Battling Addiction With Virtual Reality, Duke University Researchers Help Veterans Suffering From PTSD
Is battling addiction with a virtual world a real possibility? Scientists and technologists in the Duke University Hospital research program in Durham, North Carolina, are battling addiction in veterans by using a virtual world. Substance abuse has been a common problem for soldiers returning from both the present day conflicts and past conflicts as well. The clinical staff at One80Center is impressed that the virtual world is not imaginary, but actually based on the reality of the soldier’s actual surroundings.
Veterans Battling Addiction At Home
Veterans returning home to their families often are haunted by memories of the violence and death they experienced firsthand and plagued by the resulting post-traumatic stress. In many cases, soldiers suffering PTSD symptomatology turn to substance abuse to help mask the pain or cope with the disturbing emotions and negative impulses. The substance abuse results in the soldiers battling addiction as well as suffering from PTSD. What is frustrating is how little work has been done to help such soldiers alleviate their symptoms and avoid the pitfalls of addiction
The virtual gaming program used by the Duke researchers is a new strategy for battling addiction. The technology focuses on creating a virtual world as identical to the real world as possible. The computer-generated world has been designed to look like parts of Durham, even includes a local bar. Using a computer-generated world full of temptation, researchers are able to test former soldiers with anything from a glass of beer to a cigarette to even drugs.
Battling Addiction With Virtual Reality
Charles McCrimmon, a former Marine who returned home in 1977, joined the Duke study in August after dealing with PTSD symptoms for years. McCrimmon said he would drink heavily in an attempt to eliminate memories of his time overseas. He particularly has been plagued by a head-on collision he was involved in just before being deployed.
While still undergoing treatment for his flashbacks, McCrimmon says the virtual program has eliminated his desire to drink and improved his overall quality of life. The soldier is no longer battling addiction and alcoholism. “I don’t drink anymore,” said McCrimmon. “I still have those flashbacks of my accident, and I just don’t want to drink. Now I see things more clear, and life is more enjoyable.”
The virtual world tests McCrimmon and other soldiers like him so they can train their minds not to respond to cravings when faced with temptations like drugs or alcohol. The virtual experience actually is tailored to each individual. Beyond alcohol and bars, the world includes other characters and cues for crack cocaine use, marijuana or pills. Battling addiction and alcoholism is the heart of the program.
Duke psychiatrist and behavioral sciences expert Zach Rosenthal explains how the study is designed to help, “So once the cravings go down, there’s sort of this magic moment where learning has occurred. We think the brain is learning that, even if they are exposed to substance-related clues, they don’t actually have to use [drugs or alcohol].”
What has also made the study effective is an ongoing attempt to follow up with participants by using a cellphone tone sent to them a couple of times a day. The tone is designed to remind them of the steps they’ve learned to deal with the cravings, providing a combination of a reminder and positive reinforcement. One80Center admires the cutting edge work being done by the Duke researchers. Such technologies and aversion strategies hopefully can be proven to be effective and applied to people battling addiction across the board.
LENS Therapy?! What’s that?? No, it’s not electro-shock-therapy…although sometimes I feel I could use some of that too. Neuro-feedback has been used for treatment of everything from brain-trauma in athletes to autism, to addictive behaviors, be they gambling, sex, or drugs, amongst a myriad of other symptoms. It was through being trained to run the Neuro-feedback system software, and working with clients at ONE80CENTER that I got to begin to see the benefits of this cutting-edge technology. In my experience as a clinical associate, LENS Therapy helps the brain “grow” in new ways, exponentially expanding neuro-pathways. This effects abilities for memory, higher cognitive function, deeper sleep, and all around more positive mood and sense of well-being… just to name a few.
The first time I was exposed to LENS Therapy, I was introduced to Barry Bruder, who runs ONE80CENTER’s LENS program. Barry is a kind, natural-born healer and does everything from bodywork to deep-tissue-massage, to talk-therapy, to LENS. I sat in front of his computer monitor as Barry attached an electrode to each of my ears. He then attached a small sponge-like object soaked in warm saltwater (for conductivity) to the back of my head, held in place with an elastic headband. I was then handed an object about the size and shape of a 1980’s cell phone (same coolness-factor too!) It was made of a hard black plastic with a small clear lens towards the middle, not much larger than a contact lens. I was told to place my thumb on the lens, and at the end of each one-minute interval, rest the next finger on the lens. On the back of the device was a small humming fan, blades protected by a small metal cage. I could feel the warm air blowing against my hand as I held the device. I was told that this device is known as the “Photonic-stimulator”. Barry explained to me that it works towards the balance and normalization of the Mitochondria, the “powerhouses” of the cells in the human body.
