WBEZ | addiction http://www.wbez.org/tags/addiction Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en When Drug Treatment For Narcotic Addiction Never Ends http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-11-20/when-drug-treatment-narcotic-addiction-never-ends-113881 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/suboxone-1_custom-741a21ccdd0967bc6898f8cfe7d5b7a17187e37f-s1500-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res456793490" previewtitle="Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/john-fisher-609e42419a5a87d6e65293b8240f7d12701ddba1-s1500-c85.jpeg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn. (Blake Farmer/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Opioids have a stranglehold on parts of the U.S. And where addictive pain medicines are the drug of choice, clinics for addiction treatment often follow.</p></div></div></div><p>Sometime these are doctor&#39;s offices where patients can get painkiller-replacement drugs, such as Subutex and Suboxone.</p><p>These medicines, brand-name forms of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0000276/">buprenorphine</a>, can ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opiates. They can be prescribed in an office setting, unlike methadone. And the drugs, also mild narcotics, can block the pleasurable effects of opioids if people fall off the wagon and take them, which can help reduce relapses.</p><p>The drugs are intended to be used as stepping stones to getting clean.</p><p>&quot;I use the medication as fishing bait,&quot; says John Fisher, a self-taught counselor who runs Addiction Recovery Center of East Tennessee in rural Blountville, Tenn. The sign out front says the clinic specializes in &quot;addictionology.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We bring them in and try to taper them over time,&quot; Fisher says, adding that no one comes truly seeking treatment. They&#39;re looking for legal access to drugs. &quot;One-hundred percent of them are,&quot; he says. &quot;No one comes to sit in a group and hear the &#39;Kumbaya&#39; story. So that&#39;s fine.&quot;</p><p>Fisher&#39;s clinic has arrangements with two doctors who are able to prescribe buprenorphine to the patients. The treatment center isn&#39;t licensed like a typical outpatient rehab facility. The physicians in charge say they haven&#39;t seen the need.</p><p>The clinic, located in a Civil War-era cabin on a winding highway in northeast Tennessee, has roughly 120 patients. They&#39;re charged $500 for five weeks &mdash; cash only. The office doesn&#39;t accept insurance, citing the burdens of red tape and the fact that few patients have coverage anyway.</p><p>Clinic participants must attend weekly group meetings with Fisher, who is a recovered addict himself. He says two decades on drugs were all the training he needed to do this work.</p><p>Clients are told to get off any other illegal drugs, such as heroin or methamphetamine. The clients are tested for drug use during treatment and can be dismissed from the program if they regularly show signs of using something other than what they were prescribed.</p><p>Some patients stick around clinics for years. This one has just a handful of success stories in which addicts weaned themselves completely, says Dr. Mack Hicks, who writes many of the prescriptions.</p><p>The spotty results lead some to question how committed some of the clinics are to seeing people through to recovery.</p><p>&quot;You get this relationship built with them where they&#39;re just really legit drug dealers in a sense, in my eyes,&quot; says Heather Williams of Johnson City, Tenn. She has been clean for 11 months, after going through a cold-turkey program at a licensed drug-treatment facility. But she spent a year and a half and $300 a month at a clinic that wasn&#39;t licensed.</p><p>Ironically, buprenorphine itself can become a&nbsp;<a href="http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/faq.html#A31">drug of abuse</a>. And the medicine has street value. To pay for treatments, Williams says many people sell half their buprenorphine pills to get the money for the next doctor&#39;s visit.</p><div id="res456828000" previewtitle="Suboxone is an opioid-replacement drug that can reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Suboxone is an opioid-replacement drug that can reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/suboxone-1_custom-741a21ccdd0967bc6898f8cfe7d5b7a17187e37f-s1500-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Suboxone is an opioid-replacement drug that can reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. (Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov)" /></div><div><div><p>She&#39;s skeptical about the motives at some of the clinics. &quot;The relationship that I had with my doctor, it&#39;s just really a money racket for some of them,&quot; Williams says. &quot;I think somewhere they might have started out caring about your well-being and whether you&#39;re getting better or not. But he would go on vacation numerous times and show us pictures of him being in the Caribbean Islands, and I&#39;m sitting there thinking the whole time, &#39;I&#39;m helping fund this.&#39; &quot;</p></div></div></div><p>The local district attorney wants these kinds of operations reined in, but there&#39;s not much he can do without changing state law.</p><p>And the need for treatment is growing. &quot;If someone wanted to shut them all down &mdash; all the Suboxone clinics ... what do you think that would do in terms of all the people that are addicted? You know that&#39;s not going to cure the problem,&quot; Hicks says.</p><p>Hicks is a former pain pill user, too. He got clean in the mid-&#39;90s by going to an expensive inpatient treatment program that stepped him down off drugs in just a matter of days, though counseling continued for months.</p><p>Most people in this part of Appalachia can&#39;t afford to take that much time off from work and get that kind of care, though Hicks says that approach would be ideal.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;ve got to keep working some way,&quot; Hicks says. &quot;The only way to do that is by giving them a substitute like we do.&quot;</p><p>Drug-replacement therapy is a standard course of treatment for people hooked on opioids. But getting on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm191520.htm">Subutex</a>&nbsp;or a similar drug isn&#39;t a silver bullet for pregnant women trying to minimize the drug dependency of their unborn child. In Tennessee, which has seen a spike in births of drug-dependent babies in recent years,&nbsp;<a href="https://tn.gov/assets/entities/health/attachments/Oct_2015_NAS_Monthly_Report.pdf">nearly three-quarters of all cases</a>&nbsp;this year involved a woman who had a legal prescription.</p><p>&quot;The babies withdraw just like an adult would,&quot; says Tiffany Hall of Jonesborough, who gave birth to drug-dependent twins this year.</p><p>Hall was a nurse who worked in the neonatal intensive care unit and took care of babies with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024264/">neonatal abstinence syndrome</a>, the technical name for drug withdrawals. Hall knew better. But she had a drug problem herself. And the NICU is where her twins spent the first weeks of life this summer.</p><p>&quot;You stand there and you watch your own child go through something you&#39;re not willing or wanting to go through yourself, and you have to stand there and watch that, knowing that you did that to them,&quot; she says. &quot;It&#39;s awful.&quot;</p><p>Tennessee has a relatively new and controversial law that allows drug-using mothers to be prosecuted for giving birth to a drug-dependent child. But any mother who has a prescription for the drugs in her system is safe, no matter what kind of doctor prescribed the medication.</p><p>&quot;I ended up going to a Subutex clinic, and I thought I&#39;m OK now. I have a legal prescription. If the babies withdraw, it&#39;s all right because it&#39;s legal,&quot; Hall says. &quot;Still wasn&#39;t thinking about anybody but myself.&quot;</p><p>Hall got into a fully licensed program run by the nonprofit Families Free, which is focused on helping mothers kick their drug addiction. She&#39;s headed toward recovery and rebuilding her life, though she points out that there are less scrupulous clinics everywhere, including a stone&#39;s throw from the Families Free office in Johnson City.</p><p>But she accepts the temptation those clinics represent, since that&#39;s what every day will be like after treatment. &quot;I like having it there,&quot; Hall says. &quot;For me, it&#39;s accountability. Yes, it would be easy to go next door and come up with some kind of story to get whatever I may want, but I have to be able to hold myself accountable and say no. I&#39;m done with that. I don&#39;t want to do that anymore.&quot;</p><p><em>This is the third and <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/20/455924664/when-drug-treatment-for-narcotic-addiction-never-ends?ft=nprml&amp;f=455924664" target="_blank">final story in a series </a>that was produced by&nbsp;All Things Considered&nbsp;in collaboration with Nashville Public Radio reporter Blake Farmer.