Posts tagged with "epidemic"

Kaelen Felix illustrates OxyCotin for 360 Magazine

Opioid Crisis Takes a Turn with Death of Founder

By: Elle Grant

The opioid epidemic is one of the great public health crises facing the United States today. Over the past two decades, the crisis has ebbed and flowed in different moments, but overall deaths, especially amongst younger people, have increased at an alarming rate. One of the most distinct drugs at the root of the problem is OxyContin from the company Purdue Pharma, a substance now known to be distinctly addictive and dangerous.

OxyContin, also known on the street as killers, OC, Oxy, poor man’s heroin or Oxycotton, is dangerous particularly due to its most active ingredient; “a 12-hour, time-released form of oxycodone, a synthetic form of morphine that is found in common painkillers like Percodan and Percocet.” Alarmingly, OxyContin can have as much as ten times the amount of oxycodone as an average Percodan or Percocet. Approved by the FDA in 1995, the National Institute on Drug Abuse asserts the “chronic use of drugs such as OxyContin can lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped, including insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, and involuntary leg movements. Large doses can cause severe, potentially fatal, respiratory depression.” Intended to be taken orally, many patients and addicts chose to inject or snort the pills (after being modified) to quicken and heighten the effects. Oxycodone is intensely addictive, requiring more frequent and stronger doses as the body becomes dependent.

Efforts were being made to hold OxyContin owners and Purdue Pharma executives accountable for their actions. Thousands of lawsuits had been filed against the Sackler family, one of America’s wealthiest with an estimated combined net worth of about $13 billion. One of the main pillars of the family was Jonathan Sackler, son of one of the three Sackler brothers that transformed the small drug company Purdue Frederick into a hugely profitable pharmaceutical firm. Sackler passed away on the June 30 due to cancer, complicating many of the lawsuits as he was often named a defendant. Other members of his family have been named other defendants, depending on the case.

The famed OxyContin pill launched in the mid-1990s and was continually and thoroughly promoted by the Connecticut based family. The members of the family are charged with the accusation that “eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the US opioid epidemic” due to an unethical, irresponsible, and often illegal scheme. Furthermore, “the actions of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma included sharing studies that they knew were misleading, claiming that this was an effective, long-term treatment that didn’t give rise to risks of addiction,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told reporters at a news conference last year. “Those claims were verifiably false and ignored expert warnings. And they even undermined studies suggesting that there were addictive effects.”

Purdue as a company as well as the Sackler family deny any wrongdoing. Currently, Purdue seeks bankruptcy protection in order to counteract nearly 3,000 lawsuits that attribute blame to Purdue for beginning the opioid crisis. A Department of Justice criminal investigation is ongoing, relating to this process.

The opioid crisis, an epidemic that has spanned from 1999 to the present, has killed almost 500,000 individuals, potentially more. This count includes those that have died from an overdose involving an opioid, including both prescription and illicit opioids. Said epidemic can be characterized in three waves. The first beginning with the rise of prescribed opioids in the 1990s, including “natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone.” The second wave is marked by an increase of overdose deaths specifically related to heroin. The third commenced in 2013, with alarmingly stark increases in overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids, especially those “involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl” Unfortunately, “the market for illicitly manufactured fentanyl continues to change and it can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.”

Many Americans are unaware of the impact of the opioid crisis, or the fact that it is becoming increasingly, not decreasingly relevant to society. Yet, there are signs of positive change. Overall opioid-involved death rates decreased by 2% from 2017 to 2018, with sharper drops in prescription and heroin-involved deaths. Yet the increase in synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 10%, proving more work must be done to protect Americans. Currently, the Center for Disease Control combats this epidemic by monitoring trends, advancing research, equipping states with resources, supporting providers, partnering with public safety officials, and increasing public awareness.

Apart from crooked doctors, big pharmaceuticals, especially Jonathan Sackler, the Sackler family, and Purdue Pharma have received a majority of the blame for the epidemic. Jonathan Sackler’s death marks the death of who many see as a villain, but before justice was served in the American court system.

