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Food has been known for centuries as one of the most powerful healing tools for man. There have been a lot of recent complications added to our foods; our foods have been changed around for the worse, and we have used chemicals which should not be ingested on our foods, the soil which holds the nutrients that our plants need has been destroyed, and our foods are being taken apart in a lab and reconstructed with harmful and unfitting substances.

It sounds like a Dystopia, but we do still have access to healthy, whole, as-nature-intended foods. Healthy, Organic plants which have minimal interference and healthy soil, unpolluted air and water, and animals which are humanely treated with open space, healthy foods that their bodies require and also provided with unpolluted water and air, and from which unnecessary drugs are kept away – these are the foods which heal.

The power of food can change your life around, and when in recovery one needs to know what food items that are presented as food aren’t really healthy to consume, and which foods bring health, vitality, and the ability to heal.

What Does GMO Mean?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. These are foods which have been made in a lab and are chemically altered, they can add or remove anything from the food product, for example, the first FDA approved GMO produce item was a tomato, with intended abilities to stop it from naturally rotting, the tomato had pig genes structured into it.

There has not been sufficient research on GMO foods, we don’t know the effects they have when eaten over many years. GMO products can become way out of hand, to the point that we’re not aware of what we are producing and it’s capabilities. For example, many GMO products are created so as to be “pest”-resistant, but scientists don’t know all of the capabilities that the new product has, i.e., the GMO “Superweed” which is very hard to kill.

GMOs don’t allow the body to function properly, they have been linked to the widespread killings of frogs, earthworms, and fisheries among others, they have also contributed to soil erosion. Needless to say, GMOs are potentially dangerous and should be avoided.

It is unfortunate that all kinds of our foods are Genetically Modified (GM). Over 80% of the US’s packaged foods contain GMOs.

Some common Genetically Modified “foods” are in most of our food items, some of these well-used ingredient items are:

  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Canola
  • Cotton Seed Oil

Most “foods” offered to us are GMO food items. Besides being added to processed foods, they are added to seemingly healthy substances such as vitamins. GMOs are covertly added to most things we eat, since there is no requirement for labeling and we don’t even know what it is we are actually consuming as anything can be added to it and its DNA is changed around.

GMO is also overtly and covertly promoted, for example, Oprah helped put out a commercial showing a family eating together a big meal, stated to be healthy and it was a GMO meal.

At this point in time, we need to know what foods are GMO and what foods aren’t, we can do this by finding foods which are labeled “Non-GMO”, asking local farmers, and buying Organic.

What Is Non GMO

Non-GMO is any food which is not genetically modified. You know what is in it, as the ingredients are what they say they are. Many foods are labeled or certified as Non-GMO, these are important to know so you can find foods without genetic modification – whether DNA has been taken out, DNA structure has been changed, or DNA of other plants or animals have been added to its own DNA, creating a new and unknown food item, disguised under the same name as the actual food.

Just because something is Non-GM doesn’t mean that it isn’t sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and insecticides which are all risks to health. For example, high levels of herbicides can lead to birth defects, immune weakness, behavioral delays and other serious potential dangers such as the development of cancer. Which is why the next best option up from Non-GMO is Organic.

Organic VS. GMO

Organic Certified foods are those natural foods which have not been Genetically Modified (are Non-GMO) and which aren’t sprayed with chemicals, like herbicides, pesticides and insecticides.

This is the best you can find, unless you can get Organic, Local, Sustainable and as with animals, Humane.

Local would be foods grown nearby, generally from individual farmers rather than big corporations.

Sustainable means you are not destroying the land and the food while you are growing so it can be used continually to grow more, and the soil is healthy. It is based on studying the balance and relationship of the ecosystem and factoring that into farming practices.

Humane standards vary greatly as do certifications, however if you can find a farmer who takes care of the animals he raises without the widely spread physical abuse that large companies practice on their livestock, and you study the different standards and certifications, then you can recognize humane meats.

Organic foods provide optimal health benefits. They help to fight disease in humans, protect crops, preserve soil, reduce pollution and is the way our fruits, herbs, and vegetables have been grown throughout history.

When looking at produce you can spot which are Organic and sometimes you can spot which ones are Genetically Modified. There are stickers with a code and if a five digit code begins with the digit 9 then this signifies it is Organic.

It is currently not mandatory to label GMO, however sometimes there is a five digit code that is labeled with an 8 and that indicates GM. Although GMOs are also classified under other codes.

Knowing what foods are Organic VS. GMO is the first step to eating a healthy diet which can support you in healing and energizing during recovery.

The post The Power of Food: How to Harness it During Recovery appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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Inspirational Recovery

Sometimes when there are too many failures or not enough engagement in interesting and purposeful activities one can find themselves beginning to turn back to old habits, ones which are harmful and destructive that one truly intends to avoid.

One should first go over his or her original purpose and decision for being clean. What was it that made you feel interested in achieving this state? What was your purpose and reason for being clean? Why did you decide to live a drug-free life? What was the drive behind it all, to be a sober person?

Ask yourself these questions, think about it on your own, write them down, or tell a friend, but do it until you feel rejuvenated and inspired to remain clean and to achieve your goal of being a sober individual, leading a drug-free life.

Addiction recovery is a tough and arduous process. Going from addiction to a successful recovery takes hard work, persistence, and staying true to yourself and your own goals. There are many ways to make addiction recovery interesting, we want to go over a handful of them with you now.

Set Goals

This probably is the most important step. A famous humanitarian, Mr. Hubbard, defines a goal as “A long-term, known objective that an action is directed toward with the purpose of achieving that end.

For example, “I want to be a sober individual.” Or, “I want to lead a drug-free life, inspiring others that they can recover from addiction.” Or another example could be “No longer dependent on drugs, rehabilitated from drug-use, and surrounded by people who are clean.”

President Abraham Lincoln provides us with a wonderful quote for reminding us of sticking to and achieving our goals: “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.”

Whatever your goal is, it is good to figure it out and work it out until it is clear and precise, you can look at it every day until you have achieved it.

Engage in New and Old Activities

There are probably things you have wanted to do for a long time but never did. For example, if you wanted to become a bookworm, you could set a target for achieving that. “I want to read one and a half books a month.” Then you can figure out what that is going to take. How long does it take you to read a book? How many books can you actually finish in a month, while still enjoying it? What genres of books do you want to read? Maybe write a list of books you want to read in the year and check them off as you finish them.

