Archive for Drug Facts

Marijuana Smoking teen problem in, Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Napa, Wanut Creek, Orinda, Danville, Lafayette, whole Bay Area – 1st Step Interventions

Marijuana Smoking in the group of adolescent children who are minors in Junior and Senior High School is a REAL PROBLEM in all Bay Area Cities and Counties. – Marin, Sonoma, Napa, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento,San Joaquin etc. All of our Cities such as Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Novato, San Rafael, Mill Valley, Napa, St Helena, Danville, Walnut Creek, Orinda, Lafayette, Berkeley, San Jose Santa Cruz and on and on.

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The scariest thing is we really should not be calling it the same drug name we used in the ’70′s. Pot is 7 time plus more powerful than it was then. It would be like making beer 80 proof like vodka (instead of it’s 6% alcohol content) and still calling it Beer – that would be crazy, but it is what we do.

So our children and young adults in our families are smoking super strong Psychoactive substances while their young brains are still growing and the result is damage to their brains. A recent study http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/08/22/1206820109.abstract shows that cessation, if the user stops using pot the Brain does not return to a normal pre-damaged state. This is really scary. If we allow our children or young 21 year old family memmber to smoke pot on a regular basis, they are damaging their brain, their memory, attention, ability to think abstractly etc.. and this damage is permanent.

As Parents and law abiding caring citizens we need to risk talking to our young human cohorts, family members or children about the dangers of regular smoking of marijuana. I know personally of one 15 year old I have worked with who took a math test high on week and got a 48 the next week not high he took the same test and got an 88. the only difference was marijuana.

Take the time to know what your children are doing, be involved with your older kids.If you see Pot smoking speak up and be willing to tell them the truth of what you are seeing and the dangers. If you are smoking be willing to change your behaviors to help your children. We have a large population now of young adults who are suffering with flat affects and who are having difficulty launching into life. Of course and unfortunately if they are addicts their solution is to smoke more pot and just make the situations worse as it is a Chronic Disease and Expert Intervention

Many Parents themselves smoke Pot and need to get out of the mind set that it is harmless to their children. They need to realize IT IS a different drug and that they (the parents)may only be smoking a hit of pot), but their children are smoking far more than that and the results are not positive and hurting their children and their chances at a good life. If their child is also suffering from Addiction then the results are going to be far worse and without Recovery. If you are a Parent reading this and think you need help feel free to call us we offer a free assessment and can help you,

take first step nowCall today for a free assessment and a plan on how to move forward.

or go to our website www.1ststepinterventions.com

Heroin use up amonst Young Adults in San Francico, Marin, East Bay and Sonoma – 1st Step Interventions

black tar use

Heroin use up amongst Young Adults in San Francisco, Marin, East Bay and Sonoma

All of us in the Treatment industry new when Purdue changed their formula of Oxycontin that Heroin use would skyrocket in the suburbs. What we missed was just how much it would go up.

A government study shows 620,000 people admitted to using heroin in 2011, twice the number in 2003 – it’s mostly being seen in, of all places, suburbia.

“Every part of Bergen County, NJ is touched in some way, shape or form by the heroin epidemic,” said Lt. Thomas Dombroski of the Bergen County, N.J., Prosecutor’s Office as he drove through the leafy suburbs west of New York City.

Bergen County reported 28 overdoses last year, up from previous years. Most of the victims were younger than 22.

In the Suburbs of San Francisco we are seeing similar numbers and in some areas worse.  Parent and Family members need to be on the watch for obvious signs,

  • Pinned Pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • “Nodding out” or falling asleep for moments at dinner, on the couch etc.
  • Items of value going missing.
  • Money missing
  • Money constantly being needed.
  •  New groups of friends
  • Being gone at weird hours and having to be some were right now
  • Grey look to skin
  • Long sleeves on hot days.

These are not all the signs but the major ones. The issues is only going to get worse so please be aware of what and where your kids are.

If you have any question you can call 1st Step Interventions at 707-559-5146

Why is Addiction Care Management or Case Management Needed – 1st Step Interventions

Why is Addiction Care Management or Case Management Needed

ADDICTION CARE

Why Choose Addiction Care Managemen Outpatient Model

 

Fact: In 2002, 22 million Americans

had substance dependence or abuse

(SAMHSA, 2002).

Fact: Approximately 3,500,000 of them

received some kind of treatment

(SAMHSA, 2002).

Fact: At least 2,800 relapsed.

Most will keep relapsing !! (SAMHSA,

2002).

