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Sep-26-2012 01:04printcommentsVideo

It's Time for Partnership for a Drug Free to Show us the Money and Save Our Kids' Lives!

Michael's doctor assured Avi that his son "needed" these painkillers...

Michael Daviid Israel
Michael David Israel

(MYRTLE BEACH SC) - I have been writing about a man named Avi Israel from Buffalo, NY. His son, Michael died last year at the age of 20 - suicide. Michael had been prescribed addictive painkillers for his medical condition.

When he realized that he was addicted, he went to his dad and asked for help. Avi first approached Michael's doctor who assured Avi that Michael "needed" these painkillers.

Avi then tried to find a facility that could treat his son's addiction. Avi was told there were "no beds available in New York." Michael in total desperation ended his life rather than having to deal with the horrific effects of addiction. (See the youtube video below or at this link: SON COMMITTS SUCIDE, FAMILY FIGHTS FOR HIS RIGHTS. MICHAEL DAVID ISRAEL - YouTube)

Avi could have sat back and mourned this beautiful boy's life, but rather he chose to have his voice heard. He has lobbied for laws in New York dealing with addiction to be changed and he has traveled to Washington, DC to not knock on doors -- but to break them down. I have said before that Avi Israel is a man to be reckoned with.

He and his wife, Julie will never see Michael become an architect, marry and give them grandchildren. But they are fighting to save your children from the same fate that ended Michael's life -- addiction.

Partnership for a Drug Free approached Avi Israel to work with him. "Partnership" is heavily funded by the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma. The same company who lied about the dangers of the drug that is now crippling the U.S. and Canada. Purdue Pharma is worth approximately $13 billion -- big bucks. "Partnership" advocates for education to prevent our children from experimenting with prescription drugs. So here's something I would like "Partnership" to consider -- just in the interest of advising them that Avi will probably not buy what is being sold in public relations from a criminal pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma. Consider this scenario: Your loved one goes to their primary care physician and receives the dreaded news -- "you have cancer." But instead of treating your cancer we want to "educate" you and your family. Let's start with emptying your medicine cabinets of any drugs that might be harmful to you. Let's tell your family members that cancer is a killer if left untreated -- but we're not going to treat you. We're going to "educate" you. What's the difference here? I'll tell you what it is. If Partnership For a Drug Free can take money from a pharmaceutical company worth $13 billion to "educate" -- they can demand that rehabilitation facilities be set up throughout the country to "treat" the addiction -- not "educate." Do you actually think that a man like Avi Israel is going to sit back and help empty medicine cabinets and educate kids about the dangers of prescription drugs? His son knew he was addicted - that's education. He was denied treatment because in the state of New York - there was no bed available to Michael Israel. That is a crime. Michael Israel knew the dangers of the prescription drugs he was prescribed -- notice I say "prescribed" -- he didn't buy them off the streets. There was no treatment available to him and he ended his life. Today Partnership For a Drug Free asked Avi Israel to stand on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and ring the closing bell for Michael Israel. Quite an honor I would say. But I don't think Michael's dad is going to be happy with ringing a bell and "educating" kids about the dangers of prescription drugs. It hasn't worked to this point and it appears that we have a Holocaust of loss of life while "Partnership" focuses on education and not treatment. A few hours ago, Partnership for a Drug Free twittered "stay updated about our multi-yr effort to eliminate teen medicine abuse!" I'm curious -- what in the world is "teen medicine abuse?" It's hard for me to swallow this -- and I think that parents throughout the country who are dealing with death and addiction of loved ones should now be saying -- "Show me the money." If "Partnership" is taking funding from a multi-billion pharmaceutical company responsible for the hundreds of thousands of people addicted or dead -- put their money into treatment. Stop blowing smoke -- we're not buying what you're selling. "Partnership" shows on their website - "We work with corporations, foundations, associations and other nonprofits to develop educational programs." This prescription drug epidemic is out of control and education is obviously not the answer -- treatment is the answer. Demand Partnership for a Drug Free show us "the money" in treating addiction -- not talking about addiction. What better benefactor of the treatment of the prescription drug epidemic than the pharmaceutical company who brought this nightmare into our homes -- Purdue Pharma.

LP - Listen to my words -- you are the best for being you and loving me -- as I love you.

