Addiction, drunk driving and the opiate crisis on the North Shore

The media continues to present a shocked response to the ongoing challenges of Cassandra Miller-Brown. Ms. Miller-Brown Methadone Withdrawal is the woman in Gloucester's Angel Program who has relapsed numerous times, including once when a judge released her to what he thought was a treatment program where she would stay. One of the problems with addiction is that despite many types of support and treatment available, addictive thinking repeatedly drives an addict to reject all of it and seek drugs. Ms. Miller-Brown's name and picture is now in the newspaper as she struggles with her addiction. The tone of the newspaper articles are that her lapses make no sense in the face of the treatment offered. Unfortunately, her relapses make perfect sense. Consistent drug use causes changes in the brain that effect judgement and thinking. Ms. Miller-Brown has not yet been able to remain drug free long enough for her cognitive abilities to return to normal. This is typical of addiction and comes as no surprise to addicts, their families and friends and treatment Addiction Treatment professionals involved with them. Addiction is referred to as "a disease of relapse". Repeated drug use is expected and must be planned for as part of an addict's overall recovery.

Drunk driving again makes the headlines on the North Shore as a college student involved in a fatal drunk driving crash contemplates the loss of his best friend. Joseph Castano, visiting his friend at Endicott College in Beverly was at the wheel of his car when it hit a utility pole early Saturday morning. Craig Sampson, described as his best friend, died from his injuries and Joseph was badly injured. At the hospital Castano was found to have a blood alcohol level of .22, almost three times the legal limit of .08.

A Lynn man found with 27 bags of heroin in his stomach last month is being held on $500,000 bail. He was discovered when one of the bags ruptured Opioid Treatment and he was treated at a local hospital for a drug overdose. A source in the DEA explains that often, these "mules" are approached by drug dealers while visiting family in South America. It is not unusual for this person to have no prior involvement with drugs but are given no choice. They are told: "Carry Treatment Of Opioid Dependence these packages to the United States or your family will be in danger". Although this arrest has removed a supply of heroin from the street, it results in one more victim of the drug crisis.

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