Let’s Try Portugal’s Solution to the Heroin Epidemic

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Criminal Justice System3 Comments

Last year approximately 64,000 Americans died of overdoses, as many as were killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars combined. More than fifteen years ago both Portugal and the U.S. were struggling with illicit drug use. The U.S. cracked down, spending billions of dollars incarcerating drug users. Portugal, on the other hand, decriminalized the use of all drugs in … Read More

What Happened?-Dealing with the Bully

Maureen MurdockCriminal Justice System, Women's Issues6 Comments

I’m reading Hillary Clinton’s account of her stunning loss in the 2016 Presidential election. In her memoir, What Happened, Clinton talks about the well-coordinated campaign by the Trump operatives to fuel anger throughout the country. As Trump continued to provoke violence in his rallies, she kept thinking, “People are going to be shocked by this.” But as we know, they … Read More

Drug Deaths Accelerate in 2016

Maureen MurdockAddiction6 Comments

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 because of synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl and its analogues. Drug overdoses killed about 64,000 people in the United States in 2016, which is an increase of 22% over drug deaths recorded in 2015. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. There has also been … Read More

Why Aren’t Men Outraged by the Republican Effort to Strip Women of Gynecological Care and Maternity Benefits?

Maureen MurdockUncategorized11 Comments

President Trump is the most hostile president the United States has ever had regarding reproductive rights and measures to promote sexual health. The current Republican health care plans (not dead yet) are an attack on obstetric and gynecological care showing nothing but contempt for women. The assault includes blocking Planned Parenthood from collecting Medicaid reimbursement for a year, forcing 50% … Read More

Grieving the End of Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction2 Comments

This is a guest post by Helen Jenkins about the stages of grief experienced by some who give up an addiction When we force a loved one in rehabilitation to immediately be happy or pick up where they left off, we deny them the right to grieve. Systemic therapist, Lindsay Kramer, notes that drug use can be intimate in nature: … Read More

The Washington D.C. March

Maureen MurdockArt and Creativity7 Comments

The day before the Inauguration, I went to the Newseum in Washington, DC., the dynamic interactive museum about the history of news including the printing press that printed copies of the Declaration of Independence after the hand-written original was signed. Among others, it has a fabulous exhibit about the Civil Rights Movement. Widely displayed are photos and news clippings from … Read More

Princess Leia Cast a Light on Bipolar Illness

Maureen MurdockBipolar Illness, Mental Illness4 Comments

Carrie Fisher did not shirk her role as an advocate for the de-stigmatization of bipolar illness. She brought the subject of bipolar into the popular culture in her writing and her one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking” where she first posited the idea of “Bipolar Pride Day.” Ms. Fisher was first diagnosed with bipolar at age 24 but like many people who … Read More

Surgeon General: Addiction is a Disease of the Brain, Not a Moral Weakness

Maureen MurdockAddiction1 Comment

Remember the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health that first linked cigarettes to cancer? Well, even if you don’t, it led to a successful national campaign against tobacco use. Yesterday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a call for a cultural shift in how we think about addiction in his 426 page report “Facing Addiction in America.” In it, … Read More

Four Traits that Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Adolescence1 Comment

On Tuesday, voters approved the legalization of marijuana in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and most likely in Maine, although that may face a recount. I did not support the initiative to legalize pot in California because I have seen too many students lose their edge and ambition as a result of heavy pot use and become passive zombies. Maia Szalavits, author … Read More

Smaller than a Snowflake

Maureen MurdockAddiction5 Comments

A synthetic drug called carfentanil, in an amount smaller than a snowflake, is killing people. More than 200 people in the Cincinnati area have overdosed on the drug in the last three weeks leaving 3 people dead. Similar overdoses have occurred in Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and the Gulf coast of Florida overwhelming ambulance crews and emergency rooms. Carfentanil is … Read More

Phase Out Private For-Profit Prisons

Maureen MurdockCriminal Justice System7 Comments

On August 18th, the Obama administration said it would begin to phase out the use of private for-profit prisons to house federal inmates. The deputy attorney general, Sally Q. Yates said that private prisons do not save substantially on costs and provide fewer rehabilitative services like education and job training that reduce recidivism when inmates are released. From 1980 to … Read More