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You’ve decided to get help for your addiction. It’s the first and most imperative step in the process. However, now you must find a rehab facility that can successfully treat you. In the state of Florida, many rehabilitation centers focus on various issues. Some will tend to be more for those recovering from alcohol addiction while others will focus on drugs. Finding the center that is individually trained and staffed in handling your situation is imperative for your journey.

Evaluating Numerous Florida Centers

While most centers have the same 12-step plan they use, there are numerous variations. Some choose to use a holistic approach using nature and meditation to heal the body. Others use medications to help to overcome the symptoms of detox. You must make sure that you find a center that aligns with what you want to get out of therapy. Be sure to do your homework and find out the specifics. Compose a list of pros and cons of each center, and ask yourself the following questions:

•What Treatment Therapies Do They Offer?
•Do They Offer Medication or Use a Holistic Approach?
•Are Staff Trained to Handle Mental Health Issues too?
•Will They Tailor my Treatment Individually?
•During Rehab, What Will My Day Look Like?
•Can My Family and Friends Visit Me Often?
•Will They Give Me Patient Rights and Responsibilities in Writing?

The Four Types of Rehab Programs

If it isn’t confusing enough to choose between the different centers, not only does the type of treatment vary, but the programs differ too. The length, intensive nature and structure changes from the center to center. Upon admission, the provider will access your condition. A medical assessment can help place you in the right center based on your individual needs. The four types of treatment often seen are:

•Outpatient

During this type of treatment, you will live at home and go to the clinic or facility on a regular basis. The sessions will be conducted by addiction treatment professionals. It is important to note that this is usually reserved for those that are not in immediate danger and who have stabilized. Ongoing treatment is often necessary for an extended period. If you are in the preliminary stages of recovery, they may suggest you use outpatient therapy until a bed opens in a more intensive program. Also, it may be used when insurance won’t cover residential services.

•Inpatient

During inpatient treatment, you would stay in a hospital type setting where you can receive intensive care. If you have other severe medical problems or mental illness, this highly structured attention is the best option. Treating underlying psychological and medical issues is an essential part of the recovery.

•Residential

When a setting like a hospital is not necessary, but the need for intense therapy is present, then a residential treatment facility is used. These centers will also help with medical problems, but they are not meant to handle emergency issues.

•Recovery Housing

Recovery houses, or sober houses as they are sometimes called, is where you will live in a dorm or an apartment type setting. You will be supervised to help recover. Temporary housing offers alternatives to keep you sober during your recovery. It removes you from the influences that may cause you to relapse. These programs can last anywhere from six weeks to a couple of years. It depends on the level of treatment needed, if the court is involved, and your specific medical and mental health needs.

Weighing Your Options

Once you have identified the best treatment setting for your individual needs, you want to narrow it down to the program that best suits you. Visit any center you are considering, or at least call, and ask them a series of questions. Having the right counselor and program means everything for your recovery. You must make sure that it is a place where you feel comfortable and can start your healing process.

Your needs will change as you proceed in the recovery process. You need to find a rehab center in Florida that offers a wide range of treatment options. You will not always need intensive residential services. At some point, you will transition to an outpatient-based program. If the center only offers one or two services, then it may not be a good fit for the long-haul.

Also, you want to see the center’s success rates. Most programs should be able to give you a success rate of patients they treat. Make sure they use therapies that are based on scientific studies and practice.

If they do give you statistics, then ask how they measure their patients’ progress. What are the determining factors to say that a treatment is effective? Finally, do they have any data on their patient and their long-term recovery? You want to make sure that the program you are about to enter not only looks good on the outside, but they have a high recovery rate too.

What Happens if You Relapse?

You must understand that relapsing is a part of the journey. You should not beat yourself up too bad if this happened. Think of other medical conditions that go into remission and then come back again. Ask the program what happens if you should relapse while under their care? Also, will they dismiss you for a relapse or give you the opportunity to start over again? Are staff members trained to handle relapse, or do they end your treatment at that time? These are all important considerations when choosing the right facility in Florida.

