Category Archives: Addiction Counseling

Repairing Life After Opioid Addiction

methadone-recovery-1Addiction is an uphill battle. We have heard this said many times before. Many who found themselves in the midst of a personal opioid addiction were swept along on a nightmarish roller coaster ride with seemingly no brake pedal within reach.

Fortunately, addiction recovery is real, and people do get off of the roller coaster ride to hell. This is accomplished in a variety of ways with one method sometimes being the decision to try opioid replacement therapy such as methadone or suboxone.

Once off the roller coaster, individuals have an opportunity to survey their surroundings, to reflect on what has happened in their lives, and to begin moving along a better, safer path. Inevitably, facing the consequences of one's past becomes part of this gradual recovery process as does repairing the damage that occurred.

It is important to remember that change does not happen overnight, and repairing one's life happens step-by-step a little each day. There is a popular saying in recovery circles that is profound in its wisdom. It's "progress, not perfection". What this means is that no one is perfect, and that chasing perfection is perhaps an unrealistic goal. The goal should be "progress". This … is achievable. In repairing one's life and in living a new life of recovery, pursuing "progress" is enough.

Another insightful saying is this … "A journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step". Once you have committed to sobriety and living your life in a better way, you have already taken several steps in the right direction on your new journey. You do not have to reach your destination in 24 hours. The journey itself is a huge part of your personal healing & personal growth.

Repairing one's life after opioid addiction will require several things of you. One is to cultivate patience with the world. The world often moves at a different speed than we do, and it is in our best interest to adjust to that rather than to try and control the speed of the world around us. This will require patience. Patience can grow. We can develop patience through mindfulness, prayer, therapy, and in other ways.

Also important to repairing one's life is trying to live with a sense of purpose. We must be committed to something, or someone, in order to live with a sense of purpose. In active addiction, the daily purpose was to get by without becoming sick, and that defined many addicts' focus day after day. Life loses its purpose when one is reduced to chasing drugs to avoid being dope sick.

Recovery offers so much more in terms having a new and improved life purpose. I can't tell you what that should be. But for some, it's being a good son or daughter, or a good spouse or parent. Or regaining a renewed sense of pride in their job, or "giving it away" and helping another addict or person in need, or volunteering to help a child learn to read, or mowing the yard of an elderly neighbor who can't do for themselves as well anymore.

Your purpose may not be known yet. But you can certainly discover what is really important to you once you get off the roller coaster ride of opioid addiction. As always, recovery is a choice. No one can force it on you. But it is there, available to you … when you are ready. Call your local clinic today. Ask a friend to help you find local resources. Choose to take your first step.

When Methadone Clients Get Stuck

methadone-clinic-3

Clients across the country in methadone clinics and suboxone treatment programs are required to receive counseling while taking methadone or suboxone medication. Opioid replacement therapy specifically treats the painful opiate withdrawal, but counseling addresses the thinking, behaviors, and lifestyle that fed the addiction or that made individuals more vulnerable to developing addiction-related problems.

While in early recovery from opioid addiction, individuals begin to look at themselves and their lives through the process of counseling. It is during this time that clients face the truth about themselves and the effects that their addiction may have had on family and friends, finances, personal reputation, employment, and a host of other real world considerations.

It is easy to understand how some people can feel overwhelmed as they take their first sober look at the consequences of their recent addiction-based lives. However, change does occur … and change is a choice. A very personal and deliberate choice.

Many addicted individuals come to understand that one must face recovery one step at a time. No matter how much one wants to erase or repair past damage, there is only so much that he or she can do on any given day to start anew. What is required in this early phase of recovery is the simple desire to stay drug free and to try and make better decisions one-by-one with each new day. This sounds simplistic, but is a profound & powerful personal philosophy that leads the recovering person down a road to success. ACTION is a must. Action … is not optional.

