Breaking Down the Uptick in Adolescent Overdoses

Reuters

The leading cause of death for Americans under 50 is now accidental death by drug overdose. There’s been a significant climb in overdose deaths among those under 18.

When it comes to acknowledging the opioid epidemic, the U.S. has been faced with some harsh realities over the past several months. Perhaps most notable is a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicates the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 is now accidental death by drug overdose. The 2016 count of lives lost exceeds 64,000, a 19 percent increase from the previous year’s 52,000. These figures are heartbreaking.

 

Perhaps a more important statistic is that overdose deaths among adolescents (those ages 12 to 17) are up as well, with a strikingly similar 19 percent increase in the past year. This information is significant, and not just because it’s alarming. It also begs a different approach in how to address the problem.

 

Several governmental actions have been taken to curb the effects of this devastating crisis. Many states have adopted Good Samaritan laws, which encourage bystanders to call law enforcement for help if there’s concern for a potential overdose, without fear of prosecution for being involved in illicit activities themselves. There are also federal regulations with heavy sanctions on misguided prescribers who may be buffering their revenues by pumping out scripts for prescription opioids. Plus, there’s the overdose-reversing drug Narcan and subsequent funding for free community trainings, with ease of access through your physician or local pharmacy.

But where is the haste toward prevention?

 

In my 13 years working in the mental health and addictions counseling field, I can list over a dozen adolescent treatment programs (that I was personally acquainted with) that have closed simply due to lack of census. Services were being offered, but few were using them. Some of these programs, responding to an increase of young adults (18- to 26- year-olds) in need of treatment, converted their juvenile programs to fit the business’s needs.

Alongside the trend for more young adults seeking treatment, service providers continued to see further declines in adolescents accessing services. In essence, what we’re seeing is a decrease of identification in teens, and an increase as they transition into adulthood. There’s something horribly wrong with this picture. As a culture, we’re being reactive to a crisis as opposed to placing efforts to be proactive. This, unfortunately, is a making of the tragedy we see on the news each and every day.

 

Yes, prevention does exist; however, it’s fragmented at best. Most common prevention efforts take place in the school setting. One of the most frequently used school-based prevention programs has been empirically suggested to be ineffective, and yet the program gets renewed year after year in some states. Some states’ education departments require that school boards employ a specialist to handle substance use and other crises in their students; however, these professionals often occupy several roles within the district, and their time is often stretched too thin. Programming targeting parents to provide information on current trends and concerns regarding substance use are lightly attended. I’ve facilitated many of these workshops myself; in a student population of 1,200, if you can get 20 parents to attend, you’re in luck.

 

One thing is blatantly clear: When we’re not appropriately addressing substance use and addiction in adolescence, we are inundated with young adults literally fighting for their lives shortly thereafter.

I’m not saying that the approach we’re taking to the opioid crisis is wrong. Rather, it’s incomplete. We need to start the conversation about drug use and addiction at an early age. And no, “just say no” isn’t an acceptable means of prevention. “Just say no” is something that we feel more comfortable doing. We can just check it off the list, say that we “had the conversation,” and be done with it. In order to create change, we have to be OK with getting uncomfortable. This is how we’re going to save these kids lives.

Talk to your families about substance use. If you have a family history of addiction, there’s all the more reason to do this – your children may have a predisposition. Go to prevention programs offered in your community. Most, if not all, are free. Bring your kids with you. Talk about the program on the drive home. Have family dinners once in a while. Bring up any pop-culture or media references to overdose deaths, and listen to their reactions. Reach out and call the school your child attends to find out how they address prevention. Acquaint yourself with the personnel who coordinate it. Introduce your child, too. Research other agencies in your community, and participate or volunteer in their events from time to time.

 

There are limitless ways that we can make small impacts in our families and our communities. Stigma usually hold us back. Stigma also adds to this crisis. However, if we’re more active in our prevention efforts, not only will we see a reduction in adolescent overdoses, but over time we will not have an opioid epidemic on our hands.

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Need help to recover from Opioid addiction?  Please visit VictoryRetreatMontana.com  which can help anyone across the US and Canada in their online virtual retreat which includes the Teen Challenge PSNC Program.  It’s for anyone from tween to senior citizen.

CDC Report Finds Overdose Deaths Rose 21 Percent in 2016

A new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals deaths from drug overdoses in America rose 21 percent last year. That jump is more than the last four years combined. For every 100,000 people, almost 20 died from a drug overdose in 2016, compared to 16.3 the previous year, Bloomberg reported.

The report shows deaths from liver disease, suicide, cancer and HIV have decreased. However, the overall death rate continued to increase. Farida Ahmad, the report’s author and mortality surveillance lead at the CDC says this is because people are dying in larger numbers from other causes, such as drug overdoses, or homicides and firearm-related injuries, both of which also rose last year.

 

The CDC measures 20 causes of death in its report, and although there are slight increases in other categories, Ahmad says drug overdoses show “the most stark increase,” WTKR News reported. Every quarter in 2016 saw an increase in the number of deaths related to drug overdoses.

 

These findings come shortly after President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis in America a public health emergency. This allows the Trump administration and Department of Health and Human Services to allocate funding and resources to address the crisis under the Public Health Emergency Act. The order lasts for 90 days and can be renewed every 90 days until deemed unnecessary.

 

The president had been heavily criticized over his handling of the epidemic after he announced he would declare the crisis a national emergency but did not. A declaration of national emergency would have allowed for additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund.

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Need help with drug & alcohol recovery?  There’s a faith based option online:  CLICK HERE

Are You an Addict? Signs of a Prescription Drug Addiction

You just may not know you’re addicted when your drug dealer is your doctor.