</em></p></p> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 16:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-11-20/when-drug-treatment-narcotic-addiction-never-ends-113881 Surge in use of 'synthetic marijuana' still one step ahead of the law http://www.wbez.org/news/surge-use-synthetic-marijuana-still-one-step-ahead-law-113769 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-483036588_custom-bbaa484af5354fa4824d60d5a86c445511667b26-s600-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455630086" previewtitle="The drug sold as K2, spike, spice or &quot;synthetic marijuana&quot; may look like dried marijuana leaves. But it's really any of a combination of chemicals created in a lab that are then sprayed on dried plant material."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="The drug sold as K2, spike, spice or &quot;synthetic marijuana&quot; may look like dried marijuana leaves. But it's really any of a combination of chemicals created in a lab that are then sprayed on dried plant material." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/11/gettyimages-483036588_custom-bbaa484af5354fa4824d60d5a86c445511667b26-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 406px; width: 620px;" title="The drug sold as K2, spike, spice or &quot;synthetic marijuana&quot; may look like dried marijuana leaves. But it's really any of a combination of chemicals created in a lab that are then sprayed on dried plant material. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>A street drug made of various chemicals sprayed on tea leaves, grass clippings and other plant material continues to send thousands of people suffering from psychotic episodes and seizures to emergency rooms around the country.</p></div></div></div><p>In 2015, calls to poison control regarding the drug already have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aapcc.org/alerts/synthetic-cannabinoids/">almost doubled</a>, compared to last year&#39;s total,&nbsp;and health professionals and lawmakers are struggling to keep up with the problem.</p><p>Some call the drug K2, or spice. It&#39;s also widely known as &quot;synthetic marijuana,&quot; because the key chemicals in the spray are often man-made versions of cannabinoids, a family of psychoactive substances found in marijuana.</p><p>But the ingredients and concentrations used in this street drug vary widely, and it can be very different from marijuana in its effects.</p><div id="res455629891" previewtitle="Edwin Santana, 52, entered a detox program at Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare to help break his heroin addiction and daily habit of smoking the synthetic drug known as spike."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Edwin Santana, 52, entered a detox program at Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare to help break his heroin addiction and daily habit of smoking the synthetic drug known as spike." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/11/spice21-a9463c1e36d190400e432919594a9d4a3518c77d-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Edwin Santana, 52, entered a detox program at Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare to help break his heroin addiction and daily habit of smoking the synthetic drug known as spike. (Hansi Lo Wang/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>At a drug rehabilitation center a short drive north of Syracuse University, where 52-year-old Edwin Santana has come for treatment, they call the drug &quot;spike.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>Santana, who was born in the Bronx, is a few weeks into his detox program at Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare. A longtime heroin user, he became homeless after multiple run-ins with the law. Then, he says, a couple years ago he developed a problem with spike.</p><p>&quot;It was getting out of hand,&quot; Santana says. &quot;I was starting to smoke every day. And you know, spike is a drug I respect, because you don&#39;t know what you&#39;re getting.&quot;</p><p>The drug also inspires fear in him.</p><p>&quot;Not a little bit of fear. A&nbsp;lot&nbsp;of fear,&quot; he adds.</p><p>It&#39;s hard to guess what will happen after you smoke or ingest spike, both&nbsp;users and drug enforcement officials say, because the chemists who make it are constantly changing the main ingredients &mdash; tweaking a cannabinoid&#39;s chemical structure, or mixing it with other substances entirely, which can change its effects.</p><p>&quot;You get stuck when you&#39;re on spike,&quot; Santana says. &quot;And it makes you do all kinds of crazy things, man. I&#39;ve seen people roll around on the floor and stuff like that.&quot; Smoking the drug landed him in the hospital.</p><p>Angel Stanley, a psychiatric nurse at the rehab center, ticks off the symptoms she&#39;s seen in patients who have smoked spike: &quot;Auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, disorganized thinking, delusional thinking. Paranoia is a big one.&quot;</p><p>Many of these patients, she says, expected that smoking spike would be just like smoking regular pot, because the drug was sold as &quot;synthetic marijuana.&quot; The drug first became popular with teens, who were looking for a new way to get high for just a few dollars.</p><p>But now, Stanley says, she&#39;s seeing older users, too.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;ve gone from using some marijuana in the past, a little bit of alcohol use over the years, and now all of a sudden, they&#39;re in their 50s and they&#39;re addicted to spike,&quot; she says.</p><p>Often users are also homeless.</p><p>&quot;A lot of people who use it, their reality is pretty bleak, so they use spike to escape that reality,&quot; explains Matthew, who asked that we not use his last name. He just finished an inpatient program at Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare to help him stop using spike and cocaine, and doesn&#39;t want future employers to find out about his past.</p><p>&quot;The main thing with spike,&quot; Matthew explains, &quot;is this: It is the cheapest, most effective high in Syracuse right now. Is it the most enjoyable high? Probably not. But it&#39;s the cheapest, hands down.&quot;</p><p>The question facing workers at rehab centers and emergency rooms is how to effectively treat users of a drug that&#39;s essentially an unknown mixture.</p><p>&quot;We know how to treat an alcoholic,&quot; says Jeremy Klemanski, who heads Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare. &quot;We know how to treat an opiate patient. We know how to treat somebody&#39;s who&#39;s using cocaine. But, when we say we know how to treat somebody who is using synthetics &mdash; to a&nbsp;certain extent&nbsp;we do.&quot;</p><p>Health professionals faced with such a patient are usually flying blind, Klemanski says. Some types of spike can be detected in drug tests, but not all.</p><p>&quot;Until we get to a point where the treatment system has as sophisticated testing as the labs that are inventing and creating these things, we&#39;ll struggle,&quot; he says.</p><p>Lawmakers are paying attention. The federal government has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2013/fr0104.htm">permanently banned</a>&nbsp;more than a dozen types of synthetic cannabinoids.</p><p>But packets of &quot;spike&quot; and &quot;K2&quot; and &quot;spice&quot; are still sold in many mom-and-pop convenience stores, because they contain versions of cannabinoids not covered by the ban, says Matt Strait of the Drug Enforcement Administration.</p><p>&quot;They are in a legal grey area,&quot; Strait explains, &quot;because they&#39;re not specifically named in the statute.&quot;</p><p>That keeps makers and dealers of spike one step ahead of state and federal laws. Congress is weighing how to streamline the process of regulating new versions. Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been investigating and temporarily banning some new forms of the drug.</p><p>But back in Syracuse, some health professionals and spike users say the government can&#39;t move fast enough to keep up with new varieties hitting the streets.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/11/455616893/surge-in-use-of-synthetic-marijuana-still-one-step-ahead-of-the-law?ft=nprml&amp;f=455616893" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 10:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/surge-use-synthetic-marijuana-still-one-step-ahead-law-113769 To prevent addiction in adults, help teens lean how to cope http://www.wbez.org/news/prevent-addiction-adults-help-teens-lean-how-cope-113768 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kid-blue-shirt_custom-2220c2f153bf62b6dbdd782c0ab2a1dded92eddb-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455667331" previewtitle="Madison Square Boys &amp; Girl Club, which operates four clubs in Brooklyn and the Bronx, reaches about 200 teenagers with an substance abuse prevention curriculum called Empowerment."><p data-crop-type=""><img alt="Madison Square Boys &amp; Girl Club, which operates four clubs in Brooklyn and the Bronx, reaches about 200 teenagers with an substance abuse prevention curriculum called Empowerment." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/11/kid-blue-shirt_custom-2220c2f153bf62b6dbdd782c0ab2a1dded92eddb-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Madison Square Boys &amp; Girl Club, which operates four clubs in Brooklyn and the Bronx, reaches about 200 teenagers with an substance abuse prevention curriculum called Empowerment. (Robert Stolarik for NPR)" /></p><div><div><p>&quot;Addiction is a pediatric disease,&quot; says Dr. John Knight, founder and director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Boston Children&#39;s Hospital. &quot;When adults entering addiction treatment are asked when they first began drinking or using drugs, the answer is almost always the same: They started when they were young &mdash; teenagers,&quot; said Knight.