The opioid crisis, two decades in, has captivated the American imagination through film and media, as many crises often due. Netflix in particular has made efforts to document the crisis, including with the true crime series The Pharmacist and the limited series The Business of Drugs. Coming to Netflix next month is the long-awaited Hillbilly Elegy, starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams, both nominated for six Academy Awards each. The film lends a careful eye towards Appalachia, an area ravaged by the opioid epidemic, and features Adams in the role of a struggling addict. The film has already generated major Oscar buzz and will certainly bring further attention to a crucial issue.

Addiction is an incredibly difficult disease to combat. If you or a love one is struggling, please consider contacting the national hotline.

Rhea Roberts-Johnson in 360 MAGAZINE talks about Coachella and Goldenvoice.

Goldenvoice Black – Trailblazer

By Neecole Cockerham

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is the first Black woman to be promoted to a VP position at Goldenvoice, an AEG subsidiary. The new executive is also a new mother to an energetic toddler named Story, with her husband industry impresario Marcus Johnson.

As if having a career and being a full-time mom doesn’t take up enough time in the day, Goldenvoice staff and vendors have been forced to postpone Coachella, one of the world’s leading music festivals, due to the COVID-19. The coronavirus disease has created an unprecedented pandemic.

In the midst of the quarantine, the abnormally shut in citizens of the United States, witnessed via a cell phone recording, the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, who pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. At that moment Black people in the United States were forced into a position that challenged our civil liberties and stripped away our dignity as if we were inhumane. People of all races, from all walks of life took to the streets – men, women and children. The coordinated, mostly peaceful marches were organized by activists and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The protesters began to mobilize and protests began across the U.S and and on every continent around the world. People banded together for an unprecedented globalization of civil unrest and demanded change for the rights of Black people in America against the country’s systemic oppressed law enforcement agencies, and the society that inadvertently supported their actions.

The times are somewhat changing – as universal corporate offices have taken a short but hard look at themselves and the systemic racism that they have promoted through the years. Corporations are challenged with how they hire, retain and promote people of color within their organizations. They are being held to task to begin to fill openings with qualified Blacks and other people of color instead of continually engaging in white employment nepotism, frat boys and a Becky in tow.

The round table at Goldenvoice was a diverse group of people who acknowledged the repugnant feeling of what their eyes had seen and everyone’s heart had felt.

I sat down with Roberts-Johnson, to ask the down to earth, prestigious executive a few questions over a Zoom conference. I’ve known Rhea for a number of years, so it was easy to dive into a conversation that was just as she is – honest and candid.

Can you explain GV Black?

“Goldenvoice Black was birthed from round table discussions of Black employees, who for some time, have exchanged views of working as Blacks in a predominantly white environment – it is the voice of the people. GV Black has become a source of comfort to communicate what being Black means in today’s climate. Our social responsibility is to have acknowledgment from the corporation in which we work, the need to bring equality and more diversity to our workforce and to outline and monitor productive steps to insure that this equality is met.”

Do you have any fear in being a part of a revolutionary entity within the internal confines of a corporate environment?

“As a woman we are already marginalized in this environment. As a Black woman and a mother of a Black male child, I am more interested in social equity not just for now but for the future of those who come after me. I had no mirror to show me insight into how to maneuver in the world of behind the scenes entertainment. The conversations we were having at Goldenvoice were more than just about talking. We were all hurting just like many people and it was important for us to say something and even more important to agree on the actions that we would take to support diversity, elevate youth and develop community under the Goldenvoice umbrella.”

The music festival Coachella released its first statement ever about their position on injustice. The declaration issued by Coachella would be the words of Rhea Roberts-Johnson.

The poetic rhyme scheme is just 5 lines shy of a Sonnet and reads like a mission statement of hope:

We do not stand for injustice.

We do not stand for racism.

We do not stand for bigotry.

We stand for music.

We stand for celebration.

We stand for love.

We stand for unity.

We stand for Black Lives.

They Matter.

~Coachella

Now that the protesting has come to a halt, the pandemic is at an all time high; Goldenvoice employees are working from home or either furloughed… Goldenvoice recently posted on social media and received backlash from a few public critics, because of the word “bodies”..Can you comment on it?

