Facts About Opioid Replacement Therapy

Facts About Opioid Replacement Therapy[EXTRACT]
Do You Need Methadone Rehabilitation?Methadone is a synthetic opioid mainly prescribed as a long range replacement therapy for dependence to opioids. While methadone was once administered strictly at licensed methadone rehabilitation detox hospitals and drug clinics, within the past several years the drug is being prescribed in a pill form for severe pain. As such, the drug now can be discovered on the street, and quickly has become a top cause of accidental overdose within recreational drug users.Because of the increase of diseases spread by needle sharing, most cities contain methadone clinics that are government funded which provide complimentary day-to-day doses. The methadone treatment clinic’s purpose is so that doctors and nurses are available if an emergency comes up and to prevent needle sharing. However, waiting lists to go to these clinics might be extremely long; in most cases instances months or weeks. In the meantime the ones struggling with opioid dependency continue with their opioid use due to them not believing they can stop.

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There’s a lot of controversy concerning replacement therapy treatment such as methadone. Most individuals are afraid that methadone is harmful and information given by SAMHSA displays a rise in accidental death from overdose of methadone particularly while combined with additional opioid use.Because of methadone’s slow release, individuals who seek a fast high might take a dose, not get a high then consume more. By the time they get high, in a few instances they’ve already consumed too much. Odds of revival are a lot lower for overdoes of methadone than for additional opiates because of the long lasting nature of the drug. If you believe somebody has overdosed on this drug, contact 911 and immediately get them emergency assistance.Methadone overdose’s warning signs involve:

Slow heart rate

Shallow and slow breathing

Clammy skin

Dilated pupils

Coma or seizures

Low blood pressure

Extreme dizziness

Weak Pulse

Muscle and stomach contractions

Unresponsive to stimuli

Loss of consciousness
Replacement therapy medicine like methadone is the main treatment mode for opioid dependency with most providers convincing their patients that they should stay on methadone or an additional replacement therapy drug for months or even years.Prescriptions of methadone are being liberally written, with more than five million provided alone in 2011. As methadone given in a clinical setting for detoxification purposes may assist in alleviating some opioid withdrawal symptoms, it isn’t efficient as a long range solution for dependency to opioids. In essence it merely replaces one drug for another and may trigger death and accidental overdose as many users return to their initial drugs of choice, a few while still consuming methadone.

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As a person is through the symptoms of withdrawal which may happen from long range opioid use, which might last four to 14 days depending upon the detoxification plan used, they have to embark on the process of altering their habitual thoughts, identifying characteristics and behaviors they desire to change and construct a strategy to make lasting changes.Programs for methadone treatment as a long range solution tell individuals they’re suffering with a lifelong disease named addiction from which they may never recover. It leaves individuals feeling hopeless and helpless; they think they’re powerless over opiates and that relapse is an expected portion of the methadone rehabilitation recovery process. As a consequence rates of death and accidental overdose from mixtures of methadone and opiate use continually increase. There’s a better way.

Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Natural Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis[EXTRACT]
About 2 million people wake up in the morning with red, swollen, stiff joints. The pain persists on into the day making it hard if not impossible to take care of the activities of daily living, or hobbies that make your life rich; washing the dishes, making bread, sewing, gardening, playing with the children or grandchildren; are no longer enjoyable, your mood suffers and desperation sets in as you try to find something; a magic pill, a diet, anything that will take this pain away. This is the life of a person suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA.RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease, if which the cause is unknown. What is known about the disease is that it affects women more than men and Caucasian’s more than any other race. Rheumatoid Arthritis can strike at any age but is most commonly diagnosed from the ages of 20 to 40.The onset of RA is usually marked with fatigue, weakness and sometimes fever. Some report a loss of appetite and, subsequently, weight. The hallmark of RA is joint stiffness in the morning that gradually improves throughout the day and that is symmetrical, in that it affects both sides of the body. For example both of your hands will be stiff, red and swollen, not just one hand or one joint as is typical in osteoarthritis.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis is so painful that many people seek unproven and sometimes unsafe methods of dealing with the pain. There is no cure for RA. So many sufferers will risk addiction to opioid analgesics, or risk damage to other systems just to gain some relief from the pain. While the outlook is bleak for these individuals, there are some lifestyles and diet modifications that can reduce, if not temporarily eliminate, the pain of RA.Some physicians suggest a monitored fast. This should be done under the supervision of a physician and should be done at a reputable facility. The reasoning behind the fast is to cleanse the body. Think of it as starting from scratch. The next step is to gradually add foods back, but the diet will be different from before. For instance; the sufferer should follow a low animal protein, high carbohydrate diet – in addition to leaving out milk and milk products and products made with polyunsaturated and partially hydrogenated oils and fats. The diet should be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish and walnuts. In addition to omega-3, the diet should consist of fresh vegetables; especially green leafy vegetables that contain vitamin K. Also include asparagus, eggs, garlic and onions, which contain sulfur that is needed for the rebuilding and repair of bone and cartilage. Although acidic fruits are not recommended fresh pineapple which contains an enzyme known to reduce inflammation may be consumed, along with whole grains. Iron supplements or multi vitamins containing iron should be avoided. Substitute foods rich in iron instead; like blackstrap molasses, or broccoli.Supplements associated with easing the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis are very popular, but should be taken with caution and under the supervision of your physician or homoeopathist. One of the most common supplements for overall joint health is chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine; these work together to form and strengthen joints, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is usually combined with the aforementioned, due to its anti-inflammatory and joint repair properties. Some other supplements to include in the list are bromelain, found in fresh pineapple; sea cucumber, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium plus copper, vitamin D3 and zinc.

