Monday, April 29, 2019

Difference Between Abuse and Addiction

InterventionWhat’s the difference between drug abuse and drug dependence, and are they connected? It’s a common question, and it may not always be easy to tell when someone you care about crosses the line from abuse of a substance into a full-blown addiction.
The difference is in the number of diagnostic criteria as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as published by the American Psychiatric Association and used by physicians and the court system alike.
When it comes down to it, however, no matter what the specifics, consequences of chronic drug use and addiction can be damaging to every aspect of a person’s life, and if moderation of that use is impossible alone, then treatment can help.

Drug Abuse

Chronic drug abuse problems are often perceived to be less devastating than drug addiction but the fact is that ongoing use of illicit substances can be just as damaging to the user’s life. For that reason, treatment services are available to those who struggle with either issue.
Drug abuse is signified by experiencing one or more the following issues in the past year:

Drug Addiction

If you experience three or more of the following issues within a 12-month period, you meet the criteria for a diagnosis of addiction:
  • Onset of withdrawal symptoms (physical and psychological) when without the drug of choice
  • Using larger and larger amounts of the drug of choice in order to achieve the same results experienced initially
  • Less interest in old hobbies and interests or career/school pursuits
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Patterns of behavior that revolve solely around getting or staying high
  • Multiple attempts to cut down or stop drug use without success
  • Continued use of drugs and alcohol despite continued and growing problems related to their use

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction

Revised June 2018
Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.

What Is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

Long-Term Drug Abuse Can Weaken The Heart


In recent times, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of illicit drugs in the U.S., owing to an array of factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, family history or peer pressure, among others. As per a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, approximately 10.2 percent of Americans, aged 12 years and above had used some form of illicit drug in the month prior to the survey.
Today, illegal drug abuse has become a common problem among all age groups, race or gender, resulting in various other serious repercussions such as accidents, domestic violence, unintentional injuries and even death. However, the most far-reaching effect of drug abuse and dependence is a serious impact on the crucial organs in the human body such as liver, kidney, heart and the brain.
Although not very commonly known, drug abuse over a prolonged period can prove to be detrimental for the proper functioning of the heart. The damage caused to the cardiovascular system can result in several heart ailments such as changes in the heart rate, heart failure, worsening of current heart problems or even death.
Effects of illegal substances on the heart: An overview
It has been found that abusing illicit drugs such as cocaine, amphetamine, heroin or opioids can severely affect the proper functioning of the heart. When an individual smokes, inhales or injects the drug, it enters into the bloodstream. The heart then pumps the blood to the brain, which, in turn, affects the way a person feels or behaves.
Whether someone is taking drugs occasionally or on a regular basis, it can have a direct impact on the heart, thereby resulting in a number of heart diseases. For instance, drinking alcohol heavily can weaken the heart's ability to pump blood, which might also lead to heart failure. Regular and high doses of stimulant drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine might increase the risk of heart attacks. Apparently, the risk is higher in people who are already suffering from heart problems or high blood pressure. While a short-term use of illegal drugs can result in heart attacks, their long-term use can even lead to death due to increased heart complications.
Smoking nicotine makes the heart work more rigorously. It can result in thickening of the blood, reducing its capability to flow through the narrowed arteries.
Quitting drugs to safeguard health
While there might be several factors responsible for pushing millions of people into the devastating habit of drug abuse, lack of support majorly results in such people being unable to kick the habit despite knowing its harmful effects. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the problem of addiction at an early stage and get the required help before it is too late.
Drug abuse not only destroys lives but also tears families apart. However, it is nearly impossible to quit addiction without professional help. Withdrawal symptoms can be immensely difficult to deal with, and therefore, frequent relapses are a common occurrence. Hence, people addicted to drugs need medical intervention to help them lead a sober life.
If you or someone you know is addicted to some kind of drugs and is seeking help from the best drug rehab, get in touch with the California Drug Addiction Helpline. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1946, and we will assist you to find the complete information about the best drug rehab centers.

