Current Treatment Plan

Now that I’ve explained the withdrawal process, it’s separate stages and the time lines of each stage, I’m now going to take you through a typical 30-60 day treatment plan that’s currently being used in most major rehab facilities. The first stage is two weeks of detox at which time they use things like Ativan and Seroquel to help stabilize the body and other medications to help ease some of the acute symptoms of withdrawal. After about 10-14 days they go to an inpatient facility. When the addict arrives they go through intake they ask you what medications you are on, or were on in the past. The psychiatrist will do an evaluation and the next day they take you to the doctor. He or she will prescribe some of the following medications. Ativan, Seroquel, Adderall, Paxil, Klonopin, Clonidine, Depacote, Wellbutrin, Phenobarbital and Xanax (if you read the past posts you will recognize a lot of these) and numerous more. Some patients are getting two or three of these prescribed at the same time. If your a second or third timer through this your a veteran and that addict knows just what to say to get these medications, A lot of these medications are the same ones that set that psychological hook in the first place, (equating something in a pill form to a chemical reaction in the brain). That’s pretty much where any proper treatment for heroin addiction ends. For the next thirty days the patient’s addiction is in a state of pause, they’re eating large amounts of sugar and retaining water. Their skin starts to clear, then they are given a prescription of Suboxone and sent back to whatever little town they came from. When they get home they look great, Their loved ones are happy, The addict looks better than they have in years, Loved ones get confident that the addict is finally on the right track, however there is a huge overconfidence in the addicts brain because they feel they have beaten the worst of it when in reality they haven’t even got past the physical withdrawal. They literally look all shiny and bright on the outside but inside their brain is still in a constant state of chemical imbalance. The psychological hook hasn’t been addressed, its been exploited. Now the addict has replaced the fear of being sick with the fear of not having either Suboxone or methadone. This psychological fear is a huge factor in the addicts recovery. It’s bigger than the fear of using again. The loved ones will say they made 2-3 months before relapse, but that’s just how long it takes to get caught again. Most addicts aren’t making it a month and as soon as they start to use again. within one week they go right back to their 20 to 30 bag a day habit. As I said before there isn’t a lot of relapse happening, there’s just a lot of rehab happening because of the current standard and protocol. I’m going to give you the proper definition of heroin relapse. In order to relapse you would have to have opiates in your system, then become completely clear of opiates. Then re introducing opiates into your system again. A true heroin relapse doesn’t happen until a year or more of not using opiates, This has gotten so bad in recovery that addicts think relapse is part of their recovery. They are not relapsing, they are just releasing the pause button on there addiction and for this reason you have an 80% failure rate, mostly due to never addressing the major cause of their addiction but exploiting it and not getting them past the physical withdrawal before giving them a blocker. I’m going to explain the problems with Suboxone and methadone in my next post.

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