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Herbs associated with joint and bone health are; alfalfa, kelp, boswellia, cat’s claw, feverfew, cayenne, nettle leaf, turmeric willow bark and yucca. These can be used in combination, as poultices and rubs. A very effective combination is a mixture of wintergreen oil and capsaicin the mixture might sting at first, but most people report a lessening of pain and more flexibility.There is no need to suffer from the pain of RA. All that is needed is knowledge and a willingness to modify the lifestyle to include healthy, natural foods that aid the body in defending itself against inflammation and pain. There may not be a “cure” for RA, but management of the symptoms can increase the quality of life.

Is The Current Prescription Opioid Abuse Epidemic In The US Spreading To Thailand?

Is The Current Prescription Opioid Abuse Epidemic In The US Spreading To Thailand?[EXTRACT]
The snack bowl at a “pharm party” includes a mix of prescription drugs-from Adderall to OxyContin to Xanax-and most of them come directly from the household medicine cabinet.The ABC News program, ‘Pharm Country’, examines a disturbing and rapidly growing trend in teenage drug abuse: getting high on legal drugs, often obtained through parents’ prescriptions or from questionable sources over the Internet. Presenting studies showing a rapid spike in pharmaceutical abuse among students as young as eighth-graders, the program visits a Houston substance-abuse treatment center where recovering teenage addicts and their parents share their eye-opening experiences. (Pharm, 03:12)This study will take a closer look at the origins of the current opioid epidemic, it’s roots in the US, and is spreading across the globe.Here in Thailand, I have experienced first-hand the evidence that the epidemic is alive and well and on the rise in Asia.The goal of this study is to provide knowledge of the dangers of these drugs to physicians here in Thailand who are already prescribing them, and by distributing the survey located at the end of this article to physicians throughout the Kingdom of Thailand.My qualifications:On the 22nd of May 1988, I checked in to The Santa Barbara New House, an Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step Recovery Center.Best decision I ever made. I’ve been living life on life’s terms ever since without having to take any ‘mind altering’ substances that effect me from the neck up.Santa Barbara New House is an ‘AA 12-Step House’ for men.However, a majority of the residents are struggling, not just from the disease of “alcoholism”, but also from the wider definition of the disease of “addiction”. This includes a very wide spectrum of doctor prescribed, “mind altering” substances that do, in fact, effect the user from the neck up.I come from an AA school of thought that states that we have to be very careful not to take anything that effects us “from the neck up”.AA is the original twelve-step program that was created for ‘alcoholics’ who suffer from the disease of ‘alcoholism’. The traditions and “primary purpose” of AA provide an interesting loophole for some alcoholics who tend to advocate for big Pharma and the use of prescription drugs.The incident:”By far the worst day, hour, minute, moment in my 27+ years of sobriety.”When I got the call from my daughter-in-law, I could only think of the worst.She called at around 1:30 in the afternoon to say that my son wasn’t picking up his phone and that she hadn’t been able to wake him up in the morning because he was too, “out of it”.I knew he’d been using again and suspected it started with his recent knee surgery. I was with him the previous Saturday night at an AA meeting I’d asked him to chair and he was actually nodding out. Instead of facing my fears and confronting him directly, I took the easier softer route of passively checking in on him, “give it the light touch”, (as my old sponsor would warn me about matters involving family).As I drove the 30 minutes or so from my office to their house, I couldn’t chase the images of his lifeless body from my mind’s eye. I prayed for his life to be spared. I promised to devote my entire remaining days to service in recovery.By the time I pulled up in front of his house, I expected to find the worst. I’d already thought about what I would do if the door had been locked and I imagined all the painful calls to family and friends. I also knew it had been a good 4 or 5 hours since anyone saw him breath.

