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Thursday, June 20, 2013
What happens in the brain of an addict? This piece will explore how a necessary chemical in the brain, dopamine, becomes problematic in addiction. We’ll speak with Dr. Barry Hoffer, a retired neuroscientist who used to be the Chief Scientific Officer for the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
As of August 2011, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Criminal Justice Brief there were over 2,600 drug courts operating across the country, and 95 of those drug court programs can be found in Ohio. Some of these courts are given funding on the federal and state levels. While some programs focus specifically on medical treatment, others focus on examining the behavior of those in the program. In Medina County, Judge Christopher Collier implemented a drug court at one of the county’s Court of Common Pleas. His program is unlike most standard drug court models. Eight years ago Judge Collier decided to form a drug court program on his own, without any kind of government funding. His program focuses on teaching the participants’ accountability and assisting them on starting a new life-a life that’s completely drug free. Today Judge Collier’s drug court program helps those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction get a chance at recovery.
Experts often refer to addiction "as a young person’s disease." This story will look at why the brains of adolescents are particularly vulnerable to developing addiction. We'll speak with Dr. Christina Delos Reyes, an addiction specialist at UH and chief clinical officer of ADAMHS. We’ll also visit the non-profit addiction treatment center New Directions and speak with staff there as well as hear one young woman’s struggle with addiction.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. This story will look at the science behind quit-smoking programs and will profile a smoker who is trying to quit. We’ll speak with Ruth Golladay, PA, who heads up the Cleveland Clinic's Tobacco Treatment Center, and sit in on one of her counseling sessions with a client.
When do you have a problem? This story will explore the notion of an "almost alcoholic" - someone who might be heading towards full-blown addiction and would benefit from early recognition and help. We’ll speak through ISDN with Joe Nowinski, PhD, who co-authored the book "Almost Alcoholic" and is a clinical psychologist at the University of Connecticut Health Center. We will also hear from a man who never believed he was an "addict" and was never asked by doctors about his drinking; he now speaks openly about his drinking and currently works with addicts at a private outpatient facility in Massachusetts.
Brandy: 30-year old Brandy grew up in the suburbs and embarked on a downward spiral in her 20’s due to her heroin addiction. Brandy suffered different forms of abuse as a child and started drinking at age 13. She represents the complexity of treating addiction that is paired with co-existing mental health issues. During her most recent treatment program, which she completed in early 2010 at the Interval Brotherhood Home in Akron, Brandy was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is also currently being treated for depression. She’s been sober for almost three years.
This short informational piece uses graphics and animation, along with an interview from Doctor Jason Jerry at the Cleveland Clinic, to explain how the disease of addiction hijacks the brain’s natural reward pathway altering brain chemistry and impulse control.
Charlene: 54-year old Charlene was once a young wife and mother of two with a nice lifestyle. But she had a dark secret; she was addicted to drugs and alcohol. When crack became her drug of choice, Charlene would leave her family for days and weeks at a time; eventually she lost everything. Charlene recently completed a two-year stay at the Edna House, a local sober house for women, and is now trying to rebuild her relationship with her children after losing decades of precious time.
Pete: 58-year old Pete currently lives in Detroit but underwent treatment for gambling addiction at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Hospital -- home to the nation’s first gambling addiction treatment program. Pete was once a successful lawyer who describes himself as a good guy who went to church and sent his kids to parochial school. But Pete got sucked into life as a compulsive gambler. In one day at a Detroit casino, he lost $3 million. He pled guilty to fraud for writing a series of bad checks to the casino to cover his debt. As a result, Pete was disbarred and became very depressed. He’s now been clean for almost four years and helps run a 12-step program for other gambling addicts at Detroit’s VA Hospital.
Cliff: 41-year old Cliff illustrates the curse of relapse in the disease of addiction. Cliff battled addiction on and off as a young adult with crack as his drug of choice. He went through a 12-year period of sobriety – a time in which he had his dream job working for the City of Solon’s water department. But Cliff lost sight of what it takes to remain sober and began a four-year binge of using that left him jobless and homeless. Cliff has been sober since February 2012 and currently lives at Y-Haven, a Cleveland program for homeless men with substance abuse problems. Rick: Tag then interviews Dr. Gregory Collins, Head of Psychiatry and Psychology, Cleveland Clinic
Kellie: Kellie is a 39-year old mother who demonstrates how caregivers are on just as much of a journey as those with the addiction. For the last two-and-a half years, Kellie has been on a rollercoaster due to her 21-year old son’s addiction that started with prescription drugs and evolved into cocaine, heroin, and most recently bath salts. Her son has been in rehab eight times and been close to death more than once. Although he is currently sober, Kellie has reconciled herself to the fact that addiction could one day take her son’s life and she cannot control his disease. Kellie has now embarked on her own journey of advocacy to help other mother’s avoid the nightmare she’s endured. Rick: Interviews Christina Delos Reyes, Director, Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program, UH Case Medical Center and Clinical Director, Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services
Can you take a pill to cure your addiction? This piece will talk about the role of medications in treating addictions, with a focus on meds for treating opiate addiction. We’ll speak with Dr. Gregory Collins at the Cleveland Clinic. Collins has been in the addiction field for 40 years now and says the role of medications has revolutionized the way to treat certain addictions (notably: opiates, tobacco, and alcohol). We'll also hear the story of a father of triplets (from Euclid, Ohio) who got hooked on painkillers for years and finally got into rehab and has found help through medications to reduce cravings.
Why is it that so many people continue to struggle with their addictions, even after getting some sort of treatment? This story will explore the nature of relapse. We’ll speak with Amy Salim, a Substance Abuse Specialist at Case Western Reserve University, about what makes people prone to relapse and what can be done to help prevent it.
Profile of several cast members who are in the new, locally written, produced and presented play "Legally Addicted" about teens and prescription drug abuse presented by Fairmount Center for the Arts.
Last Reviewed: Sep 28, 2012