Fighting Back: New Opioid Litigation

November 30, 2017
The opioid epidemic in the United States has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and is caused, in large part, by a group of greedy drug manufacturers that made billions from opioid sales at the expense of patients and our country.   “Overdose or addiction from the use of opioids is not your fault and is the number one threat we face as a society. If you or a loved one were prescribed an opioid pain reliever and suffered an injury as a result, you may be entitled to significant compensation from the drug manufacturers that profited from your suffering.   Common injuries related to opioids include:   Brain and heart damage due to overdose or even death Babies born addicted to opioids The need for drug rehabilitation Loss of employment and arrest and Heroin addiction   Now you can fight back. Individuals and families in numerous states, including Florida, plan to file suit against the pharmaceutical companies to hold them accountable for the damage they have done and continue to do.   If you or your loved one has suffered from addiction or overdose following the prescribing of an opioid, contact the opioid litigation team at Drug and Alcohol Attorneys today to find out if you’re eligible to receive compensation.

Focus On The Important Things

November 29, 2017
Good afternoon. I hope everyone had a really great Thanksgiving. If you’re like me, you probably ate way too much and, at some point in the evening, fell into a food coma. I think I’m finally recovered. I’m back in the office.   For those of you who are college football fans, this was a really interesting weekend. When I first came to this country, I didn’t know anything about college football. Then I decided to do my undergrad at University of Michigan. It didn’t take long before I became really passionate about college football. One of the things that I love most about this country is college football. This past weekend, my beloved Wolverines once again managed to lose to Ohio State.   One of the things that this game does is that it brings me together with old friends. I have a great friend that I went to college with. He lives in Tampa and comes here every Thanksgiving. I get to see him for the game, and sometimes for Thanksgiving dinner, too. For that, I’m really grateful. Unfortunately, once again, my Wolverines lost to Ohio State. It really stuck in my craw. I was in a bit of a bad mood yesterday after the game. I didn’t want to interact with anyone. I didn’t want to do any work, which is unusual for me. I’m typically ready to jump back into work after a holiday.   This morning, I kicked myself in the rear end. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way you want it to. As disappointed as I am to have lost the game, I have to get back into the swing of things. People need me. Sure enough, the phone started to ring this morning. Families are in crisis. People need help. I decided to get back into it. I’m here in the office. I’m meeting with a client later on this afternoon that needs me.   Sometimes life kicks you in the pants. We get disappointed about things. Sometimes it is personal and sometimes it’s more of a playful nature, like a college football game. That’s what life is about. It’s about the ups and downs, and focusing on the important things. When you have passion in your life, and you really care about helping people, then those things in life that might put you in a slump all of a sudden don’t seem quite as important. I’m glad everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I hope you didn’t eat too much turkey. I look forward to posting again soon.

Don’t Enable, Make The Decision For Them

November 27, 2017
As a parent, you will always want what’s best for your child. But what happens if your child develops a substance abuse or mental health problem? Do you still give your child money when asked? Do you let your child go out? Do you cut your child off? Is the choice between enabling and tough love a real choice?   “I tell parents every day that the diseases of addiction and mental illness only get worse over time, they never get better. That’s a fact. When you know that you’re dealing with a disease that only gets worse with time, then the choices are simple. That individual is either going to the morgue, to prison or to treatment.” says attorney, Mark Astor.   The decision should not be, “Should I enable my child or practice tough love?” but rather, “Am i going to get my child into treatment even if I have to make that desision for them?” And while it’s not an easy one, that’s the decision that has to be made. There are many useful tools to compel your loved one into treatment. The advice of an experienced drug and alcohol attorney can get them there and save your child’s life.   At Drug and Alcohol Attorneys, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They are in the business of making a difference, empowering families and giving you options. They will help you get your loved one into treatment and set you and your family on the road to recovery.

