Posts Tagged ‘addiction intervention’
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
It may be no biggie when the rich and famous call themselves “shopping addicts,” as Hilary Duff “jokingly” claims in this month’s issue of the shopping magazine Lucky (reported by MTV),
but what happens when the silliness of Duff’s apparently controlled addiction turns into something much more detrimental, something like Michael Jackson’s? He never learned to address his shopping habits (and apparent addiction), leaving him indefinitely in debt and struggling. Or worse, what happens when you’re not a celebrity at all, and that itching to spend a little burns more than just a mere hole in your pocket?
Addictions aren’t just for substances. Since it is a brain disease, someone prone to addiction can latch onto plenty of different venues of compulsion. As such, problems like compulsive shopping can be overlooked, seen as any number of less problematic things than what it truly is.
We don’t hear a whole lot about shopping addiction. The media primarily focuses on the biggies of drugs and alcohol, occasionally venturing deeper into things like gambling or sex addiction according to whichever celeb has openly become afflicted. I recall a couple years back to one of MTV’s “True Life” specials (click here to watch) that did highlight the problems of shopping addiction (very well, I might add) and I think programs like that could really do a lot to open up this problem to a wider audience. Shows like this help people unknowingly slipping down that path receive help, initiate intervention and begin regaining control over both finances and life.
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Thought we’d let this one slip by? Not a chance. With all the allocated months out there for racial and cultural understanding, eco-samaritans and diseases without cures, it’s easy to miss April’s significance in the fight against alcohol addiction.
Though this month’s marker hasn’t been particularly publicized, it’s a step forward in not only awareness, but in prevention. We’re all for getting people to look around, look at themselves and look at potentially hazardous habits that can spiral into something much more, and recognize Alcoholism as a disease.
In the United States, an estimated 15.1 million people suffer with Alcoholism; of these, an estimated 4.6 are women. Annually, an average of 100,000 people die from alcohol-related fatalities, be they from deteriorated health or alcohol-induced action or vulnerabilities. Lastly, but of special importance, the US annually spends $185 billion dollars on alcoholism-related problems.
This disease is 100 percent curable, but the general populace hasn’t yet realized what it takes to make it happen. Alcoholism itself is not something to be ashamed of; continuing to needlessly suffer without treatment is.
April should seek to promote better treatment, and, like we have done through AIDS Awareness, Alcohol Awareness should seek to end the stigma attached to this disease and accentuate the need for better treatment and continuing care.
If you think your loved one may be an alcoholic, aid him or her in receiving help through intervention. During this process you and the rest of those who care will understand the disease, how to overcome its effects on your lives and how to help your loved one heal and grow. This process continues into the individual’s treatment, which we can help you select, and even after he or she completes the program.
If you yourself have a problem with alcohol and are unsure of where to turn, our trained clinicians can listen to your story, point you in the right direction, lead you to the correct treatment facility, work with you, your family and your budget and keep you on the right path with continuing care for a brighter, healthier future.
Whichever case you fall into, it’s never too early to seek help or advice regarding alcohol or any kind of substance abuse. The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can implement the solution and regain control over your life, your family and your health.
Tags: addiction intervention, addiction intervention resources, alcohol awareness month, alcohol-related consequences, alcoholism, alcoholism and holidays, intervention, women alcoholics
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Monday, March 22nd, 2010
The last couple years have brought a surge of TV programs dealing with addiction, intervention and recovery for both celebrities and the everyday person. VH1, A&E and now TLC have all taken on the topic, but to what aim?
Do shows like this affect people into action, seeking help for their own addiction or those of a loved one? Or does it simply serve as drama-heavy entertainment portraying people apparently worse off than the viewer?
While any awareness should be good awareness, it appears these shows don’t do much in the way of prompting professional action, but instead create a sense of professionalism within the families who care. A sort of pop-psychology for addiction intervention and treatment. This can lead to some pretty dangerous and misguided side-effects.
What seems to be missing upon many of these shows is the effects of addiction on those around the person with the disease. With the exception of the new TLC show, it’s very rare to see families involved beyond the intervention phase, and when this occurs, families simply participate in attempting to urge the loved one to receive help, rather than making the family (and viewer) aware of the family’s responsibilities in this matter and the effects they have on the progress of their loved-one.
Watching the previews for TLC’s new “Addicted” program, I did hear a sound bite of the interventionist saying “I believe firmly that addiction is a family disorder,” and we couldn’t agree more, but what I hope to see from this new take on the old game is families involved in the progress of recovery for all affected by the disease, and an emphasis on the need for professional intervention rather than make-shift family confrontations.