There are probably activities you always wanted to do but never tried or never learned. Or perhaps, you need to go out and find some activities you didn’t even know existed and go participate in them.

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – President Teddy Roosevelt

Whatever activity or activities you decide to do, go have fun, try to learn something, and keep busy. You might find that you have an undiscovered passion or an untapped talent!

Schedule, Plan, and Do

A wonderful way to stay inspired, keep entertained, and achieve your goals is to plan out and schedule your time so that you can do things that are interesting and accomplish things that you want to.

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day, begin the task anew.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Write out a daily list of things you want to do and check off what you get done. Get a calendar or scheduling book and clock in your favorite activities, new activities you never tried, exercise time, or events you want to attend. This will help you to keep busy, stay on track, keep life interesting, and, most importantly, achieve your goal.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to develop a deeper sense of purpose in your life, or to give back if you feel the desire to do so, plus helping others makes you feel good about yourself and your life. Being able to help another person is often thought of as Man’s greatest ability.

Physicist Albert Einstein has a quote that could be applicable to volunteering when recovering from addiction, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

If there is a group or activity or area in life you feel passionate about, you can find out if there is something you can do to help them, there are plenty of opportunities that exist, you just have to search a bit.

The other great thing about volunteering is you get to meet new people while creating a change in the world, making a difference in others’ lives is inspiring and satisfying.

Recovery quotes

There are many recovery and addiction quotes which can help make recovery more inspiring and keep you motivated. You can surround yourself with these quotes so that you see them every day, or you can make a book of them to write them down in and look at whenever you need inspiration, keeping a favorite in your car and one in your home, these are all different ways you can be reminded of your goal and fire yourself up.

Some more inspirational recovery quotes:

“Life is very interesting… in the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” – Actress and recovering addict Drew Barrymore

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world… as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” – President Abraham Lincoln

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” – President Teddy Roosevelt

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

There are many ways to have an inspirational recovery; reviewing your original purpose, setting goals, engaging in activities, scheduling, volunteering, and looking at motivational quotes, you can keep yourself interested and avoid the dangers of turning back to addiction.

The post Avoiding a Rut: 4 Ways to Make Addiction Recovery Interesting appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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Addiction has been one of the largest problems within our nation for many years. This is easily understood when viewing the millions of people currently struggling with addiction, as well as the fact that more people are developing addictions every day. While addiction is obviously horrible for the individual struggling, it is also quite hellacious for loved ones witnessing their struggle. One of the most important things that loved ones of addicts need to understand about this situation is that their actions can either be helpful or harmful. A loved one’s actions or behavior toward an addict could be said to fall under one of two categories, with one of these being enabling and the other empowering.

What is an Enabler?

So, what is an enabler and what does this kind of behavior include? Well, enabling essentially involves actions that contribute to the addiction or allow it to continue. Many different types of behavior and actions can fall under this category and they can be knowingly or unknowingly done. It could be something as obvious as giving the addict money to buy drugs or something as subtle as calling into work for the addict or babying them when they feel horrible after a binge. The longer that a loved one continues to enable the struggling addict, the more severe the behavior can become. Many addicts even learn how to manipulate their loved ones into sympathy or enabling behaviors. The addict could complain to their loved ones about horrible withdrawal symptoms, which then makes the loved one feel sympathy, and the addict may then use this as a way to convince them to buy them drugs. Unfortunately, many loved ones do these actions on the basis of believing they are helping, which is where the knowing or unknowing factor comes into play. The loved one could think that they are helping the person to feel better or preventing them from doing worse things, but this is often not the case. Many times, addicts simply use this as a way to continue their various behaviors and use without suffering any consequences.

Other types of enabling behaviors could include:

  • Explaining away or making excuses for the addicts behavior or absence.
  • Lying to cover up the individual’s addiction.
  • Providing incorrect financial support (bailing them out of jail, paying for drugs, paying for legal costs, etc.)
  • Threatening consequences if things do not change but not following through with the consequences.
  • Not confronting the addict about their addiction because of fearing their retaliation.

Like mentioned above, the loved one may think they are assisting the individual, but they are often causing more harm than good. Realistically, the damage caused by enabling can become worse over time for both the addict and the loved one. Enabling loved ones are often wanting to help the struggling individual so much that they end up taking on many of the addict’s responsibilities, which results in the addict having less responsibility and the loved one neglecting many of their own responsibilities. This desire to “help” can become desperate as the loved one continues to take on more responsibilities and the addict starts expecting them to handle everything. This circumstance can also come under the heading of co-dependency, which is where the loved one begins to place the addict’s needs higher than their own and this relationship becomes destructive and unilateral.

Empowerment in Addiction Recovery

Empowerment is basically the converse of enabling, as the first part of it is not doing what the addict is able to do themselves. Empowerment can be great for both sides, as loved ones and the addict can benefit from it. In the course of enabling, a loved one can lose themselves in a way and this is not good for anyone. The person that is caring for the addict needs to take care of themselves or they are not going to be able to properly take care of anyone else. A large benefit of empowering yourself is that it allows you to be able to see past attempted manipulation and correctly assess actions as far as whether they will be beneficial or not. You can truly help the addict by not covering or cleaning up for them and getting them to actually begin taking responsibility for their own condition, allowing them to move forward. By empowering yourself, you can in turn empower the addict, which gives them the ability to make better judgements and decisions. Instead of allowing the condition to continue like enabling does, empowering helps to break the cycle of addiction and codependency.

Empowering actions can include:

  • Supporting and requiring independence and responsibility.
  • Turning down the addict’s negative requests.
  • Taking care of yourself.
  • Encouraging and participating in open communication.
  • Practicing and recognizing improvement in yourself and the addict.
  • Talking to the struggling individual about their addiction and seeking treatment.

For those having trouble with enabling or knowing how to properly handle their loved one’s addiction, there are support groups that can be beneficial. Two of the most prominent of these are Al-Anon and Nar-Anon, which consist of the loved ones of addicts. These kinds of groups allow loved ones to express their feelings and experiences, as well as discover new ways to properly take care of the struggling addict. Addiction can impact loved ones very heavily and they often need support as well to get through the situation.

When Seeking Treatment for an Addiction

Addiction can be a hellacious burden to struggle with, but proper treatment can help people to break free of it. Best Drug Rehabilitation provides a comprehensive treatment program that helps thousands to break free of addiction each year and it can do the same for you or your loved one. Each addiction is unique in many ways and we create a custom program for each person admitted into our facility. Give us a call today and one of our advisors can answer any questions that you might have about our programs.

