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Methadone Maintenance for Prescription Opioid Addiction

by James Heller 12. July 2012 12:43
Contrary to popular belief, Methadone Maintenance is not a treatment exclusively given to hard-core heroin addicts.  It can help anyone that is addicted to prescription opioids, who is having a difficult time abstaining from them.  At Tarzana Treatment Centers, there is always hope for opioid addicts to achieve long term abstinence, no matter their drug of choice.

Opioids are synthetic drugs in the same family as heroin.  The drugs include common prescription medications like oxycodonehydrocodone or Vicodin, codeine, and morphine.  These and other pain killers are prescribed every day for short term relief.  The problem is that they are highly addictive, and even individuals who are not predisposed to addiction can become physically dependent on them very quickly.

Even though opioid medications are controlled by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, patients can continue using them for several years.  A number of doctors consider being addicted to pain pills as a necessary evil of treatment, and some simply ignore the dangers.  Thanks to opiate tolerance, a long term user’s body will need higher doses to relieve pain, or to get the desired euphoria as the case may be.  

It can be extremely difficult to stop using opioids once addiction takes hold, due to opioid withdrawals.  If you quit on your own, “cold turkey”, you will almost certainly suffer severe flu-like symptoms and start using again.  Medical detoxification is a great solution, but some prescription drug addicts can’t fight the opiate cravings that follow and relapse.  When an individual attempts opiate detox several times unsuccessfully, it is time to consider Methadone Maintenance.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides confidential Methadone Maintenance for qualified patients.  The treatment reduces opiate cravings, allowing you to resume a life free of the drug to which you have become addicted.  This will help you to focus on treatment with your assigned addiction counselor, and to reach your ultimate goal of being completely drug-free.

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.

Tarzana Treatment Centers Telehealth Program

by James Heller 11. July 2012 12:39
Connecting patients face-to-face with health care providers can be a challenge at times.  This is especially true when the patient suffers from mental health or substance use disorders.  Telehealth is a great solution whether the individual is already in treatment or is delaying the start of treatment.

Telehealth is a broad term for health care that is provided via email, phone, data transfer, or video conference.  The main benefit for patients is that they can be anywhere for treatment, as long as they have a computer with internet access or a phone available.  Tarzana Treatment Centers is currently using several telehealth delivery methods, and we plan to take advantage of more as they become available to us.

Tarzana Treatment Centers’ Telehealth Program makes it possible for patients in residential alcohol and drug treatment to visit with offsite providers without leaving the building.  Each patient has a secure account on the LiveVisit video conference application, and can meet with clinic physicians or licensed mental health professionals.  We also use telehealth video conferencing for outpatient clients.

Sufferers postpone getting treatment for mental health and substance use disorders more often than you might think.  When they finally do go to that first treatment session, almost all of them realize that the delay was unnecessary.  Tarzana Treatment Centers’ Valley Tele-Treatment Program (VTP) makes that first session more convenient.  Individuals can receive treatment via VTP for up to 90 days, or they may choose to start face-to-face sessions after that first one.  
For more information, please call 818-654-3821 or email vtp@tarzanatc.org 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.

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.

Convenient Vivitrol Treatment

by James Heller 2. July 2012 15:03
Motivation for recovery can change in an instant for alcoholics and opiate addicts.  They’ll say they want Vivitrol treatment to reduce cravings and help them focus on treatment.  The addict brain then does everything it can to change that decision.  Because of this, Tarzana Treatment Centers makes every effort to speed the process from decision to Vivitrol injection.

According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) in the excerpt below, a collaboration of effort is required to treat a patient successfully with Vivitrol:

-- Begin External Content --

“Collaboration between substance abuse treatment providers and primary care physicians and clinicians on behalf of alcohol-dependent individuals is key to obtaining the best treatment outcomes for this chronic, relapsing disease.”

-- Source: http://wwwtest.adp.ca.gov/Pressroom/News/Focus/June2012/INDEX.html#feat1 --
<Read the entire article for details about Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) when you finish this>

Patients must be assessed for Vivitrol treatment by qualified medical personnel.  Tarzana Treatment Centers’ alcohol and drug treatment program has licensed medical professionals on staff daily.  This minimizes the time between decision and assessment.  Every step like this toward getting the actual injection helps a patient to resist thoughts suggesting to not go through with the decision.

