the back of the church - that could easily hold 1,000 - but there were more like 2,000 there. I was slammed in the doorway - with the football team around me. These large guys were beside themselves with grief - and then the worst happened. The Armenian bishop rolled the casket into this tiny lobby - and opened it up. It was the most unbelievable thing I had ever seen. The sheer emotion - was overwhelming. I thought this experience would change lives -- it didn't. Flash forward. I approached Brent Huff about making a movie about this epidemic as the body count of my daughter’s young friends’ rose. View Guest page

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Denise Cullen

Denise Cullen - GRASP Denise has worked as a Clinical Social Worker in the medical field since graduation from USC’s School of Social Work in 1993. Her expertise has been in HIV/AIDS and working with terminally ill patients. Because of this work, and efforts to learn how to be more effective through continuing education classes and seminars, she has a special ability in the area of death, dying and grief. Her patient population included a large number of Intravenous Drug Users, and so she has professional experience working with patients suffering from addiction as well as personal experience. Denise lost her only child, Jeff Cullen at 27 years of age in August 2008 after battling addictive illness for 12 years. She started a chapter of GRASP: Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing in 2009 and she and her husband Gary took over that organization in January 2010, growing it to 50 chapters and growing across the US and creating a very active Facebook support network. GRASP View Guest page

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Melanie Curtis

Melanie Curtis, LMSW, is the Founder and Executive Director of Supportive Housing and Innovative Partnerships (SHIP), a nonprofit dedicated to rebuilding the lives of persons in recovery from substance use disorders through housing, green jobs and long term support. Melanie holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver. She has twenty-three (23) years of post graduate experience in program development, eighteen (18) years of housing experience and twelve (12) years of experience working with persons in recovery. View Guest page

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Jon Daily

Jon Daily, LCSW, CADC II is the founder and clinical director for Recovery Happens Counseling Services and specializes in the outpatient treatment of adolescents, young adults and their families with addictive disorders and dual diagnosis issues. A recipient of numerous awards for his work, Jon is also the co-author of (2006) “How to Help Your Child Become Drug Free,” and the (2012) “Adolescent and Young Adult Addiction: The Pathological Relationship to Intoxication and the Interpersonal Neurobiology Underpinnings.” Jon has been an instructor to nurses, medical residents and has taught post-doctoral students for UC Davis. Currently he instructs graduate students for University of San Francisco. Jon has trained thousands of clinicians working with youth, young adults and adults. He has been a resource in the media over 40 times in his career from local media to the national Today Show. In addition to teaching, practicing and writing, Jon provides numerous trainings and conference presentations. More information can be viewed at www.recoveryhappens.com View Guest page

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Erin Marie Daly

Erin Marie Daly is a San Francisco-based freelance journalist whose current project is a nonfiction book about prescription drug and heroin addiction. She also runs the Oxy Watchdog blog, which provides up-to-date news and information about the opiate addiction epidemic. A graduate of NYU and UC Berkeley, Erin is a former senior reporter for the national legal newswire Law360, and has written hundreds of articles on product liability issues in the health care industry, particularly relating to pharmaceutical companies. She also has an active freelance career, including a recent multimedia report on opiate abuse, published in collaboration with the Center for Investigative Reporting, which was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2012 by the Society for Professional Journalists. Painkiller addiction became a subject of interest to Erin in the course of her day job, but her fascination with it took a personal turn when her youngest brother, Pat, became addicted to OxyContin. He died of a heroin overdose in February 2009 at age 20. Erin's book combines the story of her brother’s death and its aftermath with the stories of others whose lives have been affected by this phenomenon. The book will be published next year by Counterpoint Press. View Guest page