“I’m actually glad that you asked this question. Before I go into what it means, I have to mention that the statement was written by Black employees, and had the public known that, it may have been received differently. Surprise! There are Black people that work at Goldenvoice (I’m sure that’s shocking to some since in its early days the company booked a lot of punk rock bands). We used the word “bodies” as a metaphor to draw attention to the objectification of Black people. Many types of Black and brown people in this country are dehumanized and not allowed the luxury of full humanity as so many others are. We also used it to emphasize the history of physical violence against Black people in our country whether it be through slavery, lynching, police brutality, etc. It’s a common term used by social justice activists, and having come from one of them, there probably wouldn’t have been a peep. Coming from a festival, some people were taken aback.”

Rhea I think to be silent nowadays is to be in agreement. Maybe those taken “aback” will be propelled into recognizing the truth and understanding the ladder is merely semantics.

What is next for GV Black?

“Without giving up too much too soon, we along with our non-Black allies at the company, are working diligently to create an even more inclusive environment for our employees, fans, artists, vendors, etc.”

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is a rare breed. She has a silent strength that exists when you can only imagine the amount of pressure that is being experienced to incite change. As we wait to see what’s next to come you can feel a glimmer of hope. Goldenvoice, GV Black and Coachella are consciously pioneering trailblazers for utilizing their platform to be all inclusive and unite people as one just as music does.

travel, 360 MAGAZINE

What are the best places to travel to on your own?

Travel is one of the best things that you can do to broaden your mind, experience new cultures, and have lots of fun. Many people, though, do not have friends to head off with, which makes traveling on your own a must. Before you go, you have to plan appropriately to get the most from any trip. If you chose to head to New Jersey on a break, it would be wise to look at sites, including the Tropicana Online Casino, so you had something fun to do in your hotel room during chill time. The same is true for other destinations within the USA or around the world. Looking at what the nightlife is like, what sights there are to see, and what there is to do in the day is sensible. 

Of course, before you delve into the finer details of any resort or city, you need to pick the right place first. That is often a little trickier for solo travelers who have a slightly different set of priorities than those holidaying in a group. But which are the best destinations for solo travel around the world?

Cannes

Beautiful Cannes is in the South of France on the fabled Cote D’Azur. However, like most other destinations around the world, it has been hit by COVID-19 lockdown measures recently, Cannes plans to revive tourism soon. But what makes this place so great? First of all, the weather is superb during the summer months, and this makes it perfect for relaxing on the gorgeous beaches there while doing some people watching. 

The café culture is also evident, so you will feel very comfortable when sipping a latte alone while watching the world go by. Cannes is also a very safe and welcoming destination, which makes it ideal for solo travelers. With a buzzing atmosphere and many other single travelers around, it is a fabulous place to holiday on your own. 

Stockholm

If you fancy heading somewhere where Scandi cool is in full effect, Stockholm in Sweden is a reliable choice. Stockholm just has an air of laid-back charm that allows you to slow down and recharge your batteries. The city that you access via a series of bridges is spread across 14 islands, which makes it simple to get around.

It is also full of lovely parks and stunning architecture to marvel at while having plenty to keep you occupied. If you need help getting around, there is a fun guided Vespa Tour you can take. If you are a real foodie, there are numerous Michelin-starred restaurants around the city where you could dine alone in true style. With a friendly and cozy feel, this is a real gem for solo travel. 

New York 

You might not immediately think of New York as a solo travel hot-spot, but it is. With so much to do and so many people around, you never actually feel isolated. New Yorkers are famous for their particular charm, and this means you will always find a friendly face in cafés, bars, or shops. If you want a city that will also keep you busy, the Big Apple is it.  

The shopping here is excellent (especially Fifth Avenue), and it gives you every chance to pick up cool souvenirs to bring home. Also, New York has many fabulous sights to see – from lovely Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum. If you fancy a change from dining and drinking each night, why not check out the best plays on Broadway? 