On the display in front of me were about seven or eight rows of pulsating lines, much like a heart-monitor looks when you look at a heartbeat. Each of these lines represented different brain waves (alpha, beta, etc.), as well as my heart beat.
After a few minutes, I must admit, I found myself feeling more relaxed. Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I chalked it up to “the placebo effect”. But as time went on, I began to feel a sense of calm and almost a pleasant lull. It was nothing weird or bad, just a general sense of calm and focus simultaneously. Afterwards I remember walking into the office to get back to work, and finding myself standing there, asking myself, “what am I supposed to do right now?” After a few minutes it was time to go home. I got on my motorcycle and hit the road.
During the ride down Benedict Canyon, I found myself extremely relaxed; yet focused. Over the course of the evening, I found myself hearing the usual chaos in my home, caused by my 2-year-old (at the time), and 6 and 10 year-old stepsons. Normally, the sheer anxiety I would experience would be enough to send anyone through the roof. But I found myself much more able to process what was going on, deal with it, and not be so “reactive” to it. This was truly amazing! It was at this moment I realized that I could have stressful events occur, and react to them in a very different way than what I had always been used to doing.
I hadn’t slept straight through the night in over 6 months, but the first night I had gotten the LENS treatment, I slept like a rock. Not only that, I had another five straight nights of uninterrupted sleep in a row!
To this date, I have had 25 LENS sessions with Barry. It has helped me with my stress-levels and my ability to tolerate stressful situations without reacting in a way that is unhealthy for my nervous system. In fact, Barry has described LENS to me as, “A way in which one can re-boot the nervous system”.
I was so impressed with the results of LENS, I took my wife to see Barry. After her first session she described the experience to me as, “feeling like she just spent the entire weekend by the pool”. LENS immediately had a profound effect on her. Additionally, my oldest stepson has severe ADHD. We plan on taking him to see Barry as well. I will keep you posted on the results of that too. Until my next post, Be well and live happy.
Why Does Smoking Pot Make Some People Crazy? New Study Connects Cannabis-Induced Marijuana Psychosis To Specific Genetic Marker
A new cutting edge study about cannabis-induced marijuana psychosis has found a specific genetic marker related to the condition. In a sense, the study has helped answered the classic pop cultural query of why does smoking pot make some people crazy. The Clinical Staff at One80Center applauds the ongoing scientific work that continues to reveal the genetic origins of the disease of addiction in all of its many forms. Each new study seems to confirm the disease model while providing more conclusive evidence of the dangers of marijuana abuse and drug use across the board.
A Genetic Marker For Marijuana Psychosis
As reported this month in Biological Psychiatry, the results of the study show people with the AKT1 rs2494732 single nucleotide polymorphism genetic marker who smoke pot are twice as likely to experience cannabis-induced psychosis compared with those who do not have the genetic marker. What is even more disturbing is that among people who smoke pot on a daily basis, the risk for psychosis increases sevenfold for those who have this genetic marker.
The case-control study examined 489 first-episode psychosis patients and 278 control subjects, investigating the interaction between variation at the AKT1 rs2494732 single nucleotide polymorphism and cannabis use in increasing the risk of a psychotic episode. The findings of the study provide strong support that this genetic marker nfluences the risk of developing marijuana psychosis. The genetic marker in question is one variation of a gene call AKT1. The new study confirmed earlier research that also linked this marker with the risk of marijuana psychosis. ”Our findings help to explain why one cannabis user develops psychosis while his friends continue smoking without problems,” said study researcher Dr. Marta Di Forti, of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry.
Do You Want To Roll The Dice?
Previous studies have linked marijuana with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. It is important to remember that only a small number of those who smoke pot will ever have a psychotic episode. What is positive, however, is that the findings could help identify which pot smokers might be at risk for marijuana psychosis. From the perspective of the One80Center Clinical Staff, it is more reason not to abuse marijuana in the first place and put yourself at risk by rolling the proverbial dice.
