Opioid treatment programs continue to respond to the evolving needs of our patients throughout the first wave of this epidemic. These developing responses can be viewed as inflection points or stages. The first stage, beginning six or seven weeks ago, represented the initial shock to the system with conservative decision making. This gave way to a more adaptive responses through more flexible policy making at federal and state regulatory levels in addition to changing program policy.
The second stage represented increasing adaptability as more take-home medication was provided in addition to curbside administration of medications and providing families or friends of patients with take-home medication, following patient consent.
Without any question, this epidemic has provided different challenges to the OTPs. On the one hand, if OTPs were overly conservative in providing take-home medication to patients, there would be increased risk of infection. On the other hand, if the OTPs provided too much additional medication to clinically unstable patients, there would be additional risk for potential overdose and diversion.
This is why we discussed this balancing in our Association’s initial guidance to our field, which was released on March 20, 2020.
There were the initial complications, including the assurance that there would be an adequate supply of medication as OTPs began submitting larger than normal orders of medication. Fortunately, this challenge was quickly resolved through the DEA and pharmaceutical manufacturers. There has been no interruption in the supply of needed medication for OTPs.
OTPs were also experiencing difficulty in obtaining personal protective gear and SAMHSA was extremely helpful in providing a letter on March 25, 2020, which helped free up some supplies. Additionally, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy also provided a letter to the field on April 23, 2020 and that has also been helpful in getting protective equipment to OTPs since there continues to be challenges in obtaining masks and other protective equipment. I am grateful to have the support of these federal agencies in providing guidance to our field as OTPs remain open as essential medical facilities.
We are now facing a new, third stage and I anticipate that there will be greater reports of patient and staff infection and mortality. We will begin collecting such information over the next several weeks in conjunction with our policymaking partners. There will come a time where we will be better able to understand what went right and what did not, and we will come to know how OTPs acted in response to the needs of our patients.
The dust has yet to settle but it is important to acknowledge the incredible work of the staff working in OTPs in addition to expressing gratitude to the patients, who continue to put their trust into the work of our treatment programs during such an extraordinarily challenging time. I realize that some programs may have been slow to react to the initial shock of the first wave and I believe that that there has been an evolution of thoughtful responses. There will be many people to thank in the coming months as the initial phase of this epidemic comes to an end and AATOD will continue to provide guidance to the field as we learn more.
For the time being, I am deeply appreciative of the work of the OTPs and other substance use treatment programs throughout our country and other nations. I am also grateful for the coordination of the federal and state agencies, which have jurisdiction in these areas.
In good health,
Mark W. Parrino, M.P.A. – AATOD President
Written and posted May 1, 2020, can be found on the AATOD web page at http://www.aatod.org
As a drug addict committed to recovery, you may experience shame and disappointment if you relapse. The truth is, relapse is a normal part of recovery that if handled properly will not ruin your journey to lifelong sobriety.
Normal Doesn’t Mean Inevitable
It’s important to understand that just because drug relapse is common doesn’t mean it has to or should happen. It’s possible to achieve sobriety the first time. Avoid using the fact that relapse is normal to justify returning to addictive behaviors.
How to Handle Relapse
If you do relapse, the first thing to do is not beat yourself up. Shame and discouragement only further drive your drug addiction to escape the pain. Instead, use relapse as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself if you really are ready to give up your drug addiction, and if not, what is holding you back. To succeed, you need:
- A strong motivation
- Recovery tools
- Professional help
- A support network
The work begins internally with honesty and surrender. You have to accept that total abstinence may be the only possible way you can never relapse again.
You must learn how to navigate difficult emotions and be committed to reaching out whenever you feel triggered instead of thinking you can do it alone. There are people and programs waiting to assist you. To learn more about relapse and recovery, call Central Florida Treatment Centers, Inc. in Orlando 407-843-0041.
Whether it’s residential or outpatient, when evaluating specialists and programs, everyone’s needs are going to be different. However, the lengthier and intense the drug use, the longer the treatment will be.