Fact: Of those admitted to addiction

treatment, 60% already have one or

more prior treatment admissions; 24%

have three or more prior admissions

(SAMHSA, 2001).

Fact: The majority of people completing

addiction treatment will relapse in

the year following treatment (Wilbourne

& Miller, 2003), 80% of whom relapse

within 90 days of discharge (Hubbard,

Flynn, Craddock, & Fletcher,

2001).

Fact: Between 25% and 30% of clients

who complete addiction treatment will

be re-admitted to treatment within one

year, 50% within 2 – 5 years (Hubbard,

Marsden, Rachal, Harwood, Flynn,

Craddock, & Fletcher, 2001).

 

PROBLEM: Treatment is not enough

and a reliance solely on 12 Step

programs is not enough. All Treatment

Programs refer their patients only

to 12 Step Programs when completed.

The Disease of Addiction is a difficult

Chronic Illness to treat and requires

more over a long-term.

 

SOLUTION: Addiction Care Managements outpatient

Model of providing long-term Management of

Care. Outcomes and success are better, stronger

and more meaningful.

 

 

The Disease of Addiction is Chronic and just like Diabetes it never goes away. In 2003 SAMSHA – (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) published that 80% of Addicts who complete a Treatment Program go back to active Addiction within their first year. The majority relapse within the first 6 months. Alcoholics Anonymous has even worse numbers of only 5% staying in Recovery. Our current Model of Treatment Services focuses too much just on Treatment and is an Acute system instead of a Chronic system of care. Bryan Bowen has seen this up-close too many times and developed the missing key – Addiction Care Management’s Outpatient Model of Continuing Care – A system where newly Recovering Alcoholics or Addicts can be followed for a longer term, have access to more services than just AA or NA (though they remain important) and have an Addiction Care Management Specialist to work with them and remove the Family as “The Recovery Cops”. Addiction Care Management Outpatient’s Program also provides help and education for the Family and helps them step out of trying to control the Addiction and get better help with issues that arise with living with a newly sober person.

Why The Current Recovery Process Fails

 

How Addiction Care Management Works

 

  • Intervention – Interventionist never seen again after intervention.
  • Intervention – Addiction care Specialist stays with and follows your Case for up to 1 year.
  • Treatment – Family rarely gets update from a Counselor or Therapist – gets information from Patient and is unsure of what is happening or needs to change. Once Treatment ends Patient never sees Counselor again, nor has any real interaction with Treatment Program
  • Treatment – Weekly Conference Calls with the Family and Addiction Care Specialist. The Treatment Program gives weekly updates  to your Addiction Care Management Specialist. Honest referrals to Programs with Ethics that work.
  • Family Program – 1-4 days with no post follow up. You cannot create real change or educate a Family System in such a short period. Nor, can a Family see, let alone understand their role in codependency and enabling. That they are not to blame but can change to better support the patient in recovery.
  • Family Program – Even though you might attend the Treatment Programs Family Program, you will continue to be educated through the use of our proprietary Workbook, conference calls and continued family education and information for up to 1 year. You will process issues that come up when your patient leaves Treatment and comes home or to another place of residence. Your Addiction Care Management Specialist is available any time during the Addiction Care Management Outpatient Period, to any one including the Patient.
  • Continuing Care – Treatment Center usually only recommends the Patient back to AA or NA. This is only part of the picture and more is needed for success.
  • Continuing Care – Your Addiction Care Management Specialist will be intimately involved with the Treatment Program helping to build the most successful Continuing Care Plan for your loved one. Since they have been involved since day one they are aware of all issues and potential pitfalls.
  • 80% of Patients Relapse – fall back into Shame and the Family feels defeated again. There has been no consistency in the Addicts Recovery nor in the Families Recovery
  • Addiction Care Management - Your Addiction Care Management Specialist will stay involved with your loved one’s Sobriety, Mental Health and Well-Being for the Period of time agreed on. At this point no one knows your loved one and their Recovery better than your Addiction Care Management Specialist. Your Addiction Care Management Specialist will manage your loved ones progress on a daily/weekly/monthly basis as needed, provide accountability on adherence to their Continuing Care Plan, help problem solve issues created in their addiction and recovery, provide Life Skills where necessary, intervene in any Crisis, make suggestions where appropriate and provide accountability. Your loved one will have someone who has been with them and you since the beginning. We provide an increased percentage of successful Long-Term Recovery. This is how you treat a chronic illness.

