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Archive for Opiate Addiction

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

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.