Construct A Quality Care Checklist

There is a quality care checklist published on the internet that gives protocol to look for when choosing a rehabilitation center. You need to make sure the care is being overseen by physicians and licensed mental health professionals who have experience in treating substance abuse disorders.

The center you choose should have a range of useful treatments available and not just one or two. Make sure the center is licensed and accredited and can handle any medical issues you may have too. You will need continuing care and support after intensive treatment, so make sure that it is provided. The right recovery center means everything to your journey to wellness. Call us today at 800-723-7376. We can help you.

The post How Do I Choose The Right Florida Recovery Center? appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Benzodiazepines And Opioids: Deadly Combination Involved In Nearly 13,000 Deaths Each Year

As if opioids weren’t dangerous enough on their own, an increasing number of people are dying from overdoses after combining benzodiazepines and opioids – two central nervous system depressants that when used together, result in an overall effect far more dangerous that the use of either drug alone.

Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam) are in a class of drug known as benzodiazepines – anti-anxiety medication. They are also sometimes prescribed as sleep aids. Prescriptions for these two drugs have increased over the last few years, so has abuse and overdoses.

Despite the mounting death toll, there seems to be a lack of attention and information circulating about the dangers of combining benzodiazepines and opioids. Indeed, many experts believe that benzodiazepine abuse is still growing. For example, the Gateway Foundation, a network of youth rehabilitation centers, estimates that 1 in 4 clients have a problem with these drugs – an increase from just 1 in five years ago.

How Benzodiazepines Kill

Benzodiazepines induce feelings of calm and relaxation by binding to brain receptors and preventing neurons from becoming active during moments potentially perceived as anxious. For those with severe anxiety, panic disorder, or insomnia, these drugs can be invaluable.

The downside is this – they suppress the central nervous system and can inhibit breathing – and opioids induce a similar effect. But physicians continue to prescribe these drugs in conjunction – moreover, many pain patients who seek opioids also have other problems, such as sleeping difficulties that end up being treated with drugs like Xanax.

Conversely, one review found data that suggested that while some opioid abusers were using benzodiazepines therapeutically to treat insomnia or anxiety, their use was “primarily recreational” and that users reported “seeking BZD prescriptions for the purpose of enhancing opioid intoxication or “high,” and use doses that exceed the therapeutic range.”

Both benzodiazepines and opioids are easily obtained on the black market, often as a product of drug diversion when they are pilfered from the medicine cabinets of friends or family members.

Xanax, also like opioids, is also dangerous when mixed with other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol.

Recent research has highlighted the dangers of using benzodiazepines and opioids concurrently. A North Carolina study in 2016 revealed that the overdose fatality rate among patients who received both drugs was ten times greater than among those who only received opioids.

The study concluded:

“There is [an] urgent need for guidance about combined classes of medicines to facilitate a better balance between pain relief and overdose risk.”

Glamorization in Pop Culture

And terrifyingly, these drugs have also infiltrated pop culture, especially among the hip-hop community – mentioned in lyrics by artists such as Eminem. One artist, Lil Xan, derived his professional name from the most popular brand of alprazolam. Others are admitting to and even endorsing the use of “bars” – rectangular high-dose Xanax tablets.

Emo rapper Lil Peep (Gustav Ahr) died on his tour bus of an overdose at age 21 in November 2017, after ingesting a deadly cocktail of Xanax and fentanyl, a potent opioid. Before his death, he portrayed himself as an avid Xanax user in both interviews and social media.

After his death, other artists claimed to have quit using Xanax, even Lil Xan, as he told MTV:

“I really don’t agree with glorifying the drug at this point, especially in light of Lil Peep’s death.”

Will Educational Measures, Recommendations Help?

In 2016, both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took action. The FDA now requires “black box” warning labels on prescriptions, and the CDC issued a recommendation that physicians avoid prescribing both drugs concurrently

Also, an increasing number of state prescription drug monitoring databases are tracking benzodiazepine use, notifying doctors when a patient is receiving them both.

But the dangers of combined use has been common knowledge for some time – so it’s unclear if any recent measures will have a significant impact on abuse and deaths. And benzodiazepines are extraordinarily habit-forming and can result in chemical dependency. Moreover, like opioids, they are notoriously difficult to quit.

