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Archive for Addiction – Page 2

San Francisco’s Heroin Problem – A snp shot of the United States – 1st Step Interventions

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I just recently wrote about the Heroin Problem in San Francisco and the availability of higher grade Heroin such as “Gunpowder” Heroin, a stronger form of Heroin than its cousin Black Tar. It seems Cities and Counties across the United States, some more landlocked than other are facing a similar epidemic. Recently reported in the Behavioral Healthcare Newsletter was an article on a “full blown heroin crisis in Vermont”. The last I check Vermont is a land locked State with no ports to the open ocean, therefore the heroin is making its way inland without the use of ports. The point of the article is that it costs 1,000 plus per day to lock up a heroin offender in prison in the State of Vermont, but on;y $100 a day to afford them treatment for their Disease of Addiction. 80% of the offenders in Vermont Prisons are there for drug offenses and addiction and the State spend more on these offenders than it does sending students to state funded Colleges.

success failureI don’t pretend to know the answer, but at 1st step Interventions and Addiction Care Management we believe that addiction is a Disease and you would no more lock up someone with diabetes as you would with an other Chronic Illness. Treatment works as a first line of offense against the Disease of Addiction, but it cannot be the only line of offense. We need to look at more and more Professional long term interactions with newly Sober individuals to ensure compliance with medical and treatment recommendations; similar to the way you would any other Chronic Illness. We also need to stop criminalizing the Addict caught in the throws of addiction. It is far too easy to look at them and say it is their fault and they need to pull their bootstraps up = but it is not that simplistic. Addiction is a Brain Disease with a Brain disorder  that causes a craving and thus the addict will do things against their better conscience and will to fulfill their craving.

At 1st step Interventions and Addiction Care Management we believe and have seen hundreds of times full blown addicts get their life’s back and go on  to live full lives full of greatness. It all starts with a Family willing to step out of their codependency and with the help of  1st Ste put an Intervention Plan together and then once the Addict has finished treatment they usually hire on Addiction Care management to ensure their Continuing Care Plan is being followed and there is accountability.

The combination of a Professional Intervention, good Treatment and a solid Addiction Care Management plan ensures success and the addict and families can get back to their lives. Call Today your first assessment is free 707-559-5146

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New “Gunpowder Heroin” On San Francisco Streets has higher potency and is more Dangerous – 1st Step Interventions

In the last year and a half a new form of Heroin called “Gunpowder” because of its gunpowder consistency and look is flooding the streets of San Francisco and the Bay Area Suburbs putting our Children and Young Adults at a very high risk. Most Heroin addicts unfortunately will go where the stronger Heroin is being sold and will buy the Heroin that is the strongest, figuring it will go farther for them between fixes and last longer. If you were an addict on the surface it makes sense – the terrible downside is exactly that – it is stronger and this Overdoses are on the rise as a result. That’s right more and more of our Children, could be yours, your Niece or Nephew or the next door neighbor kid who used to drop off your newspaper on his or her route.Gunpowder HeroinGunpowder Heroin

At 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management Services, Inc. we saw back in 2009 when Purdue Pharmaceuticals changed the formulation of Oxycontin (which on face value was good) that the resulting problem was going to be a resurgence in Heroin use and addiction. Since Oxycontin became harder to get and the new formula made it harder to abuse, the tens of thousands of young adults addicted were going to switch to Heroin. Of course then they were going to gravitate to the strongest Heroin they could find. Here in San Francisco and the surrounding areas like, Marin, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Walnut Creek, Danville, Orinda. Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Palo Alto Woodside. Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel to name a few – the new drug of choice became quite rapidly and almost overnight – HEROIN!!!

Heroin has been around for years, accidentally invented while searching for a cure to the common cold if you can believe it, has extremely addictive properties and very profound euphoria for the user – making it the perfect drug for those suffering from the Disease of Addiction who gravitate to Pain Killers. In the Bay Are unlike east coast cities we have Black Tar Heroin or its newer big brother Gunpowder Heroin. East Cost Heroin mostly comes from Columbia or maybe Southeast Asia. Our Heroin here comes from Mexico and is less refined that other more white or beige powder heroin found out east. As a result it is quicker from Poppy (it grows as a sap in the Poppy seed) to market requiring less chemical stages. Additively it is just as addictive in any of its forms.