Dominica 

One surprising choice for any single traveler may be the Caribbean – after all, it is known as a honeymoon spot or a cruise destination. Dominica is a little different, though, and is somewhere that feels perfect for traveling alone. If you like an adventure when away, it is a great choice. The island has lakes to trek alongside and massive gorges to cave through. The wildlife here is naturally fantastic, and there is also some excellent accommodation for a reasonable price. You will always feel safe here, thanks to the welcoming local community, and it is an island that is very easy to walk around. With delicious local food and some charming bars to enjoy a shot of rum at, Dominica is a real hidden gem. 

Solo travel spots are worth researching first

No doubt, checking out the best places to go alone before booking any trip is worthwhile. Doing so will ensure that you end up in a place where there is plenty to do, and that makes you feel comfortable being there as a single person. Hopefully the above has given you some fresh ideas on the most exciting places to try. 

wine, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration, wine festival, wine tasting, wine lovers, wine enthusiasts

WINE DONATED TO FRONTLINE WORKERS

An Initiative to Donate Bottles of Wine and Messages of Encouragement to Frontline Workers.

Signor Vineyards and their employees are sending personal notes of encouragement and a bottle of wine to family and loved ones who serve as frontline and essential workers.
 
-Signor Vineyards is a boutique family vineyard nestled in the Texas Hill Country that features world-class charcuterie and wine, French country gardens, and farmhouse shopping at Joanna’s Market. 

-Due to COVID-19 Signor Vineyards is closed for tastings but wine can be purchased through their drive-thru and online. 
 
 
Signor Vineyards and their employees have launched the Bottles for the Frontline campaign. Bottles for the Frontline is an initiative to share some liquid relief and words of encouragement to workers who are a part of the front line and relief efforts in fighting COVID-19. 

The Signor team have sent bottles and taken to social media to share personal notes to their loved ones. Bottles from the family vineyard are being distributed to brave men and women throughout the country. Among them are a COVID ICU Nurse at the University of Chicago, Store manager at Texas grocery store chain, HEB, Surgical RN, and many others. 

“We understand how much our frontline workers are sacrificing and putting at risk for our community. Many are working through such stressful situations and do not have the comfort of hugging their children and being around their family. We thought this small gesture could help instill a little hope and relaxation in this time.” – Will Coker, General Manager 

Typically, Springtime brings the Bluebonnets and thousands of visitors from across the country to Fredericksburg, Texas. 

Like many vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, Signor Vineyards has closed their tasting room doors until further notice and have switched to drive-thru and online sales. This has been a change of pace for the vineyard, which has become a destination where friends and family come from all over to congregate.

“A big part of what we do is bring people together. And even though we cannot do that at this time, we can carry on the feeling of joy and fellowship that comes when you open a bottle. We know that our frontline workers deserve much more than but it’s the least we can do.” Clay Signor, Owner/ Proprietor 

In the spirit of giving back, Signor Vineyards is taking nominations for frontline workers. People can nominate and share stories of the heroes in their lives by commenting on their Facebook or Instagram post. Signor Vineyards is also encouraging other wineries and vineyards to join their cause and share their photos using #bottles4frontline. 

Signor Vineyards is located at 362 Livesay Lane, Fredericksburg, TX. Visit www.signorvineyards.com or follow them on facebook or Instagram @signorvineyards. 

 

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, coronavirus, COVID-19

In COVID Fashion

With the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the shortfall of supplies and equipment for healthcare workers was inevitable. In this time of uncertainty, New Yorkers as well members of a global society are dependent upon community outreach and government. Leaders like Michael Costillo, Christian Soriano and GAP have taken action by lending their resources to impact the scarcity in surgical mask industry.

As of late, stylist/designer Armon Hayes created a protective mask for 360 Magazine’s Vaughn Lowery. Not your typical medical face mask, it was derived from Gucci fabric from a vintage belt bag with velcro stone wash denim straps. Designed out of necessity, fashionable protection is sweeping the market. The idea of a protective mask is becoming a part of our normalcy, inducing creativity during these turbulent times.

Free Online Game And Slot Websites To Pass The Time

As of recent, people have had to hunker down in their homes due to the COVID-19 epidemic that has brought the world to an abrupt halt. Many states and cities have ordered residents to stay in their homes at this time in an effort to deter the spreading of the virus. 