Indeed, recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that more than 30% of overdoses related to opioids also involve benzodiazepines. According to the CDC, 42,000 Americans died in 2016 from overdoses involving opioids such as prescription painkillers and heroin or fentanyl – a fact may indicate that nearly 13,000 people died from overdoses that year that included both opioids and benzodiazepines.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is abusing benzodiazepines or opioids, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

Please call us today at 800-723-7376 for a free consultation.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

Dasgupta N, Funk MJ, Proescholdbell S, Hirsch A, Ribisl KM, Marshall S. Cohort Study of the Impact of High-Dose Opioid Analgesics on Overdose Mortality. Pain Med Malden Mass. 2016;17(1):85-98. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pme.12907/abstract

http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(12)00278-5/abstract

The post Benzodiazepines And Opioids: Deadly Combination Involved In Nearly 13,000 Deaths Each Year appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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You admit that you have a substance abuse issue, and you are ready to get help. Thankfully, the first step of the journey is over. Now, you must choose a detox center in Florida and arrange payment. One of the most significant questions on your mind is how can you afford the treatment. Specifically, does your Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy cover your stay? You will feel relieved to know that your plan will most likely include your treatment.

Why Most Insurance Companies Pay For Treatment?

Dealing with an insurance company can be an overwhelming feat. When you have a serious medical condition that affects you, your family, and friends, you need help in paying for the treatment. Since drug and alcoholism are classified as a mental health issue, most insurance companies will cover your stay.

While this may be classified as a mental health condition, it also affects your physical well being. Your drug addiction will affect every facet of your life. When things are bad, you may question whether your life is worth living. These are all reasonable feelings that someone who is going through addiction faces.

Cookie-cutter treatment plans are not viable. Everyone deals with an addiction in their way. Think of it as a physical ailment. No one medication will treat all the people all the time. Instead, it is about finding a treatment plan that works for you. Customizing your detox process is efficient. Recovery is dealt with on an individual basis.

Many family members fail to recognize the signs of addiction, which leaves an addict to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, this leads to severe mental and physical complications down the road. If an insurance company refuses to cover treatment plans, it could come back and cost them even more in the end. A person that allows the addiction to progress may develop serious medical issues because of substance abuse. Because of the risks at hand, more health insurance companies are offering coverage for drug detox around the country.

Digging Into the Details of Your Plan

Most policies, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has a provision to cover the drug detox in Florida. However, never assume that you have full coverage unless it is specifically written in your declarations. It is not always as easy as a simple “yes” or “no” when searching for your insurance coverage. You must dig into the details of the plan to find out the amount of coverage. Some stipulations commonly included are:

•Must use a “network” facility or physician
•Detox is not covered
•Length of treatment may result in changing coverage
•Type of treatment may result in changing coverage
•Denial of subsequent visits
•Type of addiction may result in changing coverage

All insurance policies have fine print. You should read through all of this to ensure you maximize your coverage. You do not want any surprises before, during, or after treatment. Make sure you check the details. There are no stupid questions. Be sure you ask anything you can until it is clear to you. Blue Cross and Blue Shield has a 24-hour customer service line to help you with things of this nature. When you need clarifications on your policy, do not hesitate to call.

Does Blue Cross and Blue Shield Consider Relapsing a Preexisting Condition?

Most policies have some verbiage about pre-existing conditions. While the law prohibits them from denying you for coverage from pre-existing circumstances in most cases, if you have been to rehab before and failed, they can deny you. Repeat visits are a pre-existing clause that they can legally refuse. Many people go through the drug detox program and relapse; it is part of the nature of battling the illness. However, your policy may not cover you.

Does Your Policy Specify Inpatient or Outpatient?

Most Blue Cross/Blue Shield policies have specifications for rehab that they label as inpatient or outpatient. Rest assured, they will typically cover variations of both. The cost of inpatient care is way more expensive than outpatient as you are given 24/7 service. The costs of the physicals, psychiatrists and counselors are significantly higher in a hospital type setting. Depending on the diagnosis and level of treatment needed, your insurance coverage may specify what they will pay. Make sure you know the limits of both inpatient and outpatient care before you enter any detox program.