Users usually start out here in the Bay Area and San Francisco smoking the Black Tar or Gunpowder (as you cannot snort it very well) and eventually move on to using needles when their habit gets larger and it takes less of the drug when you inject it to get high. Users will need to fix at least 2x daily with heroin lasting about 12 hours before withdrawals set in and the addict goes through extremely “flu” like symptoms with diarrhea and throwing up until they get another fix.

Heroin addicts do not usually get honest with those around them about what is going on and friends and family usually find money and other things going missing. This is usually how Families discover that their loved one is using. This or they find bits of Paraphernalia around or the Addict may be behaving oddly – falling asleep at odd times (nodding out), scratching themselves, disappearing at times when family events are going on and usually having a short fuse.

Heroin and different types of Heroin like “Gunpowder” are here to stay and given the billions of dollars the Mexican and other Drug Cartels have to continue their operations coupled with the huge demand in this country and other countries, we as family, friends and loved ones have to be able to help those that we can and that are in our inner circle.

Most Family Members feel helpless and don’t know what to do because a they either do not know what resources are available to them for help or are too afraid to ask their loved one to get help because they lash out and push the help away with anger and acting out. This is particularly prevalent amongst Young Adults 18-27 who have failed to launch and are either living at home or living in an apartment subsidized by their Parents. AS a result the Addiction goes around and around and everyone gets caught up in it until some major catastrophe happens and even this can sometimes not be enough to bring about change.

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management has been providing Drug and Alcohol Interventions in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade and has helped well over 350 addicts find their way into Recovery and at the same time helped1000+ addicts and their families manage the early stages of Recovery through its Addiction Care Management Program.

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management is committed to the Men and Women, Young and old and their families in the Greater Bay Area, from Sacramento down to Carmel and over to Stockton and Fresno , live Clean and Sober Lives and not be all caught up in Illicit Drugs, destroying their lives and the lives of their family members. 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management offers Intervention Services and post treatment Care Services that continue to help the Addict settle into a Sober Life with the help of a Professional and continue to educate the Family on how they can better support a newly sober family member. Our Services are affordable and on a sliding scale for those who are in need but are going through tough times.

“Gunpowder” Heroin is just one new drug on our streets, others such as Bath Salts are just as bad. It seems almost several times a year some chemist somewhere comes up with a new substance that falls between the cracks of Federal Guidlines and until the Guidelines catch up the drug continues the reek havoc amongst our Children.    Take a change today and call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management and see if we can help you. The initial assessment call is free so you have nothing to lose and it costs you nothing unless you decide to move forward, Hundreds and thousands have gotten help through 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management, why don’t you be another one and help your loved one or yourself find Recovery and a new way to live happy and Sober.

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We Are Honored To Help A San Francisco Rehab, Duffy’s, Teach Families About Intervention – 1st Step Interventions

Duffy’s Rehab – Located in Beautiful Calistoga and Managed by the same Family, The Duffy’s – Ever since Gene Duffy, The Families Patriarch (since passed away), Founded the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center almost 40 years ago – Kepping in the tradition of giving back, Duffy’s will be posting a video series about Intervention and how a Professional Intervention is the best way to go for Families stuck motivating a loved one to get help for their Drug or Alcohol problems.

Duffys EntranceBryan Duffys profile

1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ is Honored to be a part of this excellent and professionally produced series.

Duffy’s is doing a great Community Service by putting this series out there for Families struggling with an Addiction who:

  • Cannot get their loved one to see the problem.
  • Cannot get their loved one to get help
  • Are caught up in their own fear and codependency
  • Are making the issue worse while trying to help, by enabling the Addict hoping if they help them pay their bills or have a place to live will get their act together eventually.

