Prince

Prince’s Tragic Death Underscores the National Opioid Epidemic

Like | May 4, 2016 | Blog |

The surprising and sudden death of musical superstar Prince bears to light the increasing problems and challenges our society faces with the onslaught of opioid-based pain medications. Prince, long considered a genius for his ground-breaking musical creativity that crossed so many boundaries, was found unconscious in his Paisley Park compound recently. Although many close to the icon suspect that sleep deprivation played a role in his death, the legendary performer, who was just 57, was found with a prescription opioid medication, leading to initial conclusions that these powerful pain killers also contributed to his untimely death. Prince had been treated a few days prior to his death for a potential overdose of pain medication, which had forced his plane to make an emergency landing, where he was then taken to a nearby hospital and released a few hours later

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For The Parent's

Source: Drugfree.org

When looking for addiction treatment, become an informed and educated consumer
It is a well-known fact that over the course of the last several years our country has found itself in the grips of the worst addiction epidemic in American history. Numerous factors such as pharmaceutical companies’ marketing tactics and doctors’ overprescribing of opioids (prescription pain medication), all taking place within our current instant-gratification society, have brought the country to the breaking point now faced by every community nationwide.

Parents and families find themselves in fear and crisis, often uneducated and not knowing where to turn to find the help vitally needed for their children and young adults.

Unfortunately, the opioid crisis has become the breeding ground for numerous unethical people to prey upon the fears of families. Addiction treatment has become big business and a family in crisis or an individual suffering from addiction are now commodities.

Marketing companies’ call centers and even many treatment centers have engaged in immoral and sometimes even illegal behaviors in order to lure potential patients through their doors, offer sub-standard care for the purpose of making money off their insurance. Addiction treatment is often the Wild West in terms of the healthcare services industry – often unregulated and with many states having poor oversight due to understaffed government organizations.

While years ago addiction treatment was a small industry run by a dedicated few – often people in recovery themselves or clinicians with a heart to help those suffering from addiction – over the last decade the industry has caught the eye of Wall Street. Large organizations and venture capitalist companies have entered the picture, putting bottom-line profits ahead of patient care.

The corrupt and often illegal behaviors within the addiction treatment industry can take many forms.

One well-known corrupt behavior is patient brokering, where treatment centers pay brokers a fee in order to gain patients. Each patient has a price tag and brokers are paid for sending kids to specific treatment centers. The brokers, typically people with no training or clinical expertise, sell patients to treatment centers regardless of how clinically appropriate that rehab may be to meet the needs of the patient.

Illegal enticements by patient brokers or even directly from treatment centers are another example, sometimes offering free plane tickets to fly patients to treatment or offering free rent at recovery or sober homes if a person is enrolled in a specific outpatient program.

Many treatment centers utilize online marketing tactics including posturing online as inpatient or residential treatment while they are actually an outpatient treatment facility with sober living which is a much less intense and restrictive level of care.

Online marketing tactics also include treatment centers setting up generic looking websites and call centers and “Help Lines,” posturing as objective but with the purpose of steering families and patients toward a specific facility that owns them or selling those patient leads to the highest bidding treatment center.

There has also been a recent trend of treatment centers hacking into the online listings of other facilities and changing the contact information, so when a family or individual attempts to call a specific rehab for help they instead reach someone else who redirects them to their facility.

I see this every day.

All of these predatory practices within the addiction treatment industry are something that I see and hear about on a daily basis. Not a day goes by that I or someone on our admissions team doesn’t receive a call from a parent or family member regarding a horror story they’ve experienced with their loved one dealing with an addiction treatment center or industry-related individual. This is both heartbreaking and infuriating.

Parents complain that the experience they were expecting for their child was nothing like what actually occurred. They report that there was little to no interaction with the treatment center when their loved one was there and they received no explanation for how or why certain situations were handled. They complain about receiving enormous bills after the treatment episode, for toxicology tests, treatment services and other ancillary services. And they have every right to complain and be outraged.

