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10/9/18

The recent approval by the FDA, of the latest anti-seizure medication Epidiolex , has attracted a lot of new attention for CBD oil. But significant enthusiasm was already rising daily. CBD is being promoted as a “effective medical elixir” and marketed in everything from gummy bears, cosmetics to bottled water.

Cannabidiol was isolated in marijuana in 1940 and its chemical structure was discovered in 1965. It does not have any high, or euphoric effects and is increasingly being used in oils, edibles and other forms to treat chronic medical conditions such as pain and anxiety.

Last January, the World Health Organization released a study stating that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” The WHO research study found “no evidence of recreational use of CBD oil or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Last month the epidolex,   a CBD-based drug, to treat epileptic seizures caused by two exotic forms of childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.  It was the only marijuana-based drug ever to be approved by the agency.

“In terms of solid evidence and research, the one fact we really know about water soluble CBD oil is that it can be helpful for rare childhood seizure disorders,” Ryan Vandrey, PhD, a cannabidiol researcher and associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, “There’s not yet sufficient evidence to support its use for any other reason.”

 

Drug Rehabilitation For Married Couples

Both partners in a marriage must be fully committed to getting clean for drug and alcohol addiction therapy to work. Recovery will not happen without a great deal of work. Couples attending drug treatment programs will obtain life skills and education that will help them cope with their addiction both individually and as a couple. Because the recovery process depends on a lifestyle change, it is imperative for couples to know and understand what clean and sober life will be like once they leave the addiction rehabilitation center.  

The professional counselors and staff who specialize in treating relationships will help the couple identify the causes behind their addiction to opioids and other drugs while simultaneously teaching them effective conflict resolution skills to use independently and as a couple. It is very important for a both partners to understand the challenges ahead of them and how they can work together to find solutions for those challenges. The group therapy aspect of their drug treatment program will give resolution skills for the couples’ personal and relationship issues that  affect their partner’s addiction. Married Couples will essentially need to learn how to coexist together in a new clean and sober environment, spending quality time together along with their children and enjoying life without the use of drugs or alcohol. While in drug rehab individual counseling sessions start after both addicted individuals has completed detox and withdrawal.  

When couples successfully completed rehabilitation programs, they stand a much higher rate of staying sober if they have the help of medication like suboxone and depending on support groups and one another and are both equally committed to staying clean and sober. Sometimes an added bonus is that many couples feel their relationship is much stronger after completing inpatient alcohol rehab and they have got clean together on a deeper level.

 

Addiction and ObamaCare

Amend 2012 is a campaign created for people—real people, not incorporated or limited liability people—who care about our democracy and want to be part of a solution.

The problem? Since January 2010, corporations have been legally allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections on behalf of candidates who, when elected, owe the corporations favors. So even though “we the people” go to the polls and vote for candidates, once they’re in office they must work on behalf of the corporate interests, not what’s good for American families.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC that corporations have the same rights as people, and that their unlimited corporate spending is the same as our free speech. We disagree—because only people are people.

What’s the big deal? Corporations already use their money to make many decisions that affect us every day, so why do we care if they use their money in political campaigns? Because there’s no place for purchasing in democracy. Elected officials get their jobs from the people who elect them, and should ultimately answer to those people, too.

There’s a big difference between buying land to build a new warehouse and buying favors from the people who are supposed to represent us, the people.

What’s the big idea? Corporations don’t own our democracy yet, so we’re taking this movement to the people, going person-by-person and state-by-state, to build support for a constitutional amendment that will specify who are people (people) and who are not people (corporations).

Amending the Constitution is a big deal. It’ll require support of 2/3 of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and then must be ratified by 3/4 of the states. So while it’s possible and, we think, the best ultimate solution, it isn’t likely to happen right away.

Well what then? In the great tradition of American rabble rousing, we’re starting with the people, building grassroots support right where you live. Using a little-known but very powerful process called voter instructions, our goal is to have as many states as possible pass ballot resolutions calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment. Then people can vote to pass those resolutions.

