All posts by Recovery Channel

The Doctor Knows What’s Best?

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That was always the prevailing theory. However, doctors have long relied on pharmaceuticals and, as certain areas of drugs have been developed, it has had a terrifically bad end result. Addiction. In fact, in many parts of the world, addiction to prescription drugs is outpacing any other form of addiction, resulting in a boom in prescription medication rehab.

Obviously, the worse of these drugs are opioid based. Oxycodone, for example, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, or, by brand name, OxyContin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Percodan® and Tylox®, among others. Heroin is also opioid based, and methadone, and morphine, and Demero®. All of which are highly addictive, requiring lengthy prescription medication addiction treatment.

Here’s the truly sad part of this. This is an addiction that often happens to people who otherwise would never be involved with drugs. Typically, it’s someone who suffers an injury of some kind and is prescribed a pain reliever. Or, someone who has had a surgery and is ultimately sent home with a prescription for a pain reliever. But these are strong pain relievers. Very addictive, strong pain relievers. And many innocent people suddenly find that they are “hooked” on these prescribed drugs. Ultimately, at some point, the prescription runs out and the doctor refuses to refill it since the period where any serious pain should have passed or simply because he knows they’re addictive and doesn’t want to prescribe it anymore. Then, the patient eithers chooses to go into prescription drug rehab, or to continue the addition by finding a doctor who will continue to prescribe the drug (and they are out there, this is a lucrative business for them), or to replace the drug with a comparable street drug that is readily available, such as heroin. From there the addiction can go anywhere, and the addict can lose his job, his family, his home, everything.

Now, it’s also true that there are many people who use these drug without a prescription and get addicted, as well. Of course, this addiction goes down the same path. A path that leads only to misery.

At Recovery Channel we can connect you with some of the best prescription drug addiction treatment programs available. Programs that suit your needs, whether that’s somewhere you can focus on getting well again mentally, physically and spiritually without distraction in a place of unparalleled luxury, or a place that offers a more meat and potatoes approach, basic, but effective. It all depends on who you are, what your addiction is to and what’s best for you. It’s important that you be in the right environment to assure your success in recovery. Plus, because we often do insurance utilization review for the people we refer to treatment centers, we get longer periods of treatment to make sure you don’t leave before you’re ready to and relapse. You stay until you feel strong enough to return home without succumbing to “triggers” that cause relapse.

If you have an addiction to prescription medication, call us. We can see what kind of coverage your insurance provides and answer all your questions. The important thing is not to wait. Whether you ultimately choose to use our free services or not, we’re ready to give you answers and help guide you into the best recovery scenario for you.

Addiction is Growing, So Are Your Treatment Options

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It’s time we took the curse off of going to drug rehab. Too many people still think that if you’re going to drug rehab you must be a criminal. That mentality is so old fashioned it’s right up there with the movie “Reefer Madness”. People become addicted to many different things these days. It isn’t always drugs, but even when it is, many times those drugs were prescribed. Do the classic drug addicts buying street drugs still steal to feed their habits? Yes, there is still that. But the world of addiction isn’t at all what it used to be. And even classic drug addiction has been decriminalized. So, let’s all get with the program.

The reality is as our society progresses it also develops additional issues that are a result of the pressure of adapting to modern life. Twenty-five years ago there was very little porn addiction, for example. Mainly because porn was not readily available. You had to go out of your way to get it and actually buy it. Today there is a large percentage of young men addicted to porn who grew up accessing it for free on the internet. That addiction works in the brain in essentially the same way drug addiction does. There are now many addiction treatment facilities that specialize just in this type of addiction, along with sex addiction and tech addiction. There are also gambling addictions, food addiction, addiction to work, exercise, video games, pain…the list goes on. In short, these days just about anything can become an addiction. It’s about what’s going on in the brain. It’s just where we are as a culture now.

Finding the best treatment, whether it’s the best for a process addiction or the best drug rehab, is also more complicated than ever because there are so many treatment centers out there and so many different types of programs. RecoveryChannel.com makes the process much easier. We already know the best drug addiction rehab for you. Or the best sex addiction facility. Or any other addiction. All we need is a little information from you and we can help connect you with that treatment center. The decision is all yours, we only make the connection. We can work with the treatment center to make sure going to treatment is as smooth a transition for you, as possible. We can case manage for you, so you know you always have us to watch out for you, before you go to treatment, during treatment, and when you come out of treatment. We make sure drug rehab treatment, or any addiction treatment, is working for you and that you get your life back in order.

So, the bottom line is this: you have no reason to be ashamed of an addiction. It’s more common than ever. You just need to realize you need help and then call us so we can get started.