The truth is that within the addiction treatment field there are many good quality treatment providers that go above and beyond for those in need and their families and continually put patient care first.

If your child was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness like cancer or heart disease, you wouldn’t jump at the first option, would you? You wouldn’t send them across the country to a place you’ve never seen simply because they had a sleek website and sounded nice on the phone, would you? No. You would make sure the facility was vetted thoroughly. You would ask other professionals for their recommendations of that hospital. You might ask family and friends if they had any experience with that specialist or facility. You would go with your child to meet the hospital and staff and make sure everything meets your standards.

Unfortunately, this isn’t so with addiction.

Because the crisis occurs and the stigma exists, the natural inclination of parents and loved ones is to not talk about it with their friends and rather to simply find the first place that seems nice and that will immediately get their child in the door so that mom and dad can finally sleep at night, knowing their child is safe. This is understandable, but it has created an environment where the unethical, unscrupulous and dishonest prey upon the scared and helpless.

So What Can Parents Do?

The best way that parents and families can protect themselves and make sure they are sending their loved one to an ethical, quality treatment providers that best fits their child’s needs is to become an informed and educated consumer. This can guard you against being taken advantage of during these anxious times.

1. Be wary of information you find via an online search. All you will find is an overload of information on treatment centers, all with great websites claiming to do everything for everybody. Instead, ask questions. Reach out to local professionals, therapists or other addiction specialists in your area. They will be able to give you a better understanding of the issues your child is suffering from and thus what types of clinical services will best meet their needs. Is this simply addiction – or are there other mental health issues at play? Is there trauma? Grief and loss? Are they dealing with gender issues? Behavioral issues? Every case is different, which it is why it is imperative to understand what the issues are in order to find the best clinical fit for your child.

2. Vet the treatment center you’re considering. Use your consumer education skills that you would use in any serious health care decision. Trust your judgment and your feelings about the answers you get from the people you talk to. Here are some things to consider:

Are they transparent?
Is their staff listed on the website, with their experience and qualifications?
Are they easily accessible to answer your questions? Make sure to listen to what they are saying. Are they just telling you what they want to hear? Treatment for addiction is uncomfortable, for both the child and family. If a treatment center is explaining themselves and their programs to you, listen to see if they explain why they do what they do and what is the rationale behind their practices.
Ask about their clinical philosophy. Every treatment center should be able to explain this, the philosophy behind their decision-making and ultimately their patient care.
Ask about their programs and what they entail. If they say they offer detox, make sure that means an actual detox with 24-hour medical care. If they say they are residential, what does that look like?
Ask about licensing and accreditation (although be careful if they sell themselves too much on their accreditation, as many centers hire consultants that basically walk them through the accreditation process.)
Ask if the program uses a published assessment tool. Assessment is the cornerstone of the decision-making process from which all else should flow. As you look for a program, check to see if they use an assessment tool that has been tested and found to be reliable and valid versus an assessment that the program designed by itself.
Because mental health issues often go hand-in-hand with drug and alcohol abuse, it is important that your son or daughter will be be assessed for co-occurring mental health problems.
Ask them pricing upfront. If they accept insurance, they should be easily able to give you a full amount of what treatment will cost.
Ask about their urinalysis billing. If they are residential, there should be little need for your loved one to be drug tested more than a few times. If it is an outpatient program, there is a need for drug testing but no more than twice a week at most unless there is suspicion of drug use.
Listen if the treatment center is trying to sell you on their facility because of the amazing amenities. Single rooms, big-screen TVs and pools are nice, but are not treatment for addiction. Rather, they should be explaining their clinical services.
Ask if the staff is full time.
Ask for references.

The Right Treatment

                                                       

                                           What is Drug Rehabilitation?
Drug rehabilitation (often drug rehab) is a term for the processes of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cocaine, meth, heroin or amphetamines.
The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and cease substance abuse in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse and addiction to such substances.