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Senator Mark DeSaulnier

Senator Mark DeSaulnier (DE-SOWN-YAY) was first elected to the Senate in 2008, and re-elected in November 2012. From his start in the Senate, he has taken a leadership role on a variety of key issues including government reform, labor, transportation, the environment, health care, local government, and public safety. DeSaulnier brings a breadth of experience to the Legislature and public service. In the Senate, DeSaulnier chairs the Transportation and Housing Committee. In addition he sits on the Senate Committees on Budget & Fiscal Review; Budget Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services; Energy, Utilities & Communications; Governance & Finance; and Health. DeSaulnier’s top legislative priority is seeking greater accountability and oversight throughout our state government. He has been a strong voice for reform, seeking to make government more accessible and transparent to all Californians. He previously chaired the Senate Select Committee on Excellence and Innovation in State Government, and the Select Committee on Improving State Government—holding hearings on constitutional, initiative, and governmental reform throughout the state. Prior to being elected to the Senate, DeSaulnier was elected to the State Assembly in 2006 where he served one term. In the Assembly, he received the distinction of being the first freshman in history to chair the Assembly Transportation Committee. He also chaired the Select Committees on Growth Management and Air Quality. He authored and co-authored more than 60 bills during his term in the Assembly. DeSaulnier championed several local issues including the Expansion of Highway 4, BART to eastern Contra Costa County, and the development of a fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, DeSaulnier earned his BA in History from the College of the Holy Cross. As a young man in Massachusetts, DeSaulnier worked for the Boston juvenile court, as a warehouse worker, and as a hotel services employee. DeSaulnier was a member of both the Teamsters International Union and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. In the early 1970s DeSaulnier moved to California and eventually settled in Concord. Over the next 35 years, DeSaulnier would own and manage several successful Bay Area restaurants. DeSaulnier has been a small business owner most of his career. View Guest page

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Whitney Englander

Whitney joined the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) as their Government Relations Manager in 2011. She works with Congress, federal agencies, and the Administration to advance a domestic policy agenda that includes overdose prevention, viral hepatitis, defense of syringe exchange services and access to addiction treatment and recovery services. Her work on the prescription drug epidemic has allowed her the opportunity to contribute to the drafting of several federal authorizing bills as well as to language included in major spending bills. Previously, Whitney served Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) in Washington, DC, in a communications capacity before joining Faces & Voices of Recovery as Outreach and Program Coordinator where she mobilized national advocates around health, budget and criminal justice policy. Whitney began her political activism working for the Health Care for All Oregon campaign, among other initiatives, before graduating from the University of Oregon. While working as Vice-President in a Los Angeles investment banking recruiting firm, Whitney began The Los Angeles Health Initiative, where as an organizer, she distributed health and hygiene supplies to homeless in need of basic necessities. Whitney continues her work with HRC after relocating to Los Angeles with her husband and their two-year old son, and is expecting her second son in September. View Guest page

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Elisha Figueroa

Elisha Figueroa directs Idaho’s Office of Drug Policy (ODP). Her nick-name is “The Drug Czar of Idaho” and she has earned it. Prescription drug abuse is one of OAP’s top three issues of concern. You can contact their office at www.odp.idaho.gov. Elisha and the ODP boasts many accomplishments for a state of Idaho which most people associate with the farming of potatoes not being ranked top 10 states for abuse of pain medication in 2013. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Brent Huff

Brent Huff is an award winning actor, writer, and director. His career began in the 80’s when he was one of the most successful male models in the world. Brent appeared in numerous magazines such as GQ, Esquire, Interview and Vogue. Brent also worked with designers Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Valentino and Calvin Klein. Brent soon shifted his attention to acting and has starred in numerous films as an action hero. Brent has had the unique opportunity to work as an actor and director around the globe in countries like, France, Italy, Austria, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Serbia,Thailand and Morocco. In the 90’s Brent wrote and directed his first feature film, We the People. The film was produced by Brent’s close friend James Brolin. Brent has directed 14 films including 100 Mile Rule with Maria Bello, Cat City with Rebecca Pidgeon and Welcome to Paradise with Brian Dennehy. Several of the films Brent wrote and directed won film festivals. As a voice over artist Brent was the one time “voice” of E Entertainment. Advertising campaigns include: Arbys, Publix, Nestle’s, Raytheon and Jack Daniels. Brent is married to Actress Shawn Huff and has a daughter Bailey. View Guest page

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Julie Israel

Julie is yet another example of the “accidental advocate”. Julie’s work, alongside her husband Avi Israel will change the face of the prescription drug epidemic. This family paid the ultimate cost shared by so many who will never hug their child again. Julie is the Co-Founder of Save The Michaels of the World and she has stood tall and shouted from the rooftops so others will not share their fate. View Guest page