Proper Medication Combined With Therapy
The use of the correct medication coupled with therapy has shown to be highly effective. For instance, someone addicted to heroin often needs withdrawal medication and intense therapy.
Addressing the Addiction and a Possible Psychological Disorder
It’s relatively common for someone with a substance problem to also be struggling with a psychological issue, such as:
This type of integrated treatment has also proven to be successful. You may be referred for additional services for assessing or treating possible psychological conditions.
When it comes right down to it, the best treatment will almost always include individual therapy and often group therapy. Many programs provide plenty of both.
Your counselor will work with you to address any mental, emotional, or spiritual blocks to recovery thereby helping you make a behavioral action plan that fits your needs and desire to change. Throughout the process, you will be assisted in implementing behavioral and cognitive changes benefiting your quality of life.
Techniques Most mindfulness experts teach that the mind is the root of all suffering. As more professionals guide individuals to go inward, more people dealing with addiction will be able to burn out their destructive thought patterns through the fire of observation.
If someone you love struggles with an addiction, you know it can be difficult to determine how to best help. However, even if you don’t quite understand what your loved one is experiencing, there are a few things you can do to talk effectively to someone with addiction:
- Prepare yourself. Think about what you want to say before talking with your loved one. You should also prepare yourself by trying to understand that addiction is a disease and that even though you want to save your loved one, it’s not all up to you.
- Be open. Try to be kind, but very honest about how the addiction affects you and others in your loved one’s life. It is important for addicts to understand how their actions can hurt more than just themselves.
- Keep your cool. It’s natural to get emotional while talking about such a difficult subject as addiction, but try to stay calm and avoid belittling your loved one, even if he or she gets angry or upset. Try to maintain a discussion rather than letting the talk turn into an argument.
- Try to show empathy. Avoid getting angry or sounding judgmental. Your loved one’s addiction can be very frustrating, but both of you will likely be better off if you work hard to show empathy and understanding.
It may be difficult, but it is worth taking action to help an addict take steps toward recovery. Call Central Florida Treatment Centers, Inc. in Orlando 407-843-0041 to learn about additional resources for addicts.
If you have a harmful addiction you want to break free of, then you will need professional help. While you are going through a treatment program, there are things you can do on your own to ensure you stick with your decision.
Build a Support Group
Surround yourself with people who believe in your well-being. You would not want to hang around people who are going to encourage you to pursue your vices. Let loved ones know you are seeking treatment, and you will likely find people are more than willing to help.
Develop New Hobbies
Many addicts feel encouraged to continue their habits because they need something to fill them time. Develop other hobbies that take your mind off the addictive behavior. This can be anything from jogging to volunteering at a local shelter.
You probably have triggers that entice you to give into the addictive habit. Before quitting, you want to identify these triggers. Triggers can be anything from places to people. Write them down, so you know exactly what they are. Once you are on the path to recovery, actively take steps to avoid them.
Fighting an addiction can be tough, but with the right mindset, you can do it. To learn more about the treatments available, call Central Florida Treatment Centers, Inc. in Orlando 407-843-0041.
The struggles and demons of addiction and recovery can be stressful and painful for the person as well as their family. The road to recovery may surely be hard, but it is necessary for one to become healthy and have the quality of life you desire once again. These are some important steps to follow:
The most important step is to acknowledge that your disease of addiction exists. One must be aware that the problem is causing harm to your body, relationships, employment, behavior or other issues. You are seeking solutions to fix the problem instead of making excuses.
Recovery cannot be done alone. It is important to find professionals, such as Central Florida Treatment Centers, to work with you step-by-step through the recovery process. Recovery may include individual/group therapy, medication as well as counseling to make the needed mental, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral changes.
Build a Support Group
It is Important to be around individuals or a group that will make a positive contribution to your treatment and recovery. Find like-minded people, as well as be around family and friends who will not allow you to relapse into poor habits that contributed to your addiction. This may include removing yourself from people that you enjoyed being around in the past that may trigger additional drug use.
