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Reach: 72.4k Reg & 86k+ Facilities & 26.8M Social Media + (Email Community Total 180k) Nations largest organic addiction related community. Welcome Andrea Grubb Barthwell, M.D., F.A.S.A.M., is the founder and CEO of Two Dreams and past president of ASAM

Are you having trouble finding a detox center in NJ?

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New Jersey, believe it or not is a beautiful state. Many who reside there are very happy with “The Garden State”.

BrightFuturesTreatment

Xanax addiction is hard to overcome stay away at all costs

However, in recent years’ New jersey has seen a big influx of heroin addiction and overdoses. Many people who are addicted to opiate pain killers or heroin are seeking detox for withdrawal symptoms from heroin or pain killers.

There are quite a few detox’s and treatment programs within the state. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming influx of addicts seeking treatment for heroin addiction there are not many beds available. This proposes a big question for the state funded programs; What can we do to help more?

There doesn’t seem to be a solution that can come quick enough to solve the problem. Detox Centers in New Jersey number in 30’s excluding actual hospitals. These issues don’t even account for the regular treatment visits for alcoholism and other addictions.

What and where are these Detox Centers in New Jersey?

Below are the four inpatient detox centers in new jersey that offer inpatient medical detox treatment using FDA approved detox medications. However, try calling them and seeing if there are beds available. Let me know how that works out for you.

  • New Hope Foundation Inc Marlboro, NJ 07746
  • Maryville Inc 1903 Grant Avenue Williamstown, NJ 08094
  • Evergreen Treatment Center 230 East Ridgewood Avenue Paramus, NJ 07652
  • Sunrise Detox II 1272 Long Hill Road Stirling, NJ 07980

What are the primary reasons people seek detox for in New Jersey?

According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Overdoses and treatment admissions have skyrocketed in the New Jersey since 2007. In some cases, they have gone up 100% or more. This raises some big issues and questions as far as affordable healthcare and healthcare policy pertaining to addiction treatment in New Jersey.

What about Medicare or Medicaid Accepting Detox’s

What about them? There are tons of Outpatient clinics in New Jersey that accept these insurance plans. However, many of them do a methadone maintenance or suboxone maintenance protocol and isn’t very effective to stop abuse dead in its tracks. You’re still dependent on a substance which leaves things just as complicated, but manageable.

My summary:

My only hope in writing this is to create awareness to those in my home state. Many aren’t aware that the drug addicts in their back yard do want help and don’t want to live that way. They have lost hope in trying to find treatment because they can’t get in. It’s important to get the addict into a detox treatment program as soon as possible after they become willing.

 

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Substance Abuse Treatment Reform in New Jersey

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Many heroin addicts seeking treatment in New Jersey and other states who’re covered with Medicaid or Medicare insurance are having bum luck. We discussed this in a prior rant. SEE HERE

 

BrightFuturesTreatment

Xanax addiction is hard to overcome stay away at all costs

However, I have done some research in the policies issued by Medicare and Medicaid and the findings are interesting. It seems while everyone in New Jersey is focused Bridge Gate and Governor Chris Christy they avoided considering the policies written by Medicaid and Medicare insurance providers pertaining to substance abuse and alcoholism. Many of these plans were written in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Most only cert for alcoholism.

This raises a big question pertaining to heroin addiction treatment?

Most insured citizens in New Jersey have Medicare and Medicaid insurance policies. If heroin addiction rehab centers can’t cert a patient for heroin addiction with either of those insurance carriers where does that leave the addict?

Many people are blaming the affordable care act, but I feel it’s a start in the way of progress. What I feel needs to happen is an update on insurance reform from within the insurance companies.

Please see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE1604.pdf

When you Google: Medicare substance abuse coverage Google explains that there isn’t much coverage for substance abuse treatment by Medicare. Many other findings say that it must be deemed medically necessary. In many cases, it’s turned down by the insurance companies and addicts are left without hope.

What is the solution for drug rehab centers in New Jersey?