Woman is suddenly stricken with sadness

When you’re sick or have suffered from a serious injury, the first few days after a visit to the doctor you rely heavily on the prescribed drug to ease the pain and get you through the day. However, you may reach a point where you feel compelled to continue taking the prescription long after you need it. If you think you or a loved one might have a problem with prescription drugs, there are some red flags you should watch out for.

The Cheat Sheet spoke with some of the country’s top addiction experts to learn more about prescription drug abuse.

There is sudden behavior change

One of the first signs of a prescription drug addiction is an abrupt change in behavior. If you suspect the abuse of prescription medication, take note of unusual behavior you hadn’t observed before.

Psychologist Matthew Polacheck, director of outpatient services at the Betty Ford Center in West Los Angeles, said behavioral changes may also be accompanied by cognitive and physical changes. “The first thing we look for is a change in behavior of any kind. [Someone] who never naps comes home and goes to sleep. [Someone] who is passive suddenly becomes more euphoric. More specific behavior includes nodding off, drowsiness, slurred speech, confused thinking, and pupils can also be constricted.”

The drug becomes part of a daily routine

Medications on shelves of medicine cabinet

If you or someone you know can’t seem to go a day without a prescription drug that was meant for short-term use, this is another red flag. Over time, short-term medication should be slowly tapered down until there is no longer a need for it.

Audrey Hope, an addictions specialist at Seasons in Malibu World Class Addiction Treatment, said if there is difficulty in stopping a drug, this should be a cause for concern. “The main sign that you are a prescription drug addict is that you use the drugs every day. You can’t function without them. You rely on them. You need them. You lie to yourself that it is for the ‘pain’ and because ‘the doctor prescribed it.’ You say it is OK to use them,” said Hope.

More of the drug is used than prescribed

Doctor handing pills to a patient

Another sign of trouble is using too much of the prescription and running out of the drug much earlier than expected considering the prescribed amount. Someone desperate for a refill may resort to manipulative behavior to obtain the drug, said Plattor. “Other signs of prescription addiction can include manipulative behaviors such as lying, stealing, using more of the drug than is prescribed, poor decision-making, ‘losing’ prescriptions often, and obtaining a number of prescriptions for the same drug(s) from more than one doctor,” Plattor said.

Misconceptions about prescription drug addiction

man pouring pills into his hand

There are many misunderstandings when it comes to an addiction to prescription drugs. Here are some of the most common ones.

Myth: Pain pills are the only addictive prescription drugs

Pink pills

While pain medications are commonly abused, there are many others that can become addictive. “In addiction treatment, what we see most is opioid abuse. We also see abuse of ADHD medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin. Medications like benzodiazepines can also be substances of abuse. Drugs given for anxiety or depression, especially when given without concurrent psychotherapy, can lead to substance abuse problems,” said Dr. Constance Scharff, the research director of addiction treatment center Cliffside Malibu and author of Ending Addiction for Good.

Myth: I trust my doctor so I don’t need to ask questions

Doctor looking at tablet

Ask questions about your prescription, and don’t just blindly trust your doctor. It’s important to check with your doctor and make sure you understand side effects as well as how much medicine you should take and when to stop. You should also let your physician know if you’re having a hard time stopping your medicine.

Where to get help

Psychologist making notes

If you’re looking for assistance for yourself or a loved one, know there is quality help out there. You can reach out to a support group or consider seeking the services of an inpatient or outpatient detox program. You can start your search online on websites such as VictoryRetreatMontana.com. 

 

For Article Source with edits: Click Here.

Has Gabapentin Become a Drug of Abuse?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a VERY critical article for those of you who are being lied to about Gabapentin (Neurontin).  It IS addictive and you should NOT be taking it… especially if you have suffered a prior addiction.  Please read.

Question

Has gabapentin become a drug of abuse?

Response from Sarah T. Melton, PharmD
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

Gabapentin is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia.[1] It is often prescribed off-label for other pain syndromes, anxiety and mood disorders, restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions.

Gabapentin is an analog of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that slows down the activity of nerve cells in the brain, but does not bind to GABA receptors or affect the production or uptake of GABA.[1]How gabapentin works and how it relieves pain and suppresses seizures are unknown.

Gabapentin does not exhibit affinity for benzodiazepine, opioid (mu, delta, or kappa), or cannabinoid 1 receptor sites, which are often activated in drugs of abuse.[1] Gabapentin is not scheduled as a controlled substance, indicating little potential for abuse and addiction. However, gabapentin shares characteristics of medications associated with misuse and addiction, in that it produces a withdrawal syndrome and certain psychoactive effects.

A small number of postmarketing cases report gabapentin misuse and abuse.[1]Although the rationale for abuse is unknown, some individuals describe “euphoria, improved sociability, a marijuana-like ‘high’, relaxation and sense of calm.”[1] Other patients report feeling “zombie-like.”[2]

In 2004, a report described gabapentin misuse in correctional facilities in Florida.[3] A recall of all gabapentin prescriptions at one of the larger correctional facilities revealed that only 19 of 96 prescriptions were in the possession of the intended patients. Subsequently, 5 inmates reported they were inhaling the powder from gabapentin (300 or 400 mg) capsules intranasally. All 5 inmates had psychiatric or pain diagnoses, as well as histories of cocaine abuse. Four of the 5 inmates reported obtaining an altered mental state or “high” similar to that from cocaine. Gabapentin was removed from the formulary, and prescribing was restricted to exceptional cases. There was no further evidence of abuse. Gabapentin has been removed from formulary in other correctional facilities as well.[4]

A 2007 report[5] described the case of a 67-year-old woman with mood disorders and a history of alcohol abuse who was prescribed gabapentin (as well as naproxen and amitriptyline) for pain from polyneuritis. Owing to tolerance, she was prescribed 4800 mg/day (over the maximum recommended dose), but further escalated her intake to 7200 mg daily. She requested gabapentin without a prescription from pharmacists and visited numerous physicians, exaggerating her symptoms, to obtain the desired quantities.

