A monthly injection of buprenorphine BUP-XR is more effective than a placebo for treating opioid addiction, according to the results of a new study. This formulation is the extended release version. A daily dose version of buprenorphine was approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) in 2002. It has been an effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Daily doses mean patients must commit to taking it each day; they may start to experience cravings for opioids once they get close to the end of the 24-hour cycle when they can take more medication.
Medication Assisted Therapy and Treatment for Opioid AddictionBuprenorphine and methadone are both used in MAT (Medication Assisted Therapy) to treat opioid addiction. These medications are used in combination with behavioral counseling as part of a “whole patient” approach. The medications are used to control cravings and clients work with a counselor to develop new ways of thinking and responding to life stresses.
Extended Release Buprenorphine Called SublocadeThe extended-release version of buprenorphine was approved by the FDA in November 2017, which is being marketed under the brand name Sublocade. Approval was based on positive results in a Phase III human subjects study. The study has been published in The Lancet to make it available to the wider scientific community.
Double-Blind Study ConductedResearchers divided 200 participants in the randomized, double-blind study into three groups. All of them had a mean duration of opioid use of between 11 and 12 years. Two of the groups were given different monthly doses of BUP-XR and one was given a placebo. Both groups who were given BUP-XR reported “substantial portions of participants” abstaining from opioids. They also experienced relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms and control from cravings for opioids without having to take medication on a daily basis.
Should I Tell my Employer I'm Going to Rehab?You have taken the first steps toward recovery by looking into drug treatment centers in Arizona, but now you face some difficult questions. If you are stuck wondering “Should I tell my employer I’m going to rehab? And if so, how?” you are on a good path toward recovery already. In general, the answer is yes, you should be honest about your situation.
Remember that getting treatment is a good thing.You are more likely to keep your job in the long term if you seek treatment by going to rehab than if you continue to struggle with addiction on your own. If your addiction has been affecting your work, for example with poor work performance, spotty attendance, or compromised decision-making skills, you will be far more likely to improve the quality of your work after receiving treatment than if you continue repeating the same mistakes. It may even be a relief for your boss to know any erratic behavior you’ve been exhibiting has a cause and that you are working on a solution.
How do I tell my employer I’m going to rehab?Be honest. If your boss or coworkers already suspect something is up with you, it will be much less suspicious if you are up front about going to rehab rather than adding extra layers of lies and deceit to cover it up. Being honest also makes you come across as a responsible person taking initiative for your health. Not to mention, if someone at work finds out you have lied and are actually at a drug treatment center in Arizona, that does not bode well for your future at the company. If your boss allows it, schedule a one-on-one meeting so you don’t have to rush through the conversation at an inopportune time during the workday. If privacy is important to you, emphasize that you need discretion. Make your needs clear, but be respectful of company time and your boss’s schedule.
Understand your rights as an employee.Before taking any official action, check company policy to see if rehab is protected or addressed. It may fall under your legally-protected sick leave, which guarantees you will have a job to come back to. Some companies offer counseling or related help with finding an addiction treatment center. Even if your company’s policy does not address rehab specifically, an open and honest conversation with your boss or a human resources manager should help you understand your options. If you lie about where you are for the duration of your absence, your leave might not be legally protected, and that could put your job in jeopardy. Continued after video:
Don’t be embarrassed.Every employee struggles with something, but not everyone is capable of reaching out for help and seeking treatment. The fact that you are taking active steps to better yourself is a strong mark in your favor. Understand that some people may react poorly to your announcement. That is okay. You can feel assured that you are making a healthy decision for yourself by choosing to get well, and that indirectly means you are making the best choice for your company as well. Stand your ground and do not let anyone pressure you into not seeking treatment. You are doing the right thing.
Take some initiative to plan ahead.Get as many important, time-sensitive projects finished as possible before you leave. Explain your job functions to a close colleague, so if the company has to bring on a temporary replacement while you are gone, you are helping to ensure a smooth transition. This extra effort and concern for the company’s time and money will cast you in a more favorable light than if you were to leave without much notice or preparation.
Do not feel pressured to explain everything.You do not owe anyone, including your boss, a detailed explanation of your situation or your choices. You are not on trial; you are simply notifying your employer that you will be taking leave. If you feel you are in a position where you simply cannot be honest and up front about where you will be going, that’s okay. Your health and recovery are more important. Do what you need to do in order to attend rehab and get healthy, and worry about the rest later. Many treatment facilities offer job assistance at the end of your stay, so you do not have to feel like your job is the only option in the world. If your current opportunity ends, you will find another when you are healthy.
