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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

In the News: Addiction Medicine Pioneer dead at 83

I’m shocked at the little media coverage, besides the New York Times article (and a few other posts here and there ) being done on the passing of Addiction Medicine pioneer Dr.Griffith Edwards. He made insurmountable contributions to the field of addiction and it’s role in the medical industry.

Addiction is still seen as the black sheep, the big taboo and the negative stigma doesn’t seem to go away. Why is that? Will we ever begin to pay attention, accept reality and move forward?

Dr.Griffith Edwards died of a stroke on September 13th, 2012 in a Hospice in Greenwich, England. He dedicated his life to the study and research of alcoholism and addiction medicine as a science and not just a social problem. He formulated definitions of drug and alcohol dependence that are used worldwide to diagnose and treat substance abuse.

“He was one of the few true giants who moved the alcohol and drug field into mainstream medicine,” said Dr. Marc A. Schuckit, a distinguished professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, “one of the first to begin asking questions in a systematic way about these problems” rather than merely describing them.

Dr.Griffith Edwards really wanted to know what made an alcoholic an alcoholic. He performed studies on drinkers, conducted talk therapies, researched the psychological, social and political implications of the chronic disease; publishing his findings in The British Journal of Addiction, American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization.

Dr.Edwards is the father of the “matching hypothesis” which almost every treatment, including Palm Partners, uses when developing a treatment plan for clients. In 1977, Dr.Edwards and a team of researchers compared the effects of a standard long-term counseling program for heavy drinkers with a single “advice” session. After two years, those with more severe dependence were drinking less, on average, if they had received the more intensive therapy.

Dr. Babor, a top editor for Dr. Edwards’s journal, now called Addiction, added, “He was the father of some of the major conceptual advances in this field.”

Dr.Edwards also made strides in the education and community aspects of addiction. He supported the following crucial initiatives:

  • development of a broad structured response to alcohol and other drug problems, including appropriate and high quality medical and psychiatric services
  • development of new approaches to alcoholics who are homeless and also people in prison.
  • establishment of the first Therapeutic Community for treatment of Drug Dependence, Phoenix House
  • development of community based services for alcohol problems
  • founding of the Charity Action on Addiction
  • developing country issues and links with the World Health Organization

Professor Edwards’s academic work involved research in tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and has supported a training, research, treatment and policy approach that combines all substances that are addictive into a coherent theoretical framework. He promoted an approach that combines the basic sciences of addiction, to the more applied and social sciences and sought to promote an evidenced based policy approach that was fully scientifically informed.

He was nothing short of brilliant and we thank him for his contributions to the science of addiction and in helping fight addiction all across the globe.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for their alcohol addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/health/dr-griffith-edwards-pioneer-in-addiction-medicine-dies-at-83.html?ref=health&_r=1&

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffith_Edwards

 

Methadone Maintenance Programs: Are they good or bad?

What are methadone maintenance programs?

Methadone maintenance programs can help IV drug users reduce or stop injecting drugs and help them return to living productively again. Methadone maintenance programs use methadone as a substitute to drugs such as heroin etc. Methadone maintenance programs have been used to treat opioid dependence for more than 45 years. Methadone is either taken orally or in a liquid. With the emerging use of Buprenorphine or Suboxone to treat opioid dependence a lot of questions are being raised about whether or not methadone maintenance programs are good or bad.

  • Do methadone maintenance programs really help rehabilitate opioid dependence or do they just enable it further?
  • Is it fueling some people’s addictions instead of helping them?

Some people consider methadone maintenance programs to be a great help to their lives giving them another outlet that is healthier than shooting up drugs. While others find that they are just as unable to function on methadone.

Is it really helpful to substitute one drug for another?

Methadone maintenance programs offer tons of help to drug users who are using needles and shooting up but all the methadone program is doing is getting them addicted to another substance which is very uncomfortable to stop because of the withdrawal symptoms.  Some users even refer to methadone as liquid handcuffs because the thought of stopping altogether is too painful.

