Surviving an Adult Child’s Drug Addiction

One morning last June, Colorado mom Patricia Byrne went online to read her Canton, Mass., hometown newspaper. What she read changed her life: an obituary for a 26-year-old young man who was a childhood playmate of her children. The cause of death: heroin overdose. Her son, Kurt, is a recovering addict, and Byrne thought about how the Massachusetts family must be suffering. She knew too well about the guilt and embarrassment that parents of addicts endure in silence. After reading …

Woman on Fire: Louise Penny Hits #1

How should a red-blooded American editor react when the Canadian queen of the murder mystery throws herself in his lap? If you’re me (left) and the setting is New York’s Book Expo last June, you get over your shock fast enough to plant a big, sloppy kiss on novelist Louise Penny’s cheek (see mortifying evidence below). Book buyers did much the same thing on Sunday the 15th, when they elevated Penny’s ninth Inspector Gamache thriller — the cerebral and satisfying …

Doctors’ Extreme Prescribing – Footprints of Medicare Fraud?

Diagnosis: possible Medicare fraud. That’s the gist of a report from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that found hundreds of doctors with “very extreme” prescribing practices – practices that could be harming Medicare patients and costing the government untold millions. Government investigators zeroed in on doctors writing hundreds of prescriptions per patient and large numbers of prescriptions for painkillers and other addictive drugs, among other practices. Related: 6 Common Medicare Scams After sifting through …

Lou Reed’s New Liver Sparks Old Debate About Transplants

How do you feel about an aging rock icon, who spent his youth wrecking his liver with booze and drugs, being able to get a new liver at age 71? Is it right, considering that there are far more people on the organ-transplant list than there are donors? How about if this same rocker has mended his ways and been a pillar of health since he was in his 40s? Does that change things? The news that singer-songwriter-guitarist Lou Reed …