These are the Families who need to have this type of information available to them so that they can move foward and into action by calling Duffy’s or an Intervention Co. like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management™ and finding more information about how to get their own Intervention process started for a loved one. Call today, your initial Assessment is free.

 Link To Duffy’s Website to access Intervention information and help:

San Francisco Drug Interventions – 1st Step Interventions

San Francisco  street carSan Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. And if Addiction rates match the National rate of 10%, then th Population of 825,863 means we have 82,000 Addicts and Alcoholics living in San Francisco.

Most people would think that these Addicts are found wandering the streets of San Francisco in areas like The Tendeloin or parts of The Mission, but they are mostly normal everyday people living in nice, normal and other areas, searving us our coffee or working in the Operating Rooms of our Local Hospitals. The point is most people afflicted with the Diease of Addiction live and struggle through and we cannot always tell.

They all live around friends and family who eventually can tell something is going on when the Addiction becomes too big for the person to manage and they start to wobble out of control. Lots of times Families will notice and talk about their family member behind their backs and wonder what is going on or how they are going to help. Usually too there is someone or more than one person in their lives enabling the Addicition to go on. The enabling is not meant to continue the Addiction, it is usually harmless in intention, trying to buy time so hopefully the Addict gets their act toghether -However, by the nature of the Disease all the enabling does is help continue the very Addiction that is trying to be stopped.

So what is a Family to do when they figure out one of their own is drowning in drugs or alcohol. Intervention is one of the most loving acts that you can do for a family memeber and for the family. If you find that you have a Family member who is struggling with drugs and alcohol Intervention Companies like 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc can provide you with a plan and help your family and your loved one look beyond Treatment and help put a plan of action together that will provide all the steps and tools needed for “A Lasting Focus On Recovery”

Addiction is a Chronic illness an those 82,000 people in San Francisco with The Disease of Addiction will always have it – it never goes away ,only into remission – if the addict does what they need to do daily and if the family stops their enabling and get help for codependency if neccessary.

National stastistics give recovery rates of only about 20%. This can be confusing because it doesn’t give details around if they had a plan or not, continued with Professional help with their plan or any other details. It has been shown that those who not only start their recovery by the way of Intervention, but who also continue after their treatment with Professional help with their Continuing Care Plan with Programs like Addiction Care Management, have higher rates of success.

In conslusion, it is my hope that if you are trying to help a loved one who has addiction that you will not get caught up in the riduculousness of Reality TV and the shows that have basterdized Intervention by showing the despair and using of drugs instead of the happiness and joy of recovery, and call for a free assessment today. It doesn’t cost anything and may save your loved ones life.

For help with Drug Interventions if San Francisco call 1st Step Interventions and Addiction Behavioral Healthcare Services, Inc today at 707-559-5146.

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Kids selling prescription pillls on Craigs List in Walnut Creek, Danville, Mill Valley, San Rafel, San Francisco and othe Bay Area Cities – 1st Step Interventions.

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                               CASH FOR YOUR PRESCRIPTION?

This might sound like an article against Craigs List, but that would be missing the point – If your High School or College aged Child is prescribed Pain, Anxiety or ADHD Prescription Drugs – you might just want to make sure they are not ending up on Craigs List so you Child can buy harder Street Drugs.

This blog post is meant to provide those Parent’s out there whose Child fits into the 10% of our Population who suffer from the Disease of Addiction and are prescribed a Mood Altering drug by their Dr another tool to make sure they are safe. Many times if the Child is an adult they are smart enough to not sign Consents Between their Dr and their Parents – making it impossible for their parent to get from the Dr any information. All across The Bay Area in every area from Sacramento to Monterrey and over to Stockton, Orinda, Lafayette and across the Richmond Bridge into Napa, Marin and Sonoma Counties one can find these prescriptions showing up on Craigs list.

Parents you now have been warned!!