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Benefits Of De-Addiction Programs: A Boon To Human Society

By    Expert Author Dr Satinder Singh

The term addiction or addict can be used in both positive and negative tone. A bookworm can also be an addict to knowledge. But usually, we consider an addict in a negative term if the person is found to be alcoholic or remain under the influence of a drug or taking any other substance to set free from the human sanity. From teenagers to frustrating middle-aged men and women are spotted under the influence of dangerous substance besides doing alcohol or nicotine. Those who want to get out of the situation and come back to the normal phase of life are often asked to attend de-addiction programs from where they can come out clean and move into the normal stream of life.
The benefits of de-addiction programs-
The listeners are there
The de-addiction programs are mostly residential which is like a medical rehab run by specialized doctors, nurses, and therapists helping the people that have been lost in the middle of nowhere because of the addiction of alcohol or drugs. The families or friends that are taking the responsibility of admitting the person to the rehab or the anti-addiction program should be well-aware of the staff and their behavior. They are supposed to be amiable and compassionate towards the person seeking help in the center. They are ought to be great listeners with a compassionate heart trying to reach the source of the depression or the reason for which the person took this dark lane of losing himself or herself.
Finely equipped
The rehab centers conducting the de-addiction programs are finely equipped with the state-of-art tools and medical instruments they require for the treatment. The patients are treated with medicines besides therapies. Certain doses of medicines are injected to them or offered orally to soothe their nerves in the initial phases when their body demands the chemicals or alcohol that they were addicted to. The doctors and the nurses out there are always available so that they can take immediate action during the emergencies.
Gifted with a new life
Mostly, the people tagged as addicts get back to the normal flow of life after attending the de-addiction program. They are gifted with a new lease of life where they can roam around like a free man or woman without doing the slavery of any addiction even a cigarette.
These are some of the most significant benefits of the de-addiction programs.
I've successfully run a de addiction program helping thousands of men and women fighting hard to come out of the influence of addiction they are in. My articles are also based on the related topics highlighting the benefits of the rehab programs.

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Drug Monitoring Programs Are Driving More People Toward Heroin, Says Study


Opioid prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are driving more people toward heroin use, a recent research at Columbia University (CU) has indicated. The researchers at CU's School of Public Health reviewed 17 studies and discovered that as prescriptions run dry, people move to more potent street drugs.
Although 10 studies found that post implementation of drug monitoring programs, there were reduction in opioid overdose deaths, three found that with restricted opioid prescribing heroin use and overdose deaths have increased. The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in May 2018.
PDMPs are used by physicians and pharmacists to identify doctor shopping behavior, over-prescription rates and risk of misuse to help curb the opioid epidemic. These programs are either in place or passed by legislation to start afresh in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to lead author David Fink, it is important to understand if these programs are instrumental in alleviating the number of opioid overdose cases.
At places where the programs were effective, the researchers found that the databases was updated at least once a week and there were well-monitored systems for authorization. Additionally, the system was also updated with those drugs that do not feature on the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) list of scheduled controlled substances.
Co-author Silvia Martins was of the opinion that the "programs aimed at reducing prescription opioids should also address the supply and demand of illicit opioids." Consequences like people substituting opioids with heroin shouldn't go unnoticed.
Heroin use often begins with prescription opioids
Many people addicted to opioids progress to heroin use as it's cheaper and easily available. Moreover, it doesn't require a prescription. A recent paper even suggested that after the introduction of OxyContin in 2010, "each prevented opioid death was replaced with a heroin death." Fentanyl use has also increased in recent years and PDMPs are not yet equipped to track or control its rapid rise.
Patients are generally prescribed opioids after a surgery or when they are in deep pain from some chronic illness. But they are often not educated about the potential harm of misuse and abuse by them and their families. Some patients might be prescribed unnecessary refills when they do not need them.
A recent survey by Mayo Clinic established that a majority of patients (63 percent) who were prescribed opioids after surgery did not use them and only 8 percent disposed their leftover medications. The leftover pills could be misused or ingested by children and pets at home.
The monitoring of database necessitates that the doctors check the number of prescriptions being written, the duration for which they are being prescribed, and types of opioids being given to the patients. Additionally, patients should be educated about safe storage and disposal practices.
Recovering from opioid addiction
Opioids are potent drugs which not only numb pain, but also produce a euphoric effect. Their long-term use can cause tolerance and dependence. Addiction to opioids can ruin a person's life affecting his/her psychological and physical health in various ways.
The risk of discord in relationships, loss of productivity at work and school due to daytime sleepiness and absenteeism, as well as incidents of driving under the influence, unsafe sexual practices and violence also increase. It is important that an individual addicted to opioids seeks support from a certified drug abuse clinic and avails the best drug abuse facilities at the earliest.
If you or your loved one requires drug treatment, the Arizona Substance Abuse Helpline can assist you in finding the right substance abuse treatment centers in Arizona and other parts of the United States that provide exemplary recovery plans to help you regain health and happiness. You can call our representative at 866-857-5777 to locate the best substance abuse rehab in Arizona.

