Posts tagged with "drugs"

COVID-19 Trial Tests if Common Drug Can Keep Patients Out of Hospital

At-risk people diagnosed with COVID-19 across the United States and Canada can participate in a clinical trial testing whether a common drug can keep them from getting sicker and keep them out of the hospital.­­

The trial, conducted by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is based on a discovery by the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Alban Gaultier, PhD, and a former graduate student, Dorian A Rosen, PhD.

Gaultier and Rosen found last year that the antidepressant fluvoxamine may stop the deadly inflammation known as sepsis, in which the immune response spirals out of control. The drug’s apparent benefit for dampening dangerous inflammation prompted the Washington University researchers to begin investigating its potential benefit for COVID-19, which can also cause dangerous overreactions of the immune system.

“If this clinical trial is proven successful, fluvoxamine could become a standard treatment for patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19, especially patients at risk,” Gaultier said. “Even the best vaccines do not protect 100% of the population, and discovery of safe and affordable treatments to prevent COVID-19-associated complications is critical.”

Fluvoxamine and COVID-19

Earlier this year, the Washington University researchers launched their first clinical trial of the drug in patients with COVID-19. That trial compared fluvoxamine with a harmless placebo in 152 adult outpatients. None of the 80 participants who received fluvoxamine became seriously ill after 15 days, while six patients who received placebo did. Of those six, four were hospitalized, for periods ranging from four to 21 days. One was on a ventilator for 10 days.

Based on those initial results, Washington University is now launching a much larger trial open to residents across the United States and Canada. The trial is seeking approximately 880 at-risk participants, age 18 and older, who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing mild symptoms.

Participants will be provided with either fluvoxamine or a placebo for approximately 15 days. No face-to-face contact is required; everything necessary will be sent to the participants’ doorsteps.

Contactless Check-Ins

The researchers will track the patients by videochat, email or telephone to determine if fluvoxamine provides a benefit and helps keep participants out of the hospital. During brief daily check-ins, trial participants will report their oxygen levels, blood pressure and temperature, along with whether they are feeling shortness of breath or have had any other problems.

The study team will continue to follow the participants for approximately 90 days after they have finished taking fluvoxamine or the placebo.

The trial is open to people who have at least one risk factor for severe COVID-19, such as being 40 or older, being part of a high-risk racial/ethnic group (such as African-American, Hispanic, Native American or biracial), or having one or more medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, a lung disease or an immune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information about the trial, visit this website.

Robinson Cano MLB illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Robinson Cano Suspended for PED

By Hannah DiPilato

Major League Baseball player Robinson Cano has been suspended after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, confirmed on Wednesday in a statement that Cano will be banned for the entire 2021 season. 

This is the 38-year-old’s second suspension due to testing positive for PED. In 2018, while Cano played for the Seattle Mariners, he tested positive for using diuretic and missed 80 games according to ESPN

At the time of his first offense, Cano said the diuretic “was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he was unaware the drug was banned in the MLB. 

In the MLB, testing positive for a PED a second time will result in an automatic 162 game suspension. This rule is an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. 

Neither Cano nor the players’ union has made a statement about his second positive test for a PED. 

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in a statement. “The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance-enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano will have to forfeit his 2021 salary where he was set to make $24 million. According to Fox Business, Cano is still set to make $48 million between 2022 and 2023. The Mets are responsible for $40 million while the Mariners agreed to pay the remaining $8 million. 

The news of Cano’s suspension is great news for player DJ LeMaiheu. According to the New York Post, LeMaiheu would be the perfect player for either the New York Mets or the New York Yankees to add to their rosters. After rejecting an $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, LeMaiheu is a free agent. 

After the loss of Cano for the 2021 season, the Mets are now in need of a starting second baseman. This adds to the list of starting positions that the Mets are seeking out since they are already looking for a starting pitcher, catcher and center field. The Mets could also start Jeff McNeil at second base, a position he would be comfortable in. 

Cano was traded to the Mets in 2018 sending player Jared Kelenic to the Mariners. Throughout his 16 seasons playing the sport, Cano is a .303 hitter with 334 home runs, 1,302 RBIs and two Gold Gloves according to ESPN

Cano was on his way to achieving 3,000 career hits and was at 2,624 before his suspension. This suspension will certainly create uncertainty for the future of his baseball career.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Drug Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Oregon Decriminalizes Drugs

By Justin Lyons

This year’s election will go down as a legendary one in the history of the United States of America, and for some of the bigger fights, the country still doesn’t have an answer.

