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EmberaJessica Cooper of Beachway Therapy Center, writes about EMB-001, an new addiction cessation drug by the Embera Corporation.  You have heard of Nicorette, a nicotine cessation, drug.  This takes the idea much further.  It addressess a potential cure for cocaine addiction.   Go to AddictionCuringMedication to view Jessica’s research. 

Betty Ford Institute: Treatment; Brain Chemistry Clues to Why Some Relapse.  post by Monica.

Uppsala, Sweden, July 4, 2013.  Orexo Labs  announced it has received approval from the F.D.A. for Zubsolv™ (buprenorphine/naloxone) sublingual tablet CIII.  Zubsolv is formulated for treatment for people suffering from opioid dependence

“Addiction experts say Suboxone is so effective in treating opiate addicts it can dramatically transform people in a matter of weeks”. In Doc’s Fight to Lift Restrictions, a good point is made on State’s ability to curb opiate addiction.  Most state backed low-cost or free prescription programs for suboxone in replacement drug therapy is severely limited, effectively missing an opportunity to drastically reduce the financial and social impact of opiate addiction.  Tucson Arizona’s COPE Community Services has stated that its use of suboxone is limited to 100 addicts, deferring many other addicts to the lower cost methadone which is not as effective.  Methadone, albeit, very effective at harm reduction when used properly,  is quite addictive and its users can be more prone to relapse back to street drugs.  Talk continues about Generic Suboxone drastically cutting the sale price of its active ingredient, buprenorphine, but people are still waiting.  The point is that readily accessible replacement drug therapy will put a large dent in the ugly business of opiate addiction. That’s something States can’t afford to ignore.

“Kicking” opiates is exceptionally hard for most addicts during the first week.  If an addict succeeds the initial physical part of withdrawal, an addict will have to bear out a condition similar in some respects to methamphetamine withdrawal called P.A.W.S., post acute withdrawal syndrome.  That’s really the tough part.   It takes months and is predominately psychological.  PAWS hits a average peak in 3 months making the risk of relapse very high for the first 3-6 months.  That is why short term treatment claims can be mis-leading.    Here are some links that are very helpful in explaining the complexity and details of what treatment and recovery look like:

Opiate Addiction, A New Breed of Drug Dependency Warrants Unique ApproachUnderstanding Drug Dependence, Novus Medical Detox ♦  Treatment Options of Long Term Opiate Addiction ♦   Suboxone Assisted Treatment ♦    Aegis Medical Systems, Video Library ♦  National Advocacy ♦    Medical Assisted Treatment ♦  NIDA, Treatment Options ♦   links by Mary Slivinski

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” — Albert Einstein

“The likelihood for addicts to get effective treatment improved greatly last month, when the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) released it’s public policy statement on the definition of addiction. Boldly stating that addiction is a “primary, chronic disease”, ASAM has established the role of neurobiology in the development and maintenance of all addictive behaviors”  Barry Lessin.  Read the rest of Barry’s article by click on title:   Addiction Really is a Disease    

For an opiate addict, getting off heroin is probably one of the most difficult things anyone can do, but most people chastise addicts for not quitting.   It’s easier said than done and the infamous “cold turkey” seldom works for most addicts.  Replacement drug therapy had been a choice for many opiate addicts seeking to normalize their lives and get away from of the torment of addiction.  With respect to reducing damage to not only society, but the life of the addict themselves, quite a few options have emerged in recent years.  Methadone, a long acting opiate drug itself, has been around the longest.  As pharmaceutical development  progressed,  SuboxoneProbuphine, and Vivitrol have followed.  Vivitrol, actually not an opiate or a partial opiate like buprenorphine, the  proprietary name for Suboxone.  It is developed from naltrexone, originally used to treat alcoholism.  Recovery Helpdesk is an excellent website, committed to explain in more detail the mechanics of making the right choices for addicts.

Thamkrabok Monastery is a minimum 7 day detoxification center in a Buddhist environment.  28 days is recommended.  It is open to the public and cost 200 baht per day which is about $6.00 USD.  For one expensive round trip airline ticket and a warrior like commitment,  this an alternative for natural detoxification of drugs.  Other useful links with Buddhist treatment approaches to ending addiction are www.HungryGhostRetreats.org  www.5th-precept.org  www.TARA-detox.org 

For years it has been known that natural organic food can heal a body and end drug addiction.  Gary Hayden is helping people do that. “...We must learn how to clean the organism we have polluted so that the automated decision making processes of our body can reset themselves…Words are like cleaning your floor by telling your floor; be Clean!  Not too effective.  We need a set of tools with real power.  One minute of silence with God is better than a thousand books.  Organic food is well worth the price.  A complete cleaning of your organism with nutrition is the beginning of a sound recovery…” Gary L. Hayden stoneig1@gmail.com  CLICK on Addiction and Diet to read more.  Regenerative NutritionAddiction Treatments,  Healthy.net,  Whole Self Recovery,… are more links for information on natural healing of addiction.