On October 29, 2012 (Monday) "Save the Michaels of the World" is planning a protest in Washington, DC at the FDA building. This is an opportunity to let the Federal agency that is supposed to protect us know what a lousy job they are doing. We need your help. Join us in Washington. Together we can change the future of this country!

FDA White Oak Campus
Building 31
The Great Room (Rm. 1503)
White Oak Conference Center
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland

Go to the Facebook page - Save the Michaels of the World - Join this organization fighting for change in an effort to save lives in this epidemic of drugs

Investigative Reporter for
Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company

_______________________________________ Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 8-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.

Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.




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Marianne Skolek September 29, 2012 12:00 am (Pacific time)

Phil Bauer, on the Advisory Board of Partnership For a Drug Free America, I suggest you change the Internet which calls your organization Partnership For a Drug Free and not Partnership At a Drug Free In fact everything on the Internet calls your organization Partnership for a Drug Free Maybe you should have this changed -- I'm sure you have connections in high places to accomplish this. Oh and I do my research -- but am curious why you would refer to your group incorrectly on the Internet and when clicked on the name changes to Partnership at a Drug Free Why not list it properly to begin with? That's what a good investigative reporter wants to know.

Phil Bauer September 28, 2012 3:30 pm (Pacific time)

Truly sorry about the death of the author's precious daughter Jill. My heart goes out to the family. Unfortunately, the author doesn't even get the name of the organization right. What other parts of the article are inaccurate I wonder. Would be interested in knowing what the response was when she interviewed someone from The Partnership at That would be what an investigative reporter would do...right?

M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. September 28, 2012 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

Nothing stings as sharply as truth. Problems, such as suicide, addiction, abuse (not just drug abuse) and the criminality of Big Pharma and it's revolving door partners at FDA, CDC, NIH AND the Whitehouse, will never be understood nor will they ever be solved with cognitively distorted thinking like deflection, denial, filtering, polarization, over-generalization, jumping to conclusions, catastrophizing, false perceptions of control, false perceptions of fairness, blaming, shaming, unrealistic demands, emotionality, false perceptions of change, false perceptions and applications of altruistic behaviour and more. None of this will bring back the dead, bring understanding to why they died or save any future lives. I'm not trying to be mean or hurtful or anything of the kind. These are simply uncomfortable realities. Mr. Israel.. I am by no means attacking your son. Questioning incongruities is not an attack and can only be construed as an attack through cognitive distortion on your part (and you do present considerable distortion) and of those who fall into such patterns of distorted thinking. Mr. Israel.. as a counselor having worked with so many dual diagnosed clients, I am aware that exceptionally few addicts commit suicide because they are addicted. The addiction is typically a means of escaping from painful issues (usually family issues), or self medicating psychosis in one form or another. I know that crohn's disease is very painful and also leads to various distortions within the mind which, in many cases, leads to drug abuse and addiction. I also know that crohn's disease , through these distortions, presents with a relatively high percentage of suicides. Having studied suicides rather extensively, I am also aware that drug addicts who do attempt suicide typically do so through overdosing on their DOC (Drug Of Choice) and do so because the DOC fails to block out the noises in their heads. I also know that many meds are not appropriate for use in crohn's disease but that it is not black and white. Oxy will work for some and not for others. The prescribing physician should attempt the least aggressive med and work his/her way up to what is effective. With diseases like crohn's, where depression and anxiety are common features, counseling should be ongoing to keep the client, family and physician on point at all times. I do know that OXY is over prescribed and have said so repeatedly despite the denial by so many of the cognitively deficient commenters here. In fact, I very recently informed just who is responsible for the amount of OXY produced and supplied in the US. I have advocated and made numerous suggestions despite the denial by so many here. If you go through the partial list of very common distortions I have provided here and compare them with the comments of many here, it becomes very clear just how much cognitive distortion plays in communication on these topics... which is why I have repeatedly emphasized that emotionality interferes with productive response. To those who think that I should do this or that and say this or that, conforming to their distorted visions of reality, my response is.. no.. I won't.. never have.. and never will. As a counselor with extensive background, I know how damaging it is to support cognitive distortions in the addict and in those who are either seeking to help the addict or assuage their own feelings of guilt and shame. My goal, as a counselor, is to help all involved to face reality, not distort it to fit some magical thinking of what it should be. As a counselor, I reality test all involved, call them on all of their bullshit, and help them reframe their thinking so that they can begin to accept reality and work toward positively changing those aspects that can be changed, accepting those that cannot be changed and being wise enough and honest enough to know the difference. And while I point at the moon, the cognitively deficient and defective will focus only on my finger. Read The Therapeutic Nightmare by Morton Mintz (if you can find it) This is not a new struggle and it is not one to which I am a stranger. I have been an advocate for reform since the 60's, have done rallies, radio and TV shows, newspaper interviews and have worked on documentaries on both coasts. I have taught in colleges and both created and taught courses in rehabs. I have designed half way house programs and 14 and 21 day recovery programs. To those who write here attempting to shame me because I will not react (as opposed to act) and follow your futile efforts (yes.. and they will remain futile until you wake up and face reality.. not the magical thinking you present) , I sincerely hope you wake up at some point. Real change grows from real truths and real truths are both hard to face and hard to live with. Cognitive distortions are the tools we use to avoid the sting and fool ourselves into thinking we are acting effectively.

