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By 12th March 2018

Artist Nan Goldin stages opioids protest in Metropolitan Museum Sackler Wing

New York Big Pharma demonstration sees activists dump specially made bottles in moat around Egyptian Temple of Dendur.

The artist Nan Goldin and around 100 fellow demonstrators threw pill bottles into the moat surrounding an ancient Egyptian temple at the Metropolitan Museum in New York on Saturday, to protest sponsorship by the family that owns one of the largest makers of opioids. 

The pill bottles had been labeled by the protesters to say “prescribed to you by the Sackler Family”. The Sackler family wholly owns Purdue Pharma, which makes the prescription painkiller OxyContin. In 1974, the family paid for the Sackler Wing at the Met, in which the 2,000-year-old Temple of Dendur stands.

Goldin, who recently recovered from a near-fatal addiction to OxyContin, led the protest. “Shame!” she shouted. “As artists and activists we demand funding for treatment: 150 people will die today, 10 while we are standing here, from drug overdoses.”

Security guards allowed the protesters to stage a die-in as puzzled tourists looked on.

“Disperse, please,” guards called. One, who would not give his name, told the Guardian he agreed with the action.

“Sacklers lie, people die,” Goldin chanted.

She said: “We want the Sacklers to put their money into rehab not museums.”

One protester, Bob Alexander, a city guide for tourists, said he had once had an opioid problem.

“The Sackler family has made a lot of money out of OxyContin and they didn’t tell people how addictive it is,” he said. “Putting profits into cultural philanthropy is hypocritical.”

Hundreds of pill bottles were thrown into the moat. One guard ripped down a banner that read: “Fund rehab.” After about 20 minutes, Goldin led the protesters out of the museum peacefully. 

Goldin planned the action as a protest against museums, galleries and academic institutions in the US, UK and elsewhere which take donations from the Sackler family. The Sacklers donated $3.4m to the Met, a gift that was used to build a home for the Temple of Dendur, one of the institution’s most popular draws. 

Goldin revealed recently that she developed a dependency on opioids after being prescribed OxyContin while recovering from wrist surgery in Berlin in 2014.

A former heroin addict, she said she became addicted to the powerful painkillers “overnight”. When she could not get the pills by prescription, she began buying them from street dealers. That led her to take heroin and fentanyl when she could not get pills and to almost suffer a fatal overdose.

Speaking to the Guardian in an exclusive interview in January, Goldin said she did not know how the Sackler heirs descended from the late Mortimer and Raymond Sackler, and according to Forbes worth at least $13bn collectively, could “live with themselves”.

Goldin wants Sackler family members to put money into rehabilitation centers rather than art and academic philanthropy. She also wants museums to stop taking donations from the Sackler family and to stand with her campaign to expose pharmaceutical companies that made fortunes from opioids.

Such companies, collectively known as big pharma, are facing hundreds of lawsuits brought by US cities, counties and states. OxyContin is regarded as the “ground zero” of the opioid crisis because in 1996 it was released as the first of a new breed of slow-release, morphine-type prescription pills.

Developed to treat acute post-surgical pain and terminal cancer patients, such pills were marketed as a treatment for chronic pain. It emerged, however, that they could be addictive even as prescribed.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: www.theguardian.com

The White House Hosts Opioid Summit

By 1st March 2018

President Trump Hosts Opioid Summit At The White House

Each day, the opioid epidemic claims more than 115 lives. David Greene talks to Surgeon General Jerome Adams about the administration’s strategy for fighting addiction. The summit convenes today, Thursday, March 1st.

Click the image below to listen to the full report from NPR.

FDA to broaden access to Medication-Assisted Treatment

By 26th February 2018

FDA to broaden access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

Posted: Feb 26, 2018 11:03 AM

Updated: Feb 26, 2018 11:24 AM

By Nadia Kounang CNN 

(CNN) — The Food and Drug Administration expects to roll out guidance on expanded access to opioid addiction therapy known as medication-assisted treatment, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Saturday at a meeting of the National Governor’s Association.

As a practice, such treatment utilizes behavioral therapy as well as medications like buphrenorphine and methadone that can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms from opioid use. Many addiction specialists consider it the gold standard of addiction treatment.

“Medication-assisted treatment works. The evidence on this is voluminous and ever-growing,” Azar said.

His comments were a stark contrast to those of his predecessor Tom Price, who said of such treatment, “If we’re just substituting one opioid for another, we’re not moving the dial much.”

Azar pointed out that just one-third of specialty addiction treatment programs in the United States offer the therapy. “Failing to offer (medication-assisted treatment) is like treating an infection without antibiotics,” Azar said, vowing to increase those numbers.

As part of the effort, Azar announced that the FDA would soon be issuing guidance to encourage the development of longer-acting formulations of current therapies. The FDA has approved methadone, naltrexone and buprenophine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. However, one of the barriers to effective treatment, according to addiction specialists, is that these drugs require commitment to consistent and constant administration.

“Injections make adherence easier. You only need a shot once a month rather than going to get it every day. But they also can be more feasible in rural settings, where the opioid crisis has hit especially hard and yet treatment options can be especially sparse,” Azar said.