When the patient was finally no longer able to obtain gabapentin through these methods, she developed withdrawal symptoms, characterized by trembling, sweating, excitation, pallor, and exophthalmia. The withdrawal required hospitalization, where a change to alternative pain control medications was made. Within several months, the patient had resumed abuse of gabapentin.

Another report described 3 cases of gabapentin-associated withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation of total daily doses of 4800 mg, 3600 mg, and 2400 mg.[6]

Similar symptoms were reported in 2 patients with histories of alcohol abuse.[7]The first case involved a 33-year-old man taking 3600 mg of gabapentin daily, which was twice his prescribed dose. He had been obtaining gabapentin refills early to reduce his craving for alcohol and make him feel calmer. When further refills were denied, he abruptly stopped taking the gabapentin and suffered acute withdrawal symptoms.

The second case described a 63-year-old man with a history of alcohol abuse who was taking gabapentin at 4900 mg/day instead of the prescribed 1800 mg/day. After presentation to the hospital and discontinuation of gabapentin, he developed severe withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms in these patients included disorientation, confusion, tachycardia, diaphoresis, tremulousness, and agitation. The withdrawal symptoms resolved upon resumption of gabapentin.

The use of nonprescribed gabapentin by patients attending substance abuse clinics has also been reported.[8] A questionnaire-based survey completed by 129 respondents attending 6 substance abuse treatment clinics found that 22% of patients admitted to using nonprescribed gabapentin. As a comparison, nonprescribed use of pregabalin was 3%, benzodiazepines 47%, and cannabis 43%. Some patients taking nonprescribed gabapentin reported using the drug to become intoxicated or to potentiate the effect of methadone.

Conclusion

On the basis of case reports and postmarketing reports, there appears to be potential for abuse, dependency, and withdrawal symptoms associated with gabapentin use. Patients involved in this misuse and abuse were using gabapentin at doses greater than those recommended, to relieve symptoms of withdrawal from other substances, and for uses that are not FDA-approved.

Providers should assess patients for drug abuse history when prescribing gabapentin, as well as monitor patients for any signs of misuse or abuse. Prescribers and pharmacists should monitor patients for the development of tolerance, unauthorized escalation of dosing, and requests for early refills or other aberrant behavior. Prescribers should consider requesting testing for the presence of gabapentin in urine drug screens if abuse is suspected.

Acknowledgment: Dr. Melton acknowledges the research assistance of Paige Graham and Charity Sands, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidates at the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University.

Article Source: Medscape.com




In Recovery and want to completely recover?  Check out how you can make recovery better than anything out there.  Please visit VictoryRetreatMontana.com

Ingredients for a 7 Layer Slice of Hope

The Problem:  Addiction

The Solution:  Jesus Christ and His Word

The Process:  Our program is composed of 7 perfected layers with the carefully chosen ingredients that offer an indescribably delicious and nutrient rich slice of hope

seven layer 1

Our 7 Layer Recipe for Recovery is:

  1. Salvation through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
  2. The Finest Discipleship Available on earth
  3. Specialized Christian Life Coaching with a touch of Mentoring
  4. Biblical Counseling
  5. Paying it Forward
  6. Godly Peer Relationships with Life Transforming Peer Activities
  7. Praise & Worship

Who does this?  We do at Victory Retreat Montana.  We know that people want choices in their addiction recovery and we provide a special type of Bible based recovery that works – simply because God works!  We have put all of the 7 delicious layers together in an uplifting and dynamic program that everyone can enjoy, learn from, grow, and heal.

Questions?  Give us a call or send us an email on how our program can work for you or your loved one!

 

AMERICA ON DRUGS: SHOCKING ONE-THIRD OF US ADULTS ARE PRESCRIBED OPIOIDS

If you think that America’s opioid epidemic hasn’t touched your life, statistics show there is a good chance you are wrong, with one out of every three American adults taking opioids during 2015. That equates to 92 million adults. It’s a shocking statistic that means you could well know more than one person who is taking these highly addictive drugs.

A disturbing new government study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that 38 percent of American adults were prescribed opioids such as OxyContin and Percocet in 2015, and many of these people misused these dangerous drugs. The author of the study, the National Institute on Drug Abuse Deputy Director Dr. Wilson Compton, said that he was surprised by the findings.

The researchers assessed the data collected from more than 50,000 American adults in 2015 in face-to-face interviews carried out by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The groups that were most likely to be prescribed opioids were women, people aged 50 and above, and people who were not college graduates.

In total, 5 percent of American adults, or 11.5 million people, were misusing opioids, whether it was by taking the drugs without a prescription, taking them to get high, or taking more than prescribed. Moreover, around 1 percent of adults reported being addicted to the drugs. If that sounds like a small fraction to you, think again: It equates to around 1.9 million Americans, and it’s possible some people who are addicted were not so forthcoming in interviews and that the real number is higher. Those with low family incomes and no job or health insurance were more likely to have this problem.

Among those who misuse opioids, nearly two thirds said they were doing it in order to alleviate pain. More than two out five got the drugs from friends or family. The researchers said that many people are prescribed opioids they don’t really need and then pass them on to family and friends who are in pain. This indicates that doctors are not only prescribing the drugs when they’re not needed, but that they are also writing prescriptions that are too big.