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Avi Isreal

Avi Isreal got involved with the opioid epidemic after my 20 year old son, Michael, took his life on June 4, 2011 to get out of his addiction. Michael was prescribed in to his addiction by his doctors. Michael suffered for 12 years from Crohn’s disease. At the age of 18 when Michael aged out of Pediatric GI care and into adult GI care, he was given opioids; HYDROCODON for bowl surgery. He did not doctor shop, or look for the drugs on the street or college campus where he went to school. His doctors pushed the drugs on him. Whatever ailed Michael, they had a pill for it. Hydrocodone, Xanax, Cymbalta. In December 2010, Michael sat on my bed and told me he had a problem controlling himself with his pills, he knew something was wrong. He had an upcoming doctor’s appointment in a week, and I told him we’d talk to the doctor about it then. When I brought up the concern of Michael being addicted with his doctor, I was dismissed by the man that he knew better than me. In February 2011 after a second bowl resection, Michael was discharged from the hospital with a large supply of Hydrocodone, and no one, no one said anything to Michael or us his parents, about the dangers of addiction, or the consequences of the narcotics he was prescribed. Not the discharge nurse, not his doctors, not the pharmacist. That is when life spiraled out of control. In March 2011 Michael desperately wanted and needed help from his opioid addiction. He spent Easter weekend in a detox facility. A facility that our health insurance would only cover for 3 days of treatment. In May 2011 Michael made his first suicide attempt by putting himself in our family garage with the engine of his car running. He sent a text message to me saying I didn’t deserve a son like him. Michael was so full of self-loathing for what he thinks he became. Two weeks later, he contacted his social worker Melinda, assigned to him from the detox facility, asking her for help again. Melinda called Michael back in 5 minutes and 47 seconds and told him there were no beds or services available for him. Michael handed me his cell phone to speak with her and he went into the back of the house, went into my bedroom, locked the door, placed a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. After Michael’s funeral, two of his best friends were at the house and together, we came up with a group called Save the Michaels of the World. It started out as memorial for Michael’s legacy. We have been instrumental in the passage of the NYS I-STOP Legislation. This is the Internet System for Tracking Prescriptions in real time. We approached our state senators with our ideas and mission for prescription drug reform which they wrote 4 bills called the Michael David Israel Laws. The attorney general adapted those bills into the I-STOP Legislation. We were successful in securing 50 beds that the state is sponsoring for addiction. We are the driving force in the western half of NYS pushing for doctor education partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of WNY. Also pushing for public service campaign including radio, tv and billboards. Successfully testified before the FDA and successfully unscheduled Hydroconde from tier III to tier II. Currently in the process of introducing two more bills into state legislation. This will include prescriber’s education beginning in medical school; the other will declare chemical dependency as a chronic disease. View Guest page

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Peter W. Jackson

Peter W. Jackson – President, Advocates for the Reform of Prescription Opioids, Inc. (ARPO). On August 18, 2006 Mr. Jackson suffered an unspeakable tragedy when he lost his sweet, 18 year-old daughter Emily to one OxyContin pill in an accidental overdose. She was three days from her first day in college, her life ahead of her. Mr. Jackson subsequently learned that many other young people (and many not-so-young people, including pain patients who were prescribed opioids by their doctor) have died or become addicted to these drugs. Mr. Jackson began to attend FDA meetings to advocate for safer prescribing indications for opioids, and his advocacy work led to co-founding ARPO in 2011. ARPO’s mission is to end the epidemic of death and addiction caused by prescription opioid drugs by ensuring that opioids are regulated, marketed, prescribed and used in an evidence-based manner. Mr. Jackson is a biologist by trade and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in biology. View Guest page

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Jason Jewell

Jason Jewell was a normal kid sipping strawberry wine with a friend as a young teen. Marijuana lead to harder drugs but Meth was the drug that called his name and took his soul. Jason was addicted and swallowed by the streets for 20 years before finally discovering sobriety and returning to a world where his mother had passed away never realizing her dream of seeing her son clean and sober. Imagine a life sleeping on doorsteps, garages and abandoned sheds on the below freezing streets of Minnesota. Imagine recovery with Jason Jewel! View Guest page

