What Is An Addiction Medicine Physician?
Addiction medicine is a relatively new term that has been used widely during the opioid epidemic to describe doctors who help patients with substance use disorders. For many people with substance addiction, their first step to getting help is through the medical establishment. Overdoses, infections, and other health problems caused by addiction are uniquely managed by medical professionals. For overdose victims, there is an opportunity for treatment when they speak to a nurse or doctor in an ER setting. Addiction medicine physicians are available at hospitals and private practices across the US. Why Addiction Medicine? Addiction medicine describes treating the addiction and physical issues arising from long-term or heavy drug or alcohol use. A doctor in addiction medicine may prescribe Medication-Assisted Treatment to help a person with substance use disorder stay sober. After an overdose, some people withdraw after being revived from Narcan. Having addiction medicine available in ERs has been a game changer for people needing MAT and other clinician assistance. Addiction medicine has changed how the world understands and responds to substance use disorder. The FDA recognizes opioid use disorder as a disease of the brain and recommends Medication-Assisted Treatment like methadone, Suboxone, and other drugs as treatment. […]
What Is Therapeutic Communication?
Therapeutic communication describes communication techniques for clinical settings such as hospitals, detox, and long-term treatment. These techniques are client-centered, prioritizing the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the people that the treatment program is serving. Communication Builds A Foundation When a person goes into treatment or detox, things can sometimes feel overwhelming. Clinical staff fills the gap between detox and therapy, providing empathy and help to clients as they prepare for their healing journey. Therapeutic communication techniques help people understand their disease and their treatment options. It also helps them feel heard and understood. Providing a person in recovery with information and support about their condition helps them begin recognizing the symptoms of their addiction. Therapeutic communication doesn’t shame; it helps. People working in addiction medicine can create a trusting space for individuals to work through their thoughts and fears. How Does Therapeutic Communication Work? People who work with people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) spend much time answering questions about treatment and addiction. The clinical staff is there to provide people with SUD with support and information. Workers maintain a professional yet compassionate environment where people can ask questions and get clear answers about addiction and recovery. Several techniques […]
Alcohol Use Disorder Among Veterans
Alcohol addiction is one of the most common disorders in the world. Veterans are no exception, mainly when drinking acts as a rite of passage in military life. Military life often involves extended periods of drama, danger and grueling work hours, and long periods of boredom and solitude. Military during their off-hours than any other profession. It is common for veterans to struggle with alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders. Alcohol Use In The Military and Veterans Up to 30% of military members report binge drinking regularly. There are reasons to celebrate or unwind during, before, and after operations. Upon returning home, many veterans find themselves stuck in a pattern of drinking. Up to 15% of veterans who returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom reported heavy drinking even six months after returning to civilian life. Alcohol use disorder is a common problem among veterans. It is a way to self-medicate physical pain, anxiety, depression, or PTSD for some. For others, it’s a disorder that is progressive and dangerous to their happiness, health, and future. Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder Among Veterans Veterans with alcohol use disorder tend to have problems caused by their drinking. For example, getting a DUI […]
The Importance of Involving Family In Recovery
Many people who arrive newly sober to housing and other programs have many issues that they are ready to address. For many, family is a challenge they would like to work on. Meaningful relationships often get damaged during addiction. Many people have had close loved ones who tried everything to help them get sober. When it didn’t work, the damage was caused and there was a lot of pain. Addiction is a disease of the family. Many family members have their traumas and history that need to be addressed. Addiction is a disease that affects everyone around you. Involving family in recovery can help heal relationships and give insight into each other’s feelings. Of course, like all things recovery, these relationships don’t get better overnight; it will take work to rebuild them into healthy and satisfying relationships. Immediate Family Relationships In Recovery Some people who come to recovery have roles like being a mother or father. Children who have families with addiction often have their baggage. Involving immediate family members such as a partner or spouse, or children, can be vital to repairing relationships and helping to address the trauma that surrounds addiction. Including them in treatment and therapy is […]
How Telehealth Has Helped Addiction Services Bridge Treatment Gaps
Life may have felt tumultuous for many people in recovery during the first year of the pandemic. People lost jobs, healthcare, livelihoods, and a sense of security. People with mental health disorders and substance use disorder (SUD) were deeply impacted by COVID-19. Physical health problems may have been left neglected, mental health issues worsened, and people in recovery were often left alone. Telehealth eventually became a lifeline for people during the pandemic, but first, there were failures along the way that made things harder for people seeking recovery, Increased Overdoses During the Pandemic New numbers show a 30% increase in overdoses in 2020 in the US. People with substance use disorder faced challenges like everyone. Economic hardship, disruption in healthcare and mental care, and loneliness took a toll on everyone. Many people lost loved ones during the pandemic without being able to say goodbye. The trauma, it seems, piled on to some of the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic. In addition to societal challenges, people who use drugs may have had trouble getting ahold of their regular supply. Rather than risk painful withdrawal, people bought from different sources without being able to gauge the authenticity of their products. This […]
Intergenerational Trauma And Recovery
Everyone in recovery has to learn to cope with parts of their life and lifestyle that they may have never spoken about before. A history of trauma is common among people in recovery. However, many people who have grown up in dysfunctional families also cope with the trauma of prior generations. Your mother and father, grandparents, and other family members all may have the trauma of their own. This intergenerational trauma may have passed down thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and fears to you, as well. Intergenerational Trauma: Your Family’s Trauma Intergenerational trauma is passed down to others from generation to generation. For example, immigrants who have survived wars and displacement, Holocaust survivors, and people who grow up in violent neighborhoods often have trauma that affects the rest of their families. For example, a parent who lost a brother or sister to gun violence may be overprotective of their child. In addition, refugees often have PTSD and other health problems from war-torn countries, and instead of getting help may just pass their fears and anxieties on to their children. As a result, they may stay stuck in particular behaviors that are destructive, isolating, or even abusive. Sometimes, family members may use drugs […]
