Treatment Center Blog

Ten Great Drug Rehab Gifts for the Holidays

Christmas and New Year’s will be difficult this year as the pandemic restrictions will

keep many of us at home, away from loved ones and friends. Office parties, family get-

together, and dinners are now limited to Zoom. ***

 

It can be challenging and depressing. However, a gift in the mail from friends,

colleagues, and family will cheer anyone up. It’s almost as good as being there.

If you have a loved one who is recovering from drug addiction, there are a number of

appropriate, compassionate, and inexpensive gifts you can give them this holiday:

 

  1. A journal: Journaling is a recommended way for people in recovery to be mindful

and to process their feelings during this time. They can also reflect later on their

feelings and struggles. Additionally, it also gives them a first-hand perspective on

how far they have come. It can be raw, honest, and encouraging. A journal is one

of the most practical, and appreciated, gifts you can give.

  1. Photo album: Most albums are kept in smartphones or computer memories.

However, this gift, a hard copy photo album can have several uses. Addiction

can cause family rifts. A photo album filled with photos of family and friends

reminds them of their journey and of those people who support them. You should

leave a few pages blank so they can fill it with meaningful photos.

  1. Fitness Center Membership: Individuals in recovery need physical activity. A

fitness center membership can do wonders for their mind and body. It gets their

mind off of their situation and helps them sleep better, too. They may also meet

people who can encourage them along their journey. (Of course, fitness center

participation varies due to COVID restrictions.)

  1. Personalized jewelry: One constant reminder of their recovery achievements

could be a personalized ring, necklace, or bracelet. It could be embossed with

the first day of sobriety and have their initials on it. (Amazon carries a large

number of jewelry items that celebrate serenity and sobriety.)

  1. Your time: Your time is priceless. So, spending it with someone in recovery is as

special and compassionate as it gets. Take time out from your busy holiday and

schedule coffee, a walk, a movie, or a Zoom call with them. Don’t rush it or look

at your watch. Just sit with them and listen, laugh, cry, and enjoy their company.

You will never regret it and it will bring happiness to their holiday.

 

Holiday arrangements can be complicated by COVID restrictions, but they aren’t

impossible. Make it memorable by giving a special gift to a loved one in recovery.

 

If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, consult one of our

experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and

Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate behavioral health team that includes therapists, a

Psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric and medical providers a nurse practitioner,

and a psychiatrist. Services include individual, group, and family therapy for adults and

adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

 

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.

 

For more on how Zoom is being utilized for the holiday, go to this New York Post link.

 

Five Successful Sobriety Strategies for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner and with them come the challenges to stay sober and still have a good time. The good news is: It can be done!

Thanksgiving and Christmas should never be looked upon as a depressing time for those of us who are sober and want to remain that way. There are millions before us who have not touched a drink or drug over the holidays and made it just fine. However, just like our becoming sober and staying that way, it can’t be done it doesn’t have to be done alone. We have a few strategies for you to employ during the next six weeks that should help you not only keep stay sober but still enjoy the holiday season yourself, substance-free:

  1. Don’t sit still for too long. Idle time can be where the trouble starts dangerously. Instead, get up and get moving! Hike, walk, run, bike, and just be of service to your family and friends. Run in the annual turkey trot race. Set the table, cook the stuffing, or clean the house. There are hundreds of productive things you can do with your time.
  2. Set boundaries and keep them. We all have our “emotional triggers” and most of them can come from our loved ones. One heated conversation with a family member can set tick us off and send us to the local bar to seek old comforts and fall into bad habits. Don’t let that happen. Instead, set boundaries. Make sure they know that your loved ones know politics, religion, relationships, or any other topic you outline that may be contentious and should not be brought to are not on the table for discussion. Keep conversations with family members on lighter, kinder,  and more respectful friendlier topics. Let them know that you don’t want to get into anything that may cause you anyone irritation. If you need to, leave the table and take a walk to cool off. Let them know you have boundaries now and you are keeping them.
  1. BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage). Going to a party is fine. Going to a party without your own preferred beverage is a mistake. Run to your favorite grocer and get the non-alcoholic drinks you like whether it’s a soft drink, sparkling water, iced tea, it doesn’t matter orange juice or chocolate milk. Bring it with you to the event and enjoy it. You will be less tempted and have fun anyway!
  1. Be thankful. Whether you have been sober for three weeks or thirty years, you should be thankful that you have made it this far. Life can be difficult and you aren’t perfect. Accept what you cannot change and work on those areas that you can change. There is no need to be in control of everything around you. It’s impossible. Your sobriety has opened your eyes to the fact that you have your space and it’s better now. Be grateful for that.
  1. Keep your friends close. Have a friend or two you can reach out to when you are feeling stressed. Your sponsor, spouse, BFF, pastor, rabbi, or neighbor whom you can trust and confide in whenever you need to do so. Make sure they have your back someone you can trust knows you’re depending on them. Keep a journal, too. Write down your thoughts or record them. Whatever you do, don’t keep it all inside.

