Welcome to the revamped and renamed “Sober Law News” courtesy of the law firm Beighley, Myrick & Udell, P.A., where I am now making my home.
Having spent the past 5 ½ years in Delray Beach, I have elected to broaden my ability to be able to serve the Recovery Community and relocate my offices to Boca Raton where I am now a partner in the soon-to-be-renamed “Beighley, Myrick, Udell & Lynne, P.A.”
I want to thank each and every one of you for your support all these years and your encouragement of me to continue to advocate to find balance within the Recovery Community and greater treatment industry.
I have learned a tremendous amount from you about what a true “community” means, and have also learned that the opposite of “addiction” is not “sobriety” but rather “connectivity.”
Thanks for staying connected.
And now, on to the news……
First, we write about the State of Washington and how the Seattle Times reported on February 27, 2016 regarding a bill in that state’s legislature that would create a confidential relationship between a person in recovery and their sponsor. This bill would put communications between these two roles on par with that of doctor and patient, attorney and client, priest and penitent, albeit only for noncriminal cases.
Still, under the bill, a person “who acts as a sponsor providing guidance, emotional support, and counseling in an individualized manner” to someone in a recovery program would not be allowed to testify in a civil action or proceeding about anything said in their conversations, unless the privilege is waived by the person in recovery or on account of their death.
How did this get proposed? The measure has been pushed by King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, a recovering alcoholic who says such a bill is needed so people in recovery don’t have their words used against them in civil lawsuits or divorce proceedings.
Conversely, at the federal level, The Hill reported on 2/28/16 (“Senate readies for battle over opioid abuse”) that a demand by Senate Democrats for emergency funding to tackle opioid abuse is threatening to derail the larger bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA legislation which has been otherwise moving through Congress.
Dozens of organizations sent a letter to McConnell and Reid this week urging them to make sure CARA passes, saying it will “make important advancements to effectively address the growing epidemic of drug abuse.”
The Harm Reduction Coalition, separately, sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to move the legislation in a “bipartisan fashion” and suggesting that some of the programs pushed by Democrats do not “achieve sufficient and timely impact to warrant emergency supplemental appropriations outside of regular order.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that drug overdose deaths reached historic levels in 2014, with an individual more likely to die by overdose than in a car crash.
Last, and in a you-heard-it-here-first, on the other side of the planet, the Japan Times is reporting about the growing recognition of Smartphone Addiction, particularly in the middle school and elementary school population.
“When [a student] stopped attending school she was helped by a sympathetic teacher, but like alcoholism or drugs, it’s exceedingly difficult to rid oneself of Internet addiction unless a person first recognizes that he or she has a serious problem.”
While we may laugh, many of my friends in the Recovery Community has asserted that the kids in group or program don’t know how to connect in face-to-face discussions with others, and are uncomfortable outside of looking up from their devices.
Have a great week!!!!