Sep 24, 2013

Lamar Odom's Secret Crack Cocaine Use

How do we ever know what to believe in the news? Of course, a trusted news outlet is the best way to go, but even they get it wrong sometimes. How do we decipher the news versus just plain gossip that has not be verified?

The latest “news” that is being reported by Sports Illustrated’s website SI Wire is saying that Lamar Odom has been missing for three days and is assumed to be on a crack cocaine binge. SI Wire is re-reporting the story that was initially released on TMZ’s website.

Who Knew?!

Apparently Khloe Kardashian Odom has been keeping her husband’s drug problem a secret from her family, and from the rest of the world. Reports are saying that Lamar has had a problem with crack for over two years now. Does he need drug rehab? Evidently yes he does, and he already went last year, completely under the radar. According to TMZ and SI Wire, the Kardashians staged an intervention that lead to a 3-week rehab stint last August that should have lasted longer, but Lamar refused to stay. Khloe visited often, trying to encourage her husband to complete drug rehab so he can start over again.

When Lamar left rehab, the marriage experienced even more strain, to the point of Khloe having to kick Lamar out of the house recently when he refused to return to drug rehab, which he clearly needs.

His Past

Of course when a report comes out of this nature, everything from Lamar’s past is dug up. In 2001, the prob basketball player was suspended twice for drug abuse. The NBA felt Lamar was violating their drug policy, and that was that. Lamar got clean and joined the Lakers, where he won two championships.

This drug problem is not new. Did Khloe understand Lamar’s demons before she married him? It seems like he is clean during the basketball season, but then dives deeply into crack cocaine use during the off-season. What kind of marriage can you have with a man who chooses that life?

His Present

Women have come forward in recent months claiming to have been with Lamar sexually. Is this another aspect of his life that is being hidden from the public? Are the divorce rumors true; are Khloe and Lamar deciding to part ways, or is Khloe standing by the man she married, no matter what?

In true Kardashian form, Khloe’s mom, Kris Jenner has released a statement about the couple. “Khloe and Lamar are absolutely not getting divorced. There's been no talk of divorce." It is hard to know what to believe. Would you have ever guessed that Lamar Odom was addicted to crack cocaine and that, after one failed attempt at drug rehab, the Kardashian clan would be trying to intervene again and get someone in their tight-knit family to stop smoking such a dangerous drug?

Their Future

Khloe and Lamar have decided not to do another season of their reality show. Has it become too hard to hid Lamar’s reality? The reason given was so that Lamar can focus on his basketball career. E!, the channel that televises all the Kardashian, Odom, and Jenner shows is still interested in Khloe, possibly in her own show.

What will happen with Lamar and with Lamar and Khloe’s marriage? Will Lamar go to drug rehab again and finally recover from his addiction? Stay tuned! There’s never a dull moment in the Kardashian’s world.

Kate Green is a quality improvement manager that strives to inspire people dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. She works for Balboa Horizons Treatment Services.

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Sep 19, 2013

Michael Jackson's Daughter Hospitalized After Slitting Wrist

The 15-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson has been hospitalized.

Apparently Paris Jackson slit one of her wrists and then called a suicide counseling hotline. The hotline professional called and had an ambulance sent to the family's home in Calabasas, California, a prominent part of Los Angeles.

The incident was described by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department as police officers responding to "a medical situation" at 1:27am, that resulted in one patient being taken to the hospital.

A cry for help

Family members do not feel that Paris was actually attempting suicide, but they do recognize the incident as a cry for help. Paris has been having a really hard time being involved in her father's wrongful death trial. She is listed as a witness, but may not be called to actually testify. This feels like a lot of pressure to such a young girl who was traumatized enough by the untimely death of the dad she adored.


Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, plus Paris and her brothers, Prince and Blanket, are suing AEG Live, the company they believe is responsible for the singer’s overdose death in 2009. AEG Live is the company that coordinated all of Michael Jackson’s tours. One doctor, who was hired to care for Michael on the 1993 “Dangerous” world tour, informed an AEG Live executive that, in his professional opinion, Michael was an opiate addict, in the form of injections, patches, and pills. The lawsuit now accuses AEG Live and its employees of ignoring that information and essentially turning a blind eye to MJ’s drug use.

Rehashing all of this information and having to relive the details of her dad’s death is clearly taking a toll on Paris Jackson. With the amount of stress and discomfort she and her family are enduring, it’s no wonder Paris is in need of help.

Although Paris spoke of the love she had for her father at his memorial service, it is always difficult having a relationship with an opiate addict. Is the reality of her father’s life setting in and she doesn’t know how to handle it?