Where answers do exist seem to be in propositions and measures, and the big winners are those hoping for the decriminalization of drugs. Mississippi, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona all approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The biggest victory for those in favor of drug decriminalization probably came in Oregon, where the penalty for small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs was lessened.

According to Ballotpedia, Oregon’s Measure 110 would reclassify the possession of controlled substances such as those listed above from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation, which would result in a $100 fine or the necessity of a “completed health assessment.”

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission estimated that convictions for possession would decrease by 90.7%.

Addiction recovery centers conduct the health assessments, which will include a screening from a certified alcohol and drug counselor and must be completed within 45 days of the Class E violation.

The funds for the assessments and the recovery programs will come from the Oregon Marijuana Account and money the state of Oregon saves from reductions in arrests, incarceration and official supervision. The recovery centers will provide treatment 24 hours per day along with health assessments, intervention plans, case management services and peer support and outreach.

The possession quantity of the now decriminalized drugs to be classified as a Class E violation are as follows: one gram of heroin or less, two grams of cocaine or less, two grams of methamphetamine or less, one gram or five pills of MDMA or less, 40 or fewer user units of LSD, less than 12 grams of psilocybin, fewer than 40 user units of methadone and fewer than 40 pills, tables or capsules of oxycodone.

A person carrying more than the specified amounts may face a misdemeanor with less than a year imprisonment, a $6,250 fine or both.

According to Yes on Measure 110, more than 125 Oregon-based organizations endorsed the measure, including Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon School Psychologists’ Association and Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

Ballotpedia also said the Democratic Party of Oregon, Multnomah Democrats and Working Families Party of Oregon support the bill, right alongside 11-time-GRAMMY-Award-Winning artist John Legend.

The measure is to be implemented no later than Feb. 1 of 2021.

Yungblud illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Yungblud – Strawberry Lipstick

YUNGBLUD shares his explosive new song “Strawberry Lipstick” and its equally outrageous video. Released via Locomotion/Interscope Records, “Strawberry Lipstick” is the brand-new single from the British singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist full-length sophomore album, due out later this year. Stream/download “Strawberry Lipstick” HERE, and check out the video HERE.

Directed by Christian Breslauer (Roddy Ricch, Tory Lanez, Marshmello) the “Strawberry Lipstick” video stars YUNGBLUD, his band, and L.A.-based singer/songwriter Jesse Jo Stark. With a whirlwind intensity true to YUNGBLUD’s chaotic charisma, the visual places him in a series of outlandish scenarios: mixing it up in a boxing ring, dancing in a custom Union Jack dress, lounging in a bathtub full of strawberries alongside Stark. A perfect foil to YUNGBLUD, Stark is a captivating presence.

Co-produced by YUNGBLUD with his longtime collaborators Chris Greatti (Poppy, Grimes) and Zakk Cervini (Bishop Briggs, Machine Gun Kelly), “Strawberry Lipstick” is a delightfully warped love song propelled by the 22-year-old artist’s snarling vocals and larger-than-life energy. With its fuzzed-out riffs and glam-rock flash, the gloriously catchy track also spotlights YUNGBLUD’s gender-bending tendencies.

Endlessly creative, YUNGBLUD also recently announced the upcoming release of his new graphic novel, The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club Volume 2: Weird Times at Quarry Banks University. The follow-up to The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club (his 2019 debut as a graphic novelist), the comic follows YUNGBLUD and his super-powered friends as they navigate university life and all its drugs, sex, and relationship drama — ultimately finding themselves caught in a trip that may cost them their lives. Due out via Z2 Comics this November, Weird Times at Quarry Banks University is now available for preorder in multiple editions. Go HERE for more info.

Born in Yorkshire, England, YUNGBLUD (aka Dominic Harrison) is a multi-instrumentalist who first picked up a guitar at age two and began writing his own songs at age 10. The 22-year-old artist is known for voicing what he feels are major concerns for his generation, using his music to unite and empower the youth of today. After breaking onto the scene with his self-titled EP, YUNGBLUD made his full-length debut with 21st Century Liability — a 2018 release that channeled his outrage about the state of the world into confrontational yet catchy songs steeped in punk fury and pop melodicism. The following year, YUNGBLUD released Live In Atlanta and the hope for the underrated youth EP, which debuted in the top 10 on the UK Official Albums chart. Over the years, YUNGBLUD has performed to sold-out crowds in over 20 countries and played some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Austin City Limits, Life Is Beautiful, Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festivals, and Vans Warped Tour.