Another disturbing problem with these shows is the lack of conversation about the need for aftercare. It appears that for most shows treatment is the be-all, end-all for addiction. If one relapses he or she must return to treatment and try again. Money down the drain time and again, and no true hope in sight. VH1 has expanded this closed scope to include “Sober House,” which puts cast members from previous seasons of “Sex Rehab” and “Celebrity Rehab” into a sober living environment. But even here, where is the aftercare discussion. Where is the RAP continuing care?
Relapse seems imminent for most cast members, and on the show’s premier the house manager asks the oft-thought question “What makes one person stay sober and another relapse?”
The answer is actually pretty simple, but lost upon both the asker and apparently the show producers.
Monday, March 8th, 2010
On March 2nd West Virginia’s senate cleared a bill aimed at tackling prescription drug abuse. Modeled after New York’s program, it utilizes a national database physicians must use in order to prescribe or dispense painkillers and other drugs. Hoping to not only save the state money, but also tackle a problem robbing the nation of productive citizens left and right, bills like this have begun to emerge rapidly as numbers surface regarding just how many people die every year from prescription drug overdoses, specifically those of painkillers and mood-altering drugs like ADD/ADHD meds Ritalin and Adderall, fast becoming as common on the drug scene as pot, but wearing a much more accepted face.
The massive amount of women trying to make it big in the professional world who use as a means of staying focused and getting a leg up on the competition is particularly interesting to this growing problem. MSNBC recently published an article bringing to light the lengths women go to in order to stay ahead and the detrimental effects it has not only on their health, but also on the career they’re so intent on furthering.
Drugs like hydrocodone and vicodin rank high on the list of painkillers used, as they provide jolts of energy and provide focus. Unfortunately, they’re also incredibly difficult to quit using. As women become hooked they experience intense withdrawal, just like those using hard street drugs. Consequently, those who thought they had complete control over their lives and habits find themselves battling to stay alive.
This is quickly becoming commonplace, as the article explains, “According to IMS Health, a research firm that tracks prescription drug use, the use of stimulants has nearly tripled over the past decade,” and painkillers are no different. Women are particularly vulnerable, as they are 55 percent more likely to be prescribed narcotics and anti-anxiety drugs, as the article points out, and with a mindset geared toward perfection, these victims quickly spiral out of control.
Addiction to painkillers like Vicodin, Norco and Oxycontin generally remains a tightly kept secret by those abusing, fearing reputation, backlash and career detriment. As the addiction takes hold, users must take more and more in order to keep the effects, teetering dangerously close to overdose and many times tumbling in. Because of its hush hush nature, many times treatment for painkiller addiction or prescription drug abuse remains neglected until it’s too late.
Hopefully with the increase in legislation, addiction and abuse will become more visible, and those who need painkiller addiction treatment will receive it. With more national media attention on this problem and popular shows like VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and A&E’s Intervention, painkiller addiction symptoms are coming to the forefront, helping those affected more easily identify and seek treatment, and in so doing, lifting the veil from this secretive world after the glass ceiling.
Monday, February 1st, 2010
With the mental health parity laws going into effect in October of 2009, the levels of health care available to those struggling from addiction or mental health issues have increased. Under the new Wellstone Parity Act, group health policies and employers must provide equal or higher coverage to addiction and mental illness as they would a physical illness, such as cancer. These new rules will make access to treatment much more available to the general public, as insurance companies have often set limits on days for addiction or mental health treatment, but put no limits on other types of hospital care. A government spokesperson said, “…the rules would benefit 111 million people in 446,400 group health plans offered by private employers, and 29 million people in 20,000 plans sponsored by state and local governments.”
The American Psychiatric Association had this to say: “Mental health parity was a major advance for the APA and for our patients living with mental illnesses,” said APA President Alan F. Schatzberg, M.D. “The APA will continue to work hard and submit the important feedback to the Administration that is necessary to make sure our patients receive the care they need.”
So what does that mean for us? Obviously, more access to addiction services bodes well for the general public. With more people gaining access to the resources to get help, one would think more people would get help. But is that the case? Will we see an uptick in treatment admissions? Our bet- probably not. Those who are unable to ask for help for themselves won’t magically be able to get help even when it’s available. That’s why we encourage families to break free from the traps of secrets, and get help for their loved ones. Reaching out and asking for help can provide access to those much-needed treatment options that may not have been available before this act was passed.
