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Methadone Maintenance Available Every Day

by James Heller 26. December 2013 08:36
Addiction to heroin and prescription opiates can become so serious that harm reduction is needed on the road to abstinence.  Methadone Maintenance (MM) helps reduce the cravings that an addict experiences, removing the distraction that often leads to using heroin or prescription drugs.  So it is important that, once MM treatment begins, a providing clinic is accessible every day.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers Methadone Maintenance program is open every day of the year, including holidays.  The great majority of other MM clinics, on the other hand, are closed on weekends and holidays.  It makes sense to us that a program to reduce harm is available when harm is most likely to be done.  Whether boredom or anything else ramps up cravings on these days, addicts enrolled in an MM program shouldn’t need to wait until the next open day to get relief or counseling.

Another problem with off days at the MM clinic is that doses might be sent home so that clients won’t need to wait for them.  This is sometimes okay, but, with all due respect to those clients, it is a practice that can be dangerous if not deadly.  Methadone has a long half-life and stays in the body for up to 48 hours.  If an addict takes a dose too early, it could result in an overdose.  So it is important that doses are closely monitored by an available medical professional.

At Tarzana Treatment Centers, we take Methadone Maintenance very seriously.  Our goal for every drug addict is abstinence.  Every MM client receives counseling to help them on road to recovery.  We want you to feel the hope that comes from a drug-free lifestyle as we have seen it happen for so many addicts.  It may take a little more time using a Maintenance program, but it’s much better than being stuck in a cycle of multiple relapses.

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.

Methadone Treatment Center

by James Heller 22. January 2013 15:29
Methadone is an opioid most-commonly associated with heroin addiction treatment.  It can be used for medical detoxification and as a harm reduction tool with Methadone Maintenance.  In either case, it is important that Methadone be administered by a medical professional at a treatment center or clinic.
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers has been providing Methadone in opiate detox treatment for decades, and we later added Maintenance as a service.  Patients in our medical detoxification units are closely monitored by medical staff to ensure their safety.  And our Methadone Maintenance program includes addiction counseling.  Our goal is to lead you to a life free from all opiates.

Heroin and prescription drug addiction are difficult to overcome.  The sad fact is that most opiate addicts that complete treatment will relapse several times, and they may never achieve long-term abstinence.  While they are high, there is always a chance that harm will come to them or their loved ones.  So the important task is to help them to live without the high.

Methadone can do this by reducing the cravings associated with opiate addiction.  It provides addicts with a “narcotic replacement” that does not include the high.  Methadone can remain in the body for up to 60 hours, so clients receive doses at the treatment center daily or every two days.  It’s because of the long half-life that doses need to be monitored.  Methadone overdoses occur when clients take a second dose, thinking the first has cleared because they don’t feel a high, and can be fatal.  

When abstinence is the goal, the first course of action should be medical detoxification followed by residential or outpatient treatment.  Some addicts will remain clean after one treatment episode.  Others may need two or three.  The discovery has not yet been made where one can tell who will relapse before treatment begins.  A few attempts are made with opiate detox before looking at Maintenance as an option.

We ensure the safety of our detox and Maintenance patients by monitoring their health and by providing a roadmap to long-term abstinence.  We work to move clients from Maintenance to detox when they are ready.  Methadone treatment is covered by most insurance plans, and you may qualify for Medi-Cal, Medicare, or one of our other publicly funded programs.  We want to see everybody recover.

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.

Opioid Withdrawal Treatment

by James Heller 31. July 2012 09:45
Since the sap of the opium poppy was first used to craft a remedy for pain and discomfort, it has been observed as being both helpful and harmful.  Opioids can get patients through the worst of serious physical maladies, and then turn them into struggling addicts.  Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can be severe, so this often drives addicts to continue using the drugs long after they are medically necessary.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) options for individuals suffering from opioid addiction.  Medical detoxification works with the body to slowly taper off of opioids until it is cleansed.  Methadone Maintenance is meant for individuals who have suffered multiple relapse, and helps to reduce opioid cravings.  Both opioid withdrawal treatment methods are meant to help you achieve long-term abstinence.

Patients are regularly prescribed opioid medications like Vicodin, Oxycodone, and Morphine to manage pain ranging from headaches to broken bones.  These medications are very effective and highly addictive, so they are meant to be used for a short period of time.  The addiction can set in so rapidly, though, that the brain will trick the body into thinking the medication is still needed for “pain relief”.  With further use, the body becomes opioid dependent.

Opioids have been manufactured legally and illegally, for medicinal and recreational use, for over a century.  Heroin is notorious for being extremely addictive.  Once provided as a legal medication, it is now one of the most damaging drugs sold illegally on the street.  The opioid withdrawal symptoms from heroin are so intense that, some say, you can become addicted with one use.  Heroin is once again gaining popularity among teens and young adults, and is reaching across all social and financial circles.

A very small percentage of opioid addicts can “kick” the drug without medical assistance.  Successful opioid withdrawal treatment requires MAT to minimize the risk of relapse.  The goal must be complete abstinence.  Treating the withdrawal symptoms is only a part of the battle, though.  Quality treatment, like at Tarzana Treatment Centers, also includes counseling and an option for Vivitrol in aftercare treatment.