Relationships with addicts

Michael Jackson never stayed sober, so essentially he was on drugs while raising his children. Any relationship with an opiate addict will not make much logical sense. Michael may have been nothing but loving to his children, but there is still a piece missing when a parent is high. Paris might be realizing just how absent her father was at times, and how he ultimately chose drugs over his own health.

Paris has reunited with her birth mother, Debbie Rowe. Hopefully that relationship can help create some stability in her life as she matures into adulthood.

Reports say that Paris is participating in a residential treatment program because she is still a danger to herself. What will be next for the only daughter of Michael Jackson? How will she and her family attempt to live a life of happiness and health?

Hopefully Paris can heal from the pain of an ongoing relationship with an opiate addict, in this case her father, and from the pain caused by his death?

Balboa Horizon's Kate Green is a quality improvement manager that is passionate about helping people with their struggles against drug and alcohol abuse. Learn more by reading her post about the growing epidemic of opiate addiction and abuse.

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Sep 17, 2013

Was Michael Jackson A Drug Addict Before His Death?

Dr. Stuart Finkelstein, who treated MJ during the 1993 “Dangerous” tour, says that yes, the singer was already addicted to prescription drugs at that point. The story has surfaced because the physician is testifying in the wrongful death trial currently determining who is to blame for the singer’s untimely death.

Continuous use

Dr. Finkelstein traveled internationally with MJ and when he realized that Michael was heavily abusing opiates, mainly in the form of morphine and Demerol, he told MJ’s camp of his concern. He communicated to an AEG Live executive and to Michael’s tour manager, Paul Gongaware, who is actually now also an AEG Live executive, that in his professional opinion, Michael Jackson is a drug addict. The physician gave Michael a shot of Demerol and a 24-hour intravenous morphine drip while the crew was in Thailand for a performance.

While on that leg of the tour, Michael complained of a severe headache, so Dr. Finkelstein called MJ’s Los Angeles doctor, who gave the orders to administer an injection of Demerol. The physician testified that Michael Jackson’s "buttocks were so scarred up and abscessed that the needle almost bent. He obviously had had multiple injections in his buttocks prior to arriving in Bangkok."

When Michael felt unable to perform, Dr. Finkelstein gave him another 24-hour dose of morphine. The physician was alarmed to see that Michael also wore a Duragesic patch, which allowed the user to absorb another form of opiate through direct contact with skin.

While testifying, Dr. Finkelstein also informed the court that MJ’s make-up artist and hairstylist was seen giving Michael Demerol injections. It appears that the singer has convinced everyone in his life to help him use opiates in various forms. It is actually quite amazing to think that the most popular performer in the world was addicted to such a harmful set of substances for so many years.

Refusing help

Apparently some of those closest to Michael also knew of his drug addiction. The “Dangerous” tour did not make it to all the intended cities. MJ’s good friend, Elizabeth Taylor, flew into Mexico City for an intervention. She took Michael to a hospital in England immediately, but his drug use did not stop.

The singer’s team did not do anything with the information at the time and the tour and his career were back to their number one priority. Michael continued to receive opiates via injections, patches, and ongoing drips.

What Michael needed instead was for his friends and family to look into drug rehab programs for men. Michael could have really benefited from formal rehab that forced him to be clean and to address his reasons for drug use.

Drug rehab programs for men could have offered MJ an opportunity to develop camaraderie and support that he and never before experienced. For the first time, the singer could have found understanding and relatability, and he could have worked through the tumultuous childhood and fame that seemed to haunt him. Instead, he self-medicated for decades and left behind three children.

A quality improvement manager at Balboa Horizons, Kate Green is passionate about assisting others on their journey in overcoming drug and alcohol addiction. Learn more about the addiction treatment process on this infographic.

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Sep 16, 2013

Amy Winehouse Died Of Bulimia, Not Drug Abuse

Newsflash: Amy Winehouse’s brother says that bulimia killed Amy, not drugs.

Alex Winehouse recognizes that his sister was on a path to death, but that it was ultimately years of her eating disorder behaviors that rendered her body too weak to continue functioning.

Bulimia symptoms and behaviors started in Amy’s teen years and did not subside, probably because she was never treated for the illness. She was also never treated well for substance abuse. 

Co-occuring disorders

With this news from Alex, we now know that Amy Winehouse could have been dually-diagnosed. In other words, Amy had co-occurring disorders: an addiction and an eating disorder.

When left untreated, just one mental illness or disorder is detrimental to the life of the sufferer. When two illnesses are happening at the same time, it is certainly harder to diagnose and treat. If you are abusing a drug that alters your brain chemistry, and therefore how you view the world, and subsequently act, it is really hard to tell if symptoms of a mental illness are from the drug use, or if they are a separate issue.