Vivitrol is available by prescription only, which is the next step toward injection.  Our daily staff of medical personnel includes licensed prescribers.  This minimizes another possible waiting period, and may even eliminate it if the assessor and prescriber is the same person.  The only step left is to receive the Vivitrol injection, and we keep a stock ready for new patients.  

Collaboration between providers is easy at Tarzana Treatment Centers because they all work in the same facility and use the same software to track patient care.  Nobody can promise that you will get a Vivitrol injection the same day you make the decision, but we make it possible.

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 dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, 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.

Vivitrol Services Featured on the KPCC Madeleine Brand Show

by James Heller 27. June 2012 14:27
Tarzana Treatment Centers and Vivitrol were featured on the Madeleine Brand Show on KPCC Public Radio.  You can read about the topic and listen to the segment at this link:


At some point, every alcoholic and opiate (heroinpain killers) addict has a desire to quit drinking or using drugs.  Most of them don’t know how to get help or that they can get addiction treatment at low or no cost, leading to a feeling of hopelessness.  If that desire to quit passes without getting help, they can wind up in a downward spiral and eventually lose everything.  The addiction can take a strong hold on them.  If they find their way to a traditional detox-to-aftercare treatment program, it may require Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

When individuals have a difficult time with relapse after alcohol or opiate detox, recovery can seem out of reach.  Some will repeatedly enter detox treatment, with a serious desire to recover from alcohol dependence or drug addiction.  Alcohol and opiate cravings are a major trigger for relapse, and can strike both during and after detox.  For the individuals we’re describing in this article, cravings are also a major distraction during treatment.  So they rarely achieve long-term recovery.

We are committed to the promotion of Vivitrol treatment because we have witnessed the positive results for so many of these patients.  Several individuals who had been to detox more than five times have now been sober during Vivitrol treatment for more than 6 months at a time.  That is a big achievement for this group.  Every sober moment they get in treatment will provide them with tools to stay sober.  Relapse may not be a thing of the past in these cases, but recovery is finally in reach.

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 dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, 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.

Vivitrol - We Have You Covered

by James Heller 22. June 2012 07:37
When life and financial situations take a turn for the worst, most people do what they can to support themselves until they can get back on their feet.  Others don’t have much of a personal safety net and enroll in public assistance programs.  Some turn to alcohol or drugs as an escape and become dependent.  In these cases, addiction can make for a long road back to a normal life.  

Two factors that keep alcoholics and heroin addicts from achieving long-term recovery are money and cravings.  They think they can’t afford treatment, so they don’t bother calling a facility.  If they do get into treatment and complete medical detoxification, they may relapse shortly thereafter because the cravings are so powerful.  Many of these individuals give up if a loved one doesn’t inform them of the options that are available.

Tarzana Treatment Centers has solutions for both barriers to recovery.  It is likely that you qualify for public assistance if you are out of work and can’t afford treatment.  We can get you started with detox right away under low-cost and no-cost public contracts.  Alcohol and drug treatment is covered by Cal-WORKs and Medicare, along with several other programs.  The goal of these programs is to help you get clean and sober so you can get back on your feet.

Since cravings may cause relapse, we also encourage the use of Vivitrol for qualified patients.  Vivitrol blocks receptors in the brain to reduce alcohol and opiate cravings, and works for 30 days with one injection.  We have low-cost and no-cost treatment contracts for Vivitrol, and can get you started when you are ready to discharge from detox.

If you are using alcohol or drugs, and are suffering some tough financial times, the only guarantee is that things will get worse.  Today is the day to get started, and Tarzana Treatment Centers has you covered.

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 dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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 Maintenance Brings Positive Outcomes

by James Heller 15. June 2012 13:09
Opiates are highly addictive and either controlled or illegal.  This combination of factors most often leads to increasing doses, which can cause the loss of employment, financial issues, and engagement in criminal activity.  Opiates, like heroin, are often administered intravenously, which also increases the risk of infection with HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne pathogens.   So there is a great risk of harm for those who find abstinence-only treatment difficult to maintain. 

Because opiate addiction impacts the addicted individual and society in the way described above, the treatment approach must include more than the traditional detox-to-abstinence model.  Abstinence should always be the ultimate goal.  The road to abstinence, though, may require a period of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) using Methadone Maintenance.  This could be a lifesaving step in the recovery process for many opiate addicts.

Methadone Maintenance has been proven effective as a “harm reduction” treatment method.  The linked paper below shows the true and positive effects of Methadone Maintenance.  The fact is that this form of treatment reduces health risks, crime, unemployment, and improves treatment outcomes for individuals who previously believed they had no hope of breaking their addiction cycle.


