Category Archives: Opiate Treatment

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.

New Opioid Treatment Medication Prepares for Market Release

bunavailSoon to be released is a new oral buprenorphine based product called Bunavail. Bunavail is manufactured by Biodelivery Sciences and is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. It is a thin film formulation that is designed to adhere to the inner cheek where it quickly dissolves and is absorbed into the mucosal lining of the mouth.

The medication is touted as delivering about twice as much active ingredient into the patient’s bloodstream compared to sublingual suboxone. Bunavail is scheduled to be released in the third quarter of 2014. A press release by the company mentions that the medication will compete with other products in the $1.7 billion dollar opioid dependency treatment market.

Bunavail is a new advancement in drug delivery technology according to the press release and is reported to produce less constipation than other competing buprenorphine products. Patients can also speak freely while the medication dissolves.

With an estimated 2 million plus people addicted to opioids in the United States, new medication alternatives are welcomed.

Biodelivery Sciences is described as a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on pain management and addiction treatment. The company is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Bunavail’s FDA approval was announced on June 6, 2014.

Click here for more Information and Articles on Buprenorphine

Methadone and Treatment Are Valuable Resources

action-methadone-assistanceSince the launch of Methadone.US, hundreds of thousands of visitors have searched the site and located important treatment resources to help them deal with a chronic opioid addiction. The city pages on Methadone.US list both methadone clinics and local buprenorphine (suboxone) physicians.

While the federal government maintains a similar database of medication-assistance providers, we focus on making this site convenient and easy-to-use for patients, families, medical professionals, and anyone interested in finding help for addiction problems.

We have some recent clinic additions to Methadone.US in the cities of Salt Lake City, Dallas, and Cincinnati. There are an increasing number of clinics around the country, and in larger metropolitan areas there are often numerous facilities available to serve the much larger population. To highlight local treatment programs, we offer Featured Clinic Listings for those methadone treatment providers who wish to profile their services to a larger number of prospective patients who are visiting their city’s page on Methadone.US.

A very exciting aspect of opiate-specific recovery is the growing recognition among medical professionals nationwide that opioid addiction is an actual illness and that it can be successfully treated with medication-assistance. For too many years, there has been a rush to judgment when it came to opioid addicted people who would present sick and in need of care. Recently, the problem with opiates has become so widespread that those in society who thought they could never be affected by it have come to realize that addition is an equal opportunity disease.

The “story” is in the real recovery of people who begin medication-assisted therapy and who then go on to change their lives, resume work, get ahead financially, reconnect with their family, and live a better, high quality life that is not compromised by constant medication seeking.

Methadone and treatment have value because they change lives and save lives. It’s not a hard concept to grasp and not controversial when evaluated from a factual, objective point of view. More good news is that opioid replacement therapy is not going away. It is an effective, proven intervention that is based on actual science and extensive research, and it has been deemed a best practice by the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. That is quite an endorsement. Methadone and treatment … valuable resources that make a lasting difference in the lives of many people.

Lifestyle Change and Responsible Behavior

drug-treatment-opiate-addictionPeople facing addictive disease cover a wide variety of maturity levels, individual capabilities, and in their level of desire for sober lives. What I mean is that some are further along in their mindset and are really ready to live drug free. They embrace the challenge, and they recognize that some work lies ahead in order to get their life properly sorted out.

Others are sometimes only motivated by the present crisis. They do the right thing only long enough to avert the crisis, and then they’re back to old behavior and old attitudes like they didn’t miss a beat. They straighten up just long enough to avoid probation revocation. They may stop using and “make nice” with a loved one as long as it takes to get some money or a favor, and then it’s back to addict behavior.

With opiate addiction, people from all walks of life can develop a problem – from the chronic troublemaker to the person who never gave anyone a hard time. Opiate addiction covers the whole spectrum of humanity and knows no boundaries. I have treated doctors, dentists, and lawyers … grandparents … church members … teachers … and teens. This diverse group of people had one thing in common. That’s right. Addiction.

While long term recovery is available to every person, only some get clean & sober. Why is this? The answer has much to do with whether a person has an innate desire to change, whether they are teachable and open, and sometimes whether their conscience is awake. Addiction, and the unique behavioral traits that often surround it, make people resistant to change. They resist doing the things that lead to stability, sobriety, and success. Like a seriously overweight person who keeps overeating or a stage 4 diabetic who won’t leave the doughnuts and cookies alone.

Addicts can cycle in and out of rehabs, in and out of jobs, and in and out of relationships. They become the drama that disrupts family life. The phone call at 3:00 a.m. that wakes the children. The examples are endless and they all lead to the same destination … which is pain, loss, failure. Or, as they say in NA: jails, institutions, or death.

Each addiction is a journey as is each individual recovery. There are bumps in the road and a multitude of wrong turns. But there is learning. Hopefully, humility develops and the willingness to follow a new path that involves the guidance & support of others who know more. Addiction is a cunning illness. Trying to fight addiction alone is not a smart decision. It has been shown repeatedly that those who make it typically seek help. Treatment is help. Treatment provides the needed support, feedback, and essential tools for repairing one’s life. Opiate addiction is a powerful trap. Make no mistake though. People do recover … and go on to exciting and enriched lives. Do not stay stuck. Reach out for help in your local community.