Reverse Citizens United, because only people are people

10/11/18

University researchers reported the self-treatment of chronic pain and opioid withdrawal with kratom. The main alkaloid of kratom, mitragynine, binds mu- and kappa-opioid receptors, but has additional receptor benefits that might help its effectiveness at removing opioid withdrawal. The natural quantified history of kratom use, including its clinical pharmacology and toxicology, are not widely understood.We report the long term use of kratom for chronic pain treatment and opioid replacement therapy. Opiate pain killers and analgesics remain highly effective modalities for the treatment of chronic pain symptoms, but their long-term use is associated with the development of opioid addiction, abuse, dependence and mental disease, the incidence of which is increasing. Among individuals in the country with chronic pain who are maintained on morphine and percocet pills, kratom is gaining awareness and popularity as a `natural’ alternative to physician-supervised opioid replacement therapy .

Government Funding for Opioid Crisis

More than 90 Americans die each day due to overdosing on opioids. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

 

Opioids belong to a drug category that includes illegal drugs such as heroin and other strong pain relievers such as hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, etc. According to reports, more than 33,000 people died during 2015 due to opioid abuse. Now, with more than 1,000 people being treated in the United States for not taking opioid doses as prescribed by their doctors, opioid overdose has become a common reason for accidental deaths in the US and what is driving this epidemic, is opioid addiction.

History of the Problem

It all started during the late 1990s when pharmaceutical companies started showing their confidence in opioid painkillers and convinced the medical community that patients will not get addicted to them. This led to an increased number of prescriptions for opioids by doctors. However, their widespread misuse made it evident that these medications were extremely addictive. Over the years, as more and more people continue to get addicted to opioids, the number of deaths due to opioid abuse continues to rise.

Out of all the patients who are prescribed Opioids, between 8 to 12 percent of them develop an opioid use disorder.

Solution

This growing popularity of opioids is a cause of concern for all. Its misuse has created an opioid crisis. Therefore, people whose family members are addicted to opioid must find the correct drug rehab program for their loved ones or its abuse can end up taking their lives. They will find the withdrawal of the drug difficult so you must find rehab programs that make the process comfortable, do not offer other drug substitutes to get them off, and promise their complete recovery.

States also operate and sometimes even support certain drug rehab centers financially, providing them funds for opioid addicts. Patients who cannot afford to pay the costs for oxycontin detox programs are allowed to attend these programs free of charge. The services offered by these state-sponsored recovery programs are equally beneficial for addicts and can help them recover.

How we can help

It is extremely difficult for most people to overcome an addiction without the help of professionals. A person is likely to stay trapped within their cycle of drug abuse unless they are under proper supervision and professional guidance.

We offer care that can help people in overcoming their drug abuse disorders, especially that of opioid. We provide them with comfortable healing and recovery processes and educate them about all the possible consequences that this addiction can have on them. We even help them develop the confidence required to face the world, hold true to their recovery and resist indulging in drug abuse again.

If you or your loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. For further information, queries or help.

 

The Opioid Crisis Destroys Families and Marriages

One in 10 relationships are affected by heroin and other opioids. Married couples with children are being hit hard by drug abuse. When both partners in a relationship are addicted to drugs the children can be greatly affected. Substance abuse treatment centers usually do not allow couples married or not. Professional counselors do not treat both partners of a marriage at the same time. Each patient needs to have their own therapist. Couples drug rehab can be successful if done correctly. Facilities that specialize in relationships are not in every state, there are only a few in the country. Addiction treatment is not set up to help couples, it is set up to separate them. There needs to be more options for married couples to receive substance abuse treatment together. There are no state or federal funded programs for helping families with addiction issues. Medication assisted drug rehab using suboxone or vivitrol can be very helpful for this segment of the addicted population.

 

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW

Addiction and ObamaCare

 

5 Excellent Obamacare Benefits that will no longer be available to Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Patients

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed by President Barack Obama in 2010. This act was brought into effect with the aim of making quality healthcare accessible to a broader range of American citizens.

One of the healthcare areas that greatly benefitted from the ACA was ‘substance abuse and mental health’ treatment services. It is a well-known fact that treatment of addiction in the US isn’t cheap. But alcoholism and drug addiction affect nearly 15 to 20 percent of the US population. Therefore, addiction treatment needs to be affordable.