Taking On The Big Pharmaceutical Companies

November 21, 2017
Good afternoon, everyone. As many of you know, I spend a lot of time with families in emotional crisis because of addiction and mental illness. I see a lot of crying moms, and sometimes crying dads. While we are able to help them to get their loved ones into treatment, there is something that has been a source of frustration for me. It parlays into what I think is very exciting news.   Several months ago, I read an article online about how some of the states are filing law suits against the pharmaceutical companies that have been peddling these opioids knowing that they would put people on the slippery slope to addiction. A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about what I was seeing in my own practice. A lot of the children that we were Marchman Acting who were addicted to illegal opioids had begun the slippery slope of addiction by being prescribed some type of medication.   When I took a look at this lawsuit that was being filed by a number of different states, I said, “That’s great. The states are going to get some money back.” They feel that they’ve incurred expenses as a result of the opioid crisis. What about the families? What are they going to get? How does that help them? How does it help the families whose children have overdosed multiple times and ended up in the emergency room? What about the families who have ultimately lost a child as the result of an overdose? Who is taking care of those folks?   It became a mission of mine to try and make some of those families whole, and get a little bit of justice for them. I went to a friend of mine here in South Florida. He is a lawyer that I have tremendous respect for. I showed him what I read. I said, “What do you think about this?” He said, “Let me get back to you.” A month or two went by. I’m excited to announce that we’re joining forces with several other law firms. We’re going to be filing law suits against the pharmaceutical companies that have caused tremendous distress in families.   Addiction is destroying families. We’re going after them. We’re going to try to get a little justice for some of these families. Here’s the message. If you know a family who has a family member initially prescribed some type of opioid, and from that point on, they became addicted and ultimately overdosed or died as a result of the addiction, we want to hear about it. We’re in the middle of putting together this large lawsuit to go after these pharmaceutical companies. We want to help people.   If you know someone who might fit the bill, send them our way. Have them call our office. The office number here is 561-419-6095. When my receptionist answers the phone, let them know that you are calling about the opioid litigation. We’re going

NAMI Walks 2017

November 20, 2017
We are at the NAMI Walks. NAMI is the National Association of Mental Illness. It’s an unbelievable organization that raises money and provides resources for the disease of mental illness. As you know, that’s a big part of what we do. Addiction and mental illness tend to go hand in hand. We’re here supporting NAMI.   We have done a lot of work with NAMI Broward. Sandra Cumper, who is their director down there, has been absolutely amazing for us. She’s really helped us to get the word out about what we do. She has been very gracious and asked us to come and speak a few times at some of their events. We think it’s important to give back, not only to show our appreciation, but to give love to the community. If you want to get love, you have to give it.   Don’t go to networking events saying to yourself, “I wonder what I can get out of this.” Then you’ll get nothing. You have to give, and then you’ll get. You have to get involved. You have to support your community. You have to care about what you do. We’re here this morning, doing this walk with NAMI, showing our support and letting them know that we care. I read something online yesterday. Eric Bolling was a Fox executive. He was caught up in sexual misconduct and was fired. He had a son who passed away only a few short days after he was terminated. It turned out that this young man, who came from a very privileged, white background, died of a drug overdose.   As I’ve said before, addiction and mental health don’t care what color you are. They don’t care how rich or poor you are or where you came from. They don’t care about your religious background or sexual orientation. These are the things that we seem to harp on in the news. When it comes to addiction and mental illness, it doesn’t matter. You need to understand that this affects everyone. If you think you know someone who might be dealing with this, help them. Let them know there are resources out there.   I lost my dad at the beginning of the year. He’s been a source of inspiration for me. My dad was 81. This was a young man who was in college. Now his father has to bury him. No parent should ever have to lose a child. We spend every week sitting in our office, talking to crying moms who don’t want to lose their children. If you know a family, speak up. Say something so that another parent doesn’t have to bury a child.   There are some things that have become part and parcel of my message. Addiction and mental illness get worse with time. They never get better. They can’t. It’s just the nature of the beast. When you’re dealing with those things, there is only one of three options. The morgue, prison or