Follow Yungblud: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Landon Cube, music, 360 MAGAZINE, Republic Records

Landon Cube – Drugs

Maryland bred singer-songwriter LandonCube releases his new track “Drugs” today.

Listen to Drugs”HERE

The track follows a string of releases from Landon Cube in 2019 including his song “Pretty” feat. 24kGoldn, which received over 5 million streams in the first couple of months of release and was included on Spotify’s Most Necessary and Clout Culture playlists, as well as his EP Orangewhich has garnered over 46 million streams worldwide since its release. The EP features previously released tracks “20,” “17,” “Nuisance” and “Makeup,” which received over 1 million streams in the first month of its release. Both tracks came after his previously released tracks “Round n Round” feat. Sprite Lee (15+ million streams), “DriveMy Car” (14+ million streams) and “19” (9+ million streams). He also appeared on Lil Skies’ “Nowadays” and “RedRoses,” which both garnered over 250 million streams individually. The singer wrapped up his first headlining tour last fall and is currently embarking on a national tour with Iann Dior.

There’s a poignant yet feel-good vibe that makes 21-year-old recording artist Landon Cube’s sound infectious. The Southern Maryland native has a diverse history within music, punctuated by his versatile catalog. With Landon’s new single “Makeup,” the young star on the rise is geared to level up to the next chapter in his career. At 16, he made the firm decision that music was his chosen trajectory and once he graduated high school, he dropped his introductory cut “Euphoria.” His participation with local viral video crew Cufboys added fuel to the fire, as Landon began galvanizing a fan base through his laid-back authenticity and knack for melding sounds. Through Cufboys he met burgeoning star Lil Skies, as the two joined forces on cuts like “Red Roses” and “Nowadays,” the former impressively hitting one million streams in less than a month. It wasn’t long before Landon was Los Angeles bound and continued his upward mobility as an artist, ultimately joining the Republic Records roster. Landon Cube, who already has over 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify, has already secured a solid following based upon his honest and heartfelt music, and the next phase in his career will bring more of that to the forefront.

HELLOMD, gaming app, tech, app, cannabis, 360 MAGAZINE

HelloMD Gaming App

HELLOMD LAUNCHES FIRST CANNABIS GAMING APP WITH $420 JACKPOT PER GAME

Daily Bonfire app invites legal age players nationwide to donate winnings to fight the war on drugs or cash out at local, regulated dispensaries 

HelloMD, the world’s largest online community of cannabis consumers, lifestyle experts, best-in-class CBD products and medical professionals, today announces the launch of Daily Bonfire, the first cannabis gaming app. Hosted by cannabis comedians, including the star of Netflix’s “Cooking on High,” Ngaio Bealum, Daily Bonfire not only offers iPhone and Android users the chance to win $420 per live game but also the opportunity to help fight the war on drugs and support regulated retailers throughout the country.

“Technology always sets out to solve a problem, and that’s what inspired Daily Bonfire,” explains canna-tech entrepreneur and HelloMD co-founder Mark Hadfield. “In an effort to ‘normalize’ cannabis, the trend has been to downplay the recreational benefits of cannabis and showcase its medicinal properties. Now that we’ve achieved mainstreamification, Daily Bonfire is here to bring cannabis back to its playful roots by celebrating the plant’s monumental contributions to pop culture, science and history. We’ve also designed the app to incentivize users to play an active role in combating today’s illicit retail marketplace while giving back to organizations that are tirelessly working to right the wrongs of prohibition,” says Hadfield.

Available for download on iPhones at the Apple App store for (Android will soon follow in 2020), each Daily Bonfire game begins with a collective vote to donate 5% or 50% of the winnings to one of three non-profits:  ACLU, NORML, or MAPS.  The comedic host then challenges players to test their cannabis IQ by answering a round of 12 multiple choice questions with each successful response moving players to the next question. The final winner(s) can decide to immediately cash out or visit a local partner dispensary where their Daily Bonfire dollars unlock exclusive discounts. 

