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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

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The day I stepped off the plane in San Diego was like arriving on a distant planet, some space explorer weary of his surroundings and incredibly fearful of what dangers lie ahead. Not having more than a couple of days past since my father came home and told us to pack our clothes, I was now in California.
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This place I knew about from the movies and as big bad of a world that surrounded me in New York City was, I admit to being relatively sheltered. The enormous size of my family and tightly knit bond between us kept my view during childhood limited to those within it, good solid Irish-American Catholics in fear of God. Our community in the Far Rockaways was one of unlocked doors and open arms billowing with pride and a real sense of who we were. The culture transplanted from Ireland and visible at every turn gave us a real sense of that which brought us so close to one another, something that lacked greatly in my view of this new home I had found.

The baby weight hadn’t quite burned when I started stacking pre-puberty calories and I cannot deny having been a chubby kid upon arrival. The NYC accent shone through making me sound different and the style I brought with me didn’t quite fit in either, I was a beacon for attention and the sharks quickly began to sense blood in the water. On the flight, my mother sparked a conversation with another woman on the plane who spoke of the Poway Unified School District as being one of the best in the state if not nation. Concerned greatly with giving us the best they could possibly provide and having worked in education administration since becoming a mother that district was destined to be our home. What a difference between Rancho Bernardo and Queens, New York meant to me was a cultural shock that left me searching for an identity and insecure about who I was.

Any elementary school in the world will have its share of teasing and bullying regardless of how privileged or poverty stricken the area might be and my weight, accent and style made me prime candidate.

What my would-be harassers didn’t count on was the immense training in physical violence a tight knit family with many older male cousins will teach a young man and where I came from all but promoted the school yard fisticuffs. The teasing balled my fists and their challenge was accepted quickly as this was something I was familiar with; the result of an actual fight was something they were not. In the wake of such interactions I began to cultivate a bit of a reputation because to my surprise, having been beat up by a dozen or so older cousins regularly and returning such training to my younger kin left me with some rare skill sets in this part of the world. In short, I found out I could fight and so did they, both my peers and the staff of that school drawing unintentional negative attention.

Negative as it might have been it was attention no less and another by-product of the family had grown up to this point with was a lack thereof, not to any extent of neglect but naturally so given our staggering numbers.

The abilities imparted upon me by the attacks I had received and delivered among the boys of my family were now my greatest asset, quashing the teasing and giving me somewhat popularity. I cultivated this bad boy reputation from there and my attitude and appearance began to custom fit the persona. I was popular and liked or disliked that must have been important to me, I know it fed my budding ego and some false pride began to seep in. The “Real Me” would have to wait and remain an inner monologue as I exerted this tough guy image, who I was became far less important and over time would recess further into the obscurity of my mind.

The years following my arrival in the alien environment of Southern California saw my bright smile transform into a scowl, my fear of God dissipated and eventually disappeared, the intelligence I was blessed with no longer served me.

The rough and unapproachable façade I adorned would keep me safe and put those I encountered at arm’s length, the image I was representing would begin to take hold and my actions to support and reinforce it would lead down a dark road. In the beginning, it was simply acting out whenever I felt any type of way and regardless of the consequences I would feel better but soon I found alternative means of escaping my feelings with far more rapid results. The weekends were drinking, fighting, and destroying property, lying to my parents, and staying out all hours until those weekends spread into the week. This may sound typical of the late teenage or college years many experience yet I was barely in middle school yet and not even in my teenage years.


The onslaught of puberty matched with the excessive drinking and taking of whatever, I would raid from the medicine cabinet of friend’s parent’s bathrooms, smoke pot and do anything else that came along.

This such debauchery dulled my senses and freed me from inhibition dropping my guard against the drug that soon took my full attention. Speed came first from one such medicine cabinet, Adderall prescribed to a friend’s younger brother and a full bottle no less. Myself and the co-conspirator I unwittingly dragged along discovered this gem of pharmaceutical fun after breaking into the house of someone we knew to be away on an extended vacation the summer before entering my final year as a middle schooler.

At the ripe old age of 12 I wasn’t in the least bit fearful of our burglary bringing any trouble my way, after all it was trouble that freed me from having to feel like myself at first. In my mind who I was becoming was great and in retrospect probably kept me from feeling the depression and awkwardness of those years which may have killed me.

Already buzzed from the booze we pilfered out of the stocked bar in this house I didn’t even pause a moment to consider popping the top off the prescription and splitting up the spoils with my accomplice. 30 little pink pills sat in my palm for less time than it would take to count as I threw them in my mouth giggling as I washed them down with another swig of some liquor and prompted the kid I dragged along to follow. The fear in his eyes was exciting for me and I knew he would join me as his need for acceptance ran far deeper than mine, we didn’t know what we were doing and who really does at that age. The difference is we probably had better sense of who we were than most, mainly we knew we didn’t want to be whoever that person inside us appeared as and certainly didn’t want to feel how that felt.