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The door was open and when I went in, all my fears became a tragic reality.His lifeless body was lying face up on the bed and his life color was gone.The only difference between what I’d imagined during my drive over and what I was looking at now reminded me of the scene from a TV series. Where a girl had overdosed on opiates and was choking on her vomit. The girl had all this froth coming out of her mouth. I remembered how I’d thought at the time that the effects of drugs and overdose were always sensationalized in Hollywood, yet this was what I was looking at, and my son’s lifeless body was lying on the bed in front of me. It also appeared to be past what I’d seen on the television. All that was left was that froth on his mouth. He was pale yellowish-white and he wasn’t moving.Back in my active addition days, I’d brought back a total of three people after they OD’d, all three had overdosed on opiates, and none of which had that foam. Keep in mind I’ve been sober for over 25 years and don’t see much from the inside anymore. I just hear the newcomer stories and can only imagine.I listened for signs of any life left and frantically tried to find a plus in his neck, nothing.I immediately started yelling at the top of my lungs, “wake up, wake up”! I thought that would at least kill two birds with one stone and get some help from the neighbors at the same time. It didn’t. It became like a ghost town, not a soul. Just us.I intuitively sat him up and started pushing him back and forth and yelling, “spit it out, spit it out”. I heard a gurgle.I grabbed the trashcan out of the bathroom and filled it with cold water, rushed back and dumped it on him.He moved so I just kept up the screaming and pulled him from the bed. For a moment I thought I was instantly given divine power and adrenaline until I tried picking him up. (Like six or seven bags of old stale rice!)I called my daughter-in-law and told her to get an ambulance.By then he started coming around and kept slurring, “What happened?” and “I can’t hear you”. After a while I thought the “I can’t hear you’s” were in response to my direct questioning about what he took. He was clearly damaged beyond opiate overdose and I knew I had to get him to the hospital.My son had finally passed my bottom with this disease. I don’t think I ever really overdosed and I’m sure I never made it to the point of that froth. He’s always compared his addiction to mine and I always saw that was an excuse to keep using.Finally, people started showing up. Neighbors, relatives, my daughter-in-law. The only thing missing was an ambulance so I decided to give up and drive him to the hospital myself.One of the most absurd things I’ve ever witnessed in my sober life was right before we gave up on the ambulance and were about to head to the hospital in my car. I’d opened the refrigerator to get him some water and he grabbed a little bottle of liquid and quickly drank it. I said, “what was that?” and he said, “Retox”. Come to find out it was more Methadone.”There in lies the rub… “Several factors are likely to have contributed to the severity of the current prescription drug abuse problem. They include drastic increases in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed, greater social acceptability for using medications for different purposes, and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies. These factors together have helped create the broad “environmental availability” of prescription medications in general and opioid analgesics in particular. (Volkow)Some types of opioid drugs include:

codeine (only available in generic form)

fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora)

hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER)

hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)

hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)

meperidine (Demerol)

methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)

morphine (Astramorph, Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, Ora-Morph SR)

oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxecta, Roxicodone)

oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet)