The Meth Myth

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We’ve seen meth come a long way in a very short span of time. Many people think it’s a new drug, but it’s not. Methamphetamine has been around since the 1920s. More recently it resurfaced as a party drug, primarily in gay clubs on the east and west coast. One reason is, in the 90s, drug cartels realized they could make a lot more money with it and set up large meth labs cranking out large batches of the drug. Then, because of how easy it was to manufacture and how affordable it was, it worked its way across state borders and across financial brackets, racial groups, right into homes everywhere. Even soccer moms ended up with a serious meth addiction problem. It’s a drug that has no boundaries, no boarders and, if you listen to some, there’s also no treatment. But that’s a myth. There is treatment for addiction to meth.

It’s true that meth addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to treat. It is one of the most highly addictive drugs. It dramatically increases the dopamine levels in the brain.

Unlike heroin addiction, there is no substitute, like suboxone or methadone, to take to wean off of meth. Detoxing for meth is not like that for heroin or alcohol. In fact, many insurance companies don’t recognize the need for detoxing in a detox specific treatment center for meth.

Of course, there is a detox period in which the drug is cleaned out of the body. During this period meth addicts can experience a number of withdrawal symptoms, both physical and psychological, such as anxiety, severe depression, fatigue or sleepiness, aches and pains, inability to concentrate, mood swings, psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia and more.

These symptoms are why it is important to begin treatment in a treatment center where the detox can be observed by professionals. A doctor in a treatment center can prescribe some medications to help with some of these symptoms.

Once an addict is technically “clean”, following detox, these symptoms can continue for up to three months. But it’s really the psychological addiction that needs to be addressed.

This is done through a variety of treatment tools, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). There is also Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), originally developed to relieve the distress of trauma.

Additionally, there is bio and neuro feedback training which can help retrain the brain and alleviate relapse triggers.

The most important element is that the addict wants help, wants to be in treatment and recover. Depending on how long he, or she, has been using, and how much, it may not be easy. But it can be done. We see it done every day.

Heroin Addiction by Prescription

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It has now become clear, through recent research, that there is a dramatic increase in opioid prescriptions and, along with it, an equally dramatic increase in addiction to prescribed opioids. But it doesn’t stop there. Once these people run out of their prescriptions they turn to buying opioids on the street. Then, when they do some comparison shopping, they end up buying more available, more affordable heroin. So, it is a fact that doctor’s prescribing opioids is a part of what’s driving the increase in heroin addiction. So, who do we hold accountable? Is it pharmaceutical companies developing and aggressively marketing opioid pain meds that are highly addictive? Is it doctors who prescribe them like they’re handing out jelly beans? Do doctors know they are behind the recent epidemic of addiction to heroin?

Well, business is business to many people. Only a small percentage of people who are prescribed opioids become addicted. Right?

It is estimated that 2.1 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from disorders from, or addiction to prescribed opioids. Another half a million suffer from an addiction to heroin. The number of unintentional deaths from prescribed pain relievers has soared in recent years, quadrupling since 2000.

Do we need some form of legislation on this?

Well, let’s deal with reality. Legislators have to run for office and their campaigns are funded, in part, by pharmaceutical companies. So, meaningful legislation is probably not going to be the answer.

There is one recent case of a doctor who was very obviously over prescribing opioids who was prosecuted and sent to jail. Definitely more of that needs to happen. But doctor’s are probably not going to stop prescribing opioids, although some may become more cautious about it.

As usual, the consumer needs to be aware and to watch out for themselves and loved ones. IF you, or a loved one, have an opioid prescribed for an injury or following a medical procedure, see if there’s something else you could have instead. An analgesic that isn’t addictive. If not, use the opioid medication as prescribed, but try and use it less and less over time. Also look for other pain management therapies that couple alleviate some or all of the pain. Acupuncture, or another holistic therapy, for example.

If you, or your loved one do end up addicted, get treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait the worse it will be. If you suspect a loved one is hiding an addiction, act on it rather than waiting to see. There’s way too much to risk. We are literally talking life or death in many cases.

When Does a Drinker Need Alcohol Rehab?

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It’s been reported that there are 16.6 million adults (aged 18 and older) who have an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). This includes 10.8 million men and 5.8 million women. Yet only 1.3 million people in this age group went to rehab for alcohol.

Alcohol is still the single most abused drug in modern society and the fact that it is legal may make it difficult to know when enough is enough and when family members should intervene with a loved one who actually has a serious problem. Especially if that loved one doesn’t want to hear it, as most don’t.

Alcohol abuse is much less tolerated in the workplace than it once was. But there it is also often difficult to approach an employee with a problem as we have become a litigious society. All manner of human resources techniques and requirements are now used in dealing with an employee who has demonstrated a problem with alcohol.

So, it isn’t necessarily that people aren’t aware there’s a problem, they’re more aware than ever thanks to amount of focus on this problem. Now, the problem is doing something about it. Or, how to do something about it.

Trying to ignore it and hoping it will go away is not going to help. Waiting for the person with the problem to suddenly realize it’s a problem is also not a good strategy. Something truly bad could happen in the meantime.