Now that people are in their homes for longer periods of time than they are used to, one thing is certain: they’re getting BORED! If this happens to apply to you, and you find yourself bored often on a day-to-day basis, then perhaps you could use some free games to help out that problem.

On various websites and platforms, you can gain access to a ton of free games, such as online slots, puzzle games, RPGs, shooters, and so much more. There’s an abundance of free online games and slots out there, and this list was made to show you some of the best websites to refer to. Staying at home doesn’t have to be so boring, after all. 

Free Online Slot Websites

There’s plenty of websites to choose from to find online slots, which has been one of the most popular forms of entertainment during this quarantine for many people. This list will make it easier to find the best websites available.

Casino.org

This website is one that is packed with a ton of information, and offers an abundance of free slots and games to be enjoyed by site viewers! They don’t require you to sign up, so you won’t have to worry about wasting time on that. When on their website, head to the ‘Free Games’ module, filter it to ‘Slots’, and check out their selection! In their library, they have some of the classics like Golden Legend, and Mystery Joker. They have over 7,000 free games and slots to be enjoyed, so get over there ASAP!

Slotsup.com

Whereas the website that was mentioned just before has over 7,000 games and slots in their library, slotsup.com has over 7,000 slot games alone! That is certainly an impressive abundance of free slot games to choose from. On their website, they make it clear to you that they have a big passion for free slot games, and want to extend that joy to you. It’s important to get some practice in before you get to using real money, and this is exactly what you can do when you visit their site. Whether you are on Mac, PC, or mobile, you can view and play these slot games in Full HD. 

Twin.com

Even though they are widely used for the live casino and real-money betting features, twin.com also has a ton of free slot games to enjoy on their website. They have more of a modern take on slot games, featuring some of the newest and more comprehensive ones available. Some slot games they have include Book Of Dead, Immortal Romance, Reactoonz, and much more. 

Freeslots99.com

Just like the name suggests, you can find plenty of free slots to play on this website. This website is dedicated to bringing you an abundance of free slot games, which is why they have over 20,000 of them! They pull many of their free slot games from software providers such as IGT, WMS and Aristocrat. They have all of the popular ones, like Big Buffalo, Bikini Beach and Leprechaun Riches. 

Free Online Game Websites

Addictinggames.com

One of the most classic websites for online games still lives on to this day, and is better than ever. On this website, there are tons of categories of games to choose from, all for free to play at your own leisure. Many games on this website can be accessed with just one click, and do not require any external downloading. This makes the website much more user friendly, and overall more convenient to use. The only downside is that the ads that are run on this website are unskippable, so you’ll have to sit through them each time they come up. 

Agame.com

This is another website that has been around for quite some time, and has always catered to audiences of different ages. Often, free game sites can have games that may be unnecessary for children to view, but Agame.com features a kids section, which makes it easier for both the kid and the parents. Regardless, the website has many categories of games to choose from, such as adventure, action, racing, and much more. Sometimes, ads can pop up while in gameplay, but they aren’t typically too long. 

Boredgames.com

Just like we’ve mentioned earlier, people are BORED! And this is why they need somewhere to turn to for some entertainment, such as boredgames.com! The site, though it is called ‘bored’ games, features anything but boring games. There are no downloads required for any games on this site, so you can get to playing right away. You can find games in categories such as puzzle, action, strategy, fighting, etc. The website does make you download a Google Chrome extension, although, which may be annoying to some. But, if fun games are what you are looking for, boredgames.com has them!

Playretrogames.com

Who doesn’t love a whirlwind of nostalgia delivered in the form of a videogame? On this website, you can play a ton of retro / classic games that were once widely played. The library of games on this website consists of popular games from the NES era, such as Jurassic Park, Castlevania, Mario’s Time Machine, NHL Hitz, etc. The best part is, most of the games support an NES controller, so if you have one, fire it up! Sometimes, the games can take a while to load, especially if your internet is being slow. 