oxycodone and naloxone (Targiniq ER)
The typical scenario is that the patient is prescribed any of the above for pain, gets hooked, can’t successfully detox and graduates to street opioids.All of the above are readily available and prescribed in Thailand and I believe, without proper Physician knowledge of the dangers involved.The five-question survey at the end of this document is intended to provoke and inspire Doctor attention to this problem.In his book, “Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding”, author Rod Colvin compiles stories from individuals in recovery from addiction to prescription drugs. The concept of an “unwitting addict” is identified as someone who has been prescribed pain medication and becomes addicted. (Colvin)In the book, “Managing Patients with Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction”, Dr Donald Taylor’s interest in the treatment of opioid addiction arose from his observations of the development of addiction in his own patients with chronic pain, and his recognition of the fact that few pain specialists knew how to manage this group of patients.Dr Taylor currently divides his practice between treating patients with chronic pain without addiction, patients with chronic pain with addiction, and patients without pain but with drug addiction. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and a Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology, with added qualifications in Pain Medicine. (Taylor)”The Long Winding Road of Opioid Substitution Therapy Implementation in South-East Asia: Challenges to Scale Up”, is a study in the South-East Asia Region which contains an estimated 400,000-500,000 people who inject drugs (PWID). HIV prevalence among PWID is commonly 20% or higher in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and some regions of India. Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is an important HIV prevention intervention in this part of the world. (Reid et al.)Although this World Health Organization sanctioned “substitution” program is effective in the spread of HIV, I have to ask myself whether it will fuel the increase of the prescription drug epidemic.The deadly combination of Benzodiazepines and Opioids are behind the bulk of deaths in the current prescription drug epidemic. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for “Anxiety”, (fear of future), and “Depression”, (regret from past actions). There’s a healthy solution, outlaw these harmful drugs and treat with cognitive behavioral counseling. (Bachhuber et al.)The article, “Expanded Access to Naloxone: Options for Critical Response to the Epidemic of Opioid Overdose Mortality”, published in the American Journal of Medicine, describes “Naloxone”, (‘Narcon’) which is used in overdose to instantly wash the system of opiates. The drug is now ironically combined with buprenorphine to produce the same effects of an opioid and at the same time block any true opiates. (Kim et al.)Since “The Incident”, (now just about a year ago), my son has had several seizures as a result of Tramadol overdose; (Tramadol is a synthetic opiate that can be easily obtained here in Thailand without a prescription). He got a local diagnosis for anxiety and depression and has all his prescriptions justified. As for me, I now go to Al-Anon, a support and discussion group for the relatives of people suffering from alcoholism… and addiction.

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The SurveySome types of opioid drugs include:

codeine (only available in generic form)

fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora)

hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER)

hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)

hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)

meperidine (Demerol)

methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)

morphine (Astramorph, Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, Ora-Morph SR)

oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxecta, Roxicodone)

oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet)

oxycodone and naloxone (Targiniq ER)

other opioid pain medication __________________________
(Please write name of drug)Please complete the following five-question survey below:1. Which of the opioid drugs listed above are you aware of?2. Which of the opioid drugs listed above are safe to prescribe for pain?3. Which of the opioid drugs listed above have you prescribed in the past 12 months?4. Which of the opioid drugs listed above do you feel there is a risk of patient addiction?5. What duration do you recommend for each of the above?

Up to 30 days

Up to 60 days

Up to 90 days

Up to 6 months

Over 6 months
Works CitedBachhuber et al. “Increasing Benzodiazepine Prescriptions and Overdose Mortality in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health. 106.4 (2016): 686-688. Web.Colvin, Rod. “Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding.” Omaha, Neb. Addicus Books. 2008. Print.Engdahl, Sylvia. “Prescription drugs.” Farmington Hills, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. 2014. Print.Haerens, Margaret and Lynn M Zott. “Prescription drug abuse.” Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning. 2013. Print.Kim et al. “Expanded Access to Naloxone: Options for Critical Response to the Epidemic of Opioid Overdose Mortality.” American Journal of Public Health. 99.3, (2009): 402-407. Print.”Pharm Country.” Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2006. Web. 20 May 2016.”Pills: Never Enough!” Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2007. Web. 20 May 2016.Reid, Gary, et al. “The Long Winding Road of Opioid Substitution Therapy Implementation in South-East Asia: Challenges to Scale Up.” PagePress. March 26, 2014. Print.Talbot, Tony. “Painkiller Guidelines #1603151723300288.” AP Images. Associated Press. 19 March 2013. Web. 15 March 2016.Taylor, Donald. “Managing Patients with Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction.” Adis: Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. Print.Volkow, Nora D. “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.” 14 May 2014. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Web. 20 March 2016.

Prescription for Addiction: How Can Drug Rehab Help?

Prescription for Addiction: How Can Drug Rehab Help?[EXTRACT]
Fighting addiction can be a lonely, exasperating process that people have difficulty understanding. Each individual inflicted with this disease has their own explanation of the effects and struggles which are difficult to understand by individuals not inflicted with this disease. Some professionals will say it is completely mental, others say it is physical, but if you ask an addict, they will say it’s both and then some. The all-consuming feelings of helplessness, confusion, and anxiety fill the minds of some addicts. While others feel the tightening of the stomach inducing physical pain to the individual, and the inability to stand or sit still, shaking or trembling, with that need building like a bomb within. Some others are even less fortunate and find themselves on the receiving end of both effects. However, there is hope. Help for addiction is available.

