Thinking of you, Martin Szczupak

(9/2/2015) Special Report: Renowned U.S. drug-rehab program spun out of control

Martin Szczupak had already been in and out of rehab when, for a misdemeanor possession charge, a judge sent the 21-year-old heroin addict to a century-old estate in the wooded hills of upstate New York for another chance to clean up…

By December 2012, he had given up on the treatment program. He felt he would be stuck going from “dead end job and rehab and jail until I eventually drop dead,” he wrote in a letter to his fiancée. “You deserve better than that.” He didn’t want to use drugs anymore, he wrote, “but realistically the odds are against me.”

Szczupak never sent the letter. Three weeks later, he walked out of Belle Terre without permission. One day after that, police visited Szczupak’s mother, Inez, at her Staten Island home to tell her that her son had been found dead from a drug overdose…

In 2012, the U.S. criminal justice system sent 580,000 people to drug treatment…

At Belle Terre, criminal-justice referrals account for the majority of residents. The facility is run by Phoenix Houses of New York, whose parent foundation is one of the nation’s largest drug treatment nonprofits, operating in 10 states and the District of Columbia. In the year ended June 20, 2014, the Phoenix House Foundation and its affiliates reported operating revenue of $141 million.

Phoenix Houses of New York is 95 percent publicly funded and enjoys star-studded endorsements. Beyonce donated a cosmetology center at a Brooklyn facility. Financier Pete Peterson chaired a summer fundraiser in 2013 in the posh Hamptons on New York’s Long Island…

The closures that preceded Szczupak’s arrival weren’t the last. And nor is Belle Terre an anomaly. In November last year, OASAS suspended admissions to Belle Terre and four other Phoenix Houses of New York facilities. In a letter to Phoenix House’s then-chief executive in November 2014, OASAS said Phoenix House had “persistent regulatory violations and resident/patient care concerns dating back several years.”

An OASAS site report on the five facilities went into graphic detail. The regulator’s findings at some or all of the facilities included use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs; sexual activity among residents; reports of violence and sexual assault; insufficient, inadequately trained or abusive staff; dirty premises; and lax security, with residents coming and going as they wished…

In November 2014, regulators again suspended admissions at Belle Terre, as well as four other Phoenix House facilities. State regulators noted high staff turnover and need for improved clinical practices at Belle Terre. They also warned the facility to let clients speak to their attorneys without staff present.

OASAS let Belle Terre reopen in January 2015. Three of the other centers were reopened with limited admissions in late 2014 and early 2015. The Shrub Oak teen residential treatment facility was closed permanently in June 2015.

In March, OASAS inspected Belle Terre again, prompted by unspecified complaints against director Alan Hargrove, OASAS reported. Phoenix House then fired Hargrove, based on OASAS’s feedback.

Hargrove declined to comment.

Phoenix House announced on Aug. 19 it would be closing Belle Terre and the 185th Street facility…

Perhaps Mr. Kolodny should attend to his own affairs, instead of fighting the war against pain patients.

DEA Arrests Mr. Moon as Accessory to Worldwide Crime


WASHINGTON, DC — A media spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Agency announced on Friday that agents arrested Mr. Moon at his home in space this morning. He is being held behind bars for contributing to, and assisting in, the marketing of illegal drugs throughout the world.

According to the complaint, the DEA alleges that Mr. Moon supplies free lighting on a daily basis, allowing criminals to do their work under the cover of night. It further states that 80% of crime takes place at night, according to the latest CDC report entitled “Locking Our Doors At Night Keeps Americans Safer.” (Report funded by Amazon, maker of CDC-approved locks.)

Mr. Moon released this statement from his jail cell:

I am but an innocent bystander to the human condition, providing a night light for all, without prejudice or discrimination. I am more than willing to prove my innocence, but holding me behind bars serves no purpose. The Earth needs me to function, which means humans need me, too. Is the DEA prepared to take responsibility for what will happen to the Earth without my presence in the sky?

DEA spokesperson Donnie Frump said in an email that NASA has been alerted and is fully prepared to handle any planetary problems arising from Mr. Moon’s incarceration. This preparation includes requests to Congress for additional funding.

According to a White House source, it is the opinion of almost every Republican in Congress that “there is no such thing as climate change and putting Mr. Moon behind bars won’t change that.” Efforts by Democrats to explain the importance of lunar effects on the Earth were unsuccessful. In an emergency effort to pass the NASA funding bill, Neil DeGrasse Tyson was called in front of yet another congressional committee (whose name escapes me at this time), but the only comment made by a Republican congressman during the hearing was related to the colorful vest Dr. Tyson was wearing.

A bail hearing in the criminal case against Mr. Moon has been set for next week. Federal District Attorney Mary Martinez said that she will be asking the judge to deny bail because of the potential flight risk. She will also be asking for a change of venue to Guantanamo Bay and a ban on media coverage, citing potential threats to national security.


Transcript of pirated Moon Podcast
Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hello to all my spoonies out there
And to all you honeymooners
Greetings tycoons and buffoons
Hola to raccoons and baboons

Sorry I can’t be there
to help you reflect
By order of the DEA
I’ve been summarily decked

But you know Mr. Moon’s spirit
cannot be caged for long
It’s just a matter of time
a matter of right and wrong

I’m a crooner, not a criminal
an honest-to-god original
and tonight for the medicinal
I bring you a Moon Hymnal:

You have a right to be stupid
and a right to be smart
A right to be light
and a right to be dark
A right to be round
and a right to be square
A right to like apples
and a right to like pears

Drugs are not evil
and neither am I
I know I’m no saint
but I never lie

I’m always in the sky
I watch you all the time
I know all your secrets
I know of all your crimes

But unlike the NSA
Mr. Moon doesn’t track
And unlike the DEA
the sun has my back

Don’t worry about me
Don’t worry ’bout a thing
Just respect each other
and continue to sing

You know, I can hear you
wherever I am
I can hear you quite well
when no one else can

Mr. Moon signing out
but never for long
keep your fingers crossed
and your eye on the bong

(Photos taken on 8/31/2015.)