“I hella look forward to hosting Daily Bonfire each week,” says local Bay Area host Ngaio Bealum, who also regularly hosts High Times events and has appeared on “The Sarah Silverman Program.” “I get to encourage consumers to get lit and profit and learn compelling facts about cannabis.  Who knew that it was the first product ever sold over the internet in 1971… between MIT and Stanford computer science students? Weed makes you smarter. It’s science.”

Daily Bonfire was recently named one of the “Top 5 cannabis brands to dominate 2020” by Merry Jane. 

Watch HERE.

ABOUT HELLOMD

HelloMD is the world’s largest online community of cannabis patients, lifestyle experts, medical professionals, and trusted CBD brands, offering today’s consumer a one-stop-shop experience in the palm of their hands. Named “the Quora of cannabis” by TechCrunch, HelloMD is available in the U.S., Canada and South Africa.  

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Alcoholics Anonymous

Extending the Hand of A.A.
Alcoholics who are Deaf can access A.A.’s program of recovery in an updated American Sign Language translation of Alcoholics Anonymous

With over 35 million printed copies sold, the book Alcoholics Anonymous is now available in an updated abridged translation into American Sign Language. Commonly referred to as “The Big Book” this basic text of the worldwide Fellowship that bears its name is now available on DVD to the Deaf community, the Hard-of-Hearing community and the hearing community as well.
DVD features:

  • Professional ASL signers and DVD video production
  • Updated translation inspired and reviewed by A.A. members who are Deaf
  • Audio track and subtitles for use among ASL and non-ASL users
  • The basic principles and practices of the Fellowship that have provided a pathway to recovery for alcoholics for over 80 years
  • Can be ordered at www.aa.org or may be available through a local A.A. office near you

A.A. has always been committed to making its program of recovery available to anyone, anywhere who reaches out for help with a drinking problem. This translation has been updated with current language and signing most familiar in today’s Deaf community.

Founded in 1935 on the principle of one alcoholic helping another to achieve sobriety, A.A. is an effective and enduring program of recovery that has changed countless lives. As explained in the book, A.A.’s recovery program of twelve suggested Steps was formulated through the experience of its first 100 members and has reached millions of sufferers around the world.

For more information about A.A. resources for alcoholics who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, please contact the Accessibilities and Remote Communities Coordinator at the General Service Office at Access@aa.org or by phone at 212-870-3344.

*If you’re in the UK and need assistance with substance abuse, check out Abbeycare Foundation Drug Rehab.

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

To combat the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, researchers are examining how one superbug adapts to fight an antibiotic of last resort, hoping to find clues that can prolong the drug’s effectiveness.

At Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ran experiments to track the biochemical changes that vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) underwent as they adapted to fight another antibiotic, daptomycin. “We need to get to a stage where we can anticipate how these pathogens will become resistant to antibiotics so we can stay one step ahead of them,” said Rice biochemist Yousif Shamoo, co-author of a study in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy that found VRE can develop resistance to daptomycin in more than one way. The stakes are high. In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that antibiotic-resistant infections were on pace to kill 10 million people per year worldwide by 2050.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, VRE is one of the nation’s leading antibiotic resistance threats. The CDC estimated VRE will infect some 20,000 people in the U.S. this year and kill 1,300 of them. Daptomycin, an antibiotic that first became available in 2003, is one of the last drugs doctors can use to fight multidrug-resistant superbugs like VRE, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and glycopeptide resistant enterococci (GRE). Unfortunately, health officials documented cases of daptomycin resistance as early as 2005, and the number of cases is on the rise worldwide.

Shamoo said one of the principle findings of the study was that a specific strain of VRE, Enterococcus faecium, has an unusually diverse set of strategies for resisting antibiotics like daptomycin, and that diversity can make treatment of infections even more difficult. “By understanding how these pathogens acquire resistance, we can develop new treatment strategies or new ‘co-drugs’ that target their ability to become resistant,” Shamoo said. Co-drugs that target the evolution of resistance could be administered with antibiotics like daptomycin to both help patients fight off infection and stem the spread of increasingly resistant strains of bacteria in hospitals, he said.

Study lead author Amy Prater, a Ph.D. student who graduated from Rice in July, showed that the same strain of VRE could activate different biochemical pathways to activate up to three strategies, depending upon its environment. Shamoo said the multipronged strategy will make it more difficult for health officials to fight growing daptomycin resistance in VRE, but he said the results help clear up previously confusing experimental findings about VRE resistance, which is a step in the right direction. “If we understand how a pathogen acquires resistance, we can anticipate its next move, and hopefully act beforehand to cut it off,” Shamoo said. “Predictability is the key.”