President’s commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis

November 14, 2017
Good morning, everyone. I hope you’re having a good start to the day. I want to talk to you about the president’s commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis. I had an opportunity to download the commission report, which follow President Trump’s speech earlier in the month about the crisis. I want to share some points with you. It’s 138 pages long. I can’t tell you I’ve read every page, but I read what I think are the important bits.   We’re losing 175 people a day in this country to addiction and mental illness, which is staggering. To put that into perspective, if every day, we had a terrorist attack that killed 175 people, I think that gives you some idea as to the nature of what we’re dealing with. Can you imagine if, every day, someone walked into a mall with an assault rifle and killed 175 people? That’s staggering, and frankly, frightening. That’s the number that the commission came out with.   They say, “We’re in the middle of a nationwide crisis.” The top of the list of things they came up with was, “We need money.” I don’t think that’s a secret. I written, blogged, spoken and screamed about it. We need money. We’re front and center of the crisis down here in South Florida. According to the report, only 10% of people who need treatment are getting it. That just shocks me. Of the 175 that we are going to lose today, maybe 17 of them, in theory, have access to treatment. That’s pathetic. It’s not good enough. We have to do something about it. Hopefully something is going to be done about it.   They made a point that there is a requirement that insurance companies start to treat the diseases addiction and mental illness the same way we do for some type of physical ailment. The insurance companies shouldn’t give less coverage to someone who has an addiction issue as opposed to someone who is injured in a car accident.   They talked about drug court. Here in Palm Beach County, we have a drug court. A lot of the counties have drug courts here in Florida. Only 44% of counties in the United States have some form of drug court. We’re taking people that we could send through a court program mandating treatment and we’re giving them a criminal record.   I know from my experience of working 20-plus years in the criminal justice system that most of the people there are there because they have addiction and mental illness issues. We’re taking people that we could help, and keep them out of the system, and we’re punishing them. We’re throwing them in jail. That’s not making things better. It’s making it worse. In addition to treatment, they want to fund drug courts. I think that’s a great idea.   Apparently, they’re looking to do that in the federal system, too. I have a client who is serving time in

Addiction 911 Show: Getting Past the Stigma of Shame of Addiction

November 10, 2017
Thank you, Christina Rowe, for having me on the Addiction 911 Show to talk about “Getting Past the Stigma of Shame of Addiction”.

Recovery Radio Live with James and Blake

November 9, 2017
  It was an honor to be on the show to talk about the Marchman Act and how I can help people get the help they need. Thanks, James and Blake!

Unpause Your Life Podcast with Dr. Cali Estes

November 8, 2017
It was an honor to be on the Unpause Your Life Podcast. Our topic was How Mark Astor of Drug and Alcohol Attorneys Uses Legal Strategies to Save Lives.

My take on “forced” treatment from a Marchman Act petition filing

November 7, 2017
Good afternoon, everyone. It’s been an interesting week. We are finally at the end of the week. I don’t know if I’ve been this sleep deprived in a long time. It’s been an amazing couple of days. Yesterday, I was on the radio twice. I want to say a special thank you to my friend Nizan Mosery, who runs a show called The Travelling Investor. I want to thank him for having me on his show, which runs on iHeartRadio.   I also want to thank James Sweasey and Blake Cohen who had me on Recovery Radio last night. I spent two hours with those guys. They are truly inspirational gentleman who are doing amazing work to help other people who are dealing with issues of addiction and mental health. We didn’t just talk about addiction. We talked about some personal growth stuff. I had the opportunity to watch the guys at work. They are really dynamic together. If you get an opportunity, you should tune in on a Thursday night from 9:00 to 11:00 to listen to Blake and James go at it. They’re really terrific together.   I got an interesting email from someone who accused me of ambulance chasing and said that I was the addiction version of a personal injury lawyer. I have a lot of friends who are PI lawyers. My best friend is a PI lawyer. I didn’t think that comment was made in good taste. I think it’s insulting. The crux of the email was that I was forcing people into treatment, I shouldn’t be doing that, and that the Marchman Act is a horrible thing. They said that we should allow people to hit rock bottom.   When I took my subjective hat off and was able to be a little bit more objective, I thought about it. That’s ridiculous. That might have been a good argument 10 years ago when heroin wasn’t laced with Fentanyl and we didn’t have people drop dead like it’s going out of style. But we have people dropping dead. Someone hitting rock bottom may end up in the morgue. We have to get people into treatment. Waiting for people to potentially drop dead and taking that chance is insanity. As a result of getting that email, I’m going to triple my efforts to file as many Marchman Acts as I can. Then I know I’m going to be helping a lot more people.   A lot of people send me things saying, “We shouldn’t come to Florida for treatment because the treatment centers are all run by addicts. Why would we want to be in an environment run by addicts?” I say to them, “If you haven’t been to any kind of conference or networking event with people who work in the industry, you’re really missing out.”   One of the things we talked about last night on Recovery Radio was what it’s like to go to an event with other people who work in the