Fight Through Relapse
Of course, relapse is not ideal. However, it is important to remember and use what was learned during treatment as well as continuing to follow the steps of your recovery to get back on track. Healing is a continuous process.
If you are in Central or South Florida and want to start your addiction recovery, contact Central Florida Treatment Centers at one of our six locations. Your recovery begins here.
Recovering from an injury or suffering from chronic pain due to an underlying medical condition will require some pain relief. While many people choose to manage their pain through physical therapy and holistic practices, others will turn to prescription medications. Although shocking for some to learn, opioid pain relievers are the most common of all medications prescribed by doctors. Prescription painkillers are effective for man patients, but they can lead to dangerous addictions. Unfortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported deaths from opioid poisonings have tripled within the last 20 years. If your spouse is currently taking opioids for pain relief and showing one or more of the following signs, they require help for their addiction.
Lack of Motivation
Before starting the painkillers, your spouse may have considered work a priority, getting up each morning to head out for the day. While taking the opioids, your spouse may have lost all motivation to work or complete normal daily tasks.
Addicts will also lose interest in the home and work life. They may stop caring for the house, lawn, pets, and children and call in sick to work. Your hard-working, motivated spouse may seem to shut down physically.
If your spouse is currently taking painkillers and missing work or school, forgetting important tasks, or neglecting themselves or your family, they may be abusing opioids.
Everyone experiences sleepiness and fatigue during a day. However, if your spouse is constantly tired and drowsy while on prescription painkillers, they may be abusing the medications.
Pay attention to any patterns of drowsiness and fatigue during the day. Droopy eyes, slurring words, and nodding off during the middle of the day are common issues that occur during the peak effect of using opioid medications.
Your spouse may also close off emotionally while abusing prescription painkillers. These drugs induce feelings of loss that can cause your spouse to isolate themselves and display signs of depression.
Your spouse may spend time alone in the bedroom or the front of the television. They will decline invitations to social events, choosing to spend their time alone or with individuals who are also abusing drugs.
Opioid abusers also lose all interest in favorite activities, such as sports, gaming, and hobbies. A decreased libido is also common in drug addicts so that you may notice a change in your sex life.
This isolation will affect relationships between your spouse and family, friends and children. In many instances, the drug addiction will end relationships.
Changes In Appearance
If your loved one is addicted to painkillers, they may show physical signs, as well. One of the most common signs that your spouse is on drugs is a change in their pupils.
In bright light, the pupils will become smaller or constrict. In dark spaces, the pupils will become larger. This involuntary reaction occurs in an attempt to restore your vision when experiencing changes in light and color. If your spouse’s pupils are constricted even in dimly lit areas, they are most likely using opioid drugs.
Most drug addicts will stop eating, resulting in a dramatic weight loss that affects not only their appearance, but also their overall health and wellness. This unexplained weight loss is another sign that your spouse may have an addiction that requires treatment.
Lastly, addicts may forego simple grooming tasks. Your spouse may stop shaving or showering. You may notice they are wearing dirty clothes while having greasy hair and body odor.
Opioid addiction is a serious problem that requires immediate help. By understanding the signs of a potential addiction, you will know when it is time to seek help. For help restoring your spouse’s physical and emotional health, contact one of the Central Florida Treatment Centers today.
Drug dependencies are surprisingly easy to develop but are extremely hard to overcome, and many people who seek drug rehabilitation services end up right back where they were beforehand. Today, clinics offer medication-assisted drug treatment, and this form of treatment offers great results for opioid use disorder treatment. If you are ready to quit for good and want help, you should consider using a medication-assisted program.
What Is a Medication-Assisted Program?
Getting into full recovery is not an easy task, and this is primarily because of the effects drugs have on the brain. While all drugs have different effects, most target the reward center in the brain. This is what causes a high, and this is what attracts people to drugs.