</p></div></div></div><p>Smoking, drinking and some forms of drug use among teens have declined in the U.S. in recent years, but an estimated 2.2 million adolescents &mdash; 8.8 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 years old &mdash; are currently using an illicit drug, according to a<a href="http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/National_BHBarometer_2014/National_BHBarometer_2014.pdf">&nbsp;2014 Behavioral Health Barometer</a>&nbsp;prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).</p><p>Drug use changes brain development, and when substances are used during adolescence, young people are much more likely to become addicted, Knight said. &quot;When people start using at younger ages, the changes in brain structure and function are very, very pronounced,&quot; he explained. &quot;If we could only get kids to postpone their first drink or their first use of drugs, we could greatly diminish the prevalence of addiction in the U.S.&quot;</p><p>And in some places, teenagers may be using more, sooner. &quot;In the last several years, it seems like the kids that we see in services are far sicker than in the past,&quot; said Sara Ellsworth, clinical supervisor at True North Student Assistance and Treatment Services in Olympia, Wash.</p><p>Last year, True North served nearly 700 students in 44 mostly rural school districts. Increasingly, she said, kids who come for help have a history of victimization or significant trauma, such as domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, parental incarceration or substance abuse, rape or homicide. More than half also had at least one mental health disorder.</p><p>Despite some improvements in the national youth substance abuse numbers, Ellsworth has witnessed a disturbing new pattern: kids who start using alcohol or marijuana at ever younger ages as a form of self-medication, who quickly escalate to more dangerous drugs, and who wind up using multiple substances in extreme amounts. &quot;Maybe the average kid is using less and doing better, but the kids who are falling through the cracks are spiraling down, really fast,&quot; she said.</p><p>About 10 percent of Americans will develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and need therapeutic services, according to Rob Vincent, a SAMHSA public health analyst. But those services are hard to come by, especially for youth.</p><p>&quot;Once a child 12 to 17 years old is identified as needing treatment, only 1 in 20 of those adolescents is actually getting treatment. That is not a good number,&quot; said Vincent.</p><div id="res455675848" previewtitle="Yolanda Roberson, who directs the Empowerment program, teaches a class at a Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. The classes are funded by the state of New York."><p data-crop-type=""><img alt="Yolanda Roberson, who directs the Empowerment program, teaches a class at a Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. The classes are funded by the state of New York." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/11/yolanda_custom-65e43a1848b947f8adfc69539a2c6f57fb7a07d9-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 426px; width: 620px;" title="Yolanda Roberson, who directs the Empowerment program, teaches a class at a Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. The classes are funded by the state of New York. (Robert Stolarik for NPR)" /></p><div><div><p>So public health officials and researchers are making the case for prevention instead. Dealing with drug and alcohol abuse after the fact is a costly, impractical approach, so public health officials and researchers are making the case for early detection and intervention instead.</p></div></div></div><p>The leading prevention strategy, dubbed SBIRT &mdash; Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment &mdash; is deployed in schools, afterschool programs and most widely, in primary and public health care.</p><p>Most pediatricians routinely screen patients for substance problems during annual visits. That&#39;s a big change from just 20 years ago, when the American Academy of Pediatrics found that fewer than half of pediatricians reported they were screening adolescents for substance use. By 2013, that percentage had risen to more than 80 percent, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.childrenshospital.org/doctors/sharon-levy">Dr. Sharon Levy</a>, director of the adolescent substance abuse program at Boston Children&#39;s Hospital.</p><p>&quot;I interpret that as a real shift in culture, from one in which there was controversy over whether drug use was a legitimate topic for pediatricians to address to one in which it&#39;s now part of the standard of care,&quot; Levy said. She sees the pediatrician&#39;s office as an ideal place to discuss substance abuse. &quot;It&#39;s a unique setting in which an adolescent gets to have a confidential conversation&quot; with an adult who is not their parent.</p><p>Doctors use one of a variety of screening tools, including one, called CRAFFT, that was developed by Knight. It asks six questions, including: &quot;Have you ever ridden in a car driven by someone (including yourself) who was &quot;high&quot; or had been using alcohol or drugs?&quot;</p><p>In many doctors&#39; offices, the survey is now computerized or given as a questionnaire before the medical visit, so doctor and patient can discuss the results. (You can take the CRAFFT screening test<a href="http://www.ceasar-boston.org/CRAFFT/selfCRAFFT.php">&nbsp;here</a>; it&#39;s available in 13 languages, including Khmer and Haitian Creole.)</p><p>Other screening tools widely in use are called frequency-based screens. Those tools use multiple-choice questions which ask teenagers how often they have used alcohol or marijuana to predict their risk of developing an addiction.</p><p>If screening turns up troubling behavior, the second step is brief intervention. In the doctor&#39;s office, that could be a five-minute conversation with the two elements that Knight says comprise a good brief intervention: science and stories. &quot;What they want from doctors is, &#39;Tell us what the science is, don&#39;t tell us what to do; give us the information and trust us to make the right decisions.&#39; &quot;</p><p>The intervener can also be a therapist, counselor or youth development worker. They often use what&#39;s called &quot;motivational interviewing.&quot; That&#39;s the approach used by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rand.org/about/people/d/damico_elizabeth_j.html">Elizabeth D&#39;Amico</a>, a licensed clinical psychologist and senior behavioral scientist at RAND Corporation, who developed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.childtrends.org/?programs=choice">CHOICE</a>, a voluntary afterschool prevention and intervention program in California.</p><p>&quot;Motivational interviewing is about guiding someone to make a healthy choice,&quot; D&#39;Amico said, &quot;versus saying, &#39;Okay, you have a problem and you need to change.&#39; &quot;</p><p>Counselors have to acknowledge there are reasons why young people use alcohol or drugs, D&#39;Amico said. &quot;You lose all your credibility if you just say, &#39;It&#39;s bad for you, stop.&#39; &quot;</p><p>Instead, motivational interviewing is more collaborative, said D&#39;Amico. For example, if a teen says he drinks to relax, the counselor can help him to think of other, healthier ways to relieve stress. Studies have found a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353018/">modest benefit</a>&nbsp;in the program, with some students delaying drinking.</p><p>The third step of a prevention strategy, referral to treatment, connects youth who need more care with specialty treatment. Levy said most teenagers with a drug or alcohol problem don&#39;t need a residential program, or even an intensive outpatient program. Instead, they&#39;ll do fine working one-on-one with a counselor, she said.</p><p>In Washington, Ellsworth at True North Student Assistance and Treatment Services says that students served by the prevention programming have done better. In the last academic year, students said their use of marijuana and cocaine declined by half after participating in the program, and alcohol use declined by one-third. Participants also had better grades and fewer behavior problems at school.</p><div id="res455666785" previewtitle="Students in the Empowerment program talk about myths surrounding substance abuse. The program emphasizes healthy lifestyles."><p data-crop-type=""><img alt="Students in the Empowerment program talk about myths surrounding substance abuse. The program emphasizes healthy lifestyles." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/11/hand_custom-3897531e31c7a388b1f855840b9d45acbe8856ad-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 420px; width: 620px;" title="Students in the Empowerment program talk about myths surrounding substance abuse. The program emphasizes healthy lifestyles. (Robert Stolarik for NPR)" /></p><div><div><p>Even the computerized CRAFFT screening, with a few minutes of counseling by a pediatrician, has been shown to deter substance use, according to a&nbsp;<a href="http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=203511">study</a>&nbsp;led by Knight and published in the journalPediatrics&nbsp;in 2002.