I think the state of New Jersey needs to form an alliance among treatment providers. They need to ask for more accommodations by insurance companies to treat addiction. If treatment providers don’t come together to push for insurance reform, nothing with be done.

Many admissions counselors who run verification of benefits for any of the treatment centers in New Jersey give up once they find that Medicare or Medicaid won’t cover the insured. However, if they were to have a doctor call in to say it was medically necessary they may be approved, but even then who knows?

The bottom line is we need to work together to find a solution to the heroin epidemic and start treating people with long term heroin addiction treatment. The days of people just maintaining their addiction to survive must be stopped. There is an easier softer way, but we need to come together as a community to stop this!

God Bless

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Postpartum and Relapse

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SFYB Staff Writer

One thinks the joys of having a baby would out weigh the desire for substance use. Think again. For many women with substance abuse issues, postpartum is a sensitive time for relapse.

The excitement of bringing new life into the world can quickly fade as responsibility sets in. There are many changes that happen during this time as a woman adapts to the role as a mother and parent.

Things can seem uncertain as the woman deals with changes in her body, relationships and lifestyle.

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When possible discuss relapse before a woman reaches postpartum. It’s important to talk through the consequences of a mother using once again. What seems like a harmless decision in the mind of someone addicted to substances can turn into real life drama. I have seen women lose custody of their children because they began to use yet again during postpartum. They reported feeling relieved that the pregnancy was over and afraid of being a single mother or a mother to many children. Finances, lack of resources and dreams unfilled weighed heavily on their mind.

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Other women expressed depression during postpartum and reached for substances to self-medicate. Many women go off of mental health medications during pregnancy and need to revisit these medications with their Psychiatrist. Women need a strong support network in order to manage their conditions. At times, women are managing more than just substances and may need support in organizing their overall health. Mental health, domestic violence, sexual trauma are other issues that make optimum wellness a challenge.

There are many triggers that lead a woman in postpartum back to substance use. Assisting someone in building a strong support network is invaluable. These conditions can be complex and need expertise in handling them appropriately. It’s important to know that relapse during postpartum is very common so take necessary precautions and talk openly about the possibility of relapse during postpartum.

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FUBAR

SFYB Contributing Author “FUBAR” Best stuff in the hood brother

A Day in the Life of a Crack Dealer. Think about this for a while… Stop being so dam stupid. Be Smart. You have a choice. VOTE: While You Still Can! Donald Trump?

A Day in the Life of a Crack Dealer

A Day in the Life of a Crack Dealer – Symptoms of Poor Leadership in America

StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more.
Other relevant articles are: (click links below to review)
  1. Addiction a disease? Or Learned Behavior? (*****)
  2. Is addiction an illness or a crime? (***)
  3. The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans (****)
  4. Exposing the FDA
  5. Pharma’s Big Secret 
  6. Big Pharma Now Harvesting Your Children for Profit
  7. Is Your Doctor Crazy? Or Is There a Pattern Here?
  8. Flakka coming to your neighborhood – what the hell is Flakka?
  9. Bath Salts arrive on the scene and how they affect your brain
  10. Bath Salts nothing to smile about
  11. Stop Frying Your Brain On Bath Salts
  12. 10 of the deadliest drugs
  13. Heroin The Deadliest Drug Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask…
  14. Your brain on addiction
  15. Vicodin A Sweet Seductive Time Bomb
  16. Heroine Floods the News for the United States
  17. Criminalizing Mental Health in America
  18. US Government Turning Veterans Into Drug Addicts
  19. Veterans Being Pumped Full of Addictive Opiates
  20. PTSD help for veterans
  21. Opiate Addiction: When Normal No Longer Feels Normal
  22. Prescription Drug Abuse and Deadly Xanax
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The slums is a beautiful place for someone like me. These abandoned gutters and lost souls that vaca such an area of opportunity for dope slangin. I flipped the script on the 50 and the 9 to 5ers, and I bank. Having the keys to the candy store gives me my own personal supply.