Healing a Broken System: Veterans Battling Addiction and Incarceration How many vets battle  substance abuse as they cope with the aftermath of living in war zones.  This is much like how drugs and alcohol impacted veterans coming back from Vietnam.  Great Report.   Also See Vietnam Vet Eddie Grijalva’s story.

St. Francis Mission Recovery Programs…Can you imagine driving more than 90 miles to get to your weekly meeting?  What if you wanted to go to more than one a week but couldn’t because it was either too far away or you didn’t have adequate transportation? What would you do, and more importantly, who would you turn to?  These issues, sadly, are run of the mill problems for those recovering from alcoholism and addiction on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  The reservation is home to the Lakota (Sioux Indian) people, many of whom suffer from the problems mentioned above.  Two recovery centers – the Icimani Ya Waste Recovery Center and White River Recovery Center – are working to help those who suffer from addiction on the Rosebud Reservation.  The centers are run by members of the Lakota tribe / the St. Francis Mission (link: http://www.sfmission.org/programs/recovery/).  They help coordinate 12 step meetings for those in need, provide space for those meetings to take place, give referrals to treatment centers and support for the families of those suffering from addiction.  In talking to the coordinators to the two recovery centers, it is clear that the need for recover is strong on the reservation.  Jim Stands, director of the White River Recovery Center, states, the people on the Reservation are affected by the disease of addiction.  Whole families – from great grandchildren to great grandparents – are affected, and in turn, addiction affected the community and the whole Lakota nation (called the oyate).  When an individual wants to overcome their addiction, they face challenges that are above and beyond what someone who lives off a Reservation might face.  One of the open AA groups that meets on Wednesdays at the White River Recovery Center is called the “Out of Towners” meeting for a reason.  Many of the individuals who attend this group live far away from where the meeting is held, but make the long drive every week to support each other in sobriety.  The St. Francis Mission and the Recovery Centers have partnered with the Betty Ford Institute to provide educational programing to address the effects addiction has on the family.  Participants of the Betty Ford Family Program learn to set boundaries, control codependency issues, and communication skills so they can express emotions and feelings in a healthy constructive way.  The recovery programs combine Lakota traditions with more traditional recovery content.   by Corrie Oberdin  corrie@corrieoberdin.net   http://www.sfmission.org

RECOVERY HELPDESK – Harm Reduction causes uproar.

The brain chemistry of addiction has puzzled doctors and psychiatrists for years fueling a debate on whether or not addiction is a medical condition.  For that reason, in 2007  Senator Joe Biden wanted to change the name of the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the National Institute on Diseases, and change the name of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the National Institute on Alcohol Disorders and Health.  The bill didn’t become law, but kept the debate going.  Opposing views are chronicled in:  Medical Misnomer… followed by convincing counter response written by the Institute for Addiction Study NIDA, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, claims that addiction is a chronic disease.

“…Ibogaine, a brown powder derived from the African Tabernathe iboga plant, has intrigued researchers since 1962, when Howard Lotsof, a student at New York University and an opiate addict, found that a single dose erased his drug cravings without causing any withdrawal symptoms…”  That is the claim and as evidence shows; it works; just not in the U.S.  yet, at least legally.  A drug addict can get legal Ibogaine treatment in Mexico.  The Villa Serena Medical Center and the Ensenada Ibogaine Program both offer treatment  in Mexico.  Here’s some links to learn more.   Fighting Drugs With Drugs…explores resistance in the U.S. to Ibogaine .  Ibogaine.co.uk is an informative link base in the UK.  Lastly, the Brooklyn based website; The Ibogaine Dossier is one other cyber site to look at.  links by Jon R.

Unforeseen Benefits:  Addiction Treatment Reduces Health Care Costs, July 2009.  Report produced by the Open Society Institute.

Some significant facts that the report shows is that 165,000 hospital stays surveyed in 2004 were related to substance abuse, and a drop of 26% to 37%  hospitalization occurred among patients receiving addiction treatment and counseling respectively.

Read the full report:  Unforeseen Benefits right here.

