Tag Archives: recovery

Jamie Lee Curtis talks Drug Addiction, Alcoholism, and Sobriety

I appreciate it when famous people talk about recovery. The stigma still exists in today’s society. As much work as we have done to prove that addiction is a brain disease, people are still ashamed to admit they have the disease. Evidence supports what Ms. Curtis said about changing the prevalence of addiction in her family. When one person gets into recovery it has an impact on others in the family. Thank you Ms. Curtis for “coming out.”

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Read the full article here.

Recover to Live – An Interview with Author Christopher Kennedy Lawford

Christopher Lawford (nephew of John F. Kennedy) is a Maui resident and willing to help our community raise awareness about the stigma attached to addiction, and to educate this community about what works and what does not work when dealing with addiction. In his book he talks about families educating themselves about enabling behaviors and how to break the cycle in the family. To quote ” You can throw them a rope but don’t go in the water,” is a great way to tell families they can help their loved ones only if they help themselves. Debbie Bayer is a licensed family therapist and addictions specialist, she has over 30 years of personal recovery from addiction. She lost her Mother to alcoholism in 1988. Debbie understands the disease of addiction both from the perspective of the addict/alcoholic but also from that of the family members.

Read his full interview about his latest book, Recover to Live: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction here.

Christopher Lawford

What Does Marijuana Do to Your Brain?

Medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana has brought up controversy in the recovery community.  Most intensive outpatient facilities will not treat people on medical marijuana because it is too difficult to monitor how the person is using the substance, amongst various other reasons. Marijuana addiction can be as equally devastating to the life of its victims. It just doesn’t do it in such an obvious way as other drugs or alcohol. Please read the article posted by Promises Recovery Center in Malibu California here for more information.

18 Facts About Drugs and Addiction

Drugs and addiction tend to go hand in hand.  Although not everyone who tries it will become addicted, many do and most of these will find it very difficult to stop using.  Everywhere we look, there is information about it, some saying why is it bad for you, while others give people a reason to use.

Here are some facts about drugs and addiction:

  1. Substance abuse in the USA accounts for around $180 billion dollars each year.  That is not counting the cost of alcohol or tobacco, just drugs usage.
  2. Children of addicts are 4 times more likely to become addicts than those whose parents are not users.
  3. Whilst one in ten people who drink will become hooked to alcohol, one or two uses of a drug such as Heroin can leave the user wanting more.
  4. Drug addicts who need cash for their next fix carry out 90% of muggings and thefts from property.
  5. Back in the 1890’s, when instances of Pneumonia and Tuberculosis were rife Heroin was marketed as a non-addictive cough suppressant.
  6. The term “Cold Turkey” is derived from the fact that detoxification can lead to the addict feeling cold and clammy.
  7. The term “kicking the habit” may come from the muscles spasms and jerky leg movements suffered by the person in detox.
  8. It is a disease, despite what many people think, and requires the correct treatment.
  9. Most people cannot just cut back or give up when they feel like it.  The very nature of the substance dictates that in the way that repeated use changes the function and the structure of the brain. Only around 2% of individuals actually seek help.
  1. It is as easy to become addicted to prescription drugs as it is to illegal substances – and these are pills that are prescribed daily by doctors and members of the medical profession. Learn more about prescription drugs and addiction
  2. Around 50% of US College students have used drugs or been binge drinking – 25% are medically classified as addicts.
  3. Around 25% of all Americans will suffer with this problem sometime in their lives.
  4. 16% of the total population of America meet the medical requirements for being classed as an addict.
  5. Out of more than 2 million US prison inmates, more than 1.5 million meet the medical requirements for addiction.
  6. Of the above only 11% receive treatment for their addiction whilst being in prison.
  7. Women and girls take less time to become addicted to drugs, illegal or prescription, and with less usage than males.
  8.  Teenagers that start drinking before the age of 15 are more likely to move on to drugs at some point.
  9. Around 85% of websites that advertise and sell controlled prescription drugs do not ask for a prescription, which just goes to show how easy it is to get hold of them.
  10. Addictions cannot be cured. The person can only be given help and support to cope with and manage this illness.

Credit to Hawaii Island Recovery.

Federal rules eased for opioid addiction treatment drug

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.

Read the full article here.

Learning to Sit Still

“On the plane from Albany, New York to Portland, Oregon, I deleted my heroin dealer’s phone number. It wasn’t the first time I’d done that—more like the 15th—and each time I’d felt a strange resistance. I knew that I would miss my heroin dealer that had been oh so accommodating in terms of helping me to ruin myself. I loved people that enabled my irresponsibility. In hindsight, he was my doctor. And I was a happy patient.” Read the full article from TheFix.com.

DBT is a core part of  Behavioral Health Hawaii’s  Intensive Outpatient Program.

Betty Ford Center Children’s Program Explains Addiction to Kids

Betty Ford‘s children’s program is hands down the best in the country. They offer scholarship’s and try not to turn any child away.  Children are the collateral damage of addiction. They need just as much help and support as the addict.

Betty Ford

Treatment Does Work

I can’t tell you how many times I hear addicts and their family members say “he/she/I have been to treatment already it doesn’t work.” This is a common misconception, the idea that if someone has been through treatment once or twice that the option of residential treatment is off the table.

To first address the misconception that “treatment doesn’t work”:

There are treatment facilities that do a better job then others, but overall most people are able to maintain abstinence while they are in treatment, therefore treatment, if the goal is abstinence, works. What doesn’t work is not following through with the aftercare plan. The other thing that can cause a person to fail is if the treatment isn’t long enough. Most insurance will only pay for 30 days at the most. It has been proven time and time again that 90 days for many addicted individuals is the minimum stay for the desired outcome.

If you suffer a heart attack and don’t follow the recommendations of you MD, you will have a higher chance of having another heart attack. Addiction, like heart disease, is a serious illness and if you want to recover you must make lifestyle changes.

Most aftercare plans recommend 12-step meeting attendance, get a sponsor, meet with a therapist, don’t hang out with using friends. Intensive Outpatient Treatment that we offer at BHH is also an important part of the recovery process. Intensive Outpatient treatment gives the addict/alcohol dependent the structure and accountablity they need to maintain abstinence. Addiction like any other disease is prone to relapse. If a person is in treatment, getting regular urine drug screening, attending 12-step or some kind of clean and sober support group, family counseling, and medication management, their chances of recovery increase significantly.

The treatment professionals do families a disservice by not informing them of the importance of aftercare. The addict gets out of treatment and they feel great the, family has their loved one back, everyone is elated. The addict has a sincere desire to stay clean and sober but without help, the stress of staying clean and starting a new life gets to them, they don’t follow through with building a sober support network, or a treatment program to help them through the first few months of sobriety and boom, they relapse.

My point is this, the addict/alcoholic needs to be in treatment and involved in some sort of sober support network for at least a year to begin to have a good chance at long term recovery. Treatment Does Work, but you have to work it if your goal is long term recovery.

Beyond Addiction: Improving our understanding of alcohol and drug addiction

The trend will be that the insurance companies will want people with addiction and alcohol dependence issue to try Intensive Outpatient Services prior to authorizing Residential Treatment. Behavioral Health Hawaii’s Intensive Outpatient Program will do everything possible to help the individual recover in their community.

More from Hazelden here.