Sure I could bitch and cuss about being beat down, shot, robbed, lied to, stabbed, but I never felt less judged being in a place like a crack house. That’s where I lived most of my life… home to me bro. I actually feel safe here.

You think you have it bad? I dodge bullets going to work. The local gang down the street just as soon shoot me, it’s all about turf and dollars dude. That’s my pink slip.

So Donald Trump eat me. 🙂 I hope you get elected and fire them idiots in charge. That’s if you can figure out who is actually in charge. I know I can’t. They stand up there and say one thing, get elected and do something else all together. Depending on who gave them the most money. Corporate Congress I say..

Donald Trump for President

Donald Trump for President – No More Mr Nice Guy… Make America Strong Again

OBama you don’t know the game, you got the rules missin.  Trying to convince the fools this addiction is a disease, so you can stack the benjamins and the insurance companies pay. I’m on the scene major and front row, VIP in the dirt you want to forget about. I don’t think addiction is a disease. 

This is a Cash Game on the street feeding cheese in Rat Park, I’m not the playa, I in the game, and they always come back. Just like the big insurance companies depend on. I learned the trade from them. Land of the free but mandatory insurance? Sounds like Hitler to me.

Dam I’m just a country boy from Kentucky how I ended up here I’m not sure. Watch my favored song and learn about me….. This song says it all. I can’t believe I got shot over this.
I earned my right (payed in blood) for my opinion so take a second of your day is all I ask. I paid for your freedom the hard way… please give me a second of your time and hear my perspective.

I didn’t screw up all these people lives I just help them forget. I mean down here in the hood we don’t have any options no jobs, no future. Hopelessness rules the day. Its pure pain not to be able to provide for the kids. It eats at you and messes with your head in a way I can’t explain. .

Our politicians packed our jobs and companies up and sent them to China. All that’s left is a sea of despair. Sold us out. We don’t make nothing in this country anymore  Either sling crack rock or become a basketball star and we all know that white boys can’t jump. The government did teach me how to dodge bullets until one day, but that’s yet another story..I’ll save for later. Got screwed again.

You never feel alone for a friend with a fix is never one to be missed. I question my perspective on the crack candy I sell.

Am I the one to blame or did these people seek to kill their pain? You see I’m not evil I’m just trying to eat and make a living man. I don’t have any choice. Who’s going to hire me with a possession charge?  I don’t seem to have any options. Can’t believe I’m still alive. 

It’s like this dude, after corporate Congress and all of our fine outstanding politicians finishes screwing the citizens out of everything they own, they show up on my doorstep hurting.

When your hungry the first thing to go is your morals. Your going to eat dude. I’m trapped in this mess with the rest of them. Hell I didn’t invent this shit, the big drug companies did. They were hired by the government I understand for war many years ago. Where do you think these drugs originated from in the 1st place? R&D on your kids returning from Nam. That’s where. Your flesh and blood.

Donald Trump for President - No More Mr Nice Guy..

Donald Trump for President – No More Mr Nice Guy..

Crack is the drug of choice for me because it helps me forget my miserable life and the pain that I live in as I watch my mother go out the door with the new John.

Something happened to my head in Nam when I caught my first bullet after verifying the body count. They say I got a duel case of PTSD and some other thing? Don’t really understand it. 

I don’t know how I caught it because always wore a rubber with the gook chicks, think it had something to do with counting the pile of dead bodies every day and then come across one of my friends. That was the day it happened.

Yea…That bent my head for good. Does anybody even remember what that shit was all about? I know for one thing for sure… I haven’t a clue anymore. (Still Frying My Brain) I hear we won? What a joke. We haven’t won anything I can remember. Liers.. 

Crack cocaine rocks packaged for sale

Crack cocaine rocks packaged for sale

It is like they smell it, they become super dogs. Once they gets a taste they have a sixth sense for it.Reminds me of the horror show. The walking dead. But, they are not addicted because I supply this stuff.

Their own demons eat them alive and I just happen to have a remedy for the pain and sorrow created by the fine mess of our leadership of this country. I understand, in the same boat myself. 

