Estate Planning
Mental health
Substance abuse

More Information On The Opioid Litigation

January 11, 2018
We’ve all had medication prescribed to us at one time or another, but not all medications and not all doctors are created equally. Some medications, especially those that are addictive, are prescribed irresponsibly and that can start us on the slippery slope of addiction.   Opioid injuries and deaths are preventable tragedies, but the epidemic has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in this country.   Drug And Alcohol Attorneys founder Mark Astor says:   “Deaths and overdoses are preventable, and are the end result of pharmaceutical company greed. Once you or your family member has fallen victim TO prescription medications and more powerful opioids such as heroin, there is a loss of control. The pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers should be held financially liable for the strain they’ve caused on the public and the destruction they’ve done to countless families.”   Lawsuits are now being filed because of “misinformation” about the risks of opioid addiction, dating back into the early 2000’s.   If you believe that a loved one overdosed or died due to opioid addiction, you should contact an experienced lawyer to see if you qualify for compensation.   The team at Drug and Alcohol Attorneys are there to set you and your family on the road to recovery.   They are in the business of making a difference, empowering families and giving you options.   They will help you to get your loved one into treatment and assist you to seek the compensation you deserve for the injuries inflicted.   For more information, call Drug and Alcohol Attorneys and ask to speak to the Opioid Litigation Team.

The Marchan Act Is More Than A Financial Decision

January 8, 2018
Happy 2018, everyone. Can you believe that it’s 2018? I’m excited to be sharing more great content with everyone who has blessed me with comments, criticism and encouragement. I want to thank my friend Pam Polani, Audra Simovitch, who I work with, and my mom and sister who conspired yesterday to throw me a surprise birthday party. On Sunday, I’ll be 51. Last year, we didn’t get to celebrate my 50th because my dad was so sick. They really did a good number on me. Thank you. It was great to be in a room full of loving friends and close family. It was an amazing evening.   I am excited for the families that we’re going to help this year. This week was a little strange. I had two families that called me panicked. That’s typically how it goes. I get a call from a mom or dad panicked about their child who has relapsed, won’t go into treatment or won’t stay in treatment.   Two of the families that called me, after retaining me, decided that they didn’t want to do it anymore. They weren’t going to proceed with the Marchman Act. I always hope that clients will be candid with me. It’s an enormous source of frustration for me, not just from a business perspective, but from a personal level.   I am personally involved in these cases. I take this seriously. It’s what gets me up in the morning. It’s why I don’t sleep at night and why I take calls at 2:00 in the morning, as I routinely do. Trying to find out what’s really going on is important to me. I want to understand the psychology of the decision that a family makes when they say, “I’m not going to go ahead.”   Sometimes that decision is based on the fact that their child has voluntarily agreed to go into treatment. At that point, I say to the family, “You have to understand that this disease only gets worse over time. As long as they’re in treatment, there is a good chance of success.” You need that safety net, especially when you’re dealing with a child who has previously fallen off the wagon. If something happens, we have some recourse there. We can go back to a judge. We can do something to try and keep them in recovery as opposed to letting them fall through the cracks.   Occasionally, the family balks at the idea of spending money to retain a lawyer to file a Marchman Act. I had to talk to one mother this evening. I said, “I buried my father last year. I hadn’t planned for that. I didn’t have the ‘bury my father’ savings account. I know that families don’t have a Marchman Act savings account in the bank. It cost me five times more money to bury my father than it does for a family to have me file a Marchman Act.”   I find that a source of

Opioid Addiction Treatment and Litigation

December 20, 2017
Good afternoon, everyone. I hope you all had a great weekend. It’s always fun to come back to work on a Monday. I find that, as much as I try to relax on the weekends, the nature of our business doesn’t allow for that. I never complain because it’s a labor of love to help people.   I want to address a couple of comments that were made with regards to my last video. It had to do with the fact that, of the $54 million that’s coming into the state of Florida as a result of the state of emergency declared by the governor, apparently, we’re only getting $400,000 here in Palm Beach County. Of that money, it’s apparently being used for medically assisted treatment. I got a little blow back from folks who said, “There’s evidence that this stuff works.”   I’m no therapist. I’m not a scientist. I only know what I see in my practice. What I see is individuals from the ages of 18 to 30 who are addicted to drugs as a result of opioids that have been prescribed to them by doctors who are pushed, prodded and incentivized by pharmaceutical companies. They give kids opioids when they probably don’t need them. That’s what irritates me. The fact that we’re going to give more money to the pharmaceutical companies to fix a problem that they, in large part, caused rubs me the wrong way. Statistics or no statistics. I have a problem with that. If we can use some type of medically assisted treatment to get people off drugs and ultimately into some type of abstinence based treatment, I’m all for that conversation. If you’re going to tell me that we’re going to take one opioid and swap it in for another one, I have a problem with that. I think a lot of other people do, too.   There was an interesting 60 Minutes piece on the TV last night. It was a follow up to the 60 Minutes piece they had done a couple of weeks ago that talked about the fact that our federal government has wimped out when it comes to going after the big pharmaceutical companies that are peddling these drugs to our kids and whoever else is being prescribed them.   The first show talked about the fact that the DEA has had their hands tied. Yesterday’s show talked about the fact that they haven’t had the stones to take these guys to court. One of the companies they specifically talked about was McKesson. I don’t have a problem talking about it because the whole country heard about McKesson last night. They made about $200 billion last year as a result of selling pharmaceuticals. They got a whopping $150 million fine. I haven’t done the math, but I bet it doesn’t take a lot of time for them to make $150 million. Seeing as how no one is going to jail, being indicted or prosecuted, I don’t suppose