The post Enabling vs. Empowering: How to Know the Difference in Addiction Recovery appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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Many of the substances that continue to fuel the addiction epidemic in our nation are actually legal. One of these would be opioid painkillers, with the condition being that an individual has to have a proper prescription for it to be legal. Of course, there are also many people abusing these drugs illegally. Another legal substance that is an issue for a large number of people is alcohol. In fact, alcohol is one of the most commonly used and abused substances in our nation, which may be partly due to its legality and social acceptance. This does not mean that it needs to be outlawed, but simply that alcoholism and alcohol abuse need to be more properly recognized and addressed. When an individual is struggling with alcoholism, it can bring about a whole series of other issues that arise as a result. For instance, alcoholism may contribute or exacerbate numerous conditions, with one of these being diabetes.

Diabetes is a very prominent condition within the country, with around 29 million people having it according to the National Diabetes Statistic Report of 2014. That number means that around 9.3 percent of the population has diabetes and around 86 million adults have something called pre-diabetes, which is a condition that increases the risks of actually developing diabetes. Diabetes is essentially a life long condition in which the body is unable to produce enough insulin or the insulin being produced is not working as expected. Insulin is a hormone produced within the body for the purpose of converting glucose in the bloodstream into energy that helps fuel our body. Those who have diabetes essentially have too much glucose in their bloodstream due to it not being properly regulated. Too much glucose can lead to a plethora of issues, including damage to various major organs, such as the kidneys, heart, and eyes. It can also increase the risk of numerous conditions, including strokes, nerve damage, cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, and blindness.

Types of Diabetes

There are actually two different types of diabetes. The first is called Type I diabetes, which is the less common form. It is characterized by the pancreas not producing insulin or producing too little insulin. Type I can be developed after a viral infection, as a result of an autoimmune disorder, or it can also be genetic. The next form is called Type II and it develops when the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the body is not able to properly use insulin that is produced. This form can sometimes be genetic, but it can actually be caused by lifestyle factors as well, such as physical inactivity and obesity. While these lifestyle factors can lead to developing Type II, it works conversely as well, meaning that it can be prevented by modifying these factors. Type II diabetes does not develop suddenly. According to Harvard Medical School scientists, individuals are typically in a pre-diabetic stage for some time before it actually develops.

Back to the connection between alcoholism and diabetes, there are actually several factors that can potentially contribute to developing Type II diabetes, including:

  • Insulin Sensitivity – When an individual abuses alcohol, it can actually lower the body’s insulin sensitivity.
  • Pancreatitis – Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to pancreatitis, which can then result in diabetes.
  • Weight Gain – As mentioned above, obesity can lead to Type II diabetes, and moreover, it is actually the primary cause of it. Alcohol can actually contribute to obesity in a few different ways. First off, many alcoholic beverages are full of carbohydrates and calories, which lead to weight gain. In addition, intoxicated individuals may choose to eat sugary or unhealthy foods, or even overeat. Alcoholics also often tend to neglect healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise.

Alcohol can also greatly impact an individual’s blood sugar in a few ways, which can bring risk for the development of Type II diabetes and it can also be quite dangerous for those who already have either type of diabetes. Here are a few of the ways that alcohol makes it difficult to keep blood pressure in a good range:

  • Some types of alcoholic drinks can be very sugary, which can lead to weight gain and resultant difficulty in controlling blood sugar.
  • Various types of alcoholic drinks can contain high levels of carbohydrates, which can greatly increase the level of blood sugar.
  • Consumption of alcohol in itself can potentially lead to a drop in blood sugar levels.
  • Alcohol consumption can stimulate appetite, which can lead to poor eating or overeating.
  • Alcohol can affect or inhibit oral diabetic medications or insulin shots from working properly.
Home Remedies for Hyperglycemia

One of the most devastating effects of alcohol on those with diabetes is its potential to bring about hyperglycemia, or more commonly known as low blood sugar, which is more likely to occur with binge drinking. This condition is characterized by symptoms like nervousness, shakiness, sweating, dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness. Hyperglycemia can become much worse when it is not rapidly treated with glucose. When it gets more severe, it can result in fainting or even diabetic coma. One dangerous aspect of this situation is that these symptoms may be mistaken for drunkenness and then neglected as a result. Fortunately, there are home remedies for hyperglycemia that can be used to prevent it, such as:

  • Avoid Binge Drinking or Heavy Drinking
  • Proper Dieting
  • Do Not Skip Meals

The above should not be considered to be medical advice, as anyone afflicted with diabetes should always consult with their doctor. A doctor will be able to offer sound advice, medications, and recommendations for properly managing diabetes.

With the above ways that alcohol can affect anyone in general, it can absolutely raise hell on those who are already diabetic, when not drinking responsibly that is. Moderate consumption of alcohol can potentially have some benefits in certain cases. Studies have shown that moderate consumption of alcohol can actually be beneficial for the heart and even reduce the risk of heart disease. This can also be the case for diabetics, but only when their blood sugar is under proper control and they do not have other conditions that could be exacerbated by alcohol consumption, such as high blood pressure. Moderate consumption is generally defined as no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one a day for women, but this measurement also depends on the type of alcohol and its strength. Those who have diabetes should consult with their doctor as far as the safe limits of drinking with the condition.

When Seeking Treatment for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be extremely hellacious, but it can be overcome through proper treatment and that is just what Best Drug Rehabilitation is here to provide. We offer multiple modalities, which allows us to craft an individualized program for each person that is admitted into our facility. Every single case of addiction is unique in many ways and that is what we base our program around. We help thousands to overcome addiction every year and would like to do the same for you or your loved one. Give us a call today and we can answer any questions that you may have regarding our program.

The post Is There a Connection Between Diabetes and Alcoholism appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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There is an abundance of debate as to whether or not doctors should be held accountable for their patients’ opioid addictions. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that there was a 2.8-fold increase in the total number of deaths involving opioid drugs from 2002 to 2015. Although, these incidents did not all occur randomly; many of these overdoses began with an opioid prescription medication that was originally prescribed by a doctor to relieve pain.

Take the opioid oxycontin for example; if an individual is prescribed oxycontin to relieve pain, and because of the drug’s addictive properties the patient becomes addicted to it, who is to blame? According to an article from NIDA, opioid drugs like oxycontin can be misused due to the euphoric feelings they produce as they relieve pain in the individual’s body. Oxycontin consumption must be carefully monitored to avoid abuse and overdose:

“OxyContin is the brand name for an opioid analgesic that is prescribed by doctors for chronic moderate to severe pain. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late 1995. Because it has the ability to slowly release its active ingredient oxycodone over about a twelve-hour period, it is an effective and efficient medication for the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain each year. It is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and is only available by prescription by a licensed physician.”