The problem with this is that when a person begins using drugs, the drugs alter the person’s brain. After a while, the brain stops making the normal chemicals it used to make, and this is part of what really causes an addiction. Without the brain producing these chemicals, using drugs is the only way to feel good, or even normal.
A medication-assisted drug treatment program helps people break this cycle with medications. These medications are able to bind to the receptors in the brain, thereby eliminating (at a therapeutic dose) withdrawal symptoms. On a stable therapeutic dose, the high and the withdrawal can be eliminated leaving the patient to develop the life and lifestyle they choose. While still dependent on the medication, the illegal, chaotic, and unstable routine of the drug-addicted lifestyle is eliminated.
Why Do These Work?
If an addict receives the right type of medication at a therapeutic dose, he or she may not experience any withdrawal symptoms at all. There are several types of medications used for this form of drug treatment, and the two most common ones are methadone and Suboxone. Each type binds to the receptors in the brain, making it easier for the person to stop using illegal drugs.
Does This Offer Instant Results?
Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment for drug abuse that offers instant results. It is well established that drug addiction a disease, and treating a disease is not something that happens overnight. In fact, it often takes months or even years to fully recover from drug addiction.
With the help of medication, those with the disease of addiction can slowly overcome the addiction. While getting doses of the medication, he or she can begin working on other parts of their lives through counseling and making changes. For example, the addict can begin focusing on emotional and spiritual issues. Next, he or she might be ready to work on vocation, education, or social and recreational activities.
At that point, they may want to begin considering lowering the dosage of the medication and slowly eliminating it altogether. It takes time for this to happen. However, statistics show that the majority of patients do better remaining in medication-assisted treatment and those leaving treatment may have a hard time sustaining recovery.
If you are tired of depending on illegal, harmful drugs to get by, contact Central Florida Treatment Centers. We can help you break your addiction if you are serious about it, and we offer personalized treatment plans for each person that comes for help. Call us today to begin a brand-new way of life that will be healthy and lead to a better future.
Living with an addict of any sort can be overwhelming, but understanding that addiction is a disease can help you search for help. While this fact is surprising for some people to learn, prescription painkillers are one of the most abused substances in the world. In fact, between 26.4 million and 36 million people in the world abuse opioids.
If you believe your spouse is addicted to or abusing opioids, know that you are not alone. Help is readily available for you, your partner and your family. With this guide and the help of professionals, you will know what to do if you suspect your spouse is addicted to opioids.
If you already have suspicions, you most likely have seen some signs of unusual behavior. Of course, each person is different and may show different symptoms compared to others. However, if your spouse is abusing or dependent on opioids, you may notice the following:
- Constantly taking, asking for, talking about, or searching for the drug
- Inability to control how much they take and when they take the opioids
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of interest in life or specific activities
- Frequent blackouts or memory losses
- Extreme highs and extreme lows
- Withdrawal symptoms if they go without the drug
- Concealing, hiding or lying about drug use
- Use of opioids as a way to deal with stress
Changes in your spouse’s appearance may also signal an addiction to opioids. If your spouse’s pupils are constricted even in dim light, they may be high on drugs.
Also, drooping eyes, slurred speech, flushing of the face and neck, and itchy arms are all signs that your spouse is abusing opioids.
Do not look the other way if you suspect your spouse is abusing drugs. Instead, talk with them about the problem. Do not wait very long; there will not be a “better” time to start the conversation about your spouse’s addiction.
Describe some of the behaviors you see from your spouse, but make sure to remain calm and have the discussion in a non-argumentative manner that does not place blame.
Ask your spouse whether they also feel they have a problem. Then offer your complete support so you can move forward and begin the process of recovery together.
Once you are confident your spouse has an addiction, you must stop enabling this behavior. Enabling occurs through a variety of ways that you may not be familiar with.
You may pick up their prescription drugs while doing your regular grocery shopping each week. Or you may give your spouse money and drive them around in hopes of finding more opioids. You may also make excuses for your spouse’s behavior to coworkers, friends, family members and neighbors.