Tarzana Treatment Centers offers Methadone Maintenance to qualified individuals.  During this MAT treatment, our clients also undergo addiction counseling to help them on the road to abstinence.  We added this Narcotic Replacement Therapy (NRT) to our services because we want all addicts to have a chance to survive and recover.  Many opiate addicts are motivated for recovery, but they can’t get past the opiate cravings that drag them back to using again.  We keep them in 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.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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.

Vivitrol FDA Approved for Opiate Relapse Prevention

by James Heller 20. October 2010 13:05
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is thrilled at the news that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vivitrol for use in opioid addiction treatment.  The evidence was clear to us that Vivitrol reduced opiate cravings, but the FDA went one step further in approving it for the “prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.”  This means that we can finally say what we’ve also known for a long time; Vivitrol prevents relapse.

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers Vivitrol for alcohol treatment and opiate treatment as part of our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.  It is a Naltrexone injection taken monthly that reduces alcohol cravings and opiate cravings.  This allows individuals in recovery to focus on addiction treatment, and offers a better chance at long-term recovery.  For more information about the FDA approval and Vivitrol, click the link below for the press release by Vivitrol manufacturer, Alkermes.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alkermes-announces-fda-approval-of-vivitrolr-for-prevention-of-relapse-to-opioid-dependence-2010-10-12?reflink=MW_news_stmp

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.

Telemedicine Uses – Drug Addiction

by James Heller 17. September 2010 12:53
There are several reasons that individuals will delay or decline treatment for drug addiction, both legitimate and illegitimate.  Some want drug treatment and don’t have time, and others are simply resisting the urgings of family members with excuses.  Telemedicine could be the solution for many who want drug treatment for themselves or for loved ones.

The trouble starts with the first use of a drug, whether it is marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, or heroin.  Future drug addicts feel a sense of freedom at that time that leads them to further use.  Drug tolerance creates a need for larger doses, more often, to get that first feeling again.  When drug abuse leads to relationship, family, and employment problems, some individuals will seek treatment.  Others will continue use into addiction whether or not they think they need drug treatment.

For those who accept that they need treatment, life factors may inhibit their ability to attend individual and group sessions.  Time, travel, and the stigma of being discovered as a drug addict are the major issues.  The other group who doesn’t want or think they need treatment will make excuses of the same nature, but only to avoid the issue.  

The last couple of days in drug detox can be tense for individuals who want to continue treatment, but see obstacles as mentioned above.  They usually have no sick or vacation time accrued to take time off of work for residential treatment, so they will look into outpatient treatment.  Then family members often object to the time away from home to attend sessions.  After all, it is now time to stop neglecting the family.

Interestingly enough, the debaters on these issues switch sides when a drug addict is resisting drug treatment.  Family members tend to urge them to get intensive residential treatment and take all the time they need.  Employers may mandate drug treatment, and even pay for it depending on the importance of the employee to the company.  

With these time factors in mind, telemedicine is a good solution for the first group and for family members and employers of the second group.  Travel time is eliminated from regular weekly sessions, saving patients and family members several hours each week in many cases.  Sessions can be attended from work or home by video conference, using a computer with a webcam and internet connection.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides telemedicine for drug addiction.  Our online drug treatment is delivered using the LiveVisit application, powered by MDLiveCare, over any web browser.  This makes treatment convenient, accessible, and affordable.  Security is important in drug treatment, so LiveVisit runs behind several layers of encryption.

Telemedicine at Tarzana Treatment Centers is not limited to drug 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.

Vivitrol for Opiates Close to FDA Approval

by James Heller 17. September 2010 12:10

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is pleased to report that the US Food and Drug Administration is one step closer to officially approving Vivitrol for use in opiate addiction treatment.  This Naltrexone injection was originally meant to reduce alcohol cravings, with full knowledge of its potential to reduce opiate cravings.  After opiate detox, individuals with heroin, prescription drug, or other opiate addiction can use Vivitrol to improve their chances at long-term recovery.

For more information on this exciting news, please click on the link below:
http://investor.alkermes.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92211&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1472331

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol as part of our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs for qualified patients.  Our MAT programs include Methadone Maintenance, Suboxone Maintenance, and 21 Day Outpatient Detox.

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.  Our services are also available via telemedicine for those who qualify.  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.

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.