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Joseph Ryan Kennedy

Our son Joseph Ryan Kennedy age 28 was found dead lying face down in the gravel along side a road in San Juan Capistrano CA on February 4, 2010. He died from a lethal combination of Methadone and Xanax that he received from a dirty doctor who sold him a prescription for 75 methadone pills and 30 Xanax pills for $150 cash. He was dumped by the thugs that he unfortunately was with when he overdosed. For hours they abused him by hitting him and kicking him putting him in a shower and leaving him there for long periods of time trying to wake him up. One thug even urinated on him while he was unconscious in the shower. They passed 4 hospitals while they drove to the place where they dumped him unconscious but alive. They then made a 911 call and the dispatcher made a decision not to send out an engine calling it a wild goose chase. The 911 call was made at 49 seconds after midnight on the 4th of February 2010 my son was found at 6:51am on the fourth of February deceased. The morning my son was found there were over 30 police officers at the scene but the apathetic dispatcher the night before couldn’t see fit to send just one officer to investigate if my son was there. When the thugs were interviewed by the police, they were asked why they did not take him to a hospital and the thugs answered because they did not want to get into trouble with the police! Joseph Ryan Kennedy was a one of a kind person who at his core was an extremely kind, loving, energetic, charismatic, and a very spiritual person. He could make friends with anyone, and people loved to be around him. Joey was very creative, artistic, and was a phenomenal poet and writer. He loved to play sports and excelled in baseball, football, golf, surfing, skateboarding and even break-dancing! Too many families are losing their children and loved ones to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. It needs to be stopped and the number one target is the massive production and proliferation of opiates by Big Pharma. Other solutions include: • Passing 9-1-1 Good Samaritan laws allowing drug users to get medical assistance for overdose victims without fear of arrest. • Making naloxone, a drug that reverses opiate overdoses, more readily available. • Laws with greater emphasis on treatment for drug addicts rather than incarceration. • Increased training for emergency personnel in handling drug addicts. • Separating drug addicts during jail release. • Reviewing probation protocol for handling addicts under the influence. View Guest page

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Dr. Andrew Kolodny

Dr. Andrew Kolodny is the Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Dr. Kolodny is a national expert on the opioid addiction epidemic. In his clinical practice, he specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction. Dr. Kolodny has a long-standing interest in public health and community psychiatry. He is currently President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) and was previously the Medical Director for Special Projects in the Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For New York City, he helped develop and implement multiple programs to improve the health of New Yorkers and save lives, including city-wide buprenorphine programs, naloxone overdose prevention programs and emergency room-based screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs for drug and alcohol misuse. View Guest page

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Mothers with a Purpose

Mothers with a Purpose was formed in July of 2010 when Donna and Kelly (our guest) learned they shared something in common. Kelly was attending an AA meeting with her son, when she saw Donna’s son and realized that both children were struggling with the Opiate addiction. Kelly called Donna’s cell while Donna was on vacation and the two had a conversation and decided to get together and talk when she returned home. When they talked, they both got updated on their children and decided to attend a few Al Anon meetings to get some help. Instead, it seemed they always ended up meeting at Barnes and Noble or sitting outside Donna’s home talking for hours. Finally, after keeping their feelings bottled up inside, they had someone to share their situation and found out their lives had followed a similar path and they had experienced a lot of the same issues. Kelly had been reading a book called ‘The Lost Years’ and got the idea to start a group to bring other mothers together to form a support group. Donna totally agreed and started recruiting friends and acquaintances from her neighborhood, health club, and community, which included several families she had met over the years while the children participated in youth sports. The group quickly grew from 2 to 5, from 5 to 7, and then grew to 12 women. In the beginning there was a lot of crying and consoling, with each telling their heart wrenching stories one by one. No one had any answers, but this was the first time each had openly discussed their family secret, and that in itself started the healing. As each new member joined, the new member would spend 20-30 minutes telling their story, while the others patiently listened, knowingly shaking their heads, and encouraging the new member to continue. It was common to hear the words “we understand”, “it happened to all of us” and “you’re not alone”. The group had lots of energy and the conversations evolved from crying to rational discussion, and believe it or not, laughter. No longer was each person living as a prisoner in her home, with her shades drawn, doors locked, and speaking in hush tones. In isolation they felt helpless and powerless to do anything. As the group got bigger and the women got to know each other personally, the energy and power grew. “It was really magical.” View Guest page

