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How to Work with Relapse

by James Heller 11. February 2014 15:16
Relapse is not the end of recovery.  It’s not recommended, either, and those of us who treat for substance use disorders can’t condone the behavior.  Still, it’s more effective to take a positive approach to recovery after a relapse than it is to be angry and condemn the addict.
 
 
Recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is an ongoing process, and abstinence is not a lifetime guarantee.  Most alcoholics and addicts relapse at least once before achieving long-term abstinence, if they make it.  Even short-term abstinence is a miracle for those who are heavily dependent on alcohol or heroin, for example.
When an individual with more than a few months of recovery relapses, those around them usually find it difficult to accept as being a normal occurrence.  It’s easy to forget how hard it was to get a loved one into treatment when life with them begins to feel “normal”.  The natural reaction for family members is to think they didn’t do enough, so anger and sadness result.

Going back to substance use does not mean an addict has given up, though.  It just means that progress has taken a step backward, meaning that something wasn’t addressed during treatment or coping skills need to be improved.  Both of these can be corrected with further counseling.  From this perspective, a relapse can be seen as a lesson rather than a failure.

Understanding this can reduce the anger among family members, and could hasten the trip back to rehab.  It’s better to lovingly encourage treatment rather than to react and increase pressure on the addict.  Of course the family of an addict needs to make it known that getting back on the road to recovery is the only acceptable outcome.  With a positive attitude, this can be done in a more loving tone that is more-likely to lead the addict in the right direction.
 
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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.
 
Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

Let's Learn from Hoffman's Death

by James Heller 4. February 2014 14:09
Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 2014.  This generation lost a great talent, who delivered impeccable performances in Capote, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Master.  Heroin addiction doesn’t care about people with the disorder, though, and it isn’t shocking when a life is lost.

Philip Seymour Hoffman 2011

Friends and associates in the entertainment industry posted their sorrow over the loss on social media.  Many of them said they were “shocked” while sharing other painful emotions. These were written by individuals who knew him well and who worked with him in the past.  

He had 3 children under the age of 11, and he was found dead because a friend went to his apartment to find out why he had failed to pick them up that morning.  According to a New York Daily News article, a mix of 50 full and empty bags of heroin were found there.  This indicates that heroin addiction doesn’t care about family members either, and it took a father away from his children.

Here is the final entry in Hoffman’s IMDb bio on 02/13/14:

On February 1st (sic-2nd), 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in an apartment in Greenwich, Connecticut. Investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and two open envelopes of heroin next to him. Mr. Hoffman was long known to struggle with addiction. In 2006, he said in an interview with "60 Minutes" that he had given up drugs and alcohol many years earlier, when he was age 22. In 2013, he checked into a rehabilitation program for about 10 days after a reliance on prescription pills resulted in his briefly turning again to heroin.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

No note was left in the apartment, so the going assumption is that the heroin overdose was accidental.  If that’s true, and we can accept that it is, he was at least intent on using a lot of heroin in the near future and probably believed that he could control dosages.  This is common thinking for addicts.  He thought he could live a normal life with his addiction in tow.  But addiction always takes the lead.  He may even have been looking forward to a great day with his kids all the way up to when his body succumbed to the heroin intake.  

It’s difficult to judge the honesty of an addict, especially one who has immediate access to his drug of choice and any place in the world to hide out and use it.  We don’t doubt that he was a decent person, but that’s beside the point.  It’s possible that he was nursing a habit for some time.  But let’s consider that he was clean for over 20 years, and take him at his word.

Addicts who relapse can’t use the same amount of a drug that they had used before they got clean.  They need to build tolerance again, which takes time.  But addiction in action is not logical.  If this was his first time using after some clean time, then his body could not have handled the amount of heroin his addiction needed to be satisfied.  This could still be the case if he had been using heroin for several months.  Sometimes the addiction just can’t be satisfied and the chase for a high results in tragedy.
With heroin use comes some noticeable physical and behavioral changes.  Anyone close to that person could notice that there is a problem.  Very few of them will say anything, though, when the addict is a celebrity or in a position of power.  This is tragic on two levels because the addict doesn’t get help and dies, and fans might gloss over the unnecessary end as being an accident.  Nobody learns about the horrors of heroin addiction from this scenario.