Many suffering addicts are tired from fighting their addiction, but they also have an innate desire to move forward and to address their addiction problem. So many people become stuck in an active opioid addiction, spinning round and round, sometimes for years. They wonder if things will ever change. As the addiction becomes a familiar foe, addicts grow weary of the fight and settle for feeding the monster just to get through the day.

If you are opioid addicted, you do not have to be "stuck" in this addiction. You do not have to settle for a life of perpetual worry. It is important that you take action. You must take action. You must not wait for someone to come along and drop a miracle at your doorstep. Get into treatment immediately. Connect yourself with an addiction counseling center or detox or inpatient rehab. There is hope there. There are answers. There is support. There is real recovery going on everyday all over this country, and it is happening to people just like you. Believe that … because it is true! There are recovering people who have made the journey. There are treatment professionals with decades of experience. They have a clear road map and can offer you a new direction.

You can become unstuck! Methadone or suboxone treatment may be a part of the new solution for you. Or perhaps a medically supervised detox where they ease your withdrawal symptoms using safe medications. And you then follow that up with admission to an intensive outpatient counseling program (IOP) to learn the new coping tools you'll need in order to avoid relapse.

Maybe your first step is to go to a 12 Step meeting and ask for help, or a friend, or a pastor, or walk into the local mental health clinic and ask for a referral. Being "stuck" is a result of inaction, or taking the wrong action over and over. If you're serious about a new life and finally facing this opioid addiction, take the right action for yourself. So much is possible. You can do this. It can be done.

Joining the Methadone.US Online Database

methadone-graphicGreetings and happy 2013 to our site’s visitors, U.S. methadone clinics, suboxone physicians, and addiction treatment providers across the country! Methadone.US was successfully launched in 2011 and quickly developed surprising traffic to our website as many hundreds of individuals searched online daily for local opioid treatment services and discovered Methadone.US.

Our goal was to humanize opioid addiction treatment and to help educate the public on the value of methadone and suboxone, and to further legitimize opioid replacement therapy. This goal is being achieved every day as evidenced by our hundreds of thousands of visitors, numerous emailed comments & stories, and people taking our online opioid addiction assessment.

Methadone.US features individual pages for cities across the United States, and we are now providing a showcase featured spot at the top of every city page for local methadone clinics & suboxone doctors to list their services. If you are a treatment professional looking to reach and serve clients, then feel free to join Methadone.US and have your clinic or practice clearly profiled at the top of your city page. As an example, you can view two of our new additions here: Matrix Center in Wichita, KS and American Treatment Center in Newport News, VA.

Opioid addiction treatment is going mainstream. This is a good thing because it simply helps those suffering with addiction find the help that they need, and to begin the process of recapturing their quality of life. As Methadone.US enters its third year, we would like to thank all those who believe that addiction recovery is possible, and that methadone & suboxone are beneficial tools in that process.

Many people in our society, from all walks of life, are struggling today with a debilitating opioid addiction. They deserve help. They are ready for change and they need only to connect locally with good treatment services. Fortunately, the internet is making that connection more possible with every passing day. Thank you for visiting, and for supporting, Methadone.US in reaching that worthwhile goal.

Suboxone Doctors

suboxone-doctorsMethadone.US has successfully educated and enlightened many thousands of online visitors over the last two years. Our goal has been to demystify & destigmatize opioid replacement therapy, and to highlight how methadone, suboxone, and other treatment interventions can give patients a new lease on life.

It is important to emphasize that methadone and suboxone are medically-approved treatments in wide use across the United States and the world. In the US, these medications are prescribed and administered under the supervision of a physician. A physician is at the core of every methadone clinic, and it is the physician who is authorized to prescribe suboxone for opioid addicted patients needing relief and hope.

On our city pages, Methadone.US lists local physicians who are certified to write prescriptions for buprenorphine (suboxone). Our lists are drawn from the United States government database at SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Our city pages are fairly extensive and cover most of the continental United States. However, suboxone and methadone treatment have become so popular that even smaller towns now often have medical professionals providing some form of opioid addiction treatment.