This Woodstock rock star is a rock star in the intervention world too! Check out Dallas Taylor’s 25 plus year resume of recovery, counseling and intervention services @ www.taylorinterventions.com. Also! read about some interesting cultural history as Dallas chronicles of his own addiction and road to recovery in “Prisoner of Woodstock”.   …”Intervention is a true expression of love and, if done correctly, can truly honor the loved one, who by this point must be feeling a great deal of pain and loneliness.”  Dallas Taylor Treatment resources: TREATMENT LOCATOR

Some insurance companies may cover substance abuse treatment. The vast majority will provide far too little help for their insured addicts.  That is a hard reality for addicts to face.  It is one reason among many others,  that reform and public acceptance of treatment is needed.    Here is a look at common discrimination practiced by the insurance industry as it is related to treatment for drug addiction.  View it in an HBO.com piece entitled “Can’t Get Treatment Through Your Health Insurance Plan”. Also check out the rest of HBO.com’s film series on addiction. The website CHOOSE HELP goes on to talk about affordability and other options for treatment.

Book Review:  When Painkillers Become Dangerous. What Everone Needs to Know About Oxycontin and Other Prescription Drugs, Drew Pinkskey

“When Painkillers Become Dangerous” was written in 2004 and published by Hazelden.  This book is worth a fresh look.  It is an exceptional resource on drugs, addiction and recovery.   Drew Pinskey (Doctor Drew), the lead author provides one of the clearest explanations of how addiction develops that I have read.  He partners with five other very noteworthy authors.  Marvin Seppala dissects treatment and recovery.  Robert Meyers and John Gardin explain intervention, the prolific William White presents a historical overview of all drugs and their particular addictive characteristics while Stephanie Brown relates the insidiousness of addiction as a family problem.  Anyone looking for a resource written by top experts in clear language will benefit from reading this.

Methadone Information and Side Effects

“Known as “Methadone hydrochloride,” Methadone is a narcotic pain reliever, analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain with people who have not responded to pain relievers. Its main uses also include being given to patients who are battling narcotic addiction or in maintenance treatment of narcotic drug addiction…” Article by Jesse Herman of drugwatch.com –   see article HERE

Obama Administration Issues Rules Requiring Parity In treatment of mental, substance use disorders (SUD/MH), implementing the 2008 Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.  On a scale of 1-10 on how much more treatment this makes available; a 2 or  3 would be generous, because it simply  doesnt require SUD/MH coverage .  It addresses limits of covered benefits.  It doesn’t count if your not in a large group plan.  Insurance companies can still exclude SUD/MH treatment.  See  links… Going in the right direction; but falling short. Check out the above link.  Post by Mary S.

Replacement Drug Therapy attracts a debate between the medical and moral definition of addiction.  Is this a question of medical necessity or one’s will.  Medical research is breaking down why heroin in particular is so hard to lay down for some.  Alcohol is a progressive disease.  Peak opiate addiction happens fast and it is brutal.  I spoke with Keith a 28 year old recovering addict.  He sees two truths in the debate.  Clean, after 5 years of opiate addiction he talks about his 3 year replacement drug therapy to date.  “I am an addict and alcoholic.  I work the AA program. I have service commitments in AA and some in NA.  I also have been on Subutex for 3 years.  It works good for me if I apply recovery principals and work AA.  I am an alcoholic at heart but when I found opiates, I was off to the races” Keith say’s opiate addiction is far worst than people imagine and takes determination just to work the program he is on now.  Addiction for him is very much a medical condition.  He has explained that quitting opiates after long term use for many young addicts is near impossible and the leap to replacement drug therapy still takes iron clad determination, explaining further.  “Suboxone or Subutex (subs) work for some and not for others.  Subs make you feel normal.   There is no post acute withdrawal (PAWS).  You feel as you did before you started using; normal”…Here is the problem with many… “Most on subs do not fix what is really broken because they perceive that nothing is broken and don’t use the subs correctly”… “Some take sub “vacations” and use opiates off and on”.  This explains why so many young opiate addicts do not recover and continually relapse, even when using subs or methadone.  Keith holds on to the premise that he would would prefer the initial week of heavy physical withdrawal than the many months of the post acute phase.  For him, subs built his bridge to sobriety.

Check out NY Times, Dec. 7th, 2009,  Addiction on Two Fronts; Work and Home. …”His son had been dead from an overdose only three months when A. Thomas McLellan, among the nation’s leading researchers on addiction, got a call from the office of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. …” (excerpt). Deputy director McLellan of ONDCP, Office of National Drug Control Policy,  knows addiction from all angles and advocates re-directing  resources   from  demand reduction efforts not reaping big gains to prevention and treatment.  The latest figures from his office estimate 25 million alcoholics and addicts, comprising about 8% of the population.  Less than 1 in 10 of these receive treatment.  The ONDCP office’s immediate goal is to triple that number.  Look for an upcoming February 2010, drug policy strategy statement.     Link from Jon R.