Working As A Methadone Program Counselor

methadone-jobsWorking as a methadone program counselor is both a fulfilling and challenging professional job position. Personal fulfillment comes from forming a therapeutic relationship with people in recovery and enjoying the opportunity to see them move upward and onward in rebuilding a quality life. Fulfillment also comes from one’s role within an organization or agency and being able to contribute meaningfully to that methadone program’s expansion and continual improvement.

The challenging aspects of working as a methadone counselor stem from several areas. The first is caseload size. Most methadone programs require that counselors serve sizable caseloads which results in counselors striving to meet the many varied needs of patients while having numerous other demands made on their time.

Closely related to serving patients is the extensive documentation requirements that must be met when a counselor provides any type of direct counseling service or case management assistance to an active patient. In today’s healthcare environment, documenting one’s professional activities is an extensive drain on time, energy, and productivity. This is particularly true with state and federally supported programs that draw on public funding to run the methadone program. Good computer skills are generally a must have.

Effective methadone counselors become time management experts and develop a high level ability to work quickly under pressure, to shift priorities, and to multitask while maintaining an appropriate focus on their professional development.

Quality methadone counselors also bring to their work a dedication to patient welfare and a spirit of enthusiasm, hope, and positivity to co-workers and the patients that are relying upon them for guidance and support.

Methadone.US provides an extensive employment section that lists numerous methadone treatment jobs across the country. Those interested in working in the opioid treatment field can browse our job section for recent methadone program openings. This includes nursing positions, physician positions, counselor openings as well as support positions like receptionist and billing or finance specialist.

Working as a methadone counselor offers many rewards. Appropriate supervision and professional development are very important when undertaking any counseling position. Knowledge, skill, and experience must be actively developed, and are ideally supported by any reputable methadone treatment employer.

Couples in Opioid Treatment Together

womens-recoveryIt is good news when an addicted couple find their way into treatment. Opioid addiction is a very lonely journey, and alienating friends and family comes with the territory when one is deep into a drug addiction.

With severe addiction, it is not uncommon for both members of a couple to be struggling with an opiate dependency. While this bond is certainly not a healthy one, it is one that makes sense for the couple, who often find themselves feeling like it’s “us against the world”. As they plow through addiction, sometimes one hour at a time for years, a bond is formed … like two friends going through a war together each watching the other’s back in a never ending fight to stay alive.

At some point, one member of the couple will have the good thought about entering treatment and may push their partner to seek treatment together. Sometimes this works out and sometimes not. When it does work, the couple will begin dosing with methadone or suboxone and hopefully attempt to re-orient themselves to a sober way of living. This is a beautiful experience to behold when two people are ready, and they encourage each other to make better choices.

In 12 Step recovery circles, recovering couples are strongly encouraged to seek their own individual recovery apart from their partner. Couples often resist this suggestion, but it is a very wise approach. It is so easy to relapse when one’s partner goes back to using. So, having one’s own circle of support outside of this relationship can be critical in helping a person to remain drug free when their partner has relapsed. It actually helps the relapsed partner too when he or she sees their spouse not compromising on recovery principles and continuing to make appropriate choices.

With stable couples who have methadone take homes or who receive the same psychotropic medication, there can be the occasional temptation to swap each other’s medications. When they were actively using, they shared works, pills, anything and everything. Now that they’re stable, it may not seem like a big deal to to take a partner’s medication if one has run out or misplaced their own. However, it is a big deal and should be always avoided. Successful recovery is not easy. It requires personal discipline and a strong commitment to do what is right, even when doing the right thing is challenging and difficult.

While couples in treatment can be a complicated affair, it can work and does work everyday around the country. It is important to note that a couple may not progress at the same rate. While one partner stabilizes quickly on methadone and discovers their cravings & withdrawal disappear, the other partner may have uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and struggle with urges to use illicit drugs for a period of time.

Good methadone programs will strive to support the couple’s mutual effort to be drug free together, but they will also work with each patient separately. This will include being in separate treatment groups and having separate individual counseling sessions.

With private self-pay programs, there are instances in which a couple may not have enough money for each person to dose on a particular day. This can pose a stressful dilemma for the couple and there is often no easy answer. One member of the couple may just go without. While there is typically an apprehension that missing a day of dosing will bring about immediate withdrawal sickness, this is often not the case. Since methadone has a long half life and is designed for extended duration, some people discover that they are comfortably maintained even through a missed day of dosing. This is not a recommended practice since missing doses is often correlated with illicit drug use, but it is an interesting and useful piece of information.

In the final analysis, a “couple” can suffer for years with simultaneous opioid addictions and a severely compromised quality of life. Choosing to enter drug treatment, either as a couple or as separate individuals, is a positive decision that should be supported wholeheartedly by family, friends, employers, recovery self-help programs, and the treatment community.