Prescribing practices need to change

It’s mind-boggling to see such a high number of people being prescribed these drugs even as concerns about widespread addiction and deadly overdoses grow. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid prescriptions and fatal overdoses involving opioids have both quadrupled since 1999. That cannot be a coincidence, and Compton said that the medical profession is not prescribing these painkillers appropriately.

Indeed, a recent audit discovered that one third of all Ohio doctors failed to check patients’ prescription histories in a database as required prior to prescribing opioid-based painkillers. In that state, eight people die every day from overdoses. One particularly egregious doctor prescribed opioids to more than 700 patients in one month without carrying out a single check.

The CDC reports that opioids killed more than 33,000 Americans in 2015, breaking the previous record. Nearly half of all of these deaths involved prescription opioids.

Opioids should be a last resort

Boston University School of Medicine’s associate professor of medicine and public health, Dr. Karen Lasser, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study that a stepped-care approach should be adopted to pain management and that opioids should always be the last resort. She feels that doctors should first try non-drug pain management techniques like yoga, physical therapy or acupuncture, or give patients milder pain medication like ibuprofen or aspirin first. She also suggested that patients should be asked to sign a treatment agreement prior to taking opioids that highlights the risks of the medications so that they have a better understanding of their addictive nature.

Sources include:
Ca.News.Yahoo.com (Reuters)
CBSNews.com
NaturalNews.com
CDC.gov

The Recipe for Victory Over Any Addiction

by Dina Perkins

Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, porn, shopping, or something else that runs your life to the level of serious compulsion, there’s a way out that is not just a release, but a victory.

How do we gain victory over obstacles in our lives, such as an addiction, that seem to be tearing us to pieces and controlling our lives as if we were attached to ‘it’ with a ball and chain? So, today I want to discuss victory and the matter of fact way you

  1. What is Victory?
  2. Is victory still possible to achieve even when the darkest hour has come?
  3. Why do you need a recovery or addictions ‘coach’?
  4. Are there steps to follow to become victorious over addiction and be free?
  5. Can you successfully do this alone or do you need help?  What kind of help?
  6. What actions to you need to take for achieving victory?

Victory, in it’s basic generic sense, is obtaining authority over something we thought had an inescapable and relentless hold on us. It’s freedom that we want to celebrate. When we formulate the mindset of submission, we’re done and victory won’t likely be ours to own. Never submit to addiction.  Work on your thoughts to change and never give up until it’s accomplished.  We don’t fail unless with die in an addiction.  Then we have given the addiction permission to rule over us.

I personally believe that we can achieve victory as long as we’re still breathing and have the desire and self respect to change.  My focus, however, in my life and ministry is in addiction.  It’s during our darkest hour when we fight the hardest.  When we fight hard, we win. It’s when we are cornered that we fight to the death. That’s why people say that those in addiction have to hit rock bottom in order to be able to see the need to get clean.

Now we come to the question of whether or not we need a life coach. I believe that EVERYONE needs a life coach!  I guess I’m a bit biased because I am a coach… a recovery coach, a leadership coach and a marriage educator/coach; however, the reason for my bias is that human nature tells us that unless we figure it out for ourselves, we’re not inspired to make the proper changes in our lives. Coaching is a trained individual who, through a skilled set of probing questions, leads their client to the proper direction for their life.  It is not someone who gives advice or counsels; it’s someone who ‘leads the horse to water’.  It’s just plain fact that if you tell someone, ‘don’t’, they will and if you tell someone, ‘do’, they won’t;  so we never want to direct another’s life.   Not only do I believe that every person on earth should contract with a life coach, I believe that we all need the Life Coach of all life coaches – Jesus Christ Himself.  If you know your Bible, you know that Jesus never told anyone what to do, He just gently told of His ways in parables, analogies and laws. God is a gentleman and forces no one to follow Him; however, He causes us to fall in love with Him.

Now for the steps or phases for your path to victory.  Could there be an actual outline of things to do in order to win victory over substance abuse – or anything else in life?  Yes there is a protocol. My protocol applies in a general sense to any challenge that you are wrestling with.  Here goes...

