Naltrexone and Alcoholism: Treating a Disease with Medicine

written for Inspire Malibu

Alcoholism is among the most pervasive diseases in the United States. The statistics stagger the mind. More than 15 million adults over the age of 18 suffer from alcohol use disorder, reports the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and that number falls short because these are just the diagnosed cases. read more

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Opioid Crisis: Rx’s are down but use hasn’t declined

written for Inspire Malibu

August 2, 2017

There’s good news and bad news. The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is in decline. Since 2010, the peak of opioid prescriptions, the agency tracked a 41 percent decrease. However, the analysis also revealed the prescribing rate is still three times higher than in 1999, near the beginning of America’s opioid crisis. read more

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Steadfast Devotion: Trump and the Politics of Evangelicals

White Evangelical Christians overwhelmingly backed President Donald J. Trump in the recent election and, at least for now, are standing their ground.

The most recent presidential approval tables, published by the Pew Research Center in April, show 63 percent of white Evangelicals “approve strongly ” of the job Trump’s done so far compared to only 11 percent who “disapprove strongly.” Pew has the president’s overall approval rating at 39 percent. read more

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Trump and the Politics of Evangelicals: Complete Q&A with Randy Roberts Potts

QUESTION: Will you give me snapshot of how you were brought up, what it was like and talk about your journey out of the church.

RANDY: I was born into the Televangelist Oral Roberts family. He paid my mom to make my middle name Roberts, with an S. So, I was stamped at birth with the mark of a televangelist. We lived on what the family called “the compound.” It’s like a nine acre, gated, family compound in Tulsa. My family actually moved to Colorado for about half of my childhood. While we were in Colorado, we still went to Pentecostal Assembly of God churches. The second half of my childhood, I lived back on the compound in Tulsa. There, I went to an Evangelical Christian school and Evangelical Church. Until late high school, I probably didn’t ever interact with anyone who wasn’t evangelical. read more

Gray Death: The Latest and Deadliest of Heroin Cocktails

written for Inspire Malibu

The crisis of opioid addiction in the United States is an ever-evolving tragedy. Healthcare professionals, state and federal legislatures and law enforcement have, so far, been unable to stop or contain the spread of opioids and heroin spiked with even more powerful and deadly drugs. In fact, it has become increasingly difficult for scientists to keep pace with new heroin cocktails. read more

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Will California’s AB 186 Create Safe Spaces to use Heroin and other Opioids?

written for Inspire Malibu

April 25, 2017

LOS ANGELES –┬áLike other states in the U.S., California has seen a spike in overdoses as a result of heroin and prescription painkillers. While the news cycle appears to have moved away from the country’s opioid epidemic, the problem persists. In 2015, an estimated 33,000 people fatally overdosed on heroin or opioid medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. read more

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Post-Truth and the Politics of Evangelicals: A Discussion with Christopher Stroop, Ph.D., an Ex-Evangelical Christian and Modern Russian Historian

March 24, 2017

Tumultuous, as a description for the first two months of Donald Trump’s Administration, falls short. Terms like missteps, chaos and, as of late, collusion are now ubiquitous in the mainstream press, but they’ve become small explosions drowned out by the roaring inferno that’s engulfed American politics. read more

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Post-Truth and the Politics of Evangelicals: Complete Q&A Transcript with Christopher Stroop, Ph.D.

QUESTION: What’s it like growing up in an evangelical enclave?

CHRISTOPHER: In my case, this was mostly a middle to upper-middle class, white evangelical milieu, but when I say I lived in an enclave, I mean that my social world consisted of practically, entirely, people from church and Christian school. The churches we went to…we changed churches a few times through my childhood. Some were Baptists, Wesleyan, nondenominational, but supported by the Missionary Church, Independent Christian Church. The Christian school, too, was an interdenominational school, pretty much protestant one, though with a lot of Baptists and a lot of Baptist trappings. We basically lived in that parallel world. A lot of the things that we consumed came from those parallel Christian structures and institutions, like contemporary Christian music, Christian bookstores, literature. I did have some windows into the outside world because it’s not like we had no secular books and things of that nature, magazines in the house. But I didn’t know any Jews, for example, until I went to college, except for those who had converted to Christianity. I knew a handful. read more

Criminalizing Overdoses: A bad Idea Laced with Good Intentions

Written for Inspire Malibu

March 21, 2017

Nestled between Columbus and Cincinnati, Washington Court House, Ohio, a town with little more than 14,000 residents at last count, is now charging drug overdose survivors with “inducing panic.” The misdemeanor, which can result in a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail, is levied immediately after first responders save a victim’s life, in most cases, with naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. read more

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Angela Shelton: A Comedienne’s History with Race

September 17, 2016

left: Angela Shelton and Frances Callier

LOS ANGELES – “I identify as black,” says Los Angeles based writer, actor and comedian Angela Virginia Shelton. “I don’t mind being called African American because I think that’s polite and appropriate, but my personal position on it is that I’m not an immigrant. I say black and I always have because I’m an American.” read more

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