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Albeit not curable, the disease of addiction is treatable. According to the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical addictions are complex addictions that may require either psychosocial or pharmacological intervention or in some cases both. There are several facilities that specialize in pharmaceutical or opioid addictions, some of which will even fly the individual in for treatment. Drug rehab is a delicate area for many people. Some individuals who don’t understand addiction look at drug rehab as a bane on society, while others who have seen first or even second hand the effects of addiction know that drug rehab is a solid ground for many addicts to start.The ultimate goal of drug rehab is to reduce the dependence and improve both physical and psychological health of individuals seeking recovery. With no 100% cure-all solution to addiction, individuals are given several options to assist with their recovery from in-patient, to out-patient to a hybrid of on-line and on-ground options. Depending on the selected facility, one or multiple options may be available.According to Johns Hopkins medicine, the relapse rate following a detoxification program alone is between 65-80%. However, when an intensive treatment is followed, patients are 10 times more likely to remain abstinent from the addictive substances. After 30 days of in-patient treatment over 60% of individuals remained free from the addictive substances with support from groups or extended treatment programs.In a recent article posted on everydayhealth.com according to Dr. Stephen Gilman, MD, an addiction specialist in New York City, Addiction is a chronic disorder and as such requires extended treatment for a higher success rate. Since there is no cure for addiction, continued treatment in some form is required to combat the ever present potential for relapse. When the urge to use comes back, according to Dr. Gilman, the individual should return to treatment immediately. In treatment, individuals learn to manage their particular “triggers” for their addictive substance.

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If you or a loved one has been afflicted with addiction in the past, surround yourself with supportive friends and family and rely on guidance and advice from substance abuse therapists to help reduce the risk of a relapse. All over the world, there are groups of individuals that are willing to help and support people fighting addiction. There is always hope, there is always a way to succeed, no matter where you are.

Facts And Causes Of Drug Addiction Habits

Facts And Causes Of Drug Addiction Habits[EXTRACT]
Drug addiction is a serious mental health illness that is plaguing individuals from all walks of life. Some believe that addictive behaviors are the result of genetic predisposition to become an addict. Others believe that a chaotic upbringing is the root cause. Researchers in the field of psychology agree that it is in fact a combination of the two. A genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors coupled with environmental triggers leads an individual to develop addiction.Depressants and stimulants are two of the most common classifications that are currently in use today. Depressants are substances like alcohol and opioids. Stimulants are substances like cocaine and methamphetamines. Both of these categories can produce overdose and death. Also, both are initially taken as recreational drugs. Dependence and abuse of drugs usually follow after a couple of uses.

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Alcohol and opioids are nervous system depressants. This means that they slow down the body and mind. Those who take this type of drug are likely high strung and anxious. They are, in essence, self-medicating. These individuals would likely do well in therapy or through controlled drug prescriptions. They are often unwilling to admit that they have any type of problem that needs treatment and continue to use drugs as a means of “recreation” when; in fact, they are medicating away depression and anxiety.Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines are usually taken by those who want to be more hyper-aroused. These are the individuals who need a pick-me-up. Often, individuals who have taken a depressant begin to feel like they want to be active. They then take a stimulant in order to neutralize. This can send these users into a spiral of ups and downs that eventually shuts down various parts of the body causing severe permanent damage.If addiction to any of these substances is not resolved, individuals will often lose friends, jobs, and money. Addicts will spend every last dollar that they have in order to score their next drug. This is because the mind feels as though it is dying if an individual ceases use of a drug. They will steal from friends and family in order to purchase more of whatever drug they have become addicted to. They will often avoid going into work. Many addicts desire their first high all over again. This is almost impossible. The body begins to build up a tolerance to any drug and the effects begin to deteriorate. The only way to get close to the initial high is to take more of the drug. This often doesn’t work quite well and only causes more of a chance of overdose and death.

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In conclusion, quitting is a frightening idea for most addicts. For example, if an alcoholic tries to stop drinking cold turkey, they will likely have a close call with death. Alcohol has the most severe withdrawal of all drugs. If an individual takes cocaine for an extended period of time, they can damage the inside tissue of their nose and, at worst, cause cartilage to completely collapse. Quitting often means that they have to use their sober mind to sort out the consequences of what they have done to their bodies.