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Larry Amal Norman

Larry is a Certified Guiding Mindful Change Life Coach, Registered Addiction Specialist, IAM Meditation Instructor, Ed Storti & Wayne Raiter Trained Interventionist, is Certified Red Cross CPR and First Aid, a Certified Med Tech. Larry completed the Bellevue Community College Alcohol/Drug Counseling Program and has studied nutrition at Santa Monica Community College. Larry has worked for more than 10 years in the Treatment Industry and has been in Recovery himself since October ’92. Larry has utilized the 12 steps as a support system, attends meetings has a sponsor and sponsors others. In addition to the 12 steps Larry has incorporated mindful activities such as yoga and meditation as a daily practice, has instructed and participates in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, surfing, sup, kayaking, snorkeling and working out. Wellness and healthy life style being a huge part of his continued journey in recovery. Larry's basic instinct and judgment reflect a caring for each client’s success in sobriety and his no nonsense capacity to keep people inside the boundaries of safety allows the real work to get done. Larry is constantly thinking about ways to improve treatment and engage clients in the recovery process. At 10 years of sobriety I got my first job working in treatment and have been working in the field ever since in different capacities and at several treatment centers and sober living facilities. I got trained as an interventionist, life coach, attended school and completed a chemical dependency counseling program. From my 10 years working in the addiction field the area where I have seen the most growth and joy come to clients and others in recovery myself included have been through experiential activities. I have taken folks surfing, kayaking, hiking, SUP, zip lining, waterfall repelling, snorkeling and biking. These activities combined with Yoga and meditation brings peace to our overactive minds and helps keep us in the moment. I live a life today that I never thought possible and it’s all contingent on my sobriety! View Guest page

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Joanne Peterson

Joanne Peterson is at the helm of www.Learn2Cope.org. A peer support organization/network for families dealing with a loved one suffering from addiction. Currently there are twelve chapters. Brockton,Cambridge, Salem, Lowell, Tewksbury, Gloucester, Quincy, Worcester, Norwell and Yarmouth. Springfield and New Bedford are in the works more news to follow soon. LTC has over 60 trained peer facilitators. Members get support online which is private, free and confidential with over 5000 families registered to our website locally and nationally. Our meeting chapters are in Massachusetts but we get many requests from states across the country to bring LTC there. LT offers support, hope, education and resources. For meeting information and times and places click on the "meeting" tab on our website atwww.learn2cope.org. Our online private discussion board, it's free and confidential for family members seeking support 24/7 and sharing resource information and hope. LTC and the state of Massachusetts hit a milestone in December of 2011 becoming the first parent organization in the country to have parents trained and certified from the Department of Public Health's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services to pass out Narcan at our chapters. There are 34 parents trained and certified today and so far 16 lives have been saved with in our groups. We are grateful to The Department of Public Healths Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and Dr Alex Walley for making this possible View Guest page

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April Rovero

April retired from Lucent Technologies as a National Program Management Director in 2001 after a 30 year career in telecommunications. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Masters Certificate in Program Management from Stephen's Institute of Technology. April founded NCAPDA shortly after her son Joey, a senior attending Arizona State University, died from an accidental overdose of alcohol that he mixed with medications he had been prescribed just nine days before. NCAPDA is primarily focused on prescription drug abuse/misuse prevention through community awareness education and legislative and policy change advocacy. April was recognized as San Ramon Chamber of Commerce’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2010 and as one of Contra Costa County’s “People Making a Difference” in 2012. She has appeared in a “The Doctors” segment focused on prescription drug abuse, in two documentaries on this topic and numerous Community TV and major station news segments. She has testified in a Congressional Hearing and participated in a working SAMHSA committee focused on prescription drug abuse on America’s college campuses. Most recently, she organized a statewide “Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness” rally at California’s Capitol building and testified in the Sunset Review Committee Hearing for the California Medical Board in an effort to stimulate changes in the way overprescribing physicians are ferreted out and disciplined in California. View Guest page

