Julia M Aharonov, DO  
Female, 55
Pontiac, MI

Specialties: Addiction, Drug abuse and dependence

Interests: My family
Advanced Rapid Detox
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Why so many senseless tragedies?

Jul 15, 2013 - 3 comments

Just a few days ago yet another famous and successful young man was found dead from a drug overdose. Cory Monteith has been through many high priced drug rehabs, one just recently, but to no avail. And now the world is mourning another talented actor.
My partner and I run a rapid drug detox facility - MDS Drug Detox. We have detoxed hundreds of addicts successfully and keep most of them drug free. It bothers me immensely that we are not able to help more people stay off opiates and keep them healthy and alive. Every time I hear of a death of another young human being it hurts me that I was not able to help.
We are probably one of a dozen of places around the country that do rapid detox from opiates. WE offer an unparalleled level of care and have performed and sustained hundreds of detox procedures.
Yes, a rapid detox clinic can be built on a grand scale, in a spa like facility, or use a hospital wing - both of which will add on thousands to the cost and may jeopardize the privacy by exposing the patients’ chart to the JCAHO inspectors. All of which does nothing to improve patient safety, outcome or long term success.
We carefully screen patients, both psychological and physical; using protocols that are individualized to each patient, which can only be done after years of experience. We also provide unrestricted follow-up using long-term Naltrexone therapy.
Naltrexone therapy has been shown in study after study to be effective in minimizing cravings for opiates and preventing relapse. In fact, the longer one stays on Naltrexone therapy, the less likely they are to relapse.
By continuing Naltrexone therapy and encouraging patients to stay in touch with us, we significantly improve the long term success of their rapid detox treatment.
So why don't more people take advantage of this highly successful method of addiction treatment? Why do they insist on spending untold thousands of dollars and many months of their lives in artificial environment of spa-like rehabs that do nothing to teach them how to live in the real world? All that happens in those highly artificial environments is they meet other addicts and find new friends and new connections to new dealers and new ways of using once they are out. But it is in vogue and in high fashion to get clean in a fancy high priced rehab where the stars go. It is as easy to get clean and sober in such a spa as it is to lose twenty pounds in a fat farm eating bean sprouts and exercising eight hours a day.
What matters most is if you are able to sustain what you have achieved. Time after time it has been shown that such success in long term rehab facilities is ephemeral and extremely short lived. In fact, studies a have shown that general success rate of a standard rehab at a year is a measly 3 to 7%.
So what is stopping the wide spread use of rapid detox followed by long-term naltrexone therapy? I recently wrote a blog about patients who come to our facility to be detoxed from Suboxone and methadone which they were led to believe were treatments for their addiction. Instead they got addicted to these even more insidious legal opiates. I got plenty of positive responses from the addicts themselves, but when this blog was placed on the Addiction professionals’ forum the amount of negative blowback I received was incredible.
To my utter surprise, I realized that it was not the addicts that were closed minded to this physiologically logical and medically empirically proven procedure, but the addiction establishment itself. Layers and layers of addiction counselors, many of whom have been or still are addicts, remain deeply invested in traditional long term rehab as well as substitution therapy - what they call OMT - opiate maintenance therapy.   Arguing with them is beyond useless, their life, livelihood and their theory of all existence depends on it. It matters not that patients came to us begging to detox them after years of being on OMT. These professionals actually compare these medications to insulin therapy. For me as a physician comparing a life threatening disease such as insulin dependent diabetes to opiate addiction that I know can be treated and overcome is utterly preposterous.
I cannot presume that I can break through the wall of the professional resistance that I have encountered from the Addiction counselors. They must be open-minded to understand the amazing possibility that the procedure that we do and the initiation of the long term receptor blockade offers to opiate addicts.
I can only pray and hope that less people die from drug overdose because of the intransigence of our professional community.

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by VICourageous, Jul 20, 2013
I myself being a long time user of drugs/booze found out ALL I could about the "Disease of Addiction and the Pleasure Pathway" Beyond Well Power..People have to know that the detox state is actually the easy part (Which is it hard) but it is fighting the Beast of Addition that is the hardest. Too this day I have to stay away from people that I have known for 40 years because they use. It does not matter to me "WHAT"! We have to learn to stay away from old stomping grounds.Places, People and Things. With out making a whole new Life and making a whole New World out here the triggers can light up like a match. This is very serious and we can not do it alone..We have to have ALL kinds of Support in Many Areas...NA/AA, Therapy, Dr, Pharmacist,Family, Friends..But most of all we have to stay strong and fight for our Life because this is what is comes down too..LIFE OR DEATH!!

