As first reported by The Courier-Journal, a Kentucky alcohol counselor and owner of a counseling center has been arrested for falsifying documents to help a client convicted of DUI get a driver's license. Richard Shelton's actions nearly allowed a three-time convicted drunk driver to get his license reinstated months too soon, and without doing the necessary work to prove his rehabilitation.
Because of of his arrest, Shelton's certification as an alcohol abuse counselor has been revoked. Shelton ran Shelton Counseling in Fairdale, Ky., where he treated 36-year-old Dennis Saling, who pleaded guilty to a third drunk driving arrest on January 9. Saling was court-ordered to attend Shelton's facility, where he was to complete 52-weeks of treatment. Kentucky law mandates that defendants attend a year-long treatment program for a third DUI conviction.
But just five months after Saling enrolled, Shelton signed a completion form declaring that Saling had successfully finished the program in accordance with the law. Further documentation shows that Saling's signature, which appeared on the center's sign-in sheets, was misspelled.
Jefferson County District Court Judge David Holton said that he was “disturbed that an accredited alcohol treatment provider would submit a letter of completion (that was false)…I certainly believe that further steps should be taken to make sure this provider and others are not engaging in that activity."
"This is a perpetration of fraud on the court," Holton added. "The integrity of our judicial system is of utmost importance.”
Shelton's attorney claimed the program completion documents weren't faked, but just inaccurate on account of clerical mistakes made by Shelton Counseling employees.
The state of Oklahoma has recently received a major financial boost to fight prescription drug abuse in a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The money will be dispersed over the next three years to help prevent prescription drug overdoses and deaths, as well as address the behaviors that trigger it. The state is also planning to use a portion of the money to improve its prescription drug monitoring program, in addition to identifying locations throughout Oklahoma where prescription drug abuse occurs more frequently.
The CDC reported that Oklahoma has the sixth-highest rate of overdose deaths in the country and the fifth-highest prescribing rate. In 2011, the state noted that 703 people died from drug overdoses, or roughly 19 out of every 100,000 people. The following year, Oklahoma doctors wrote up 128 opioid pain reliever prescriptions for every 100 people, well above the U.S. average of 83 prescriptions per 100 people.
“Prescription drug abuse is a scourge that has overtaken drugs like meth when it comes to harming the health of Oklahomans,” said Gov. Mary Fallin. “These additional resources will help us continue to strengthen successful state programs and ultimately save lives.”
The city of Tulsa has also been dealing with a violent meth trade. Although the number of meth labs throughout the city is down to 143, compared to a peak of 429 in 2011, the number of homicides related to the drug has increased. Two quadruple murders took place last year, while a 34-year-old man was beaten to death last November in a drug deal gone wrong.
State legislation passed in July 2012 that limited access to pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient in making meth.
In an all-too-familiar development, Michael Brown, the 18-year-old African-American man who was shot dead by Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, allegedly had marijuana in his system at the time he was killed.
The information was leaked by a person speaking on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation into Brown's death. But St. Louis County medical examiner, Mary Case, did confirm that Brown was shot multiple times in the head and chest. The preliminary results were consistent with the Brown family's own autopsy, which was conducted by certified physician Michael Baden.
Brown's death sparked outrage and protests that turned violent thanks in part to militarized police decked out in full-body armor driving tanks and firing tear gas. Many of those protesters anticipated Brown being vilified by the results of a drug test if it came back positive.
“What was in the system of that cop when he was pumping bullets into that boy’s body?” said one protest leader last Friday afternoon. Protesters demanded that Wilson submit to a drug test as well.
Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Brown family, said that he was unaware of any marijuana being found in Brown's body. Meanwhile, the Brown family gave permission to the Justice Department to conduct a third autopsy for its own separate investigation.
After opening up about her struggles with alcoholism earlier this year, it appears that ABC News reporter Elizabeth Vargas has gone back to rehab.
Vargas, who currently co-hosts the long-running 20/20, confirmed that she had checked into a treatment facility over the weekend while on vacation.
"As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process," Vargas said in an emailed statement. "I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry."