Me..HUMAN September 27, 2012 4:36 pm (Pacific time)

He is the Creator of Thought Addiction programs (Lectures Seminars & Workshops) (Intensive 21 day Addiction Recovery Programs designed for Artists, Actors, Musicians & Industry Leaders) residing in New Hampshire (US)... REALLY.. This is what you do and you write such things on here?? REALLY..You would think an addiction counselor would know better.SHAME SHAME ON YOU

Avi Israel September 27, 2012 7:41 am (Pacific time)

Marianne i think this is a great article. what some people don't understand is Doctors are over prescribing,and for the wrong things so maybee Ph.D Paul can understand when you have crohn hydrocodon is not the answer.i think that PH.D Paul is an addict himself and needs help

Bridget Demmy September 27, 2012 4:45 pm (Pacific time)

M Paul,
Seeing you are an addiction counselor whose job is to try to help people who suffer from the disease of addiction, I must wonder why you haven't stated that you will join us in Washington @ the FDA hearing. I am sure you have seen more than enough evidence from your patients addicted to these prescription drugs that we have a crisis on our hands.I would think you would make comments regarding need for prescription reform,big pharma and FDA taking responsibility for this crisis.Instead your comments are negatively targeted toward a man who lost his son and now dedicates his life trying to be sure it doesn't happen to other children/parents etc. I must say, it doesn't put you in a very good light M Paul.It is apparent that all the schooling and titles next to their names doesn't make a man a smart man,now does it?

Anonymous September 27, 2012 9:25 am (Pacific time)

M.Dennis Paul, wouldn't you think DRUG REPS"educating" the Drs. regarding the pain medications they were encouraging the Drs to prescribe should have been educated on the HIGHLY ADDICTIVE nature of the drugs? Don't you think had full disclosure been done from the start this epidemic wouldn't be as it is today? Don't you think perhaps instead of being curios and seeming to target a man who is fighting to help save the lives of thousands and thousands of people a year, you should be "curious" and target Big Pharma,the FDA etc for the horrible disservice they have done to all of us in the USA??? It is baffling that on 2 of these articles that Avi is mentioned in, your aim is at him and not the real problem. I am "curious" as to your motive in your questioning of the Israels, what is your agenda is in this. Shame on you for your insensitive,thoughtless and heartless comments.

tricia mcdonald September 27, 2012 8:49 am (Pacific time)

m.dennis paul's comments on this matter are consistently inappropriate. why is he not censored?

Avi Israel September 26, 2012 11:14 pm (Pacific time)

Paul ...leave my son alone.!!!!!!!! Do you understand ?

Avi Israel September 26, 2012 7:47 pm (Pacific time)

I was told by their staff that they get money from purdue . And that purdue is not involved in the everyday decision . I made some segues tigon regarding doctor education not involving purdue,and PSA . Let's see if they do it. If not then we know who runs the show.

M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. September 26, 2012 11:10 am (Pacific time)

The registry is a good start but more needs to be done. I am curious, however, how thew registry would have saved Michael's life when he, as stated by mom, was not circumventing and was only taking the meds prescribed by his physician??

Amy Graves September 26, 2012 4:45 am (Pacific time)

Great article Marianne ! Purdue seems to have their hand in everyones pocket . Its a smoke screen that people uneducated on rx dug abuse wont see through.

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