                              What is a Residential Rehabilitation Facility?
A facility or distinct part of a facility that provides a 24 hr therapeutically planned living and rehabilitative intervention environment for the treatment of individuals with disorders in the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and other substances.

                                       Residential Rehab for Children
A facility or distinct part of a facility that provides a 24 hr therapeutically planned living and rehabilitative intervention environment for the treatment of children with disorders in the use of drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Medical and supportive counseling services and education services are included.

Body Brokering 101


“Body Brokering” Casts Shadow Over Substance Abuse Treatment Industry

1 | September 7, 2016 | Blog |

Patient brokering, also known as “body brokering”, is the practice of off-trading a client referral for money, and it’s becoming more common in today’s drug rehab and substance abuse treatment industry, and threatens to undermine the overall success rate for treating patients. Cases of patient brokering, insurance fraud and other unethical practices have led the FBI to investigate several drug rehab facilities and prompted drastic actions by health insurers, yet recent reports suggest such illicit activities are still taking place. Typically, “body brokering” works like this: a patient/body broker contacts a treatment center with a specific person who is in need of treatment. In return for this referral he/she expects a payment. This transaction could potentially come from another treatment center, a counselor or coach, a freelance treatment placement specialist, an interventionist, call centers who ask for a marketing agreement and most clearly, the street level marketer.

449 Recovery Goes on the Offensive

Recently, in an effort to outline and address the growing concern over “body brokering”, Andrew Maloof, Business Development Representative at 449 Recovery, was a featured speaker at an area round table and discussion in San Juan Capistrano. In general, the cost of patient acquisition involving the practice of paid referrals, or “body brokering” is between $10,000 to $15,000 per patient. In addition, many of those who are ‘sold’ to a clinic don’t receive the appropriate care that addresses their specific addiction situation. “To some, this practice may seem harmless,” explains Andrew, “but it’s clearly not. First of all, a good treatment center should not need to pay someone to send them clients. Their clinical work should speak for itself. Secondly, many clients you pay for may end up being inappropriate for your program.” Maloof and the staff at 449 Recovery have adopted an aggressive “hands-off” policy concerning the practice of paid referrals, and are actively seeking to influence other addiction treatments centers to do the same. Says Maloof, “The sale or purchase of a client/patient referral in our industry is nothing less than poaching. Not only is it unethical, it’s illegal, and it is a disservice to our patient/clients. We need to create a spirit of cooperation among all addiction treatment centers and do a better job of self-regulation so our industry can see improvements in our patient treatment success rates.”

C

Stricter Regulations and Tighter Enforcement May Be on the Way

To combat the rising tide in patient brokering, there are hints that additional regulations and enforcement may be coming. According to Bryn Wesch, Chief Financial Officer for Novus Medical Detox Center, regulation concerning substance abuse treatment centers is long overdue. “So many other businesses are regulated, yet these addiction centers and halfway houses escape regulation because they are classified as ‘residences.’ We’ve seen the consequences of unregulated recovery residences and the harm they can cause,” said Wesch. “That’s why we’d like to see regulations expanded throughout the addiction treatment industry, so that people with substance use disorders can be assured of safe, outcome-focused care from legitimate providers of detox, drug rehab and intensive outpatient treatment programs.”

Opiate War

Posted on July 3, 2017 by

More Americans than ever are turning to the use of drugs and alcohol. Statistics from 2013 revealed that 24.6 million citizens 12 or older had used an illicit drug in the previous month. These growing numbers are more than a little worrisome, and Maryland’s drug and alcohol related deaths are being affected just as much as the rest of the country. The addiction to alcohol and other substances, it seems, has become an epidemic.

Many people don’t realize just how costly America’s drug and alcohol problem has become. For prescription drug abuse alone, it’s estimated that the United States loses up to $72 billion per year. Lost productivity, criminal justice costs, treatment, and medical expenses pile up with every case of abuse. Combined with illicit drugs and alcohol, substance abuse is taking quite a toll on our economy.