The Good

Methadone maintenance programs are good in the sense that they stop users from having to shoot up, lower the risk of transmitting disease and allows them to get a safe dose of drugs instead of using dangerous methods to get high. That doesn’t mean they’re 100% safe, methadone has its’ risks.

The Bad

Methadone maintenance programs are bad in the sense that they just get addicts addicted to a different substance instead of getting them clean. In fact methadone maintenance programs are known as drug replacement therapy. Most addicts end up highly addicted to the methadone and the methadone is actually harder to get off of than the illicit drugs that the addict or alcoholic was using to begin with. Some addicts will continue to use their previous drug along with methadone and end up overdosing and dying. If they mind and body are not transformed to become dependent of a substance than it’s truly pointless.

Methadone maintenance programs are also legal so there is no deterrent for those going to the program to ever stop utilizing it. Additionally, those who are still abusing heroin can still walk in and get a dose of methadone; thus increasing their chances of an overdose. Lots of methadone maintenance programs or methadone clinics will still give methadone to addicts with other drugs in their systems knowing full and well that they are only using the clinic for cheap, legal drugs.

This is dangerous and causing more harm than good. Methadone maintenance programs should not be a long-term solution to drug abuse.

If you or someone you know needs methadone detox treatment please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

Shock Incarceration Facilities

Shock incarceration facilities are boot camp prisons made for young adults. They provide incarceration that is shorter than jail time for youthful offenders. The regimen at shock incarceration facilities are strict, military-style discipline, unquestioning obedience to orders and highly structured days filled with drills and hard work. Shock incarceration facilities are designed to provide a total learning environment that promotes involvement, self-direction and individual responsibility.

The key parts of shock incarceration facilities are substance abuse education. This substance abuse education is in the daily regimen of drill, ceremony, physical training, work, and academic education. Shock incarceration facilities are where young adults go to get a therapeutic environment. These young adults that attend shock incarceration facilities are non-violent offenders that need substance abuse treatment. To qualify for a shock incarceration facility, offenders must be under the age of 35 and be eligible for parole within 3 years of them entering into Department of Correctional Services. They also must not have committed a violent or sexual offense nor can they be sentenced to an indeterminate amount of time in jail or prison. Shock incarceration facilities provide academic education and other tools in order to help each young person to promote their reintegration into the community.

Every part of shock incarceration facilities, boot camp, is made to with the goal of developing law-abiding citizens. Shock incarceration facilities usually include phases of treatment. Most shock incarceration facilities have two phases.

Phase 1 includes an intense incarceration program that is operated by the Department of Correctional Services.  Phase 1 of shock incarceration facilities is built around a therapeutic program that is known as “Network”. Network seeks to create a positive environment to support the success of each young adult being reintegrated into the community. Inmates of the shock incarceration facility engage in activities normally associated with boot camps.

Phase 2 is an intensive community supervision which is conducted by the Division of Parole. During phase 2 of a shock incarceration facility, the graduates are intensively supervised in the community. The graduates will then go on to a program which can help them with housing, drug and alcohol treatment relapse prevention, family counseling and more.

Shock incarceration facilities have a good success rate but there are many factors that can lead to a young adult going home and ending up back in jail. It has been found that those inmates who attended a shock incarceration facility had a higher chance of ending back up in jail if they had family members with serious criminal backgrounds or substance abuse problems. Also those who were unwilling to adhere to the rules of the shock incarceration facility tended to end up right back in jail or prison.

Those who followed the rules and completed the program had a much higher chance of never returning back to prison or jail. In fact the help with education, job placement and more that shock incarceration facilities provide in phase two really helped some inmates get off on the right foot.