If Hoffman had been using for some time, then those who knew him should not have been shocked over the overdose.  This is certainly not meant to blame anyone, given that most Americans are just not educated about this drug.  Heroin may be good at filling a void in an addict’s soul, but it is downright dangerous to the human body.  Heroin addicts are destined for death if they don’t get help.  The addiction does not allow a person to regulate use and enjoy life.  Heroin is strictly a killer.

We need to learn from this and take action.  Heroin addiction is never in a casual state, and requires treatment.

Our facilities offer medical detoxificationoutpatient, and residential treatment for heroin addiction.  Treatment options include Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) using Vivitrol during abstinence or Methadone/Buprenorphine Maintenance for harm reduction after multiple relapses.  Many of our heroin addiction treatment services are covered by Medi-Cal or Medicare, for those who qualify, and we accept all forms of insurance.  

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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.
 
Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

Alcoholism and Addiction May be Home for the Holidays

by James Heller 24. December 2013 09:24
When bright young teens go off to college, every parent hopes it will be the start of a promising future.  The new students experience some anxiety along with a new sense of independence, which can lead to experimenting with alcohol or drugs.  Studies about the facts of college alcohol and drug abuse show that this is a recipe for an early onset of alcoholism and drug addiction, and parents may get a surprise when their babies come home for the holidays.
 
 
The signs are always there.  If alcohol and drug abuse is unacceptable in a family, returning teens will do everything possible to hide it.  When parents are okay with the use of alcohol or drugs, the homecoming may just require a reduction in daily use, so as to not reveal a problem.  So, chances are, if your child came home drinking when they hadn’t before college, what you see them drink may just be a mask to hide the ugliness of bigger problem.

When college students get into the habit of drinking or using drugs to “let off steam” or “take the edge off”, they are learning to self-medicate.  This can be dangerous if alcohol or drugs become a coping mechanism and not just an occasional respite.  When emotions or stressors arise, the option to deal with them will diminish as the option to escape with substances will become more common.  They don’t learn to work through problems and become dependent on the chemical solution at the same time.  

Read more about college alcohol use, its effects, and how to spot trouble at this link:
Parents need to watch for the signs and intervene when they appear.  Lead off with a loving statement that you just want to make sure there isn’t a problem.  Maybe they just need to talk to someone and understand that stress and emotions are natural things to deal with.  If there is indeed is a problem, you may be surprised with a big hug and a plea for help.  In either case, to not bring it up out of fear over a possible confrontation is a big price to pay for the health of your loved one.

Here at Tarzana Treatment Centers we talk to people every day who desperately need alcohol and drug treatment, and others who are just going through stressful times who need a little therapy.  We provide substance use and mental health treatment for all levels of care.  If you are a college student and you are worried about your alcohol or drug use, or have a loved one who is, please call us today.
 
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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.
  

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 Overdose Awareness

by James Heller 30. August 2013 09:30
Do you know what to do in the event of a drug overdose?

How can you prevent drug overdoses?

What can you do if you or a loved one is an overdose survivor?
 
 
More Americans die from drug overdoses, each year, than from automobile accidents or firearms.  It’s a growing problem that seems to be occurring under the radar of most individuals.  Awareness of the problem is the first step to reversing this trend, so please continue reading and share this with your friends and family.
Sadly, most people think of street-bound heroin addicts when they hear “overdose”.  But the highest percentage of these deaths involves prescription painkillers.  Much of the time, the drugs are obtained legally from a physician, but the patient either becomes addicted or accidentally takes too high of a dose.  It often comes as a shock to loved ones who didn’t think it could happen with legal drugs, or they just ignored the problem all together.