With the repeal of the Obamacare, addiction and mental health patients will no longer have access to some major benefits that were offered by the ACA. These include the following:

  1. Provision of insurance coverage

Addiction was seen as a moral shortcoming in the past. It meant that an individual had no self-control or was a “weak” or “bad” person if he/she took to drugs or alcohol. This was a good excuse for insurance companies to avoid giving coverage for any kind of rehabilitation or addiction treatment. But Obamacare changed that. It recognized that substance abuse is actually a ‘disease’ and like any other illness, it also needs proper treatment. Hence, all health insurance agencies were mandated to provide coverage for substance abuse and mental health treatments under the ACA.

  1. A new setting for treating substance abuse

The ACA also ensured that individuals suffering from substance abuse problems who have recently acquired coverage receive certain key benefits-change of treatment and access to behavioral health improvement services. In 2014, the act laid down ten compulsory “essential health benefits” or EHBs and substance abuse treatments were listed as one of the essential benefit categories.

  1. Expansion of private insurance and Medicaid

The individual mandate was the most significant provision of the ACA. The ACA created Affordable Insurance Marketplaces or Exchanges while subsidizing individual coverage bought through these exchanges for a certain category of individuals (earning up to 400% of FPL or Federal Poverty Level)

  1. Accountable and holistic care

Obamacare had a significant impact on numerous aspects of addiction treatment. The law affected several categories of people including the payers, providers, and clients. New care systems were experienced by providers and clients while payers had to come up with different ways of providing affordable, high-quality care. The focus of the ACA for addiction treatment was to offer coordinated and holistic care and develop a network of providers while making use of result-oriented payments for maximum accountability.

  1. Normalization of addiction treatment

There had always been a stigma around substance abuse and mental illness and few people (even in medical centers) could accept it as a disease even though there is enough scientific research to support this claim. Obamacare helped bring addiction treatment at par with other medical offerings. In other words, seeking admission to a rehabilitation center, outpatient care and counseling was seen as a way of getting better. Addiction patients were seen as people who deserved support like any other routine patients.

 

Stand against unlimited campaign spending, vote for I-166

Stand against unlimited campaign spending, vote for I-166

BILLINGS GAZETTE • October 15, 2012 • By VERNER BERTELSEN

Montanans have a choice this election: Speak up before your voice is drowned out entirely by big corporations with limitless money to spend on campaigns.

This is your chance to stand with Montanans, not the out-of-state interests that seek to buy our elections.

On your ballot, you’ll see state initiative I-166. You should vote FOR it. A vote FOR I-166 shows that you still believe it’s people, not corporations, who should call the shots in our political system.

Amend U.S. Constitution

I-166 calls on our leaders to amend the U.S. Constitution and re-institute limits on political spending. It would assert that corporations aren’t people, they shouldn’t be granted the same rights as people, and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to buy elections.

I-166 is a chance to fight back against the bad Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and more recent decisions that threaten to undo Montana’s century-old laws against political corruption. It’s an initiative supported strongly by Montana Republicans and Democrats alike.

I am a lifelong Republican and I served as Montana secretary of state from 1988 to 1989. I joined Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, and Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, a Republican, in signing the petition to place I-166 on the November ballot.

Unless we stand up, our nation will become steeped in the same sort of corruption that infected our state back in the days of the infamous Copper Kings.

Montana long ago learned a hard lesson about big money in politics when miner William A. Clark came upon a massive copper vein in Butte and overnight became one of the wealthiest men in the world. If he needed political favors, Clark paid for them. In 1899, when Clark decided he wanted to be a U.S. senator, he simply gave each corruptible state legislator the equivalent of $250,000 today and “won” the “election.”

Montanans got fed up with the corruption and fought back, passing the Corrupt Practices Act in 1912 and later banning large individual donations.

Under our state protections, candidates for state offices must raise money in small increments of no more than a few hundred dollars from an individual donor per election. A state legislator, for example, can’t accept more than $160.

Preserve democracy

These laws have allowed Montana to preserve a rare and true form of democracy, where citizens have access to government and nobody can buy their way to the front of the line.

But now, thanks to Citizens United and a more recent U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Montana’s anti-corruption statute, our system is in jeopardy.