 

Addiction Care Management Details:

Addiction Care Management Outpatient’s Program assesses the Patient’s Life Skills, Recovery, Family and Mental Health needs Pre and Post Treatment. First contact is made when Family or loved one calls 1st Step Interventions for an Assessment. An Addiction Care Specialist from 1st Step Interventions will follow the Patient from their Intervention, thru Treatment and for up to 1 year Post Treatment. During this time the Addictions Care Specialist will have intimate knowledge of the Addicts issues, pitfalls and areas where they are doing well. They will also work with you – The Family – providing needed Support, Education and Answers.

  • While the Patient is in Treatment, follow up for the Client and “Family” for questions and support. One month is included in the Intervention Service.
  • Weekly post-Intervention follow up Conference calls for the Family. Once the Patient is out of Treatment your Addiction Care Specialist will have regular interaction with the Patient thru conference calls, face-to-face meetings. Your Addiction Care Specialist will help assess where the Patient is at, their needs and help manage that they get met.
  • Weekly consultations with the Patient Therapist/Case Manager/Counselor if Patient is in treatment during the time of Addiction Care Management. This includes but is not limited to, following Patient during treatment, recommendations for continuing residential treatment, outpatient treatment, continuing care and appropriate therapist/psychologist referrals. Advising the clinical team on the recommendations for Continuing Care Planning, once the Patient has completed the primary treatment program. This is dependent on IP sighing a Consent Form
  • Signing off on and helping construct the Patient’s Continuing Care Plan. Providing resources as needed.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will put together the pieces of the Patient’s “Roadmap for Recovery” and the boundaries for each piece. Working with other Professionals in the Community where necessary to provide the best service
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program and the “Roadmap for Recovery”.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will manage all of the recovery activities. outlined for the Patient in the Continuing Care Plan.
  • 1st Step removes the family from the role of policing the patient’s recovery. The chief codependent to the Addict within the Family will be identified and the relationship will be worked on.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will implement a “Stress identification and reduction Plan” for Patient’s stress and in each case a plan will be put into place with appropriate education and training were necessary. This may include Life Skills.
  • Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program will manage Patient’s recovery in stages that build on each other and individual responsibility and provide an exit stage.
  • Providing support for Client and Family and providing a concrete plan for Client and Families growth and recovery.
  • Addiction Care Specialist led assessments of Patient’s progress and well-being. Patient must have a signed consent, if in Treatment, for communication to take place. Addiction Care Specialist will follow Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program’s assessment criteria for Addiction issues and provide Patient and family with qualified updates and any additional tools if needed.
  • Managing random alcohol and drug screening of Patient after treatment if required. 92% of Pilots recover because they have to participate in a drug and alcohol testing program for 5 years post Treatment. This does work and the minimal cost is worth it. Addiction Care Management Outpatient Program can supply all necessary testing material and has a lab for additional testing.
  • Managing and helping provide accountability on Patient’s adherence to Continuing Care plan.
  • Providing a Relapse Plan. Should a Patient have a relapse your Addiction Care Specialist will manage that plan if event happens during the time of Addiction Care Management. Your Addiction Care Specialist will get everyone back on track with no drama or shame.
  • Weekly Face-to-Face meeting with Patient if possible and TBD. Expenses are responsibility of Client.

Average amount of time per month Addiction Care Management outpatient Program provides up to 16  hours per month (unused hours cannot be used from one month to another.) This includes time spent with Family during weekly conference calls and helping the Family move into its own recovery, Working with The Family Workbook, Weekly Contacts with Patients either by phone or face to face, Addressing issues as they come up for Patients or Families, Managing referrals to other Doctors, Psychiatrist’s, Therapists etc. Being Accessible to Family or Patient at any time to help process issues or problem solve issues as they arise as. Making sure the Patient participates in a 12 step program and actually works the steps with a Sponsor. This also includes on going education for the Family and Patient and helping each move forward in their own Recovery. Addiction Care Management will also handle ALL issues as they do or will arise with the recovering patient, or a Family member. Should a case require more time than 16 hours per month than additional fees may apply, but will always be discussed first.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde It’s a widely accepted belief that we alcoholics and addicts have two personas that may be extremely divergent or just slightly different. We may even have more than two that add to our deep experience of internal conflict. For example, we may recognize the loving husband and father who coaches Little League and enjoys his family when he’s not lying to them, getting drunk and beating his wife and kids. Subtler is the addicted doctor who practices quality medicine and plays by the rules until he decides to lie to his staff and family as he begins to self-administer narcotics or other controlled substances. You probably know the cliché phrase Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dr. Jekyll is a fine individual who turns into the monster, Mr. Hyde, once he ingests the “poison.” This seems like alcoholism, except the alcoholic starts becoming Mr. Hyde before he ingests the alcohol or other drug. The transformation into Mr. Hyde, the using addict, precedes his actual use. You have heard it before -  “Relapse happens before the usage”. In essence, people get ready to relapse. They begin to behave, think, and feel in ways they used to behave, think and feel when they were actively addicted. This has always been called a “dry drunk.”

