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Feb 08, 2013 - 40 comments

Some of you may have seen the recent news surrounding hydrocodone, but I wanted to share it here for  those of you who haven't as it’s an important issue that could potentially affect millions of people.  To give you a brief overview, an advisory panel to the FDA has recommended tighter restrictions on hydrocodone-containing drugs, which would essentially classify them among the most dangerous prescription medications available to patients.  Having receiving patients for hydrocodone dependency for many years, I seen firsthand how dangerous this drug can be, which is why I am pleased to see the FDA taking steps to help prevent abuse.

As you may already know, hydrocodone drugs can be extremely unsafe if not used properly, but unfortunately many doctors are prescribing these painkillers unnecessarily.  I can’t tell you the number of patients we receive  for detoxification that were given a prescription for Vicodin for a minor pain, like a backache or tooth pain, which eventually led them to take a stronger opiate like oxycodone, creating a domino effect.  It’s become a trend in this country for medical professionals to write prescriptions for hydrocodone drugs too quickly, which is creating an epidemic of these drugs being overprescribed to patients who often times don’t need them.  This puts patients at risk for developing serious, and even fatal, health issues.  

Last year at the WAISMANN METHOD®and Domus Retreat, we treated about the same number of patients for addictions to Norco as we did for Heroin, OxyContin or methadone.  Although not completely surprised, I was appalled to find out that many of these patients developed a dependency to the drug after they were given a prescription for a very small injury.  In my opinion, most of the responsibility lays with the medical professionals, not with the patient.  I applaud the FDA for taking steps to curb hydrocodone abuse, but I also urge doctors to only prescribe these drugs in the most necessary circumstances.

Many people fighting hydrocodone dependency may feel helpless, but I assure them, they're not.  Although I believe it’s important for policy makers and physicians to make steps toward change, I think it’s also critical for patients to be vigilant too.  If you're prescribed a hydrocodone drug for minor pain, or your friends or family members are taking pain medication, ask your doctor for a different prescription and remind your loved ones of the risks of taking these drugs.  Please share any solutions in the comments that you've found effective in preventing your friends, family members, or even yourself from being prescribed hydrocodone so we can do the same.

Clare Waismann

Life After Opiate Addiction

Jan 29, 2013 - 13 comments

You may have seen some of your darkest days. Perhaps you reached the very depths of despair while battling opiate addiction and or dependency. But there is hope that you can recover fully.

Opiate abuse and addiction can wreck lives. It can take hold of you both physically and mentally with a grip so powerful you may do things you never thought you would out of desperation. It can cause you to steal, lie, cheat and dishonor yourself and those you love. Opiates can take over your body and mind until nothing else matter.
It may seem an impossibility – an unreachable reality – that you will get through this. But you will. It may not happen the first time you attempt recovery, but there are plenty of people around the world who are able to look at opiate addiction in their rearview mirrors.

Avoiding the discomfort of opiate withdrawal becomes the most pressing matter for someone who’s addicted. The right treatment can manage withdrawal so effectively that symptoms are minimized, even eliminated altogether.

Opiate Detox And Ongoing Support Can Make All The Difference

Addiction afffects the patient physically and mentally disease what requires detox and additional support to heal. The psychological and emotional aspects of addiction often linger well after the body has recovered physically so ongoing care, such as therapy, is highly recommended.

Following opiate detox, it’s recommended that patients participate in aftercare programs  to establish underlying factors that contributed to the addiction and identify potential triggers. This helps patients to avoid opiate relapse.
Establishing a support system is essential to recovery. This can include loved ones, friends, colleagues or clergy members.  . Regular sessions with a counselor or therapist often help patients talk through their issues to cope with difficult situations, traumas and or emotions they are trying to mask.  

Getting back to normal will take time and won’t happen overnight. The body and brain have to recover from the damage caused by continuous opiate intake  The adjustment may be slow but every day, you’ll get a little better. The recovery process takes time and a day-to-day approach is best.

Everyday challenges may still arrive, but opiate detox and recovery can help prepare you to deal with these. Proper opiate treatment can give you lasting results. But it all starts with a commitment on your part. Faith can bring you out of the darkness and into the light. Long-term recovery from opiates is attainable .

Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Dec 12, 2012 - 11 comments

Adults And Young People Alike Are Falling Prey To Prescription Painkiller Addiction But Contributing Factors To This Differ Quite A Bit
The Ability Of Prescription Painkillers To Dull Physical And Emotional Pain May Appeal To More Adults, While Younger People Tend To Use Them For Fun
Prescription painkiller abuse is on the rise and is quickly becoming an epidemic in this country. One of the chief appeals of these drugs is they lack the stigma of most illegal street drugs. A doctor prescribes them so they seem more legitimate.
Prescription painkiller abuse has grown in popularity among teens and adults for many reasons. Teens, one of the fastest growing populations of users, are drawn to these drugs for various reasons. They’re often easy to get. Bottles of painkillers, stimulants and other prescription drugs are often found in medicine cabinets, purses and in lockers at home and school. Most painkillers provide teens with the quick high they are looking for, offering them a sense of euphoria and helping to lower inhibitions.
Many teens feel that because these drugs are prescriptions, they are safer and less addictive than street drugs. They may also feel they aren’t doing anything illegal because these medications are medically prescribed. Prescription painkillers that are opiates may also be attractive to some because of the side effects they offer, such as providing a sense of calm.
Teens may be introduced to these drugs often by exposure or accessibility -someone they know is taking them. Perhaps they exhibit an addictive personality and easily fall prey to peer pressure. For some, they just want to self-medicate to rid themselves of depression, anxiety, feelings of low self-esteem, shyness, or loneliness or to deal with anger.
Adults who have abused other substances such as alcohol or cocaine are more likely to abuse prescriptions medications intentionally. However, many fall into their use accidentally. Many adults seek the assistance of prescription painkillers for legitimate pain conditions. They are prescribed these drugs by their doctors for pain and end up becoming opiate dependent.
Abuse Of Pain Meds Can Devastate Lives
Prescription painkiller dependence can happen quickly. The body quickly becomes accustomed to the drug and a tolerance develops, causing the person to have to take more to achieve the same effects. These drugs not only have the ability to soothe pain but can also produce sedating effects and bring about a feeling of euphoria and a sense of wellbeing.
These side effects can be appealing if they’re able to reduce the pressures of daily life, numb stress and take the edge off difficult situations. For some people, it only takes a few exposures to these medications before they escalate use.
The downside is that positive effects of these drugs don’t last long and can come with dire consequence. Many people end up chasing positive opiate side effects. Once a patient develops an addiction to prescription painkillers and the condition takes hold, it can destroy them both physically and mentally, quickly ripping apart their lives.

Heroin Abuse on the Rise among U.S. Teenagers

Jun 04, 2012 - 8 comments

Heroin used to be a drug that was synonymous with poverty, crime and destitution.  Unfortunately, heroin abuse is now affecting America’s youth, especially suburban teenagers.  Within the past few years, many state health departments nationwide have been reporting rises in heroin use and overdoses in teens.  

The Missouri Health Department saw heroin overdoses jump from 69 cases in 2007 to 244 cases in 2011, with more than half of all heroin-associated deaths claiming individuals between the ages of 15 and 35.  In New Mexico, heroin has become the fastest growing drug problem, surpassing cocaine and meth.  According to a local New Mexico news station, KRQE, an estimated $300,000 worth of heroin is sold every day in Albuquerque to kids and adults.

As new laws are passed to crack down on the distribution of prescription painkillers, individuals are also starting to find alternate drugs to satisfy their cravings.  Opiate dependency can produce cravings so intense that many people will consider using heroin (although it is widely known to be extremely dangerous) if they are not able to obtain pills.  Heroin is also cheaper than opiate pharmaceuticals, making it an easier option for younger users.
Many narcotics officials are learning that often times young heroin abusers are first introduced to the drug at local high school parties.

In order to identify if a young adult is abusing heroin, be mindful of any change in personality that may indicate a dependency, like social withdrawal, lack of emotion or decreased activity. Parents can also keep an eye out for drug paraphernalia, such as burned aluminum foil, hypodermic syringes or burned spoons.  If you are a parent and you’re concerned that your child may be abusing heroin, it is very important to keep an open dialogue and discuss the dangers of the drug with your children.  

If you have any questions regarding heroin or other opiates, please leave a comment as I am happy to answer your questions or address any concerns.