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Avoid Opioid Problems


Expert Author Desiree LotzWith the recent over 9% increase in drug-related deaths, the opioid crisis has the attention of the masses. Itself killing nearly 50,000 Americans it is growing more difficult to ignore.
One element, however, remains little-known, and that there is a painkiller more powerful than any opioid: calcium GLUCONATE.
Calcium gluconate turns out to be one of the more powerful painkillers, and it's deficiency can be causing or exacerbating pain. Therefore, treating deficiency becomes key, and can be an answer to an otherwise dependent reliance upon potent, dangerous drugs.
Abnormal muscle function and deficiency...
Muscle function physically, is totally dependent upon nutrient levels chemically. Though nerves and bones depend upon certain minerals, the very function and action of muscles rely on it.
Contraction and relaxation are the main functions of muscle activity and allow a variety of movements. Calcium and its partner mineral, magnesium, are the key to these vital actions.
In deficiency, muscles are already at a disadvantage and can malfunction. This can be a predisposition to feeling pain. Tension, spasm, cramp or any other muscle disorder can result from lack of these life-giving minerals.
More potent than Opioids?
Injectable calcium has already proven to be a powerful painkiller in medicine. But its use isn't difficult to understand once you understand the body's need nutritionally.
Calcium and magnesium are partners. They work in tandem. The body requires both of them to be able to utilize either one.
But it doesn't end that simply. There must be a certain "acidic climate" for them to react and only one of the many forms of each is acceptable.
These crucial conditions already make getting sufficient supply a challenge. And in this day an age, the margin for error is enormous.
How taking extra calcium can make you DEFICIENT!
Considering the precision of the body's utilization of these minerals, it becomes easy to see that mistakenly taking an unusable form of calcium can cause other issues.
Painful conditions, such as arthritis, are caused by deposits of such minerals accumulating in surplus in the joints. These deposits tend to occur when absorption isn't possible.
Logically, getting a proper balance of calcium in its correct form is not only important, it is vital. Without it, pain and related conditions result.
What crisis beats out painkiller addiction any day of the week?
If you want to label a crisis, it is perhaps better to get down to basics.
With nutritional deficiency statistics at "out-of-control" levels and nearly a third of the planet suffering some sort of lack of nutrition, the opioid crisis seems rather minuscule. Further, painkiller addiction may be more reliant upon deficiencies than previously suspected.
With the slim tolerance of the correct forms and balance of calcium along with the conditions in which it is absorbed, it is easy to see how, even with a prudent nutritional plan, one can become deficient.
Can Getting Minerals In Sufficient Supply Offer Resolution to the Opioid Crisis?
While its debatable whether or not direct inroads can be made to an overall solution, it is easy to see that solving deficiencies can create a marked change in the existence of painful conditions. Pain, in many cases, is not necessary and can be the result of some predisposition brought on by deficiency.
Having the proper ratio, form and combination of calcium and magnesium is not just some recipe for pain relief, it is not a mere preventive measure, it is essential for proper function itself, both minerals being responsible for hundreds of body processes.
Instant CalMag-C is a supplement designed in the laboratory, reverse engineered from how the body utilizes essential calcium and magnesium. The result is a fast-absorbing, useable and effective combination that supports body functions too numerous to list.
A body which has its essential minerals and other nutrition tends to function at optimum and tends to be pain-free. Try Instant CalMag-C and find out what supplementing the two most vital minerals can do for you, and perhaps for a worldwide crisis too!
To find out more, go to or to order some Instant CalMag-C (made with calcium gluconate specifically), go to

