http://www.drugrehab.us/news/how-substance-abuse-changes-the-brains-basic-thought-processes/ It is important to understand that addiction is a problem with brain functioning. Addict/Alcoholic’s do terrible things but the are almost never terrible people. Once the person gets off the drugs and in recovery you start to see the real person emerge. It takes several months for the brain to heal. The addicted individual needs to be actively involved in some sort of treatment, sober support, or 12-step program.
Federal regulators have relaxed restrictions on physicians prescribing the opioid addiction treatment drug buprenorphine to patients. –American Medical News
This is really good for the drug companies but not so good for addicts and their families. The doctors that are “trained” many times do not understand addiction. Many times they do not require abstinence from other drugs and rarely push the issue of treatment. Opioid replacement is a good option for many people, but my experience has shown that the people that were addicted to other drugs prior to opioid addiction, or started heavily abusing drugs at an early age don’t do as well. They tend to have a poor quality of life, and continuously relapse. More doctors that are untrained regarding addiction and prescribing this drug is not the answer. Methadone clinics require urine drug screening and participation in some sort of treatment participation, shouldn’t we have the same expectation for this form of opioid replacement.
Most of us have seen at least one episode of the TV hit show Intervention. They show graphic images of the addict using, the families talk about the pain cause by the person’s drinking or drug use, then the big drama filled secret meeting showing the person hopefully going off to treatment. A family contacted me recently wanting an intervention. I asked the Mother who appeared to be the enabler to come to my office to discuss the situation. In our session we discussed the issue at hand devised our next steps, she went home to speak with the other family members. We set up a meeting with siblings and close relatives, invited the addicted individual, making sure no one was being secretive. The addicted individual knew they were coming to discuss the issue at hand. I tell family member to say to the addict, “I would like you to come to help me deal with this issue.” Nine times out of ten the person will come to the meeting. Everyone showed up to the appointment with the addicted individual in tow. We met for about an hour and a half, the addict family member left agreeing to go to treatment. My services were about $300.00 for the intervention. Not everyone can do an intervention this way. They had the resources to set up a treatment facility on the Mainland. They had plenty of family members to stay with the person and keep the momentum going. I was told it took 2 hours to get the person in the car to go to the airport. They had someone stay with him in California for a few day during detox so they were the exception rather then the rule. The addict is in long term treatment and hopefully they will stay. The family will need to do their own work because they become as sick if not sicker then addict. Interventions come in all different sizes and shapes. Interventions work but it takes a lot of effort on the part of everyone involved to make it sucessful long term.
Here is a clip from the DVD Pleasure Unwoven by Dr. Kevin McCauley. I use the DVD in my Intensive Outpatient program, my work with loved ones, and when I teach graduate students about the disease of addiction. Dr. McCauley’s argument proving that addiction is a disease was years in the making. It certainly was worth the effort. Everyone dealing with substance abuse, addiction, and alcoholism should see this DVD.