Will They Cover Whole-Body Holistic Healing?

Many holistic centers are popping up in Florida that takes a very different approach to healing. They base their treatments around the serenity of nature, art, music and equine therapy, and other “out of the box” methods. Individual treatment sessions help patients to work through all those lingering emotional issues that are at the crux of their addiction. Some of these centers may not be covered by your insurance company. However, their rate of success cannot be denied. Some things are worth the extra cost.

Moving Forward in Your Recovery

Once you get through the legalities of paying for your Florida substance abuse program, you can begin your treatment. After treatment is completed, you will need aftercare. Follow-up care is essential to get you acclimated back into society. Reintroducing yourself is a critical element as you may not know how to handle sobriety and being at your job and with family and friends. During this time, you will need on-going outpatient care. You need to make sure that your insurance policy covers this and know the number of sessions.

Dealing with the insurance company is often a long and tedious process. Thankfully, we can help you. We can find out exactly what your policy will cover and their limitations. Call us today at 800-723-7376 to get help. We will complete your enrollment and submit a request for payment to Blue Cross and Blue Shield on your behalf. We will help you establish payment so that you can get the treatment you so desperately need.

The post Will Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida Pay For Substance Abuse Detox? appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Replacing Addictive Opioids For Many Patients With Pain

Pain-blocking devices, also known as using Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS units, may be steadily replacing the use of prescription narcotics.

Physicians report that an increasing number of patients are opting for over-the-counter devices to treat chronic pain to avoid the use of addictive painkillers and the side effects and potential risks that come with them.

TENS devices are touted as working for all kinds of pain. One of the most popular is Quell, a band that is worn around the calf that dispenses pain relief via low-intensity electrical signals that transmit throughout the central nervous system. It has been approved by the FDA to treat chronic pain without a prescription.

Another product, known as Livia, targets menstrual discomfort. Patients place small pads in the pelvic area where they hurt, and when the device is turned on, micro-pulses distract nerves from transmitting pain-related signals to the brain.

New, over-the-counter Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation devices typically cost between $50-$400, and can usually be purchased online. They incur few side effects, and there is no possibility of addiction or overdose.

Indeed, the pharmaceutical market is facing a significant backlash against opioid use, and biotech companies are leaning toward the use of technology to treat chronic pain. The opioid crisis has fueled the need for non-drug alternatives for pain relief, and many companies are working fiercely toward making this a reality for all.

Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 42,000 Americans died in 2016 from overdoses related to prescription painkillers and illicit opioids. Millions more remain addicted. But fortunately, this epidemic has resulted in innovations that seek to alleviate pain using technology instead of highly-addictive medication.

For an increasing number of Americans, TENS devices are offering an accessible, affordable, and effective treatment without fear of prescription drug addiction. In 2011, an Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Press report revealed that 100 million adults in the United States experience chronic pain, costing as much as $630 billion each year.

One drawback to these devices is that they only work for up to 30 minutes each day, which is good for short-term localized pain relief but may not be as helpful for long-term treatment.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

More patients using over-the-counter blocking devices to avoid painkillers

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/technology-and-biotech-companies-poised-for-a-big-2018-674178873.html

The post Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Replacing Addictive Opioids For Many Patients With Pain appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Exercise, Particularly Running, Negates Impact Of Chronic Stress On Brain

Many people find exercise helpful to cope with stress, but a new study finds that engaging in exercise when stressed – running in particular – also protects your memory. Moreover, running reduces the negative effects that chronic stress can wreak on the hippocampus, the area of the brain responding for memory and learning.

Study author Jeff Edwards, associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at BYU, said the following in a statement.

“Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on memory of chronic stress.”

The formation of memories and recall occur inside the hippocampus when synapses (connections) between neurons are strengthened over time – an action that is known as long-term potentiation (LTP). Chronic stress weakens these connections, which lessens LTP and will eventually affect memory.

The study revealed, however, when exercise co-occurs with stress, levels of LTP are not reduced and remain stable.

