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Telemedicine Uses - Prescription Drug Treatment

by James Heller 10. September 2010 13:01
Even though the disease of addiction causes the same havoc for individuals regardless of the drug of choice, the road to prescription drug addiction often begins with innocent and legal use.  For this group, they must first admit that they have a problem with drug addiction, and then seek treatment.  Due to stigma and other factors, though, they may never seek treatment and sink deeper into addiction with more problems in tow.  Thankfully, telemedicine is available so they can get treatment before they lose everything and everyone important to them.

Whether it’s with alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, or prescription drugs, addiction has similar symptoms that work together to destroy the lives of addicts and their loved ones.  The difference is in where the addiction begins.  Alcohol abuse and illegal drug abuse typically originate with individuals wanting to escape into the euphoria they provide.  Even though many cases of adolescent drug abuse begin with prescription drugs these days, a higher-than-average percentage of individuals begin using them for legitimate and legal reasons.

Doctors often prescribe opiate pain killers for physical relief and benzodiazepines for emotional relief.  This is good medicine in the short term.  However, both types of drugs are highly addictive.  Some formulations can take only a few days to cause physical dependence in patients.  Dependence is caused by the need to relieve drug withdrawals along with the body experiencing drug tolerance.  This means that with long term use, patients will feel ill if they don’t take it on a regular basis and need more of the drug to feel relief.

Since the drug taking routine is rooted in a reasonable need for relief, patients will continue using a drug with an assumed justification.  Once they accept that prescription drug addiction treatment is needed, though, they tend to postpone it because they are either too busy or are afraid of having a stigma attached to them.  Telemedicine can help them get the treatment they need without the time or stigma worry.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides telemedicine via video conference for prescription drug treatment.  Patients can attend individual and group sessions from their home or office computer with a webcam and internet connection.  Family members can also attend group sessions, even if they live out-of-state.  By eliminating travel to a drug treatment center, online drug treatment saves patients’ time and minimizes the risk that others will discover they are in treatment.

Telemedicine at Tarzana Treatment Centers is not limited to addiction treatment.  We also provide online mental health treatment and online medical care.  Our goal is to see that those who need treatment can get it.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Drug Withdrawal

by James Heller 9. September 2009 08:27
According to Webster’s online dictionary, the definition of withdrawal is as follows: A period during which somebody addicted to a drug or other addictive substance stops taking it, causing the person to experience painful or uncomfortable symptoms.

Generalized drug withdrawal has 4 categories, ETOH or alcohol withdrawal, opiate withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal and stimulant withdrawal. All of which, excluding stimulant withdrawal, can be both physically uncomfortable and sometimes fatal.  Severity depends on the amount of the drug abused.

Alcohol appears to be the most life threatening. Alcohol, the legal drug most commonly abused, remains in the body for approximately ½ - 1 day and suppresses the central nervous system. The withdrawal symptoms present themselves almost immediately.  Tremors of the upper extremities can be mild, moderate or severe. The patient’s gait can be stable or unstable, and in more severe cases DT’s (Delirium Tremens) can occur. DT’s are the latent stages of alcohol withdrawal.  The patient has severe tremors of the upper extremities, gait is unsteady, and more often than not the patient is incoherent (disoriented).

Second, there is Opiate withdrawal.  Though very painful and uncomfortable, it is not as life threatening as alcohol withdrawal. Opiates can best be described as any substance derived from the Morphine family (i.e. Heroin, Vicodin, Norco ect.). Opiates depress the central nervous system and can be intravenously injection or ingested. The withdrawal symptoms consist of achy bones, chills, runny nose, diarrhea and vomiting.

Next is Benzodiazepines including Ativan, Klonipin, Xanax and Valium. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is always accompanied by seizures if abruptly discontinued. All benzodiazepines act by enhancing the actions of a natural brain chemical. They affect both the body and the brain. Withdrawal symptoms consist of high levels of anxiety.

Finally, there is stimulant withdrawal. Stimulants include methamphetamine and cocaine. Although they also affect the central nervous system there is generally no physical withdrawal, only psychological withdrawal: whereas, craving to continue the use of these drugs is so over-powering that judgment is impaired.  Individuals routinely places themselves in harm’s way (i.e. prostitution, crime, disease ect,).

In conclusion, anything that is physically or psychologically addictive will cause some type of withdrawal. But withdrawals of any kind should be medically monitored to alleviate the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medical detoxification services for all drugs as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol or drug detox, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.