Category Archives: Buprenorphine

Pregnancy and Opioid Treatment

pregnancyWhen a woman is pregnant and addicted to opioids, she faces extraordinary stress and very often a wave of judgment from those around her that is emotionally painful and difficult to deal with. The criticism of others is understandable since no one wants to see an unborn baby placed at risk through the mother’s drug use. But this cauldron of angry emotion and public condemnation often overwhelms a pregnant mother, who may already feel guilty, and it pushes her further into isolation and inaction. This isolation only places the mother and unborn baby at greater risk of overdose and possible miscarriage.

Fact: It has been thoroughly researched and the findings conclusive that pregnant opioid-addicted women have a much better chance of carrying their baby to term and having a healthy baby when the mother is receiving medication-assisted treatment. Every day, addicted mothers receiving methadone or buprenorphine give birth to healthy babies that thrive and develop normally.

Methadone and buprenorphine (Subutex) are very different medications compared to heroin and painkillers like oxycodone. Heroin and painkillers manufactured for break-through pain act quickly, but also dissipate quickly. For those with an opioid addiction, this momentary relief from opioid withdrawal does not last long and they are back out there again desperately trying to find more heroin to avoid becoming sick.

With methadone or buprenorphine, mothers are medically stable and able to avoid debilitating cycles of withdrawal as well as the dangerous drug-seeking behaviors and lifestyle that put them and the baby at risk. A woman is already in a state of increased vulnerability when pregnant. If lonely, isolated and forced to go to the street to find dope or pills, she will find herself in dangerous situations and exposed to a drug culture that values money over human life.

This harsh reality is what some women face as they struggle to survive while carrying an unborn child. If in treatment at a methadone clinic or under the supervision of a caring physician who utilizes buprenorphine, the pregnant woman can start the process of personal recovery. She can avoid becoming sick from opioid withdrawal and avoid taking grave risks just to avoid that withdrawal. She can receive emotional support and medical assistance to maximize her health and that of the unborn baby. She can better prepare herself to be a good mom once the baby is born.

There are those who may indignantly exclaim “But the baby will be born addicted”. The reality is that it is much safer for a baby to be born to a mother receiving methadone or buprenorphine than for the baby to be repeatedly exposed to adulterated street heroin and combinations of drugs riddled with unknown contaminants. Think about that. Technically, the baby may be born with some physical dependency, but this is successfully managed all the time by medical professionals across the country. Buprenorphine has been found to have a milder withdrawal syndrome and is utilized successfully in helping infants comfortably detox. Methadone is successfully used for this purpose as well.

It is important to also make a distinction between “addiction” and “dependency”. They are not the same. “Addiction” encompasses the persistent craving for opiates, the mental preoccupation with securing them, and the inappropriate behaviors and lifestyle aberration that develop as people lose control over their ability to choose. “Dependency” can occur with anyone who has been using an opioid for a sustained period of time. Someone who has become “dependent” can readily taper off of the medication and will not be necessarily driven to obsess over drugs or desperately seek them. A baby who is born temporarily dependent on methadone or buprenorphine can be successfully tapered off of the medication. Obviously, a baby does not meet the definition of “addicted” so to use that term is technically inaccurate and misleads the public.

Finally, methadone and buprenorphine are safer for the baby. It’s ultimately about helping that unborn baby to develop normally in the womb and to be born alive, healthy, and with maximum opportunity for a good life. Chances are that the mother will indeed be that baby’s primary caretaker for a long time. It is much better that she be introduced to recovery and various avenues of support through methadone or buprenorphine treatment than to be left on her own with no support, little guidance, and struggling to find dope on a daily basis.

 

BHG Offering Methadone and Suboxone in Memphis

bhg-logoTennessee is a leading state in the incidence of opioid addiction and opioid overdose. This is most likely a direct result of Tennessee being ranked one of the country’s leading states for the prescription of opioids as well as benzodiazepines like xanax and klonopin.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report that 46 people die every day in the United States from overdose on prescription painkillers. They also have documented that 259 million prescriptions for opioids were written in 2012 alone by U.S. healthcare providers. This stunning proliferation of opioids has sparked national concerns about opioid addiction and why painkillers have been made so readily available.

In Tennessee, Behavioral Health Group (BHG) have responded to the crisis by providing opioid treatment in a variety of Tennessee cities. They currently operate three clinics in Memphis: Memphis North, Memphis Mid-Town, and Memphis South Treatment Centers under the BHG banner.

BHG also have clinics in Knoxville, Nashville, Jackson, Paris, Columbia, and Dyersburg. The company’s locations all provide suboxone (buprenorphine) in addition to methadone to aid opioid addicted individuals in their effort to cope with powerful opiate withdrawal symptoms. BHG provide various forms of supportive counseling to their patients in conjunction with their medication-assisted treatment model.

While local and federal governments work to address the rise in opioid addiction, it remains very important that addicted individuals seek and find effective treatment as soon as possible. Those interested in participating in opioid treatment often have questions about the process of enrolling in treatment and what it is actually like receiving methadone or suboxone in a clinic setting. Methadone.US offers helpful information on our site for prospective patients that provides an overview of the opioid treatment enrollment process.

Methadone and Other Medications

doc66Methadone is FDA-approved for pain management and the treatment of opioid addiction. Methadone is a relatively safe and highly effective medication when used exactly as prescribed. It is currently in use in the United States and around the world following years of conclusive research on methadone’s efficacy and safety.

It is important for patients receiving methadone to know that it can interact with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol and benzodiazepines such as xanax, klonopin, valium, and librium as well as similarly acting non-benzodiazepine agents like ambien (a popular sleep aid). When methadone is mixed with these other medications, there is an increased risk of sedation and loss of consciousness. In extreme cases, individuals mixing methadone and other CNS depressants have gone into respiratory failure.