These Pills fetch a hefty sum from $6 for a 2mg Xanax up to $20 for a 30mg Oxycodone and higher.  You can imagine how much money a person could make on their prescription and then go out and buy stronger and even more dangerous street drugs like Heroin, which has been on the rise ever since Oxycontin’s formula changed, and Methamphetamine. You might thing why would my kid trade their ADHD pills for street Methamphetamine, well with 90% pure Methamphetamine showing up on the streets from Super Labs south of the Border, the street version is much more powerful as the Milligrams you can get are more than your pills. And there are plenty of speed addicted housewives out there willing to purchase your Child’s ADHD pills, fooling themselves that Adderall is ok because it is a prescription and man can they get their days work done, the kids where they need to be and stay thin for their Husbands with a few a day.

San FranciscoSo everyday people search Craigs list under Anxiety, Pain, ADHD help etc.. and text each other on their cell phones – somehow this makes each person feel the other isn’t a member of the local Police Force. They arrange meetings and drive across our Bridges from San Francisco to Novato or Palo Alto to Walnut Creek and meet in Target parking lots exchanging their cash for you Child’s Prescription Pills. Your Child then calls up their dealer and tomorrow the same thing happens – day in and day out.

So what are you to do – it is actually quite simple:

  • Count your Child’s prescriptions every once and a while to make sure the right amount is in the bottle.
  • Notice if you Kid says they are just running up to the store real quickly too many times.
  • Go on Craigs List and search terms like Pain, Anxiety, ADHD, Need help and search your City and Area and see if your Kid’s Cell Phone number is in any of the posts offering these pills for sale.
  • If you do then it is time to call a Professional and get some advice – because at this stage your Child is past a simple talk and in need of real help. They have crossed some serious boundaries and only an Addict would do this.
  • It might be time to talk about doing an Intervention to get them the help they need or looking into an Addiction Care Management Service if they have been to Rehab already once or more times. These Services can provide some Real help without the need for Rehab again – though Detox may be needed. The bad news is you are here again, the good news is a reputable local company like 1st Step Interventions will be Ethical and discuss only what is needed and give you an appropriate Assessment.
  • You can get a free Assessment from 1st Step Interventions by calling 707-559-5146 or emailing bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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What to do if your High School aged Child is smoking Pot in San Francisco or any City or County within 100 miles – 1st Step Interventions

“Panic sets in – uncertainty abounds and fear fills your head – you have just found Marijuana or pot hidden in your High School child’s room. Is it time for military school or do you say nothing and just watch”

The answer is neither and you don’t have to panic either. There are a few more stages to go through before that.

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This can be every parents night mare – a bag of Marijuana, Pot, “The Kind”, Kush, what ever the word is in your child’s High School has just turned up hidden in their bedroom – and they are only in High School. Even if you as a Parent smoked a little growing up, you panic, we know so much more about Addiction and it is on TV everywhere. What do you do?

What I thought I would do is break it down into 2 segments for you – What we know about Marijuana today and how to handle the situation.What we know about Pot Today:

  • It is much stronger than the pot being smoked in the ’70’s and even through the 80’s. The average THC content (the active ingredient that gets you high) was about 6% then. Today it can be as high ( no pun intended) as 30% – 5 times stronger. And if you process it into Hash Oil – as high as 80% THC.
  • This is not the same drug you might have been smoking or they were smoking back then – but it is called the same drug so it is confusing. It’s like taking Beer and making it as strong as Whiskey but still calling it Beer.
  • The Brain of a Human Being does not stop “growing” or “Developing” until we are about 25.
  • Marijuana is not water soluble – in simplicity what this means is that the Body has a hard time getting rid of it. The Kidneys and Liver cannot dispose of it as well. This is how we normally dispose of drugs so they are gone in 3-5 day fully. Pot can last up to a month or longer and is stored in fatty cells, even in the Brain.
  • Introducing a drug like THC at such high concentrations to a young Brain can have profound negative results. In Treatment we often see 19 year old’s who have been smoking Pot regularly since they were 13 and they are not the same as other 19 years old’s and never will be. They are slower and have a flat affect. The definition of a Flat Affect is – Flat affect: A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect.
  • We used to think that smoking Pot if you were predisposed to have Schizophrenia that it would bring it on – we now know you do not have to be predisposed for Schizophrenia to develop it from smoking pot – the strength and potency today is enough in the “right person” for it to develop, and we do not know how to tell who that is beforehand.