If you or someone you love need help with an addiction, call us at 877-320-0247 or visit us on the web at www.a-i-r.com.
You can also follow us on Twitter at @airecovery.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, addiction parity, AiR Assistance in recovery, chemical dependency, drug addiction, eating disorders, gentetics of addiction, intervention, mental health, mental health parity, mental illness, parity, recovery, recovery assistance, Recovery Assistance Program, substance abuse, Treatment, wellstone
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Friday, January 22nd, 2010
With more and more adolescents and young adults seeking drug and alcohol treatment, there have been some distinct innovations in the recovery sector of colleges. According to research done at Yale University, adolescents and young adults are more prone to addiction due to their still-developing brains. There are nearly 50,000 college-age kids in America who are abusing alcohol or other drugs to the extent that they are unable to make it successfully through college. As a result, the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse are more and more prevalent in the world today; however, with additional resources available for young adults and more awareness allowing for earlier intervention, a good number of those young people are entering the journey of recovery at earlier ages. These earlier ages present new and different challenges in the recovery world, and college tends to be a place full of rampant triggers and challenges for a newly-recovering person. As a result, more colleges around the country are starting to develop programs specifically for people in recovery (for a complete list, check out the Recovery Schools website here).
A couple of programs stand out- in our backyard, Minneapolis, Augsburg College has their innovative StepUp program to meet the needs of the recovering community. With support groups and sobriety-specific dorms, Augsburg has some great wrap-around services for those young adults going to college for the first time, or heading back into an environment where they’ve struggled.
Texas Tech, in Lubbock, TX also has their own recovery program for students. Dr. Kitty Harris, director of Texas Tech’s Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, had this to say about the program: “I want our students to have a true college experience. I don’t want them to feel separate. I don’t want them to feel apart from. I don’t want them to feel different. And I especially don’t want them to drink or do drugs.” This program, integrating students into the college milieu, provides new hope for students that have struggled in the past. Here’s a video about Texas Tech’s program.
However, there are some barriers before college. Should your adolescent or young adult need treatment, please contact us at 877-320-0247 or www.a-i-r.com. We also would highly recommend, for any person in recovery entering a college environment, our Recovery Assistance Program, which will provide additional accountability. When heading off to college, especially those without a recovery program for students, having the Recovery Assistance Program in place can provide a safety net for your loved one.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, adolescent addiction, AiR Assistance in recovery, assistance in recovery, augsburg stepup program, college, college recovery, drug addiction, intervention, recovery, recovery assistance, Recovery Assistance Program, sober college, sober in college, stepup program, substance abuse, texas tech, Treatment, young adult addiction
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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Suboxone (or buprenorphin) seems to be all the rage these days. With the power of the multi-lateral corporation Reckitt Benckiser (whose exclusive license on Suboxone brought in fifteen percent of their overall revenue in 2009), a huge push is being made to medical doctors to prescribe Suboxone as a way to combat heroin use. Since Suboxone is a semi-synthetic opiate, many dangers arise from the over-prescription of this drug. While we at AiR have seen many benefits to Suboxone during the initial detoxification process, we worry about the addicts who get saddled in trading one maintenance drug for another. Now the website for Suboxone does suggest that “more than medication alone” makes for successful treatment; however- we’d like to see some facts and research behind the amount of people who seek outside therapy along with their medication management.
Here’s the main problem, directly from the Suboxone website:
“All opioids can cause physical dependence. SUBOXONE belongs to a class of opioids called “partial opioid agonists.” As a partial agonist, buprenorphine appears to produce less physical dependence, limited euphoria, and less potential for abuse compared with a full agonist, eg, heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. SUBOXONE has potential for abuse and produces dependence of the opioid type with a milder withdrawal syndrome than full agonists.
When patients are ready to stop taking SUBOXONE, the dose is slowly and gradually tapered. The withdrawal symptoms of SUBOXONE are milder than those seen with a full opioid agonist and can be managed with your doctor’s supervision.”
So, basically, are we dealing with the new methadone here? It sure looks like it. We need physicians to be responsible and educated around addiction before they reach for that prescription pad. If a doc wants to use suboxone to assist in the detoxification process, then please do- just be sure to remove a patient from this opioid. Creating additional dependence, albeit on a lower-level substance, still encourages a dependence instead of a solution. Hazelden had this to say (from a CNN article earlier this year): “At Hazelden, a small proportion of patients receive anti-addiction drugs, but medical director Dr. Kevin Clark says the traditional model — based on intensive therapy and the 12 steps — is still best. ‘It is a disease of the brain, but it’s a multifaceted disease. It has a spiritual component, a behavioral component to it,’ says Clark. ‘Our experience tells us that having the network of support and recovery is what really makes the difference.’”