Discretionary Trusts

December 18, 2017
Addiction comes in many forms, such as drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling and other destructive behaviors that someone may be unable to control, which not only affects them, but their families as well. An addict can place a strain on their loved ones both emotionally and financially.   A common question to consider is, “If my son or daughter is suffering from addiction or mental illness, should I exclude them from receiving an inheritance upon my death?” Of course, the concern is that if an addict or someone suffering from mental illness receives a large sum of money, they may make decisions that are not in their best interests, or in the best interests of other beneficiaries.   “Parameters may be set up so you do not have to disinherit a beneficiary, but instead can control what they might receive. You may wish to consider establishing a Discretionary Trust, which allows the creator to control any distributions that are made while you are alive or deceased.” says attorney, Mark Astor.   A Discretionary Trust will allow its creator to suspend the distribution of trust assets if, for instance, the beneficiary relapses, does not submit to random drug testing, or fails to continue on a course of treatment. The Trust may also allow one who manages the trust the authority to engage professionals to treat the beneficiary, and if they refuse treatment, then their interest in the trust may be terminated.   If you want to preserve assets for your child’s future benefit, even if they’re suffering from addiction or mental illness, you should speak with an experienced attorney who handles these matters.   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.

My latest thoughts on addiction treatment, the opioid crisis and estate planning

December 12, 2017
Good morning, everyone. I’m at one of my favorite places, which is the car wash here in Boca at the corner of Dixie and Spanish River. They have an amazing deal. It’s $33 per month for all the car washes you could ever want. If you want the inside done, it’s $6. How can you beat that? I always enjoy coming here, especially on the weekends. It’s one of those things that makes me happy. I’m enjoying this wonderful winter we’re having here in Florida, all 48 hours of it. That’s exciting.   I was made aware this week that the money we’re supposedly getting here in Florida is being used entirely for medically assisted treatment. To me, that’s insanity. We’re going to give money to pharmaceutical companies that, I think, are largely responsible for the opioid epidemic. We’re going to give them more money so that they can help people who are already addicted to drugs that they gave them. We’re going to give them things like Subuxone and other drugs that they have in their arsenal. We’re going to wean people off whatever they’ve been taking and we’re going to give them another drug that the pharmaceutical companies have come up with.   To me, that’s insanity. We should be promoting, in large part, abstinence based treatment. We have amazing treatment centers here in Florida. I’m a big proponent of the Marchman Act. I think that you have to make the decision for people to go into treatment, because they can’t make it for themselves. I’m irritated about this. It’s politics at its finest. Shame on the folks in Tallahassee if this is how they’re spending the money that we’re supposed to be getting here to help people. If you don’t get these people into treatment, this is going to get worse.   I’ve worked hard over the last couple of years to give people hope. My business is founded on helping people. I’ve talked about the opioid litigation that we’re working on. We will be seeking money on behalf of families whose members have been terribly affected by the addiction epidemic that’s ravished the entire country.   You may have read that some of the states are suing. We’re suing on behalf of the families. It’s great for the states. What about the families that have lost loved ones? They’ve spent thousands of dollars getting their kids and loved ones into treatment because of this opioid epidemic. If you would be interested in participating in that litigation, give us a call. You can call me on the office line at 561-419-6095. Tell my receptionist that you’re calling about the opioid litigation.   There’s something else that we’re really excited to work on. We want to help families that have been affected by addiction and mental illness to plan for the future. I didn’t think about estate planning until my father died at the beginning of the year. I’m responsible for taking care of my mother. What happens

Addiction Can Happen At Any Age

December 5, 2017
Good morning, everyone. I hope you have all recovered from the Thanksgiving Day turkey food coma. These days, I’m always catching you post-workout. I promise, I do go home, take a shower and make myself look presentable. When I work out, it’s a cathartic time of the morning for me. I have thoughts that come to me and I want to share them. At my age, I tend to forget very quickly.   Last night, Audra and I were out with an amazing woman. We met her through our networking opportunities in the community. She is an amazing entrepreneur, wife and mother. She is an unbelievable beacon of energy. She was gracious enough to share with us the story of her husband who is around my age in his early fifties. He had been in recovery for a number of years.   It crossed my mind as I heard her amazing story that perhaps there are people out there that we have been ignoring. We haven’t been trying to help them. Most of the young people that we help are 18 to 30. Their moms and dads meet with us and ask us to help get their children into treatment. That’s really been our focus.   It appears that there is a whole group of individuals who are a little older and are having issues. We want to help those people. You might know someone who is dealing with an alcohol issue. If you’re someone who has been using pills or heroin, chances are, you haven’t made it to your early fifties. These days, if you start abusing opioids in your late teens and early twenties, chances are, you won’t make it past 30 or 35.   These are individuals who are closer to our age. They need help. We want to help them. There’s a lot of love in this community. There’s an amazing community of support that will help individuals who are dealing with issues of alcohol abuse. We want to help them. We will help them. Be your brother’s keeper. Be your sister’s keeper. Offer to help.   Let them know that we are out there and we want to help as many people in the community as we can. It doesn’t matter their age or what has caused the issue, whether it’s addiction or mental illness. We want to help them. Thank you for the amazing words of support. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I’m humbled by it. Have a good rest of the week. Work out. Keep your mind straight. Keep your body straight. I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you very soon.

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
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