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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin


2/11/13 12:05am

Morning Roundup: February 11, 2013


The former Chicago Bulls player calls out his
teammates' toking habits. Photo via

By The Fix staff

Drug War

2/08/13 4:31pm

Film Warns Teens About Drug Cartel Recruitment


Rusty Fleming wants teens to know what the
drug trade is really like. Photo via

A Texas law enforcement official and former drug addict who once "ran with the Mexican drug cartels" has produced a film to caution American teens about the dangers of drug cartel recruitment. Rusty Fleming, public relations officer of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department in Sierra Blanca, has written, directed and produced Operation Detour, in which he draws from personal experience to create an informative and "brutally honest" depiction of involvement in the drug trade. Fleming is a self-described "expert" on Mexican drug cartels, and claims he's been on "every side" of the drug war. "I'm an ex-addict myself," he tells The Fix. "I shot so much dope in my arm that my veins collapsed. I've run with the cartels, and I've run with the law enforcement chasing them." His film, which he hopes to show at high schools across the country, depicts rape, kidnappings, murder, and prison—all of which he says are possible outcomes for young people who are recruited by drug gangs. Fleming insists nothing was embellished, and one particularly violent scene reenacts of a real double murder that was carried out over $500 worth of pot in Orange County California a few years ago. The film, which stars members of a tactical team of the Texas Department of Public Safety, began showing at schools in the El Paso area in January, and will soon be shown in other parts of the country. According to a report last year, cartels often recruit US teens as young as 11 to smuggle drugs across the border, offering them up to $400 for each trip. 

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By Ben Feuerherd

celebrity rehab

2/08/13 3:09pm

Mindy McCready Involuntarily Admitted to Rehab


Mindy McCready's father has intervened.
Photo via

2013 has gotten off to a rough start for country singer Mindy McCready. Her 1996 debut album Ten Thousand Angels sold over two million copies, but the singer has struggled publicly with substance abuse, and appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2009 to address addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs. In the wake of the gunshot suicide of her boyfriend David Wilson three weeks ago, she has been reportedly unable to cope and was committed to a treatment facility by her father Tim. McCready is set to remain in rehab for up to 21 days, where she will undergo substance abuse and mental health evaluations. In documents obtained by E! News, Tim wrote that his daughter has been abusing alcohol and prescription drugs since her husband's suicide, and has been neglecting the care of her two sons. She has also reportedly been physically abusive to her father and verbally abusive to her six-year-old son Zander. Her two sons have since been removed from her care by the Department of Human Services. The judge who agreed to the involuntary admission wrote that "there is cause to find there is clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is in imminent danger of harm to herself or others, suicidal or gravely disabled." McCready's ex-husband Billy McKnight has since filed documents requesting full custody of Zander.

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By McCarton Ackerman

drunk flying

2/08/13 2:02pm

"Drunk" Airline Pilot Grounded at Heathrow


As far as bad ideas go, drunk flying is way
up there. Photo via

There are many reasons not to drink and fly, but it's an especially bad idea when you're piloting the plane (as Denzel Washington's character learned in Flight). Potential disaster was averted at London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, when authorities intervened to prevent a seemingly "drunk" pilot from taking off with a plane full of passengers. “We canceled the flight because one crew member was not physically fit to operate. His medical incapacity was tracked down in London during routine checks,” states Romanian airline Tarom. “The pilot returned home on Thursday and we suspended him from activity until the investigation is finalized.” This isn't the first time someone in his line of work has tried to take off while "not physically fit." A few months ago, some Qantas flight attendants just barely intercepted an intoxicated pilot as the plane taxied down the runway. And another pilot was barred from flying out of Heathrow in 2010 when he was too drunk to remember the plane's destination. The outcome of the most recent debacle is still uncertain, but the airline says: “If official results we receive show he tested positive for alcohol, we'll immediately fire him.”

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By Bryan Le


2/08/13 1:11pm

Take-Home Methadone Hits the Streets


More methadone is being given "to-go".
Photo via

Take-home doses of liquid methadone from treatment clinics often get sold illegally on the streets, Bloomberg reports. Methadone has been used for decades to help addicts abate withdrawal symptoms as they quit heroin or other opiates. Law-enforcement officials in Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia have reported increasing instances of methadone surfacing in criminal cases; these "diverted doses" are linked to CRC Health Corp, which operates 57 clinics in 15 states. Due to decreased profits and chronic understaffing, CRC clinics have reportedly been distributing more methadone via "take home" packages, instead of administering the doses directly on site. “Clearly the company is saving money if they’re distributing multiple take-home doses at one time,” says West Virginia Delegate Don Perdue. “They don’t have to have as many staff handing out the merchandise.” Records show CRC’s clinics haven’t met staffing standards in more than 50 instances; and in Huntington, W.V., a November 2010 inspection found that nine out of 10 patients hadn’t met with a doctor in more than a year. Many caseworkers report overwhelmingly high caseloads that prevent them from adequately supervising clients.

When abused, or taken with other illicit drugs, methadone can be lethal; and abuse of take-home doses is reportedly linked to an increase in crime. In Dearborn County, Indiana, officials are planning a $10 million expansion to the local jail, needed partly because of crimes tied to CRC’s clinic in Lawrenceburg. “We’ve had people come down to the methadone clinic and rob a bank because they need money to pay for methadone,” says prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard. “We’ve had people at the McDonald’s shooting up. Whether it’s dealing or someone giving take-homes to a friend, it’s been a huge problem.” Philip Herschman, CRC’s chief clinical officer, has denied accusations that his clinics are distributing methadone without supervision. He said that CRC follows “specific and rigid” state and federal rules in deciding which patients get carryout doses, and those doses are “suspended immediately if the patient tests positive for any illicit substance.”

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By McCarton Ackerman

designer drugs

2/08/13 12:13pm

Joe Budden Gives "Molly" a Bad Rap


Joe Budden knocks the "corny" designer
drug. Photo via

Rapper and star of VH1's Love and Hip Hop Joe Budden has spoken out about his nearly-fatal struggle with "Molly," a drug that is rising in popularity in the music scene, earning shout-outs by Madonna and in a recent Kanye West hit. Molly is pure MDMA (the base of party drug ecstasy) and is normally mixed with anything from angel dust to caffeine. "Everyone is speaking about Molly like it's the 'it' thing to do," says Budden, who has battled addiction throughout his music career. But he says his latest relapse with the drug nearly killed him. "I didn't see a problem with the fact that maybe five days would go by without sleeping," he tells Fox 5 News (video below). "I didn't see a problem with the fact that I was maybe hallucinating at times." The New Jersey native and member of rap group Slaughterhouse urges his fan base not to follow in his Molly-popping footsteps, saying: "I thought it was important for somebody to stand up and say: I did that, it was corny."

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By Ben Feuerherd


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