&nbsp;&quot;The intervention resulted in 40 percent less substance use three months after the visit, and 12 months later there was still 25 percent less use, without any reinforcement. That&#39;s pretty powerful,&quot; said Knight.</p></div></div></div><p>Prevention is a cost-effective proposition, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), with every dollar invested in keeping kids off drugs saving from $4 in health-care costs to $7 in law enforcement and other criminal justice costs. According to NIDA, research-based prevention programs can significantly reduce early use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.</p><p>Yet according to Knight, &quot;of all the money that is spent by the federal government on the so-called war on drugs, only 5 percent goes to prevention.&quot; That&#39;s a short-sighted approach, he said. &quot;The evidence is compelling that addiction is a pediatric disease, and if we don&#39;t prevent it during the teen years, we&#39;re really missing the boat.&quot;</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">Brothers and sisters</span></strong></p><p><em>Hurt. Grief. Anger. Three sisters and one brother reflect on their dead siblings&#39; drug addictions.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/144760358" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/12/455654938/to-prevent-addiction-in-adults-help-teens-learn-how-to-cope?utm_campaign=storyshare&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_medium=social" target="_blank"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/prevent-addiction-adults-help-teens-lean-how-cope-113768 'You see them putting their little belongings in garbage bags, but nowhere to go' http://www.wbez.org/news/you-see-them-putting-their-little-belongings-garbage-bags-nowhere-go-112880 <p><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AddictionImpasse.JPG" style="height: 458px; width: 610px;" title="Director Amelia Jumper stands by an empty bed. Her organization recently closed down two of its residential addiction treatment programs. (WBEZ/Shannon Hefferman)" /></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div><div><p dir="ltr"><em>There are everyday people whose lives are changing as a result of the state&rsquo;s budget problems. We&rsquo;re collecting stories of some of these people.</em></p><p dir="ltr">Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center in southern Illinois relies on state money to run some of its addiction programs. But because the state still doesn&rsquo;t have a budget, the East St. Louis organization hasn&rsquo;t gotten funding.</p><p dir="ltr">So recently the center had to lay off staff and shut down two of its residential programs. About fifty people who had been living at the center and getting addiction treatment had to leave. Director Amelia Jumper and her staff were responsible for finding them places to go.</p><div><div style="text-align: center;"><strong>MORE STORIES FROM CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE</strong></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/me-they-are-my-grandkids-112879" target="_blank">&ldquo;For me, they are my grandkids.&rdquo;</a></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/you-see-them-putting-their-little-belongings-garbage-bags-nowhere-go-112880 "I thought it was my job to protect you and to fix you" http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/i-thought-it-was-my-job-protect-you-and-fix-you-111820 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 150403 John and Jonah Holm bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Jonah Holm, who prefers to use the gender-neutral pronoun they and their, was isolated and addicted to drugs as a teenager. Jonah&rsquo;s father, John, was a pastor who thought he&rsquo;d done everything possible to fix his child.</p><p>In this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps we hear from Jonah and John Holm as they talk about getting to know and love each other.</p><p>&ldquo;It was clear that you had checked out,&rdquo; John tells Jonah. Jonah spent a lot of time isolated from their family.</p><p>&ldquo;I thought it was my job to protect you and to fix you,&rdquo; John says. He gave Jonah lots of advice. And when it didn&rsquo;t stick, John gave more, and louder, advice.</p><p>&ldquo;It was the only thing I knew to do,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;And that just pushed you away more.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;You were my dad, and you were a good dad, but I didn&rsquo;t think you liked me,&rdquo; Jonah says. Jonah believed the more John tried, the bigger the wedge between them.</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t until father and child went to family counseling that John realized he couldn&rsquo;t fix Jonah.</p><p>&ldquo;I can only change myself,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Indeed, I needed to change, regardless of what you were going to do.&rdquo;</p><p>That understanding broke open their relationship.</p><p>&ldquo;For you to step out and stop trying to fix me,&rdquo; Jonah says, &ldquo;and then address your stuff, then I could just be a member of the family, instead of be the thing that was wrong with us.&rdquo;</p><p>Jonah told their family they were addicted to heroin and needed to drop out of college to go to rehab.</p><p>Their family was immediately supportive, and Jonah says, &ldquo;At that moment it stopped being important that you liked me, because loving me meant something else.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 03 Apr 2015 10:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/i-thought-it-was-my-job-protect-you-and-fix-you-111820 Remembering 'Annoying Music Show' and 'Magnificent Obsession' host Jim Nayder http://www.wbez.org/sections/health/remembering-annoying-music-show-and-magnificent-obsession-host-jim-nayder-110595 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Nayder.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Last summer Chicago Public Radio listeners were shocked by the death of WBEZ radio personality Jim Nayder. As host of both The Annoying Music Show and the addiction-focused Magnificent Obsession, Nayder was a complex character.</p><p>To millions, he was was the master curator of annoying musical oddities that ventured so far into the land of bad, that they were almost good--almost.</p><p>They included Lorne Green singing &ldquo;As Time Goes By,&rdquo; Tiny Tim and Bob Dylan singing &ldquo;I Got You Babe&rdquo; and Sammy Davis Jr. singing the theme to Hawaii 5-0. Who knew it had words?</p><p>Nayder&rsquo;s 3-minute show appeared on more than 100 public radio stations across the country; and his regular appearances on NPR&rsquo;s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon expanded the wacky Annoying Music brand all over the country. The show would eventually spawn CDs, live concerts and more.</p><p>But to many early-morning listeners, Nayder was the voice of another very different show, one that focused on wrenching journeys from addiction to recovery.</p><p>Using nothing but hand-picked music and first-person narrative, Magnificent Obsession presented &nbsp;tales of desperation and hopelessness that were bearable only because you knew, that by the end the show, the speaker might make it to the other side.</p><p>In Chicago, most episodes aired in the predawn hours of the weekend. But longtime Nayder friend and former radio producer Craig Alton says the timing was by design.</p><p>&ldquo;To us in the radio business that might seem like dog time,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;But God&rsquo;s honest truth was that&rsquo;s exactly when you want to hit that drinking audience people who are loaded sitting up all night, they listen to this, and right when they&rsquo;re most drunk you hit them with this guy&rsquo;s story.&rdquo;</p><p>Typical stories would feature confessions like &ldquo;And it suddenly dawned on me that I was sitting there shooting dope;&rdquo; or, &ldquo;I envied people that looked normal to me...and I wanted to feel that sense of peace. I wanted the turbulence to stop but I didn&rsquo;t want to give up drinking.&rdquo;</p><p>Nayder often scored these long first-person narratives with love songs whose themes of despair applied equally to heartbreak and addiction.</p><p>Even in the last few months of his life, Nayder was still delivering weekly shows to WBEZ. But what most people--including close friends--didn&rsquo;t know, was that Nayder was dying of the very disease his show was meant to help heal.</p><p>His daughter Blair Botti tried to explain.</p><p>&ldquo;Many people didn&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; Botti said. &ldquo;And I think his way of being public with it was through Magnificent Obsession. &nbsp;What we always said was that he would have loved to be a guest on his own show if he ever were able to recover; because that would have been the ultimate success.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite enrolling in multiple addiction programs, Nayder never did achieve recovery. And he&rsquo;d never get tell his story of finally making it to the other side.