There are many frequently asked questions in regards to oxycontin and its relation to opioids: is oxycontin an opioid/is oxycontin an opiate, what is oxycontin made from, and how addictive is oxycontin? Well, the term opioid encompasses all opiate drugs while opiates are drugs specifically derived from opium, so oxycontin is an opioid. Oxycontin is a semi-synthetic opioid that is made from thebaine, which is an opioid alkaloid found in the Persian poppy. Finally, oxycontin is so addictive that it is labeled as a Schedule II controlled drug. So, should a doctor be responsible for their patients’ addiction if they become addicted to oxycontin or other opioids since they are so addictive? The following news articles share some of the stories of individuals battling this situation.

Opioid Prescription in the News

One article from WJTV shares the story of a Mississippi woman, Beverly Dennis, who filed a lawsuit against her doctor, Dr. Michael Livingston, for causing her to form an opioid addiction. Livingston started prescribing phentermine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone to Dennis without checking through the Prescription Monitoring Service to see that she had already been prescribed hydrocodone in the same month by a different physician. Abby Robinson, Dennis’ lawyer, says that, “Livingston should have known that prescribing the two drugs along with oxycodone was dangerous. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.”

Another article from the National Public Radio (NPR) tells the story of a woman named Katie Herzog who experienced acute withdrawal after tapering off of Dilaudid (an opioid used to treat pain), which was prescribed to her after a nine-hour back surgery. She was instructed to take two pills every four hours as needed, and she did this for about two weeks. Herzog says that she wondered how long to stay on the drug, how to taper off of the drug, etc., but she never got any definitive answers from any medical professionals she asked. As she tapered off of Dilaudid on her own, she experienced withdrawal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pains, and headaches. “I had every single symptom in the book, and there was no recognition by these really professional, senior, seasoned doctors at Boston’s finest hospitals that I was going through withdrawal,” said Herzog.

“Now, a handful of doctors and hospital administrators are asking, if an opioid addiction starts with a prescription after surgery or some other hospital-based care, should the hospital be penalized? As in: Is addiction a medical error along the lines of some hospital-acquired infections?” (NPR)

Michael J. Schlosser, chief medical officer for the Hospital Corporation of America, says that hospitals need to do more to protect their patients from opioid addiction. “Addressing long-term opioid use as a hospital-acquired condition will draw a clear line between appropriate and inappropriate use, and will empower hospitals to develop evidenced-based standards of care for managing post-operative pain adequately while also helping protect the patient from future harm,” said Schlosser.

An article from TIME also contributes to the idea that doctors should be held accountable for their patients’ addictions. The article says that the narrative is familiar, “a person gets a legal prescription for an opioid from their doctor after throwing out their back, then accidentally fall into a life of addiction.” A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine used data from individuals over the age of 65 who visited the emergency room. These people haven’t filled an opioid prescription in the last six months, and the emergency room doctors were ranked as high prescribers or low prescribers of opioids. The study showed that the outcome of a person’s life can be determined by which doctor they happen to see that day:

“Doctors in the top 25% of prescribers prescribed an opioid for nearly 1 in 4 of these emergency department patients, while in the bottom group, physicians prescribed patients opioids only 7% of the time. In other words, patients who saw a high prescriber were three times more likely to get an opioid prescription.”

Dr. Michael Barnett, health policy and management assistant professor at The Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, was a part of this study and found that “for every 48 of these emergency department patients prescribed an opioid, one became a long-term user.” Although, this problem was not just happening with emergency room doctors, this epidemic was becoming prevalent in all regions of the medical profession. “I think it’s a warning shot to doctors about understanding the risks of these medications and communicating them much more clearly—both to each other during training, as well as the patients,” said Barnett.

Are Opioids Prescribed for the Right Reasons?

An article from CNN goes into detail about why doctors may not be overly cautious when prescribing opioid medications to patients. Insurance companies prefer the cost savings that comes along with prescribing these medications instead of a less-risky “multidisciplinary approach” to treating a patient’s pain. “For decades, certain pharmaceutical companies misled the FDA about the risks of opioid dependence in an effort to sell more of the drugs, and three top executives from Purdue Pharma even pleaded guilty to those criminal charges,” stated the article. Individuals should begin questioning the medications prescribed to them and exploring other options that could be used to relieve their pain, instead of consuming drugs that could potentially leave them addicted.

“It is an awful sight, and yet someone in this country dies like this every 19 minutes. There is no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently. The majority of those deaths result from prescription opioid medications, such as hydrocodone, OxyContin and Percocet” (CNN).

For more information regarding drug addiction, prevention, and treatment, call Best Drug Rehabilitation at 877-475-7381 today. Exploring the various forms of treatment that could effectively help your unique situation can get you started on a journey to long-term sobriety. Call Best Drug Rehabilitation today!

The post Should Doctors be Held Accountable for Patients’ Opioid Addictions appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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The extent of the addiction issue within our nation has continued to rapidly grow with each passing year. A large factor in this problem has been that numerous substances have become more potent than ever, which makes them more likely to lead to addiction. Some of the most problematic substances in regard to the addiction epidemic has been the various types of opioids and opiates. There are both illegal and illicit types, but either of these can be equally as harmful when it comes to addiction. Of course, many of these substances hold a valuable purpose within the realm of medicine, which would be to mitigate the pain of various conditions, but they can also be incredibly risky. When a person begins to abuse their pain medication or use it for an extended period of time, it can easily grow into dependence and addiction.

The terms opioids and opiates are often used interchangeably, but each of these actually describe two different types of these substances.

Opiates

Opiates typically refers to types that are derived from the opium poppy itself. There are several different medications and illicit substances derived from this source, and they vary in the part of the plant they are taken from and how they are processed. Some common opiates are:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Opium

Opioids

When it comes to the title of opioids, this generally alludes to drugs that are wholly or partly synthesized. These substances are created through chemical synthesis but they work in a similar way to opiates. Common opioids include:

  • Demerol (Pethidine)
  • Duragesic (Fentanyl)
  • Hydrocodone
Is Oxycodone Considered an Opiate?