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Sherrie and Michael Rubin

Sherrie and Michael Rubin’s son, Aaron, overdosed on oxycontin October 9th, 2005. He laid three and a half weeks in a coma, on life support. They began planning their son’s funeral when, against all medical odds, he began to open his eyes. Aaron survived, but the overdose has left him a quadriplegic and unable to speak. In 2009 Sherrie began speaking at schools warning students/parents about prescription medications, drugs and the deadly “REAL” consequences that can occur by misusing and abusing these drugs. On November 24th, 2010 Sherrie and her husband Michael founded, The H.O.P.E. Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit foundation. Sherrie is the executive director. The H.O.P.E. Foundation provides prescription medication and drug abuse presentations independently, and jointly, with the Sheriffs Department, The DEA, The San Diego Prescription Pill Task Force, both public and private coalitions. 1235 sunrise way escondido, CA 92029 T: 760 755-7356 F: Home Fax Phone W: Home URL Sherrie Rubin / H.O.P.E. Sherrie, Michael and Aaron, have been featured on/ In; * Lifetime Network - Teen Trouble with Josh Shipp ( from the creators of Intervention and the former executive producer of The Oprah Show. * LA Times Investigative Series “Dying For Relief” * VH1 - Dr. Drew Celebrity Rehab * KUSI - 2 hour prime time special - Oxy” What your kids aren’t telling you (which won the prestigious Mark Twain Award)., *Over 65 + media, projects, including television, radio and print media from 2010 to present * The Rubin family has also been featured in several documentaries; * Parents 360 RX - The Medicine Abuse Project (by The Partnership at www.drugfree.org ) * “OVERTAKEN” * “Behind The Orange Curtain” Sherrie and Aaron have also filmed several PSA’s for prescription medication and drug abuse awareness and education. 2 Sherrie, Mike and Aaron have received; • Honorary Service Award -California State PTA • A Civilian Commendation - The San Diego Sheriff’s Department - Sheriff William Gore • San Diego County Proclamation - San Diego Board of Supervisors, Pam Slater Price and Dianne Jacob naming Sept. 4th “The Rubin Family Day” In San Diego County * “Prevention Program of the Year Award 2012” The H.O.P.E Foundation received the award October 2012 in from, The San Diego County Drug Free Coalitions * California Legislature Assembly Certificate of Recognition 2012 - received for “exceptional service and commitment to creating safe and drug-free communities for youth” * State of California Senate Certificate of Recognition 2012 - received for “ outstanding service and dedication bringing millions of people together to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs” * Sherrie, is also a Founding and Executive Committee Member , of the San Diego Prescription Pill Task Force, 2009 to present. 3 View Guest page

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Judy Rummler

Judy received her B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1963. She was an owner of Centron Computer Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she served as a Vice President and worked alongside her husband Bill until 1986. Judy then became a Certified Financial Planner and grew a practice, helping many clients in Minneapolis. Her volunteer work in Minnesota has included serving as Chair of the Methodist Hospital Foundation Board (now the Park Nicollet Foundation) and as Chair of the Colonial Church of Edina Foundation. She and Bill are now residents of Bonita Springs, Florida, where Judy is a member of the Women’s Committee for Hope Hospice, the Friends of the Salvation Army and the Bonita Springs Historical Society. Judy is the mother of Steve who died on July 1, 2011 of a drug overdose. She and her husband Bill have channeled their grief by establishing the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which aims to heighten awareness around the issue of chronic pain and the disease of addiction. View Guest page