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 is International Overdose Awareness Day.  Tarzana Treatment Centers encourages you to become educated about prescription drug abuse and addiction, how overdoses can occur, and what you can do to prevent them.  It is also important to know what to do in the event of an overdose, and how to be or live with an overdose survivor.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed some material which can get you up to speed.  The tool kit is free and you can find it at this link:
Tarzana Treatment Centers provides a wide array of treatment services for opiate addictions.  Medical Detoxification systematically cleanses the body of opiates in preparation for further addiction treatment.  We also provide two forms of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with Methadone Maintenance and Vivitrol.  Vivitrol is a post-detox medication that reduces opiate cravings, and Methadone Maintenance is meant for addicts who have had multiple relapses and need a little more help on the road to total abstinence.
 
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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

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.

Rise in pain pill overdoses among women

by James Heller 10. July 2013 08:51
Women are being lost to drug overdoses in greater numbers than ever.  In the first decade of the 21st Century, the annual rate of fatal prescription drug overdoses among U.S. Women has increased over 400%.  Opiate cravings drive pain killer addiction, so a very good solution is to reduce them and start treatment.
 
 
Almost 48,000 lives were lost during the ten years mentioned above.  It’s a statistic that continues to rise every year, and the victims are from all walks of life.  These are your friends and family, co-workers, and others with whom you come into contact every day.  Vicodin and Oxycontin prescriptions, and other opioid pain killers, have increased at almost the same rate as the overdoses.
These drugs do wonders for pain sufferers, in the short term that is.  The problem is that a small percentage of individuals who are helped by these medications become addicted to them.  Some doctors will continue to prescribe them to a patient for months and even years.  And some patients will “doctor shop” and get the prescriptions from several doctors to support the habit.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol and Methadone Maintenance treatment to reduce opiate cravings.  Vivitrol is a monthly injection of Naltrexone that reduces cravings.  After medical detoxification, patients abstain from drug use during Vivitrol treatment and meet with counselors.  Methadone Maintenance reduces cravings and allows individuals with serious addictions to focus on recovery without the strong urge to abuse medications.  These are successful forms of Medication Assisted Treatment that we have provided for several years.
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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

Summertime Teen Surveillance

by James Heller 14. June 2013 09:58
At long last, teens have been released from the school for the summer break.  While most of them look forward to the freedom that awaits, most parents need to find ways to keep them busy and in check.  While you can’t imprison them at home for 3 months, it is important that you remain aware of patterns that may indicate alcohol or drug use.
 
 
The last month of a high school year is filled with youth anticipation.  Plans are made between friends, gatherings scheduled, and phone numbers and email addresses are exchanged with acquaintances.  Some adolescents will plan to be very active during the summer months, and others will choose to take it easy.  Either way, parents will be concerned about their welfare at some point.

It’s almost impossible to keep tabs on your household teens all of the time.  They need their freedom, and you have to go to work or a have home to take care of.  There will be a good amount of time that teens are away from you for several hours or even a few days.  Assuming your family has been free from substance use problems, you will probably trust them to not get involved with alcohol or drugs, but you may still worry.
Temptation to get high is everywhere, these days, and teens are very impressionable.  A 14 year old who gets excellent grades and is very active in school activities can get hooked on drugs just the same as dropout.  This is not mentioned to instill fear, but you should be constructively aware of the signs of substance use.  If you ignore the early stages of youth alcohol and drug use, you will open the door to more frequent use and future problems.

Watch for the signs.  Teens that begin using alcohol and drugs will often go through an abrupt change of friends.  They will spend less and less time at home, and sleeping patterns will change.  Conflicts with parents increase.  The “flu” may visit your house more than once in a short period of time.  If you happen to find drugs or paraphernalia in their room, be assured that it does not belong to a friend.

If you still want to avoid a conflict with your teen and think substance use is just a passing phase, remember that most teen injuries and deaths involve substance use.  Talk to them and get them help if they have a problem.
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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

Make the Holidays Happy this Year

by James Heller 4. December 2012 15:32
While this time of year brings joy and merriment to most of us, we in the substance use and mental health treatment field are all too familiar with those who find it troublesome.  Conflicts can arise from within, stemming from disorders that make social gatherings terrifying.  Or they can be substance induced, making someone an annoyance or worse at holiday gatherings.  If this was a problem for you or a loved one last year, we would like to suggest that you get help so the holidays can be pleasant going forward.
 