How to handle the situation:

  • The first thing you want to do is bring it out into the open. It doesn’t matter if Marijuana is legal in your State – it is illegal for High School aged Children. Therefore you are condoning illegal behavior if you say nothing. Not a healthy way to raise your child.
  • Explain the differences from above. Kids need to know even though the drug has the same name it is not the same “Mother Nature” “Harmless” drug of the Sixties Counter Culture.
  • Just because it is Organic and grown from the earth and natural doesn’t change the above – it is being grown as hybrids constantly to increase it’s potency – so imagine that being done with an Opium Poppy and getting Opium that is now the strength of Heroin and saying it’s OK it’s from the earth !. Somehow when you see it that way you can see my point and the ridiculousness of the argument.
  • Create a simple consequence and don’t yell and scream – this will shut your child down and they will not hear you nor take head of the consequence. Something like being grounded for a month worth of weekends.
  • Normal Humans will respond to consequence and change their behaviors. The simplistic definition for Addiction is ” Continued use despite consequences”. If your child does not respond then up the consequences. If you find the addition of harder and harder consequences is not changing their behavior around the drug then you have and issue.
  • Call an Interventionist or Addiction Services Company like 1st Step Interventions and begin to get an assessment of whether or not you need to look into Addiction Services. You do not have to just send you Child to Rehab (Treatment), there are lower levels of Care that can break the Addiction and give the Child tools for keeping it in remission and resisting peer pressure. If you call a Treatment Program they will probably say send them in, but in many cases this can do more harm than good as the problem may not be there yet and the consequence of sending them away may create other issues.
  • A good Intervention or Addiction Services Company will have other options that are less expensive and can provide the necessary help without creating the stigma of going to Rehab at 16. These will include Recovery Activities and good Drug Testing. Drug Screening can help as it is a yes or no and doesn’t lie. You do need to know what you are doing with Pot and Drug Testing because it does stay in the body so long.
  • A good reputable Intervention company like 1st Step Interventions will recommend the appropriate level of Care – if it is Treatment we will let you know, but we will probably start elsewhere and see if we can create the necessary change before that.
  • New models like Addiction Care Management are starting to appear. These Services can provide accountability for the necessary changes your child will have to make if your consequences are not working. They are also less expensive than Rehab.
  • You as Parents will be included in the Process and Educated as it goes along so you get the help you need to be supportive yet firm in what’s right and wrong or good and bad.
  • Call us today for a free assessment if you are in San Francisco, The Bay Area or anywhere near. 707-559-5146 or email: bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

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Following Your Continuing Care Plan Is The Key To Sobriety – 1st step Interventions

logoLet’s face it the majority of people come to Sobriety via a Treatment Program and when they leave they get a Continuing Care Plan. Just like when you leave after being in a hospital you get going home instructions. There is a reason for it. In Recovery your Continuing Care Plan is your Road Map to “A Lasting Focus On Recovery”

success failureWhether you are a patient or a Family Member, you should be 100% familiar with what is on the Continuing Care Plan. This is going to be the key to your success or failure in Recovery, and this affects the Family too, so there is no reason for the Family not to be included in what is on it. Addiction is a Chronic Brain Disease that is never going to go away, taking care of it daily then should be a priority. In my Addiction Care Management practice I make it a point for the Patient to share with the Family their Continuing Care Plan. My private practice is located in the 100 miles around San Francisco, so I cover Sacramento, Sonoma County, Marin County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, all the way down to Carmel and over to Fresno and Stockton. I also know from personal experience and all that I have seen working in this field for 15 years with over 1000+ Addicts and Families and having performed over 350+ Interventions, that following the Continuing Care Plan works.

I often ask myself if this is the case, then why do 80% of the people who leave treatment relapse – I have figured out a few reasons and please pay attention to these – relapse out of treatment may mean the difference between your life and death. This is mostly because Narcotics users and some Alcoholics have been used to having high tolerances and when they relapse they use what they were using before, not really realizing that 28 days of not using has diminished their tolerance – and they overdose or their organs (particularly heart) give out.

