* For anyone who has ever doubted that addiction is a brain disease, scientists can clearly see the the differences between the brains of those who are addicted and even those prone to addiction as opposed to the brains of non-addicts. As one scientist said, “The highly potent drugs currently claiming so many lives, such as heroin and fentanyl, did not exist for most of our evolutionary history. They exert their effects on sensitive brain circuitry that has been fine-tuned over millions of years to reinforce behaviors that are essential for the individual’s survival and the survival of the species.”
* The Myth of the “Addicted” Baby: This article makes the point that newborns cannot be “addicted” to drugs because, “Addiction is a disorder characterized by pathologically pursuing reward or relief through the use of substances.” Obviously babies don’t have the capacity to do this. Instead, babies born to mothers using opioids are very often dependent on drugs, meaning that they can suffer the terrible pain of opiate withdrawal soon after birth. Read this article. It’s fascinating.
* This is actually something I wrote. I lost my son to an opiate overdose when he was only 18 years old. While I still grieve deeply for him I have also gained some perspective that’s helped me to realize the things we should have done before the addiction took hold of him – things that might have prevented his drug experimentation that led to full-blown addiction.
* Are you familiar with the Sackler family? They own Purdue Pharma outright, and Purdue Pharma is the company that developed, markets and sells one of the most addictive substances on the planet: OxyContin. The Sacklers are well known for their philanthropic endeavors, including million dollar donations to museums and universities. But given how the Sackler family has made their billions, should these institutions be taking their donations?
*Opioid Addiction: Getting Robbed While Getting Help. This special report from WebMD suggests that the addiction treatment industry has become “predatory,” and that when desperate addicts and their families search Google to find an open bed in a treatment center that will take their insurance (if they have any), Google has actually been manipulated by criminals who hijack the names of legitimate treatment centers. From the WebMD report: “(The) marketers would then route callers to inept or even dangerous centers, or to centers far from their home, even when nearby treatment was available. The results often led to not just ineffective treatment, but in rare cases human trafficking and other atrocities.”
*Many drug addicts attempting to get off drugs as well as many pain patients swear by a plant called Kratom to help them with their medical conditions. However, there have been deaths linked to Kratom and more states are looking to ban the substance as scientists say there’s not enough evidence to support its use.