What is a good drug treatment center in Arizona that can help me?Desert Cove Recovery offers a helping hand through every step of your recovery journey, starting with detox and ending with extended care for long-term help. Whether your preference lies with the classic twelve step treatment or with more holistic methods, Desert Cove Recovery will make every effort to address your unique needs as an individual. There is no need to fear being cooped up in a hospital room for weeks on end. Spending time in nature with the Outdoor Therapy program gives you time to take in the fresh air and the beautiful Arizona scenery while you get back on your feet.
How can I get started?Contact a treatment professional at Desert Cove Recovery to get more information or inquiry about program availability. You can also contact your insurance or physician’s office if you need a referral, or for help deciding what the best course is for you moving forward.
Top 10 Myths of Sober Living and What Sober Living is LikeThe path to sobriety is rarely a straight one. Treatment options range from local support groups to inpatient treatment centers. In the middle are sober living homes, offering individuals a drug and alcohol free residence where they may focus weaning themselves from harmful substances. Unfortunately, the myths of sober living and what it is actually like are preventing patients from considering sober living homes. Below is a list of the top 10 myths often associated with sober living homes. Although there is always the exception to every rule, or in this case myth, most sober living homes are helping individuals find their path to sobriety. A sober living home may be the most effective option for you or a loved one struggling with addiction.
1. Sober Living Homes Are Always In Bad NeighborhoodsLocal non-profit organizations or government programs often supported the first sober living homes. With limited funding, homes were established where it was more cost-effective at the time. This meant homes were opened in less desirable neighborhoods where the property values were more affordable. However, as the stigma of addiction shifted, overall funding increased, and the introduction of private treatment facilities grew, so too did the establishment of sober living homes in more comfortable areas. Today you will find sober living homes in nearly every type of neighborhood. From the inner cities to the posh suburbs, finding a sober living home in a neighborhood of your liking has never been easier.
2. Poor Maintenance Plagues Sober Living HomesWhen fixated on the myth that all sober homes are in bad neighborhoods, the likely vision most individuals will have is that of a dilapidated house in need of dire repair. Although some homes may indeed require attention, the privatization of sober living homes has meant companies need to attract new patients to survive. The need to attract new patients has shifted sober living homes from having been treatment centers of last resort to now becoming the first choice patients seek to become sober. The more inviting a sober home is, the more likely to attract clients and the funding needing to keep the doors open. Continued after infographic:
3. Sober Living Homes Are Not RegulatedWhile it may be true that sober living homes might not receive the same scrutiny as other medically related residences such as assisted living or nursing homes; they are far from being unregulated. Depending on local ordinances, governments consider most sober living homes either apartments or short-term living accommodations (like a hotel). In either instance, the laws and regulations for such facilities are much more stringent than if the local government consider the location simply a single-family home. Further, if any medical services were provided by the sober home on premises, additional regulations would apply.
4. Drug Use is Common in Sober Living HomesWhile every sober living home has their own set of rules, the ultimate goal of sober living is to provide a place removed from the temptations of the outside world. Many sober living homes subject residences to random drug tests. How a particular sober living home resident responds to a positive drug test determines the perceived leniency toward drug use. Rules related to drug or alcohol use can range from soft to strict. For example, an individual caught using a banned substance may only be required to seek counseling. More strict locations may ask individuals to leave entirely.
5. Safety is Concern in Sober Living HomesSober homes exist to help suffering individuals from all walks of life. There are indeed facilities who will welcome former criminals as they work to transition back into society. Such homes are beacons of hope for those whose addiction may or may not be directly connected to their criminal activity. While some sober homes accept all individuals regardless of history, others are more restrictive on who they accept. On the other hand, there are sober living homes that specialize in working specifically with individuals who have had run-ins with the law. Ultimately, it is the sober home’s responsibility to keep their residents safe. Consider the home’s safety record just as you would any other residence you might consider.
6. Pets are Not AllowedThe decision whether to allow pets entirely rests with the sober home. Although it is true many locations will not allow pets of any kind, more homes are opening up allowing pets on-site. Caring for a pet can help promote responsible behaviors as well as providing a loving companion for someone in recovery. Researchers are exploring the benefits caring for a pet might have for those recovering from addiction.
7. Most Sober Living Homes are FullNew sober living homes are opening all the time. The best run facilities are able to accept new residents almost immediately. If space is not immediately available, most sober living homes are a part of a larger network that can assist in placement very quickly. Treatment professionals understand recovery success is partially dependent on how fast an individual can be enrolled and begin treatment when they feel ready to start.
8. Residents are Not Allowed to See Family or FriendsThe support of family and friends is a critical aspect of addiction recovery. Nearly all sober living homes allow visitations from those who care about you. There may be, however, restrictions and rules governing when and how often residents may receive visitors. Often visitors must be approved by the sober living home’s manager while the resident has to meet certain progress milestones. In some circumstances, program rules may allow residents may be to leave the home overnight.