Positive Myths About Drinking And Pregnancy Disproved By New Oxford Study That Reveals Fetal-Alcohol Exposure Can Lower IQ
One80Center is happy that after years of contradictory scholarship and questionable scientific claims regarding drinking and pregnancy, a new study may finally have closed the door on the question. If you want to know what choice to make, just don’t drink clearly seems to be the best option for your child’s future health and intelligence. In the drinking and pregnancy study findings that were published in early November in PLOS ONE, researchers from the universities of Bristol and Oxford in England analyzed genetic variations to investigate the effects of moderate drinking during pregnancy. The title of the paper is – Fetal Alcohol Exposure and IQ at Age 8: Evidence from a Population-Based Birth-Cohort Study.
Moderate drinking was defined as six or less alcoholic drinks per week. The researchers used data from more than 4,000 mothers and their children from the Children of the 90s study (ALSPAC) that was done in England. The use of such data truly makes the study cutting edge, impressing the Clinical Staff at One80Center in regards to its validity and overall findings. Then again, it is not really all that surprising that drinking would have a negative effect on fetal development.
Moderate Fetal Alcohol Exposure Lowers IQ
Led by co-author Dr. Ron Gray, the study discovered that four genetic variants in alcohol-metabolizing genes among the 4,167 children were strongly related to lower IQ at age 8. The researchers noted that this effect was only seen in the children of women who were moderate drinkers. There was no effect evident among children whose mothers did not drink during pregnancy, suggesting that it was the exposure to alcohol in the womb that was leading to the difference in IQ. Heavy drinkers were not included in the study.
Previous studies relied on observational evidence, but this proved problematic and inconclusive. Observational studies often find that moderate drinking is beneficial. However, mothers who drink in moderation during pregnancy are typically well educated, have a good diet and are unlikely to smoke — all factors linked to higher IQ in the child. As a result, the potential negatives of drinking were masked, leading to questionable results in those past studies.
This study, on the other hand, used a technique known as Mendelian randomization. As Dr. Gray explained, it is “a scientifically robust way” of investigating the links between exposures and later diseases, using genetic variants that modify exposure levels. As a result, the findings are not as influenced by lifestyle or other factors difficult to control or regulate from an analytical perspective.
The children’s IQs were tested when they were 8 and an overall age adjusted total score was derived. “Our results suggest that even at levels of alcohol consumption which are normally considered to be harmless, we can detect differences in childhood IQ, which are dependent on the ability of the fetus to clear this alcohol… This is evidence that even at these moderate levels, alcohol is influencing fetal brain development.,”” said Sarah Lewis, Ph.D., Dr. Gray’s co-author.
Drinking And Pregnancy Do Not Mix
Furthering this key finding to the point of action, Dr. Ron Gray, noted that while the study was complex, its message was simple: “Pregnant women and women about to become pregnant don’t know which category they’re in. When you take that together it just strengthens the idea that it may be best for women to choose to avoid alcohol during pregnancy… Even moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can have an effect on future child intelligence, so women have good reason to choose to avoid alcohol when pregnant.”
Alcoholism Kills Over Two Million People Worldwide Every Year According To A World Health Organization Report
The clinical staff of One80Center is not surprised that alcoholism kills more than two million people worldwide every year. In fact, what is unfortunate is that we are surprised that the number is not even higher. According to the 2011 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health by the World Health Organization (WHO) that was presented in Geneva, more than two million people die every year in the world for causes related to alcoholism, The harmful consumption of alcohol is a worldwide problem and takes million of lives, including those of thousands of young people, warns Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General, Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health.
Alcoholism And Health Risks
Alwan underlined that addiction is not only a causal factor of many diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, poisoning, colon-rectal, breast, larynx, liver cancer, but a precursor of violence and injuries. The Global status report on alcohol and health presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in member states. It represents a continuing effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support member states in collecting information in order to assist them in their efforts to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, and its health and social consequences.
The document, entitled “The Global status report on alcohol and health”, highlights that alcoholism is increasing across the board all over the globe. For example, in Russia, one out of five deaths is attributed to alcohol consumption, the highest rate, while Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Africa and Ukraine show a dangerous increase. In May 2010, WHO agreed to decrease alcoholism rates by taking a series of steps as that of imposing higher taxes, restricting marketing and regulating the levels of alcohol in drivers. A few countries complied with these policies, but most of the members – the United States included – ignored these recommendations.