However damaging the problem is financially, it is much more devastating to the minds and bodies of those who use. A ripple effect also brings emotional harm to their family, friends, and coworkers. Each substance poses different risks, but none of them are menial.

There’s a long list of drugs designed purely to get people high. Cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, PCP, marijuana, and heroin are only a few of the most popular varieties circling our streets. The consequences for using these substances are generally much worse than alcohol or prescription medications, without even accounting for the fact that they’re illegal. The specific physical reactions depend on the drug of choice and can vary from hallucinations, anxiety, and paranoia to heart malfunction and respiratory issues. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Long-term exposure can completely change a person. Facial features and skin conditions can alter and degrade, and changes to one’s mental state (such as irritability and trouble concentrating) remain for months or years. Many people who are addicted to such substances must begin committing crimes to keep up with their cravings and spiral into dangerous dealings for a secure supply.

Alcohol’s popularity is built on its legality and easy accessibility. In fact, there are more than 40,000 different liquor stores across the nation, selling $45 billion worth of spirits annually. People like to “unwind” with drinks, consuming alcohol everywhere from restaurants to college parties to their living room couches. Along with this temporary feeling of relaxation, however, comes a deluge of negative effects.

There are numerous short-term consequences of alcohol. For example, there are minor symptoms that most people are familiar with and will experience, such as slurred speech and drowsiness. More intense manifestations include breathing difficulties, unconsciousness, anemia, blackouts, and even coma. The most severe of the temporary results, however, pale in comparison to the long-term dangers of continued use.

Liver disease, nerve damage, ulcers, gastritis, heart disease, brain damage, and cancer are examples of why engagement with alcohol is so dangerous. Of course, these conditions are in addition to the unintentional injuries that come with a clouded state of mind. Almost 10,000 people are killed each year in accidents involving the influence of drinks, and thousands more are wounded or crippled.

Despite their noble intent, opioids and other painkillers are taken for the wrong reason all across America. They’re a bit harder to come by, but the implementation of “pain clinics” has helped streamline the process of acquiring them. Prescription drugs pose some universal risks – especially the high chance of addiction.

When abusing these medications, the particular effects vary between drugs. There are some general symptoms, however, that painkillers share in common. Mood swings, poor judgement, altered mental status, increased need of sleep, changes in energy, nausea, and headaches can all signal recent misuse of the drugs.

Over long periods of time, users can experience a barrage of other changes within their bodies and lives. Problems tend to arise in their finances, careers, and academics. They’re also more likely to engage in illegal activities to secure more drugs and please their cravings. Withdrawal can happen quickly and powerfully and cause tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, hallucinations, and more, in addition to the regular altered mental states that the influence presents.

There’s a long list of drugs designed purely to get people high. Cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, PCP, marijuana, and heroin are only a few of the most popular varieties circling our streets. The consequences for using these substances are generally much worse than alcohol or prescription medications, without even accounting for the fact that they’re illegal. The specific physical reactions depend on the drug of choice and can vary from hallucinations, anxiety, and paranoia to heart malfunction and respiratory issues. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Long-term exposure can completely change a person. Facial features and skin conditions can alter and degrade, and changes to one’s mental state (such as irritability and trouble concentrating) remain for months or years. Many people who are addicted to such substances must begin committing crimes to keep up with their cravings and spiral into dangerous dealings for a secure supply.

Opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

In 2015, the five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia (41.5 per 100,000), New Hampshire (34.3 per 100,000), Kentucky (29.9 per 100,000), Ohio (29.9 per 100,000), and Rhode Island (28.2 per 100,000).

Significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2014 to 2015 were primarily seen in the Northeast and South Census Regions. States with statistically significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2014 to 2015 included Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia.

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What is Drug Rehabilitation?