There’s an old saying about sobriety: “I’d rather stay clean than have to get clean all over again.” If you do the 5 steps listed above you won’t have to get clean all over again. Don’t let the upcoming holidays get you down. You can do it.  It’s one more milestone to celebrate with your success.  

If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate behavioral health team that includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric and medical providers a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual, group, and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Requires a Team Approach

No opioid addiction treatment plan succeeds alone. It is always a team effort.

The opioid addict cannot be trusted to do it on their own. It will fail. A team approach must be developed and coordinated.

Once a client with opioid addiction has been assessed, a treatment plan is developed. The clinician will then discuss with the client the recommended opioid addiction treatment plan. Every treatment plan is customized for that client.

Research has shown that opioid treatment plans succeed when there is a “team approach.” *** Treatment goals and schedules are discussed, medications are explained and a counseling plan is coordinated.

The client has several basic responsibilities:

  1. Keep all appointments.
  2. Take the prescribed medications.
  3. Use only the drugs prescribed.
  4. Agree to drug testing on a regular basis.
  5. Allow trusted family, friends, and colleagues to be involved as part of an accountability team.
  6. Stay away from all persons who may cause the patient to return to drug addiction.

Once the client has agreed to their opioid treatment responsibilities, the case manager then recruits a team around them. An opioid addiction treatment team may include the following:

  1. Narcotics Anonymous sponsor: Their treatment plan may compel them to join NA. A sponsor may take them to the homegroup meeting. The client who attends on a regular basis establishes a recovery network and a reliable routine. They participate in the group’s business and decide how the group’s meetings should be conducted.
  2. Drug counseling: This is crucial for the client to understand the nature of their addiction, recognize the stimulus that is part of their addictive behavior, and create coping mechanisms to resist addiction. The treatment plan may have both group therapy and individual therapy.
  3. Family, friends, and colleagues support system: The client’s motivation to succeed in opioid drug addiction therapy often comes from outside of themselves. Family members and trusted friends may function as “partners” in their therapy. They can motivate the client to attend meetings, channel their addiction into positive activity, and confirm that the client is adhering to the treatment plan. They may also provide a “wall” against outside negative forces (i.e. drug dealers, drug-addicted friends, bad influencers, etc.).

Opioid addiction treatment will succeed when there is coordination among the physicians, counselors, 12-step program leaders, family, friends, and colleagues working together as a team. The client has a dependable and trustworthy group that cares about them and is willing to be with them at every step of the recovery journey.

If you or someone you know needs methadone treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate methadone maintenance treatment team that includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.

*** Team approaches to drug addiction can be found at the National Center for Biotechnology website.

Substance Abuse Treatment: Opioid Addiction and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on opioid users as overdoses in the United States have increased by 18% since quarantine orders were issued in March. *** Depression, lockdowns, anxiety, unemployment, deaths, and erratic news stories have all been factors in the spike of these numbers.

So, now that we have experienced this pandemic, once it’s over will the COVID vaccinations work? Most opioid addiction treatments (OUD-Opioid Use Disorder) include methadone and Suboxone for long term management of what is known to be a chronic disease. 