Alcoholism Treatment At ONE80CENTER
The clinical staff at One80Center hopes these statistics helps even a single person shake off the fog of the disease of alcoholism and take the steps needed to obtain help. If your loved one or family member suffers from the disease of alcoholism, please don’t let them become another drop in the ocean of these horrible statistics. Please call One80Center at 888.593.2301 to get the help you need and to learn more about our individualized treatment program.
Experts Propose Urine Drug Test Guidelines for Prescription Painkillers, Prescription Opioid Therapy And ChronicPain Management Therapy
The clinical staff at One80Center acknowledges recommendations for urine drug test guidelines in regards to prescription painkillers that have been made after a period of intense investigation and an ongoing back-and-forth between experts. The recommendations were presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) 28th annual meeting. Patients who are prescribed opioid therapy for longer than 3 months should be subjected to random urine drug monitoring every 3 to 6 months, depending on their risk for abuse, according to the expert opinion statement.
The statement is deigned to offer guidelines to be adopted by doctors and clinicians across the country. “Clinicians need to recognize that all patients have a degree of risk for misuse of opioids and that monitoring is necessary to maintain patient safety, structure care with greater objectivity, and guide ongoing treatment decisions,” said the statement, authored by 11 experts in the fields of pain and addiction medicine.
Prescription Painkillers Urine Test Guidelines
“The group spent over 2 years putting this together,” said John Peppin, DO, co-chair of the panel, and director of the Clinical Research Division at the Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky, in an interview with Medscape Medical News. “There was a lot of diversity, a lot of debate and argument. We want to use these technologies responsibly — they’re very expensive.” Dr. Peppin said the guidelines tried to answer 5 questions: whom to test, when to test, how to test, how to interpret the results, and how to handle discrepancies.
“We could literally test for a hundred things. Should we be testing for those hundred things in every test we do or not? Of course we’re looking for things that shouldn’t be there and we’re looking for things that should be there as well,” Dr. Pepin noted. “So, if they’re taking oxycodone we’ll certainly want to test for oxycodone. However, if they’re taking marijuana or cocaine or those kinds of things we want to know that. If they’re taking morphine we want to know that. So we need to tailor our tests and the things we’re looking for depending on the patient and the risk that they’re in.” From the perspective of the One80Center Clinical Staff, the presence of other substances easily could be a sign of co-occurring disorders and dual addictions.
Prescription Painkillers Co-Occurring Disorders
Interpretation of test results is also a complex issue, said Dr. Peppin. “If a drug’s not there, for example, let’s say they’re supposed to be on oxycodone and it’s not in their urine, where is it? Does that mean they sold it? Does that mean it ran out early? Does that mean they’re hoarding it because they’re afraid that at some point they’re not going to get it? It could mean a lot of things.” The Clinical Staff at One80Center has experienced such questions and challenges in the past with clients on certain medications. The idea that the absence of a drug in a screening can be as significant as the presence of a drug is an engaging and powerful concept.
After the initial test, the frequency of random follow-up monitoring should be determined on the basis of risk assessment with the Screener and Opioid Assessment for People with Pain Revised (SOAPP-R), according to the guidelines. Other validated and useful screens include the Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM) and the Opioid Risk Tool (ORT).
Risk Assessment Components
Additional components of risk assessment presented in the recommendations should include a patient interview that explores things such as “smoking history, past medical history, history of psychiatric diagnosis that predisposes patient to abuse, history of prior opioid use and known misuse, personal and family history of substance abuse, and social environment that poses concern over misuse or diversion.”
“Primary care physicians and pain specialists are largely practicing today without the benefit of structural guidance,” the authors of the recommendations write. “Because clinical opinion varies considerably with respect to [urinary drug monitoring], it is expected that the recommendations presented here will generate considerable debate among practicing clinicians and policy makers. Constructive and critical evaluation can now proceed in a way that can more meaningfully inform clinical practice and public policy.”
Given the plague of prescription drug addiction in this country and the extreme abuse of opioid prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Oxycodone, One80Center completely agrees that such guidelines are a necessity. Anything that will help prevent people receiving chronic pain treatment and pain management therapy from becoming addicts makes sense. Any medical recommendations and guidelines that protect clients from addiction are a step in the right direction.
New Study Revealing Connection Between Alcoholism Treatment And Genotypes Mirrors The ONE80CENTER Individualized Program
In a groundbreaking study that was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism treatment has been tailored to individual patient genetics. According to the results of the double blind, placebo-controlled trial published online January 19 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study could lead to individualized alcoholism treatment programs that mirror the efforts of ONE80CENTER. In our individualized program, ONE80CENTER tries to tailor each treatment program to the individualized needs of each client.