</p><p>But today his wife of three decades, Laurie Nayder, and Botti are working to digitally release the stories Nayder gathered from so many others. It&rsquo;s an effort, they say, to help all those struggling with the same demons that eventually took the man they loved.</p><p>And today we tell his story.</p><p>Jim Nayder was born in 1954 on the South Side of Chicago to a large Catholic family. The tall lanky teen played high school hockey for Quigley South. And he spent his summers on his grandfather&rsquo;s Wisconsin farm where he developed a love of ham radio and wild animals.</p><p>In 1974 Jim enrolled in the seminary at Chicago&rsquo;s Loyola University. But soon after arriving, things changed. The priest-in-training fell in love when he went to a party and met a self-identified, &ldquo;nice Jewish girl&rdquo; named Laurie Brown.</p><p>&ldquo;l had some friends that were in the seminary that took classes at Loyola,&rdquo; Laurie [Brown] Nayder remembered. &ldquo;They had really good parties and that&rsquo;s why I hung out with them. Jim came in his junior year to the seminary and he was next door to a really good friend of mine,--Father Wayne, now, but Wayne at the time--and that&rsquo;s how I met him&hellip;&rdquo; she recalled. &ldquo;He had a jukebox that played 78s in his room and I thought that was very cool. But I thought he was just a riot, extremely quirky and really funny.&rdquo;</p><p>Jim and Laurie married in 1977 and by 1980 they gave birth to a future Chicago Public School teacher named Blair. For her, Jim&rsquo;s sense of humor meant things like surprise chocolate sundaes that would magically appear from under her bed during storytime.</p><p>&ldquo;Which, I&rsquo;m sure my mom was pleased about, because it was right before bed,&rdquo; she remembered. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s just how he was. He would make up all these crazy bedtime stories with elaborate ways my bunny blanket would save the day and he was just a really funny, great, kind dad.&rdquo;</p><p>That sense of wacky spontaneity would also end up birthing the now legendary Annoying Music Show one Saturday morning in 1996. Laurie Nayder, WBEZ engineer Mike Gilmore and Craig Alton shared their collective memories on how it all started.</p><p>&ldquo;He used to do the breaks for WBEZ on the weekends...&rdquo; Laurie started</p><p>&ldquo;As I remember it, there was a band that was delayed. The producer asked me if I needed more time. I asked her to tell Jim Nayder, who was in another room, if he could kill 3 minutes,&rdquo; Gilmore added. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We had nothing to put on, so he grabs a record and the only thing next to him was Slim Whitman. He puts it on,&rdquo; Alton added. &nbsp;</p><p>Laurie remembered Slim Whitman singing &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a Small World,&rdquo; too. &ldquo;And oh my goodness! Anyway, he put it on and said &lsquo;that was the Annoying Music Show,&rdquo; Laurie recalled.</p><p>&ldquo;The people answering the phone said the people calling want to know what&rsquo;s on The Annoying Music Show next week and that&rsquo;s when Jim told us that he&rsquo;d played Slim Whitman&rsquo;s &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a Small World,&rsquo;&rdquo; Gilmore added.</p><p>Alton said it was the largest response the radio station received for anything. &ldquo;And we all agreed that whatever it was it was big and it really got people&rsquo;s response going,&rdquo; Alton remarked.</p><p>Laurie said she thought it lit a fire under him--and the rest, was history. &nbsp;</p><p>The show was quickly, picked up all over the country and drove sales on at least four Annoying Music CDs, including a Christmas CD,The Annoying Music Show Presents Songs for People and You Can&rsquo;t Handle This Annoying Music Show. But, as Nayder explained to Simon, the featured music couldn&rsquo;t just be bad music...it had to be seriously wrong.</p><p>&ldquo;He took a particular delight in finding music that people really recorded earnestly,&rdquo; Simon said. &ldquo;I mean they really wanted to put themselves across; and on the other hand there was something elemental about it that just misfired and didn&rsquo;t serve the best purposes. And that&rsquo;s where the humor was.&rdquo;</p><p>While much of the music came from scouring garage sales and wary friends&rsquo; record collections, eventually Laurie says the public started to help.</p><p>&ldquo;People would say &lsquo;Oh, I have something&rsquo; and they&rsquo;d send him things,&rdquo; she recalled. &ldquo;I know he was always upset that he gave Scott Simon his Leonard Nimoy album and I don&rsquo;t think he ever got it back. So he had to find a new one to play.&rdquo;</p><p>For nearly two decades--even as he took on other jobs--Nayder would spend his week&rsquo;s producing two different shows--collecting stacks of quirky songs for one and stacks of heartbreaking recovery tales for another. &nbsp;</p><p>And while Jim accepted, and even enjoyed the wild popularity of The Annoying Music Show, he told This American Life in 1998, his heart belonged to Magnificent Obsession. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;The experience of Magnificent Obsession in a week, to me, is much more moving on a bunch of levels,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Someone will make contact with me to be on the show. And, in the course of a couple of hours, they told me their deepest, darkest, funniest, most-uplifting experience. And I&#39;ve never met this person before.&rdquo;</p><p>As Laurie and Blair listen to the old episodes of Magnificent Obsession in preparation for launching them as a podcast later this year, they says it&rsquo;s some of Jim&rsquo;s musical choices that touch them most. He used a lot of Leonard Cohen and Lucy Kaplansky but also Aerosmith and Madonna.</p><p>&ldquo;I think the first song he used on the show was Pink Floyd&rsquo;s &lsquo;Comfortably Numb,&rsquo;&rdquo; Blair recalled.</p><p>&ldquo;Also, he would take a lot of songs that you would think were love songs and if you in the right place in your head you realize the love was the love of your addiction,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;And the song was even more powerful than a love song.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, whose has engaged in a very public struggle with alcoholism himself, was featured as one of the few fully-named guests on Magnificent Obsession. Most remained anonymous or only offered their first names.</p><p>That taping session Steinberg did with Jim was his first and last encounter with the radio host. Still, he says the news of Jim&rsquo;s death last year shook him.</p><p>&ldquo;It gave me a chill,&rdquo; Steinberg said, &ldquo;because I&rsquo;m writing another recovery book and I am very attuned to the idea that here Jim was trying to help by sharing these stories while the thing was coming back. And that&rsquo;s the insidious part of addiction. I call it the beast in the basement. Some days it&rsquo;s very quiet and some days you can just hear that door crack as it&rsquo;s throwing itself against it.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Although Steinberg never heard a predawn airing of the episode others clearly had. He said he heard from friends and readers every time it aired.</p><p>&ldquo;Someone must be listening at 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday, or whenever it played, because I would hear from people that it would move them every time,&rdquo; Steinberg said.</p><p>Although he was very private about it, Nayder also heard from many listeners who had been helped and moved by the program, according to his friend Craig Alton.</p><p>&quot;There were many cases where people would call him a year later and say you know if it wasn&rsquo;t for that show I wouldn&rsquo;t have cleaned myself up,&rdquo; Alton said.</p><p>In retrospect, friends also wonder how much Jim used the shows as a way to preserve his own sobriety--almost forcing himself to attend weekly meetings as part of his job. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve thought about that a lot in the year that&rsquo;s gone by,&rdquo; Simon said .&rdquo;I do think that he thought he might be able to find something that would help him by doing the show. And, by the way, all of us can. You don&rsquo;t have to be fighting a particular substance abuse problem to find something in that show that&rsquo;s filled with wisdom and insight and helps you live a better life.</p><p>&quot;But I think he also thought it was a way of giving something to others whose struggle he understood in a personal and important way--giving something to them even if he couldn&rsquo;t always accept those lessons himself. And I think he wound up accomplishing something very important with that.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Simon, like most friends, learned of Jim&rsquo;s alcoholism very late. And even his closest friend, Alton, said he discovered Jim&rsquo;s problem only after a decade of friendship.</p><p>It was Christmas Day. Jim had been taking medication designed to stop alcohol use. But he drank anyway and ended up the hospital.</p><p>&ldquo;He wasn&rsquo;t an ugly drunk,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;He was a happy guy but he drank in a different way than I have seen anybody drink. He would go 10 years without taking a drink and then down a small bottle of vodka in a single gulp. His goal was to drink and pass out; drink and pass out.