More than forty states have reported a steep increase in opioid-related deaths. Mental health issues have been heaped on drug users as they turn to illegal drugs to cope with the pandemic. The federal government is providing assistance for treatment options but states are responsible for providing and monitoring treatments to people to avoid leaving their homes, to avoid congregating in clinics, because of fears of COVID, and due to mandates to reduce exposure risk. Maryland, where Concerted Care Group is based, had a slight increase in deaths from drug and alcohol intoxication during the first quarter of 2020 as the lockdown was getting underway.

Opioids, however, caused almost 90% of the fatalities in Maryland during the first half of 2020. The synthetic opioid fentanyl killed 1,100, or 83% of “overall cases”, a 12% uptick from 2019.

What are we to make of these statistics? How can we possibly reduce opioid-related fatalities during a pandemic? 

There are ways we can help friends and loved ones who are struggling during this time. Here are five ways you help:

  1. If you notice someone you work with or employ is continually renewing an opioid prescription for lower back pain – please work together with employers, friends, and health insurance consultants to ensure we plan and design programs to meet employees’ underlying health conditions. They should also be assigned a treatment counselor to follow the course of their care.
  2. Employees should not flush their unused prescriptions or throw them away as this is a hazard, both environmentally, and to those who may come in contact with controlled substances inadvertently. Instead, distribute drug deactivation and disposal pouches for scientifically proven, safe, at-home drug disposal.
  3. Employee education programs that explain opioid addiction, treatment, and safe drug storage and disposal should be implemented. 
  4. Make individuals who are prescribed controlled substances accountable by visiting them at least weekly to make sure they are not relapsing into addiction. If they are not a member of Narcotics Anonymous, they need to get a sponsor and join as soon as possible. Ask a physician for a referral to a medical professional in addiction medicine. Then, take the patient in for treatment yourself. Asking them to go on their own may be too great a step to do.
  5. Be encouraging.  Let your friend or loved one know that opioid addiction can be managed successfully, even during a pandemic. Don’t be confrontational. Be compassionate and strong. Insist that they get help and that you and others will be with them from the consultation with the physician to the treatment. Studies have shown that support goes a long way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has a complicated life and opioid addicts have paid the price. Many of them have hit new lows and have suffered. But, even in these times, there is help and recovery. Substance abuse is a treatable disease and recovery is possible.

The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate Behavioral Health team that includes therapists, psychiatric care, and nurse practitioners. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment. 

For more information on how the COVID pandemic has affected Opioid users, click here. 

Six Ways to Have Success After Your Methadone Treatment

It may sound hard to believe, especially when in the middle of it, but methadone treatment finally does come to an end. The client can leave the facility and return home. 

It is an important milestone in the recovery process when it happens, too. The client can finally resume their life and, hopefully, build a new life as an opioid-free and productive citizen in their community. 

The client can have a successful recovery from their methadone treatment if they choose to live by these crucial guidelines:

  1. Follow your prescription: Continue taking the prescribed methadone. This will counteract the withdrawal symptoms and minimize the cravings for opioids. It is important that no more methadone is taken than the appropriate prescribed amounts. In fact, taking a higher dose than what is prescribed can cause methadone addiction and lessen the effects of the drug.  
  2. Remember medication interactions may be fatal: Make sure you have all of the directions from your physician and pharmacist regarding any dangerous interactions that may occur between your medications and methadone. That list includes antihistamines, antibiotics, tranquilizers, heart-related medications, and alcohol. The physician needs to be informed of any and all medications and supplements that methadone patients are using.    
  3. Follow through with the entire duration of the program: Even though you are no longer residing in the treatment facility, you are still under the physician’s care. Most patients who utilize the 12-month methadone program have better, more long-lasting results. *** 
  4. Take advantage of behavioral treatment opportunities: Clients have the full menu of treatment options and should utilize them to their fullest. These options may include group therapy, Narcotics Anonymous, and individual psychiatric therapy. These proven evidence-based and holistic programs are essential in healing the client while directing them to channel their addiction to positive habits.    
  5. Don’t quit it all too early: As the cravings to use opioids fade and are not a threat to the recovery, the client may begin to end methadone maintenance treatment under the supervision and guidance of his or her medical provider. This must be a slow process, however, as quitting too early may risk the patient becoming addicted, again. So, while working with the physician and the medical team, follow a schedule that slowly takes you to the end of the methadone treatment, without giving up or wrapping up early.  
  6. Recruit a circle of support: Finally, the client should have a circle of family, friends, and colleagues who will hold them accountable for positive changes and goals. Recovery does not happen alone. Loved ones who know and understand the patient’s experience should be willing to advise and encourage the patient. They become the ‘team’ that the client can depend on, in both the bright and dark days of life following treatment. 