Shamoo is Rice’s vice provost for research and a professor of biochemistry and cell biology in the Department of BioSciences. Additional co-authors include Heer Mehta and Abigael Kosgei of Rice and William Miller, Truc Tran and Cesar Arias of the UTHealth McGovern Medical School.

The Perfect Rx For You

Questions about your Health? Pharmacists Can Provide Your Perfect Rx     

Have you ever had a question about your health and wanted an answer in a quick and convenient manner? If the answer is yes, it turns out you are not alone. A majority of Americans nationwide routinely tap the expertise of pharmacists and online health-related websites.

In a survey of adults nationwide, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Madison, New Jersey asked Americans about their use of pharmacists for information when they have a question about their health. Over half of all Americans consult with the pharmacist on duty when they visit a pharmacy (55%). A quarter (28%) do so routinely, with 27 percent who do so less often.

The survey finds that most speak with pharmacists only about prescription drug use, even though they can get other health related information from them. Two-thirds (65%) seek prescription drug counseling, with significantly fewer asking about over-the-counter drug usage and side effects, injectable vaccines and immunization delivery or medical devices (15% combined). Among those who do not regularly engage with pharmacists, a majority say they simply don’t need their assistance (66%).

“The fact that so many say they don’t need the assistance of a pharmacist speaks to the public’s unawareness of the pharmacist’s role in healthcare. Pharmacists are easily accessible and can provide reliable, patient-specific information tailored to the needs of the individual,” said Dr. Otito Iwuchukwu, an Assistant Professor at the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  “With pharmacists becoming increasingly relied upon as a source to receive healthcare services, more people will recognize the role of pharmacists and seek them out to meet their health-related needs in the coming years. Pharmacists routinely check for drug interactions, make medication recommendations to other healthcare providers and patients, provide medication counseling, ensure patients are taking their medications safely, assist in navigating insurance drug coverage or suggest a more affordable medication option, and immunize.”

According to national polls, pharmacists consistently remain among the most trusted and ethical healthcare professionals.

“The ability to access a pharmacist for the provision of medication information without an appointment at no cost and at any time gives credence to the value and positive role they play in helping everyone lead healthy lives,” said Barbara Rossi, Assistant Dean at FDU School of Pharmacy & Healthy Sciences.

Online sources

The same survey asked about whether and to what extent people trust online sources for health information. It turns out that sources such as WebMD, disease specific sites, and sites affiliated with medical centers provide somewhat of a mixed bag for Americans who use them. Around half (51%) use them overall, with women (54%) significantly more likely than men to visit a website (43%), and older Americans (60 and older) the least likely (11%). WebMD or other general purpose health websites attract the most visitors (40%), with hospital affiliated sources (20%), and other conditions or disease specific sources (15%) used less often. Despite widespread use, there’s some evidence that online sources bring with them some degree of skepticism.

Among those who use online sources with some regularity, their usefulness rates about a seven on a scale of one to ten, with ten indicating the highest degree of usefulness. When asked why they don’t go online for general health and symptom inquiries, a fifth (19%) say they avoid them because they don’t trust the information, find the information contradictory, or feel anxious when they read what they find. Most (53%), however, go directly to a doctor or other health professional when they have a question.

“Online resources can be useful tools to learn about general health-related topics. It is important for consumers to know that the information gained from online searches may not have the same level of applicability to every individual. Also, any written material is open to misinterpretation and online health websites are not immune to this,” said Elif Özdener, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “I am excited to see that over half of those who read online health sources use the information to have discussions with their healthcare providers. Patient-centered healthcare is a significant factor in achieving positive health outcomes. People that research and read health information can have productive conversations with their providers and increase the likelihood of achieving their health-related goals.”

Methodology

The National Health Survey was conducted by The Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll on behalf of the FDU School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. A random sample was drawn of adults nationwide, including in Alaska and Hawaii, and interviews were conducted on landlines and cellphones between January 28 through February 13, 2019. Respondents were screened in order to interview an adult, 18 or older.

A total of 1000 interviews were administered by ReconMR in San Marcos, Texas. 296 interviews were conducted on landlines and 704 were conducted on cell phones by professionally trained interviewers using a CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) system. All interviews were conducted in English. Telephone numbers were purchased by ReconMR through Marketing Systems Group.