One of the more commonly known types of medications is oxycodone. There are many people prescribed this medication that may be wondering: is oxycodone considered an opiate? The answer to that would be no, as it falls under the category of synthetic. Oxycodone itself is a driving force in the addiction epidemic, being that it is very highly prescribed and abused.

Whether it be opioids or opiates, they affect an individual in essentially the same way. Neither will cure an individual’s condition or actually remove their pain. Rather, pain medications alter the body’s perception of pain, which helps to relieve it. They attach to opioid receptors in the brain and this causes an alteration of the signals being sent to the brain. Essentially, the measurement of pain severity contained in this signal is altered. In this way, the person then experiences less pain. While there are differences between opioids and opiates, they can be just as bad when it comes to the addiction epidemic. Prescription rates for both of these types of medications have skyrocketed over the years, which has obviously lead to more people developing addictions.

Aside from pain mitigation, both of these substances also bring about a few other effects that could be considered to be desirable. This includes a sense of well-being and euphoria, which is often what people are seeking when they abuse these medications. Both substances are quite equal in these effects, so they are both abused frequently. There are a few different ways that these substances can be abused. An individual may use a larger dose than they are prescribed or more often than recommended. Some people may also use them in more dangerous ways, such as by snorting or injection. Even medications that generally come in the form of a pill can actually be abused this way as well, as the pill can be crushed and snorted or the powder can be dissolved in liquid to then be injected.

Opiate and Opioid Addiction and Dependence

As mentioned above, these substances can also carry a risk of physical dependence. This is when a person has been using a substance for such an extended period of time that their body actually grows to rely upon it. At this point, if the person attempts to cease using or goes too long between doses, they can begin to experience horrible cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The severity and symptoms of each individual’s withdrawal can vary depending on how long and how much they were using. Some of the common opioid and opiate withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Runny Nose
  • Irregular Heart Rate
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Going through withdrawal from opioids or opiates can be hellacious and it is best that an individual be admitted into a proper detox center to safely get off the drug. Detox is essentially allowing the body to expel substances from the system and adjust to operating without them again. Some may think they can cold turkey detox while staying at home, but this is not a good idea. Realistically, detox and withdrawal from opioids or opiates can potentially be dangerous in severe cases or when it is done incorrectly. With a formal detox center, an individual will be under constant monitoring by professionals who can address any complications that come about. As a further benefit, many of these centers provide wean down medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

As mentioned above, both opiates and opioids can be extremely addictive. When used as directed and for short periods of time, the risk of addiction tends to be less. If an individual continues to use them for longer periods, they can begin to develop a tolerance, which means that it is going to require larger amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effects. As they start taking higher doses, it increases the risk for dependence, overdose, and addiction. It is important to understand the distinction between addiction and dependence, as they are not synonymous. Dependence is described above regarding the way that drugs physically affect the body, whereas addiction can be said to be when an individual continues to use their drug of choice despite various consequences and negative impacts in their life. Many of those who develop an addiction to prescription painkillers end up moving to heroin as their drug of choice, simply because heroin is cheaper and more available on the street. An individual who is struggling with an addiction to opiates or opioids should attend formal treatment, where they will be able to work through and handle the various factors associated with their condition.

The current addiction epidemic has grown into a problem of epic proportions, but we can begin to change it. There are already efforts around the nation to better address this issue. For instance, it has been realized over the years that punitive and legal measures against addiction are largely ineffective, which has led to a paradigm shift of more concentration on treatment. There have also been efforts to curb the amount of unnecessary prescriptions being handed out. Specifically regarding opioids and opiates, there are also now more law officers carrying N

Naloxone, which is a drug that is designed to stop and reverse overdose. This allows many lives to be saved and these people can then be quickly sent to treatment.

Addiction can be an extremely burdensome condition, but it can be overcome through the right treatment. That is where Best Drug Rehabilitation comes in, as we help thousands to break free of their addictions every year. We offer numerous different modalities, which allows us to craft a custom program for each person that is admitted into our center. Give us a call today and we can answer any questions that you may have regarding our program.

The post Opiates vs. Opioids: Why They are Both Fueling the Drug Epidemic appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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There are many different hellacious substances that continue to affect our population when it comes to addiction. Many of these substances are illicit, but there are also numerous legal substances that are problematic in this avenue. One of the most highly abused substances within our nation is legal and socially accepted, which would be alcohol. In fact, the legality and social acceptance of alcohol is part of what contributes to the high rates of abuse. This is not to say that alcohol should be outlawed, but only that the social acceptance sort of allows many cases of abuse to be overseen. For instance, college students often participate in heavy binge drinking, but this is just considered “part of the college life.” As a person continues to heavily consume alcohol unchecked, it can easily lead to that individual potentially becoming an alcoholic. When it comes to developing alcoholism, there are actually a few different stages that an individual typically goes through.

Alcohol Use Disorder

The title of “alcoholism” may be one of the most commonly used terms for this condition, but it is actually not the correct clinical descriptor. The more formal term used for this condition is Alcohol Use Disorder. This clinically employed term is more detailed than the blanket title of alcoholism. When it comes to professionals diagnosing or labeling, they must have a series of recognizable and identifiable traits or symptoms before they can really call something a certain condition. This is where the term and details of alcohol use disorder come into play, as it includes an isolated 11 factors that allow for proper diagnosing and determination of severity. The factors of alcohol use and severity break down something like this:

  • Displaying at Least Two of the Eleven Factors in the Past Year – The individual is considered to have an alcohol use disorder.
  • Two or Three Factors – This is considered to be a mild alcohol use disorder.
  • Four or Five Factors – Considered to be a moderate alcohol use disorder.
  • Six or More Factors – At this point, the alcohol use disorder is considered to be a severe case.

We will not go into the entire list of factors that are part of alcohol use disorder, but some of the recognizable ones are:

  • Requiring more alcohol to achieve the desired effects.
  • The individual continues to drink despite the adverse consequences it is having on their relationships.
  • Participating in some risky type of behavior as a result of drinking alcohol, such as swimming, driving, unprotected sex, operating machinery, or fighting.
  • Alcohol consumption interfering with one’s responsibilities, such as family, school, or work.

