Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Press Release                                                            For Immediate Release                                                                                                             
April 24, 2013                                                                        
Richard Kramer                                                                                               
248 391 4445
Guest House

The launch of a comprehensive library of e-learning courses has been announced by Guest House in collaboration with the National Catholic Council on Addictions (NCCA).

Lake Orion, Michigan - Guest House Inc., the founding North American Catholic clergy and religious behavioral health and addiction treatment and recovery program, in collaboration with its lay ministry, the National Catholic Council on Addictions (NCCA), announces the launch of a comprehensive library of e-learning courses.  Available at both  and , the catalogue comprises more than 500 course selections with more than 800 training hours available.

"No other Catholic addiction treatment facility has such extensive educational expertise available through both its live conference and seminar series, and now its distance learning library," said Denise Bertin-Epp, President and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit Guest House, Inc.

"The library is designed for use by everyone from Church leadership through medical and addiction treatment professionals, schools, social service agencies, hospitals and health systems, and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP's) in the workplace. Health and Behavioral Health topics include course subjects ranging  from adolescents to aging; ethics; risk management and leadership techniques," according to Ms. Bertin-Epp.  She emphasized that the distance learning courses utilize the most contemporary digital techniques, allowing for personal course selection, scheduling flexibility and Continuing Education Units (CEU's) for professionals.  Offerings are made possible through an affiliation with  Essential Learning, LLC., a corporation that offers online learning, staff compliance training and continuing education for behavioral health, mental health, addiction treatment, community health, developmental disability, community action and child welfare organizations.  The cost for users runs from $8.00 for some individual courses to a high of $99.00 for a series of online lessons. 

"Guest House constantly seeks  innovative ways to treat, reach, serve, educate and follow up with our clients, key decision makers in Dioceses and Religious Orders, family members, parishioners, students, seminarians, donors, volunteers, alumni and alumnae,  and our dedicated staff.  Education is a critical part of awareness for these many and varied audiences," stated Ms. Bertin-Epp. Guest House's educational ministry is supported in part by over 100,000 donors who have made more than 2.1 million gifts and bequests to the Catholic non-profit since its founding.

Since 1956, Guest House has provided personalized clinical addiction treatment with a spiritual emphasis for Catholic clergy and religious on campuses in Lake Orion, Michigan and Rochester, Minnesota.  Serving more than 8,000 clients since its inception, Guest House has a focused goal of returning every priest and religious to his or her mission rapidly and successfully.

Many treatment alumni have gone on to lives of service in parishes, dioceses, orders, missions, and many are now in major roles in the Church throughout North America and world-wide.  Accredited, full time clinical staff are on-site at Guest House's tranquil, private residential treatment facilities. For more information, contact Guest House at .   Educational and preventive offerings for the lay community are offered through the National Catholic Council on Addictions, founded in 1949, which is the lay addiction prevention and education outreach ministry of Guest House, Inc., at .                        -- # --
Richard Kramer
Vice President, Mission Outreach and Advancement;
Guest House, Inc.
248-391-4445 ext 1203

Denise Bertin- Epp
President and Chief Executive Officer;
Guest House, Inc.
248-391-4445 ext. 1228

Louise Westcott
NCCA Director  
National Catholic Council on Addictions, (NCCA) 
248.391.4445  Ext.1200  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

FDA Will Not Approve Generic Versions of Original OxyContin

Source: The Partnership at
By  | April 17, 2013 

Image: OxyContin Bottle
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday it will not approve any generic versions of the original form of OxyContin. The move is aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse, Reuters reports. The original version of OxyContin could be crushed and then snorted or injected. Its patent was set to expire on Tuesday.

The FDA also approved new labeling for a reformulated version of the drug, which will indicate it is more difficult to crush, and thus harder to abuse than the original version. OxyContin’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, introduced the tamper-resistant formula in 2010.

“The development of abuse-deterrent opioid analgesics is a public health priority for the FDA,” Douglas Throckmorton, MD, Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. “While both original and reformulated OxyContin are subject to abuse and misuse, the FDA has determined that reformulated OxyContin can be expected to make abuse by injection difficult and expected to reduce abuse by snorting compared to original OxyContin.”
Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, said in a statement, “This is a huge win for our region and for the thousands of families who have seen painkillers become pain makers. The FDA undoubtedly saved our nation from another deadly tidal wave of oxycodone abuse and overdoses.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Am Your Disease

Source: Substance Free Future Foundation
This poem was sent to me by a friend at the National Catholic Council on Addictions. The author is a member of the NCCA but prefers to remain anonymous. I found it to be a real eye opener.


night time on the water

I hate meetings.  I hate higher power.  I hate anyone who has a program.  To all who come in contact with me, I wish you death and I wish you suffering.  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am the disease of addiction…alcoholism, other drugs, eating disorders, work holism, etc.

