Wednesday, February 22, 2017


What if this was your diagnosis: “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry”, “characterized by distortions in thinking, feelings and perceptions, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.” “Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, [your disorder] is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.” --Definition of Substance Use Disorder

And these were the symptoms of your disorder: inability to manage emotions (anxiety, guilt, depression) • psychiatric symptoms • history of criminality • limited educational achievement • poor vocational skills • inadequate anger management skills • the sequelae of physical, sexual or emotional trauma • demonstrates distractibility, negative emotions, or anxiety to such a degree that destabilization is likely outside of a highly structured environment • lacks motivation to seek appropriate interventions • requires active interventions with family • lacks awareness of anxiety or depression triggers • difficulty postponing immediate gratification • requires case management to coordinate medications • continued exposure to school, work or living environment MAKES RECOVERY UNLIKELY • insufficient resources and skills to maintain an adequate level of functioning outside of a 24 hour supportive environment • needs support while transitioning to life in the community. –ASAM criteria for needing a 3.1 level of care

BUT this was the care that you received to assist in your “recovery”: 
  • No psychological or family counseling even when it is assessed as necessary to your recovery.
  • No source of food, other than a single package of Ramen noodles per day. Your food stamp card is taken by the Program Director, where it is cashed in for .50 on the dollar at local markets, while you are provided with a couple canned food items from the local food bank to eat. Lack of nutrition or malnutrition, Personal belongings, medication, and food are consistently stolen –either by housemates or program staff.
  • Getting a job, attending classes, or receiving job training gets you kicked out of your program when your "Program" can no longer bill your Medicaid for IOP/PHP, causing you to become immediately homeless with a complete and total disruption of ALL TREATMENT SERVICES –including Suboxone or psych meds.
  • If you were released from a higher level of care maintained on Suboxone and you run out, you are forced to endure the withdrawals, or buy it illicitly on the nearest street corner (your Program Director can tell you which one).
  • It is dangerous to walk alone in the neighborhood where your program is located due to the threat of robbery or physical assault. 
  • You experience heightened and uncomfortable cravings as you are constantly offered drugs in the open air drug markets that surround your “treatment” program.  In fact, it is not uncommon for your Program staff to be selling drugs, and pressuring you to sell your prescription drugs for illicit distribution. Your “House Manager” may have less “clean time” than you do.
  • If you are short on your rent, and your eviction seems imminent, your Program Director may offer to trade sexual favors in lieu of cash. 
  • The Program Director, as well as “staff”, need not have any knowledge about your disorder, your psychological needs, your developmental needs, nor do they need any training in treatment protocols (their background may be in real estate investment).
  • If you complain about your program verbally, write a letter of complaint to a local or state official, or file a grievance of any kind, you may be kicked out of “treatment” and become immediately homeless –and/or experience or be threatened with physical assault.
  • There is no statewide agency or organization that provides oversight for your continued care.
Every Marylander’s tax dollars are used to pay for the above Continuum of Care model!

Our children are NOT dying from overdoses –Our children are dying from a serious and severe lack of appropriate healthcare –A treatment system without standards, performance measures, or oversight!


OUR KIDS NEED YOUR SUPPORT ON THURSDAY!  If  you are able to speak with your legislators in Annapolis regarding this bill on Thursday, 2/23, OR Tuesday, 2/28, please email or call 301-525-6183.  Please email and/or call the legislators in the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to support SB 553, and in the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to support HB 869. 

Committee members contact info can be found on this site:

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