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US Veterans Prescription Drug Detox

by James Heller 25. June 2009 11:34
Prescription drug addiction is increasing among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  While the drugs are necessary to relieve the physical and emotional pains of combat, they are meant for temporary use.  When prescription drugs become a problem in a veteran’s life, detox and alternative treatments need to be considered.

Pain killers help wounded soldiers to stabilize after being injured.  Dependence on these drugs is both physical and psychological due to the relief they bring from extreme pain.  Patients tend to shy away from switching to less potent drugs out of fear that they will not “do the job”.  Also, tolerance is an issue as higher quantities and potencies of these drugs are needed over time to produce the same effect.

Sedatives and anti-depressants can be very effective in relieving mental health disorders that result from the trauma of combat.  The purpose is to aid patients through the initial trauma, and prepare them for intensive therapy that can heal the psyche.  Much like painkillers, patients tend to cling to these drugs out of a fear of returning emotional pain, and tolerance leads to higher doses or more potent medications.

Whether for physical or emotional relief, narcotic prescription drugs are addictive.  Withdrawal symptoms will occur upon cessation of use after prolonged, steady use.  In addition, the euphoric sensations these drugs produce encourage continued use with patients who are pre-disposed to the disease of addiction.  When offered non-narcotic drugs that lack this effect, these patients tend to state that they do not work.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides prescription drug detox treatment for veterans.  We offer integrated behavioral healthcare that includes medical detoxification, mental health treatment, primary care for physical ailments, and we even provide HIV/AIDS treatment and housing.

For more information, 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.

US Veterans and Illegal Drugs

by James Heller 25. June 2009 07:05
An increasing number of military personnel are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan as veterans with a drug addiction.  Although recent reports focus on prescription drugs, the shock is that illegal drug abuse is keeping pace.  And the sad fact is that many of these individuals never even thought to use illegal drugs prior to combat.

It is not uncommon for any prescription drug addict to switch over to illegal drugs.  Known as “self-medicating”, a conscious decision is made for various reasons.  Some complain that the doctor prescribed medication makes them feel “weird”, while others feel a need for higher quantities or potencies than what the doctor allows.

Combat can cause both physical and emotional pain that can be relieved with prescription drugs.  But the side effects of painkillers and sedatives are not worth the relief for some.  A well-meaning friend may offer methamphetamine, for example, to a veteran experiencing nightmares.  While the new drug may not really relieve the nightmare problem, it relieves the side effect problem, and the veteran feels justified in using an illegal drug.

The unfortunate thing about pain killers and sedatives like Xanax is that a tolerance develops with the user, so more of the drug is needed to produce the same effect over time.  These are fine on a temporary basis, but the wounds of war run deep and lead to prolonged prescription schedules.  At some point a doctor must refuse higher doses to the patient, leaving the now addicted individual in a state of panic.  Some go to heroin or street methadone for pain relief, and others seek prescription drugs through illegal means.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides drug treatment for US veterans as part of an integrated behavioral healthcare program.  Medical detoxification is available for dependence on any drug, legal or illegal.  And our medical and mental health professionals can help you find alternative treatments and therapy for your ailments.

The paragraphs below are from an article on Military.com.  It provides some very good examples of how some members of the US Armed Forces are becoming addicted to illegal drugs, and what it has done to their lives.  

-- Begin external content --

Specialist Alan Hartmann was a gunner on a Chinook helicopter flying missions from Kuwait into Iraq in 2003. He described the high of flying and the feeling that "nothing can touch you," as well as the terror of being shot at.

Having regularly ferried the bodies of American soldiers killed in combat -- with the helicopter exhaust blowing warm air and the smell of death through the craft -- Hartmann said he had trouble sleeping when he returned to Ft. Carson. The nightmares were too bad, he said.

Army doctors prescribed anti-depressants and painkillers for him -- two-type written pages worth since he's been back -- but he didn't like how the drugs made him feel, Hartmann said. So he said he turned to self-medication with methamphetamines.

"The nightmares were killing me from being over there. The pain was so bad I didn't want to deal with it. Well, amphetamines is a real quick way to get rid of it," Hartmann said. "I was snorting it, and I was smoking it, and then I was hot railing it, and then I got to the point where I was actually injecting it in my arms," said Hartmann, who eventually checked himself into rehab and is now clean.

-- Source: http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,156956,00.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.

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.