Her network confirmed that Vargas was being treated for alcoholism and expressed their support for her recovery in their own statement.
"We look forward to having her back at ABC News when she feels ready to return," ABC said.
Vargas previously checked into an undisclosed treatment facility in November 2013 to deal with her problem with alcohol for the first time.
“Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction,” she said at the time. “I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol.”
Vargas opened up to friend and colleague George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning, America back in January, stating that her problems with alcohol stemmed from childhood anxiety.
“I dealt with that anxiety, and with the stress that the anxiety brought by starting to drink. And it slowly escalated and got worse and worse,” she said.
The name of her current treatment facility remains undisclosed and her length of stay has yet to be determined.
It takes a few seconds on Google to realize that there are a lot of different rehabilitation and recovery centers in the U.S. alone. Many of them deal with drug and alcohol abuse, others deal with mental health issues, and some deal with both. Finding an optimal recovery center that combats your specific needs and conditions can be overwhelming.
Sovereign Health Group realized there was a dire need for a treatment organization offering clinically-driven and evidence-based treatment programs for adults and adolescents for addiction, dual-diagnosis, and mental health conditions. Sovereign Health has shown their commitment and dedication to keeping current with the latest cutting edge treatment options in the medical and addiction industries to make sure the patients receive the best possible treatment.
1. Serves adults, adolescents, and families
While most treatment centers offer help to one age group, Sovereign offers treatment centers for both adolescents aged 12 to 17 and adults aged 18 and older with a large range of treatment options for both groups. This includes treatments for detox, addiction, mental health disorders, and dual-diagnosis.
Sovereign also provides a family program that focuses on intensive family therapy. The family program helps to work on the healing of the family unit along with the individual in rehabilitation. This helps the family members understand their loved one’s conditions and offers the appropriate boundaries and support to help with recovery.
2. Offers evidence-based treatment programs for addiction, dual-diagnosis, and mental health
Sovereign Health lets their clients and their families know that recovery isn’t a guessing game. They offer treatment that is evidence-based on the latest medical research and approaches. The treatments that are offered to patients are geared to helping those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, mental health disorders, and coexisting conditions. These treatments are up-to-date and accompanied by top-of-the-line methods and equipment.
3. Cutting edge clinical services: cognitive and genetic testing, brain mapping, and biofeedback
What many people may not realize is that mental health is not the only thing that is based in the brain, addiction is too. Sovereign makes sure to do a thorough analysis of what is going on with their patients. They utilize cognitive and genetic testing along with brain mapping and biofeedback.
Sovereign monitors the signals that a patient’s body and mind send, and a physician and analyst confirm the messages with the initial assessment. The modern technology meters can determine if the patient’s brain is heavily disrupted by alcohol or if the patient’s symptoms correctly match schizophrenia.
Brain mapping, biofeedback, and cognitive testing allows Sovereign the beneficial advantage to fully treat the needs of each individual patient. A thorough understanding allows for a successful recovery.
4. Specialize in treating the underlying psychiatric or psychological conditions
Sovereign can find and treat any coexisting condition that may be acting as a trigger for the primary condition. Sovereign’s dual-diagnosis therapy option is offered at each of their treatment facilities. The multi-treatment approach to dual-diagnoses increases the recovery process by treating all existing conditions with the patient for a decreased chance of relapse.
5. Multiple treatment locations in serene settings
Sovereign offers multiple treatment locations, with new locations also lined up to open in the near future.
Currently, Sovereign Health Group offers programs in San Clemente in Orange County, CA, Culver City in Los Angeles, CA, Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, CA, and San Diego, CA. Sovereign will be opening additional treatment facilities in Chandler, AZ and Fort Myers, FL. The organization plans to continue growing and opening up facilities nationally to be able to provide their exceptional services to more people across the U.S.
6. Licensed and accredited facilities
Sovereign Health has multiple locations, each specifically licensed and/or accredited according to the level of care that is offered. The highest standards and regulations are of the utmost importance to Sovereign Health Group to provide the patients and families with the best care possible.
7. Detox options: detox and natural-assisted detox (NAD)
Although the beginning of rehabilitation therapy can be scary and uncomfortable, we offer a helping hand through the detoxification stage offered at Sovereign Health Group.
