According to a recent Kaiser Permanente San Francisco outpatient addiction treatment clinic patients who have access to interactive rehab tend to experience an improvement in overall health. The study involved 503 people who were assigned to receive standard care or standard care plus the LINKAGE intervention interactive rehab. Those who received the enhanced care did much better and learned many skills that they needed. According to Constance M. Weisner, DrPH, the lead study author, “Patients with alcohol and other drug use disorders have high rates of medical and psychiatric conditions requiring complex treatment, but often rely on emergency services and seldom use preventive services, even when they have health insurance. We know that patients who are more engaged with their health care tend to manage their condition better and our study found that alcohol and drug treatment patients are no different.”
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research researcher Stacy A. Sterling, DrPH, MSW, the senior study author, discussed the study findings on interactive rehab and an improvement in overall health. “Alcohol and drug treatment patients often suffer from other medical conditions, and their care needs to be integrated with mainstream health care. Teaching addiction treatment patients how to access and use health care may empower them to better engage in managing their health and well-being. It will be instructive to see whether this approach is helpful in avoiding relapse and in improving their overall health when we conduct additional follow-up.” For the study standard care included a variety of medical, substance abuse, and mental health services and information.
Hydromorphone, a strong opioid pain medication, could be used as one method of treatment for heroin addiction according to a new study out of Canada. Over 200 heroin addicts from the Vancouver area were involved in the study and these individuals did not respond well to other common treatments including suboxone or methadone. This study was the first ever to look at how effective hydromorphone can be for heroin addiction treatment. Study subjects received either a pharmaceutical-grade prescription heroin product called diacetylmorphine or hydromorphone, and both drugs were delivered via supervised injection in a clinical setting. According to University of British Columbia lead study investigator Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes “Providing injectable opioids in specialized clinics under supervision ensures safety of both the patients and the community, and the provision of comprehensive care.”
During the study on hydromorphine as a possible treatment for heroin addiction over 88,000 injections were given by the medical professionals, and there were just 14 cases of overdose reported and 11 incidents of seizures. No deaths resulted because the medical professionals successfully managed these complications, but the outcome would have been far different if the problems had occurred outside of a medical setting on the street. In a news release from the school Oviedo-Joekes explained “Hydromorphone is a widely available licensed pain medication. Our study shows that hydromorphone is as effective as diacetylmorphine, providing a licensed alternative to treat severe opioid use disorder.” According to Vancouver Coastal Health chief medical officer Dr. Patricia Daly “Diacetylmorphine isn’t available in many countries. Hydromorphone has a significant advantage as a legal, licensed pain medication. No single treatment is effective for all individuals. Every person with severe opioid use disorder left untreated is at high risk of serious illness and premature death.”
For many people relapse is part of the recovery process, but there are some common reasons why rehab may not be successful the first time around or even with repeated attempts at treatment in these facilities. These reasons include:
1. Wrong Rehab Facility or Treatment Type- The right type of rehab is a very important consideration, and the wrong choice could set you back and fail to properly address and treat your specific substance abuse issues.
2. A Failure to Understand Addiction Accurately- Alcohol or drug addiction impacts the way that your brain functions and it affects the thought and reasoning processes. It is not possible to make good decisions while drugs or alcohol are still clouding your thoughts and wreaking havoc in your brain. Years of chronic use could take months to eliminate so that you can finally think clearly again.
3. Failing to Build a Strong Support System- In order to have the best chance at a full and permanent recovery it is very important to build up a strong support system, with individuals who are focused on keeping you sober and being there when you need support so that you do not relapse.
4. Failing to Change Your Attitude About Substance Abuse- In order to be successful in rehab you must have the right attitude. As long as you are not willing to change how you perceive the substance abuse or you fail to take responsibility and actually work on your shortcomings then you will usually fail to meet your treatment goals and recover fully.
5. Not Staying Long Enough to Minimize Relapse Risks- In order to minimize the risk of a relapse you must stay for the entire treatment course. Many people leave treatment early, or they try to fake it so that they are released sooner. This will sabotage your chance at a permanent recovery and a successful future.
When it comes to substance abuse treatments there are many different choices and options out there, and some may be better or more effective than others. Some treatment programs use medications, others provide psychotherapy, and still others use a combination of these two approaches. Some scientific studies have found that certain forms of substance abuse may benefit most from a combination of therapy and medications. The drugs that are provided as part of the substance abuse treatment will depend on the substance being abused. Some alcohol abuse drugs can cause severe or even violent nausea and vomiting if the user consumes alcohol. Other drugs are prescribed to help minimize any cravings or withdrawal symptoms so that the user is more likely to stay in treatment until the program is finished. Methadone is one such drug that may be used for opioid and heroin addiction, Suboxone is another medication that may be used in this situation.
It is possible to beat substance abuse and overcome addiction without using medications, but for some people the high risk of relapse and past unsuccessful attempts may make them desperate to try anything that could work. One reason for caution when using medications to treat substance abuse is that the patient may simply be replacing one drug or addiction for another. Methadone is an opioid used to treat opioid addiction, so the user is not really kicking their habit as long as they stay on the methadone replacement program. Until you are completely free from drugs your mind and spirit can not work towards a permanent recovery and your judgment will be clouded.