The question is, if this is a learned behavior or a real disease? How can we make it public that it can be unlearned. Your drop science says to be learned is to repeat actions that leads to changes based on practice or experience. I’m pretty sure its not a disease. I wasn’t board a crack head. I was at one time a full functioning human.

Most of the crack addicts I know were not born a crack head. When they got hurt enough they started looking for relief. If not crack, then something else. Many times they just stop when the pain of being a crackhead becomes too much. The experts say this is rock bottom. It’s about pain and social disfunction I say. If its a disease its a self inflected one. 

I wake up, throw on the clothes on my floor from the night before, look in the mirror and question if  this games gonna kill me. I personally don’t know any old crack dealers. Where do they go? I roll picking up my supply for the week, cheapest way is to get a kilo and cook it up and cut it with a little bit of shit. I can’t raise the price after the fools are addicted like the legal drug companies do so I have to cut it to get my margins up. A little bit about that later.

Donald Trump for President - No More Mr Nice Guy..

Donald Trump for President – No More Mr Nice Guy – Endorsement by the boys in the hood & The United Federation of Crack Dealers of America 🙂 Now that’s funny.

I converse with my ace, he is like family to me. Running through my head is selling what I am given and what bitch is going to hang with me for the day. I enjoy the company, talking and negotiating. But it isn’t much of a life. At least I can keep a roof over my head and have learned to appreciate a big Mac and that’s on a good day dog. And of course the system wants to paint a big red X on my back lock me up. I don’t think I’ll ever happen.

Spitting with my fellow crackheads, I hear all their stories.  How messed up their lives have been since they were shorties. They lived in the fallen areas of society forgotten by the government with drug attics, alcoholics, and been abused in ways yall never understand after the corporations and politicians finished harvesting for a profit. They are doing the same thing to the land too. Do you know who OWNS the gran canyon? Not americans… Dhaaa think about that. They done pawned that to. Google it.

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What disease is this? Self inflicted? I think not. Addiction is?  These repeated actions of getting screwed lead people to becoming addicted seeking no more pain because they have a problem bigger than them.

They were skooled to become an addict by the great leadership of this country.selling off our livelihood. Just where would I be able to get a job anyway? The NSA (maybe). Well nope not happening in this country anymore. Now they want to lock me up because I need to eat. They sold my job so now I’m screwed.

Dog I’m telling you we’ve ALL been screwed this country is going down the toilet. So if you despise me just remember one day in the near future you’ll probably be really happy to see me too. Just remember big brother is watching you dog.Soon you’ll have a big red x on your back. Smart phones they say.

Testing-Prisoner-in-Cell

The played hoes lay half-dressed on the couch enjoying their easy living and free fix. I spit at them for a minute to see if I wanna hit it. Gotta be careful cause the money brings bitches and the bitches bring lies. I can’t get caught between the bitches, my steel, and my chips. There’s a big idea of respect coming into houses like these. What is in here is theirs, unless you pay the right price. That goes for the woman too.

Italy-Hookers-Drugs

I got busta, hoes, and the 50 watchin. I pack steel and roll deep. I never know if I will get bum rushed, walkin out of those doors and have a piece held to my chest, or a knife to my throat. Is it the smack, or the stacks of cash?  Nobody cares unless you be pretty, or dying, never about the process in between which is where I see myself as I walk out of this dope house once again. I’ll be back, hopefully. I know that one day soon I probably won’t.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what causes addiction. You can learn a lot from a crack head and let me tell you i’m an expert. I think they have it all wrong. These guys nailed it. Watch the clip below

Click below you can learn a lot from a dummy.. Especially a crack head. Below is the results of the problem. Take the the time to understand where these people are coming from.

No more of this crap

Its because of guys like this your children have a better chance of an overdose than getting in an auto accident. Read more

Are you a victim of the WAR on drugs? Read More 

The plan to destroy America Read More

US banks are laundering drug money for these same cartels Read More

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Life’s Hard Knocks Fog Lizard Minds Story 3 of 4 of the Lizard Tales Series

StopFryingYourBrain.com becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more.