Alcohol Dependence and Withdrawal

The factors of an alcohol use disorder encompass both the psychological and physical aspects. There is an important distinction to be made between these two, being that physical dependence and addiction are not the same thing. Physical dependence is often a large part of addiction, but it is not identical to it. An individual could be physically dependent upon a drug or alcohol without necessarily being psychologically dependent on it as well. Of course, those struggling with alcohol use disorder often have a physical dependence, but they will also likely have psychological effects. Physical dependence typically begins with the development of a tolerance, meaning that the person will have to consume larger amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effects. As the individual continues to consume alcohol and build a larger tolerance, they may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to cease drinking or if they drink much less than usual. The person may then drink to stop these withdrawal symptoms from occurring, which perpetuates the behavior.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol include:

  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

If one has reached the point of physical dependence, they should be admitted into a detox center. Some may think they can go cold turkey and detox at home, but this is never a good idea. Realistically, alcohol detox can potentially be very dangerous and it could actually result in death when done incorrectly. With an inpatient detox center, an individual can receive a properly formatted detox and they will also be constantly monitored through the whole process. This way, if any complications were to arise, there will be professional staff that can rapidly react. The staff can also help to make the person as comfortable as possible during the difficult withdrawal period.

Negative Impacts of Alcohol Use Disorder

A large part of alcohol use disorder is when the person loses control of their drinking and it begins to interfere with their normal living or responsibilities. This is where the individual will begin to display 3-5 of the above factors and they do not necessarily have to be physically dependent at this point. They could be too drunk or hungover to go to work several times, not take care of familial needs, or their school performance may begin to suffer. If this continues to be regular behavior, the individual should be gotten into proper addiction treatment, as it can help them to break the alcohol use disorder that is taking over their life. While some are able to achieve this on their own, others often require treatment to help them escape the destructive cycle.

A person’s intent behind drinking can also potentially play a role in the development of an alcohol use disorder. If they have the idea that they “need” alcohol to have a good time, be social, numb emotional pain, or ease life difficulties, this may be more likely to lead down the road of dependence and alcohol use disorder. The person could reach for alcohol for one of the above reasons, and if this behavior continues, it may become their standard operating procedure to seek alcohol for any difficulty or social situation.

New Drinkers and Stages of Alcohol Intoxication

The development of an alcohol use disorder is a somewhat unpredictable situation, as some people that display more factors at a certain time might not maintain that level. For instance, a new alcohol user could display around 2 of the 11 factors, but they may also simply not know their limits yet and their behavior could easily level out. Realistically, it can never be concretely known whether occasional or social alcohol consumption could lead to an alcohol use disorder down the road. Those new to it may just be experimenting or trying it out and then greatly decrease their intake after the novelty wears off. This could be applied to the college student example mentioned above, as those who party for a bit in college may not continue that behavior afterward. Although, drinking heavily like these college students and others can bring about stages of alcohol poisoning, which can have hellacious health impacts. It is not uncommon for people to be admitted into emergency care for various stages of alcohol poisoning.

Addiction can be an incredibly hellacious condition to struggle with, but it is never impossible to overcome. Through treatment, an individual can come to understand their addiction and break free of its hold on them. This is exactly what Best Drug Rehabilitation is here to help with. We offer multiple modalities, and we create a custom program for each person admitted into our facility. Every single addiction is unique in various ways and it should be treated as such. We help thousands to overcome addiction every year and would like to do the same for you or your loved one. Call us today and one of our staff members can answer any questions that you may have regarding our program.

The post The Stages of Alcoholism: How Someone Becomes an Alcoholic appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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Addiction is one of the greatest issues that face our modern society and it has only grown worse over time. More potent substances have contributed to the increasing number of people developing addictions. With how massive of a problem this has been for so long, it has led to numerous studies and research regarding the causes and factors behind addiction. The studies have varied in their exact premises about addiction, such as whether it is biological, psychological, behavior related, etc. These different studies have had a wide range of results and this has also lead to numerous types of treatment designed around varying premises. For some time, a large consensus about addiction has been that it is a habitual type of behavior and many treatment types were geared in this direction. Although, a new study may have shed some new light and displayed that addiction might be more linked to motivation, rather than habit.

The Details of the New Research

The recent research was done by Brian Singer and colleagues. Singer, lead author of the study, is at the Open University of England and was also a former psychology researcher at the University of Michigan. As with many other addiction studies, this one involved using rats to observe certain behaviors, with the tested substance being cocaine. Although, this study differed in a very major way, particularly in the tasks required by the rats to actually receive a reward. Previous studies typically involved repetitive behaviors like pressing a lever to receive drugs, whereas the new study had the rats completing increasingly harder puzzles to receive the reward.

The required puzzles would change after weeks of testing, which essentially eliminated the chance of addiction-like behavior becoming habitual or automatic according to the researchers. The specific layout involved rats being placed in chambers that had puzzles within them, with the associated tasks including pressing levers, poking their nose into holes, and spinning a wheel. In addition, these tasks had to be completed in a certain order and if any mistakes were made, the puzzle would have to be restarted from the beginning. Once the puzzle was correctly completed, the rats would be able to administer themselves small doses of cocaine. The researchers dubbed this new system the Puzzle Self-Administration Procedure or PSAP. Their question was whether extended exposure to this experience would still result in addiction-like behavior. The answer to this question ended up being yes, as the rats displayed sensitized motivation for the drug, intake escalation, continued use despite adverse consequences and cue-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking.

What the researchers were able to show is that addiction has a large basis in motivation over the habit. The rats were willing to persevere and adapt to receive their desired dose of cocaine. With how the puzzles fluctuated, habitual behavior was never really able to form. Rather, the rats were motivated enough to discover and work their way through the necessary actions to receive their cocaine.

One does not have to strain to see how this can apply and fit with those struggling with addiction. Many of those struggling can become incredibly resourceful and motivated when it comes to obtaining their substance of choice. They may have difficulty figuring out some other problem, but when they need their fix, it is like they become increasingly better problem solvers. We see addicts find ways to obtain or borrow money to purchase a substance, find connections in unfamiliar places, etc. When it comes to their substance of choice and its desired effects, their motivation reaches a new level.

The Effects of Addiction on the Brain

The motivation basis was further borne out by what the researchers observed in regard to the rat’s brain activity during this study. The researchers found that the brain regions important for habit regulation were not involved in this drug seeking, but the regions involved with motivation controlled the drug seeking. There are sections of our brains associated with various behaviors and drug use results in a production of dopamine in certain sections. Dopamine is a chemical involved in the reward and pleasure centers of the brain. A basic summation is that certain activities or substances result in the production of dopamine in the brain, which makes us feel good and often inspires us to indulge in these activities or substances again. Of course, addiction and substance abuse often involve a ne plus ultra of this reward-seeking behavior.