Sovereign offers the standard detox option as well as a unique detox program called Nutrition Assisted Detox (NAD) or Brain Restoration Therapy (NTR). NTR/NAD Rapid Detox uses intravenous therapy to provide the body with a mixture of vitamins and minerals without the use of any addictive medications. Intravenous therapy helps to diminish and eliminate withdrawal symptoms while shifting the brain into repair mode, speeding up the process.
8. Medical and clinical treatment staff
Sovereign’s team is experienced and multi-disciplined. Most of the staff can offer help in multiple areas of treatment where patients need it. They make sure staff members are always available at each location and are led by licensed clinical and medical professionals. Sovereign’s staff is ready and willing to help patients during their recovery with compassion and understanding.
9. Includes brain wellness and a cognitive lab (www.Neurobic.com)
When treating addiction and mental health disorders, Sovereign goes to the source - the brain. They focus on the health and wellness of the brain, and research how the brain is functioning through the use of cognitive labs. Physicians are able to identify any cognitive disabilities that are a result of drug or alcohol abuse which may hinder the recovery process. Neurobic is a part of our brain restoration program that helps to restore cognitive abilities to a recovering brain and enhance the process.
10. Innovative aftercare program, T.E.A.M. (Technological Enhanced Aftercare Monitoring) www.dualtc.com
Sovereign helps to diminish the odds of relapse with their aftercare program called T.E.A.M. This aftercare program is online and accessible remotely at any time. Case managers are always available to help our patients through the program and provide support.
Sovereign’s mission as one of the most credited rehabilitation centers in the U.S. is to provide quality, focused, and individualized treatment to those seeking help with mental health disorders and addictions. From their peaceful residential locations to the multiple therapy programs offered to patients of all ages, Sovereign Health Group seeks to restore their patients to a healthy lifestyle and maintain their recovery in the future.
Visit Sovereign Health Today to learn more or receive patients reviews at www.sovcal.com or call their 24/7 Admissions line at (866) 805-8780
Patrick Morgan, a New York drug dealer based in Buffalo, is being accused of selling the popular ecstasy-like synthetic drug called “Molly” that led to an overdose death at the 2013 Electric Zoo festival.
Arrested in early August in connection to the death of 23-year-old Jeffrey Russ that closed down last year’s festival, Morgan has been charged with one count of conspiring to distribute narcotics and one count of distributing narcotics. Each of the two felony charges carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors allege that Russ and his two friends purchased 80 hits of Molly from Morgan with the intention of consuming and selling them at Electric Zoo. Late Friday night while at the festival, Russ took some of the pills, after which he collapsed and had a seizure. He was treated by emergency medical technicians on Randall’s Island to no avail. He was ultimately transported to Harlem Hospital, where he died a few hours later from acute intoxication by the combined effect of MDMA and methylone with hyperthermia.
“As alleged, Patrick Morgan sold drugs that, far from enabling a good time, resulted in tragedy with the death of Jeffrey Russ," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. "It bears repeating that every time people use drugs like “Molly” they are rolling the dice with their own lives, which is a foolish and senseless wager.”
Molly, or powdered MDMA, is marketed by drug dealers like Morgan as a purer version of Ecstasy that provides a better high. Big in the club scene and celebrated in popular culture by singers like Miley Cyrus, Molly has been on a popular upswing. The problem is that nobody knows what low-level drug dealers cut the drug with to increase their profits. Capsules being sold as Molly often are laced with a variety of dangerous and strange agents, including aspirin, caffeine, bath salts, methamphetamine, and even rat poison.
Olivia Rotando, 20, also died after taking Molly at the festival, and several other attendees were hospitalized for similar issues, but were later released.
DEA Acting Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt illustrated the dangers involved, “Synthetic drugs such as 'Molly' are extremely dangerous and have grown increasingly more popular at events such as music festivals…Those who ingest it, even if for the very first time, are putting themselves at risk because they have no idea what they are putting into their bodies. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate any and all drug trafficking organizations that place lives at risk by selling these dangerous substances.”