Relapse is active use. Relapse behavior, thinking and feeling come first. But remember, a person doesn’t relapse until he or she takes the drink, the pill, the needle or the sniff. Addiction Care Management will teach you to intervene on yourself before you take the relapse action. We will focus on the Dr. Jekyll part of you becoming Mr. Hyde. One of our major goals is to heighten self-awareness without increasing self-obsession. When you are able to notice the earliest signs of your addict emerging and you take the appropriate steps to avoid using, you have averted a relapse. You are beginning to take the actions needed for “living sober.” We Professionals who are alcoholics and addicts know what it’s like to be at war with ourselves. We know what it’s like to be at war with others too, but the big war is an inside battle. Until we are solid in recovery, and even then, we maintain strong defenses against seeing ourselves clearly. We work to mute the opposing players within us. Dry…using. Dry…using. Back and forth we go, we undermined steady, forward growth in recovery by forces within. Is this experience unique to alcoholics and addicts? NO! It is part of being human. But does it cause trouble for addicts and alcoholics? Yes, and so we must look inside to see who’s there. What blocks us from maintaining a healthy recovery?

Trauma Why are you afraid? This is a big question, one you will tackle repeatedly in Treatment and Addiction Care Management. Sometimes you’ll be able to look back on your life and remember old behaviors, beliefs, feelings and relationships that were distressing to you. Now, you may be able to see that you felt afraid. You felt alone. You felt inadequate to take care of yourself. But you had nowhere to turn for help. Many addicts and alcoholics have grown up with trauma. Trauma means being in a state of utter helplessness and hopelessness. It may be the experience of living through an earthquake, flood or war when you thought you might die. It may be the experience of living with out-of-control, alcoholic parents. You couldn’t stop them and you couldn’t protect yourself. Another, a trusted family member, friend or a stranger, may have abused you. In these examples you have been the victim of trauma — a natural disaster or someone else’s out-of-control behavior. As you work through the exercises of uncovering the past, you will remember these traumas. You may see that your relapses have been directly connected to these past experiences and your fear of the power of these memories in recovery. Many people drink or use to try to control memories. We will help you remember and we will help you learn to cope with all of your past. This work is hard and painful, but it is often necessary to maintain sobriety. There is another kind of trauma that is also related to relapse. That’s the trauma you inflicted on yourself and others by being addicted. We will work with you to uncover how you lost control, how you were helpless, what you did to yourself and others and how hard it is to remember and to take responsibility for your behavior, beliefs, feelings, and patterns of relationship. You traumatized yourself. You became your own victim.  You were out-of-control and helpless, though you may have believed it was just the opposite.

 

 

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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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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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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Unregulated Addiction Drug tests purchased near Walnut Creek and Danville – 1st Step Interventions

Buyer Beware

At 1st Step Interventions, the leading choice by parents and the most successful Drug Addiction Intervention Company in Walnut Creek and Danville has noticed an unsavory trend recently – Home drug test kits that are unregulated by the FDA. These Tests  can be purchased at Dollar Stores.

Parents often worry about drug and alcohol use with their young children and teens. This time of year can be especially daunting with graduation, parties and summer celebrations. Sober graduation campaigns only go so far.

shoppers can buy home drug test kits, that are unregulated by the FDA, for only one dollar at the local dollar store in town.

We set out to track down one of these tests. It didn’t take long to find the blue and green box, complete with a picture of hemp leaves, stocked on the shelves.

Are these tests accurate?

The box says the test is “97 percent accurate” with results in five minutes of dipping the single-use strip into a urine sample. It shows a simple plus or minus to tell if the tester is positive or negative for having Marijuana, pot, hash, hash oil, or any other form of the drug  in the body.

The test says it is for “over-the-counter and prescription use” with a cutoff of “50ng/mL of Cannabis.” (Ng is the abbreviation for a nanogram.) Cannabis is just another term for Pot.

The package insert reads “Easy Screen test to Federal Guidelines for detection. Other drug test and methods may in fact test to standards and levels higher than Federal Guidelines.”