About The Study

Edwards conducted experiments using mice, with one group running on wheels and another left sedentary over a 4-week period. Half of each group was then placed in stressful situations, such as swimming in cold water. One hour later, researchers conducted electrophysiology experiments on the mice’s brains to evaluate the level of LTP.

Mice who were stressed and had exercised had substantially greater amounts of LTP than stressed out mice who remained sedentary. Also, stressed mice who exercised performed as well on maze-running experiments that tested memory as mice who were not exposed to stress.

Finally, mice who exercised made much fewer memory errors in the maze than their sedentary counterparts.

“The ideal situation for improving learning and memory would be to experience no stress and to exercise. Of course, we can’t always control stress in our lives, but we can control how much we exercise.”

“It’s empowering to know that we can combat the negative impacts of stress on our brains just by getting out and running.”

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1074742718300042

https://news.byu.edu/news/running-helps-brain-counteract-negative-effect-stress-study-finds

The post Exercise, Particularly Running, Negates Impact Of Chronic Stress On Brain appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Opiates are drugs that are naturally derived from the opium poppy, whose botanical name is Papaver somniferum. Over millennia, this plant has discovered a way to disarm its enemies and make its benefactors, including humans, want more of it. The natural drugs that come from the poppy include morphine and opium. Opioids include drugs that are synthetic opiates, such as heroin as well as drugs naturally derived from the opium poppy. Other opioids are include

• Thebaine
• Codeine
• Buprenorphine
• Methadone
• Carfentanil
• Oxycodone
• Fentanyl
• Suboxone. Interestingly, though suboxone is itself an opioid, it is given to stop overdoses from other opioids.

Some of the most widely abused opioids are derived from morphine. They include oxycodone and hydrocodone, Demerol and Dilaudid. The abuse of oxycodone has spread dramatically in the past 20 years due to its being a widely prescribed painkiller. Methadone is taken in pill form. Because it is long lasting, it is used to ease patients off of their opioid addiction. Because its effects come on gradually, it spares the patient the pain of withdrawal without giving them the high associated with opioids. Methadone is also used for chronic pain relief.

Fentanyl is a fast acting pain killer used by anesthesiologists. Doctors prescribe it in the form of patches to bring long lasting relief from pain and in the form of lollipops to give to children before they undergo surgery. Carfentanil is basically an animal tranquilizer. It is so powerful that a small amount of it can take down an elephant. Some people believe that a person can feel the effects of carfentanil simply by touching it, though stories of people getting high or even overdosing just from getting this opioid on their skin maybe apocryphal.

Doctors prescribe opioids to relieve pain. They also prescribe them to treat diarrhea and as cough suppressants. Opioids are very addictive drugs, and a doctor must prescribe them with care to avoid the patient becoming dependent on them. About 8 to 12 percent of patients who take prescription opioids do become dependent on them, sometimes to the point where they resort to street opioids to continue their addiction.

How Opioids Work

Opioids work by binding with the mu, delta or kappa receptors in a person’s central nervous system. Endogenous pain killers call endorphins also lock into these receptors, but they are nowhere near as powerful as opiates and opioids, and the patient can’t overdose on them.

The effects of the opioid depends on how strongly the particular drug binds to the opioid receptor in the central nervous system. Morphine and fentanyl bind strongly to the receptors, while codeine binds weakly. Opioids defeat the blood brain barrier which usually keeps toxins out of the central nervous system. Heroin and fentanyl are extraordinarily good at this and can even pass into the central nervous system through the lining of the nose. This is why people get high from snorting these two drugs.

The effects of an opioid also depend on how the drug is taken. An opioid that is injected causes an initial, powerful euphoria that subsidies into a dreamy, nearly pain-free state. The person’s breathing slows down, their pupils constrict and their skin may flush. If the opioid is taken another way, the person may just be pleasantly drowsy instead of experiencing the rush. Some people become nauseated, vomit or suffer from constipation.

Eventually, a person who keeps taking opioids develops a tolerance for them. Tolerance isn’t addiction but happens when the person needs to take more and more to get the same euphoria they experienced the first time. Sometimes the person needs to take many times the original dosage to experience this euphoria. If they had taken the same amount of opioid their first time, it most likely would have caused them to overdose or would have even killed them.