&rdquo;</p><p>This struggle would go on for decades Laurie said.</p><p>&ldquo;But he maintained a life for years and years with the struggle,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;He was still Jim. He was still able to function pretty much fully. His show went on. His life went on. And until the very end he was the nicest man in the world. He was a nice man with a horrible, horrible problem.&rdquo;</p><p>In his final months Jim and Laurie divorced and he ceased contact with almost everyone he knew. &nbsp;Laurie, Blair, Simon and Alton shared the accounts.</p><p>&ldquo;I left; and that&rsquo;s hard because I had to leave,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;And then when he died, well, I wasn&rsquo;t with him--so I feel guilty.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;There were indications I got in that final year that he was on and off the wagon,&rdquo; Simon said. &ldquo;There were times when you&rsquo;d talk to him and he seemed upbeat even chipper and &nbsp;then there would be times when he would text you in the middle of the night and you knew something was wrong.</p><p>&ldquo;He made it to Blair&rsquo;s wedding which was huge,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;He was fine at the wedding and you got the father-daughter dance, and then I think that was kind of the peak, but that was it.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It certainly was beyond him to surrender,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;I think he really was just sucked into it. I came out of the apartment one day and I sat in my car and I just cried because you knew it was the end. You knew, this was the last time I&rsquo;d ever see Jim. I thought I should&rsquo;ve taken a picture with him because maybe this was the last time I&rsquo;d see Jim. And, in fact, it was the last time I&rsquo;d ever see or hear from him again.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;He would text a lot to say &lsquo;I&rsquo;m sorry&rsquo; and &lsquo;I love you&rsquo;&rdquo; Laurie said.</p><p>&ldquo;He got to meet Freddy, his grandson, twice--and that was great,&rdquo; Blair remembered. &ldquo;But he just struggled so much for years and, as you put it, he was like a 95-year-old man in a 59-year-old body.&rdquo;</p><p>But family and friends say that Jim would like to be remembered differently.</p><p>&ldquo;I think he&rsquo;d like to be remembered as a loving husband and father,&rdquo; Blair said. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure it would be in a funny way,&rdquo; Alton said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;d probably want people to put records on his gravestone. He&rsquo;d want photos of him and kids coloring all over them and making a coloring book of Jim Nayder&rsquo;s life--good and bad all included. Just something bizarre and eccentric. He would want people to hold hands around his grave and sing &#39;kumbaya.&#39; Just something really off-the-wall. He would love it.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I hope he knew we thought of him as a good man,&rdquo; Laurie said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think he maybe thought that sometimes. But I&rsquo;ve always thought of him as a good man.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;He gave so much more into this world than those of us who loved him,&rdquo; Simon said. &ldquo;And I think of that that love and humor...He makes me laugh every week, even today, and he&rsquo;s been gone a year. I &nbsp;think that is going to happen for the rest of my life. I think our children are going to grow up laughing at what he did; and that puts a lot of laughter into this world.&rdquo;</p><p>You can still hear Jim on archived shows of <a href="http://www.npr.org/programs/weekend-edition-saturday/archive">Weekend Edition </a>and Laurie and Blair hope to have select episodes of Magnificent Obsession available in podcast by the end of the year.</p><p>&ldquo;It may not have been the more popular of the two shows but it was definitely the show he was most proud of, and obviously it hit close to home,&rdquo; Blair says. &ldquo;But I think he would have been really happy that even in his death, if he was able to help people with their life now he could still do that.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of WBEZ&rsquo;s Chewing the Fat podcast. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a></em></p></p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/health/remembering-annoying-music-show-and-magnificent-obsession-host-jim-nayder-110595 Dad gets sober, learns how to be a father http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/dad-gets-sober-learns-how-be-father-110347 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 9.00.38 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Jerome Biegel grew up in a big Catholic family on Chicago&rsquo;s Southeast Side, the middle of nine children. His father worked in an industry supporting the steel mills and, like a lot of kids on the Southeast Side, he thought he&rsquo;d follow in his father&rsquo;s footsteps.</p><p>Earlier this year, Jerome Biegel, 66, joined his daughters Karen Benita Reyes, Kendall Veronica Biegel and granddaughter Una Reyes in the StoryCorps booth at the Chicago Cultural Center. They talked about his childhood on the Southeast Side and how he became a father.</p><p>Jerome says at that time the Southeast Side was full of open space. Despite having eight siblings, he was able to play in the prairies around his house. He went away to high school at a seminary, where he soon learned about the war in Vietnam. After school he entered the military and went overseas.</p><p>When he got back to Chicago at age 24, he worked at the Solo cup factory, where he met a woman. They had a child, Karen. Jerome was drinking heavily at the time.</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t until years later &ndash; and the birth of another child &ndash; that he was able to quit drinking and learn to become a father.</p><p>&ldquo;How was it different to be a father the first time and the second time around?&rdquo; Jerome&rsquo;s daughter Karen asks him in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. &ldquo;Did you perfect it all the second time?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think I perfected anything,&rdquo; Jerome says. &ldquo;The big difference was definitely me, and the condition I was in. Being an alcoholic the first ten years of your life I was still drinking and abusing alcohol. I know I was around and I know I was there physically. But I feel like I missed more than I wanted to with you growing up.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I learned in recovery the whole thing about &lsquo;stopping drinking wasn&rsquo;t enough,&rsquo;&rdquo; Jerome says. &ldquo;You had to find something else in your life to replace that feeling that we got from alcohol, from drinking.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Life has a tendency to take things away as well as present us with opportunities. That charge that I used to get from drinking was real and I felt it. And you can&rsquo;t shy away from that and say I never wanna feel that way, or I shouldn&rsquo;t feel that way.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;You gotta find something else in your life. Life has a tendency to take some things away but I think it&rsquo;s important for us to help both ourselves and the people around us to find new ways to not only replace those feelings but to find a bigger high.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/dad-gets-sober-learns-how-be-father-110347 On Chicago's West Side, mothers and children fight addiction side by side http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicagos-west-side-mothers-and-children-fight-addiction-side-side-110281 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Womens%20Treatment%20Center%20by%20Bill%20Healy%201.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Clinical Director Florence Wright holds a child at The Women’s Treatment Center. Wright oversees day-to-day operations of the center’s daycare, crisis nursery and preschool classroom among other things. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" />Even after her drug and alcohol addictions had forced her onto the streets with an infant son in tow, Jennifer still managed to get high and drunk. She sometimes smuggled alcohol into homeless shelters by hiding it in her son&rsquo;s sippy cup.</p><p>There were many similar stories during the 18 years she abused drugs and alcohol. Until, in the pre-dawn light one morning in late July 2011, she checked herself into The Women&rsquo;s Treatment Center, a West Side drug rehabilitation facility that specializes in assisting pregnant and postpartum women dealing with addiction.</p><p>Jennifer can&rsquo;t pinpoint why she chose that day to try to change her life. She had known about the center because, as she says, she used to &ldquo;rip and run this whole block drinking and getting high.&rdquo;</p><p>Looking back, she doesn&#39;t even think that, as she wandered up to the front door, she knew she wanted to get sober.</p><p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t know alcohol was the problem,&rdquo; Jennifer said. (WBEZ is using only her first name to protect her privacy.) &ldquo;When I walked&nbsp;into the Women&rsquo;s Treatment Center, I didn&rsquo;t know I stepped into hope.