Conclusion

In order to stay more occupied during this crazy time, where we’re all being forced to stay inside for longer amounts of time, it would be smart to check out some free online slot and game websites. These can be played for hours at a time, with no cost to you. These websites include addictinggames.com, freeslots99.com, casino.org, boredgames.com, and many more! They’re all free to use, so why not give them a shot?

Former Vice President Joe Biden Knows America’s “Dirty Little Secret”

Former Vice President Joe Biden Knows America’s “Dirty Little Secret”

Former Vice President Joe Biden has called it a, “public health epidemic.” A “stain on the moral character of a society.” An issue that “cuts to the very core of how we measure ourselves.” Joe Biden believes, “We must change the culture.” See Joe Biden live, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 28, 2019.

Fort Lauderdale, FLA – Hope for Children Foundation®! ; mission stands firmly in supporting the prevention of cruelty to children, extending and offering protection to children, families and adults in the United States through free online video and movie education. Hope for Children Foundation celebrates the lives of children and families in the United States of America.

The FBI reported 97% of abused children reported to the legal system are not protected.

Read more about this and view free online videos by going to the Website: www.hopeforchildrenfoundation.org  Hope for Children Foundation’s presence is throughout the United States due to the power of the Internet. Many free movies and videos are available for your increased protection and knowledge. Be careful and make sure you are on the correct URL address. A few others wrongly use our name. We have the Trademark Registration number 5,409,810.

Joe Biden has spent more than 25 years fighting to end violence against women, children and men, in the United States. In the 1990s, as a senator, he wrote the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which drastically changed how the U.S. responded to domestic violence and sexual assault. 

This video produced by Hope for Children Foundation shows how this Act offers protection to women, children and men:

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/zZAPzGy7HZI

Donations to Hope for Children Foundation

You can donate online through Paypal or mail a check to a safe P.O. Box 191028  Dallas, TX  75219. All of our training has always been free to everyone. Therefore, we greatly appreciate your donation to further the future of Hope for Children Foundation.

Abuse of Power – Help End the Cycle of Abuse

Joe Biden was raised by a gentle, honorable man who always taught his children that the greatest sin anyone could commit is the abuse of power — and the cardinal sin is when a man raises his hand to a woman or a child or someone with less physical power, including raising a hand to a weaker man.

When he started to work on this issue, violence against women, children and men, were not taken as seriously, and survivors were not given the recourse they deserved. Too often, victims of violent crimes were blamed. Too often, perpetrators were not prosecuted.

Joe Biden, Hope for Children Foundation, and many others, are convinced America needs to change its culture. And in order to change the culture, we have to pull the mask off of this dirty little secret. A simple message for all Americans:  You should be the ultimate agents of change. It’s time for all of you to step up. 

Think about a culture that exists when a victim who’s been abused or raped is asked all the wrong questions: Why were you there? What were you wearing? What did you say? Why did you say it? What were you drinking? Those are all the wrong questions. It’s never the victim’s fault.

The right questions are: What made that person think they had a right to touch me?  Why on Earth did no one step up when they had the chance? Or for you men:  Why didn’t I have the courage to speak up — to intervene, to act?  Men to ask yourselves: What would I have done if she was my sister?

Passing the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, has literally saved lives. Women, men and children need to know they won’t be abused again by the system, they’re reporting violen! ce at higher rates. Twenty – five years ago, there was no domestic violence hotline — now 3.4 million women and men have called the National Domestic Violence Hotline and gotten support and help.

The yearly domestic violence rates dropped 64 percent between 1993 and 2010. There were no special victims units — now, police departments across the country have specially trained personnel to treat domestic abuse as crime rather than a private matter. The culture is changing so that abusers are now treated as the criminals they are. It’s no longer acceptable for a man to abuse a woman in public or privately in the home. Sexism is no longer tolerated. We no longer remain silent when a woman is being abused in front of us. The #MeToo and #Time’sUp Movements have helped to empower victims of violent crimes. The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.

We all should take a pledge and act on three things: (1) I promise to intervene instead of being a bystander. (2) I promise to recognize that any time consent is not given — or cannot be given — it’s sexual assault and it’s a crime; and (3) I promise to do everything I! can to create an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable, where survivors are supported, where perpetrators are treated with the moral and legal accountability they deserve. 