Lizard Stories:

Lizard Stories: (very popular and well read internationally)

Article: 1  | Article 2 | Article 3  | Article 4

 

Even though my son was raised in another country, I taught him to love our homeland, the U.S.A…  Even though we lived in poverty with only 2 beds and cardboard boxes for night stands, I instilled American patriotism in him.  No one outside our home knew of our lack except the 12 and 13 year old farm girls hired by my husband # 3.  It wasn’t hubby #3’s rage attacks that pushed these girl out the door almost as unexpectedly as when they had been dropped off by one of hubby #3’s seven private chaffers.  These girls were used to macho rage on their ranches and farmlands.

Their peasant families had sacrificed them to come to the scary big city, so they could eat well and learn some American housekeeping and American cooking talents. That way the girls would have good resumes as far as house servant credentials are concerned.  I really tried to feed my baby and these helpers first.  What was left, was for me.  Hubby #3 ate at fine restaurants and perhaps in one of his other homes with another of his wives and lovers.

Unfortunately the young farm girls’ pallets were not satisfied by being rationed and consuming the cheap animal parts that my son and I ate.

You know how there are 101 ways to cook ground meat or shrimp or even chicken?  I bet I know 101 ways to cook chicken necks, chicken claws and chicken liver; cow guts, cow udder, and cow brains; hog cheeks, hog eyes, hog toes!  We survived and did it with organic fresh spice flavors, singing: “Jesus Loves Me”, Bible stories, and the daily pledge of the allegiance. Hence, I was not surprised my son joined the U.S. Navy.

Adam was on his second tour in the Navy, when he called and reported that his base housing felt like it was floating back and forth inside a bowl of Jell-O.   That was during the big earthquake in Tokyo!

His first year in the Navy I had escaped to America for my life.  He and I never had an apartment or house in the States.  But my loving husband #5 (we have skipped hubby #4 for now) worked night and day with only 3 days off that year Adam was coming home from active duty.  Hubby #5 was working to pay for an extra bedroom and on suite to be built for his blended family son. Good thing I was well versed in poor man’s cooking.  It was a very hard year money wise.  We didn’t mind a bit.  God had finally given us my 30 year dream of: Mama bear, Papa bear, Baby bear!  Our son was coming home! We tied yellow ribbons on the corner street sign, on the mailbox and on the carport.

Adam is no longer my son.  Adam is our son.  One day Adam came home from his civilian job with a new family member.  It was Hercules.  Hercules was an expensive cricket and lettuce eating, Australian lizard.

Gecko3 being petted

Oh man, how Hercules beamed up to ‘lizard heaven’ each time I stroked his little head!

He grew at a rapid pace. Hercules used to ‘play-like’ nibble at my fingers.  Soon his jaws gained cricket protein power and his nibbles smarted. One of the head stroking sessions Hercules bit way too hard.  I yanked back my hand and to Hercules’, Adam’s and my surprise; the lizard did a double back flip and landed head first on the bedroom floor. Ouch!

Hercules was stunned.  Our eyes were popped out as we waited to see if he would regain his senses.  He began to move and looked O.K.  But nope!  He never regained his senses.

Gecko bump on head

He had some good days, but most of the time his personality oozed fear, confusion, depression.  He never again liked touchy-touchy.  He trusted not and he hissed.  He flat refused to be loved! (I guess I just mentioned hubby #4)

Just like Hercules, there are so many people that will not let themselves be loved.  They suffer fear, confusion, and depression.  Because like Hercules, they are little lizards that have been knocked in the head before birth, after birth, physically or emotionally, or sometimes religiously. They have become as fragile as crystal goblets.  But the goblet can only contain so much rejection and condemnation.  After which, they begin to condemn themselves.  This is when lizards curl their tail between their legs under their tummy.

Lizard tail between legs jpg

They lower their roster, no longer feeling highly of themselves.  As they trough the rocky roads of normal life, the tale tips get scratches and stumped over and over on the stones along the way.

