Opiate Addiction Intervention
Denial a Huge Problem
Opiate Addiction Intervention: If you are a friend or a family member of someone who is either abusing drugs or already addicted, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help. The biggest problem you face is that the abuser or addict thinks this is YOUR problem, or you’re making a fuss over nothing. “I can handle it.” The last one in the room to know there is a problem is the one who has it.
There is help for an opiate addiction intervention
You’ve seen what’s going on and you are thinking of ways to stop the behavior. Maybe you’ve decided to do an addiction intervention that person you care about and “get real” with him or her. Your motives are pure, but you are probably not equipped to help. You probably need the assistance of an interventionist, someone who is trained in Opiate and alcohol issues.
You are not going to be left out of the room, as the interventionist will work with the family and friends to plan the best approach to the abuser or addict, based upon his/her history of use. The interventionist will plan according to the user’s Opiate of choice, make the proper analysis and map out a specific strategy based on the information gathered.
Each intervention can be different
Interventions will vary, depending on the user’s history. For example, if the person is already well into addiction, the interventionist must make that adjustment to the strategy. That’s where friends and family come in.
Moreover, the interventionist will understand the approaches to handling addicts with alcoholism, opiate abuse, opiate addiction, or those who are abusing inhalants or heroin.
Regardless of the drug, trained professional help is available for a Opiate addiction intervention. They are the ones who can give an accurate and objective account of the user’s behavior. If someone has just moved from being an occasional user to a frequent user, that requires a different approach than the one for a person who is a long-time abuser. Friends and family are vital to this process.
Most people under estimate their problem
People who are caught in addiction do not realize the severity of their problem. The only thing that matters in their life is getting the drug, regardless of the consequences. Health problems are not considered. Legal problems are not considered.
The person who used to be rational and law-abiding has been swallowed by the drug. That’s why the intervention step is so vital.
There is no room for enabling, no room for being the good guy, because the life of the addict may be on the line unless it is done on their behalf. It is sad when family and friends no longer matter. It is even sadder when life does not matter.
Don’t be a hero. Get help from a trained professional. That person knows what questions to ask and what information is necessary to make a proper assessment and an effective strategy for battling the problem.
An addiction intervention can really help!
Another important point to keep in mind is that an intervention, however brief, may make all the difference in the world to getting the addict back on track to restoring his/her health.
Even a short encounter with an addiction specialist can prove instrumental in helping someone along. Those short visits may lead to putting them into a rehab program, or at least getting in to see a physician.
Once in the throws of addiction, addicts will no longer be the person they used to be, and as a result, the intervention stages may be difficult for you to witness. Our affection for the person, our feelings get in the way and it is difficult for the family member or friend to remain objective.
The interventionist is key to putting the addict back on the right path to a healthy and successful life.
New promising treatment for opiate addiction: Light at
the End of the Tunnel!
For years there has been a strong push-back against the lavish dispensing of Oxycontin, a powerful opioid pain medication. A petition to ban the drug has been circulating the internet for a long time now and it is not difficult to find the thousands of stories about the devastating, but unintended consequences of this highly-addictive substance.
A recent report by Anna Werner on CBS News caught my attention, not so much because of what the drug does, but why people get caught up in the addiction web so quickly, even if they aren’t intending to misuse the drug, or even if they are careful to follow the prescribed instructions to the letter.
Cravings cause over use and addiction
It isn’t just the effects of the drug that drive people to abuse it, it’s the effects of not having the drug, the cravings that drive people to do things they otherwise would condemn as being illegal, or even immoral. Years ago an acquaintance I knew from a men’s group at church told me that his greatest battle in life was standing up against the cravings, that nearly irresistible urge to seek out the next dose to help get through the day. But according to Werner’s report, there is hope.
New treatment for opiate addiction
The report focused on a 30 year-old man with an opiate addiction. He had been prescribed Oxycontin, but had moved to heroin. He had been given Suboxone, which is a synthetic opiate designed to wean addicts off opiates. The problem is he would forget the medication at times, and eventually that would cause relapse. To overcome the need to remember to take the medication, he was given Probuphine, which is contained in four, one-inch rods that are inserted into the upper arm.
The medication is slowly released into the body over a six months. Once in the bloodstream, the drug makes its way to the brain where it attaches to receptors that are triggered by opiates. The result is that the cravings are blocked.
Reduces relapse risk
According to Dr. Richard Rosenthal of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, “The risk for relapse is reduced because you’re not going to miss a dose you’re always going to have your opioid receptors covered by the medication.” Rosenthal oversaw the clinical trials and added that without needing to take the Suboxone every day, one could/ lead a more normal life. After a while, it is hoped that patients will not need any drug at all to help them life a healthy life.
Wisconsin VA hospital caught over-prescribing opiates!
Another story came to mind as I thought about the CBS News offering. Here in my home state of Wisconsin we had a VA hospital scandal after several opiate overdoses were reported. The bottom line was that the over-prescribing of these powerful drugs was not only alarming, but seemingly epidemic. Doctors were prescribing opiate pain killers in staggering numbers. A person I personally know was given a prescription for 300 opiate tablets after a tooth extraction. He was shocked and told me that he did not have the prescription filled.
The increasing numbers of opiate addicts is alarming. Some may start by smoking marijuana and getting high at parties. Some may start by having a few social drinks. Some may start that path to addiction by getting pain meds to manage post-surgical discomfort.
Use of Probuphine looks promising.
Whether immediate or gradual, once a person is on the path to addiction, or walking down that path for a long time, it is a one way street unless there is an effective intervention. The use of Probuphine seems promising, but at $6000 for the six-month treatment, the cost may be prohibitive. But the cost of continuing in addition is much higher.
Addiction is suicide by the installment plan. Left unchecked, addiction is fatal. The cost to the individual is his/her life. The cost to the family is a devastating emotional loss. The cost to society is in crime, lost productivity, the drain on public resources and a breakdown in the fabric of the community.
We had the “war on drugs” which was an abysmal failure. The Probuphine treatment seems promising and in this writer’s opinion, treatment is really the only option for addiction. We live in a society that wants to incarcerate, as punitive action is desired to give addicts “what they deserve.” But treatment is designed to give the addict his/her life back and help them be productive. That’s worth a try.