9. It Is Free to Live in a Sober Living HomeMost sober living homes charge rent. A few homes may receive charitable assistance or government subsidies, but more homes are now privately owned and have developed a rent schedule based upon the services provided, number of residents, and length of stay. There are sober living homes who do not charge their residents. However, most often these homes are for individuals who do not have any financial means to pay rent. Once residents begin to hold down a job, rent will be required of them.
10. All Sober Living Homes Are the SameSober living homes come in a variety of different program types. Individuals seeking recovery, along with their counselors, can select the best program to fit their needs including:
- Sober houses
- Halfway houses
- Sober apartments
- Sober dormitories
- Transitional housing
Choosing a Sober Living HomeSeparating the myths of sober living and what it is actually like is an important first step in continuing the journey to clean living. Sober living through Desert Cove Recovery teaches residents how to address the root causes of their addiction. Counseling and therapy are provided in a comfortable, substance-free environment, allowing residents to realize the meaning and purpose of their lives. We have inpatient services in our network ready to work with you or your loved one to receive the most effective treatment.
Approximately 20 percent of people who take Xanax, Valium and other benzodiazepines (benzos) are not using them as directed by their doctor, according to the results of a US survey. The results also show that adults are using this potentially-addictive medication more than twice as often as previously reported. Nearly 13 percent of those surveyed said they had used benzos within the past 12 months.Studies conducted in 2013-14 estimated that four-six percent of adults were taking them.
What are Benzodiazepines?Benzodiazepines are prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety and panic attacks, along with insomnia. Drugs in this class commonly produce a sedative effect in patients and can also cause weakness or unsteadiness. Approximately 25.3 million adults stated they used benzodiazepines as prescribed by their doctor during the past year. The researchers said they were surprised to discover that middle-aged respondents (between ages 50-64) are taking benzodiazepines more often than any other age group. Just over 14 percent reported they had used this class of drugs during the previous year. Another 5.3 million respondents said they had misused their medications. Misusing a prescription means using it in a way other than directed by a doctor, including taking a higher dose, taking it more often or longer than prescribed.
Benzodiazepine Misuse Common Among Young AdultsLead researcher Dr. Donovan Maust commented that young adults in the 18-25 age group are most likely to misuse benzodiazepines. He is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Maust said that misuse for this type of drug is “as common as prescription use,” which he described as being disturbing. Overdose Deaths due to Benzos “Snowballed” in Last 10 Years These survey results, which were published in the journal Psychiatric Services, are similar to reports released earlier in 2018 which warned that overdose deaths related to benzodiazepines have snowballed over the past decade. The overdose rate coincides with a steady increase in prescription rates for this class of drugs. Benzodiazepine-related overdoses increased sevenfold in the years 1999-2015, jumping from 1,135 to 8,791 deaths. These figures originally appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (February 2018).
New research conducted by a team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore has identified a neural pathway that is linked to addiction and depression. Their findings, which were recently published in the journal Nature, found an increased intensity of signals passing between the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens.
Pleasure and Reward System Governed by the BrainThe pleasure and reward system is one of the most important systems that the brain regulates in humans. It gives us the “nudge” we need to eat, drink and be sexually active. All these activities are needed to ensure the continued survival of our species. The way the reward system operates is also an important factor in many types of addictive behavior. Professor Scott Thompson, Ph.D., the leader of the research team, stated that the two parts of the brain (the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens) are known to be important in processing rewarding experiences for humans. He went on to say that the communication between the two is stronger in a case of addiction, although the underlying mechanisms were unknown to the team.
Team Tests Depression HypothesisThe research team tested a new hypothesis: whether the same signals became weaker in people living with depression. Since one symptom of depression is anhedonia (a loss of pleasure in usually pleasurable activities), the researchers wanted to discover whether weakening signals in the neural pathways could be the underlying cause of depressed patients. Using mice, the team focused on brain circuitry that plays an important role in goal-oriented behavior. They wanted to see if they could change the animals’ activity. They added light-sensitive proteins into the neurons forming the brain’s circuitry. Once this step was completed, the researchers hoped to control the signals by blocking or boosting the levels between the hippocampus and the nucleus. The researchers created a false reward memory in the mice that received the light-sensitive protein by exposing them to light during a four second period. This meant the mice learned to associate pleasure with the location where they felt light exposure. After a day, the researchers took the mice back to the place where they had received the false memory of associating pleasure with light and exposed them to light again. The goal was to shut down the signal between the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens this time, however. They confirmed this pathway is critical to the way the brain is wired for reward association. Once the pathway is shut down, the mice stopped liking the location where they originally received the reward memory. Next, the researchers looked at depression. They tried to boost brain activity in depressed mice but this part of the experiment wasn’t successful. The researchers had to administer antidepressants to the mice before they could imprint any artificial reward memories in the brain of depressed mice. Dr. E. Albert Reece, the dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said these are exciting results that will bring us closer to understanding what’s happening in the brains of clinically depressed patients.
