Recovery Advocacy News, Issues and Musings (December 2023)

Curation with occasional commentary by Jeremiah Gardner

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
5 min readDec 5, 2023

NOTE: This was published for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s monthly Recovery Advocacy Update. If you’d like to receive our advocacy emails, subscribe today.

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

📺 WATCH: The New York Times has hired the world’s first dedicated Taylor Swift reporter. And he’s in recovery! Meet Bryan West, who shared about his personal background in the last two minutes of an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle.

📕 READ: Questions about the new ASAM Criteria? Hazelden Betty Ford master trainer consultant Don Bartosik helps explain some of the key changes in an article by Behavioral Health Business.

📕 READ: The Supreme Court justices seemed initially divided over a fiercely contested bankruptcy settlement for Purdue Pharma that would funnel billions of dollars into addressing the opioid epidemic in exchange for shielding members of the wealthy Sackler family from related civil lawsuits. Recovery advocates also appear divided — with some emphasizing the need for justice and accountability, and others emphasizing the need to get settlement dollars flowing to communities ASAP.

📕 READ: In the first half of the 20th century, the tobacco industry’s clever, ubiquitous marketing of an addictive drug transformed smoking from a niche hobby into a daily habit for nearly half of American adults. Today’s cannabis industry is using the same manipulative methods — and then some.

📕 READ: A Boston Globe editorial weighs in on this good question: is it appropriate to imprison probationers if they experience a return to substance use but are otherwise obeying the terms of their probation and staying out of trouble?

📕 READ: A Philadelphia nonprofit argued in federal court that it has a religious right to open a place for people to consume illicit drugs under medical supervision in order to save lives amid a devastating overdose crisis.

📕 READ: Scientists have developed an antibody treatment that shows promise in blocking the potentially deadly effects of fentanyl for nearly a month, raising hopes for a new tool to combat overdoses.

📕 READ: The World Health Organization called on countries to increase taxes on alcohol and sugary drinks to counter their negative effects on global health.

📕 READ: San Francisco is facing its deadliest year ever for drug overdoses, despite a blitzkrieg of policies aimed at stemming the crisis. And experts warn that a new and troubling trend is emerging: more and more victims are found to have consumed both fentanyl and methamphetamine.

📺 WATCH: In Oregon, 56% of voters want the drug decriminalization and treatment measure known as Measure 110 repealed completely.

Tommy Rosen of Recovery 2.0

📕 READ: The new edition of Hazelden Betty Ford’s Together Magazine celebrates changemakers like Tommy Rosen who are challenging perceptions about addiction and mental health issues and inspiring recovery and well-being at new levels.

📕 READ: Can Wegovy fight alcohol use disorder? Researchers are pushing the boundaries on a class of drugs that became famous for helping people lose weight. For Big Pharma, this isn’t a priority.

📕 READ: Over the past decade, more than 580 people in Florida have died from overdoses related to kratom. Most of the deaths came after mixing kratom with at least one other substance, but 46 people overdosed on kratom alone.

📕 READ: A new Artificial Intelligence platform designed to prevent returns to use in the year following treatment is an interesting, notable sign of AI’s potential in recovery monitoring.

📕 READ: Though we don’t want it to feed stereotypes and stigma, we also cannot ignore the connections between addiction and domestic violence.

📕 READ: The Army and Air Force Exchange Service says that, beginning Jan. 1, it will no longer sell alcohol between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at its stores on Army and Air Force bases. The change is meant to support the Pentagon’s suicide prevention initiative.

📕 READ: Chinese-run marijuana farms have emerged across the U.S. Some are run by investor groups with a commercial growing license. Others are illegal marijuana shops.

📝 REGISTER: The 4th annual Grant Fuhr Celebrity Invitational Charity Event, to benefit the Hazelden Betty Ford Children’s Program, has been confirmed for Saturday, May 18, at the Desert Willow Golf Resort. Reserve your spot!

📺 WATCH: The FAA announced it will examine its rules on pilot mental health. The move comes after years of calls from industry and government leaders, and the high-profile case of an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot.

📕 READ: A new breed of e-cigarette has addicted teenagers and confounded regulators worldwide by offering flavors like Blue Cotton Candy and Pink Lemonade in a cheap, disposable package. In the U.S., a Chinese vape firm simply ignored regulations on new products and capitalized on poor enforcement.

📕 READ: Grateful that three Hazelden Betty Ford sites topped this year’s Newsweek rankings of best addiction treatment centers. Find help now at

Jeremiah Gardner is director of communications and public affairs for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Jeremiah Gardner



Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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