  • Human Nature – When we feel better we stop doing what was working. How many with the flu who get 10 Antibiotic pills don’t take the last 2 or 3 because they feel better. Or if you lost 20 lbs, stop doing what got you there and next thing you know you are back 20lbs heavier again. It pays to have additional on going Professional Care after Treatment that can keep you on track.
  • Issues Post Treatment – We don’t realize in Rehab that afterwards other potential issues can raise their ugly head – what do we do then. If we are not following our Continuing Care Plan we tend not to have the support to deal with these negative internal feelings and since our coping skills are not there yet, we medicate them.
  • Don’t’ take AA or NA seriously – too many people get caught up in the fact that the word God is in the 12 steps – who cares when the 12 steps are going to save your life. Being a member of a 12 Step Group or community doesn’t mean you just go to meetings, say nothing and leave. That’s like saying your a chicken just because you’re sitting in a chicken coup. Being a member means you have worked the program and that means having a Sponsor and working the 12 Steps.
  • Families do not become members of Al Anon or CoDA (Codependents Anonymous), therefore they stay stuck and unable to discuss with the Patient issues related to the Patient not following their Continuing Care Plan. If you sign up for Addiction Care Management and have a Professional helping they are also helping the Family through this time of early sobriety and keeping the focus on them and their feelings so they can break the cycle of codependency and enabling.
  • The biggest mistake Patients and Families make after Treatment is – “The Patient is Fixed” – you could not be farther from the truth. Let’s break down treatment. 1st week into 2nd is Detox and the Patient can barely function let alone hear what is being said. 3rd week is usually Family Week and the Patient is all nervous about that and focusing their attention on that. 4th week they are making plans to leave and are focused there. Then it is over. It seems then why bother and the answer is – Absolutely Bother –  the results are subtle, yet HUGE and what you get if you continue working with and on them by following your Continuing Care Plan is an almost guarantee of Long-Term Sobriety.

No one ever said Sobriety was easy – I have read about every book on the subject and I have yet to come across those words. What they do say is Sobriety is possible for everyone – “If They Follow Their Continuing Care Plan” If you have spent a lot of money on Treatment, Intervention and helping a Patient get back on their feet post Treatment if their Addiction cost them everything, then what does it hurt to spend a little more and add Addiction Care Management and the “Giant Benefits” you get from a program like it. The benefit of adding it through 1st Step Interventions is we are the first the found the model 3 years ago and since then have helped more Patients than anyone else with it and that experience is worth every penny. Also, almost 100% of the patients we did Interventions on were signed up for Addiction Care Management and today I am proud to say each and everyone is still working a Recovery Program and following their Continuing Care Plan.

Sobriety is the best thing that can happen to an Addict and their Family – take it seriously and take all that you are suggested seriously. We at 1st Step Interventions wish you the Courage to walk every day in the footprints of Recovery and face the wreckage of your past, because once you do that it doesn’t get easy, but it sure gets easier!

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND REMEMBER IF YOU ARE IN SOBRIETY IT CAN BE A HARD TIME – TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND TAKE A RISK AND TELL SOMEONE IF YOU ARE HAVING A HARD TIME – IT MIGHT JUST MAKE THAT DIFFERENCE – BEST OF WISHES AND MAY EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU HAVE A JOYOUS TIME AND A PROSPEROUS 2014

How to Help somone with Prescription Pill Drug Addiction in San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Have someone you love addicted to Prescription pills and they are no longer taking them for the Medical reason they were prescribed,  but are now taking them for Emotional or Psychological needs?