BOOM!!! I was found finally and at long last as the intense stimulation from this miracle of modern science began to course my veins, I was alive and cared not that the effects of the alcohol were washed away.

This felt amazing and I wanted no interruption to distract me from its powers, I could do or be anything or anyone, my senses enhanced and fear vanished. This feeling was shared by my friend who suddenly went from timid and nervous to pronouncing himself a God and storming through the house smashing things at will. Laughing and assisting in this gratuitous vandalism and expression of new found power we both seemed to now have the ultimate solution to becoming the people we had been pretending to be. This show needed to be taken on the road as the confines of this house became too small for the aspirations of debauchery expanded within and without hesitation we abandoned this place and paraded through the neighborhood knocking over and kicking through anything in our path.

Without even noticing the entire night had gone past and here we were still invigorated with the spirit of an invading force the could not be stopped. “This stuff is amazing, maybe we should be on it!” stated my future co-defendant and my only response was “Yeah, I don’t think you’re supposed to take 30 at a time…” We laughed and continued.

The only thing I was concerned with was getting more of my new found favorite form of escaping into this amazing place of absolute freedom. What would I have to present as symptoms to my parents, teachers, or doctors to keep this in steady supply was my dominating thoughts as it slowly trickled from my system. Even then I knew that half of the month long supply I had taken was barely enough to last a few days before the yearning for more crept in and I wanted to feel this way all the time… The Hunt was ON!

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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According to Bright Futures Blog:

Alprazolam, marketed under the brand name Xanax, is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Similar to the effects of alcohol, alprazolam works by depressing brain functions. Abuse of this drug can be dangerous and can lead quickly to an all-consuming addiction to the substance.

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Xanax addiction is hard to overcome stay away at all costs

I was about 13 or 14 when I first took Xanax or alprazolam (the generic version). It wasn’t prescribed for me, but I was an extremely overreactive kid. I would throw fits that left holes in walls and doors knocked off hinges. I was a fully functional Asperger’s syndrome having maniac. My mother didn’t know what to do with me, so she used to give me .2 mgs of Xanax to get me to calm down.

Fast Forward to adulthood…

After many years of unruly behavior, I found myself a full-fledged addict. I was 21 and heavily addicted to narcotic pain killers to the point where they didn’t get me high enough so I needed to supplement the narcotic painkillers with Xanax to get a high. It worked great most of the day I’d spend on the couch nodding in and out of consciousness and drooling on myself. Great way to live ay? Yeah right?

What was it like to withdrawal from benzodiazepine’s?

Most treatment centers won’t take you if you’re on benzodiazepine’s because you are at high risk of seizure and they can’t do anything for it. The only way to come off is to slowly taper off the drug. However, when I got clean in 2009 I was combating a 50 pill a day (Roxicodone) habit and a daily intake of 4 mgs of Xanax a day. To give you an idea that is two Xanax bars a day.

What are the withdrawal symptoms like to deal with?

Once I had come to Florida for treatment it took me about 4-6 months to fully withdrawal from the Xanax and Roxicodone. Some of the symptoms from the withdrawal were watery eyes, muscle aches, restlessness and other symptoms.

I can tell you this, I would never in my life want to be addicted to Benzo’s again ever…

The worst is the first few weeks and then it gets bearable, but also keep in mind I didn’t taper off. I just discontinued use and detoxed cold turkey.

If I were to suggest anything DO NOT take the stuff unless medically necessary because the detox is horrible.

God Bless

 

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Heroin Addiction and Treatment

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Heroin is a highly addictive drug produced by morphine that is obtained from the opium poppy. Opiates and Heroin is one of the most severe substances abused in the whole world. In addition to health conditions caused by the drug itself, there are numerous of other risks connected with heroin addiction which is not much of an issue with other drugs. Heroin is used in a variety of ways, determined by user preference plus the purity of the drug.

 

Heroin can be injected right into a muscle, mixed in a marijuana joint or regular cigarette, injected into a vein, smoked in the water pipe or standard pipe,  inhaled as smoke by using a straw, or snorted as powder through the nose.

 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2002 and 2013, the speed of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled in the Heroin Addiction And TreatmentUSA, and  8,200 people died in 2013.  The CDC cites heroin as one “illegal, highly addictive opioid drug.” Its overdose may result in slow and shallow breathing, coma or death.

It is a common practice with folks to use heroin along with drugs or alcohol. This is often a dangerous proposition since it increases the probability of an overdose manifold. Usually, heroin is injected, but people also smoke or snort it on occasion.

Individuals who inject heroin are at risk of severe, long-term viral infections WHICH includes HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B, and also bacterial infections in the skin, bloodstream, and heart.