Your breaking the habit of enabling will help your spouse break their addiction.
In the best case scenario, your spouse will agree they need treatment, but that is not always the case. Interventions are often used as a way for family members to give addicts encouragement to undergo professional treatment.
A treatment center that uses a combination of therapy and medication to ease the harsh symptoms of withdrawal can be an effective option for your spouse.
After your spouse goes through a successful detox supervised by medical professionals, they can begin therapy for their addiction.
The time your spouse spends in treatment will depend on a few factors, including their emotional well-being, physical health and basic needs. Once the treatment is complete and as it occurs, you’ll need to provide your spouse with special care to aid their recovery.
Your loved one can learn to manage their addiction. Regular attendance at meetings can form the basis for continuing therapy and offer support that reduces the risk of relapses. You and your spouse can attend these meetings together.
If your spouse is addicted to opioids, addressing the problem is imperative. To learn more opioid addiction and treatment, contact the Central Florida Treatment Centers today.
Opiate addiction affects everyone- from loved ones and relatives to communities and society in general. In addition to inpatient hospitalization and treatment centers, it helps to maintain a ‘tool-box’ of therapeutic approaches and strategies to prevent relapse and keep you on your recovery path. Consider some unique and holistic ways to enhance your sense of well-being and improve your chances of maintaining sobriety.
Some alternative approaches to addiction treatment include these practices:
Acupuncture is a safe and holistic option for your treatment regimen, that is being found more-widely in most regions. Some studies indicate that acupuncture can decrease the discomfort during detox, as well as reduce cravings during withdrawal from substances, such as opioids. Furthermore, acupuncture is credited with lowering anxiety, boosting mood, and increasing energy, perhaps due to the fact that it impacts the endocrine system.
Don’t underestimate the value of diet during recovery; what you put into your body is fueling your efforts toward sobriety. Studies are emerging regarding biochemical restoration which attempts to manage imbalances in the body that lead to cravings, mood swings, stress and anxiety, which could cause relapse among addicts. Many others in recovery have found that a plant-based lifestyle makes them feel better overall and that it instills confidence and stewardship during the recovery process.
Meditation can help regulate and improve mood among those involved in 12-step programs or other recovery path. It can provide the focus and venue to avoid and prevent relapse, while also providing many with a new sense of insight and self-awareness. This could lead to a deeper understanding of the individual’s triggers and behaviors, which is a useful and powerful tool for recovery.
Alternative approaches to recovery should not replace your current medications prescribed by your practitioner, and you should always inform your provider of any new treatments or supplements you are taking. Beyond methadone and anti-agonist therapy drugs, other medications could aid recovery, such as CBD oil. Studies show that an average dose of around 5mg of Cannabidiol oil daily impacts drug-seeking behaviors without notable physical impairment. In sum, CBD favorably impacts relapse among opioid addicts in recovery.
It is not surprising that exercise is recommended for those in recovery from opiates or other drugs, as it is a natural mood-elevator and stimulant. However, yoga, specifically, has benefits that include an innercalm and peace of mind that can reduce instances of relapse. Also, yoga is lauded for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression widely, while keeping you toned and fit, with a strong core.
Addicts in recovery often benefit from pet therapy; the nurturance involved with a pet provides a healthy, therapeutic bond that serves as a companion during a difficult time. Researchers have shown that spending time with pets and companion animals can provide feelings of overall well-being, improve mood, and create social engagement, in addition to lowering blood pressure and reducing chronic pain. Pets provide routine and purpose, which is grounding and beneficial during times of change or transition.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that at least a third of the adult population in this country embraces and uses some sort of holistic medicine practice. This could lead to a growing demand for alternative therapies and options- including in treating addiction- in years to come.
If you or someone you love is recovering from opiate addiction, the Central Florida Treatment Centers can help. Augment your current treatment regime with this arsenal of alternative approaches that can induce serenity, increase confidence, and improve your chances of recovery. Talk to a practitioner or professional to discuss detoxification and treatment planning today.