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Medication Assisted Treatment Options

by James Heller 12. April 2010 14:07

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a safe and effective method for alcohol and narcotic withdrawal and maintenance.  There is ample evidence suggesting that harm reduction strategies should be more widely available to those suffering from alcohol dependence and drug addictionTarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has taken note of these facts, and offers several medication assisted treatment options.

Traditional alcohol and drug treatment services help many individuals to begin a life in recovery and improve their lives.  MAT is utilized in medical detoxification at the start of treatment to minimize withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other drugs.  This process is important since patients must be medically stable before beginning the process of recovery.

For some, though, relapse commonly follows traditional treatment.  This is generally due to alcohol cravings and opiate cravings that vary greatly from patient to patient.  Medications like Suboxone, Vivitrol, and Methadone help to minimize cravings so these individuals may begin the process of recovery, medically stable and in a receptive state of mind.

For more information, click the link below:

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers many medication assisted treatment options.  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.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via email at vivitrol@tarzanatc.org.

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.

Prescription Drug Detox

by James Heller 22. September 2009 15:12
By Ken Bachrach, Ph.D., Clinical Director

The misuse of prescription medications has increased dramatically in recent years.  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2006 there were 2.2 million persons aged 12 or older who initiated the use of pain relievers for nonmedical purposes in the past year, which is slightly more than new users of marijuana.  The same survey revealed that more than half a million adolescents aged 12-17 used stimulants non-medically in the past year.  These findings point out that with such an increase in use of prescription medications, more and more individuals will become addicted to them and need treatment, including detoxification.

There are three primary classes of these drugs of abuse. The first is opiates, such as Vicodin or Oxycontin, that are used to relieve pain.  The second is Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants that are used to relieve anxiety and assist with sleep.  They are also referred to as major and minor tranquilizers or sedative-hypnotic drugs, with the primary categories being barbiturates and benzodiazepines.  Barbiturates, such as Seconal, are rarely used these days; rather benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin are usually prescribed.  The third class is stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, which are usually prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).   

The determination as to whether a person needs detoxification should be made by a medical professional.  Most people will know when they are addicted, because they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using these medications.  It is very important that detoxification be done under medical supervision, since many people incorrectly assume they should simply stop taking the medication.  Stopping suddenly can result in severe withdrawal symptoms.  Withdrawal symptoms for opiates include a variety of flu-like symptoms, including gastrointestinal problems and body aches.  For CNS depressants, a major medical concern is seizures when one is stopping their use.  For stimulants, there are fewer medical concerns, although the psychological withdrawal effects may be pronounced.

Detoxification is achieved by substituting the drug of abuse with a similar medication and slowly tapering the amount of medication over a few days.  For opiates, methadone and buprenorphine are most commonly used, although Clonodine, a blood pressure medication, may also be used.  For CNS depressants (i.e., sedative-hypnotic drugs), the barbiturate phenobarbital is frequently used.  At Tarzana Treatment Centers, we have over 35 years of experience detoxing individuals off these medications in a safe and comfortable setting.  

Medical detoxification is only the first step of the treatment continuum.  Once a person has stopped using a prescription drug, they must learn how to live their life without it.  How difficult this will be varies from person to person.  Many will need at least outpatient treatment to learn effective ways to cope with the symptoms that either caused them to start using the medication or to address the ongoing cravings to go back and misuse these medications.  Tarzana Treatment Centers specializes in meeting the needs of each person.  During drug detox treatment, staff will determine the most appropriate next level of care.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides prescription drug detox as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with prescription drug abuse, 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.

Prescription Drug Tolerance

by James Heller 28. August 2009 14:17
The human body is an amazing organism.  Despite what we put into it, our body adjusts to almost anything and helps us deal with an amazing array of substances, both good and not so good, that we ingest.  Diet is continually underrated as far as its effects on our daily lives.  I believe that is because we see individuals eat a wonderfully healthy diet and they seem to thrive day in and day out, and yet we also observe others who do not follow a healthy dietary regimen, and yet they seem to not differ significantly in their daily lives from the individuals who observe a healthier regimen.  Of course if we follow two individuals for a long period of time, say over 10 years, perform studies such as blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, etc., while one individual follows a healthy diet and the other does not, we would see the 'healthy dieter' most likely have normal blood levels for these measures, and the unhealthy dieter perhaps not so normal, or at least deviating from what is considered normal. 
This brings us to prescription drug tolerance.  As with diet, our bodies will adjust to foreign substances, including prescription medications, and seek to remain as normal as possible.  The more we ingest of a certain substance, like Vicodin and Xanax, the more our bodies adjust to it, and become more adept breaking it down for excretion.  The main 'detoxifier' in our bodies is our liver.  We manufacture enzymes to help us break down ingested substances.  When we take in an over abundance of a certain drug, our bodies adjust and manufacture more of the enzyme needed to break it down, and thus a certain tolerance occurs.  As our bodies become more efficient in this biochemical breakdown, we then need to take in more of the certain drug to achieve the same effects as we experienced at the time we first took this prescription drug.  This can lead to more 'drug seeking' behavior as we strive to obtain more and more of the targeted drug, whether by legal or illegal means. 
The bottom line to this would be to only take any prescription drug for the condition it is prescribed for, and when the condition is relieved, stop any drug use associated with the condition.  You will live a much healthier life in the short and long run if you do not build up a tolerance for any prescription drugs. 

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medical detoxification as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one is in need of prescription drug detox, or detox from alcohol or other drugs, 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.

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.