Not only in renowned rehabs just like the drug rehab centers, but heroin addicts undoubtedly are a regular feature among patients in hospitals even in a remote borough. Heroin use has skyrocketed in rural parts of the United States in the past years, triggered due to the widespread availability of inexpensive forms of the drug — in many cases cheaper than black-market prescription painkillers.

Who is at risk?

Heroin abuse has reached a dismal level which necessitates drastic measures to counter the harmful effects. The CDC identifies the following at a greater risk of getting addicted to  heroin:

  • Individuals who are dependent on cocaine
  • Persons who are addicted to prescription opioid painkillers
  • Individuals who are not insured or opted in for Medicaid
  • Non-Hispanic whites
  • Male and female from 18-25 years old
  • Individuals who are dependent on marijuana and alcohol
  • People living in a vast metropolitan area

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Heroin addiction treatment centers put up a unique plan for every heroin addict based on the previous discussion with the addicts, members of the family and addiction level of the person involved.  These centers provide residential and outpatient care on the addicts. The treatment centers provide a high amount of facilities and medication therapy programs for the addicts. These specialized facilities help heroin addicts to encounter a relaxed atmosphere knowing that it leads to personal reflection and healing for adults and young addicts.

Heroin use is directly related to HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, together with the problem of the heart and brain. To solve this problem, heroin drug rehabs are the most effective options for complete drug treatment.  Heroin rehabs design various types of programs for short term and long term care.  Inpatient drug treatment facilities are one of the best choices available for people seeking to recover from drug addiction.

Some drug addicts are managed by experienced drug treatment specialists who end up an accomplishing heroin recovery case. These drug rehab centers have a specialized team of professionals for every result oriented drug rehabilitation program, and experts from the industry provide many types of these programs. The staff of these drug rehabs is skilled with numerous experience in working with many drug addicts.

The treatment therapy is depending upon the average person addiction level. Most of the following methods are best drug recovery treatments that will help heroin addicts get over addictions

Detoxification

It withdraws the symptoms of heroin and gives a drug-free life to the addicts. It can be a long-term treatment that uses residential and outpatient treatment programs. The amount of this treatment is at least three to six months. During the treatment, drug rehabs use medications as part of the treatment.

Methadone programs

It’s is a secure and efficient program to treat addicted peoples before the last thirty years. The medication therapy is used in this program for 24 to 36 hours. Patients can come out of their mental and emotional reactions. Methadone eliminates the craving that affects on our relapse. Methadone dosages should be carefully monitored in patients who’re taking antiviral therapy for HIV infection.

Behavioral therapies

These combine residential and outpatient approaches. An important task would be to match the most effective treatment method to meet the particular needs of the addict. Cognitive-behavioral approach is built to modify the patient’s thinking and expectations.

LAAM and other medications

LAAM is like methadone used to take care of the heroin addiction. Methadone prevents the effects of heroin as much as seventy-two hours with little side effects. Its long duration of action permits dosing three times weekly. Another medication to take care of heroin addiction is Buprenorphine. It produces a lower level physical reliance.

Citations: Bright Futures – Heroin Addiction and Treatment

Lloyd Sokolow

SFYB Facility Consultant Dr. Lloyd Sokolow Author 

Kratom Recovery Solution Leads Back to Addiction

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meetingWe recently sat down addiction treatment expert Dr. Lloyd Sokolow J.D.  President of Addiction Treatment Design, LLC. to discuss kratom and its potential abuse potential, especially for recovering substance-dependent persons.
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What is kratom?

Per the FDA, it is a dietary supplement a category that is not regulated by the FDA. However, import has been banned since 2014.

Why do recovering addicts take kratom?

It is helpful in reducing pain, relaxing you and reducing withdrawal symptoms all associated with cessation of intake of drugs, especially opiates. However, since it has the effects of an opiate it can easily lead to relapse.

Why, as a an addiction treatment professional, should I care about kratom?

It’s use is becoming more widespread among users, it’s easily available, including at convenience stores and gas stores, it’s used in soft drinks and teas and served at restaurants and bars; Kratom bars are now springing up around South Florida. Multiple relapses have occurred in individual using kratom. It’s also an ingredient in the canned drink, Kava.

What are its effects on users?

There’s the problem.  It has relaxing and painkilling effects, which reduce the unpleasant side effects of withdrawal.  More recently, there have been reported incidents of individuals becoming addicted to kratom with spending up to $60 a day on Kratom drinks as reported by the New York Times in a report published on January 2, 2015.

Its use is becoming more common in in South Florida and because it is inexpensive and easily obtained, throughout the rest of the country.  It may exacerbate depression and other mental health issues. It maybe associated with seizures. There has been one incident in South Florida where a parent has attributed the suicide of her 20 year-old son to Kratom.