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15 Symptoms of Mono

Mono is actually short for ‘infectious mononucleosis’, a term that refers to a number of different symptoms that are normally caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is most common in teenagers but can actually affect patients of any age.
Famously, mono is spread through saliva and so is quick to be passed between romantic partners.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hepatitis C Treatment Keeps Getting Better

Sometimes progress seems to happen very slowly…and then all at once. Such is the case with treatments for the potentially lethal hepatitis C virus.
For years, Americans with hepatitis C suffered through grueling therapies requiring as many as 18 pills a day, as well as injections of the medication interferon, known for dreadful side effects such as extreme fatigue, rashes, muscle aches, anemia, anxiety and depression. During this time, hepatitis C killed more Americans than any other infectious disease.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Addiction Recovery Is Not Easy, But It Is Possible

By   Expert Author Sherry Daniel

When the treatment community focuses on the condition of the addict before the offending substance ever entered the user's system, treatment will show better results. Until then, we are putting a band aid on a monster of a problem and offering 5-10% success rates from current treatment practices.
Possessing heroin will get most people arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. The same incident in Portugal would trigger a scheduled meeting with a social worker in an office building. Next, legal and psychological advice would be offered to ensure that the dangers of drug abuse are understood.
No criminal action would be taken. That difference has cut substance abuse in half among the Portuguese population Fears of becoming a drug-ridden slum didn't keep Portugal's parliament from decriminalizing illegal chemicals such as heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and ecstasy since 2001.
The results have stunned the world as addiction rates declined dramatically while thousands of lives were restored. Different from legalizing, this move turned users into people in need of help instead of criminals.
Another outcome of the newer policies is that drug-related diseases and overdoses have been reduced even more than usage. Funds set aside for law enforcement and incarceration are being used for treatment and job creation instead.
Addicts no longer fear being thrown into the criminal justice system and labeled for life by admitting to a drug-use issue. With more than half of the U.S. prison population being incarcerated due to drug-related crimes, it isn't hard to see how dramatic the change such a program would make, should it be successfully implemented in the U.S.
Careful assessment is an important component in helping each person overcome a chemical dependency issue. Job creation is one of the primary goals of Portugal's plan to turn addicts' lives around. Giving them a reason to get up in the morning and a place to go became a factor in the users well-being. Optional rehabilitation is offered as well to support abstinence.
However, the biggest draw of the 14-year-old program is the removal of the threat of legal ramifications. Distribution and trafficking still remain criminal activity. If a person is carrying more than a 10-day supply of any given substance, he is arrested and charged.
The government deemed the following quantities indicative of personal use: one gram of heroin, two grams of cocaine, 25 grams of marijuana or five grams of hashish. In every situation, police seize and destroy all chemicals. If a person is caught a second time in this country on the Iberian Peninsula, phase two is initiated.
Community service may be assigned and fines possibly levied. Again, no jail time occurs. Rehabilitation is offered but not mandated leaving it up to the user to accept the chance to break his chemical ties. Without the stigma of a police record and given the freedom to choose made the difference for over half of the addicts in the country.
Today, Portugal's drug usage rates are among the lowest of the European member states. The Obama Administration attempted to curb the U.S. chemical epidemic with medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Each is used to ease or curb abuse and cravings by the addict.
Some chemicals claim to dramatically cut the risk of relapse in people hooked on opiates such as vicodin and oxycontin. Critics say that this plan just substitutes one drug for another. Others say it is sometimes essential to use chemicals to release the hooks of addiction.
With staggering statistics by the World Health Organization such as global use rates of 2 billion alcoholics, 185 million drug users and 1.3 billion smokers accounting for 3.3 million deaths annually, the situation demands immediate and serious attention.
Current numbers show one in ten Americans currently has a 'chemical use disorder' in some form. The target, again, is the issue that caused the chemical to trigger chemical hooks leading to addiction. New and improved tools must better target the imbalance and correct it. That could destroy the angry beast of addiction.

