Good News in Dayton: Drug Deaths Decline

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Recovery, Substance Abuse7 Comments

This year drug deaths in Dayton, Ohio are down by 54% compared to last year. A manufacturing center at the junction of two major interstates, Dayton had one of the highest opioid overdose death rates in the U.S. in 2017. For the first time in years the number of opioid deaths nationwide have begun to decline according to the CDC … Read More

72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017

Maureen MurdockAddiction8 Comments

Coroners in San Diego County have taken a bold new approach to persuade doctors to curb opioid prescribing. The San Diego County’s chief deputy medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, sent letters to physicians about their possible role in the escalating opioid abuse epidemic. The doctors received a letter stating: “This is a courtesy communication to inform you that your patient … Read More

We Need a Cultural Shift in How We Think about Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Recovery8 Comments

The recent The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health calls for a cultural shift in how we think about addiction. For too long, many people have viewed addiction as a moral failing. This stigma has created an added burden of shame for people with substance use disorders which makes them less likely to come forward and seek help. … Read More

Let’s Try Portugal’s Solution to the Heroin Epidemic

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Criminal Justice System5 Comments

Last year approximately 64,000 Americans died of overdoses, as many as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined. More than fifteen years ago both Portugal and the U.S. were struggling with illicit drug use. The U.S. cracked down, spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users. Portugal, on the other hand, decriminalized the use of all drugs in … Read More

Drug Deaths Accelerate in 2016

Maureen MurdockAddiction6 Comments

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 because of synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl and its analogues. Drug overdoses killed about 64,000 people in the United States in 2016, which is an increase of 22% over drug deaths recorded in 2015. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. There has also been … Read More

Grieving the End of Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction2 Comments

This is a guest post by Helen Jenkins about the stages of grief experienced by some who give up an addiction When we force a loved one in rehabilitation to immediately be happy or pick up where they left off, we deny them the right to grieve. Systemic therapist, Lindsay Kramer, notes that drug use can be intimate in nature: … Read More

Surgeon General: Addiction is a Disease of the Brain, Not a Moral Weakness

Maureen MurdockAddiction1 Comment

Remember the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health that first linked cigarettes to cancer? Well, even if you don’t, it led to a successful national campaign against tobacco use. Yesterday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a call for a cultural shift in how we think about addiction in his 426 page report “Facing Addiction in America.” In it, … Read More

Four Traits that Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Adolescence1 Comment

On Tuesday, voters approved the legalization of marijuana in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and most likely in Maine, although that may face a recount. I did not support the initiative to legalize pot in California because I have seen too many students lose their edge and ambition as a result of heavy pot use and become passive zombies. Maia Szalavits, author … Read More

Smaller than a Snowflake

Maureen MurdockAddiction5 Comments

A synthetic drug called carfentanil, in an amount smaller than a snowflake, is killing people. More than 200 people in the Cincinnati area have overdosed on the drug in the last three weeks leaving 3 people dead. Similar overdoses have occurred in Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and the Gulf coast of Florida overwhelming ambulance crews and emergency rooms. Carfentanil is … Read More