What companies now do is document everything potentially related to the problem – the number of absences, decline in the quality of work, office parties where the employee appeared out of control or demonstrated inebriated behavior, the fact that it’s every office party, or client dinner when this occurs. I know of one company with an employee who got exceptionally drunk at every office party and showed up the next day with a black eye, or some other injury, and couldn’t remember what he’d done after leaving the party. In more than one instance he had been arrested. In essence, it’s collecting evidence, it’s making the case. And it’s not a bad example for a family to follow. Approaching the loved one the day after an event, especially when he, or she, is hung over, isn’t going to go well.

If you’ve quietly kept a journal of these events and at some point can sit down and say, “You need to look at this. You have a problem, it’s hurting our family, and we need to do something.” Then leave it with him, or her, to sit with, to digest. Sometimes, when it’s all there, written down, it becomes harder to ignore. Now, an addict of any kind may react badly. It is important for them not to feel cornered, to know that you are coming to them from a position of love.

You may feel you need a professional interventionist to help. We, at Recovery Channel, can recommend many. But the simple fact is, there are still far too few people with an alcohol problem seeking treatment. And today, with the changes in insurance, it just shouldn’t be the case.

Contact us for any help or advice or guidance. We can also check your insurance for you to see what your benefits will cover.

Have We Made a Dent in Alcoholism?

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Alcoholism has been with us throughout the ages, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that anyone ever tried to really do anything about it. Before that you were usually only sent to a sanitarium to “dry out” but there wasn’t any treatment. Along came Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, struggling with alcohol addiction, who decided to help each other stay sober. This was the humble beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous. But it still wasn’t, and isn’t, treatment. AA provides a social model of recovery with the intention of those afflicted helping each other to stay clean and sober.

In 1948, Hazelden opened the first residential center for alcoholic men. This, too, was not treatment. It was merely a place for men to live while practicing the 12 steps of AA and hopefully get a running start at a life of sobriety. This then, became the model for many such residential centers. In the 1980s and 1990s, the concept of co-occurring disorders came into popularity – the concept that there may be another issue that needs to be addressed that can be contributing to the alcohol addiction. This is the first time treatment truly became a part of the equation as mental health therapies were introduced into treatment for alcoholism. Since then we’ve added quite a bit of science based and psychological therapies and treatments that help give the addict a better chance at a normal life.

So, how are we doing? Well, not that well, as it turns out. Alcohol is still the most widely abused substance. There are an estimated 17 million alcoholics in the U.S. (1 in 12 people) with many more exhibiting risky behaviors.

Alcohol is legal. It is part of our culture and even getting drunk is acceptable and commonplace. However, there is an attitude change slowly taking shape. Public drunkenness is not as acceptable, or understandable as it once was. Employers watch for signed of an alcohol problem. Once many comedians were famous for portraying drunks, such as Foster Brooks or Dean Martin. You don’t see that any more. So, we’re making progress. But there’s still much more work to do.

The Drug Addiction Problem Keeps Growing, Finding Help Isn’t Getting Easier

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It is estimated there are 23 million people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol in this country. If you’re one, you’re clearly not alone. It has been declared an epidemic by healthcare authorities and healthcare related government agencies. There is literally tens of thousands of websites pertaining to drug addiction and addiction treatment on the internet. Yet it isn’t getting any easier for addicts or their families to find the right help or even be certain that the people they’ve reached out to are the right people to talk to.

Everybody sees the press and tabloid articles and coverage when a celebrity goes to rehab. Rehabs also get a lot of press when someone dies there and, unfortunately, that does happen. Sometimes it’s the fault of the rehab for taking someone in a condition they’re not really equipped to deal with, or possibly negligence. But, in some case, when people show up at a rehab in such extreme condition, or their condition takes a turn for the worse while they’re in rehab and the rehab sends them to a hospital, but they die anyway, the rehab is somehow held accountable. Nothing anyone would have done anywhere would have helped this person. In many of these cases local authorities clear the rehab of any wrong doing, but that doesn’t get the media attention the original investigation got.

Are there drug addiction treatment centers that focus more on profits than care? Yes. Are there drug addiction treatment centers that will tell you anything they can to get you, or your family member, to come there? Yes. Which is why it is imperative that people seeking drug addiction help find some guidance from an independent source, rather than merely calling rehabs.

How can you decide between rehabs when you don’t really know what’s there? Yes, there are some websites that have reviews of treatment centers. But almost all of those were put up by people who own treatment centers and so those sites are geared toward sending them clients. For example, Rehabs.com, which appears to be an independent website is owned by American Addiction Centers. American Addiction Centers has had a LOT of legal trouble over the past year. Google it and see for yourself. Getting patients into centers has become one of the fastest increasing expenses in the treatment field.

Consumers are now bombarded by commercials and ads for treatment centers. Call some rehabs, see what they have to say. But call knowing that they may tell you what they think you want to hear. See what the website says. Call independent counselors, or doctors, or clinicians, or therapists and ask for advice. Or call us. Tells us about yourself, what’s happened, what you’re addicted to, what type of treatment you’re looking for, and we’ll give you options, all geared to your specific situation.