The tail inflames from the soreness of it all.  One side of the tail bears pain.  The other side seeks numbness.  The lizards are screaming: “I need drug & alcohol relief!”

That description is the classic lizard who needs Dual Recovery.  If you know a lovely lizard with emotional shortcomings and substance abuse habits, please read on.

Solution is real!  Solution is found at Dual Recovery Anonymous.  It is known as DRA.  They are 12 Step meetings.   They are chaired by peer support.  Peer Support means folks who have been there and already done that, so they get it.

I, too, needed this.  My mind had shut my body down unsuspectingly on 2 different occasions, while living in Mexico married to hubby #4.  My tail was so damaged and inflamed.  It was as if I had two tails glued together.  My tail had doubled in size.

The left section had some good days, but most of the time it oozed fear, confusion, depression.  The right side of my double tail, was trying to numb the left side’s discomfort by screaming for more stress pills and pain relief pills.  Or, if meds were not available the scream was for alcohol at any lever: starting with (a) laced coffee latte to (b) social classy martinis held with curled pinky finger to finally (c) the sugar cane moonshine that the town bums around the Mexican produce market drank as they passed out on the sidewalks.

I had fallen on my head one too many times. Then, I got into recovery and I learned the process.

I know the whispers, the voices and the internal screams. 

One voice tempts: “One little drink or pill won’t hurt.  You have been so good the last days.  Come on, you deserve a relief.  I will be O.K.”

The other lying voice tells us: “You don’t need today’s medication.  It’s all good.  You have been good a whole week.  What do they know?  You know better.  Don’t have your medication this one time.”

(Being professionally monitored as one is weaning off of a certain mediation is one thing. Drastically changing the body’s intake of a mediation all at once can cause havoc and relapse big time.  The thing about relapses is that one never can be sure in what state they will return from a relapse or if they will return all at. It is playing Russian roulette.)

In DRA, Dual Recovery Anonymous, our double wide inflamed tails do get healed.  We deal with life on life’s terms.  We learn to cultivate the 3rd voice.  This 3rd voice was chattered over before and we could not hear it.  This third voice warns us, alerts us, loves us. This third voice teaches us how to carry and use a light weight recovery tool box.  We stand upright. And….get this:

Lizard story part1.4 JPG

We laugh, live clean and sober, manage our medication correctly, keep our therapy appointments, and our healthy tails glow as we pamper and coach new comers through the 12 Steps of Dual Recovery into a good life.  We are pleasing ourselves, our recovery community, and our Higher Power (as we have come to understand Him.)

Cool stuff. Important. This is all important.  Oh!  Have you ever stopped to think about the baby lizards caught in the middle?  We can get clean, sober, and sane.  Yet, what happens to the baby lizards?  Be sure to check out the next Lizard Tail Tale story.  See Ya then!

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bsartain

SFYB Staff Writer

Growing up in an alcoholic home with domestic violence.

6360023579208947351796955078_odyssey

 

My early twenties were rough. It felt like life was hitting me in the face non-stop. I couldn’t catch a break. My childhood had been traumatic and it seemed that my life was going to be the same. I wondered if I were a victim of circumstance. Growing up in an alcoholic home with domestic violence made for an unstable environment. Just as my external world felt shaky, so did my internal reality.

ibogaine

Part of my experience with mental health and substance use was withdrawing. It felt safer to go inward. However, even my inner world became chaotic and scary. I learned I couldn’t run from my perspective. Misinterpretations from childhood turned into my beliefs about myself, others and the world. They weren’t positive beliefs, and in turn, I started to manifest an inner and outer world of suffering.

poster-past-webs

I felt owned by my past. It eluded me. It followed me everywhere. I needed some separation from myself to get leverage on my perspective. It became clear that life would continue to be much of the same if I didn’t change something. I started with dropping the substance use in service to dealing with my mind. The substances stood in the way of me getting to the irrational beliefs that had become my identity.

choices

I remember learning about “choice point.” It started in therapy but then came fully present in my awareness when I learned about Viktor Frankl and his book, “A Man’s Search for Meaning.” The book chronicled his experience in a concentration camp. The main principle states that all can be taken from someone but his/her right to choose their own attitude in a circumstance. This spoke to me. I wasn’t in a concentration camp, but I had lived in a very toxic environment for many years. There is no doubt that my home life had effected my mental health.

