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Trial evaluated effectiveness for common injuries

Four Groups of Patients The patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups. One group received a pill for their acute pain that contained a combination of ibu- profen and acetaminophen, the ingredients in Advil and Tylenol. The other groups were given a pill for their pain that contained a prescription opioid as well as acetaminophen, either oxyco- done and acetaminophen (Percocet), hydroco- done and acetaminophen (Vicodin), or codeine and acetaminophen (Tylenol No. 3). All the patients were asked to rate their pain immediately before taking the pain medication and again both one and two hours afterward (before they left the emergency department). The assessments were done using an 11-point scale (0 = no pain; 10 = worst possible pain). The study found that the intensity of pain was similar among all four groups before they took the medication, with a mean score of 8.7 on the scale. The pain then declined over time in all

As the over prescribing of opioid pain medications has become a major public health concern, health care providers have been paying more attention to over-the count- er-drugs that could be used instead, without the risk of addiction. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has confirmed that OTC meds ibuprofen and acet- aminophen are just as effective as prescription opioids at reducing acute pain caused by com- mon injuries.It is one of the few “real world” studies that has made the comparison. A team of researchers led by Andrew Chang, M.D. of Albany Medical College, studied 411 patients (aged 21 to 64) who had sought med- ical care at two urban emergency departments after having sprained, strained or broken an arm or leg. (About 20 percent of the patients had fractures.)

individuals can become addicted even after only taking opioid pain meds for a few days. One study found that one in five people given a 10-day supply of opioid painkillers became long-term users. More M.D. Education Needed Don Teater, M.D., medical adviser of the non-profit National Safety Council, says doctors need more education to understand the draw- backs of prescribing opioids. “Doctors get a lot of training in the physical aspects of health, but not the mental aspects,” says Teater, a family physician in North Carolina whose practice focuses on treatment of pain and the treatment of opioid use disorder. “We don’t get training in addiction. Often, a doctor will start a patient on opioid pain med- ication and continue it for awhile. Then if the doctor feels the patient is asking for too much medication, the doctor will cut them off, and abandon them. There needs to be a greater understanding of the emotional component to pain. We also need to have a better under- standing of the disease of addiction.” According to a white paper from the Council, there is little evidence that opioids are helpful when used for chronic pain.

four groups – and by similar levels: 4.3 points in the ibuprofen/acetaminophen group, 4.4 points in the oxycodone/acetaminophen group, 3.5 in the hydrocodone/acetaminophen group and 3.9 in the codeine/acetaminophen group. The researchers said the major limitation of the study is that it had the patients assess their pain only while they were in the emergency department. The study did not evaluate how the ibuprofen/acetaminophen combination would work in comparison to opioids once the patients went home. Also, the participants had a specific type of acute pain – from sprained or broken arms and legs. “Preventing new patients from becoming addicted to opioids may have a greater effect on the opioid epidemic than providing sus- tained treatment to patients already addicted to opioids, in whom it may take many years to achieve recovery,” Demetrio Kyriacou, M.D., a senior editor at JAMA and a professor of emer- gency medicine at Northwestern University, wrote in an accompanying editorial. Yet, as Kyriacou also acknowledges, “stemming the opioid addiction crisis will … require reex- amination of the long-standing assumptions that opioids are superior to

non-opioids in most clinical situations requiring man- agement of moderate to severe pain.” Studies have shown that nearly one-third of adult patients seeking care at U.S. hospital emergency departments are given prescriptions for opioid painkillers, even if their visit was not pain-relat- ed. That is a dangerous practice, since some

“In fact, some evidence shows they may be detri- mental and increase risk of addiction and premature death,” the paper says.

There is little evidence that opioids are helpful when used for chronic pain.

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BEST

P actices SAMHSA PUBLISHES BEST PRACTIES ON MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT FOR OPIOID USED DISORDER

Treatment Improvement Protocol 63, “Medications for Opioid Use Disorder,”

reviews the use of methadone, naltrexone, and

buprenorphine, the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders.