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David Sheff

David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 best seller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Clean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time. Writing about Clean, author Benoit Denizet-Lewis says, “David Sheff has written the most important book about addiction in a decade.” Richard Branson says that Clean is “an important expose of a failed system.” Eric Schlosser wrote, “Clean will change not only how you look at drug abuse–but also what you think should be done about it.” Sheff’s Beautiful Boy, published in 2008, was based on his article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The article won a special award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.” Beautiful Boy was named the year’s Best Nonfiction Book by Entertainment Weekly, and it won first place in the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in nonfiction. Sheff also contributed to HBO’s Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop. In 2009, he was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People. He won the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) Media Award. Along with The New York Times Magazine, Sheff has also written for Playboy, The New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Outside, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Esquire and Observer Magazine in England, Foreign Literature in Russia, and Playboy (Shueisha) in Japan. He has conducted seminal interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Congressman Barney Frank, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, Keith Haring, Jack Nicholson, Carl Sagan, Salman Rushdie, Fareed Zakaria, and others. He also wrote an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and a radio special about Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird, both for National Public Radio. Sheff is the author of Game Over, called “the bible of the videogame industry” by The Wall Street Journal, and “beguiling” and “irresistible. . . almost as hypnotic as a successful video game” by The New York Times. Author Gore Vidal said that China Dawn, Sheff’s book about the Internet revolution in China, is a “fascinating…study of go–getting businessmen in a revived China bound to shape our future.” All We Are Saying, based on Sheff’s interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980, was a Literary Guild Selection book. Charles Champlin, Arts Editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote: ”David Sheff’s sympathetic questions evoked so much of the Beatle past and of Lennon’s intellectual past and present and future plans that the interview would hardly have been less engrossing and important even it if were not illuminated by tragedy.” Sheff graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives with his family in Northern California. View Guest page

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Dan Smoot

Dan Smoot is a 1982 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Dan served with the Kentucky State Police for 22 years; the majority of that time was in narcotic enforcement. While with the Kentucky State Police, Dan received two Meritorious Service Awards, two Commissioner Commendations and was selected the 2002 State Wide Trooper of the Year. In November 2003, Dan was named the Task Force Manager for the Kentucky River Region. He was then promoted to law Enforcement Director in December of that same year, and was named Vice President of UNITE in September 2011. He presently serves as the 1st Vice President of the Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association and 1st Vice President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police. In May 2013, Dan was named President / CEO of Operation UNITE. Dan is often called upon to speak at National Conferences on various drug abuse issues and has testified before numerous State legislatures on matters related to controlled substances. View Guest page

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Sharon Stancliff

Sharon Stancliff, M.D. is the Medical Director of the Harm Reduction Coalition She oversees SKOOP, which provides overdose prevention services both directly in New York City and through education and capacity building nationally and internationally. Dr. Stancliff also consults on drug related problems for the AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health and for several international organizations. Dr. Stancliff graduated from the School of Medicine at University of California at Davis, did her Family Practice residency at the University of Arizona and completed the AIDS Institute-sponsored Nicolas Rango HIV Clinical Scholars Program at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. She is board certified in Family Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice, and certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. She serves as Treasurer for the New York Society of Addiction Medicine. View Guest page

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Super Star

Super Star, yes that’s his legal name, is a musician, author, life coach, motivational speaker. He is a former owner/president of a successful, cutting-edge computer consulting firm which he lost to a drug addiction. This journey through addiction and into recovery has led Super Star to find his passion within. He has subsequently rebuilt a life of purpose and commitment geared toward anti-substance abuse campaigning. He made the courageous leap to relentlessly pursue his vision and make it a reality. He found the resilience to bounce back and the persistence to keep pressing forward when doors kept closing in front of him. He overcame obstacles with a creative boldness to invent the life he was born to live. Super Star penned the critically acclaimed book, The First 30 Days to Serenity. Alongside his twin brother, Super Star co-created Serenity, a CD featuring a host of world renowned artists. Super Star is a sought after speaker for schools, events, radio, television and print, sharing his knowledge and experience. Super Star’s goal is to engage others in crucial conversation about the impact of substance use disorder, bringing awareness that addiction is a disease and that there is a light out of the darkness -- there is HOPE. Super Star communicates in an honest and effective manner offering inspiration and hope to others through his powerful message of rebranding sobriety and dream catching. He has been presenting his message to schools and communities for 2+ years. View Guest page

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Anne Weiser

Anne Weiser was a typical teenager who has a story to tell about the slippery slope of addiction. Anne is 42 and celebrated 4 years clean with her 18 year old son. She has overcome a life filled with addiction and the shame that accompanies this disease to share her story and help others understand she and other addicts never chose this path. View Guest page

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