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.

Alcohol Dependence and Drug Addiction -Tolerance

by James Heller 18. May 2010 13:48
Tolerance, as it relates to alcohol dependence and drug addiction, is often misunderstood by many in the general public.  In the manner that drug and alcohol tolerance functions, it can be a safety mechanism to the body and, at the same time, deadly.  This makes awareness of the subject critical for anyone who engages in alcohol abuse or drug abuse, as well as those in recovery.

It can easily be assumed that tolerance means that an individual can drink more alcohol without getting drunk, or handle drug use in a seemingly controlled manner.  With this assumption comes the belief that these “abilities” are an example of the natural differences that exist from one individual to another.  While this is partially true, the nature of alcohol and drug tolerance is much more complicated.

Alcohol tolerance is the example with which most people can relate.  Consider the amount of alcohol you need to drink before you feel the effects, or “buzzed”.  Let’s say this is 2 beers.  If you drink 2 beers every day, over time you will feel less of an effect.  If you want to feel the same effect, you must drink more alcohol.  The amount of alcohol needed for the same feeling will continue to increase as you add more alcohol.  

The same concept works with drugs.  Alcohol abuse or drug abuse can result from tolerance since individuals will chase that feeling by drinking or using more on each occasion.  If the cycle continues with regular daily alcohol or drug intake, the body can become physically dependent and alcoholism or drug addiction is the result.  

On this road to addiction that we just followed, the brain has protected the body from overdose, with tolerance, by adjusting to the higher levels of substance use.  This benefit of drug tolerance can become a dangerous consequence, though, for recovering individuals who relapse.  The addicted brain still needs a large amount of drugs for an effect, but the body returns to a lower tolerance of what is essentially a poison.

At the time of first use on a relapse, the brain will dictate the most recent amount of drugs used to get a desired effect.  If the formerly recovering addict is not careful, this amount can easily cause a drug overdose or even be fatal.  Many drug addicts are not aware of this fact, and will even ignore warnings from fellow drug users because they don’t realize the consequences they face.

While alcoholics are less likely to overdose on alcohol during first use on a relapse, they may experience what is known as a lack of tolerance.  At this point, a drunken feeling may result from only 1 drink.  Lack of tolerance can actually occur with anyone who drinks alcohol, but it is typically coupled with alcohol dependence.  Of course, that 1 drink will still not be enough to satisfy alcoholics and they can become a danger to themselves through inebriation and alcohol’s effect on the body.

This information is good to share with teens, friends in recovery, or anyone you may know who engages in alcohol abuse or drug abuse.  Too many see tolerance as a benefit both early in substance use and in addiction.  Tolerance is explained in effective alcohol and drug treatment as part of addiction education groups to prevent accidental overdoses among those who may relapse.  Bringing this awareness to the general public may save even more lives.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment and addiction education.  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.

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Two Strata of Opiate Detoxification Patients

by James Heller 8. July 2009 08:55
Opiate detoxification is not administered in the same manner for every patient at Tarzana Treatment Centers.  Medication schedules depend on the amount of opiates the patient used upon admission, as well as the length of prior continuous opiate use.  

Obviously the amount of usage determines the starting dosage from which to taper.  But the length of prior continuous opiate use determines care in the final days of medical detoxification.  

According to Duane Carmalt, MD, who has detoxed thousands of opiate addicts over the past 30 years, the length of prior continuous opiate use can make the experience of medical detoxification like landing a helicopter or a space shuttle.  Helicopters are smooth in the final phase of landing with no “jolt” experience of hitting the ground.  Space shuttles approach landing smoothly, but, due to abrupt changes at landing time, that jolt is almost inevitable.

Dr. Carmalt explains that the “helicopter” type patients have used opiates continuously for a few months.  They begin detox treatment at a certain dosage, determined by an assessment, which is tapered down until opiate detox is achieved.  These patients’ Withdrawal symptoms are minimal throughout treatment, including the final day.

 “Space Shuttle” patients have used opiates for a year or more.  They generally experience the same minor withdrawal symptoms until the final 48 hours or so of treatment.  They often experience a jolt of more significant opiate withdrawal symptoms in the final days of detoxing, and require a slower taper off the final doses of medication, which can extend their stay one or two more days.  

Keep in mind that patient motivation is a major factor in drug and alcohol treatment, and can have an effect on the helicopter/space shuttle strata.  In fact, a strong motivation for recovery is the best tool for paving a smooth landing area in opiate detox.  Opiate tolerance also affects how a patient responds to detox medications, and can cause the “Space Shuttle” effect to occur earlier in detox treatment.

Patients planning to enter opiate drug addiction treatment at Tarzana Treatment Centers should take note of these factors in medical detoxification.  Not only is it good to know what to expect from detox treatment, but it can also help in scheduling aftercare for those entering residential or outpatient drug treatment.

If you would like further details about opiate detox and treatment, please call us 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 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.