Data indicate that OUD-treating medications are both cost effective and cost beneficial

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has published new guidance to help health care professionals better understand medications that can be used to treat Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD). Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63, “Medications for Opioid Use Disorder,” reviews the use of methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorders. TIP 63 provides guidance for health care professionals and addiction treatment providers on how to appropriately prescribe these medications and effectively support patients using these medications for OUD treatment. “We know that people can and do recover from opioid use disorders when they receive appropriate treatment, and medication-assisted treatment’s success in treating opioid use disorders is well documented,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “TIP 63 emphasizes that increasing access to medications to treat opioid use disorder will help more people recover, enabling them to improve their health, living full and productive lives.” TIP 63 is part of SAMHSA’s larger response to the opioid crisis. More access to treatment with OUD medications is critical  to closing the gap between treatment need and treatment availability and an important public health strategy. Data indicate that OUD-treating medications are both cost effective and cost beneficial.

THERE IS LIFE AFTER ADDICTION

1814 Cimberland Ave Middlesboro, KY, 40965 (606)242-2519

Dead people don’t get into recovery

D. Waters Is Suboxone a Reasonable Treatment Option for Opioid Addicts? After twenty years of providing substance abuse treatment I can tell you that the ultimate goal of anyone battling an addiction is total abstinence. Every addict and alcoholic eventually figures out they can not control their usage, and moderation is unrealistic. Learning to live life on life’s terms is part of the process of learning to live abstinent. Self-help programs like Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) and Narcotics Anonymous(NA) do a great job of helping people understand their addiction, themselves, and effective solutions for coping with their disease. Dead people don’t get into recovery Opioid addicts are not terribly different from any other addict or alcoholic, except the risk of death by accidental overdose is huge. People are dying in droves from opioid overdose. The current heroin epidemic is even more dangerous than the pain killer epidemic it replaced. Relapse rates are tremendous. Unfortunately, it may take years before an individual addict is ready to give the 12-Step AA/NA

I’ve truly never seen anything work better, and when it works it’s a beautiful thing.

process the thorough try it requires to be effective. Therefore, Suboxone is a terrific option for chronic relapsers. You can’t generally get high from it, unless you haven’t used in awhile, or never used in the first place. You can’t overdose on it from use or abuse, and any other opioid you take while it’s in your system will be nullified and wasted.

Not the solution, but maybe a good step forward Suboxone is not the solution, but in many cases it’s better than nothing, and a good response for chronic relapsers who are risking death from overdose. At least the addict is getting some exposure to treatment which is more likely to lead to recovery in the long run. Suboxone buys people time and keeps them alive. There are quite a few people who’s funerals I’ve attended that I wish had gotten on Suboxone. You can’t treat the dead.

The Subs knock down the monster cravings almost completely, and people don’t go through the nasty withdrawal that’s so painful. Once dysfunctional people who couldn’t hold a job, or were constantly on the obsessive hunt for the next fix suddenly become much more functional, and the addiction looks like it’s in remission. They can work consistently, they stop chasing the drugs, they have more money and can care for themselves and their families, and their addiction doesn’t seem to be ruling their lives. It seems like magic! Very few people actually wean off Suboxone successfully Suboxone users often wrongly think they’re cured because they look and feel more functional. Then they think all they have to do now is wean down, or taper off the medication, which is what the clinic doctors help them manage over a number of months to years. The problem is they’ve done nothing about the underlying addiction and all the addictive thinking and coping that go along with it that drive the addiction from within. They haven’t developed any social support, or learned anything about themselves and their disease. We like to say that using, or putting some chemical into the body, is only a symptom of the underlying disease. Abusing substances is not the actual disease—just a symptom. As soon as they stop using the Subs the addiction is still there and ready to start expressing itself all over again through the many painful ways it does. Chemically addicted people cope with life stressors with chemicals—that is, unless they make some fairly significant changes. Suboxone changes nothing in the end. Suboxone changes nothing A combination of Suboxone treatment coupled with AA/NA (with Sponsor and Step work) is a great thing. At Crossroads Counseling we require anyone with a substance abuse issue