  1. Observe.  Tune up your observational skills.  Do an assessment as to what is happening to you by rewinding to the beginning of this ‘problem’ and think about how you got into this situation in the first place and reasons why you feel you started.  As an example, ask yourself why you started taking drugs or why you started to drink.  Take yourself back to that very moment when you took that first pill… shot Heroin for the first time… did your first line of cocaine… shopped till you dropped… gambled it all away at a casino or won a boatload of money… etc.  What problem did these substances or activities seem to solve in those first moments that caused you to do it again and continue – even though you knew you shouldn’t.
  2. Analyze.  Do some self-analysis and ask yourself, what results am I not getting now  that I did get in the beginning?  Why am I continuing in this addiction if it’s not solving anything in my life, but it’s making me sick?  Knowing that drugs and alcohol cause organ damage and death, and other addictions cause the loss of money, self worth and family, what the heck is causing me to still continue?
  3. Ask.  Ask the opinions of those close to you.  Why not ask your close friends and loved ones to be raw and real with you about what kinds of change they have seen in you over the last few years that they are disappointed in you about and wish was different.
  4. Imagine. Close your eyes and imagine your life FREE from the bondage of your addiction.  God gave us a mind with the ability to imagine… to attain things we have yet accomplished… to see things that don’t yet exist.  Now that I have you sitting (or laying down on your favorite comfy sofa or chair), how does it feel to have no compulsion to count those pills… chase the next high… gamble away your savings… spend all of your monthly budget shopping for ‘stuff’… drinking yourself into oblivion… stuffing your face on junk until you can’t take a breath?  I ask you again… how does it feel?  What do you see yourself spending time doing once you’re free?  What are friends and loved ones saying to you?
  5. Your Future.  If you were to get FREE of your addiction, what might you want to be doing 2 years from now that you couldn’t even imagine doing while you are in your addiction?  Right now, your every waking hour is devoted to your addiction.  If you’re not actually needing to get high, get drunk or partake in the other addictions mentioned here, what would you love to be doing with your time?
  6. Take Action!  If you have been encouraged and inspired by honestly responding to these past 5 questions and thoughts, do something, and do it today.  At the end of each day of any addiction, there is loss.  For those in chemical addictions, that loss is the loss of your health and, eventually, your life.  For non-chemical addictions, the loss is that of family, dignity and money.  For those in non-chemical addictions, there are support groups and life coaches to help you return to normalcy.  For those involved in chemical addictions – Rx drug addiction, illegal drugs and alcohol – make arrangements for medical detox which is accomplished through a medically supervised detox center or in a hospital detox unit or mental health unit.  Once you are fully detoxed, it’s time for 3-4 months of one on one specialized Bible based life coaching.  Addiction is NOT a disease and no one should have to be navigating any 12 Step programs that have a success rate of less than 1%.  Congrats, and kudos,  if you’re among that one percent; however , statistics have shown that people do better if they go it alone than if they take part in any 12 Step group.  In my opinion, the ‘Steppers’ exude pure heresy and are a disgrace to God.   Plain and simple, addiction is sin. Jesus came to die for your sins and take them away from you.  If He sacrificed Himself for your sins, He certainly can heal you completely for your entire lifetime.
  7. Freedom! Live Life like you’ve never lived before!  You are now released from bondage; you are FREE. Take time to smell those magnificent roses. Enjoy your hope and your future. You can now do ANYTHING you want to do!, So, go ahead and do it.  Live!

Healing begins with thought! Thought leads to words.  Words lead to actionable steps that cause change.  Change causes you to live a new, healthier, addiction free life. That addiction free life repairs our broken relationship with Jesus Christ and you can now forward to eternity in Heaven.


So, who’s this Jesus?  Why do I need Him?  What’s He got to do with my life and my healing?

If you haven’t heard, Jesus is one and only  Son of the Living God. He came to earth as a baby who was 100% man and 100% God.  He grew up as a humble man who preached the message of righteousness and salvation.  He is the Messiah. He’s not a fairy tale character… history itself has documented accounts of His birth, ministry , cruel death an resurrection.  His presence here on earth is irrefutable. He came here to die on the cross as the sacrificial Lamb on the Passover.  Up until He willingly died on that cross, animals had to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin. Once Jesus was savagely beaten and crucified for YOU, it was finished… no more animal sacrifices needed to be done. He took you sins upon Himelf, as well as all the sins of the world, and upon receiving Him, you are joined with Him for all eternity in Heaven.  If you don’t receive Him of your free will, you will enter an eternity in Hell.  That’s doesn’t sound like a loving and compassionate God, you say? Well, I disagree. He DIED for YOU so that you would NOT have to go to Hell… a place designed for Satan and the fallen angels. Would YOU die for someone so that they could live?  Only God could do that.  I’d say that is a God so loving… so compassionate… so caring… that it blows my mind.

How do you become part of eternity in Heaven, where there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears and no more death?  It’s a FREE GIFT and pretty easy.  The scripture says,

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

In a prayer, you only have to confess to God that you believe He is God… that He died for your sins… and that you will live the rest of your life serving Him in righteousness.  Then, you need to read your Bible so that you know how to live a righteous life that is pleasing to God – not yourself.  Fellowship with other Spirit filled born again believers – in a home fellowship or a Spirit filled non-denominational church that preaches Jesus for Salvation. Stay on the ‘straight and narrow’ by getting yourself out of the way and becoming more like Him. God will transform you as long as you obey Him. You life will be a new birth… a new second chance… a new peace that you have never experienced before. Change will happen. You will be born again, as the Bible speaks of.  If you need help in understanding more about true Salvation and the only way to Heaven (according to the Holy Bible), please contact me. I would be happy to answer any of your questions and/or pray with you.

If you are struggling with an addiction, Jesus will take it from you and you will be FREE for life!

Heroin & Cocaine VS Rx Drugs From Your Doctor. Same or Different?

Today, I want to show you how accepting those dangerous prescriptions from your doctor is causing you to be equal to a heroin/cocaine abuser. Once you know that your doctor is giving you dangerous medications, it is up to you to make a change in your life or suffer torment, withdrawal, organ failure, seizures, stroke, heart attack and an early death.

We all know that when a person struts down to his or her drug dealer, we know that they’re willingly, knowingly and purposely after a high and are bound and determined to get it.  We also know that they are fully aware that if they get caught using, they will spend some time in  jail. Another known factor is that – most of the time – people sell their bodies in order to get that high because, without it, they will get violently sick and possibly die from withdrawal.  Another given is that they are knowingly risking their lives every single time they use.  Overdose, as everyone knows, is all too common.

So, what about Rx drugs that your doctor gives you?

  • More people die from doctors’ prescription drugs than do people using Heroin and Cocaine combined.
  • Prescription drugs such as Opiates, Benzodiazepines, Hypnotics (sleeping pills) and Stimulants (just to name a few categories) should NEVER be prescribed for more than 3 days – if at all. Antidepressants, antipsychotics and other psychotropic drugs should NEVER be prescribed by anyone other than a board certified psychiatrist; even then, you must consider whether or not this person needs to be hospitalized and evaluated in a mental health unit as these drugs cause suicidal and homicidal ideations.
  • Doctors that offer you these drugs, outside of a hospital facility, and for more than 3 days, are basically drug dealers who wear white coats.