Methadone treatment can be successful, with the client never experiencing cravings again. Millions of clients have recovered from opioid addiction and returned to a normal life. The treatment doesn’t end at the facility. With proper follow up, when it is completed, the patient has a better chance of never returning to addiction. 

If you or someone you know needs substance methadone treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate methadone maintenance treatment team that includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.  

*** The 12-month study results are found at this link.

Substance Abuse Treatment: The Key Principles

Substance abuse is serious, and most people understand that. However, before treating substance abuse, a few principles must be understood as the client’s family and loved ones move forward. 

But, even before we discuss that, we must first define “substance abuse treatment.” According to www.drugabuse.gov

Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

The key term in that definition is “stop compulsive drug seeking and use.” Any credible substance abuse treatment must have as its goal the end of substance abuse, not merely the cessation. 

There are a number of substance abuse treatment options. Treatment also varies depending on the person’s characteristics and needs. Based on these variables, the substance abuser benefits immensely from having an advocate to help them choose the best treatment plan and center for the patient. 

So, as the substance abuser’s advocates begin the search for the best treatment center program, here are several principles to consider: 

  1. There is no “one treatment” that does it all: Substance abuse treatments can take many different forms, medications, and environments. Each treatment center has its own staff and methods of working with patients. Though one treatment may work for one patient, it may fail with another. Any licensed substance abuse treatment center will have statistics on its success or failure. One important point to consider is relapsing. Most short-term treatments fail as the patient returns to substance abuse. Thus, the consideration of long-term treatments, which are proven to be more effective, would be a wise choice. Again, the goal is the complete ending of substance abuse for the patient and long-term treatments have proven to accomplish that goal.  
  2. Substance abusers cannot quit on their own: Most addicts believe they can quit and do it without anyone’s help. They believe they know themselves better than anyone else and are motivated more than anyone to quit. This is false. Substance abusers cannot quit on their own. They are, in fact, powerless to do so. As drug addiction research has shown, substances change the way the brain functions. Using the substance becomes a compulsory behavior that requires them to use it to fulfill the need. The substance controls them, not the other way around. Substance abusers need treatment, or else they will fail every time. Once the addict and their family accept this fact, they can then proceed with substance abuse treatment. 
  3. The effectiveness of substance abuse treatment: Once the substance abuse treatment has begun, the medical personnel and case manager will direct the patient to become a positive, productive, and functional member of society. Their family, career, and community also become their focus, not just themselves. It means a complete turn-around from narcissistic drug use to serving others. Therapeutic treatment centers, such as ours, offer comprehensive and compassionate treatment. Make sure that the treatment offered to the patient is the same. It should treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction. 
  4. Use of drugs to treat drug addiction: It may seem bizarrely hypocritical to treat addiction with another drug, but studies have shown that they work. Methadone is a proven, credible, and effective treatment for opioid and narcotic abuse. So, when researching treatment, consider these medications. Methadone has been used since the 1940s and has been shown to end the use of opioids and other narcotics. 
  5. Keeping the patient in treatment: The substance abuse treatment may be working, however, the patient may not be so co-operative. They may even try to flee or check out of the treatment altogether. Counselors on staff have to be a strong force to keep the patient on-task. Make sure that the treatment center has experienced, no-nonsense, substance abuse counselors on staff. The counselor needs to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Included in the case management team should be medical, psychiatric, social services, and other authoritative individuals to keep the patient-focused on the treatment plan. 
  6. Follow-up programs when the patient finishes the treatment: Once the patient has completed the program, follow-up is crucial. They did not get off the drug alone, and they will not stay off it alone. They need to join a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, or the program that the treatment center recommends. A sponsor will take the patient under their wing and work with them and make them accountable. 

Thousands of substance abusers successfully complete treatment every year. You, your family member, colleague, or friend can do it, too. 

If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate Behavioral Health team which includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment. 

