Eminem Is Celebrating 10 Years of Sobriety

The rapper has been open about his struggles with addiction since his 2007 overdose.

Eminem is celebrating a decade away from drugs.

“Celebrated my 10 years yesterday,” the 15-time Grammy winner wrote in a Sunday Instagram post. In the photo, he’s holding up a 10-year sobriety coin.

The rapper, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, has been open about his longtime struggle with an addiction to prescription medication, which culminated in a near-death overdose in 2007.

“Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died. My organs were shutting down. My liver, kidneys, everything,” he said in the documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs. “They were gonna have to put me on dialysis. They didn’t think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death.”

The 8 Mile star told Rolling Stone that he relapsed only three weeks after leaving the hospital. “Within a month, it had ramped right back to where it was before,” he said. “That’s what really freaked me out. That’s when I knew: I either get help, or I am going to die.”

Continue reading here.

Advertisements

Former US House Speaker to Promote Legalizing Marijuana

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization.

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he has had a change of heart on marijuana and will promote its nationwide legalization as a way to help veterans and the nation’s deadly opioid crisis.

The Ohio Republican, an avid cigarette smoker, has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings , a multistate cannabis company. The company also announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has joined its advisory board.

Weld, a Republican as governor, ran in the 2016 presidential election on the Libertarian Party ticket that was headed by legal-pot advocate Gary Johnson.

Boehner said in a statement his position “has evolved” from opposing to supporting legalization of marijuana.

Read the rest of the article here.

One Alcoholic Drink a Day Could Shorten Your Life, According to New Study

Here’s some sobering news: A large international study says adults should average no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and that means drinking guidelines in many countries may be far too loose.

The study found that people who down more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.

“What this is saying is, if you’re really concerned about your longevity, don’t have more than a drink a day,” said David Jernigan, a Johns Hopkins University alcohol researcher who was not involved in the study.

The authors say the findings are in line with NHS recommendations that women and men drink no more than 14 units (about six glasses) a week. The NHS also advises that if you do drink this much, you should spread it over at least three days.

While the U.S. government currently recommends no more than seven drinks a week for women, the recommendation for men is 14 drinks.

Canada and Sweden have guidelines similar to those in the U.S. set by the Department of Agriculture. But some countries have much higher ceilings – Spain and Romania set the upper limit for men at the equivalent of 20 drinks each week, for example.

U.K. guidelines were like the U.S. standards until two years ago, when health officials brought the recommendation for men down to the level for women.

To read further, click here.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana Article

As a supporter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, you have long known that the marijuana industry is concerned with one thing and one thing only…

Profits.

With that in mind, a recent study by the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that close to 70% of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were recommending high-potency THC products to pregnant mothers as a “treatment” for symptoms of morning sickness.

Nearly two-thirds of dispensary workers who recommended marijuana to the expectant mothers did so based on “personal opinion,” and not any level of medical expertise.

Even more disturbing, so-called “medical” dispensaries were more likely to recommend marijuana than retail dispensaries were – 83% and 60% respectively.

As you and I well know, dispensary workers are only licensed to sell to people who have medical cards, most of these dispensaries are not staffed by medical doctors.

The fact is, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana use during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and developmental problems.

Even worse, marijuana use during pregnancy has been linked to a rare, fatal developmental disorder known as anencephaly. This tragic development prevents parts of the skull from fully forming in the womb and usually results in stillbirth.

Frankly, I am outraged.

We knew that the marijuana industry was willing to go to vast lengths in order to make a profit, but this is going too far.

SAM is working diligently to bring the ugly truths of the harms of marijuana to the forefront of the national discussion, but it is neither easy nor cheap.

That said, would you please consider chipping in a small donationtoday?

Your donation, no matter the size, will go a long way toward providing SAM with the resources necessary to break through the noise and show the marijuana industry for what it really is…the rebirth of Big Tobacco.

Dr. Kevin Sabet
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana

About SAM

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states. For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit http://www.learnaboutsam.org.

www.learnaboutsam.org

When Suppliers Morph into Retailers

When I started as an alcohol regulator, Oregon had many small wineries producing good wine—some of which was world class. But most wineries were very small and sometimes had difficulty “getting their product to market.” These wineries felt they needed to develop a market before a distributor would be interested in partnering, and/or they feared getting lost in the portfolio of larger wine and spirit distributors. One method they pursued was selling their products at local festivals.

Some of these festivals got out of control. It turned out that wineries were inexperienced and unskilled in responsible serving practices. Attendees got intoxicated after having too many “tastes” and minors were served.

Eventually, we developed rules for festivals that included limits on servings and the size of a “taste”, requirements for server training and other responsibility measures. As a result, these events became less of a problem.

Responsible retailing of alcohol is exceptionally important. We rely on our retail licensees to prevent sales to minors and intoxicated persons. This takes skill in observation, judging age, checking ID, knowing the signs of intoxication, and handling very delicate situations.