How This New Information May Help Us to Treat Addiction

While the habit-forming premises about addiction have led to significant advances in treating this condition, this new research may be able to further our ability in this avenue. If we are able to explore the motivational basis of addiction, it can easily contribute to a better understanding of it, as well as adapted treatments. This way, we can begin to have higher success rates and help more people to break free of this hellacious condition. Realistically, many of our treatment methods over the years have been somewhat hit or miss, as they vary in their premise. Some go off the basis of addiction being a purely behavioral issue, others base it on addiction being a mental disorder, and many have viewed it as a habit. With these wide variations, it is quite apparent why there has not been more success. Of course, there is not necessarily going to be an across the boards type of treatment that works for every individual, but having a better basis can allow us to improve from there. If we narrow down the basis and factors of addiction, we can create more pinpointed treatments that more accurately address the root difficulties and motivations.

It may take some time for the idea of habitual addiction to change, being that it has been around for so long. Although, further research directed toward motivation-based addiction may begin to change minds and help us understand how to mitigate the problem. We can design treatments that encompass the idea of motivation and perhaps help individuals to direct this motivation and creative problem solving toward more constructive avenues. After all, if they are able to be so motivated and skilled in problem-solving when it comes to obtaining and using substances, imagine what they would be able to do with this effort aimed in a positive direction.

When Seeking a Drug Recovery Center

Addiction can be an incredibly difficult condition to be afflicted with, but it is not impossible to overcome. Best Drug Rehabilitation is here for just that. We help thousands of people to break free of addiction every single year and would like to do the same for you or your loved one. Our drug recovery program is unique from many others in that we create a custom program for every single person that is admitted into our facility. This is because each case of addiction is unique in many different ways and our custom programs account for the particular difficulties that an individual is struggling with in their life. We offer numerous modalities so that we can create a suitable program for virtually anyone. Give us a call today and one of our staff members can answer any questions that you may have regarding our drug recovery program.

The post Motivation vs. Habit: What’s Really Driving Addiction appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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The addiction epidemic spreading throughout our nation has been growing at an unprecedented rate. It has been a problem for a number of years, but the past couple decades have been the worst of it. One of the largest contributing factors to the current state has been the widespread opioid epidemic. Of course, opioids hold a valuable purpose within the medical realm, which would be pain relief. When prescribed and used correctly, these medications can be very effective in helping people to recover from various ailments and to operate without pain in their daily lives. Although, many of these medications can be massive issues when it comes to addiction as well. Aside from legal opioid medications, there are also illicit opioids that are problems, with the most prominent of these being heroin.

How Heroin Use Rates Have Changed

Previously, heroin used to be a drug that was more commonly used by people within low-income neighborhoods, but this has changed greatly over the years. Nowadays, heroin is even being used by young adults in affluent neighborhoods. The opioid painkiller epidemic mentioned above is what has largely led to this situation. In today’s age, painkillers are being prescribed to more people and for more conditions than ever and many of those prescribed these medications have been converting to using heroin down the road. Realistically, the chemical structures of heroin and many of these painkillers are highly similar, which makes them only a hop skip and a jump away from each other. Most of these substances are sourced from the opium poppy plant, while others may be partly or completely created synthetically, but all of them bind to the same receptors in the brain. When used, opioids bring about reduced pain, a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and drowsiness.

With any of these opioids, there comes a matter of tolerance. When an individual has been continuously using one of these substances, their body grows accustomed to it and develops a tolerance, meaning that it then requires them to take higher amounts to achieve the same effects. This is where the road of addiction and heroin use begins. As a person continues to use oxycodone, they could also develop a physical dependence, which is when the body is so used to the drug being in the system that it has trouble properly functioning without it. If the person stops using or doesn’t use enough, they can experience hellacious cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Of course, this often prompts them to use more to relieve these ailments, and so begins the downward spiral.

Then comes the matter of how this leads to these individuals using heroin. There are generally three main factors that contribute to this transition. Firstly, comes the matter of tolerance. If an individual continues to build a larger tolerance, they may move to heroin as a way to get a more potent dose and achieve the desired effects. Secondly, heroin is much cheaper than pain medications. The typical cost of a pain pill for an uninsured individual is about $1 per milligram, meaning that an 80-milligram pill will cost them about $80, whereas an equal amount of heroin can be obtained for around a tenth of that price. As an individual’s habit grows, it can be harder to afford the larger amount of pain pills they need to achieve their desired effects, which prompts a move to heroin so they can afford their fix. Lastly, heroin is often more easily found on the streets than pain pills.

Unfortunately, this progression is not limited by demographic whatsoever anymore. With how prominently painkillers are being prescribed these days, more and more people are falling into this chain progression. There have even been police officers, doctors, nurses, ministers, and various other professionals moving to heroin after having developed an addiction to painkillers. As mentioned above, this is not a new issue either. Painkiller abuse and addiction have been growing problems for many years. They have heavily contributed to increased rates of accidental overdose, with someone dying in this way every 19 minutes in America, which is more deaths than car accidents cause.

One important factor that needs to be viewed in this issue is the rate with which our country prescribes these medications. A very mind-blowing statistic shows why our country is having the largest problem with this situation, which would be that 80% of painkillers in the world are consumed within the United States. What makes this statistic even worse is that our country only holds about 5% of the world’s population.

OxyContin and Heroin

Obviously, there have been some efforts to curb this massive issue, such as making medications abuse deterrent. One of the most prominent of these efforts was in 2010 when OxyContin was released in an abuse-deterrent version. It underwent a reformulation that made it much more difficult to crush or dissolve the pill, which limited people from snorting or injecting it. This did help somewhat by reducing OxyContin from 35.6% to 12.8% as a drug of choice over the course of two years. Unfortunately, this also greatly increased the rates of heroin use by nearly double. The problem ran into here is something referred to as the balloon effect. This is an analogy for the way that if one squeezes a balloon, the air is simply displaced into a different part of the balloon rather than going away. Applying this to OxyContin and heroin, these pain pills were made harder to use for individuals, but instead of this stopping their use, they simply moved to a similar substance. OxyContin and heroin are quite closely related chemically, so it made the jump easy for users.

Many of our efforts over the years focused largely in the area of legality. Individuals caught abusing pain meds or using heroin were prosecuted and given ridiculous sentences. Sure, this may stop these individuals from using while serving their time, but many of them simply return to use soon after being released. This can be pretty easily understood, considering that there is much more to handling addiction than simply ceasing to use substances, and these imprisonments do nothing to handle the underlying condition. These punitive efforts essentially focus more upon curbing the resultant symptoms of these individual’s struggling with underlying difficulties.