Alcoholism Treatment Study & Genotypes
Dr. Bankole Johnson, professor and chair of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville described the results of the study: “This brings the treatment of addiction very much to the forefront of medicine. Very soon physicians should be able to order this [genetic test] like any other blood test.” Although Ondansetron remains an experimental treatment at the moment, the initial results were impressive.
The study included 283 alcoholic patients who were treated experimentally with Ondansetron, an antiemetic and serotonin antagonist drug that has been previously shown to reduce alcohol consumption in people with alcoholism. Genetic testing was performed to determine genotyping of the 5′HTTLPR and rs1042173 polymorphisms of the 5-HTT gene. Within these polymorphisms, certain genotypes have been associated with varying severity of alcoholism and response to alcoholism treatment.
Ondansetron or Placebo
The subjects, all in their mid-40s, were mostly male (73%) and white (85%), with alcohol dependence, but no other Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) axis I diagnosis was provided other than nicotine dependence. At enrollment, self-reported alcohol consumption was recorded according to number of drinks per day and percentage of abstinent days during the past 3 months. After a 1-week placebo period, subjects were randomized to receive either Ondansetron or a placebo on a daily basis for 11 weeks.
Throughout the trial, participants received weekly, manual-driven group cognitive behavioral therapy. They were medically monitored for amount of alcohol consumed, adverse events, and alcohol withdrawal. The main outcome of the study was number of drinks per day, with a secondary outcome of percentage of days abstinent. The study found that individuals with the LL genotype showed significant improvements in alcohol abuse when treated with Ondansetron. In stark contrast, individuals with other genotypes showed no improvement over placebo. Specifically, subjects with the LL genotype went from a baseline number of 9.6 drinks per day to less than 5, and their percentage of days of abstinence went from about 46% to about 70%.
In addition, the study on alcoholism treatmehowed that among individuals with the LL genotype, those who also had the TT genotype of the rs1042173 polymorphism reduced their drinking still further, to about fewer than 4 drinks per day, with abstinence for 75% of days. Again, individuals with other genotypes of this polymorphism showed no effects of the treatment over placebo. The findings show that Ondansetron is promising for the treatment of severe drinking among alcohol-dependent individuals with the LL genotype.
One80Center’s Individualized Program
The Clinical Staff at ONE80CENTER believe that performing genetic screening beforehand to match a particular treatment with a genotype could be an important contribution to tailoring approaches to alcoholism treatment. This type of research is important to further ONE80CENTER’s goals of a personalized alcoholism treatment program. But since only a portion of the alcoholic population has the right genetic material that responds to Ondansetron, there is need to explore other forms of alcoholism treatment tailored to other genotypes. In addition, the group studied is too small to make a conclusive scientific finding. But it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Why Did The Mental Health Parity Act Refuse To Address The Insurance Needs Engendered By Substance Abuse Disorders?
ONE80CENTER respects and continues to support the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, but we also believe that more needs to be done to truly give teeth to the law and make it effective. Even with later updates implemented by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), substance abuse disorders remain the second-class citizens of the country of mental health. Although MHPA was a landmark bipartisan act that received unprecedented support from both Republicans and Democrats, it was devoid of truly revolutionary help while ignoring completely addiction and alcoholism as valid examples of mental health problems.
Signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act ended decades of discrimination. The act legislated against the long-held practice by insurance companies of providing less coverage for mental illnesses or brain disorders when compared with equally serious physical disorders. The reason physical is in italics is because it was passed off as gospel for so very long that mental illnesses were a personality problem based in individual weakness as opposed to the reality of an actual illness of the body. At ONE80CENTER, we believe that addiction and alcoholism are real diseases, allergies of the body and neural imbalances that have both genetic and environmental components.
However, what was revolutionary about MHPA in 1996 is that it equated both annual coverage limits and lifetime coverage limits of mental health benefits with medical and surgical benefits. In other words, prior to the Mental Health Parity Act, typical caps caps for mental illness coverage are $50,000 for lifetime and $5,000 for annual, as compared with $1 million lifetime and no annual cap for other physical disorders. From the perspective of ONE80CENTER, a major problem with the original body of the law is that it failed to cover treatment of substance abuse or chemical dependency. In addition, the original law applied only to employers that offer mental health benefits; it did not mandate such coverage.