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by worriedsick1004, Sep 03, 2013
I am a mother of an 18 year old girl who is quickly falling into the opiate addiction trap.  She was sent to a rehab facility in Florida and within 3 months, has been in and out three times.  It seems she never makes it past three weeks before using again.  We have spent thousands of dollars to get her the help she needs but the situation seems to be getting worse and worse.  Her original drug of choice was alcohol but now has shifted to IV dilauted and god knows what else.  She was doing great (3 weeks) up until the other night when she decided to leave her halfway house and begin using again.  She has no access to funds so I can only imagine how she will pay for the drugs.  She will not call me as she knows I am working a program and she is not so I rely on others to let me know whether she is alive or not.  I am afraid I am going to get that dreaded phone call that she is dead.  I know only she can make the decision to help herself and that is what I hang on to when I try to go to bed at night.  There doesn't seem like there is anything I can do about it, except worry and not "enable" by sending money.  We live in PA so there is quite a distance now between us and I am sick with grief and worry.  It's not like I can get in my car and search for her.  My stance is that if she does decide to call me I will tell her that I will only support her in recovery and for her to make the move to get into detox.  Not sure what else I can do.

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by Modafinil, Oct 02, 2013
Hello, I live in Australia and I have some comments which I feel may be of relevance to this topic.

In Australia opiate abuse/addiction is relatively uncommon. While I have known and lived with various people over my lifetime that were addicted to opiates, the abuse of methamphetamine I have found to be a much more common phenomena.

It does sound like the treatment the doctor offers is highly effective, however I have known various people over the years that have been stabilized long term by opiate substitutes.

Ok where was I? (Sorry a 4 year old child by the name of Anna, wanted to watch movies on my computer and distracted me).

I have been involved- at a personal level- for the last decade or so being an extensive and loyal support person/carer for 8 children that comes for extremely background of horrific abuse and neglect. All their parents have been chronic injecting methamphetamine users, I have a particular, passionate hatred of Methamphetamine.

Most of these children are now grown up, and thankfully none of them abuse drugs, except a couple of them use of a bit of Marijuana. Throughout their lives I have made efforts to teach them an accurate message warning of the dangers of abusing various drugs. I am very thankful that all of them have made such strides overcome their horrific backgrounds, which are truly beyond imagining to most people. Two of these people, now adults, currently live with me.

What I am trying to say, is that I have seen first hand the horrific impact that serious drug addiction to hard drugs, or alcohol can have on peoples lives. I certainly have admiration for anyone involved in trying to better the situation and outcome for such people.

I used to be a chronic alcoholic, as well as a chronic smoker of tobacco, and a heavy user of various drug, though not opiates or amphetamines. My alcoholism was the most serious, I can state with absolute certainty, that the drug Naltrexone had profound benefits to me, and was absolutely critical in changing the direction of my alcoholism. It is ironic, because I was deeply skeptical that Naltrexone could help, ie "Isn't that for opiate users?". I have not been an alcoholic for over a decade. Naltrexone is a miraculous drug for many people. I only wish certain other mebers of my family had access to it in the best before they died as a result of their alcoholism. Alcoholism has been present in my family for many generations, despite the fact that most my family is highly educated and "middle class", in fact I am one of the least educated people in my family.

I will just end all this by saying that there have been some factors I have observed that are common in people with drug addiction, and people that seem prone to them. Background of childhood abuse, and general trauma are common. Impulsive personality traits, various personality disorders and various general mental health disorders seem common among this population, though there are no universal factors which all people have. Often people with serious drug abuse problems seem poorly educated, though this perception may be because most such people I have known have come from very disadvantaged background, with families not known for educational achievements.

I consider myself unusually, extremely addiction prone, though these days I no longer misuse any illicit drugs. I have ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and a significant history of depression and anxiety problems. I had some brain damage when I was born, but there is also a history of various disorders in my family, though no psychotic disorders.

Anyone who has addiction problems, and is trying to overcome them, I wish them the very best. Opiate addiction in particular is very nasty and of course very dangerous due to the ease with which a fatal overdose can occur.

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