There are numerous treatment centers that treat co-occurring disorders during the same rehab stint. For someone like Amy, a focus on bulimia and on alcohol and drug abuse could have given her the opportunity to get change. People who have felt uncomfortable in their own lives, and in their own bodies, often turn to alcohol, cocaine, prescription pills, heroin, or whatever else to feel differently or to escape from your discomfort. When the drug use stops, and you are left with a life on pause, you want to immediately go back to the feeling the drug gave you.

Unenjoyable reality

Reality for these people is not enjoyable without substances. Cocaine, for example, can seem to help someone who has an eating disorder. In Amy’s case, the appetite suppressing power of cocaine may have been just what she was looking for: a way to eat less and maintain a smaller body weight.

The cocaine is masking the eating disorder symptoms, but below the surface, and when the person is not using, the symptoms come right back, sometimes even more intensely.

Amy Winehouse could have spent some time in rehab and healed the issues that lead to bulimia and substance abuse. She could have gotten better. Maybe her dad should have stepped in with more force to get his daughter the help she desperately needed.

Club 27

People loved her music. She definitely made her mark on the industry, and could have realized a sustainable creative career, but instead she joins the 27 Club (famous people who have died at age 27) whether it’s because of bulimia or substance abuse.

Sadly we will never know because she said no, no, no to rehab. It doesn’t make a difference what actually took her life because a young, talented woman is gone.

With dual diagnosis treatment, Amy could still be singing but with how she said yes, yes, yes to rehab and what adventures she can now experience without drugs and alcohol.

Kate Green is a quality improvement manager at Balboa Horizons Treatment Services that helps those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.

Image Credit: 1, 2.

Sep 13, 2013

Jenna Jameson Accuses Tito Ortiz Of Drug Abuse On Twitter

Twitter brings out the nasty in some people. It gives the angry and the hurt a place to air out their dirty laundry.

We’ve seen Amanda Bynes Tweet just about everything. We learn a lot about what celebrities (and everyday folk) are doing and thinking right in the heat of the moment.

Instead of love for one another, people are using Twitter, and of course other forms of mass media, to bash a person they once loved. Tweeting is a new way to get back at someone when a breakup gets ugly.

Using Twitter to vent

Jenna Jameson has made herself into an example of that. She has Tweeted all about her ex-husband’s alleged drug use while they were married, and while he was an active MMA fighter.

Jenna claims that Tito Ortiz was a heavy drug user for years. She put up pictures of needles and prescription drug bottles, suggesting that they belong to her ex-husband. She also claims that she watched Ortiz fake the MMA required drug tests.

The ones that lose the most

Instead of a loving wife who supports her husband through an incredibly difficult opiate withdrawal timeline, the couple gets divorced, they create a nasty custody battle, and Jenna uses Twitter to express her sadness and anger. Who really loses? Their 4-year-old twin boys.

Twitter: a place to air your dirty laundry

We never know what’s really going on in the lives of celebrities, especially those who are addicted to any substances, but if you put your grievances on Twitter, or other social media sites, you are actively sharing your private life with the public.

It can be assumed that Tito Ortiz does not want that stuff up on Twitter, out for anyone and everyone to read. The person you trusted the most at one point in time, is now using everything against you.

If Tito wanted to get clean, and was willing to endure the opiate withdrawal timeline that’s necessary when you stop taking prescription painkillers, it’s sad to think that a wife would not stand by her husband through the process.

Surely there is more than meets the eye here, but when part of the story is aired, and that’s all we get, we speculate, don’t we?

Better communication methods

The real issue is, how can we help people communicate in healthier ways to possibly save a marriage? Is it really necessary to use social media to expose your feelings and life to complete strangers, or is it possible for two people to have a real conversation with one another to deal with their problems face to face? Are two people with prior (or current) addiction issues doomed from the start? Did Jenna and Tito have any chance at a loving marriage, or could we have predicted drug use, violence, and a bitter split? In the end, who is the real winner or loser in this battle?

Either way, it’s sad, but tempting, to we can keep up on it through Twitter.

Kate Green is a quality improvement manager at Balboa Horizons Treatment Services, who strives to help others overcome struggle with issues of alcohol and drug addiction learn more about her work at

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Sep 9, 2013

Women's Inpatient Rehabilitation For Lindsey Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is back in rehab after facing court-mandated treatment instead of jail time.

What do women need in treatment to be successful? Are gender-specific treatment programs necessary for women to get sober and sustain a life of recovery?

Lindsay has been to rehab several times, so what can be different this time? Would she benefit from a women’s inpatient substance abuse program rather than a coed group?

