How This App May Assist You
This app has four different lists, each of which, beginning with the top Icon/Button "Detox Resources", which is the most severe of needs, are listed in order down to "Recovery Church Resources", which is the best list for those who have detoxed, undergone assessment and treatment and are looking for support, both on their journey from life-challenging issues but from spiritual issues and questions also.
Detoxing from Opiates
Detoxification from painkillers and opioids is a painful, stressful undertaking that is best managed by experienced professional caregivers. Painkillers are among the most abused drugs in the country and all too often the dependent abuser is young.
Opioid abusers who have attempted to self-treat become quickly aware of the severity of opioid withdrawal. In fact, an awareness of the pain associated with opioid detoxification and withdrawal is the biggest reason painkiller addicts refuse addiction treatment and rehabilitation.
Opioid Dependence and Detoxification
Prescription drug addiction affects those brain circuits that are responsible for mood and reward behaviors. The addiction cannot be effectively treated until the individual undergoes detoxification and then withdrawal.
If the painkiller abuser has been using for an extended period of time, all bodily systems have already been affected. Withdrawal is likely to begin as soon as intake is halted. However, withdrawal from painkiller abuse can be physically and mentally painful, even if the history of abuse is relatively short. There is no easy way to kick opioid addiction.
Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:
• Craving for drugs
• Large pupils
• Abdominal pain
• Chills and goose bumps
• Nausea and vomiting
• Body aches
• Agitation and severe negative moods
These symptoms are easy to read but the degree of pain suffered during opioid detox and withdrawal is hard for non-abusers to comprehend.
Withdrawal from painkiller addiction can last for hours for new addicts and weeks for longer-term opioid abusers. Willpower and good intentions are not enough to kick the painkiller habit.
Once the intense initial symptoms ease, the painkiller addict is likely to feel mental and physical effects for several weeks.
Why is a Christian Perspective Important?
Of course, we would always assume that salvation would be the primary hope we have for all, addicted or not. However, there are very practical reasons why we would suggest all consider a Christian belief and approach to recovery.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Religion and Health worked at determining how spiritual coping, forgiveness, and gratitude influenced men and women prior to and during treatment for alcoholism. It found that “both in women and in men, the lowest value among all the aspects of forgiveness was found for self-forgiveness.”
This is noteworthy, because within a battle with substance abuse, one of the emotions a person most frequently contends with that drives and fuels their addiction is self-blame. Additionally, by having a belief in a higher power, a person is allowing themselves a venue by which to be forgiven from an external source. Sometimes then, the acknowledgement of a higher power may provide a person with an easier means by which to allow themselves forgiveness. The study went on to say that “forgiving oneself can be the aspect of forgiveness that is most difficult to change and at the same time plays an important role in the process of treatment.”
A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (JSAT) cited the following reasons why spiritual or religious practices may help those who struggle with substance abuse disorders work towards recovery or fight relapse, according to them things may correlate to:
- Increased coping
- The obtainment of a deeper sense of life purpose
- Greater resilience to stress
- An optimistic life orientation
- A greater perceived social support
- Lower levels of anxiety.
- A buffers them against negative emotions
Again, there are ways for people to learn these things without transcribing to a certain faith or religious or spiritual practice. Therapy, support groups, many times provided at no cost by a caring community church, and the accountability of whatever addiction treatment team you choose, whether family, friends or a spiritual community can all help you to develop and maintain these skills that are crucial for recovery.
Methods to Control Opioid Overuse
The DEA has now mandated production reductions in US opioid painkillers. In fact, production of hydrocodone, one of the most abused opioids in the US, will be cut by 34% in 2017. Opioids are highly addictive and not coincidentally are ranked as the second most abused illegal drugs in the country, right behind marijuana.
Illegal use of opioids has gained traction with America’s youth, even at the same time as many of today’s seniors are battling opioid addiction. For youths, opioids are convenient, easy to secret and can be found in at least one medicine cabinet in most homes in the US.
The striking availability and the ease with which students can hide opioids contribute to the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the US and taking lives along the way. Yet, when opioids are administered properly, in compliance with instructions, there is little risk of addiction and patients can derive needed pain relief. Dependence occurs when the prescriptions are abused and when doctor’s instructions are not followed.