Healthy Support for the United States of America

Joe Biden by instinct and long experience has shown he has the ability to reach across the aisle and return this country to civility and compromise with integrity, respect, dignity and honor in the best interest of protecting Americans, and other people around the world. Joe Biden is interested in all Americans and supports a healing process for all to experience. Hope for Children Foundation encourages you to attend Joe Biden’s American Promise Tour. We did, and realized America is better off having a man and a women standing strong for Americans like former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.hopeforchildrenfoundation.org

Opioid Epidemic

The painful and prevalent problem of opioid addiction plaguing families across our country has sparked national attention as the overdose death rates of these individuals has skyrocketed the past few years. The pervasiveness of the opioid epidemic is due in large part to the over-prescription of opioid pain medication and the highly addictive nature of these medications. Pharmaceutical companies and morally-corrupt doctors threw caution to the wind as “pill-mills” popped up all over the US. Although opioid use often begins with a legitimate injury and prescription for pain medication, those unfamiliar with the dangers of addiction are naïve to the depths of depravity it can take even the most innocent of souls.

As tolerance to the drug builds, the individual takes more than prescribed to alleviate the pain. Eventually, the suggestion is made to crush the pill and snort it for a better, more immediate high. The treatment morphs into a habit, then an obsession. Most opioid addictions escalate to intravenous use. Though the person previously swore never to pick up a needle, the temptation outweighs the willpower, and life becomes consumed with chasing the euphoria of that first shot. At this point, the sheer financial burden of the habit is insurmountable. Lying, cheating, stealing, anything becomes justifiable in the name of the next fix.

Inevitably, the solution becomes substituting the FDA regulated pills for the significantly cheaper heroin, which promises a more intense high. The recent inclusion of fentanyl in heroin increases the potency and the likelihood of overdose and death. Suffering with addiction is painful, exhausting, and frightening. Attempting sobriety means enduring withdraws, reality, feelings, and memories. Negative experiences with shady recovery businesses leaves clients feeling jaded and mistrustful. Unfortunately, many treatment centers view clients as numbers or worse, dollar signs.

They treat clients according to insurance benefits rather than clients’ needs. Once insurance quits paying, clients are dropped off at bus stations to fend for themselves with no resources. Luckily, the substance abuse field is starting to shift, and task forces in South Florida are shutting down illegitimate “treatment centers” whose sole focus is greed. Cleaning up the reputation of the recovery realm paves the way for companies genuinely vested in the best interest of the clients and the communities, like Delphi Behavioral Health Group. With fifteen treatment facilities in various locations across the United States offering the spectrum of care, Delphi understands every client is unique and so too is the specific treatment needed. Willing to step outside the norm, Delphi launched New Perspectives in Boynton Beach, Florida, a medication-assisted treatment facility.

MAT, while still somewhat controversial, is becoming an optimal treatment option for those suffering from long-term opioid addiction that have tried and failed at traditional, abstinence-based treatment models. New Perspectives offers a contingency-based model with highly monitored and conservative doses of Suboxone films. Suboxone decreases cravings for opioids and initiates withdrawal symptoms if opioids are ingested. Clients must be compliant with the clinical program to receive their prescriptions. Suboxone, in conjunction with intensive therapeutic services, provides a real opportunity for those afflicted with opioid addiction to finally create a life of sobriety. True, there is an opioid epidemic afflicting our nation, but new medications and treatment modalities bring hope that its reign is nearing an end.

Jennifer Behnke, MS, LMFT, LMHC, QS
Jennifer Behnke, Clinical Director at New Perspectives, has worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse for over a decade. Jennifer graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2012 with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. In 2014, Jennifer became a licensed mental health counselor and licensed marriage & family therapist. At that time, she opened her private practice and took a position as a clinical director. Jennifer helped launch the medication-assisted treatment program at New Perspectives and became a qualified supervisor. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in marriage & family therapy with a specialization in couples therapy at Northcentral University.

Written by Jennifer Behnke