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Prescription Drug Tolerance

by James Heller 13. July 2009 07:42
Although the cause of Michael Jackson’s death is still a mystery, news stories since his passing are opening the door to discussions about prescription drug addiction.  Speculation about possible prescription drug abuse by the King of Pop has fueled investigations by news sources around the world.  

Prescription drug tolerance is a natural occurrence where the body adjusts to a drug and requires more of it to get the same effect.  So when people use sedatives like Xanax and Valium or pain killers like Vicodin and Oxycontin continuously over time, they will inevitably use more to get the effect they desire.  

Understanding this, doctors may prescribe higher doses until they judge that it is no longer healthy for their patients.  Unfortunately for the patients, tolerance continues to develop and they may find it justifiable to obtain drugs through illegal means.  They may even choose to switch to illegal drugs that are more powerful than their prescription drugs.

Cross addiction with drugs like heroin is common in these cases.  None of these drugs are intended for long-term use.  So when tolerance develops it is an indication of addiction, a disease that does not discriminate between drugs to satisfy its needs.  

Parents should take special note of this information considering the rising trend of adolescent prescription drug abuse and addiction.  Teens may be prescribed these drugs at an early age, leaving them at risk for future drug addiction and alcoholism problems.  It is also a good idea to be aware of your teen’s friends who take these drugs, as sharing them is common.

If you find that prescription drug tolerance has occurred with you, please call Tarzana Treatment Centers at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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

Heroin Treatment Options

by James Heller 13. May 2009 07:17
Heroin addiction is a serious disease that requires treatment.  The sad fact, though, is that many people, including heroin addicts, are unaware of the different heroin addiction treatment options that are available to them.

A section of an article from the National Institute on Drug abuse website is posted below that details most of the options available to heroin addicts.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers these treatment options and more.  In our heroin detox program, methadone and buprenorphine can be used for medical detoxification from heroin and prescription opiates.

Feel free to contact us here for more information, or call us at 888-777-8565.

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What Treatment Options Exist?

A range of treatments exist for heroin addiction, including medications and behavioral therapies. Science has taught us that when medication treatment is integrated with other supportive services, patients are often able to stop using heroin (or other opiates) and return to stable and productive lives.

Treatment often begins with medically assisted detoxification, to help patients withdraw from the drug safely. Medications such as clonidine and, now, buprenorphine can be used to help minimize symptoms of withdrawal. However, detoxification alone is not treatment and has not been shown to be effective in preventing relapse—it is merely the first step.

Medications to help prevent relapse include:

  • Methadone, which has been used for more than 30 years to treat heroin addiction. It is a synthetic opiate medication that binds to the same receptors as heroin; but when taken orally, as dispensed, it has a gradual onset of action and sustained effects, reducing the desire for other opioid drugs while preventing withdrawal symptoms. Properly prescribed methadone is not intoxicating or sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary daily activities. At the present time, methadone is only available through specialized opiate treatment programs.
  • Buprenorphine is a more recently approved treatment for heroin addiction (and other opiates). It differs from methadone in having less risk for overdose and withdrawal effects, and importantly, it can be prescribed in the privacy of a doctor’s office.
  • Naltrexone is approved for treating heroin addiction but has not been widely utilized because of compliance issues. It is an opioid receptor blocker, which has been shown to be effective in highly motivated patients. It should only be used in patients who have already been detoxified in order to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is a shorter acting opioid receptor blocker, used to treat cases of overdose.

For pregnant heroin abusers, methadone maintenance combined with prenatal care and a comprehensive drug treatment program can improve many of the detrimental maternal and neonatal outcomes associated with untreated heroin abuse. Preliminary evidence suggests that buprenorphine also is a safe and effective treatment during pregnancy, although infants exposed to either methadone or buprenorphine prenatally may require treatment for withdrawal symptoms. For women who do not want or are not able to receive pharmacotherapy for their heroin addiction, detoxification from opiates during pregnancy can be accomplished with medical supervision, although potential risks to the fetus and the likelihood of relapse to heroin use should be considered.

-- Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/heroin.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Drug Addiction

by James Heller 12. May 2009 11:32
Drug addiction affects all socio-economic classes and ethnicities.  With all we know about the disease, it is unfortunate that this fact continues to be ignored by the majority of the general population.  It is ignored because drug addiction has a stigma and unfortunate because good people get locked into a destructive cycle.

The faces of drug addiction are easily seen in the classic frame of “Skid Rows” in every major city.  The general term leads people to think of heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and other illegal drugs.  While these are all indeed a part of the problem, they should no longer be considered the major problem.  The effort to help these individuals needs to continue while more attention is paid elsewhere.

Prescription drug addiction has become a common issue at the workplace.  But two things keep it hidden from public view.  First, the drug addict is very secretive about needing a drug because it is considered a sign of weakness.  Second, if co-workers are aware of the drug use, they avoid confronting the addict because they don’t want to pry.

On the other side of stigma is marijuana addiction.  This drug has become more accepted in society, and therefore has lost much of the stigma attached to its use.  But it must be understood that social acceptance does not eliminate the fact that some individuals are addicted to marijuana, and more will addict to it.

As more people educate themselves about drug addiction, more addicts can get into drug detox and treatment and lives can be saved.  Drug addiction has the power to destroy the lives of those it affects and their loved ones.  

The following is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.  The full article, linked below, includes basic information about drug addiction.  

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What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual who is addicted and to those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person’s self control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs.

It is because of these changes in the brain that it is so challenging for a person who is addicted to stop abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are treatments that help people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects and regain control. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications, if available, with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse.

Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And, as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse, however, does not signal failure—rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated, adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed to help the individual regain control and recover.

-- http://www.drugabuse.gov/Infofacts/understand.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.