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What Are the Short- and Long-Term Effects of Opioids?

Short-term effects of opioid use include decreased pain, euphoria, drowsiness, constipation and nausea, and long-term effects include physical dependence and addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioid use may also cause decreased respiration and decreased oxygen sent to the brain.

The Role Of The Brain In Addiction


TeExpert Author Bhavya Nagori Sharmachnology has its mighty hand over every field in the world now. And since the base of technology is science, so how could medical sector not undergo changes! Neuroscience has always been an area of immense complexities and curiosities. Advances in this sector has allowed doctors to dig deeper into the brain and even study minutest of changes that happen due to substance intake.
When we talk about addiction as a brain disease, the reward system of the brain plays a very important role.
Physiologically, limbic system is the brain's reward system. Mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways (Mid-brain) have our cognitive control and functions which would be both reward related and aversion related. Reward related functions are always stronger and more motivating than aversion, hence drug abuse behavior is stronger in addicts. The reward system connects certain structures in such a way that they generate the feeling of pleasure for certain behaviors or stimulus given to the body. In day-to-day life, it is activated by healthy, life-sustaining activities like eating and socializing. But 'Drug Abuse' is another behavior that generates euphoria, which is enjoyed by the mind. And human nature is to repeat those actions that give us some definite satisfaction. The limbic system does more than just giving a reward response. For any behavior to be reinforced, it has to be first registered as pleasant to the mind and body. Limbic system in the brain recognizes our positive and negative emotions, which very well explains, how our body and mind get dependent on any psychoactive mood altering substance.
However, with recent developments, neurobiology has been able to study how addiction is related to the brain. Researchers and scientists studied the brain's reaction to different substances and discovered that drug abuse actually alters the chemical makeup of the brain, which is what causes addiction and they named it as a 'Brain Disease.'
Since the brain is placed as the epicenter of human activity, it is the initiation point of every phenomenon that occurs. Whatever we feel, experience or think, all is first registered by the brain and within lesser than nanoseconds, it commands us to act. It communicates through neurons, neurotransmitters, receptors and transporters. Yes, it is very complicated and sounds mystical too (specially to people like me who have not studied biology after high school)
How do Drugs Affect the Brain?
Psychoactive substances interrupt with the communication systems of the brain. They interfere with the way a message is transmitted and sent to its defined destination. No matter how much people say that cannabis would not be called a drug, it is a plant, but the reality remains unchanged, which is, that everything has certain chemical composition. For example, Heroin and Marijuana's chemical structure are like copies of a natural neurotransmitter. Amphetamines mimic catecholamine neurotransmitters, causing general physiological changes which prepare the body for physical activity and fight-or-flight response. So, the moment the body is intoxicated with a drug containing amphetamines or its derivatives, it starts reacting in unnatural ways by raising blood pressure, increased alertness resulting in sleeplessness, blood glucose levels. They can easily activate neurons, giving various directions to the body to react in a different way, than would a natural neurotransmitter would! Cocaine can make a person delirious, because it releases natural neurotransmitters in bulk and blocks the natural recycling process of neurotransmitters by the brain. Amphetamine causes drug tolerance very quickly and rapidly too.
Chronic addictive drug use causes alterations in the process by which information from a gene is used to synthesize a gene product- RNA or Protein. Nigrostriatal Pathway is a dopaminergic pathway that plays an extensive and unavoidable role in addiction. It comprises of Transcription Factor, which is a protein that controls what all information has to go from the DNA to the messenger RNA. Psychoactive substances block, many of the neural and behavioral alterations that are to be taken to the RNA. Altered dopamine transmission is the first thing that comes to notice in cases of drug abuse.
These have been many studies extensively done by medical science researchers on addiction. There is a wide range of chemicals that people use to reach a euphoric state. But the gist of it all is, that they play with the normal functioning of brain by altering the natural chemicals that ought to be there.
How Does the Reward System Work?
Whenever a person happens to do something that takes him to a different state of mind for a while, like reaching the oomph point in a sexually pleasurable activity, treating the taste buds with a new and a very different flavor or winning an excessive amount of money or any other valuable resource that he could use to be really rich, the brain takes it all in the same way. It activates the same gland and releases the same chemical Dopamine, which functions as a neurotransmitter, in all scenarios that seem to be pleasurable or exciting. Similarly, whenever the body receives an antibody that becomes too exciting for it like any drug, chemical or alcohol, the body releases certain amount of dopamine or cuts down its level. It is a problematic scenario is there is too much or too little of dopamine released by the brain. Drugs are addictive because they release up-to 10 times more dopamine than a natural neurotransmitter can! But when the body gets tolerant to the same drug and its amount, it can even cut down its normal release of dopamine!
The brain commands the body to engage more and more into activities that gives it pleasure. That is how drug addiction is a problem.
Shafa Home is a residential rehabilitation, de-addiction and detoxification centre, which works using Therapeutic Community and applying its unique treatment modalities in the treatment. It is the largest and the oldest rehabilitation center in India treating addiction, behavioural problems and psychiatric problems. They have multifarious therapeutic sessions that are used through the treatment. You can logon to to know more.