Is there a standard protocol for dealing with Kratom addiction?

No there is not. However, treatment for opiate addiction with kratom abuser shows promise

Recovering opiate addicts are particularly kratom addiction.  Therefore, education on the substance for your staff and patient is critical.

The Broward County Medical Association has recommended be categorized as an illegal controlled substance.

Where can I get additional information on kratom?

Ask me a question by clicking on the picture below

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Robert HensleeTranscending Addiction and Redefining Recovery…THE PHOENIX MULTISPORT STORY

Transcending Addiction and Redefining Recovery

THE PHOENIX MULTISPORT STORY

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Why are some able to transcend their addiction while others are not? What do people really need to escape the shame of their addiction and achieve sustained recovery? Jacki’s talk focuses on answering these questions and demonstrates how resilience of the human spirit intersects with social contextual factors to set the stage for those struggling with addiction to choose a pathway to health.

 


Published with permission SFYB is a Tedx publishing partner

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Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong

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This video is adapted from Johann Hari’s New York Times best-selling book ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.’

Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong

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Substance Abuse on the Rise Among Elderly

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Other relevant articles you may be interested in;

1) Opiate Dependence among the Elderly
2) Elderly Addicted to Opiates
3) 5 Signs of Addiction for Seniors
4) Things Are Looking up for Elderly Drug Users
5) Substance Abuse on the Rise Among Elderly

Though the substance abuse epidemic is finally beginning to garner the attention it deserves from the media and political powers, it is a complex issue affecting the health, safety, and livelihoods of citizens across the country. Flakka and Molly continue to ravish the south, methamphetamine continues its stronghold on the midwest, and the entire country continues to suffer under the weight of cocaine and heroin abuse.

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Medical and law enforcement authorities work feverishly around the clock in an attempt to assuage the predicament while legislators fight to find a solution that brings aid for those in need instead of ineffective punishment. Yet, even with the attention and manpower applied to this most daunting adversary, somehow one growing group of people affected by addiction and substance abuse is still overlooked.

The demographic of people suffering from substance abuse that is largely overlooked is the elderly.


The most recent data provided by the
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that about 40 percent of people above the age of 65 drink alcohol, which is more damaging to the body as one ages. It leads to an array of health issues including organ failure and death, especially in prolonged drinkers.

In older adults with pre-existing health conditions, alcohol consumption and abuse complicates their health further. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and liver problems are among the conditions worsened by alcohol consumption. Even in a healthy person over the age of 65 more than three alcoholic drinks in a day or more than seven in a week is not recommended. 

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Prescription pain medication abuse is also a growing concern in the older community. Some sources contribute the problem to more elderly people being prescribed multiple medications and for extended periods of time which can allot for addiction to form. Issues with memory can also account for misuse of prescription medication, though most older adults suffering from substance abuse disorders are conscious of their misuse.

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Unfortunately the problem is often passed off as just a reality of being older. Adult children do not recognize the symptoms of addiction due to infrequent interactions with their parents or, worse yet, excuse it as just a ‘funny quirk,’ not realizing just how serious the issue can become. Just as with alcohol, misuse of medications has a more profound effect on older victims.

The substance abuse problem among the elderly goes beyond misuse due to overprescribing: studies show that ‘Baby Boomers’ from the era of free love and widespread illegal drug experimentation are more likely to use illicit substances than previous generations.

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As reported by the New York Times, illicit substance abuse among people in their 50s more than doubled between 2002 and 2011. Along with alcohol and prescription opiates, the elderly most commonly abused cocaine and marijuana. With the elderly population slated to increase to 73 million by 2030 and few rehabilitation facilities offering age-specific treatment, the issue of substance abuse among the elderly is only getting worse.

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Drug Addictions Alternatives That Work

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Are we using the prison systems in America to treat mental illness? Sure looks that way to the citizens. Thoughts? Do you have any suggestions what could be done differently?

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Drug and Alcohol Mobile Apps…

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US Government Turning Veterans Into Drug Addicts

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  • Great FB Groups @ Pages For Addiction I’ve been working with the best support people/groups in the addiction vertical on Facebook for a number of years now. All the groups (below) are some of the...
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  • Lost In Limbo? Hey if you need a friend and some help reach out to me Robert @ 772.206.6676 If you’re a service provider and wish to become a member of our network call John...
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  • Faith in Recovery  Click image below to visit our FB page
  • Faith in recovery USA Connections Welcome to United Churches Against Addiction. We consist of many subchapters. Currently we have two active subchapters, Faith in Recovery UK, Faith In Recovery USA. This is the USA subchapter....
  • Faith in recovery UK Connections Welcome to United Churches Against Addiction is a one stop shop providing support for people struggling with addictions by connecting them with local churches and quality specialised groups and centres suited...
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