After declaring the US in the midst of a public health emergency in 2017 due to the opioid crisis, The President signed a bill into law that experts believe will help to curb the opioid crisis. The new legislation is called the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.
More Funding for Addiction TreatmentThe new law provides funding to federal agencies and states so that they can provide increased access to addiction treatment. It also puts measures in place to help alleviate the crisis, such as: • Preventing overprescribing • Training law enforcement agencies to intercept drug shipments at US borders The bill signing was the culmination of a 12-month effort by the legislative and executive branch to react to the opioid crisis. While lawmakers said the bill was a step in the right direction, although many of them said it didn’t go far enough to deal with the epidemic. Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey cautioned of ramifications of talk of reducing access to publicly-funded treatment programs. Congress and the White House entered into discussions for making a plan for confronting the epidemic in October 2017. This was before several congressional hearings by the House and the Senate on the same subject. Public health experts have spoken out in favor of the bill, since it increases access to treatment. They say this is a critical step to controlling the epidemic. One of the measures in the legislation removes an old measure that didn’t allow clients with substance abuse issues get treatment in mental health facilities with more than 16 beds under Medicaid.
Private Companies on Board with New InitiativesThe White House has also pointed to new initiatives from private companies: • Amazon has programmed its Alexa voice service to answer consumers’ questions about opioids and addiction. • Blue Cross Blue Shield, the major insurance provider, will establish a national toll-free phone number to help US residents locate drug and alcohol treatment centers. • Biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions will offer free Narcan nasal sprayers at over 16,500 public libraries and 2,700 YMCAs. Narcan, when administered to someone experiencing an opioid overdose, can help reverse the condition.
Treatment Still the Main FocusWhat this new law and other efforts do is to help continue to focus on the need for treatment at all levels. This current drug crisis won't subside until there are enough people seeking and receiving quality treatment for their substance use disorders. Desert Cove Recovery is proud to be a leader in rehabilitation for people both in Arizona and from all over the country.
The results from a new report released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shed light on the continued effects of the opioid epidemic on a specific portion of the population: pregnant women. The researchers found that the number of women living with opioid use disorder at the time they went into labor and delivered their babies “more than quadrupled” during the 15-year period between 1999-2014.
Opioid Addiction Leads to Other Health IssuesOpioid addiction is responsible for a number of health problems. It can take a toll on a user’s physical and mental health, as well as her personal relationships. According to statistics collected by the CDC, opioids (which include prescription pain medications and illicit drugs such as heroin) were responsible for taking the lives of more than 42,000 people in 2016, a record level for fatalities. Opioid use at addiction levels during pregnancy has been linked to several negative health consequences for mothers and babies. The drug use can lead to preterm birth, stillbirth and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a term describing a group of conditions caused when a fetus goes through withdrawal from certain drugs before birth. National Database Analyzed Researchers analyzed a national database collected on women from 28 states and discovered the rate of opioid use disorder jumped from 1.5/1000 delivery hospitalizations in 1999 to 6.5/1000 delivery hospitalizations in 2014. The rate increased by 0.39 cases per 1,000 during each year of the study. Some geographical differences were noted during the study. The average annual increases were highest in West Virginia, Vermont, New Mexico and Maine. They were lowest in Hawaii and California. Wanda Barfield, MD, Rear Admiral, US Public Health Service (USPHS), and the Director of the Division of Reproductive Health, explained that even in states with the smallest increases year over year, more pregnant women with opioid use disorder are being seen in labor and delivery.
Strategies for Dealing with Opioid Addiction in PregnancyThe report included strategies for states to take on the issue of opioid addiction in pregnancy.
- Ensure opioid prescribing is in line with the CDC’s current guidelines
- Intensify prescription drug monitoring programs.
- Institute a policy of substance use screening at the first prenatal visit.
- Make certain that pregnant women with opioid use disorder have access to MAT (medication assisted therapy) and other addiction treatment services.
- Provide mothers with opioid use disorder with postpartum care that includes substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, relapse prevention and family planning services.
The opioid epidemic continues to rage through North America, and experts in East Tennessee are looking into the source of the problem. Many of them have determined that it can start with a trip to the dentist’s office. Dr. Turner Emery, an oral surgeon on Knoxville, explained that doctors have been blamed for a lot of patients getting started on opioids. However, dentists also prescribe this class of medications to their patients, who are also put at risk for addiction.