For some people shock incarceration facilities are exactly what they need, for others it may just be a super tough punishment that will not change anything. Either way it’s good to have options when trying to help those who have been criminally charged with any kind of drug offenses. Shock incarceration facilities are one of those options.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for crack or cocaine addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

Crack in Brazil

As drug traffickers meet resistance in the US, they’ve begun to move into new territory – South America. Crack has been a growing problem in Brazil and as of today is the world’s largest market for the cheap, highly addictive street drug. In San Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, officials don’t know what to do about the hundreds of zombielike addicts who by night wander a no man’s land known as Cracolandia, or Crackland. Crack in Brazil has become a key issue in local elections. The growing problem of crack in Brazil undermines the progress the nation has made with its growing prosperity and millions of new consumers.

Though most public figures have been concerned with trying to clean up Brazil’s “cracklands”, there have been allegations that certain candidates are taking advantage of the crack epidemic. Candidates for the city council in one Brazilian city were accused of using crack to lure addicts and dealers to vote for them.

Crack is the freebase form of cocaine. It is smoked, and it is the most addictive form cocaine. The reason it is so addictive is because smoking crack gives the user a short but very intense high. Smoking is second only to IV injection in terms of how quickly the drug hits your system, and a very close second at that.  Although the United States is still the largest market overall for cocaine, the surge of crack in Brazil illustrates a global new trend. Traffickers are exploring new markets to offset the decline in cocaine sales in the United States, mainly due to the US’s greater domestic spending on prevention, stronger enforcement, and users switching to other drugs.

Crack in Brazil is beginning to resemble the crack epidemic that plagued the United States in the 1980’s. In the inner cities, swarms of crack addicts have converted whole city blocks into open air crack markets.  Nearly 6 million adults in Brazil have tried crack, and 1 in 100 have used crack in the last year. Though law enforcement is trying to battle the problem of crack in Brazil, they are not making much progress. Addicts throw stones at approaching social workers and psychologists, and children as young as nine or ten are picked up, taken to shelters, and go back to the slums as soon as they are released. Raids clear the streets for a day or two, and then the crack dealers are back.

Law enforcement officials are working with the DEA to try to solve the problem of crack in Brazil. However, even though crack use declined sharply in the US in the 1990’s, it is not clear if the fall off was due to the efforts of law enforcement or if the crack epidemic simply burned itself out due to the toll crack takes on the body. Critics of the recent law enforcement raids say that police intervention simply disperses the problem of crack in Brazil to other neighborhoods, and that treatment needs to be part of the solution to crack in Brazil if it is ever going to be resolved.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for crack or cocaine addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

In the News: Lady Gaga Battled Bulimia and Anorexia

         Lady Gaga exploded into superstardom just four years ago when her “The Fame” album hit stands in 2008 and spawned number one hits like Just Dance and Poker Face. Since then she’s given us, Fame Monster (remember Telephone with Beyonce?) and Born This Way. We’ve seen her perform half naked, walk red carpets in bizarre outfits (even a meat dress), walk the runways of Milan and Paris, fight for gay rights and anti-bullying all over the world. Many have attacked her in-your-face attitude and say that her music and fashion is too vulgar. I have to disagree with her critics and say that she’s just the average American who’s had her good and bad days. Now we know that alongside her past addiction to cocaine she’s also a person whose battled an eating disorder.

In all honesty it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Gaga did not invent this wheel; she’s just giving it another spin. Many artists before her have express themselves very loudly through their sexuality and fashion – artists like Grace Jones, Elton John,  Janet Jackson, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Cher, and Donna Summer. The need to express oneself is not singular to Lady Gaga or to anyone else; it’s a universal need for all human beings.

So when tabloids attacked her for gaining weight she was quick to fire back and rightfully so if I may add. Gaga posted four pictures of herself (one depicted above) on her fan website www.littlemonsters.com in which she is in her underwear, sans Photoshop or makeup proudly displaying her body.

The captions above each photo read: “Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15… But today I join the BODY REVOLUTION…. To Inspire Bravery…. and BREED some … COMPASSION.”