As far as moving forward, further efforts need to be directed toward treatment of those struggling. There has begun to be a paradigm shift in this direction, with more states refocusing their law enforcement on getting these individuals help. Several other countries and even some states have chosen to go with harm reduction efforts. For instance, some countries actually provide heroin to addicts, which in some ways, can reduce risks and use of other drugs. There are numerous consequences that heroin users can face, such as injection site infection, infections of the heart lining and valves, and bloodborne illnesses from sharing needles. Providing individuals with heroin and clean needles can help to curb many of those medical risks. Although, this harm reduction methodology is not necessarily the right direction either, as it is more of a defeatist enabling of the problem. Of course, heavy legal prosecution has already displayed that it is not very successful in addressing the issue. We need to focus on treating the underlying conditions that these individuals are struggling with and that is how we will truly begin to address and move forward from this massive epidemic.

The post From Painkillers to Heroin: The Unintended Consequences of Opiate Medication appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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Addiction has been an issue within our nation for many years and there have been numerous forms of treatment developed to address it. Some of these obviously involve various types of therapy and counseling, but others opt for alternative methods. One of these alternative methods includes something called medication maintenance. Essentially, this is when a struggling addict is placed on a type of medication designed to help them manage their addiction. This methodology is typically used in the realm of opioid addiction, being that there are known medications available for maintenance. Individuals struggling with opioids can deal with both a physical and mental component to their addiction. Opioids can bring about an extremely severe physical dependence and medication management can help to ease the potential withdrawal symptoms that come along with this.

There are two medications that are prominently used for medication maintenance for opioid addiction and dependence, which are methadone and buprenorphine. Methadone has been used for some years and still is in use, but buprenorphine has typically become the more favorable medication for maintenance uses.

Is Methadone like Heroin?

Methadone is somewhat related to heroin in makeup, so one may wonder is methadone like heroin? Realistically, both of these substances are quite potent and addictive, and they have several similarities, but they also have a few differences. Firstly, they are both derived from a substance that is sourced from seeds of the poppy plant. Although, the euphoria that is produced from heroin traditionally comes rapidly, whereas the effects of methadone come as a more gradual onset. In addition, if an individual takes methadone and then attempts to consume heroin, they will likely not experience the usual euphoria that can come from it. One area that these substances do greatly differ is in their withdrawal periods. The withdrawal from heroin tends to last around 7-10 days, but people going through methadone withdrawal can experience symptoms up to 4-6 weeks. Generally speaking, it has been reported that around 40% of heroin users deal with psychological addiction, but a staggering 90% of methadone users suffer from both physical and psychological dependence. When methadone is taken correctly as prescribed, it can help a person to overcome the initial difficulties of dependence and allow them to participate in further treatment. Methadone is only approved to be dispensed from authorized clinics.

Buprenorphine

The effects and purpose of buprenorphine are similar to that of methadone, but it is much less intense, which also makes it generally less likely to be abused. The benefit of buprenorphine is that while it is less intense than methadone, it is still enough to adequately offer a reprieve from withdrawal symptoms when taken in daily doses. It is approved to be used for treating opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician’s office, with the condition being that the physician has signed the correct waivers. Buprenorphine is commonly heard of with reference to the medication, Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and Naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist. Buprenorphine was initially approved for treating opioid use disorder in 2002. The hope was that giving doctors the ability to prescribe it within a primary care setting would raise the numbers of patients receiving this type of care, but the actual number of physicians using this methodology has not kept up with the current opioid epidemic we are facing. This medication is also commonly used in detoxification settings as a way to wean individuals off of opioids. When a physician receives a waiver to use buprenorphine, they are able to see 30 patients for it in the first year and 275 in each following year. Yet, many doctors are not seeing anywhere near these kinds of numbers when it comes to treating opioid addicts with buprenorphine maintenance.

This situation of doctors greatly underusing this type of method makes one wonder the reasoning behind it. Fortunately, research was produced that shed some light on the exact reasoning behind this current state. 558 English-speaking physicians had been surveyed by Andrew Huhn, Ph.D. and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the spring/summer of 2016, and they were asked about any drawbacks that they perceived with prescribing buprenorphine. The survey also asked about resources that would encourage doctors without a waiver to get one and take on more patients if they did have one.

Out of this large group, only the small number of 74 physicians said that they did not have a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine, and out of those, a third said that nothing would increase their willingness to obtain a waiver. Reasons for not getting a waiver included concerns of medication reselling (25.7%) and not wanting to be overwhelmed by patient requests for the medication (29.7%).

As far as those who already had a waiver, over half of these physicians said that there was nothing that could increase their willingness to prescribe the medication. Two of the main reasonings for not prescribing at full capacity was not enough reimbursement for services (15.4%) and not enough time for further patients (36%).

What Would Increase Doctor’s Willingness to Employ Buprenorphine

Overall, there were a few different suggestions offered by physicians that would increase their willingness to prescribe or obtain a waiver, which included information regarding local counseling services, continuing education services about opioid use disorder, and mentoring with an experienced provider. While there is currently a large shortage of doctors offering this type of service, the study essentially made it clear what can be done to increase the numbers. From the sounds of it, if physicians can be further educated upon opioid use disorder, mentored or advised by those already using the therapy, and given knowledge about local counseling services, it very well could become a more prominently offered service. Minimally, this gives a basis to move forward into improving this situation. Medication maintenance can be a somewhat valuable type of treatment in that it can help many people begin the road to recovery. Of course, it is generally meant to be a temporary solution and it should be provided in conjunction with some type of therapy or counseling. Buprenorphine maintenance can help a person overcome a physical dependence to opioids, but it does not address any of the mental and emotional factors that are also part of addiction.

When Seeking Treatment for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Addiction can be an incredibly hellacious condition, but treatment can help people to break free of it. Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we tailor treatment to each individual to ensure that they receive a comprehensive program that addresses their unique needs. We offer numerous modalities, which allows us to craft the perfect program for virtually any person. Every single person and their addiction is unique in many different ways and this is the premise we always keep in mind. We help thousands of people to overcome their addiction each year and would like to do the same for you or your loved one. Do not wait, give us a call today and we can answer any questions that you may have about our program. Freedom from addiction is only a phone call away.

The post U.S. Doctors: Their Take on Medication Maintenance Addiction Treatment appeared first on Best Drug Rehabilitation.

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