Another problem was that the original law integrated many cost-shifting mechanisms, such as adjusting limits on mental illness inpatient days, prescription drugs, outpatient visits, raising co-insurance and deductibles. What was even more disturbing was how the law allowed insurance companies to modify the definition of medical necessity. For example, in certain outpatient treatment cases, costs actually increased on account of the Mental Health Parity Act. Outpatient treatment was not classified as a medical necessity. Is a sober living outpatient or inpatient under such a definition?
The law also had a small business exemption that excluded businesses with 50 employees or less. Finally, if a business found that the parity implementation led to a 1% or more rise in costs, the law actually allows them to exempt themselves from the provisions. After the law went into effect, the White House and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ruled that employers must first comply with the law in 1998 and develop a cost history of at least six months before seeking an exemption. The regulations required employers using the exemption to notify all plan participants and the appropriate enforcement government and institutional authorities.
Immediately after MHPA was enacted, insurers and employers began finding ways to circumvent the legislation by imposing maximum numbers of provider visits and caps on the number of days an insurer would cover for inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations. Another problem was the law had little or no effect on mental health coverage by group insurance plans. By emphasizing cost sharing, higher co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums were used by insurers to neuter the law.
Later, the Mental Health Parity Act was largely superseded by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), which was passed as rider legislation on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Ironically, President George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, signed the MHPAEA into law in October 2008. Prior to MHPA and similar legislation, insurers were not required to cover mental health care and as a result access to treatment was limited, underscoring the importance of the act.
The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) was enacted in October of 2008. Although the main purpose of MHPAEA was to fill the loopholes left by the MHPA, it did not go far enough. The act requires health insurers as well as group health plans to guarantee that mental health benefits are not more restrictive than the insurer’s restrictions for medical and surgical benefits. MHPAEA forced the removal of the loopholes and circumventing measures, but the act only applies to insurance plans for public and private sector employers with over 50 employees.
What was most intriguing to the clinical staff at ONE80CENTER was that MHPAEA mandated that insurers define and make available specific criteria for medical necessity when it comes to mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits. The act made sure to include substance abuse disorders on a level ground with other mental health issues. Although it did not go far enough to guarantee treatment for substance abuse disorders for Americans with insurance coverage, the MHPAEA definitely was an improvement over the original deficiencies of the Mental Health Parity Act.
4 Logical Reasons Why Alcoholism & Addiction Recovery In Beverly Hills With ONE80CENTER Sober Companions Works (Part 2)
ONE80CENTER in Beverly Hills at the heart of Los Angeles offers our clients the use of sober companions because it simply makes sense, both from a clinical perspective and a personal perspective. In fact, the arguments for sober companions make so much sense Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame could have proposed them. Let us present four logical reasons to you why working with sober companions during alcoholism and addiction recovery with ONE80CENTER in makes so much sense.
By employing well-trained and experienced sober companions, the founders of and clinical staff at ONE80CENTER have been able to transform this vision of achieving sustainable sobriety without the threat of additional life damage into a viable reality. In Part 1 of this presentation, the first two reasons were: 1) Sober Companions Do No More Damage Credo and 2) Sober Companions Entertainment Community Support. Here are the second two of four logical reasons why sober companion work so well during treatment in early recovery:
3) Sober Companions Professional Support:
Employing Sober Companions in Treatment to ensure job integrity & protect careers makes sense.
If you are a professional and you need treatment, you most likely have already hurt your career with your drinking and using. Hoe can you not do more damage when you need treatment but you have to attend that corporate meeting that has been on the schedule for two months? If you own a business and you need to send an executive for treatment, you don’t want them to ignore that one key client that cannot afford to be ignored. What if her absence leads to the loss of that client? If you are an entrepreneur, a meeting with your local banker to acquire a bridge loan for your company could be a necessity. If you miss it, will your start-up be able to stay on track? Then again, your need to get treatment for a drug or alcohol problem is just as big of a necessity. What should you do?
Every one of these points makes perfect sense, and these problems often become the deadly excuses that prevent someone from getting the treatment they truly need. This is what the ONE80CENTER Sober Companions Professional Support Program was designed to address. ONE80CENTER believes in smoothing out the transition process so our clients are able to return to, or continue, their essential work while receiving quality treatment services as they begin the path of sustainable recovery in a supportive community.
