Archive for Detox

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.

take first step now

How do you know who to choose when you need help with an Intervention, Addiction Counseling or Rehab in San Francisco – 1st Step Interventions

THE COUPLE BELOW ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS YOU ARE ASKING YOURSELF – LOOK FAMILIAR?

addiction

This is the most important question you can ask yourself when you are trying to help a loved one get help for their Addiction. Usually this means getting them to accept going to Rehab (Treatment Program) and being ok with going to Rehab. Here are some tips that you SHOULD follow to make sure you are getting the best service and that your loved one and family are in good hands.

  • Is it a local Bay Area Intervention and Addiction Services Company
  • Are they an out of Bay Area company with no idea of local services and want you to send your loved one out of town to an expensive Rehab and have you pay them to fly in, pay for hotel and a rental car.
  • If your loved one says no – are they going to leave you and get on a plane and leave the next day.
  • Are they over charging you and offering you less than 90 days of Intervention Service.  You may get a no first and have to use Bottom Lines to help your loved one accept Rehab. No intervention should be more than $3500.
  • Have they been in business more than 10 years. Have they performed hundreds of Interventions and have the experience to know what to do in every situation
  • Does their Founder have Rehab experience, besides just being sober and do they have more than 10 years in the Treatment Industry and their own Sobriety
  • Does the Interventionist have Direct Patient Care in a Rehab setting and Addiction Group Settings.
  • Are they familiar enough with each drug and the appropriate detox protocol so your loved one is safe.
  • Are they knowledgeable about The Disease of Addiction and able to explain it. Can they recognize other Mental Health Issues.
  • DO they have a special relationship with a particular Treatment Program and only offer that.
  • Are they a California Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and a Nationally Board Registered Interventionist.
  • Do they carry Professional Liability Insurance.
  • Don’t be fooled by and Intervention Company that says they do detox – usually they are extremely dangerous and done in hotel rooms
  • Don’t be fooled by a Intervention Company that says they are in your area, but are in another State and use an 800 number with no local address

You need to ask all of these questions and trust your gut when you get your answers. You may have only one chance and you want to be successful. Unfortunately people die from addiction and you want to know you have put the best plan with the best company forward – this is usually a family member or dear friend that you are trying to help

 

take first step now

Heroin Overdoses soar in New England, Heroin more abundant and deadly

I called this when they changed the formulation of Oxycontin – it was not going to stop users just make them switch to Heroin – Now they don’t know the dose of the drug when they use and are far more likely to overdoses. So now more Heroin is in the Suburbs. An 80mg Oxycontin was 80mg every time. I am not condoning Oxycontin use. But our thought process to fix problems don’t think past today’s headlines

*“The purity of the heroin varies widely, which law enforcement officers say is partly responsible for the increase in deaths, and bad batches have been reported throughout the region. Even an experienced user might not be prepared for the strength of a particular bag. And because heroin reaches the brain so quickly — and witnesses hesitate to call for help immediately — overdoses are often fatal”

We need to think our “War on Drugs “ through very carefully – it isn’t working and costing us a bundle.

First is to take some of that money and make it available to users who want but cannot afford good Treatment – unlike the rich who pay 70k a month just to feel better about themselves.

We are seeing the same problem in The Bay Area and San Francisco

 

 

* New York Tmes 7/19/2013

Is Detox becoming a new norm for Long Term Abstinence in Opiate Addicts?

Opiate Addiction*In October 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved buprenorphine monotherapy product, Subutex®, and a buprenorphine/naloxone combination product, Suboxone®, for use in opioid addiction treatment. The combination product is designed to decrease the potential for abuse by injection. Subutex® and Suboxone® are currently the only Schedule III, IV, or V medications to have received FDA approval for this indication. Note that aside from Subutex® and Suboxone®, other forms of buprenorphine (e.g., Buprenex®) are not approved for treatment of opioid addiction.

*The FDA approval of these buprenorphine formulations does not affect the status of other medication-assisted opioid addiction treatments, such as methadone and LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol). As indicated in Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 8 (42 CFR Part 8), these treatments can only be dispensed, and only in the context of an Opioid Treatment Program.

In the late ‘90s we began seeing the use of Suboxone primarily, because of its built in abuse protection. In Treatment programs it worked well for Opiate addicts and was helpful in Detox. However, something different was going on – Doctors were able to have up to 30 patients in their practice on Suboxone in an Outpatient manner, today that has gone up to 90 patients.

Suboxone is a very strong Schedule III Narcotic, yet Dr.s can dispense to up 90 patients, most as cash only, costing as much as $500 per visits and visits usually are monthly. With this Model what is the incentive for Dr’s to detox down and let the patient move on. In Treatment Patients are off of Suboxone within 7-11 days and totally drug free.

Suboxone is being called a mood stabilizer a miracle drug that keeps addicts Opiate free and in year or two they can come off. Problem is we have litteraly tens of thousands of Men and Women in 12 Step Programs, afraid to talk about being on suboxone beceuse long term use is seen as using, and they cannot get off of suboxone. They can get down to 1 or 2 mg’s yet when they try to get off from there they cannot and cannot find the support.

So it seems that a drug that is great for Detox is making its way into mainstream abstinence and by way of this route through the Dr.s Office into our High Schools.