In a climate that has obliterated addiction stereotypes and has rendered the entire United States population vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse, the threat to America’s youth is more apparent than ever. One high school in Duval County, Florida is looking to reverse that trend. Last month the county opened River Oak Recovery Center, a sober high school for teenagers in the area who have been affected by drug or alcohol abuse. County officials say that about 30 percent of high school students drink alcohol and about a quarter have smoked marijuana. Approximately ten percent have recreationally used prescriptions. The same survey reveals that 12 percent of middle school students have their first drink before the age of 11.
Today we proudly honor the active and retired members of our armed forces. We extend our deepest and most profound appreciation for their service and everything they’ve done to ensure our safety and tranquility, as well as that of our families. Recovery Unplugged is humbled and honored by our veterans’ commitment to putting themselves in harm’s way to further preserve and strengthen the future of this country, and want to let them know that we recognize the struggles with substance abuse, addiction and mental illness that many of them experience when they return home from active duty, a struggle that more and more of their fellow servicemen and women face.
With the votes counted and the concessions establshed, America woke up on November 9th with a new President-Elect. Though many were surprised with the choice their fellow Americans made, there is a general consensus that it is now time to examine policy and look toward the future. For many who have been impacted by drugs and alcohol, this examination starts with finding out what addiction treatment access and drug-related crime enforcement would look like in a Donald Trump Administration. With overdose-related fatalities hitting record numbers in 2014 and prescription opioid addiction now the largest public health issue facing the country, it’s important to understand what the future of addiction care looks like, going forward.
The third and final debate in what can officially be described as the most bizarre and contentious presidential election in recent history is scheduled for this evening. As Recovery Unplugged has previously reported, very little of the top-of-the-ticket conversation has been devoted to addiction treatment improvement and prevention. As both candidates continue to ignore the most pervasive and deadly public health issue facing the country, it can be argued that addiction care improvement is destined for the perpetual back burner in the next administration, no matter who will be at the helm. To that end, Recovery Unplugged is taking the conversation out of the legislative chamber and into the communities and homes directly affected by addiction.
There are certain times in which, no matter how familiar we have become with substance abuse and addiction, we can be truly floored by its power and its pull. We are reminded that addiction can be greater than even greatness itself. The sports world got just such a reminder this week when undefeated former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury vacated his titles to focus on his recovery from cocaine addiction. Just 28 years old and unbeaten in his professional career, Tyson Fury shocked the boxing world when he unseated long-running champion Wladimir Klitschko, handing him his fourth defeat in 68 fights.
As Florida braces for what experts are speculating will be one of the worst storms in recent memory to hit the area, the impact of Hurricane Matthew is likely to be felt over 400 miles of southeastern coastline. We’ve seen from previous storms of this nature. their ability to endanger those in their paths as well as their capacity to destroy property, uproot homes and change lives for years to come. The fact that these storms are perceived to be acts of god doesn’t make their impact any less devastating or painful, particularly for the residents and businesses owners they directly affect. These storms do not discriminate based on culture, class, economic status…or substance use history.
In an article that illustrates the healing power of music in multiple mental health issues, Premier Guitar Magazine recently spoke with Recovery Unplugged co-founder and CEO Paul Pellinger. Paul had a chance to discuss the RU treatment approach and the impact of music to facilitate emotional breakthrough and lasting wellness. The conversation covered various aspects of the Recovery Unplugged care program, including how we integrate music throughout each phase of treatment. While the piece focuses largely on the guitar’s role in music-based healing, it also discusses the evolution of music therapy and its efficacy in contemporary clinical treatment of conditions like PTSD, depression and others.
Last week, the world was privy to jarring and raw images of a Liverpool, Ohio couple who were unconscious in their car, apparently in the throes of heroin overdose. In the back sat a conscious and fully alert four-year-old boy who was rescued by police and placed in protective custody. While authorities were able to revive the couple with Narcan, the incident has moved beyond the scope of any singular or isolated overdose. These images, which feature the unconscious couple in what can charitably be described as a state of distress while the young child in their care lay completely awake, are now fully embedded in the conscience of a public that for so long may have only thought about overdose in the abstract.