Frequently Asked Questions
STATISTICS ON ADDICTION
– Newborns Experiencing Opioid Withdrawal YR 2000 Only 19 | in YR 2016 OVER 2,000
– LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AGE 18-44 IS OVERDOSE. (MORE THAN: Auto Accidents – Suicide & Gun-Related Deaths COMBINED)
– 85,000 +/- Americans Die Annually Due to Excessive Drinking | 4 Million + Visit Emergency Rooms with Alcohol Related Problems.
– 65,000 +/- Died from overdose in 2016
– Prior to Including the MAT Program approach, the average success rate after 1 year was 10%.
– 1 in 9 people over Age 12 have used an illicit drug in the last month = 19l7 Million people in YR 2017
– 72,000 Died of an Overdose in YR 2017. Increase of 5X from YR 2002 to YR 2017
– Addicts will increase to higher amounts up to 50 Percocets Daily! Just to avoid withdrawals.
– Addiction is one of the greatest public health epidemics of the Century
WHAT IS OPIOID ADDICTION?
A chronic disease due to deficiency of dopamine, a brain chemical that allows people to feel normal, deal with life, be content & happy. As much a chronic disease as diabetes which is due to a deficiency of insulin in the pancreas.
Physical addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin affects numerous people in the US as well as worldwide. It is a problem that affects many different people, their families, and their communities.
It is a monster that does not discriminate based on race, religion, or social class. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with an opiate addiction may be reluctant to ask for help due to a stigma that is a “character flaw” or a poor “moral” choice….Opiate addiction is a chronic disease of the brain resulting from a deficiency of dopamine. This is the chemical of the brain that allows us to feel “normal” and experience genuine contentment and happiness. The dopamine deficiency in an addicted person may be due to genetic predisposition or events/traumas that were endured previously in life.
This person may have fears, anxieties, and low self-esteem that no one knows about. They put on a great false face in order to fit into their surroundings. If this person ever takes an opiate the majority of their abnormal feelings go away and for the first time in their life they may feel “normal”, good or even great. This is the beginning of a long road of destruction. People begin to take more and more opiates to accomplish the same feeling and eventually there is not enough of the drug available to fill the need. The addicted person has developed so much tolerance to the opiates they begin to feel agitated, anxious, tired, and depressed. They may reach a point in which they feel so desperate that they would do almost anything to obtain their drugs. This includes lying, stealing, and even neglecting their own families. What began for most as mild withdrawal symptoms have turned into something that is almost unbearable. This is the point in an addicted person’s life that they can allow the disease to progress until the point of death or incarceration or they can seek treatment in order to make a change.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE TAKING SUBOXONE?
No. Avoid alcohol while taking Suboxone or any other prescribed medications for addiction, including buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone. This can result in dangerous and negative side effects. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely to avoid any adverse reactions.
CAN SUBOXONE BE ABUSED?
When used according to a prescription, Suboxone is difficult to abuse, due in part to the naloxone. However, since it does contain an opioid agonist (buprenorphine), it should be taken with care and only as prescribed. While rare, it’s possible to develop a dependency on Suboxone.
DOES SUBOXONE STOP WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS?
YES. Nothing stops withdrawals like Suboxone. It has the highest affinity for opiate receptors, greater than dilaudid, morphine, fentyl, or heoin. It blocks the potency of drugs and often the addicted person who cannot fine the amount of drugs they need to stay high or avoid withdrawals will try to buy Suboxone just to stay out of withdrawal and “bridge them” until they can find their drug of choice. Their goal is to avoid the withdrawals. The primary goal of our Suboxone treatment programs is to regulate the abnormal brain chemistry seen in addiction. Suboxone should be expected to help manage withdrawal symptoms at an addiction treatment center, it may not eliminate them entirely. It will help reduce cravings and can make it easier for patients to focus on overcoming the underlying causes of addiction. but your medical provider will work with you to adjust the dose appropriately.
The emotional, mental, and physical withdrawals are almost intolerable and last up to 10 days and even longer with methadone including the following with very few making it through the acute phase of withdrawal without relapsing.
– Intense electric current type shooting pains throughout their bodies
– Abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
– Headaches and severe diffuse muscle aches and cramping
– Severe anxieties and panic attacks
– Fears of death and increased thoughts of wanting to die
– Anorexia and insomnia
For those who make it past the acute phase of withdrawal then begin the long-term phase of withdrawal.
– It takes over 2 years for the limbic system of the brain which includes the Nucleus Accumbens to produce even close to normal amounts of dopamine.
– This improvement of only modest amounts of dopamine is despite the intensive counseling and a 12-Step Program
– Opiate addicts will endure chronic fears, anxieties, depression, low self-esteem and all the negative emotions they had before opiates.
– These negative emotions will be more intense because the brain has been exposed to high levels of opiates.
– Therefore even with the best treatment centers in the world, their success of an opiate free patient after 1 year is less than 10%.
The Hazelden Betty ford Center recognized this approximately 10 years ago and that is why they introduced the drug Suboxone into their treatment protocol. It allows the addicted individual to have normal amounts of dopamine in the Nucleus Accubens almost immediately and the opiate addicted person can then do the emotional and spiritual work of recovery through therapy, 12-Step work, and any other spiritual work they find helpful.
WHAT IS MAT (Medical Assisted Treatment)?
MAT is an “evidence-based” medicine that involves prescribing medications to a person who is Opioid dependent with the benefits of:
– Diminishing cravings
– Prevention of withdrawal symptoms
This allows the individual to be stabilized and engaged in therapeutic services such as:
– Individual and group therapies focusing on relapse prevention and identifying factors sustaining addiction
– Peer and Family Support
– 12 Step recovery program (NA / AA)
MAT is the standard of Opioid addiction care as stated by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. MAT outcomes and results have found that individuals are more likely to be in treatment at one year follow ups and less likely to be incarcerated. They are also more likely to be employed and less likely to relapse or be using.
Our approach at A New Start Clinic to the treatment of addiction follows a three-phases for the MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT.
Therapy, the Psychological MIND mental – behavioral aspect of our patients.
Medication (Buprenorphine-Naloxone) for their Biological / physical BODY aspect.
Social influences Narcotics Anonymous / Alcoholics Anonymous (12-step program) for the SPIRITUAL aspect.
Opioid Addiction is a chronic disease due to deficiency of dopamine, a brain chemical that allows people to feel normal, deal with life, be content & happy. As much a chronic disease as diabetes which is due to a deficiency of insulin in the pancreas.
Outpatient Care begins with selection of an Accredited Treatment Program.
MAT is an evidence-based practice that combines medication with counseling, behavioral therapies, psychosocial therapies, and social support services to treat substance use disorders, opioid dependence, and prevent opioid overdoses.
12 Step Program
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish guidelines to overcome an addiction to alcohol. The program gained enough success in its early years for other addiction support groups to adapt the steps to their own needs.