 

 

Opioid Addiction: Why Do Users Have Cravings?

Addictions to anything-drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling-are quite serious. Every addiction has its own craving. 

When it comes to opioid users, their cravings are massive and control their lives. In order to understand what opioid users go through, we must first define a “craving.” 

According to Frontiers in Psychiatry, a craving:

“ is an overwhelmingly strong desire or need to use a drug, is a central component of OUD and other substance use disorders.” 

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is sweeping the country. Whether the opioid is used for treatment or as an illicit drug, the craving for it is overpowering. The opioid user has a focused compulsion to use the drug as the euphoria and emotional response that it gives is motivational to continue the opioid addiction. This craving is long-lasting and cannot be filled unless the opioid is used. (Craving is included in the definition of opioid dependence in the International Classification of Diseases, Eleventh Revision.)  

Addiction is, however, a chronic relapse based on the brain. There are many theories as to why someone would risk their health, reputation, occupation, and family to use opioids. One theory, known as “Opponent Theory,” proposes that the opioid user’s euphoria masks the pleasant or unpleasant sensations. Thus, they have the moment of enjoyment then come down, only to feel bad later. A short time later, the craving hits again, and the opioid addict returns to the drug.        

Does this really explain the intense cravings experienced by opioid users? Do cravings ever go away?

Even in recovery, cravings may not disappear completely. But to say they “never go away” is both inaccurate and discouraging. An opioid user need not believe cravings will dominate their life forever. 

Coping techniques, medications, and other forms of ongoing treatment can be of great help to the person in recovery. Recovery may follow them through life, but they also should know that cravings may fade with time. 

What is needed to help break the addiction is the commitment of the opioid user in recovery to remain in treatment and learn coping mechanisms. As recovery moves into six months and beyond, cravings are less powerful. Opioid users even begin to master the craving control techniques they have learned in recovery. 

Sobriety is the goal, and that comes with complete abstinence to the drug. Typically, this comes after six weeks in rehabilitation. There is no clear “rehabilitated” moment for every user. It is different for everyone. 

It’s realistic, even after years of being sober, that former opioid users will have cravings from time to time. They may even be tempted to visit the places where they purchased the drug and used it. This is very normal and is reported by many former opioid users long after recovery and rehab. 

However, these cravings are less of a desire to do the drug again and more of an annoyance. The psychological triggers to use opioids have passed, and now they can use the coping mechanisms they learned in treatment. 

The bottom line is this: Opioid cravings are not something that “enslave” a person all their lives. Treatment, medications, behavioral therapy, and a healthy support system of family and friends can help a person overcome and even end opioid use for a lifetime.  

If you have cravings for opioids, consult an expert. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate Behavioral Health team which includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment. 

For more information on opioid cravings, see this link.  

What is Behavioral Therapy?

Treatments for people addicted to drugs vary in scope and focus. 

One type of treatment that has several types of therapies is known as “Behavioral Therapy”***. Addicts need incentives to reduce and end their dependence on the drug(s). Behavioral therapies accomplish this on several levels: 

  1. It helps the addict develop life skills that help them handle stressors that once caused them to resort to the addiction. 
  2. Cravings are blunted by redirecting environmental cues that make them desire the drug. 
  3. Drug abstinence is incentivized through newly learned behaviors.  

Behavioral therapy intimately involves the patient in changing their behavior and moving forward, addiction-free and permanently changed. There are several types of behavioral therapy that are used for addicts and, specifically, opioid users:

