Author: Greg Marotta

Why Aren't We Talking About One of the Most Effective Treatments for Alcoholism?

by Greg Marotta | Apr 25, 2018

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the perils of alcohol addiction and the pathways to recovery. As we close out the month, perhaps the occasion has sparked just a little more discussion and determination around seeking treatment.

But one thing is for certain, this month and every month: few people are discussing one of the most effective forms of treating alcoholism.

Medication.

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4 Steps to Protect Your Kids from Opioid Addiction

by Greg Marotta | Mar 29, 2018

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently delivered more bad news regarding the nation’s devastating opioid epidemic: overdoses from opioids jumped approximately 30 percent from the third quarter 2016 through third quarter 2017. Though the number of people suffering from opioid use disorder appears to be relatively stable, the spike in overdoses appears to be the result of more dangerous opioids, such as the highly potent opioid fentanyl, which have been flooding the country in recent years.

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Policy Strides Increase Access to Medication Treatment for Opioid Addiction

by Greg Marotta | Mar 27, 2018

An estimated 175 people die every day in the United States from drug overdoses, including overdoses from prescription opioid painkillers and heroin. We are witnessing an unrelenting crisis in our country. Getting proven treatment to those suffering from addiction is one of the biggest challenges in battling the opioid epidemic. 

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The Economic Costs of the Opioid Epidemic Means We Invest Now or Pay Later

by Greg Marotta | Jan 22, 2018
The patrol officer drove up behind the SUV that had pulled to the shoulder of I-4 in Central Florida, its hazard lights blinking, engine still running. He assumed the problem was a disabled vehicle, but then noticed the passenger door open, a figure apparently leaning against the side of the car. Then another figure, in the grass nearby, also motionless.

The figures were Daniel Kelsey, 32, and Heather Kelsey, 30, both dead from an overdose of fentanyl, a drug 50 times more potent than heroin.

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Pennsylvania's Newly Declared Disaster Emergency Raises Hopes in Hard-Hit Philadelphia

by Greg Marotta | Jan 19, 2018

Disaster emergencies used to be declared for extraordinary catastrophes like wildfires or terrorist attacks. Now they’re declared for out of control overdose deaths.

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In Massachusetts, Progress with Reducing Overdoses Related to the Opioid Epidemic Has a Catch

by Greg Marotta | Dec 28, 2017

Amidst the daily drumbeat of tragedy wrought by the opioid epidemic, the faint sound of occasional progress offers hope. But nothing is easy with this complex public health crisis, and even promising advancements in saving lives don't always tell the whole story.

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While Wisconsin Faces the Opioid Epidemic, it’s also Battling a Different Addiction

by Greg Marotta | Dec 8, 2017

A few nights ago, I was proud to attend the ribbon cutting event for CleanSlate’s new medication-assisted treatment (MAT) center in Milwaukee. Given that Milwaukee, like every corner of America, is besieged by the opioid epidemic, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that three news stations covered the event. Cities are starving for signs of progress, and CleanSlate is quickly opening centers across the country (33 and counting) to help desperate patients suffering from the disease of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). What makes CleanSlate’s outpatient model so exciting is that we can deliver evidence-based, quality care at scale, and can quickly ramp up to have a major impact on the communities we serve. That’s good news worth covering.

But Wisconsin has another major problem with substance use disorders that gets less attention than opioids: alcoholism.

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People Thought Zika was Florida’s Worst Nightmare. But it was Something Else.

by Greg Marotta | Dec 1, 2017

Last year, the scary Florida headlines that made international news were all about the dreaded Zika virus. When Zika was discovered in Miami’s hip Wynwood neighborhood, the world panicked and the local economy began taking a dive. Hotel bookings, airfares, local merchants - much of South Florida’s business artery took a hit as visitors began staying away.

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Here's the Real Killer in our Opioid Catastrophe

by Greg Marotta | Nov 16, 2017

Pop quiz: True or False?

  1. Addiction is a moral problem.
  2. People with substance abuse disorders choose to continue using drugs.
  3. Addiction is not a health condition and those addicted are to blame for their problems.

Answers:  False, false, false.

But each statement reflects common, widely-held attitudes and prejudices.

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Veterans Day Mission: Save Our Heroes on the Opioid Battlefield at Home

by Greg Marotta | Nov 9, 2017

It’s 9/11 every 2.5 weeks.

This is how to conceptualize the jaw-dropping toll of opioid deaths in the U.S., according to Gov. Chris Christie, who chaired the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (which CleanSlate Board Member Patrick J. Kennedy helped prepare).

The irony is that many of these victims are the very people who return from post-9/11 deployments.

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