For those who have chosen to receive methadone in an opioid treatment program, they will discover that a proper dose of methadone not only eliminates opiate withdrawal & cravings, but will also block the euphoric effects of any other opiates. This is typically a positive side effect in that it discourages illicit opiate use or supplementing with street drugs like heroin. Since methadone binds so well to the brain’s opiate receptor sites, any other opiates that are ingested have no means of creating a euphoria or a high since the body’s opiate receptors are occupied by methadone. This removes the incentive to misuse other opiates and can facilitate the process of recovery.

There are instances in which a patient’s physician has prescribed a benzodiazepine for anxiety management while also prescribing methadone. Such decisions should always be accompanied by a thorough discussion with one’s doctor of the potential risks & complications. There are other, safer alternatives for treating anxiety such as Buspar and cognitive therapy. These other options should be considered when a patient is already receiving methadone. In addiction treatment, the use of benzodiazepines for anxiety is typically monitored carefully through increased random urinalysis testing and medication counts.

Opioid Addiction Treatment in Chesapeake, VA

affinity-healthcare-groupFor residents of the Chesapeake, Virginia area there are two opioid addiction treatment centers that provide opioid replacement medication including methadone and buprenorphine. Methadone.US lists both methadone clinics and independent buprenorphine doctors on each of our city pages. We also feature providers who opt to showcase their particular treatment centers to our online audience by offering an enhanced listing with additional program details.

Affinity Healthcare Group is one such provider. Affinity have outpatient clinics in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia and make available to their patients methadone or suboxone to eradicate painful opioid withdrawal symptoms. Affinity Healthcare Group maintain an excellent, informative website for patients and the public which offers enlightening descriptions of how methadone and suboxone work to facilitate recovery from addiction. The organization operates with a working philosophy to treat all patients with dignity and respect.

The Chesapeake Treatment Center is another local clinic that helps those addicted to opiates. Chesapeake Treatment Center utilizes methadone and incorporates some other additional services into their program such as case management, addiction education, and aftercare.

chesapeake-treatment

Methadone.US aims to educate the general public on the value of medication-assisted therapies and to help promote recovery from opioid addiction. Addiction is a potentially fatal illness, but treatment works and treatment allows those stuck in a cycle of chaos to finally reclaim hope and the opportunity to make a new start. Medication assistance, such as methadone, is the highest standard of care and is an approved medical intervention for moderate to severe opioid addiction. It is fully endorsed by SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration).

If you would like to feature your opioid addiction treatment services on Methadone.US, contact us today!

Opioid Addiction Spiking in Guilford County North Carolina

policeGuilford County is the third most populated county in the state of North Carolina. Located within Guilford County are the cities of Greensboro and High Point – both of which are experiencing a surprising increase in opioid addiction and related overdoses.

The High Point Enterprise news reported that the High Point Vice and Narcotics unit has begun to make a favorable impact on the problem with multiple arrests of those trafficking heroin locally. The article documents that 70 reported High Point opioid overdoses have occurred thus far in 2014 with 9 of those ending in death. Six people were arrested the week of July 14 and are being held on multi-million dollar bonds for their roles in selling or trafficking heroin. To emphasize the local impact, the HP Enterprise reported that 7 overdoses occurred within a 24 hour period on May 16, 2014.

Just 15 miles away in the neighboring city of Greensboro, Rhino Times covered the local explosion in heroin addiction much of which has been driven by individuals turning to heroin when they could no longer obtain prescription opioids like oxycodone. Rhino Times interviewed the Director of Guilford County Emergency Services, Jim Albright, who stated that a particularly strong strain of heroin hit the streets of Greensboro in late April, 2014.

Over the weekend of April 25, the Guilford County EMS responded to an avalanche of calls in response to people overdosing on the new potent version of heroin. Mr. Albright is reported to have identified that 21 overdoses and 5 deaths occurred just in that one weekend. Due to the potency of the drugs, some victims were found with a needle still in their arm.

Highlighted in the article was the life saving properties of Narcan, a drug that quickly reverses the dangerous overdose effects of opiates. Narcan can be administered by injection or squirted into the nasal cavity. As it is absorbed into the body, it restores breathing to those that have overdosed. Narcan is now kept in first responder vehicles, firetrucks, and ambulances. Visit Alcohol & Drug Services for more on Narcan and opioid overdose prevention kits.

For information on methadone as a treatment for opioid addiction, click here.

Behavioral Health Group (BHG) Specialize in Opioid Addiction Treatment

bhg-logoBehavioral Health Group (BHG) is a leading provider of opioid addiction treatment services with programs presently covering eight U.S. states. BHG provide both maintenance and detox services in an outpatient setting and utilize a variety of FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid addiction such as methadone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Suboxone.

The company currently has 37 treatment center locations in Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. BHG operate in accordance with a number of core values that define their services, to include: character, enthusiasm, compassion, teamwork, and perseverance.

The organization’s website states that they incorporate best practices into their treatment approaches and use outcome-based metrics to consistently improve their service delivery. BHG has achieved full accreditation among their various facilities which means that they meet or exceed quality standards of care as determined by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities.

Medication-assisted treatment is the industry standard for helping those with moderate to severe opioid addictions who have not responded well to traditional forms of therapy. BHG treat both the medical and behavioral aspects of addiction to opioids via medication to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms and team-based behavioral counseling used to address a patient’s psychological dependency on opioids.

If you are interested in opioid treatment with BHG, they provide an online inquiry form that you can quickly complete and submit through their website at www.BHGRecovery.com.

For prospective patients living in the San Antonio, Texas community, you can obtain more information on BHG services by visiting the Methadone.US page for San Antonio.