The Body Revolution section of the fan website has been flooded with fan photos of their bodies – some overweight, underweight, scarred, healthy, unhealthy, disfigured; a true depiction of the impact of eating disorders. News media outlets need to take more responsibility for scrutinizing celebrities’ weight. With the added 25 lbs. to her frame you can clearly see that she is nowhere near being overweight or unhealthy. It’s a shame that she’s being bullied about it.

Eating disorders are so common in America that 1 to 2 out of every 100 students will struggle with one. Each year, thousands of teens develop eating disorders, problems with weight, eating, or body image. The two most common forms of eating disorders are Anorexia and Bulimia. Many more women than men have anorexia and bulimia. The disorder is most common in adolescent girls and young women. The affected person is usually aware that her eating pattern is abnormal and may feel fear or guilt but the obsession and need to restrict binge or purge food is too strong to stop.

The exact causes of anorexia and bulimia are unknown. Genetic, psychological, trauma, family, society, or cultural factors may play a role.

Anorexia Nervosa
People with anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to as anorexia, are fearful of gaining weight and have a distorted body image. Anorexics will do anything to continuously lose weight like go on strict and extreme diets that require them to eat very little (if anything at all), exercise non-stop, purge their food, and take laxatives.  Anorexics tend to be extremely underweight and suffer from medical problems like decaying teeth, severe malnutrition, loss of period and thyroid gland problems. Anorexia is a serious condition and has led up to death in about 10% of all cases.

Behavioral signs of Anorexia:

  • Cutting food into small pieces or moving them around the plate instead of eating
  • Exercising all the time, even when the weather is bad, they are hurt, or their schedule is busy
  • Going to the bathroom right after meals
  • Refusing to eat around other people
  • Using pills to make themselves urinate (water pills or diuretics), have a bowel movement (enemas and laxatives), or decrease their appetite (diet pills)

Other symptoms of anorexia may include:

  • Blotchy or yellow skin that is dry and covered with fine hair
  • Confused or slow thinking, along with poor memory or judgment
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme sensitivity to cold (wearing several layers of clothing to stay warm)
  • Loss of bone strength
  • Wasting away of muscle and loss of body fat

Bulimia Nervosa
People with bulimia nervosa, commonly referred to as bulimia, also are fearful of gaining weight and have distorted body images. Bulimics usually combine binge eating and purging as a way to prevent weight gain. They will binge on large amounts of food, mostly alone, and then purge afterwards. Bulimics tend to be either overweight or at a “healthy” weight.  Many people with bulimia are also considered anorexic.

Behavioral signs of Bulimia:

  • Binge eating on high calorie foods in private and feeling guilty afterwards
  • Using pills to make themselves urinate (water pills or diuretics), have a bowel movement (enemas and laxatives), or decrease their appetite (diet pills)
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Suddenly eating large amounts of food or buying large amounts of food that disappear right away
  • Regularly going to the bathroom right after meals
  • Throwing away packages of laxatives, diet pills, emetics (drugs that cause vomiting), or diuretics

Other symptoms of Bulimia may include:

  • Broken blood vessels in the eyes (from the strain of vomiting)
  • Dry mouth
  • Pouch-like look to the cheeks
  • Rashes and pimples
  • Small cuts and calluses across the tops of the finger joints from forcing oneself to vomit

As you can see Anorexia and Bulimia are serious health disorders and as a society we need to take a stance and say enough is enough. We shouldn’t glorify unhealthy body images and tell men and women that it’s okay to hurt your body as long as you’re thin. Kudos to Lady Gaga for sticking it to those tabloids!

If you or someone you know needs treatment for their addiction and an eating disorder please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

 

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001401/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001381/
http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/eat_disorder.html#
http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/showbiz/lady-gaga-body/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Gaga
http://littlemonsters.com/#gaga
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/lady-gaga-weight-singer-bulimic-teenager_n_1913701.html?utm_hp_ref=celebrity#slide=more214509
http://style.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/outrageous-lady-gaga.jpg

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