&rdquo;</p><p>That morning, Jennifer joined about 2.5 million people who seek help each year for drug- and alcohol-related addictions.</p><p>The Women&rsquo;s Treatment Center, 140 North Ashland Ave., is one of nine places in Illinois that allow mothers undergoing treatment to live with their children.</p><p>The hope is that, with their children present, mothers will not only have a better chance of breaking their addictions but can also develop parenting and lifestyle skills, strengthening their families.&nbsp;</p><p>Experts say there are many benefits to treating women with their children. Allowing the children to live on-site usually prolongs the mother&rsquo;s time in treatment, said Nicola Conners-Burrow, an associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Arkansas.</p><p>&ldquo;Longer lengths of stay in treatment are quite predictive of better post-treatment outcomes, including reduced substance use, increases in employment, and decreases in symptoms of mental health problems,&rdquo; Conners-Burrow said.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Womens%20Treatment%20Center%20by%20Bill%20Healy%207.JPG" style="height: 266px; width: 400px; float: right;" title="The Women’s Treatment Center, as seen from the El platform at Lake Street, looking south on Ashland Ave. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" />When the center opened in 1990, most of the women came in addicted to crack and powder cocaine.&nbsp; Now, they are more likely to abuse heroin.&nbsp;</p><p>When a mother comes to the center, the severity of her addiction determines her treatment path.</p><p>Women are placed in different units based upon their needs for parenting sessions, budgeting classes and job placement programs.</p><p>Children up to five years old are allowed to stay with their mother. Here, these children, many of whom would otherwise be bouncing from shelter to shelter or in other temporary situations, can attend daycare or preschool every day.</p><p>&ldquo;If moms can make a difference in those first three years and really be able to really bond and have that relationship, those kids tend to do really well,&rdquo; said Dr. Lisa Parks-Johnson, director of the center&rsquo;s parenting services.</p><p>Even with their children around, mothers sometimes find it difficult to focus. Relapse rates for drug addictions range from 40 percent to 60 percent of patients, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Womens%20Treatment%20Center%20by%20Bill%20Healy%202.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="A woman pushes a stroller across the street from The Women’s Treatment Center. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" />In April, another client, Brandi, was at the center for her second attempt to get clean. A mother of three, she came back to the treatment center because of her abuse of heroin and cocaine, she said. Her two oldest children were born addicted to methadone, morphine, and cocaine.</p><p>Brandi lasted only a month at the center in 2012 before returning to her former life. She was in jail on another drug charge and pregnant when the court sent her back, and she&rsquo;s been at the center for about a year.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of people judge me because I have children,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just not that easy. Now that I&rsquo;ve gotten clean, this child doesn&rsquo;t have to know the old me. I want this more than anything.&rdquo;</p><p>In Conners-Burrow&rsquo;s studies, she has found not disrupting the parent-child relationship helps reduce regression.</p><p>&ldquo;Living apart from one&rsquo;s children has been associated with higher rates of relapse,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We then see, of course, the benefits to the child of participating in programs like this, with a number of evaluations showing developmental gains for the child and improvements in parenting for the mother.&rdquo;</p><p>With their children around them, women don&rsquo;t have to worry about when the children will be fed next and who is taking care of them&mdash;that remains their job, Parks-Johnson said.</p><p>&ldquo;I know that not everyone is going to make it on my time,&rdquo; said Florence Wright, the center&rsquo;s clinical director.&nbsp; &ldquo;It&rsquo;s about their time. It&rsquo;s about planting a seed and maybe this seed is not the one that is going to make a difference, but if we keep planting and digging deep, then ultimately a flower will bloom.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Bill Healy is an independent producer in Chicago. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/chicagoan" target="_blank">@chicagoan</a>.&nbsp;Richard Steele is a WBEZ reporter and host.</em></p><p><em>This story was supported through Northwestern University&rsquo;s Social Justice News Nexus Fellowship. Will Houp and Caroline Cataldo contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 16:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicagos-west-side-mothers-and-children-fight-addiction-side-side-110281 Is Internet Addiction Disorder real? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/internet-addiction-disorder-real-108930 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%3AEbaynik.jpg" style="height: 404px; width: 610px; " title="(Flickr/Ebayink)" /></p><p>In a society fueled by the rapid-fire connectivity of personal computers, tablets, and smartphones,&nbsp;obsessive Internet behavior has become a cultural norm.&nbsp;However, when does an overreliance on WiFi&mdash;and the rabid need to distract oneself with online gaming, shopping, tweeting, scrolling, &quot;liking,&quot; and microblogging at all hours of the day and night&mdash;morph into an addiction?</p><p><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/hospital-opens-internet-addiction-treatment-program/story?id=20146923" target="_blank">ABC News</a> reports that a Pennsylvania hospital, Bradford Regional Medical Center, has become the first in the U.S. to treat severe Internet addiction through a 10-day inpatient program. Patients admitted to the voluntary behavorial health treatment center must first undergo a &quot;digital detox&quot; that prohibits Internet use for at least 72 hours, followed by therapy sessions and educational seminars to &quot;help them get their Internet compulsion under control.&quot;</p><p>Dr. Kimberly S. Young, a psychologist and founder of the new program, defines Internet addiction by how a person&#39;s online habits impair their ability to function normally in everyday life.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Like any other addiction, we look at whether it has jeopardized their career, whether they lie about their usage, or whether it inteferes with relationships,&quot; Young explained.</p><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_addiction_disorder" target="_blank">Internet Addiction Disorder</a> (IAD) was first coined as a joke by Dr. Ivan Goldberg in 1995; and to this day, remains absent from the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). However, the more specific &quot;Internet gaming disorder&quot; did make it into 2013&#39;s DSM-V as a &quot;condition for further study,&quot; signaling a slow but steady change in how psychologists are defining variants of addictive behavior in recent years.</p><p>Accoding to <a href="http://www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm" target="_blank">HelpGuide.org</a>, signs and symptoms of Internet addiction may include:</p><ul><li>Frequently losing track of time online.</li><li>Having trouble completing tasks at work or home.</li><li>Isolation from family and friends.</li><li>Feeling a sense of euphoria while involved in Internet activies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Feeling guilty or defensive about Internet use.</li></ul><p>Similar to those who dispute the validity of sex addiction, naysayers of IAD argue that logging off is simply a matter of &quot;willpower,&quot; and that the inability to do so is not nearly as physically harmful or self-destructive as succumbing to alcoholism, substance abuse and eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. Still,&nbsp;when 60 percent of U.S. adults spend&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2013/08/21/incredible-growth-web-usage-infographic/#." target="_blank">at least three hours</a> a day online, with teens clocking in at <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/education/20wired.html" target="_blank">over seven hours</a>&nbsp;of daily Internet use, real and painful addictions are bound to form.&nbsp;</p><p>Unfortunately, addictive behaviors of any kind are far too easily dismissed in our mental health-avoidant&nbsp;culture&mdash; even the ones deemed more severe than most. Alcoholics are constantly told to &quot;just stop drinking&quot; and anorectics urged to &quot;just eat already,&quot; as if it were that easy. Presumably non-life-threatening addictions such as online gaming are even more misunderstood, because how is playing video games for 24 hours straight in any way comparable to destroying one&#39;s body with narcotics or an eating disorder?