Archive for Opiates

How to find help for drug addiction in The East Bay, Alemeda County and Contra Costa County – 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 ManFinding help for someone you love with and addiction to Pain Killers, marijuana, Opiates. alcohol, prescription drugs, Heroin etc.. 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 locally in the Bay Area  for over 10 years working in places like Sacramento, Marin, The East Bay, Santa Cruz, San Joe, Sonoma County and San Francisco to name a few area’s locally. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 400+ 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. Our Success rate with Intervention combined with Post Treatment Addiction Care Management is the best in the Industry because we understand what it takes to stay sober and don’t just leave Addicts on their on after treatment to find their way. If that worked they would be Clean and Sober already.

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 recommend 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 707-559-5146

Here is a testimonial letter

Dear Treatment Program (Name Omitted),

I wanted to express my thoughts about Bryan Bowen. During the initial stages of my brother intervention, your current guest as of yesterday, our family was referred to your facility by an out patient program in San Fran. I personally called Duffy’s and spoke with Sarah and ask for a referral to an intervention therapist, Bryan being one of two provided.  It is important for you both to know what impact your referral of Bryan had on our family and myself.

Our family did not know what the term intervention was until my wife Heather suggested it. Our brother Tom had just been admitted to the hospital because his body was failing under his addiction. The bottom was reached. Medically, the hospital stabilized him and released him to my sister, a nurse, my mother and Tom’s family.  The watch began and Tom did not drink for a week. But without an intervention, Tom would still be drinking, as I discovered in a voice mail on Saturday.

We hired Bryan and he championed the cause to completion. I was the initial family contact person with Bryan and he was professional from the start. I did not know Bryan, other than through his website. I had no context, background or anything- just Duffy’s referral.  Now in hindsight, everything is crystal clear. Thank you for selecting Bryan for your referral list. He has the passion, the depth, the anguish, the experiences of 400+ people, the sadness, the hope, the inspiration and the tenacity to convince a person who knows not what they do and causes them to voluntarily enter rehab.  As I warned Bryan in the beginning, my brother Tom is a difficult person. He is a “former” attorney, angry, insecure, reclusive, irrational etc. Bryan methodically initiated a process, counseled our very large family through numerous conference calls and emails preparing us and Tom’s family, including his 15 year old daughter, about what was to occur. He held the intervention and did not stumble, lose focus, nor lose control to Tom and his “ways”.  The intervention was brutal in so many respects, from the utter uncaring stoic presence Tom exhibited (addiction) to the agony and despair pleaded by his young daughter Alex to Tom’s heartlessness reaction to her love. Tom did not agree to go after the intervention, even though his entire family had read their third and final statements to Tom. Tom was the 20% of those people who stubbornly refuse to go to rehab after an intervention. There was Bryan through it all, unwavering. I believe even Bryan could not help but be personally impacted by this intervention. Bryan has been given the gift of grace- to help others. He carries a special energy to move mountains.  Bryan clearly went beyond his agreement with the family, volunteering his personal time without complaint. His door was always open, which was difficult given nearly the entire family was in two other time zones.  If Bryan is the person we now know him to be and you referred him to us, then we know what your program is all about. I have never met Bryan in person, just over the telephone, text and email. That’s a powerful advocate!  Thank you!!!

How to find help for drug addiction in 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?

Intervention ExpertFinding help for someone you love with and addiction to Pain Killers, marijuana, Opiates. alcohol, prescription drugs, Heroin etc.. 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 Sacramento, Marin, The East Bay, Santa Cruz, San Joe, Sonoma County and San Francisco to name a few area locally. We have an excellent reputation and have performed over 400+ 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 recommend 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 707-559-5146

Here is a testimonial letter

Dear Treatment Program (Name Omitted),

I wanted to express my thoughts about Bryan Bowen. During the initial stages of my brother intervention, your current guest as of yesterday, our family was referred to your facility by an out patient program in San Fran. I personally called Duffy’s and spoke with Sarah and ask for a referral to an intervention therapist, Bryan being one of two provided.  It is important for you both to know what impact your referral of Bryan had on our family and myself.

Our family did not know what the term intervention was until my wife Heather suggested it. Our brother Tom had just been admitted to the hospital because his body was failing under his addiction. The bottom was reached. Medically, the hospital stabilized him and released him to my sister, a nurse, my mother and Tom’s family.  The watch began and Tom did not drink for a week. But without an intervention, Tom would still be drinking, as I discovered in a voice mail on Saturday.

We hired Bryan and he championed the cause to completion. I was the initial family contact person with Bryan and he was professional from the start. I did not know Bryan, other than through his website. I had no context, background or anything- just Duffy’s referral.  Now in hindsight, everything is crystal clear. Thank you for selecting Bryan for your referral list. He has the passion, the depth, the anguish, the experiences of 400+ people, the sadness, the hope, the inspiration and the tenacity to convince a person who knows not what they do and causes them to voluntarily enter rehab.  As I warned Bryan in the beginning, my brother Tom is a difficult person. He is a “former” attorney, angry, insecure, reclusive, irrational etc. Bryan methodically initiated a process, counseled our very large family through numerous conference calls and emails preparing us and Tom’s family, including his 15 year old daughter, about what was to occur. He held the intervention and did not stumble, lose focus, nor lose control to Tom and his “ways”.  The intervention was brutal in so many respects, from the utter uncaring stoic presence Tom exhibited (addiction) to the agony and despair pleaded by his young daughter Alex to Tom’s heartlessness reaction to her love. Tom did not agree to go after the intervention, even though his entire family had read their third and final statements to Tom. Tom was the 20% of those people who stubbornly refuse to go to rehab after an intervention. There was Bryan through it all, unwavering. I believe even Bryan could not help but be personally impacted by this intervention. Bryan has been given the gift of grace- to help others. He carries a special energy to move mountains.  Bryan clearly went beyond his agreement with the family, volunteering his personal time without complaint. His door was always open, which was difficult given nearly the entire family was in two other time zones.  If Bryan is the person we now know him to be and you referred him to us, then we know what your program is all about. I have never met Bryan in person, just over the telephone, text and email. That’s a powerful advocate!  Thank you!!!

 

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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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

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.