to attend AA/NA, obtain a Sponsor, and work the 12-steps. If they don’t we won’t sign-off on their program. Most Suboxone clinics require their participants to attend at least one counseling meeting a month. Unfortunately, this is almost completely useless unless the individual engages in a personal program of recovery that addresses not only the biological issues, but the social, psychological, and spiritual issues related to the disease, as well.

GRACE RUNIONS 850 Riverview Avenue Pineville, KY 40977 606-242-2519

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Sign of the times Experts say the newly approved implant also provides a big boost to the concept of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in general. For years, the idea that someone could achieve recovery through the use of drugs like methadone and buprenorphine was rejected by many professionals in the field who saw complete abstinence as the only true sobriety. Many still hold that belief, but attitudes appear to be changing. Top government officials say they want to increase the amount of MAT taking place at the country’s treatment centers. Several states as well as the federal government have enacted laws making it easier for physicians to prescribe medications like buprenorphine, but they say too few patients receive the medication they need. National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement. “This product will expand the treatment alternatives available to people suffering from an opioid use disorder.” ] [ "Opioid abuse and addiction have taken a devastating toll on American families.” - Dr. Robert M. Califf, FDA Commissioner “Scientific evidence suggests that maintenance treatment with these medications in the context of behavioral treatment and recovery support are more effective in the treatment of opioid use disorder than short-term detoxification programs aimed at abstinence,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the

M

edication-assisted treatment is growing in popularity and acceptance among addiction recovery professionals. And now it’s taken a revolutionary step forward that could offer renewed hope to thousands of people struggling with an addiction to opioids. This summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new buprenorphine implant to treat opioid dependence. Buprenorphine had previously been available only as a pill or a dissolvable film placed under the tongue. But the new implant, known as Probuphine, can administer a six-month dose of the drug to keep those dependent on opioids from using by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. "Opioid abuse and addiction have taken a devastating toll on American families,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to make new, innovative treatment options available that can help patients regain control over their lives.” The implant comes in the form of four one-inch rods that are placed under the skin on the upper arm.The implant must be administered surgically and comes with the possibility of certain side effects, but experts say it could be more convenient and more effective for patients.They say by eliminating the need to take pills, fill prescriptions and generally manage their medication, it makes it easier for people to focus on the other areas of their recovery while making it less likely someone will lapse in their treatment plan.

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Although the implant is certainly a new alternative, it has yet to show any increased success in keeping people from relapsing compared to the pill or film tablet. In a study of the implant’s effectiveness, they found that 63 percent of people given the implant were free of illicit drugs at six months, compared to 64 percent of people who took buprenorphine by pill. Still, those rates are much higher than the success rates of people who follow abstinence-only treatment plans. And officials hope the new implant will lead more people to get MAT, increasing the number of successful recoveries across the country.

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YOUR RELATIONSHIP

from Recovery

Addiction

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850 Riverview Avenue • Pineville, KY 40977 | PH: (606)242-2519 (606) 242-2519 1814 Cumberland Ave, Middlesboro, KY 40965