Do the patients who use Rx drugs seek after the same high as street drug users do?

  • Absolutely YES!  The addictive Rx drugs given to you by your doctor do not keep their intensity. In other words, the dose you take today will not have the same effect on you when you continue to take it for 2 weeks. That means that your doctor will most likely increase the dose or add another drug to potentiate (make stronger) it’s effect.  As a matter of fact, many doctors, in order to keep you addicted, will add certain specific other drugs that will give give their patients the equivalent of a very potent ‘heroin high’.
  • Dosages are raised by doctors or additional drugs are added because every few weeks, the effect and euphoria (or high) of these drugs dissipates.  Keep in mind that these drugs, while becoming less effective, are stored in the body’s vital organs. This is the reason people ‘accidentally’ overdose and never see it coming.

Is it possible that Rx drug users could end up doing prison time or have to sell their bodies?

  • Yes!  It happens every day of the week. Why, you ask?  The reason is that laws are getting tighter and doctors are being squeezed not to prescribe these types of drugs… especially Opiate painkillers.  These days they can face professional discipline for misconduct, malpractice suits for iatrogenic addiction and death, and criminal criminal charges. So, what do the people do who are on these drugs and now suffer withdrawal? They hit the streets and buy heroin!  Heroin is an opiate. Whether they are 12 or 90, they will start shooting up because the withdrawal is unbearable and they don’t want to be hospitalized for 14 days to detox. As we know, this is illegal.  Being illegal, these people who have graduated from pills to heroin are now conducting themselves as other heroin abusers do, so they easily can and do end up with criminal charges.

What about withdrawal and accidental overdose?  My doctor would never put me on drugs that would cause harm to me!

  • Think again, my friends!  Remember that nasty thing called ‘GREED’?  Greed causes those who have the love of money to do crazy things.  Just because some people have an MD, DO, PA, or NP after their names doesn’t mean they don’t or can’t love money!  People who love money look for ways to make that money in a cushy, easy way.  What’s easier than addicting patients to drugs?  State laws mandate that these patients MUST come into the medical office monthly in order to get more pills. Insurances pay upward of $880 per 5 minute visit for the patient to get a new Rx. Multiply that by the average number of patients doctors have in the US per month.  I’m not going to figure out the statistics for you… you can google that if you want; however, what I will tell you is that in 2012 (the most recent statistics available form the CDC), 259,000,000 (million) prescriptions were written for just Opioids alone!!!!!!!!!  You do the math on how lucrative it is for doctors to prescribe these drugs and how they only have to spend 5 minutes with a patient to make upwards of $880.00 per month per patient. Don’t you wonder how your monster doctor affords all of those luxury vacations… new cars… huge houses (and multiple homes)… designer clothes… private schools… etc? I guess you’ve been reading my words here because you guessed it… it’s by prescribing addictive and mind altering drugs!  Voila!  One American dies every 19 minutes here in the US from a prescription overdose from addictive drugs prescribed by their doctor.  IATROGENIC DEATH is now the #1 cause of accidental death in America.  To me, it’s no accident when doctors know what these drugs do and prescribe them anyway. Even after a patient has experienced a massive overdose, their doctor will prescribe them to that same patient again when they get home from the hospital. That’s egregious since the chance of overdose is GREATER after an overdose has already occurred. For many, it only takes just one pill!!!

Motto of my post today?  NEVER TRUST YOUR DOCTOR!  

  • Do the research – Look up the drugs yourself and ask your pharmacist for a package insert so that you can see all facts about the drugs.
  • ask questions of pharmacists, naturopaths, google ‘dangers of (name of drug)’ and see what others have experienced and what remains hidden from patients.
  • allow a window of time before accepting any Rx or procedure in order to get other opinions from doctors who are naturopaths.
  • *******NEVER start with these drugs and you’ll never get addicted, you’ll never get dead before your time, and you’ll never suffer the evil ravages of taking them.
  • Look for an MD or DO who is a Naturopath… seek natural alternatives.
  • For pain, google LDN… an awesome way to control pain, many diseases and helps you sleep.  It doesn’t ’cause’ anything in your body… it enables your body to heal itself.

Are You Addicted to the Drugs You’re Getting from your Doctor?

 

IF YOU’VE BEEN TAKING

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FOR MORE THAN 2 WEEKS, YOU ARE

ADDICTED AND YOUR LIFE

IS AT RISK

Opiates, Benzodiazepines, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Hypnotics, Stimulants, toxic poisons that your doctor gives you simply because you’re complaining and want a quick fix. They know that once you take the first pill, you’ll be coming back every month for more. Those visits are charged to insurances at charges upward of $880.00 a pop each month. Still wonder why insurance is so costly? Blame your monster doctor; then, after you read this, blame yourself as well.

  • When you stop taking them, you feel so sick that you must begin taking them again
  • You’re taking them for more than 2 weeks
  • You’re counting your pills to make sure you have enough
  • You’re sleeping too much or can’t sleep
  • You’re constipated or having diarrhea
  • You are having palpitations
  • You are fearful and/or anxious
  • Your appetite is out of control or you can’t eat
  • You’re losing or gaining weight
  • You are losing time at work
  • The pain is getting much worse (yes… the painkillers CAUSE more pain after a few weeks)
  • You find yourself isolating more
  • You feel paranoid
  • Your skin is crawling
  • You are feeling feelings of impending doom
  • You go in any weather and take risks in order to the doctor or pharmacy to get your pills
  • Your mind is always on the next dose
  • You can’t get enough from your doctor, so you try going to other doctors
  • Frequent headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Time seems ‘blurred’

There are far more symptoms than those I just mentioned; however, if you have any one of these, or are taking these medications for more than the perceived medical standard of two weeks, you need to find help and get professionally medically detoxed in a supervised setting. Once you are discharged, find a doctor who doesn’t prescribe any of these medications. After detox, come to us for support. You’ll require one on one support for about 4 months. Our services are charged by a very affordable minimum donation. Until Victory Retreat Montana is up and running, we work by phone and Skype. IatrogenicAddiction.com

The bottom line is that you either get help today, or tragically suffer and have a premature death. Most all insurances can cover most or all of the cost of medically supervised detox. Isn’t your life worth it?