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Bargain For Your Life


Not sExpert Author Vance Larson
o much anymore, but from time to time I get a request to work with a client who is dealing with addiction. And I while I am a firm believer that everyone should be afforded treatment regardless of their financial means, if they have the resources, they should have skin in the game.
For years I worked with a very high-end company dealing with people coming from a place of privilege. Extremely well off, they would try and negotiate the fee for service. After multiple attempts, their insurance would no longer pay for addiction services, or they would pay for a 10 day inpatient facility. Just enough time to medically stabilize them, but zero time to really begin the recovery process. For that reason, we would be contacted for a high level hands on service. From professional athletes, CEO's to celebrities, many just didn't want to come out of pocket. What I found interesting is that those who were willing, often enjoyed greater results. That having skin in the game placed a value on their effort.
This really became apparent when I would work with young adults and the family was covering the bill. In many of these cases, there was little respect for the process. Yet, when I would go into the prison system and work as a chaplain, I would routinely meet men and women being discharged who were willing to do anything to get help. I would get them plugged into a meeting or home group and they would make the coffee, set up chairs, work the hotline or give someone a ride to and from. That was the only currency they had. They gladly paid and I would gladly help them. Those who did not bargain for their life and had skin in the game, almost always did better in their recovery.
I once was working with a business owner with multiple relapses. They were very well off {7 figures a year well off.} They could have very easily afforded any treatment facility in the world. They opted for minimal services, and a decade later are still in active addiction. The conversation every time we would re-engage was about money. In reality it's not about money at all. But respect for the process and commitment.
I have had clients who have had a drinking problem with a 20.00 dollar a day bar tab. When the question of money came up, they quickly realized that by not drinking, they suddenly had 600.00 a month to apply towards treatment. The person who didn't hesitate often excelled. Likewise, the same for the person who made every meeting without being court ordered.
Money should not be an excuse when to comes to treatment. Why bargain with your life? Those who have skin in the game {monetarily or not}, almost always achieve better results. You have to give something to get something. I have heard many of my clients say "If it didn't hurt, I didn't respect it." When it comes to treatment. I hope it hurts. Hurts your pockets or hurts your pride. It just needs to hurt. We have to fight through the worst days to get to our best. And it is next to impossible to do that if you don't have skin in the game, and you do not respect the process.

