When health practitioners conclude that an addict can’t be helped, that all that’s left is to try to keep the addict from killing themselves – harm reduction – it’s a sorry state. One of the latest harm reduction techniques is heroin prescriptions. But is there really such a situation as not being able to help an addict who wants to quit get through drug rehab? Your first two questions should be “Well, what did they actually DO at the rehab?” And “Is that what’s needed to get someone off drugs?”
One of the most dangerous concepts around is that of short-term–like 30 days–drug addiction rehab. There are so many of those programs around, and many of them are very expensive, but the fact is that 30 days just isn’t enough time to get down to the bottom of why a person is addicted and handle those problems so the person doesn’t revert.
I frequently read articles about harm reduction programs in Vancouver, B.C. They have more than most cities in North America – safe injections sites, methadone programs, naloxone – and in some cases they were the first in North America to have them. Why are they so focused on just the bare minimum of keeping people alive instead of actually getting people through an alcohol or drug addiction rehab program so they can stop being addicts?
A friend who is a journalist started as a very young man on a small town newspaper. After having several arguments about headlines like “Snowstorm Causes Multiple Vehicle Pile-Ups Across the City,” he got fired. From his viewpoint, the snowstorm didn’t cause anything; the multiple vehicle pile-ups were caused by drivers who didn’t know how to control their car in a snowstorm. The editor didn’t want to hear it.
Every once in a while I see a headline that reminds me of that situation. Today, for example, I saw the headline “Legalise Weed To Fight Alcohol Addiction…”. The first sentence said “The rise in alcohol addiction in India is the result of the ban on cannabis.”
Many prescription drugs can cause sexual dysfunction or lack of interest. But with the help of a good doctor and good drug addiction rehabilitation program that specializes in prescription drugs, you may be able to stop taking the drugs that are causing the problem.
Prescription drug addiction and dependency can cause so many serious problems that it’s sometimes easy to overlook the things that may seem less important: like your sex life. Next to losing your house, your job, or your life to prescription drugs, losing your sex drive or ability to perform may not seem like a big deal. But the lack of interest in and desire for sex can be a major factor in the destruction of personal relationships.
Eight years ago I posted a blog about methadone being used to treat addiction to heroin and other opiates. Despite the dangers of methadone, its use has become even more common, and the consequences more deadly.
Methadone was initially intended to help people through heroin withdrawal, but heroin withdrawal takes a matter of days. The next action would be to proceed with counseling so the addict can get down to the bottom of why they’re addicted, and get them through it.
Rarely is this done with methadone. Not only does the fact that they’re drugged – on methadone – make it difficult, of not impossible, to do the steps necessary to rehabilitate them, they often don’t get any counseling at all while on methadone and, when they do, it might be one session a week. Which is far from enough – drug addiction rehabilitation requires constant focus.
There’s something kind of creepy about encouraging a drugged world. But that’s exactly what it seems like Hilary Clinton is doing with her new $10 billion drug and alcohol addiction proposal.
“It’s time we recognize that there are gaps in our health care system that allow too many to go without care — and invest in treatment. It’s time we recognize that our state and federal prisons, where 65 percent of inmates meet medical criteria for substance use disorders, are no substitute for proper treatment — and reform our criminal justice system,” Clinton wrote in an oped published in Union Leader.
I recently read an article that stated: “Medications that treat addiction – buprenorphine, methadone and a third named naltrexone — are a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s plan to combat the opiate epidemic.” Seriously? How can drug addiction be the cornerstone of a plan to combat drug addiction?
Have you been wondering whether addiction is really a brain disease? Neuroscientist Mark Lewis recently wrote a blog in Huffington Post discussing his new book The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease, offering excerpts of the book and other info on why he thinks addiction is not a disease. His blog was written in response to Nora Volkow’s recent post asserting the opposite. Volkow, also a neuroscientist and the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has been a major proponent and promoter of the ‘brain disease’ theory.