Nalexone (brand name Narcan) has been hailed by law enforcement officials and addiction care specialists as a valuable resource in helping reverse the effects of near-fatal opiate overdose. Introduced into the public conscious last year when police officers and community groups in various states started carrying it around, Nalexone has indeed saved the lives of numerous overdose victims who would have stopped breathing altogether had it not been for the drug’s intervention. What happens, however, after the victim wakes up?
Earlier this year Bronx nursing home Jewish Home Lifecare launched an experimental program to help deal with the rising rate of addiction among the elderly population. The program was developed in response to the vast number of baby boomers with substance abuse issues entering their advanced years. Patients over 60 coming in for physical rehab after hospital stays are now screened for addiction and substance abuse and offered treatment if the tests reveal chemical dependency.
The answer to this question is “yes.” Take it from someone who spend 3 years lying, cheating, stealing and assaulting people to get what he wanted. I didn’t care about anything other than getting my next fix. It was a sickness, but I just embraced it as a lifestyle. I hated myself and I hated everyone around me. None of them offered the exhilaration or thrill that a hit of heroin did. If I was going to die, so be it; just let me die doing what I loved. I wasn’t looking for redemption because, for me, there was nothing to be redeemed for.
The New Jersey State Senate has approved a plan that would allocate more resources to treating addiction in the state. The bi-partisan bill was introduced last month as part of a multi-bill legislative package and reflects the collective will of both republicans and democrats to take a new approach to substance abuse prevention efforts. It comes on the heels of Governor Christie announcing an additional $12 million for substance abuse treatment.
A recent piece on huffingtonpost.com illustrates the tragic reality of prescription drug abuse among teenagers in the United States. The article profiles a teenager who had fallen into Percocet addiction after seemingly benign oral surgery. Her dentist had given her the prescription and she had taken it in a manner consistent with his orders. After her pain subsided, she continued to take the pills because of the numbing feeling they offered.
A 50-year-old Medicaid provision could severely impact many low-income patients looking for addiction treatment. Although the Affordable Care Act was forecasted to improve access to addiction and mental health services, a rule established by Medicaid decades ago says that the program will only cover community-based residential programs with 16 beds or fewer.
A recent article on Philly.com reveals the affordable care act has not had the expected impact in boosting use of mental healthcare services. The legislation’s supporters, as well as many in the medical community, expected a prodigious uptick in patient enrollment due to measures within the bill which are said to provide better access to mental health treatment; initial results have been inconsistent with these projections.
Although medication has proven to be an effective and successful tool to prevent alcoholic cravings, only 10% of all patients treated for addiction utilize in their recovery efforts. According to a recent article there are over 120 studies, involving almost 23,000 participants that demonstrate the efficacy of drugs like Naltrexone in inhibiting reward receptors in the brain to block cravings that lead to relapse.
A recent piece on USAtoday.com reveals startling statistics and testimony regarding the use of prescription drugs in the medical community. The article includes recollections from recovering nurses giving who admit to treating patients while they were; a medical technician who infected at least 46 patients with hepatitis after injecting himself with their pain medicine and refilling their syringes with saline and a selection of other hospital horror-stories.
When I was in treatment I had a lot of time to thinking about exactly how I wanted to live my life. At first, I lamented the fact that, at 36, my best years seemed to be way behind me; but then I realized that I couldn’t spend the second part of my life wishing I had the first to live over again. I think living in the past is an incredibly dangerous mistake and the cause of relapse for a lot of people. You can go mad thinking about the damage you caused when you were addicted or you can accept the reality that the person who did those things wasn’t really you and move on.
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