 
Anyone who suffers from mental health or substance use disorders, and their loved ones, are familiar with troubles during the holiday season.  Yet, each year, millions hope that conflicts and heartaches from the past won’t be repeated.  As a general rule, negative behavior gets in the way of the good times once again, every year.  

Mental health disorders can cause individuals to avoid social gatherings, in cases of depression, which can bring loneliness and bitter feelings.  Anxiety, Bi-Polar Disorder, and other conditions can result in tense outbursts or other negative behaviors at gatherings.  Their loved ones might say that they suffer as much, if not more, than the person with the disorder.  Sadness or anger becomes the prevailing emotions of the season for all involved.

Alcohol use is at an annual high due to holiday parties, out of school youths, and the seasonal servings of festive drinks.  The weather is colder, and many feel like they have an excuse to “let loose”.  When alcohol abusers drink more than usual, verbal conflicts, physical fights, and tragic accidents are a higher likelihood.  When alcohol is served at a large holiday gathering, at least one person is bound to be negatively impacted by an alcohol abuser.  And, we’re sorry that it still needs to be said, innocent people die from drunken driving accidents.  Alcohol abuse is in no way “festive”.

It’s the same pattern, year after year, that we see at Tarzana Treatment Centers.  Admissions for substance use and mental health drop as the holiday season approaches.  Then they rise somewhat sharply as the New Year begins, after the spotlight has been shown on individuals and their disorders. Most of them had considered entering treatment before the holidays, but put it off so they could enjoy them, as they say.

Whether the problems of last year were mild or severe, we suggest that you or your loved one speaks with a counselor before the first holiday gathering.  This is especially a good idea if problems have occurred more than once with an individual.  You deserve better.  Something as simple as a Vivitrol injection to reduce alcohol cravings may be the remedy.  It will help you to begin the process of healing, and you can become a part of the crowd that will enjoy a happy holiday season this year.

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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

Does Medicare Cover Seniors for Drug Addiction Treatment?

by James Heller 12. October 2012 07:45
Seniors need to pay close attention to their health and should avoid problems with alcohol and drug abuse.  There are times, though, when medications need to be prescribed for anxiety, depression, or pain that may result in an addiction.  Thankfully, medically necessary drug addiction treatment for seniors is covered by Medicare.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers accepts Medicare for medically necessary drug addiction treatment.  Our addiction treatment services include medical detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment, Vivitrol, and mental health treatment for those suffering from co-occurring disorders.  We also accept Medicare for preventative services at our clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.

More than ever, seniors are falling into the trap of prescription drug addiction.  Through no fault of their own, they will follow doctors’ orders and become dependent on a drug.  The result is an addiction to one of several drugs like Xanax, Vicodin, Valium, Ambien, Ativan, or Klonopin.  Withdrawal from these drugs can range from uncomfortable to dangerous, so these individuals should find a quality prescription drug addiction treatment center.

Quality addiction treatment for seniors means that counselors and facilities can accommodate their clients’ special needs.  Aging minds and bodies react differently to withdrawals.  Staff needs to be trained to work with individuals who have decades of life experience, which requires specialized counseling.  And, for your safety, the medical staff must know how to administer detoxification medications to seniors.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides this specialized care for seniors in addiction treatment.  Our counselors are friendly, and can help you to understand your addiction.  Mental health disorders often go untreated with the senior population due to a stigma fear.  Our psychology staff understands this, and is ready to provide you with confidential and sensitive therapy.

Please contact us today for more information.