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Insurance Rules Restricting Access to Addiction Treatment Medication


The medical profession has of late started accepting the need for medications pertaining to prescription drug addiction help bringing a ray of hope to people suffering with opioid use disorder (OUD). However, a recently conducted study by clinician scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, observed that insurance rules are restricting the usage of the prescription drug medicine, buprenorphine, among Medicare beneficiaries.
Buprenorphine is considered to be an effective and secure medication for treating heroin and other types of opioid addiction, thereby helping in decreasing deaths caused due to the same. According to the study co-author, Dr. Todd Korthuis, head of addiction medicine at OHSU, patients administered buprenorphine are seen to return to their pre-addiction healthy state.
Ironical move by Medicare insurance companies
In an OHSU news release, Dr. Korthuis said that ironically, while insurance companies offering Medicare policies are making it quite challenging for doctors to prescribe buprenorphine, they are making it relatively easier for them to prescribe opioid pain relievers which led to the current opioid epidemic.
For the purpose of this study, the clinician scientists carried out an analysis of data pertaining to Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and noticed that due to the increasing usage of certain pre-authorization conditions, the prescription of buprenorphine was increasingly restricted among insurance beneficiaries who signed up for Medicare plans between 2007 and 2018. Insurers commonly use pre-authorization conditions in order to restrict or manage access to certain medications to restrict costs.
The study findings revealed that around 90 percent of the insurance plans offered buprenorphine without any restrictions in 2007. However, the percentage dropped to nearly 35 percent by 2018. On the other hand, during the aforementioned time period, the percentage of plans covering prescription opioids like OxyContin sans any limitations, increased from 93 to 100 percent.
The researchers stated that the factors influencing buprenorphine restrictions may reflect inaccurately perceived drug associated risks like financial considerations or societal norms associated with addiction. The findings of this study were recently published in a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Benefits of prescribing buprenorphine
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), buprenorphine is one of the three medications approved by the FDA for treating OUD and helps in easing withdrawal symptoms and the associated pain and discomfort. Daniel Hartung, an associate professor at the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, stated that as Medicare does not and never did cover methadone, the other anti-opioid medication prescribed for treating patients battling OUD, it is important that it provides access to buprenorphine.
According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), prescription medications such as buprenorphine are an effective means of treating opioid addiction. Unfortunately, said Dr. Korthuis, a lot of people still hold the opinion that treatment of addiction with medications is not really the road to recovery. But scientific evidence backs the fact that medicines such as buprenorphine present a higher success rate at recovery than merely resorting to approaches based only on abstinence.
Seeking prescription drug addiction help
Millions of people have lost their lives to the opioid crisis that is presently ravaging the United States, while millions of others are facing the same predicament. There is no doubt that it would take a mammoth effort to deal with the prescription drug crisis.
If you or a loved one is battling an opioid addiction and is scouting for a reliable prescription drug abuse center, feel free to get in touch with the Invictus Health Group by calling our 24/7 prescription abuse treatment helpline 866-548-0190. At Invictus Health Group, we offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for substance abuse and mental health disorders. You can also chat online with our expert who can guide you with prescription drug addiction help and suggest rapid detox programs best suited to your requirements and medical history to set you on the path to lasting recovery.

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1st Circuit declines to prevent inmate access to opioid meds


A federal appeals court has denied an emergency request to stop a jail from being forced to provide an inmate with medication she says is needed to keep her opioid addiction in remission.
The Aroostook County Jail appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a judge in Maine granted a preliminary injunction requiring the jail to provide physician-prescribed medication to Brenda Smith. The appeals court denied the jail's motion on Monday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine says the denial means the jail will be required to provide medication, sold under the trade name Suboxone, when Smith reports for her sentence May 1.
Attorney Peter Marchesi, who represents the jail, says it's unclear whether the court will schedule arguments before the date Smith reports to jail.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Trump Administration to Launch New Opioid-Addiction Initiative

Three-year, $350 million research and treatment project will target states hardest hit by crisis

The Way to Save Opioid Addicts | Moving Upstream
The Way to Save Opioid Addicts | Moving Upstream
Addiction experts are in wide agreement on the most effective way to help opioid addicts: Medication-assisted treatment. But most inpatient rehab facilities in the U.S. don’t offer this option. WSJ’s Jason Bellini reports on why the medication option is controversial, and in many places, hard to come by. Image: Ryno Eksteen and Thomas Williams