Christmas is here and all of us at Valiant Recovery want to wish you Happy Holidays and a successful recovery during this time of year. The stress of the holiday season can make relapse a bigger risk than at almost any other time of year but this does not have to happen. Make sure that you have extra support right now to help you get through the end of the year festivities without giving in and going back to old habits or substance abuse activities. We have helped many people overcome addiction and substance abuse, and we can help you or your loved one get a fresh start and a brand new life if substance abuse is destroying the old one or devastating your family.
At Valiant Recovery we believe that a successful recovery is possible for everyone with the right treatment program. We understand that compassion during the treatment process and treating each individual with dignity and respect are key elements to a successful recovery and relapse prevention. One on one counseling is critical for a full and permanent recovery that lasts, and we offer this in spite of the higher treatment costs involved. No matter how bad things may seem there is a way out, substance abuse or addiction does not have to ruin your life if you are willing to make that first step and admit that you need help. Don’t let drugs or alcohol continue to disrupt your life and hurt those that you care about, seek treatment today and wish your loved ones happy holidays by going into treatment.
A new survey by the federal government has found that roughly 10%, or 1 in 10, US residents has a chronic substance abuse issue that involves life long drug use. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse senior researcher Bridget Grant, the study leader, explained “But the seriousness and persistence of the situation doesn’t appear to have changed all that drastically since our last look at this. What we see is that a little over 23 million Americans are directly affected with a lifelong problem. And many more are affected when you consider that the issue involves not just the user but also the user’s family and social network. And on top of that we also see that treatment rates are really not that great.”
Grant continued by stating “A lot of people have concerns about the effectiveness of treatment, even though we’ve made a lot of strides over the past two decades. And professionals, and even patients themselves, have a lot of problems simply identifying their problem. And also, of course, there’s a stigma associated with admitting you have a drug problem. That’s still a very, very big problem.” From 2012 through 2013 researchers conducted in person interviews with over 36,000 people who were all at least 18 years old. This is the first study that has been performed since the mental health guidelines on drug addiction have been set higher. Past drug addiction guidelines have not been so high. The study used as collective assessment of drug use rather than breaking the drug use down into individual drug patterns.
Thanksgiving is a time when many people eat and eat, and then eat some more. This is also a time when many people find substance abuse prevention tips especially helpful. Since this holiday is seen as one of indulgence many people will end up drinking excessively or using drugs as a result. There are some steps you can take to help avoid this outcome, whether the issue is with you or those you care about. One way to avoid temptation is to make your Thanksgiving celebration alcohol free. Instead of serving several kinds of beer and wine or offering mixed drinks with spirits why not make festive drinks and mocktails which are delicious but that have no alcohol in them. If there is no alcohol then everyone can relax and have a great time without worrying whether someone is going to drink too much or cause a scene when they get drunk.
There are many other great substance abuse prevention tips for Thanksgiving and the other year end holidays, all you have to do is look for them. Why not have everyone who attends the feast volunteer at a local shelter or other charitable organization? This volunteer work can take place before dinner or after it, and it will give everyone the opportunity to realize what they should be grateful for. Support groups and therapy meetings can also be scheduled more frequently around this holiday for those who feel the urge to give in to temptation. It is possible to get through the holidays without engaging in substance abuse when you have an effective and reliable plan in place.
Many people believe that relapse has to be part of the substance abuse recovery process but this is not necessarily true. Some people have successfully beat their addictions the first time that they go through a residential inpatient program, others may relapse numerous times before they reach a recovery if they ever do. Each individual is different and so is their road to a permanent recovery. The choice of treatment programs used, the situation that each individual has, and any past traumas and invisible wounds will all play a role in how well treatment is received and addiction is conquered. You do not have to relapse as part of your substance abuse recovery if you choose a program that is highly effective and supportive.
If you want substance abuse recovery that does not include one or more relapses then it is important to evaluate several treatment facilities and programs. Look for programs that offer individual counseling several times a week, and which have an environment that is soothing and free from unnecessary stress. If you are a Christian then a Christian program may work best because the spiritual aspects of these programs can make them more effective. A private facility may also be a better solution because many government and charity run facilities face limited budgets and a high patient caseload. This can create a chaotic environment that may make a permanent recovery harder to achieve. Look at the relapse statistics for each program and treatment facility as well to see just how effective the treatment provided actually is.
1. Cost– Every substance abuse treatment program will have a specific cost involved, and some will be much higher than others. Evaluate not just the price but what you get for this amount in order to make the best choice for your circumstances and situation.
2. Treatment Methods Offered– Some addiction recovery methods like individual counseling can be highly effective. Look at what methods each program offers before you make any final decision.
3. Spirituality– The right substance abuse treatment program will involve spirituality in a form that you believe in. This can be a Christian rehab that follows Christian tenets and principles or a non denominational program that includes a belief in a higher power without being much more specific.
4. Setting– The setting of the residential facility can be a determining factor in whether you get a full and permanent recovery or not. Some facilities are crowded and highly stressful, others have fewer clients and work hard to ensure a stress free setting that is conducive to recovery.
5. Is Detox Offered?– Some facilities which provide addiction recovery will include on site detox, others require this treatment component to be completed before arriving at the program. If youi require medical detox then it can be less stressful and more convenient to find a facility which offers both detox and treatment.
6. Insurance Coverage– Look at any insurance coverage that you have and determine whether a certain substance abuse treatment program accepts the coverage that you have. Often any insurance that you have will result in a program that is crowded and which may only offer a few treatment methods and program options.