Results for the total sample have a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.03 percentage points, including the design effect.

Survey results are also subject to non-sampling error. This kind of error, which cannot be measured, arises from a number of factors including, but not limited to, non-response (eligible individuals refusing to be interviewed), question wording, the order in which questions are asked, and variations among interviewers.

Weighting was applied to the sample to more accurately treat the respondents are representatives of the total population of the United States. 2019 estimates of the U.S. population by Claritas were used to weight the data. In this case, the proportions of three characteristics were used; Race, Age and Gender. Each respondent falls into one, and only one, set and no respondent is left out.

Sober Houses and the Path to Recovery

The Truth About Sober Houses and the Path to Recovery

by Mallory Neuberger

Wendy Williams made headlines last week when she revealed that she’s living in a sober house; but less than one week later she left work, checked out of the facility, and went on to drink alcohol until she was hospitalized. So, what went wrong?

Sobriety is not something that we can pay for. As a recovering cocaine addict, I had to admit that I was an addict and that I was ready for a drug free life. In essence, I had to hit my bottom. Some people die before they find the willingness to get sober. Others need to end up in prison, homeless, or selling their bodies and souls to feed their disease. And many, like myself, don’t lost their homes, cars, jobs or families, but find themselves spiritually void and miserable, with their drug of choice no longer providing the relief that it once had.

Wendy Williams is going through difficulties in her marriage. Her husband is rumored to be cheating on her, and his mistress is pregnant. Despite appearing on television daily, living in a sober house, and paying a sober coach to keep tabs on her 24/7, she still couldn’t handle her heartbreak and to alcohol to numb her pain. The next day she was back on TV. In my opinion, she isn’t ready.

Ethical sober houses keep residents safe by breathalyzing and drug testing them. They have guidelines to provide structure, including curfews, chore checks, and mandatory attendance at 12-step meetings like A.A. or N.A. There are organizations that certify sober houses as good operators, so it’s important to be sure that you are choosing a place that truly has the residents’ best interests at heart.

Sober houses offer a sense of community. They are filled with residents and staff who are all trying to stay sober and meet life head on. There is always someone to talk to, so we are never alone. In my sober houses we emphasize healthy living, encouraging good eating habits and exercise. We practice yoga and we meditate together. We offer fellowship where we eat, laugh, play games, make crafts, listen to music, and sit by the pool. We celebrate together, helping one another get through birthdays, holidays and anniversaries without picking up. We are houses filled with sober women and we are like a big family filled with surrogate mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. We cry together, and more importantly, we laugh.

Putting down drugs and alcohol seemed like the only way I could live, but what kind of a life was it going to be? I feared that I would be socially awkward without my expensive wines or a frozen margarita with salt. I didn’t think I would be able to stay awake without my beloved cocaine. I was losing my best friends – drugs and alcohol – how would I ever have fun again?

The sheer happiness that I have found as a sober woman is greater than any high that I ever experienced. I wake up every morning without a hangover or user’s remorse. I dance whenever and wherever I can, even while trying on clothes in stores, or at parties where nobody else has hit the dance floor. I run by the beach, singing out loud, without worrying that I may die of a stroke due to last night’s excesses. I practice yoga and can actually “be” on the mat for ninety minutes, breathing freely through my once stuffed nostrils.

I have a disease, and that disease is called addiction. I am no longer ashamed and hiding behind it. Addiction is not a weakness or a character defect. It is a debilitating disease without a medicine to cure it. Money cannot buy my recovery, but working a daily program can keep me sober, one day at a time. Every day I go to a 12-step meeting. I remind myself that I’m an addict in recovery and I reset my brain and ask for the strength to remain sober just for today. I am of service to others in recovery, showing them that this simple program works. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. My worst day sober is always better than my best day high, because I am authentic and free and living the very best version of myself. I hope that Wendy Williams hits her bottom soon, and without any terrible consequences. I would love her to live in one of my sober houses.

About Mallory Neuberger

Mallory Neuberger, MS, CRRA, author of Sober.House (My Story), is the executive director of The Frog Pad, a safe and structured holistic healing house for women in recovery from drugs and alcohol. After struggling with her own addiction, Neuberger has dedicated her life to helping others find sobriety, volunteering at drug recovery centers including Hazelden IOP, The Addiction Institute in NYC, Gods Love We Deliver, and soup kitchens. She was also employed at Behavior Health of the Palm Beaches before opening her first sober house.