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I wanted to be free and learning that I had a choice in my perspective created a gap that assisted me in taking responsibility for myself. I was moving into adulthood and wanted to own my own experience. I have since gained awareness through observation, meditation and yoga. I’m now able to recognize choice point in all situations. In fact, I made a decision about the ultimate choice point; I have chosen to live life to my fullest. My mindset is now one of opportunity, positivity and joy.

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Laura Stamps

SFYB Staff Editor

What the Hell is Dual Diagnosis Anyway?

By: Laura Stamps

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Sounds complicated, I know. But not really. Dual diagnosis simply means substance addiction isn’t your only problem. You also have a mental disorder like depression, anxiety, paranoia, bipolar, etc. Two separate disorders are present in a dual diagnosis situation, and they’re feeding each other, so both must be addressed.

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The term “dual diagnosis” was introduced in the 1990s, but the treatment hasn’t always been effective. Why? Because back then, when both disorders were diagnosed, they were treated separately. Usually, the addiction received the primary care, and the mental disorder was left untreated.

Not a winning strategy. When only one disorder is treated, relapse tends to occur. When both are treated together, recovery from addiction is much more successful.

“Dual diagnosis is the key to true recovery because addiction, in its essence, has nothing to do with addiction!” Morteza Khaleghi, Ph.D. states in Psychology Today. “Addiction has to do with trauma, anxiety, depression, and biochemical imbalances and the addict’s attempt to regulate and relieve his or her own level of pain. Dual diagnosis deals with these so that the patient can have a full and lasting recovery.”

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You can see the dilemma. If only your addiction is treated and the mental disorder (like depression) is not, you’re right back where you started. You’re in that all too familiar place where you’re too depressed to get out of bed, too depressed to care about your 12-step recovery, and searching desperately for anything to relieve your mental anguish. That’s how you became an alcoholic or a drug addict in the first place. Now recovery has tossed you back to square one. Not where you want to be. So it’s no surprise relapse is just around the corner.

Believe it or not, dual diagnosis is typical for most addicts. Yet the mental disorder often remains untreated. Thus, the high level of relapse for many treatment programs. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only a small percentage of the millions of people in this country diagnosed with dual disorders received treatment for both. Until recently, this has been the standard practice.

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If dual diagnosis is so common among addicts, how does it happen? Two ways. In some cases, the pain of the mental disorder causes you to seek relief through chemical substances. Self-medication often leads to addiction. In other cases, the addiction creates a mental disorder when the overload of chemical substances in your body rewires your brain.

Let’s say you began with a mental disorder that led to substance abuse. Where did the mental disorder come from? Some mental disorders are caused by genetics and brain chemistry. But most are caused by stress. Amazing, isn’t it? And people with mental disorders are more likely to have substance abuse issues.

Well, now we know.

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“Approximately eleven million people in North America have a substance abuse disorder and at least one other mental health disorder,” Mark McGovern, Ph.D. writes in the Co-occurring Addiction and Mental Health Disorders handbook from Hazelton. “Those who are struggling with a combination of these disorders may be faced with a powerful recipe for destruction, especially self-destruction. The good news is that there is help.”

And there is. Most rehabs now recognize the importance of treating both disorders at the same time. Treatment begins with an assessment at a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. Then, when you enter a rehab, a team of healthcare professionals will work together to coordinate the treatment for both disorders. Medication may be prescribed, since the recovering addict’s sober thoughts reflect the mental disorder.

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So don’t worry if you receive a dual diagnosis. It’s more common than you think. Just be sure to find a rehab that treats both disorders. This way your chance for recovery from substance abuse will skyrocket. Very good news indeed!

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