Women Have Their Own Set Of Challenges

Women who have been abusing alcohol, prescription pills, or any illegal drugs are reacting to something emotionally difficult. Getting to the bottom of that void that’s seeking to be filled is important for her to ever be clean for long periods of time. Often times elminating the distractions associated with the opposite sex is beneficial.

Was this woman a victim of violence or another form of trauma? Is there unresolved emotional pain that’s making her want to numb out, escape, or kill pain?

What Women Need

Women in rehab need comfort, security, a good support system, and other good women around. When a women's inpatient substance abuse program provides those key elements, clients can open up to one another and really share the truth about their lives.

Let’s pretend for a minute that we know Lindsay Lohan. Since she is a public figure, we have more information than we would a stranger walking down the street. We know that the relationship with her dad is volatile, but we don’t really know why. The reasoning behind the distance is something personal to Lindsay that may feel like an empty space that needs to be filled with something else.

When she doesn’t know how to handle the painful emotions and real-time situations, Lindsay seems to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Self medication is a common reason people begin abusing substances in the first place and often what triggers a relapse.

The Root Of Addiction

In a women’s inpatient substance abuse program, where the clients live on-site, Lindsay Lohan’s inner turmoil could be revealed, added as a component of her treatment plan, and then addressed during individual therapy and in a peer process group. With the help of and support from other women, Lindsay could get to the root of her addiction and her harmful behaviors so that this stint in rehab could potentially be her last.

For any woman seeking treatment for addiction, a women’s inpatient substance abuse program is the way to go. You can participate in activities like yoga, meditation, intention-setting, art therapy, 12-Step Meetings, nutrition counseling, life skills workshops, and various forms of therapy.

Getting Healthy

What could be better while getting healthy and regaining your life? Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living, there is no reason to let drugs and alcohol limit you potential enjoyment in life.

Let’s hope Lindsay’s time in rehab allows her to see the life she could be living without drugs, alcohol, continuously being involved with the legal system, and self-harming behaviors that surround her current lifestyle. Best of luck LiLo!

Kate Green is a quality improvement manager at Balboa Horizons Treatment Services, her passion is to help others overcome struggle with issues of alcohol and drug addiction learn more at

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Sep 5, 2013

Eminem Opens Up

Remember when we found out that Eminem was fully addicted to prescription pills? Despite his self-disclosure of drug and alcohol abuse in song after song (examples: Purple Pills and Drug Ballad), did we really understand that he was addicted?

He was reaching a point of success in the music industry, a rags to riches kind of story, and seemed to be working hard to keep that earned status.

The Documentary

In a new documentary, though, Eminem (Marshall Mathers) is letting it be known that his prescription drug addiction nearly killed him. How to Make Money Selling Drugs gives the audience an inside look at just how bad addiction got for Eminem. In his words, “Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died. My organs were shutting down. My liver, kidneys, everything. They were gonna have to put me on dialysis. They didn't think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death."

In the world of addiction treatment, the concept of “rock bottom” is prevalent. Not all addicts need to hit a bottom like Marshall did, but he is making the point that for him, death was the only thing that was going to stop him from popping those pills.

As his celebrity status grew, Marshall would get rid of anyone who tried telling him he had a drug problem. He was Eminem. He could send people away if he wanted to. He did not have to listen to that.  He recalls thinking that these people were ridiculous. That guy is saying I’m a drug addict? That I have a problem? I don’t. I’m not shooting heroin or smoking crack. Get that guy outta here!

During one episode of heavy use, Marshall was rushed to the hospital. After nearly dying, Eminem knew he needed rehab. A men’s addiction treatment program was the next step in his life.


Detoxing was difficult, as it is when anyone stops taking opiates like Vicodin, which was one of his drug’s of choice. He talks about being awake for basically three weeks straight as his body and brain adjusted to pre-drug functioning.

He was also taking Xanax and Valium, among other drugs. The combinations that Marshall’s body experienced makes it hard to find a good place of balance again. Feeling no pain during active use, and then getting clean all at once, makes any pain now feel unbearable. Emotions come rushing to the surface while your body is beyond uncomfortable.

The Process Of Healing

Once you make it past detox though, you can begin to heal.  Men’s addiction treatment was not easy for Eminem, but he did make it through. He is sober today, as far as we know, and he wants addicts and alcoholics who are going to rehab to know that it does get easier.

The documentary, in theaters, will show the truth about drug addiction through Eminem’s experiences. Will it show the full picture? From that first Vicodin, that numbed everything in all the right ways, to near-death with the reality of major internal damage, to men’s addiction treatment?

Hopefully the film can inspire others to seek treatment too.

Kate Green is passionate about covering the world of addiction reocver from her time spent working with Balboa Horizons Treatment Services

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.