After the person develops a tolerance, they become addicted. Addiction means that the person experiences the symptoms of withdrawal if they are without the drug for a time. Though opioid withdrawal is not as unpleasant or dangerous as withdrawal from benzodiazepines, the symptoms are bad enough for the person to do just about anything to get the drug.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The onset of opioid withdrawal symptoms depend on whether the drug is long or short acting. In a short-acting opioid, the symptoms start within six to 12 hours after the last dose. Symptoms start around 30 hours after the last dose with long-acting opioids. How bad the withdrawal is depends on how much of the opioid the person took, how long they were addicted to it, what the opioid of choice was and the state of the person’s overall health. Early withdrawal symptoms are:

• Muscle aches
• Agitation
• Anxiety
• Fever
• Yawning
• Insomnia
• Tearing eyes
• Runny nose
• Sweating
• Fast heartbeat
• High blood pressure

Later symptoms include:
• Stomach cramps
• Diarrhea
• Depression
• Cravings
• Nausea and vomiting
• Blurred vision
• Dilated pupils
• Gooseflesh

These symptoms peak within 72 hours, and the physical symptoms eventually go away after about a week. The psychological symptoms can last much longer.

Treatment

A patient can undergo a medical detoxification where they are monitored during their withdrawal and given medications to ease the worst of the symptoms. They are also given nutrients and hydration to keep them strong through the ordeal.Medical staff may prescribe medications such as clonidine, suboxone or methadone to ease withdrawal symptoms.

The Opioid Epidemic

As of 2018, an opioid epidemic is ravaging the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1000 people go to the emergency room to be treated for problems related to their opioid use. About 91 people die daily from opioid overdose. This results in over 33,000 people dying from opioid abuse every year.

Older, non-Hispanic white women are more likely to abuse opioids, but more men die from them. Most people who abuse opioids get them from friends or relatives who do not charge them for the drugs or who may not be aware they are taking them. The states where opioid prescription rates are very high tend to be southern states. It is not known why this is.

Call For Help

If you feel your opioid use is out of control, do not hesitate to call us today at 800-723-7376. Our counselors are ready to help 24 hours a day.

The post Is There A Difference Between Opioids and Opiates? appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Baby Boomers Increasingly Engaging In Alcohol And Substance Abuse, Entering Treatment Programs

According to a number of recent studies and resounding self-reports, an increasing number of baby boomers, born between 1946-1964, are engaging in alcohol and substance abuse, including both prescription and illicit drugs.

This trend is worrisome to physicians, addiction treatment specialists, families, and the boomers themselves who are trying to understand why they are ending up needing addiction treatment as they near the last few years of their lives.

For example, a recent study revealed that the number of Americans consuming alcohol spiked 65% from 2002-2013, and this was especially true for older adults. High-risk drinking, often called binge drinking, is the consumption of more than four alcoholic drinks in an episode.

Experts estimate that by 2020, as many as 5.7 million American adults aged 50 or older will have a substance use disorder.

Also, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2012, there were more than 14,000 adults aged 65 or older admitted to addiction treatment programs. Moreover, for this age group, on any given day there were 29 admissions to alcohol treatment programs and six admissions to programs that treated heroin or other opioids.

Data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network indicate that on any given day in 2011, there were more than 2,000 older adults who visited an emergency department for reasons related to drug use – 290 involved illegal drugs, non-medical use of prescription drugs, or drugs used in conjunction with alcohol consumption.

And the problem reaches around the globe – in the United Kingdom, for example, the number of deaths related to alcohol among people over age 50 has increased by 45% since 2001, states the Office for National Statistics.

So why the dramatic increase in drinking among baby boomer? There are probably many reasons.

One, older adults can often afford to drink and also contend that they should be allowed to do so – these are people who grew up in an era of rampant drug and alcohol use and may have a pro-substance perspective.

Also, prescription medications are readily accessible to baby boomers, which when combined with other drugs or alcohol can result in dangerous effects.

