Two Interesting Stories ~~ Mental Health in the Black Community & CVS on Drugs…..

 Recovery Friends, Followers, and Seeker’s,

I happen to be scanning the Web, and I came across a couple Informative Articles I though should be *Shared* and I had no idea about some of the issues in which these two articles speak about. I like to share information as much as I can with the Public, as educating and knowledge is very Powerful in Recovery, and in Life. My first I’ll share is from a link a good friend of mine, *Deborah Palmer* shared on one of my many addiction Groups I follow on LinkedIn…….It’s from *Ebony* on-line, they have a Wellness page, and they write about Mental Health illness & disorders prevalent in the African-American Community……

BLACK SUICIDE: When Prayer Is Not Enough

In the wake of a young star’s death, psychologist Donald E.  Grant, Jr. says mental health is not something we can simply put in God’s  hands
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Mental health concerns are among the  biggest and most dangerously tabooed topics in Black America.  A  comedian once said that the only mental condition in the Black community was “a  nervous breakdown”. This speaks to the millions of Blacks in the shadows  suffering alone, managing the weight of the world in silent bent knee  prayer.  Perhaps if we ignore it for long enough or fail to name it, it  will magically disappear.

One of Black America’s most tabooed topics recently re-entered our  consciousness, our Twitter feeds and our Facebook timelines.  Lee Thompson  Young, best known as Disney’s “Jett Jackson” and a current TNT leading man, was  found dead in his home from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound.  Black social  media was buzzing with demands for mental health awareness, touting this level  of intimacy with psychology that felt diametrically opposed to what the  realities of Black mental health show.

Although Black suicide has historically been low  when compared to other groups, don’t be fooled.  From 1981-1994, Black suicide  rates grew by a ghastly 83%. Today suicide is the third leading cause of  death among young African American men. In 2010, over  80% of all Black suicides were males. Women of most all ethnicities attempt  suicide at a higher rate than men, yet men complete the task at a higher rate; a  stomach pump does nothing for a gun-shot wound to the head. Black  women are less likely than any other American demographic to commit  suicide.

By all accounts, Young, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi  Fraternity, Inc., was a likeable star on his way to being actualized as a true  Hollywood talent.  With all this he still chooses this fatal act of  intra-personal aggression. Given the consistent vilification of Black men and  the existential emasculation associated with vulnerability, might there be an  inherent self-destructive mechanism by which we operate?  We must  understand that participation in counseling is not synonymous with weakness.  It’s clear that a very naked discussion on mental health is long overdue.   Who will lead this charge in a community where these issues remain cloaked in  invisibility?

Research has  indicated that familiarity with professional counseling services plays a  huge role in whether one will actually make an appointment with a mental health  professional6.  Blacks  under utilize mental health services across all socio-demographic domains5  and are dying silently as a result.  Statistically,  Blacks are disproportionately impacted by risk factors and experiences that  increase psychic stress, hopelessness and trauma; factors that all contribute to  suicidality.

Why do so many of us still refuse to get help? We are well represented in  the barber shops and beauty salons on Friday, in the nightclubs on Saturday and  at church on Sunday…yet our presence in the therapy room remains nil.  Do  we believe that we can style, party and pray ourselves to mental wellness?   I do see psychic value in a fresh haircut, a strong social support system and  sturdy spiritual foundation. I do, however, have a problem with our community’s  practice of praying ‘demons’ out of people plagued by schizophrenia, or beating  the defiance out of a boy suffering from undiagnosed bi-polar disorder.

Many strong and resilient qualities exist throughout Black  communities.  The natural selection of those Africans who survived  colonialism and the Middle Passage left a gene pool worth note.  We cannot  leave our legacy to untended psychological injuries.  Access to mental  health services has improved in most communities and is often offered at low to  no cost.  Our culture sanctions the rejection of this rich experience,  limiting our exposure to its value.