Why Addiction is NOT a Disease, According to Dr. Marc Lewis

A neuroscientist disputes the status quo, calling us all to rethink how we view addiction.

As I looked down at my prepared questions, thinking they were juvenile or topical or pathetic, to ask Dr. Marc Lewis about his new book, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease, he stopped me and said, “Before we get started, do you mind if I ask what kind of drugs you did?” Without missing a beat I said, “It began with pharmaceutical opiates.” He paused for a moment and smiled, “Those are some pretty attractive drugs.”

I knew at that moment I was speaking with a neuroscientist who not only understood the brain’s matter—its molecules, membranes, blood, and electricity—but it was clear to me that he also understood the person in which the brain is embodied. Where most neuroscientists dismiss one’s inner-life as fuzzy and immeasurable, Lewis does not. He’s totally interested and fascinated by the lived experience of drug users.

Which is why I found myself enjoying both him and our talk, especially after my nerves quieted and the 8am coffee began to wake me up—or caused my pituitary gland to secrete hormones that in turn caused my adrenal glands to produce a bit more adrenaline, thus honing my attention. See, I can sound neuroscience-y, too.

Though Lewis is busy teaching in the Netherlands, the two of us found time to connect and below we discuss his brilliantly penned Oliver Sacks-like case studies, his argument against the disease theory of addiction, and the importance of goals and time, of humans and their stories.

You write that classifying addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease can be harmful. But many argue this takes stigma off the user, whereas the “addiction is a choice” camp may put unnecessary blame on the user. So why is the disease diagnosis also harmful?

There is the assumption, which Dr. Nora Volkow continues to pound in, that we need to label addiction as a disease in order to remove the shame and guilt and self-remorse from it. I don’t think that is necessarily true. We can deal with remorse and shame in other ways. I also think a little bit of shame can be excellent motivation, and getting rid of it entirely is not necessarily a good idea at all.

The disease label often leads to a sense of fatalism: “I’ve got a disease, what can I do? I need to go get help and if I can’t get better it’s because I have a disease…not because of something I’m doing wrong.”

A lot of people who are in the addiction field feel that empowerment, a certain amount of self-discipline, and taking oneself in hand are extremely valuable measures and perhaps the only way to get through it.

I also think that the “disease vs. choice” argument creates a false dichotomy. Choice is not independent of the brain, naturally, so a neuroscience view does not support one or the other. And choice is far from logical in most human affairs. Addiction may not be a disease or a free choice.

You list a number of compulsions, such as overeating, where there are some remarkable similarities to chemical addiction—but you say no one would ever consider those things diseases. Why is it then, that addiction to drugs is given the special title of a brain disease? 

I think that the DSM-V, the latest rendition, no longer uses the term “addiction” for drugs. They have “substance use disorders” instead. OK, well fine, but we all know what they mean by this. Maybe gambling is the only thing still labeled “an addiction.” So there are also eating disorders and they all have compulsive tendencies, and the point at which we call something a disease, where we draw this line in the sand, is pretty arbitrary. It depends a whole lot on societal values and morals, rather than on any kind of logical scientific or other rational criteria.

If drugs are really offensive, if getting high or getting stoned is really offensive to the society, we’re going to call it a disease. For eating, everybody eats and a lot of us are fat, so they’re not going to call that a disease.

Why do you not like the term “recovery”?

It’s derived from medical parlance, right? You have a disease and you need to recover from it, which means going back to the previous equilibrium that your body is at peace in, or stable in. I want to be careful about this, though. I don’t think the term “recovery” is all that helpful in a scientific discourse. But a lot of people use the term and we know what they mean and they talk about being “in recovery.” I don’t want to in any way criticize or denigrate the use of the term for people who are getting value out of it.

Along those lines of returning to “equilibrium,” you cite a 2013 study where cocaine users who were abstinent for 35 to 60 weeks had a regrowth of reduced grey matter volume which continued to develop and grow beyond what is baseline for even non-drug users, meaning, it didn’t just return to “normal” but went past it. I think that’s interesting, because if I think about myself before, during, and post-opiate usage, I’m totally different. I bet my grey matter is, too. So in a sense, aren’t we just always changing? 

Glad you brought that up. It’s a huge factor. You certainly just nailed it and a lot of people feel that way. I communicate with hundreds and hundreds of addicts from my blog and once they have “recovered” they are not the same person—they’re just not. And they’re often very pleased with that.

I’m always thinking about time and my relation to it. When I look back to when I was using I remember the future was an abstraction I couldn’t really grasp or touch, let alone imagine. Now, with some years off opiates, I can cast off a “future Zach” and work toward goals that allow me to meet up with that possibility of me. How important is one’s temporality in addiction? 

That’s really where I come to at the end of the book. The main vortex that sucks us into addiction is this being trapped in the now and the present, which I call “now appeal,” which psychologists call “delay discounting.”