And there are emotional factors as well – drugs and alcohol are often used as self-medication in an attempt to negate negative emotions. Aging frequently equates to the loss of loved ones, less physical activity, and a decline in income and feelings of purpose.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21084724

The post Baby Boomers Increasingly Engaging In Alcohol And Substance Abuse, Entering Treatment Programs appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Heroin Vaccine That Blocks Effects And Overdose Ready For Human Trials

Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) are ready to bring to trial a safe and effective heroin vaccine that blocks the “high” effect and prevents a overdose from occurring.

Their findings reveal how this new anti-heroin drug is safe using animal models – both mice and non-human primates – and is therefore close to being testable in humans.

Candy S. Hwang, Ph.D., lead author from a TSRI news release:

“The heroin vaccine is one step closer to clinical evaluation.”

The release also cites statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which estimates that nearly 15,500 Americans died from an overdose of heroin between 2000-2016. Many of these deaths are blamed on prescription opioid addiction – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 out of 5 new heroin years report becoming dependent on painkillers before initiating their heroin habit.

The first version of the heroin vaccine was designed in 2013 by a research team at TSRI and works by teaching immune system antibodies how to identify and bind to molecules of heroin, thereby blocking the drug from reaching the brain and causing a high.

To achieve this, the heroin molecule is attached to a protein that notifies the immune system to start creating antibodies.

Hwang:

“Our goal was to prepare a vaccine…we were looking for the best combination of ‘hapten’ (the heroin molecule), carrier protein and adjuvant to keep the vaccine both stable for transport and storage but still efficacious.”

Of special importance, this vaccine also protects against deadly doses of heroin, as many addicts have died of an overdose during their attempts to quit using.

Hwang:

“We believe that a heroin vaccine would be tremendously beneficial for people who have a heroin substance use disorder but have found difficulty in trying to quit.”

References

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00933
https://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2018/20180213janda.html

The post Heroin Vaccine That Blocks Effects And Overdose Ready For Human Trials appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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Drugmaker Purdue Pharma Says Company Will Finally Stop Marketing OxyContin To Doctors

Drugmaker Purdue Pharma made a brief announcement this week that the company would cease marketing opioid painkillers, such as its signature product OxyContin, to physicians.

The announcement noted that Purdue has significantly “restructured and reduced” its sales force to only around 200 representatives. This action, however, has drawn little praise from officials and healthcare advocates who claim that the company’s declining sales is the main reason for the move.

Instead, Purdue states that it will use its remaining sales force on the product Symproic, a medication that treats constipation related to opioid use and other non-opioid drugs. Physicians with OxyContin-related inquiries will be directed to the company’s department of medical affairs.

This decision is a 180-degree turn from Purdue’s previous policy, which involved sales representatives visiting medical offices to market their products.

For several years, Purdue has been criticized for its robust marketing campaigns and misleading claims about OxyContin’s addictive potential. Indeed, OxyContin’s meteoric rise fell in line with a spike in overdose death rates, which hit a peak in 2016 at more than 42,000.

Purdue has also been the target of a number of past and present lawsuits. In 2007, three executives pled guilty to federal charges related to misleading promotions in 2007, and the company was fined more than $634 million. At least fourteen states have filed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, including Alaska and New Jersey. Alabama was the most recent.

In related news, Purdue Pharma is not, by any means, the only drugmaker under fire regarding the opioid epidemic. More than 350 lawsuits brought forth by government entities against Cardinal Health, Inc. and several other pharmaceutical companies.

To date, Purdue Pharma has netted more than $31 billion from sales of OxyContin alone.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

http://www.purduepharma.com/news-media/2018/02/purdue-pharma-l-p-issues-statement-on-opioid-promotion/

The post Drugmaker Purdue Pharma Says Company Will Finally Stop Marketing OxyContin To Doctors appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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When someone finds themselves caught in the cycle of addiction, it’s only a matter of time before something has to give. Left untreated, addiction has the potential to lead the addict straight to insanity, prison or death. If you are caught up in an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, you do have a way out. It will take the strength to admit you have an illness and need help, but it’s there waiting or you.