Just this month, a federal judge here in Montana struck down our limits on individual campaign contributions, immediately opening the floodgates for wealthy individuals to make unlimited contributions to local candidates they seek to influence. Fortunately, a circuit court put a stop to things, reinstating our limits for this election. But we may lose these protections for good if we don’t stand up now.

Corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech. CEOs of corporations may choose to personally contribute to political campaigns, but they shouldn’t be allowed to use shareholders’ money to do so.

If we don’t protect the fairness of our elections, and the voice of individuals, corruption will follow. We don’t need out-of-state interests using big money to curry favor with politicians by bankrolling their campaigns. There’s a real possibility that foreign interests could get in the game, too. We don’t need countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran or China trying to buy U.S. politicians.

Vote FOR I-166. Corporations are not people, and your voice still counts.

Verner Bertelsen of Helena helped prepare the proponent argument FOR I-166 in the Voter Information Pamphlet

 

Read the original article in the Billings Gazette »

Fed Up with Runaway Campaign Spending, Voters Back Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Fed Up with Runaway Campaign Spending, Voters Back Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Pummeled as never before by a barrage of negative advertising, millions of voters fought back Tuesday, endorsing ballot measures in two states and dozens of localities to demand passage of a constitutional amendment restoring sensible limits on political spending.

“Millions of voters in five states sent a message that they are fed up with big money in politics,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause.  “Republican, Democrat, and independent, they agree that money isn’t free speech and that corporations do not live, breathe, or deserve the same constitutional rights enjoyed by ‘we the people.’ Now it’s up to Congress to act.”

In Montana, 75 percent of the voters supported Initiative 1-166. Votes in the Big Sky state were still being counted on Wednesday morning, but the initiative seemed certain to outpoll any statewide candidate.   I-166, the Stand with Montanans measure, declares that in Montana corporations are not people; it also directs all elected officials to support a constitutional amendment to create a level playing field in campaign spending.

In Colorado, voters supported Amendment 65 — 73 percent to 27 percent.  That measure instructs the state’s congressional delegation to propose and support a Constitutional amendment allowing Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending and permitting all citizens, regardless of wealth, to express their views on a level playing field.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to back away from its 2010 Citizens United decision and threw out a 100-year old Montana law barring corporate spending in state elections. The ruling allowed campaigns and outside groups to shatter state campaign spending records – more than $25 million was spent on a single U.S. Senate race and another $11-plus million went into statehouse contests — and sparked voter support for I-166. Montanans also registered their disapproval of recent scandals involving American Tradition Partnership, an out-of-state political organization which brought suit against the state’s ban on corporate political spending and the limit on individual campaign contributions.

On the east coast, voters in more than 120 cities and towns scattered across Massachusetts backed ballot measures that also were part of Common Cause’s Amend 2012 campaign, instructing their representatives in Washington to support a constitutional amendment on political spending.  The combined margin of victory was 78%.

The practice of voter instructions dates back to colonial Boston, and Massachusetts is one of the few states that have formal voter instruction initiatives as part of their constitutions. In America’s early years, non-binding constituent instructions carried such force that two future presidents — John Quincy Adams and John Tyler — resigned from the Senate when their personal views conflicted with instructions they had received.

“The fact that voters in red Montana, blue Massachusetts, and purple Colorado all agree that Citizens United has to go tells you something very profound about the American values we all hold in common and how hopelessly out of touch the Supreme Court is with them,” said Derek Cressman, who leads Common Cause’s Amend 2012 effort.  “The Rocky Mountain rebellion that began in Montana is spreading, and folks in Washington had better pay attention.”

In Chicago, San Francisco, and smaller cities including Ashland and Eugene, OR, ballot measures calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United ruling also received about three out of every four votes cast.  Common Cause worked to place ballot questions in front of more than seven million voters as part of its Amend 2012 campaign.

“Tuesday’s Amend 2012 victories are the leading edge of a national wave of support for getting control of political spending,” Cressman said. “We’re already exploring potential pro-amendment ballot campaigns during 2014 in Arkansas, Maine and other states and we’re continuing to push state and local governments across the country to pass resolutions in support of an amendment.”