He noted that the FDA recently approved a one-month injectable version of buphrenorphine and said he hopes the upcoming FDA guidance would help encourage the creation of other injectable forms of the drug.

“FDA’s guidance will help clarify what kind of evidence is needed to gain approval for new … forms of buprenorphine, such as data regarding how quickly the drug is distributed in the bloodstream,” Azar said.

The secretary also announced that the FDA would soon be issuing guidance around studies that evaluated the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment.

“The guidance will correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence in order for MAT to be considered effective,” Azar said. He explained that other targets aside from abstinence would be considered when evaluating therapies, such as how treatment is impacting emergency-room visits or overdoses.

Addiction specialist Dr. Andrew Kolodny was optimistic but cautious of the announcement. “The changes mentioned for determining effectiveness of new medicines make sense. And we can certainly use more tools in the toolkit. But we don’t want FDA to go so far that ineffective medications get approved,” said Kolodny, a co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School at Brandeis University.

Caleb Banta-Green, a researcher at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, said the issue wasn’t a need for more treatments but more access. “We have pretty good medications now. The real problem is deploying them to the 80%-plus who want them and can’t access them through our complicated health care system.”

Kolodny agreed. “We already have effective medications for treating opioid addiction. Buprenorphine works. It’s the first-line treatment, but access is inadequate. Not enough doctors are prescribing it. Until we do a better job of improving access to the treatments we have, overdose deaths are likely to remain at historically high levels.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent data on drug overdoses, more than 42,000 people died from opioid drug overdoses in 2016, much of it driven by the rapid rise in use of synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl.

TM & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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Our Programs

Our ‘Quick Start Program’, is offered for a minimum of 90 days, to our residents. There is also an aftercare program that residents can take advantage of, who choose to extend their stay beyond 90 days. Learn more here

ViVRE management, employees, and volunteers are all dedicated to helping clients in need of employment, by providing guidance, life skills, resume building, and job coaching, along with regular reporting to government agencies. Learn More Here

SMART Recovery stands for “Self-Management and Recovery Training“, a science-based program that helps people to recover from a variety of addictive behaviors, including drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex, and food addiction. Learn More Here

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Fit Four Life ViVRE program for our residents

Coach Carl Hargrave interviews a resident success story. Coach Carl comes to the sites and works with our residents to incorporate fitness and recovery. We are a federally-recognized, non-profit organization, dedicated to providing safe and structured sober living options for the otherwise homeless ex-offender. Our program operates with an emphasis on sobriety, personal responsibility, and self-sufficiency.

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90 days – however case by case it can be extended.  The goal is self sufficiency in 90 days.  Some good reasons for extensions would be wait lists for other housing programs, interstate compact, financial stability.  We also do have other long term supportive housing options.

There are several ways.  In prison – the case manager (CPO or COIII) will initiate the application process, typically 6 months prior to release.  Potential residents can also be referred by their parole and probation officer through various programs- talk to them about wanting to come to ViVRE.  Self referrals are also possible by calling our self-pay intake coordinator Ryan at 602-394-0961.  You may also write to ViVRE PO Box 44701 Phoenix, AZ 85064

All intakes are based on availability, which changes often.  We don’t discriminate and are all about giving men and women a second chance in life,  so there are only a few restrictions due to statute and insurance.  We cannot accept sex offenders, arsonists or those with seriously violent histories in our programs.

It is apartment style living- we have the basics provided, sheets, blanket, hygiene box, food is also provided in phase 1 (until employment is secured).  Allot of residents like to bring their own hygiene, their own blanket and pillow, you do have food storage space.  You may bring a small alarm clock, a reasonable amount of clothing, food a bicycle, laptop or even a vehicle if you have a license and registration/ insurance proof.  Due to limited space you may not bring  a TV, excessive belongings or alcohol based products.  A full list of items not allowed are gone over during intake.

Yes it is 8 pm upon intake until stability is reached and maintained.  The elements of stability include- gainful employment, zero balance of fees, adherence to rules of program (and parole/ probation supervision if applicable) maintaining sobriety, helping out with chores, etc.  This also results in phase up of program which allows for a later curfew and the potential for an overnight pass.  The goal is stability and sobriety.

Not necessarily.  We understand that housing is an immediate need and that homelessness compounds triggers of substance use disorder.  Therefore we have developed a smartfocus entry into our program.  It allows someone to access public detoxification (through our partnership with CBi at no cost to the end user) if detox isn’t needed and you are positive for a substance then we will help you get the necessary medical clearance (including transport to and from the detox) before starting the program.

For everyone’s safety the only visitors allowed (after initial intake)  are residents, staff and public officials.  Verifiable case managers are also allowed to staff in our offices with you.

 No – we partner with licensed agencies who can provide  these services.  We only provide quality structured sober living.  We can connect you with almost any resource that is needed.

Fees are different by specific program.  But generally unless referred by a parole/ community corrections officer (CCO) the fees must be paid for the week in advance by Sunday close of office.  Our residents in supportive long term housing fee payments are generally made monthly.