When you get to the point you need to do something, help is always available from reputable drug treatment centers. It’s incumbent on each person to determine what level of help they can afford. If money were not an option, you would think each addict would want the best help possible. It might comes as surprise, but the best treatment available probably sits in South Florida. Throughout the addiction recovery industry, South Florida is widely known as the “drug rehab capital of the world.”

The Treatment process

For those who don’t know, substance abuse treatment usually starts with detox. Before a patient can submit to therapy and counseling, they need to have focus and commitment. It’s hard to do that when your body craves a harmful substance. The residual substances flowing through your body will only serve as a distraction.

The detox process allows you to get past withdrawals under the care of professional medical clinicians. If you were to experience pain or sleeping issues, there’s a good chance the doctors would be willing to prescribe certain medications to get you through those issues with a minimum of discomfort. If your addiction is long-term with lots of depth, doctors might prescribe a tapering process to wean you from drugs over a longer period of time. This is usually done with heroin addicts, who face withdrawal symptoms that can be quite harsh. They will do what it takes to get you ready for treatment.

Getting Detox Treatment in South Florida

As indicated above, many of the nation’s top rehab facilities sit in South Florida. It follows that the top detox facilities must also be in that area. Regardless of where you live, you owe it to yourself to get the best treatment possible. That includes detox.

If you need more convincing, consider this. They are several significant advantages to getting treatment and detox in South Florida. Obviously, the high quality of treatment you would receive stands at the top of the list of benefits. However, the list does not stop there.

You could so a lot worse than South Florida when it comes to the weather. This could be particularly appealing in the winter if you live in Minnesota, Wyoming or North Dakota. Another great benefit is getting the opportunity to remove yourself from the very environment that gave rise to your addiction in the first place. That’s where all the trouble is, including:

  • Your dealers
  • Your substance abuse comrades
  • Your enablers

All of these people could compromise and interfere with your treatment if they were hanging around. It’s far better to get away from the scene of the crime and focus on the task at hand, getting yourself clean.

The last benefit is a subtle one. The best counselors and clinicians want to work at the best facilities. These are the industry leaders that innovate and finds new ways to help patients. If the best facilities are located in South Florida, where do yo think the best staffers would go? That’s correct, South Florida. By going through detox and treatment under the care of these caring and high;y innovative people, you could find yourself on the cutting-edge of treatment.

For all of these reasons, South Florida detox and treatment centers are simply more attractive that most anything you could find close to home. No one is suggesting the facilities in your area aren’t adequate, but can they give you the best treatment possible? That’s the most relevant question.

After Detox

After you have successfully cleared detox, you should be in a better state of mind. You better be because therapy is the meat and potatoes of treatment. It’s here that you are going to be educated about your addiction. You will get the opportunity to better understand why you feel compelled to put harmful substances in your body on a regular basis.

Knowing the why is important. When you leave rehab, you need to have the coping skills necessary to deal with your triggers and stress. Without the proper coping skills, relapses are almost a certainty. If you think the cycle of addiction is difficult, try throwing the constant cycle of getting clean, only to start using again. It’s quite a nasty adventure.

All of that can be avoided if you get to the core of your issues and deal with them in therapy. Remember, therapy only works if you are open and honest with the counselors and yourself. Then, you can get all you need out of treatment. At the end of the day, your success will be measured by the length of your recovery. With the best detox and treatment possible, combined with honest effort, you can expect your recovery to last a long time.

Aftercare

Remember, recovery is a life-long endeavor. Addiction is something that can’t be cured. However, it can be arrested and locked away for eternity. If you feel yourself being weakened by temptation or stress, you need to reach out and take advantage of aftercare programs. These programs can include:

  • Additional therapy on an outpatient basis
  • 12-Step meetings
  • Membership in alumni programs
  • Spending time in a sober living facility

These resources are at your disposal, and you should use them when needed.

You don’t have to live your life as an addict. You have within yourself the ability to move forward and lead a normal life without the need to abuse yourself with harmful substances. If you want and/or need help, we are here to give you that. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 800-723-7376

The post Why Florida Detox Centers Are a Better Option For Most People Who Are Addicted To Drugs appeared first on Just Believe Recovery.

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