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 System4 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

Stop Stigma

Maureen MurdockMental Illness3 Comments

Stigma Free Campaign Badge

Welcome to those of you who have been loyal followers of my blog on mental illness, addiction and criminal justice reform. I will continue blogging on these topics from my new blog on this website. I hope you will continue to follow the blog and raise awareness about mental illness, addiction and criminal justice so that we can remove the … Read More

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

Maureen MurdockMemoir Writing0 Comments

Art of Memoir book cover

I have been reading Mary Karr’s excellent book, The Art of Memoir, and sharing it with my memoir group. I think is the best book on writing memoir out there. Karr knows what she’s talking about because she has written three memoirs, including Liar’s Club, Cherry and Lit, and she is often credited with popularizing the genre. I was teaching … Read More

Memoirists are Our Contemporary Mythmakers

Maureen MurdockMemoir Writing, Mythology1 Comment

I believe that memoirists are our contemporary mythmakers. When I was teaching a course entitled Myth and Memoir at Pacifica Graduate Institute it became clear to me that some of the same archetypal themes found in myth, such as a search for origins, for one’s identity, the mother-child relationship, initiation, journey, descent and return were also found in contemporary memoirs. … Read More

CDC Takes Action to Stem Deaths from Drug Overdoses

Maureen MurdockAddiction4 Comments

addiction and prescription drugs

There is an epidemic of deaths from drug overdoses in nearly every county across the U.S. driven by an increase in addiction to both prescription painkillers like OxyCondin, Vicodin and Percocet as well as heroin. The number of these deaths reached 47,055 people in 2014, equivalent to 125 Americans everyday. West Virginia, which has many blue-collar workers who tend to … Read More

What is Memoir Writing?

Maureen MurdockMemoir Writing0 Comments

MemoirWriting

Memoir often gets confused with autobiography and biography. Memoir is not a linear autobiography recounting a fully lived life, but rather a selected aspect of the writer’s life, written from his or her point of view. Rather than simply recounting an incident or memory from her life, the memoirist both tells the story and tries to make meaning out of … Read More

Drug Overdoses for Young Whites an Epidemic: Police Chief’s Solution

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Criminal Justice System13 Comments

young woman contemplating syringe

The mortality rates for heart disease, HIV and cancer have decreased for young whites aged 25-34 while drug related deaths due to both oxycontin and heroin have skyrocketed. At the same time, the death rate for young blacks due to overdoses is falling. Young whites death rates for overdoses for both illegal and prescription drugs are the highest since the … Read More

Why ARE We Afraid of the Mentally Ill?

Maureen MurdockMental Illness9 Comments

Last month 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier was shot dead by a Chicago police officer after his father placed a 911 call because LeGrier was acting irrationally, wielding a baseball bat. This was not his first confrontation with the law but the death of LeGrier, who suffered from mental illness, gained national attention because a bystander was also killed. 10 days after … Read More

Heroin: The Worst Drug Overdose Epidemic in United States History

Maureen MurdockAddiction19 Comments

Graph of increase in heroin deaths and overdoses

Addiction to heroin, and deaths from heroin overdoses has gained much needed attention from the public, legislators and law enforcement. Why? Nearly 90% of those who tried heroin for the first time in the last decade were white. Deaths from heroin use rose to 8,260 in 2013, quadruple that of 2000. New Hampshire is one of the hardest hit states; … Read More

A New Lease on Life

Maureen MurdockCriminal Justice System7 Comments

In 1992, Rudolph Norris, 58, was convicted of possessing and selling crack-cocaine and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. 30 years. He would have received a greatly reduced sentence for the same non-violent crime today but his conviction came during the war-on-drugs debacle of decades past. According to federal data, roughly ½ of the 1.5 million federal and state … Read More

De-Stigmatizing Methadone Treatment

Maureen MurdockAddiction11 Comments

Methadone chemical composition

We are being told that there’s a heroin epidemic in the United States that is killing scores of young people. The Midwest has become one of the hot spots of heroin use where it’s as easy to order it with your cell phone as it is to order pizza. Part of the reason there’s an increase of opiate use is … Read More