With the help of residential treatment, twelve-step programs, and support from a family, the chances of an addict getting into recovery skyrocket. Medication alone will never be the solution, because, at the end of the day, the drugs are only a symptom. An addict needs help outside of a pill.
For help for yourself or a loved one, please call us at 877-320-0247 or visit our main page at www.a-i-r.com.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, AiR Assistance in recovery, assistance in recovery, buprenorphin, chemical dependency, drug addiction, drug deaths, methadone, prescription drug abuse, Recovery Assistance Program, suboxone, substance abuse, Treatment
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Friday, January 15th, 2010
According to a press release by SAMHSA, treatment providers and families should be expecting a “dramatic increase” in substance abuse among adults 50 and older.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the US government agency faced with the goal of improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services for in the substance abuse and mental health fields. SAMSHA’s latest report, published on January 8th, states that services for those of the aging baby boomer generation should be expected to double by the year 2020.
“This new data has profound implications for the health and well-being of older adults who continue to abuse substances,” said Pamela S. Hyde, J.D, the SAMHSA Administrator. “These findings highlight the need for prevention programs for all ages as well as to establish improved screening and appropriate referral to treatment as part of routine health care services.”
The stats point to a rising trend in marijuana use, with 8.5% of men between 50 and 54 reporting having used marijuana in the past year. And with a rise in prescription drug abuse (up from 1% to 5% of treatment admissions from 1997 to 2009), one can only expect that drug abuse will increase. The National Institute of Health reports that nearly 20% of adults have used prescription drugs for non medical reasons. Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center, stated: “We need much better support services for the number of older adults who are going to have substance abuse problems.” The New York Daily News even picked up on the story, stating that the Woodstock generation still has a tendency to get high.
So what do we do? Become better educated for prevention and awareness. Talk to your loved ones if you’re concerned about their use. Learn about the signs and symptoms of drug abuse. And when you need it, ask for help. Addiction is a disease of silence; keeping secrets keeps loved ones sick, and the only way to get better is through outside help.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call us at 877-320-0247 or visit us on the web at www.a-i-r.com.
Also, for those in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, we will be presenting a family education series in conjunction with Hazelden on February 8th.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, AiR Assistance in recovery, alcohol, assistance in recovery, chemical dependency, drug addiction, intervention, older adult substance abuse, pain addiction, pain medication, prescription drug abuse, SAMHSA, substance abuse, Treatment
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010
A new study from San Diego State University found that FIVE TIMES as many high school and college students are dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues as youth of the same age who were studied in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, AiR Assistance in recovery, alcohol, anxiety, assistance in recovery, depression, drug addiction, intervention, recovery, recovery assistance, Recovery Assistance Program, substance abuse, Treatment
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Friday, January 8th, 2010
With a new year (and a new decade as well, depending on who you ask) upon us, we in the addiction world often see many people come to us with New Years resolutions, things such as:
“2010 will be the year I get sober.”
“Maybe I should cut down on my drinking.”
“This is the year I talk to my son about his drug use.”
“This is the year of big changes in my family.”
We at AiR encourage these resolutions- they can be a big catalyst for change, and help people get on the path to recovery. However, what’s important to remember here is how many times one has made these said resolutions. If you find yourself saying for the fifth year in a row that it’s time to quit drinking, it’s probably time to seek outside help. If you’re a family member and you’re hearing the same resolution year after year- we can help with that too.
Since the holiday season seems so volatile (as we’ve covered here), now is the time to act. A new year can bring about new changes. If you’re a family member and your loved one is hurting from a compulsive behavior, reach out. Ask for help. If you can’t make the phone call yet, then check out our book, It’s Not Okay To Be A Cannibal (available here); some good advice is available there, but be sure to get outside assistance when you decide to move forward.
If you or a loved one are in crisis, please call us at 877-320-0247 for immediate assistance, or visit us on the web at www.a-i-r.com.
Tags: addiction, addiction intervention, AiR Assistance in recovery, assistance in recovery, chemical dependency, drug addiction, drugs, eating disorders, gentetics of addiction, heroin addiction, intervention, mental health, methamphetamine, pain addiction, pain medication, prescription drug abuse, recovery assistance, Recovery Assistance Program, substance abuse, Treatment
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