Pills

Prescription pill addiction and overdoses have now overtaken Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamine’s combined. Let me first say there is nothing wrong with Prescription Pills and that for instance a body will not heal if it is in pain. The problem is when someone with an addiction problem already or  is suspected of possibly having issues with substances gets their hands on “feel good” drugs like Pain killers, Opiates or Opioid’s like (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxymorphone, Hydromorphone – these are generic names for Percodan, Vicoden, Tylenol #3, Dilaudid and Opana) or benzodiazepines (Alprazolam, Diazapam, lorazapam, Clonozopam – generic names for Xanax, Valium, Ativan or Klonopin) the latter are used for anxiety, muscle relaxant, sleep disorders to name a few. The addict becomes either physically addicted or psychologically addicted to the emotional pain they relieve.

The biggest issues related to Prescription Pill abuse and suggestions for avoiding Prescription Pill abuse are below:

  • The person taking them is already an addict and they have full control of the medication. In this case another family member or friend should and in most cases getting a small safe or lock box and only giving a days worth at a time can relieve the addict from even thinking about taking more than they should.
  • A family member not attending all Dr’s visits and allowing the addict to describe symptoms that maybe are not being seen by you or over playing the amount of pain they are actually in.
  • Stepping in when it seems as though the “Patient” has been taking the medication for a long time and asking the Dr during these visits is the medication really necessary or is there a non narcotic replacement medication that could now be prescribed.
  • Pill Counting – every once and a while it is good to count the amount of pills still in the bottle. The bottle will have the amount and frequency of how the medication should be taken. This will tell you how many pills should have been taken and should be left. When you get a prescription these days you also get a piece of paper with your insurance info, personal info and precautions on it. It will also have how many days the prescription is supposed to last for on it.
  • Making sure your loved one or friend isn’t seeing multiple Dr’s for the same ailment and getting more prescriptions than they need.
  • Make sure the medication is being taken as prescribed – this does not usually include, snorting pills, crushing or chewing long acting medication or in severe instances using a needle. No matter what your loved one says these are not OK routes for taking these medications. Your Dr has prescribed an amount to deal with your issue – doing the above cause much more of the medication to get into your system potentially causing overdose or increasing tolerance and now you need more to get the same pain relief for instance and your normal amount doesn’t work when swallowed.
  • If your loved on is Physically addicted to their medication and it is time to get off them, instead of trying to tapper the medication over time – look into your insurance and see if you have coverage for a medical Detox in a Center or Hospital. It is safer, quicker, ensures it gets done and a Dr can provide a letter stating you are taking a week off work for “Medical Reason” only and your work has to accept it and cannot legally ask what your “medical’ issue is.

I’ve done these things and I am still finding problems and it is not getting better even though my husband, wife or child swears they will stop or change. I am even finding they are buying pills from other people, off the internet or the streets or have switched to illegal drugs.

  • Never just take their medication away – severe withdrawals could happen and in some cases potential death.
  • If you are allowed to still talk to their Dr, make sure their Dr knows. One thing to know is if they are suffering from Chronic Pain you may want to consult with an Addiction Services Expert or an Interventionist, like 1st Step Interventions & Addiction Recovery Services, INC. for advice.  This can potentially lead to unwanted consequences and a Professional can help you come up with solutions that don’t negatively impact the addict, but get them off the medication and back living normally without needing the medication.
  • If you have found that no matter how many promises you loved one has made, it doesn’t matter they are always broken. Intervention is a potential solution as a good Professional, Compassionate and Confidential Interventionist, who knows your local area well and is local to your Region, such as The Bay Area – will have a high success rate at getting your loved one into Treatment or an Addiction Care Management Service Company that can monitor their progress and accountability. This removes the stress and anxiety from you and allows a Professional in to help and in appropriate cases assess the situation and decide that Rehab ( a Drug Treatment Program) is really needed.
  • You may find that you have developed Co-dependency during this time and have enabled the situation just to relieve your own feelings or to get the Addict out of your hair or to stop acting our, yelling, screaming, being mean etc.. In these cases talking to an Interventionist or Addiction Care Management Service Company helps, but you may need more like Al Anon or CoDA (Co-dependents Anonymous) first let me say as an active AA member myself, the support found in these groups can be found no where else and is really important if you are dealing with a loved one who has an active addiction or who is going through early Recovery (by this I mean the first 2-3 years).
  • If you are trying to help your loved one accept that they need help and your conversation is going in circles – STOP – and then call a Professional like me. You probably have had essentially no impact on their Addiction to this point and you don’t want to further drive them underground and isolated.
  • Lastly this is nothing to be embarrassed about, it doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. Addiction is a Brain Disease and if you have it you were born with it. The introduction of the substances has activated it and now Professional help is needed.