So you’re trapped in this now that just won’t go away because tomorrow is just another now: Where am I going to use? Where am I going to get the money to use? Or where am I going to get the drugs? You cannot extend forward in time, you can’t think about next week—it’s too hard, too far away. You lose the capacity—actually lose it—to think forward in time. And I think that corresponds to the brain changes that are taking place, particularly the functional disconnection between the striatum and the prefrontal cortex.

There is a lot of evidence that this happens in addiction, but it also happens in studies of delay discounting and ego fatigue. So it’s not just addiction that’s “destroying” the brain, rather it’s a way of interacting with one’s world in the present that corresponds with changes in brain function.

If you lose the capacity to think forward then you’re really trapped because you lose the capacity to take care of yourself. To think of yourself in this kind of caring way, to put your arm around your shoulder and say, “It’s going to be okay, we’ll get to next week and things will be better.” You can’t do that anymore. You forget how. It’s a terrible state to be in.

Most of the former drug users you interviewed for the book all seemed to have gone on their own path of cleaning up outside of AA. Do you think 12-step culture propagates a lot of the disease ideas?

There has been this kind of concatenation between the core precepts of AA and the disease model. I think this really took root in the ’50s and ’60s, with Hazelden and all of that. Then there was a gradual medicalization with doctors and medical associations coming on board saying this is a disease and that crossed over into AA parlance. But Bill W. didn’t talk about it that way. He used the word “allergy” and he didn’t really think it was a disease, at least in the way people in the ’90s thought it was a disease, with the whole brain disease thing.

Plenty who either write for or comment on The Fix see AA as a real nuisance. 

I don’t want to bash AA the way some people do. I don’t think there is an evil intention there. I think it does help some. We all know the success rates are not very stellar. None of the five people I interviewed in my book really got better through AA, although some of them used AA en route.

When I did my first drafts of the book, I had an editor who really knew a lot more about AA than I did. She got me thinking about it. She argued that you couldn’t necessarily assume that these ideas came out of AA. They partly were infused into AA by larger systems, like the courts: you have behaved badly, you have a disease, therefore you must go to this program. This program happens to use 12-step methods. So now you have to go to meetings. The whole disease stuff and AA then gets blended and mulched together and that’s just the way concepts evolve. It’s not really AA that’s fucking things up, per se.

So where exactly do you depart from the disease theory people and where do they depart from you? You’re all scientists looking at the same brain imaging studies, yet you come to massively different interpretations. How does that happen? 

It’s a tough one. Kent Berridge (a neuroscientist) is a guy I really respect and like very much. He and I were together at this meeting with the Dalai Lama about a year and a half ago on addiction and craving. Nora Volkow of NIDA was also there. I sat with Berridge in a restaurant in Kolkata for hours and we debated this stuff and I kept asking, “How could you think about this stuff as a disease?”

He still thinks of it as pathology. I buy his theory, I buy his perspective, but we frame it in a different way. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he studies rats and I don’t [laughs]. Rats don’t tell stories and we humans, well, we live stories. It’s a less static or more dynamic way of looking at a phenomenon.

Obviously a lot less control in humans than rats. 

Yeah, that’s right. I think one of the key insights comes from Trevor Robbins, who is probably the world expert on compulsive behavior in the brain. In my book, I quote him saying, “There is nothing aberrant or unusual about devolving behavioral control to a dorsal striatal S-R habit mechanism.” Sorry, it’s quite a mouthful. What he is saying, I think, is that the shift into compulsive behavior is not abnormal, and we do this all the time. When we eat, we shove stuff in our mouth in a kind of compulsive way. Think about how you eat a pizza, right? There are so many ways in which well-learned responses become partially compulsive.

And to me, that was the pivot point, in which you can say, “Yes! Behaviors can become compulsive and hard to control but that doesn’t make it a disease.” Rather, it makes it a kind of automatic response tendency that’s been over-learned. I don’t think Berridge would see it that way. He does things with his rats and, just, I don’t know [laughs], doesn’t quite see it the same way.

The participants in many of your case studies were able to think backward into their childhoods, while they were developing, to some kind of thing that colored their disposition or coping. Do you think that is always the case with drug users? Something specific or non-specific happened in the past that shaped their compulsive behavior in the present? 

I think it is common but I don’t think it is always necessary. I’ve talked to people who were in drug-taking environments for long enough and they eventually just got into it. Looking at their past, I couldn’t see anything particularly amiss. So I don’t go as far as Gabor Maté, who argues a sort of extreme version of that idea. I just don’t think it’s quite that simple, but those kinds of events come up again and again when you talk to addicts. It’s a lot more than chance, like 60, 70, maybe 80%. It’s a lot. 

So what are the implications of your ideas for the future? Where do we go from here? 

Where I try to go to at the end of the book is to look to approaches to treatment and quitting, not necessarily treatment because you don’t need treatment to quit, you can do it yourself or with a friend or family member…or lots of ways.

But I think you often do need to revisit the past partly so you can forgive yourself, and see the trajectory as it has progressed through your life. I’m here not because I’m an asshole, I’m here for a reason. And I can see how it happened: how I became needy, how I became insecure and anxious and depressed. I can see how that led to wanting this kind of peace, fulfillment, relief, and that kind of self-forgiveness is tremendously important.

I see that as a bridge to the future we were talking about. That terrible sort of schism in time that’s created by now appeal can be overcome by connecting your past to your future, in a sort of continuity, where you can see yourself in time—as you and I are talking about, I know you know what I mean—seeing your life as a story.

This is not exactly a new treatment protocol, but these are ideas I hope can be useful to help explore new and more effective approaches to treatment.

News Source:  TheFix.com


IatrogenicAddiction.com : The dangers of prescription drugs

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