  1. Contingency Management (CM) is a popular behavioral therapy. It reinforces positive behaviors. Abstinence is the focus. This is used in methadone programs and has been shown to promote abstinence and increase treatment retention. 
  2. Voucher-Based Reinforcement (VBR) is for opioid abusers, mainly heroin, and cocaine users. The patient gets a “voucher” when their urine is tested and it’s drug-free. That voucher can then be used to purchase food, tickets, or other valuable items the patient can use. The vouchers start at a low value and increase in value as the patient successfully passes each urine test. If the patient has a positive urine test, the voucher values are reversed. Vouchers are an effective method of incentivizing opioid and cocaine users to stay clean. 
  3. Prize Incentives (PI) is similar to the vouchers but actually uses cash prizes as an incentive to stay abstinent. During a three-month period, the patient participates in breath tests or urine tests. If they are clean, their name is entered into a bowl for prizes worth $1-$100. Additionally, the patient may also get extra draws for attending counseling sessions or accomplishing goal-related activities.  (This method has been criticized for promoting gambling though studies have shown that it does the opposite.) 
  4. 12-Step Facilitation Therapy: Once again, abstinence is focused on utilizing 12-step self-help groups. From the patient’s daily or weekly attendance, they agree that their addiction is overwhelming and that they have absolutely no control over it. They cannot overcome their craving and dependence on it by themselves. So, they must surrender to a “Higher Power”. The patient then seeks the fellowship of other recovering addicts. The patient’s commitment to regular attendance and participation in the meetings has been shown to keep them abstinent and sustain recovery. 
  5. Family Behavior Therapy (FBT): Bringing a spouse, parent or significant other into the treatment has been shown also to be quite effective in leading the patient into positive behavior reinforcement. Opioid abuse is addressed along with other issues such as depression, unemployment, and abuse. Family Behavioral Therapy combines behavioral contracting with contingency management. The patient and family members apply the strategies and skills to improve their home life. Patients use new behaviors to stop opioid abuse. CMS (Contingency Management System) is used as an incentive when the behaviors are demonstrated. At the session, behavioral goals are reviewed. Rewards are given as goals are met. Patients can choose interventions from a menu. 

This is not a complete list of behavioral therapies. There are other therapies that we will focus on in a future blog. If you or a family member have an opioid addiction, please contact a drug treatment center immediately. 

Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate Behavioral Health team which includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment. 

***Click here for more information on behavioral therapy.

 

   

Outpatient Drug Rehab vs. Inpatient Treatment

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs were developed to meet the immediate needs of the substance abuser. Lodging Homes and Homes for the Fallen, known as “inebriate homes,” were opened in Boston in the 1850s to treat alcoholics. 

In the 1920s, “Morphine Maintenance Clinics” were opened to treat people with morphine addiction. Halfway Houses began in the 1950s for drug and alcohol addicted persons – designed to be safe, recovery-focused homes. 

From these homes and many other treatment advances came the modern outpatient drug rehabilitation and inpatient drug rehabilitation programs. These rehabilitation programs have helped millions of addicts recover from their drug addiction to lead normal, sober lives. 

Outpatient drug rehab and inpatient drug rehab have both similarities and significant differences. Let’s look at how each one works for the patient.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

This type of rehab is a part-time program that does not require the recovering user to stay in a clinic full-time. Outpatient rehab allows the patient to go home or to school during the day. 

The patient typically attends rehab programming 10-12 hours a week over 3-6 months, up to 12 months when needed. Sessions focus on drug abuse education, individual and group counseling, and learning how to cope with the challenges of life without taking the drug(s). 

Outpatient drug rehab allows patients to remain in their home environment while benefiting from a structured therapeutic program. Clinicians assess their progress every week. 

Outpatient drug rehab programs do not isolate them from people and situations which could negatively impact their recovery. Because patients still live in their own homes during treatment, they have to be genuinely motivated to refrain from drug abuse. 

Support systems in their network, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provide group counseling and encouragement off-site. Thus, no patient will be recovering alone. Sponsors and peers are ready and willing to stand with them through every step of their recovery.   

Many individuals in a long-term program may utilize outpatient drug rehab. Outpatient drug rehab can be effective for patients with mild or strong drug addictions.

Finally, outpatient care relies significantly on the involvement of the patient’s family. Unwavering family support and encouragement are crucial to the patient’s success in recovering from drug addiction. 

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Individuals in a recovery program may also benefit from inpatient drug rehab. It is different in structure from outpatient drug rehab, but its goals are the same.

Inpatient drug rehabs are held in hospitals or residential substance abuse facilities. Both options require patients to live there 24-hours a day – completely removing the patients from their regular lives and peers. Thus, there is less temptation and opportunity to use drugs. In inpatient drug rehab, the patient’s entire focus is on detoxing from all addictive substances, getting sober, and learning how to stay sober.

Treatments times vary from 30, 60, or 90 days up to a year (or longer, depending on the progress made). Clinicians keep patients on strict schedules for medications, meetings, treatments, counseling, and other addiction care.