We must make an intentional and strategic shift, opening dialogue about our  mental health and unique wellness needs.  We must demand that the  psychological community offer culturally congruent services and train culturally  competent clinicians.  Families must acknowledge that Aunt Sally suffered  from major depression, she did not just have a nervous breakdown.   Adjudicating bodies must see that Johnny suffered from PTSD and was not just an  incorrigible kid on drugs.  If we are serious about positively impacting  suicide, fatherlessness, incarceration, misogyny and illiteracy among Blacks, we  must act now.  As I pray for Lee Thompson Young’s family, I also pray that  the Black community discontinues its sole reliance on prayer as a scapegoat to  confronting real life issues.  We must learn to tolerate the anxiety  associated with vulnerability and not run.

Dr. Donald E. Grant, Jr.  is a professional psychologist and  the Executive Director of Mindful Training Solutions. Follow him on Twitter: @DrGrantJr

**I had NO idea about the Stats of Mental Health issues in the Black Community, that is why I found this Article So Interesting. There is a couple other Articles below I left the links for so you can check them out**…….

More Ebony

**This next Article I also found interesting as well. I think it’s very RARE of a Large Pharmacy Company like CVS would go the Lengths it has on cracking down on Doctors who will GIVE ANYONE What EVER they need why it comes to DRUGS, and I FEEL it is WHY we are seeing such high influx of Prescription Drug Overdose’s and Suicides lately. The worst offenders I’m sorry to say are the *SO CALLED PAIN Management Centers popping up everywhere**………..

CVS cuts access to opioid painkillers  for suspect doctors

Published August 22, 2013

CVS Caremark Corp said on Wednesday that it has taken the unusual step of  cutting off access to powerful painkillers for more than 36 doctors and other  healthcare providers found to prescribe the drugs at an alarmingly high  rate.


The drugstore chain, which was drawn into a government crackdown on  prescription painkiller abuse last year, began revoking the dispensing  privileges of certain providers in late 2012, said CVS Chief Medical Officer  Troyen Brennan.

“This isn’t a definitive solution to the problem,” Brennan told Reuters. “We  wanted to share what it was that we did and have other people in healthcare,  including other pharmacies, look at what we did and discuss what some more  comprehensive solutions might be.”

CVS disclosed the suspensions in an article published on Wednesday on the  website of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abuse of opioid prescription painkillers like Oxycontin ranks as the No. 2  cause of accidental death in the United States, CVS said. In 2009, painkiller  use was cited in more than 15,500 overdose deaths, according to the U.S. Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has targeted large pharmacy chains  like CVS and rival Walgreen Co, as well as distributors such as Cardinal Health,  to stem the flow of prescription drugs where abuse is suspected.

The DEA revoked the controlled substance licenses of two CVS drugstores in  Florida last September. In June, Walgreen reached a record $80 million  settlement with the DEA to resolve allegations that its negligence in  record-keeping and dispensing allowed the highly addictive drugs to reach  abusers and be sold illegally.

Brennan said that CVS has not yet discussed its findings about suspect  providers with the DEA or others.

CVS said the suspensions followed an analysis of prescriptions brought to its  drugstores from March 2010 through January 2012 for hydrocodone, oxycodone,  alprazolam, methadone and carisoprodol.

CVS said it first identified several dozen healthcare providers — from a  database of nearly 1 million — with extreme patterns of prescribing high-risk  drugs. CVS checked their prescription rates versus other providers in the same  specialty and geographic region, the ages of the patients and the number of  patients paying with cash for the drugs.

For instance, one “outlier prescriber” in the field of preventive medicine  was prescribing on average more than 44,000 doses of high-risk drugs, compared  with 662 for similar providers.

CVS asked 42 providers for more details about their prescribing habits. Six  of those 42 gave what CVS said were legitimate reasons for the high volume of  prescriptions, such as a medical director at a hospice prescribing  painkillers.

The company said its stores and its mail-order pharmacy will no longer  dispense controlled substances for 36 providers who it said could not justify  their prescribing habits. Brennan said that an additional “handful” have been  suspended as the company continues its analysis…..

**I really hope that the many Large Pharmacy Chains throughout this country get on board, and do what CVS is doing. Maybe it will SLOW down these Doctors, and Doctor Shoppers, and lower the needless Drug overdoses and needless lives being lost**..

**Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*
Recovering Addict of 6yrs…