I am cunning, baffling and powerful!  That’s me!  I have killed millions and I am pleased.  I love to catch you with the element of surprise.  I love pretending that I am your friend and lover.  I have given you comfort, haven’t I?  Wasn't I there when you were lonely?  When you wanted to die, didn't you call me?  Wasn't I always there?

I love when I make you so numb, you can neither hurt nor cry… You can’t feel anything at all.  That is true glory.  I give you instant gratification.  I have always been there for you.  When things were going right in your life, you invited me.  You said you didn’t deserve these good things, and I was the only one who would agree with you.  Together we were able to destroy all things good in your life and all I asked of you was long-term suffering.

People don’t take me seriously.  They take strokes seriously, even diabetes.  Fools that they are, they don’t know that without my help, these things would not be made possible.  I am such a hated disease and yet I do not come uninvited.  SO MANY HAVE CHOSEN ME OVER REALITY, PEACE AND SERENITY.
More than you hate me; I hate all of you who have a 12-Step program.  Your program, your meetings your higher power, all weaken me and don’t allow me to function in the manner I am accustomed to.

Now I must lie here quietly.  You don’t see me but I am growing bigger than ever.  When you allow me to control you, I live.  When you live, I can’t.  But I am here….and until we meet again, IF we meet again… I wish you continued death and suffering…


by an anonymous National Catholic Council on Addictions member

On April 29, 2013 the NCCA will be holding a Drug and Alcohol Addictions Workshop, at the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center, 1400 Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46206. You may receive 5 CEHs for this workshop.  You can contact the NCCA by calling (248) 391-4445  Ext.1200. A copy of the Agenda for the workshop is listed below.

Monday, April 29, 2013
The Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center
1400 Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46206


8:00am to 8:45am- Registration

8:45am- Welcome- Fr. Paul White, President NCCA

9:00am to 10:00am- PRESENTER: Melanie Margiotta, M.D., The Kolbe Center
- Medical Aspects of Addiction

10:00am to 10:50am-PRESENTER: Fr. Paul White, President NCCA
- The Family and Addictions

10:50am to 11:00am BREAK

11:00am to 12:00pm-PRESENTER: Terry Sullivan, Guest House Outreach
-Spirituality and Recovery from Addictions

12:00 to 12:45pm- LUNCH (provided)

12:45 to 1:00 - Guest Speaker

1:00pm to 2:15pm - PRESENTERS: Erik Vagenius, MHS, Director of Substance Abuse Ministry
for the Diocese of Palm Beach and Deacon Bill Jones
- Establishing a Parish Substance Addiction Ministry

2:25pm to 3:15pm - PRESENTER: Susan Day, Fairbanks Treatment Center
-Addiction Resources

4:00pm MASS at the Cathedral

PLEASE NOTE: You may receive 5 CEHs for this workshop. We will have a certificate available at the end of the day.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Twitter bots, fake retweets rake in big bucks

Source: Techive

twitter bird
Some Twitter users love bots—those fake, computer-generated Twitter users that boost your follower count. They’re usually pretty harmless, retweet you, and make your numbers look better to the outside world than they actually are.

Most of us don’t care if a few followers are fake accounts. I once painstakingly blocked every bot that followed me, but now I only bother to block spammers and pornbots. But it turns out bots are becoming big business—not for Twitter users, but for companies that sell batches of fake accounts. Several companies exist solely to sell batches of fake accounts for anywhere from $2 to $30 per account. The bot-selling business could pull in $360 million at the higher end, and a more modest $40 million at the lower end.

Those figures come from security researchers Carlo De Micheli and Andrea Stroppa, who told the New York Times that there are some 20 million fake Twitter accounts. They arrived at that number after analyzing the most popular tweet-sellers, including Fiverr and LikedSocial.

There are many reasons someone would want to buy followers. After all, popularity is currency in social media. Companies, politicians, bloggers, and media outlets all benefit when they rack up followers. It’s even better when those followers retweet your content, like links to products, fundraising pages, or articles. A robust number of followers and retweets lend legitimacy in the social media world. Real people are more apt to like something on Facebook or follow someone on Twitter if that product or person is already established.

These days, fake followers are being fleshed out with seemingly real names, bios, and even websites. But the real emphasis is on retweets—companies or individuals can buy a certain number of retweets per account per day. Stroppa and De Micheli told the Times that five retweets a day can be had for $9 a month, and 125 daily retweets for $150 a month.

For normal people who use Twitter the way it’s intended—to effortlessly toss out witty, 140-character bon mots—bots and fake tweets are barely an annoying blip on the social media radar. Little can be done to stop the companies who sell batches of bots or fake retweets, much of which is done under the guise of “social media marketing.” For its part, Twitter last year recognized that the bulk of some companies’ marketing was really just spam, and sued five services that sold automated messages and accounts.

If you want to find out how many of your own followers are actually bots and not fans of your endlessly amusing tweets, you can do a fake follower check at SocialBakers or StatusPeople.