A cool morning conversation with a case worker outside of C.O.P.E’s  downtown  treatment facility in Tucson this morning led to some interesting questions.  We’re talking about the world of addiction and recovery.   The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)  and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RWJF, took part in an HBO film series about addiction that can shed some insight.  There are 8 million narcotic, cocaine and methamphetamine addicts on the streets of America at any given time and as a totality of all drug and alcohol addiction that figure soars to 23 million people struggling as we speak.  That’s  an alarming world of dysfunction and suffering.  Of these individuals, fewer than 10% are receiving effective treatment.  These figures come from NIDA and RWJF.

C.O.P.E. has earned exceptional credit in helping those who arrive at their door step.  To ask about the majority that don’t make it is another story.  The easy answer lies solely with the addict.  When they are  ready; they show up.  What about those 20 or so million addicts and alcoholics not receiving treatment and the impact that has on families and communities.   That’s the intimidating reality that poses the hard question.  Realizing the patches on our  recovery boats are not holding is a scary thought.  The seas of addiction  are rough.  America needs a new fleet of sea worthy recovery vessels.  What that will take is a 21st century question pointing to new paradigms that we haven’t invented yet.  The impact is real.  The needs are real.  America is worth every ounce of effort.

This website, Meth Free Alliance,  is a grassroots effort that was created right here in Tucson Arizona.  The downloadable PDF format companion booklet, Tucson Meth Resource Guide is a powerhouse of information and treatment destination in the Tucson Area.   A U.S. Government level effort which works in concert with local efforts is also a great resource at www.methresources.gov.

Veterans: Drug Addiction and Treatment.  The Veterans Administration for many of its faults is the best model we have for public health care and taking care of millions of soldiers, yet their policy for drug and alcohol treatment is under scrutiny in this recent 11/04/09  research brief  called:  Healing a Broken System: Veterans Battling Addiction and Incarceration.  The focus is on opiate addiction and  point is that adequate and effective opiate recovery is elusive for veterans.  The outcome for these addicts  is too often; still jail.  The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) also supports many of the  points made in this paper.  Heroin was a scourge for veterans coming back from Vietnam.  See Eddie Grijalva’s story.  Today, Opiates have made a big comeback, largely encouraged by the rampant mis-use of opiate based prescription drugs.

Eddie Grijalva  is a compassionate leader in the world of recovery.  His fire for finding solutions happens everyday in Tucson, Arizona and throughout Native American Communities in Southern Arizona.  His work is a model among other American Indian tribes across the country.   As a Compass Behavioral Health Service staff member and recovery specialist he has walked and talked as a leader among many.  His story was featured in the recovery blog,  Addiction World.  It can be viewed right here:  Eddie Grijalva’s Story

“…successful recovery starts with giving people a second chance, withholding judgment and offering compassion. “It’s about honoring people… ” – Eddie Grijalva

This in from Carlton F. “Perk” Clark, LCSW Psychotherapy & Organizational Development, LLC.  “I’ve heard many stories about how particular insurance ‘coverage’ appears more like fraud when you learn that you have never had the treatment coverage you need.  The Mental Health Parity Act  http://www.psychod.com/MentalHealthParityQandA.pdf may change that.”

The Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity Act appears to impact group insurance plans with 50 or more employees, possibly excluding smaller business employee and self employed plans from addiction treatment coverage after the effective date of 1/1/10  –  Dadonfire

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and presents an opportunity to promote community involvement to educate parents about the dangers of medicine abuse among teens.  When parents in your community think about protecting teens from drugs, they usually think of illicit street drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.  Today’s teens are abusing prescription drugs more than any illicit drug except marijuana.¹ Read their website here which is rich with links. Links by Mary Slivinski

Better put, Opiate Addiction is often treated with opiate based methadone and suboxone.  Now America is looking at treating heroin addiction with pure heroin.  This works elsewhere and takes the air out of the sails of the heroin cartels.  Opiate addiction often starts in the medicine cabinetWorldwide, the use of heroin is growing.  Braving the most brutal of withdrawals, opiate addicts will most likely give in to an equally powerful and enduring psychological craving if they are lucky enough to survive having their guts turned inside out for a week or more.  Quitting opiates is at the very least, difficult and destructive to families and communities.  Sooner or later, many addicts try and substitute their addiction to street heroin with illegal pills, alcohol or legally prescribed drug replacement therapy.  Here are some recent links:  • Time Magazine •  CNN HealthReuters • The New York Times • ABC News •  Links by Drew

Intervention Services Inc., is an addiction intervention service available in most states.  Their staff, although somewhat expensive,  will come to the problem.   The good news is that their resource rich website is free for anyone to view.  It displays clear  opinion and perspective on intervention protocol for many drugs including the dynamics of approaching addicts and their families.  Interestingly, the site has a feature about the A&E Intervention Show;  a useful perspective on the reality of intervention.  Here, also,  is a YouTube resource of A&E episodes.

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