Treatment Center Admits Its First Netflix-Addicted Patient

Treatment Center Admits Its First Netflix-Addicted Patient: This Week in Addiction and Recovery News


A mental health treatment center in India has just admitted its first patient related to Netflix addiction. According to ABC News, a 26-year-old man who sought to reach a “feeling of goodness” from Netflix is currently being treated at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences in Bengaluru. “It was helping him to relax and overcome environmental distress,” Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma said, adding that the man’s dependency “led to preoccupation with show series, loss of control and psychological withdrawal in [the]form of irritation, if [he was]not allowed to watch.” Netflix announced last year that the world consumed nearly 150 million hours per day last year, with the average user streaming nearly 60 movies per year.

Selena Gomez Hospitalized After ‘Emotional Breakdown’

Several news outlets reported on Thursday that singer Selena Gomez has been hospitalized for mental health treatment. The 26-year-old “Back to You” singer has apparently been hospitalized twice in the last two weeks after struggling with depression, CBS News reported. According to the story, Gomez has struggled with depression following major surgery last year. “Selena has dealt with depression for a while and her and the people around her have always kept an eye on how she feels, even more so since her kidney transplant,” a source revealed. “Selena wasn’t feeling well and went to the hospital, as she does whenever she feels off. After further monitoring it was decided that Selena would seek treatment at a [mental health]facility.” TMZ added that Gomez’s health issues resulted in a full-scale “emotional breakdown” this week. Earlier this year, she checked herself into a New York-based wellness program to address her depression and anxiety as a “preventative” measure.

Verne Troyer’s Death Ruled ‘Suicide By Alcohol’

Actor Verne Troyer, best known as “Mini-Me” in the Austin Powers series of films, died on April 21 this year amidst speculation that it was alcohol-related. The Washington Post revealed on Thursday that the diminutive actor’s death was declared a suicide by “sequelae of alcohol intoxication” by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. His death followed a number of high-profile incidents involving Troyer and alcohol, including an incident on April 3 where he was admitted to a hospital with a blood alcohol limit “more than three times the legal limit.” Almost exactly a year beforehand, Troyer wrote “an unusually serious post” on his social media accounts, admitting that he was battling alcoholism but that he was “willing to continue my fight day by day.” In 2002, Troyer nearly died from alcohol poisoning, the Post noted, while his later drunken antics were captured on the VH1 reality series The Surreal Life. The coroner’s report added that Troyer had a “history of alcohol abuse and depression.”

Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte Seeking Alcohol Treatment

12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte is currently undergoing counseling for alcohol use, ESPN reported on Thursday. Just a week ago in Newport Beach, California, the 34-year-old swimmer tried to kick down his hotel room door—an incident that his lawyer Jeff Ostrow emphasized wasn’t related to alcohol. “He is not in a treatment facility. He’s been evaluated by professionals who know the best about this and they have said this is not what he needs to do,” Ostrow said. “He’s following the protocols that have been recommended. He’s going to be great.” He added that Lochte has suffered from “a pattern of poor decision-making at the same time there was alcohol [involved].” Lochte is now serving a 14-month ban from the US Anti-Doping Agency after a photo emerged of the swimmer receiving a suspicious-looking vitamin injection. The ban, which expires next July, will prevent Lochte from participating in official competitions leading up to the 2020 Olympics.

5 Doctors Charged with Prescribing ‘Millions’ of Pain Pains

Five physicians were among those charged with prescribing “millions” of prescription painkillers to people who had “no legitimate medical need for them,” The New York Times reported. During a Thursday press conference, Geoffrey S. Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, referred to the doctors as “drug dealers in white coats.” Ten defendants were charged across Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, not to mention Westchester and Long Island. who reportedly accepted millions of dollars in exchange for prescribing oxycodone pills. (Between one doctor and a nurse practitioner identified in the case, they had prescribed “3.3 million pills that were paid for by Medicare or Medicaid over a three-year period.”) “These are people who’ve taken an oath to help their patients,” Mr. Berman said. “They should be on the first line of defense to combat this type of opioid abuse and instead they’re part of the problem.”

Jason Biggs Celebrates One Year of Sobriety

Actor Jason Biggs, perhaps best known for his debut role in the 1999 teen comedy American Pie, revealed on Instagram this week that he’s celebrating one full year of sobriety. (He posted a photo of his silver first-year Alcoholics Anonymous coin.) Biggs wrote, “I first tried to get sober over 5 years ago, when the weight of my obsession with booze and drugs became too heavy for me to handle. Turns out this shit is hard. After some fits and starts, I’ve managed to put together one year of sobriety. I’m as proud of it as anything in my life.” He encouraged others who are similarly struggling to “know there’s help” and that they shouldn’t be ashamed. Biggs has two sons with actress/writer Jenny Mollen.

Law Enforcement Tech Gives Officers An Advantage

Brand-new tech might be a game-changer for law enforcement officers, ABC-7 (KATV) reported. Arkansas is one of the first states to purchase a handheld device that helps officers rapidly identify the illegal drugs they encounter on a regular basis. “More times than not, it’s unknown what [illegal]drugs exactly are until it’s sent to the lab,” the story observed. TruNarc, which is starting to spread throughout the state, is poised to turn that reality on its head, giving police officers a much-needed advantage—especially in the middle of the nation’s opioid epidemic. The device fires a laser through the substance in question, which then scans a database of 450 different types of drugs. TruNarc, the story contends, is capable of identifying “any illegal substance based on the chemical compound.” What’s more is that it does the job within 90 seconds. Arkansas drug director Kirk Lane is one of the device’s biggest fans, calling it “100% accurate and fool-proof” as well as a “one-stop shop” for law enforcement officials. One potential downside of the device, however, is its cost: each device currently comes with a pricetag of $29,000.


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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.