1. Proper Prescriptions – In today’s hectic healthcare environment, physicians must take the time to be responsible for their prescriptions after carefully evaluating the patient’s medical history. Physicians must be more thoughtful when prescribing opioids to patients who have drug or alcohol abuse on their medical record.
2. Other Therapies – Patients with drug or alcohol abuse on their record should be encouraged to explore alternative treatment rather than addictive opioids. Therapies like tai chi or acupuncture have proven effective alternatives for pain relief. Physicians are being encouraged to develop comprehensive pain management strategies.
3. Education and Compliance – Patients need education to understand the risks opioids present. Many physicians do not reveal the risks. To make matters worse, uninformed patients are very likely to abuse opioids. Opioids are not intended to be used to take the edge off the day. Compliance with doctor’s instructions and securing household medicine cabinets are great ways to discourage opioid addiction and abuse.
4. Warning Signs are Real – Anyone using opioids for pain relief should be monitored to ensure the medications are being taken as directed, no more, no less. Caregivers should also be sure the opioids are only being ingested for the treatment for which they are prescribed. Caregivers can also request that prescribing physicians be cautious with the prescription and not allow refills or unnecessary quantities of the drugs to be acquired.
5. Help is Available – For parents or caregivers who become alarmed or who simply sense opioids are being abused, there are professional addiction treatment counselors or interventionists at the ready to intercede. If caregivers and/or parents are alarmed at the possibility of opioid abuse and the prescribing physician is hesitant to intercede, ask for a reference to an interventionist. Being proactive about opioid abuse can save lives!
6. Be Prudent – Securing household prescriptions, especially opioids, is an effective drug abuse and addiction preventive measure. Don’t be naïve. Prescription drugs and opioids are being abused in every neighborhood in the US every day. What will you do to protect those close to you?
Be proactive and know your opioids and their risks. Then, be diligent.
Cannabis Overuse and the Potential of Loosening Laws - We Begin the Discussion With The Information Below...(Click to Read)
Methods of Assisting Addiction Remediation, in Order of Average Success Rates
For the sake of brevity and to relieve you from having to examine the accumulated results of many, many studies that determined the 10 best (opiate) treatment solutions and their efficacy, we have included all of the data used to create the list below in a separate PDF file for your review.
#1 Outpatient treatment programs (less than 3% success rate)
#2 Narcotics Anonymous (5-31% success rate)
#3 Ibogaine (13-66% success rate)
#4 Inpatient treatment (29-43% success rate)
#5 Methadone maintenance (50-90% success rate)
#6 Buprenorphine (63-79.3% success rate)
#7 Contingency management (65% success rate)
#8 Ultra-rapid opioid detoxification (66-84% success rate)
#9 Probuphine (88% success rate)
*NOTE - No success measurement exists that is completely reliable due to the wide range of individuals, environments, substances, complexities, long term challenges and assessment methods. It is also notable that the most expensive, well researched, historically used and documented recovery programs, some dating back to the 1800's, have not only been able to establish their success/failure rates, but it appears that anecdotal evidence seems to indicate there is no benefit to formal (clinical/medical) vs localized long-term treatment for basic addiction recovery programs, assuming medical diagnoses are handled professionally in both instances.
So, for us #10 means a Recovery House (Type I, II, or III in Ohio, as a type IV is a Treatment Center) and, even though the success rate listed is for alcohol, long term success is dependent a great deal on a Therapeutic Community.
Treatment IS available in a Recovery House through a medical/pain management practice that is handling the patient on an outpatient basis), no need for extensive infrastructure, residents can work if they're able, easier re-integration into the community, and availability of a wide range of housing options.
As fewer and fewer insurance plans include counseling of any kind, churches have had to improve their offerings to their congregants, 10%+ of which have some sort of addiction - and the need for counseling - in their families.
We also believe that the best solution is a separate wing/floor of an existing nursing or senior facility or local residence dedicated to recovery.
For churches, there are multiple viewpoints regarding the creation, development and support of community Recovery Housing that has an impact on local Christian Communities. (Downloadable 1 page PDF file)
Further, as described in this recent NY Times article, even the most fundamental of resident housing programs can be conducted in any US community with addiction issues, and done so profitably, and by amateurs - better even with recovering addicts. So, we have no illusions that the best solution is for us to approach and assist experienced, staffed community housing facilities with our addiction challenge.