But now we face another situation where suppliers are entering the retail business, sometimes without the training or skills needed for good retailing. Today, we have over 6,000 breweries, the majority of which are small microbreweries or brew pubs. They may perceive similar challenges “getting their product to market,” or have developed a business model selling their product direct to consumers from a tap room. It is not uncommon for these tap rooms to become full-fledged restaurants and entertainment venues. Rather than have some people come in and taste the product for possible future sale, their model entails large numbers of customers drinking substantial amounts of product.

Read the rest of the Healthy Alcohol Marketplace newsletter here.

Alcohol Awareness Month and College Drinking

April is Alcohol Awareness month and it seems like many young people are getting the message. The good news is that they’re are drinking less than previous generations. Surveys of 8th, 10th and 12th graders show that rates have been steadily declining. The current cohort of college students are consuming less alcohol than in previous years, and their non-student peers are drinking even less.

There is speculation that the “Generation Z” cohort tend to be conscientious about what they consume and are not interested in repeating the embarrassing antics of earlier generations. They seem to be more accepting of others’ choices, including not drinking.

But overuse of alcohol is still taking a big toll on college campuses. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

  • About 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • About 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault.
  • About 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.

The drinking culture can vary from college to college but at schools where spectator sports are big, drinking rates tend to be higher. A study on the correlation between March Madness participation and college drinking found that one-third of students over 21 and one-fourth of underage students engaged in binge drinking when the school team was part of the NCAA Tournament. They also found that when alcohol was less available at sporting events there were fewer “arrests, assaults, ejections from the stadium, and student referrals to the judicial affairs office,” — all unfortunate situations that can have an impact on a student’s academic future.

Read the rest of the article here.

Medical marijuana troubles Ohio doctors: ‘Although it’s natural, (it’s) not like a vitamin’

Almost daily, Dr. Gogi Kumar is questioned at Dayton Children’s Hospital about medical marijuana by concerned parents of children who suffer from seizures.

Kumar is not alone in the curiosity she receives from patients about Ohio’s confusing medical marijuana program that is expected to begin in September.

Doctors told this newspaper they are bombarded with questions about medical marijuana and are concerned because they don’t have all the answers. There is an information gap on questions such as how effective marijuana is for specific disorders, how the compounds affect children and how it interacts with other medications, doctors said.

Read more of the article here.

John Goodman used to drink at work during struggle with alcoholism

John Goodman admits he used to drink on the job before he managed to get sober.

The actor, who has been open about his past issues with alcohol, says he feels fortunate he was able to sustain his career while he was going through the personal battle behind the scenes.

“I got so lucky because I was still getting hired for things, but the fact is I was drinking at work,” Goodman told “Sunday Today” host Willie Geist in an interview set to air Sunday.

“My speech would be slurred. I thought I was fooling people. My cheeks would turn bright red when I was liquored up. I just looked like a stop sign.”

Goodman, 65, has now been sober for a decade. He says he knew he needed to address his problem after a long weekend of drinking where he pretended to be golfing with friends.

Read more here.

‘Tough Talk’ With Your Aging Parents Is Now More About Prescription Drug Abuse Than Finances

It used to be that having the “tough talk” with your aging parents meant trying to get them to open up about their finances and plans for their future, including their desires about what they want us to do when they die. But, a new survey, “The Tough Talk: Aging Parents and Substance Abuse,” commissioned by WellCare Health Plans, Inc., opens up a whole new area to explore with those older relatives, including, for some of us, with our spouses.

More than half of those surveyed – all of whom were adults with living parents/in-laws, as well as with at least one child aged 13 or older – reported that they are more concerned about prescription drug abuse with their aging parents than with their children. Yet almost two-thirds feel less able to help their parents than they are to help their kids. One of the reasons for this, which the survey also revealed, is that more than half don’t know what prescription drugs their parents take.

“Understandably, it may feel uncomfortable and invasive for adults to ask their aging parents what prescription drugs they’re taking, or how much alcohol they consume,” said Michael Polen, executive vice president, Medicare and operations at WellCare. “Despite this, however, it’s in the best interest of parents’ health to understand exactly what they are taking – and how often – to keep them safe and in good health.”

Continue reading here.

Ohio pharmacists must reveal cheaper drug options after ‘gag order’ removed

Fill a prescription at a pharmacy, and you might not pay the lowest price available.

Say you have insurance that requires a $20 co-pay for a prescription. That same prescription might cost only $10 if purchased without insurance.

Some insurers and pharmacy benefits programs prohibit pharmacists from telling you about lower-cost options. In the example above, you’d be charged $20 — and the pharmacist would be prohibited from telling you the medicine would have cost $10 if you paid for it out of pocket, without presenting your insurance card.

In Ohio, that changed Wednesday. The Department of Insurance ordered insurance companies and pharmacy benefits programs to remove the “gag order” on pharmacists.

That means pharmacists would be free to tell consumers how to get their drugs at the lowest cost. In the example above, you’d get to pay $10, not $20.

Read the rest of the article here.