While in REBUILDING

not just a bad habit It’s NOT JUSTA BAD HABIT

Recent research and dialogue in the political sphere have brought long-simmering questions about addiction to the forefront: Is addiction truly a disease? Do addicts deserve to be treated like people who have a

something is a disease. Heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer involve personal choices like diet, exercise, sun exposure, etc. A disease is what happens in the body as a result of those choices.” Experts say that applying the distinction of choice to addiction creates biases that justify inadequate treatment. It begs the question New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie asked during a 2015 town hall meeting in New Hampshire. When Christie’s mother was diagnosed

disease that’s outside their control? While most researchers agree with the so-called disease model of addiction, stereotypes and cultural bias continue to stigmatize those with addiction because they made an initial choice to consume substances. However, Columbia University researchers point out that “choice does not determine whether 34

with lung cancer at 71 as a result of addiction to tobacco, he noted that

no one suggested that she should not be treated because she was “getting what she deserved,” he said. “Yet somehow, if it’s heroin or cocaine or alcohol, we say, ‘Ahh, they decided that, they’re getting what they deserve,’” Christie remarked. HOW ADDICTION WORKS After satisfying basic human needs like food, water, sleep and safety, people feel pleasure. That pleasure is brought by chemical releases in the brain. This is according to Columbia researchers, who note that the disease of addiction causes the brain to release high levels of those pleasure chemicals. Over time, brain functions of reward, motivation and memory are altered. After these brain systems are compromised, those with addiction can experience intense cravings for substance use, even in the face of harmful consequences. These changes can stay in the brain long after substance use desists. The changes may leave those struggling with addiction to be vulnerable to “physical and environmental cues they associate with substance use, also known as triggers, which can increase their risk of relapse,” write Columbia researchers.

not just a bad habit treatment and continued monitoring and support or recovery.

THE COLUMBIA RESEARCHERS DO HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS: Even the most severe, chronic form of the disorder can be manageable and reversible, usually with long term

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ADDICTION HURTS RECOVERY HEALS

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WE ARE HERE TO HELP! 606.242.2519

No matter where your pain comes from, we can handle it. Our team is ready to help you get back into the swing of things.

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I N AN EFFORT to encourage new treatments for opioid addiction, the Food and Drug Administration plans to begin permitting pharmaceutical companies to sell medications that help temper cravings, even if they don’t fully stop addiction. The change is part of a wider effort to expand access to so-called medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. The agency will issue draft guidelines in the next few weeks. A senior agency official provided details of the proposal to The New York Times. the agency said it would soon publish two guidances, recommendations for drugmakers, on the issue.

The new approach was signaled Saturday by the health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, in remarks to the National Governors Association. Mr. Azar said the agency intended “to correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence in order for MAT to be considered effective.” While the Trump administration has generally supported medication-assisted treatment, Mr. Azar’s predecessor, Tom Price, was not completely on board with it. Mr. Price caused an uproar among treatment experts when he dismissed some medications that reduce cravings through synthetic opioids last spring as substituting one opioid for another. He subsequently walked back those comments, saying officials should be open to a broad range of treatment options. Mr. Azar, who took office late last month, said he would work to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and addiction therapy, and would not treat it as a moral failing. The opioid epidemic is considered the most unrelenting drug crisis in United States history. In 2016, roughly 64,000 people were killed by drug overdoses, including from prescription opioid painkillers and heroin. to correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence in order for MAT to be considered effective. Noting federal data showing that only one-third of specialty substance abuse treatment programs offer medication-assisted treatment, Mr. Azar said, “We want to raise that number — in fact, it will be nigh impossible to turn the tide on this epidemic without doing so.” Mr. Azar’s comments echo those of the F.D.A. chief, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has made battling opioid abuse a priority for his agency. Dr. Gottlieb has moved to reduce opioid prescriptions by doctors and dentists and to promote more medication- assisted treatment, defined as drugs used to stabilize brain chemistry, reduce or block the euphoric effects of opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions. The F.D.A. has approved three drugs for opioid treatment — buprenorphine (often known by the brand name Suboxone), methadone and naltrexone (known by the brand name Vivitrol) — and says they are safe and effective combined with counseling and other support. But the agency said it would soon publish two guidances, recommendations for drugmakers, on the issue.

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1814 Cumberland Ave, Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 242-2519 lifeandhealthservices.org STOP THE ADDICTION

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