Relapse and Relapse Mode: What to Watch For
Many people in recovery have a relapse as a part of their story, but it isn’t inevitable. Some people put out warning signs in advance. If you are in recovery, it might be easier to see them. After all, you have probably been in their shoes and felt like drinking or drugging. Relapse can lead a person to spiral back into addiction. But, this doesn’t have to happen! Support groups like 12-step programs have opened doors for anyone who has the desire to stop drinking or drugging. Understanding the Relapse Process Sometimes people in recovery describe a person as being in “relapse mode,” which is a set of behaviors that can trigger a person to use drugs or alcohol again. Most people in relapse mode act out in specific ways, such as glorifying their past drug use. They may express a desire for the “good old days” or get in contact with old friends. They may take a turn down a street to “check out” their old haunts. These people, places, and things are all dangerous to a person in recovery. They eventually can lead a person to start getting high or drunk again. When a person is in relapse […]
Working On Your New Year’s Goals
Are you ready to write your goals for 2022? Unfortunately, many people write resolutions that they typically don’t keep. For example, many people want to lose weight, save money, change careers or go back to school. Writing these desires down can be helpful, but when it comes to keeping them, it can be difficult. If you want to change a behavior or accomplish something new, you can take baby steps. Then, in recovery, you can break your goals down to things you want to achieve. And the great part is you can ask for support every step of the way! Writing Your Goals Down Writing your goals down on paper can help you make the concrete plans you need to see them through. After all, you may want to win a bodybuilding contest, but first, you need to start bodybuilding! This means you will need to read books or watch videos to learn more about that life! Everything in life is a step at a time. Try writing your goals down for 2022. Choose something simple! What are the steps you need to take to get that goal accomplished? For example, you may want to start driving again. You may […]
What Can Sober Living Offer You?
Many people who go to both inpatient and outpatient treatment have goals that they are working on completing. Most want to stay sober and begin to heal their past. Many people are working on re-establishing relationships with their family and friends. When you first graduate from a program, you may be worried about the logistics of living on your own, newly sober. What will you do if you have challenges or a desire to use them in the middle of the night? Are you ready to start living on your own, with life on its terms? Sober living can help you transition to life without the use of drugs. So What Does Sober Living Offer? Sober living is a lot like recovery – you get out of it what you put into it. However, that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. A sober living home offers structure and activities that help you socialize with your housemates. You’ll also have rules, like any group living situation. Usually, this means rotating the chores, taking turns cooking, and doing other things to take care of the home you’re inhabiting. Sometimes you’ll have group-only 12-step meetings in-house. You’ll usually have at least one staff […]
Fentanyl: A Growing Problem in California
Increasingly, people in California are getting hooked on fentanyl, an opioid that is fifty to one hundred times as strong as Methadone. Some of them inject it while others smoke it. As a result, deaths from fentanyl overdoses have jumped by more than 2,100% in five years, according to the Guardian. Yet, there seems to be a steady influx of the drug. This is at the same time that hundreds in the state have also ingested fentanyl unwittingly. People have accidentally ingested fentanyl when they believed they were getting cocaine, Oxycontin, or crystal meth. California Is Investing In Harm Reduction The state of California set aside money to help fight the influx of fentanyl. In addition, counties and cities are now allowed to use grants earmarked for addiction to invest in harm reduction, such as fentanyl testing strips. Other harm reduction measures include wide distribution of Naloxone, including a new version meant to counter fentanyl-related overdoses. In addition, the FDA recently approved stronger-dose Naloxone for suspected fentanyl and carfentanil overdoses. An Influx of Fentanyl to California There are a lot of illegal drugs trafficked through California. This is because it shares a border with Mexico, where many of the medicines […]
Combating Addiction Recovery Disinformation
Are you or somebody you love fooled by online addiction recovery disinformation? Many people who are addicted to substances struggle to get help, even when they know that they probably need it. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of truth as well as fiction out there on the internet. Disinformation also is passed on via word of mouth by peers. What kind of disinformation is being passed on in the drug-using community? It’s often similar to the myths or stereotypes you may see on television. Separating fact from fiction can help substance users get the help they need by empowering them with the right information to make decisions. Common Addiction Recovery Myths: You have to hit a “real bottom” to get help. This is false; anyone with a substance use disorder can get help at any time and will be taken seriously. Addiction is a progressive disease if it goes untreated. You don’t have to overdose or go to jail. Insurance won’t pay for addiction treatment. Actually, the opposite is true; due to mental health parity laws, health insurers are required to treat addiction like the illness it is. Treatment is covered but you may have to get prior approval for some […]
The Dangers of Kratom
You may have heard about Kratom, a plant native to Asian countries, which has increased in popularity among “wellness” circles in America. It’s not approved for use as a drug, but it’s has been marketed as a pain reliever, anxiety reducer, and even a way for people addicted to opioids to wean off their drug of choice. Is Kratom safe for people in recovery from addiction? The answer is no…but read on to learn more about this drug and recognize the problems it can create. What is Kratom? While Kratom is not currently listed as a controlled substance, it’s known to be addictive. Most recently, the DEA banned the importation of Kratom because it’s not believed to hold any medical value. This is a step toward eventually outlawing the drug. In South Asian countries, the substance was initially used as a substitute for opioids. Sadly, more recent research shows that Kratom use often becomes progressive and compulsive. Many users have described getting bone pain, chills, diarrhea, fever, and sweats when trying to swear it off. Some heavier users have even experienced hallucinations when they go into withdrawal. Dangers of Overdose Kratom, like opioids, can cause a slower respiration rate in […]