Alcoholism, As Seen By A Doctor

A must read (at link below, excerpts follow):

Alcoholism Through a Doctor's Eyes -
"When I teach medical students about alcoholism, it is never easy. Students arrive with preconceived notions and stereotypes obtained from books, television and films — and their personal upbringings — about the subject. So I am especially glad that medical, nursing and other graduate students from my institution, New York University, have been attending the play “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” as part of their studies. The drama, about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, is a great way to learn how designating something as a disease is only a starting point for understanding the patients who experience it. . . . Another facet of alcoholism that remains familiar is the lack of good treatment options. Detoxification and rehabilitation programs are expensive and not that effective. And while new research suggests that drugs can be used to facilitate drinking in moderation, I still refer the vast majority of my alcoholic patients to A.A., just as other doctors did 80 years ago. Yet even A.A.’s ability to maintain ongoing sobriety among its participants is only about 10 percent, although certain populations, with stronger social supports, do better. Perhaps the greatest virtue of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” is how it humanizes alcoholics. Both main characters display a wide range of behaviors, ranging from empowered to helpless to angry to remorseful. It is hard not to sympathize with them. Anne and Bill’s wife, Lois, realize that they, too, belong to a community of sufferers. They founded Al-Anon in 1951 to assist the spouses and families of alcoholics. “Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth,” is an expression used by A.A. members to get recalcitrant alcoholics to keep quiet and listen to their brethren. It is good advice." - Barron H. Lerner, professor of medicine and population health at the New York University School of Medicine, is the author of the forthcoming book “The Good Doctor: A Father, a Son and the Evolution of Medical Ethics.” (read more at link above)

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Kentucky, $32 Million for Drug Addiction Treatment

Ky. Officials Announce $32 Million for Drug Addiction Treatment: "...."This money will go a long way in helping Kentucky's ongoing efforts to provide treatment options for drug abuse. I am especially pleased that a sizeable portion will be used to help juveniles and to provide needed funding for the KASPER program," said House Speaker Greg Stumbo. Nearly $19 million will be used to start a grant program that will fund comprehensive juvenile substance abuse treatment programs, both expanding treatment beds at existing facilities and creating new juvenile treatment programs with the full continuum of care, including intensive outpatient and follow-up care centers...."

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To Be An Alcoholic

Here's What It's Like To Be An Alcoholic - Business Insider: " . . . I can tell a lot of funny stories about my drinking years. But most of the time I was scared, alone, angry, and bored. I knew the future that was coming was a bad one. And then I had that moment of clarity. I almost choked to death on my own vomit and I realized that I would die if I kept drinking and that I didn't want to die like this. The long process of recovery began. Recovery is amazing and it is brutal. I had to grow up and become a whole person, so that I didn't try and fill the black hole at my core with booze, drugs, sex, drama, and all the other distractions I had used. Growing up isn't easy, especially when you are 20 years behind the curve. But it is possible, as long as I put in the daily work. Today, I have a wonderful sober life with great friends, a marriage full of fun and love, interesting, meaningful work and a comfy home. And I believe that I could lose everything if I decide to pick up a drink again...." (read more at link above)

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Heroin, Small-Town Toll, Mother’s Grief

A "must read" in the New York Times (excerpt below) --

Heroin’s Small-Town Toll, and a Mother’s Grief - " . . . . Gradually, Ms. Hale said, her fear and judgmental attitude about addiction have given way to compassion and activism. Never before political — she did not know the mayor’s name — she has now testified at the State Capitol, advocating a broader use of naloxone and a “good Samaritan law” that would grant limited immunity from drug prosecutions to those who call 911 or otherwise help an overdose victim. She has also taken under wing seven young addicts, coaching them on how to reveal their problems to their parents, preaching to them about safe needles and naloxone, and giving them an ear. “I know my boundaries,” Ms. Hale said. “I will not give them money. I will not let them come to my home. If they are hungry, I will meet them at McDonald’s. I’ll take them to a clinic to be assessed, drive them to a treatment hospital.” “It soothes some of the guilt, fills some of the void,” she said. “Basically, I wish there had been a Karen out there helping my daughter.” (read more at link above)

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