Tim McGraw and Steve-O Celebrate 10 Years Sober
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Tim McGraw and Steve-O Celebrate 10 Years Sober: This Week in Addiction and Recovery News

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Jackass Star Steve-O Celebrates 10 Years of Sobriety

Former Jackass wild man Steve-O is celebrating his tenth year of sobriety, according to People. Born Stephen Glover, Steve-O tweeted Saturday that he was deeply appreciative of his friends for helping him find treatment in 2008, singling out his co-star Johnny Knoxville. “Hard to believe it’s been an entire decade since I’ve had a drink or a drug,” the 43-year-old said. “I just can’t put into words how grateful I am for [Johnny Knoxville] and the rest of the guys who locked me up in a psychiatric ward on March 9, 2008, where this journey began. Thank you, dudes, I love you.” People added that Steve-O’s record has been clean, save one notable exception in 2015 when he received a 30-day jail sentence for protesting SeaWorld.

Tim McGraw Opens up About Sobriety, Health Routine

Steve-O isn’t the only one celebrating a decade of sobriety. Country superstar Tim McGraw hit the 10-year mark this month, People said, noting that he successfully swapped booze with exercise. In fact, his fitness regimen is as intense as it is intimidating: McGraw works out twice a day, up to two hours each time. (McGraw’s exercise routine may actually be to blame for his recent collapse in Dublin, according to ABC News.) “Ultimately, it is really about how I want to be around for my kids. I want to be around to see how they grow up. I want to see what their lives become. I want to see what their kids look like,” McGraw said of getting sober. “I felt like I had to change it. I felt like I had to change my life. And it wasn’t like I was out doing crazy things, it was just that I was drinking too much. You know, some people might look at it and say—hey, I drank twice as much as that. But for me, it adversely affected my life and it was time to change it.”

Are Prisons Keeping the Opioid Epidemic Alive?

An eye-opening Vox story questioned what role prisons play in the opioid crisis, arguing that the institutions are denying individuals the addiction treatment they desperately need—and that people are “dying as a result.” The article points toward Rhode Island’s “relatively new approach to treating opioid addiction in prisons and jails,” which offers buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone to prisoners with “few strings attached.” The state has “committed serious resources,” Vox said, to make sure addiction medications are available “to all inmates who need them.” What’s more is that Rhode Island goes the extra mile with prisoners, ensuring that ex-inmates get connected to treatment and medications well after their release. (27 states don’t offer any medication whatsoever to prisoners with opioid addictions, the story said.) While prisons are responsible for their inmates’ health care, they are more interested in protecting their bottom lines by not paying for lifesaving interventions. This crosses a line, drug policy expert Keith Humphreys told Vox: “If [prisoners]had high blood pressure, [prisons]wouldn’t be allowed to stop them from getting their blood pressure medication. You’d have to supply that. So if they are addicted to opioids, you should have to supply whatever medication they take for that.”

Teens with Specific Mental Conditions Likely to Get Opioids

Young people with certain mental health conditions are more likely than others their age to receive large quantities of opioids and, therefore, find themselves in long-term opioid therapy programs. That’s according to a brand-new study out of Indiana University in Bloomington, where Dr. Patrick Quinn and his fellow researchers discovered that the prescription of opioids increased for any adolescents struggling with mood, anxiety, mood neurodevelopmental, sleep, and non-opioid substance abuse disorders, MedPage Today reported. Researchers discovered that there were three primary opioids prescribed: hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine. “Hydrocodone accounted for about 60% of opioids received among a little over 70% of recipients,” MedPage Today said, “followed by a little over 20% of recipients receiving oxycodone and about 19% receiving codeine.” Additionally, an editorial that accompanied the report advised next steps and best practices for pediatricians who might have patients transitioning to long-term opioid therapy. “Conducting clinical interviews and routine screenings to identify factors associated with substance use and mental health issues should be a starting point for pediatric practitioners,” the editorial said.

Opioid Crisis Was Years in the Making

A special report released Wednesday by WebMD provides a comprehensive overview into the nation’s opioid crisis, detailing what kick started it and what keeps it alive. When it’s not providing a succinct look at the sobering statistics underlying the epidemic, it’s an affecting primer on the people behind the problem. The WebMD report considers pain, which many have called “the fifth vital sign,” and all of the critics who question how something self-reported became conflated with addiction treatment. The report also does something that many other reports do not: it provides hope. From healthier, safer and cheaper alternatives to opioids, the report also walks through statistics that show the epidemic may be abating, thanks to policy changes. “We need to find a middle ground,” one expert said, arguing against the elimination of opioid prescription altogether. He added that physicians should be “deliberate and careful about prescribing [opioids]” which, more than anything, will help end the crisis once and for all.

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About Author

Paul Fuhr is an addiction recovery writer whose work has appeared in The Literary Review, The Live Oak Review, The Sobriety Collective and InRecovery Magazine, among others. He is the author of the alcoholism memoir “Bottleneck.” He's also the creator and co-host of "Drop the Needle," a podcast about music and recovery. Fuhr lives in Columbus, Ohio with his family and their cats, Dr. No and Goldeneye.