Dollar Tree corporate officials where contacted for comment about the Easy Screen drug tests but did not respond. The store manager was unable to provide comment.

Other drug store chains do offer home drug tests for marijuana, methamphetamine, opiates, Ecstasy and cocaine, but those tests run upward of $30 and the sample must be sent out in order to obtain results.

Jeff Soto of Teen Savers, a manufacturer of home drug test kits, says tests like Easy Screen are not generally reliable.

“Tests like Easy Screen are usually Chinese made. Many aren’t consistent and can vary in the levels they test from box to box in each lot produced,” he said. “A lot of the people buying these products are users themselves who are checking because they have a drug screen coming up at work or something like that.”

Soto says that accurate home drug test kits must go through a rigorous screening and process with the Food and Drug Administration in order to qualify for FDA approval.

Although  attempts to reach the FDA went unanswered, a search of their website shows that in August 2011, Greenbrier International, INC’s Easy SCREEN Marijuana Test Strip, for Cannabis or THC was waived from regulatory over-site.

According to the FDA website:

“Tests can be categorized as “waived” from regulatory over-site if they meet certain requirements established by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) law. By selecting a Test System Name, you can view the CLIA data for that Test System, including the corresponding 510(K) record, if applicable.”

In order to be considered for Waivers per the FDA:
1) Any test listed in the regulation must be included.
2) Any test system for which the manufacturer or producer applies for waiver if that test meets the statutory criteria and the manufacturer provides scientifically valid data verifying that the waiver criteria have been met
3) Test systems cleared by the FDA for home use.

A call to the manufacturer’s customer service department went unanswered.

“The cheap tests can give a parent a false sense of security,” said Soto.

We at 1st Step Interventions use Drug Smart tests. These tests have been tested and a white paper published. We present our clients with the white paper before we start a Drug Screening process on any of our Patient’s under our Addiction Care Management™ Service. We have found that the Patient’s we work with whose Parents or Spouse or Family sign them up for this Service do much better in their Recovery. In fact every Patient who had at least 9 months if not longer of drug testing along with our services are all still Sober and in Recovery today. How do we know this, because the relationship we form with them becomes so strong that they themselves stay in touch with us.

 

 

** Idea for this Blog taken from an article written by (Editor) , 

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

 

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19 People arrested in Sacramento in 20-home drug bust – 1st Step Interventions

Sacramento

Search warrants served at 20 homes across Elk Grove and Sacramento County led to the arrests of 19 people after law enforcement found thousands of marijuana plants at the residences Wednesday.

Elk Grove Police Officer Chris Trim said the department’s street crimes unit has been investigating suspects for the past several months. He said they are responsible for a large scale indoor pot grow and cultivation operation.

During the search of the homes, law enforcement found about 6,000 marijuana plants, more than 180 pounds of processed marijuana and more than $70,000 in cash.

“It ranks up there with some of the larger ones we had several years ago that ended up going federal, as far as the DEA involvement,” Trim said.

Trim said nine children, between the ages of one and 15, were living at some of the homes that were converted into marijuana grows; they were taken into custody by Child Protective Services because they were being raised in a hazardous environment.

Elk Grove police worked with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Yolo Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, Yuba-Sutter Narcotic Enforcement Team and Department of Justice during the investigation, home searches and arrests.

“Seems part for the course for Elk Grove,” Hutchison said. “We watch it on the news every six months.”

Example of seriosness of Drug Problem and Drug Abuse in Sacramento

This story taken from News10/KXTV Sacramento, illiterates the need for more Rehabs and Drug Intervention and Counseling Services in Sacramento. Even though the amounts seems high, they are not even enough to supply the Marijuana needs of Sacramento. At 1st Step Interventions we recognize that if 20% of the United States population have Addiction then 50,000 people alone suffer from Addiction. There are not enough services to support this need. We at 1st Step Intervention try to do our part by speaking for free to Parents at High Schools and Community colleges, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. The amount of homes converted for Pot growing in Sacramento just couldn’t put the problem out there any louder.

Also, all of these homes have probably been destroyed by mold created inside the walls from the constant high humidity needed to grow Marijuana indoors. These homes also have to be tagged as having been used to manufacture drugs which hurts their resale and leaves hundreds of homes abandoned in our neighborhoods left unattended.

Be aware of what is going on in your neighborhoods and should you need help for anyone you know with an Addiction Proglem we at 1st Step Interventions offer a free assessment. Just call us at 7077-559-5146 or email bryanbowen@1ststepinterventions.com

News10/KXTV

 

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