What is Drug Rehabilitation?
Drug rehabilitation (often drug rehab) is a term for the processes of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cocaine, meth, heroin or amphetamines.
The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and cease substance abuse in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse and addiction to such substances.


A facility or distinct part of a facility that provides a 24 hr therapeutically planned living and rehabilitative intervention environment for the treatment of individuals with disorders in the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and other substances.

Ocean View RAW

Ocean View RAW  residential treatment program is an intimate 6 bed residential detox facility in Dana Point where clients feel safe and carefully attended to throughout their primary level of treatment. Clients in primary treatment are typically stepping down from detox or have realized they need more support than an outpatient setting can provide.

At our residential treatment center for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, clients participate in a rigorous program of group and individual therapy as well as weekly individual case management sessions. Our group and individual services are based on evidence based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Enhancement Therapy as well as a strong focus on Mindfulness training for emotion regulation. We complement our clinical program with holistic healing services such as acupuncture and massage. Our coastal atmosphere is also perfect for  therapy.  All of our clinicians are master’s level with years of experience treating substance use, trauma and psychiatric disorders. In addition to evidence-based therapy groups and sessions, clients participate in daily recovery meetings in the community.

  • Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

  • Trauma

  • Dual Diagnosis

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Co-occurring Disorders

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Personality Disorders

  • Eating Disorders

  • Codependency

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

  • Family Systems Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

  • Experiential Therapy

  • Attachment

Life Skills Services

Ocean View RAW offers educational training, vocational counseling, and transitional planning.

Oceanview staff understands how years of addiction and dealing with symptoms of mental illness curtails an individual’s ability to focus on the basic demands of “growing up”. We know how daunting it can be for our clients to face the challenges of showing up to schools or employment for the very first time and in some cases working in a highly competitive corporate environment. With years of experience, we recognize this insidious cycle of symptoms preventing action, and then inaction promoting addiction, and we are committed to intervening on this cycle with our exemplary life skills team. At Oceanview we utilize a parallel approach. While our team is working to explore and resolve underlying issues, we are also helping clients to confront the present day developmental task which must be faced in order to ensure lasting recovery.

The Importance of Holistic Treatment

At Ocean View RAW  we have seen the impact that treating the whole person can have on his or her long term success. We offer the following services which help patients develop the habits that aid them in maintaining balance when the stress of life begins to creep back in once treatment has ended.

  • Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Nutritional Counseling

Treatment at Oceanview

Individual Therapy

Upon entry into our program, clients are assigned a therapist who spearheads treatment planning and acts as the primary liaison with family members or loved ones. All our licensed clinicians are also trained as Case Managers who insure that all collateral (legal, employment, referring medical professional, sober living homes, etc.) are always aware of a client’s progress or any obstacles along the way. Client’s meet with their individual therapist once a week or more if indicated. Oceanview therapists create a safe and nurturing environment for clients to explore their underlying issues, and let down their defenses and find healthy coping skills.

              Case Management

Our staff has a firm belief in communication and this is where Case Management is crucial during treatment. A patient’s case is reviewed during our weekly Clinical Team meeting. Patients are assigned a Primary Therapist who communicates with the appropriate members of the client’s “support team”. It is also the Primary Therapist’s duty to report all progress or regress to the Clinical Director on a weekly basis. This starts once a patient has been admitted and continues all the through the discharge process.

Group Therapy Sessions

Addicts coming into recovery are often plagued with shame and a profound feeling of isolation. The staff at Ocean View is continually amazed at the curative effect of group therapy and the power of peer to peer healing from positive reflection and identification. Seasoned group leaders are present to guide the group as clients work through the their individual or inter-group issues. Group Therapy sessions may include:

  • Process Therapy

  • Nutrition and Wellness

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Relapse prevention

  • Trauma, grief and loss

  • Mood disorders

  • Codependency

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

  • Art Therapy

  • Life coaching

  • Relationship skills

  • Family of origin

  • Yoga and meditation

  • 12-step modality