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Howard Meitiner
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Mr. Meitiner was appointed President and CEO of Phoenix House
in February 2007, succeeding Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal, the organization’s founder. A member of the Phoenix House Board of Directors since 2004, he worked with Dr. Rosenthal in 2006 to help restructure and strengthen the organization’s New York programs. As a leading international marketing and retail executive with expertise in managing growth, he ran retail organizations in many countries with the DFS Group. Mr. Meitiner served as President and CEO of several companies within the retail giant LVMH, before managing turnaround projects in the private sector from 2001 onwards.

Chief among the goals Mr. Meitiner has set for his tenure at Phoenix House is the expansion of services to reach more persons in need of help and to provide ongoing care and support for the men, women, and teens the organization serves. With a broader focus on families and a more flexible mix of treatment, Phoenix House will continue to lead the way in substance abuse treatment and be better able to meet the needs of clients and their families throughout their recovery. A native of England, Mr. Meitiner has lived in various cities around the world and has made New York City his home since 2001.

Mr. Meitiner’s past community involvement has included Rotary in Hong Kong and Australia and the Community Chest in Singapore, where he received a rare Corporate Community Service Award from the President of the Republic. He was most recently a member of the Sunny Hills/Children’s Garden Board of Directors in San Francisco. He is currently an Advisory Board member of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC), which seeks to upgrade the practice of addiction treatment and recovery service clinicians.

Entries by Howard Meitiner

Time to Reroute the Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 4:54 PM

The New York Times recently reported on the disturbing surge in violence at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, where the use of force by correction officers has jumped 240 percent over the past decade. Three days later, MSNBC reported on the disturbing...

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When the President Doesn't Take the High Road

(7) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 1:56 PM

This week, pundits and policymakers are buzzing about President Obama's latest comments on marijuana. "I don't think it's more dangerous than alcohol," Obama told New Yorker editor David Remnick. He went on to say that from personal experience, he views pot as a "vice and a bad habit,"...

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The Missing Victims of Addiction in The Wolf of Wall Street

(2) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 5:10 PM

In The Wolf of Wall Street, the comedic high point is a drug overdose--or at least it's supposed to be funny. In a voiceover, Wall Street con man Jordan Belfort jokes that he's bypassing the usual stage of a Quaalude high--drooling--and going straight to seizures instead. Jordan, played by Leonardo...

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Marijuana: The Tide Has Turned... Now What?

(2) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 2:01 PM

On New Year's Day, recreational marijuana sales officially began in Colorado. Legal pot shops opened to great fanfare with customers lined up at 2 a.m., some arriving in limos, others carrying guitars to serenade the crowd. Similar celebrations are expected later this year when the marijuana industry opens...

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Government Reopens, But We're Not Out of the Woods

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 11:52 AM

For more than two weeks, the insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act have been open for business. This is good news for millions of previously uninsured Americans and it's especially positive for those in need of addiction treatment. The passage of healthcare reform and mental health parity marked...

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Lance's Losing Cycle: Addicted to Winning

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 9:07 AM

Last week, Lance Armstrong's fans and foes finally heard it from the horse's mouth. "I doped," the seven-time Tour de France winner told Oprah, "I'm sorry."

It's difficult to feel much sympathy for a guy who used performance-enhancing drugs for much of his career, developed an...

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Can the Marijuana Legalization Debate Bring Republicans & Democrats Together?

(14) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 10:15 AM

In the hustle and bustle of election season, impassioned Republicans and Democrats alike have forgotten one important concept: the politics of compromise. Whether discussing Obamacare, pro-life vs. pro-choice, or the legalization of marijuana, many are content to spend their time, money, and effort holding fast to...

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The Curse of Celebrity

(3) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 10:56 AM

"Fame hit me like a ton of bricks," the rapper Eminem once said -- and he is far from alone in that sentiment. From Marilyn Monroe, who died 50 years ago this month, to Macaulay Culkin, who has experienced a recent flood of criticism from media...

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Let's Hear It for the Governor... and Push Him Further

(9) Comments | Posted August 10, 2012 | 4:59 PM

New York is my adoptive home -- and on weeks like this, I'm proud to live in this state. On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once again displayed great courage and leadership by tackling the sale and production of synthetic drugs. The new legislation expands the state's...

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The Case for Better Alternatives

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 6:28 PM

I have long advocated for effective, evidence-based treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The U.S. prison population remains the largest in the world -- 85 percent of which suffers from addiction, has a history of substance abuse, or faces drug-related charges. We've seen it over and over again:...

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NY Marijuana Decriminalization: A Step in the Right Direction

(48) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 2:34 PM

Tuesday, I applauded N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement of legislation that will decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana, changing it from a misdemeanor to a fine-able violation similar to a traffic offense.

This proposal was motivated largely by an increasing awareness that the criminal...

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Whitney's "Call to Arms"

(1) Comments | Posted February 15, 2012 | 10:40 AM

This weekend, Whitney Houston's heartbreaking death became doubly tragic as the news media and others pounced, intent on transforming the memory of the troubled and brilliant singer into nothing more than tabloid fodder. It's the same process we witnessed after the deaths of Michael Jackson,

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Treatment: Because No Life Is Disposable

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 2:26 PM

In his State of the State address last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surprised many by outlining his plans to mandate treatment for non-violent drug offenders. "No life is disposable... every one of God's creations can be redeemed," Christie declared, to applause from Republicans and Democrats alike....

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The Argument Against Marijuana

(254) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 3:52 PM

In his recent New York Times "Invitation to Dialogue," David Evans's position on medical marijuana is absolutely sound. Marijuana is an addictive drug and should be subject to the same scientific approval process as any other medicine.

First, we must remember that marijuana wreaks havoc on our...

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Derek Boogaard: Dying to Win?

(1) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 2:51 PM

For sports fanatics like myself, there's nothing quite like the adrenaline rush we experience when watching our favorite players compete. But all too often, we don't realize that, despite their physical prowess and glamorous lifestyles, some of these athletes battle serious demons. This was certainly the case with NHL star...

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Exploiting Marijuana to Survive 'Survivor'

(19) Comments | Posted September 30, 2011 | 4:33 PM

With 68 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Americans watching reality TV on a regular basis, these shows have a tremendous power to influence young adults. When I learned that a clean-cut medical marijuana dispensary owner with an MBA was going to be a contestant on the new season...

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Drug Deaths: Not Just About Overdose

(27) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 8:25 AM

Are prescription medications really more dangerous than 4,000-pound machines that hurtle down the highway at 65 miles per hour? Today, they are. Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the U.S., with prescription medications causing more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. According to the U.S....

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Sobriety Doesn't Deserve Stigma

(3) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 7:28 PM

I was glad to read David Colman's recent New York Times article, "Challenging the Second 'A' in A.A." Colman makes many valid points; he highlights the pitfalls of anonymity, applauds public recovery role models (the "quitterati") and criticizes the barriers created by stigma. But he fails to differentiate...

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Designer Drugs: How Big A Problem Are They?

(149) Comments | Posted March 24, 2011 | 8:39 AM

Parents, teens, educators, and treatment professionals alike are racing to keep up with the latest designer drug trends. It seems that as soon as one drug is regulated or banned, another appears to take its place. This is a fast-paced and dangerous chase, and traditional methods of research don't work...

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Treatment Is Gaining Favor, but There's Still Work to Be Done

(3) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 3:28 PM

I was pleased to read about a new legal trend in last week's Wall Street Journal: more and more states are realizing that sending non-violent drug offenders into treatment has "proven to be less expensive and more effective" than sending them to prison.

As we've...

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