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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

Caring for Children of Mothers in Early Recovery

by James Heller 11. September 2012 08:08
Early recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is difficult for mothers with small children and infants, especially single mothers in lower income households. You can’t focus on your recovery while taking care of a child, and may not be able to afford the child care that would provide you with the necessary quiet time. When child care and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) are a part of treatment in early recovery, though, your chances of achieving long-term sobriety are much better.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides alcohol and drug treatment services for women with children.  We have two facilities in Long Beach and Tarzana where mothers can get the treatment they need, with child day care available.  Vivitrol treatment is also available for eligible patients being treated for alcoholism and opiate addiction.
 
 
When individuals begin a life of sobriety, everything changes.  Routines need to change, diets, friends, and even family relationships.  These aren’t all big changes, necessarily.  But they all require a certain amount of focus, and that means that daily “alone time” is needed.  Any single mother can tell you that this is nearly impossible without an outside hand, which is not always available.  Unfortunately, this means that many single mothers relapse early in recovery and often give up on the hope for a sober life.

Some would say that if these moms would put their children in child care, treatment would work better for them.  But even if the mother can afford child day care, she needs to rebuild broken bonds.  That’s difficult to do when there is a physical separation.  So it is a great benefit when mom and child can experience treatment together.  At Tarzana Treatment Centers our goal is to provide a temporary home for them.  In some cases, it is the best environment that the child has ever experienced.

Alcohol cravings and opiate cravings are major relapse triggers, and require a great deal of strength and motivation to overcome.  These cravings can get in the way of bonding efforts between mothers in recovery and their children.  For those who are eligible, Vivitrol is an alcohol and opiate craving reduction medication that Tarzana Treatment Centers provides after medical detoxification.  With cravings out of the way, mom can focus more on her recovery and relationship with her children.

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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.

If Doctors Would Diagnose Addiction

by James Heller 5. September 2012 14:10
If you consider that there are an estimated 22 million Americans with a drug or alcohol problem, you might assume that doctors regularly diagnose and treat them.  Reality is, though, that most doctors have never been trained to in addiction treatment, and usually treat only the symptoms of the disease.  Fortunately, some new treatments involving medications may change this sad situation.
 
 
One big problem with alcoholism and drug addiction is that so many medical problems result from them.  Substance abuse negatively affects different parts of the body, depending on the drug being used.  Alcohol abuse, without exaggeration, harms every cell in the body.  To the untrained in addiction medicine, the symptoms of these abuses might appear as primary problems, only requiring common treatments.  For example, a doctor may prescribe specialized medication for a bleeding ulcer and schedule a follow-up visit.

Another problem with addiction is that alcoholics and drug addicts are not quick to admit their problems.  Even if a doctor asks about drinking and drug use habits, these patients will minimize or deny it.  Short of the patient arriving at 9:00am and smelling of alcohol, or having injection track marks up and down their arms, untrained doctors will not see a reason to investigate.  The answer is often accepted as true and the doctor looks to heal the symptom.  

The result is that alcoholics and drug addicts get temporary relief from negative symptoms of their disease, but don’t receive, at the very least, guidance from their doctors on how to prevent them in the future.  The worst result is that people die every day from the negative effects of alcoholism and drug addiction.  Most of them could have been saved had they been given early treatment for the primary disease of addiction.

According to this article, there is possible good news on the horizon.  There is an effort to attract doctors to the addiction treatment field, and to promote addiction medicine as a recognized subspecialty.  Medical treatment and new prescription drugs are proving to be effective means of helping addicts to recover.  Counseling for the psycho-social aspects of the disease is still important, but detox and craving reduction medications, like Vivitrol, have become very beneficial in the early days of recovery.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol treatment for alcohol and opiate craving reduction, for example.  This follows medical detoxification, which is important to avoid the severe effects of withdrawals.  We have seen some great success stories from patients who previously struggled with relapse after their first Vivitrol injection.  

Imagine if doctors could diagnose addiction from the symptoms they normally treat.  They could make a referral to a detox facility, followed with Vivitrol for eligible patients, and maybe residential or outpatient treatment.  Patients tend to listen to doctors more than they would even to their most beloved family members.  Hopefully, the effort mentioned above can spread so more of those who suffer can get the treatment they need.

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 and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

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.