Insurance Coverage for Rehab
Drug and alcohol addition, also known as substance use disorder has taken on epidemic proportions in the US. Alcohol and drug dependency is so widespread that only a small percentage of addicted men, women and children enroll in effective addiction treatment programs.
Government has acknowledged the depth of the crisis and has attempted to ensure that every substance use disorder sufferer can receive treatment and return to a sober and productive lifestyle. For the majority of the population, there are a number of options available to help pay for treatment.
Concern about paying for substance addiction is not a reason to avoid subscribing to an outpatient or inpatient addiction treatment program. The first step to recovery begins with a full physical and psychological profile, no with finding reason to avoid treatment and continue to use.
Affordable Care Act and Addiction Treatment
Under terms of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, substance use disorder is one of the ten benefits insurers are obligated to provide to their insureds. Although a few insurers have failed to comply, the great majority of insurers are in compliance. That means that if you are covered by Obamacare, you most likely have insurance to offset many of the costs of substance abuse or addiction.
At the same time, the Society for Human Resource Management reports that 87% of employer-based health insurance covers treatment for substance abuse recovery. Usually, this coverage falls under provisions of the behavioral health benefits.
Additionally, there are several government backed programs to help uninsured substance use disorder patients receive sustainable rehabilitation treatment.
Many US addiction treatment centers will help patients identify their benefits and even arrange third party financing to cover the cost of treatment. Rarely is the patient’s ability to pay a reason to continue using and destroying one’s life.
Addiction Treatment with a Dual Diagnosis
When alcohol or drug abusers simultaneously suffer a mental health problem, the condition is called dual diagnosis. Both the mental health condition and the addiction must be treated at the same time as these two conditions feed off each other.
Examples of the types of mental illnesses that often accompany drug and alcohol dependency in dual diagnosis are:
• Bipolar disorder
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Either the alcohol or drug dependency or the mental health condition can come first. But, both conditions perpetuate the other. Very often people with mental health issues turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of self-treatment for their mental health illness. And, drug and alcohol addicts often suffer one or more of the mental health conditions listed above as a result of their dependency.
Either way, the addict is trapped in a vicious cycle. While the mental health illness can usually be cured, addiction is a lifelong disease that requires diligent aftercare.
It is virtually impossible for patients with dual diagnosis to self-treat.
Why Mental Illness Sufferers Abuse Substances
Believing the drugs or alcohol can ease the symptoms of their mental health, mental illness sufferers often turn to these substances. Very often, dual diagnosis sufferers are simply attempting to fit into social environs and feel like persons without mental illness.
The mental illness sufferer may also abuse drugs or alcohol in attempts to self-treat the symptoms of the condition. These symptoms can include:
• Sleep disorders
• Side effects of medicines
It is important to understand that unsupervised drug or alcohol consumption can present dangerous, high-risk side effects when used while taking medicines. Mental health patients who abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to consider suicide and more apt to actually plan a suicide than patients who do not abuse substances.
Dual Diagnosis Should Receive Treatment
Dual diagnosis is defined as the simultaneous presence of a mental health illness with a substance abuse disorder. The only way to benefit from treatment is when both conditions are treated at the same time. Not every addiction rehab center offers dual diagnosis treatment and therapies, and in Ohio, must classified at a Type IV Recovery Center, subject to higher regulatory control than I, II or III class recovery centers.
Dual diagnosis treatment can require more time than treatment for one disorder. If patients only receive treatment for one disorder, the treatment will be ineffective.
After detox and withdrawal are treated, the dual diagnosis patient will engage a host of therapies including the all-important counseling. Patients with dual diagnosis often receive support from family and friends and are also candidates for further prescription treatment.
Long Term Recovery Options
A Recovery House is a good solution for both short term and long term residency for people who have gone through detox and are in or not in ongoing treatment. If you need treatment for medical conditions or pain, treatment is provided by licensed physicians on an outpatient basis if you live in a Recovery House. It is a place where those in recovery can adjust to a new, substance-free lifestyle with the support of others doing the same.
Ohio's 4 different levels of Recovery House structure and care are all good environments for Christ-centered 12 step (and other) programs and we are always looking for more Christ-centered counseling providers that wish to be trained and equipped to work with recovering addicts in their community. There are multiple programs that lay people can take to learn how to assist these valuable community members to recover, re-adjust to a healthy lifestyle and even work as they recover.
Contact US and let us know if you would be interested in learning more about a future in recovery in your community.