</p><p>What many people fail to realize is that using the Internet as a drug can be just as fatal as any addiction in the long run. Dr. Young notes that prior research links IAD with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_addiction_disorder" target="_blank">existing mental health issues</a>&nbsp;(most commonly depression) and that over half of her patients also struggle with alcoholism, chemical dependency, compulsive gambling, and chronic overeating.&nbsp;</p><p>Numerous other studies have proved that excessive Internet use continually makes people&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/22/4647916/facebook-isnt-making-you-depressed-the-internet-is" target="_blank">feel bad about themselves</a>; but for people already suffering from depression, anxiety, or a co-occurring disorder like OCD or bipolar, that feeling is amplified.</p><p>A 2012 research study highlighted in <em><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/01/17/internet-addiction-shows-up-in-the-brain/" target="_blank">Forbes</a>&nbsp;</em>shows that people with Internet addiction exhibit demonstrable changes in their brains, similar to what happens in the brains of people addicted to cocaine, heroin, special K, and other substances. The article also mentions a <a href="http://rt.com/news/internet-use-mental-illness-389/" target="_blank">smattering of horror stories</a>&nbsp;about Internet and gaming addiction, including accounts of many people keeling over and dying after playing video games for hours on end.&nbsp;These addictions are as real as any other, and they deserve to be taken just as seriously.</p><p>Of course, not every person who spends hours surfing the web each day suffers from an Internet addiction. But if we&#39;re being completely honest with ourselves, we might discover that many of our online habits have more of a negative than positive effect on our lives. After all, what good comes from checking one&#39;s Facebook page 15 times a day, or avoiding the outside world to live in a virtual one?</p><p>Maybe we could all use some &quot;digital detox&quot; every once and a while. Try putting down the phone, powering off the computer, and making some real memories without the aid of an electronic device. You might be surprised by how much, or how little, you miss it.</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a></em></p></p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/internet-addiction-disorder-real-108930 Addicts on film and TV: accurate or insulting? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/addicts-film-and-tv-accurate-or-insulting-107787 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Don%20Draper.jpg" title="Is Don Draper an alcoholic? (AMC/Mad Men)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">The season six finale of <em>Mad Men&nbsp;</em>airs this Sunday, and while many viewers are anxious to see whether that <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/jun/06/mad-men-season-six-theories" target="_blank">Megan Draper as Sharon Tate</a> conspiracy will come to fruition, others can&#39;t help but wonder: will Don admit that he has a drinking problem?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>Slate recently published a piece about Don&#39;s <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/tv_club/features/2013/mad_men_season_6/week_11/mad_men_don_needs_to_go_to_alcoholics_anonymous.html" target="_blank">obvious alcoholism</a> that got tongues wagging. After all, what came off as a retro gimmick in <em>Mad Men</em>&#39;s earlier season (&quot;Oh, they&#39;re drinking booze at the office. In the morning. During business meetings. Why can&#39;t my office be cool like that?&quot;) has turned into something far more sinister. Now, it would appear that Don is just a few drinks away from completely losing it.</p><p>Jon Hamm does a great job in bringing pathos and realism to Don&#39;s downward spiral; however, other actors have been less convincing in their portrayals of addicts in denial. Sometimes they are at the mercy of bad writing or direction (i.e. when the screenwriters and/or director did not do their research in determing how an addiction actually affects a person and the people around them); while in other cases, the actor&#39;s own scene-chewing gets in the way of delivering a nuanced and truly accurate performance.</p><p>In any event, here are my picks for the best and worst portryals of addiction in the following categories:</p><p><strong>Alcoholism</strong></p><p>Best:</p><ul><li>Meg Ryan in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111693/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>When a Man Loves a Woman&nbsp;</em></a>(Okay, the film itself is a tad melodramatic, but the effect that her character&#39;s drinking has on her family&mdash;especially her husband realizing his role as an enabler&mdash;feels heartwrenchingly real.)</li><li>Denzel Washington in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907668/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Flight</em></a></li><li>Jack Lemmon in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055895/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Days of Wine and Roses</em></a></li><li>William H. Macy on the Showtime drama&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1586680/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Shameless</a>.&nbsp;</em></li><li>I also can admit, without a hint of irony, that Nicolas Cage&#39;s suicidal alcoholic in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113627/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Leaving Las Vegas&nbsp;</em></a>was the role he was born to play.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>Worst:</p><ul><li>Marcia Cross on <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410975/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Desperate Housewives</a>,</em></li><li>Helen Hunt in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0223897/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Pay it Forward&nbsp;</em></a></li><li>Joan Allen in <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365885/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">The Upside of Anger</a>. </em></li></ul><p>All three women&nbsp;play characters with an unfortunate case of &quot;rom-com alcoholism,&quot; meaning that their drinking doesn&#39;t amount to much more than a character quirk and quickly resolves itself by the story&#39;s end.</p><p>I wasn&#39;t so crazy about watching John Belushi comically guzzle entire bottles of whiskey in <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077975/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Animal House</a>&nbsp;</em>either, considering his real-life struggles with addiction and eventual death from a drug overdose.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Drug Addiction</strong></p><p>Best:</p><ul><li>Ryan Gosling in<em> <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468489/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Half Nelson</a></em></li><li>Edie Falco of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1190689/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Nurse Jackie </em></a></li><li>Aaron Paul of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903747/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Breaking Bad </em></a></li></ul><p>These actors never fail to blow me away with their spot-on performances. Plus, everyone in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Trainspotting&nbsp;</em></a>(also one of my favorite films),&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180093/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Requiem for a Dream</a>&nbsp;</em>(particularly Ellen Burstyn&#39;s character) and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283003/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1" target="_blank"><em>Spun&nbsp;</em></a>(terrible movie, eerily accurate junkies) left me with chills. Oh, and Christian Bale in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0964517/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1" target="_blank"><em>The Fighter</em></a>&mdash; Oscar well-deserved.</p><p>Worst:</p><ul><li>Sandra Bullock in <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0191754/?ref_=sr_2" target="_blank">28 Days</a></em></li><li>Al Pacino in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086250/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank"><em>Scarface</em></a></li><li>Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison in <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101761/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">The Doors</a>. </em></li></ul><p>They all play completely unrelatable characters who&nbsp;have nothing under the surface&mdash;their character&#39;s drug use is either too understated and romantized (Kilmer), laughably over the top (Pacino) or just tritely inconsequential and unrealistic in every way. Bullock and her participation in the most inauthentic rehab I&#39;ve ever seen on film.&nbsp;</p><p>However, the award for worst &quot;addict&quot; of all time must go to Elizabeth Berkely on that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZqBR67le8c" target="_blank">very special episode</a> of&nbsp;<em>Saved by the Bell </em>(caffeine pills?<i>&nbsp;really</i>?)&nbsp;</p><p>If there was an Oscar, Emmy or Razzie category for Best Portrayal of an Addict, who would you nominate?</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/addicts-film-and-tv-accurate-or-insulting-107787