Suboxone doctors and opioid treatment specialists are very much needed in response to the country’s growing opioid addiction problem. Suboxone doctors are in a unique position to not only offer much desired relief from opioid withdrawal, but they can also promote with patients the importance of committing themselves to a process of counseling, recovery, and long-term behavior change such that ongoing drug abstinence becomes possible.

Many suboxone-certified physicians are also board certified addictionologists. This means that they have received special training in identifying & treating addiction disorders of all varieties.

If living in the New York metropolitan area, you can obtain more information about local suboxone doctors at: NewYorkSuboxone.com

For those in the Los Angeles metro area, visit: LosAngelesSuboxone.com

Doctors and Methadone

factsHow doctors view methadone is becoming a hot topic. A friend recently informed me that the TV celebrity doctor, commonly known as Dr. Drew, was against methadone and had publicly made negative comments about the medication. I was disappointed to learn of this because Dr. Drew has a fairly large national audience who follow his opinion on medical matters. I then noticed that Dr. Jana Burson (a well-educated and experienced opioid addiction professional) had written on this topic, and herself questioned why Dr. Drew had made derogatory comments in regard to methadone. Dr. Burson knows firsthand how incredibly beneficial methadone is to those suffering with chronic opioid dependency. If a physician deserves a national audience & voice on this topic, it is Dr. Jana Burson, not Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Physicians typically seem to fall into one of two camps: either those who are educated on addiction and modern addiction treatment approaches, or those who are not. This may seem like a simplistic analysis, but is surprisingly accurate. Sadly, in my experience, physician critics of opioid replacement therapies often jump to conclusions that stem from personal bias or opinion based on very limited exposure to methadone and its benefit to the recovering community. Methadone is not “alternative medicine”, or some unproven sideline drug that one must obtain via the black market in a third world country.

Methadone is the leading medically-approved pharmaceutical treatment intervention for opioid addiction in the United States. There is no medical “speculation” on methadone’s success in the treatment of opioid addiction. It is a proven method of saving lives and restoring quality of life for a large subset of those who are addicted to opioids. These are not hyped opinions, but are medical facts that are beyond dispute. That any “physician” would reject methadone as a legitimate treatment for opioid addiction … is professionally irresponsible, and suggestive of medical incompetence in the area of treating drug addiction.

Methadone has been in widespread use in America for over 40 years. The number of addicted individuals whose lives have been saved and/or improved (through the medically supervised use of methadone) is well documented. SAMHSA (the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) publish evidenced-based Treatment Intervention Protocols (known as TIPS manuals) that are available to treatment centers all across America. They have several such manuals, published and widely distributed, that are specifically dedicated to treating opioid addiction with methadone and buprenorphine (suboxone). SAMHSA also maintain a U.S. government website listing all of the methadone clinics in the USA and U.S. physicians approved to dispense buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction. Why do they list these? So that suffering people can find help for their addictive disorder.

Perhaps Dr. Drew should interview actual patients in methadone treatment programs. Then interview the staff of professionals (including dedicated, knowledgeable physicians) that work in these facilities. Then interview the families of methadone patients that regained their sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. Then read the evidenced-based literature & research available (through SAMHSA) on the beneficial use of methadone in treating opioid addiction.

That might require Dr. Drew to walk off of the TV production set, out of the celebrity limelight … and into the everyday real world. It’s a place where people like Dr. Jana Burson work for many years, with thousands of opioid addicted people, using medical interventions that are proven and effective. Dr. Drew would do well to have a sit down conversation with professionals like Dr. Jana Burson. This might allow him to replace negative personal bias … with medical fact. Only then, would he be equipped to speak to the public about methadone and opioid addiction. Until then, he is just part of the TV & celebrity noise … where drama, ratings and sensationalism … are cherished over the truth.