4) Sober Companions Family Support:
Employing Sober Companions in Treatment to avoid doing further family damage makes sense.
As human beings, we often save the best for last, and there is an argument to be made that Sober Companions Family Support falls squarely in that category. After all, in light of all the damage that drug and alcohol abuse can do to a family, making sure that such future damage is minimized is a beautiful endeavor.
If your mother needs to enter treatment for a prescription pill problem, should she have to wait until after your child’s birthday party? If your father is abusing alcohol and it’s endangering his health, should he then miss the 75th birthday party of his father and your grandfather to enter ONE80CENTER? If your son has been taking Adderall to keep up with class demands and realizes he can’t stop, should he miss his college graduation ceremony because he has chosen to get the help he needs?
All of these questions are hard to answer. ONE80CENTER wanted to ensure that our future clients were not stuck in between the need for immediate professional help and essential family commitments. This is why we designed the overall Sober Companion Program. The Sober Companions Family Support program is designed to address specific family issues. Our goal is to make sure recovery remains the number one priority while at the same time not doing any more real damage to families and loved ones. Yes, it is a difficult and challenging prospect, but a choice that the ONE80CENTER embrace with relish and trained expertise.
Recovery is not a separate issue from life, but an essential ingredient that provides the freedom for a life to be fully realized. Through our Sober Companion Program, ONE80CENTER offers a bridge to the healthy pallor and productive natures of the lives of our clients. If you want to know more about how the Sober Companion Program works, please contact the Clinical Experts at ONE80CENTER by calling 888.593.2301 today. Waiting around and doing nothing, after all, is no longer a viable option.
New Spectrometry Detection Techniques Evolve Into A Portable Technology To Combat Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
Becoming more and more of a problem, prescription drug counterfeiting is a major problem across the world. Speaking at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, Dr. Facundo M. Fernández described how his team has developed technology that reduces the time needed to check a prescription drug sample for authenticity from a half hour to a few minutes.
ONE80CENTER supports such international efforts to protect and validate the authenticity of prescription drugs. What is amazing to the clinical staff at ONE80CENTER is that the researchers are working on the prototype of an affordable, portable version of the device to battle prescription drug counterfeiting in the field. Fernández explained: “They could sort the good medicine from the bad immediately, without shipping samples to laboratories and waiting days or weeks for the results.”
Battle Against Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
From the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Fernández said new ways of revealing prescription drug counterfeiting is essential to the health of consumers. The counterfeiting problem is spreading with the globalization of pharmaceutical production. In addition, with the burgeoning market of prescription drug abuse and addiction, the production methods of the drug counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated. In regards to prescription drug counterfeiting, Fernández said, “It is hard to tell from looking at the packaging. The packages look absolutely professional and authentic, sometimes right down to the hologram seal introduced to discourage counterfeiting.”
Counterfeiting involves all kinds of medications, from prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percodan to lifestyle medications like Viagra to drugs for cancer, malaria and tuberculosis, diseases that cause millions of deaths annually. Incredibly, in 2011, the World Health Organization says that about 10 percent of medications worldwide are counterfeit. Estimates run even higher in poor, developing countries in Southeast Asia and Africa, where past reports have stated that as much as one-third of tested drugs are fake.
Spectrometry & Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
Fake medications sometimes contain the correct active ingredient, but at the wrong dose. Too much could result in an overdose and possibly death. Too little could result in drug resistance, leading to a situation where the real medication doesn’t even work anymore. To check the drugs, they use mass spectrometry (MS), a standard laboratory technology that weighs molecules in order to identify them. “So-called ambient MS methods require much less instrument and personnel time than traditional methods, so we use them as a first pass to look at the quality of large sample sets,” said Fernández. The team is now working on a prototype instrument that medical researchers could use to identify prescription drug counterfeiting in the field.
Fernandez illuminated how such a portable process would work in he field to battle prescription drug counterfeiting: “These are methods that let you analyze a solid sample without any significant preparation. You can take a tablet, put it in front of the instrument with an ionization source, and you get a quick snapshot of what’s in the sample. It provides a very high-throughput pipeline to identify suspicious samples quickly.” ONE80CENTER supports such incredible breakthroughs in technology, and we can imagine how such breakthroughs can be applied in recovery scenarios to identify substances and to even demonstrate the further risk of buying so-called prescription painkillers in an illegal environment.