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How to find help for drug addiction in Marin County, Sonoma County and San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

Do you have someone in your life suffering from The Disease of Addiction and Talking to them hasn’t helped – Anxious and Scared?

Woman Yelling at Man

Finding help for someone you love with and addiction can be harder than you think. Friends will tell you stories of people who have gone to Rehab and relapsed or you will go online and be faced with so many choices and each will tell you they are the best and treat everything under the sun in 28 days.

This can be confusing and add to your anxiety. 1st Step Interventions has been in business here locally for over 10 years working in places like Marin County, Sonoma County and San Francisco. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 350+ successful Interventions and in our 15 years in the industry (other positions as well, see “About Us” on site) we have helped over 1000+ Addicts and their Families.

We are an Ethical company and I am a certified Interventionist and Addictions Services Counseling Expert. I will spend the time with you to hear what you and your loved one’s needs are and then receommend a reputable local Rehab that can help and will focus on Sobriety and what we know works, not fancy chefs, expensive views and high thread count bed sheets. None of these things have ever gotten anyone sober and just cost you more and feed the addicts entitlement.

Our first assessment is free so giving us a call today costs you nothing and we will help you begin the process of getting your loved one help that will stick and help you free yourself and your family from this crisis you have found yourself in. Our Interventions are compassionate, Professional and Confidential.

For longer term help, as addiction is a Chronic Disease, we have founded a Service for Continuing Care called Addiction Care Management. Essentially we remove you from having to police whether your loved one is staying Sober and doing what they need to early on to build a strong foundation for long term Recovery. When you call us please ask about our Service or you may go to www.addictioncaremanagment.com for more information.

Call today and move out from being help hostage by an addiction and help your loved one reclaim their life and move on healthy and positive.

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Novato Checkpoint catches DUI Offender – 1st Step Interventions

Check Point takes a Man driving drunk  off Marin County Streets

Novato DUI

I read this article and then tried to remember how many DUI deaths have happened over the last 10 years that I can remember being reported in Marin County and Cities Like Novato, the sad thing is I can remember quite a few.

The National Highway Patrol Association reports that somewhere aroung 70% of all drivers on the highway after midnight on any given night are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and a large percentage are above the legal limit. Each one of these drivers is a potential killer.

The sad thing is that most of these DUI cases or deaths or accidents could have been averted if Families has just called an Intervention Company that specializes in Addiction Services like 1st Step Interventions. Most Families get caught up in the whirlwind of the Addiction and don’t know what to do. And to give some of them credit they have tried to talk to the member of the family who is struggling with substance abuse or obvious Addiction, but their pleas go no where and their codependency keeps them stuck.

Intervention can be the most loving thing you can do for a family member. It is an act of kindness shown to a person who is suffering from a Mental Illness, Addiction, which is a Brain Disease, and who on their own cannot stop until some consequence like a DUI or killing someone while driving drunk causes the crisis the then makes the family call for help. If the family where just to call before hand and  become educated on their options and how caring and compassionate a Intervention can be, then a great deal of these drivers could get help first.

At 1st Step Interventions we are glad the police are out there doing checkpoints, but I have to admit I get sad knowing that many of these drivers could have avoided the trouble they are in or the potential harm they could have caused, if the people that love them would just take a risk and call a Rehab or Addiction Intervention Company beforehand here in Marin County, The Greater Bay Area or Cities like Novato.

If you have a love one suffering from addiction or who you know drives under the influence in San Francisco, Novato, Napa, Walnut Creek, Sacramento – any Northern California area please take a risk and help someone not get killed and your loved one get help by calling 1st Step Interventions for a free assessment today.

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