Most everyone knows of someone who has been affected by the growing problem of Addiction. In fact, more people die each year from prescription drug overdose than from car accidents.
Opiate addiction is a huge problem here in Utah and across the United States. It has truly become an epidemic. Opiates include pain medication like Lortab, Percocet, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Norco, etc. Many people do not realize that these medications fall into the same category as Heroin.
One aspect of opiate addiction that makes it particularly difficult is the horrible withdrawal process. Once addicted, people just cannot stop using the drugs. After 12-24 hours, usually the person will start getting sick and this will worsen typically over the next 24-72 hours. These withdrawal symptoms usually get so severe that the person will then relapse and go back on opiates in order to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Thus they find themselves in a relentless trap leading to feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and shame.
At New Vision, we are able to help patients take the first step to break out of this cycle and free themselves from this miserable process. We focus on helping patients through the withdrawal symptoms and cleansing their system of all opiates. By doing this, we are able to prepare them for an amazing treatment option to help prevent them from returning to the addiction.
Once through withdrawal, the next big problem is preventing relapse. Patients have strong cravings to return and use again despite the negative consequences that have occurred in their lives. Continued treatment beyond detox is critical if someone is going to succeed in recovery.
Counseling and psychosocial therapy are the mainstay of treatment for addiction. Usually this includes individual or group therapy tailored to each individual and their needs. However, most people are not aware that we have incredible medical treatments to help their cravings and prevent relapses from occurring.
Naltrexone is a complete opiate blocker that adheres tighter to the opiate receptor than any opiate. Thus once it is in the system it will not allow any opiate to activate a receptor, thereby blocking all of its effects. If someone were to try and use, it would be a waste of money and time because they would not be able to get high.
A highlight of this treatment is that Naltrexone now comes in a monthly injection called Vivitrol. Now we can get patients through the withdrawal process, cleanse their system of opiates and then give them a shot which will block all opiate effects and prevent relapse to opiate dependence for an entire month.
Addiction affects more that the individual. Families are torn apart and can suffer just as much as the addict. When educated properly, families love Vivitrol. It makes sense to them. When a person commits to Vivitrol, it shows everyone their commitment to not use. Families and loved ones can sleep better at night, and overtime trust can be restored. It is as if we are providing them a shield and a safety to protect their brains from further damage from the opiates and allow the brain the necessary time to heal.
New Vision Medical Stabilization Service
630 East Medical Drive
Bountiful, Utah 84010
Toll Free: 800-939-CARE (2273)
If you'd like more information, please visit: New Vision.
Utah Addiction Medicine & Counseling
Scott A. Erickson MD
440 S. Medical Drive
Bountiful, Utah 84010
For more information please visit Dr. Scott Erickson's website.