Inpatient drug rehab teaches patients to focus all their time and effort on taking personal responsibility for their lives while addressing the negative behavior which led to addiction. They also learn to develop positive habits that will help them stay sober. Their relationships, career, and community are tied to their recovery. Patients also receive recommendations for relapse prevention and sobriety support groups to join when treatment ends.   

Outpatient vs. Inpatient

Both types of drug rehab options are beneficial, depending on the patient’s needs. A healthcare team will make a recommendation for each patient. If you or a loved one has a drug addiction, please consult a physician immediately. 

Concerted Care of Central Baltimore and Brooklyn, MD, has an intensive outpatient drug rehab treatment program that allows clients to get the steady ongoing support they need for difficult periods in their recovery. It includes both individual and group sessions with qualified professionals who help guide individuals through challenging periods in their recovery. IOP is not intended to be a long term solution, but a bridge to stable maintenance.

Call Concerted Care at (833) 224-5483 for a consultation. We serve the Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn. MD areas.

Opioid Addiction Treatment: Methadone vs. Buprenorphine

Opioid addiction is increasing as millions of American citizens are using it to alleviate pain. According to US drug overdose statistics

The death rate from drug overdoses more than tripled between 1999 and 2017, and that death rate from opioid overdoses increased almost six-fold during the same period. More people in the United States died from overdoses involving opioids in 2017 than from HIV- or AIDS-related illnesses at the peak of the AIDS epidemic.

As a result, new treatments for treating opioid addiction have been developed to help opioid addicts. Two of the most common drugs used are Methadone and Buprenorphine. There are two separate camps that believe that one is better than the other. We will examine both.

Methadone Treatment 

One of the main goals in treating opioid addiction is reducing the craving for it. Methadone is a proven and effective synthetic opioid that reduces the craving. It has a long history of effectiveness as it was developed by German physicians during World War II and later used by US physicians to treat extreme pain. (Addiction was accurately portrayed by Frank Sinatra in the film, “The Man with the Golden Arm”. It is heralded as educating the public on the dangers of heroin.) 

Methadone can be distributed as a liquid, powder, or tablet. It requires a prescription and must be monitored closely by a doctor. Methadone changes the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. For pain, physicians typically prescribe methadone following surgery or in treatment from an injury or a chronic illness. 

Additionally, methadone treatment is helpful in eliminating addiction to other opioids. Known as “replacement therapy”, this treatment replaces the opioids in your system with somewhat milder effects. Relief comes slowly as it blocks the high that comes from drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, heroin, and codeine.  

Methadone treatment is most effective when supplemented with individual or group counseling. Opioid addicts are referred to drug counselors, social services, or medical personnel trained in opioid addiction counseling. Many companies offer these services under their medical benefits packages.   

Buprenorphine Treatment

Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that is also used to treat opioid addiction. It is dispensed in a physician’s office. It can also be taken at home as a prescription. 

Buprenorphine is known as “partial opioid antagonist,” meaning it may decrease physical dependence on opioids. Buprenorphine’s potential for misuse is lower than that of full opioids, and it also can reduce the craving for them. 

Buprenorphine is still an opioid, however, so its side effects can be problematic. It is known to cause euphoria and respiratory depression in some patients. In low doses, buprenorphine can produce a basic agonist effect to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can, however, reach a “ceiling effect” when increasing doses of the drug begin to reach a plateau. At this point, buprenorphine may no longer be effective for the individual. 

 Conclusion

Both methadone and buprenorphine have been proven to be effective treatment options for opioid addiction. Methadone, however, may be the most effective for long-term treatment. 

If you or a loved one are battling opioid addiction, consult a physician immediately. They can recommend licensed drug addiction treatment centers suited to your needs. Opioid addiction cannot be treated alone. A team of medical personnel and addiction specialists are needed to help the addicted individual overcome this painful situation.

Concerted Care of Central Baltimore and Brooklyn, MD, Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) utilizes methadone as one element in a comprehensive treatment program in which methadone replaces opiate drugs, including heroin and oxycodone. Call (833) 224-5483 or email info@concertedcaregroup.com for an immediate consultation.